Here is a threat to post any supplementary or extraneous information about your nations not already-included in your nation posts, military thread, and character thread. This is absolutely voluntary, but it is suggested that players give some information on culture and religion on this topic. Additional technical info on technologies, armies, magic, and institutions are also useful.2/16/2010 #1
Maku: A Maku is the traditional Whitefoot identification tattoo. It is imprinted into the skin using a pine needle and an ink mixed with ash from a fire (and yes, that is VERY painful, especially without the modern technology our civilizations use.) Each Maku is unique to the individual, and reflects thing such as family, status, profession, and age, by being literally "read" by those who can understand them.2/17/2010 #2
The Reaching Empire
Government: The highest body of government in the Reaching Empire is the High Council. This council is chambered within the capitol of the Empire, and passes legislative, executive, and judicial decisions through votes. Theoretically, every Arun in the Empire is a member of the High Council and has a right to vote and address it. However, because the council is always in session, and is always centered in one location, many Arun never issue a vote in their lives. Much of the true power behind the council lies in the hands of several very powerful Arun, who operate through their supporters. Many poorer Arun will cast their vote for money, and there are wealthy Ikun, or even commoners, who control significant blocks of votes by virtue of providing a lavish lifestyle for their supporters.
In order to keep the system intact, and to stop any single individual from having too much power, authority is strictly centralized. Civilian and military authority is strictly separated, to the point that Governors are far down the line in terms of military authority. The different provinces of the Empire are administered over by Governors, who are appointed by the council, but their terms are limited and subject to renewal.
The Empire is divided into three castes (four if you count those outside the system). One's caste is determined at birth by the status of the child's mother, and fixed for life. It is possible, although extremely rare, to "earn" a higher caste through great achievement and service to the state, but even in this case the rewards often extend only to the achiever, not to his family and heirs.
Free peoples: this category includes all people living inside the Empire who are not Ivisk, or who have not been granted citizenship for whatever reason. While these people are not slaves, and are permitted to go about their daily lives, Ivisk law makes little account of them. Their word is not taken in an Ivisk court of law, they are not allowed to possess weapons of any kind, and are in fact hardly protected by law at all.
Commoners: The vast majority of Ivisk are commoners of the Empire. As citizens, they are protected by Imperial law and courts, and one could sue a noble of higher stature, albeit with little chance of vindication. Although they do not have the privileges of the Ikun or Arun, their status as citizens garners them some degree of respect, especially when it comes to dealing with foreigners and free peoples.
Ikun: Ikun are the middle caste of the Empire, the "lesser nobles," and are signified by a black glove with an embroidered crest. As nobles, Ikun are permitted to privately own weapons and mounts, and in a court of law their testimony is worth twice that of a commoner. Note that while many Ikun do serve in the military, they are not a "knight" caste; just as many Ikun serve as bureaucrats or gentry as soldiers.
Arun: Signified by a red glove with an embroidered circle, the Arun are the true rulers of the Empire. Only Arun have the right to vote in the Reaching Empire's High Council, making them essentially the only voice in the government. Besides their voting rights, the Arun also get a number of lesser privileges such as exemption from (direct) taxation, and quadruple a commoner's weight of testimony in court.
Inheritance & Descent- Descent is matrilineal in Ivisk society, but because the society is patriarchal inheritance passes through from uncle to nephew. In other words, Ivisk females keep their family name and pass it down to their children, while males will not be able to pass their name on. Since females cannot own property, inheritances are passed down from uncle to nephew; the child of one Ivisk's sister is that Ivisk's heir. If you're thinking this could be an archaic and complicated system, you would be correct. Ivisk families often prearrange the distribution of their inheritances, because the default laws governing who gets what can be dismally complex. Here is a visual representation of the lineage system:
The Ivisk are henotheistic, believing in many deities but only worshipping one. Their goddess Avisk is reported to be the direct ancestor of all Ivisk.
Shrines: Shrines to Avisk are common throughout the Empire. In their simplest form they can be small, personal shrines in the form of small statues. Villages and towns unable to maintain a full temple will often erect a statue of Avisk, perhaps even sheltering it within an open-aired building and providing an altar. Some large towns will have shrines in addition to temples, sometimes even several. The primary distinction between a shrine and a temple is that a shrine has neither a resident priest nor a temple staff. Shrines are usually open-aired and maintained by young females approaching marriage age. Sometimes a priest will travel between shrines.
Temples: Most Towns and Cities have temples to Avisk, sometimes more than one. These temples can range from simple buildings to massive complexes, but follow a standard pattern. Always the front room is an altar to Avisk, usually centered around her statue. Often it is the most beautiful room in the temple, with altars and incense, decorated or adorned in worship. Behind this grand entrance are the priest’s and helper’s quarters, where the resident priest and those girls sent to stay at the temple for a year reside. The helping girls maintain the temple and practice daily ceremonies, while the priest presides over rituals and celebrations.
