Remusia has been described as the enigma of the twelve Ice Tribes of Northern Sarvonia. Proud, stubborn and fierce in their defence of their homeland, the Remusians are a people who are in transition. While struggling to hold onto their Ice Tribe heritage, they are desperately trying to embrace the south and its way of life. It is a conflict between tradition and progress; new against old. It makes for a sometimes turbulent people, a sometimes lost people, but a very fascinating people.

The Remusians inhabit a frozen wasteland called the Icelands Coast, on the northeast tip of the Sarvonian continent. Its hostile envionment, exotic flora and fauna, have done more to shape these people than most tribes of the continent. This includes their main cities, and the ingenious way they have of bringing fresh, warm water to the people, to the hot springs, or "Odenbels", where fresh crops are grown during the short summer periods. These people are unique in the way they dress, the foods they eat, and the buildings they live in. They have taken a land with very few natural resources and fashioned a way of life that uses what is available to its maximum, including bones, hides and stone.

A Remusian Officer

View picture in full size Picture description. A Remusian cavalry officer sitting atop the Kor'och fey Mologh, overlooking the Bay of Calinth. Image drawn by Seeker.

As a people, they have been described as hard as the ice they live in; dour, taciturn and moody. Still, if one digs beneath the surface of these people, a full richness of their culture can be discovered. This includes the games they play, the songs and music they listen to, and the beautiful sculptures in ice that they create. The laws that govern the people do live up to their reputation as hard and unyielding, without a doubt, however. It is a brutal land, and their laws reflect this.

Compared to the other Ice Tribes that share the same area and cultural origins, the Remusians are by far the most sophisticated in its economy and trade. They have use of the coin, as well as even having their own trade ship that transports and delivers trade goods to their southern Kanapan neighbours, and a sophisticated harbour that allows for incoming ships from more southerly countries. They have the most advanced engineering and technology, and the largest permanent settlements of any of the Ice Tribes.

Their beliefs are a dangerous dynamic of new versus old, as the traditional pantheon of the Ice Tribe gods fights for the hearts and faith of the populace against the growing power of the Temple of Koroch. The shamans of the old gods are trying desperately to hold onto the power they once had in Remusian life. By contrast, the new Clerics of the Temple of Kor'och have found favour in the government, and now have further reaching power than they ever had.

The Remusians, also unlike any of the other Ice Tribes, have an organized standing army. Not content to throw their most ferocious warriors into a hastily built militia, they have professional soldiers, where all men must put in a minimum number of years into service. It is divided into different arms of military, and even boasts a small navy.

Appearance. In the last two or three generations, there seems to be an evolution of the Remusian people, from the traditional Ice Tribe “lower” Remusian, and the more urban “higher” Remusian. This being said, there are still some truths that are common to both factions.

Most Remusians are shorter than their southern counterparts, males being typically around one ped two fores in height, the women slightly shorter still. They are built somewhat heavier than average, with thick chests and broad shoulders, again, with women slightly smaller than the men.

The typical Remusian has dark hair and eyes, though this is changing in recent years with the influx of people from the south. In higher Remusians, almost any colour of hair and eyes can be found. Among lower Remusians, this is not so, as lower Remusians tend not to be as accepting of other tribes as the higher Remusians, let alone inter-marry. Large, calloused hands are typical, even among women, who take on a heavy share of the workload in Remusian society. This can also be seen on the faces of the Remusians, as they are often found with rough looking features, with an aged appearance. Again, the higher Remusians have less of this, whether because of the softer features of the new blood being brought into the population, or by the fact that the higher Remusians live a somewhat softer lifestyle that the lower Remusians, who must eck out a life in the most extreme of circumstances.

Remusian men wear their hair either long, in a ponytail that is often wrapped in leather and tied to the back of their tunic, in order to keep enemies from grabbing it in battle, or short, cropped above ear level. Facially, clean shaven is the preferred fashion, though many lower Remusians continue to wear the beard as a sign of being a warrior.

Among women, long hair is the desired style, the longer the hair, the more attractive the woman becomes. Some women are reported to have hair that is longer than they are tall! In times of mourning, a wife may cut her hair completely off when her husband dies. This is most common among younger women whose husbands are killed in battle. Tradition holds that the woman may not take another husband until her hair has grown long enough to touch her shoulders. In modern times, this is not always followed, though she may be looked down upon if a long enough period has not been observed.

Tattooing is practiced among the Remusian women, while most men do not tattoo themselves. Geometric shapes; circles, stars, teardrops or even squiggly lines are used and placed on the face, either on the cheek, under the eye, or along the forehead. These tattoos are given around age 15, as a sign of maturity and are considered beauty marks by the Remusians. Most women will have only one or two tattoos, though some women, mostly lower Remusian ones, will completely cover their faces in these tattoos. The ink used is derived from the fluid of the hrugchuk flower, so is a deep blue in colour. Some women will rub charcoal into cuts on the face, in order to have black tattoos, but this is far less common.

As well as this, women also use jewellery as signs of beauty, and rings for fingers, nose, eyes, lips and ears are favourite trinkets adorned. As well, wristbands, necklaces and broaches are common. Mediums for these items of jewellery are gold, silver, ivory, stone and bone. The more jewellery and the more intricate the design, the higher the status of the woman which is a direct reflection on the wealth of her husband or father.
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Coat of Arms/Sign. The Remusian coat of arms is a backlit image of Remusiat, the Remusian capitol city, above which hangs a vertical image of the Forsaken Blade, an ancient artifact in form of a black enchanted sword that is said to once have been made by the Dark Chosen Alteth, whose tormented soul is now captured in it. This symbol can be found on flags and banners, and both are black on a blue background. However, when this coat of arms is set on a shield or tapestry, the city is in blue, and the background is black, and the Forsaken Blade is still black, but has a thin white outline around it. - Regardless of the style used, it has the same meaning. It is a symbol that the Forsaken Blade protects the city of Remusiat specifically, and all Remusian land in general. Return to the top

Territory. Remusia is found at the extreme northeast corner of the Sarvonian continent. The Remusian territory covers the area from the Heaths of Wilderon to the Wastes of Despair in a East to West direction, while North to South it goes from the Bay of Calinth to the Gathorn Mountains. Therefore, most of the country lies in the Icelands Coast Region and as such suffers from the extreme weather there. Across the channel to the northeast is the territory of Kordos, taken from the Tokarians, and now a province of Remusia. When Kordos was taken over, the Remusians also took over everything that belonged to the Tokarians. The large tracts of plains in Remusia are known as the Frozen Wastes.

Key Locations. The five main settlements in Remusia are Remusiat, the capitol, as well as Rhemir, Sudarok, Sorsokon, and Dorm-nak. Remusiat is by far the largest of these, with a population of over 9,000 people; it sits on the southern coast of the Bay of Calinth, north of the Gathorn Mountains. Rhemir has a population of near 5,000 while the other three have populations near 3,000. Most of the people of Remusia live in nomadic settlements that follow the wison herds, or along the coast where fishing sustains their way of life.

Environment. At first blush the environment of Remusia is a cold and bleak one, but upon further investigation proves to be much more than that. The perma-ice layer seems to ebb and flow from season to season, much as the sea tide. The province of Kordos is nearly always frozen, including the city of Rhemir, while the cities of Sorsokon and Sudarok definitely have a summer season of bare soil, in which altho grass grows. The cities of Remusiat and Dorm-nak lay along the dividing line of these weather systems, and each city has had years with perma-ice, and years where it has melted to the soil beneath. There seams to be no cycle or correlations to determine in advance what the summer will be like in any particular year.

Remusia is unique in that they have what they call a Zekar Wind. This wind blows south, off the Bay of Calinth, and is usually a very frigid wind. In the summer, this can bring cooler temperatures, but in winter, biting cold is only the beginning. Massive amounts of snowfall can fall in a relatively short time, making the unwary traveller trapped in a very hostile environment.

It is this extreme environment that has shaped the Remusians; defined them as a people unique to Sarvonia. One only has to learn that they have no less than 34 different words for "snow", that they call "shanno", to know how in tune they are to their world. From the light, almost ice crystal snow that flutters lazily down on the coldest Remusian day, shanno-lysene, to the heavy, wet, almost warm snow that falls in late spring, and summer months, shanno-tappari, with that one word, they can convey very evocative descriptions to one another. They are a people perfectly adapted to live in a world most of us would shirk from.

Flora. The barren land and extreme weather has done much to limit the number of types of plant life in the Icelands. Still, life does grow here. By far, the most common plant in this bleak wilderness is the hrugchuk grass, which grows hardy, even beneath the snow. Here, too, grows the alth’mon, known as varro, which the Remusians use in their medical treatments.

Further south, in the higher elevations of the Gathorn Mountains, a hardy bush called the alicott shrub grows. Its gnarled branches are a very hard wood, and have been used by the Remusians as fuel for smiths, as it burns very hot. Because these shrubs rarely grow more than a ped in height, and the branches are often smaller than two adult fingers in width, the wood is not much use for anything besides burning.

Fauna. As with the plant life, the harsh environment here has shaped the face of animal life in the area. There are a few domesticated breeds here. The Kor’och fey mologh, the Mount of Kor’och, is the breed of horse that was actually developed by the Remusians over 300 years ago. It is named for the ancient Remusian hero who many believe was transformed into a god after his death. The wilderon cat is also from here, used to keep down the hrugchuck mouse population. Both for hunting and sled pulling, the Icemut is a valuable dog breed.

Other animals that are not domesticated as such, but are valuable to the Remusians are the wison, the snow falcon and icesnout. The wison’s migration route takes it through the heart of the province of Kordos, making that region hotly contested between the Remusians and Tokarians. The Snow Falcon is the symbol of Remusian royalty, and kings have been practicing falconry for years, and they are expert at it. The Remusian army puts to use the icesnout, which the scouts use for long trips onto the wastes, where less hardy breeds would perish. Leapor hares and leveret rabbits provide meat and pelts.

Few insects can be found in this harsh environment, but the dergimar fly and the glass winged butterfly do thrive. Add to this, the blue myrmex and snow orm are insects that can cause great distress if found in large numbers. The snow cob, a cousin of the woolly cob, is an animal that hunts mice. Some snow cobs have been kept by the Remusians to keep down the mice population, but they have been replaced mostly by the wilderon cat.

Other animals that can be found are the snow gynnia, the nue’mon to the north, and the klymmer, an aquatic bird found on the rocky cliffs that lives on small fish. The rheah and the thunderfoot wander the wastes, while the dangerous and legendary caracal prowls in search of unwary prey. The mystical white bear, the embodiment of the god Zundefor, roams the Frozen Wastes along the Bay of Calinth and the channels. In the cities is found the snow rat, a huge nuisance to food stores. The enigmatic slyrking, or walking moss creature, can be found at the very outside of Remusian territory, where the frozen wastes give way to tundra.

The southern border of Remusiat is found the Gathorn Mountain range, which has many animals there. Among them are the cloaked elk and the tar’andus deer, both hunted by the Remusians for food and hides. Eagles nest along the cliffs.

The frigid Bay of Calinth provides many types of fish, such as the evoor and varlihn, as well as the deadly dark stryke shark. The small phyllu-eck-fyrthara (lit. "Fire Fish") is named, not for its colour, or some magical or srange fire-breathing effect, but for the high fat content within it, that allows the Remusians to dry them and use them like other people would use candles. Carteloreen provide much to the Remusians, including meat, oil and bone, and they are hunted by the most intrepid of sailors. The elusive selkie can be found in the waters, as well as on land during the warmer months, and the common pinnip as well. The very rare krrroa'haxpattl monster is said to live in the bay, though no reliable reports have been found to prove this.

