|Common Names||Sendrassian Men, Jungle Ailor, Mustachioed Southerners|
|Social Classes||Soldiers, Merchants, Artisans, Farmers, Scribes, Aristocrats|
|Major Cities||Güney, Atakapı, Hacıkasaba, Kocaköy, Yeşilsaray|
The Güneyliler are a fascinating group, representing a different blend of Ailor and Qadir blood than that which exists among the Daendroque Ailor. In distant Sendras, people exiled by the Mevoriim found new land, and ultimately, new allies, when Qadir fleeing Farah’deen and the expanding Songaskian Masaya reached their shores. The two groups melded their blood, their knowledge, and their ways of life together. These people then revolted, seizing their former homeland as the first territory in the new Güneyliler Empire. They are a people known for their militarism, but also for their desire to explore and encounter all the world has to offer in order to better themselves, as well as better their positions on different matters.
- 1 History
- 2 Language and Dialects
- 3 Laws
- 4 Lifestyle and Customs
- 5 Holidays
- 6 Religion
- 7 Literature and Folklore
- 8 The Arts
- 9 Recreation
- 10 Trivia
The Güneyliler as a culture began shortly before the Cataclysm, as an offshoot from the Mevoriim people of Sendras. The Mevoriim and their wondrous being known as Eliah had survived and, ultimately, thrived in the harsh landscape, but there conflict arose quickly. Present day Mevoriim have a number of explanations, but the Güneyliler have only one: religion. They claim that the Rabbis rejected proposed religious reforms and alterations supplied by a man named Mergen, who also claimed to have received a vision from Eliah. The violent expression of radicalism the Mevoriim claim was the cause of the separation, the Güneyliler claim was an attempt by Mergen and his followers to defend themselves when they were suddenly ambushed by thugs in the Council’s crowd. Regardless of the truth, by the time of the Cataclysm, Mergen and his followers lived in exile beyond the mountains that marked the southern edge of Mevoriim territory. The trek was hard and, in these mountains, Mergen supposedly had other visions and became revered as a prophet, writing down what he had experienced into the accounts that became the basis for Ibadet. According to Mergen’s visions, Eliah was merely a physical representation of a greater force in the universe, perhaps best described as a cosmic life that pervaded everything in existence. According to him, the worship of Eliah was, at worst, blasphemous and amounted to the worship of a fish compared to respecting and being grateful to the fisherman who caught it. During their time in the south, this offshoot society grew and flourished, despite the hardship and small population.
Their lives were deeply changed in 130 AC, though, when a vast population of Qadir suddenly came onto their shore. These were a large collection of people, from all social strata of the former Sariyd Empire and of all different beliefs and creeds, who had grouped together to do one thing: escape. The Songaskian threat had compelled them to jump across the band of water between them and Sendras, avoiding the dangerous land of Solangeria to land in unfamiliar territory. The lands they were in were, luckily, largely devoid of the diseases and illnesses that plagued the jungles and waters of Sendras. Those lands also held the future Güneyliler, who were shocked to learn of the many things the Qadir told them. However, the Ailor leadership was crafty and, rather than be absorbed by the Qadir and their culture, they instead set themselves up in charge. They did this through one simple fact: they were untouched by the diseases of Sendras, and their bloodline could help the future generations of the Qadir survive. Their point seemed to have been proven when, after a sudden rainfall that flooded a nearby swamp, water-borne pathogens were released and killed a quarter of the Qadir. A great process began, the two groups arranging marriages for several thousand couples and heavily encouraging reproduction for as many children as possible. The two groups also combined their philosophies, technological knowledge, religions, and societies. Ultimately, the Ailor society that formed from this combination was markedly different than the ancient combination of Ailor and Qadir seen in Daen which had created the Daendroque. Instead, the population proudly proclaimed themselves no longer to be “Galutes” (Mevor for Exile) or even Mevoriim, but a new people; the Güneyliler, a term in their new language meaning southerner.
