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[Map of Darjinn]
- Population: 1,120,000
- Darjinni: 820,000
- Dara Happans: 300,000
During the Great Darkness, the Great Spirit Heron, SurEnslib?, protected the Darjinni from all their foes. But after the Dawn, the rise of the Dara Happans led to conquest at the hands of their city-dwelling neighbors. Periodically, they rise up and get slaughtered. But now the Lunar empire has come and the proud Dara Happans no longer rule over Darjinn. Now three proud Dara Happan cities are subject to the laws of the Satrap, who is of Darjinni stock. Fortunately for the Dara Happans, the Darjinni are not vengeful.
Not too vengeful. But anything which can annoy straight-laced Dara Happans will happen. The Darjinni utterly lack shame about human needs or fulfilling them as long as it doesn't involve the use of force. Any Darjinni party which doesn't end with people naked, drunk, and possibly lost or in the wrong plane of existence isn't a real party.
Once a marshy land, the land has been tamed and turned into endless rice paddies and fields of wheat, corn, sugar beets, eggplant, turnips, carrots, and broccoli.
The Great Spirit Heron, SurEnslib? and Vargar the Sky Mariner
This is a shamanistic cult, though the official head of the cult, Beveletia, who wears the sacred Heron Mask which turns aside fire. She is called 'Highest Priestess' to deal with outsider snobbery. She commands the sacred herons and travels between the nineteen holy Egg Halts, the shrines of SurEnslib?; she commands the secrets of the reeds from which moonboats are made by the cult of Vargar the Sky Mariner (Moon, Motion, Mastery), a Darjinni hero who became a god by building the boats which saved the Darjinni from the Great Flood. (Anaxial, by the way, totally stole the design from him. Everyone in Darjinni knows this but they really don't expect any better from Dara Happans, who everyone knows use their telescopes to steal secrets and watch everything they claim is filthy while denying they are doing so.) Further, Beveletia commands the secret of how to crown an Emperor using the Water Marriage Fire Secret; this has been used to crown emperors in times past. She accepts the Red Emperor, but it is likely if he somehow falls, once again, Darjinn will have its own emperor and yet another Darjinni/Dara? Happa war will erupt. Admittedly, such wars usually ended in Darjinn losing again, but the Hero Wars may well be the chance to change that luck.
Notable Kinds of Spirits Commanded by the SurEnslib? cult
- Callers of Prey (Fish (Beast)): These spirits command the creatures who live in the water who serve the Great Heron to avoid being eaten.
- Herons in Flight (Air): These spirits teach the Darjinni how to fly like a bird. It's generally believed that part of the secret of the moon reeds is connected to these spirits.
- Herons on the Hunt (Mastery): These are spirits of war who aid in the arts of combat, but also in simple hunting of the prey found in marshes.
- Masters of the Bog (Water): These spirits know how to make springs and turn a region into swamp and marsh and bog. They also know how to maneuver freely through such areas.
- Masters of Bounty (Fertility): These spirits unleash earthly desires and either constrain or magnify fertility as needed.
- Reed Weavers (Plant): These spirits command the plants which grow in wet places, from rice to reeds, making them grow and turning them into useful things.
Beveletia, High Priestess of SurEnslib?
A woman in her fifties, she is dark haired and tanned, sturdily built and strong. She heads the cult of SuEnslib? and thus wields huge magical and social power. Only by her favor can the Empire build more Moonboats and the Satrap curries her favor because it makes governing much easier. She possesses the Moonboat Blessing Secret, the Water Marriage Fire Secret, and the Rising Waters secret, which lets her flood the land, turning it into swamp. The Heron Mask, made from the feathers of SuEnslib?, is always on her face; while she wears it, the fires of Yelm are powerless against her. She oversees the 19 Holy Nests, many lesser Shrines and a small army of shaman-priests and priestesses.
Appointed by the Red Emperor, MakkritOor? is a Darjinni nobleman, the fourth of his line to oversee his homeland; like all Satraps, he is initiated to the Seven Mothers. He an Illuminated sorceror, noted for his skill with Water and Plant magic. He rules with a light hand, for this is his homeland; he takes an especial delight in making life hard for the three Dara Happan cities under his authority. He is friendly with the Aldryami found in the Southwest of Darjinn and seems to want to expand their territory.
Clans and Associations
Darjinni families form clans of about 900-1200 people. These clans group into Associations of 6-10 clans, which form the major political blocks of Darjinni society. Clan Heads and Association Lords are chosen by the Elders of the clans, those who have made it to at least age 50. They can be deposed by a vote of the Elders and thus work to build consensus. They all dwell west of the Osilir; east of the river, Lodrilli Dara Happans and Urban ones dwell; the Darjinni refer to the Lodrilli as 'Stickmen'.
There are close to a hundred Associations, too many to track. Among the most notable are 'River Riders' (River traders), 'Birds in Flight' (A particularly religious Association), 'Dara Happans are Filthy' (Noted for hating Dara Happans, only legal since Lunar Conquest), 'The Five Swords' (Hirers out of mercenaries), 'The Diyadin Entertainment Guild' (Operates theater troupes across the country), and the Rice Wagoners (Major rice dealers).
Places of Note
- Arvad (35,000): One of the Ten Cities of Dara Happa, Arvad is trying to find a way forwards into the future. Arvad has always been the City of Healing and its temple to Erissa is grand. Many women of the city are initiated to her, urged on by their families, who are trying to avoid mass Lunarization of the Dara Happan female aristocracy as is happening in many cities. Still, there is a strong Lunar presence as well. The city is noted for its ten healing springs, each with a small shrine of Erissa, to treat the Ten Ailments. The city sits in a fork of the river with a temple of Oslira at the very apex of the fork. The city is surrounded by fields in which herbs for healing are grown, though beyond those are rice paddies and other crops.
