Aristasia Pura: The Celestial Empire

A Tale of Two Worlds...

If you were an intermorphic alien lady living in Aristasia Pura, what sort would you be? free polls
This page focuses on the lore, mythology, and worldbuilding surrounding the (fictional or otherworldly) world of Aristasia Pura. For information and archives regarding IRL Aristasian communities online and off (also known as "Aristasia-in-Telluria"), please visit this page instead.

There were, really, two Aristasias, even from the beginning. This point must be stressed immensely.

One was called Aristasia-in-Telluria. Aristasians, y’see, attempted to live an “Aristasian life” in a sort of feminine micronation centered around their own unique worldview.

This also included roleplaying (online or live-action). The IRL Aristasians called this "life theatre.” I participated with an Aristasian persona (character), first on forums, then on Second Life. You can read about Aristasia-in-Telluria and its various incarnations over the years in the History section.

The other, of course, was the world in which these LARPs and roleplays took place. They called it Aristasia Pura, to distinguish it from Aristasia-in-Telluria. This part of the site discusses that strange place in as much detail as I can muster.

In future parts of this site, you might see a page or two focusing on the Aristasian life of a Miss Elspeth Loveton. She’s a friend of mine who became utterly entranced by the concept of Pura. Her interest in helping with the coding aspect of this site led us to the marvelous idea of her contributing under a proper Aristasian persona from Aristasia Pura itself. Keep in mind that Miss Loveton’s take on Aristasian mythos differs somewhat from what might be considered canon. Perhaps some (rather heretical, by earlier standards) bits about that will appear elsewhere on the site.

From the Golden Sea to Rayapurh

Aristasia is a vast Empire of seven Provinces. each province is a nation in its own right, ruled over by its own Queen; and each of these Queens owes allegiance to the High Empress herself who lives in Ladyton, the capital of the Empire. Far in the East are ancient lands, some with their own Empresses, who owe but doubtful allegiance or none to the High Empress Celestia, but of these lands we need say little, for they are hard to reach, being outside the range of technics. No aeroplane can fly there nor motor carriage run there, and many are the ancient mysteries hidden in those lands.

From Quirinelle in the West, and the curious Isle of Infraquirinelle in the Golden Sea beyond, to the Holy city of Rayapurh, far in the East whence but few travellers have returned; from the silver Art-Neo light-planes of Novaria (ruled over by young brunette Viktoria) to the horse-carriages of Arcadia (ruled over by the mature blonde Victoria); from the bustling streets and the bright lights of Ladyton to the gentle rural serenity of Marywater or the intelectual fervour of the ancient University of Milchford, Aristasia is a land of many moods and many changes; far greater than those of your world, for it is rather as if modern New York, Pericleian Athens and ancient Byzantium were all on the same globe at the same time.

From an (extremely) early Aristasian website.
A map showing Aristasia, or at least, part of it?
A map showing Aristasia, or at least, part of it?

The above map (the only one I know of in circulation) has a serious medieval fantasy quality. It's probably a really old map, both in terms of the stories and IRL. To me, things like this kind of showed how contradictory (versatile?) the Aristasia 'verse could be. On one hand, we soon find spaceships, but also, talk of magic carpets and travel taboos. Later worldbuilding (post-2006) would emphasize the scifi over the fantasy. Both were always there, though.

This little map shows only the West and hither-East of the Motherland. Its precise accuracy is to be doubted and it should be looked on rather like one of those mediaeval maps that have everything in more or less the right place but are often inaccurate as to precise shapes, sizes and details.

a Blog post here, from June of 2007.

More to the point, though, what of those little ladies dotting the map? Who are they, and why are they dressed so oddly by our earthly standards, yet so familiarly? And where are the guys? Well, we're getting to that part next. After all, were it not for the Aristasians living there, why would anyone want to write about Aristasia Pura, right?

the people

Perhaps the largest difference between Aristasia and Telluria (earth)? There are no men in Aristasia. Everyone is feminine.

Technically, Aristasians are a completely different species than humans, with different mentality and biology. None of them are women in the earthly sense, but they tend to (physically) resemble human women. Upon meeting them, most humans would parse Aristasians as feminine, anyways.

Nevertheless, this species is sexually dimorphous. There were the chelani, and the melini. IRL Aristasians referred to these identities as “blondes and brunettes," respectively.

“Intermorph” is the term in-universe for the alien girls of Aristasia Pura, and any other species with (I guess) sufficient similarity. This contrasts with “schizomorph,” a term referring to regular male and female humans, or any species similar to us. As the blog post I just linked mentions, one of species’s secondary sexual characteristics is hair color.

The melini have darker shades of hair, whereas the chelani have lighter shades.

There are two biological sexes, chelana and melini, commonly termed “blonde” and “brunette” because hair-colour is a secondary sexual characteristic, and chelani, even from darker-skinned Estrenne races, are always fair-haired, while melini are always dark haired.

From a 2008 blog post.