It was soon after this that the populous Güneyliler started looking for places to expand. Fifty years saw hundreds of new families settled at the borders of the region’s territory. Others took to the sea, conducting trade with what were now Mooriye and Al-Alus, as well as Ceardia. These sea voyages were also the first to discover the Mevoriim, largely forgotten in Güneyliler history, still living in their old territory and now even more radicalized around Eliah than previous generations. At first, the reactions were aggressive and incensed, calls to immediately march into this heretic land, cleanse it, and then colonize it were popular in the urban cities of the Güneyliler state. However, Padişah Süleyman Bey forbade it. He harshly critiqued such positions as being beneath his people and, instead, produced a new opinion: that the Mevoriim merely followed a different variation of the religion they all worshipped. After all, Eliah had been the source for Mergen’s visions and did deserve veneration as a physical presence of godhood in the material world. But he did not change the ideas of an invasion, as he saw military action as necessary to fully test out the new, untested, army he had been building up. This consumed much of his life and, while this may have been a time to plot against him, the aristocracy instead fully supported this plan, especially as it would gift them new positions of prominence in what was soon to be an Empire. Finally, after nearly a decade of preparation, the Güneyliler invaded the Mevoriim.
The armies traveled both by land, over the mountains their ancestors had been forced to cross, and by sea, coming down a major regional river to the shock of the entire territory. But to the surprise of the Padişah, the Mevoriim fought hard, to the point of suicide, and he quickly was able to deconstruct the situation based on what few prisoners his men could capture. Early on, there were some unfortunate and bloody battles, but when the southern half of the region was taken, he stopped. He poured knowledge, information, and kindness on those Mevoriim in occupied territories while simultaneously sending multiple envoys to the Shafat, only to have them returned mutilated in a variety of religiously-significant manners. So, after a year of mere border skirmishes, the army pushed on again. They were soon at the foot of Mt. Mechudash and would soon be forced into a religious and philosophical hard place. Instead, the Mevoriim leadership deposed their mad Judge of a leader, with the new one immediately opening peace talks. Padişah Süleyman Bey died a scarce month before the peace was made official, with his son signing in his stead, and so the Güneyliler came into control of the population that had once expelled them for heresy. The Mevoriim have been faithful subjects and both parties have fulfilled every part of the peace accord between their two peoples with minimal religious conflict. In the years since this event, the Güneyliler have pushed to explore the world, lacking the same fears as the Mevoriim while also seeking recognition from other world powers. They have gotten little of the latter, but there are scattered populations of tradesmen, explorers, and ambassadors spread out across Aloria still today, seeking knowledge, new resources, and new friends.
Language and Dialects
Güneyce is the name of the language that is used by the Güneyliler. Their language largely derives itself from the dialect of the Qadir, Faraddi, but also possesses some similarities to Mevor, the language of the Mevoriim. The Güneyce language is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn, due to many letters completely foreign in other Languages and the difference of pronunciation. In addition, most of the words written in Güneyce sound different when they are vocally pronounced. Scholars trying to learn the Güneyce language not only have to learn the writing of the dialect, but also the pronunciation of them, which is often a struggle as the Güneyce words tend to have a difficult time rolling off the tongue of a foreigner. Due to the intricacies of the language, even a delicately studied foreign scholar who is speaking the Güneyce language will never truly sound like a native Güneyli; the difference of vocal tones and pronunciation will always be clear as day, as only Güneyliler can truly pronounce the language in the way it is meant to be spoken.
The Güneyliler have adopted their naming customs from the Qadir people and evolved it over time, as the Güneyce language has likewise largely originated and evolved from the dialect. Many years ago, during the first period of the Güneyliler Empire’s establishment, the Güneyliler people were not allowed surnames, and utilized honorifics such as ‘Bey’ and ‘Hatun’ to refer to each other in respect. However, recent changes to the legislature in the Güneyliler Empire has seen the installment of surnames through what became known as the Surname Law in the year of 306, allowing its people to choose their own surname to their preference, and finally be able to leave a mark of their lineage in history. Below are examples of Güneyliler names.
