Back to Hroa.
This page covers the cultural quirks specific to the planet of Hroa. For House Serpens specific cultural details please go to House Serpens Culture.
There are three languages that developed away from Imperial on Hroa - Ðeykiu, Lo'an, and Academic.
Pronounced Thay-kiu. Speakers of Ðeykiu appear to be speaking in rapid, flowing cadence. Their voices are kept level and firm with occasional break in line, and the overall sound is not unlike the reading of a lilting haiku. Ðeykiu sounds like a mixture of Icelandic, Japanese, and Tok Pisin. It is flowing in cadence, though monotonal. Ðeykiu features broken lines, separating clauses into the action clause and the descriptor clause. The use of caesura helps separate these clauses. This is the language of the upper echelon, of those of noble blood, and has become uncommon for the average noble to know.
The language Lo'an, is mix of several Western and Northern European tongues, which is a blend of the Romance, Gaelic, Germanic, and Norse families of language. Lo'an sentence structure resembles that of what is used in English, though uses the verb and noun conjugation rules for past, present, future, and progressive tenses present in Spanish, but eschews the inherit gendering of words common in most romance languages.
Lo'an vocabulary is vast and varied, a mish-mash of words from English, Swedish, German, and Spanish, with a smattering of Old-Norse, French, Latin, Greek, and Gaulic, blended together over centuries into one semi-cohesive spoken and written language that only has a handful of vestigial gramicial rules. Lo'an also keeps the German tongue’s rules for compounding words, further expanding the language.
Academic is a language native to Hroa, specifically designed by telepaths based off of Greek, Japanese, and Latin to be used within the Imperial Academy of Psionic Learning and Wellness. Academic uses a series of grammatical rules specifically designed for the rapid transference of information as clearly as possible.
Academic also included vocabulary specifically designed to express the speaker’s emotional state, including words that express multifaceted, complex emotional states in one or two syllables, which have often been described as ‘sounding exactly like how I feel’. Some have criticized Emotional Academic as a series of “unintelligible grunts, moans, and screams”, yet studies have shown that people with no knowledge of Academic have been able to accurately describe the emotions expressed therein.
Despite all this, Academic is considered a dead language, even within the IAPLW, with only a few thousand able to speak it conversationally, and only a few hundred who are fluent in Academic (not counting the numerous telepaths who have implicit knowledge of all language, and have easier means of conveying information directly with their minds). As such, the language has often been compared to the old earth dialect of Esperanto, for its attempt to innovate in communications, and its utter failure to catch on.
Hroan Sleep Patterns
With the slightly slower rotation of Hroa comes a longer day, and with that, another quirk of your average Hroan. Many Serpens nobles are known for holding odd sleep schedules, and this is due to the common cycles on Hroa.
With the rarity of sunlight causing an almost constant night-time atmosphere (not to be mistaken for a true night world such as Teuthem), daytime and nighttime are of little consequence to Hroans, and instead the days are modelled after what has now become a known, sensible shift schedule for the Practitioners of the Orchard. Early morning and early evening are awake times for Hroa, with noon and “night” being the typical times to sleep.
This also means that on Hroa, and even in the more Hroan districts and businesses on Imperial Prime, the businesses keep what seem to be odd hours; you are able to find what you need at any time, but that doesn’t mean a specific business will be open 28 hours a day, merely that many businesses seem to work in tandem to fill in the overlap between sleep shifts. It is frequently noted by outsiders that these businesses have “weird” and “eclectic” break times.
Hroans frequently have difficulty adjusting to more “normal” sleep patterns when on ships or other planets. Streets are frequently much lighter on traffic during the mid-day sleep period, and many visitors find it difficult to be accustomed to the sleep shifts; this, much like the fashion habits of Serpens, is a quirk that many won’t know about unless visiting Hroa specifically.
It is rumoured that this originated from the shifts held on the medical constellation ship, but this tall tale has no provable basis in reality.
The visual arts within House Serpens and on Hroa typically fall within one of three schools of thought or artistic movements:
The Traditional Schools
These are the oldest held traditions of distinctly Serpens art still in practice, dating back to earth itself. They uses highly calligraphic and geometric style of repeating abstract patterns based off of abstracted floral patterns and naturalistic curves. These simple but incredibly intricate patterns form repeating mandala like forms down to such a level of detail that some of them begin to become unnoticeable to the eye. Serpens art in this tradition usually reflects the notation of the greater universe being constructed both on a micro and macro scale of incredibly intricate patterns and governing laws, and to understand something as simple as a single image or a pattern on a shirt can peel back into infinite layers of possibility and discovery. The style of the traditional school is said to be derived from the works of ancient earth, particularly the religious texts of Christianity and Islam, as well as transcendental works by ancient Tibetans, of which only a hand full of examples have survived the scream.
