Upfront: This is experimental.
“I am one and all of these, as they were all of these after being just the one.”
I am a product of the western European ooze effect. My ancestors slowly crawled over borders, into the lands of others, and assimilated themselves while foreigners crept into their lands and did their best to blend in. The result was a curling of culture around culture, name around name. The Dutch started sounding a lot like the Germans, and the Germans noticed their own resemblance to the French.
Like water, and blood, the branching and entwining bred life, and divergent livelihood. But in reality, they had all come from the same place, and simply made gradual alterations to a once common disposition.
Before that my ancestors lived in a time when land and borders were not a primary concern. In their territories west of the Rhine and Danube Rivers, my tribal relatives held up family loyalty and communal living. Kinship defined society, and the children of that generation were most likely products of widespread inbreeding, albeit structured and well-meaning inbreeding. They traveled from camp to camp, and mixed with the residual Romans, permeating the crumbling structure with heresy and Teutonic law. Before creating these veins of progression, the inhabitants of continental western Europe looked to their families for support, pleasure, everything. These time-trapped nomadic people had only one real concern: watching out for the German nobility.
The German nobility was a pre-curser to the feudal system, and offered all the trimmings of lords and vassals, treasure and partying. The power and wealth of the warlords trickled down to their freelance knights, who would stay with that lord, or latch on to another, depending on who was paying more. The ambition was to become just as powerful as a former employer, and shower moderate portions of treasure, generally coins, glass, or pretty chunks of stone, onto peons of their own.
Within two centuries though, these knights were, in the words of one very knowledgeable professor, “partying with dragons, raping damsels, and bringing down villages.” This behavior eventually got the German knights into trouble, and the remnants of an early medieval church saw that they reformed themselves into the chivalrous characters of our movies.