Verdant | Races

Humans of Verdant

Race Profile

Dominating the nations of Verdant, Telicor, and Velhein are humans, each nationality with its own unique cultural identity. Verdant is a matriarchal society, ruled by a line of Queens with strong warrior values and an emphasis on providing for their people in the harsh, indomitable desert landscape. Women sit at the top of the Verdant social hierarchy in nearly every aspect, with the vast majority of political sway, property, businesses, and head of household securely in their hands. Men are second-class by default, and while it is not impossible to have a prominent male figure at the helm, it is a hard and discouraging road. The people here are by and large content in their lives. While the vast desert makes for hardy people they are tightly bound together by belief in the country they have made their own.

Artwork & Depictions

Rulers & Government

The head of the nation of Verdant is it’s Queen. Descended from a long, and unbroken line of nearly fifteen hundred years, she is the unquestioned ruler of her dominion. While a Queen may have several children, the only proposed heirs are from among her daughters. Succession is not determined by birth order. The Queen must select from among her the princesses as to who will rise to the throne. It is a hotly contested title, with prospective heirs in competition with one another from the moment they are shown favoritism. However, only one can be named Heir Presumptive, and much like Citizenship, it is a position that can only be earned through years of intense study and application. Under the Queen are the Five Houses, each one overseeing a vital aspect of Verdant’s infrastructure. They are the House of War, the House of Agriculture, the House of Faith, the House of Trade & the House of Thralls. In most instances, the heads of the houses are selected from among the princesses and nobles of the Queen’scourt. The most noticeable exception being the head of the House of Thralls, who is selected from among their ilk by the Queen herself. Each House has an immense responsibility to delegate, and it is essential for them to function like the limbs of a body for the stability of Verdant as a whole.

Allies & Enemies

A nation does not effectively proper without allies at it’s back. While the people of Verdant may have carved a niche for themselves seemingly out of nothing, they do not continue to prosper if they did so alone. Many generations ago, the Minotaur people came from far across the ocean. Refugees from a terrible blight, they were welcomed and offered sanctuary by the humans. The partnership prospered mostly due to their seemingly infinite knowledge of agriculture. This has allowed for sustainability within the cities, and the Minotaur’s are a vital part of Verdant society. The nomadic Gabelins remain consistent and effective trade partners, bringing unusual goods of their own design to the Verdant cities. Though trustworthy in a general sense, there is some distance maintained. Gabelins don’t like to be behind walls, and Verdant folks have a tendency to mistrust anyone who doesn’t cleave to their laws. Orcs remain unwanted people to the majority of Verdant’s folk thanks to years of war and raiding over territory disputes. The foreign Vadels have become an increasingly interesting lot, as they seem to want nothing more than the experience of adventuring through Verdant’s lands. They are by and large tolerated thanks to the amount of coin they spend on these holidays. The Yenya are widely despised as vicious bandits and most Verdant folk see them are barely more than bipedal mongrels. It is rare to find them anywhere near a city and most guards will attack them on sight.

Religion & Belief

A statue of Tiamati the Goddess

The chief religion of Verdant’s people is the worship of the Goddess/Queen Tiamati, the conqueror and founder of Verdant. Stories of her life abound in the region, and while there is some dispute as to the legitimacy of these claims, the general concept remains the same. Tiamati is viewed as the human form of a goddess betrayed by her pantheon. In her human life, she lead a thousand women to freedom from a corrupted emperor and conquered the desert wildlands by driving out the Orc and Yenya people. She established Verdant Proper (the capitol) and founded a line of Queens that has continued till this day. The line of succession is thought to be sacred, even semi-divine, as all are said to share in her bloodline. They worship her in three forms; the Warrior, the Queen, and the Goddess. Most Verdant homes have a small shrine with a statue of Tiamati and little offerings are made of rice, wine, honey, and oil. The more official ceremonies are carried out by the priestesses at the House of Faith temples throughout the nation. These houses also serve as centers of healing and care with the main branch in the Proper.

Tiamati is not the only deity that the Verdant people look to, but she is the most prominent and most widely worshiped. Others include:

Makeshi: God of the Household
Makeshi is the god of the hearth, said to watch over the care and prosperity of a well-kept home and bring happiness to those who remember him well. he is largely revered by men looking to be taken on as a second in an established house. he is depicted as a sweet-tempered male with a bowl of rice under one arm and a hand raised in a hospitable greeting. hearths are often decorated with his image in the hopes that the home will be blessed by his presence.

Osturam: Goddess of Childbirth
Osturam is believed to protect those who wish to become pregnant, are with child, and those who are in labor from harm. Her screams are said to frighten away wicked spirits and women are encouraged to howl during labor in her honor. she is depicted as heavily pregnant, squatting in a delivery pose with her husband (Bechor) kneeling under her as a stool while she gives birth.

Hadanika: Goddess of Cleanliness
Hadanika is observed as a goddess of personal cleanliness and care, often referred to as the goddess of the bathhouses. Slovenliness is looked down upon and seen as a mark of barbarism in Verdant, and a city without a bathhouse is considered very impoverished indeed. Washing one’s hands and face daily is a way to show reverence to Hadanika as is attending the bathhouse at least once a week.