Both chelana and melini use the same pronouns (she/her). Redheaded intermorphs do exist, but they’re still either chelani or melini, depending on shade of red and other factors, like social, emotional, and intellectual temperament, I suppose. Later people spinning off from the original Aristasian canon, being more aware and accepting of nonbinary identities, tend to assign that to redheads. This was never "canon" originally, though.

Aristasian brunettes are about as feminine as a normal human woman--that is to say, about twice as feminine as a human woman in the last quarter of the 20th century. Aristasian blondes, on the other hand, are ultra-feminine. Those who incline to the belief that "feminine" is merely a synonym for "weak" will, we trust, learn in the course of her sojourn in Femmeworld to amend that notion.

What exactly constitutes the magical quality of femininity is too great and too mysterious a matter for us to enter into here. Suffice it to say that much of what makes Aristasia what it is--that gives it its special character and flavour--lies in its nature as an all-feminine world.

A Traveller's Guide to Aristasia, archived on Reddit.

There’s different sorts of girls, in other words, but only girls.

A forum post explaining some of the biological differences between humans and intermorphs.
A forum post explaining some of the biological differences between humans and intermorphs.

This “intermorphic” species lives upwards of two centuries. It’s not uncommon in fantasy and sci-fi for aliens and such to be really long-lived, hardy, and able to regrow limbs (an ability of Aristasian intermorphs). If I remember right, in the Aristasian story The Adventure of the Crystal Staff Lady Carleon (a detective) is an intermorph in her forties, but looks to be only about twenty. Read it here.

Romantic and sexual attraction in Aristasia works a lot like it does here - most blondes will be attracted to brunettes, and vice versa. What a surprise. However, "homosexual (i.e. blonde-blonde or brunette-brunette) attraction happens, too, less frequently. The latter got almost no mention, at least up until the late 2000s. Even then, it was only a rare reference that I'm having trouble tracking down.

(In IRL Aristasian LARP or "life theatre", terms like blonde and brunette, and chelana/melini, still got used though. They just didn't refer to actual, physical hair color, but rather personality type. If one behaved like a chelana might in Aristasia Pura, one was a blonde, for example.)

The dynamic between them in Aristasian lore seemed to resemble the traditional male-female dynamic here in the real western world. The latter statement will be controversial among Aristasians and some recent offshoots. I realize that. But, well, that’s just how it appeared to me at the time. In the early days, IRL Aristasians portrayed brunettes as taking masculine-coded roles.

At the time, though, they wrote a lot of ponderous essays about how brunettes weren’t masculine at all. This was partly a handwave of "because they're aliens," but partly related to the spiritual lore. It also comes from what the IRL Aristasians actually believed and promoted, to a degree. There’s also a good explainer of it here.

In Aristasia, each of these biological sexes got associated with a classical planet, and all the symbolism of said planet. Later on, you'll see the classical planets and their correspondences become quite the theme.

Anyways, masculs, as they called men, embodied Mars and conflict. Conversely, Aristasian melini embodied Jupiter and harmony. Aristasian chelani (blondes) were associated with Venus, and therefore love, much like human women.

There was never any talk of biology, exactly, only this spiritual essence notion. Men have a martial essence, yet melini have a Jovian (yet feminine) essence. The idea of gender based on astrology seemed interesting for a (fiction) scifi/fantasy world at the time, but then again, I didn't know much about gender in real life, and will admit, I still don't.

The IRL Aristasians were quick to paint blondes as stereotypically ditzy. Wikipedia used to have an Aristasia article, back in the early aughts. It once described Aristasian lore as "institutionalizing" the "dumb blonde" stereotype. One Aristasian site said something about blondes being "practical as a chocolate teapot." At a glance, this doesn't seem very empowering to women, even if the characters are alien girls.

I heard some IRL Aristasians describe it as a liberating identity to take on, though. A lot of them felt constrained by the notions society had in the 1990s about lesbians, what they looked like, and how they acted?

They felt like this "blonde" stereotype subverted that, I guess. So, they leaned into it. This was also no doubt a factor with brunettes, too - remember, Aristasian brunettes are apparently "twice as feminine" as earthly women.

I won’t go overmuch into speculation about the why and wherefore this here, in the lore section. Do check out the rest of this site, which discusses Aristasia’s exchanges with the real world.

The term "woman" isn't used in Aristasia Pura, though. I suspect the Old Guard Aristasians who wrote the original lore disliked it because -man? Unsure here. The term maid is preferable to others, with maiden being the alternative for a younger person. Apparently, there’s philosophical reasons for this, though?

The word "maid" (earlier "may") signifies primarily the power of choice, being cognate with the modal auxiliary verb "may" (as in "this may happen") which expresses possibility or, by extension, permission.

The past form of "may" is "might" which can also mean "power". The two meanings are closely connected, for a thing that may happen, clearly has the power to happen. Thus, to take a different word-group, our words "potential" (possibility) and "potency" (power) are closely derived from the same Latin root.

Encyclopaedia Aristasiana article on the usage of “maid,” from 2009.

