Everguard/Peoples of Everguard
The Kingdom of Everguard now controls a vast area of land, and as a result has united many native Dwili under one banner through their military prowess. Despite political unity of the realm, its people are diverse, often times causing tensions or even open hostility. The nature of the people of Everguard is rich and is an intriguing study of cultures.
South Islanders, also known as Islanders, are immigrant refugees not native to the continent of Dwilight - instead originating from a distant island known to the inhabitants as the South-East Island. They make up the vast majority of the ruling noble class of Everguard, as well as a small percentage of peasant servants who are mostly concentrated in the city of Valkyrja.
Torenites make up a majority (albeit a small one) of the South Islanders in Everguard. They hail from what was once the mighty empire of Toren on the South-East Island, which was a mountainous and rough territory with inhospitable farmland, dreary weather and harsh conditions overall. This has led the Torenites to strongly identify with the Mountaineers who are native to Dwilight, forging close relationships with them, especially in the administration of the religion of Torenism.
Over the centuries, Torenites had developed an extreme warrior culture. They are typically quick to anger, aggressive, and absolutely brutal when challenged on the battlefield. Additionally, they have a long and storied independent streak - often times revolting or inciting unrest in their old kingdom, something they have quelled a bit since coming to Dwilight. These Islanders are cavalier, impulsive and shrewd.
They are also intensely religious, often times to a fault. Torenites have been long adherents to the god Tor, often citing "Tor's will" as the reason why they would go to war. Upon hearing the revelation that their home was to be destroyed, they immediately believed it and devoted themselves to evacuating.
In the old times, Torenites were enemies of the other South Islanders, Ikalakians and Taselakians. Since the shared experience of the destruction of their home, however, Torenites have made peace, forging great friendships among the others, especially the Ikalakians.
- His Royal Highness, Fisc Arylon, the former High King of the realm is a Torenite.
- Royal High Commander Karibash ka Habb is a Torenite.
- Royal High Adjudicator Mosious Aljfoi Suaht is a Torenite.
- Royal High Treasurer and Duke of Gelene, Hackem de Struct is a Torenite
Ikalakians are almost as strong in numbers as Torenites in Everguard, and equally influential. They hail from what was once the mighty realm of Ikalak on the South-East Island, which was a vast area of beautiful plains, rolling hills and rich farmland. Due to the wealth of their land, Ikalakians were more able than the other Islanders to educate their people - thus they are extremely cunning and intelligent people, and tend to be a bit more politically minded.
Their brilliance, however is not to betray a lack of strength or military prowess. Through the strength of their blades, Ikalak carved out the largest empire seen on the South-East Island, controlling more than half the continent for an extended period of time. The field marshals of Ikalak were renowned for being tacticians and strategists, allowing them to decisively defeat opponents when they were evenly matched in strength, or even outnumbered. Where Torenites are known for aggressively sending waves of soldiers consumed by blood lust to intimidate and ravage their opponent, Ikalakians are known as the disciplined professional soldiers who stay cool in the face of overwhelming force - something it used to dominate South-East.
Ikalakians were historically skeptical to the belief of Tor, but unlike the Taselakians, they did not hold open contempt for Tor, and spent little time attempting to disprove his existence. When it was revealed to the island that Tor was destroying their home, many Ikalakians took the warning seriously. As the flood waters inched upward, more converts were made and today most Ikalakians in Everguard have an active belief in Tor.
Ikalakians have identified themselves strongly with the steppemen, finding a great deal of common ground with them culturally. Since coming to Everguard, Ikalakians have also made peace with the Torenites, and the two groups today are staunch political allies.
- Duke of Valkyrja Lestat Corax is an Ikalakian
- Duke of Eidulb Jack Carnes is an Ikalakian
- Marquis of Gelene Outskirts Lawrence Expatriate is an Ikalakian
- Marchioness of Eidulb Outskirts Freda Windwalker is an Ikalakian
Taselakians are a minority among the Islanders who have come to inhabit Everguard, however they are still of formidable numbers within the Kingdom, and make up a strong political force within the realm. These noble men and women hail from what was once the mighty realm of Taselak, a south-western nation on the continent of the south-east. At the time of the destruction of the continent, Taselak was the largest, most powerful, and most influential realm in existance, controlling roughly half of the land.
