The Teachings of Melina form the basis of all law and culture in Salasian society. Said to be sent from Melina herself, they are in truth an adaptation and extension to the Alqan Holy Book, the Melana. Although there are no formal rituals in Salasian society, nevertheless the people follow Her words in every aspect of their lives. To break her teachings is to forsake the love of Melina, and is the greatest crime in Salasia. The Queen of Salasia is the spiritual head of the temple, and there is no clergy. The queen is responsible for conducting marriages, namings and funerals, as well as arranging the regular festivals.
The following is an extract from the Salasian version of the Melara, in which the teachings of Melina are laid out. The words are considered holy writ, as recorded by Mira, and serve as the main constitution of the city.
From the Melara,Third Tome- The Scourge 3:1
And it came to pass, after twelve moons and a day, that the city of Hopa-Dolen, the fair Salasia, was finally completed. And the people rejoiced with a feast of a great splendour. And the gleaming towers and white walls were beautiful, and not a man amongst the throng was able to hold his tears.
And Halan, most pleased, ascended Tur-Mela, The Mound of Love, the highest mountain in the holy valley. And upon reaching the top, he erected a mound of stones. And there he knelt and gave thanks to Melina, Queen of life, for guiding the Alqans to Hopa-Dolen. And Melina heard his praise, and was joyous, and ascended from Heaven to speak unto him.
Melina, in her majestic beauty, ascended in a chariot, pulled by seven doves, and the Tur was filled with light. And Halan, unable to behold the radiant beauty, hid his eyes. And Melina spoke unto him thus:
'Behold, Kina-Halan, the fruits of your work.' And Halan looked once again at Salasia, and saw that it was beautiful. And spake Melina: 'Through many toils have you passed, and hardships have you endured. Gone are the glorious days of beautiful Alqador, and I mourn my lost children. But unto you is given the task of reforging what was broken. Here, in the Vale of Dolen, upon the River of Hope, will you find what was lost.'
And Melina spoke thus: 'To you I give my teachings, as I did the beloved Alqans. And henceforth will all Salasians obey the words, lest my Love be lost, and thy children forsake me.'
And Melina spoke thus: 'And these teachings will number ten, and all be of equal worth.'
1. 'To you and thy brethren I grant my Love. Within this all are equal, and none take precedence. From holy king to humble farmer, none shall be denied the Love. My gift is to all.'
2. 'And the King, being equal in love, but greater in power is thus charged: That all whom he rules will be treated justly and fairly, and never want. That the farmer is as happy as the lord of the manor.'
3. 'And, to ensure such fairness, all thy subjects will be entitled to own property and money, whether by gift or earn. And the richest merchant shall not belittle the farmer with his house. Nor shall the farmer own a larger manor than the lord; All are equal, in wealth, in property and in Love.'
4. 'And, needing not to strive for power or superiority, all my Children will strive instead for the following virtues: Peace, to still the hand. Wisdom and Philosophy. Honesty and Goodwill, to hold thy love in another's heart. And in these virtues will you find Me, and the essence of my Love.'
5. 'And most sacred of these virtues is honesty- to never steal, to never cheat. And thy word is thy bond, and should it be broken let all men condemn thee. Especially the Oath of marriage, which is sacred to Me and My Love.'
6. 'And let Goodwill prevail. If a man should starve, let those who can feed him. If a man has need, let those who can aid him. Lest the man steal, and thus become Dishonest.'
7. 'And in celebration of My Love, let all men and women come together in joy and festivity. Let great feasts be thrown, and no man excluded. And let there be singing and dancing and drinking and feasting.'
8. 'For behold: All acts of pleasure are My gifts to thee, and every smile proof of My Love. Take pleasure in art and music and poetry. Take pleasure in each other. Make Love and be in Love, lest my gift be wasted.'
9. 'As pleasure is My gift, so is pain a sin. Do whatever thou will, yet harm no one. Let no man feel grief or pain or loss or anger. Kill no one, for that is the greatest of Sins; to take the precious life which is My gift to you. And keep no armies, save for defense, lest you grow ambitious. Let no man die or suffer.'
10. 'And neither harm an animal, unless it be for food, for they to have received my Gift. And eat flesh only when in need. And never harm a bird, neither fowl, nor game nor bird of prey. For of all creatures, the birds are My beloved.'
And thus were the Teachings of Melina delivered to Halan the Lord of the Salasians, Saviour of the Legacy of the Alqans.
It is said that Halan reflected on these teachings for three days and nights, before returning to deliver the message. The teachings were carved in stone and erected outside the People's Palace, for all to see. The Salasians take the Teachings very seriously. Theft is very rare in the city, and murder and rape are unheard of. All citizens are given a share of money from the People's Vaults, ensuring that all can afford both housing and food. If any are ever in need, a Salasian will go out of his way to help them. Peace and pacifism are held in high-regard in Salasia; though all men are trained to fight, there is no standing army- the training is simply for defense. Above all, a Salasian will never lie.
Birds, as mentioned, are sacred to the Salasians, and countless swans, doves, ducks and pigeons fly over the city, feeding in the streets, and swimming in the countless fountains. Night time is a time of revellry in Salasia; countless feasts are thrown, usually indoors, to which are all invited, and sometimes in the streets. These feasts normally last long into the night, and consist of heavy drinking, dancing, and frivolous sex. In many ways, the feasts are little more than orgies.