Of course, the above notion (that "maid" is related to the Latin root of "may") is wholly fiction. Neither word has a Latin root. They're Germanic, and while I'm not a linguist, they seem unrelated. I think the author might've been trying to claim that because the words sound the same, they're related, at least, from an Aristasia Pura perspective. This isn't a new idea, that words with similar sounds share a meaning despite different roots, and shows up in some other esoteric groups as well.

In the stories and “life theatre” games, Aristasians portrayed blondes as respected and "protected" by brunettes. There is an element of chivalry, as you might expect from a fantasy world. Almost all the queens of various Aristasian nations are blonde, and do wield some power, of course. I can't remember if there was a consensus on whether the Empress is blonde or brunette, though. It seemed a bit as if the idea was that the blondes made decisions and the brunettes ran around protecting them!

The absolute oldest Aristasian source online regarding this hair color gender business is simply an excerpt from The District Governess, archived in late 1999.

To say, however, that brunettes are the "dominant sex" is a considerable oversimplification. Blondes are regarded with the highest respect, and are often considered to be the custodians of a higher wisdom. They are often Princesses and sovereign rulers of nations and principalities; they are often priestesses and philosophers (philosophy in Aristasia being far from a dry academic discipline). In the practical affairs of life they usually (but not always) take second place—but practicalities, utilitarian matters, work, money and material are not nearly so highly regarded in Aristasia as they have long been in your world. In many ways brunettes can be regarded as the more useful but less important sex. If this last statement is a shade unfair, it is certainly no less incorrect than the assumption that blondes are the "inferior sex"—it is probably on the side of blonde rather than brunette superiority that Aristasia is prone to err.

An excerpt from The District Governess by Regina Snow.

In the world of Aristasia Pura, blondes aren’t exactly disenfranchised, I guess. I suppose the term "gilded cage" might work for some of it. The degree to which Aristasia mirrored male/female misogyny in the real world (thus being... mis-chelany??) seemed to vary depending on who was writing the stories? I doubt many knew what to do with the concept initially and drew from a male/female dynamic.

In some later works, there's more nuance. Blondes got portrayed as the more intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual of the two. They can be scattered, and impractical. The brunettes are physically stronger, though often lacking dexterity. They're also more practical, methodical, and goal-oriented.

A comic strip from the 1990s portraying babies born from bubbles
A comic strip from the 1980s portraying babies born from bubbles.

And, oh. Clearly, you’re curious about how these beings reproduce? For a long time, it was left ambiguous, at least online. There’s comics like the above, which allude to something like eggs (bubbles)? Later writings specified that all intermorphs (including Aristasians) are, in fact, oviparous - they lay eggs, and these eggs are pearlescent, and very beautiful.

Initially, IIRC, there was some talk of Westrenne (from Trent and Quirinelle) Aristasians painting or decorating their eggs in celebration, too? That’s just a version that got floated. It’s a rather charming idea, even if the below comment, for example, reads (more than) a little prudishly.

A 2007 comment by an Aristasian on their otherkin blog, explaining intermorphs as oviparous.
A 2007 comment by an Aristasian on their otherkin blog.

There you have it. Aristasians lay eggs? I never really cared much, because I wasn’t interested in sexual plots or lore anyways. I kind of liked the shiny egg concept just because I like shiny things, though. It opened the door for a lot of possibilities that didn’t get explored, in my opinion. Someone totally should’ve written a story where someone goes on a journey and must protect an egg.

On the subject of just how intermorphs go about this, it was considered a mystery to us living here in Telluria, of course. Sexual interactions, commonly referred to as “connubial love” in later Aristasian communities, gets this explanation:

In answer to a question concerning the status of connubial love in Aristasia-in-Telluria, Commander Caerelinde wrote:

I shall not here mention such things as the wide varieties of love, or the fact that physical acts of procreation are not so important in Aristasia Pura (far more pettes never marry there, though their lives are filled with love). Many girls, even couples, in both Telluria and Pura, prefer chaste love; but that is not our topic today. We must speak directly of connubial love.

While these are not topics we usually discuss there is a special case for it here, as Aristasia-in-Telluria is a completely new thing in relation to such matters.

In the first place, it is clear that while connubial love is not as universal in Aristasia Pura, it is certainly not rare. Otherwise there would be no new blondes or brunettes!

In Telluria, of course, connubial love between girls does not produce babies. Is it, therefore considered "wrong"?

Well, the whole point of being an Aristasian-in-Telluria is that one becomes an honorary intemorph. We regard ourselves as chelani or melini. We do not, of course, know what precise form connubial love takes between true intemorphs, but that does not concern us, since they are biologically different from us in any case.

But since we are spiritually intemorphs, connubial love between Aristasian couples in Telluria, who regard themselves as married, may be regarded as a "translation" of Puran connubial love. Clearly, as such it will be seen as a sacred thing.

This is not a path for all of us - just as in Pura it is not a path for all - but for those who feel called to this expression of their love, it should be regarded as a high and noble thing and should be treated with reverence and respect.

Of course it is also a very private thing which, under normal circumstances, one would never speak about in public. But since there is confusion I hope these humble suggestions of mine will make things clearer for our dear married sisters.