- Darshala (12,000): This city is unusually Lunarized, because the cult of Yanafal Tarnils is crucial to the defense against raids by the hill and mountain tribes of goat-riding Hsunchen who come down from the Yondalla Mountains. There is a river community of Dara Happan traders who live on barges and boats lashed together in the middle of the broad, shallow river, but most of the populace lives inside the fortress city. Leather and processed meat are the big products here. Goat meat is considered a treat and a taunt to the Hsunchen at once. There is a ceremonial bog inside the walls, home to war shamans. The city is unusually disciplined for a Darjinni settlement.
- Diyadin (12,000): This city stands on stilts above marshes along the river, marshes where sacred herons still dwell; it is the center of worship of the Great Spirit Heron, SurEnslib?. Most of the Old Bog now stands in the Spirit World; during Sacred Time, on the first day of each season, and during the three day Festival of Diyadin, you can easily cross over into the Old Bog to visit SurEnslib?. Past Dara Happan rulers found that his servants could drop by to steal their bodily functions if they tried to suppress his worship. The Festival of Diyadin is celebrated on Freezeday, Waterday, and Clayday of Fertility Week of the Sea Season. The city fountains run with wine and everyone gets drunk and does whatever they think will most annoy Dara Happans; this usually involves various amounts of drunkenness, breaking clothing laws, sex, and making things dirty. Especially Dara Happan things. If the festival is a success, hunting, fishing, and farming will yield a bumper crop in the seasons to come. Many people will end up in a puddle of their own vomit. The faithful do not get pregnant... Dara Happans and other outsiders have no such guarantees. The city possesses a famous belltower which chimes whenever Dara Happans are about to attack the city. It has been destroyed many times by the Dara Happans but rebuilds itself during the last night of the next Festival of Diyadin.
- Elempur (35,000): The most southern of the 10 Cities of Dara Happa, it is a city intensely uncomfortable with being reduced to subjection to Darjinni folk. The Satrap allows it to largely run things its own way within the walls; local Darjinni live in a sprawling suburb / slum known as the Verge, full of ramshackle housing, bogs with herons, and dens of iniquity. The mysterious presence of some Dara Happans in such dens is surely an accident; it's so easy to get lost there. Elempur is two circles connected by an elevated wall/road, standing on two hills; higher status people live towards the peak, the poor Dara Happans towards the bottom; a temple of Buserian stands atop the southerly hill. The Bastion of Stars is the central fortress of the Star Lord of the city, Demeetheresu, who spends his time trying to pretend that it's still the First Age. The city is noted for its scholarly works and astronomy but also for its production of rice wine, rice paper, and other things made out of rice.
- Eridu (38,000): This is an ancient and proud city of the Dara Happans, one of the Ten Cities which owe fealty to the Dara Happan Emperor, who is currently the same person as the Red Emperor, and thus they are loyal to the Lunar Empire. Loyalish... It's no secret that what's left of the Dara Happan rulers of Eridu would happily toss the Red Emperor into the maw of Chaos and dance on his grave if they could. It's unclear why Lunarization has gone so far in Eridu but almost every Dara Happan woman and a third of the men have gone over to the Lunars and been initiated into the Seven Mothers, or gone further. If trends continue, in two generations, there will be barely anyone who holds to Dara Happan ways. The current Archon, Diocletius Con-AAR, is trying to fight back but is limited by the legality of the Lunar Way and its dominance. Many families can no longer find brides who will marry into them among the elites. City government is now quite turbulent; three of the ten seats on the Council are held by Lunarized Dara Happans. The Temple of Yelm is starting to go broke. What happens here may happen in the end everywhere in the Empire. Most people don't care, but to those who hold to traditional ways as much as they can, this is the central battleground of their future. Dart Wars rage now in the city and some worry the city will tear itself apart. The Darjinni watch, hoping that to be the case.
- Haranshold (28,000): This city is partly on the shore of Lake Kotor and partly on the water, on artificial islands and linked pleasure barges; the Satrap lives in a floating palace. Further, the city is famous for moonboat production and its giant temple of Vargar the Sky-Mariner. The wealthy live in pleasure boats; the second tier of wealth live on Gurushem Hill, looking out across the lake. While the Lunar faith is popular here, the city is not designed on Lunar principles. In fact, if it's designed on any principle at all, it would appear to be studying fallen debris and modelling your city on the patterns. Streets often twist, bend, then go nowhere, deadending into walls, back gates, sewage dumps and sudden bodies of water. Dara Happans find the city to be filthy and disgusting and lurk near the city in a suburb named Irremesh, about a half-mile around the lake, coming by boat to the docks to do business. The locals delight in finding excuses to go to Irremesh and make a mess of the place.
- Metshala (12,000): This city sits upon a holy rock, where the spirit Metshala dwells. It aids the Darjinni in battle with the trolls and broo of the mountains. There is a troll pit here of captive trolls, used to supply the sacrifice of two live trolls at the start of each Season and Sacred Time which Metshala demands. Metshala has been around since the Great Darkness and most of the architecture is very archaic. The outside walls are studded with the skulls of the trolls sacrificed to it over the last 2,000 years.
- Vedi (8,000): An unusual community for Darjinn, it is a major center for bronze, copper, and tin mining, along with some silver and gold and gems too. The city is full of metalsmithing shops, forging the satrapy's weapons. Built on a high outcropping, it has never fallen by force to a Dara Happan army but always come to terms or been starved out. However, there's an ongoing conflict between local farmers and the city; the area can only support so many spirits and now the nature spirits are being driven out and farming is in decline.
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