|Common Names||Hero-lovers, Ex-Exiles, Evintar|
|Social Classes||Herders, Fishermen, Priests, Singers, Artists, Bureaucrats|
|Major Cities||Thessalo, Talon, Iraklis, Vorfandu, Mlyat, Optikios, Hessalios, Gyrakios|
The Etosian people are a proud and deep Culture, formed from the rejects of a dozen nations and one determined exiled Schism of Unionism. They are known as some of the most zealous Unionists in Aloria, while also being some of the most conservative in their belief of the Emperor’s absolute divinity. They share a landmass with the Vladno, who make up much of their nobility, and the groups get along well, though there is friction concerning the masculine ideology of the Vladno. In recent years despite their isolationist leanings, the Etosians have been pushed into a greater role in world issues and conflicts, aiding Regalia during the Bone Horror Crisis and Lo Occupation. There is no telling if the Etosian people will stick to their more isolationist ways or abandon them in the pursuit of a larger role.
The Etosians have an unconventional and negative origin when compared to other Ailor cultures who have since risen above it. Originally, the island of Etosil was nothing more than a desolate island that held one or two minor Nelfin ports, and a few scattered Ailor groups on the periphery seemingly native to the area. The Altalar had explored the region thoroughly by the time of the height of the Allorn Empire, but had little interest in Etosil. Because of this, the region’s first population were escaped Ailor slaves from the Allorn Empire, as it was close to Killarallis, the processing center for most slaves, and the old Daendroc provinces of the Empire. When the Cataclysm came and went, the Ailor people were relatively unaffected as their landmass did little more than fracture at its edges. The Altalar, on the other hand, wholly abandoned the landmass. For the next century, Etosil became a dumping ground as first Killarallis, then Arvost, and finally the many Daendroc coastal states sent some of their worst to Etosil to survive. The island became a prison land; lawless, with great swathes containing nothing between the fortified settlements of outlaws and the few good people in the region. Then, in 62 AC, the most influential group of people arrived in Etosil by far, and they were the Evintarians. Exiled from Regalia for not following Dogmatic Unionist beliefs, the Evintarians acted quickly in Etosil. Within a decade, their religious leaders had helped organize the people, end the bandit ways, and set up systems for accepting those dumped on the rocky shores.
Over time, the group’s religious views grew to encompass the entire population, but they were unable to unite them fully. Various city-states rose across the island and by the first century AC, there were numerous minor battles fought in mostly ceremonial combat outside the city walls. These disputes were then resolved by the city leadership as well as regional Celates who dominated politics given their substantial land claims and influence over the everyday citizen. That all changed when, under the direction of Chancellor Vlaas Kade, the Regalian Empire invaded Etosil. While they put up a good fight, certain city-states aligned with the Regalian Empire against age old enemies, and by 128 AC, the whole island fell to the Empire. Despite this, Etosil’s isolationism only increased. The Regalian Empire reinforced a harsh blockade after conversion efforts back to the main system of Unionism failed. This situation went on for some time before, under Emperor Henri III, the situation drastically improved with a much lighter hand and openness to the Etosians becoming the norm. But almost three generations of harsh treatment made the Etosians unwilling to adapt to more Dogmatic traditions. Ever since then, Etosil has remained insular, providing the Regalian Empire with what it asks but often not involving themselves in political issues unless it involves religion or being provoked into action. They have also supported the Regalian Military in a limited capacity, sending troops primarily to fight in the recent conflicts against other faiths and Races like the Songaskians in the Songaskian Wars and the Nelfin in the Elven War of 302 AC. Recently, the Etosian’s utter hatred for the Undead was seemingly dissipated within the course of a year down to a more neutral position when the Bone Horror Crisis forced the two sides to unite against a common foe. This peace has held, but now Sects freely propagate in Etosian society. Some are in support of the Undead, but others are against it, and seek to draw in the harsher sides of Etosian Culture.
