The United Clans of Essalanea: A factbook

Discussion in 'National Information' started by North Timistania, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. North Timistania

    North Timistania Citizen -

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    'I can't even begin to explain these people! they cannot be ruled!'

    -A foreign official on the Essalanean's following the empires failed attempt at invasion

    Beginnings

    The Alemann arrival in Craviter was the beginning of many new nations, most chose the path of civility and began to erect permanent settlements but the Clans of the great Gotic Hero Essalan chose a different path. moving into the great southern plains they discovered horses and mountains and began to establish the culture that has endured to this day.

    Essalan ruled the Clans for nineteen years before dying after falling from his horse, in the wake of his death none of his successors could match his charisma and control of the clans. It had been argued that Essalan's death ended any chance of the clans evolving into a more centralised nation, to this day the tribes elect a High Chief from their ranks but it is a rank devoid of power beyond what the chosen ruler is able to bring to the office. Weak High Chieftains are little more than glorified figureheads ruling in Vosgotis.

    Largely independent of control both from without and within the Essalanean's have remained neutral throughout the centuries, only rarely unifying under great leaders to begin feared invasions as one all-conquering horde. Invasions from great empires are frequent throughout the history of Essalanea but no nation has ever been able to conquer the infamously unruly Clans. Each time an invading army entered the plains they would find themselves harassed by horse tribes who would vanish into the endless steppe before any response could be made. The fight and flight tactics of the tribes made a mockery of any concept of a pitched battle and invading armies would soon find themselves worn away by attrition and strained lines of supply and communication. To this day no empire has ever subjugated the Essalanean peoples.


    The Conclaves

    Essalan founded the permanent tribal city of Vosgotis, Essalan ruled as the first high chief and established the system of conclaves which would come to define Essalanean culture. Conclaves are collections of independent skilled persons who travel between the tribes and share their knowledge and services with the peoples of all the various clans of Essalanea.

    The Conclaves are caste-based and open only to the skilled, their safety is guaranteed by all the chieftains of the great clans. While there are many different conclaves the primary ones are as follows:

    The Conclave Of Healers: Medical care

    The Conclave of Makers: Inventors and civilian technologies

    The Conclave of Iron: Weaponsmiths including firearms

    The Conclave of law: Adjudication

    The Conclave of Joy: Entertainers and Prostitution

    The Conclave of Song: Records and Music

    All conclaves maintain a presence in Vosgotis in order to advise the High Chieftain and to better coordinate their activities.

    Each Conclave provides vital services and maintains relative neutrality between the tribal factions creating oddly unique situations

    Language


    Essalaneans never adopted more modern forms of Gotic language and still speak what is essentially Old Ninhundish from the time of the Alemann arrival in Craviter.

    Technology

    'Roads? Ha! I need no such comfort Auslander! the entire steppe is mine to traverse!'

    -A Essalanean response to a tourists complaints about infrastructure

    'They killed one another over cell reception!?'

    -A confused diplomat

    largely nomadic with few permanent settlements the Essalanean clans value three things above all else, their automatic rifles, motorcycles and their mobile phones. The mobile phone has become a staple of Essalanean life replacing the older forms of messenger and raven, the conclaves maintain simple signal towers across the steppe...these sites are frequent sources of tribal disputes and it is not uncommon for Essalanean clans to engage in brutal wars over cell reception.

    Most technology is sturdy, portable and easy to repair on the steppe with minimal resources needed, the capital of Vosgotis retains more modern technology with televisions and permanent structures present but its population is ever fluctuating and the city exists largely as a ceremonial site.

    Most dramatic technological changes in Essalanea have occurred as a result of outside influences slowly trickling into the steppe. Machine guns brought back from raids were soon being utilised as replacements for ageing bolt action rifles, the motorbike was introduced in the 1900s following a foreign diplomatic visit, Cell phones were introduced by Essalanean expats seeking greater contact with the steppe etc. In all cases the clan culture has adopted pre-existing technological models from the outside world and utilised them in vastly different ways.