- Mehmet Aktepe
- Safiye Halefi
- Serdar Soyman
- Melike Derviş
- Kemal Bozkurt
- Haseki Gülpınar
- Süleyman Yılmaz
- Fatma Zeybek
Honorifics are very important to the Güneyliler, and oftentimes utilized to show respect to one another. It is rare to see Güneyliler people being disrespectful in the address of people of their culture, and even blood feuding enemies will ensure to refer to each other with the proper honorifics. This stems from their culture being very proud of itself in its core, and lacking in a show of respect among their people is an affront to the traditions the Güneyliler have developed over the years. In Güneyliler language, all forms of honorifics are placed as suffixes, and go behind the name of the individual, rather than the front as they do in Common tongue. Listed below are some of the honorifics that are utilized by the Güneyliler, which in their language have come to replace Common tongue honorifics like Ser and Madame.
- Padişah is the Emperor of the Güneyliler Empire, meaning “strength” and “rulership”. The title cannot be used by any other sovereign or monarch.
- Sultan is the title that refers to a position of sovereign power in the Güneyliler Empire, sometimes even comparable to Padişah. In the modern Güneyliler Empire, a Sultan is the formal honorific of a title-holder in Sendras.
- Bey is the Güneyliler equivalent of Ser. It is used to refer to men in a respectful way.
- Hatun is the Güneyliler equivalent of Lady/Madame. It is used to refer to women in a respectful way.
- Reis is an appellation that is used in non-formal occasions when one may want to refer to someone respectfully without coming off as too professional or pretentious.
- Hanım, is an address that is used to refer respectfully to a woman in casual settings. It can be used for women of any age, teenage or elderly.
- Aga is a less formal way to refer to a man who may be a close friend or a respectful individual to the person using the honorific. To utilize this suffix when referring to a person of higher authority is however considered a grave disrespect.
- Efendi is a suffix that can be used when speaking to males above the age of forty. Efendi is less of a title and more of a word that is similar to ‘elderly’. Efendi has multiple uses however; a servant may refer to their lord as their Efendi, even if they are not elderly, this is socially acceptable and imparts a sense of deep respect from the servant.
- Hoca is a suffix that is used when referring to a male religious individual who is in service to a holy establishment, while the head of the holy establishment is called Imam. This appellation is only utilized when referring to pious and holy figures.
The Güneyli cities do not comply with the aristocratic structure of their Empire and, instead, are individualistic in how they enforce local laws and dispense justice. In the capital city of Güney, however, law and justice is entirely dictated by the laws of the state as opposed to the laws of the city (which were abolished in 240 AC). The people of Güneyliler have also incorporated the laws and guidelines of the Ibadet religion into their state laws. Therefore, the structure of justice is rather simple; respect to the Yaradan will usually keep one out of any trouble with the law while those who do not are punished. While the rules are simple, they are often unequal in terms of gender roles, for which many women of Güneyliler make their opposition clear. The penalties and punishments are also extremely brutal in comparison to the Regalian Empire; the simplest act of crime can sometimes result in what one would consider a very undeserved execution. In such regard, the justice system of the Güneyliler is one very strict and unforgivingly cruel. These religion-influenced state laws follow as is described below.
- Rule of İnanç is the first and foremost law in the Güneyli states. It dictates that the Güneyliler must follow the religion of Ibadet, to serve it willingly and to vow never to stray from their faith. In the aftermath of acquiring the Mevoriim as a client people, this law was expanded to include their belief system as an original variation of the collective faith and, as time has gone on, also accepted the faith of Unionism, much to the displeasure of the Mevoriim. Those that follow the two acceptable but non-Ibadet religions have a small tax levied at the end of each month, with the poor, a status defined by the state, exempt from paying.
- Rule of Yardım, which dictates that the people of Güneyliler must always help the poor and the needy. Be it feeding a starving man in the street or giving a homeless man coin, it is considered a religious act and therefore law to help the helpless. While there are some who try to exploit this rule by pretending to be in need, there exists an amendment to the rule that states those who are exposed when trying to exploit will be met with the removal of their hands as punishment.
- Rule of Sadakat is a rule that is focused majorly on married women. A Güneyli woman is expected to obediently engage in marriage with the man their fathers deem suitable and to fulfill their duties as a wife regardless of whether their loyalty is returned or not. This is a rule often debated and opposed by women, judging it as unequal and unnecessarily demanding of them.