Native Taselakians are a rough and intelligent people, who are quite used to the rough sharpness of mountains, the bitter cold of southern ice, and the vast plains of land that made up their territory. These people are extremely uncomfortable in the humid, hot weather of Everguard's capital, and much prefer the more temperate northern territories of the kingdom.
Taselakians have tended to represent a balance of the tendencies of their Islander cousins. They are more militaristic and aggressive than the Ikalakians, and more academic, systematic and refined than the Torenites. These fine people strike a balance between the extremes represented amongst the other peoples hailing from the now dead continent, and as such are examples of temperance, prudence and balance.
Where the Ikalakians have mostly accepted the word of Tor into their lives and converted to Torenism - the people of Taselak have been more skeptical and hesitant to do so. Born from years of antipathy with the Torenites, it has been extremely difficult for them to accept the faith of their longest, most bitter rivals. However, given the events that have transpired in the time since the destruction of the South-East, it appears that Torenism is beginning to take hold among them.
The people known as Mariners are indigenous people in the land controlled by Everguard. They hail from the coastlines of the realm, and are a diverse set of people. Traditionally they are seen as more cultured than other indigenous peoples, and are accomplished sailors, merchants and traders. Internally, however, Mariners have had somewhat difficult dealings with each other, having only been unified centuries earlier in a bloody war against the Steppemen.
The peoples known as Valkyrjans are a distinct culture of men and women who inhabit much of the northern coastal area in what is today Everguard. Concentrated in the regions of Valkyrja, Yggdramir and Ygg d'Razhuul, they are fair skinned, typically with sandy hair and light colored eyes. Valkyrjans are tall and large in build, with broad shoulders and strong arms - something that has allowed them to serve the realm as fierce infantrymen feared by the enemies of the realm. These people are very similar in build and look to Torenites, and when the Islander people first immigrated to Dwilight, the native Valkyrjans even mistook the Torenites for Valkyrjans that had left Dwilight and sailed west ages ago. They can also be found in areas not controlled by the kingdom, such as Hvergelmir, Ymer's Fall and Norrdir.
As Valkyrjans inhabit the coastal regions in the north, they are accomplished sailors and boatmen. The majority of marine trade done in Everguard is conducted by Valkyrjans. Centuries of innovation in shipbuilding has allowed them to create advanced vessels that can travel farther, faster and with larger cargo loads than any others in Dwilight. This has given Everguard a major economic advantage, especially when dealing with the sea faring realm of Madina.
The native language of Valkyrjans is called Kyrjan, and is an elegant sounding, smooth language that seems to roll off the tongue of speakers. Islander inhabitants of Everguard have been known to equate the sound of this language to that of music, and many of them have taken to learning Kyrjan. The ruling class of the realm has taken to using their language to name several bodies of water, areas of land, and even government buildings.
Historically, the Valkyrjans once commanded an expansive empire. This ancient kingdom reached its zenith roughly 400 years ago, when a man known as Imjra Rajkyrr XII (Imjra [pronounced eem-jeh-rah] meaning "king" in the Kyrjan language) commanded the territory stretching from Ygg d'Razhuul down to [Nifelhold]] and then west to the coast. As time passed, Rajkyrr's empire withered, and by the time the Islanders came to Dwilight it was little more than the city of Valkyrja itself.
When the Everguard Delegation arrived in the city, they laid claim on it with a force that could not be repelled by the remnants of the once mighty Valkyrjan Empire. Imjra Lavrlmeff III was then forced to swear fealty to the Emerald Crown of Everguard, formally relinquishing control of the city to the fledgling realm. The Valkyrjan people have since labeled Fisc (and future rulers of Everguard) the Alaja Imjra - meaning "Ruler of the Imjra".
Since Lavrlmeff's abdication, the High King has traditionally honored the Valkyrjans by awarding the title of Imjra to the Duke of Valkyrja - thus making that person the de facto Ruler of the Valkyrjans, and minor royalty owing allegiance only to the High King of Everguard.
