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Author Topic: WIP: The Kaizranian Men (Thalambathians)  (Read 8406 times)
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« on: 22 October 2009, 05:05:00 »

I wasn't originally planning on posting this until it was complete, but as I was talking with Altario over on the RP boards about the possibility of his and Talia's 'Destiny' story possibly having a chapter take place in Thalambath, I figured I'd get this up here so they can get an idea on the cultural background of the people who live in Thalambath, rather than just the city entry that's already on the site.

I hope that, unlike the Thalambathian Dunraich entry I posted earlier, that most of this should not step on any toes (Talia ;)).

Talia, don't worry about going through this if you're busy. It probably won't be worked on by me for awhile, and I don't want to give you even more work. It's mostly just to get it up here for reference. Maybe you'll even be able to find some inspiration for some aspects of your Astar'Nuvic entry. :)


Altario, you'll notice that I took a lot of your Remusian Mens' subheadings. In fact, your entry is my biggest inspiration for how much detail I'm putting in this just as Deci's Marmarra entry was the inspiration for Thalambath. So, you can blame yourself for why this is so big. ;) You'll also notice that Thalambath is Remusia's polar opposite, as they're quite similar in many areas (harsh, strict societies for one), but yours is more the uncivilized ice people and mine is the super civilized desert people. ;)



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Overview
The Kaizranians (informal: Kaizans) are the descendants of the Astar’Nuvic Empire that lived in the Rahaz’Dath during roughly 12000-9000 b.S. The human population of this empire in its later years were known as the Kaizoumetrans for the great tower of the same name that rose high above their capital city, and it is from this name that evolved the modern Kaizranian. While most of the Kaizoumetrans fled to the southern continent of Aeruillin, where they formed their own new tribes and cultures, the Kaizranians stayed to rebuild, and now dwell in the nation of Thalambath.

Though usually Kaizranians are put into the same group as Stratanians, and most other cultures refer to all the inhabitants of the Truban province (save the Shendar) as Stratanians, the Kaizranian people are distinct from their neighbors by culture if not by appearance. Strongly isolationist, the Kaizranians are a people who have only recently opened themselves up to the world. They are deeply proud of their heritage, and disdain all attempts by northerners to imprint themselves onto their way of life.

The Kaizranians live in the harsh desert of the Rahaz’Dath. But beyond that, they thrive in it. Sitting atop some of the most fertile grounds in the whole desert, the Kaizranians have managed to sustain themselves without outside influence for millennia, and continue to do so. They consider themselves the masters of the desert, above even the Shendar (whom they consider to be wild savages), and that they earned their life of decadence now from their ability to tame the deadly dunes and come out the superiour.

Many consider the Kaizranians to be a hard people, and this is largely true. The poor work, the rich curry each other’s favour, and the criminals suffer. What music and games exist here are devoted to the darker aspects of the world, and are fiercely competitive. Songs are sung to mourn and wish off the dead, and in praise of the state’s greatest leaders and the ascended and elder gods. Words are traded carefully, and tempers do not flare, they slowly burn.

There is a softer side to the Kaizranians, however. Rich art, paintings and carvings, and decadent pleasure ships and bordellos can be found through their cities. Perhaps the most well known of these luxuries are the Norong’Sorno hotsprings, which are now a common tourist attraction. There are also the gladiator pits of Ankhat, once purely for the noble’s sport of watching slave fights, but now open to a much broader audience—for a hefty amount of sans, of course.

Dominated by a ruthless magocracy, the Kaizranians are occultists and dark scholars. On the Sarvonian continent, no nation is their equal in magical power, save the Academy of Ximax, and even those great sorcerers have yet to unlock all of the forbidden secrets to be found in Thalambathian lore. It was the wizards of the Kaizranians who supposedly rediscovered the diabolic means necessary to summon demons back into the world after the War of the Chosen, and some say that Necromancy was born in their lands, where the souls of an empire remain buried deep beneath the sands. The Seven, the ancient overseers of the state, are rumoured to be immortal beings, the very same that traveled at the side of the Chosen, Thalambath, and they supposedly possess powers beyond anything capable in the world today.

Appearance
Kaizranians look like the other desert dwelling peoples of the Rahaz’Dath and Aeruillin. They have dark, tanned skin, with dark hair and eyes. While most tend along the lines of golden tans the colour of cinnabark wood, many Kaizranians have a more dusky, almost grey-like shade, distinguishing them from the other desert denizens. Their skin does not burn from sunlight, and generally becomes tougher as they age. Kaizranian skin used to be even darker before the War of the Chosen, but in modern times lighter (but still far from fair) tones are more frequent, and the richest blacks and browns are almost non-existent.

Most Kaizranians are fairly tall. They can often reach 2 peds or slightly over, with women being slightly shorter. They are also slender, and very few Kaizranians have extensive body fat, even among the noble class. This helps to distinguish them from the other desert tribes, who tend to be a bit sturdier, particularly those with Shendar roots. The Kaizranians have never been nomads and have lived within the walls of Thalambath for centuries, so their forms are suitably light and not as muscular as other tribes.

Kaizranian hair is dark and most often cut fairly short, even among the women. Many men shave their heads completely bald. Hair longer than shoulder-length is rare, and longer than mid-back is practically non-existent. Their hair tends to be on the straight side, smooth and rarely frizzy or thick. Common hair colours include black, dark brown, and, more rarely, a very dark, dirty blonde. Occasionally a Kaizranian will have streaks of brownish-red in their hair, but there are no full redheads amongst them. Facial hair is also fairly uncommon. Clean-shaven is preferred, though some Kaizranian men will grow out small sideburns or slender mustaches and short, cropped beards. Anything longer than one or two nailsbreadths however is rare.

Kaizranian eyes are similar to the hair, ranging along the spectrum of greys, browns, and yellows, with the occasional hazel or green.

Colours outside of the norm are rare, as the Kaizranians are not prone to marry members of other tribes regardless of stature. A few among the lower class might have differing appearances, as a result of Stratanian blood (which is in itself descended from northern tribes), but most among the upper class disdain even that much.

Tattooing is common, especially among the upper classes. The lower classes frequently tattoo themselves to mimic the upper class, though their quality of ink is usually much lower. The tattoos of the upper class range from dark, vibrant nor’sidian, as well as the occasional red or yellow, while lower class tattoos are of a much more muted black, which usually fades to a dim grey after a few years. These tattoos usually depict runic symbols or a variety of geometric patterns, rather than any discernible image or picture.

Makeup is common among both sexes. Kaizranian men sometimes wear a light powder over their face that evens out imperfections and occasionally gives a small sheen, and many wear black eyeliner and occasionally a light black eyeshadow around their eyes. Makeup among women is similar, a powder applied to even out the face along with eyeliner and eyeshadow, though the patterns of the liner and the colours of the shadow are usually more varied than in men. In addition, women will usually wear some kind of rouge on their cheeks, and paint their lips in a variety of colours. Facial tattoos are also common, usually some pattern that wraps around the outside of one or both eyes and ends near the cheek.

Both sexes also wear jewelry. Gold is the preference—silver jewelry is rare among Kaizranians. Most, even among the lower class, wear at least some adornments, with the upper class often covered in a variety of exquisite rings, bracelets, and necklaces. Most upper class jewelry has a variety of jewels embedded in them, primarily rubies, garnets, emeralds, or obsidian, but occasionally other types as well. The lower class don’t often wear actual gemstones, but they can fake it well enough by using glassed gem beetle carapaces—a fairly recent market that works by breeding gem beetles for certain colours on their carapaces, as bright and vibrant as any real gem, and then cutting off the head and legs and placing the body tightly between the ring/amulet and a glass top. These look almost identical to real gemstones, though close inspection reveals the indents that mark the separations in the carapace. To the average foreigner however, the jewelry of the lower class looks as stunning as any royalty, giving the impression of a truly wealthy society.

Territory
The Kaizranians are based primarily in the Thalambath State, namely the capital city of the same name south of the Norong’sorno volcano in the Truban province of the United Kingdom of Santharia. The Thalambath State’s territory, however, officially extends from the western coast to the fortress of Eastwall a day or two ride east of Thalambath. From the north, Thalambathians count the edge of the Nirmenith Mountains as their border, and the outpost of Southwatch north of the Yar’Dangs along the coast makes up their southern border. The area of desert directly to the east and south of Thalambath, terminating at the Yar’Dangs and the coast of the Burning Sea is known as the Golden Reach.

Major settlements in Thalambath include the capital itself, the city of Ankhat at the edge of the western peninsula, and the farming and mining town of Bezalhur north of Ankhat and directly west of the Norong’Sorno volcano. The primary outposts are the fortress of Eastwall at the eastern border, Southwatch north of the Yar’dangs, and Northpoint at the base of the Nirmenith Mountains, where a small mining operation is based.

//Development Note: Hopefully this territory coincides with Talia's desires. I PMed her after the other thread and I think we've come to an agreement. Talia, let me know if any of this is incorrect and I'll correct it! You can see my current working map here. Contested territory on the map is generally empty, and in today's world it is mostly inhabited by Shendar.

People
Kaizranians are above all strongly isolationist. They were the first modern settlements in the Rahaz’Dath, arriving even before the Shendar, yet they were the last to join the Stratanian Kingdom, and even then, only became an open trade nation after Strata’s economic collapse. Foreigners are fiercely regulated, and even the nomadic Shendar are often considered trespassers in the Thalambath State. Kaizranians as such can usually be described as haughty or arrogant, for they truly believe themselves are above all other peoples and cultures.

Kaizranian society is largely based off of pursuit of the scholarly arts. The average person is highly educated in comparison to most other nations, and its most respected, and feared, individuals are its Thalam, the Wizards of the Temple of the Arcane. Even in arguments and fights, most Kaizranians are more likely to use reason, debate, or manipulation to win their case, rather than resort to, in their opinion, barbaric outbursts like screaming and hitting. This has not always been the case, however, and certain periods in Thalambath cultural history have been less restrictive in emotional outbursts than today.

However, there are uncivilized aspects in Kaizranian society, as loath as they are to admit it. In the city of Ankhat, slaves and prisoners are put into the gladiator pins with little more than the clothes on their backs and set upon each other for the amusement of the nobility. Foreigners and other races are all but spat upon for not being Kaizranian, and Kaizranian women are treated only slightly better than the foreigners—considered property rather than equals.

Language. Kaizranians are masters of the Tharian tongue, and thus few would suspect that they used to cultivate their own language. The Kaizranians call this elder tongue Ancient Kaipheran (or just Kaipheran), which, according to them, evolved out of the language spoken by the Kaizoumetran Empire ages past, and which was combined with the tongue brought by Drafas Tristin’s refugees from the north during the Year of Atonement. Many Kaizranian titles and elder tomes of lore still use Ancient Kaipheran. It is, however, no longer spoken in speech.

The main difference between Tharian and Ancient Kaipheran, as the Kaizranians claim, is that Ancient Kaipheran was a completely human tongue, developed alongside but not evolving from the elves that once lived in the Astar’Nuvic Empire, unlike Tharian, which partially evolved from Styrash as a result of the humans living as slaves (by Kaizranian definition) in Fa’av’cal’ar. Ancient Kaipheran has its own runic language entirely separate from elven runes, and all Kaizranian spells use this system instead of the elven runes.

