Sahn'etar

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Sahn'etar
Founding: The Wandering Age
Motto:
Lands Held: The City of Sahn'etar, and a number of Forts dotting the Underdark.
Main Ethnicities: Imkana (99%) Other (1%)
Official Language: Imkanese
Religion / Worshiped Gods: Sahn, Winter Druidism
System of Government: Absolute Monarchy (Hereditary Monarchy)
Technological Development: Low to Medium, with a focus on artistry and magic.
Currency: Nomisma Regium (Gold Royal)



Sahn'etar Culture

Ancestor Blood

Within Sahn'etar, there is talk of the blood which the ruling Great Houses possess. While the city's culture views the 'ancestor blood' as a divine blessing of power, it is in actuality simply a genetic trait passed down through the ages. The ancestor blood itself holds no significance other than to push individuals into specific mindsets. Those with it develop inclinations toward a path, a path which is then nurtured by Household traditions. For example, the Sovisin family share an inclination toward crafts and pride, further exacerbated by the House's tradition of teaching architectural pursuits and hosting artistic competitions. Similar situations arise within the households of the other three Great Houses; their inclinations are accentuated by their House's traditions. Traditions which were born from those inclinations to begin with.

Societal pressures then push Great House children to live up to the expectations of greatness their ancestor blood comes with. Failure to measure up to what Sahn'etar culture expects of them is a sobering experience for any Great House child that shirks their supposed divine birthright; whether it be the society as a whole or their parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, expectations must be met or else shame and dishonor follow.

Families

The entirety of the Imkana population is divided into Houses, some lesser or greater than others. Chief among these families are the four Great Houses: Kelzonar, Othydius, Sovisin, and Rodouslyn. They trace their blood lineage to one of the four Primal demigods. Below these titular families are the numerous subservient Lesser Houses that each swear loyalty to one of the Great four.

Within any given House, there is a main family line and a branch family. Stretching back to the days of the Rift Crisis, the bloodline of the main family is traced through the first born child, while any siblings are destined to join the branch. Branch members consist of cousins, aunts, and uncles to the main bloodline.

The way membership works between the Great Houses and the Lesser Houses is different. While it’s possible for one of the lower class Imkana to join a Lesser House’s noble line through marriage or adoption, or even establish a new House of their own with the approval from the King or Queen, a lower class Imkana may not join one of the Great four. Members of a Great House have an ancient trait present in their blood as a result of being descended from one of the demigod Primals, and only those that have been proven to have this trait can join one of the Great Houses.

Generally, heirs to a Great House are presented potential suitors as they grow up, all from the Lesser Houses that serve them. The Matriarch or Patriarch arranges these unions for their children, though in some cases the heir may fall in love and choose their own mate regardless. The ancient trait present in the bloodline is different for each of the Houses, and they do not mix. If an Othydius were to mate with a Sovisin, their children would exhibit the trait of only one of their parents’ Houses. These children would join the corresponding family their bloodline trait shares, and be raised separately from one of their parents. As a result, unions between the Great Houses are considered a social faux pas.

House Sovisin

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“Pave the Road, Lead the Way.”

House Sovisin descends from the Primal demigod Sovisin the All-Bonded. Sovisin was a winter druid based in Academia. An industrious creator and craftsman, Sovisin combined her necromantic capabilities with architectural works, bringing into being the ancient doors to the Everdark which dot the surface world and the Underdark. She also put into motion the creation of stunning cityscapes which relied on the application of necromancy and umbramancy to power her other innovations. Sovisin masterminded the construction of the Imkana Holy capital, Sahn’etar. She planned and built the network of magical conduits constructed below the city, which are connected to nodes present in frequented locations spread across the settlement. This enabled all frost elven folk to quickly travel from one end of the city to the other. Before long she was considered the de facto ruler of the Imkana people for all of the benefits her works provided Frost Elven civilization, but most of all because of her natural skill for administration and political cunning. But like every Primal, she had her flaws. She grew arrogant and prideful after being the first of Sahn’s Archdruids to be granted near limitless power, and saw herself as the center of all Imkana, and arrogantly of all Sahnites.