Lifestyle and Customs
Family dynasties are very deeply rooted with the Güneyliler, with most people having a lineage extending back to those first exiled by the Mevoriim. The concept of marriage is simple, as women are not allowed to pick their own husbands. By law, the father of the woman always selects the husband-to-be, making most if not all of the Güneyli marriages arranged by the parentage of the woman in mention. This is a concept very unappreciated by women today, as they feel the time for arranged marriages that once made sense over a century ago in order to incorporate the Qadir into the population pool no longer serve any purpose. Some of them express their displeasure by running away from home and perform illegal marriages with their loved ones. Men who have to watch their lovers be married off to another often resort to kidnapping their lovers, however, always with their consent. It is surprising that Güneyli women are often willing to be kidnapped by their lover so that they can escape an arranged marriage. However, doing this always results in endangering the man performing the kidnapping, as blood feuds and vendettas are very prominent and common in Güneyli families. These generally result in someone's death, an act that has been named as “honor killing” in order to correct the perceived slight to one’s manhood to have their bride stolen away, along with other inter-familian matters should they exist.
In their law, Güneyli men are allowed at least three wives. Not all of them abide to this privilege, however, and it is not uncommon to see a man committing to only one woman in his life. It is an allowance that is commonly exploited more by the aristocratic and wealthy men, who prefer to marry one woman of low birth and another of high birth, as they associate women of lesser value as the more loyal and loving ones while deeming the highly women as an image of beauty and appeal. In aristocratic families, the children of the rulers often compete over heirdom and it is not uncommon to see brothers killing each other for the sake of succession. Therefore, fratricide is dangerously and concerningly common in aristocratic Güneyli families, with heirs generally having to watch out for assassins in the shadows or poison in their goblets. In history, Güneyli men have not only assassinated their brothers in order to be the first in the line of succession, but some heirs have even gone as far as to kill their fathers in order to inherit their titles and wealth immediately. As such, a disregard for familial loyalty appears to be dominant in the elite and high-class families of Güneyliler, but at the same time, some have shown an extreme, deep bond that gives their family strength rather than weaken it through this feuding.
The gender roles of the Güneyliler has often been a case that deliberately resulted in long-lasting debates within the confines of their lands, eventually causing a turmoil between the men and the women due to their differing beliefs in the roles of gender and the duties of men and women. This escalated to the point where all-women organizations were established among the females of Güneyli society who relentlessly fought for the rights of women and still actively do so to this day. Güneyliler are strictly patriarchal and do not believe in the rule of women in any case. The separation of gender roles is categorized as so; men are to lead and women are to serve them. As such, women are unexceptionally barred from any kind of leading roles. Because of this cultural inequality and naive enforcement of male favoritism, women are never family leaders, they are never allowed to serve in military, and they never lead or partake in any kind of governmental institute or establishment. The role of women in the eyes of Güneyliler is believed, and enforced, to be one loyal wife who serves her husband, takes care of his hygiene, obediently provides his daily needs, and provides him with the affection and loyalty that comes from marriage, even if it is not returned. The women are expected to stay at home and attend to the daily necessities that are born from the concept of marriage and perform as a loyal significant other, while the man's role is to lead, to fight, and to rule.
Although there are some women who stand against this cultural belief of undermining women's abilities, most of them are forced into compliance with their cultural image and fulfill as they are expected, either out of respect or out of fear of their husbands. In spite of this, there have, in history, been numerous Güneyli women who fought for the rights of women, some even having succeeded in the legislation they have pushed, such as making it optional for Güneyli women to cover their hair, as opposed to making it a strictly enforced set of laws to cover themselves entirely. Thus, it is no unknown fact that the women of Güneyliler are as strong-willed and capable as their men. It is not a case of incompetence that rules the women out of leading positions, but rather the ignorance and naivety of the men in charge.