The Kaizranians consider Kaipheran to be the only truly ‘human’ language in the whole of Caelereth.

Art, Music, and Literature. Kaizranian art is fairly common in the modern era. Most citizens in the city, if not scholars, are artists.

Architecture is the art that the Kaizranians are most well known for. The city of Thalambath is a city of ancient splendour, with dark Marresquean manors towering above the smaller but monolithic sandrock buildings. Every city in the Thalambathian State is constructed as if to support the weight of the ages, and most of the buildings rise tall, with old but strong walls that have none of the fluff of northern settlements. Though some might see these simple buildings as bland in comparison to, say, a city like Varcopas, most Kaizranian settlements appear as if they are a part of the rocky environment, and have an almost natural, untainted yet majestic beauty.

Many Kaizranians are potters, painters, or weavers, particularly women in the case of the latter. Hand-sewn drapes are often seen flying over archways, in a myriad of colours and designs that can occasionally rival Caltharian clothiers. In all forms, bright, vibrant colours are the favourite. Most Kaizranians use a few solid colours rather than using a variety of alternating shades. This has the result of making Kaizranian art less realistic, but like their architecture, more directly imposing. Kaizranians rely heavily on geometric shapes and strong, bold lines, which are used to direct the eye to detail rather than shades of colour. A shadow over skin on a painting for example will usually be marked only by two shades, a single bright shade and a single dark shade, often with a dark line noticeably separating the two.

The most common inspiration for paintings and designs are buildings and mountains. Human figures representing the gods or great leaders like the Seven (who are always painted together, a Seven is never separate from the others) are also very widespread, as are majestic animals like the Nirmenith Eagle or the Rahaz’Estar. Usually, poses are simplistic, but chosen in such a way as to make the shape complex. Birds are almost always drawn with wings and talons spread, for instance, and even when sitting a human figure will have limbs spread out in some fashion.

Most paintings are done on the inside walls of buildings (or, of course, on pottery), either straight onto the sandrock or in the form of a fresco. As parchment is rare for the non-wealthy, actual paintings are fairly rare, and generally any real paintings will be those imported and purchased from the north. Most Kaizranians prefer to do wall paintings even when paper is available. As a result, the brightly coloured interiors of most family buildings are a striking contrast to the exteriors, where only the natural colour of the many stone buildings is visible. In general, the only forms of exported Kaizranian paintings are on pottery, not paper.

For music, most Kaizranians focus on religious or otherwise serious compositions. Most are designed for a single strong soloist, accompanied by Desert Tambours, small Gittares, and Echo Logs, and occasionally with the support of Shendar Sticks or Ogre Chest Drums. Another common support instrument is the Finger Claps, which are small tubes of metal or stone that are fitted around the middle and forefingers and the thumb, and clapped together to produce a sound similar to Shendar Sticks but of a higher pitch and with less rattling. A variety of flutes are used as well, generally wooden, but occasionally metal if a higher quality tone is desired. Kaizranians also use the Kaizoumetran Harp, known for its few very taut wires and thus deeper and shorter rings.

The balance between the singer and the instruments determines the strength of the song. More casual, lighter compositions use a majority of instrumental sounds and only a single line or stanza sung by the singer in a few keys places in the song. Powerful music, ones composed to represent extraordinary moments or people, have the singer singing throughout the piece, with the instruments instead being used solely (if at all) to accompany him or her. Compositions tend to start slowly and gradually build up to their full power, though if a piece is designed to be very strong it will start out immediately so.

Kaizranian singers almost always sing in Ancient Kaipheran (and usually of older, pre-Strata-influence dialects), to give an elder and evocative tone to the pieces. This results in many foreigners and even modern Kaizranians without the means to understand the vocalization. Kaizranians believe however that the most important aspect of the human voice for the sake of music is its tone, and that it is as much an instrument as it is a means of communication. Therefore, by their reasoning, the power of a song is not in its meaning, but in the strength of emotion it imposes upon the audience, and that the theme should be apparent even without understanding the words. This, again, harkens back to their architectural designs. There is less reliance on minute details—instead they attempt to convey the absolute power and immediate emotional response in the works.

Chants used to be common, back before Thalambath joined the Stratanian kingdom, but nowadays are almost always reserved for temples and solemn events only. Most chants are musical prayers to the gods or songs of mourning to the deceased. However, modern compositions are often described as sounding “chanty”, though the general difference is that older chants rarely incorporate instruments and tend to be male-only and use multiple singers, while modern songs are sung by either sex and they are almost always a soloist. Actual chants can still be heart however, usually in areas of importance like the Temple of the Arcane in the capital city.

Literature among Kaizranians is almost always of the factual kind. Fictional stories and myths, though common in ages past, are now fairly rare (and many that aren’t have been converted into "fact"). Instead, books primarily document historical and arcane lore, or are observations of cultural events and lifestyles. A fairly large amount of Kaizranian scholars can be found in New Santhala aiding with work on the Santharian Compendium, if not as entry writers then as researchers and submitters of various field reports and studies.

Games and Activities. Kaizranians are known for their frequent indulging in pleasurable activities. The three most famous pastimes are the hot springs of the Norong’Sorno in Thalambath, the gladiator pits in Ankhat, and the pleasure ships. The hot springs and pleasure ships are both a form of expensive inn, where residents or foreigners may find lodging, fine food and wine, and spas, massage parlors, and bordellos. Both locations use a Kaizranian concoction known as Jazan Dust, made from the Jazan Weed plant found on the slopes of the Norong’Sorno and the Lands of Pain. Jazan Dust floats throughout the interior of these locations in a fine mist, and is used to calm and relax visitors, making them more malleable and free of worries. Those not used to such dust should refrain from business deals while in the hot springs or aboard one of the pleasure ships, as those not used to its effects are frequently known to agree to terms that they would not have accepted on a clearer head. Many Kaizranian merchants abuse this liberally, so pleasure is often combined with business in the Thalambathian State.

The gladiator pits of Ankhat are a more controversial activity. Though slavery has been abolished in Thalambath as a result of joining the Santharian Kingdom, the pits have simply changed from using slave fighters to prisoners and even volunteers. Considered barbaric by many northern foreigners, the Kaizranians staunchly support it. Fights in the pits are to the death, and occasionally feature wild beasts—either against a gladiator, or against other animals. Some foreigners come to Thalambath just to watch the pit fights, though just as many others stay away for the same reason.

Kaizranian children are brought up to be inclined towards more abstract games than northern tribes. One of the simplest of these is Two Ones. Two Ones involves a large board where pieces are flipped over to see an image on their bottom, then turned back over after the player has seen it. There is two of each image, and when the second one has been found, the player must then remember which of the other pieces had the matching image in order to remove those pieces from the table. Occasionally Two Ones is played as Three Ones or Four Ones, which, as their names suggest, involve remembering more than just two matching images. Ihanobe’todo is also popular among children, as well as their parents.

The more widespread games are also common in Thalambath as they are elsewhere. Arvins Arrows and Four Houses are frequent in many homes and taverns, and String the Ring is played by most males. Kaizranians have a fascination with dexterity games as they do with mind puzzles, and dagger throwing, like Daggers Down, is a very frequent hobby. Some Kaizranians perform it as a show, throwing daggers at difficult-to-hit targets or around a living person’s body to show their confidence in their aim.

More physical games are also not unheard of, and men in particular enjoy sparring matches of the hand-to-hand or (occasionally lethal) weapon variety. The competitive aspects of these matches are generally more important than their athletic ones. While respect towards one’s opponent is encouraged (as a matter of civility), both individuals recognize that there is a clear winner and a clear loser in the fight. Supposedly there are even such bouts of skill in the Temple of the Arcane between Thalam Wizards, but if so, it is unknown just how deadly such practices can be.

Class Structure. Kaizranians are divided into rigid classes, and these classes determine people’s place in society and the availability of their access to power. The single biggest factor in the societal line is ancestry. Families with a history of having been true Kaizranians, that is, can trace themselves back to ancient Kaizoumetran origins, are almost always in the upper echelons of society. They are believed to possess the blessed blood of their forebears, and have been untainted by the new Stratanian bloodlines that now makeup a large portion of Thalambath. All Thalam sorcerers come from this bloodline, and thus they are the only ones with access to the highest powers in the State (figurative and literal). True Kaizranians make up most of the noble class, and those who do not are usually at the least artisans, traders, and merchants. Few are farmers or labourers, as such a low position and the resulting breeding with lowclass Stratanian bloodlines essentially irrevocably taint their ancestry.

The second bloodline is that of the Stratanians. Most are immigrants from Strata or Varcopas, or perhaps from more northern territories, but a good number of them are merely Kaizranians who have chosen to marry into Stratanian households and dilute their bloodline over the generations. Stratanians aren’t held in overt discrimination as foreigners are, at least in the modern age, as they are still citizens of the State, and there are several Stratanian families that have elevated themselves to the noble class and many more reside in the middle class, but the highest echelons remain barred to them. Most citizens in Thalambath are of the Stratanian bloodline, and even most of the True Kaizranian families have at least a little Stratanian blood in them, so the prospects of these families have increased steadily since their arrival. Most of the Stratanian bloodline consider themselves Kaizranian first and Stratanian second.

Both bloodlines are Kaizranian, however. Even members of the Stratanian bloodline are different from the Stratanians of Strata and Varcopas. Just as the original Stratanian tribe is merely an offshoot of the Shendar and northern tribes, the Stratanian bloodline is an offshoot of the Stratanian tribe.

The lowest class in Kaizranian society was originally the slaves and the homeless, though with the abolishment of slavery only the latter applies. A step above that would be the foreigners, who find themselves at the practical bottom of the Thalambathian ladder (particularly non-humans), alongside general labourers, farmers, servants (often little more than slaves themselves), miners, and sailors. These individuals are largely born into that position, and have few means of increasing their status.

Family. [...]

Death. The Kaizranians have a simultaneous fascination and fear of death. According to Kaizranian myths, the Netherworld contains all of the souls of every living being on Caelereth, only in a decrepit form—a dark mirror world. From this world come all dark, despairing emotions and the threat of aging, the withering of life until at last it leaves the body in one final breath.

As stated by [...], who supposedly traveled to the Netherworlds for a time:

“As I pass through the gate, I am met with hell. No, it was not hell. Fire, pain—these things I would have expected. I would have welcomed them, warmth that would prove I still felt. Instead, before my eyes did I see pure anguish. The sky is thick and dark, as if a stormcloud were overhead that tantalizingly offered rainfall but never released its droplets. In the distance, towards the north, a flash of lightless lightning, and a whisper—far, far away, as if a calling to follow it.

To my right is my mirror, which seems to follow me as I walk through this desolate place. Truly he is a despicable form of myself. To stare into his eyes, my eyes, is to see nothing. They are black, black as the darkest nor’sidian stone. The flesh around his face pulls tightly against his bones, and the lines around his mouth are of a frown. No, not a frown. They are the lips of one who has never known a smile. His clothes are torn, frayed and with loose threads threatening to unravel at any moment, as if he had worn them for a thousand years. Beneath is a body that has never partaken of food—a skeleton with the flesh of a human.

