Thread Rating:
  • 1 Vote(s) - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
The Warrior Nations of the Twin Rivers
#1
The Twin River Nations



Geography:

Off of the Mesalian main continent, there's a large island with two mountains that give birth to many streams, converging to make two main rivers. The Nara, to the south, and the Hikari, to the north. Around these rivers and mountains, in the early days when the Vagrants began to settle, warrior tribes found comfort in the beautiful countryside, and over the many years there came to be palaces of Nobles, and villages dotting the river sides and mountains.

Two main capitals of this region are based over the two river source mountains:

Takai, the city of the Hikari river, and Sagaru, the city of the Nara river.

Civil Structure:

Each of the Nations are essentially very large city states, with highly populated capitals over their respective rivers. Down the river and along the mountain roads are villages that have cropped up over the years, a few showing signs of beginning industrialization similar to their capitals.

Castles of Noble families are generally located in close proximity to the capitals of their respective nations. The Emperor’s palace in both nations overlooks the capital higher in the mountains, although isolated from it.

History:

In the beginning of the Vagrant's settling, there was a single group of nomads, back when the land was different. They lived on an eastern peninsula - a string of large islands linked to the mainland by a thin stretch of land. However eventually they were cut off as the powerful tide washed their only connection to the mainland away. Over the years as hunter-gatherer group became tribe, became culture, they were isolated from the rest of the world.. Their ways, even down to their language and customs diverged differently, reactions to the beautiful land of mountains and forest they now knew. They named their land after the two life-giving rivers that streamed into the sea, Tsuinribasi, the land of the Twin Rivers.

And, just as naturally as they crawled from the depths of primitivity, they came to split apart. Disputes, arguments, bloodshed and feud divided them, and they resorted to separation. The communities diverged, one sheltering around the upper, Hikari river to the north. The other community calling the lower, Nara river home. Yet as they rebuilt, and rose up into cities, they ran into dispute yet again.

In ten years it had all gone to nether, and there was a two year long war that is still known as "The Water War", with men from both sides taking up arms and recklessly killing and maiming each other. All for the sake of irrigation rights to a lake between them that would help expand either nation's farming, and thus their burgeoning populations.

It was largely a stalemate - and after the two years of war both sides realized that it would only end with horrible losses and tragedy for both sides. A treaty was signed, saying that the lake was off limits to both clans until a better arrangement could be reached.


It was not meant to be however; that war had been a bitter one that both sides were deeply invested upon, and neither of the clans were willing to trust the other. From then on both cultures became entrenched in an arms-race that would likely last for eternity. Each became highly reverent of their warriors, and they were treated as heroes even as they rode into what would likely be their deaths.

The only time there was a lasting peace between the two nations was the invasion of the Xitians, when both peoples sought to divert their immense militaries to expel the invaders, and then after their defeat they allied yet again, to succeed in purging the Xitians from their home where they had first failed.

They had won together, and a lot of the rivalry died down during the years following the purges. The fighting lulled to nonexistence. However, as the years passed even they did not escape the Xitian plots. The Xitian plotters burned a small Sagaru village, framing Takai for a vile massacre in which nearly every man woman and child was slaughtered and burned in piles.

Sagaru's Lord General at the time was a man named Yushito Oruken, who was a revered war hero from his battles in the War of the Veld. He rescued the sole survivor of the attack, who was a two year old boy who he later adopted, naming him 'Zatoshi'.

Subsequently, after this the Lord General waged a lengthy war campaign against Takai that severely crippled them. They of course had nothing to do with the massacre, but that mattered little to an angry nation that had been betrayed. They were forced to give surrender and pay Sagaru tribute in goods and fealty.

This resulted in much bad blood between the Two Nations being rebirthed, and it wouldn't be until much later that Takai returned the favor.