Sovisin’s divine blood was passed on to her children. They formed House Sovisin, one of the four Great Houses of the Imkana. Like their demigod ancestor, the Sovisin have an affinity for creativity and creation. Poets, artists, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, and more, the Sovisin have the most skilled craftsmen in the entire city. For this reason, the House stands as the wealthiest; their works are in high demand. They have a close working relationship with House Othydius, who require the expertise of Sovisin craftsmen to forge both extravagant and practical enchanted items. Though besides highly skilled artists, Sovisin also boast a number of devout Sahnite priests. Beneath their finery and their pride lies a devotion to Sahn arguably unparalelled by most other Houses in their society. This priesthood of Sahn employ the use of necromancy as a holy implement and conduit to their Goddess' power, and in so doing perform shadowy rituals meant to imbue their crafts. This is the basis of Sovisin's necrotectual arts.

Morsolythi

Alumni of the industrious College of Refined Necrotectual Arts and Works, based out of House Sovisin. The Morsolythi, or Necrolytes as they are called in the common language, are respected and known for their innovations in the development and application of necrotic architecture, and knowledge of ritualism and necromancy. As a group, they are believed to hold secretive meetings, hidden even from their own House members, within the labyrinthine complex beneath the House Sovisin palace grounds. This has led to all manner of conjecture, some believing them to be working on a groundbreaking project of colossal scale, while others believe them to be somehow involved with the subtle workings of the blasphemous Cult of the All-Bonded. The alumni themselves have denied the existence of these meetings as ‘peasant superstition’.

House Rodouslyn

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“Nature Cannot Be Tamed.”

House Rodouslyn descends from the Primal demigod Rodouslyn Wild-Heart. Rodouslyn was a winter druid based in Shamanism. As such, he communed with animals and the spirits of animals, and invoked their traits and powers in battle and religious rituals, but he was also known for his bouts of savagery and wildness, and being unable to contain his bestial urges for long before they needed to be sated.

Rodouslyn's divine blood was passed on to his children. They formed House Rodouslyn, one of the four Great Houses of the Imkana. Like their demigod ancestor, the Rodouslyn have a connection with animals and the wild, but they are also prone to uncontrollable aggression, which is quite a problem during their maturing years. They partake in hunts, raise wildlife, and have animal familiars to help center their wild souls.

Most Rodouslyn walk the spiritual path of a shaman, and complement their magic with practical skills such as archery. Their taught traditions and their bloodline give them an inclination toward developing skills of dexterity. Archery combined with shamanism is the typical Rodouslyn skill set, but there are also those that prefer to fight in close quarters.

Unguiscori

The upper echelon of House Rodouslyn are part of what's referred to as the Unguiscori, or Taloncore in the common language. The Unguiscori consist of skilled shaman that have communed with one of the known lesser spirits called the Paramenos, and received their mark. The Paramenos are lesser beast spirits that are distinguished separately from the overarching totemic animals. In life, the Paramenos were the inummerable animal familiars of Rodouslyn Wild-Heart, and now in death they are the spiritual guides of his descendants. Their connection with the demigod Rodouslyn allowed these common animal spirits to develop wills and personalities of their own, and retain reputations in their own right. Upon Rodouslyn’s death, the Paramenos were scattered across the world, and through to the modern age only eight of these ancient souls have been returned to the House Rodouslyn sanctuary. While all Rodouslyn revere the Paramenos, the Unguiscori are those individuals that have undertaken the Paramenos’ trials, passed, and received their marks of mastery.

The known Paramenos, eight of the surviving animal spirits that were linked with Rodouslyn Wild-Heart. These spirits are not to be confused with the totemics, which are the overarching representative animal spirits. The lesser spirits are:

Juparos the Raven, Paramenos of Cunning. The schemer and the intellectual, he is sophistication and shadow, and chief among the Paramenos as the first of Rodouslyn Wild-Heart’s familiars. He decries wanton savagery, and is often at odds with Boar.

Diavos the Corvbear, Paramenos of the Hunt. The relentless pursuer, she is the embodiment of the tracker. She cares only for the thrill of the hunt, and is good friends with Owl, Ram, and Raven.

Vestivos the Polar Bear, Paramenos of Fortitude. The great protector and provider, he is the lumbering bulwark against that which aims to kill. He is hardy and happy, and often comes to the defence of Vulture when Boar bullies him.

Virtaka the Ram, Paramenos of Resolve. The fearless charger, he cares not for the danger, only that something dares to obstruct him. He is forceful and controlling, and enjoys contests with Boar.

Marevos the Vulture, Paramenos of Patience. The opportunistic pacifist, he acts only when necessary and advantageous. He is quiet and thoughtful, but brooding. He fears Boar and adores Corvbear.

