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The Empire, formerly Republic, of Nilfgaard consists of various cultures and nations. The native Nilfgaardian culture of Lower Alba, being a blend of customs itself, enriched itself even further over the course of the expansion of Nilfgaardian civilization.[1]

Denonym Nilfgaardian, when used properly, refers only to the people of Lower Alba,[3] descending from so-called Black Seidhe.[4] While the Nilfgaarian culture has been planted in the Provinces and Palatinates of the Empire, the inhabitants of those regions tend to name themselves as they were named before the conquest. Persons who embrace the Nilfgaardian way of life but do not have Lower Alban ancestry are sometimes called Nilfgaardized, e.g. Nilfgaardized Gemmerans. Nations of Vicovarians, Rowani and Ymlats have been Nilfgaardized for a long time.[1]

History Edit

Nilfgaardians believe their history reach the 2nd century. The first settlers mixed with Black Seidhe, creating a nation keeping most of elven language, beliefs, customs and culture.[5] Meanwhile, the valiant sheperds inhabiting scattered settlements on the Alba slowly incorporated the surrounding nations, appropriating their best traits like the culture, technology and military strategies, offering the safety and order in return. The virulent ones mock that there is no such thing as the "original Nilfgaardian civilization", claiming that their heritage is in fact only a conglomerate of achievments of elves, Vicovarians, Etolians and several Alban tribes. The "native" Nilfgaardians must had been very vital though: in spite of being conquered a few times, they not only managed to fight liberty, but to conquer their former conquerors themselves.[1]

Originally a kingdom[5][6], the state was turned into a republic with Senate in charge.[7] The monarchy was ultimately restored by Imperator Torres who proclaimed himself Emperor and founded the Nilfgaardian Empire.[8]

During the Usurper's rule, Nilfgaardians managed to reach Nordling realms south to Amell without causing much tremor in the further north[1] aside Cintra[6] which had close ties with Nazair.[9] Bloody wars were known among southern Nordlings so they were hardly a news – and because the Empire kept most of the local administration aside its own, northern merchants did not see many signs of new rule.[1]

By the time Encyclopaedia Maxima Mundi was written, the Nilfgaardian culture apparently became dominant, and while some of the Northern Kingdoms remained intependent, the Common Speech was considered as endangered language.[7]

Physical description Edit

Nilfgaardian Empire is inhabited by most of the known sentient races, with humans as the majority. Elves, particularly asimilated ones[1] and the so called "Wood Elves",[10] are the largest minority, there are also some enclaves of dwarves, gnomes and halflings.

The native (Lower Alban) Nilfgaardians tend to have long faces, large foreheads and dark hair and eyes - the legacy of their elven ancestors. Many of them have aquiline noses and strong chins, resulting in a characteristic Nilfgaardian profile. They are of medium height, usually with slim bodies and slender - yet muscled - arms and legs. Their skin is darker than Nordlings' but usually not much swarthy. However, due to mixing with conguered nations and immigrants in the capital region, these characteristics can often vary.[1]

Society Edit


Culture Edit

Language and writing systems Edit

The Empire could be described as a genuine linguistic microcosm. Each of the conquered people used their ancestral languages at home, especially in the south. There was an exception in case of Nordling countries conquered in the 13th century - while the Common Speech was used on egual terms with the Nilfgaardian language in schools and offices, it was slowly dying under the invaders' pressure.

The Nilfgaardian language is based on Elder Speech and languages of human colonizers, but mostly on the Elder Speech. It is considered quite complicated, but surprisingly logical and more focused on details than the elven language. It is official throughout the state and necessary to achieve a career.

The Nilfgaardian alphabet is based on Elder Runes, but Nordling's modern alphabet is also in unofficial use.[1]

Education Edit


Religion Edit

For more information, see Great Sun. During the republical period, there was not any official religion but dozens smaller cults scattered throughout the state.[1] The situation changed during Emperor Torres's reign[8] who was looking for a symbol which would unite the realm better and more permanently than only the ruling dynasty. He found such a symbol in the Great Sun, a minor cult popular within the core regions of the empire. Through the March 8th Edict he declared the Church of the Great Sun the official state religion in the Empire. Other religions have been tolerated - as long and they sticked away from the positions of power.[1]

References Edit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Wiedźmin: Gra Wyobraźni
  2. Netflix' The Witcher series
  3. Baptism of Fire
  4. Blood of Elves
  5. 5.0 5.1 The World of the Witcher
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Hexer TV series
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Tower of the Swallow
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Witcher Role-Playing Game
  9. Stanislav Komárek
  10. Time of Contempt
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