Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Lord_Iggy, Apr 24, 2016.
Great update Iggy!
Such a cool update!
PRAISE SNAKE GOD.
A note on Tiryap ethnic appearances:
The prototypical Tiryapic individual in the post-glacial era is known for having the shockingly bright straight red hair which in this world is connected to a dominant allele, and is almost always gene-linked to eyes of also-dominant bright orange pigmentation, (55%) or the green-orange 'autumn' pigment combination which, like hazel eyes in our world, is an example of incomplete-dominance. (35%) Pure green eyes are uncommon. Blue and brown eyes exist with rarity due to breeding with out-groups. Hair itself trends from the bright red of the Ypta Mountains, to the darker, dried-blood red shades of the Great Sand Sea and Tzpha, to a much more auburn color in the Yakgu, where dark and sandy brown hair is also much more common. Regardless, the prevalence of the dual combination of orange or autumn eyes and red hair is one major clue that future geneticists and evolutionary biologists will look for to determine whether a group traces ancestry to the original Itap/Ypta population group.
In terms of skin tone, the original Tiryaps are pale and freckled, where Tiryaps living in the heights of the Ypta Mountains and south of them gradually lost melanin content in their skin to allow increased vitamin D production in areas of limited direct sunlight. Within the Itap Sea, all types of skin color are visible, although the standard is something like an olive, darker in the eastern and northern shores and paler in the south and west, where Tiryap traits have been less diluted from interbreeding.
Paleness of the skin is still common in the Tiryat axis, from the Diryaj straight through to the Kiryaks, although the river-dwelling Tiriyata are more olive-skinned than their forest-dwelling neighbors due to an increased amount of desert-dwelling Timika heritage (although the land is no longer a desert). Skin trends again to be dark olive to medium brown across the Great Sand Sea, and in the Tzpha Rift, although the Akp have much lighter skin than their Wabbanic neighbors, and occasional albino individuals are worshiped as the chosen prophets of the Snake God, resulting in stark pale skin, white hair, and red eyes having a 2-5% birth rate among an otherwise medium-brown skinned people thanks to selective breeding, and lack of deaths from skin cancer due to their sequestration in the caves and jungles of the rift. Common albinism will also likely pass on to the Htchk and future Epuan Tiryapic peoples.
The average height of a healthy adult Tiryap in the Ypta is 5'10-6'2, reflecting millennia of breeding for strength thanks to vicious internecine warfare. This varies, however, with individuals like the Kiryaks and Makyerf being much closer to 5'5-5'7 thanks to long periods of living in cold climes with frequent famines, (as well as beneficial surface area to volume ratios) and the Yakgu Rift groups (Tharyav etc.) only slightly taller. Another exception is the Diryaj, isolated specimens of whom often rise to 7 feet tall or more, albeit with a natural life expectancy of 40-45 years from the various heart problems (and other problems) their anatomy brings about.
The Ixyah and related peoples of the Great Sand Sea are also among the tallest and skinniest people in the world, having maximized surface-area-to-volume ratio for efficient cooling.
I felt like doing a few other map projections.
This is a Robinson projection, centered on the part of the map that has been touched by humans thusfar.
This is a composite of several continents, as seen viewed from directly above their centerpoints on the curved sphere of the world. It is useful for showing the relative orientation of the known continents to one another, gives us the most accurate understanding of their true shapes. You can think of it as a bit of an approximation of a Dymaxion projection.
Because Thy did it:
The people of Wabana:
Though great variation exists within the various people of Wabana (and, much more distantly the entire Apalo group,) a certain number of traits are shared to some degree or another. Heavy upper body musculature and proportionately longer arms on a tall, lanky body give the inhabitants of Wabana a slight, yet distinct, top-heavy look. They also have a propensity to take on fat relatively more easily than other groups, and theoretically have a greater vocal range than others. Throughout the continent albinism is relatively common, an artifact of a small progenitor group.
