by Max Barry

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Through the Eyes of a Naval Montean (Old Factbook, will be replaced soon)

The Naval Monteans (or "Monties" as the Americans like to call them) are a are mixed cultures, mostly from the Mediterranean. Greeks, Libyans, Moroccans,Spaniards, Catalans, Italians, Egyptians, Algerians and others from the Mediterranean coasts compose the bulk of the population, along with people from Northern Europe, The Celtic Nations, Asia, Saharan Africa. People of the United States, Canada, and Australia being the newest to people to either live in or play in Naval Monte (though the term recent may be a stretch), of course immigrants from other parts of the world also come to Naval Monte now as they did back in the past.

Beliefs and Attitudes

The three primary virtues in Naval Montean's minds are civil rights, political freedoms, and personal loyalty- loyalty to those individuals who have helped you and worked with you. While loyalty to abstractions like ideologies, deities, nations, ethnic groups and more are also there and some Monteans treat those loyalties in the same way they would treat a close comrade. Naval Monteans are also markedly tolerant of differences between people regardless of race, gender, creed, beliefs, and etc. This may be due to the fact that Naval Monte has and still is a refuge for people from different parts of the world that have either been forcibly or willing exiled and outcasted from home and journey long and hard to reach Naval Monte. Naval Monteans are markedly tolerant of differences between people even to the point of being friendly to outsiders, a surprising thing considering their long stand on isolation. Rather than cleaving to a specific self-image, and then judging people who are different from that self-image, Naval Monteans see themselves as theoretically capable of all manner of human behavior. Lifestyle is a question of taste in Naval Monte, and inhabitants are likely to view an argument between different religions in the same way music fans argue about about different music styles.

Because religious and spiritual freedom and tolerance are one of the main reasons people migrate to Naval Monte many of these beliefs can be found in here. The following are several of the faiths that can be found and practiced seriously be some of the inhabitants: Magic, Alchemy, Extra-Sensory Perception (along with other psychic powers and phenomenon), Astrology, Spiritualism, Divination (in all forms), Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Theosophy, Wicca, Thelema, Modern Paganism, Anthroposophy, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Spiritualism, Shamanism, Kabbalah, Mesmerism, Neoplatonism, Numerology, Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism,Traditional African and Afro American religions, and Theosophy. Of course main stream religions and more can also be found here as well. It should also be mention that fringe and mad scientists also come to Naval Monte along with Atheists and Agnostics.

Along with religious freedom one can also find a high amount of civil liberties and political freedom too. In Naval Monte one can print and say whatever they want, even if what you want as long as they don't physically try to harm someone (An old saying goes "That you can spew as much hate, stupidity, and death threats as you want here, but as long as those words are not backed by psychical action we won't force you to shut up."). gender equality is also much higher in Naval Monte than in most countries as evident by the women who have high ranking positions (to even the current leader being a woman too), equality towards race is also high in Naval Monte too even to the point that most hate groups that plague other countries can hardly be found here (granted if you look hard enough you can find them, they are just hidden in the deeper parts of the Naval Monte criminal underworld), too no surprise the openness in Naval Monte has caused it to be a big meeting place for members of the LGBT movement, with general assistance from both gay and straight Naval Monteans. Naval Monteans also have a strong oppression towards censorship and only use it on very rare occasions, because of that many artists, writers, directors, composers, and many others in the art and entertainment industries and communities tend to flock to Naval Monte. Along with entertainers there are political groups who also come to Naval Monte, in fact even political ideologies that most Naval Monteans vehemently disagree with (Fascism and Extremism being the to examples) are allowed as long as they don't harm anyone physically (or in any other way for that matter).

Free self-expression, to the point of self-indulgence, is another major factor to these people. Fashions, styles, opinions, and habits, therefore, vary widely from individual to individual. Even those who hold positions of powers follow this once they are done with their jobs, otherwise in work they do follow a strict set of codes and regulations to uphold so some sense of order can be maintain in Naval Monte. It also shouldn't be surprising to know that many Naval Monteans have or had joined gangs, groups, cults, and clubs or pursue esoteric art forms and many more, all in the name of self-expression. Another interesting fact is that most Naval Monteans rarely leave their homeland unless their jobs require them to do so or if wandering the world is their passion, as years of isolationism is hard to shake off, especially when said self imposed isolation was used to hide from any powers who back than would have wanted all of the inhabitants of Naval Monte completely destroyed, of course the process of them coming back to the world is happening, while slow it is possible that in this life time there will be Naval Monteans living and being born in other countries.

Style & Fashion

One common style in Naval Monte are masks. Like ties and bows in more saner cultures these masks come in a variety of colors, materials, and designs. While masks can be used for any occasions some masks are made for specific purposes in mind, example include those with their eyes peacefully close are used for either individuals who use them for sleep or for those who are attending funerals. It should be noted that most mask makers rarely sell their masks to tourists and while some can give tourists mask they are told that once they are going back to their home country they must return the mask back to them, stating that the masks themselves are the ones that can choose if they want to stay in Naval Monte or not, not them or their makers.

The knife is nearly a universal component of Naval Montean dress. Beyond its obvious use for self defense, Naval Monteans use their knives for games, for status symbols, for opening stubborn bags of potato chips, and so on. longcoats are also common, for both hiding and carry stuff without somebody seeing it, for fashionable wear, and for the cold winters.

All manner of body modification is popular here (self-expression, once again). Body-building, severe fasting, tanning, hair styling, piercings, scarification, and tattoos are all popular. In fact tattoos are a common and ancient trend in Naval Monte as many of these tattoos are used for statues symbols, symbols of occupation (usually as a form of pride in their work), for artistic reasons, and for the purpose of having mystical protection and assistance, since some of them still hold the ancient belief that some tattoo symbols can be used for runic and sigil magic. Those who can afford it even undergo plastic surgery to enhance or alter their physical form. While plastic surgery has traditionally allowed people to conform to a societal ideal of beauty, plastic surgery on Naval Monte often conforms only to the unique self-image of the individual, and common conceptions of beauty be damned. Also when it comes to clothing again in the name of self expression there is no uniform style that Naval Monteans can go with (again this rule is only nulled during work), in fact some can even go out in their pajamas or even stark naked.

It should also be mentioned that many Naval Monteans can have different names. For some they have different names due to their occupations, for others is because one name is used for whatever gang, cult, club, or group their in, or even for just simply for fun. In fact it's a favorite past time for some Naval Monteans to keep changing their names whenever they are dealing with tourists just so they can get some amount of amusement of confusing or annoying them.

Language

While today it seems that English is the most dominate language spoken in Naval Monte in truth is that it coexist along side many different languages. Of an interesting note there exist several ancient languages that are exclusive to Naval Monte. Most of these languages are almost lost but for the select few that know of them they often use them for occult rituals and for secret meetings with members of their own group. In fact even in the government and military use one or two of these ancient languages whenever they are talking about a subject that is too sensitive for most people to hear.

OOC: I might come back here to type down more but for now I'm gonna say I'm done.

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