Worship: Worship of Avisk takes many forms. Young girls nearing marital age, usually around 18 or 19, traditionally maintain shrines or serve at a temple for a year. People will often worship by means of money offerings to a temple, placing incense or some other offering before a statue, or praying before one. Worship is also expressed through ceremony and rituals, such as during marriage or festivals.
Magic: Magic is a natural force which interacts with other forces. Not all races or creatures can use, or even perceive, magic, but it is always present. Magic takes the two forms of positiveand negative. Both are forms of energy that act in a similar manner, but interact with each other differently. Similar magic will clash, but if positive and negative magic interact they will cancel one another out. Nothing can be both positive and negative at the same time. Everything in the world has a magical “default” state, which is the level of magic inherent with an object, positive, negative, or neutral. An object will continue accumulating or discharging magic from itself and its surroundings until it reaches its “default” state, and as such will always eventually return to its default should it somehow get charged.
Ivisk can use and perceive magic because they are naturally "positive" beings. When they use their magic to change alter the world around them (casting "spells") they expend some of their charge. Excessive use can expend an Ivisk's charge, at which point he or she would be unable to perceive magic, because without a magical charge there is nothing for exterior magic to interact with. Because magic is an inborn trait for Ivisk, they do not study it like other civilization's forms of magic. Instead, an Ivisk mage would be regarded more as a trained and specialized athlete, and taught accordingly. His abilities would be far beyond many of his peers, but almost every Ivisk has great potential for magic, and all Ivisk are proficient in it.
Magic can be used for a great number of things, depending on the skill of the user. When quantities are rapidly shifted, positive magic gives off a brilliant white hue, similar to a white lightbulb, or the reflection of light off polished steel. Negative magic gives off a very dim, "grimy" shade of shadow that tends to cloud surfaces. When a large charge hits an object, it has a warping effect on the surface of the target due to the effects of overcharge and rapid magical change. Ivisk use this to their advantage when they do things like hurl bolts and waves of magical energy, or focus-charge a weapon so that it was warp and penetrate armor. Magic also has mass in its pure form (which means, yes, Ivisk who expend their aura weigh a bit less), so getting hit with a bolt has considerable knock-back. This mass is the reason magic can be used to create barriers or to move objects.2/19/2010 #3
Common Illnesses and Diseases of the Sesaban People
The Sesabans have an extremely unique set of biological traits, making them humanoid but not near-human. Most human medicines do not work for them and therefore obtaining medicine, and the large amounts of materials to make them, is difficult. The Sesabans are equipped with a highly powerful immune system, lymph system, and filtration system--another unique trait. The Filtration System consists of the Kidneys, Liver, Lungs, Lymph Nodes, and Blood.
The Filtration System's primary purpose is to remove carbon and normally toxic waste from the body. It leaves the kidneys and liver in the form of very dark, almost black u***, and the lungs in occasional coughings of dark matter every three or four hours. Because of the high strength of these organs, they tend not to catch very many diseases, and most near-human diseases don't affect them.
However, there are a set of Sesaban-specific injuries and diseases that make themselves very common:
Fractured Bones; Legs
Because of the high density of their bones it can take up to three years for a broken bone to attempt to heal. However, broken legs are almost always fatal for the limb---usually requiring amputation.
Difficuties in Childbirth; Miscarraige; Still Births
A large percentage of severe medical problems are caused during childbirth. The pelvis is often narrow and can cause difficulty in delivering the child, with a mortality rate for both mother and child in a healthy birth is about 33%. Twinning is almost always lethal, at an 89% mortality rate. Sesaban children are prone to fractured bones more than most others and tend to be difficult to nurse; as a rule about 53% of infants are fed via syringe. Miscarraiges are extremely common and tend to occur between the third to seventh month. Still births are also fairly common and kill about 39% of mothers.
Shin splints--a moderate damage to the sides of the bone of the leg, causing discomfort--are very common and aren't fatal, but cause the victim to be uncomfortable. They commonly affect adoslescents.
Elbows are easily fractured as well and tend to become jammed into the junction of the other bones, causing a stiffening paralysis of both parts of the arm. This can be lasting; surgeries often are done to put it back into place.
These are just a few of the common medical problems and the list will be added to in the future.3/26/2010 #4
The Western Plainsmen Army is comprised 100% of sociopath monsters. This is due to the method in which they are birthed. Instead of recruiting, they kidnap woman and carve fertility and birth runes all over her body creating a tortured, horrified, traumatized, child bearing wretch. Pregnancy is quickened and rarely creates a single child. In about a decades time thousands of soldiers can be produced. All soldiers in the army depending on their level of augmentation have a chance to berserk and begin killing indiscriminately.4/12/2010 #5
The strangest sapiens of the world. Ghrux are quadruped creatures with thick scales that usually stand around seven feet long and three high. Although they do not have hands, they do have a circular mouth covered with a dual layer of tentacles and a round layer of teeth. They use these tentacles to manipulate objects, similar to how other creatures use hands.