The Güneyliler are known for the distinct, and sometimes controversial, holidays that they possess. For the people of Güneyliler, any and every kind of victory must be noted into the pages of their history and should be celebrated for the rest of their lifetime. Contrary to the brutal and barbaric imagery that has been branded upon their name, the Güneyliler are in actuality very jovial people and well capable of entertainment and theatrics. It is because of this remarkable prowess that certain festivities of the Güneyliler are commonly adorned in many kinds of flashy and elegant shows and decorations, with men in costumes entertaining the townsfolk and cultural music playing in every part of the city. On the dates of these fantastic holidays, it is not an uncommon sight to see foreign people from other sovereignties and towns traveling to the city of Güneyliler to witness the celebrations and shows that take place. Despite the many events of festivity littered throughout the Güneyli calendar, there is only a numbered amount of holidays that are actually worthy of note and are more often than not revolving around the demands of their religion.
- Oruç, the month of Fasting: This celebration takes place during the month of May, and lasts from the 4th day until the last. It is a religious holiday that dictates all pious believers of the Yaradan must enter fasting. It is believed to be a holiday that grants the believer an understanding of the struggles of the poor and the helpless and urges them to feed who is starved, thus committing a good deed by the will of the Yaradan.
- Kurban, the month of Sacrifice: This takes place during the month of August, and lasts from the 11th day until the 15th. During these specified days, sheep from farms and the outskirts of the city are gathered and sacrificed to the Yaradan. The meat that is collected from the sheep are distributed amongst themselves to be donated to the poor and starved as an act of service that is said to be blessed by the Yaradan.
Religion is a concept very prominent and outwardly domineering in the lands of Güneyliler, as most of their cultural laws and expectations derive from the rules and scriptures pertaining to their religion. The Güneyliler are worshippers of the Ibadet religion, a technical subset of the Mevoriim religion known as Muz'havel, though the Güneyliler do not openly disclose this very often except in times of great respect. The Ibadet system of belief directs worship towards a deity that is believed by the Güneyliler to be their spiritual leader. The deity of Ibadet does not have a formal name. However, it is formally referred to as the Yaradan. Engravings of this name can often be found in Ibadet scriptures on cave walls in the walls of historical venues and caverns that are located in the eastern coastal regions of the Sendrassian landmass.
The worship of Yaradan is an ecclesiastical act amongst the obedient believers, performed in one of the two specific locations; either in the confines of one's own household or in a mosque. The worship of Ibadet is always arranged during certain hours of the day and happens once every six hours. It is not mandatory to take attention to praying in every pre-specified hour. These mosques only exist in their own capital city and nowhere else, and, as such, it is common to witness the pious people of Güneyliler traveling back to their homelands on a certain day of the month to provide prayers for the Yaradan. The act of worship is simple yet intricate; in order to proceed with a prayer for the Yaradan, the believer in mention must kneel on a special kind of carpet decorated in writs of Ibadet scriptures, which is a religious item that is absolutely necessary for a proper prayer that can only be acquired by visiting one of the Mosques in the capital city of Güney. Once knelt on this carpet, the believer must hold their hands out, palms facing the ceiling, then lower their heads and begin to quietly chant the prayers of Ibadet under their breath. Praying sessions of Ibadet can vary in how long they last depending on the length of the scripture being chanted; an average prayer will usually take up to at least ten minutes.
For Güneyliler, it is considered completely disrespectful against the Yaradan to not pray at least three times a week and those who refuse to comply with the expectations of their religion are always met with brutal punishment while within their capital lands. These punishments may range from the removal of hands to being stoned to death. It is because of this penalty that the people of Güneyliler are some of the most religious and pious people on earth and live their life entirely by dictation of their faith. The Ibadet religion lists a number of rules that all believers must abide to in their lifetime; these rules are in fact less of a rule and more of a guide that teaches one how to live in reverence to the Yaradan. These rules are so extremely obeyed amongst the Güneyliler that they’ve even gone as far as to corporate them into the state laws of their capital city.