The Xitians later were not satisfied with the subsequent lull in fighting. They slowly infiltrated the warrior populace of Sagaru with ideas of dissatisfaction and greed, which soon spread to the Lord General. Upon his son's 21st birthday and his inauguration as Captain of a Battalion, the Lord General and his son lead a Coup d'etat on the Emperor of Sagaru, killing him and breaking the Dynasty. It would have been the start of an Era of the Oruken family taking power and a war against the Emperor's few remaining supporters, but things went better than the Xitians could have ever expected when the Lord General was murdered by his son, who subsequently disappeared after the battle, leaving the remaining Generals of the now completely leaderless nation to vie for control and power.

This let the opportunity for Takai to strike while they were disorganized, resulting in an extremely bloody and violent three-way war that lasted for years. With Takai being weakened by Sagaru’s occupation, and the citizen’s rebellion of Sagaru having to fight two sides of a war, they were hurt deeply by Sagaru’s ferocious defense. This lead to a rare sympathy between the rebellion and their former enemies, Takai.. And after the war had ended and Sagaru began expanding it’s wounded military once more to set for occupation, much of the rebellion defected to Takai’s forces, pledging themselves to the emperor.

Takai, embittered by Sagaru’s brutal occupation, is beginning to drop pretenses and long standing traditions in hopes of overcoming their rival but sister nation.

Sagaru is tense, poised at the knife in suspiscion and distrust of Takai in return.. Though peace holds, it holds by a thread.
-As of November, 2013-


Culture:

The Twin Nations are a people who, by majority, believe in living honest lives, and are a people of tradition and faith. Their social hierarchy is as follows, with Highest to Lowest public reverence.

Emperor - Ruler of the Takai or Sagaru nations. Good Emperors are practically worshiped, bad emperors are often removed with a military coup d'etat, often ending with current Lord General succeeding the dead emperor as the new.

Lord General - Leader of the Takai or Sagaru military in its entirety. Sometimes, he can be revered even more than the Emperor himself, especially by the warriors that serve under him.

Military Generals / Lord Vassals of the Emperor - The Generals sit upon conference with the Lord General during times of war, though all Generals are also vassals of the Emperor, and as such own their own land, castle, and village, and are of noble status.

Military Officers - Military officers are highly revered as they are combat tested warriors who are seen as valiant and proud bearers of their Nation's ideals.

Warriors - Often times the Warriors of the Twin River Nations frown upon being called 'Soldiers'. To them, the meaning is different. A Warrior is one who fights for honor, and glory. A soldier is one who is paid to fight.

Government Officials - People who are not a member of the military but still have a role in the government of their nation.


Craftsmen - People with a trade, or a practice that they follow - such as smiths, carpenters, and masons. Craftmen have the honor of contributing to the war effort of their nation, and thus aiding their entire people with their work. It’s a measure of pride, and honor for a skilled craftsman to serve his nation in his trade.

Wandering Warriors - Exiled from the Lord they once served under, warriors usually commit ritual suicide as punishment, but some flee, and roam the countryside in evasion of their fate. These Warriors are respected - but are publicly declared to be fugitives and are deemed dishonorable by the Emperor. However, most rogue warriors that stick to the warrior’s code are often still respected by the average person - a common view that they had a heart too gentle for war.

Merchants - Simple enough.

Peasants - Average, everyday people that are not of nobility.

Merchant Guards - Coincident with the Twin Rivers use of the word "Soldier".

Outlaws - Lower than low, hated by most. Generally bandits that prey upon the average person to make a living.

Assassins - Even more dishonorable than Outlaws. If there were to be a plot involving an assassin discovered, even if to attack the opposing nation, everyone involved would be publicly executed, without the opportunity to commit suicide to lessen the dishonor, and their families would be shamed and struck from nobility. Takai however, has been secretly entertaining the thought of their use in warfare as a result of their new defected allies.

Traditions:

The Warrior's Code (Honor, and Duty)

Warriors of the Twin River Nations follow a very specific set of rules and traditions that would mean severe punishment if they were to be violated, and it is seen as dishonorable to do so.