Skin color lightens along with latitudes, though not as dramatically as one might expect: The wandering habits of the served to effectively spread genes across the continental spectrum. Despite that, northern latitudes do tend towards paler skin, while southern latitudes towards the dark. That being said, there is also a generally increasing paleness the further east one goes, with the people of the Ebon complex with skin tones comparable to South East Asia.
Eye color varies widely throughout the region, so long as that color is a variation of brown. Light hazel to green eyes coexist with the dark brown, almost black, though there are areas of concentration. The greater Agvan and Ebon groups favor lighter brown, and even green, eyes, while the Obo and related groups in the north occasionally exhibit green to blue to grey eyes, though these are rare.
Hair on Wabana tends towards the thick and full, varying between wavy and curly. Colorwise, almost all groups exhibit either red hair, black hair, or, rarely but not too uncommonly in females, a red and black pattering. This dual hair color grows increasingly common in more isolated groups. Additionally, in the north, along the shores of the great inland sea, some people exhibit a rare, but dramatic, mutation, sporting heads of yellow/pale white hair. Though this is only exhibited in 5-10% of the population, already the people of the north are renowned for their hair color.
Genetically, there are two additional distinct groups, both much later immigrants to the continent, and both related to each other more closely than to the people they later mingled with. Both Gueba and Veyaj strongly favor straight, thin, black hair, and tend towards slightly smaller stature than the other Wabanites.
Fantastic stuff thomas!
So, I can't start working on the update until someone posts something in the form of orders.
The Ebon Complex pushes ever forward, distinguished from each other by geography and language and specifics of religion and architecture, but united by trade and overarching cultural themes. Most important among these is a very strong democratic tradition of patronage (arguably almost republican in nature.) Most city states, cities, and villages, are ruled by councils of representatives, chosen by their peers, and responsible for directing the resources of their people. The people of the Ebon Complex tend still be rather migratory, and it is not unknown for an individual to have family members up and down a particular river or coastline... and be able to recite the list of distant family members and friends.
Despite these overarching themes, there are differences. Ahban councils and cities tend towards a more stratified division of roles, while Ebon ruling bodies have a reputation for devolving into shouting matches that, despite appearances, actually accomplish quite a bit. Only in the fringes of Boron, in some habban lands does this democratic tradition partially break down, with the advent of a system of “High Kings” who rules over a number of tribes. However, the High King is appointed by his peers, and remains somewhat accountable to them.
Technologically, there are a few significant markers developed throughout the “cradle,” which rapidly spread throughout the cradle.
Bronze is developed in the northern areas of Boron, rapidly spreading throughout the area.
More complex rigging and sailing methods are developed, and star charts are scrawled on clay tablets, which serve both mercantile and religious purposes, as the cyclical nature or reality continues to permeate the belief systems of the area. In addition to this, many ships are now built with a main hull and a secondary “outrigger” style hull, allowing for greater stability and distance in ocean travel.
Finally, basic record keeping and accounting develops into one of the first true mathematics, organized into a base 12 system, and designed around the nature of the cycle, and a writing systems.
Finally, along the river of the Ahban, the Togora river, great monolithic tombs are erected, under which intricate catacomb networks were dug, where the bodies of the dead were interred. Above the surface, concentric semi-domes of marble built high above the ground.
Meanwhile, far to the north, the ancestor worship of the western inland sea has syncretized into an organized nomadic preisthood. The “Nomad Empires” of the north, the Oh people, are a fractitious and fracturing group of people who travel in groups, carrying around the bones of their ancestors, working them into tools, decorations, and weapons, believing that the strength of their ancestors will fall to them. Those families with the most ancient of bones and relics are believed to be the most favored. These bones are kept on mobile shrines, sleds, hitched up to dogs.
Any further contributions? I can update from this input alone if necessary.
I'm working on orders for the Tiryapics! I'll do at least three separate segments on the Yakgu, the Itap and the Timika Valley.