    Arguably the most advanced and precious resource amongst the clans is bio-fuel extracted from rare arable areas on the steppe that will support the growth of wheat. This modern innovation has allowed the clans to utilise motorcycles as their primary mode of transport rather than the horse. Horses are still retained in clan territories in order to act as reserves if invaders cut access to fuel sources but they are now largely obsolete.

    Culture


    'To ride until weary in the saddle, to rest beneath great Ziu's shadow, to fight until the dying day and live each breath free, That is the way of Essalan!'

    -Chieftain Alaric, 1456

    The Essalanean culture is one defined by the nomadic patterns of the steppe, the Clans drive their herds to between the various seasonal grazing lands and live largely as they have for millennia. Permanent settlements are usually a rare feature, though most clans retain ancient fortified holdings where they gather in times of trouble.

    Hunting is a favoured pastime both for sport and practical survival, it trains young men in the ways of warfare and teaches them the skills necessary to survive the unforgiving steppe.

    Music is also popular during gatherings, songs are sung in praise of the ancestors and tales of myth or history recounted around firelit crowds. Alcohol, Meat and feats of physical strength define gatherings with both men and women taking part in wrestling, weightlifting and racing of horses( and more recently motorcycles)

    Raiding has always been another aspect of Essalanean life, typically against other tribes but also against neighbouring nations. usually, raids are shortlived and involve theft of livestock, women/men or resources not available on the steppe...only when great high chieftains arise do these raids become some altogether more terrifying, true hordes.

    The endless southern steppe is littered with monuments to the ancestors, great clans erect stone stele to commemorate their forebears and altars dedicated to Ziu the Alemann god dot the hills of Essalanea. Once per year, the clans gather in Vosgotis to engage in ancient rituals, share spoils and trade information before dispersing back into the steppes.

    In recent decades foreign embassies have been allowed to join the yearly festivities in Vosgotis as guests but only during this time, for the rest of the year, the city is free of any foreign influence with the exception of those rare honoured few the high chief decides to retain.

    Social obligations bind clan members to one another in an economy of services, a man who can claim many favours is considered a man of power and status. Chieftains are those men who have provided great services to their bondsmen and thus gathered a loyal faction of indebted followers around them. In Essalanea only those who can truly provide for the clan are considered fit to rule and a title is meaningless without respect to support it.


    Religion

    'Ziu, this offering I place at your feet, oh great lord of our fathers guide us to glory neath your endless gaze!'

    -Traditional shaman's prayer

    A shamanistic people the clans worship the ancient Alemann god Ziu in the manner their ancestors did when they first arrived from Gotis. offerings of blood and incense are commonly made by clan shamans at ancient stone altars locating in clan territories across the steppe. Oaths are always made in the sight of a priest of Ziu and it is a death sentence to break a promise made in the great alemann god's sight.

    Government

    while the high chief is the nominal ruler of the clans the true power of the land rests with numerous clan chieftains controlling vast stretches of steppe territory and forever feuding over both land and resources. The city of Visgotis is the closest thing the nation has to a seat of government but is largely ceremonial, in practice most decisions are made by chieftains and only concerning their own people.

    Occasionally great high chieftains are able to unify the entire steppe under their rule through both cunning and sheer force of will...these periods are usually short-lived but are celebrated endlessly in clan lore as glorious episodes in history.

    In practice, any edict can only be enforced if the one issuing such a command can actually back his demand by force. Only the strongest chieftains can expect to exert much control over the politics of the steppe. A rare exception is the conclave of Law, these neutral adjudicators have sacred and binding powers and can compel clan chieftains to take actions they would normally refuse to.

    Shaman's also possessed great social power as they are seen to speak for Ziu himself, they seldom involve themselves in clan affairs, but their word carries immense weight in Essalanean society.



