The Sabites

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The Sabites

Post  Mizu on Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:59 pm

Sabites:

Sabites are a species of tall, humanoid creatures that originate from the geographic region of Sabia  - a place distinguished by its harsh deserts, sprawling mountains, shallow seas, and dry forests. While diverse, most Sabite cultures are known to feature militancy and piousness among their most intense traditions, as well as varying degrees of xenophobia. In addition, most Sabite communities are built upon a tribal government structure; those that build more modern governments and states are known to be aggressive and expansionist in one way or another. One of the most notable aspects of this species is their relationship with magic - they are both resistant to its effects, as well as being unable to utilize it directly. Many attribute this quality to a marking that all Sabites, regardless of ethnic origin, are born with - often appearing as an intricate glyph on the face, back, neck, or chest. Sabites feature an innate ability of enhanced regeneration, able to regain lost limbs and even eyes if given enough time - they are also very resistant to toxins for this reason, including the negative effects of alcohol and other stimulants, which many enjoy frequently. Additionally, Sabites do not seem to age in the same way humans do - they are mostly immune to the physical process of aging. This does not mean, however, that they are immortal. Somewhere along the course of a Sabite’s life, they will suddenly fall ill to an incurable condition - shortly after, they will die. Faced with this reality, Sabites live very uncertain existences - not knowing for sure when their respective gods will take them. Because of this, many Sabite cultures feature ideals that extol “living in the moment”.


What does a Sabite look like?:

Spoiler:

Sabites are, among many things, very tall. Although resembling humans in many aspects, the average height for most Sabites tends to exceed that of humans by over a foot at least. Sabites are described as lithe, elegant, and feminine (including the males, who are quite androgynous), as well as being, at the same time, rather predatory and almost demon-like in appearance - they have sharp, distinctly pointed teeth, alongside clawed fingers and long tongues. Sabites also have tails of varying sizes, but in general they are long, thin, and whip-like. Their ears are larger than humans’ - pointed as well - able to pivot and pick up on a slightly wider range of sound, and their eyes are described as very cold, penetrating, and dishonest, regardless of the intent behind them.

From a pseudo-scientific perspective, Sabites are divided into three main racial categories: the Kossitic peoples, characterized by their pale skin and smooth, sibilant languages -  the tallest of the Sabites; the Aramites, characterized by their dark skin, nomadic lifestyles, and unusual eyes; and Sarabites, characterized by little else but their shorter height and rough languages, and often light grey skin.


Aramites:

Spoiler:

It is in the southern land of Aram that the Aramari are found, a nomadic and unfriendly people that talk little and are seen less. They trade only among their own and are known to be highly unpredictable and untrustworthy in matters concerning outsiders, caring little for interaction with any would-be neighbors and observing the terms of treaties only when it suits them. These features are so striking, that the coldness of the Aramari is often humorously reflected upon by many as an ironic contrast to the warmth of their homeland.

The Aramari is an umbrella term for the various tribes that call the Arami Desert home, and as the name would imply, they are all racially Aramites. Aramites contrast heavily with their pale northern kin - their skin is ruddy and very dark, and although they boast the impressive height typical of their species, they are much thinner and longer-limbed than other Sabites, with long, bat-like ears that serve better with heat dispersion than with hearing. Where one would have white in one’s eyes there is instead a distinct black, and their irises are such a bold yellow that many a traveler has claimed to have caught only their stare from over a dozen dunes away - and stare they do, as the Aramites have extremely keen vision, so much so that it is a rare day that a traveler passes through the Arami Desert unwatched. The Aramari keep their black hair tucked beneath wispy hoods, and they leave little visible to the sun save their eyes, fingers, and toes.