Literature and Folklore
The literature of the Güneyliler consists majorly of writs and compositions and, more often than not, is written by the males. It is true to assume that there is little to no women involved in literary arts and most of it is written in the old dialects of the Güneyce language. Despite this,in recent years, authors and translators have begun to update the literary works of old Güneyce into the recent and more modernized Common-influenced Güneyce, so that they can pass on even after decades have passed since their creation. The literary development of the Güneyliler Culture was rather belated and did not truly take place until after the Güneyliler began expanding their number of settlements from 150 to 200 AC. With the emergence of the Güneyliler Empire, there were many war stories to be told and many kinds of literary projects began to rise amongst those who held ability with the pen and a vast mind available for creative thought. The Güneyliler literature often comes along with the folklore and legends; most of the literary works being one way or another influenced by the folk stories and poetry. Indeed, there are many poets among the Güneyliler, a foundation of young writers and inspired philosophers arranging get-togethers in order to brainstorm improvements and fresh additions to the future of the literaturistic creations of the Güneyliler Culture. Despite this involvement in literary arts, the Güneyliler people have never been able to shake off of their grand focus in military mind, and therefore, even today, it is an unlikely dream to visualize a day when poetries, theatrics and folk epics will ever stand in a place of importance.
The Güneyliler have a philosophy comparable to the Mevoriim in that there is a level of arrogance and aggression concerning their beliefs around religion and themselves. The exact shape these take, though, is markedly different. For one, the Güneyliler may see themselves as important in the world, but they do not believe they are the only chosen people in Aloria. For one, there are the Mevoriim, who most Güneyliler respect to some degree as equals, but also the fact that the Güneyliler are far more accepting of religious pluralism than they appear. They accept Unionism, a move largely calculated to put them in the good graces of the Regalian Empire, but many have genuinely come to believe in the religious equality of those faiths who believe in a great, transcendent being. Despite this, they do not possess equality, as non-Ailor, with the exception of the Qadir, are often harshly discluded from their societal order. But they are not based in slavery. The large influx of Qadir fleeing the enslavement practices of the Songaskia has thus far made their nation one disliking the lower caste, but dedicated to protect them from being seized and carried off into servitude. This was once a real issue, but as a result of all the calamities that have befallen Farah’deen and the Songaskian Masaya since 302 AC, the threat seems unlikely to return anytime soon. As for Güneyliler aggression, while the Mevoriim largely lack sophisticated war technology and are more aggressive in words, the Güneyliler possess a formidable war machine to protect their nation from hostile jungle creatures while also maintaining order across their landscape. As a result, they have great pride in military accomplishment and military service, with many young men from their society of physical prowess feeling the pressure of enlisting themselves. While not yet at the stage of glorifying conquest, largely thanks to the complications of absorbing such a closely tied people into their nation, should the Güneyliler Empire expand into other inhabited regions, it is likely to begin in force.
Güneyliler Culture is limited as far as fantastical stories go, as their ancestors considered it profane to spread myths and rumors about beings that were not the Yaradan. Instead, there existS what most would classify as “urban legends,” myths born in the urban cities of the region with little to no basis in anything other than absurd ideas. One of the most popular is that the success of a potential marriage can be put to test by breaking a vine into three pieces and planting them into the ground. If the planted vines begin to sprout, it means that the marriage in mention is to be a successful endeavor. In the eastern regions, there is a common belief that children who have trouble learning to walk can be cured by tying a lace between the feet of the child and then cutting said lace after a Friday prayer to the Yaradan. This ‘solution’ stems from the belief that an invisible lace exists between the feet of children who cannot walk, and therefore it is believed that tying a lace between and cutting it effectively cuts the invisible lace as well.