One creature that is beyond the natural order of animals is the sleeper in the snow. Little is known of these creatures. Remusian tales warn of these terrors which lay in wait in drifts of snow, then attack without warning, and without mercy.
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People. Remusians have been described by many who have actually met them, as smug. This is from a deeply ingrained sense of superiority in the average Remusian. They are from a society that is very isolated and consequently, they have become isolationists. In their view of the world, they are the central race and tribe. Because of this, they are almost religiously fanatical in their defence of their homeland. This has led to the warriors becoming renowned for their ferocity and their archers being some of the best in the north, with only the elves having a higher standing. The Remusian society is based on heroic warfare, where the warrior is heralded above all others.

Remusian women live in a somewhat suppressed society, though in comparison to the other Ice Tribes, are very liberated and are treated with a measure of respect, though one cannot say they are equals. They are allowed to own property, even businesses in the larger cities, though they are excluded from any military or political voice. In the more progressive levels of higher Remusian society, women can choose on their own, who they would like to marry, while in lower Remusian society, arranged marriages are still the norm.

One thing that binds all Remusians, lower and higher alike, is the feeling of abhorrence to magic. Since the time of the War of the Chosen, when thousands of Remusians, as well as all the Ice Tribes, were killed from magical experiments, they have held a deeply ingrained grudge against all practitioners of the arcane arts. Anyone caught using magic is put to death in a number of brutal ways (see Law).

Language. The Remusian language seems to have developed as an offshoot of Tharian, though when this occurred cannot be easily discerned. It is the Remusian spoken language, as well as their written language. This type of writing has been in existence for 1500 years, and it is thought that an educated man from the south had settled in the north and taught the natives there the language. This, however, is only supposition, and so far, there has been no proof ascribed to this theory.

Before this time, the Remusians had a crude petroglyph language, which is now undecipherable, and thus lost to history. At the lost city of Ombaxxis, there are recorded over 7,000 petroglyphs. Of these, animals such as the wison, falcon, caracal and thunderfoot are clearly recognizable.

Art, Music and Literature. Before the 1500’s, Remusian art, music and literature were nearly non-existent; seen as luxuries that they could not afford. Art was almost unheard of, while literature was relegated to animal figures painted on rocks in the form of petroglyphs, most notably found at the lost city of Ombaxxis. Music was mostly in the form of war chants, and appeal prayers to the pantheon of Ice Tribe gods.

In the 1500’s, the Lanrul of Sudarok opened up his city as a haven for artists, and a flood of artistic expression seemed to have hit the city. Assihnojiru, the wife of Sudarok Lanrul Pikahra Fyrthara-eck-Ahtu ("Autumn Fire"), became one of Remusia’s few great women. While her husband ruled during a fairly peaceful time in Remusian history, she was allowed to carry out her whims, which was to develop Sudarok into the city it is today. She was enamoured with art, and wanted a place where people could go to learn to create great works.

Sudarok is the artistic capital of Remusiat, if any place might hope to have that title here. Though, if one had to describe Remusian art in one word, it would be “Harsh”. It is not a fine artistic style that one would find further south. Though individual pieces might be considered course, as an entire style, it comes across as fitting for these hardened people. Muted colours are the norm, and very few paintings can be found with vibrant colours. Most paintings are done on the underside of pinnip skin, stretch taught over a bone frame. Charcoal sketches are also popular. Frescoes are another popular outlet for artistic ability. Sculpture is something that is done rarely in any other form but ice. The Remusians have perfected the art of ice sculpture and works of this can be found all over Remusia, from the temporary ones in Sudarok and Sorsokon, to the more permanent ones in Rhemir. Animals that mean the most to the Remusians seem to be the objct of choice for these artisans, such as the caracal, wison, thunderfoot, etc.

The artist Rhidvardehn, made many depictions of Kor’och, though it was at a time when doing so in a divine sense was very dangerous. He worked with both sculpture and paintings, mostly frescoe. He is credited with bringing the cult of Kor’och into the public, thus making it possible for later generations to deify the hero.

Remusian bards came into existence at this time, bringing songs to the Remusian people, who before this had mainly chants, rather than orchestrated music. The Remusian bard, Tahllen Vuffsein was alive during this exciting time, in 1597, and wrote many songs, including his most famous work, The Hunter’s Lament. Native instruments of the Remusians include a hollowed out wison horn, used as a musical instrument akin to a flute. As well, a bone frame, stretched over by rawhide becomes a percussion instrument. The sounds of Remusiat usually have a beat that sounds like the rhythmic beating of a heart, to celebrate life, though, the people themselves may be considered dour by many. Niannabu was a famous songstress, who has been the only priestess in the Temple of Kor’och, and is said to have communed with the god through her songs, though none of them have reached us through time.

Paper was, and is, a rare and expensive item. What there is of it, is imported from the south. For the most part, Remusian’s use scrolls written on vellum, made from the skin of young cuncu sheep. There is almost nothing of Remusian literature as a medium for storytelling. This society is still very much traditionally oral, and what there is of written literature is often just a cataloguing of these oral stories.

Games and Activities. The Remusian people are not big on games, seeing them as wastes of valuable time and energy, which in lean times can mean the difference between life and death. Still, it seems that the very human need for entertainment has even permeated the frozen hearts of the Remusians. As expected in a society that reveres heroism as do the Remusians, many of their games reflect skills needed for war and survival.

Combat training games are popular, such as sword fighting with carved bone training swords. Though rarely lethal, many injuries are inflicted during these bouts. These combat games are a big part of growing up as a Remusian male. So is wrestling, which the Remusians enjoy, as it teaches direct hand to hand combat. Add to this, Remusian jousting, which uses the Remusian lance, a 12-15 fore long bone from the carteloreen which is straightened and sharpened, though this step is left out for tournaments. These tournaments came into popularity in the 1400’s, with the introduction of the Kor’och fey Mologh as the Remusian mount of choice. A yearly horse race takes place in Dorm-nak. Warlords from all over the area come here to compete and show off their horses.

Games that are not combat training games are also found, though few in number. As mentioned, the Kor’och fey Mologh is a popular mount in Remusian society, however, in the province of Kordos, in the more traditional areas, stallion fighting is practiced. The higher Remusians frown upon this, but many of the lower Remusians claim that these fights helped develop the breed to the magnificent animal it is now, as champion stallions are bred more often than others.

Women usually do not have time for games, as they have traditionally been treated no better than slaves by Remusian men. However, there is a small game they play with awls and a scrap piece of leather. This Remusian awl game is played while they work, so as not to incur the wrath of their husbands.

Class Structure. There is a class structure in Remusia, though it is a relatively new concept, being only 200-300 years in existence. It was brought about with the modernization of Remusia, which is linked with both agriculture and trade to the south. The concept of land ownership has changed Remusian life forever, whether for good or ill.

The classes can be broken into three main groups. The lowest class contains the nomadic hunters, the labourers, the herders and the slaves of the province of Kordos. The middle class includes the farmers, shop owners, land owners and tradesmen. The upper class includes the wealthy merchants, nobles and the royal family. This class system is, however, flexible and movement is allowed between them.

Slavery has been abolished more or less in higher Remusian society, but it does remain in pockets of Kordos, where prisoners taken in battle are left alive to work in the gold mines. The higher Remusians, in their enlightened mindset, prefer to kill their enemies, so prisoners are not found as often. The hunters are those people that go out in search of game for the urban residents, and should not be confused with those hunters that are from the nomadic clans, who hunt daily in order to survive. These hunters are hunting for profit, and sell the meat to shop owners and butchers in the cities. The herders are the drovers who lead the wison herds across the frozen wastes in a semi nomadic search for fresh grazing areas. The labourers are the freemen who work the quarries and the mines.

The middleclass farmers are those who raise the phummel in western areas, and those who work the odenbels. Note that the labourers who simply haul the water are not part of the middleclass, only those skilled enough in the practice of planting and harvesting of the precious foodstuffs grown therein. The city shopkeepers, the tradesmen who have opened up small shops where they sell the fruits of their skillsets, make up the largest faction of this class. They are a new sect of society, having proliferated since the opening of Remusia to the south. They the entrepreneurs of a growing economy which relies more on trade and commerce than the hunting and gathering mentality of their forefathers. And finally, this class holds the landowners, those individual who have petitioned the king and were granted the sole ownership of a piece of land. Some raise crops; others raise herds, while still others have built shops or taverns on them.

The upper class includes the wealthiest of these landowners, those whose business acumen has paid dividends. It also includes the noble families, whose lineage can be traced back to the days of Kor’och. These families have power in the form of sitting in council of the ruling Lanruls. Though the Lanrul, and now the King, has ultimate power, tradition has it that he must at the very least, listen to the advice of the council. History has examples of Remusian rulers who have turned their back on the council at their own peril. The last example of this was in 1492, when the Lanrul Dahld chose to ignore he wishes of the council in its dealings with the Tokarians, leading to his assassination, and the placement of Alvzhur to the seat of power, who is the progenitor of the current line of Kings that has culminated with Timeras. Of course, the House of Timeras is the pinnicle of the upperclass in Remusia, though that only includes himself, as his parents are dead, and he has no brothers or sisters. To date, Timeras has not married.

Family. Perhaps the most drastic differences between higher Remusians and lower Remusians can be seen in the aspects of the family. There is no word for love in original Remusian. The nearest translation is “peaceful in the heart”. As well, the word for servant and wife is the same thing, “Sileeya”.

Among the higher Remusians, there are two types of marriage; arranged and love marriages. The parents of a child can arrange to have their offspring marry for power and political gain, or if the offspring are old enough, 16 usually, they may choose their own mate. Parents, usually those of a higher social standing, hold what is called a “Reyalla”, which is a dance where young people are presented to society as eligible for marriage. As there are no dowries here, these dances are used by fathers to show off their daughters.

In lower Remusian society, very little value is placed on daughters. In some nomadic clans, daughters have been used to trade for domesticated wison; though, often other items are required for the wison owner to give up his animal. There are also contests held for the eligible females, where young men show off their skills and athleticism and compete for the girl. In truth, this competition has little to do with the actual girl in question, and is done to impress the future father in law.

With the wedding, the entire clan attends, but only the groom’s personal guards are allowed to carry weapons. Once wed, the wife of a lower Remusian man essentially ends up with multiple husbands. She is considered married to all the immediate family members of that man’s family, including each of the husbands brothers and father. Her marriage husband is known as first husband, then the father as second husband, then the eldest brother down to the youngest brother. The first husband has complete control over his wife, and freely shares her with her other husbands, with jealousy a rare thing, as one might lend a horse. All children born of this union are considered the children of the first husband.

Higher Remusians are said to disdain this practice, and true monogamy is encouraged. Still, there are rumours that this practice still continues in some of the households. In fact, before the 1300’s, Lanruls had a harem of wives, called a "Kivisphit". It was considered a right of the leader, but since then, the have become monogamous as well. Perhaps one of the more famous of these Kivisphit is the one mentioned in the myth surrounding the Dark Stryke Shark, where the ruling Lanrul had 73 wives.

Weddings are simple affairs where the groom has his best knights escort the bride from her home with her father to the temple, where she is greeted by the groom. The shaman then cuts each of their hands on the palms. The married couple then holds hands while their blood becomes forever one and a prayer is spoken. During the ceremony, should a rival wish, he could oppose the marriage, and the groom and he would then be forced to fight for the bride. The winner would then be free to finish the ceremony.
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Housing. Among the Ice Tribes, the Remusians are considered very different, having a more urban development. Though, over half of their population still resides in nomadic clans following the wison migration patterns, many reside in one of the four main fortified Remusian cities; the capital city of Remusiat and Sorsokon, Sudarok, and Dorm-nak. The population explosion in Remusiat has only happened within the last generation, and outside influences can be felt here.