Some individuals of the Aramari tribes form symbiotic relationships with a kind of Sylvian found exclusively in the Arami Desert. Weak and ungainly, the Sylvian spends the vast majority of its time as a flowering plant latched to the back of its partner, providing the Aramite with nutrition in return for the Aramite supplying it with water. They are incapable of complex speech, and their arrival is unheralded - an Aramite who is chosen will simply notice the creature one day. Aramite tribes believe the arrival of this creature to be a sign from god, and those that it chooses are chosen to become holy men or women. The individual must then leave their home and embark, alone, into the desert to face their god’s trials.

Once the seat of a number of wealthy and prestigious ancient kingdoms and empires, civilization has since become alien to the Arami desert. The last known civilization to have been built on its sands, the cosmopolitan state of Qaramyar, disappeared nearly a thousand years ago after a barbarian invasion and religious civil war tore it apart from within and without. At its height, it was an immensely wealthy and powerful nation, dominating trade by means of its thalassocracy throughout the Sabian Gulf and beyond. Scholars also believe that Aram during this time was more fertile, but now the only hope of growing anything at all is in select regions near the coasts.


Sarabites:

Spoiler:

Sarabites are the most ethnically diverse of the three racial groups. In fact, they are so diverse, that it is worth noting that the term “Sarabite” is only relevant in Kossa, as it makes it easier to generalize groups of people. “Sarabites” basically encompass any Sabite that doesn’t live north of the border of Kossa or within or beyond the Arami Desert. Considering that Kossa is Sabia’s northernmost point, and Aram it’s southernmost, this leaves a lot of land between them - and a lot of cultures. Along the coast, and particularly just south of Kossa, most Sarabite communities are found in the form of city-states, petty kingdoms, and merchant republics. While most of these humble states have little military power (though several are considered naval juggernauts), many of them are considered quite wealthy in both commerce and culture. Along the coast, the air is  dry and hot in the summer, broken up by cool, wet winters. Though much of the land is rocky and mountainous, the land is fertile and rich where crops can be grown. Though these states are very cosmopolitan, many of the people here have tanned, ruddy skin, and are shorter than Kossitic and Aramite peoples. They wear fine silks and boast a refined culture, and are considered much more calm and reasonable in comparison to their other kin. A notable nation in this region is the Republic of Sebka, a decentralized realm run by the twelve Merchant Princes.

Further inland is a region called the Daruim, an arid, desert-like flat land broken up by plateaus, craggy mountains, and wide canyons. Here, one begins to see tribal kingdoms with loosely defined borders - the only sophisticated states here exist in the form of heavily fortified city-states, such as the city of Misraheim. The people of the Daruim are very culturally distinct from the peoples of the coast, but that doesn’t mean the two groups don’t interact - though the people of the Daruim are as much likely to raid a coastal settlement as trade with it. At the northwestern edge of the Daruim lies the mighty Boratian mountain range, which separates the rest of Sabia from the vast Kantorran Steppes that lie beyond - a vast stretch of land that continues even beyond the established geography of Sabia. Here the land is flat, and for much of it, all one can see on the horizon is the sun, and the distant Boratian Mountains before they too fade away. Here live the Kantorran tribes, or the “Akir”, roving bands of nomadic warlords that take whatever they want whenever they want it - the Horse Lords, or “The Serpents of the Steppes”, as many call them. They are the most violent and merciless of all the Sabite races. Riding into battle atop the fearsome and vicious Kantorran Horse, they spend as much time spilling the blood of their kin as they do their neighbors.