The Güneyliler have a deep appreciation for art in all its many forms and possess a unique set of areas they focus on to express their artistic ability unseen in most other Ailor Cultures. The simplest but more prolific is the art of scribe-work. While the Mevoriim deeply respect the letters and words of their alphabet, the complexity and fluid grace of writing calligraphy inherited from the Qadir into Güneyce script led to the artification of the scribed word. While this certainly doesn’t carry on to every document, an individual’s signature or seal they use to stamp documents is meant to be beautiful, natural, and possess a life all its own. This artification of writing also extends into weaving, as tapestries and especially the prayer carpets the Güneyliler use in their worship use beautiful, but still functional lettering, in their design. There is a limit, though, and a tapestry entirely devoted to a single letter is less respected than one dedicated to several, especially if they make up a word or even can be rearranged to make more. Their woven artwork is also notable for making frequent use of red. Indeed, bright colors as a whole are a mark of Güneyliler artwork, as the plant life of Sendras, especially in their region, is vibrant and easily made into bright dyes. Another example of this brightness in color is Atakapı Pottery, a style of pottery from the same-named city in the east of Güneyliler territory. It makes use of complex patterns of blue vegetation and figures set against a pure white backdrop, with minor areas of red and yellow on most objects. A final example of this brightness can be found in the frescos and surface artwork that covers interior surfaces in the structures of middle to upper-class Güneyliler citizens. Even their military forts contain majestic paintings upon their walls and ceilings, all dedicated to telling the history of a location. Civilian homes could show ancient religious scenes and their ancestors from the original group of exiled Mevoriim, while military structures could display beautiful artwork of great hunts or victories in conflict.
Many might expect the Güneyliler to pay as much attention and care to the art of music as they do to the visual arts. Unfortunately, this is not so, and so Güneyliler music remains crude, with simple repeating tunes played on a limited number of instruments, though foreign influences have been pushing those who perform for regional aristocracy to innovate and change to become grander. Drums, flutes, and harps are most prominent in the music halls of Güneyli holdings and venues, alongside their own instrument, the Kemençe. This device is a short-necked fiddle with three strings, played by a bow, and roughly fulfills the role of a violin in their society.
The people of Güneyliler possess a very diverse sense of fashion, most often compared to those styles found in the Szabadok and Etosian Cultures, albeit with a touch of their own style. While the wealthy and aristocratic people are able to adorn their bodies indistinct and colorful attires, the common people are often only concerned about covering themselves. For men, there is a leisure that comes with fashion in the Güneyli society; it is often not considered brutish or inappropriate to show chest, arms, or even waist. Women, on the other hand, have to cover themselves entirely, all the way up to the neck while they are in public, bar the hands and the face, as the etiquette of their religion dictates that females are only allowed to reveal their body parts to their husband and nobody else. Even something as little as an exposed shoulder or a collarbone is likely to result in the reputation of the woman being completely tarnished. The Güneyliler have their own traditional clothing items; men are often seen wearing a Fez, a red hat shaped like a cylinder with a flat top and a tassel attached to its crown. Although optional, women commonly wear the Hijab, a headscarf made of thin cloth that covers the hair. The common wear for a male Güneyli is a long vest worn over a shirt with large loose sleeves and a Shalvar for trousers, a form of legwear that is baggy and decorated in colorful patterns. It is not uncommon to see forms of waist scarves in decorative symbols and extravagant colors. Women, on the other hand, often wear a full-body dress called a Kaftan, optionally combined with the Hijab. They prefer to include many colors in their attires, designs, and patterns on the fabric of the cloth that make them stand out in public.
The use of jewelry is very common among women, even going as far as to decorate their faces and ears in many kinds of piercings and jewelry. In simplicity, women are allowed to dress as nicely as they desire and adorn themselves with many kinds of jewelry, so long as their body is Culture-appropriately covered. The women often tie their hair into braids with many jewels attached as well as decorative clips, but are also commonly seen with a tied bun in more casual situations. It is considered vulgar for women to wear their hair down and not tied in some way, as it often culturally alludes to selling one's body for pleasure. Facial hair is often considered part of the fashion in Güneyliler, as most Güneyli men possess a burly and rough look if their facial hair is not maintained or trimmed. Güneyliler men most commonly wear their facial hair in curly mustaches. It is often a rare sight to see a Güneyli man who does not possess some kind of facial hair. Makeup is considered to be an agender practice of beauty, as men can be seen utilizing makeup as much as women do, however on a far less scale, and commonly on the eyes and on the nails, but never on the lips or cheeks,which is considered for women.