-Honor-

Honor dictates that the Warrior is honest in battle and off of it, and is always in control of himself and his actions. A warrior does not get into brawls, or fist fights. Above all however, they do not murder. The only personal confrontation a warrior is allowed to settle with violence, is a conflict with another warrior, in which it will be settled by a duel, most times to the death, which is supervised by an officer to make sure all conduct is fair and honorable.

Warriors are also Honor bound to keep their oaths, to protect innocent people no matter what the odds or situation is, and to keep his dignity at all times.

-Duty-

Duty dictates that the Warrior without fail, puts every ounce of his being into following every order that is given to him by his leaders without hesitation. To fail in battle often means that the general leading the the warriors is punished. The more severe the failure to perform his duty, the more severe the punishment. Few generals, however, have been ordered to commit the act of ritual suicide, and almost none have been publicly executed by force.


-The Sword-

1) A warrior is never to unsheath his sword for anything other than necessity - a bared blade for anything other than inspection and maintenance is bared for violence alone.

2) When presenting the sword to another, the warrior must present the sword still in its sheath to them with both hands, palms facing upwards, with the blade of the sword facing the sky, and the point facing the right.

3) A warrior never asks for another warrior's sword. Simple enough.

4) When entering another's home, a warrior shall present his sword to the eldest woman of the house, to display that he means no harm to her, or her family. If there is no woman of the house, then the warrior will leave his sword on the inside of the home, beside the door. This only applies to personal property - inns and other establishments that allow tenants to take temporary residence do not apply to this custom.

-Bowing-

5) When a warrior bows, he places his right fist over his heart, and bends slightly at the waist, only about 15 degrees, with his chin slightly tucked.

6) A warrior must bow when a an officer, or general enters his presence to show allegiance, unless there is already an officer or general present. Then the lesser of the two officers will bow to the higher ranking officer. A warrior will also bow to show respect whenever introducing himself.

The Warrior's Pledge

Every warrior of the Twin Rivers has sworn by a code that is as ancient as their deep seated integrity and understanding and respect of life, death, and war.

"For as long as my body breathes with life, I will look for the opportunity to die."

This is not a defeatist attitude, as often misunderstood by outsiders. The meaning is deep seated in the warrior belief that anything worth killing for is also worth dieing for.

Warriors of the Twin Rivers search for noble causes, and seek to protect what they see as the greater good with their life. They are forever looking for what they would put their life on the line to protect.

Civil Traditions:

Shoes - Often times it is seen as rude to wear shoes in another's home. This is because you're dragging in dirt and mud and everything else you've been walking in all over someone else's house. Typically it's polite to take one's shoes off at the entrance of another's home.

Tea - Tea is a staple of the Twin River Nation's people, and high quality tea leaves are held for special occasions, while more common teas are drank very regularly. It is also widely considered to be a good general-cure-all by them.

Patriotism - The Twin River's cultures are very proud of their origins and their allegiance, and are a bit isolative and aloof from other cultures. Many Twin River's inhabitants consider their culture superior than other's.

The Currency of the Twin Rivers:

The currency system in the Twin Rivers follows a simple system. Small coins made of copper are known as myon, the least valuable coin. Slightly larger coins made of iron are known as kon, much more valuable than myon. Then there is byon, silver coins which are only second in value to ryon, gold coins. All coins in the twin river are cast specifically with a squared hole through the center, so that coins can be conveniently stored on a string and organized effectively. This lends itself to the fact that dealing with so much myon can become difficult if one doesn’t have a way of organizing it.

The exchange rate of values of coin can fluctuate, but usually hangs around this system:
200 myon>16 kon>4 byon>1 ryon

The Language of Ribasu

Due to the Twin River's origins as a secluded and reclusive people stretching back even to vagrant times, their language is another good example of how they diverged from the rest of the world.