I reach out to touch him, and as I did so, he raised the same arm to reach at me. Instinctively I pull back, and like a mirror so does he. So I reach again, and as our fingers touch, a shrill cold whispers through my body. The flesh around my hand and fingers withered and grew taut, so I pull back, to thankfully see my health restored as soon as I did. It was then that I realized, that I was not staring at a mirror image of myself. I was truly staring at my very soul.

All around me, I see the souls of my kin. In the crumbled ruins of a home in my front sits a family at dinner. Their rusted cups lie empty, and they eat but bones upon their grime-covered plates. No emotion was present upon their empty stares. But I knew the face I was looking at, for it was the face of absolute desperation. When despair has turned to resignation, because hope does not exist.

Was I staring at death? No, they weren’t dead, not yet. It was not death I was staring at, it was the dying.”


Whether or not this is a real accounting of the Netherworlds is debated, as are most such similar first person writings. It is said that [...], once a great scholar and wizard, lost all trace of life following his return, and quietly withered away in the years after this writing.

The Kaizranians as a whole believe the Netherworlds to be a mirror reflection of Caelereth, where the spiritual souls can be seen in reflection of the physical life on this side. Accordingly, the souls are the source of all despair and anguish in the real world. Where happiness fades to sadness, it is the life leaving to be replaced by more and more of the soul’s being. As one ages, they grow more towards their soul, until eventually they meet as one, and pass on from these two worlds to the hereafter.

Legend says that, after the two meet, they travel to the afterlife, their soul passing through the dunes to the south. Many lose their way, and begin traveling north. Some scholars of Kaizranian and Netherworld lore interpret this when combined with [...]’s writings to indicate the Deep Winds Portal of Osthemangar. Some of these souls are corrected and manage to turn back to the south, but most continue to travel north, to darkness and nothingness, their souls forever lost.

Only the strongest manage to find their way south, where they discover eternal bliss at the end of the world. Some scholars interpret this to be the Ethereal Void, though there are no specifics of what this eternal world at the end of the world actually is, as it is said to be unknowable by mortal minds.

Most Kaizranians take extensive precautions in life to ensure their souls are strong enough to travel to the eternal world. Grand tombs are constructed for the greatest of Kaizranian leaders and heroes, places where the divine touch of the gods are beckoned with lavish offerings and monuments, in order to weaken the fabric between the worlds and allow the soul to pass easily into the afterlife. To defile these tombs is to anger the gods and threaten the passage of the soul of the deceased, and so graverobbers are dealt the harshest of punishments—death by starvation, and the casting of the body naked into the dunes, where the soul must claw its way to the afterlife without the aid of any blessings, and thus almost certain to be lost.

Housing
[...]

Clothing
Kaizranians tend to wear fairly light clothing, considering their environment. With the dark shade provided by the generally tall buildings of its territory, the need for completely concealing cloth to protect the skin is generally unnecessary. Both men and women tend to wear fairly revealing outfits by the standards of most other cultures. This is not to say that fuller outfits are not worn, for there are also regal gowns and robes by much of the nobility.

Kaizranian men tend to wear single long off-white tunics made of the cloth of Toccon tree seeds, with a leather or aka’pi wool belt tied around the waist. Most often these tunics are sleeveless, and may either open at the front and pulled on by the arms, or closed and pulled over the head. The open tunics are clasped up the side. The top hem of the tunic and the bottom of the skirt are sometimes stitched over with a strip of leather onto which cloth patterns or metals and jewelry are attached. On occasion, men will wear a separate skirt or leggings and no shirt at all, due to the heat of the city.

The more affluent wear similar designs but have a wider variety of colours and fabrics. More northern styles are also worn as a result of the increased trading power of Thalambath, but these are frequently customized with a variety of long cloth sheets worn over the chest or around the waist. Often, nobles wear outfits using leather supports to alter the shape of the clothing, as well as alternate forms of cosmetic individualization like brightly coloured feathers or jewelry. Longer skirts over the tunic are also common for the noble class, among both men and women, as they serve to enhance the elegance of one's walk. Sometimes these longer skirts are made of sheer silk, and are worn over a shorter underskirt.

For more formal occasions, most common Kaizranian men will wear long multi-robes of linen known as Seefs. These come in various colours, from white to yellow, or blue, orange, and red, and are wrapped around the body like a sheet, then clasped together so that they do not fall apart while worn. First, an undershirt is worn, usually a more common tunic though often made of linen or silk rather than Toccon cloth, and generally of a colour matching the rest of the sheets. Then, a single long sheet is wrapped around the waist, loosely or tightly depending on the wearer’s preference. It is tied together with metal clasps that are pierced through the desired location and then attached to a second clasp that holds it in place. This allows the wearer to use nearly any size of sheet. A second sheet, a palmsbreadth in height and usually decorated in a variety of designs and colours or metals, is then wrapped around the waist a few times, then left to hang straight down or woven down the legs and held in place in this fashion with clasps. Last, a long, thin sheet is wrapped around the torso and over arms and loosely from the waist, in the form of an X. The front and back where the sheet meets are clasped together, and the shoulders are pulled taught and clasped so as to not slide down the arms. Occasionally, leather shoulder pads are worn under the chest-cloth, which the shoulder area is then clasped to, allowing them to spread the shoulders out further from the body without risk of it slipping off.

Some men may choose to wear this robe without the undershirt, and others might wear a variety of other sheets over it. Some also wear turbans, though not often.

Women wear similar outfits to men, though they are often more colourful on average. Like men, the most common outfit is a long sleeveless tunic, though some choose to wear longer dresses instead of skirts. Women are more likely to wrap cloth around the waist or over the shoulders and chest however, and these clothes are generally of a variety of bright reds and yellows or greens. Many will wear a long cloth drape over their heads and down to the ground as well—this drape is occasionally sheer, in which case it might be worn over the entire body rather than just the back, during cooler temperatures.

Boots and shoes are fairly rare in Thalambath. Instead, most men and women wear either no shoes at all, or light leather sandles. A common type of sandle in Thalambath is the tied sandle, which has a lengthy portion of leather that wraps circles or crosses up the calf and ends with a tight strap just under the knee.

Both men and women wear a loincloth underneath skirts, which is wrapped around the waist like a belt and then drawn between the legs from the rear and tucked up and over the front of the belt, with the remaining length of material falling over the front of the thighs. These are frequently decorated in a variety of patterns or designs if the front of the cloth can be seen from under the skirt.

The more affluent among the Kaizranians separate themselves from their lower class brethren with more defined, heavier, and tighter clothing. Their robes are known for being constructed in two layers of Toccon or Silk, with a flexible piece of leather in-between to provide form to certain areas of the outfit, such as the shoulders. The Thalam, for instance, often wear a red robe that completely covers the body, with thick cloth covering the neck and stiff shoulders that end in double sleeves, and a tight skirt that opens at the front to reveal legs dressed in tight leather slacks and boots. A cloak is often worn with such an outfit, or, more accurately, a mantle—the shoulders, curving sharply up towards the sky at their outer edges, rest around the neckline and fasten at the front. From the edges of the mantle (depending on the design, either just the rear, or the entire edge, both front and back), a long black or red cloak falls down towards the ground. The wide shoulders ensure that this cloak doubles the width of the individual wizard, presenting an ominous aura.

Such an outfit is reserved mainly for formal gatherings of wizards or when clear authority over the populace is desired, as such outfits are incredibly stuffy in Thalambath, and they represent wealth because they are worn by those whose homes are capable of keeping the warmer air at bay. Many Thalam instead wear more expensive, custom-tailored and designed versions of the lighter clothing of the commoners for more casual situations, which are better designed for the hot temperatures of the Rahaz'Dath.

Food
[...]

Weapons and War
[...]

Military.
[...]

The Army.
[...]

The Navy.
[...]

The Templar Knights.
[...]

The Inquisitorium.
[...]

Occupations
[...]

The Royal Eyes. The Eyes are the law enforcement of Thalambath. On a per civilian ratio, they are one of the largest city watches in all of Santharia. Rigorously trained, and even more rigorously scrutinized, the Royal Eyes are claimed to be uncorruptable (though considering the size, this is unlikely), and they have a their fierce stance against crime. Nearly every male citizen is required by law to serve an amount of time within the Eyes, and Thalambath’s army is derived from the best of their number. When evidence of corruption does arise, the Inquisitorium sees to it that undesirables are removed immediately, and the penalties are harsh—beheading is not uncommon for those who are a traitor to the Eyes.

Underworld beware, the Eyes are ruthless. There are no warnings. The smallest of crime and the most juvenile of criminal do not warrant mercy. Stealing results in the loss of a hand for the first offense, and the prisons are not for carrying out lengthy jail sentences, they are for detaining prisoners temporarily while awaiting their appointed place in the schedule of punishment.

Diplomacy towards criminals is never extended. There is no such thing as a hostage in the eyes of the watch. They surmise, that if criminals do not believe that taking a hostage will affect their chances of getting out alive, then they won’t even bother with it, and so the presence of a hostage neither stops nor slows down an Eye. A human shield means nothing if an Eye blade pierces both bodies, and the hostage’s struggling only slows a fleeing criminal down.

Perhaps the darkest aspect about the Eyes, however, is not what they do to crime, but what they do to the society. Most men become desensitized towards torture and killing, while a few others leave only with the hope that their actions were necessary for the betterment of society. Many find that torture and death dealing have become natural to them, and only avoid doing it after leaving the Eyes out of the threat of the law enforcement, rather than out of any moral reluctance. Of course, many Kaizranians claim that this toughens up most men and is, if anything, a necessary right of passage.

All Eyes are given the basics of military training and indoctrination. This means that Thalambath has an incredibly large pool of potential soldiers should it go to war, allowing it to have martial a larger force than might be expected for its relatively small territory.

The Haulers. Also known as body snatchers or reapers in slang, the Haulers are in charge of one of the most grisly of Kaizranian occupations. In Thalambath’s rigid structure, where little room is left for those who have fallen off the economic ladder and crime is unprofitable and frequently discovered, those who try to make a living on the streets don’t last long. Those who don’t find a job turn to crime, but find that the patrols quickly round them up, frequently losing hands for their transgressions. A rare few manage to evade the law, but most skirt the line of starvation by doing so. Most who cannot afford to get off the streets eventually end up starving to death, or succumbing to any manner of disease. Others find themselves killed by the other rare criminals, who are quick to rid the streets of any and all competition in a world where monopoly on crime is the only way to survive by it.

These corpses would languish in the alleys and on the streets if left unchecked. Therefore, the Haulers are charged with patrolling the city in search of the lowlifes who found Thalambath society to be too harsh for them. The Haulers round up these bodies and either deliver them to the Temple of the Arcane to be used by the sorcerers there, or wheel them out of town, where they are dumped into a deep pit and burned. In times of famine, war, or other trying conditions, these pits can be lit throughout night and day, their plumes of black smoke rising into the air as a grim reminder of what the State's underworld has in store for the forgotten and undesirable.

While many cities have their own “cleaning crews”, only in Thalambath is it a full-time profession.

Government
The Dunraich of Thalambath is run at its head by an organization known as the Presidium. The Presidium comprises the Seven of Thalambath, who have ultimate dictatorial power over the State, and the Royal Viseur, who is generally charged with handling national affairs, including overseeing the Truban province as a whole. While the Viseur has assumed full dictatorial control over the State, this is generally curbed by the Seven as well as by the political influence of the Templums and the individual Vesal-Viseurs, who rule the other Vesals (Fiefs) within the State.