Güneyliler architecture takes many of the same ideas from the visual art of the Güneyliler people. The major feature is that of color, especially in the houses of the lower classes. All mashed together, home blocks are all painted a distinct bright hue on the outside and feature exposed wooden beams on the outside. These homes are also known for small sections jutting out, existing above the street and “supported” at the bottom by largely decorative wooden supports. Beneath these plaster on stone and wooden outside, homes are firmly gender segregated, as even the poorer families will use cloth to divide up what space they have for certain uses. The inside walls of these homes are, as previously mentioned, often possessing at least one work of artwork, in addition to other proper furnishings. The next piece of notable Güneyliler architecture, specifically because it bridges the classes, is the mosque. Mosques consist of a tall building with an ovalular ceiling and a shallow domed or multi-shallow domed roof, attached to a tall tower. The prayer space is rather open, with large open doorways that lead off to paths, gardens, and empty halls for use by the public as need be. All of this is built with white or near-white stones like marble, to exemplify the cleanliness of this holy place, making it the perfect showcase of Güneyliler architecture. The final structures of note are the great Güneyliler fortresses and palaces, massive structures that sit at the heart of every city or in essential military-controlled areas. They are notable for their similarity to mosques, but are different in the existence of thick walls all around their grounds, with only one large gate as a legitimate method of departure or entrance, as well as golden decoration and embellishments everywhere in addition to these structures often being much larger, with a number of areas from gardens to pools to housing areas for servants.
Güneyliler cuisine is diverse and exotic thanks to a variety of plants native to the south and east of the world being grown or shipped to the Güneyliler people for their food. Much like the Mevoriim, the Güneyliler diet has plenty of meat in it, from seafood from the lakes, rivers, and nearby saltwater coastline to mutton, or the flesh of some of Sendras’ reptilian and insectoid life to pork, as the Güneyliler have not rejected Susids as the Mevoriim have. The Güneyliler are also notable for inventing Chawarma, a form of cooking meat on a vertical spit before strips are cut off vertically to be served. This form of cooking is very common in Güneyliler homes but also on the street, with Qadir-influenced mechanisms supporting and cutting the meat as required to sell to passers-by. The Güneyliler are also well known for Dolma, a small collection of dishes that represent stuffed foods, from stuffed mussels to stuffed and cooked plant leaves. In addition to this, the Güneyliler heavily focus on the use of spices, nuts and garnishes, each of which has a special place at a meat. Herbs are most suitable for breakfast and lunch, spices are usually only for dinner, while nuts and some of the most expensive spices are only for special treats like pastries, desserts, or celebratory foods. One of their most notable desserts is Güneyliler Pleasure, a sweet confection where fruit, nuts, or just plain sweetness is contained within edible gel. As for drinks, the Güneyliler are a bit more diverse than their northern cousins, with wines and ales consumed on a daily basis instead of just at celebration, in addition to the water and animal milks enjoyed throughout the region.
Güneyliler sports revolve around wargames, the outgrowth of Padişah Süleyman Bey’s desire that the young men of his future Empire grow up learning skills useful to them as soldiers. As a result, archery, horse races, paddling, gymnastics, and even fencing are all practiced in order to keep the body fit and the mind sharp. Such skills culminate in elaborate matches of “capture the flag” which involves a lot of tackling, hiding, and stealth as such matches are rarely, if ever, fought on an empty field. Tournaments in each of these sports are held monthly on a rotating schedule in the major cities, with fabulous prizes to winning teams, and are often a source of local pride as groups from surrounding villages head into the city to compete in such festivities.
The Güneyliler are the inventors of the Hookah (also known as the Shisha and Narghile), a water pipe that is used to smoke plantlife or drugs and experience its effects through direct inhalation before being blown out of the user’s mouth. While entertaining and visually interesting, this style of use often heavies to the head of the user, and unless one is an experienced user, the Hookah is more than likely to cause spinning heads. The use of hookah is very consistent and common amongst the Güneyliler and, while most assume it only men who engage in the activity, women can as well, though in the comfort of their own home. Another leisurely activity that is common amongst the Güneyliler is to study war, alongside a host of other topics that all work to create a generally cosmopolitan populace, learned in many areas of study so that they might better develop themselves.
- Many Güneyliler people in the wider world are confused upon first meeting to be Etosian, due to their shared traits of tanned skin and dark hair, as well as a similarly exotic Language. The Güneyliler consider this to be offensive.