|Common Names||Spiritual Song-lovers, Hadravians|
|Social Classes||Priests, Mystics, Builders, Architects, Traders, Merchants, Herders, Miners, Farmers, Soldiers|
|Major Cities||Tera-desita, Wenib, Regireg, Shebann|
The Hadrav’yan people are an ancient one from the age of the Sariyd Empire and a time before the deep troubles that eventually plagued Farah’deen. In the wake of the Cataclysm and then the Great Storm, the region’s racial makeup was divided between Ailor, Qadir and Songaskia, which ultimately led to a unique blend of visuals, ideals and societies. When Unionism reached these lands through unofficial channels, it was embraced by the people, but so altered the region’s relations with its neighbors that war has been almost a constant companion for this society for years. However, with aid from the Regalian Empire and their determination of spirit, they have survived and thrived in the name of the Spirit, and seek to one day join the magnificence that is the rest of the Unionist community as equals.
- 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 Symbols
- 11 Trivia
The Hadrav’yan people have a blended origin truly unique in Aloria and one that could only have happened in a land as fascinating as Farah’deen. Before the Cataclysm, the region later known as Hadravia was largely outside of the control of the Sariyd Empire. Instead, a trio of Qadir city-states prospered in the region and they were considering expanding into the nearby foreign land now known as Essalonia themselves and joining the Sariyd colonists already in the south. However, the Cataclysm drastically altered these plans. One of the city-states found half of its population dead in a devastating earthquake-minor tsunami combo, alongside the seas half flooding the other coastal city-state in this triad of three. The inland nation immediately offered its aid and subsumed the other two under its control. It was also around this time that Ailor reached the region. Where they came from is somewhat unknown even today, though most believe they were Ceardian Ailor fleeing Ceardia pushed off course by the Cataclysm into the far more humid territory of Farah’deen. Others believe that they were Velheim Ailor pushed off course and a final theory claims they were Ailor privateers with former Altalar slaving vessels who headed for the nearest coastline to avoid the turbulent seas. Their arrival provoked some surprise from the Qadir but not shock, as the Race had long been aware of people from beyond the shores of their desert continent. The Ailor, however, seemed greatly distressed and conflict erupted between them and the Qadir. The battles ultimately ceased around 40 AC when the Sariyd Empire got involved, brokering a peace between the two parties to help bring order to the region in their quest to focus on the interior of their continent given the chaos of the seas. There then was peace for over a century, the Ailor and Qadir intermarrying extensively and their Cultures slowly blending together.
The Great Storm provided the next great injection of population and tradition into the region. What had once been a sprawling state with many cities built on clean rivers and a robust government bureaucracy, collapsed when well over half the population was obliterated in the terrifying event. Those that survived scraped out an existence for the next two decades, their society in chaos and lacking an understanding of what had happened. But the rumors of Dragon-children soon came true, as a group of Songaskia from the south came into northern Farah’deen pursuing fleeing Qadir. What they found was a weakened people and a rapid conquest ensued as it had in other areas of the continent. However, these Songaskia then stayed and came to rule over the population. Why they stayed is somewhat confusing, but the most commonly spouted myth claims that the Spirit of the Sun itself descended to these Songaskia and told them to stay. It vested them with protecting the region and to respect the Ailor and Qadir found there, before vanishing back into the rays of light that it came from. Thus, the state of Hadravia was born from the ashes of another and the rebuilding progress was swift. Within 20 years, great architectural work was being accomplished to help the region recover and their unique variety of faith was being born. It was now that the third and final cultural shift arrived. Zealous, though somewhat rogue, Unionist elements hired a pair of vessels to carry them to “exotic lands” where they might preach the word of the Spirit. The fervor of the Skagger Wars had compelled them to this act of devotion, but rather than head to the north, they proceeded east and found themselves in Hadravia. This was also technically the first contact between Regalians and Hadravia, though in a very unofficial capacity. Confronted by such an assembly of diverse Races and their blended society, the Unionists were assimilated into them rather than assimilating these others into the Empire.
The result of this was a unique religious shift that saw Oldt Fayth and Qadir polytheism mixed into Songaskian sun and ancestor worship in addition to Unionist ideas on the Spirit and Humans. When the Regalian Empire properly visited the region, they were at first aghast by what they saw as a perversion of Unionism. The reaction was the same from the Songaskia of the Songaskian Masaya, who immediately turned to Hadravia’s neighbors to make them puppets in a conflict to destroy the Ailor and Unionism-influenced state. Regalia was compelled to help the Hadrav’yans, largely to serve as a regional ally, and because their gut reaction was quelled by the religious leadership and Morgann Kade himself. He liked the Hadrav’yans, likely because of his ego and the fact that they worshiped the sun, himself being the Golden Sun Chancellor, and so he met at least once with the “Sun Child,” the title officially given to the leader of Hadravia. This birthed an alliance that lasted over the following decades, with Hadravia being supplied weapons and material for staying strong in the war against the proxies of the Masaya in the region; Saruhanna and Malifant. The alliance eventually came to an end. The First Songaskian War and Hadravian War campaign within it saw Hadravia make great gains, only to be made to give them up. Then came the chaos of the Bone Horror Crisis, when Hadravia’s long wars and disasters came back to haunt them in the form of thousands of Bone Horrors; the remains of countless dead brought back to life. Regalia was not there to help them and from this point on, Hadravia has largely severed the old alliance between themselves and the Regalians. Regalian traders and others are still welcome in the land and it remains commercially inclined toward Ailor regions, but the old deals between the two governments have long since concluded. Hadravia has even entered into peaceful trading relations with its former enemy neighbors in order to prevent more explosive or destructive conflicts and to better unite their focus on what they consider to be the true threat: the many thousands of Bone Horrors who still live in Farah’deen.
