Island of Se'Viin
|Form of Government||Triad of elders|
The Island nation of Se'viin is location in the small archipelago chain north of Greria. The Se'viinia are a culture of open arms and welcoming smiles, and foreigners are often more than welcome to visit the island cities and mingle with the people. Very rarely will you ever find acts of violence between the people of the islands, and superstition is big between them. Reverent to their gods, the Se'viinia continue about their daily lives in fellowship.
The main island of Se'viin holds the capitol city of the same name, and also holds the ruins of the two former capitols that split the island in two. Nestled in the slope of a massive volcano, Se'viin harbors a great market in which most of it's trade is done. Precious gems from old lava flows are a common thing to be shared about, and pearls are often brought up form the shore line to add in the trade. New visitors to the island are given a lei of pearls as a way to say 'Welcome Home'. The streets of Se'viin are wide and travel back and forth between districts easy to navigate. Choirs of singers and musicians hold a few spots but none more famous than the quartet that sings in the City Square, the 'Four Voices'.
The ruins outside the city on either side are broken down from a time referred to as the 'Terrible Blast'. At the southern most tip of the island of Se'viin rests the White Temple, a structure made out of white marble and is the major point of religion in the island. Two meters from it's steps rests a massive chunk of obsidian, a relic from the cataclysm that the High Priest claims is Se'Elan's message to them to never upset her again. The docks and fishing villages that line the water side are mostly comprised of houses on stilts, so to avoid the chances of rush of water from storms that once before would knock over houses.
There are two massive ship building towns on either side of Se'viin, both of which will produce boats at a fair speed, but they are noted for creating the three Great Trawlers that provide most of the food for the island. Outside the city and two the west rests the 'quiet fields'. the Quiet Fields are areas often set aside for rituals and celebrations. Festivals are usually started in these areas before they are carried into the city and the rest of the island.
The two races that make up the populace of the island are the aquatic Vinikar, and the wily Elanelaer. The Vinikar are a race of predatory fish noted for their great lung capacity and tolerance for the cold. Elanelaer are a short people with smooth fur and chipper attitudes, rarely ever do they let times get them down. The two races have been in contact with one another since the earliest records of their mingling, and have since then become 'blood kin' in their time together. The two races have a shared nameless faith that keeps them together. The Storm God Kela'viin, and the mountain goddess Se'elan.
Worship for them shows in many ways but if best noted that friendship and openness are two great statues of their society. The Se'viinia, the name they accept as they are of Se'viin, are a jovial people and will find a reason to celebrate almost anything if importance is given to it. Festivals are a big thing for the people of the island, and there is just about a festival for everything that is done. The two biggest social events are the Day of Glory and the following Day of Rebirth. The Day of Glory is a largely sporting event including a combat sport which pits friends against friends to fight for points. Contests and sports play out over the entire island for that day, all for it to boil down to an evening of food and closeness.
The next day follows a sacred and peaceful day. Many around the island take this time to make amends to the gods in hopes that they will forgive them for any transgressions to them the year before. The White Temple gets hundreds of pilgrims who make wishes of good will and health amongst everyone they've met. Conflict of any kind is viewed as a bad omen, as it's seen that the reason for the cataclysm was brought on by hatred and ill will. Fighting is settled out easily in friendly competition in most cases or quelled by separation. As the people are so close and friendship big between people, families are large and intertwined.
Couples can form early and intimate relations are often encouraged to ensure closeness with a loving pair. It's not uncommon to see groups of friends to find a quiet place to 'bind themselves' into a small family outside of their own. Clothes are sparse and easy going. Most wear loose robes tied off with decorative strings with either shells or carvings. Though most males will wear a skirt like wrap, it isn't rare to see men in just loin cloths as they work. Women wear clothes decoratively, half wraps or even simple bindings to keep modest. Jewelry is a very common thing as old and cooled lava flows can be accessed by all.
