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Limerance

"Limerance is the god of love, true, but above all he is the god of fidelity. Every vow honored, every oath kept sacred, and every trust kept unbroken represents his purest form of worship."

Limerance is most often depicted as being the god of courtly love and romantic ideals, representing virtues such as fidelity during courting. A relatively small informal discipleship to the god exists, calling themselves Devotions, and are primarily concerned with extolling courtly virtues in song and writing- a large percentage of bards of the Realm claim to be Devotions, as do a number of courtiers, but the title has often been used by the unscrupulous to profit from the general warm feelings the commoners show the followers of Limerance.

Marriage throughout the Realm falls under the province of Limerance, and thus is largely handled by the Faith of the Pantheon. Among commoners in outlaying territories, it can be an extremely simple and straight forward affair- the two commoners in question declare they are married, with priest or Devotion or no, and their villages accept it. In more civilized territories closer to the strongholds of the great houses, commoners typically have to meet with a priest of the Pantheon to submit scrollwork formalizing their union. Technically, as liege lords speak with the voice of law over their vassals, they possess the right to declare the validity of a marriage. In practice, it is nearly unheard of for a liege to be involved in refusing commoners the right to marry, save in rare cases such as one spouse attempting to take clear advantage of another or a lord fearing two feckless young adults marrying against their family wishes would provide him with a headache he'd rather avoid. Similarly, commoner divorces tend to be left to the control of the commoners. In Arx and other civilized lands, one party submits scrollwork wishing to dissolve their marriage, and the union is considered void in the eyes of the Faith even without the knowledge or consent of the other party. Any following disputes over custody or ownership of joint possessions falls to lieges of the commoners who may well resent the filing without their consultation.

For noble marriages, their unions or dissolutions are not nearly as straight forward. In most cases, the marriages represent formal alliances or partnerships between noble houses, often with extremely elaborate legal agreements in place that take a lasting marriage as a cornerstone of the arrangement. Nobles very rarely exercise any degree of freedom over their choice of spouses, having the decision made for them by the head of their house, and are forced to attempt to live Limeracene Ideals of love for the benefit of the commons that are rarely applicable to their own marriages. Fidelity, however, is on the surface considered vital to many of the great houses. House Valardin in particular often considers any marriage voided by infidelity on the part of a spouse, which constitutes a betrayal of any treaties or alliances created by a marriage pact. The Lyceum by contrast is far more understanding of indiscretions, but even the most debauched houses tend to maintain at least the pretense of fidelity among spouses even if in private they have an entirely different arrangement. Different houses have different cultural degrees on how high they place the illusion of Limeracene Ideals for the benefit of the commons.

Dissolving a marriage bond between two noble houses, then, is not often a simple matter. The concurrance of the leadership of both noble houses and a representative of the faith is at least required, and often an Arxian judge. In some cases, the final arbiter is nothing short of the Dominus of the Faith with the consent of the crown, particularly when the dissolution is not in the least bit amicable and war between two great houses look likely. The power of the Faith to determine the terms of the divorce grants them a degree of power that more than one noble house has found infuriating.