Under the Presidium come the Regional Council, the Vesal-Viseurs, and then the Templums, of which Thalambath society is divided up. Each controls a different aspect of society, and most are run by wizards of the Thalam, which are known as Pryuses.

This results in a highly regimented, government-controlled society, with strict and harsh laws in place to prevent abuse by the many groups and individuals who have access to ultimate power in their jurisdictions.

[See the Dunraich of Thalambath entry for further details.]

Law.
[...]

Production/Trade
[...]

Natural Resources
[...]

Holidays, Festivals and Observances
[...]

Important Achievements (Optional)
[...]

History
[...]
« Last Edit: 13 April 2014, 03:15:48 by Fox » Logged
Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #1 on: 22 October 2009, 18:33:18 »

Fox, you are distracting me ;)

I will print it out and read it in the car (we are away this weekend) and if I get sick it is your fault!  buck

This northern contested area is a big too big for my taste, but we can argue about this later!

I really have to hurry to get something for you to comment on! Somehow I do have the impressions , that family women are much more busy than students!

Ok, my tablet is attracting me lately - did I say 'my' - it is Johanna's and she wants it back!
« Last Edit: 22 October 2009, 18:35:09 by Talia Sturmwind » Logged

"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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« Reply #2 on: 22 October 2009, 23:50:05 »

I'm sorry Talia!  grin


For the northern area I think I just used the off-coloured spot on the map you posted in the other thread. Go ahead and mark what you'd like it to be and I'll change it, not too much concern for me. :)



Lucky you even have access to a tablet. I have to do all my drawings with a mouse!  cry

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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #3 on: 03 February 2010, 19:53:37 »

I would like to visit this city, despite its dark sides....to see the impressive architecture, the colourful interior of the houses... the artists... the hot springs... 
 

Quote
Altario, you'll notice that I took a lot of your Remusian Mens' subheadings. In fact, your entry is my biggest inspiration for how much detail I'm putting in this just as Deci's Marmarra entry was the inspiration for Thalambath. So, you can blame yourself for why this is so big.  You'll also notice that Thalambath is Remusia's polar opposite, as they're quite similar in many areas (harsh, strict societies for one), but yours is more the uncivilized ice people and mine is the super civilized desert people.

*grin*

Before I get into depth:

I hope I have not forgotten too much of my own submission..  (Astar’Nuvic) ;)
I will not address any comma - issues. I think you have too many, but as I‘m never sure in this respect, I leave that for others.

I did no spellcheck, I hope there are not too many mistakes or typos.



---

Overview
The Kaizranians (informal: Kaizans) are the descendants of the Astar’Nuvic Empire that lived in the Rahaz’Dath during roughly 12000-9000 b.S. The human population of this empire in its later years were known as the Kaizoumetrans for the great tower of the same name that rose high above their capital city, and it is from this name that evolved the modern Kaizranian. While most of the Kaizoumetrans fled to the southern continent of Aeruillin, where they formed their own new tribes and cultures, the Kaizranians stayed to rebuild, and now dwell in the nation of Thalambath.

Though usually Kaizranians are put into the same group as Stratanians, and most other cultures refer to all the inhabitants of the Truban province (save the Shendar) as Stratanians, the Kaizranian people are distinct from their neighbours by culture if not by appearance. Strongly isolationist, the Kaizranians are a people who have only recently opened themselves up to the world. They are deeply proud of their heritage, and disdain all attempts by northerners to imprint themselves onto their way of life.

Maybe we should now decide to change this, or at least internally add some information somewhere. The name „Stratanians“ comes from the time, when Strata was the capital. We have to dive into history and decide, when this happened. The true Stratanians are only the inhabitants of Strata. For Varcopas may be not as isolationistic, but they don‘t like either, to be called „Stratanians“, they just see it a bit more relaxed. So, basically, Stratania is composed of three major cities, Thalambath and the land around it, Strata and Varcopas and the area which is influenced by Varcopas. Maybe I should describe it in the (coming) Truban entry, that the term Stratanians are nearly obsolet now, for Truban excists mainly of three big cities. I‘m thinking about adding Uderza to Brendulan (only the last 300?? Years), so not much else is left. The Shendar area will be divided, only the Shen Siuu will ,belong‘ to Truban.

Essence: Could you change that middle sentence „ the Kaizranian people are distinct from their neighbours by culture if not by appearance.“ somehow, that reflects, that infact only the citizens of Strata are „Stratanians“? Though of course the Kaizans will stand out more than e.g. The Varcopasians.  

The Kaizranians live in the harsh desert of the Rahaz’Dath. But beyond that, they thrive in it. Sitting atop some of the most fertile grounds in the whole desert, the Kaizranians have managed to sustain themselves without outside influence for millennia, and continue to do so. They consider themselves the masters of the desert, above even the Shendar (whom they consider to be wild savages), and that they earned their life of decadence now from their ability to tame the deadly dunes and come out the superiour.

How did you imagine those ,fertile grounds‘? You have not only that, but probably the most water as well. So it is not as harsh as you describe it. The lands of pain are not really ,mastered‘ (nobody can), even if you count it to their territory.

This would not be such a big problem, if you could write as a member of that tribe (as you=Fox are in your heart, though Fox as a char might not be from there - don‘t know!!). But if you are writing as Fox, the neutral compediumwriter, that might have to sound different, as the area there isn‘t as harsh. Somebody else would describe it a bit different, which I would have no problems with.

Many consider the Kaizranians to be a hard people, and this is largely true. The poor work, the rich curry each other’s favour, and the criminals suffer. What music and games exist here are devoted to the darker aspects of the world, and are fiercely competitive. Songs are sung to mourn and wish off the dead, and in praise of the state’s greatest leaders and the ascended and elder gods. Words are traded carefully, and tempers do not flare, they slowly burn.

That‘s a good description .. tempers do not flare, they slowly burn

There is a softer side to the Kaizranians, however. Rich art, paintings and carvings, and decadent pleasure ships and bordellos can be found through their cities. Perhaps the most well known of these luxuries are the Norong’Sorno hotsprings, which are now a common tourist attraction. There are also the gladiator pits of Ankhat, once purely for the noble’s sport of watching slave fights, but now open to a much broader audience—for a hefty amount of sans, of course.

Dominated by a ruthless magocracy, the Kaizranians are occultists and dark scholars. On the Sarvonian continent, no nation is their equal in magical power, save the Academy of Ximax, and even those great sorcerers have yet to unlock all of the forbidden secrets to be found in Thalambathian lore. It were the wizards of the Kaizranians who supposedly rediscovered the diabolic means necessary to summon demons back into the world after the War of the Chosen, and some say that Necromancy was born in their lands, where the souls of an empire remain buried deep beneath the sands. The Seven, the ancient overseers of the state, are rumoured to be immortal beings, the very same that traveled at the side of the Chosen, Thalambath, and they supposedly possess powers beyond anything capable in the world today.

Appearance
Kaizranians look like the other desert dwelling peoples of the Rahaz’Dath and Aeruillin. They have dark, tanned skin, with dark hair and eyes. While most tend along the lines of golden tans the colour of cinnabark wood, many Kaizranians have a more dusky, almost grey-like shade, distinguishing them from the other desert denizens. Their skin does not burn from sunlight, and generally becomes tougher as they age. Kaizranian skin used to be even darker before the War of the Chosen, but in modern times lighter (but still far from fair) tones are more frequent, and the richest blacks and browns are almost non-existent.

Only the Shen Siuu have a slightly darker appearance, but not as dark as you describe them here:
Quote
Generally the Shendar have a light brown skin and a dark hair colour, the colour of their eyes ranging from a light grey-green or grey-blue, to deepest black.

So, your first sentence needs to be changed. I‘m not so sure about the Thairans (from Shan‘Thai) and other tribes either, maybe you look for that started description (Artemis)

//Developer Note: Grey-like = similar to Jafar from Disney's Aladdin, or the Stygians' lighter skin tone selections from FunCom's Age of Conan MMO.

Most Kaizranians are fairly tall. They can often reach 2 peds or slightly over, with women being slightly shorter. They are also slender, and very few Kaizranians have extensive body fat, even among the noble class. This helps to distinguish them from the other desert tribes, who tend to be a bit sturdier, particularly those with Shendar roots.

As you are mostly speaking about the Rahaz-Dath - there are no other desert tribes - the Stratanian don‘t count as tribe, or do they? And the Shendar are not ,sturdy‘ !
buck

The Kaizranians have never been nomads and have lived within the walls of Thalambath for centuries, so their forms are suitably light and not as muscular as other tribes.

Kaizranian hair is dark and most often cut fairly short, even among the women. Many men shave their heads completely bald. Hair longer than shoulder-length is rare, and longer than mid-back is practically non-existent. Their hair tends to be on the straight side, smooth and rarely frizzy or thick. Common hair colours include black, dark brown, and, more rarely, a very dark, dirty blonde. Occasionally a Kaizranian will have streaks of brownish-red in their hair, but there are no full redheads amongst them. Facial hair is also fairly uncommon. Clean-shaven is preferred, though some Kaizranian men will grow out small sideburns or slender mustaches and short, cropped beards. Anything longer than one or two nailsbreadths however is rare.

Kaizranian eyes are similar to the hair, ranging along the spectrum of greys, browns, and yellows, with the occasional hazel or green.

Maybe you should give them a more distict eyecolour? Less grey (as the more northern Shendar have), but more shades of brown, a light brown, the yellow eyes of Avatar, a yellow-green with golden spots. Something strange!

Colours outside of the norm are rare, as the Kaizranians are not prone to marry members of other tribes regardless of stature. A few among the lower class might have differing appearances, as a result of Stratanian blood (which is in itself descended from northern tribes), but most among the upper class disdain even that much.

Tattooing is common, especially among the upper classes. The lower classes frequently tattoo themselves to mimic the upper class, though their quality of ink is usually much lower. The tattoos of the upper class range from dark, vibrant nor’sidian, as well as the occasional red or yellow, while lower class tattoos are of a much more muted black, which usually fades to a dim grey after a few years. These tattoos usually depict runic symbols or a variety of geometric patterns, rather than any discernible image or picture.

Where are the tattoos, in the face? Elsewhere?

Makeup is common among both sexes. Kaizranian men sometimes wear a light powder over their face that evens out imperfections and occasionally gives a small sheen, and many wear black eyeliner and occasionally a light black eyeshadow around their eyes. Makeup among women is similar, a powder applied to even out the face along with eyeliner and eyeshadow, though the patterns of the liner and the colours of the shadow are usually more varied than in men. In addition, women will usually wear some kind of rouge on their cheeks, and paint their lips in a variety of colours. Facial tattoos are also common, usually some pattern that wraps around the outside of one or both eyes and ends near the cheek.

What kind of powder, a brown one, a white one (no, black is beautiful, right?), so a blackish one?