    Economy

    '800 custom made Essalanean rifles, purchased in exchange for ivory and jade, evidently, these primitives want it for one of their profane altars...whatever the case...these guns are magnificent, it amazes me such barbarians could know their way around a firearm so well'

    -Foreign trader's report on weapon sales in Essalanea

    Essalanea is largely a self-sufficient land, the few things it does trade are seldom given away for money as the clans have no use for currency. Bio-Fuel from wheat is a closely guarded resource amongst the clans and seldom leaves the neutral agrarian territories which are defended by all clan chiefs. Weapons, on the other hand, might occasionally be sold to outsiders for resources that cannot be acquired in the steppe such as wood or exotic goods. Essalanean gunsmiths are famous/infamous for their magnificent custom works and their pieces are highly sought as collector's items by foreigners.

    When the clans do deign to trade with outsiders they do so as a united front with the high chief and his court distributing spoils equally following the successful conclusion of business. The Conclaves maintain several secretive settlements scattered across the steppe, rumor has it these are the source of most homemade tech in the steppes and the primary source of exports. whatever the case the Essalanean economy could scarcely be called a capitalist venture.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  2. North Timistania

    North Timistania Citizen -

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    An Overview of the Clans

    Essalanea is a fractious and deeply independent land, anyone with charisma and renown can found a clan given the right support, this has meant that new Clans spring up and fall as frequently as the changing of the seasons. Some Clans, however, are as old and enduring as the steppe itself, a privileged few amongst Essalan's folk can count their clans as the greatest on the steppe. While by no means exhaustive the following are perhaps the most powerful factions in Essalanea.

    Volkmann
    Perhaps the closest thing Essalanea has to a royal family, the Volkmann have produced no less than three High Chieftains including the current one Gaiseric Volkmann. In many ways the Volkmann is perhaps the most progressive and non-traditional of the clans, they study foreign cultures, adopt foreign technologies and have the largest population of urban citizens in Essalanea. This progressive attitude stems from their proximity to neighbouring countries, the Volkmann have more contact with outsiders than any other clan and this has influenced their views immensely.

    Volkmann dealings with outsiders have caused many technologies to enter steppe life, it was the Volkmann who first acquired the automatic rifle and the motorcycle through dealings with outsiders. They have a virtual monopoly on foreign trade and this has made them both invaluable allies and feared enemies. The court of Clan Volkmann has the highest number of permanent staff from the Conclave of Makers and their constant acquisition of new technologies has cemented this alliance with the conclave specialists and provided the clan with technological superiority.

    The Volkmann believe that in order to preserve Essalanean freedom, the nation must modernise and open itself to the world, they have seen first hand the wealth and technology of the outsider and they fear that if it is not harnessed it will be used against the steppe one day soon.

    It was the Volkmann who convinced the clans to allow foreign diplomats and traders to enter Vosgotis during the annual Moot and it is the Volkmann clan that drives the current push towards the opening of borders for trade and contact with the outside world. This progressive stance has won them many supporters and caused the clan to acquire many enemies, one thing, however, is clear, the Volkmann intend to change the steppe forever.

    Karg


    The northernmost clan in essalanea the karg are a warlike and unruly people even by clan standards, The karg are also the oldest of the clans and can trace their lineage back to the first days of Essalanea. In many ways it is the karg who typify foreign stereotypes regarding the clans, they are the poorest of the clans in terms of resources and so they are constantly raiding other clans and foreign lands for survival. firm believers in the old ways the Karg do not trade, farm or deal with foreign peoples, instead, they are almost entirely devoted to war.

    Despite this warmongering reputation the Karg also have many admirable traits, they honour their words always and they are loyal to the death to those who they consider worthy of friendship. Karg warriors practice a strict code of honour, fleeing enemies are never cut down and Karg consider backstabbing utterly taboo, the karg also place great value on family life and prioritise the raising of children and mutual respect between partners as vital to the clan way of life.