The typical Remusian house is a multi-generational dwelling. They are built in a large ring design, with four houses sharing the structure, much like a pie cut into four pieces, built around a central fireplace which has four openings, one for each home. Each wedge is a distinct home, and the central fireplace doubles as a stove for each. This has saved on resources for the Remusians, as one wall serves two homes, which in turn saves the amount of fuel needed to heat each home. Each home is further divided into three rooms, the kitchen, and two smaller side rooms. The kitchen is where the family spends most of its time indoors, and serves as dining room. The two side rooms are bedrooms. The lead male of the home and his spouse share one room, while all the children and grandparents share the other. In some homes, this can be a crowded ordeal, but the Remusians deal with this in typical stoic Remusian fashion.

Almost every home has its own cellar carved into the ground beneath it. With the permafrost of the ground, the cellars are an ideal place to store provisions, being away from the warmth of the fireplace, yet out of the freezing temperatures outside. These cellars are typically pretty small, perhaps a ped in depth, and only a few peds across.

The wall of the Remusian house is made of stone, not finely carved pieces of stone, but rather rough cut and piled up, with mud and ice used as mortar. Each wall is usually a few fores thick, to keep out the cold, and on the inside is lined with furs and hides hung to add to the insulating effect. The houses are surprisingly warm, even in the coldest of winter months, though sleeping without blankets, or lounging about without at least a few layers of clothes would still be a bit chilly. Remusian homes do not have windows, and the doors are often only a flap of hide stretched across an opening in the stone wall. The entrance way consists of two of these openings, seperated by a small anteroom, perhaps only a ped in length. This decreases the amount of heat the home loses when people come and go. The Remusians have gotten into the habit of travelling through the anteroom one at a time, so that both hide flaps are never opened at the same time. Small clay lamps are used to provide light, burning carteloreen oil. Carteloreen fat, wison dung as well as driftwood are used as fuel for the fireplaces. Thus, the rooms have a pungent odour to them, though the Remusians do not seem to notice or mind it.

Adding to the smell of the homes, is the fact that any livestock the family has, usually in the form of sheep or goats, is kept inside with them. The animals have full run of the house, as leaving them outside in the coldest weather may be a life threatening mistake.

The roofs of the average home are a framework of carteloreen bone, with hides stretched over it. Stones are used to weight down the hide so that it does not blow away during some of the more severe storms, though this does occasionally happen. Beneath this overlayer of hide, on the inside of the frame, is stretched another layer of hide. Between the two laters, amonst the bone frame, is stuffed the fleece of the family's cuncu sheep. This cuts down immensely, the amount of heat that would normally be lost through the roof.

Of course, this is just a description of what the typical home is like, and there are variations and other styles. In the poorer sections of the cities, homes are built more like that of the nomadic Remusian. This is more or less a tent of hide that is stretched over a framework of carteloreen bone, with snow piled high against the walls to provide insulation, and protection from the wind. These homes can be taken down and set up again in only a brief time by adept Remusian nomads.

In Remusiat, some of the nobles are living in what can only be described as Remusian villas, with influences from southern countries. These villas are only a few years old, with many materials, including wood beams and roofs, being brought in at considerable expense. This is one of the more obvious signs that Remusiat is changing with the opening of trade to the south.

As stated, the more traditional Remusian, living outside the cities, use tents for homes. These people are more nomadic in nature, though in places where semi permanent residence is taken, snow houses are built as well, called "ruhmir". These are not much more that snow being piled up high, yet packed down by stamping on it, and then carved hollow. These are one room dwellings, and can be found in areas where hunting is good, like near the migration trails of the wison. The nomadic hunters will return to these homes two or three times a year and stay for only a few weeks each time. They are not considered as property, and anyone may claim one should they come across a vacant one and need shelter for a few days.

The Remusians have little in the way of furniture. Some homes have a table and chairs of carteloreen frames stretched over by rawhide and left to dry, forming a remarkably strong piece. Most families, however sit on furs on the floor, and sleep in large fur lined bags.

Architecture. Remusian architecture has been called crude by many scholars, and in fact, it has not progressed to the level of sophistication enjoyed by more modern societies. But that is only a superficial judgement, and one has to dig a little deeper to truly appreciate what the Remusians have to offer.

There is a difference between the larger, more important buildings and walls, and the typical Remusian house. From lookng at the rough stonework of the houses, then to look at the much more sophisticated stonework of the large buildings and walls, the first thing one will notice, is the complete lack of mortar. Instead of ice and mud mortar, they carve the stone with a protruding bottom and a corresponding indent in the top. The protruding area of the rock is in the center of each block, while the indents are at each end, so that when fitted together, the one layer is offset to the layers above and below. When done by a master mason, it makes a strong joint that rivals the mortar method employed elsewhere. The reason for this difference in building styles if due to the people that erect these buildings. Houses are, more often than not, put together by the families that are going to live in them, while the walls and important buildings are built by professional masons.

As well, one of the more colourful characteristics of Remusian architecture is the colour scheme they use. Where possible, the Remusians build with two types of rock, Eye of Nechya, and Ertimmer’s Blood, black and red granite respectively. They typically use a pattern of alternating colours, that creates an Ihanobe’todo board pattern. The walls at both Remusiat and Sudarok have this pattern.

The Temples of Kor’och have developed a formulaic design, which is very symetrical in shape, with the door in the center of the wall, flanked by stone guardians on either side, usually in the form of caracal. The main area of the temple is dedicated to Kor’och, while thre is usually two small rooms off of this, one to house the cleric, and the other as a sort of small library, housing important scrols. The temples are fairly simple buildings, allowing the cleric a clear view of the entire temple from the raised dias that holds the altar. The altar in all temples faces in the direction of Remhir.

Ombaxxis, the lost city, the City of the Gods, is one place where architecture has a dramatic effect. Built in the Gathorn Mountains, and mysteriously abandoned many years ago, this ancient city has a wondrous array of creatively built monuments. The Temple of Nechya, built against the side of a towering cliff, has 18 statues of her carved into the face of the cliff. Remnants of a platform can be seen above the temple, which was supposedly built to protect the temple from falling rock above.

Pidandra of 150 Days is credited with starting the trend toward using Ertimmer’s Blood in building projects. Before that, many buildings only used Eye of Nechya, as the red stone was much harder to find. But, shortly before the start of her brief reign, a large deposit near Dorm-nak was discovered, making the stone easier to acquire. She ordered the quarry be developed there to bring more of the red stone available.

The Sanctuary of Pargis, in Dorm-nak, was a building project started under her rule, which still stands as a testament to her vision. At the entrance to the sanctuary, stands a block of black granite on which stands a statue of Pidandra in worship, in front of which are large tables for the offerings on a large sandstone block, engraved with the symbols of life, longevity and power. Two clay vases stand in front of the tables that fit in mortises dug into the floor. Behind the vases is a marble pedestal, bearing a wooden slab, on which lays prone a snow wolf, carved in fine white alabaster, which is the animal associated with the god.

The Tower of Drapt’na’at, in Remusiat, was begun in 1367, under Warfell I. It has the typical ihanobe’todo pattern of alternating stone colour. It was finished, some 15 years later, under his son Warfell II, in 1382. It is one of the tallest man made structures in Northern Sarvonia. It is a round tower, built atop an eight sided base. It houses the King, his family, and all the guards and servants for his court. A Wall and gatehouse seperates the Tower from the rest of the city.
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Clothing. Remusians dress much like their Ice Tribe brethren. This includes cuncu wool jerkins, thick trousers, heavy shirts, as well as heavy boots. Women dress fairly similar to men, especially in the nomadic clans. Some of the more popular materials used in clothing are cuncu wool, wison hide, pinnip skin, and icemut pelt. In particular, wison hide parkas are very popular. The saying that snow never melts on a wison’s back, is a testament to how warm these coats can be, though they are heavy, especially if wet.

The boots of the Remusians are made perfectly for the extreme environment in which they live. The outside is pinnip skin sown to a sharkskin sole. Inside there is a layer of icemut fur. An inner boot fits into this, which is sheepskin inside sown to an outer layer of either icemut fur again, or more often Wilderon cat fur. It is the two layers of fur together that gives these boots such strong insulating values, and it is said by many that this is because of the constant fighting between the dog and cat furs warming the boot from inside.

In the cities, particularly Remusiat, women have begun to wear dresses from the south. Fabrics, such as Tarshiinite Silk, unavailable in Remusia, have become popular among the higher Remusian ladies. These dresses, many from brightly coloured Caltharian dyes, have become a sort of status symbol among the noble women. This has not gone without some controversy however, as lower Remusians are outraged at the fine materials used instead of natural hides from within Remusiat. There are even reports where a lady was splashed with wison blood, ruining her dress, to the crowds shouts of anger and chants of “Silk no more; that’s what killings for!” These occurrences are rare, however.

White fur is reserved for the ruling leaders called Lanruls, and now the royal family. This comes from a tradition dating back hundreds of years where the Lanruls took the hides from Eanian wargs, which used to thrive here a few centuries earlier. The warg fur was seen as a sign of virility and strength. It is said that King Timeras has a mantle of white Eanian fur, though it has not been seen since the Fifth Orcish War, when his father Araman II ( 1635-1654) wore it as a symbol of Remusian strength when he rode out of Remusiat with the cavalry, only to fall in battle.

Traditional nomadic Remusians, especially the hunters, wear what is called a Boonaye suit. This is a one piece outfit that has a hood, parka and trousers all in one. Often made from the hide of the cloaked elk and the tar’andus, with the fur inside the outfit, and the leather toward the outside, this suit can keep out the coldest weather. The antlers of these animals are used in concert with the Boonaye suit in order for hunters to slowly make their way toward potential prey. It is believed that the prey assume the antlered hunter is just another animal on the frozen wastes.

Another purely Remusian piece of clothing, is the cayowl. It is simply a hood that goes over the head, and keeps the cold not only off the head, but the neck as well. It is made like a tube, with an area removed for the face. A drawstring around this hole can be pulled tight so that only the eyes are visible, or relaxed so that the entire face is free, depending on the conditions.

Lanrul Lugan II (1553-1584) was wounded in a battle and took to wearing masks to hide his disfigurement, which started a brief fad. Since then, masks can still be found among the higher Remusians, worn during their Reyallas, a festive celebration. The parents wear the masks so that they are “removed” from the interaction of the young adults of whom the celebration was formed. These masks are often the removed portion of skull of a wolf, or pinnip or other animal. They are held in place over the face with leather thongs.
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Diet. The Remusians have a diet that is filled with meat products. This is not to say that grown foods cannot be found, but they are very much there to supplement the meat that they use. Because of the climate, vegetables, fruits and herbs are a premium and used sparingly. In fact, many Remusans believe that eating too much fruit and vegetables causes fevers.

The sea provides much abundance for the Remusians. Fish is a main staple of Remusian diet, and the country relies on the bounty of the sea. A small fish, called varlihn, is grilled with a salt seasoning and is eaten often. Carteloreen provide much meat, and when the boats come into the harbour with a fresh catch, there is often a mad scramble by people trying to get some before it is gone. And of course, salt is regularly harvested from the sea. Finally, the sea provides the base for shark fin soup, made from the fins of the dark stryke shark. Because of legends, it is believed that this soup has fertility uses. The rest of the meat is considered a delicacy, due to the rarity of catching one.

There are not too many domesticated animals for the Remusians to use, but there are a few. Cuncu sheep are raised, and dishes are prepared from the flesh of the sheep. Some wison are kept, and from these, not only is the meat used, but milk and cheese is derived from them. As well, sometimes the live animals are bled, to bring added nutrition to the table, in the form of sauces and gravies. In domesticated herds, only warriors are allowed to butcher bulls, to harken to the nomadic ways where only the most able hunters dared try and fell a wild bull. This is done effectively and sacredly, in a ritual attended by only warriors of high status. The meat is ritually shared, with the choicest cuts going to the warriors, then the elders, and finally the women and children. Wison meat is often tough, so sometimes it is soaked in Harump sauce to marinate it and make it tenderer. This sauce is made primarily from the urine of young male Kor’och-fey-Mologh, and is washed off completely after soaking in it for a day. The Remusian horse also provides milk and cheese. The milk is sometimes used to make Yuritz, a fermented blending of horse milk and hrugchuk grass. It is a strong concoction that only the heartiest of Remusians indulge in.