The Finite Infinity Movement
This movement takes the centuries old traditions and breaks a great number of their rules. Typically artists in this vein take the calligraphic and textile works of the traditional style and bleed them into works of abstract and often expressionist bents. Artists have taken thousands of year old patterns, stripped them down to their base components and curves remixed and re-purposed them, forming beautiful pieces which each express a tiny fragment of the infinite possibilities of time and space. Works identified within the finite infinity school also tend to have a much looser painterly style, and work in meta-commentary on the meaning of infinite possibility when viewed through the finite scope of a human life, expanded even as it is through MES.
The Hyper Iconicysms
Literally evolving from the use of infographics and informational icons, the Hyper Iconic style is a massive departure from the other schools of Serpens artistic thought. Works in this school resemble blueprints and mathematical engineering notes remixed with info-graphics more so than any painting of a landscape, but are often hand or telekinetically painted with paint on canvas in borderline machine level of percussion and care. Artists in this school of thought seek to define the universe and its infinitely possible future through highly intricate mathematical precision and color theory, while often providing its audience with an abstracted yet universally recognizable set of schematics to act as a road map to understanding. Hyper Iconicysms boldly claims to have all the answers, and then invites the viewer to expand their own mind through observation and decoding.
As with all aspects of Serpens and Hroan life, these artistic practices are often improved or provided greater depths through the use of Psychic ability, be it paintings of parallel futures that have never come to pass, the landscapes of a dreaming volunteers mind, or the use of telekinesis to create patterns and details so fine and intricate that a human hand could never hope to create them.
For main article, see House Serpens Cuisine
Hroan flora and fauna are capable of supporting human life. The vast majority of the flora are short, with a wide base for large leaves to grow out of, or bushes with various buds or flowers upon them. The meats and plants of Hroa aren’t particularly flavorful on their own, so spices and alcohols from off world are shipped in to improve the cuisine.
Greenhouses exist to help make the growth of off world Terran spice plants, fruits, and vegetables possible, since the local atmosphere isn’t fully compatible with the growth of some of these plants. It should be noted that some native flowers on Hroa have been used to synthesize MES treatments, and are cultivated here because of the unique atmosphere.
Many describe Serpens cuisine as heavily seasoned, simple meals. They mostly consist of minimal animal protein, and a great deal of plants and rices. The low consumption of animal protein is mostly due to the extra resources and energy that livestock require, not a religious or cultural belief.
Because of Hroa’s atmosphere, urban development relies on sky tunnels between above ground buildings, and sealed pedestrian subways to minimize civilians’ need to traverse the landscape and utilize their breathers. This allows the poor, not always having access to reliable pressure masks, the ability to work and live within the city
Building underground was ideal as it solved multiple problems. It gave protection against the large, predatory fauna during the early stages of colonization. It also gave an extra layer of protection from the atmosphere, and allowed the creation of indoor areas with filtered atmosphere that didn’t require any sort of assisted breathing technology.
Despite the atmosphere, Serpens architecture still indicates a level of care to appearances. Buildings feature curving, arched elements, and large, dome-shaped ceiling spaces covered with reinforced glasses, allowing open views from above and inside. Serpens culture is fond of interior garden spaces surrounded by “open air” cafes around the gardens.
Older and traditionally important buildings are made of natural stone of Hroa, but more modern buildings are crafted of metals, artificial concrete-like materials, and glasses. Cities aren’t full of skyscrapers, due to the underground walkways, but do feature the presence of skyscrapers linked by sky-tunnel walkways, to make travel shorter when already inside the towers.
Religious Beliefs and The Veil
No one is exactly sure what the Veil is as it’s origins have lost meaning with time. Some people see it as a precognitive wall that the oracles cannot see beyond. An ending to the road of possibilities and a portent of ultimate doom. Some people think that it is representative of the crossing between life and death. Others still see it as the final hurdle in humanity’s quest for psionic enlightenment.
According to the native population, when the day comes for the great Psychic Dragons to consume all life in the world, powerful enough Serpentis Psychics will rise and challenge the dragons in mental warfare.
After seven days and nights of battle, seven Serpentis Psychics and seven Space Dragons will rise from the carnage as gestalt beings of one mind, and rule humanity as the most potent psychic beings to have ever existed. (This came from discussion that there may be supremely dangerous beings that exist on the planet and are slumbering. We like the idea of the planet itself being a place of psychic power and thought it would be cool if psychic godzilla was the planets doom.)
Two Moons Myth
A myth originated during the post scream restoration of Hroa has it that the children of the mother serpent Hroa, the two moons Mardis and Shri Vashne, will hatch and consume us all.