Language and Dialects
K’alatibiri is the tongue of the Hadrav’yan people and a complex one. The base was a Faraddi-adjacent Language, spoken by those Qadir in the region that became Hadravia, which was warped by the Ceardian spoken by the Ailor arrivals soon after the Cataclysm and finally Sofaal, to top off a complex cake of sounds. In addition, there is the K’ala Script, the complex written form of K’alatibiri that at its core, is the same as the written language of the region 300 years ago. The arrival of outsiders merely added letters and small changes to the lettering, to the point that the locals today can read documents and carvings from their long-ancestors as easily as they could newly written books.
Hadrav’yan names are simple and function much like most others, with a first name and a surname. Where things grow complex is in their middle name, known as a Sun-Name that can be seen to somewhat mimic the style of the Ithanians, except it is reversed. Rather than refer to the position of the moon, the Hadrav’yans use a set of eighteen terms for the certain time an individual was born in reference to the sun. These are:
- T’efit-Ts’ehāyi: Slitted Sun, sunrise, which lasts from two to six in the morning.
- Kifiti’āyini-Ts’ehāyi: Open-Eye Sun, which lasts from six to eight in the morning.
- Zik’it-Ts’ehāyi: Low Sun, which lasts from eight to ten in the morning.
- Mehali’zik-Ts’ehāyi: Low-Mid Sun, which lasts from ten to eleven fifty-nine in the morning.
- Aaeli-Ts’ehāyi: High Sun, when it is noon exactly.
- Zik’i’ma’zik-Ts’ehāyi: Lowering Mid-Sun, which lasts from twelve-oh-one to two in the afternoon.
- Zik’i’ma-Ts’ehāyi: Lowering Sun, which lasts from two to four in the afternoon.
- Mezigati-Ts’ehāyi: Closed-Eye Sun, which lasts from four to six in the afternoon/evening.
- K’urit-Ts’ehāyi: Fragment Sun, sunset, which lasts from six to ten in the evening.
For those children born at night, the suffix -ch’el is added, short for “dark” and is instead based on the motions of the moon as for the Hadrav’ya, the two bodies are mirrors of each other and the moon can be used to track the unseen progress of the sun. Additionally, there is the “Sunless Times” of ten in the evening to two in the morning, a four hour period where it is believed that no part of the world is touched by the sun and the Spirit rests himself. Any children born during this time receive the Sun-Name “Ārefu” which means rested. As for first names, they can be Hadravizations of Ceardian, Qadir, and Songaskian names but there are a number that are unique to the independent Hadravia region, going back centuries. Some examples below:
Hadrav’yan laws are simple in writing and in practice, with clear right and wrong spelled out in their society as it had been for some 300 years. Many of the standard laws exist; no murder, thievery is not tolerated and so on. Hadrav’yan law has an emphasis placed on religion and specific laws related to the monasticism so present in their society. Protections are strong against those who would harm or damage monks and their property, these protections even extending to the more radical and isolated mystics which dot the local mountains. In return for these protections, long-standing in Hadrav’yan society, monasteries pay taxes and help keep social order through religious unity. Additionally, their society has laws particularly focused on trade and relations with other nations, which have various “levels” based on the period of time. For example, a people who Hadravia is at peace with would see “Open Level” laws occur. Men and women are considered equal under Hadrav’yan law, and so are able to inherit property and protect themselves fully against harassment or harm from bad husbands and male individuals. These laws are overseen by the judicial caste known as the Firedi. Their position has long been hereditary, and they are sedentary law-givers as opposed to the roaming jurisdiction of the Yet͟s’eḥāyi-Liji (Sun Child) who oversees the nation in a rotational shift between the three provinces. His judgements are above all others, though to bring a decision before him would only be possible through the Teechisuu Baroni, or “Seated Barons,” the council of 25 nobles that rules the country beneath the Sun Child, and is considered only in the direst and complex of cases. As it stands, only three directly judicial decisions have ever been handed down to a Sun Child since the position was created a century and a half ago.