Wild birds and game provide for the Remusians as well. A plump little bird called the Klymmer is often the source for eggs, which are large and delicious. Woolly boar and Rheeah are also favourite meats that the Remusians eat when available. Truth be told, Remusians will eat almost anything they can kill. Food can sometimes be quite scarce and they do not take that lightly.

Odenbels, hot springs found in the north, provide what little there is for agriculture (see Production and Agriculture). A pungent herb called garlick is grown here, and is used as an additive to many foods. As well, a short stalked grain called Phummel is grown. It makes a heavy flour when ground, and can be used to make a flatbread, mixed with ash many times, as this extends the bread. Many times this is spread with a paste made from beans that are grown as well, cooked and crushed, then mixed with pinnip oil and salt. Pinnip oil is oil rendered down from pinnip fat. It is then spread over the bread and eaten. As well, a distilled drink called Remusian Wisk-Away is made from this grain. It's name comes from the fact that after a few drinks, one is "wisked away" to a new reality. A hard root, called a radzish is grown, also an additive for food receipts. Another food additive is murmir, a small fungus that grows in the cellars of many Remusian homes. By far, the most used grown food used by the Remusians is the varyte, a local name for the sweetneep, that is usually grated into a paste, which is then fried in pinnip fat.

The Alicott shrub of the Gathorn Mountains produces small red berries. These berries, though very bitter in of themselves, are used by the Remusian women to preserve meat. When these berries are boiled, then drained, and the pits removed, they are ground into fresh meat. Something in the berries works to extend the freshness of raw meat so that it can be transported further, with the military, for example, or with hunters out on the wastes. The berries are not eaten by themselves, except in extreme cases, but even then in only small amounts, as too many eaten raw can cause severe stomach discomfort.
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Weapons. To understand the Remusian military, one must understand the weapons that it uses. An army is often defined by the weapons and tactics it uses, therefore the Remusian army can be defined as deadly and simple. Resources have played a part in shaping the military as they have in every aspect of Remusian society.

The spear and lance are two weapons that are synonymous with Remusian soldiers. The Remusian spear is a barbed weapon, often as long as a man, with a flag near the point. The lance is essentially the same weapon, but longer by about half. The typical soldier carries the spear, while the cavalry carries the lance. These weapons are made with a metal head, which is barbed with usually two barbs, in order to cause more bodily damage to the victim of a hit. The haft of the weapon is sometimes made of wood, but in many cases from carteloreen bone. Thus, they are considered an inferior weapon by many scholars because of the tendency to break when put under the strains of battle. Some of the higher status cavalry have lances that are made with a wooden haft, but this is the exception and not the rule.

The Remusian warsword is the secondary weapon used by soldiers. Fairly utilitarian in design, it is a fine weapon considering the poor materials it has to incorporate. The warsword suffers from the unreliability of the Gathorn iron that it is used to create it, and thus is susceptible to brittleness. Still, it is a good weapon and one that all Remusian soldiers carry. Some soldiers, those lucky enough to have one, carry Odomon blades, family heirlooms that are passed on through the generations. Many times, these family treasures are given names and are treated with great reverence. As well, the most famous sword in Remusian folklore is the Forsaken Blade, a sword of incredible power that was created by the Dark Chosen Alteth, whose tormented spirit is now trapped within it. King Timeras, the ruling Lanrul, keeps this weapon safely hidden within the Tower of Drapt’na’at, having last been used by his father, King Araman, at the Battle of the Lake, where he was killed.

The Remusian Bow is considered a really fine weapon, not just in the context of the Icelands Coast or the northern continent, but against most bows in general. This weapon is a composite recurve bow, made from specially picked allicott wood, and interspersed with a layer of wison tendon and thin strips of carteloreen bone. This makes the bow especially strong as well as having a tremendous draw weight. Archers trained on this bow have been touted as only secondary to the elves in their ability. Arrows used with this bow often are plain wooden tipped, though sharpened metal heads are not uncommon, and even teeth from the Dark Stryke Shark are used. Feathers from the snow falcon are used as flights in the best arrows, while any feather can be used in most cases.

Armour is made from many types of leather or skins native to the Icelands Coast region. Boiled and hardened wison hide makes up the most common armour, though other skins such as the leather from dark stryke sharks is sometimes used as well. Metal armour, including mail, is nearly unheard of because the Remusians do not have that level of technology in metal working, as well as the rarity and brittle nature of Gathorn iron. Shields, like armour, come in a wide variety of leathers, usually stretched over a wooden, but more likely, bone frame.

The most modern of the Remusian advances in warfare is the Remusian War Chariot, which came into existence only in 1657 a.S. The advantages of this chariot, which is actually a sled, has been highly debated, and it has never been used in a real battle situation, only in small skirmishes in the Kordos province.

Military. The Remusian military is an organized military, which further separates the Remusians from their Ice Tribe cousins. Created many years ago, before the time of Kor’och and with the growth of Remusian cities, it has evolved over time into a complex machine that has placed the Remusians at the top of the Ice Tribe pecking order. Though some have argued that by training a professional army has lessened the feral ferocity of the tribal warrior of the other Ice Tribes, there is no denying that it has become a cohesive and deadly fighting force.

Army. The army is divided into many different branches, each having a specific duty. This evolved from a branch of elite warriors called the Kor’och-ohm-Wyshnir (lit. "Kor’och’s Warriors"), who were created in the early 800’s a.S. during the Third Orcish War, by a warrior named Caladayn. These warriors fervently believed in the divine nature of Kor’och and fought in his name. After the war, the sect of warriors was kept, and it became an elite arm of the army. In the 1400’s, the Kor’och-ohm-Wyshnirs were dissolved as a separate sect, though it is rumoured that they still exist as a secret force of the Temple of Kor’och.

Today, the army is divided into the Cavalry, the Guards, and the Wyshnirs (Warriors). All males in Remusian society are required to join the military between the ages of 16-20 and serve a period of 5 years. During this first 5 year term, no soldier is allowed to marry, but may do so if he reenlists. The ranks of the military are as follows: Private=Wyshnir (Warrior), Corporal=Wyshnir-eck- Honeyr (Honoured Warrior), Sargeant=Wyshnir-eck-E’shov (Esteemed Warrior), Lieutenant=Dragguer, Captain=Arrock, Major=Launce, Colonel=Suahrd, and General=Shialt. The title of Orsah is used before addressing anyone with the rank of Dragguer and up, followed by their given name. Thus when addressing the Commander of the Remusian Military, a General Graviaro Gryffyn-fey-Grau, you would address him as Orsah-Shialt Graviaro. He has been the man in charge of the Remusian military since 1648 a.S.

The main bulk of the army are the Wyshnirs. These are the foot soldiers. Usually the least trained, they are the most basically armed of the group, often having no real armour, sometimes shield, and carry a spear and sword. They are often the first warriors sent into the fray, and are used as fodder in most battles. Among the wyshnirs are also the archers, who are more skilled, and carry a bow and sword, and do not wear armour. They are kept out of the melee battles, and are used to thin the ranks of the enemy from a distance. These warriors became an important part of the army shortly after the rule of Pidandra, who had ordered the implementation of the Remusian bow into the military, replacing the simple short bow that is similar to what the other Ice Tribes use today.

The Cavalry are the elite of the army. Often, these warriors are from well to do families, as they must supply their own horses to join. Most buy them from Kor’och fey Mologh breeders, or from the army itself, but the cost prohibits most warriors from joining the cavalry. These men are used to break the ranks of approaching military units. To a man, they are excellent horsemen, and their tactics have been hailed throughout Remusian history. Remusians are rumoured to be born on horseback because of their riding ability. They are armed with the warsword, though many opt for Odomon blades if they have them, and carry a lance. They are covered in leather armour and many have shields. During times of peace, many are trained to perform intricate parades with the flagged lances to the delight of gathered crowds. The scouts are part of the cavalry. These hard men are often loners, who travel far ahead of the main army, usually on icesnouts, though some prefer horses. The report on enemy troop movements and anything else deemed relevant.

The Military Guards are the main guards for the cities and towns of the Remusians. Generally, they receive better pay, are less intensely trained, and get to live where they work. The body of this force is transferred from the army, based on criterion set out to the army leaders. Unless a new recruit knows someone of rank to pull strings, it is impossible to join up to be a Military Guard. They wear leather armour and carry warswords. Those who patrol the ramparts are also supplied with spears, and some are trained on the bow. The Palace Guards are the best of the best of the Military Guards. They are also known as the White Guards, as they wear white leather armour, and white cloaks. They are limited in their scope to the patrols of the palace and its grounds. Like the Military guards, they are equipped with swords and spears. The Bodyguards are the elite of the Palace Guards. Also known loosely as the Caracal, they are the personal Guards to Timeras, and all the Lanruls before him. They are dressed as the White Guards, but each has the Coat of Arms on their Breast Plates, and sewn onto their cloaks.

Navy. The Remusians have a small fleet of 5 warships and transports. Most of their duties involve protecting the fishing territory, chasing the occasional pirate, and providing safe transport of merchant ships. The Remusian Cog is the ship of choice, both in the military and the fishing vessels. Its large hold provides ample room for fish stores when used for fishing or whaling. Militarily, it is fast enough to catch up to most other vessels, and each is equipped with boarding ropes. Carved prows signify the Remusian navy from civilian ships. The dark stryke shark, caracal, thunderfoot, wison and wolf are the motifs for these ships, and though they are not officially named, are referred to by the prow motif.

This is the bulk of the navy’s personnel are simple sailors. Also known, somewhat derogatorily, as "Klymmers", because of the black uniforms they wear, they are the men who run the ships. They are armed only with daggers, and wear no armour. They fight as a last resort in battle. Conversely, proudly known as the "Strykers", named after the dark stryke shark, these men are the fighting force on the warships. They are dressed in dark leather armour, and brandish warswords and spears. Most are also equipped with bows as well. These soldiers are well feared on the seas, and in the towns, as they are exempt from all onboard duties, they are often practicing their weapon skills, and long trips by sea can make their boredom turn to rough carousing while in port. Many of the officers turn a blind eye to this, however.
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Occupations. The Remusians have developed many different occupations that were not needed when they were more closely linked to their Ice Tribe brethren. The development of cities creates a need for specialized service that is not called for in a small nomadic clan.

Of course, the largest supplier of jobs is the military. Every Remusian male is expected to serve in the military, and is required to serve at least 5 years, joining when they are between the ages of 16 and 20. Of course, being a very warlike people, many males prefer to stay in the military than return to less prestigious jobs.

Some of the urban jobs that are needed are salt harvesters, water caddies, and torch caddies. Salt harvesters, found mainly in Sorsokon, use a system by where they heat rocks in a large fire, then pour sea water slowly onto the rocks. The salt that is left, after the water turns to steam, is then scraped off the rocks and harvested after the rocks cool. This salt is then used as a cooking ingredient, but mostly to cure meat and fish for longer storage. Water caddies are used to deliver water to all people in the cities. Remusia has no fountains, and the water that flows into these cities are from the odenbels that flow through a system of underground channels called Whannokayni (lit. "water cave"). Mostly women serve as water caddies, though children and some men do hold this position. Children are also the main workers as torch caddies. They travel in the dark hours, carrying a small oil lantern, offering to walk with people and bringing light to them. The pay is meagre at best, and sometimes can be a dangerous job, more so in recent years, as some torch caddies have been robbed by the very people they escort through the dark. In the city of Sudarok, men are employed as coin makers. They work long hours in the nude, stamping and cutting metal into coins. Theft, which is hard to accomplish because of the nudity, is dealt with harshly, and the accused is taken out of the city for about 5 strals and left to fend for themselves. All of this while still nude.