The people known as Dulesians are a group of Mariners who inhabit the southern coastal area of Everguard, centered mostly in the areas of Eidulb, Duil and Ammando. Dulesians have a light olive colored complexion, are average in height and are typically lean and thin. They pride themselves on their tactile skills, working well with their hands. Peasant women are extremely skilled at producing garments, flags and other textile goods, while those who devote themselves to the arts of war are known to be some of the most deadly accurate archers on the continent.
The people of this area of Everguard are an extremely arrogant, pompous people who are intensely secretive in their ways. They have long been isolationist, and extremely intolerant of other cultures, and the first time their lands were opened to outsiders was when they were conquered by Dwilight colonists. They have always especially feared the rough men to the west of their territory, known as the Mountainmen, and strongly detest what they perceive as a lack of culture and refinement.
Dulesians are not particularly adept at managing ships or sailing, but do maintain a massive series of ports along their coastlines. Prior to their consolidation under the banner of Everguard, outsiders were only allowed to enter several specially designated trading towns. These towns are surrounded by high walls, with no view of the outside world. Outsiders who attempt to ascend the wall, or leave the trading towns are killed immediately. Seafarers who landed on the shores controlled by Dulesians (outside the designated trading areas) by choice or not, are similarly executed.
Even today, lying to outsiders actually seems to be a part of Dulesian culture. Folk trading with the Dulesians have learned to check their purchases, as Dulesians believe they need not tell outsiders the truth about the goods they are purchasing. Trading with the Dulesians is a dangerous business, though one that can certainly be extremely profitable.
Dulesians refuse to speak their native language in the presence of foreigners, however some enterprising outsiders have overheard choice words of what is known as Dulbese and report that it is a very rhythmic language filled with a number of vowels and soft, long sounds. No translations are available, and with the deep rooted secrecy of the people, it is unlikely any outsiders will ever truly learn the Dulbese language.
Before being controlled by Everguard, the Dulesians were ruled by a monarch known to the outside world as Ayaui. Control of the people by the Ayaui was unbroken for at least 600 years, until the people of Caerwyn came in force and slew the reigning Ayaui, Piotari Michcirri [pronounced pio-ta-RI mi-ki-CHEE-ree]. When the Caerwynians were threatened by the High King Fisc Arylon and forced to vacate the city, the local population reasserted control, thankful to the Everguardians. When the High King personally led groups of soldiers to their lands and approached them in friendship offering the protection of the kingdom, the Dulesians welcomed the Guardians, even despite their xenophobic culture. Parades filled with fig leaves, flowers and street performances were held, and as a symbolic gesture the son of Piotari Michcirri crowned Fisc as the Di'Ayaui, or Ruler of the Ayaui - further cementing his title as King of Kings.
The people known as Eddo are an extremely exotic culture that originally resided on the Libid Island. They are currently spread across the regions of Libiddo, Dizeddo and Libidizedd, which are all controlled by the rival realm of Astrum. These people are spread across Everguard as well, a small minority in nearly every region of the realm. The Eddo are extremely fearful of outside cultures, likely born from the nature of their experiences with others - that of raids and slavery. Most Eddo are extremely fond of the ocean, and most of their settlements are on the coastal regions of the island, and similarly, those Eddo which reside in the mainland of Everguard tend to concentrate around the coastal region.
Eddons, as they are called, are especially spiteful in their dealings with the Valkyrjans, who have for centuries sailed to Libid Island and raided the Eddo, even going so far as to capture many of her native people and selling them into slavery back on the mainland. Indeed it was Eddons who did most of the work in building the The Great Spire of Valkyrja, under orders of Imjra Pallatra III. They are no more fond of the Dulesians of the western shore, who have done many similar things to the Eddo. This practice of raiding the island and bringing laboring work to the mainland is the nature of the presence of Eddons in Everguard. Once the Kingdom consolidated control of their current territory, High King Fisc Arylon ordered an end to the practice, for he had designs on going to Libid Island and extending Everguard's control to that area as well - and he felt the natives would reject him were the practice of forced labor still in effect. Once the realm of Astrum established itself in the Libid island, however, such designs were (at least temporarily) shelved - yet a significant number of Eddons now remain in Everguard - roughly 10-15% of the citizenry.