Language and Dialects
The Etosian Dialect is an interesting case where the original Ceardian tongue of the Ailor slaves was mixed with that of the Altalar, then the Daendroque slaves, and finally, the various criminals who were sent to the region after Etosil became known as a penal island. Thus, while it does have a base in what is now called Modern Altalar, time has added aspects of Daendroquin, Ceardian, and several other minor Languages to their mother tongue. This messy development makes the Etosian Language unique. In addition to this, pockets across Etosil cling to their original languages as their heritage, with the most common second language spoken being Daendroquin. There is also the daughter tongue of Hellas, chiefly spoken by Etosians native to the Regalian Archipelgo.
Etosian names are varied and striking, sometimes making use of vocal sounds and letters often not seen in other languages such as “x” and “y”. The population also takes names or variations on the names of Heroes, Emperors and key figures from the faith. Also, some of the more rural areas feature Etosianized names from the original culture that group stems from, the most popular being Daendroque. Etosian naming conventions also often result in male names ending in “ios” or an “s” and female names ending on an “a.” Etosian surnames have no special traits. Some examples of Etosian names below:
- Male: Alexios, Octavion, Pavlos, Asylaion, Ignatios, Basil, Demetrios, Petronas, Theophilus, Stylian, Falkon, Gemistos, Modestos, Hypatius, Sissinius
- Female: Loukia, Agurnya, Thekla, Xenia, Zephyra, Cintina, Helena, Theophano, Eudocia, Anna, Procopia, Styliane, Erythro, Galla, Eirene
The Etosian people are some of the firmest lawmakers in the Regalian Empire. They follow the laws of the Empire but are known to aggressively follow those rules involving the Unionist faith, its leaders, and especially marriage. This last aspect of their core laws is the prime cause of issues between them and the Vladno people, as the masculine underpinnings of the Culture applaud adultery and cheating on a spouse. The Evintarian leadership can only frown and bear it, imposing large fines on any men found to be doing so while women, unless Vladno themselves, face social ostracization. As for punishment, Etosian laws are unique in that recognizing the pain of exile, it is never a verdict in any court cases. Even exile from one’s city is not allowed. Instead, public punishment and public restitution are the most common punishments stemming from the ideal situation where every member of the community adds something, and The Everwatcher helped form them for a purpose so the crime should be cleared before all present. Etosian law also heavily protects religious structures and religious figures. An example of this is that any person found openly insulting a Celate in Etosil can be fined upwards of 100 Regals.
Lifestyle and Customs
Etosian families are often made up of extended relatives living together, as since the early days it was rare to wander far from home. One couple might live with the husband’s parents and the unmarried sister as well as other extended family members. As a collective unit, family unity is maintained, and homes have more hands for work. This structure is most prevalent in the rural communities where it is rare for anyone to live outside of the family house unless they are a woman, since women often live with the man’s family unless he has none, something considered a tragedy in Etosian Culture. Guests in a home are considered a blessing from The Everwatcher, as it is implied the visitor sees quality and security in the house, thus choosing to visit it. As for marriage, families often arrange matches between their eldest children to either help heal feuds or strengthen existing bonds. If no specific match is desired, every May a day of greeting is held where all the prospective matches meet and talk, even if they already know each other, with the adults watching nearby and discussing the merits of each match and making deals.
Individual families are often a husband, a wife, and at least one child since religious obligation pushes for reproduction between spouses. Male children often learn the trade of their father while female children learn the trade of their mother. For men, this often involves a lot of time outside unless they live in the urban cities where more crafts and trades are concentrated beyond the standard herding and fishing. Women, on the other hand, are consistent in their trade, which always involves weaving. It varies between individual houses as some of the more well-off middle-class families produce tapestries while those of the lower class produce wool cloth, clothing, and simple things for themselves or simple trade on market day.
Additionally, family life is regimented by the Celate they exist in, and not just in the form of prayers, and ceremonies. Celates as regions across Etosil are also administrative divisions for the local government, made up of both priests and bureaucrats who keep track of regional productivity. Celates are also divided into a number of categories or terms for what role they fulfill in the Etosian Theocracy that rules the island. A Celate-Polió, for instance, represents a small town, while a Celate-Dikmous represents a mining region. These lead up to overall control being leveled by the regional capitals, the Seven Great Cities, while in colonized lands in the southeast of the Regalian Archipelago, Celates are merely large population centers often with a religious significance. Families must remain in the Celate they were born in for life unless their occupation demands travel, or they are granted special permission to move from the region’s priests. As a result, most Etosians are flat out local all of their lives, and their generational lifestyle is also born out of this control.
