THE SANTERRAN MEN (MEN OF ISLES)

APPEARANCE - COAT OF ARMS - TERRITORY - PEOPLE - HOUSING - CLOTHING
DIET - WEAPONS - OCCUPATIONS - GOVERNMENT - PRODUCTION/TRADE
 
NATURAL RESOURCES -
FESTIVALS

The Santerrans were originally the inhabitants of the islands of Delvynnar, Therigal and Euri-Endalla close to the eastern coast of the continent of Nybelmar. They lived with and on the ocean but soon with sword and plough they spread over the continent of Nybelmar as well. With a good portion of the mainland secured and dozens of islands on their back the Santerrans flourished and grew into one of the most powerful tribes on Nybelmar ruling the greatest known sea power on Caelereth. Their ships crossed many oceans and even reached the most distant coasts on their travels for goods and riches. Well-known sailors and feared warriors most of the wealth that can be seen in the cities of Aca-Santerra is based on trade as they control important trade lanes from the Nybelmarian south to the north as well as to the distant Kingdom of Santharia. During the course of history the Santerrans have proven time after time their value as merchants, conquerors and deeply religious farmers with strong bounds to their original homelands.

Appearance. The Santerrans are very high grown compared to most other tribes and nations of Nybelmar, often referred to be of "noble stature". Santerran skin colour ranges from a copper-brown to light brown with black, brown or red hair. Among noblemen and warriors the hair is usually shaved or plaited to various braids. Among the Santerran priesthood - which consists of woman only - very complicate and artistic designs are often seen.

All kinds of jewellery from amulets to all kinds of rings decorated with precious stones are worn to demonstrate personal status among the society. Their faces seem hard to strangers, with high cheeks and edgy chins and no obvious sign of emotion. The eyes slightly narrowed and usually of a dark brown or even black. Other eye colours are seen as a gift from the Gods and promise high magical powers.
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Coat of Arms/Sign. Beside the royal banner of the High-kingdom of Aca-Santerra the Santerrans don't use any other banners for identification purposes but field signs to plead for the assistance from their Gods. These are holy animals in the eyes of the Santerrans who take care for the realm of a certain God in Aca-Santerra and are said to be able to protect you from harm, gift you special power and guarantee you luck. They're used for nearly any purpose, to bless weapons, protect a ship from storm and damage, houses from fire and people from illness. The most common holy animals are the dolphune, accompanied by the sword whale, the lion, the seagull and the bat they decorate most places and items of Santerran people. The noble houses chose one or more holy animals for protection but discern themselves by wearing different color combinations usually yellow or orange (as a sign for nobility) with various other colours. Those colours are worn by the noblemen in public, by their soldiers as well as by their officials.
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Territory. The Santerrans are the greatest faction of the Aca-Santerran population, the easternmost kingdom at the continent of Nybelmar. They live mainly on the densely populated islands at the coasts and inland cities along the Jerrah while the other tribes under their rule usually inhabit the hills and woods or mixe with other in the big cities. Santerran territory spans from the eastern borders of the Emerald Woods to the coast, the mountains of Eféran’ypheró (Styrásh
eféran’ypheró, lit. "to burn the sky") as the northern and the great river Jerrah as the southern border. Also they control the three main islands over the archipelago farther east to the Wernam and even beyond. Return to the top

People. The Santerrans are best-known and feared for their unforgiving temper and deep belief of their own superiority. Their army is strong due to their heavy cavalry, the Frathra and their other elite warriors. On the mainland they borrowed much about warfare from conquered tribes, though.
 
Where the Santerrans exceed others are the knowledge about the high seas, their sturdy and fast ships and their brave sailors and explorers who have seen many coasts of Caelereth. They're said to be the best shipbuilders of Nybelmar. None can copy the uniqueness of the famous Besan-caravel which makes this ship capable of sailing the High Seas despite the worst weather and highest waves.

Still, although the Santerrans push forward to unknown coasts they tend to focus on their own problems. In the belief of the Santerrans the Gods play a decisive role in choosing the destiny of someone and so they spend much time for praying and guessing the wishes of this or that God(dess) as they think much of their power is based on pleased Gods and good omens. This belief is consequently followed to the inner affaires by the noble houses who seek to gather a strong priesthood to please the Gods and in the respect of external affairs by leading merciless crusades on the behalf of their Gods and finishing wars from day to the other because of bad dreams and bad omens.

In the eyes of strangers their behaviour seems often stubborn and arrogant but is always driven by these beliefs into the Gods and the search for their destiny.
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Housing. Depending on the place the Santerrans prefer solid stone buildings. In rural villages they're usually of rectangular shape with a connected stable. Along a long hall are the rooms of the family and the household. At the end of it is the meeting room around a fireplace below a hole in the roof. Here the family eats and meets visitors on low banks or even couches with cushions. The food is cooked over the fireplace, in an extra room or outdoors. The corners of the houses are often decorated with statues or reliefs of that houses patrons. In the cities high houses are often build with one floor for one family as high as six floors. Also, the noble houses like to decorate their houses with fine stone like marble and obsidian and expand the space with extra rooms for more servants, places for the visitor's, a diverted private and public meeting place, a library and an own altar room for the house gods. Glass is precious and often only used for temples and shrines but whenever used it shines in all possible colours put together in mosaics.
 