I meant to say, it's great to see this continue I want to get another Wayha contribution in this time.
With the coming of the Hctkt, may of the closer cultures were overwhelmed. However, by the time their scattered descendants have reached Yoytua, they find a organized culture centered around "dream springs", and firm and strong society that is organized and ready to face the coming "nightmares."
Their mythology developed ideas of "nodes" or "springs" amongst the dreamways, which many paths cross and serve to rejuvenate the soul and weaken the boundaries between worlds. Their holy days become more important and meetings between traveling groups are marked by ritual and trade.
However, as the Hctkt spread a darker aspect of the dreampaths develop as well (possibly also borrowed from the Heben concept of an evil "Storm god") "Nightmares" can infect dream paths, spreading along them, perverting nature, turning the heart of them to evil or weakness. Even those who fight it must beware of accidentally becoming its host. And if such evil infects a holy spring? Madness, and catastrophe.
Refugees and pressure lead to more and more organization. Holy shrines at the springs slowly grow into regional centers, if not cities, organizing the settlement and the drawing of paths of the peoples around them as well as investing in construction of semi-permanent structures similar to those of the Ka'Pa'Ne. Agriculture spreads in a complex weave of crop rotation and land cultivation.
If and when the Hctkt reaches the Yoytua, they are ready to meet them. Their spirituality, their society, their population have prepared to resist the ultimate nightmare that shall descend upon them.
[As a long term goal, the Yoytua reject the concept of direct cycles. Always noting differences, they prefer instead to take the past to attempt to extrapolate the future as more of a "path through familiar territory" or "things that make sense" Instead of "After drought is rain before plenty, will happen again" it would be more "Drought and plenty are both ares passed through by life." With more thought this may lead to more abstract construction of Time, especially in the shifting of dream paths over time.]
P.S. They also bridge the gap with the Heben, seeing them as totally devoted to their dreamsprings, but not yet able to walk the proper paths.
Finally receiving some of the technological package of the Itaro-Gero-Rift crescent, the Webwayo set off on their first explosion of development and trade since the Great Melt. The upland valley, loosely populated by a mixture of Webwayo-derivatives and Akp, becomes a source of resources for a new trading culture. Among the innovations of the Webwayo is the use of whistle bead/reeds to pass messages. When blown in turn, they emulate a simplified version of the whistle language first pioneered by the Avenecs and slowly become common in the tropical peninsula. Traveling merchant-musicians pile the waves of the high seas, bringing goods and messages from far away.
I have finished writing the update for the Agvanti and Wabanan continents. If anyone has anything they'd like to contribute for the other continents, please feel free to do so!
I think I'll add some Epua stuff in a little while.
things for the Ku to do:
- The Ku have come back to the land's edge, and they have visited their cousins the Goa, and they have walked among them where they live closeby together with the Tyumru. They have seen many new ideas, and they slowly adapt still more. Given expanding populations due to association with the Tyumru and the formalization of relations with the Ziyuzagh priesthood and the associated access to new foodstuffs and a drop in violence as a cause of death, it is possible that kelp and marshrice cultivation might begin in earnest, along with more systemized fishing - a tax of dried or smoked fish now due to the leading Coas in their halls that shine with mother-of-pearl.
- Some among the Ku have seen the great works of the Ziyuzagh that honour their gods, and they have brought this thought back with them to the home island of Kulao. The Ku should honour Itaro so. And so they build to him a risen shrine on the shore, and they dig pools about this shrine and line them with clay, that they might lie there in company with their god as he dreams.
- Enabled by the relative peace, some Ku will make their living as traders on the water, ferrying items across the sea of Itaro by all the quickest paths. Those who come to carry greater quantities of goods - and goods that need to remain dry - begin using boats with outriggers graspable by strong swimmers, which remains the primary propulsion of most Ku watercraft. Some even travel up the rivers that feed the belly of Itaro, wishing to know more of the wider world beyond their home.