    The Karg have been slow to adopt new technologies, they retain large numbers of horse troops instead of more modern motorcycles and their firearms are seldom modern. The karg are the most religious and orthodox of the clans and take their worship of Ziu to fanatical levels, even still practising human sacrifice. Despite poor and barren lands and a lack of new technology the Karg's are both feared and respected amongst the more conservative clans. They are often looked to for moral leadership during times of upheaval and the Karg form a vital balance to the more progressive Volkmann.

    The recent death of Ulli Karg has left the Karg's reeling in the face of new reforms by High Chief Volkmann, it remains to be seen how these tradition-bound warriors will adapt to the changes facing the Steppe, one thing is clear, The Karg will never shrink from a challenge.

    Kimbri

    The Kimbri occupy the western steppe, a hill strewn and overgrown land known for its unusually green terrain and its long coast, mischievous by nature the Kimbri are the youngest of the great clans and care little for old traditions. The kimbri have many strange practices that set them apart from other clans, for one thing, they occupy permanent walled settlements for half of the year. The Kimbri are also fond of adopting outsiders into their clan and of gathering as much knowledge as they can about the world beyond the steppe. This progressive behaviour is due in part to their coastal territory, close to several major nations and their shipping lanes, Kimbri are even beginning to tinker with the concepts of sailing.

    The Kimbri emerged as the dominant western tribe following their first chieftain Saskia's slaying of the previous ruling clan leader in single combat, she promptly began to unite the west under her formidable rule. The kimbri value intellect, cunning and information more then any other clan and are partial to both intrigue and guerilla warfare. It has been said that trying to make a kimbri do anything in a straightforward manner is akin to herding cats. The Kimbri seldom fight openly and will usually attack at night or using assassins, this style has not endeared them to the Kargs but it has brought them victory.

    The kimbri have the largest ratio of women to men of any clan in Essalanea and positions of power and influence generally are held by women because of their overwhelming presence in Kimbri society, Men are not stigmatised, however, they are few in number. No one has ever been able to explain the Kimbri's disproportionate numbers of female births with some attributing it to Ziu's eternal will and others claiming genetics.

    In many ways, the kimbri are the most suited to the new realities of the modern steppe and it is for this reason that the current Chieftain Annegret has thrown her lot in with the Volkmann.

    Rugen

    The Rugen are essalanea's judges and executioners, they are infamous for executing any who violate the law of Essalan without mercy or exception. Located in the most barren and inhospitable regions of the steppe the Rugen are a grim people not easily given to Mirth or softness, Rugen adjudicators are a common sight in Essalanea and they provide large numbers of able men to the conclave of law.

    The Rugen obsession with law and punishment stems from their ancestor Ruug's position as essalan's greatest enforcer, he was said to have killed his own son when he violated clan law, Ruug chose the barren eastern steppe in the belief that asceticism would keep his people pure and free from temptation or softness. The Rugen are fanatical ascetics and refuse all modern conveniences or comforts.

    Ultra-orthodox even compared with the karg, the Rugen are masterful carvers and produce beautiful stone monuments and altars, the Rugen also maintain great oral records of every notable event and clan in the steppe. The Rugen are the law and the soul that protects Essalanea's history. Typically neutral in clan affairs the Rugen only enter politics when Essalan's law has been violated or the stability of the steppe is threatened. They famously sided against Ulli kargs rebellion ( somewhat ironic given his traditionalist leanings) when he was found to have drawn a weapon in the sacred city of Vosgotis.

    The Rugen are the judges of Essalanea and any who violate Essalan's law can expect their verdict to be swift and without mercy.
     
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  3. North Timistania

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    Clan Leader Profile: Gaiseric Volkmann

    'Have you ever smelt the air after a bombing? Heat, Smoke and burnt flesh are the most horrific bouquet imaginable, I will not see the sons of Essalan sacrificed to modernities flames! We Shall, We MUST! harness the power of that flame, it is time we joined the world!'