Women are among the leaders in jewellery making. Fine gold filigree is turned into rings, earrings, and broaches. Perhaps the most beautiful of the jewellery, and the most Remusian in nature, are earrings made from the wings of the glass winged butterfly, and wind chimes, which can be heard in their delicate tinkling throughout the streets of Remusian cities.

Weaving is also becoming an industry of note for women, who turn cancu wool into an assortment of clothing products and tapestries. Wool workers produce wool from the cancu sheep by first sheering the sheep with sharp razors, then spinning the wool into thread. Once the thread has been woven into cloth, the cloth is soaked in human urine, for animal urine is considered inferior, and is tread upon by workers in bare feet until the urine has dissolved the fatty layer on the wool, making it much softer against the skin, and less likely to have a rancid smell later.

This has also created the need for urine gatherers, called waydi gurthers (lit. "waste gatherers"), who travel the streets and collect buckets of waste outside the doors of homes. Some houses separate their waste into solid and liquid materials, while others use the same bucket for both uses. To those who have supplied buckets of pure urine, these buckets are sold to the wool workers. The rest are disposed of east of the city, in the Bay of Calinth.

The Bay of Calinth provides the biggest opportunities for those hardy enough to make a living there. In the warmer months, fishing provides many jobs, and is done from small oared boats called "taug" that are lowered into the water from the larger fishing ships. Fishing is practiced at night where torches are lit on the tugs to attract the fish, then nets are used to bring in the fish that are attracted to the light. This same method is employed when whaling, though instead of nets being cast, harpoons are employed against the majestic carteloreen, which seem to inhabit the bay in great numbers, as if in response to the need in which the Remusians have of them. This is a very dangerous job, and many an intrepid whaler has lost his life in the frigid waters. During winter months, when the bay is frozen over, fishing is done through holes carved into the ice, or natural fissures if they can be found and approached safely. Lines of sheepgut are attached to iron hooks, which are baited with pieces of fish meat. The lines are then suspended from small tripods fashioned from wood or bone, and the hole and tripod are buried under a mound of snow to keep it from freezing in the frigid air. The lines are left overnight, and then checked the next day. Varlihn is the fish mostly caught by this method, as it is more active during the colder months than is the evoor.

Mining in Remusia is a fairly small industry, though it is on the rise. Most of it is done in the province of Kordos, where mining for gold is done. Gold mining in Kordos is a gruelling existence, and few stay with it for long, and those that do have considerably shorter life spans than the average male. In the Gathorn Mountains, an alternative to mining is searching for Gathorn Iron. The iron here is found on the surface, albeit under the snow and ice, usually in large globs of up to a heb in weight.

There are three quarries of note, that the Remusians exploit to their advantage. Ertimmer’s Blood, is quarried south of Dorm-nak, while Eye of Nechya, is found both east of Dorm-nak as well as south of Sudarok. Each of these areas has its own quarry, where workers use iron tools to carve the rock from the ground. It is a hard, and dangerous, job and many people have been killed or crippled by falling stone.

Farming is another small industry in Remusia. There are two types of farming which should be mentioned. One is the traditional method, which is employed out past Remusiat to the west, between Sorsokon and Sudarok. The summer months here are short, and the ground, only a few feet below the surface, stays frozen even during the warmer weather. Here, a grass called Phummel is grown, which produces a small, course grain, that the Remusian people use for flatbread and whisk-away, a distilled liquor. The plant is hardy, and can survive an occasional early winter or late spring, so prevalent in this area of the world. The other type of agriculture is Odenbellug, which, as the name suggests, uses the Odenbels (hot springs) that can be found on the frozen wastes. This is a very labour intensive undertaking, and truthfully, provides little more than a pittance in relation to that work. However, a pittance compared to nothing is what the Remusians face everyday, and they go about it in taciturn fashion, like most everything they do. Using the inherent heat of the water from the Odenbels, the farmers expand on the natural “oasis” of life that grows around the spring by pouring water on the ground at regular intervals. They have managed to expand the fertile growing area to about a third of a stral in each direction of the spring, and for about a stral downstream. Beyond this, the water becomes too cold to do much good, and the streams that are created by the Odenbels are frozen over and too hard to get at. In these Odenbellugs, the Remusians grow many of the vegetables that they use to flavour their meals of mostly meat and fish.

Some Remusians opt for raising herds of wison, cancu sheep and Kor’och fey Mologh. Many lower Remusians will tell you that captive wison meat tastes nothing like wild wison meat, and disdain the practice, but most Remusians are happy for the meat that replaces so much fish. The keeping of these herds requires a large grazing area, and these herds are constantly moved from area to area as the feed, hrugchuck grass, is depleted.

A new industry has sprung up in Remusia that has been a source of contention between those who make their living from it, and most other Remusians. This is the fairly modern practice of hide hunting, where Remusian hunters track down wison for the express purpose of just getting trophies, such as the hide, horns and tongue, which is considered a choice cut of meat. In many instances, the rest of the carcass is left. These hide hunters are looked down upon by most Remusians, though they make good money by taking foreigners from the south out with them to experience the thrill of the hunt.
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Medicine. As with most things, Remusian medicine is far behind what more southern tribes would consider modern. They seem to not have put much effort into identifying individual diseases, and have only developed broad based cures that sometimes, and more often not, work. Death, to them, seems to be viewed as more a natural progression, and not something to fight with every available tool.

The Remusians use a variety of plants to fight disease. The sap from the hrugchuk grass is used to induce fevers, in order to drive disease from the body. The sap, as well, is used to cover the body to help against the effect of cold. To fight lor’ang’urg disease (“Winter Weakness”, scurfy), juk’lan leaves are steeped in hot water and the Remusian’s drink this. As well, the eating of livers of any kind is disdained, as it is thought that eating them brings on the Winter Weakness. It is unsure where this assumption came from. Eggs from the Shati rain are used to create a drink that helps with fighting fevers.

The Remusian treatment of injuries is sometimes viewed as less that humane. Myrmex beetles are the traditional means by which open wounds are closed. The insects are allowed to bite the edges of the open wound, drawing it closed, then the head is twisted off. The head will eventually dry and fall off, and sometimes the process needs to be repeated. In recent years, the use of bone needles and sheep gut have begun to be the better method of stitching wounds.

Pain relief is often obtained by one of two methods. Feurergelee is made from wison fat and saiph stones, and is used as an anaesthetical ointment. It is rubbed on the area of the body that needs to be numbed. The other way of pain relief is the alth'mon plant, known to the Ice Tribes as "Varro". This is used to brew a drink that numbs the entire body.

Because of the Remusian’s poor medical knowledge, they were the victims of many charlatans after the Fifth Orcish War in 1654. During the war, the orcs had used captured siege engines to throw diseased bodies into the city, which caused an outbreak of Iceland Plague, which the Ice Tribes call "Haifyrth eck Orgth" (Orc Fever). This spread quickly throughout the Remusian population.

This was also the time when the Remusians were opening themselves up more to trade from the south. Up until this time, there was no such thing as pipe smoking in Remusia, with no herbs available for such purposes. Unethical traders began claiming items such as Thar’oc weed would ward off the plague, if smoked everyday. This has led to a subculture of Remusians who are now addicted to the weed. Unaware of the dangers of the drug, many infants were stillborn to mothers who smoked often. As well, many alcohol based “cures” were introduced, often no more than Scutch mixed with honey to thicken it. Scam artists made a pretty penny selling these so-called cures, and in doing so, caused a more widespread problem within the Remusian society.

The lost city of Ombaxxis is also rumoured to have a spa with great healing effects. Known as the Great Spa, it is said that the waters here can cure a multitude of diseases and afflictions, simply by bathing here. This has never been proven however, and first hand accounts are very difficult to confirm, as most Remusians will not visit this city, and those that have, are not likely to talk about it.

A significant number of Remusian healers are women. At first blush, this would seem to go against Remusian, and more so, Ice Tribe culture. It is thought that the first women healers came shortly after the Third Sarvonian War, causing some scholars to link these healers with the Daughter’s of Choan, as the Remusian word for Doctor, "Duotyer", is a derivative of their word for Daughter, Duorochtyer. There are no available facts to prove this, however.

These healers are trained in what was once known as the White Citadel, found in Sudarok. They wear flowing white robes, and are trained under the auspices of the Temple of Kor’och. The temple has a close affinity to these healers, these Duotyers, as it is related how Kor’och was severely wounded at one point in his life and was healed by one of these healers. Before this time, ca. 470 a.S., the Duotyers were forced to keep a low profile, as Ice Tribe culture made being a female healer a dangerous profession. Often, it is told how warriors who were wounded were brought to the healers, but if the warrior died, the healer would soon join him.

Today, these healers are revered in Remusian culture, and are somewhat mysterious in their ties to the temple. Their healing techniques often involve as much prayer as actual medical technique. As well, they are held to a vow of celibacy. Sometimes they are allowed to marry, but this can only be granted by the temple cleric.
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Government. Remusiat is the capitol city of Remusia. The King of Remusia is found here, in the Tower of Drapt’na’at, and is the sole ruler, though he must confer with a council of nobles who advise him on matters of state. The term “King” has only been in use in the last fifty years, brought in by King Araman, who wished to emulate the great kings he had heard about from the south. Before this, the king was known as the Lanrul. This term, however, means only “leader”, and as such, each clan, each village has its own Lanrul. Araman wanted to have a title that showed more his rank of leader of the entire Remusian people.

Lanrul Luam (1039-1056) had an advisor that was a mage, who claimed to be a healer. This angered the people who could not accept this. It was said the advisor had unnatural control over the king after some decisions shocked the population. The mage was found murdered. It caused great scandal, but the culprits were never found.

In the early years, Remusia was a conglomerate of city-states, where each clan of Remusians swore fealty to each other to stand against the other warring Ice Tribes and the ever present orc threat. By the 400’s b.S., Lanrul Rivegg had brought all the clans under his control, and essentially founded the modern country of Remusia. In his time, he made Sudarok the capital, and it stayed there until 110 a.S. when Wurg became the ruling Lanrul. Wurg moved the capitol to Remusiat, where it has stayed ever since. This has caused a schism between the two cities, which have often rivalled each other over the years in commerce, the arts, and military strength.

Law. Remusian law has been described as “as harsh as a Remusian winter”. The most feared law, is that which outlaws magic. From the time of the War of the Chosen, the Remusians, indeed all the Ice Tribes, have shunned magic. Hanging, being covered in carteloreen fat then set alight, or crushing under a load of stones are all forms of punishment to those caught practicing the arcane arts. However, the most gruesome of the forms of capital punishment, is Splitting. Splitting is where the prisoner is hung upside down, with legs held apart. A swordsman then brings down a blade into the groin area of the prisoner, sometimes cutting them completely in two, while other times the prisoner is left alive long enough to see himself eviscerated.

Torture is seen as a viable way to obtain confessions from not just mages, but anyone suspected of crimes. A favourite form of this is the Drop, where a person is bound with arms behind their back. The prisoner is then dropped from a height, with the hands tied to a rope, so that when the person hits the end of the rope, the sudden stop jerks the arms upwards behind them, often dislocating the arms at the shoulders.

One law of note, is because of the scarcity of meat, that one day of each week is considered Fish Day, where everyone must eat only fish. This is a very old law, and goes to protect the tribe from running out of valuable resources. To break this law could mean that one, and their family, be banished from the clan.