Update 11: 1000 Years
The Agvanti have spread widely across their new continent, diversifying and adapting to a wide variety of climates as they go. In the chill boreal forests of the north, the Vannady and Aggan cultures have become extremely proficient large mammal hunters, driving many of the indigenous megafauna to extinction with their advanced cultural and technological toolkit. Meanwhile, the Tevanti have maintained much more of their maritime tradition, spreading across the desolate north coast of the continent, becoming adept hunters and fishers in this difficult land.
To the south, the Hakanti take to the open plains, while their Hasavant cousins make their way around an undulating coastline to discover the verdant and rugged southern coast of the continent.
Across the sea, the Agvan are largely ignorant of the peopling of Agvant, having only occasional contact with their cousins across the water. Technological advances steadily percolate up from the Ebon coast, but the Agvan remain largely unchanged, except in the far south, where agriculture and early city-states begin to form.
The vast and widespread Obo culture remains largely interconnected, thanks to the widespread traveling ways of the dog-keepers. However, a few splinter cultures do emerge, such as the northern Hobok, and the Oh bone-carriers at the southwestern frontier of the Obo.
Civilization advances steadily on the Ebon Coast. While there are now towns and cities stretching from the southern edge of Agvan culture through the Wabbans and all the way down to the edge of the southern jungles, Ahban and Ebon remain the most prominent. The Ahban, who are somewhat more hierarchical than the Ebon, form the first states containing multiple significant cities, and construct massive stonework tombs and other edifices. Ahban mariners reach the island of Boron regularly, and establish settlements on the mineral-rich island. While these colonies eventually break away politically from their home cities and hybridize with the native Obuus, these Ohbahn cities represent a major step towards the integration of Boron into the mainland civilization. Recently, the Ebon also begin to establish themselves on the island, only furthering the acceleration of technological and cultural exchange. Driven in part by this upsurge in exchange, travel and trade, the Ahban and Ebon have developed simple mathematical systems using base twelve, and invented ways of recording counts of goods, developing the first fundamental pieces of a writing system in the process.
Independent of the settlements of the mainlanders, urbanization also begins on the far coast of Boron. Meanwhile, the Habaan are the first people in the region to create bronze, swiftly gaining an advantage over the northeastern Obuus.
The southern jungles see the eastern Gueba and Bana peoples gradually develop into the Sueva culture, developing ever-closer trading relationship with the Ahban. The Arpam are further marginalized by the ascent of the Sueva, who begin to urbanize, although they lack the climate to effectively farm the temperate domesticates available to the north. The Gueba and Wavro carry on largely unaffected.
In the Wabanan interior, the Upoh lead the way in terms of agriculture, picking up where the Wab River-Kings left off, but in a more resilient environment. The Randai profit somewhat from this, and begin to rebuild somewhat, but they cannot reach the scales of agriculture practiced by their ancestors. The Pran, meanwhile, having sworn off agriculture, dwindle around their own homelands as the Randai monopolize the rivers, and the land steadily grows more arid. Driven in part by this competition for land and harsher climate, the Pran expand around the circumference of the continental desert, ultimately bringing their culture into contact with the western Wabanan peoples.
The eastern Wab river serves as a conduit for crops to cross the great central desert, until they reach the Veyaj, prompting major upheavals in the Wab delta as the warlike Veyaj begin to practice agriculture.
On the western Wab, the Hoppa become an increasingly settled and agricultural people, as do the Wayha, as population densities increase and hunting becomes an increasingly less-viable practice. The Wayha make a point of tying their animal reverence and worship into their domestication of animals, and develop elabourate rituals around their livestock. The Wobaoh also begin to widely practice agriculture, in turn spreading cultivation to the Wobao. At the present date, cultivation has spread from the eastern to the western extremes of Wabana. Only the northern Aps and Godos, the deep interior Obo, Sapopo, Hoboks and Oh, and the people of the south central region of the continent have not yet incorporated agricultural into their standard ways of life.