    -Gaiseric Volkmann, Address to the Clans

    [​IMG]

    The current High Chieftain of the United Clans, Gaiseric Volkmann exemplifies all the traits that have seen Clan Volkmann rise to pre-eminence amongst the peoples of the steppe. Cunning, Ruthless and possessed of a keen understanding of how to command the often unruly Clan's, Gaiseric is determined to make his vision of a modern and strong Essalanea a reality.

    The eldest son of Hunneric Volkmann, Gaiseric's training began as soon as he learned to walk, educated in governance, law, economics and the brutal traditions of the steppe Gaiseric soon proved himself a prodigy. The Volkmann's historic contact with outsiders exposed Gaiseric to foreign knowledge and he soon had his father's foreign-born slaves teaching him everything from writing to mathematics.

    However, it was to be clan Volkmann's greatest defeat that would provide the most enduring lesson for the young Gaiseric. His father, true to the old ways of Essalan, had raided numerous villages and towns across the length of Essalanea's border with other nations but eventually, the aging chief angered the foreigners enough to provoke retaliation.

    Gaiseric bore witness to the full horror of modern warfare as foreign troops supported by tanks, artillery and air support tore his father's clan companies to pieces, the final humiliation being his father's death at the hands of a stray shell from a distant field gun, a shameful death for a clan warrior. The gruesomely one-sided spectacle changed Gaiseric forever. He knew from that moment on that the clans must either change or die.

    Gaiseric took the reigns of power over what remained of Clan Volkmann and over a decade, he rebuilt the clan into the most powerful force in the steppe. Allying with the Kimbri Gaiseric armed his people with automatic weapons, modern vehicles and a new ideology of modernization. Determined to drag the steppe into the modern era, Gaiseric used his cunning, wealth and power to claim the title of High Chieftain of the steppe.

    Announcing his plans to modernize made him many enemies amongst the traditionalist clans, culminating in Ulli Karg's abortive rebellion against Volkmann leadership. Against all these enemies Gaiseric prevailed his political acumen and embracing of modern technology proving a potent weapon. The Volkmann crushed all opposition to their High Chief's vision.

    Proclaiming openness with the rest of Eras in 2019, Gaiseric quickly made an alliance with Norsia, the Luscova pact, offering them Essalanean mineral wealth in exchange for aid in modernizing Essalanea's society and military. Deals with others followed soon after and set the pace for rapid change on the steppe. Gaiseric has centralized much of his power with the creation of a grand moot, a government centered around the high chief's authority and supported by a Norsian trained clan army loyal only to him. Now with Essalanea poised to join the modern world, the autocratic ruler of the clans intends to steer the great steed with reins held tightly in his grip.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 6:33 AM
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  4. North Timistania

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    Clan Leader Profile: Anegrette Kimbri

    'The Honorable thing to do is protect your people, an honorable loser still dies'

    -Kimbri Saying

    [​IMG]

    Chief of the youngest and most unusual clan in Essalanea, Anegrette is the Daughter-Heir of Saskia 'The Red Adder' one of the greatest chieftains in steppe history. Saskia slew the previous chieftain of the western clans in a brutal honor duel, claiming the mantle of the paramount chief of the western steppe. Her Kimbri bondsmen rallied around Saskia's banner and she led them in 50 years of building and victories. It was at Saskia's feet that the young Anegrette would learn the traits of a great leader. trained in the deadly kimbri arts of subterfuge and assassination, Anegrette slew her first Mark on her 15th birthday. In addition to this, her interactions with foreigners have made her fluent in other languages and in dealing with outsiders.