From Encyclopaedia Aristasiana, on connubial love, posted in 2009, quoting an earlier post by a Commander Caerelinde.

Much of the above, of course, relates to the beliefs of some later Aristasians and their Chelouranyan successors about Aristasia Pura as a real place. This is framed by their own identification as honorary intermorphs here and now. More about that here.

the planet

Ultimately, this idea of Aristasians laying eggs gave rise to the brief idea we had of this planet being a bit Australia-like.

Kinda having a lot of egg-laying mammalian-ish critters? Overall, not just the sapient intermorphic Aristasians, I mean. In my own lore ideas, a lot of Aristasian plants and wildlife were poisonous to schizomorphs like us humans.

We, of course, got that idea from the whole “the animals are a bit like Australia” thing. After all, everyone knows Australia’s got the most dangerous critters, right. Plus, the idea of this alien planet of girls, filled with deadly wildlife that they, alone, could befriend, was kind of neat. Didn’t catch on!

Some Aristasian fiction, particularly later works without a discipline-y focus, does feature some alien animals, though. I liked The Adventure of the Crystal Staff, for example.

A an excerpt from The Adventure of the Crystal Staff describing a cool rabbit.
A an excerpt from The Adventure of the Crystal Staff describing a chenkireet.

It has this little rabbit creature, kept by a character as a pet. The critter, called a chenkireet, can talk and seems to have slightly more intelligence than the average African grey parrot. So cool to me at the time, but not elaborated fully. We could’ve done so much more with some of this once they ditched the discipline-ness.

The thing about the planet itself though? In some early sources, it has some really odd phenomena going on in terms of the hemispheres. One half of the planet seems to be governed by magic, and the other, by technology (technics in Aristasian parlance). The technics tend to limit themselves to the (rather small) Westrenne nations. The vast Estrenne parts of the world play by different rules entirely.

Western Aristasia is highly technically advanced. In Quirinelle, for example, where the style of cars and other mechanical devices resemble those of the Tellurian 1950s, their actual technics are considerably more sophisticated, though not as far advanced as in Novaria where such devices as hover pads and sky cars are common. Techinics is somewhat dependent on geography. In the East technics are ineffective. A car driven Eastwards will inevitably break down after a certain point, while flying a plane east beyond Loveton, Arcadia would be suicidal. Loveton is the furthest east Airport in the world. By the same token, it would be inadvisable to fly too far West on a magic carpet!

This page from 2004, an introduction to Pura.

In other words, the West is more science-y than the East, which is more magical. I guess if this used different words than “Westrenne” and “Estrenne” it might be taken differently.

Here, it does have a sort of worst-of-Kipling flavor to it, sadly, doesn’t it? “East is East, and…” Nevertheless, this is how it got described. In some of the stories I read Post Bridgehead, it was implied that technics only failed in areas where the inhabitants consciously rejected them?

As in, if one's Arkadyan village was particularly traditional and quaint, fewer "modern" comforts from Quirinelle or Trent might work there. In one story, a plane almost crashes after flying over an unusually-traditional Arkadyan village, because the motor failed. Amazonia, the Estrenne nation inspired by Greece and Rome, is governed by magic rather than by anything technical, for that reason.

the empire

The Aristasian Imperial Standard.
The Aristasian Imperial Standard.

From the mountain’s rayant pinnaclé
To the troublèd waters of the sea,
O Rayan’, thy rule doth run
As coursers of the sun;
We pledge allegiance unto thee.
We do pledge allegiance unto thee
We do pledge allegiance unto thee
We do pledge allegiance, O Rayanna,
We do pledge allegiance unto thee.

Aristasian Imperial Anthem, first verse and chorus, archived from a Chelouranyan site.

The Celestial Empire of Aristasia has an anthem, in addition to the slew of other music in-universe. In most worldbuilding settings, it's hard for people to do anthems and such, given that writing music requires a specific skillset. Nevertheless, you can hear the Aristasian anthem played in the nifty little audio player (code provided by I'm not sure when this was recorded but I remember hearing it really, really early on in my time with Aristasia. Probably, it was written around the turn of the millennium? Not sure. Regardless, the audio file was rescued from the Internet Archive. Composer, etc, unknown, of course.

This empire is ruled by an Empress, because of course it is. In original Aristasian lore, I always saw the Empress's name given as Her Imperial Majesty Celestia III. For the record, this pre-dates the use of the name "Empress Celestia" in My Little Pony, and wasn't inspired by it.

The Empress is the direct descendent of Sai Rayanna, the first Empress of Caire and daughter of the Sun. Caire (also rendered Caere) is the revered precursor civilization to modern Aristasia. I would compare Caire to Greece, Rome, and the general Classical world's effect on Western society, albeit with more religious significance.

And Sai Rayanna herself? I guess I'd call her a sort of saint-like mythological figure. In bits of Raihiralan raya means "sun", and anna means "daughter." Thus, her name means "daughter of the sun". She's portrayed as founding Caire after expelling a demonic invasion. In present-day Aristasia, the Empress is seen as her spiritual successor.

