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|The Court of Makkar,
Makkar is a small mountainous terrestrial world, around the size of Mars, in orbit around a standard yellow star. Most of Makkarian civilization was built at the bottom of these mountains around the rivers and streams, the two moons having left the coasts too dangerous for persistent settlements to take root in early civilizations.
Weather is stable and consistent around these mountainous cities and indeed across most of Makkar. The world lacks the climate extremes that might be found on other planets, the average temperatures more consistent and biomes less varied.
It is a common phrase among some Tavari that “The court of Makkar is” in reference to the sheer stagnancy of Makkarian culture over millennia of history. Since it’s ascension to world domination nearly a thousand years ago the Court of Makkar, a hereditary monarchy ruled by a Grand Sovereign, has dictated the lives of its people and shaped culture like no other. Yet in the same stroke it has held it back. The Tavari made the discovery of FTL around 500 years ago and by all rights it should have been entirely capable of creating a stellar empire to rival that of the Coalition. However from the moment new planets were discovered arguments would arise over ownership, governance, and even the glory of discovery. The first world alone prompted a civil dispute that stalled colonization for decades.
Once the first worlds were colonized biological issues arose that stalled their empire even more. As people lived on these worlds and generations went they would adapt more quickly than expected, resulting in new subspecies and even large changes in cultures that the Makkarian Court found repulsive. Worlds were returned to, forced into compliance, and then at last they could move on.
By the time the Coalition discovered the Court of Makkar in 2732 they had hardly moved at all, only in control of a handful of systems. And with such an overwhelming military the Court made the decision to ally with them, in hopes that their experience with politics could allow them control over other worlds through it.
Over the next several decades Makkar would see its finest, and most loyal, members sent off into the Coalition military and to important core worlds with intent for office. Quickly they would gain a reputation for excellence and efficiency that surpassed recruits from human colonies.
By the time the Secession War came there would be Tavari all across the galaxy, and while not directly involved with the creation of the Federation they were quick to make use of the chaos for their own gain. Whenever a planet near Makkarian space came into conflict there would constantly be devastating losses to each side, pyrrhic victories and near losses becoming the norm. Though such strategies are considered commonplace among Tavari, a victory still brings them glory regardless of the cost.
In the modern day Makkar has enjoyed a point of careful neutrality between the two states. While Tavari admirals and platoons of their troops can be found along each side, as well as moving through each political system, the Court itself claims to have no stake in the game and only wishes to keep contact with what families have moved to Voltker Prime.
The Tavari are considered a rather extreme case of keeping to traditions. Marriage is often a central element to their culture, being that Tavari from Makkar at most will have one partner in their entire life. Thus it is that families often place stress on their children to choose the correct mates, or as is more often the case, the more politically advantageous.
Military service is equally important among the Tavari, most entering as soon as they reach adulthood. Training primarily focuses on melee combat and tactics, however a properly maintained uniform and preened look is just as deeply entrenched in the minds of recruits. The Makkarian military is renowned for its well groomed troops performing in even the worst trenches.
In Tavari culture dueling is still a routine activity performed with alarming regularity. These duels are normally performed with bare claws with proper etiquette being that you may only touch your opponent with intent to kill, wrestling and prolonged grappling considered bad form. The proper form for challenging is often the plucking and dropping of a single feather before an opponent with said opponent returning the gesture, however lower class fights may begin with a simple insult. Nobles not wishing to bloody their hands will often commission custom dueling gloves with metal-capped claws over top.
“The Great Dance”
Originally a term sprouting from the Tavari's deep love for posture and dance, “The Great Dance” is the Tavari term for the political structure that governs their society. While strictly a Hereditary Monarchy many Tavari within politics consider it to be a meritocracy due to the excessive effort and planning undergone to ensure breeding pairs are properly established in lines beneficial to certain family lines.
As an expected part of their official duties nobles will hold several gatherings over the year, the greatest of which is the Winter Feast held by the crown royal family themselves. During this feast a set of ancient and labyrinthine rules dictate all activity, with the breaking of certain rules often leading to at best the execution of or, often considered worse, the disinheriting of the offending guest.
Over the course of one such gathering, occurring over 3 days, there were no less than 12 duels resulting in 14 deaths, 3 proposals, 29 separate family members ousted from their line, 2 public executions and an attempted assasination on the Grand Sovereign. Among the surviving nobility it was considered a good show.
Though the nobility of Makkar greatly favors those native to the world there are certain places in their society where subspecies hailing from other worlds are allowed to succeed. Nowhere is this more common than the theatrical scene. Here the vibrantly colored, and generally more creative, Tavari take center stage in quite a literal sense, commanding a respect that would otherwise need to be earned on the battlefield alone.
On Makkar two forms of public performance have gained popularity. Kevri theatre, which is considered the higher form of art, is performed in elegant clothes with rigid movements and masked faces of porcelain as performers switch between spoken dialogue and operatic singing. It is often compared to a mix between a western opera and Japanese noh theatre. Precision takes importance over creativity and improvisation, the scripts being well known dramas from the history’s past and exact adherence to the notes, dialogue, and even movements is considered what makes a performance ‘good’. The second form is known as Tamul, or low borne theatre, and diverges far from the more rigid styles of Kevri, allowing the performers to flaunt their creativity and ability to improvise in what is practically a circus. A performance will vary between acrobatic feats, comedy acts, musicals, and in some cases mock battles. Painting is also a staple of Makkarian culture, the popular style of the time being a harsh and violent style of ink drawing to depict scenes of Makkarian life in the stars, most often entirely in black and white.