    When Saskia died Anegrette claimed the title by unanimous election, primarily because all the other challengers were dead or absent from the moot. her mother had built an unconventional clan based around the principals of information, deception, and improvision. Anegrette used her new position to build a network of informers across the steppe, if a pin drops in Vosgotis Anegrette will hear it or so the saying goes, this network has been vital in keeping the Kimbri a step ahead of the other clans. Kimbri spies have also been instrumental in protecting the High Chief from plots and would be challengers, Gaiseric might be the High Chief but Anegrette is the one keeping him on the throne.

    Anegrette typifies the Kimbri attitudes of if something works do it. Her people actively trade with smugglers, foreign merchants and everyone besides and even adopt willing outsiders into the clan, believing knowledge makes a strong clan. Anegrette has supported the Volkmann ideology of modernity and her powerful and well-armed bondsmen are a vital pillar in Gaiseric's new Essalanea. Kimbri have taken to sniper rifles and improvised explosives with equal enthusiasm thanks to Anegrette's dealings with foreign arms merchants.

    Fluent in both diplomacy and warfare, Anegrette is arguably the most powerful chief in Essalanea after Gaiseric, a point she proved ruthlessly when her clan companies routed the northern tribes during the recent Karg War. Anegrette is a forward-thinking leader, caring little for old traditions and modes of thought, she has broken with the old nomadic ways largely, ordering her bondsmen to settle the coasts permanently and to begin erecting harbors and trading posts, the daughter of the red adder intends to make the Kimbri rich on foreign trade.

    Rumors that Anegrette is romantically involved with Gaiseric have thus far never been proven, but that hasn't stopped the other steppe chiefs talking in hushed tones about a possible new Kimbri-Volkmann dynasty forming. Her clan's loyalty during the war has been greatly rewarded, she is now Demi-Chief of the steppe, a position subordinate only to the High chief himself and her role as Gaiseric's right hand and foreign minister has seen her bring the Kimbri's innovation to diplomatic affairs across Craviter.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019 at 8:44 AM
  5. North Timistania

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    Essalanean Society: A Primer for Foreigners

    The 2019 declaration of openness has ushered in a new era of foreign interaction with Essalanea, the influx of workers, advisors and military personnel from other lands represents both an opportunity and a potential social issue. This primer exists to educate foreigners in the ways of Essalan that they might be spared from potentially hazardous social engagement.

    Language

    Gotic speakers may find the archaic speech patterns of the clans difficult at first but should adapt well if given sufficient time, non-gotic speakers are advised to utilize an interpreter when possible.

    It is strongly advised that foreign speakers avoid the use of foul language, metaphors, and foreign slang, Clan Bondsmen exist in an honor-based society where a person's word is their bond and will typically take a very literal interpretation of anything you say. It is important to note that failure to adhere to this advice can be potentially lethal, offended clan bondsmen are likely to call a blood duel if their honor is offended. Choose your words carefully!

    On Law

    Clan law is typically straight forward, brutal and swift in its administration, lesser offenses such as theft, disorderly behavior and slander will usually be punished by a savage beating( imprisonment is highly frowned upon amongst the clans) or a public humiliation. More serious offenses such as murder, rape or arson are likely to be punished by a death sentence via the time-honored method of beheading (cowardly acts are notably punished by being dragged to death by horses or motorbikes....). it should be noted that bondsmen can appeal for trial by combat if they are accused of such crimes, foreigners should not expect the same right unless they have earned it through honorable dealings with Essalan's people.

    Sexual relations

    Most clans do not possess particularly strong opinions on sexual relations, sexual relations are regarded as normal and healthy parts of life and there is no stigma attached to promiscuity or same-sex relations. Of note, Sexual health is important however, a person found to spread disease amongst the populace via unsafe sex can expect to meet a severe punishment. Foreign visitors are advised to practice safe sex, both to avoid venereal diseases and unwanted pregnancies, men found to have fathered a son via a clan born mother are likely to be challenged to a duel if they refuse to acknowledge and take responsibility of their progeny. Foreign women should also be careful when interacting with clan males as any son sired will be considered a potential clan bondsman, the father's family will typically demand that the child be raised in a traditional Essalanean fashion.

