In a nutshell

When outside a house you have no protection socially. They will only get labourer jobs and then only if no house member wants them. If a house-less person is accused of a crime a council appointed justice determines guilt and the punishment. To refuse a house member over a non-house member would be an insult to that house and besides the average Su'ndari assumes that house-less people are usually disowned and therefore not to be trusted.

Bloodline is measured by the number of generations you can claim backwards. If you are illegitimate you cannot claim any of the descendents on your fathers side even if your father openly admits you are his child. If you are disowned you lose ALL claim to your bloodlines. You are severed from your bloodlines. Adopting a disowned person is usually considered an insult against the disowning house.

Marriages are a contract between two houses for the production of legitimate offspring. As a result a marriage contract will stipulate a number of children and once those conditions are met the woman can return to her birth house. Women always join the house of her husband and the children always belong to the male house. A brideprice is payable as part of any marriage contract. This brideprice is intended to compensate the womans birth house for the loss of her labour and other features. As such it increases with women of economic worth and decreases when women are considered to be of dubious fidelity. Marriages can be done within a house. Only house members can marry and only the patriarch/matriarch can arrange a marriage. There is no eloping. Infidelity during marriage if found out on the womans part will result in her and her children being returned to her birth house and all the children being branded illigitimate. This illigitimacy MAY extend to previous marriages also. Infidelity on the mans part is reason for divorce. The womans marital house may not disown the woman. If they have created a fuss of that level it would not be uncommon for their birthhouse to refuse to take them back (thus disowning them) however. Thematically most women do not leave their husbands house after the contract has been completed despite it being possible as it would mean no longer sharing a house with her children. A married woman cannot be part of any su'ndari military.

Each house has a patriarch and matriarch. They may be equal or one may have dominance. The patriarch and matriarch are the sole authority on the members of their house as long as their actions do not impinge on another house. The patriarch and matriarch MUST be of legitimate birth. The matriarch and patriarch are determined internally by each house and may change from year to year.

When two houses have issues with each other they would first attempt to negotiate to find a happy settlement. They would then use the duelling system/setup to try and make a settlement this way. If both of those options fail they will take the matter to council. Attacking anyone under the protection of the house (in any way) can be taken as an insult by the house if they wish to pursue it.

The council is made up of the patriarch and matriarch of every house and all legitimate, house member, adults over the age of 40. Elder votes are weighted lower than patriarch/matriarch votes. The temple also has a number of representatives allowed at a ratio of x per houses present. Only the governor can bring up issues in council and arrange for the votes on them. The governor also determines the punishment in criminal cases. (ie the governor brings the issue of guilt to vote and then if they are found guilty declares the punishment) However the head temple priest also has the power to bring up topics if they deem it important enough - this is very rare. All issues that involve multiple houses are the province of the council. Hence murder, trade treaties, province taxes, military actions and such are handled there. Success in council translates into powerful social positions, lucrative trade agreements and a level of power in house to house negotiations. It is one of the most important things any house can achieve. There is no police force instead houses and businesses hire their own private guards to ensure that they are appropriately protected.

The main divider in society after house-membership is access to education. The houses that cannot afford to send their children to apprentice or school elsewhere rely upon teaching their own children the skills which they know. This has led to most Houses being focused in a specific area of employment. For example a house may raise all its youths to be soldiers and those trades which are sought after in military camps. Once a house gains a good level of income however they start spreading out into other trades. It still makes sense for the members to focus in the business which makes the House the most money but you start to see increasing numbers of people raised as doctors and politicians and other 'elite trades'. This has over time created a definite imbalance between the rich and the poor whilst still keeping social movement (technically) possible. Many of the wealthier houses have come to have lower houses that depend almost entirely on the over time - for example many of the kaffoan plantations have several farm-labourer houses which work entirely on their properties. These 'client' houses are often given the benefit of protection from the main house with a promise of defensive support during council sessions and in return those 'client' houses also give the main house support during council.

Each province has over time come to have its own sets of expectations and laws. Councils rule only over their own province and are answerable only to the central su'ndari council. The central su'ndari council's interests are limited to those which effect the empire as a whole. As the Kassoan (game-world) province has recently been founded these beliefs are often in conflict with each other amongst the population. It is a true (brightly coloured) mixing-pot of cultures and traditional differences.

The Su'ndari religion is based upon the understanding gained from reading the changes in the heavens and especially those of the seven celestials. Each celestial is believed to influence the world in ways that vary according to their current position and strength. The su'ndari will ask for readings in support of almost all important actions and will often decide not to go ahead if the signs are not favorable.