Sairak the Snow Fox, Paramenos of Reflex. Quick wit and quick legs, she is always ready to respond and act. She is skittish but wise, and resonates closely with Owl.

Apavos the Owl, Paramenos of Vision. The far seeing observer, she is the oculus through which all can be known and noticed. She is fair and enjoys the quiet company of Vulture.

Vulkarok the Boar, Paramenos of Savagery. The unpredictable beast of freedom, he is the savage within. He takes what he can, says what he can, hurts what he can, whenever he can, because he can. He enjoys bullying Vulture and is at odds with Owl and Raven very often.

House Kelzonar

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“Death is the Only Victor.”

House Kelzonar descends from the Primal demigod Kelzonar Death-Sung. Kelzonar was a winter druid based in War. She was a sister to Rodouslyn Wild-Heart, and in many ways shared her brother's affliction of unchecked aggression, but it was never without purpose. The most war minded of the Archdruids, she came to prominence in the bloody campaigns against the newly created Drow, her blessed weapon of Everice, a divine gift from her Goddess, cut swathes of dark elves down across many battles. Her druidic magic of ice and mist and decaying death was interlaced with her stunningly beautiful sword play, an inspiration to the warriors around her, and both Sahn'etarean warriors and druids into the modern era. Though she was the last of the Archdruids to be chosen to ascend by Sahn, she was without a doubt the fiercest. Each of the Archdruids had their flaws however, and Kelzonar was no different. She was headstrong and oft times stubborn. Most of all, she was at the mercy of her own wrath. Any slight, and most importantly -perceived- slight, against her was met with it returned tenfold. In some texts recovered about the ancient era, it is believed it was Kelzonar Death-Sung that began a bloody conflict with the men on the surface, retribution for her ill and dying son. Her rage was so great there was little anything her kinfolk could do to stay her blade. Her wrath was part of her legend, just as much as her contribution to the culture, as it was she that began to teach other druids how to apply their magics in unison with martial mastery as the first of the winter druidic Weavers.

House Kelzonar inherited her legacy. For centuries, it has been House Kelzonar that acted as the bulwark of Sahn'etar and Imkana. Kelzonar children are tutored in the ways of the sword, shield, and pole. They are given lessons in combat and tested regularly as they grow in mastery of the martial styles passed down by their ancestors. As they grow proficient from their daily lives of training, it is each child of Kelzonar's destiny and privilege to be sent to the druids as pupils. It is they that teach their young students their connection to not only Sahn, but with the natural cycle of life and death of the world around them. From the elder druids, the children learn to slowly walk down the spiritual path. It is these dual traditions and teachings of martial skills and druidism from an early age that make House Kelzonar the origin of many of the most notable Weavers the society has seen. As the inheritors of Kelzonar Death-Sung's will, joining the druidic sect that she herself created is seen as a must, and is expected of every child. The demigod passed down many things to her children, but also her flaws. Like their ancestor before them, the children of Kelzonar are often seen as stubborn, reckless, and at the mercy of their own passions.

Pruinaetori

The Pruinaetori, or Frostborne, are a many faceted organization of men and women ensuring the security of Sahn’etar both within and without with the strength of arms. They act as guards, lifelong heavy soldiers, and law enforcers. Unlike the other Household run organizations of the Great Houses, the Pruinaetori do not consist of the elite, only the willing. It is House Kelzonar, and all the Houses pledged to them, that have the duty to act as defenders of their society. Those many that do not have the druidic skill necessary to join the Weaver sect instead become the many Pruinaetori. Donning heavy everice armor and armaments, these soldiers carry the warscythe, the shortsword and the shield into battle against any foe that seeks harm against the city and/or threatens Sahn’etar sovereignty. In the past, the Pruinaetori used to be the only armed force Sahn’etar had available, but following Queen Ro’hera’s military reforms, the city established a professional standing army and absorbed the Pruinaetori corps into its ranks.

House Othydius

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“Greater Desire Precedes Greater Power.”

Descended from Othydius the Gem-Titan.

TO BE COMPLETED

Divuseri

The Divuseri, or Archonites, are the most accomplished magic users of House Othydius. Chosen and led directly by the Archon, these casters are among the truly elite of what Othydius has to offer. A Divuseri has risen to their station purely on merit of their research and magical study, and awarded with full access to the House’s rarest supply of reagents, as well as given the opportunity to consult and collaborate with other Divuseri on arcane matters. These studious magi delve into their own personal fields of study, and freely peruse the highest libraries of the Sunpoint spire. On the Archon’s discretion, they may also receive highly limited access to the vault of artifacts kept under lock and key.