"The position of Empress is therefore a hereditary one although it does not necessarily follow the Tellurian law of primogeniture. All daughters of the Imperial Family are Imperial Princesses and all are brought up in seclusion and with considerable rigour in the great temple-palace at the heart of the Imperial City. The slightly modern way of life adopted by some Westrenne Royal Families is out of the question for the Imperial Family. An Imperial Princess is one of the most highly-trained, profoundly cultured and rigorously disciplined maidens in the Empire. The selection of the Imperial Princess who is to become Empress takes place according to tests and rituals that are unknown to any outside the highest Haiela and Raihira who make up the Traditional hierarchy of the Imperial Court and Sun-Temple."

A 2007 blog post addressing the role of the royal family in Aristasia Pura.

The above quote from a blog post circa 2007 describes the lifestyle of the Aristasian Imperial family. There’s a lot of lore here. A lot. Told ya.

Aristasia as an Empire consists of seven countries (sometimes referred to as provinces), each unique. We'll discuss these in a bit, but first, their political structure. They each have a queen beholden to the Empress. Older Aristasian sites gave names and short bios for these queens, and I'm working on finding all of them.

The job of the Queen, as titular and political Head of State, is essentially to facilitate the Dance of the Cosmos as it is reflected in the microcosm of her nation – not to change the steps, either according to her own ideas or to the latest fashions. Obviously certain changes must sometimes be made in adaptation to changing conditions, but these are rarely controversial and always tactful. It is the essence of the State to be literally stately. That is what Princesses are trained for from the earliest age.

There are parliaments in most nations, but these are of much less importance than in Telluria. They debate certain subjects and make formal recommendations to the Queen which are usually acted upon, though this is entirely at the Royal discretion. Again these recommendations are rarely controversial.

2008 blog post on government in Aristasia Pura.

We are definitely left with the impression that democracy plays a minor role here, if much at all. The IRL Aristasians were always very critical of democracy (yes - critical of it). That's gotta seem weird to most of us), but they saw it as a deracinating influence.More about that on the page about beliefs.

the nations

The only existing map of (part of) Aristasia.
The (only) map of Aristasia to be found online.

In all scenarios, though, there are seven nations within the Celestial Empire. Each corresponds, loosely, to a period in earth's history. For example, Kadoria corresponds to the Telluria (earth) 1940s. By "correspond," though, I mean that they take on the fashions and aesthetics of that era, not the history. Kadoria has plenty of pillbox hats, but no war, for example.

A post from sometime in the early 2000s, regarding Aristasian geography.
A post from sometime in the early 2000s, regarding Aristasian geography.

Mind the number of nations, though. Seven is auspicious both in IRL spirituality and in Aristasian lore. Each nation, indeed, corresponds to a classical planet and an angel (Janyati, rather, a concept not quite identical to the idea of an angel). You can read about the Seven Great Janyati here, a Filianist concept that shows up a lot in Aristasian lore. Each nation also corresponds to a day of the week, metal, and other things. As you've probably guessed, most of the associations follow traditional Western astrology and alchemy. For example, the Aristasian nation of Trent is associated Jupiter. It's also associated with tin, just like Jupiter is in regular esotericism.


♫ Quirinelle! Quirinelle!
Where the great tides of history swell
Where the Heart of Love
Guides us from above
And where all things are well.
Quirinelle! ♫

Beginning of the Quirrie national anthem.

Janya: Sai Sushuri (AKA Venus)

Quirinelle takes on the character of the best parts of IRL 1950s fashions. It had the general aura of being Aristasia's cultural heartland, too. People joked about "Qurriedips," meaning teenagers from Quirinelle who acted wild and silly. Many early Aristasian roleplaying games took place in Quirinelle schools and colleges.


Janya: Sai Vikhë (AKA Mars)

Kadoria has general military associations. This fits a nation associated with a martial angel. That might be why Kadoria gets assigned to 1940s aesthetics? There's also very little online about Kadoria, sadly, and few stories seem to mention it.


Janya: Sai Thamë (AKA Jupiter)

Trent's associated with the IRL 1930s, and is the largest Westrenne (Western) nation. It's also called Trintitia, or was at one point in Aristasia Pura's history. It's geographic centrality (and janya) makes it an ideal place for government. Indeed, you find Ladyton, the imperial capital, where the borders of Trent, Vintesse, and Novarya meet.


Janya: Sai Candrë (AKA the Moon)

Vintesse focuses on aesthetic aspects of the 1920s. When I first found Aristasia as a teenager, 1920s fashion (and what I knew of 1920s lesbian culture) interested me. A couple of my Aristasia personae over the years were from Vintesse. In the lore, it's a pretty wild, forward-thinking place at times. This contrasts with the more traditional and sedate nations of Trent and Quirinelle.