Challenges to one’s honour often resulted in the two warriors duelling with sword, or spear. Often, these duels ended in maiming or death. It was once very popular among warriors, though in recent years, it has been discouraged, though not outlawed.

Traitorous acts are dealt with by releasing the traitor naked into the wilds. As being a traitor is considered to go against the land, it is the land that shall have its revenge. Similarly, those deemed insane are set adrift in a small boat. Heterniz the water deity is said to have control of thoughts and emotions, as they ebb and flow like water, thus setting the person adrift in a boat is to release them back to the god.

Education. Education in Remusia is still done mostly by parents. Mothers teach their children through storytelling. As the children grow older, they begin to follow the examples of each of the parents. For example, girls will be taught by mothers on how to cook, and to weave. Boys, will follow their fathers on hunts and learn how to track and use weapons. In primitive clans, young boys followed warriors into battle, and helped dispatch wounded enemy warriors, and gathered the loot after a battle: arrows, weapons, jewellery, etc.

Formal education is very rare in Remusia. Sudarok has the only formal facility in the entire country. The Arah-fey-Kivhar (lit. "House of Art") is found in Sudarok, which is devoted to providing a place for artists to live and work, with the goal of teaching their talents to a new generation of potential artists.
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Production/Trade. The Remusians have begun to open up more trade in the last century than they ever had before. Before this, trade was with the Vertans for Saiph Stones, or with the Kanapans for many different items. In recent years, the Kanapans are still relied on as a strong and important trading partner, but trade has begun with the south. This has come from the opening of the port at Remusiat to foreign trade ships. No Remusian ship has traveled to the south, and trade has only flourished with merchant vessels coming to Remusia from the south. Some have argued that this does put the Remusians at a disadvantage, but their intrinsic isolationist society still keeps them from looking too far on the horizon, preferring the outside world to come to them on their own terms.

Because of this, the Remusians have only one trade ship, the Gryffon. It is a ship based on ancient design, and lends credence to the legend that says that a ship came here in the late 1200’s or early 1300’s. The legend declares that this ship arrived, looking for trade and at first all went well. The ship brough exotic goods to the Remusians, who in turn, filled the hold of the ship with many rich furs and other Remusian goods, jewellery, stone, Saiph stones, and other goods. Whether through misunderstanding or some other insult that will never be known, things turned violent. The Remusians stormed the ship, killed all aboard, and burned the ship, sinking it in the harbour. Though there are no records, it is speculated that the ship in question was a ship of the Stormcloaks, as in that time, they were beginning to explore around the northern edge of the Kanapan Peninsula.

The Remusians use the Gryffon to travel around the Kanapan Peninsula to Carbrand, where they trade furs, Saiph stones, jewellery and anything else of value for juk’lan leaves, tansia oil and other items not found in the Ice Lands. They travel mainly within sight of the coast, and do not venture further than Carbrand.

Until the late 1500’s, when the discovery and subsequent gain in importance of gold came to be, the Remusian people used caracal teeth as currency. Since that time, a mint was created in Sudarok, and is the only one of its kind in Remusia. Gold coin is the accepted currency of choice with the opening of trade to the south. Remusian currency consists of four coin, two iron coins and two gold coins. One large gold coin, called a Caracal, is worth 12 small gold coins, called a Mologh, which in turn is worth 12 of the large iron coins, called the Carteloreen, and the Evoor is the small iron coin, which is worth 1/12 of a Carteloreen. Of course, each coin has the stamp of the animal it is named for on one side of it, while all coins have the Forsaken Blade stamped into the other side.

Foreign currency is accepted everywhere, though at a greatly reduced rate. Money changers can be found in each of the larger cities, where foreigners can exchange their money for Remusian money, therefore getting a better rate of exchange.

The Remusians work as middlemen for the Saiph stone trade. Though some occasionally wash up on the Remusian shoreline, by far the greater quantity is traded for with the Vertans. They exchange grain and worked iron, weapons and tools, for the stones. They then use the saiph stones to trade to the south for other goods. Other items traded to the south horses, which bring in large sums, and shark fin.

Pidandra of 150 Days was the first to send a delegation to the Kanapan region in over 400 years, since the 2nd Orcish War in 578 a.S. These routes had been abandoned after the Tokarians and the Sarmanians had defeated the Remusians and pushed them back. She did not live long enough to see the success of its return, which brought back items such as holy oil from the tansia seed, lottann wine and cheese, and feylian larvae and juk’lan leaves. Since then, the city of Barsalon, and the Kanapans have become an important trading partner.

Lyrotal Draconall was a famous explorer, who traveled with a group of warriors and used giants from the Stone Fields of Peat as beasts of burden. He found them more useful than traditional mounts, and was once credited with exclaiming, about his successes, “If I have seen further than other Remusians, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” He disappeared during one of his expeditions, presumably eaten by one of those giants he was standing on.

Remusia is a fairly poor country, when compared to the more southern area of the continent. Because of the barren land beneath the frozen snow and ice, very little can be harvested in mass quantities. Stone is the exception to this.

Three large quarries provide much stone for the Remusians. The Remusians have devised a way to use nature in order to help them with the quarrying process. Using hard but small stones to dig holes into a larger stone, they then pour water into these holes and plug them using stone and wet rawhide. Making these holes close together over the course of a short distance, they let the water in them freeze, and the expanding ice splits the stone off from the original rock. It is a slow, agonizingly repetitive job, but it is the only way the Remusians have to do this.

The fur trade is another strong industry for the Remusian people. Hunters regularly catch many types of animals that provide furs for clothes and for trade. The largest center for processing these furs is in Remusiat, though each city has such an industry. In Remusiat, a large building houses the workers, mostly women, who process the furs by filling a large tub with furs and much tallow. They then stomp on the furs with bare feet for hours a day, for several days, until the furs are soft. Once done, they are washed in a water and urine mixture to remove the tallow, and then washed again in fresh water.

Technology. Lack of great reserves of wood has shaped the Remusian culture in many ways. Technologically, they are quite unique in the way they, as a people, have found ways around this. In recent years, they have begun to adopt southern technology, but there is a large opposition to this. Most Remusians are isolationists, and do not want to mix with any other peoples, and the believers in the old gods are the major voice in this. They look at new technologies as un-Remusian, therefore beneath them.

Agriculture is carried out using wison pelvis’ as ploughs. They can be pulled by horse, very rarely by wison, as they are too hard to control, but mainly, they are pulled by the women or children. It is gruelling and back-breaking, but it provides the Remusians with the much sought after Phummel.

Transportation is achieved through the use of rawhide and bone, usually carteloreen, but wison and thunderfoot as well. Taugs are made by using bone for the ribs of the boat, then encasing it in a sheath of rawhide. These boats, used for fishing, are typically oar driven, small, cramped and wet. Up to 16 men can fit in these boats, but usually only when they are being used for whaling, as the need for many oars to get the required speed for the chasing of the carteloreen. Sleds are built in much the same way, with a bone frame and rawhide covering. Teams of icemuts pull these sleds, which can haul large amounts of meat from a hunt to the nearest community, or blocks of stone from the quarries to the cities. The simplest tool in the transport of goods, however, is the simple tump line, held across the forehead, and shoulders, and a man just pulls the weights across the snow.

Militarily, lack of wood has meant a lack of siege weapons. Alicott wood is used in the transformation of Gathorn iron into Remusian steel. Remusian steel can vary greatly, and the greater amount, by far, is a sub par steel to most of the steel found in other areas of Sarvonia. This steel tends to be brittle, unless tempered by an expert. Unfortunately for the Remusians, there are few masters of the smith.

In fact, the best swords are those handed down for multi generations, made by a man named Odomon, who lived in the late 1500’s. Many of his swords are still used by the wealthier Remusians. Few are sold, but handed down father to son. He was the founder of a new swordmaking technique, where a spiritual component was added to the process. He would spend as much time praying to various gods, appealing to them to let the spirit of the metal come to life. As such, many of his swords have been given names, and a few have legends surrounding them, as if they had a life of their own. It is surmised by modern Compendumists, that this is a harkening back to the Forsaken Blade, and no real spirit is imbued into these otherwise beautiful and deadly weapons. But, the Remusians hold fast to their beliefs.

Engineering. For the most part, Remusian engineering is on a lower level of sophistication. There are, however, a few examples that should be mentioned.

The first example of Remusian engineering, is one of huge potential, but failed execution. Called Jahvahn’s Folly, it is a stone wall that extends for 63 strals, from the Bay of Calinth north of Sorsokon, to an ignominious end in the Frozen Wastes. The Lanrul Jahvahn I began the project shortly after ascending the throne in 411 AS. It had been his dream to continue the wall up to the foot of the Gathorn Mountains, but was abandoned by Cear I in 421 a.S. The wall is quite thick, enough so that 4 horses can be ridden side by side along its top. It rises, on average, 12 peds in the crisp Remusian air.

Both Remusiat and Sudarok are fully walled cities, where Rhemir has only the inner older city walled, and not the expansion that has occurred since the Remusian takeover. The crown in the jewel of Remusian engineering is the wall around Remusiat. It was built as a double wall, the outer wall built at an angle outward of the inner wall, making it virtually impossible to scale. If the attackers were to breach the outer wall, the inner wall creates a bottleneck for the attackers. This leaves them vulnerable to attacks by arrows from the inner wall defenders, as well as from boiling oil. Getting a battering ram into this small area is next to impossible, without clearing away a large area of the outer wall. During the Fifth Orcish War, the orcs were trying to sap the wall near the Western Gate, when the entire area in front of the gate collapsed, crashing into the bay. After the war, a bridge was built across this gap, and the western gate was returned to working order.

The Remusians are adept at underground construction. This cannot be compared to the skill that the dwarven races have perfected it, but for the Ice Tribe area, they are head and shoulders above all others in underground engineering. The gold mines in the province of Kordos is where they started this trend. They built by using fire. Piling large amounts of fat at the rear of the tunnel, they set it alight and let it burn, then using cold water from the surface, splashed the walls causing the rock to literately explode and then the miners could dig away the rubble. They used this same technique to dig below the streets of Remusiat. Once they were gold mines, but very little gold was ever found there and the project was dropped. However, it was later picked up again, when the Lanruls found it fashionable to bury their dead with their possessions. The abandoned mine caverns then became a necropolis of Remusian dead.

Because of the extreme weather of the Iceland Coast area, there are no surface rivers. The Odenbells that bubble up the hot water springs, create small streams that are frozen over a few strals from their source. The water, however, keeps flowing underneath the ice, and in some cases, has carved its way underground. This gave early Remusian engineers an idea for bringing water to where it was needed most; the cities.

Intrepid workers were dispatched to did tunnels, up to several strals in length, that were started at the point where the surface water was no longer warm enough to sustain the small farms that are built near each Odenbell. These tunnels, called Whannokayni (lit. "water cave"), are not the elaborate creations that the dwarves are noted for, but rather, simple tunnels, often not much taller than a man and barely wide enough to allow a full sized man to walk along. It is a very confining space, and there are many reports of workers who began to suffer systems that the Remusians call Tunnel Sickness, or the Crushing Disease, as victims often felt that the walls were closing in on them and they could not breathe underground. No deaths were attributed to it, but many workers were no longer able to continue the tunnelling projects.

The Whannokayni were built at a specific angle, so that the water kept flowing enough that it did not pool thus freezing, but that it would not flow too fast and erode too quickly the tunnel floor. As well, there were several spots along the path were they did intentional build areas that were much deeper and at a much lessened angle. These are sediment pools, where the water is allowed to slow to a point where the silt will fall to the bottom of the pool. Workers must empty the sediment of these pools when they fill up.