Both sexes also wear jewelry. Gold is the preference—silver jewelry is rare among Kaizranians. Most, even among the lower class, wear at least some adornments, with the upper class often covered in a variety of exquisite rings, bracelets, and necklaces. Most upper class jewelry has a variety of jewels embedded in them, primarily rubies, garnets, emeralds, or obsidian, but occasionally other types as well. The lower class don’t often wear actual gemstones, but they can fake it well enough by using glassed gem beetle carapaces—a fairly recent market that works by breeding gem beetles for certain colours on their carapaces, as bright and vibrant as any real gem, and then cutting off the head and legs and placing the body tightly between the ring/amulet and a glass top. These look almost identical to real gemstones, though close inspection reveals the indents that mark the separations in the carapace. To the average foreigner however, the jewelry of the lower class looks as stunning as any royalty, giving the impression of a truly wealthy society.

Territory
The Kaizranians are based primarily in the Thalambath State, namely the capital city of the same name south of the Norong’sorno volcano in the Truban province of the United Kingdom of Santharia. The Thalambath State’s territory, however, officially extends from the western coast to the fortress of Eastwall a day or two ride east of Thalambath. From the north, Thalambathians count the edge of the Nirmenith Mountains as their border, and the outpost of Southwatch north of the Yar’Dangs along the coast makes up their southern border. The area of desert directly to the east and south of Thalambath, terminating at the Yar’Dangs and the coast of the Burning Sea is known as the Golden Reach.

Major settlements in Thalambath include the capital itself, the city of Ankhat at the edge of the western peninsula, and the farming and mining town of Bezalhur north of Ankhat and directly west of the Norong’Sorno volcano. The primary outposts are the fortress of Eastwall at the eastern border, Southwatch north of the Yar’dangs, and Northpoint at the base of the Nirmenith Mountains, where a small mining operation is based.

//Development Note: Hopefully this territory coincides with Talia's desires. I PMed her after the other thread and I think we've come to an agreement. Talia, let me know if any of this is incorrect and I'll correct it! You can see my current working map here. Contested territory on the map is generally empty, and in today's world it is mostly inhabited by Shendar.


We need to discuss the area again in an extra thread. What you have above is still what you intended in the beginning, right?


People
Kaizranians are above all strongly isolationist. They were the first modern settlements in the Rahaz’Dath, arriving even before the Shendar, yet they were the last to join the Stratanian Kingdom, and even then, only became an open trade nation after Strata’s economic collapse. Foreigners are fiercely regulated, and even the nomadic Shendar are often considered trespassers in the Thalambath State. Kaizranians as such can usually be described as haughty or arrogant, for they truly believe themselves are above all other peoples and cultures.

The Shendar have been there already during the empire of Astar‘Nuvic, I think. I don‘t want to check timetables now though, otherwise I don‘t get this done today. I think this depends, at which time we want to have the big crash, the very big one ;)
And what means ,arriving‘ ? From where? Sure, they can‘t be there, when the volcano formed. But maybe tell, that some had fled to the grasslands in the east, or where gathering form the area which is now the Yar‘dangs (which has been a settlement of the humans also)

Kaizranian society is largely based off of pursuit of the scholarly arts. The average person is highly educated in comparison to most other nations, and its most respected, and feared, individuals are its Thalam, the Wizards of the Temple of the Arcane. Even in arguments and fights, most Kaizranians are more likely to use reason, debate, or manipulation to win their case, rather than resort to, in their opinion, barbaric outbursts like screaming and hitting. This has not always been the case, however, and certain periods in Thalambath cultural history have been less restrictive in emotional outbursts than today.

Is this the case with all those who have to do the lowers works also, or the farmers in the east etc? Or is it just a higher percentage than elsewhere?

However, there are uncivilized aspects in Kaizranian society, as loath as they are to admit it. In the city of Ankhat, slaves and prisoners are put into the gladiator pins with little more than the clothes on their backs and set upon each other for the amusement of the nobility. Foreigners and other races are all but spat upon for not being Kaizranian, and Kaizranian women are treated only slightly better than the foreigners—considered property rather than equals.

Slavery is forbidden in Santharia, but the Santhros is far away. Do they have their slaves openly, or are they hiding this to an extent?

Language. Kaizranians are masters of the Tharian tongue, and thus few would suspect that they used to cultivate their own language. The Kaizranians call this elder tongue Ancient Kaipheran (or just Kaipheran), which, according to them, evolved out of the language spoken by the Kaizoumetran Empire ages past, and which was combined with the tongue brought by Drafas Tristin’s refugees from the north during the Year of Atonement. Many Kaizranian titles and elder tomes of lore still use Ancient Kaipheran. It is, however, no longer spoken in speech.

The main difference between Tharian and Ancient Kaipheran, as the Kaizranians claim, is that Ancient Kaipheran was a completely human tongue, developed alongside but not evolving from the elves that once lived in the Astar’Nuvic Empire, unlike Tharian, which partially evolved from Styrash as a result of the humans living as slaves (by Kaizranian definition) in Fa’av’cal’ar. Ancient Kaipheran has its own runic language entirely separate from elven runes, and all Kaizranian spells use this system instead of the elven runes.

The Kaizranians consider Kaipheran to be the only truly ‘human’ language in the whole of Caelereth.

Why would the Kaizranians mix their language with those of the few settlers form the North?
I think, that it could be an entirely different language. As different as English and Chinese (not just like English and German). BUT, I would assume, that it was not a purely human language, but that there might have been a language which had all three elements in it, human, dwarven and elven. Each race might have sopken its own dialect, but I think they have developed a common ,high‘ language. However, that dwarven and elven language might not have been Styrash or Thergerhim, but something else.

Maybe they are then proud not to have the only true „human“ language, but the true cosmopolite one.

Edit: After having read the later parts, I would say, that there emerged a 'lower 'language, a mixture of the old one and the newer , Stratanian settlers. But I think they would look down on it!



Art, Music, and Literature. Kaizranian art is fairly common in the modern era. Most citizens in the city, if not scholars, are artists.

Architecture is the art that the Kaizranians are most well known for. The city of Thalambath is a city of ancient splendour, with dark Marresquean manors towering above the smaller but monolithic sandrock buildings. Every city in the Thalambathian State is constructed as if to support the weight of the ages, and most of the buildings rise tall, with old but strong walls that have none of the fluff of northern settlements. Though some might see these simple buildings as bland in comparison to, say, a city like Varcopas, most Kaizranian settlements appear as if they are a part of the rocky environment, and have an almost natural, untainted yet majestic beauty.

//Developer Note: Like Thalambath the city, the style of their towns is heavily inspired by the Stygian cities in FunCom's Age of Conan MMO. Note that only Thalambath and Ankhat have the larger 'Marrasquean' manors... the other towns just have the smaller, square and rectangle buildings.

Many Kaizranians are potters, painters, or weavers, particularly women in the case of the latter. Hand-sewn drapes are often seen flying over archways, in a myriad of colours and designs that can occasionally rival Caltharian clothiers. In all forms, bright, vibrant colours are the favourite. Most Kaizranians use a few solid colours rather than using a variety of alternating shades. This has the result of making Kaizranian art less realistic, but like their architecture, more directly imposing. Kaizranians rely heavily on geometric shapes and strong, bold lines, which are used to direct the eye to detail rather than shades of colour. A shadow over skin on a painting for example will usually be marked only by two shades, a single bright shade and a single dark shade, often with a dark line noticeably separating the two.

The most common inspiration for paintings and designs are buildings and mountains. Human figures representing the gods or great leaders like the Seven (who are always painted together, a Seven is never separate from the others) are also very widespread, as are majestic animals like the Nirmenith Eagle or the Rahaz’Estar. Usually, poses are simplistic, but chosen in such a way as to make the shape complex. Birds are almost always drawn with wings and talons spread, for instance, and even when sitting a human figure will have limbs spread out in some fashion.

Most paintings are done on the inside walls of buildings (or, of course, on pottery), either straight onto the sandrock or in the form of a fresco. As parchment is rare for the non-wealthy, actual paintings are fairly rare, and generally any real paintings will be those imported and purchased from the north. Most Kaizranians prefer to do wall paintings even when paper is available. As a result, the brightly coloured interiors of most family buildings are a striking contrast to the exteriors, where only the natural colour of the many stone buildings is visible. In general, the only forms of exported Kaizranian paintings are on pottery, not paper.

Tiles? Do you rival Uderza?

For music, most Kaizranians focus on religious or otherwise serious compositions. Most are designed for a single strong soloist, accompanied by Desert Tambours, small Gittares, and Echo Logs, and occasionally with the support of Shendar Sticks or Ogre Chest Drums. Another common support instrument is the Finger Claps, which are small tubes of metal or stone that are fitted around the middle and forefingers and the thumb, and clapped together to produce a sound similar to Shendar Sticks but of a higher pitch and with less rattling. A variety of flutes are used as well, generally wooden, but occasionally metal if a higher quality tone is desired. Kaizranians also use the Kaizoumetran Harp, known for its few very taut wires and thus deeper and shorter rings.

The balance between the singer and the instruments determines the strength of the song. More casual, lighter compositions use a majority of instrumental sounds and only a single line or stanza sung by the singer in a few keys places in the song. Powerful music, ones composed to represent extraordinary moments or people, have the singer singing throughout the piece, with the instruments instead being used solely (if at all) to accompany him or her. Compositions tend to start slowly and gradually build up to their full power, though if a piece is designed to be very strong it will start out immediately so.

Kaizranian singers almost always sing in Ancient Kaipheran (and usually of older, pre-Strata-influence dialects), to give an elder and evocative tone to the pieces. This results in many foreigners and even modern Kaizranians without the means to understand the vocalization. Kaizranians believe however that the most important aspect of the human voice for the sake of music is its tone, and that it is as much an instrument as it is a means of communication. Therefore, by their reasoning, the power of a song is not in its meaning, but in the strength of emotion it imposes upon the audience, and that the theme should be apparent even without understanding the words. This, again, harkens back to their architectural designs. There is less reliance on minute details—instead they attempt to convey the absolute power and immediate emotional response in the works.

Chants used to be common, back before Thalambath joined the Stratanian kingdom, but nowadays are almost always reserved for temples and solemn events only. Most chants are musical prayers to the gods or songs of mourning to the deceased. However, modern compositions are often described as sounding “chanty”, though the general difference is that older chants rarely incorporate instruments and tend to be male-only and use multiple singers, while modern songs are sung by either sex and they are almost always a soloist. Actual chants can still be heart however, usually in areas of importance like the Temple of the Arcane in the capital city.

Literature among Kaizranians is almost always of the factual kind. Fictional stories and myths, though common in ages past, are now fairly rare (and many that aren’t have been converted into "fact"). Instead, books primarily document historical and arcane lore, or are observations of cultural events and lifestyles. A fairly large amount of Kaizranian scholars can be found in New Santhala aiding with work on the Santharian Compendium, if not as entry writers then as researchers and submitters of various field reports and studies.

Games and Activities. Kaizranians are known for their frequent indulging in pleasurable activities. The three most famous pastimes are the hot springs of the Norong’Sorno in Thalambath, the gladiator pits in Ankhat, and the pleasure ships. The hot springs and pleasure ships are both a form of expensive inn, where residents or foreigners may find lodging, fine food and wine, and spas, massage parlors, and bordellos. Both locations use a Kaizranian concoction known as Jazan Dust, made from the Jazan Weed plant found on the slopes of the Norong’Sorno and the Lands of Pain. Jazan Dust floats throughout the interior of these locations in a fine mist, and is used to calm and relax visitors, making them more malleable and free of worries. Those not used to such dust should refrain from business deals while in the hot springs or aboard one of the pleasure ships, as those not used to its effects are frequently known to agree to terms that they would not have accepted on a clearer head. Many Kaizranian merchants abuse this liberally, so pleasure is often combined with business in the Thalambathian State.