Government

Since the days of the Rift Crisis, and the recognized rulership of the four Primal demigods, the Imkana have been governed by a council of four. The four Archdruids were unified and made decisions for their people as a group. When the demigods perished, their children followed their example. In recent times, the council system was replaced in favor of a religious-centric monarchy.

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Military

Military Ranks

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Semperarch
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Tesserarch
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Evocatus
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 Optex
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Munifex
   

Above are the ranks used by the Sahn'etarean military organization per the reforms of Queen Ro'hera.

Sahn'etarean Munifex are divided into four particular specialties based on the training they received in the military academies:

SahnetarSoldier4.png : Structors, who are non-combatant masons and workmen that deal with any construction efforts, or maintenance, the legion engages in. This includes applying necrotectual knowledge in the construction and maintenance of the Everdark Gates.

SahnetarSoldier1.png : Bellators, who are the legion's force of warriors making up the bulk of Sahn'etar's fighting forces.


SahnetarSoldier2.png : Excursors, who are trained as archers and scouts, meant to survey areas and harass from afar.


SahnetarSoldier3.png : Maleficus, novice but military minded cryomancers that lend the usage of elemental magic to the war efforts.


These roles transcend the cultural restrictions of the council led system of the past, now allowing any House member to join the military and pursue their own paths free of any Household traditions. This caused a massive influx of enlistment from the Lesser House population, for several reasons but mainly the opportunity for personal freedom.

Each graduating Munifex class swears an oath of loyalty to the ruling monarch, and receives armaments provided by the crown before being assigned to a legion.

SahnetarSoldier5.png : The Optex are junior officers of the legion and command a number of Munifex ranked soldiers. These officers tend to be Pruinaetorians, but upward movement for the common Munifex is possible through merit or time served.

SahnetarEvocatus.png : The Evocatus senior officers. The Evocatus are veterans, predominantly Pruinaetorians, that have fought and bled for the Imkana since before the Queen's military reforms against the constant threat of the Atropals. They are the best example of a soldier a legion has to offer.

Equipment

All Munifex are provided with light robes and light leather armoring, but most strikingly wear a mask of hardened Everice. While the mask does provide an amount of protection, symbolically it is meant to mask the individual and unify the many under one face, one force. The Sahn'etar soldier is not merely an individual and defender of their city, they are the embodiment of the Queen's will and wrath. They fight for the Goddess of Death, the Wandering Reaper, as the faceless balancers of the cycle of life and death. They are death's legion.

Structors are provided with tools such as charcoal, vellum, measuring rulers, scales, chisels, and standard necrotectual manuals, and a pack to keep them all in.

Bellators are provided with an Everice warscythe, Everice pauldrons, an Everice chestplate, and a round shield painted with an inverted colored Sahn'etarean flag.

Excursors are provided with an Everice reinforced longbow, with a supply of Everice tipped arrows as part of the legion's provisions, and two Everice daggers.

Maleficar are provided with a staff mounted with an opal jewel. A basic staff meant for channeling their ice spells.

Organization of the Legion

A Munifex joins a grouping of 6 soldiers, called a Contubernium, that share sleeping quarters and act as a close unit.

10 Contubernium are called a Decenxa, and are led by 5 second in-command officers, the Optex, and one commander, the Evocatus.

10 Decenxa together make up a Protelum. Each Protelum is led and overseen by one of four Tesserarch lieutenants.

The Tesserarchs answer to the Semperarch, the pinnacle of the legion. The Semperarch and Tesserarchs are typically high nobles, hailing from one of the Great Houses or Vanguard Houses of the city.

The Semperarch receives orders directly from the Praedomnus (Warmaster) who resides in Sahn'etar and sits on the King or Queen's council and advises on military matters.

Religion

Sahn'etar religion is centered around winter based druidism and Sahnite worship, where the weak are culled to preserve and save the strong. Although this concept is rarely enacted in the literal sense: weak Imkana aren't executed; though their weakness is worn as a mark of shame until they find their strength.

Sahn'etar has a unique winter druid sect called Weavers. Unlike traditional druids, Weavers combine their druidic magic with mastery of a dexterity focused, weapon based martial art; they visually "weave" their spells through their weapons. While druids, or Sahnites, are racially diverse in the majority of the world, the Imkana have been isolated for millennia, and all their interactions with other races have usually resulted in bloodshed, which is a strong factor of their xenophobia.