Janya: Sai Mati (AKA Mercury)

Novaria, initially, represented what the IRL Aristasians called a "re-civilized" future. It's an optimistic, yet hyper-advanced and futuristic society. While drawing a lot from older science fiction, Novaria avoids later cyberpunk tropes. In early sources, it's usually said to correspond to the 2040s, if to any earth era at all. Despite the spaceships, Novaria is the most culturally "traditional" of all the Westrenne nations. This owes to its close proximity to Amazonia and Arcadia, no doubt.

Arcadia and Amazonia

"Jenilow is the major Arcadian city in the southern “panhandle” of that country. The city proper has a population of 821,350 (3326 est.) and boasts the historic Abileschen castle downtown. The city is laid out as though its streets form a giant wheel, with the castle at its centre. Jenilow is known for its festive procession in Maia, as well as for its textile and ceramic industries."

Blog post found archived here.

Janya: Sai Rhavë (AKA Saturn) and Sai Raya (AKA the Sun) respectively

These two Estrenne (eastern) nations both lack technology to different degrees. This is not because they haven't invented it, nor are they luddites (exactly), but because it simply won't work out there. There is, it seems, some kind of tech-neutralizing force in those regions of the planet. In other words, you can't check your email in Amazonia. Magic, conversely, just might work (maybe?), but an ordinator (computer)? Nah.

Blue, red and yellow feature on the Arcadian flag. Arcadia corresponds rather loosely to the Victorian and Edwardian Eras. It also tends to amalgamate with the Renaissance and other Tellurian (IRL) eras. As you might expect of a province that represents a large part of IRL history, Arcadia's large.

Amazonia, which it shares a border with Arcadia that vanishes further east, is larger. Its flag is simple, a yellow background with a red sunburst. In case the name didn't give you a guess, Amazonia corresponds to the ancient world in Telluria. This includes Greece and Rome, but also earlier, and other cultures that the IRL Aristasians saw as having a similar worldview.


Culveria was a theoretical western continent that existed on the other side of the Golden Sea. It was considered analogous to America. Early roleplay groups online like Avondale School included characters from Culveria. It was said to have (at least) two countries, both much more democratic than those of the eastern continent.

One was in the south, and one in the north. It did, unfortunately, often seem that the southerly nation was set up to resemble the pre-war American South, albeit without slavery. Still. Icky. This might be part of why it was dropped. Initially, it was probably just meant as a chance for characters to swish about in Scarlet O’Hara dresses.

The northern country, presumably analogous to the United States itself, didn’t get much mention. I wonder about that, though.

I use the past tense for Culveria. After the IRL Aristasian Operation Bridgehead and the publication of this document, the idea was dropped. It suggested that Aristasia Pura was complete as an Empire without the idea of Culveria, and thus the concept vanished. The post didn’t mention the creepiness of Southern Culveria, etc, but still, I was glad to see it go at the time.

war and conflict?

There isn’t much friction between the Aristasian nations, and most friction is in jest. There's people in more traditional Estrenne nations, such as Novaria and Arcadia, who joke about people from the Westrenne nations being silly and frivolous, but other than that, not much tension. The goal in writing this seems to have been a rather peaceful setting, after all. That said, Aristasia does, of course, have a standing army of sorts,

All Aristasian nations have standing armies ruled by a hereditary Officer Class. However there has never been a war between Aristasian nations and the idea of an Aristasian nation setting out to kill other Aristasians would be unthinkable - a crime so great that it has never been committed. There have been wars, however, against outlanders who have encroached upon Aristasia; and the wars of the Cairen Empire, which made Aristasia safe and secured her boundaries helped to shape the modern Aristasian world.

Armies in Aristasia are largely ceremonial affairs with brunettes in gorgeous uniforms. However Aristasians are not unaware of the technical advancement of some outlanders and have highly sophisticated weapons of offence and defence which could be deployed if they were ever needed. In the East where technics have no power, forces of cavalry, archers and chariots have always been maintained.

From a 2004 guide to Aristasia Pura.
The Aristasian military includes a space force. Several bits of fiction, including The Flight of the Silver Vixen, take place amongst spacefaring intermorphs.

If you think about it, this makes sense. Even if you have a society that's relatively able to resolve their own differences peacefully, there's no telling what might come from elsewhere. Conflict has to happen, after all, or there would be no story. Early on, space travel was only a vague allusion in Aristasian lore, but it became a central theme in the mid-2000s. It seems it's easy to get into deep space trouble if you're an intermorph.

An excerpt from The Flight of the Silver Vixen describing a battle prelude.
An excerpt from The Flight of the Silver Vixen where an intermorph prepares to do battle.

And Aristasians have no compunctions against killing hostile aliens when necessary, as the above screenshot demonstrates. A lot of these malicious aliens (especially in The Flight of the Silver Vixen) are masculine-coded, something that seemed gross and unnecessary to me. Later works don't really feature this aspect, and instead focus on supernatural (often demonic or monstrous) foes.

Regardless of what happens in space, the last major conflicts fought on the Aristasian home planet (Sai Herthe) were in ancient times. During the Battle of Noonday Night, an avatar of the Sun banished the demonic intrusion on the Motherland. It's a mythic event now celebrated on Sai Rayanna Day. So no, Quirinelle isn't about to firebomb Trent over water rights.

the culture

Would you like to listen to a talk given back in 2007 explaining some basic details of how life in Aristasia Pura works, how maidens live, work, and marry? If so, you can certainly do that right here on the Internet Archive.