The Etosian family is often seen from the outside as a classic patriarchy, with the man in charge and the woman lesser. However, there are underlying ideals to this which give women, especially mothers, a substantial level of respect. Women were rare among the exiles on early Etosil and so became almost a prize to the men around them. In the later years, as cities were set down, the woman’s role was still vital especially as the faith emphasized their role in birthing and raising the future generation. As a result, abuse or negative actions on the part of a husband against his wife can result in public shame against him forcing him to make amends, since divorce is almost impossible to achieve in the Etosian interpretation of Unionism. These situations can lead to bitterness and some darkly joke it is easier for such Etosian women to get assassins to eliminate their husbands rather than staying with them. However, despite this respect, women are not free spirits. They were banned from service in the Evintarian faith for decades and while Regalian influence brought this to an end decades ago, few women have entered the Divine College. In addition, female existence outside of marrying and producing children is often bleak as social pressure exists to force them down this path, save those in the upper and middle classes who may have slightly more options. Men, on the other hand, have a much freer life with little to no restrictions placed on them except the pressure to marry.
Etosians have a diverse number of holidays, largely local festivities dotted across Etosil focused on venerating the many important local Etosian Heroes and other important dates from the early decades of Unionism. However, there are several holidays the Culture uniformly celebrates which are different from these minor festivals, or are more pronounced than other religious celebrations.
- February 15th to 25th is the season of Karnaváli, which is ironically a period of fasting and abstaining from normal or excess pleasures for much of the ten days. However, after the eighth day, the final two are a time to unwind and drink, eat and party as much as possible. Masquerades are common during the final two days, as are taboo social activities.
- March 3rd is the day that the Etosians celebrate Chrysanthos Day, or, the date that the Chrysant War began. Given their heavy acceptance of Holy War, the Etosian people were eager for this conflict after the decay that was the Regalian Pessimism. The event frequently sees wicker Allar burned along with the hunting of any and all local snakes and reptiles, in addition to a grand feast.
- May 10th is Iméra ton Mitéron or “The Day of Mothers”. The position of mother is incredibly important in Etosian Culture, and the statue of the First Mother (known as Mother Jocastina or by her other title, Mother Etola) is the largest in the Epitychiménos Temple in Etosil’s capital. On this day, she is draped in thousands of flowers and all women have the day off, while male spouses and offspring must give thanks to their mother.
- June 21st is Ékrixia, or “The Day of Bursting” is considered to herald the beginning of summer in Etosil. It also takes place on the solstice. Upon this day, flowers are abundant as is music, both traditional and foreign, and it is common to throw and gift flowers to others in a procession through the city streets, or around the local villages.
- July 11th is Paízoméra or “Play Day”, a time for Etosian theatre culture to flourish. It is on this day that many public plays are put on across the Etosian lands, telling the tales of city foundings as well as religious stories. The celebrations used to be much longer but were drastically shortened by efforts of the Etosian clergy who felt that the public would begin to worship the actors involved. The day also sees all work grind to a halt.
- November 17th is the time when learners and teachers are honored among the Etosians, and specifically remembrances are owed to the Hero of Scholars who died along with a host of students and teachers in 149 AC to a savage Undead attack. Since the reknitting of relations with the Undead though, the event has shifted to one of simple remembrance rather than outright Undead hatred. Students are given a day off, as are teachers.
- December 28th has many names across the landscape of Etosil and the migrant lands in the southeast of the Regalian Archipelago. This is because it's a celebration of great sailors and the navy, with individual towns naming their festivities after native sons who excelled in this area. It is far more prominent in the Etosian lands of the Regalian Archipelago, however, especially with the rise of naval-focused nobles in the region.
The Etosian Culture was built by Evintarian Unionism, and for this reason the local populace is extremely pious. The first Schism’s practitioners have kept their ways all this time, and the issues which saw them exiled to begin with remain a part of their identity. Long gone though, are the days of attempted integration back into Dogmatic Unionism, as the two divided bodies rest in a fragile co-existence.