When these Whannokayni reach the city, they are emptied into a great underground aquifer, often three or four in the larger cities. Remusiat has six such aquifers, spread out in different areas of the city. Each is accessible by a staircase that leads down to it, underground. At the top, a small building is built that houses the Garron-eck-Whanno ("Water Guard"), who is in charge of making sure that the water is safe. Anyone who wants water must enter the building, and is then allowed access to the winding staircase that brings them down to the aquifer. A small fee of one evoor is charged for each bucket of water taken, in order to pay for the upkeep of the Whannokayni.

It can be argued that it was the building of the Whannokayni and aquifers that led to the population explosion in the city of Remusiat, and its eventual takeover as the capitol of Remusia. Remusiat was the first city to have these Whannokayni and the aquifers, which was built around 10 b.S., under the Remusiat Lanrul Kiamuk. In successive generations, his great grandson Wurg, the Lanrul who took power of all of Remusia in 104 a.S., had all the cities begin building similar Whannokayni.

The harbour of Remusiat is another shining example of Remusian engineering overcoming adversity. After several boats had been destroyed by icebergs calving from the ice shelf off of Sanartrim, the Remusians came up with an ingenious idea for their harbour. Piling huge quantities of rock into the water, they shaped a circular wharf, with a narrow opening facing to the west, rather than toward the north, where the Bay of Calinth lay. On this pile of stone, they built a smooth walkway, about half the height of a man, to which mooring blocks were placed. The harbour can take up to 15 or so Remusian ships, though that amount would be less, if larger ships from the south were moored there. A causeway leads from the shore to the harbour, large enough that several carts can pass one another at once.

Though there has never been a sea invasion attempted on Remusiat, in typical Remusian fashion, they have built defences to stop one, might one ever occur. At the mouth of the harbour entrance, the Remusians have devised a row of spikes that sit at the bottom of the bay, laying flat. However, if an enemy ship were to try and sail into the harbour, the spikes are raised at the pointed end, sitting just below the water line. The other ends are planted securely to the sea bed. In theory, these spikes will then pierce the hull of the ship, rendering it unseaworthy. It follows the same idea as a row of pikes against a cavalry charge.

Necteref’s Abode, the giant mountain of Ice in the Frozen Wastes north of Dorm’-nak, was built using new and ingenious techniques. The facade of columns, faux windows, and pediments and embrasures was carved into the ice from the top down. Starting at the top, workers crated a shelf to stand on and carved the design into the ice, and slowly chiselled down the shelf until it reached the ground and the facade was finished. The facade can be seen from far away, it is that large, but even up close, one can see the mastery that the Remusian’s have over ice sculpting.
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Natural Resources. Though the Ice lands are poor countries, this has more to do with cultural insulation than from lack of natural resources. True, wood in the form of trees is a rare item, and a luxury reserved for only the wealthiest Remusians, but there is a bit of wood that Remusians can get. Driftwood is an expensive item that washes up on the shores of Remusia from the Iol Peninsula, namely the Mantle Woods. Then again, in the Gathorn Mountains, there is a small shrub called the Alicott that provides wood in small amounts. During the summer months, when the sea is open, ships will travel to the Mantle Woods, where the Remusians harvest as much wood as they can before the weather turns poor once more. Though it may sound like a lot, in reality, it yields little compared to the needs of Remusian society, so the traditional materials like bone are still used.

Stone is the great resource of the Ice Lands. It can be found in great abundance here, if one wishes to clear the ice away. Most of it is unassuming and common stone, but there are pockets of fine expensive stone here as well. Red Marble, called Ertimmer’s Blood, is quarried south of Dorm-nak, while Black Granite, called the Eye of Nechya, can be found both east of Dorm-nak as well as south of Sudarok.

There are not many types of metals in Remusia. However, iron can be found in the Gathorn Mountains. Known as Gathorn Iron, it is a strange metal in that it is found in large rounded globs under the ice and snow. It is also a poor iron that takes an extra hot fire in order to remove the impurities in the metal. Thus, very skilled smiths are needed to work it. Gold is also found here, mostly in the northern areas of Kordos province. There is not much of it to be found, but what there is is lusted after by enterprising Remusians.

Of course, the sea provides much of Remusia’s resources. The sea that serves the Remusians well is the Bay of Calinth, a stormy arm of the Ice Sea. Fish, in a wide variety of species provide much to the Remusian people, as well as other types of sea going creatures, like carteloreen. As well, a lucky Remusian might find a saiph stone having washed up on the rocky shore..
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Belief. Religion is the great schism in Remusian society. It has separated the people greatly, especially in recent years, and has become a focal point for many issues, and threatens to bring about and end to the Remusian way of life. Two groups, the monotheistic believers in Kor’och, and the polytheistic believers in the traditional Ice Tribe pantheon, are in a life and death struggle with the other for dominance in Remusian culture. Where there once was tolerance for the other now has been replaced with growing discrimination and outright violence.

The monotheistic Temple of Kor'och has been the smaller of the religions for 1200 hundred years. It has been described as very militaristic in their views. They have come into power only recently, in 1635 when Araven ascended the throne, who was a strong believer in Kor’och. He publicly claimed that belief in Kor’och was the true state religion, though he did not outlaw the old gods worship. This was to the chagrin and consternation of the Temple of Kor’och. The Council of Rhemir in 1339 had decreed that the old gods were no longer valid, as Kor’och had defeated them and took their place as the focal point of Remusian worship. To have the old gods still worshipped by many in society was an insult and heretical to the newer religion.

The believers in the Ice Tribe pantheon were equally outraged, as they had always seen the worship of Kor’och as a cult to be tolerated, if not an addendum to the worship of the Ice Tribe pantheon. Kor’och had been a great national hero, who himself was a believer in the old gods, referring to himself in life as "Asterlin’s Fury". So followers of the old gods assumed that followers of Kor’och would always still see the old gods as the pinnacle of divine order. The shift in state sanctions came as a slap in the face to them.

Since the Council of Rhemir, in 1339, the Temple of the Old Gods has responded by trying to eradicate the Temple of Kor’och as a religious power, but has failed to do so. All efforts to convert the followers of Kor'och back to the old gods has met with much resistance. This frustration has led to violence on both sides, and deaths have been the unfortunate result. These range from simple fights between the differing factions, leading to someone being killed, to what have been described as nefarious plots which led to assassinations of temple leaders on both sides.

Polarized views of the temples have resulted. The more urban Remusians tend toward the Temple of Kor’och, while the nomadic hunters lean towards the traditional gods. The followers of Kor’och are more modern in their views toward trade and opening up of the country to outsiders, while the traditionalists fear the outside world and wish to keep to themselves.

Temple of Kor’och. Nacu-Remusians (new Remusians) believe in Kor’och, “Winged Lord of the Eternal”. Kor’och is a warrior god, and is normally pictured as a winged, hooded figure, riding a great black horse and carrying a large battle axe.

The unique aspect about the belief in Kor’och, compared to many other religions, is that Kor’och was a man; a verifiable historical figure. He was born in 453, the result of a rape of a Remusian warrior and a Tokarian woman. The Remusian found out that the woman became pregnant, and since he had no other children as his Remusian wife had died years ago, ordered the Tokarian woman to live with him in Rhemir. It was a tough childbirth, and the woman did not survive. The Remusian warrior, however, never truly forgave the boy for his mixed heritage and treated him very poorly. Later in his life, Kor'och would recount how his father would get drunk and throw knives at the boy in his anger. When Kor’och was 15, he claims that he turned on his father and killed him. To escape justice, he changed his name to Kor'och, which means "rebirth" or "reborn" (later it was to come to be another name for god), and joined the army. There are no records of what his name might have been prior to this.

Kor’och joined the army in Rhemir, and entered adulthood as a brutish killer, devising a two axe technique that has never been duplicated. He rose in the ranks as he fought the Tokarians, the Sarmanians in the east and the orcs to the south. His uncle on his mother’s side, a blacksmith, created Kor’och a great shield which he used with his lance.

Here, it is said, is where the divinity of Kor’och begins to emerge. First, his weapons became enchanted, though through Kor’och himself, and not magically. Through his own being, he transferred power into these items that they did not have before he took them. Legend relates how, after his patrol got lost in a snowstorm in the Gathorn Mountains, they were on the brink of starvation, and Kor’och wandered off on his own. When he returned, a small herd of wison were following him, and his patrol was thus able to keep from starving to death.

When Kor’och entered his fifties, he began to devote more and more time to prayer and self awareness. Needing solitude, he retreated to the Gathorn Mountains, where he lived by himself, hoping to spend time in quiet contemplation of his life. A few of his closest companions kept returning to Kor’och’s retreat, bringing him supplies and checking on the man. It was rumoured that Kor’och's retreat was in a lush green valley that did not freeze, even during the winter. His followers were sworn to secrecy, so that this retreat would stay hidden.

After Kor’och’s death, ca 512 a.S., many writings of his were found on vellum scrolls. The fact that he could write is often debated as proof of his divinity, as he had no formal schooling and in life he was never known to have learned to write. Thus, believers say, that is proof that he had become a god, while detractors claim the writings were later works of an anonymous source and were only attributed to Kor’och. These works go into detail how Kor’och believed that all life, all men were the mixture of Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Darkness. He claims that with the right mixture of these elements, one could become the perfect being. Though Kor’och never claims in these writing to have achieved this himself, later scholars would argue that he had indeed done so, and thus had not died, but ascended to the next realm.

The first places of worship to Kor’och began to spring up in the mid 550’s. They were simply caves in the Gathorn Mountains, which the Temple of Kor’och has always revered with significance. Large ice statues were carved to honour him, in much the same way as the Ice Tribes revere ice totems to their gods. Each winter, religious devotees would come and create new statues to replace the ones that had melted each summer. Scholars point out that this is where the Remusian skill of ice carving first came into prominence, becoming the rich artform it is today.

In the early 600’s, the caves were abandoned in favour of temples, the first being in Rhemir. They teach the philosophy that life is not real, but only a test. That true life begins in the next world, once one has gained perfection through the five elements. It is a philosophy that catches on rather slowly, as it gives women access to this next world as equally as men. It also breaks away from the strict warrior code that all Ice Tribe follow. This is quite interesting, as Kor’och himself was an accomplished warrior.

During the Third Orcish War, in 814 a.S., a warrior named Caladayn claimed that Kor’och had visited him in a dream, and that Kor’och himself was telling him how to fight the orcs. Caladayn ended up in command of the armies in the east, and he proved to have remarkable skill. In the southwest, the Remusians lost great tracts of land to the orc and Antislar armies, but in the southeast, the borders held.

It is during this time, that legends surrounding Kor’och’s Lance began to spring up. It is said that Caladayn wielded the lance, and that after Caladayn died, the lance disappeared once more. Legend says that in times of greatest need, the lance will return once more to be wielded by a hero to save the people of Remusiat.

The seat of religious power had been, up until the late 800’s, in Rhemir, the birthplace of Kor’och. However, it moved to Dorm-nak, closer to the Gathorn Mountains and closer to the place where Kor’och had spent his last years. For close to 400 years it stayed there, but in the mid 1200’s, power again returned to Rhemir. But when it did, it was a stronger, harsher religion. The Lanrul of Rhemir was a strong supporter of the Kor’och sect, and he imposed strict laws according to the perfection of life that Kor’och claimed was the purpose of this life test. All crimes were punishable by death. One account has that several young boys were subjected to Splitting for the simple crime of vandalism. One of them had carved a boast of his warrior prowess comparing himself to Kor’och into a stone on the outside of the temple.

Over the years, a mixture of new and old religions was taking place. The pantheon of old gods was now having to house the new god of Kor'och. Stories of Kor'och intermingling with the old gods were told, including one in which Kor'och and Reanor had become lovers. Later additions to this story recounbted how she became more and more jealous of Kor'och's growing powers and stole his shield, so that he would be defenseless, while Pargis was convinced to kill Kor'och. This story is widely considered as a way to justify the harsh persecution of the cult of Reanor by the Temple of Kor'och.