In parallel to the agricultural revolution in Wabana, the Apalans are developing their own agricultural cradles, with a rich exchange now running across the temperate southeastern regions of the continent, from the Yakgu Rifts to the Itap. Cities too are spreading, not only to the agricultural regions, but also up the rich rainforest coastline of the Wabaha. The Gevera people, in particular, have taken to monopolizing trade into the interior rivers, establishing settlements at the mouths of many of the continent's major eastward-draining rivers. Permanent settlement stretches as far north as Wabaha, where great wooden cities grow in the massive and densely-populated delta.
With civilization, so comes a new scale of warfare. The Dierhua build fortresses and citadels to ward off their rivals, and engage in several stupendous and destructive wars against one another. Still, this does nothing to slow the growth of cities and populations, which continue to soar in this, the very birthplace of Apalan civilization.
In the Yakgu Rifts and Long Sea, development surges ahead. Sierda, Daryava, Nmalyaba, Zarayaba and Nyamaba all build cities, and several multi-city alliances and proto-states take shape. Across the sea from the Daryava, the isolated Kurav gradually diverge into a distinct people, as do the northern Dayava. The various peoples of the Aegal plains and beyond continue their antelope-herding lifestyles, although innovations from the more densely-peopled centres filter their way into their lands quickly enough.
The northern Agal diverge into the Galz, while the Saryaz begin to farm, and expand rapidly in population. Many of the eastern Urbala towns come to be culturally or militarily overwhelmed by the vastly more-numerous Saryaz, leading to the formation of the Surazal culture, which is fundamentally Urbalan in structure and style, but is predominately Saryaz in religion and racial makeup.
The plains-dwelling Chierta people have steadily diverged from the increasingly agricultural and urbanized Sierda, maintaining their position as the dominant people of the Kicca Plains.
On the Itap, the Ziyuzagh and Tyumru grow increasingly developed, although neither have established much in the way of centralized political organization. The Ziyuzagh Ghuchagh provides some degree of organization, but for the most part the Ziyuzagh Shamans each lead with great amounts of independence. Still, the Ghuchagh has managed to organize a united front against the Gierhyep, who have been steadily removed from the lands dominated by the Ziyuzagh.
With less-hostile neighbours on the mainland, the Ku have begun to appear in greater numbers on the mainland, maintaining generally good relations with the Ziyuzagh and Tyumru. Agricultural ideas are applied to the Sacred Itaro, leading to the establishment of well-organized aquacultural systems, and trade booms across the inland sea.
Much of the southwest remains fairly stable, although there have been interesting developments on the coast. Northern Kiryaks have allied and intermarried with the southern Wabakos, leading to the formation of a hybrid culture known as the Kubako.
The Apfal and Timika seas remain lands on the fringes of agriculture. While the Tiriyata receive dribs and drabs of the Itap staple crops and domesticated animals, the spread of planting is slowed by the great variety of frequently-hostile nomadic plains people between them, such as the Ziag, Tiryats and Nekra. Meanwhile, the Apfal people contract more, as the more recently arrived Imikyah and their relatives maintain their dominance over the bulk of the salty sea. The Kepfa expand further out of the northern rainforests, further compressing the remaining Apfal range. However, north of the Apfals, one Fumo-Apalo group enjoys better fortunes, dominating the region between the eastern and western rivers.
The long, wedgelike northern coast of Apala continues to bustle as it has for untold thousands of years, a human highway exchanging goods, genes and ideas across the continent. While the Wabaha, by dint of their massive population, have long been among the most influential, the Webwayo have recently been rising in prominence. One of their pioneering inventions is an early writing system, featuring strings of beeds and reeds which can both be read as symbols, and be blown upon sequentially to produce a simple form of whistling trade jargon. This method of recording and sending messages over long distances has helped to enhance Webwayo trading, and arrives hand in hand with improved material technologies from the Gero Valley, allowing the Webwayo, among other coastal peoples, to build increasingly seaworthy vessels.
