Avala Wednesday, Apr 11 2007 

Miss Alice Trent said:

It has been suggested that Pure Aristasians are what the Greeks would have termed titans (or what the Buddhists call the long-lived gods) i.e. creatures living in a world of relative perfection – a kind of temporal heaven such as the Isles of the Blest. Such creatures do not require religion since they can neither sink below nor rise above their present state so long as that lasts.

However, since there is religion in Aristasia Pura, this would appear not to be the case.

Miss Ellhedrine added:

Miss Trent’s contention that Aristasia Pura is not a temporal paradise is confirmed by the fact that it has its own legends of such a paradise. It is called Avala and exists out on the Western Sea, “Yond of the seagulls’ cry” – to quote an Aristasian song I learned some time back, but I regret cannot fully remember now.

It is said that if one sails Westward, then just as in the East, there will come a point when Western technical things will cease to work, and if one could go far enough one would reach Avala, the land where the twelve golden apples of the sun grow on a great tree, tended by golden maidens.

Whether this is true or not – and, since Aristasia is a far less prosaic world than ours, it may well be – an earthly paradise would hardly have legends of finding an earthly paradise, now would it?

Avala

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Customs in Aristasia: Marriage and Succession Wednesday, Apr 11 2007 

Miss Nicola asked:

This may seem like a rather silly question but it has been puzzling me recently. When two girls are married in Aristasia what happens to the names? Does each girl get to keep her own name with the brunette name passing on to any brunette children and the blonde name to the blonde children? Or does the blonde take the brunette’s name?

Miss Veleda answered:

Customs regarding names in marriage vary in different parts of the Empire. In the West it is usual for the blonde either to take the brunette’s name or to retain her former name – especially in cases where she is in the theatre, business or public life – while the children would take the brunette’s name. Among some traditional Raihira families, however it is common for blonde, brunette and children to take on the name of the one highest in precedence. Occasionally this can lead to a change of name in the course of a marriage – if, for example if the blonde of a brunette baroness unexpectedly succeeded to a title of the Countess of —, the name associated with the title would thenceforth become the family name.

In some Eastern societies (of the type called cheliniar) it would normally be the blonde’s name that was taken by the brunette.

Succession varies also, not only in different parts of the Empire but in different cases. Some titles and hereditary positions pass solely in the brunette line, some solely in the blonde line and some by strict primogeniture (i.e. the eldest daughter of either sex is the successor). The title of Shuranya, for example, can only be held by a blonde. Some two hundred years ago, there was a period when there was no Shuranya of Mereton for eight years until a distant blonde cousin of the family was born and succeeded immediately to the title and estate. Numerous brunettes who would otherwise have been in the line of succession were ineligible owing to their sex.