The gladiator pits of Ankhat are a more controversial activity. Though slavery has been abolished in Thalambath as a result of joining the Santharian Kingdom, the pits have simply changed from using slave fighters to prisoners and even volunteers. Considered barbaric by many northern foreigners, the Kaizranians staunchly support it. Fights in the pits are to the death, and occasionally feature wild beasts—either against a gladiator, or against other animals. Some foreigners come to Thalambath just to watch the pit fights, though just as many others stay away for the same reason.

Kaizranian children are brought up to be inclined towards more abstract games than northern tribes. One of the simplest of these is Two Ones. Two Ones involves a large board where pieces are flipped over to see an image on their bottom, then turned back over after the player has seen it. There is two of each image, and when the second one has been found, the player must then remember which of the other pieces had the matching image in order to remove those pieces from the table. Occasionally Two Ones is played as Three Ones or Four Ones, which, as their names suggest, involve remembering more than just two matching images. Ihanobe’todo is also popular among children, as well as their parents.

The more widespread games are also common in Thalambath as they are elsewhere. Arvins Arrows and Four Houses are frequent in many homes and taverns, and String the Ring is played by most males. Kaizranians have a fascination with dexterity games as they do with mind puzzles, and dagger throwing, like Daggers Down, is a very frequent hobby. Some Kaizranians perform it as a show, throwing daggers at difficult-to-hit targets or around a living person’s body to show their confidence in their aim.

More physical games are also not unheard of, and men in particular enjoy sparring matches of the hand-to-hand or (occasionally lethal) weapon variety. The competitive aspects of these matches are generally more important than their athletic ones. While respect towards one’s opponent is encouraged (as a matter of civility), both individuals recognize that there is a clear winner and a clear loser in the fight. Supposedly there are even such bouts of skill in the Temple of the Arcane between Thalam Wizards, but if so, it is unknown just how deadly such practices can be.

What would fit somehow, at least as a game for special occasions, or for your pits, is that Aztekian play, where you had to hit a ball with your knee and bring it through a hole high above somewhere on a wall. With the loser having to die... Or it could have been a way for the winner to gain lost respect in the society back?

Class Structure. Kaizranians are divided into rigid classes, and these classes determine people’s place in society and the availability of their access to power. The single biggest factor in the societal line is ancestry. Families with a history of having been true Kaizranians, that is, can trace themselves back to ancient Kaizoumetran origins, are almost always in the upper echelons of society. They are believed to possess the blessed blood of their forebears, and have been untainted by the new Stratanian (and other) bloodlines that now makeup a large portion of Thalambath. All Thalam sorcerers come from this bloodline, and thus they are the only ones with access to the highest powers in the State (figurative and literal). True Kaizranians make up most of the noble class, and those who do not are usually at the least artisans, traders, and merchants. Few are farmers or labourers, as such a low position and the resulting breeding with lowclass Stratanian bloodlines essentially irrevocably taint their ancestry.

Why would they have chosen Statanian wifes? Is ,breeding‘ an acceptable word for humans?

The second bloodline is that of the Stratanians. Most are immigrants from Strata or Varcopas, or perhaps from more northern territories, but a good number of them are merely Kaizranians who have chosen to marry into Stratanian households and dilute their bloodline over the generations. Stratanians aren’t held in overt discrimination as foreigners are, at least in the modern age, as they are still citizens of the State, and there are several Stratanian families that have elevated themselves to the noble class and many more reside in the middle class, but the highest echelons remain barred to them. Most citizens in Thalambath are of the Stratanian bloodline, and even most of the True Kaizranian families have at least a little Stratanian blood in them, so the prospects of these families have increased steadily since their arrival. Most of the Stratanian bloodline consider themselves Kaizranian first and Stratanian second.

Hmm, why and when were Stratanians allowed into the city? The Stratanians came relatively late, at a time, when Thalambath and Varcopas were already firmly settled. I would assume, that they always have been very hostile towards foreigners. Why did they allow others to settle in their city in the first place? Before Strata was founded?

Both bloodlines are Kaizranian, however. Even members of the Stratanian bloodline are different from the Stratanians of Strata and Varcopas. Just as the original Stratanian tribe is merely an offshoot of the Shendar and northern tribes, the Stratanian bloodline is an offshoot of the Stratanian tribe.

The lowest class in Kaizranian society was originally the slaves and the homeless, though with the abolishment of slavery only the latter applies. A step above that would be the foreigners, who find themselves at the practical bottom of the Thalambathian ladder (particularly non-humans), alongside general labourers, farmers, servants (often little more than slaves themselves), miners, and sailors. These individuals are largely born into that position, and have few means of increasing their status.

Family. [...]

Death. The Kaizranians have a simultaneous fascination and fear of death. According to Kaizranian myths, the Netherworld contains all of the souls of every living being on Caelereth, only in a decrepit form—a dark mirror world. From this world come all dark, despairing emotions and the threat of aging, the withering of life until at last it leaves the body in one final breath.

As stated by [...], who supposedly traveled to the Netherworlds for a time:

“As I pass through the gate, I am met with hell. No, it was not hell. Fire, pain—these things I would have expected. I would have welcomed them, warmth that would prove I still felt. Instead, before my eyes did I see pure anguish. The sky is thick and dark, as if a stormcloud were overhead that tantalizingly offered rainfall but never released its droplets. In the distance, towards the north, a flash of lightless lightning, and a whisper—far, far away, as if a calling to follow it.

To my right is my mirror, which seems to follow me as I walk through this desolate place. Truly it??is a despicable form of myself. To stare into his eyes, my eyes, is to see nothing. They are black, black as the darkest nor’sidian stone. The flesh around his face pulls tightly against his bones, and the lines around his mouth are of a frown. No, not a frown. They are the lips of one who has never known a smile. His clothes are torn, frayed and with loose threads threatening to unravel at any moment, as if he had worn them for a thousand years. Beneath is a body that has never partaken of food—a skeleton with the flesh of a human.

I reach out to touch him, and as I did so, he raised the same arm to reach at me. Instinctively I pull back, and like a mirror so does he. So I reach again, and as our fingers touch, a shrill cold whispers through my body. The flesh around my hand and fingers withered and grew taut, so I pull back, to thankfully see my health restored as soon as I did. It was then that I realized, that I was not staring at a mirror image of myself. I was truly staring at my very soul.

All around me, I see the souls of my kin. In the crumbled ruins of a home in my front sits a family at dinner. Their rusted cups lie empty, and they eat but bones upon their grime-covered plates. No emotion was present upon their empty stares. But I knew the face I was looking at, for it was the face of absolute desperation. When despair has turned to resignation, because hope does not exist.

Was I staring at death? No, they weren’t dead, not yet. It was not death I was staring at, it was the dying.”

Whether or not this is a real accounting of the Netherworlds is debated, as are most such similar first person writings. It is said that [...], once a great scholar and wizard, lost all trace of life following his return, and quietly withered away in the years after this writing.

The Kaizranians as a whole believe the Netherworlds to be a mirror reflection of Caelereth, where the spiritual souls can be seen in reflection of the physical life on this side. Accordingly, the souls are the source of all despair and anguish in the real world. Where happiness fades to sadness, it is the life leaving to be replaced by more and more of the soul’s being. As one ages, they grow more towards their soul, until eventually they meet as one, and pass on from these two worlds to the hereafter.

Legend says that, after the two meet, they travel to the afterlife, their soul passing through the dunes to the south. Many lose their way, and begin traveling north. Some scholars of Kaizranian and Netherworld lore interpret this when combined with [...]’s writings to indicate the Deep Winds Portal of Osthemangar. Some of these souls are corrected and manage to turn back to the south, but most continue to travel north, to darkness and nothingness, their souls forever lost.

Only the strongest manage to find their way south, where they discover eternal bliss at the end of the world. Some scholars interpret this to be the Ethereal Void, though there are no specifics of what this eternal world at the end of the world actually is, as it is said to be unknowable by mortal minds.

Most Kaizranians take extensive precautions in life to ensure their souls are strong enough to travel to the eternal world. Grand tombs are constructed for the greatest of Kaizranian leaders and heroes, places where the divine touch of the gods are beckoned with lavish offerings and monuments, in order to weaken the fabric between the worlds and allow the soul to pass easily into the afterlife. To defile these tombs is to anger the gods and threaten the passage of the soul of the deceased, and so graverobbers are dealt the harshest of punishments—death by starvation, and the casting of the body naked into the dunes, where the soul must claw its way to the afterlife without the aid of any blessings, and thus almost certain to be lost.


Very interesting!
Two proposals. Don‘t call it Netherworld, this word is already taken by other „ideas“ . Maybe Mirrorworld? Soullieu? And I would find it cool, if they would assume, that this soulworld is on the other side of the disk. I‘m not sure. When we here in Caelereth speak of „disk“, if only the upper half is meant or the whole. You could use for that solworld the lower half.

The dark portal as the entrance to a not so nice place is fine, but maybe you should add, that the South - Aeruillin, is the only place where the Void can be encountered by „foot“, not ship.


Housing
[...]

Clothing
Kaizranians tend to wear fairly light clothing, considering their environment. With the dark shade provided by the generally tall buildings of its territory, the need for completely concealing cloth to protect the skin is generally unnecessary. Both men and women tend to wear fairly revealing outfits by the standards of most other cultures. This is not to say that fuller outfits are not worn, for there are also regal gowns and robes by much of the nobility.

Kaizranian men tend to wear single long off-white tunics made of the cloth of Toccon tree seeds, with a leather or aka’pi wool belt tied around the waist. Most often these tunics are sleeveless, and may either open at the front and pulled on by the arms, or closed and pulled over the head. The open tunics are clasped up the side. The top hem of the tunic and the bottom of the skirt are sometimes stitched over with a strip of leather onto which cloth patterns or metals and jewelry are attached. On occasion, men will wear a separate skirt or leggings and no shirt at all, due to the heat of the city.

The more affluent wear similar designs but have a wider variety of colours and fabrics. More northern styles are also worn as a result of the increased trading power of Thalambath, but these are frequently customized with a variety of long cloth sheets worn over the chest or around the waist. Often, nobles wear outfits using leather supports to alter the shape of the clothing, as well as alternate forms of cosmetic individualization like brightly coloured feathers or jewelry. Longer skirts over the tunic are also common for the noble class, among both men and women, as they serve to enhance the elegance of one's walk. Sometimes these longer skirts are made of sheer silk, and are worn over a shorter underskirt.