Meanwhile, in the highlands upriver of the Webwayo, a new culture mixing pot has just begun to form at the junction of the Apa'nuk, Oebhwaho, Webwayo and northward-expanding Akp. In a valley blessed with abundant food and rich mineral resources, there is a great mixture of cooperation, competition and trade between these varied groups.
As the Akp continue to expand down from their mountains, more new cultures arise. The Opk arise from a mixture of Akp invaders and Obaho locals, developing a distinct new group that is able to hold off invasions from both directions.
The third continent of humanity reels from massive Apalan invasions. The Htckt brought with them anatomical modernity, modern weapons, and almost all of the pre-agricultural developments of the continent on which the human species evolved. Had it not been for the near-simultaneous arrival of the Chepko, who served as a counterbalancing force, things might have gone even worse for the natives of Epua.
With spear, bow and flame, the Htckt carved out a bloody swath of formerly Ebe and Oypuao land, conducting gratuitous sacrifices to their fearsome Serpent God. Htckt forest-management practices also proved ruinous for the Epuans- while periodic burning to drive out game and encourage certain types of new growth was quite helpful for their style of intensive land use, it was extremely disruptive for the Epuans, who tended to be less mobile and live in lower densities, extracting resources less aggressively from the environment.
The Chepko, as per Wabanan tradition, intermarry heavily with the locals and spread rapidly along the coastlines. Their mixed-heritage children become known as the Tsebueh, and spread across the southern coast. Meanwhile, their Pueko cousins spread northwards, coming into contact with the Htckt. Clashes flared up on this frontier of contact, ultimately limiting the further spread of either culture, both of whom possessed similar populations and levels of technology.
Like the Chepko, the Htckt also lost their cultural homogeneity as they expanded, although it was a somewhat slower process for the Tiryapic newcomers. The rainforests of Epua are strikingly different from those of Apala, with strangely-behaving beasts, monstrous birds, and bizarre, squat trees, many of whom bleed like a man when cut, and scream when burned. The traditional practices of the Htckt were ultimately impoverishing for their lands. Thus, as they expanded further, they began to take greater regard of the practices of the natives. The Tkt remain predominately Htckt in their makeup and appearance, but have begun to live more in the manner of native Epuans. Thus, while the Htckt have become very numerous in their core regions, the Tkt have managed to spread far further throughout the interior of the continent. While they have incorporated many elements of the native faith and culture into themselves, they continue to revere the same all-consuming snake that has long been feared by their ancestors.
After the Oypuao and Ebe, the inland Hebet and coastal Yoytua are some of the first people to contact the outlanders. The Yoytua are one of the more culturally and spiritually complex Epuan peoples. Following the 'dreamway' tradition of Epuan religions, the Yoytua have mapped extensive nodes and springs along these spirit paths, developing complex rituals around them. However, contact with their neighbours syncretizes their faith somewhat, and a nightmare entity- perhaps based on the Hebet and Heben Storm God, or the Great Serpent of the Tkt- takes its place in their faith. Being a fearful taboo, the nightmare serves as an impetus for organization among the Yoytua, helping them to better resist the stresses of invasion. Additionally, the Poa, or seasonal round, system of western Epua and the Ka'Pua'Ne has spread to the Yoytua. This effective land-use regime has been revolutionary for the Youtua, greatly swelling their population and pushing them to the forefront of native Epuan civilizations. Perhaps the wave of the Tkt will break upon the Yoytua... or perhaps the serpent shall continue its steady engulfing of the continent.
The Ka'Pua'Ne steadily expand in all directions, through the jungle that bears their name. The priestly class grows steadily more entrenched by the passage of time, turning their stationary homes into places of great political and religious significance.