The Ghrux follow a strange form of polytheism. Their central pantheon is rather small, with a handful or so of major gods and goddesses. However, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of local gods that the Ghrux worship. Often, tribes or organizations will have their own special gods in addition to the general pantheon, and it's common for allied tribes to include gods from each other's pantheons as a sign of solidarity.
At the center of the Ghrux pantheon is the god of war and pillage, who is by far the most powerful deity. He is also homeless, and stories tell of him constantly wandering the world looking for a place to stay. Since the god of war always brings suffering and destruction with him, the other gods are always trying to find ways to discourage him from staying without outright insulting him.
Creation- In Ghrux mythology, the original creator god was one of the elder gods, as were the gods of war and death. When the creator was finished, the god of war stopped by his home in search of hospitality. At this point the story diverges: Some say that the Creator turned the God of War away, causing War to become extremely incensed at the lack of hospitality and tear the creator god to pieces. Others say that the god of creation was in fact too hospitable, and entertained the god war for a long time before he came home to find his guest dead drunk and in a foul mood one day.
Either way, the fate of the creator god was sealed. He was torn apart by the god of war, his own brother, and the many pieces scattered around the newly created world, where they became the lesser gods.
Death- The Ghrux god of death is another of the elder gods, a sibling of the god of war. She spends all his time following the god of war around, cleaning up the messes that her brother leaves behind. Some contend that the god of death is collecting the pieces of the first creator god, and that once all the pieces are gathered; she will put them together and remake her brother.
Worship: The Ghrux worship old style, with regular animal sacrifices, god symbols, and parties to their patron deities. Religion isn't so much about reverence or creed as it is about a patron-client or elder-younger relationship. Gods teach and look after their followers in exchange for worship and sacrifices. Cities and Clans often have patron deities, but so can institutions, groups, or individuals. The only exception to this is the two elder gods of war and death, who are patron deities of no group.
The Ghrux have a priestly sect that spans all age groups and acts as the diviners and scholars of the Clan. They can commonly write and maintain much scholarly knowledge as well as their augury and astronomy.4/12/2010 . Edited 4/12/2010 #6
The Whitefoot Tribe:
Deities: Each original Whitefoot clan once worshipped one of these four spirits: Mauja, Marali, Amanti, and Lazuli. Eventually, the merging of cuiltures created a polythestic religion that iscentered around these four deities.
Mauja: Mauja, is the mother of the other gods and the one that was first created in Whitefoot mythology. It is said that she came to be when a mountain crumbled to the groud during the infernos of the early world. She arose from the lava, created the first life, and became the god most closely associated with fire and pyrokenetic warriors. Mauja is associated with leadership as well, and is often turned to by the leaders of the clan for help.
Lazuli: The misfit god who created all other species in the world, Lazuli is the black sheep of the gods and is associated with the sky. He was first created during a massive hurricane threw the world into turmoil. It is said that he was swept away by this wind monster, and beleiving the world to be barren, creted all of the other peoples. He is most strongly associated with tribal rebels, and people who do not fit into the heirarchy.
Marali: Marali was Lazuli's brother who came from the same source, but held strong to the earth and remained with the Whitefoot people. He is so, associated with the element, and is said to manifest in trees that grow too high, or forests that spring to life early in the year. Marali is the god most associated with everyday life, and represents determination at all times.
Amanti: Amanti is the goddess associated with conflict and warfare, said to have been born from a dying fish on the seashore. She is strongly associated with water and hydrokenetics as well, and is by far to most feared of the four spirits. She is the only other deity besides Marali who has not contributed to the planet, but has contributed to the evolution of the Whitefoot tribe by teaching them the ways of war.
Housing: Whitefoot huts are often seem very small from the outside, but they are actually subterranian, with 80% of the structure being below ground. They are built by digging a 10 feet circular pit in the ground and covering the earthen walls with wood to keep the inside clean. A flat "roof" is built over the pit, with an open passage in the front for entering and exiting to building. Then, as a tarp, an semi-spherical animal skin covering is spread onto a wooden frame and placed over the pit, which in the end resembles an igloo. These dwelings are great for the harsh winds and snow of the tribes homelands.
Language: The Whitefoot speak a toungue that is completely unique and very different from other spoken languages, do to their eons long isolation from other influences. There is also a written version, consitsting of over 700 characters that are used to create words. Each character can also be a word on it's own. It lacks the sounds of the letters Y, X, and Q. Although alien, the language can be translated into other phrases easily, for example:
Te: Leader Te'a: Leads Te'an: Leading A'te: Has led Oa'te: Will be leading
They also have pre-given names for peoples and things that they have met recently:
Ivisk: Aoatea Uram: Nakati Survaek: Aroha Gun: Rua Ship: Maona Sesaban: Tama Ironclad: Timati4/13/2010 #7
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