The native language of these people is known as Lidd'ib, and is spoken with an extremely quick tongue, filled with a wide range of syllabus and noises not commonly heard among the people of western Dwilight. While the majority of the language is fluid sounding and elegant, often times an Eddon will utter unique clicks or undulations of sound that most outsiders are incapable of reproducing.
The Eddo are historically isolationist and intensely protective of their own culture. They refuse to fly the standard of Everguard in Eddon dominated areas of the cities and towns, except in those locations controlled by the Guardian military or nobility directly. In fact, on several occasions emerald battle flags have been known to completely disappear overnight from the tops of barracks, prompting irate nobles and captains searching the countryside for those Eddo who would dare defile the flag of Everguard. Eddons do stop short of insurrection - though their loyalty isn't exactly clear. Those who reside within the borders of the kingdom (indeed, all ethnic Eddons) recognize the Duke of Libidizedd as their Bipttyox (literally "Warlord" in the Lidd'ib language) - and that title currently belongs to a Duke hailing from Astrum - but at the same time mainland Eddo recognize the High King of Everguard as the Ky'pt'tox, or Lord of all the Eddo. Thus, their cultural allegiance is somewhat murkey, but within the realm Eddons do not question the authority of the High King.
Eddons view racial purity as very important, and have long held contempt for cultures outside their own. They are a somewhat dark skinned breed of human, with curly course hair which both men and women keep at shoulder length. Men typically wear trimmed beards shaved into a goatee, and have dark eyes. They tend to distrust the more fair skinned natives of the mainland continent, even if they have never encountered them before. Such was the case when the Islanders arrived and took control from the other mainland cultures - some Eddo believed they were simply more Valkyrjans coming to continue the practices of forced labor and exploitation among those Eddo already on the mainland. Others recognized the difference yet still distrusted them.
Torenism has not taken hold as strongly amongst the Eddo as it has in the other cultures controlled by Everguard. Instead, many Eddons cling to their pagan gods and religions - though as of late there has been a significant amount of progress made by missionaries traveling to their communities. Additionally, the presence of the religion of Sanguis Astroism in their ancestral homeland has caused many among them to follow suit, thus the religious identity of the Eddo is extremely fractured and unclear.
One of the more interesting aspects of Eddo culture is their architecture. Traditionally, Eddons have a deeply routed religious belief that edges and corners are a source of evil, and have for centuries rounded off all structures and objects that they are able to. Because of this, many buildings are circular or oval shaped, the great Eddo city of Libidizedd has no discernible "edges" and is instead a collection of smooth towers and round buildings. Aristocratic Guardians who have since taken up residence in the mainland Eddon communities have taken to keeping the tradition alive while constructing the lordly buildings and government offices.
The people known as Steppemen are indigenous people in the land controlled by Everguard. They hail from the broad and expansive steppe lands in the western territory of the realm. Traditionally they are seen as more cultured than other indigenous peoples, and are accomplished sailors, merchants and traders. Internally, however, Mariners have had somewhat difficult dealings with each other, having only been unified centuries earlier in a bloody war against the Steppemen.
From the inland areas, they are all united by their love of horses and fierce raiding nature. They mock the Mariners, whom they raid regularly, and despise the mountaineers who have constantly fought off their raids.
Situated in Gelene and Gelene Outskirts, the city was founded about 300 years ago as a base camp for raids and a market. The city has grown exponentially, though. The Gelen in the city find it difficult to maintain their traditional way of life. They are staunch allies of the Aquituers.
The leader of the Gelen, Fgar de Gelens, rises to power by challenging and killing the former Fgar. The last Fgar, Glikir Tyirir, peacefully relinquished control of the crown to High King Arylon.
Living in Aquitain, they range from Zabadell all the way to distant Gaston. They are close friends of the Gelen and very independent. They hate the mountaineers with a passion. The ruler of the Aquiteurs is called ze Roy deu lez Gelens. The last Roy, Yugo Kabet, died in a power struggle as Everguard marched on Aquitain.
Living in the mountain range, they are some of the most religious, besides the Toren. They are also renowned for their metalworks. They dislike the Steppemen.
The most cosmopolitan, their city is built into the mountains and filled with the great forgeries that supply much of the weapons for Everguard.
Living in each of the different mountains, they all hate each other fiercely. They produce many of the priests for Torenism and are valued for their siege weaponry.
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