    Marriage

    Marriage like sex is considered a practical and healthy part of a normal life on the steppe, people typically marry via family arranged unions....however Essalanea is a land of strong-willed men and women, marriages based upon shared passion and love are not uncommon. Essalanean marriages are usually events with little pomp or ceremony, oaths are sworn, blessings are given, songs sung and the marriage is consummated. A chieftain's wedding, however, is an event for the ages, expect horse racing, ceremonial duels, excessive drinking and theatrics not normally seen outside of a midnight saga.

    Foreigners should be very careful, marriage between clan bondsmen and the unhorsed( clan slang for foreign-born) is a complex social issue, Liberal clans such as the Kimbri and Volkmann are likely to be receptive if the foreign spouse proves of good character, Conservative clans such as the Karg and Hureg will likely demand the marriage be prevented via honor challenge or exiling of the Clan spouse.

    Business Matters

    Clan economics is an evolving process, within more modern settlements and the City of Neuanfang currency can be used much like anywhere in Eras, on the steppe where Essalan's traditions flourish expect barter economy to be a norm. Essalanean's value honesty and person to person dealings, always greet the potential buyer or seller with a firm handclasp and do not attempt to haggle as this will be seen as dishonorable. The basic concept on the steppe you should remember is 'Something for Something' the clans will trade an item for another of equal value. in cities, this norm is less likely to be a problem, exchange rates follow a similar pattern to the rest of Eras and transactions using Essalanean Geld are straightforward.

    Tipping is highly discouraged, it implies the receiver is poor and in need of alms, expect an honor challenge if you offer a tip to the wrong person. As previously mentioned face to face dealings are common, this includes business proposals between clan representatives and foreign corporates. Failing to appear in person may be considered a sign of cowardice and disrespect...an honor challenge may occur if this is done. It is permissible for high ranking leaders such as kings and CEOs to send a representative, however, it is a tradition on the steppe to show ones authority and rank by sending an emissary.


    Dining

    An honored guest will receive the seat facing the wall as a sign of the host's good intentions since no one can sneak up on you. Eating with one's hands is permissible and belching and laughter is considered normal and a sign of an enjoyable meal. Drinking is common, be careful not to overindulge as brawls and drunken words leading to offense and challenges are common issues at feasts. Never sit before the host has first done so, this is a sign of their rank and should always be observed, and remember also not to begin eating until the host has taken the first bite. Toasts are expected, the traditional toast to the guest's health should be followed by a toast from the guest to the health of the host.

    Essalanean's are fond of singing at the table, do not be alarmed if your clan hosts suddenly begin singing warrior ballads and mythological cycles in unison. Arm Wrestling, boasts, and toasting are all spontaneous and common occurrences, take them in good spirit and you will likely enjoy the experience. Be careful when making claims at the dinner table, clan diners love demonstrations of strength and cunning and may expect you to follow any boast with proof.

    When in a modern restaurant such as the growing number that exists in Neuanfang some rules still apply, Never attempt to split or pay for the bill, the host is expected to always pay. Be careful when dealing with waiters, a bondsman always has the right to declare a duel regardless of occupation so be respectful.

    Gift Giving

    Be careful when choosing a gift for Essalanean hosts as the clan culture is full of context and symbolism with regards to most objects, the following list includes core dos and dont's for gift giving

    Do give:

    *A sheathed blade is a traditional symbol of peace and enduring friendship
    *Horses(or motorcycles) are a symbol of power and prosperity
    *Gold Ziu carvings are considered omen of good fortune and health
    *Red is a traditional symbol of purity and the gift of red clothing or flowers will be universally well received

    Don't give

    *White Flowers and Clothing are funerary colors and represent death
    *An unsheathed blade is a declaration of the givers intent to wage war upon the receiver
    *Avoid candles, these are lit at funerals and imply the receiver will soon die
    *Coinage or paper notes imply charity to the poor and are to be avoided

    Social context is important when giving a gift, Always give the gifts with both hands if they are carried to the head of the household. Men and Women are typically equal in most clans, the head of the household will typically sit at the head of the table and speak when dealings are done so be observant of this. When giving a gift ensure it is given to the households head, giving it to the husband/Wife of the household's breadwinner implies both that you consider the head unworthy and can also mean you wish to purchase the receivers wife/Husband.

