Love is as universal as anything else natural in the world of Tariel. It is the force that brings people together; sometimes against inconceivable odds. The idea of love is no stranger to most cultures of the world, and it is the major purpose and cause for happiness amongst two people. Yet, having said that, it comes with many complications and challenges, much depending on what society a person belongs to.
In most civilized cultures, love knows no boundaries. It can be anything from the love for one’s family, one’s duty, one’s nation and, to no lesser extent, the love for a fellow partner. Most common, modern societies agree that love between two same-gender people is just as natural as the love between two people of different genders. Race is often brought up as something that creates complication, again much depending on what society one resides in. Most multicultural nations hold no quarrels with the idea of different-race unions, or even same-sex unions. In some nations it is encouraged, and in some it is merely considered a pastime. But it should be noted that some nations hold punishments for such unions; punishments that sometimes lead to imprisonment, public humiliation or even death.
In most central nations, an elf
marrying a human, or even an orc marrying a non-orc, is not unheard of or even
discouraged too much. But it does bring along certain societal judgements,
typically brought on by centuries of tradition and history, which have forcibly
taught the wrong-doings of these unions, or that one race or another is to be
considered inferior or vile.
It is important to note that most sensible cultures are accepting towards the ideas of free love. Yet even so, certain societies within these cultures would likely disagree. A great example would be someone of nobility. The purity of blood and the importance of producing offspring garners the wish for a noble parent to have his or her children carry on the family name, or to create alliances with other families of noble birth. And if one of these children were to be homosexual or fall in love with a member of another race, this would be considered taboo by that child’s family and peers, and would be shameful to the family name.
Commoners who engage in various, untypical unions of sex do not suffer as much spite as those of nobility, much because of the rules or expectations set by the different families and peers. But even commoner families can sometimes be unsupportive of such activities, though this again would depend on the belonged culture and society. To some families, even those not of nobility, the continuation of their family’s name sometimes mean more than the freedom of love.
When it comes to love between
different races, the important observation to be made here is that the likelihood
for offspring is minimal. Different races can’t engage in sex with each other to produce
children, something which seems engraved within the various races’ nature, but
is not yet quite understood in detail. Most commonly only same-race unions are capable of producing children.
It would seem that only a select few races have been able to produce half-breed offspring, such as humans, orcs and half-giants to name a few; who can all create
offspring when mating with each other. This is also something which is not quite understood
yet. The result of such love is commonly referred to as half-caste; such as
half-orcs (Thrurar), which is a breed between orcs and humans. Very few other races, as far as we know, have been able to
produce half-children except for those created by sex between these three races. Theories seem to imply that it has something to do with their natural origin to the world, whereas elves, dwarves etc. were not originally natural to the world, and were instead created by gods. Many religious individuals would oppose this theory, however.
Most half-caste are often looked down upon by most races, and particularly so in human-dominant lands. Half-caste can seemingly only create further offspring by laying with another half-caste of the same type as themselves. It is most of all difficult for a half-caste to belong somewhere, as communities tend to cast them out or cruelly ignore them. It should however be realized that half-caste are a common yet often orphaned in the world; most likely because of the unfortunate shame some non-half-caste parents might feel, or the cruel enforcements set by some communities. Of all the half-caste races, the Thrurar are the most common.
In similar fashion of infertility, those born a Planelike cannot produce children, as they suffer from magical sterilization. This is a common issue among other high-magic races, and especially so to mages and spellcasters alike. Most mages, if they aren't already come puberty, will eventually become infertile during their lifetime. This is likely because of what is commonly referred to as Magical Infertility, which is a theory that says high amounts of magical energy within a mortal's body will, in time and with enough exposure, render a person's reproduction capabilities useless; effectively sterilizing them. There are some exceptions where mages have been able to have children, though in those cases it would seem the mages in question only harboured small amounts of magical energy within themselves, and were thus not so heavily affected by magical sterilization as the more average mage would be.
In conclusion, love is by many people
considered the most powerful force in the world. And although it comes with
many complications, taboos and obstacles, it is still a beautiful thing to
behold. After all, one can’t choose who they fall in love with; it just
happens. While it makes people do stupid things, it can also work to inspire
and promote greater purpose and deeds. Oftentimes nothing can truly keep love
from blossoming, even when it seems that all and everything stands against it.