People And Races Of The Kingdom
People Of The Kingdom
All of the major ethnic groups of humans found in the Flanaess can be found living in Shendenflar. Because of it’s roots in the Great Kingdom the Oeridian ethnic group has a slight majority in the cities. Ethnicity means little to most Shendenflarian’s although the older of the “first families” are still very proud of their heritage
Human Ethnic Groups
The Baklunish have skin of golden tones, and straight, fine-textured hair that is universally dark, ranging from dusky brown to bluish black. Their eyes are usually green or gray-green; hazel and gray eyes are rare. They tend to be long of limb and facial feature, with high cheekbones.
The Baklunish once held a great empire on the western side of the Crystalmists and Barrier Peaks. The Invoked Devastation ruined their empire, for which the Baklunish retaliated with the Rain of Colorless Fire, burning the Suel Imperium to ash. Most surviving Baklunish moved north or west, to the borders of the old empire and beyond. The inhabitants of Ekbir, Zeif,and Ull, typify the straight Baklunish strain, while the Tusmites and the Paynims show mixed ancestry. The Wolf Nomads are often darker from intermarriage with the Rovers of the Barrens. The Ketites are the least typical Baklunish, having pale yellow, golden-brown, or tan complexions as a result of Suloise and Oeridian ancestry.
The Baklunish, unlike the Suloise, retained much of their culture after the fall of their empire. Honor, family, generosity, and piety are fundamental virtues. Use of their classical language, Ancient Baklunish, in religious observances, higher learning, and the fine arts has preserved their ancestral traditions.
The Baklunish have many customs and taboos derived from their great knowledge of astrology, and their dependence on horses adds many beliefs and traditions regarding their honored steeds, particularly among the nomads. Singing and dancing are widespread in their culture, and trade and exploration are major pursuits.
Settled Baklunish favor bright patterns and gaudy colors in clothes, typically with gowns and robes or else long coats with short breeches. Lower classes use the same colors with a long one-piece garment supplemented with other garb. Nomadic Baklunish prefer clothes with several pastel colors, enjoying fancy garments enhanced with puffs, slashes on sleeves to show contrasting colors underneath, and superfluous trim. When traveling or making war, the nomads instead wear rough items of leather, hide, or cloth, bearing shields or banners indicating clan allegiance.
Pure Flan have bronze skin, varying from a light copper hue to a dark, deep brown. Flan eyes are usually dark brown, black, brown, or amber. Hair is wavy or curly and typically black or brown (or any shade between). The Flan have broad, strong faces and sturdy builds.
The Flan were the first known humans to live in eastern Oerik, and it is from them that the Flanaess gets its name. Although evidence exists that they once had settled nations, those vanished long ago. The Flan had been a nomadic people for many centuries when they were displaced by Suloise and Oeridian invaders. Large pockets of Flan live in what are now Geoff, Tenh, and the Barrens. The Tenha are pure Flan, and the coppery Rovers of the Barrens nearly so. The people of Geoff and Sterich also show strong Flan heritage, as do the Stoneholders, Palish, and certain Perrender clans.
The Flan have always been strongly tied to the natural world, as they were nomadic hunter-gatherers for so long. They see nature as an entity to be respected but not controlled, and this is reflected in their myths, legends, and culture. Many Flan believe the season of a child’s birth affects later life, and certain customs and taboos must be observed annually. Modern Flan still have a preference for the outdoors, and those who live in cities usually raise gardens and flower beds. A tree is planted at the door of a Flan home, and the health of that tree is believed related to the welfare of the family. Storytelling is a favorite pastime, and most families have ancient oral folklore and legends to pass on.
The ancient, nomadic Flan wore simple clothing of animal skins: belts, breechcloths, capes, robes, and footwear (boots and hard-soled slippers). Body painting and tattoos were common methods of personal decoration, and these traditions are still practiced by the Rovers of the Barrens (who prefer yellows and reds). Modern Flan tend to dress in what is currently fashionable, but they favor bright primary colors in solid arrangements.
Oeridian skin tones range from tan to olive; brow and auburn hair are common, though some individuals have hair as light as honey or as dark as coal. Likewise, eye coloration is highly variable; brown andgray are seen most often. Oeridians tend to have square or oval faces and strong jaw lines.
After inhabiting what is now Ull for generations, barbaric Oeridians were driven east by orcs and goblin employed as mercenaries by the Baklunish and Suel. The migrating Oeridians were able fighters and battled their way across the Flanaess, driving the Suel before them and allying with the Flan, elves, dwarves, and other peoples. Nearly pure Oeridians are seen in Perrenland, Furyondy, North Kingdom, Sunndi, and Onnwal.
The most powerful empire in the modern Flanaess was created by a conquering tribe of Oeridians, the Aerdi, who subjugated and assimilated all who opposed them. Ancient Oeridians were fierce warriors, yet they also were self-sacrificing and loyal. These traits are not as evident today, but many Oeridians do remain temperamental and prone to violence. They have a preference for strict social order, usually fitting themselves at the top, and their military traditions are strong. Aggression is often channeled into political conflict and subterfuge. The Oeridian skill at warfare is unsurpassed, and many folk have a hard-learned respect for it. In peacetime, they are practical, hard working, and not inclined to intellectual pursuits.
Oeridian dress normally consists of a short tunic and close-fitting trousers with a cape or cloak, tailored for ease of movement. Aerdi and Nyrondal Oeridians favor plaids and checks, with ovals or diamonds in the south and west. Colors and patterns once showed clan allegiance, but this practice is fading in favor of personal color preference.