- For more information on Evintarian Unionism, click HERE
Literature and Folklore
Etosian literature is mainly focused on matters of religion, both concerning the medium and the subject matter. Histories of the faith and its Heroes of Unionism, as well as discussions of The Creed’s meaning are commonly hand produced within the great temples and cloisters of the various cities across Etosil and feature beautiful artwork in the margins as a display both of skill and devotion. There are also many moral examinations, done through case studies into specific examples of corruption and malpractice of the faith, and other examples of sinful people that attempt to warn the reading public of how fast a person can go downhill. More liberal groups often accuse such works of being inaccurate and stretching the truth, but they remain popular.
Etosian philosophy is a very complex matter, involving multiple nuances and ideas influenced by Evintarian Unionism, Unionism as a whole, and the many absorbed parties that made up the early Etosil. Etosians believe in the need for a centralized state, but emphasize a unification of faith and state, or at the very least ensuring that everyone in the government is loyal and religious toward Unionism. Because of this, they express distaste toward the Velheim and similar groups, who they view as the least pious and rife with worship to old religions which are either heretical or misinformed. They also tend to push their ideology on others heavily as they were unable to send official missionaries out from their island, making every member valuable in spreading the faith to strangers they might meet on Etosil. They are zealous in their faith, a trait put to good use by the Regalian Military when they have needed to call upon Etosil to “defend the faith” such as they did in the Chrysant War and the recent conflicts against the Songaskians and Sendrassian Allar. Etosians educated in the Divine College or who follow its teachings are also known for following the Creed absolutely, which makes them very inflexible in situations of religious discourse. Etosians also put a heavy emphasis on the individual, especially on those who are pious or holy such as Celates or living Heroes. Being successful, pious, and powerful are signs that The Everwatcher is helping you in life and you deserve respect because of this, which is also known to make members of the Etosian upper class some of the most arrogant in the Regalian Empire.
However, there is a dark side to Evintarian Unionism which has never quite gone away. They were once extremely xenophobic to non-Ailor Races, these old ideas living on today in the stubborn Vladno and their current ideas of slavery. When Regalia assimilated Etosil into the Empire, political pressure forced the region to tone down this extreme view which saw a period derogatorily called “O Vrómikos Chrónos” (The Dirty Time) when Asha and various Nelfin Races moved freely to the island. The Vladno’s enslavement practices, however, were never checked, and almost a quarter of these free citizens were taken against their will into servitude. It took until the Humanume Legislation in 304 AC for the Theocracy to finally stop what was essentially kidnapping, albeit begrudgingly. Etosians, overall, still believe non-Ailor Races have a place in the Great Way. They are, however, less nuanced about the Ailor privilege, as while non-Ailor are welcome, the Evintarian faith still outwardly states “It is better to be Ailor than not to be Ailor”, which is something the other Schisms do not say as bluntly. These beliefs have also allowed the growth of anti-plural sects in Etosian territory. Finally, many Etosians dislike the Undead. While there is limited information on how far back the Undead on Etosil go--and some claim they were there centuries before the Cataclysm, others claim they surfaced as late as 100 AC--the hatred from the local population is intense. Etosians try to burn their dead as quickly as possible, due to a surprising level of superstition around the process of Undeadism. However, this hatred has faltered in recent years as in the Bone Horror Crisis, Etosil’s cities and the Undead teamed up to fight against the Bone Horrors that were attacking both of them. The Undead even joined the Regalian Army when they tried to take back the Crown Isle during the Deathling Crisis. This relationship has remained stable, and has even allowed for a new Sect, the Thyemic Sect, to rise to some prominence in Etosian territories.
The Etosians have a rich folklore to their island, mainly stemming from the foundation history of each city in Etosil, all claiming to have been founded by a member of the Evintarians. Such stories chronicle their extraordinary adventures battling bandits, demons (real or internal) and wild beasts before ultimately choosing their settlement site. These works are also those most frequently adapted into epic plays. The remainder of their folklore is religiously based, using parables, tall tales and other stories involving Heroes or Emperors to teach lessons to children.