For more formal occasions, most common Kaizranian men will wear long multi-robes of linen known as Seefs. These come in various colours, from white to yellow, or blue, orange, and red, and are wrapped around the body like a sheet, then clasped together so that they do not fall apart while worn. First, an undershirt is worn, usually a more common tunic though often made of linen or silk rather than Toccon cloth, and generally of a colour matching the rest of the sheets. Then, a single long sheet is wrapped around the waist, loosely or tightly depending on the wearer’s preference. It is tied together with metal clasps that are pierced through the desired location and then attached to a second clasp that holds it in place. This allows the wearer to use nearly any size of sheet. A second sheet, a palmsbreadth in height and usually decorated in a variety of designs and colours or metals, is then wrapped around the waist a few times, then left to hang straight down or woven down the legs and held in place in this fashion with clasps. Last, a long, thin sheet is wrapped around the torso and over arms and loosely from the waist, in the form of an X. The front and back where the sheet meets are clasped together, and the shoulders are pulled taught and clasped so as to not slide down the arms. Occasionally, leather shoulder pads are worn under the chest-cloth, which the shoulder area is then clasped to, allowing them to spread the shoulders out further from the body without risk of it slipping off.

Here definitely a picture would be good! Or an extra submission which explains how to wear one! It is a bit lengthy and slightly boring, because imaging it is very hard. In the entry can't be a hint to Roman clothing;) Maybe you should do an extra submission with pictures!

Some men may choose to wear this robe without the undershirt, and others might wear a variety of other sheets over it. Some also wear turbans, though not often.

//Developer Note: Similar to a Greek or Roman Toga

Women wear similar outfits to men, though they are often more colourful on average. Like men, the most common outfit is a long sleeveless tunic, though some choose to wear longer dresses instead of skirts. Women are more likely to wrap cloth around the waist or over the shoulders and chest however, and these clothes are generally of a variety of bright reds and yellows or greens. Many will wear a long cloth drape over their heads and down to the ground as well—this drape is occasionally sheer, in which case it might be worn over the entire body rather than just the back, during cooler temperatures.

Boots and shoes are fairly rare in Thalambath. Instead, most men and women wear either no shoes at all, or light leather sandles. A common type of sandle in Thalambath is the tied sandle, which has a lengthy portion of leather that wraps circles or crosses up the calf and ends with a tight strap just under the knee.

Both men and women wear a loincloth underneath skirts, which is wrapped around the waist like a belt and then drawn between the legs from the rear and tucked up and over the front of the belt, with the remaining length of material falling over the front of the thighs. These are frequently decorated in a variety of patterns or designs if the front of the cloth can be seen from under the skirt.

The more affluent among the Kaizranians separate themselves from their lower class brethren with more defined, heavier, and tighter clothing. Their robes are known for being constructed in two layers of Toccon or Silk, with a flexible piece of leather in-between to provide form to certain areas of the outfit, such as the shoulders. The Thalam Wizards, for instance, often wear a red and black robe that completely covers the body, with thick cloth covering the neck and stiff shoulders that end in double sleeves, and a tight skirt that opens at the front to reveal legs dressed in tight leather slacks and boots. A cloak is often worn with such an outfit, or, more accurately, a mantle—the shoulders, curving sharply up towards the sky at their outer edges, rest around the neckline and fasten at the front. From the edges of the mantle (depending on the design, either just the rear, or the entire edge, both front and back), a long black or red cloak falls down towards the ground. The wide shoulders ensure that this cloak doubles the width of the individual wizard, presenting an ominous aura.

//Developer Note: A combination between Jafar’s robe from Disney’s Aladdin and the Red Wizard robes of Forgotten Realms’ 3.5 ed. Thay.

Such an outfit is reserved mainly for formal gatherings of wizards or when clear authority over the populace is desired, as such outfits are incredibly stuffy in Thalambath, and they represent wealth because they are worn by those whose homes are capable of keeping the warmer air at bay. Many Thalam instead wear more expensive, custom-tailored and designed versions of the lighter clothing of the commoners for more casual situations, which are better designed for the hot temperatures of the Rahaz'Dath.

Food
[...]

Weapons and War
[...]

Military.
[...]

The Army.
[...]

The Navy.
[...]

The Templar Knights.
[...]

The Inquisitorium.
[...]

Occupations
[...]

The Royal Eyes. The Eyes are the law enforcement of Thalambath. On a per civilian ratio, they are the largest city watch in all of Santharia, if not Caelereth. Rigorously trained, and even more rigorously scrutinized, the Royal Eyes are renowned for their lack of internal corruption, and their fierce stance against crime. Nearly every male citizen is required by law to serve an amount of time within the Eyes, and Thalambath’s army is derived from the best of their number. And though this high signal ratio might seem to preclude corruption in their ranks, the Inquisitorium sees to it that undesirables are removed immediately, and the penalties are harsh—beheading is not uncommon for those who are a traitor to the Eyes.

Underworld beware, the Eyes are ruthless. There are no warnings. The smallest of crime and the most juvenile of criminal do not warrant mercy. Stealing results in the loss of a hand for the first offense, and the prisons are not for carrying out lengthy jail sentences, they are for detaining prisoners temporarily while awaiting their appointed place in the schedule of punishment.

Diplomacy towards criminals is never extended. There is no such thing as a hostage in the eyes of the watch. They surmise, that if criminals do not believe that taking a hostage will affect their chances of getting out alive, then they won’t even bother with it, and so the presence of a hostage neither stops nor slows down an Eye. A human shield means nothing if an Eye blade pierces both bodies, and the hostage’s struggling only slows a fleeing criminal down.

Perhaps the darkest aspect about the Eyes, however, is not what they do to crime, but what they do to the society. Most men become desensitized towards torture and killing, while a few others leave only with the hope that their actions were necessary for the betterment of society. Many find that torture and death dealing have become natural to them, and only avoid doing it after leaving the Eyes out of the threat of the law enforcement, rather than out of any moral reluctance. Of course, many Kaizranians claim that this toughens up most men and is, if anything, a necessary right of passage.

Perhaps the only release in this is that, because of the lack of crime, many make it out of the Eyes without seeing much of the unpleasantness that they are capable of committing. Truly, the Eyes are both blessing and curse.

All Eyes are given military-grade training and indoctrination. This means that Thalambath has an incredibly large pool of potential soldiers should it go to war.

The Haulers. Also known as body snatchers or reapers in slang, the Haulers are in charge of one of the most grisly of Kaizranian occupations. In Thalambath’s rigid structure, where little room is left for those who have fallen off the economic ladder and crime is unprofitable and frequently discovered, those who try to make a living on the streets don’t last long. Those who don’t find a job turn to crime, but find that the patrols quickly round them up, frequently losing hands for their transgressions. A rare few manage to evade the law, but most skirt the line of starvation by doing so. Most who cannot afford to get off the streets eventually end up starving to death, or succumbing to any manner of disease. Others find themselves killed by the other rare criminals, who are quick to rid the streets of any and all competition in a world where monopoly on crime is the only way to survive by it.

These corpses would languish in the alleys and on the streets if left unchecked. Therefore, the Haulers are charged with patrolling the city in search of the lowlifes who found Thalambath society to be too harsh for them. The Haulers round up these bodies and either deliver them to the Temple of the Arcane to be used by the sorcerers there, or wheel them out of town, where they are dumped into a deep pit and burned. In times of famine, war, or other trying conditions, these pits can be lit throughout night and day, their plumes of black smoke rising into the air as a grim reminder of what the State's underworld has in store for the forgotten and undesirable.

While many cities have their own “cleaning crews”, only in Thalambath is it a full-time profession.

Well,  that last senence might hinder other development.

Government
The Thalambath State is run at its head by an organization known as the Presidium. The Presidium comprises the Seven of Thalambath, who have ultimate dictatorial power over the State, and the Royal Viseur, who is generally charged with handling State affairs, including overseeing the Truban province as a whole. While the Viseur has assumed full dictatorial control over the State, this is generally curbed by the Seven as well as by the political influence of the Templums and the individual Vesal-Viseurs, who rule the other Vesals (Fiefs) within the State.

Under the Presidium come the Regional Council, the Vesal-Viseurs, and then the Templums, of which Thalambath society is divided up. Each controls a different aspect of society, and most are run by Thalam Wizards, which are known as Pryus’.

This results in a highly regimented, State-controlled society, with strict and harsh laws in place to prevent abuse by the many groups and individuals who have access to ultimate power in their jurisdictions.

[See the State of Thalambath entry for further details.]

Law.
[...]

Production/Trade
[...]

Natural Resources
[...]

Holidays, Festivals and Observances
[...]

Important Achievements (Optional)
[...]

History

*fffff* enough, that was my morning ;)
« Last Edit: 03 February 2010, 20:03:44 by Talia Sturmwind » Logged

"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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« Reply #4 on: 03 February 2010, 23:43:38 »

Oh Talia, you picked the one that is still unfinished instead of the one that is!  grin


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Maybe we should now decide to change this, or at least internally add some information somewhere. The name „Stratanians“ comes from the time, when Strata was the capital. We have to dive into history and decide, when this happened. The true Stratanians are only the inhabitants of Strata. For Varcopas may be not as isolationistic, but they don‘t like either, to be called „Stratanians“, they just see it a bit more relaxed. So, basically, Stratania is composed of three major cities, Thalambath and the land around it, Strata and Varcopas and the area which is influenced by Varcopas. Maybe I should describe it in the (coming) Truban entry, that the term Stratanians are nearly obsolet now, for Truban excists mainly of three big cities. I‘m thinking about adding Uderza to Brendulan (only the last 300?? Years), so not much else is left. The Shendar area will be divided, only the Shen Siuu will ,belong‘ to Truban.

Essence: Could you change that middle sentence „ the Kaizranian people are distinct from their neighbours by culture if not by appearance.“ somehow, that reflects, that infact only the citizens of Strata are „Stratanians“? Though of course the Kaizans will stand out more than e.g. The Varcopasians.  

Okay, I will change it. I wouldn't mind if we changed that, it's been a bit hard to work around.


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How did you imagine those ,fertile grounds‘? You have not only that, but probably the most water as well. So it is not as harsh as you describe it. The lands of pain are not really ,mastered‘ (nobody can), even if you count it to their territory.

Any desert is harsh. ;) And no, the Lands of Pain are not *really* mastered. That doesn't mean the Thalambathians don't *think* they've mastered the desert. ;) That statement was not fact, but their belief.

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This would not be such a big problem, if you could write as a member of that tribe (as you=Fox are in your heart, though Fox as a char might not be from there - don‘t know!!). But if you are writing as Fox, the neutral compediumwriter, that might have to sound different, as the area there isn‘t as harsh. Somebody else would describe it a bit different, which I would have no problems with.

Yes, Fox is a Thalambathian. I would think that any desert would be harsh, but if you feel necessary I can remove that line. Besides, it's referring more to the Rahaz'dath as a whole, rather than just the Thalambathian area.

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Only the Shen Siuu have a slightly darker appearance, but not as dark as you describe them here:
So, your first sentence needs to be changed. I‘m not so sure about the Thairans (from Shan‘Thai) and other tribes either, maybe you look for that started description (Artemis)

Okay.

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As you are mostly speaking about the Rahaz-Dath - there are no other desert tribes - the Stratanian don‘t count as tribe, or do they? And the Shendar are not ,sturdy‘ !
buck

The Shendar aren't? They are nomads that wander the desert, and your entry for them describes them as rather physical. Sturdy in this case does not mean, like a dwarf, but more strong of limb and constitution, which I would assume the Shendar are.