The Suel have the lightest coloration of any known human race of the Flanaess. Their skin is fair, with an atypical proportion of albinos. Eye color is pale blue or violet, sometimes deep blue or gray. Suel hair is wiry, often curly or kinky, with fair colors such as yellow, light red, blond, and platinum blond. The Suel tend to be lean, with narrow facial features.
The Suel Imperium was located in what is now the Sea of Dust. Wicked and decadent, this empire was destroyed during a war with the Baklunish when the latter brought down the Rain of Colorless Fire. Suloise survivors fled in all directions, many crossing the Hellfurnaces into the Flanaess, where they met other Suel who had fled the long war much earlier. Some evil Suel were forced into the extreme corners of the Flanaess by invading Oeridians. The barbarians of the Thillonrian Peninsula are pure Suel, as are the elite of the Scarlet Brotherhood. The people of the Duchy of Urnst and places in the Lordship of the Isles are nearly so.
The Suel Imperium was governed by contesting noble houses, and the fleeing bands that entered the Flanaess were often led by nobles with their families and many retainers. The modern Suel retain this affinity for family, although they often use a very narrow definition of the word to include only siblings, parents, and children. A few Suel can trace their lineage all the way back to the days of their empire
The ancient Suel Imperium was exceedingly cruel. This trait surfaces in the modern day, for more than one Suel organization openly plots against other people of the Flanaess. Fortunately, most Suel have avoided this dark legacy, having inherited the relatively minor flaws of being opinionated, selfish, and blunt. Many also tend to be prideful and unwilling to admit flaws or personal hardships. They have a passion for study, especially in regard to magic, and many Suel wizards become incredibly powerful.
Traditional Suel dress includes wide-legged pantaloons and loose blouses (vests in the south), both in solid colors. Most individuals use one color only, with nobles using two or more as appropriate to their House. The style of clothing is adapted to the climate; Suel in the far north wear furs or thick wool, with capes, mittens, and furred boots. The Suel like large pins, brooches, emblems, and other adornments, a few of which are ancient heirlooms.
Heirs of a highly magical society, the Suel still have an aptitude for most types of spellcasting. Suel wizards often become masters of spells that involve transmutation. They also perfected a number of binding spells and created many items used for controlling and dominating other beings. For instance, it is thought that a long-dead Suel emperor made the ancient and terrible orbs of dragonkind.
Languages Of The Kingdom
Due to the large number of refugees that fled into Shendenflar during the wars almost every language spoken in the Flanaess can be heard in the kingdom. Oeridian is still the most spoken language after Common but other languages are growing in use.
Common: A combination of Ancient Baklunish and the dialect of Old Oeridian spoken in the Great Kingdom was the basis of this traders’ tongue. Beginning centuries ago as Middle-Common, the language contained many obviously Oeridian elements, and the contributions of Baklunish grammatical structure and vocabulary are clearly identifiable. Regional variations were also pronounced, but all these elements became blended and standardized during the years of Aerdi dominance, resulting in the birth of the Overking’s Common Tongue, later simply called Common. Any traveler must learn Common or be greatly handicapped. Very often, a language must be translated into Common before it can be translated into another language. Common is the “official” language of the kingdom. All court documents and decrees are written in this language.Oeridian, Old A young language, Oeridian took in few outside influences until a few centuries ago. As a result, translation into any language except Common is difficult at best. Many books and documents of the Great Kingdom were written in Old Oeridian, and in the far east the language is still widely known and used in speech and writing. Many of Shendenflars’ “First Families” use Oeridian as a sort of “class language” speaking it openly in front of people that they feel superior to.
Nyrondese This High Oeridian dialect of Common is spoken in rural areas of Nyrond. It is the primary language of peasants, shopkeepers, and other common folk who distrust outsiders. Learned folk speak Common as well. This language has seen a rise in its use due to the large number of Nyrondese immigrants arriving in Shendenflar.
The Races Of The Kingdom
Most of the good-aligned races have representatives in Shendenflar. Elves especially have a large population and are slowly making their way into the cities. The Dwarven population has also been on the rise as of late due to the increase in arms sales and ship building.
The Dwarves of Shendenflar tend to live in areas around the cities. Stormhaven has the largest population (1,100) with Riverhewn being a close second (800) the Dwarves are hard working an taciturn never discussing their history or personal lives. There are a few Dwarven owned taverns in both the cities that are usually packed after the work day is done. The Dwarves also tend to live by themselves in small groups of row houses that they either own or rent exclusively. Surprisingly, there has been an increase in the number of Dwarven recruitments to the City Watch and the Shendenflarian military as of late.
By far the largest demi-human population in the kingdom,Elves have intermeshed themselves into Shendenflarian life. The Wood Elves of Heartguard are the guardians of that forest and to their credit the kings of Shendenflar have respected and worked with the Elves for the protection and continued health of the forest. The Elves have over the centuries learned to respect the humans of Shendenflar even going so far as to let them log in the forest (under close supervision) Also Elves are beginning to buy businesses and are gaining a political voice in the kingdom.
A small population that is recently growing, The Halflings of Shendenflar generally live in the agricultural areas and often serve as brokers for the grocers of the cities. A small percentage of the population lives in the cities where they are shop owners for the most part.
There is a very small (100-150) population of Gnomes in the very Northern tip of Shendenflar. They hunt and trap and trade with the Human settlements there. The Gnomes seem content for this arrangement to continue.