I'm sorry it hasn't been transcribed or anything, but it does contain a massive amount of worldbuilding. This was one of many presentations on different subjects held in an Aristasian venue called the White Rose Room during this era, some of which were saved.

Beyond that, where shall we begin, culturally? I suppose it's good to start with popular culture, which tells you a lot about a society, after all. Let's begin with Lady Carleon, shall we?

Lady Carleon is a fictional detective podcast, a serialized radioplay thing-y in Aristasia Pura. Sherlock Holmes was likely the original inspiration for the concept, but the character (Carleon) is rather unlike Holmes personality-wise. She's uniquely Aristasian, of course, too.

A forum post discussing television in the Aristasia Pura
A forum post discussing television and entertainment in Aristasia Pura.

It's been quite some time since I've listened to the The Case of the Crystal Staff, an episode of the program "broadcast" online here in Telluria. I also haven't read the story it is based on in a long time. From what I remember, that particular tale is heavy on Déanic spiritual themes, and in particular explication of how they affect relationships in Aristasia Pura.

If the vintage aesthetics and references to previous eras didn’t clue you in, the aesthetics of Aristasia Pura resemble a (seriously) idealized, feminine version of eras past, particularly those prior to the 1960s.

The culture’s much more optimistic and gentle than the real pre-1960s time periods were, of course. Since these ladies are aliens, with alien hearts and minds, they haven’t our unwieldy passions at times. This clearly makes for a much more peaceful society, at least that’s the idea?

The last battles fought on Sai Herthe were those in defense of Caire against demonic invasion centuries ago, and Aristasians never go to war, maid against maid, apparently. There was talk about how, very, very rarely (perhaps once a century in any average city), there might be a murder (or other moment of violent passion). There are also, obviously, thefts and things like that. Lady Carleon needs something to investigate if she's to be a famous detective, after all.

At one point it was said, rather plainly, that when an Aristasian is "arrested" or otherwise apprehended by an authority figure, they don't fear it The sensation would be one of being a teen in the principal's office rather than anything else. This gives us the image of a peaceful, kind, innocent and gentle world, but it also leaves me feeling like everyone's a little infantilized by it. I guess that's up for debate, though, and depends on how this concept gets implemented.


This section only talks about the language of Aristasia Pura. For IRL Aristasian slang and terms, visit this page, alright?

Since this is a whole world, you’ve got to expect a language too, right? Initial Aristasian sites were coy about this, as you can see below. They said it was identical to English, mostly, and called Westrenne?

The lingua franca of modern Aristasia is Westrenne - almost identical to Tellurian English - just as the lingua franca of late antiquity was Low Cairen. Like English and Latin, Westrenne and Cairen belong to the same family of languages, but are very different. A number of other languages and dialects exist both in the West (mostly in its Southern and Eastern parts) and in the East. Cairen is still used in certain official inscriptions and Low Cairen is spoken in parts of the East. High or Raihira Cairen is spoken in a few places among those who regard themselves as the True Heirs of the Empire and refer to themselves as Raihira Caeranyi. More than one eastern city-state or minor Empire claims to be the one true heir of Caire.

From a 2004 introductory page.

At the same time, some Aristasians did mention a secret Aristasian language floating around, albeit privately. That language, which would later get some public enumeration, was, or at least ended up being, called Raihiralan. Read about it here.


Aristasian Calendar with Rhennish month names whoa...
An Aristasian perpetual calendar.

Every civilization needs a calendar, right? Aristasia has one, and it’s fairly straightforward. You can find a short explainer for it here. It has five seasons, and thirteen lunar months. The five seasons draw from the concept of five elements, which you’ll see again later in the section on the Four Estates.

It actually works in a rather clean fashion. There are four seasons with three twenty-eight-day months each. These are followed by Moura, a fifth season and thirteenth month, representing the fifth element (spirit or aethyr, as they call it). Moura, as you probably guessed, is a bit special, especially in Aristasian religion, as a time of cleansing and penitence.

If, for whatever reason, you want to download an Aristasian perpetual calendar, you can do so here. I believe this calendar is also used by Filianists, or at very least, a similar one.

District Governesses?!

An early Aristasian bit of fiction about a young district governess.
An early Aristasian bit of fiction about a young district governess.

Crime does exist, of course, but it is mostly (what we would consider) petty. In early novels, there's talk of a system of district governesses are entrusted with justice within Aristasian municipalities. These women were initially described as tasked with physically disciplining maids who went astray.

This could take the form of anything from a light spanking to a full caning. IRL Aristasians writing these stories and running these LARPs/RPGs insisted this kind of thing was “spiritual purification" and "correcting behavior” and not sexual/fetish-y in the slightest. That doesn’t change the fact that a lot of the Aristasian stories and publications in the 1990s and early 2000s emphasize this to an extreme degree, like going waaay far beyond what you'd expect even from a sexual fetish.