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Maybe you should give them a more distict eyecolour? Less grey (as the more northern Shendar have), but more shades of brown, a light brown, the yellow eyes of Avatar, a yellow-green with golden spots. Something strange!

I don't want something that strange. :P But I can do more shades of brown and yellow.

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Where are the tattoos, in the face? Elsewhere?

On the face, on the scalp if shaved, on the arms and body, etc. I will mention the locations next time I edit.

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What kind of powder, a brown one, a white one (no, black is beautiful, right?), so a blackish one?

Generally it will be a light to dark brownish, to match the individual's skin tone.

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We need to discuss the area again in an extra thread. What you have above is still what you intended in the beginning, right?

No, what I have above is based on what we agreed on (though the map is slightly wrong in the northern regions).

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The Shendar have been there already during the empire of Astar‘Nuvic, I think. I don‘t want to check timetables now though, otherwise I don‘t get this done today. I think this depends, at which time we want to have the big crash, the very big one ;)
And what means ,arriving‘ ? From where? Sure, they can‘t be there, when the volcano formed. But maybe tell, that some had fled to the grasslands in the east, or where gathering form the area which is now the Yar‘dangs (which has been a settlement of the humans also)

Hm? One of your entry states that when the Shendar came, Thalambath already existed. Or maybe it was at the part where the Shendar wanted to settle down. I would need to double-check.

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Is this the case with all those who have to do the lowers works also, or the farmers in the east etc? Or is it just a higher percentage than elsewhere?

It is mostly the case with the lower class in populated areas. In more rural towns, I suppose there might not be as much education. But even then, the culture will still make them a bit more restrictive than other cultures.

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Slavery is forbidden in Santharia, but the Santhros is far away. Do they have their slaves openly, or are they hiding this to an extent?

Woops, that mention of slavery should have been specifying 'when they had slaves'. They don't have them anymore officially, though certain people in society are practically slaves in their treatment.

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Why would the Kaizranians mix their language with those of the few settlers form the North?
I think, that it could be an entirely different language. As different as English and Chinese (not just like English and German). BUT, I would assume, that it was not a purely human language, but that there might have been a language which had all three elements in it, human, dwarven and elven. Each race might have sopken its own dialect, but I think they have developed a common ,high‘ language. However, that dwarven and elven language might not have been Styrash or Thergerhim, but something else.

Maybe they are then proud not to have the only true „human“ language, but the true cosmopolite one.

Edit: After having read the later parts, I would say, that there emerged a 'lower 'language, a mixture of the old one and the newer , Stratanian settlers. But I think they would look down on it!

Languages always mix when they begin interacting. So it depends on the dialect being used. The oldest dialect is completely Kaizranian. It's the newer, more modern one that has more Tharian in it. This is a natural result of mingling cultures.

And no, they would not have been proud of a cosmopolitan language. Even if it was used by all three, the Kaizranians would today believe that it was developed solely by humans.

And the 'mixed' dialect would have started as a lower language, but in the modern time (well, a few hundred years ago, it is now a dead language), the common dialect is used by all except in the most sacred of songs/texts.


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Tiles? Do you rival Uderza?

No, they can make tiles without rivaling uderza. :P

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What would fit somehow, at least as a game for special occasions, or for your pits, is that Aztekian play, where you had to hit a ball with your knee and bring it through a hole high above somewhere on a wall. With the loser having to die... Or it could have been a way for the winner to gain lost respect in the society back?

A game where the loser has to die would be reserved for the amusement of the higher class at the pits. I could potentially put one there, when I write the Ankhat city entry, which will go into more depth on that. I just wanted to give only a few examples here.

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Why would they have chosen Statanian wifes? Is ,breeding‘ an acceptable word for humans?

Why wouldn't they? However much culture might try to indoctrinate people, there will be those who defy it and fall in love regardless of what the system wants. Considering how long it has been, there has been plenty of time for this over the centuries. And yes, breeding would be an acceptable word for humans IMO.

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Hmm, why and when were Stratanians allowed into the city? The Stratanians came relatively late, at a time, when Thalambath and Varcopas were already firmly settled. I would assume, that they always have been very hostile towards foreigners. Why did they allow others to settle in their city in the first place? Before Strata was founded?

Why and when would most likely be in a few small incidents prior to the opening of the trade borders, and then much more after the trade borders were opened when Strata's economy collapsed. So no, definitely not before. Much later.

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Very interesting!
Two proposals. Don‘t call it Netherworld, this word is already taken by other „ideas“ . Maybe Mirrorworld? Soullieu? And I would find it cool, if they would assume, that this soulworld is on the other side of the disk. I‘m not sure. When we here in Caelereth speak of „disk“, if only the upper half is meant or the whole. You could use for that solworld the lower half.

The dark portal as the entrance to a not so nice place is fine, but maybe you should add, that the South - Aeruillin, is the only place where the Void can be encountered by „foot“, not ship.

Sure, I can call it something else.

But yes, it would be very cold. The idea is that it is the exact opposite of life, and to the Thalambathians, heat symbolizes life. The Thalambathians do not necessarily believe that it is an 'underworld' that's literallyunder the disk, so to speak. More of a kind of alternate relality.

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Here definitely a picture would be good! Or an extra submission which explains how to wear one! It is a bit lengthy and slightly boring, because imaging it is very hard. In the entry can't be a hint to Roman clothing;) Maybe you should do an extra submission with pictures!

/leavesacookietrailforSeeker

;)
« Last Edit: 03 February 2010, 23:48:42 by Fox » Logged
Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #5 on: 05 February 2010, 01:36:37 »

Oh well, doesn't matter, I'll try to do the other on Monday.
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« Reply #6 on: 05 February 2010, 20:22:48 »

Oh well, doesn't matter, I'll try to do the other on Monday.

Hope you weren't taking my comment that seriously, Talia. I don't mind which you go over first. :)

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« Reply #7 on: 06 February 2010, 00:58:56 »

No fear, I didn't!  grin

some random rambling (in future submissions abbreviated as srr ;) ) no complete answer to your post above, more a reminder for me !

- In your answers it seems, you try to explain things to me, but basically, this is only my impression, and you should translate these answers into your entry.

Some thoughts I had while doing other things, for later.

To the Stratanian influence, marrying etc.

You describe your tribe as being very isolationistic, very different from others in Santharia (even another faith), so I got the impression, that they really tried to keep to themselves all the time throughout the many thousand years. Normally I think, they would be influenced by the main religion on the continent e.g. and adapted some of it, integrated it into their belief. If there is an whole Stratanian branch - all these people brought their religion with them, or tried again and again. The way it is described now, I would assume, that they have strict rules, that marriages outside the tribe (once it has formed again after the catastrophe) are simply forbidden. Love marriages are a fairly modern concept anyway. I think you need to think about who really makes this tribe up. The former (human) citizens of the three Races empire, those who have fled to the plains when the earthshakes began and those who survived in the South?

Who else was allowed into the society before Strata is founded? You have just 3000 years for that, compared with 8000 (?) since the catastrophe. The Avennorians lost the connection to Shan'Thai, historically it would be difficult to explain, that Thalambath had tradeconnections earlier. Nybelmar was behind a veil also. So, maybe other settlers from the north? Or maybe, it was composed of the old citizens mainly, plus a few Shendar.

We have to speak about territory still. I agreed to some expansions, but you know yourself, my time was limited back then and we need to do some proper work there. But don't worry, I'll don't cut you down too much ;)


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« Reply #8 on: 06 February 2010, 02:45:16 »

It's very isolationist, yes, but what I try and keep in mind when writing things is the amount of time that has transpired. I don't like to gloss over the fact that this culture has existed for thousands of years, longer than most on Earth. It has gone through political and cultural upheavals, civil wars and revolutions, that, while some of that basic, original culture that is at its core remains and thrives, many elements have been whittled away or drastically altered by the mere passage of time. Even if such marriages have only been existing for several hundred years (which is a very short time in Santharian time), that is plenty of time for a new class and subculture to arise.

At some points, it will be more isolationist, at others it won't be. It depends on the political climate, and there is a lot of time for many vibrant changes to occur.

It is also long enough that some of the first marriages, from hundreds of years ago, will have lead to very integrated families that do not ever recall being from an original Stratanian ancestor, yet that original ancestor has essentially marked their family line permanently.


I don't want to make a static culture, one that is oddly the same now as it was 5000 years ago. I want one that grows and evolves (even devolves). It might even be, that such marriages are completely forbidden now (it isn't, but as an example). But, that would not discount that there might have been a time, under a ruler or two, were there was greater freedom for foreigners. And while those original foreigners are long dead, their ancestry still remains, and, again, the family bloodlines suffer for that in the eras when their 'bad blood' is no longer as accepted.

As for before Strata was founded, I'm not sure what you're getting at there, as I haven't ever said anything about there being foreigners before then (the only time I mention immigrants from Strata/Varcopas, I am referring to post-Milkengradian-Expedition, as Thalambath opened its borders in 610 b.S.). Aside from the rare trader, traveler, or Shendar who was willing to brave the Dunraich, there were nearly no foreigners up until the time that Thalambath officially opened its borders in 610 b.S. And that was still a very long time ago from today, more than a thousand years.


A lot of the Stratanian arc was to give a reason why people call Thalambathians 'Stratanians'. Plus, when I was writing Thalambath, you had said that you did not want the Kaizranian bloodline to be very prominent anymore, so I had to make it so that they were rather rare and thus most of the society needed to be of Stratanian blood somehow.

If you'd prefer, I can drastically reduce it so that the majority of the occupants are Kaizranian (90% at least), though there will still be some family lines that have married foreigners.

You do make a good point about the religion though. I will certainly look into making a religion clash between Thalambath's traditional religion as well as the mainstream Santharian one, which would have become a big issue after Thalambath opened its borders.



To summarize:

Prior to 610 b.S., there was 99.9999% Kaizranians in the Dunraich of Thalambath. There was less than .1% foreigners.

After 610 b.S., there was an influx, due to Thalambath taking over the trade and capital city role during Strata's collapse. This is when any new subcultures that I have been referring to would have arisen.

In the current era, 1600+ a.S., Thalambath is not as powerful at trading as it was when it immediately opened, and Strata has taken over that role again. Kaizranians are again more isolationist, due to some (fairly) recent revolutions. What inlays the new subcultures and foreigners might have made are taking a step back as more traditional, racist philosophies are being espoused again.
« Last Edit: 06 February 2010, 02:46:50 by Fox » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: 06 February 2010, 07:53:37 »

Don't misunderstand me, Fox, I'm not against those Stratanian branches, I only wanted to point out, that it looked like an inconsistency, from outside, maybe because I do not have the information which is still in your head ;) Well, for you all is laid out very clearly, but not so for the first time reader.
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« Reply #10 on: 06 February 2010, 12:23:53 »

I will try to make it more clear when I do my edits. :)
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« Reply #11 on: 06 February 2010, 22:19:13 »

Erm - Talia? The 'Northpoint' in Fox's map covers the area reserved for settlements 4&5 in the map you posted/email a long time ago - or? (San.k.)
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« Reply #12 on: 06 February 2010, 22:45:35 »

I remebered that just a few days ago, Coren. :)

The area which the Kaizrans can have is not yet settled, so don't worry. ;)
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