The inland Yopuo have diverged into the Yoho, adapted to live in high-altitude temperate forests and grasslands quite unlike the coastal jungles of their forefathers.
In the inland southwest of Epua, there is a massive basin surrounded on all sides by mountains- not too severe to reduce all of the interior to fallow aridity, but great enough to drive all of its drainage into a central sea. Several different cultures drive forth into this region, beginning the settlement of the last major unpeopled region of the continent. The Hwapa are among the first, although they are swiftly joined by the Oypo-derived Orepo, the Akhaba-descended Kha'khpa, and the Yopuo's southern inland offshoots, the Yoyepuo. Around the inland sea at the basin's center, a clash for control of this rich land is just beginning.
The World of Four Humans
On this planet, there are four extant species of the genus Homo. They are sapiens, natatus, reptatus and trux. In common parlance, they are often referred to as humans, merpeople, hobbits and ogres, although in truth all of them are human. In their own languages, they have many names. Humans possess thousands of languages and even more demonyms, but the other three peoples are much less widespread, and tend to have much less linguistic diversity. In their own tongue, Homo natatus refer to themselves as 'Ku' or 'Goa'. Homo reptans call themselves 'Mnayakgu', although they have become assimilated into many neighbouring cultures, and frequently adopt their languages, thus coming to possess many other names for their own kind. Finally, the 'Ogres', large, muscular people from beyond the Ypta Mountains, are 'Diryaj' in their own language.
Most ancient and far-diverged from the other human species, the Ku are specially adapted for a life in the water. They possess a smooth, streamlining layer of fat around their bodies, keeping them warm while in water, but often leaving them overheated on land. Their baby-soft skin is devoid of hair, and their large hands and feet on their otherwise slender bodies give them a somewhat adolescent build. Their fingers are rough-textured, for use in the water, and their ankles are angled so as to make for an efficient swimming kick. However, all of these adaptations make them clumsy and inelegant on land. While they can walk, their gait is awkward and loping, and they lack the endurance to stand up for long periods. In spite of this, there are some who consider the Ku to have a sort of alien beauty to them, and the doomed love of land-people and sea-people is a common theme in mythology around the Itaro Sea, as slight and thin-hipped Ku women almost always die when giving birth to large-headed drylander children.
While many humans consider the Ku to be freakish, or at least a touch unnerving, their opinion of the Diryaj is almost unanimous in that they are outright monstrous. Standing almost universally over six feet tall, and frequently reaching seven or even eight, the Diryaj are by far the largest of the human species. They are also immensely muscular, and have tough skin swaddling a layer of fat. They are very hardy and resistant to injury, but as a result of this and their violent tendencies, they tend to become extremely scarred, often to the point of disfigurement. Their skulls are proportionally small, although still of comparable size to those of humans, and have pronounced sagittal crests. Their brows are heavy, their chins are small and rounded in shape, and their necks are thick with corded muscle. Meat forms a large part of the Diryaj diet, and they are infamous for their cannibalism.
Most consider the Diryaj to be brutal, bestial and stupid, boogiemen with which to frighten children. While there is some truth to their capacity for violence, the Diryaj are not monumentally less intelligent than other humans. They have language, rituals and culture, and while they don't make many technologies, they are more than capable of using what they trade for or take by force.
Diryaj have immense appetites, as a product of their size, and as such tend to live in lower densities and smaller groups. Because of this, they tend to be of lower social intelligence than most humans, and become either stressed or violent in crowded situations.
The Mnayakgu are the second most widespread of the races, after humans themselves. The Mnayakgu are the smallest group, typically standing three to four feet tall. These squat and hairy people have disproportionately long arms and legs, and their toes are prehensile. They are proportionally very strong, and are stupendously good climbers, well at home in the maze of cliffs and caves that make up their native home in the Yakgu Rifts. They have oddly-distributed cushions of fat on their shoulders, back and several prominent joints, helping them to jam themselves into safe cracks in cliffs and caves, and allowing them to sleep comfortably in extremely bizarre positions.