This was not fully abandoned until following Operation Bridgehead in the mid-2000s. At that point, it was dropped entirely and all at once. That pleased me personally (I found it icky and dull) but enraged others, who wrote creepy fanfic in protest.

After Bridgehead, there was no more talk of District Governesses, but IRL Aristasians still continued to describe Aristasia Pura as a very hierarchical, structured society. Neverthelesss, this portrayal grew increasingly gentle and increasingly friendly as the years wore on.

The Four Estates

BONUS??: "Just as there is a fifth element (Aethyr), which is not an element in the usual sense, and a fifth season (Moura) which is not a season in the usual sense and a fifth direction (the Centre) which is not a direction in the usual sense; so there is a fifth Estate which is not an Estate in the usual sense. This is the Stravë (sometimes honorifically termed Hayana) "Estate" into which no maid can be born. It consists of those who have renounced the world in search of the Ultimate Treasure of the Spirit. Being no longer of the world, they are no longer children of the world's Estates."

Encyclopaedia Aristasiana, dating from early 2009.

Aristasia, does have a caste system of sorts. These are called the Four Estates, and they formulate the loose organization of Westrenne society in Aristasia Pura, as I understand it. They’re explained in greater detail here, in an archived post from the early aughts.

You probably notice that it kind of resembles this concept a bit, and it’s not as if it’s not a common idea throughout the pre-industrial West.

Each estate bears esoteric attributions such as a season and element. Ask yourself if this (and the nations, and well, the rest of this) sounds familiar. Is it really that otherworldly? But anyways, the Four (Five?…) Estates of Aristasia Pura…

  • Haiela (approx. pron: "high-ELLa”), the priestly and intellectual estate, corresponding to winter, north, and the esoteric element of Air.
  • Raihira (approx. pron "rye-HEERa”), the noble and ruling (also Vikhelic) estate corresponding to summer, south, and Fire.
  • Magdala (approx. pron "MY-dla”), the estate of craftmaids, farmers and merchants, corresponding to the west, autumn, and Earth.
  • Paccia (approx. pron: "PAKsia”), the bonded estate, coorresponding to spring, east, and Water. This referred to servants and families “bound” to serve a house or something like that.

The Great Chain of Being

The IRL Aristasians considered all this worldbuilding to have, (or at least to express), profound philosophical significance. According to them, it represented the Great Chain of Being; the traditional, innate way of living. Whether in the imaginary world of Aristasia Pura, or here in Telluria, all beings with souls are part of this natural, orderly ecosystem.

We here in Telluria (earth) had abandoned that innate, perennial orderliness in what they saw as the "Cultural Eclipse" of the 1960s. They referred to modern life, everything after, as ”The Pit.” Aristasia-in-Telluria, we were told, formed during that decade (...or did it?), as a way of escaping this "Eclipsed" Tellurian reality.

A lot of these ideas aren't unique to this group. Some come from philosophers and especially esotericists who fancied themselves "perennialists". René Guénon comes to mind. In the early days of Aristasia's online presence, these sources got overt mention. Later, there was a move away from Tellurian (IRL) sources in favor of recorded lectures and essays written by the group itself. These often focused on spiritual matters or criticized the modern world, a practice they referred to as "pit crit." You can read more about that, and its connection to the fictional lore of Aristasia, in the beliefs section once I finish setting up that page.

In the mid-2000s, Aristasia shifted focus away from things like discipline and even started clearing away some of the storm clouds of problematic confusion plaguing this strange, ad hoc melange. While this made the worldbuilding and concept more accessible, it came with other concerns. For many reasons, the worldbuilding is a thing of the past now, and there is no longer an active community.

Still, this was not your typical fandom or roleplay group. The IRL Aristasians writing this stuff took it waay more seriously than, say, LOTR, Harry Potter, or even something like Goreans. There's a reason, after all, why they were trying so hard to live out this stuff in the real world, even if they couldn't, as you'll see, always agree on what that meant.

More than stories?

A forum post discussing mystical contact with Aristasia Pura
Aristasia Pura: Real? How? What? Whoa...

From my very first interactions with Aristasians, I also got the indication that maybe Aristasia Pura was seen as way more than just their worldbuilding project. Quite early, I was told there were "bits of the old Aristasian language" floating around, implying a weird level of reality to the whole thing. I rarely brought it up after that unless someone else did, but it got mentioned occasionally. Nobody could provide any context for it. How on earth (quite literally) could Aristasia (and the language) be real?

Still, it persisted and became more elaborate, as I suspect was bound to happen. This idea that Aristasia Pura might be real. Somehow. Somewhere. I first heard it alluded to, as I said, in my earliest interactions with Aristasians from London. This concept wasn't elaborated on until several years later, though.

The post you see above represents one of the early stages of that, at least publicly. I suspect privately, many Aristasians were already thinking in that direction, given how quickly the idea got taken up. To understand how this happened, I suggest perusing the history sections of this site, particularly regarding Operation Bridgehead. Please visit this page, specifically about the matter of "realness".

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