Etosian art is diverse and covers a wide range of mediums. Painting and drawing are done in a natural style but often have minor flourishes to symbolically represent what or whom they are drawing so as to not require a title. For example, a field in Etosil while ordinarily empty might find an artist adding a crook resting on a fencepost and the peaks of a temple off in the distance to show the piety of the land under the guidance of the Spirit. In the area of sculpture, artists go for realism as well, even at the cost of beauty. The Etosians believe The Everwatcher loves all it creates, so those Heroes who had unsightly facial features or non-ideal body types are displayed as they were in life. Finally, there is the unique work of mosaics, rarely seen outside of Etosil. Using small pieces of glass and stone, Etosian artists can assemble great and beautiful scenes often on the floors of buildings. Such works are diverse in subject matter, and the technique is said to have come from the first Etosian Hero of Artists. Despite its very “natural” style, there is also a very unnatural edge to Etosian art, with figures often possessing bulbous heads, babies having strange proportions alongside occasionally awkward two-dimensional art pieces with strange angles for body parts. While outsiders label such aspects as sloppy work, it is instead based in a centuries-old visual lexicon in Etosian art meant to emphasize moral characteristics of the subject not easily told otherwise to the casual viewer. Etosian art also has the reputation of its beautiful adornments, as previous materials flow not just from control over the general populace but also the nobles into the storehouses of the faith, which in turn uses it to praise The Everwatcher through Gold-leaved and gem-speckled artwork.
There are, however, restrictions and conventions within Etosian artwork that put it at odds with many others. Well known in Etosian Culture is the commonly held belief in iconoclasm, or the idea that The Everwatcher or an God Emperor/Empress may rarely be depicted in artwork in a literal manner, as mortal artists cannot fully depict them accurately. The recent rise of Imperial Culture and better relations with the mainline faith of Unionist has relaxed this idea, and apparently specific words have trickled down to the Etosian people that the Kade Emperors dislike such beliefs, but the practice is still an old one, and many old pieces of art use symbolisms and analogy to show the Everwatcher and its representative in Aloria. However, the Etosians are broadly opposed to several other aspects of Imperial Culture as well. The use of both the nude figure and the perfect figure is displeasing to many Etosians the first few times they encounter it. To them, nakedness outside of labor and the enjoyment of water is representative of bad times for the Ailor and a lack of civilization, likely derived from the little clothing exiles landing on Etosil had and how precious it was in the early years. They also believe it is vain to depict one as they were not in life and thus a sin to do so.
Etosian music heavily derives from the vocal chorus, and what few instruments it does have are often from the string and wind families. Etosians believe their voices are sufficient enough to worship The Everwatcher and over time, these prayers have evolved into long drawn out chants. Men speak the majority of the lines, though some chants involving marriage, partnership and honesty require female chanters. These chants and hymns are traditionally used in religious services, but they are also present at social events. In more relaxed settings, they are often quicker and only occur at the end or beginning of an event. Music involving instruments is limited to simple lyrical rhymes, patterns and often only done within family gatherings.
Etosian fashion is varied and rich. For women, there are three styles: the Agnóssa style, the Fórema Afroú style, and the recently developed Néa Epochí style. The Agnóssa style is the most widespread, existing up and down the social ladder. Its principle features are the Krývontin Koukoúla or “Hiding Hood”, a long thin piece of fabric women can wrap either tightly or loosely around their head to hide their hair and features beyond their face, a single piece dress that goes down to the ankles, a waist and chest wrapping called a Semnótita which acts as a loose external corset of sorts, as well as the Polla-Chríseis, a piece of fabric often tied around one lower arm before looping around the back to be held by the other hand. This clothing is often the lightest in colors, with whites, light blues, and washed out colors in the fabric. Fórema Afroú clothing is similar but is designed for coastal regions and is often used by the lower rungs of society. The Periorízontin Koukoúla or “Restricting Hood” is an even more restrictive style of headgear, with a simple white coif underneath a woolen cap cleanly framing the face with the intention to secure the hair thoroughly. The rest of the style calls for a simple camisia, a baggy form of shirt, that goes down to just below the knees and a loose tunica overtop, acting as a smock for many of a woman’s daily activities. It usually comes in various tones of blue, often contrasting with the white and brown of the headpiece and camisia.
