The term "Kanapans" refers to
the human kingdoms that lie within the
Kanapan Peninsula. It is
thought that the name derives from one of their ancient kings, but that like so
much else has been lost to them. Those of the
Stormcloak Shipping Guild call them
"Corme" (thought to be a bastardization of the
Cór'me'kroín, lit. "Black Human"). This is
actually a misnomer, as they only deal with nobility. Their culture is unique
amongst all of Northern Sarvonia,
as they are geographically isolated by the towering mountains and desolate
Appearance. Appearance is a thing of much concern to the Kanapans as with that social rank, religious aspect, and wealth are all identifiable. Though, unlike most people this appearance has nothing to do with the finery of their clothing or the amount of jewelry they wear. Rather, it is based upon physical appearance not like it is with the Ak'vath'rhím dark elves further North, where it is all concerning a fair face, instead it is by skin coloration. As with many things in the Kanapans' lives, the blacker the better. This is due to the simple fact that the physical manifestation of their God Lorfurno is the sacred Black Bull. This bull is as black as midnight, and it is a sign of Lorfurno's favor to be close in color to his animal.
The common Kanapans average 1.8 ped in height and are slender in build. This does not mean skinny, rather most male Kanapans are quite physically defined. It is just that their bodies and lifestyles tend towards corded endurance based muscles. They are very fine featured that lends some to be reminded of elven features. Chiseled jaws and thin noses are quite common amongst the males, while females tend to have more defined cheekbones and more defined temples. Eyes ranging from dark browns to nearly black are quite common, while hair is often brown and black as well. Hair is a thing of pride and is never cut by either men or women until it is ground level. There are specific rituals to cut the hair, as this long hair is looked at as the dark pelt that covers the sacred bulls.
A small number of Kanapans known as the Eferme (thought to be a twisting of the Styrásh, Eferanhé'me'kroín, Eferanhé'me'kroín, lit. "Burnt Human") look very different from the normal Kanapan. Amongst themselves some of the historians still refer to them as Glandorians. This is due to the fact that they are not the original inhabitants of this land, but rather had come quite some time later, though when that might actually be has become lost in the depths of time. The Eferme average two peds in height and are stockier than the Kanapans. In fact they resemble much of the other humans of Northern Sarvonia with their pale complexion and tendency towards blond and red hair with blue and grey eyes. Despite these physical differences time has caused them to become integrated into the society and they adhere to much that the native Kanapans do.
Coat of Arms/Sign. The different kingdoms that make up this region all have seperate coats of arms. However, they all have one thing in common. That is that they have a picture of Lorfurno, the Bull God, on them in some form. This is simply another representation of how devout these people are to their god.
Territory. The Kanapan people inhabit the Kanapan Peninsula. This includes all of the land from the Strait of Isthrius and Aldridge Swamp to the East to the Aelyvian Sea to the West. The Peninsula of Glandor branches off and is bordered by the Gulf of Glandor to the North and the Haven of Sky to the South. The Aelyvian Sea is to the South and to the North lie the impassible Vindel Mountains and the hundreds of leagues of desolate Stone Fields of Peat.
People. This is likely to be one of the most religious of people in the known world. Their devotion to Lorfurno and their priesthood knows no bounds. The people are set apart by a caste system which is based upon skin coloration. In truth the darker that one is the higher caste that person is. It just so happens that natural coloration is not a hinderance to someone with money though. The rare and expensive tansin oil (a sacred oil made from the tansia plant) is used to darken skin and along with kohl (a brittle black rock that imparts color as it breaks apart) to darken hair colouration. There isn't a known way to darken eyes, though if there were it would be readily used.
There are six distinct tribes. In fact religious law demands that there always be six tribes as that is the number favored by Lorfurno. For it was on the sixth day of the sixth month, that Lorfurno triumphed over the Leviathan and returned light to the world. If there is to be any conquest, then the conquering tribe must either allow part of his enemies lands remain free, or he must divide his own into another tribe.
Picture description. Schematic map showing the five Kanapan tribes. Map by Drogo.
