The Manifest Path/Society
On Peasantry and Nobility
The Manifest Path welcomes all humans to walk it, but does, of course, reserve a distinction between nobles and commoners. Nobles represent a higher ordering of humanity, a more civilized version as it were. Noble bloodlines represent the product of generations of selective breeding and are far superior to common stock much as purebred hunting hounds are superior to wild mongrels. Continuing to breed for the best traits is therefore a necessity, and thus producing noble offspring is a duty. However, as wild mongrels with useful traits are bred with existing purebred lines to slowly improve their stock, so should nobles contribute to the enhancement of the common stock, while remembering that it will take many generations to improve them.
On Bloodlines and Descent
Given the importance of improving bloodlines and the reality of the world, descent must be traced through the female line as the female line can be determined absolutely. This does not mean that inheritances and the like must be traced through the female line, as that is a separate matter from the imperative to improve bloodlines.
Given the importance of increasing the human populations of Dwilight, the reaching of sexual maturity is an event to be welcomed, and the birth of the first healthy child is one for great celebration. Those who walk the Path do not celebrate the child on the anniversary of the child's birth, but rather the mother (and to a lesser extent the father) and all those in the community (village in the farmlands or district in the cities and towns, as those who walk the Path tend to congregate together) who primarily work to raise, care for, and educate children. Unlike many others, those who walk the Path do not exclusively practice lifelong single-partner marriage, as the basic unit of family is a community rather than an individual family. Other relationships are permitted, so long as there is no confusion as to the parentage of the child. Children born to uncertain parentage are discouraged, but clearly can and will happen. These children should not be blamed for the lack of foresight of their parents, but cannot be part of the normal bloodlines either since they are not known. Unless highly desirable traits are in evidence at a young age, these children when they reach maturity are usually given some funds and sent off to find their fortunes elsewhere until they can prove what exemplary traits they might have, or else go to the temple and join the Welcomers. Regardless of the fate of the children, the mother and all potential fathers are chastised and much perform extra duties to gather the funds to assist the child in question when they reach maturity.
Those born with defects are not shunned, but unless they can prove traits that more than compensate for their defects are not permitted to breed.
On Temple Life
Nobles, by right of their superior breeding, serve as the leaders of the Path. Even lay members are bound to assist all in walking the Path, as it is their duty to lead the peasantry much as the peasants lead cattle and sheep. However, much of the focus of the temples is on the peasantry, as they perform all of the day to day functions and the temples are primarily for their edification. Education is conducted under the auspices of the temple by the Guides, with all arts that any in the community know taught by the temple. Given the necessity of gathering resources in increasing civilization, the temples are the centers of busy markets with knowledgeable Guides inspecting goods and ensuring proper quality and prices to encourage the better class of merchants to present their goods near the temple. The Welcomers are focused on greeting those who do not already walk the Path and tasked with showing the benefits, as well providing various hospitality-related services for travelers. Welcomers are chiefly responsible for bringing new blood into the community, and often acquire significant resources for the community from their services. The Welcomers should not be confused with prostitutes, although they provide some of the same services, as the acquisition of new blood and resources is an important task and Welcomers are held in high regard by Walkers (that is to say, all who walk the Path).