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Original cultures before their merging in Taymoraby Francesco Defferrari
Ok let's start with the original different cultures (before their merging in Taymora).
Common Thonians cultural traits:
- Cult of freedom and preference for decentralized governments after a past of feudalism. Local leaders are elder males, the Judges, and they pass sentences following a written, centralized law with a compensation criterion, i.e. the victim or his/her family can choose the punishment for the culprit, even enslavement but not death;
- Importance of female Immortals, female clerics and matrilineality (in opposition to patriarchy of High Thonians). Still more or less a patriarchal culture but local women cleric have high influence in every town and their advice is always listened;
- Brought several knowledges from Skothar as phonetic writing, money, horses, advanced metallurgy, therefore considered themselves superior to other neighbour human populations.
- Had a collective economy in towns, mostly controlled by females, but there was personal property for items and family property for fields and houses
- Have marriage but with a relaxed sexual morality (i.e. no punishments for adultery). Divorce is possible but rare and disapproved.
- Mourn the dead, elaborate underground tombs are built for judges and clerics.
- Omnivorous diet, breed many kinds of animals.
- Rebel several times against the Blackmoor central government before the GroF as it was based on slavery, colonialism and had a more authoritarian culture.
What's left of that: I suppose hulean and midlands cultures were influenced by these people, in Taymora the only city in which some of their cultural traits could be preserved should be, I think, Tamoraz and maybe the area to the north east of it...
- Matriarchy much stronger than among Common Thonians i.e women rule all aspects of everyday life and female Immortals are considered more important than male ones. Only women can attain high positions in government and clergy, but in everyday life males have equal rights.
- Had a collective economy and collective fields and houses with personal properties only for small items.
- Female clerics uphold the unwritten laws, mostly based on compensation for the victims and familiar responsibility, i.e. family members too will respond for the actions of a close relative.
- Have almost none sexual rules, i.e. even if there are couples that doesn't implicate exclusivity, therefore biological paternity isn't even understood as a concept. No formal rites for marriage and divorce.
- Vegetarians, do not eat fish nor land animals, but breed many for milk and eggs.
- Do not fear death as they strongly believe is only the beginning of a new life, so have joyous funeral celebrations. Bodies are put in boats headed to the sea.
Soleclea and Tycur should be IMHO the cities most influenced by this culture.
Humans in the sindian-hulean area could also have been influenced by it.
- Have domesticated buffalos but do not eat them, they breed them for milk and cheese. Differently from their relatives in nowadays Darokin, they now have a religious prohibition from hunting bovines and most mammals, but they fish and hunt birds.
- Have a Moon Hunt cult, i.e. they hunt large and small mammals, mostly deers and rabbits, only every two months by night.
- They also worship swans as sacred animals of a sun cult
- Equality between males and females in life and government, but it's customary that the woman choose her husband. Adultery is scorned but not punished by law, there is a formal divorce.
- They build strong, rounded stone castles on hills. Male warriors are chosen as town leaders, have no unified government. Personal property is standard for items, houses and animals but have collective fields and grazing lands.
- Like to travel in neighbor lands, sometimes as mercenaries, sometimes as pirates, sometimes as traders. Have no money, use barter or foreign coinage.
- Have no written laws, female clerics often seat as judges or advise male leaders. There are punishments and compensations too. Culprits can avoid punishment performing tasks useful to the community.
I'd give Tarishish, Salkish and Aresh to this culture..
Not sure about Yidaru, could be coliman or mixed
Colimans (I just discovered in HWA2 Nightrage that this isn't their real name, merry pirates gave it to them.. they are the stonecarvers culture, I'll call them Tudaka)
- have a ancient tradition of friendship with giants and faeries, almost a cult. They carve giants on hills and it's considered an honor for a village or a city to have giants or faeries residents or guests.
- Also worship the Artisan (Kagyar), have a positive attitude towards gnomes in particular, less so toward dwarves, due to the wasting.
- Ordana is their main immortal, are hostile toward Nyx and Ixion.
- Have a welcoming attitude toward all non human races, even reptilians. Mogrethian agents could hide among them, but they would always prefer giants and faeries (i.e. Grondheim) over others.
- Have a priest class, composed of males and females, the Stone masters, who discovered how to "plant" stones in the earth to keep the wasting at bay and augment magic. Their society is divided in "societies": priests, fishermen, farmers, herders, but no society is above the others. All are also warriors and stonecarvers when necessary or in turn.
- Villages and towns are ruled by a council that includes at least two members for each society.
- Have a retribution justice system, but the culprit is not imprisoned, rather he has to atone with fasting and/or work (usually carving or moving stones).
- Consider amber and bronze more precious than gold, gems and silver and heavily use them for decoration
I'd give Karisata and maybe Yidaru to that culture.. local queens could have been overthrown as part of a grondheim plot.. or/and night dragons could be involved as in your original idea.
- Those on the coasts are great sailors but consider Protius the enemy of their main goddess, Ordana, and fear him
- The ones on the interior are developing a strong enmity with the Inti
- Music, usually played with harps, has a fundamental role in their culture
- The carve small statues in ivory or marble and wood totems to decorate homes and public spaces
- Build elaborate underground tombs
- Caves are painted and used as temples, priestess are superiors to priests
- Civil rule is for male warrior leaders that also administer retributive justice, but all of them have a female priest as advisor. Culprits of serious crimes are forced to enlist in the military.
Karituja and the other city state south of it should be their main centre
Oteino (or Otei), descended from the first oltecs who came from Skothar
- Are accomplished sailors, have a cult of the sea and developed a friendship with several undersea people
- Have a pacifist culture but several abuses from blackmoorians and other populations developed a dark side in their culture that lead in the past to cannibalism and now to a growing cult of Thanatos
- Worship the great father of the Sun and the great mother dragon. Believed that everywhere the world is inhabited by spirits: priests know how to open gates to other planes.
- Had male chiefs with classes of noble warriors, male and female priests, commoners. The chiefs, and them only, can have multiple wives.
- Do not use clothes but paint their bodies
- Are great goldsmiths and artisans
I think they should live in the gulf who is north west of Tamoraz, and maybe in other places of the coast
- Navigators have a cult status among them
- use little clothes but heavily tattoo their bodies
- are skilled astronomers
- believe land belong to the immortals, not men. The chiefs, chosen by the immortals or descended from them, manage the land.
- The Lords under the Sea (Koprus) have a special secret status between the immortal and the chiefs. It's taboo to mention them
- after the chiefs the other important class is composed of priests, navigators, wizards, dancers, carpenters, artisans, next there are common people and after them war captives and their descendants
- Have complex religious taboos and perform human sacrifice on certain occasion
- Have different funerary rites depending on class: chiefs are mummified as sacred relics, the second class is buried on land, commoners are buried at sea, captives are burned.
Should live in the islands around Colhador and Suthus. This could be useful for Adhuza too, I think...
Please anyone feel free to toss around more ideas to expand these cultures!