The final style, Néa Epochí, has caused the most stir, only developing within the last thirty years and only in the major cities. Here, young women focus on revealing their physical form more, first with a low-cut top called an Apokalyptikó or “Revealer” attached to the neck through a series of straps that also go across their lower neck. A thin, veil-like piece of rumpled fabric also extends around the back and over the shoulders, helping to obscure the straps. At the shortest point between each side of the body, a strand of simple metal tags is secured to draw attention to the thinness of the woman with a similar line of metal tags along the neck strap of the Apokalyptikó. The lower body is shrouded in a large bolt of cloth folded and wrapped making a type of “dress pants” the Etosians call an Agnodica. The entire arrangement is then held together at the back below the end of the rumpled fabric. This final style is only allowed during times when a young woman is looking for a husband, and the Evintarian faith allows them to “reveal traits that show positive qualities of motherhood.” Older or married women wearing the style is thus frowned upon. This style has the brightest colors, where reds, oranges, and yellows are standard fabric colors and shades to the metal tags.
Male Etosian fashion is less complicated, but still has its own unique nuances in three fashion styles, more based on class than region. The first style is Lykófos Diakomódisi and was made for those who serve or associate with the Vladno. It features the Apovladnos, a black trapezoidal shirt with two open slits down the sides to the waistline. The area around the collar and at the hem of the clothing is then richly embroidered with Unionist and Etosian symbols along with basic shape patterns in red, white and yellow. The rest of the garment is an undershirt and black pants. The second style is one that crosses all classes, known as the Ptychés Yfásmatos style. A simple single piece of clothing similar to a dress covers the male body that either goes down to above the ankle or on the lower leg with a belt around the waistline. Then, for protection from the sea, the wind or the cold, a cloak known as a Sómahider is draped around the shoulders and is pinned together using a Psychí Brooch either at the shoulder or just below it. The clothing openly reveals one side of the body but then shields the other, with a narrow slice removed to allow for the other hand to come in. While the underclothing is often reasonably plain, perhaps slightly decorated at the hemline or edge areas, the cloak is the real piece of color. Blues, greens, reds, and whites form various geometric patterns and lines along its edges before a single simple design is found in the middle, often the Unionist eye.
The last clothing style, Patéras style, is the clothing of the Evintarian faith and all associated figures. In simplest terms, the style features a large cloak called a pallium draped over a simple long sleeveless robe that goes down to the feet with a long Epitrachelion--essentially a very long scarf laid over the neck and hanging down to the feet--set between these two layers which can be seen at the front of the robe. The robe is then placed over a basic tunic with full sleeves. The entire assemblage then has a color-coded system for each of the classes of the region’s religion. The Primae-Celate of Etosil wears a robe of all white, with a black pallium draped over them and a yellow Epitrachelion. The Septarches, rulers of the seven great cities of Etosil, and Arch-Celates wear black robes, a yellow pallium and a white Epitrachelion that prominently features the symbols of their city on it. Celates and priests as the general priesthood wear yellow robes, black palliums, and white Epitrachelions. In more relaxed scenarios, the Epitrachelions are done away with entirely while the pallium colors are instead in place in clothes wrapped around the waists of the men who participate in the faith. Also, each piece of clothing is often edged with needlework of another color save for the white robe of the Primae-Celate, who is solidly white. While there are more ranks to the faith, they have no formal code of dress and follow those set out by their individual institutions of faith. Etosians often have the color combinations of the Patéras style memorized by the age of ten.
All clothing styles, male and female, do have a single commonality: Their footwear. Boots are a rarity in Etosian fashion, and as such both genders make use of either several types of simple sandal or thinly surfaced and basic shoes of a single color.