This worried the leaders of the Temple of Kor’och, so that in 1339, a general council was brought together in Rhemir of all the temple leaders from all over Remusiat. The Council of Rhemir formed the doctrine that was to be the basis of the temple in years to come. In it, they claimed that when Kor’och ascended to the next realm, that he defeated the old gods that were there. The old gods of Nechya, Zundefor and the others were dead. He had taken the next realm as his own, and only those who followed him, and attained the perfection of the five elements could enter. As well, all true temples of Kor’och had to have an item of Kor’och’s in it, whether it is piece of bone, or lock of hair, or clothing. All clerics had to be shaved bald upon initiation, and their heads coated with Tansia seed oil, and the new hair allowed to grow again while tansia oil was applied everyday. This symbolized his rebirth as a disciple of Kor’och. All children, boys and girls, that were followers of Kor’och had to have tansia seed oil anointed on them, from under their left eye down to the collarbone on their left shoulder. This traces the scar that Kor’och is said to have from a beating he took from his father, and the age of 15 is when Kor’och supposedlykilled his father and became an adult.

Today, there is much tension between the Temple of Kor'och and the worshippers of the old gods. Outright hostilities have been forbidden by the Lanrul Timeras, but rumours abound of schemes and plots by both sides. Many see it as a tinderbox poised to erupt with a single spark of aggression.

Ice Tribe Pantheon. Traditional Remusians believe in the Ice Tribe pantheon of gods. However, like all things Remusian, they are not completely in step with how the other Ice Tribes observe their religion. They do agree that in the beginning, there was only one god, Afrasnyr, who was chaos himself. He fought with himself so violently, that he tore himself into the 15 gods of the Ice Tribes. The supreme gods are Phoblit (the male day god) and Nechya (the female night goddess), Brender (thunder), Asterlin (lightning), Chelinor (snow), Weabor (wind), Reanor (rain), Peierojon (fire), Pargis (ice), Heterniz (water), Zundefor (the land animal spirit, in the form of the great white bear), Aleshnir (the sea animal spirit in the form of a white whale), Necteref (death), Asendin (sea) and Ertemmir (the earth).

As well as the 15 gods, are the sexless avatars that do their bidding on the land. These avatars also question the dead, and determine their fate. How one answers will determine whether you will enter the next realm, or be flung into the fires. Life after death is a great motivator for the warriors. These avatars are in the form of humanoid animals, and can be encountered in the world. Sometimes these avatars are completely animal, sometimes beasts with human heads, and sometimes humans with animal heads. Other mixtures can be found, but those three are the most commonly referred to.

Each god has its own cult status within the larger Ice Tribe religion. Each is worshipped in its own way apart from the belief in the pantheon. Thus a Remusian sailor can be a follower of Asendin in most things, but can still call upon Weabor when needing a favourable wind. A typical Remusian will offer up prayers and offerings to a multitude of different gods throughout their lifetime, but will have one god that they consider themselves more closely connected to.

Holidays, Festivals and Observances. It has been a long held belief that Remusians, Ice Tribes as a whole, did not have any celebrations, as they were a hard people that did not let themselves open to gaiety. In recent years, with the opening up of the north to more people, it has become apparent that this belief is not as true as previously thought.

The festival of Drag’nas’or is celebrated to honour the dead, where every fire is burned in Remusia, and is known as the Day of Light. This day, is a combined festival where the gods Necteref and Peierojon play major roles. The fires are lit with flames taken from the main temple of Peierojon in Rhemir, where the Eternal Flame is kept burning. As well, Necteref is rejoiced for the honour he has bestowed upon those who have died, by taking them to the next world. But, in the end, it is the people who have died that are celebrated, as families tell stories recounting the lives of these people. This celebration is observed mid winter, around the 15th day of Turning Star.

Another important celebration is the Festival of Summer's Arrival. This festival takes place near the 1st day of Rising Sun. In Sudarok, the most grand of the celebrations are held, in which musicians, singers and dancers perform along the grande avenue, a street lined with many frozen statues of ferocious animals found in the area.

Berg Ponies are a rare aberration of the Kor’och fey Mologh, the Remusian Horse. It is rare when one of these blue coloured foals is born, and it is an omen of good fortune. When the foal is one year old, a feast is held in which the foal is eaten by the participants. It should be noted that this is the only time Remusians will consume horse meat, unlike there Ice Tribe brethren who will partake of it if the need arises.

The rites of death have been a subject of great interest to the scholars studying the Remusians. This is because of the many changes they have undergone over the years. Ten millenia ago, at around the time that Remusians first became their own tribe, they had can only be describes as a horrifying rite. When a hero was killed, his flesh was mixed with other meat in a great stew, and was eaten by all members of the clan. It was believed that by doing so, the hero’s courage and wisdom were passed on to those who consumed the stew. To not participate would be seen as a huge insult to the man and his memory, resulting in banishment or outright death.

Years later, this practice was slowly changed to where the body of a dead person would be left out on the frozen wastes for the animals to take. In the case of great warriors, the body would be examined again in a day or two. Depending on the type of animal that had feasted on the warrior, it was believed this would determine his status in the next world. Great warriors, it was said, were devoured by the greatest of beasts, while lesser warriors would be eaten by lesser animals. The Remusians viewed the body as merely a vessel that holds the spirit, and as such, the container held no value in of itself.

There is a story that goes back into the mists of times, and has been retold for generations. The lanrul of Sorsokon was a man despised by many people, and one who came to power under suspicious circumstances. Rumours abounded that he had the former lanrul poisoned, which is considered a very cowardly way to murder someone. Try as he might, this new lanrul could not put the rumours to rest. When at last he grew old and died, his enemies stepped forward to challenge the succession of rule to the son. The son vehemently denied that his father had committed such a vile crime, and announced that the gods would judge his father with the burial ceremony. So certain was he that when they returned to find his father's body he would find it devoured by a white bear, or possibly even the caracal, that he boldly invited all his enemies to come with him.

Confidently he led the shamans and the rivals across the frozen wastes until they came across the body of his father. Secure in the innocence of his father, he stood back whilst his enemies inspected the body. His smugness, however, was short lived at the cackling laughter of his enemies. Pushing his way forward, he was aghast at the site of his father's body, littered with the holes of hrugchuk mice burrowing into his flesh. The son, his sanity apparently as gone as his father's reputation, never returned with the other men. Instead, he wandered out alone into the wastes, never to be seen again. The son's name was Zekar, and it is said that the north wind that blows in from the Bay of Calinth took its name from him, as one can still hear his mad shrieks in the strongest of gale winds.

For most Remusians, the practice of disposing of the body for nature to be rid of it is still practiced. People are taken far from the community and left, in a private ceremony in which the family alone is privy to, alone in the wastes. Conversely, those who have access to the Bay of Calinth often will take the body far offshore and dump it into the waters, weighted down with stones.

The exceptions to this practice are highly esteemed warriors, heroes of battles, or the ruling Lanruls. To these individuals, they are mummified in a way that is slightly reminiscent of the Eanian’s Frozen Tombs of Gourdynn. Though not encased in ice, the bodies are allowed to freeze solid, bedecked in their finest clothes with their weapons, armour and jewellery, to take with them on their journey to the next world. Once frozen, they are taken into underground necropolises. These necropolises are often abandoned mines, or natural fissures or caves, where recesses are carved into the wall where the body will be laid. The frozen body, along with the cold of the caves, means that the body will not rot in a way it would in a warmer clime. It has been said that some of the bodies can still be recognized decades after being laid to rest, and that some of them are over a hundred years old and still look like men.
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Important Achievements. Along with their many military victories, the Remusians established themselves as great architects and engineers with the construction of the Tower of Drapt'na'at (lit. "Home of the Great"). The Tower is made of polished granite and obsidian, with gigantic obsidian statues on each corner of the base. It is four dashes in height , and twenty five peds in width. Among the most notable of areas in the tower are the Armory of Lords, the Lord's Quarters, and the Secondary Guard's Barracks. Return to the top

History. Originally the Remusian tribe was one of the larger ones in Northern Sarvonia, then came the War of the Chosen bringing with it their worst threat ever, the infamous Dark Chosen, Alteth the Tyrant, and his unholy weapon: the Forsaken Blade. Long ago the ancestors of the Remusians dwelled in the city of Sudarok, under the rule of a White Chosen known as Mirhan the Just, but the first war which is the Remusians' name for the War of the Chosen brought many changes, including the total destruction of their homeland by Alteth the Tyrant (also known as the Dead Lord of Modocia in later times). Alteth was a great warlord and the commander of one greater Chosen's army. Both, he and Mirhan fought later at their leader's disposal at the Battle of Winds and Mirhan killed the Dead Lord with Alteth's own sword, the Forsaken Blade, but died of his own wounds soon after. Surod, a brave Remusian who had followed Mirhan into the war, took the sword with him, which since then has been the symbol of Remusiat and played an important role in their history.

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(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
294 b.S. The Remusian Civil War
The Third Sarvonian war brings much hardship to the people of the White Citadel. The Lord at the time, Kellmon, has agreed in a pact with the darklings, while many of the nobles are not willing to deal with these creatures at all, despite the threat they pose for Remusiat as for the rest of the Sarvonian continent. Most of the Remusians stay neutral at first but the differences over the treaty and the growing demands of the darkfriends soon cause open conflict between the city factions.

The ensuing war results in great destruction for the Remusian tribe and eventually ends with the assassination of Lord Kellmon. Thousands die during the civil war. It also is the reason for the tribe's rule of avoiding the elves, because it is them who send troops to steady the rule of Kellmon and order the slaughtering of all resisters to quell the resistance. It was not until the Battle of Rhemir when the Remusians finally defeat an army of Osther-Ocs, about 10 000 the Chronicles say, that made the darkfriends abandon their interest in Remusiat.

(YEARS 172 A.S. - 547 A.S.)
to 452
War with the Tokarian Tribe
Of all the other Tribes of the Icelands coast, none has had such a strained relationship with Remusia as the Tokarians. Not so much a tribe as a loose confederation of villages, the Tokarians are without doubt the most aggressive of the Ice Tribes.

In 447 the Remusian Lord Gloroch decides to annex the town of Rhemir, where the Remusian civil war ended, from the Tokarians. The Tokarians object, and send a small force of 1.000 men to defend the city, but Gloroch wants the city, and he takes it. The Tokarian warriors are massacred. The following war lasts for 5 years, and ends with the treaty of Hargarth. The Remusians are given Rhemir, and the ability to extract tribute from the Tokarians, the Tokarians are given the ability to exist, and to trade with the Remusians.

(YEARS 1.540 A.S. - TODAY)
1.654 The Rise of Timeras
The Fifth Orcish War is still a fresh and traumatizing memory and has taken a heavy toll on the city. The western gate has almost breached and the Remusians have little hope of the city surviving much longer.

Then news arrive which shock them all. Their scouts report that an orcish army moves towards them at an alarming speed. Normally this wouldn't worry the Remusians because of their defenses, but with the western gate almost down they know they have to act. A group of cavalrymen, under the Command of their lord Araman tracks the army for 3 days before he finds them. The Remusians charge down a mist covered hill and trap the orcs between them and a large lake and eventually crash into the orcish ranks.

Araman is almost immediately killed, but his son Timeras takes command of the battle and defeats the orcs who retreat in disorder. The Battle of the lake is the most devastating victory in Remusian History. Timeras returns with 32 men and 13 horses (out of 300 each) and are made heroes. Timeras is crowned lord in his father's place and presented with the Forsaken Blade. The orcs have more or less stayed away from Remusiat since.


 Date of last edit 19th Burning Heavens 1669 a.S.

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