This is the most Southerly tribe and is located from the Rhone River North of the Forest of Cahm to the Aelyvian Sea to the South. It's Eastern boundary is the Trigoire River in the West and the Rhone River to the East. This is the wealthiest tribe in all of Kanapan, this is mostly due to the noble Heirone alo Geiro of the Trigoire portion of the Cahm tribe. He opened the port to a battered Stomcloak Shipping Guild ship. In the end this act created the only external trading partnership in the Kanapan Peninsula. As such it controls all trade that comes down the Rhone River to be loaded onto the Stormcloak ships.
This tribe is responsible for much of the production of the barges that make their way up and down the Rhone River and much of anything else made of wood, the Wounds of Sylvan being the main forest of the peninsula. Their Northern boundary is the top of the Wounds of Sylvan, to the East is the Aelyvian Sea, the Rhone River is to the West and Trigoire River is to the South.
This tribe controls the Northwestern part of the peninsula from the Strait of Isthrius and Chapel Lake in the West to Rhone River in the East. The Vindel Mountains mark the Northern border, while the Wounds of Sylvan line its Southern. This tribe along with another share the great responsibility that is the Cahm'ha'dom Grasslands. It is here that the great bulls of Lorfurno roam. They are the physical manifestation of their god and hence must be preserved at all costs. This also gives this tribe clout as the priesthood often falls in line with this tribe.
This is the other tribe that shares the responsibility of the grasslands. The Isil river is its Northern bounds, the Rhone River is it's Western. To the East is the Gulf of Glandor, Peninsula of Glandor and the Haven of Sky. To the South is the Yulliti River. This tribe contains the most links to what once was the Kanapan Empire. The only two serviceable canals still link rivers and several ruined cities lie througout its lands.
As most of the Eferme either live or originated from the Peninsula of Glandor, this whole tribe is named such. This is a place that few others visit as it is so heavily populated by the lowest caste, hence not much is known by the common Kanapan. It is thought that it is a squalid place filled with unfit people. Often they will walk around completely nude trying to darken their skin. Most often though they only become painfully sunburnt, hence their name. The Eferme land is bordered by the Careria to the West, the Gulf of Glandor to the North, the Haven of Sky to the South and the Aelyvian Sea to the East.
This is a unique tribe amongst the Kanapans, as it is made up of only priests and those who labor for the priesthood. None of the Eferme are allowed to set foot within its boundaries for this is the actual religious center of the Kanapan. As such it is quite wealthy due to the tax that all goods get which is to support religious affairs. This is a land of towering temples and holy places. The Rhone River is the Western and Southern border, while the Haven of Sky is the Eastern extent. The Yulliti River marks the Northern border.
|Image description. One of the magnificent temples found in the Lorfurtinia area of the Kanapan peninsula - dedicated of course to Lorfurno, the Black Bull, deity of the Kanapans. Picture drawn by Max.|
Due to the scarcity of wood houses are usually made out of two materials
depending upon wealth. The average home is made up of a mixture of mud and
alth'ho grass to strengthen it. This
is formed in blocks, left to dry and once hardened they are stacked upon each
other. Wet mud is used to mortar the blocks together. Large windows and
doorways permeate the structure and thin operiasu cloth is hung from them to
keep out insects. The wealthier people will have blocks of granite and even
marble shipped down from the Careria who mine it from the Eastern Vindel
Mountains. They follow the same pattern of architeture, though they crush stone
into a powder and add it to the mud to use as mortar. They also have the large
windows and doors to allow better air flow.
Clothing. The simple fact is the less clothing you can wear the better. Not only does this suit the climate of the area as it gets quite warm and humid, but this also means that your skin is dark enough to show off. If this is the case then the only clothing worn is an embroidered loin cloth of trasilk (the cocoon fibre of the lua'an moth). However, as only the highest of the castes, the priests and nobles may use trasilk, this is not the normal situation. Light robes made of operiasu fibre (the woven fibre taken from the operiasu reed) dyed black are worn. Scarves of the same material are wrapped around facial features if they are too light as well. Shoes made of tough asouri fibre are woven then dyed black to cover the feet. Only among the Eferme who live outside their homelands is it common to wear black handwraps of operiasu fibre.
Diet. The Kanapans are nearly completely vegetarian. They subsist off of beans, fruits, and vegetables. This is mostly due to the fact that there are no other large animals besides the sacred bull to eat. They could add some of the small rodents of the area to their diet, and some do, however their digestive systems have become so used to the vegetarian diet that they have a hard time keeping meat down. One of the favourite Kanapan food is guiro fruit. They are incredibly versatile with the foods that they do eat, often finding ways to eat them in a variety of ways.
