Atorrani

Culture

Society

O, my father, I remember,
Death or glory, death or glory!
My father's father, I remember,
Death or glory, death or glory!
For all those who came before me,
Death or glory, death or glory!
- War chant of Clan Alath

Atorran society is based heavily in bloodlines and families. Each Atorran clan has an ancestral home, holdings, and retainers. Depending on a clan's size and power, this may range from a small household guard and a butler to an entire army of warriors and servants. Most retainers have themselves come from bloodlines that have served their clan's lords for generations. The greatest and most ancient families form the seven Great Clans, but there are also many Minor Clans with less power. Atorra is ruled by a High King, selected by the Lords of the Great Clans from their number, but the high king only makes decisions relating to the nation as a whole. Each clan's word is law within its own territory.

Atorran warriors are feared on the battlefield, and rightly so. Although they are relatively few in number, warriors make up one of the most respected classes in Atorran society, and they are well equipped with finely crafted weapons and armor, expertly trained, and prefer death to surrender. Atorran engineers also build some of the strongest fortifications on the eastern continent, and their castles and holds are both beautiful and nearly impenetrable.

An uneasy stalemate exists along the mountainous border between Atorra and the Eastern Empire. The priests of the Red Lady would like very much to bring the infidel elves under the rule of the Divine Empress, but the Atorran border citadels and the nature of the mountains themselves have repulsed every attempted conquest. However, the elven Raj can't muster a large enough army for a successful counterattack. Due to the dwindling of the mountains around the Southern Fiefdoms, Atorra is very interested in preventing the empire from taking any fiefdoms, such as Zenar, that lie close to the empire already, but border Atorra.

Titles and Honorifics

-laji Honorific for a landowner
-seji Honorific for a noble
-alseji Honorific for the scion of a clan
-naji Honorific for a commanding officer
-eri Honorific for a teacher or master (as used by a student or apprentice)

Bashar a sergeant
Hanar a captain
Khanar a colonel

Halat a historian or chronicler
Manat a steward

Art and technology

The Atorrani have, for quite a while now, favoured geometric shapes, especially diamonds and triangles. This is represented in their weapons, architecture and decorations. However, more representational art is still common, especially in ancestor shrines.
Depending on the architect, blacksmith or artist, there is a great variance between the balance of colour and form. Many buildings in the Siraj district, for instance, are rather plain and austere in design but are quite vividly coloured, while the Shalah housing block is quite ornate and rich with geometric detailing, but is almost entirely beige.

Iron, steel, bronze, copper, tin, brass, gold and silver are all used for tools, decoration and infrastructure.
Common building materials also include regional stone, clay, wood, stucco, and concrete, for which Atorrani
architecture is most famous. In areas where concrete has trouble setting due to weather conditions, it is
imported, or premade and allowed to cure in drying rooms (located underground, raised off the ground, or
simply insulated to keep the conditions desirable for setting).

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Atorran craftsmanship is highly sought-after in other countries, especially weapons, armor, and tools. Atorran blacksmiths are among the most skilled and dedicated on the eastern continent, one reason the Atorran armies are so feared in battle. Atorran jewelry and other decorative products are popular trade goods as well.

Fashion

Headgear is currently out of fashion in Autumn 1430, and hair is generally shoulder length or longer. Combinations of goatees and sideburns are in vogue as well.
Ear piercings are common, and are generally studs, rings or dangling pieces, not the stretching plugs introduced by Cerzi.

Clothing consists of full, loose trousers gathered at the ankles with wrappings or boots, and tight undertunics with loose, thin open front overtunics belted at the waist. According to style, the undertunic come just below the waist and the overtunics are usually just above the knees. However this all varies with personal taste.
Wrappings over the tunics at the wrists, elbows or shoulders are popular. On top of it all, traditional elven zarapes with geometric (often heraldric) designs on both sides, and sometimes a cloak or sand cape.

Jewelry is very popular among all social classes and genders, with the lower classes wearing copper and bronze jewelry and gold and jewels adorning the nobles. Most men wear full beards, and are fond of adorning them with ribbons and jewellry (Hawk likes to think they have awesome beards like these guys), but some non-traditionalists wear other forms of facial hair.

Deep or dusty colours are favoured overall, usually one or two paired with complementary neutral tones.

Religion

The Atorrani are one of the few civilizations on Madara that doesn't worship a patron god. Instead, they venerate the legendary deeds of their ancestors. A major motivation for the Atorrans is to act in a manner that brings honor to the glorious deeds of their bloodline. The Atorran clerics are part of a priesthood that maintains libraries recording the genealogies and legends of past heroes, and act as advisors to help each Atorran behave in a manner that honors their ancestors. Many Atorrans believe that they can commune with their ancestors by meditation and contemplation of the ancient legends. Atorran clerics play a dual role as spiritual guides and historians and storytellers, and are knowledgeable in heraldry as well.

Most households maintain a shrine, ranging in size from a small altar to an elaborate household chapel with statues, murals, and heraldic banners, dedicated to the honored ancestors of the bloodline. Ancestral crypts, especially those of great heroes, are important holy sites for the Atorran people, and are lavishly decorated with gold, electrum, and niello. The artwork that fills these holy burial sites is a 'living project', and individual carvings, statues, and inlay-work can be the product of multiple generations of artisans.

Music, especially deep, solemn chants, plays an important role in Atorran ancestor veneration. Travelling bards wander from hold to hold, singing the stories of heroes and kings long past. They play a role that is half entertainer and half priest. Soldiers on the battlefield sing the sagas of heroes long past as they charge into the fray.

Once more, my son,
For glory run,
Unto the breach, again.
Alas, my son,
My day is done,
But yours will never end.
- Atorran battle hymn

Region

The Atorran region includes meadows, plains, marshes, swamps, forest and jungles, in addition to sandy deserts in the far south. The weather is mostly temperate, warm in summer, cold in winter, cool in spring and autumn.