Notes on Veth Culture
From Houses of the Blooded Wiki
It has been very difficult to determine what, if any, culture the veth enjoyed. Veth were not taught to read, on pain of death. Even if a veth did manage to become literate, it is unlikely they would have cared to record their culture.
We assume that the veth did have an oral tradition, though all we know of it comes from what Blooded writers and poets have chosen to write down.
There are references to veth harvest festivals in a few works. It also appears the veth kept a lunar calendar.
References have been found to a rich oral history of fireside tales, which are currently being looked into by Jesse Heinig of the Institute. We look forward to announcing when our findings will be available for publication.
Developed by Count Fy'x Jalan, who was tired of being constantly interrupted by servants. The positions are a series of poses veth servants would assume in front of the Blooded in order to convey information.
We are currently attempting to reproduce some of these positions and hope to have photographs available soon.
We have discovered a few positions already. Unless otherwise stated, it may be assumed that all veth are looking demurely at the floor. It may also be assumed the veth would hold this position until acknowledged by the Blooded, even if the Blooded chose not to do so for several hours. A veth would be expected to unobtrusively follow the Blooded from room to room until acknowledged.
Some paranoid Blooded would purposely change the positions, in order to confuse visiting enemies.
A Message For You
The veth would stand, feet slightly apart. Held precisely at shoulder level would be a silver platter, on which the message would be resting.
A Guest Is Waiting
The veth would stand, feet slightly apart and hands clasped behind the back.
An Important Guest is Waiting
As above, with the feet held farther apart.
An Enemy Is Here
The veth would stand, feet slightly apart, and hands clasped in the front.
The Meal Is Ready
As the message position, though the platter would contain empty wine glasses. The guests would each pick their own wine glass on their way to the dining room - which also made it more difficult to poison a guest.
Your Spouse Is Angry At You
As the enemy position, with the veth holding a red feather.
Most often assumed when a veth had made a terrible mistake, and is the physical representation of 'vente venti' ("please don't kill me"). The veth would be kneeling and put their forehead on the ground. If the veth wished to beg for mercy, the hands would be held in front of the head, coming to a point approximately six inches in front of the scalp.
Routinely disobedient veth could often be picked out by their broken fingers and hands.
Someone Is Dead
Obviously not used to relay the death of veth, this was more often used to let the Blooded know that a guest under their roof had suffered some dire misfortune. The veth would sit in a kneeling position, hands resting lightly on the knees.
Come Quickly, The Stable Is On Fire
The veth would stand with feet together, arms firmly at the sides, with the hands fully flexed so fingers are pointing in all directions.
The Poteete Heresy
First proposed by a researcher working out of the Camden campus, the Poteete Heresy states that veth actually had more power than opera and pillowbooks would lead us to believe. By and large, the veth ran society and kept things going, while the indolent ven grew fat and sedentary, occupying their time by writing stories in which they were the dashing heroes.
The ven were honored as the head of the land, but were more often than not merely treated as a figurehead, such as the shamanistic practice of having a sedentary-priest king who served as a ritual focus and not much else.
It should be obvious why this viewpoint has drawn more controversy and criticism than almost any other academic theory so far proposed.