Those who cannot afford marble or other fine stone colour their houses in bright red-orange, yellow or white. The capital Altyr with its great temples and palaces - shining in white marble and black obsidian - embedded in red and yellow houses and city walls leading down to the shore terrace for terrace which gave the city its nickname "Ruby of the Blue Sea".
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Clothing. The Santerrans have a strange faible for asymmetric dresses. Due to old traditions most clothes the male population wear keep the right arm free from cloth at all. This is seen as a polite and open gesture as you greet with the right hand and thus it should not be covered nor hidden.
 
This is also the reason why Santerran coat is thrown over the left shoulder. Trousers are an uncommon sight among Santerrans, only sailors wear ones to protect against the cold sea.

The skirts are usually cut asymmetric as well, this time the right side being the longer one. This fashion might have its origin in the Frathra, the popular military cast. On the left side these knights wear the sturdy "Thornshield" which is attached to the armour like an extra shoulder pad that can be moved with the arm for dodging. As it reaches down to the knees the left side is well-protected. On the right side the sword arm is only lightly armoured mostly with bracelets sometimes by chain mail which supports most possible agility. As the right side of the knight is not defended by a shield the right leg is protected by plate leggings and an armoured boot. This fine art of blacksmithing might have led to this strange fashion that spread among the commons and the nobility alike.
 
The women wear for public purposes several layers of long dresses with golden embroidery and in the colours of the God they feel dedicated to gold, silver, pearl and even precious stones woven into complicate made up hair. They tend to make their skin appear paler as a sign of their closeness to the Gods (white is seen as the purest color). - To less official occasions a simple one coloured dress and a vest held by a broad belt is the norm, the hair made up into one long pigtail.

Popular by both genders are all kinds of jewellery like bracelets rings and amulets, even piercing of various kinds. Most of the jewellery has a religious purpose blessed by one or the other God to protect the person wearing it sometimes it expresses a certain alignment as well. 
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Diet. The Santerrans originally lived from fishing and the fruits and berries that grew on the rocky islands. Later they started to build fruit plantages for all kinds of berries as well as common vegetables and more exquisite ones like olives, dates and figs. When they claimed land on the continent they also got used to herding and farming and agricultures though most of this food is still produced by other tribes.

In the cities and ports you can usually find a vast variety of different meat, fish and other food which is all enjoyed by the population.
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Weapons. Traditional weaponry among the Santerrans is the long, hooked pike which is often used for fishing and whaling as well and the heavy sabre used by the Frathra but all kinds of other weaponry is known as well. The Santerrans adopted the "bladeaxe" from the northern tribes which is used by the Murmillon as the close combat weapon and developed several very effective artillery for their navy.
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Occupations. In the Santerran society only women can become priests as they are supposed to be closer to the Gods. As the wives of ruling nobles are commonly the highest judges and priests in this area all noble houses try to have as many high ranking priestesses in their family as possible to guarantee that the Gods favour them.

High-priestesses are the most respected persons in Santerran society, even the High King himself ranks slightly below them. As magic is seen as an unpure way to influence the forces of nature or even seen as abusing the powers of the Gods all people capable of magic become members of the temples: the women as priestesses, the men as horathra, high ranked temple guards whose responsibilty is the safety of their high-priestess and the temples and they're usually trained in some weapon disciplines and their way of magic according to the temple they belong to.

In the nobility there's a strict seperation between spiritual leadership (high priestess) and mortal leadership (by noblemen), the spiritual being generally valued higher. In the lower casts everyone can generally do about any job. However usually the men do the work on the fields, fishing, labour in the mines or manufactures while women exceed in craftsmanship like jewellery, carpeting and even blacksmithing.
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Government. The Santerran society is strictly divided into several factions based on heritage, wealth and tradition: The Nobility, the Citizens, the Allies, the Free and the Unfree.

Aca-Santerra doesn't know professional soldiers except the guards of the nobles and the king. In times of war the nobility usually recruits soldiers from their rural population and hires mercenaries. But when Aca-Santerra landed on the continent and reached for their own territories in the Wernam this wasn't enough anymore. To get well-trained and loyal troops that can be sent to any place necessary the Sea King gave common people and their families special rights to maintain weapons and armoury all-time when one or more members of this families swear loyalty to him. This gave him loyal troops independent from his nobility as well as well-trained units which were available at all times. For this purpose he copied the model of the ancient Enayctar who once were the close followers of noblemen and used him and his variants for his purposes on all battlefields: on the sea the Enayctar, on the plains the Frathra and in the hills the Murmillion. Return to the top

Production/Trade. The Santerras became famous for their shipbuilding but they as well are famous for their fine worked jewellery and their beautiful decorated armour and weapons. Much of their work is done with much artistic detail in mind and so all their goods are highly valued by neighbouring kingdoms. They export many different goods as well as precious stones, gold and silver found in the hills of Delvynnar and at the riverbanks of the Jerrah. For this they import spice, exotic woods, food, cotton as well as silk and dyed clothes, pottery and various raw materials from their neighbours and from their colonies in the Wernam. Due to this fact the ports and cities of Santerra became important marketplaces for all kinds of goods from all parts of Nybelmar and even Caelereth.
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Natural Resources. Some silver and gold can be found in the hills and in the rocky grounds of the islands of Aca-Santerra. Pearls are found along the shores of some of the big islands and in the fertile soil of the riverbanks of Jerrah various precious stones like emeralds and rubies can be found.
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Festivals. With the beginning of a new year a big festival is held in all parts of Aca-Santerra to worship the main Gods of the kingdom and plead for a new good year. The High King visits during this time the main temples of every main God to ask for guidance in the new year.
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