Ramanas: God of Fish
Ramanas is largely worshiped along the coastline by those who make a living off the sea and it’s provender. His image of a fishing spear and net are often carved into boats for safety and a good catch. He is considered venerable among the poorer folk, as fish is plentiful and cheap. Spotting a whale while on the water is said to be Ramnas’s ‘generosity’ breeching to bestow good luck.

Citizen, Resident, Thrall

Verdant sets much store by who a person is and what they strive for in life. As a matriarchy, women hold much of the power and social status within the nation, sitting at the head of nearly every political and social structure. For this reason among others, it is far easier for a woman to rise in rank and security than it is for a man. Girls are encouraged to be adventurous and resourceful from a young age, while boys are praised for helping with chores and being mindful. Young women are usually tutored in weaponry and foraging skills and boys are often encouraged to put their energy into domestic tasks such as cooking and maintaining the home. But the true standard to which all young women hold themselves is that of a Citizen of Verdant, to earn the mark on their chin and be recognized both as an adult and a warrior.

Citizens are those who have earned their mark through one of three means: service to the military for ten years, a great deed performed in the name of the Queen, or the Trials of the Red Wastes. Each one requires a level of tenacity, intelligence, and ability to survive, all of which are considered admirable traits in a Verdant woman. Citizenship is more than a milestone for the youth of the nation. Once achieved, Citizenship means a higher social standing as well as many legal privledges denied to Residents and Thralls. Citizens can buy or inherit property, own a business, serve as an elected official, operate in a Guild, obtain a legal marriage, pass their property on to their children, and apply to keep thralls among other benefits. It is not impossible to be a poor Citizen anymore than it is impossible to be a wealthy Resident, but it is by and large easier to be the former over the latter.

Residents make up the vast majority of people in Verdant, working and living day to day within the nations borders. They are entitled to the same protections and rights as all of those who live under the Queen’s law, but they have not obtained or earned the position of a Citizen. They are still considered people of Verdant, and as such are due a portion of each harvest in order to maintain themselves and their household. They are entitled to speak before a magistar in legal matters and be adequately compensated if an injury is done against them. If threatened by outside forces they are owed protection from the city and it’s guards. They are entitled to healing at the temples and water from the wells, and cannot be barred from any city under the Queen’s law without due process. It is also illegal to deny them shelter from an invading force or during a sandstorm. Being a Resident in Verdant is by no means an easy life, but it is not without it’s joys and most would argue that their Queen does much to ensure their overall wellbeing on a nation level, if not a personal one.

Thralls are by far the most unlucky of Verdant’s people, yet their position is not intended to be a permanent one. No one in the nation can be born into enthrallment, as it is the other side of the Verdant philosophy one must earn their place in life. Thralls are those who have committed a crime against persons or property and cannot compensate them adequately or, likewise, someone who has incurred a debt of more than 2000 gold and is unable to repay it to the person owed. When this occurs, it is the Queen (or rather the Queen’s Treasury) who pays the debts, and the person is then required to either repay the Queen or serve as a Thrall until the debts are balanced. Most Thralls serve either in the Farmlands to produce food for the immense country, however the military often has a considerable allotment to tend to the compound. Likewise any city can be found to be packed with Thralls, working off their debts by maintaining the infrastructure. Thralls can be easily identified by their half shorn heads, which are not allowed to regrow until they are released.

Family & Marriage

Homes in Verdant are often full, and vibrant domiciles. Families do not move out, they simply make the residence larger. This allows for multi-generational households, with everything from great grand-parents to newborns within in the same home. Sometimes, you will find both sides of the family living together in one house! Given the stance of women in society, the matriarch of the family who owns the property has the final say in what occurs within it. The menfolk are usually given an opportunity to speak their peace, as they are the ones who see to the maintenance of the home and need to be consulted when it comes to purchases and improvements. Deference is given to older members of the household, with grandmothers typically being the ones who hold the decision-making powers.

Given the structure of Verdant society, the laws regarding marriage can be quite complicated and often difficult for outsiders to grasp. Unions are usually arranged by the families and arbitrated for political and social advantage. Verdant allows for Citizens to marry Residents, provided that the Citizen is acknowledged as the head of the household in all matters. Thralls being under servitude, can not be married, as it would violate the laws of consent as enforced by the House of Thralls. Same-sex marriage is recognized as entirely legitimate and it is in many ways the preferred method for entering into matrimony, especially for a first union. Children are procured in the usual method, but for those in a same-sex household, a surrogate may be found to accommodate. As many marriages are arranged, the surrogate may be the love match for one of the partners, often called the ‘second’, and is welcomed into the household. However Verdant law dictates that any children are considered the property of whoever has Citizenship status. This means that most men do not have any legal custody of their offspring. Divorce is not uncommon, and most first marriages are understood to be a limited contract for the mutual benefit of the families and their children. Second marriages are more likely to be romantic matches and more long-term in their application, though it is not all that unusual for a woman to have been thrice wedded.

Children are considered sacrosanct, and often spoiled rotten during their early years regardless of gender. As life in Verdant can be harsh, a child is not named until they have lived for sixty days, at which point (depending upon personal belief) they are taken to the temples to be named and have sacrifices made for their future prospects. Verdant parents typically dote upon their children and put great effort into preparing them for the kind of life their homeland provides. Children are encouraged to ‘help’ from a young age and are praised for wanting to participate. Girls and boys aren’t raised that differently on a day to day basis, but it is how their place in society is emphasized that impresses upon them where they fit best.