It's a common ritual that a person born on the island is to find their own gem that calls out to them, as they are of the island. Food is mostly of the sea, be it fish, crabs, oysters, clams, or anything else that can be brought up by net or line. Vegetables that are grown are often fried with spices that are acquired mostly through trade. Meals are often spicy but very flavorful, and it's rare that anyone goes hungry on the island when your neighbor is willing to give you something from their plate.
The Governing Circle
The people of Se'viin are a loosely governed populace, but there is a form of government to these people. The Governing Council, also known as the Triad of Elders, is a formation of three men representing the three 'peoples' of the island. To be anointed to the Triad is a high honor indeed, one must have the favor of the people and seen as 'untouched by distrust and ill will'. These elders help delegate needed tasks, such as reconstruction of old buildings, maintenance of the streets, preservation of ruins, and the thankless task of temple approved forms of punishment on law breakers. The Elders are often seen as detached from the rest of the Se'viinia, but also as the islands means of getting the needed things done without complaint.
Diplomacy isn't handled by the Elders, but often held by a cadre of people from across the island, known as the 'wave speakers'. Wave Speakers are often the people who have had the most contact with the outside world and have seen value in the arts of trade and diplomacy. While it is everyone's task to ensure that everyone feel welcome on the island, Wave Speakers are tasked with ensuring that Se'viin be a welcoming and enticing place for other cities to come to.
The Se'viinia absolutely detest fighting or conflict, but they do accept that there must be a force for handling unpleasant conflict that may arise. The Se'viinia Army is a small group of people who have made a living by learning how to fight with the rod or a staff. Guards will work in pairs to deal with rowdy individuals or the occasional disgruntled citizen, but they always try to settle things peacefully. During festivals like the Day of Glory, the Se'viinia Guard will host a tournament in which everyone has a chance to learn how to be a guard if they wish to be.
Aside from the guards of the city and villages, the biggest portion of their forces work on boats. As fishing and trade is vital to their people, it is only right that some have learned to fight in the rigging and on the sides of the boat. A martial art by the name of Hola'Meng, a form of fighting that involves the traditional rods of the Se'viinia guard, allows practitioners to fight between the rigging of their ship or even entangle their opponents in the lattice ropes that make up the rigging its self. The Se'viin Marines, in their down time, will often travel throughout their ships by means of working with the rigging and even preformed amazing acts of acrobatics. Soldiers who learn the fullest extent of Hola'Meng often refer to the form as a dance rather than a fighting style, as it requires the full body to move and entails a grace as well as finesse.
The White Temple
The White Temple of Se'viin is one of the oldest surviving structures since the cataclysm. A large and boxy structure with many many rooms, the White Temple stands at the southern most point of the city, overlooking both the see from one end and the volcano from the other. The temple it's self is made from white granite and was founded during the time of the two cities. It was to be a center of worship between the peoples and neutral ground between the nobles of the island. The Temple Priests and Priestesses tend to the 'centering' of anyone who comes in through the great doorway. Like with most of the island, music and art is a big part of the priesthood of the temple, though more of it is in reverence to the gods of the Se'viinia. Priests and priestesses are garbed modestly, as they view that ones mind must be clear of temptation and perversion to truly pay their respects to the gods. Seven meters from the stone steps to the temple lies the Great Black Rock, a massive chunk of onyx that was thrown from the mouth of the volcano. The priesthood make daily rounds to both pray to it in apology for their ancestors transgressions and to make sure the stone is polished to a shine. The temple also serves as a center of justice on the island, breakers of the law and 'bringers of hate' are kept in a sort of dungeon below the temple it's self, a means to keep all ill away from the gods eyes and to keep others safe. As the priesthood are unwilling to cause harm, a cadre of specially trained Se'viin guards roam the temple, known as the Whiteborn. The Whiteborn are trained in subduing those from the petty thieves to the belligerent thugs that are often brought to the temple. They themselves are often garbed in priesthood robes but wear the same helmets of the Se'viin guard, though with an obvious white mark to distinguish them.