Ribasu itself means 'River' -- The language of the rivers, as it is thought. The language is made up of an assortment of basic syllables -- Consonants bound with vowels in sort of 'pairings', a character for each of these broken up syllables in writing that are strung together to make words and names. Variations in the strokes of these characters can change the pronunciation slightly. A stroke below the symbol for 'Sa' can make the character become 'Za'.

The language is generally widespread as the main language of both Twin River nations, although in recent times it has become more and more common for people to learn the shared Mesalian language due to foreign contact to the Twin Rivers and an effort by a recent increase in traders attempting to barter with foreigners as well.


National Symbols:

The Lotus Flower - Seen as the representation of love and faithfulness. It's common for an admirer to give a Lotus flower to the one they're interested in.

The Osprey - Often seen by fishermen and sailors as a herald of good luck and fortune at sea. Sometimes personified in fairy tales as guardians of sailors, and are kept as pets by some superstitious captains as for that reason.

The Lion - The National Symbol of the Sagaru Nation. It is the representation of ferocity in battle and passion. It is tradition that one is kept in the Emperor's palace, so as to rally the hearts of their soldiers. The lion is often pampered and treated as royalty. It is not uncommon for servants who take care of the lion to be killed, but it is tolerated. When a Lord General is knighted, he will ceremoniously go down on both knees before the lion. Should the lion spare them, it is said that the reason being that he has the heart of a lion, and is therefore fit to rule and to lead the emperor's warriors into battle. Should he be killed however, it is said that the lion found him to be a coward, and an unfitting leader.

It's probably this reason that only the truly bold of the Sagaru nation's Vassals will accept the trial to replace a fallen Lord General.

The Wolf - The National Symbol of the Takai Nation. It is the representation of cunning and bravery. The Takai Emperor by tradition gives a wolf cub to his heir to raise and become master of when they become of age. It is not uncommon for an heir to fight with their companion for dominance through their life. So long as the wolf remains submissive, it is said that good fortune and strength will follow their soldiers into battle.

The Black Swan - When a black Swan is seen, it is said that it carries tragedy on it's wings. It is the representation of misfortune and bad luck. In fairy tales, a black swan is often seen before someone dies.

The Hare - A rabbit or hare is seen as the symbol of happiness and good fortune. They are common pets in the Twin River Nations, and some keep rabbit foot effigies as a good omen. Rabbits are not often bred for slaughter in the Twin Rivers; the superstitious believe it to be borderline evil to take advantage of something considered so pure. In fairy tales the Hare is personified as being mischievous and light-hearted. This gives rise to the popular saying "As happy as a hare".

The Crow - The crow is seen as the symbol of evil and cowardice. In the Twin Rivers killing a crow is seen as driving off evil, and often times when a village is down on their luck, they'll start paying bounties for dead crows, with the thought of bringing back prosperity by driving evil away. In fairy tales, the crow is cunning and traitorous, often tricking good animals only to betray them later.

The Tortoise - The tortoise or turtle is seen as the symbol of wisdom and caution. Some sooth sayers and healers keep Tortoises as symbols of their dedication. In fairy tales, the Tortoise is often a giver of good advice, and delights in riddles, albeit lazy.

The Heron - The heron is seen as the symbol of Grace and Nobility. Many sword masters of the Twin Rivers take the Heron as their coat of arms. In fairy tales the Heron is aloof, but selfless and brave, and often will give it's life to protect other weaker animals.

The Owl - An owl is seen as an omen of knowledge and future events. For an owl to be seen in plain view it is said that it brings changes in the winds of things yet to come. In fairy tales the Owl is all-knowing, but only chooses to share bits of it's knowledge through rhyme and riddle. It's also seen as extremely elusive and awe-inspiring.

The Mouse - The mouse is seen as the symbol innocence and naivety. In fairy tales the mouse is often child-like and ignorant, trusting and defenseless.

  


Forum Jump:

The Warrior Nations of the Twin Rivers51