In the Kantorran Steppes there are no countries, nor borders to define them, and in order to protect themselves, smaller tribes of Akir often band together into tribal confederations, each confederation having their own rules and customs, lead by a council consisting of all the chieftains of each tribe. Since every member of the tribe is expected to fight when necessary, the confederations boast a terrifying number of soldiers, making clashes between them gigantic in scale. People do not venture out into the Steppes willingly, save daring traders from the west, so not much is known as to the extent of the political climate in the region - currently, it is known that the three largest confederations closest to the Boratian Mountains are the Alakir, the Belakir, and the Anakir. The Akir are infamous for two things: their skill with the horse, and the sheer brutality of their raids. While the Boratian people prudently leave settlements they raid intact enough so they might recoup and become a viable target later once more, the Akir will destroy a settlement utterly, enslaving or killing all of its inhabitants and leaving the earth barren and scorched. It is said that a band of Akir can raze a village to the ground and be gone with the spoils in less than 10 minutes. The Akir believe that this pleases their god, Khorami, Lord of the Sky, who breathes the smoke of a village like a scholar breathes the smoke of his pipe. Luckily for the people of the Daruim, the Akir aren’t able to easily bring large parties of horsemen across the Boratian Mountains, allowing them to not be completely overwhelmed when they do decide to attack - as the only would-be easy way into the Daruim is blocked by the mighty city of Khel Ranisq, otherwise, only narrow and obscure mountain pathways exist in few number. Having both the Boratian mountains and the Daruim tribes themselves as buffers, the Sarabites of the coast and beyond think little of the Akiri threat, forgetting of the danger they once posed. The times the Akir people have united have been thankfully few, but it is believed that the last time they did, they contributed to the violent fall of the Qaramyari Empire, the sacking of Misraheim, and the collapse of Haseti’s Bridge - considered the jewel of the ancient Sabia.



Kossitic Peoples:

Spoiler:
The Kossitic peoples are any Sabites who can trace their lineage back to the land of Kossa - described as a very elegant group of peoples, both in culture and appearance. Kossa is a verdant and wet region, particularly in its center and northern reaches, unusual for the rest of Sabia - and, due to its geographic position, the land receives heavy rainfall as the byproduct of distant tropical storms. The large peninsula is heavily forested, with some of the tallest and oldest trees in Kayre, and is considered to be the closest major region of Sabia to the human world.

Physically, the Kossitic peoples are the tallest of all Sabites, and universally possess marble-white skin and ashen hair, as well as an innate ability of good low-light vision - meaning that many of them are semi-nocturnal. Though Kossa is vast, there exist only 5 major nations in the region, controlling a fair amount of territory each. These are Kyria, a powerful nation, possessing the most land, centered on an offshore archipelago to the northeast; Briss, across the water from Kyria, an aristocratic republic known for its fine food and luxury goods; Salandy and Sarais, two feudal successor kingdoms split from the once powerful nation of Lesienne; and Einodé, a cosmopolitan coastal nation that sits at the very southern reaches of Kossa, the gateway to what lies beyond.

Deeper inland, where the wild is thick, live a people simply referred to as the Kossans, as, contrary to what one may think, the members of those aforementioned nations do not consider themselves “Kossan” at all. Kossa is merely a geographic term, as the region is very divided culturally and ideologically.

The Kossans are a highly spiritual people, living deep within the thick forests of central and northern Kossa. They are considered a tribal people, the religion of which centers on the veneration of their ancestors and the spirits of the forest - using totems, made from materials such as bone, stone, and wood, as objects of worship. Most important to them are the Spirit of the Earth - who guides the footsteps of those who are lost, the Spirit of the Rain - who blesses newborns with life, and the Spirit of the Tribe - who watches after all Kossans who pass into the afterlife, where they serve as guardians of their kin. Despite their cool, level-headed, and generally benign nature, Kossans are adept hunters and merciless combatants, renowned for their skill with the bow and the subtlety of their approach. Once they set their mind on a task, they are unshakable, and if convinced, they make excellent assassins, spies, and scouts. Otherwise, the Kossans simply keep to their own affairs within the wild regions, as they find the ventures of their neighbors troublesome and unappealing.

Kyrians, Brissians, the Leisenese, and Einodites are very physically similar to Kossans. However, they differ in a number of key ways: Kossans are taller - suitably gigantic compared to humans - and their ability to see well in the dark is more refined. Additionally, red irises are a quintessential phenotype of Kossans, whereas their neighbors often sport yellow, blue, green, and orange instead.
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Mizu

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