Etosian architecture has evolved uniquely over the centuries, with those exiled to Etosil each bringing their own region’s architectural ideas which mixed with that of the natural landscape. The majority of Etosian structures are made of stone, brick, and plaster and are simple in their construction. Semicircular arches, narrow windows, and tiled roofs also mark their style in the larger homes or structures, along with columns topped by the aforementioned semicircular arches, and tend to favor pale materials in comparison to the Vladno’s own darker focus. In addition, Etosian design is well known for their domes, big and small, affixed in religious buildings or the estates of well off merchants, or even watchtowers and lighthouses standing high or apart from the rest of the Etosian cities. Finally, all of this architecture also makes use of aquatic imagery in minor or edge decoration along with more Unionism imagery such as the Eye, storks, and more. There also tends to be incorporation of Etosian art like mosaics into their architecture, filling the interior of domes, and decorating long walls with beautiful imagery.
Etosian cuisine is similar to Daendroque cuisine, making use of seafood but also makes use of the animal products of pastoral herding animals, resulting in interesting taste combinations. For example, cheese and fish are commonly prepared and eaten together, and olive trees abound in the interior regions of the landmass. These are eaten whole or made into oil for multiple uses by the populace. One of the odd things about Etosil is despite its southern climate, it cannot produce sugar and has long relied on honey as its sweetener, producing the local dessert delicacy known as Strómatou Ouranoú. The pastry uses thin dough and honey to produce a delicious baked good, often seasoned with nuts. Another local food is Chtypi-sitirá, a blend of barley, water, cheese, and several minor herbs designed to be hearty and help get someone the nutrients they need for hard work or a rough journey.
Etosian Culture focuses much on the individual, and so sports are often non-team based affairs. The varied terrain makes many sports difficult, but three remain popular among young Etosian men. The first is running. As their land’s terrain is heavily hilled, contests are regularly held in rural areas to ensure young men get their footing at a young age. These contests are also held in the cities but are usually considered “soft” by rural participants as the ground is mostly flat and the route more direct. The next sport is swimming, done by many coastal settlements and usually features races or diving aspects. The last sport is one only done in the cities, and that is javelin throwing. In the ceremonial fights of old, combat between the city-states principally involved spears and armored combatants. As time went on, the art of the spear morphed, lost its more militaristic qualities and became a sport of strength and ability. Often such contests are distance based, but a few also add aiming at targets for some variety.
Etosian leisure time is much like that in other Cultures; children play while adults relax and spend time away from work. However, Etosian children have several games they play. The most prominent is the game of “Vasiliás í Anóitos,” “King or Fool.” One child, either the winner of the last round or the oldest, stands with his back to a group near a large wall. The child must then throw the ball from their toes up and backward into the air. Whoever gets the ball and dribbles it on the wall the most is the winner or king. The loser is the fool and is told to do something. If they don’t follow through, then they are berated for a week. Other games involve rolling sheep knucklebones or spinning clay tops. A more general game is their variation on checkers, as instead of eliminating pieces, “Perivállo” requires the player to sandwich the piece they wish to eliminate between two of their own pieces.
Etosians have many symbols associated with them and cover a diverse range of subject matter. They are linked to the metals mined on their island, mined in great quantities from their landmass, while also being tied to the olive tree and its oil as well as a variety of fauna, like the Squiggs Octovin, Etosian Bear and the Highland Thessaliy. Individual cities also have their own unique symbolism, such as Hessalios being tied to a setting sun and the face of a Tsarr Cat on their heraldry. Etosians are also eternally tied to Heroes since that is the issue that split them from the main Unionist faith.
- Despite the Etosian visual lexicon explaining their sometimes crude or odd looking figures, some scholars have come to suspect that this evolved following the exile of the Evintarians, whose resources and craftsmen in Etosil were sub-par, leading to strange art that the faithful worked to make beautiful any way they could.
- On Etosil’s 200th anniversary, counted from the date of the arrival of the Evintarians, all seven great cities combined their founding myths into a continuous play that went on for three days. Even the Arvostians who attended were impressed with its effects and narrative structures.
- Etosian legs are said to be the strongest of any Ailor Culture thanks to the rugged local terrain and needing to stand so long during religious services.
- Etosians have little to no information on the Altalar who were on Etosil before them or what they did. Hessalios was founded over the site of one of their outposts, but if any records from that period exist, they were likely destroyed soon after the settlement began due to xenophobia.