The majority of Weavers belong to House Kelzonar, despite its pledged Lesser Houses also attempting to join the sect. All children living in the Kelzonar controlled land of Raadgard are mentored in the rudimentary ways of winter druidism. There are those who go on to embrace the path of a winter druid, though fewer show the necessary martial and druidic skill in order to become a Weaver, which is why the sect is mostly populated by Kelzonar. Choice of martial weapon is up to the discretion of the druid, but the most common implement for Weavers is the shortsword, which is an attempt to emulate Kelzonar Death-Sung, the Primal that inspired the sect's creation, and her blessed weapon. Other weapons have been polearms, hand-axes, two-handed axes, and greatswords. Flails, maces, and hammers, essentially all blunt weapons, are considered exotic and unorthodox.

Sahn'etar religion takes part in several sacrificial rites. The importance of what exactly is sacrificed is divided amongst the four Great Houses, and often a source of debate for their devout. It is for that reason that the Luceassu festival is separated into 4 weeks to focus on one House at a time.

The importance of religion among the late Sahn'etar council waned over the centuries that they were in power and prompted a gradual increase in religious unrest. As the council grew more unsympathetic towards religion in general, anti-council religious groups gained more ground with the people. Several small cells of these zealous terrorists were born both within and outside the noble class. These groups eventually unified and were able to capture the hearts and minds of the majority of the populace, and eventually overthrow the weakening council, beginning a new age of religious supremacy for Sahn'etar.

Scattered across the globe, from the surface to the deep recesses of the Underdark, are special gates called Death's Doors. In ancient times, when the Imkana were at their peak and their Primal demigods still ruled, they were busy constructing gates which opened portals to the realm of the Everdark, Sahn's land of the dead. Sahn herself tasked the Imkana with the construction and maintenance of these gates. Most of these portals either lie in ruin or are inactive, but with the resurgence of Imkana religious fervor, the Blood Queen has quickly amassed an army with the intention of fulfilling the ancient commandment passed to them by Sahn and aims to restore and maintain every gate that still remains standing. First they must be found, and under the Queen’s guidance Sahn'etar began its divine crusade.


Weavers

Rot, Rime, Life

The Winter Druidism in Sahn’etar known as Weaving was originally separated into two distinct and specific categories of study: Rot and Rime. While students of Rot studied the uses, applications, and spiritual importance of slow decaying death, and channeled the power of disease and affliction, Rime practitioners focused on the grip of impending death, the numb, draining of life before the end, and channeled abilities that fatigue, weaken, and overwhelm the senses. These principles have lasted since the dawn of the Imkana race, originating from the combined effort and contemplation of the four Primal demigods. During the revolution of Ro’hera Kelzonar, the old ways were shaken. In her short time, she had earned a deep understanding of both Rot and Rime, but also created and introduced a third, overarching principle that acts as a unifier, Life. The Weaver principle of Life focuses on the physical essences of mortals and manipulating their ebb and flow. Blood, bone, flesh, and root, stem, leaf, the Lifeweaver pulls at the foundations of mortal life to break it down and deliver it to its doom. It is for this reason Ro’hera has been given the moniker Blood Queen.

Martial Principles

As Weavers are also students of martial practices, Rot, Rime, and the recent Life, concepts have their own specific martial styles. Rot favors a more nimble, fluid, and reactionary style, allowing their agonizing afflictions to bring their opponents down through compounding decay and pinpoint strikes. Rime students are taught to outlast and tire their opponents, weaving debilitating and fatiguing power while reducing all unnecessary and extraneous movement, and focusing on defensive postures. Life promotes an aggressive and quick style, for each wound inflicted gives the Lifeweaver an easier avenue of blood, bone, and flesh to manipulate.

Nextorians

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Through the Blood Queen’s guidance, the introduction of the Life principle made it possible to combine all three teachings. These elite master Weavers, styled as Nextorians, or Deathweavers, are chosen as the personal guard to the Sahn'etarean royal bloodline, and act as devastating shock forces on the field of battle. To learn and master all three Weaver paths takes great effort, time, and spiritual clarity. But most of all, it requires great ambition. Deathweavers are those who aspired to be more than druids, more than elves, and more than mortals. They are defenders of the cycle, of the Sahn'etarean dynasty, and champions of Sahn'etarean culture.