Weapons. For the most part there are two types of weapons. The ones your army has if the Beireo tribe will do business with you, or the ones you make do with. As there is not much metal to be found in the Vindel Mountains, most weaponry is made of wood. As the Beireo control the main source of wood on the Kanapan Peninsula it helps to have them as allies. The main weapons are spears and edged clubs. Small wooden shields are also used to help supplement in defense. The only other real way to have weaponry is to use the stout fadetue reed that grows along certain parts of the river and lake banks. Lately the Stormcloaks have shipped in some metal weapons, but these are only allowed to be purchased by the Cahm tribe as they control the port. Though, a few have mysteriously shown up in other realms.
Occupations. Gender, surprisingly, plays little or no part in the determination of the occupation one holds. However, occupation is determined by the strict caste system that rules them. Those of the lowest caste are most often tenant farmers or outright slaves. The middle castes consist of the crafters and smaller merchants. The highest castes are the nobles, clergy, and the more prominent merchants.
Government. All of the tribes have a similar government. It is the highest of the high caste nobles who lead along with the head priest of the area to keep him attuned to Lorfurno's wishes. For all intents and purposes it is a religious based ruling system, where what the priests of the Lorfurtinia tribe say goes. While the nobles have some say, those who go against the priest will have the zealous populous to deal with.
Production/Trade. Different kingdoms produce different things. Some produce, wooden items, some operiasu cloth, and others foodstuffs. Also, many healing plants and insects come from the Aldridge Swamp. These items are shipped down river from their location using shallow bottomed barges. They converge on the cities of Kurstir and Trigoire to be loaded onto the ships of the Stormcloaks. The Stormcloaks are the only source for outside trade. They export native fruits, trasilk, operiasu cloth, and healing aides like the feylien, while they mostly import iron and obsidian.
Calendar. The Kanapans base their calendar and time counting system on mainly one thing: their religion. The year is broken into six seperate months. This is due to the fact that this number is sacred to Lorfurno, before though it was thought to be based on the weather change and different season. With each season getting its own month. There are the typical four seasons, though the temperature does not truly get very cold. In addition to this are two seasons that have to do with rain. The third and sixth seasons are these seasons. The third one is marked by humid temperatures and a constant warm drizzle that seems to permeate the whole of the land. The sixth month is the coldest, though snow doesn't fall and water doesn't freeze, and consists of heavy off and on showers.
The Kanapans only give the daylight hours and sense of recognition, as superstition still lends the darkness to the Leviathan. It is seperated into these hours in respect of Lorfurno's six children. These children were gifted to the Kanapans to watch over them, in time they mated with the other cows of the area and the current sacred bulls came about.
Natural Resources. Wood is scarce for a landmass of this size, so the Kanapans have come up with ways to compensate by using the abundant clay and alth'ho grass in the area. The Maiden's Threshold has some good iron deposits and there are several copper mines that are of an open quarry style. These lands, due to their more humid temperatures compared to the surrounding areas make the soil rich and good for the many vegetables that the Kanapans grow. Their natural resources are more of a living variety such as rich cloths that they produce along with the more exotic bugs they have such as the feylien.
Holidays, Festivals and Observances. There are several different festivals that some tribes share with each other, however there is only one festival that all of the Kanapans celebrate. That festival is Bierete Mauti Lorfurno, commonly known as Lorfurno's Coming. That is a celebration of the Coming of Lorfurno to defeat the Leviathan that destroyed the old gods and brought down a year of darkness upon the world in which all large animals except the sacred bull perished. The festival begins on the fifth night of the sixth month. After the sun goes down and darkness descends the high priests of each area gather everyone and begin to re-tell the story of how Lorfurno saved them from the Levithan and his horde of shadows. The story takes all of the night, while the listeners are on hands and knees or stomachs in supplication. The story is always timed to end with the first fingers of dawn's appearance on the sixth day. This day-due to it's numerical aspect-is the most religious.
History. Recently manuscripts were unearthed from one of the ruined cities of the Cahm'ha'dom Grasslands, which are now held in the vaults of the City of Lorfurtino as it is considered heresy. Little information could be smuggled out, here follows what could be gotten.
Information provided by Drogo