    When giving gifts to a chieftain or person of rank always announce the gift and hand it to the bondsman the chieftain instructs to collect the gift, NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES HAND A GIFT TO THE CHIEF DIRECTLY!!! this is a sign you do not recognize the rank and worth of the ruler and can be punished by death or a duel.

    Health

    Conclave Healers are traditional practitioners of steppe medicine and will usually only treat those considered to have a social rank within clan society, foreign visitors are encouraged to utilize services within the more modern city of Neuanfang or to have their own medicine or physicians on hand. Sick individuals should stay indoors until visibly recovered as the spreading of illness is a taboo on the steppe.

    Getting Around

    The Modern city of Neuanfang possesses numerous options for a traveler to Essalanea, buses, Motorcycle taxis, and conventional cars are present and available for a nominal fee. On the Steppe, the traveler is advised to utilize their own transport be that Horse, Car or Motorcycle. Mining towns along the growing state road networks possess gas stations and limited amenities, traveling deeper into Essalanea is likely to lead to limitations on available supplies. Caution is advised.

    Religion

    Religion is a part of daily life for most Essalanean's, families usually keep a shrine to Ziu within their home, sacred sites are maintained across the steppe by the shamanistic priests of Ziu. A foreigner should never take the name of Ziu in vain as it is considered blasphemous and an ill omen, be respectful of any priest you encounter and ensure you do not trespass upon a sacred site without an accompanying priest or sanctioned bondsman present.

    Attempting to evangelize or convert members of the clans is not advised as the typical reaction at best will be anger and at worst violence, the clans are tolerant of foreign religions as long as they are conducted in private and not openly preached, as long as Ziu and his adherents receive basic respect they will return it.

    Entertainment

    Essalanea is a diverse land with a storied history, a foreign tourist can expect plenty of opportunity for entertainment if they follow basic rules and etiquette

    Brothels: Neuanfang is home to many brothels, Sex workers on the steppe are members of the Conclave of Joy and have both rights and social rank...mistreating them carries a death sentence from all clans due to their conclave status. Male and Female sex workers are usually available, the price is worked out with the worker in person.

    Bars: in the city of Neauanfang foreign and traditional bars are spreading like wildfire, expect alcohol, singing and lively company. On the steppe, each tribe will gather most nights around the fire to drink and share stories.

    Wrestling: Amongst the most popular of all clan sports, wrestling is prized both for entertainment and physical conditioning. Neuanfang possesses several fledgling wrestling halls where audiences can bet and watch matches. On the Steppe, games are often held during festivals.

    Archery: Another clan favorite, Archery is prized for its martial uses, Archery ranges are present both in Neuanfang and across the steppe, competitions are commonplace and prizes can be won if the entrant is sufficiently skilled.

    Horse and Motorcycle racing: Speed is the king of the steppe, In Neuanfang newly built arenas cater to immense motorcycle tournaments, on the steppe clan bondsmen frequently engage in tests of speed and control with injury and chaos being constants.

    Sacred Sites: Visits to sacred sites are at the sole discretion of the priests of Ziu, however, should you receive sanction expect an amazing experience. The standing stones and shrines of Ziu are typically located in beautiful locations that have remained undisturbed for millennia, equally the Monastery of the great plains is considered a work of art. Its roof pure gold and its construction utilizing ancient stones carved by the clan Rugen.
     
  6. North Timistania

    North Timistania Citizen -

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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019 at 1:47 AM