Much of Mnayakgu history has been spent quietly avoiding contact with other branches of mankind, as they tend to have a lesser preference for organized violence. As their lifestyle provided for itself well enough, they never had much motivation to develop technologies beyond basic tools. However, in more recent times some Mnayakgu have been incorporated by their human neighbours, who value them as labourers, able to climb to great heights without fear and squeeze into very tight places.
Mnayakgu are stereotyped as either comically stupid or crafty tricksters, but in reality most of them simply wish to live unobserved, quietly and peacefully. Their mental capacities, on average, are below those of humans, although they are still able to effectively interact, and sometimes even thrive in the societies of 'walking men'.
Trade and technology continue to advance in leaps and bounds in the Eban Region, and on Boron proper. Complex square rigging in conjunction with oar crews and the “Clinker” style of ship construction, emerging at the end of this period, descended from the reed boats of the region and the great rafts of the far distant past, have allowed people from the Eban complex to not only trade far and wide, but establish distinct colonies as far as they are able. The Primary driver behind this colonial effort is the establishment of “Empires” for lack of a better word along both of the rivers. Eban Empires tend to form around an alliance of cities and settlements coming together for the common good and electing an “over-council,” in the democratic traditions of the area. These alliances tend to remain stable for a few generations, before some pressure, be it external or internal, shatters it. Once in a while, all the settlements on a particular river will be unified.
The greater pressures on the bureaucratic systems of the river complex spurs the development from the simplistic tally system. The first instances of TRUE writing, a phonetic script beyond the simple tallies previously used, come from the cities at the mouth of the Hashon River, in an Ebon city. This writing system gets adopted by all the members of the Ebon complex, and where their ships sailed.
However, the most dramatic political and cultural events of the period came from Boron. Bolstered by bronze, which few had, a particular habaan tribal leader unified the tribes, and launched forward a great conquest, first of Boron and then of the mainland itself. This empire, whether it lasts or not, leaves a significant impact on the region in a number of ways.
Primarily, the interaction of the oral beliefs of the habaan, the writing systems of the mainland, and the disparate priestly castes of the mainland cities, and the centralization brought by the Habaan empire, allowed for the consolidation of the faith into a unified organization with standardized texts.
Secondarily, though connected with the first, the Habaan Tribal King (And his wife) became viewed as the central authority of the gods on earth, appointed to spiritually lead both humanity and the world as a whole, through its reincarnation cycle. In this manner, when one or the other die, there is a “world wide” search for their reincarnations to bring them to rule over the empire (and if the empire collapses, the faith as a whole.) Children of prior incarnations, though not given hereditary leadership of the empire, hold positions of import in administration of the faith and the bureaucracy of the empire.
Aggan continue their slow push into the boreal lands of the north, continuing their culture of carving totems and venerating any remaining megafauna or particularly impressive predators. This "veneration" includes hunting them aggressively in order to claim their spiritual power. When such game is absent from an area, sacrificial totems of those animals will be carved into trees and then ceremonially "hunted," in which the totem is cut down and burned.
Agvanti will move more towards a sedentary lifestyle as populations continue to grow, especially along the riversides. As local populations swell, the old traditional territories of the Agvanti will likely be tested and lead to low-intensity warfare between tribes. Tribes that lose these struggles or are unwilling to fight will flee to the safety of the nearby mountains. In time these splinter groups will turn from the veneration of the mighty trees and beasts of this land towards worshiping the mountains that have given them protection.
Hakanti will follow a similar pattern as the Agvanti, with many groups settling along the rivers and coastlines. However, further inland groups will begin coming into contact more and more with the camelids and wild horses. [WISHFUL THINKING maybe they hop on these adorable animals or get them to pull things around or something if the gods are feeling generous]
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