Lifestyle and Customs
Hadrav’yan beliefs represent perhaps the most liberal views on families in Aloria thanks to its many influences and unique religious viewpoint. To them, no family model is sinful or wrong, save those considered incestuous or morally reprehensible. Instead, the state has allowed a variety of family models to thrive under their watch; the nuclear family of two children and two parents, the farming-style family with two parents and multiple children, and even same-sex parents with children. This is justified by the Hadrav’yans in the infuriating-to-outsiders statement that “all are equal under the sun.” Even polyamorous relationships are accepted, though local leaders do council against them for it causing conflicts with children and if matches are not a hundred percent agreeable to all parties. As for family power and inheritance structures, parents generally set their wills and inheritance themselves, which can sometimes lead to the eldest gaining the majority of the inheritance, or it is divided with a focus on a favored child, or it is broken up as equally as possible. As for extended family and family elders, a general principle of togetherness and unity to bind the family unit together produces whole house blocks in cities and sections of towns devoted to one particular family. The Hadrav’ya are not incapable of moving though and youth tend to travel around a bit when they are young to seek out their job of choice or life path. This family unity has been driven by the state considering the once-routine hostility of external powers toward them, as keeping close to family builds trust.
Hadrav’yan society is completely equal in terms of gender. Women are just as likely to lead a family as men and, while currently only a quarter of the Teechisuu Baroni are women, there was a time when they made up over half of that governing body. Women are even capable of serving in Hadravia’s army, though it is less common than male soldiers. This total equality is the result of Ceardian women toughness, Qadir equality and Songaskian openness in addition to the simple fact that having an entire population active and participating in daily life helps, especially in wartime, which Hadravia has had to suffer through for much of its history. The one place where there had been a lack of “equality” is the position of the Sun Child, as it has always been occupied by a male. However, this isn’t due to any bias against women like how some try to paint it, but simply due to the strange fact that the ruling House of Menelik has consistently had male eldest children. In the rare case when this did not happen, when Leor the Light-bringer, Sixth Sun Child, died in battle without an heir, his sister possessed an eldest son, which saw him raised up immediately. She did not even object as she wasn’t the youthful spirit required by the role.
Hadrav’yan society is rather odd in that they follow several Unionist celebrations and Heron Days, though these are somewhat out of date given that the texts which are for such worship were made between 160 to 180 AC and because they worship them in their own unique way. All of the Summer Unionist holidays are observed in their society, altered slightly to fit their culture, but rather than have individual days for each Heron, Heron Days are packed together in the week that includes June 12th, the traditional Unionist All Herons Day. This week-long festival sees the 29 Herons worshiped by the Hadrav’yans all honored and respected across their nation, with a particular region having a set of seven Herons “patron” to their lands, and so celebrate one each day of the week-long festivities. As for unique festivals, there is Zimita K’eni. The “Day of Rest” occurs on the day of the solar eclipse in Aloria (every 5th of January) and on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year (December 21st). On both occasions, all non-essential work is stopped and the population mutters prayers of resilience, rest, rejuvenation and many others throughout the day to help ensure that the tired Spirit of the Sun gets through his “nap.” At the same time, they themselves perform restful, casual activities and nap extensively, seeking to send their own active and energetic Soul Essence up to him. The day ends with a simple dinner meal of bread and soups shared by all in the community which is often eaten in total silence.
The Hadrav’yans follow a rather interesting strain of Unionism, unique in Aloria for its beliefs. They believe that the Spirit of Unionism is also the Spirit of the Sun, who they name as Donigētayē. This being is above all and rarely if ever shows his power directly on the earth of Aloria, though his basking rays bring constant life and comfort to a once dark world. His only physical appearance was in 145 AC, when he emerged from bright solar rays flanked by two other bright, though lesser, beings. Upon the slopes of Mt. Skeila, he then spoke to the Songaskian conquerors before him and told them to stay and guard these holy lands well. He claimed that all would become souls of purity upon their death if this deed was done, and so he then ascended back into the sky followed by his two attendants, later identified as Adamu and Emiya. So, the Songaskia stayed, and they elevated a Sun Child as their ordained leader as the boy had apparently been touched by the Spirit before he ascended. But Hadrav’yan cosmology does not just have these three figures, but indeed a host of minor Spirits representing lesser parts of the one world “Doni” brought out of darkness. These are:
- Bīhonimi: This Spirit is the Spirit of All Beasts and a composite man of many animal parts. Most commonly he has the head of a Varran, a tail like an Allar and the legs of an Url. He represents all the beastial Races and the animals of Aloria and has a wild, erratic nature. He isn’t evil pre-say and he does have calmer forms, but many of his myths have him as the villain, the individual in the wrong, or the catalyst for chaos.
- Ānik’a: The Spirit of Life Giving, Ānik’a is a water deity made of living water and aquatic plantlife. Seaweed forms her hair and she can never leave the water. She is often a calm and reliable Spirit in reflection of the reliability of mountain rains and springs. She is also a patron of healing and Songaskians who practice Water Element Flow Powers are commonly her priesthood.
- Libu-Libu: Libu-Libu is the Spirit of the Earth, but not the sand, only arable land and plants. He is often depicted to be an older being, rooted to the spot or at the very least slow-moving. His skin is often like that of a cactus and he has a great mane of dried vegetation for a beard and head of hair. He is picky and the elder of all the Spirits, for it was he who was first touched by the light of Donigētayē.
- Bizuwochi: Known as “The Many,” this cluster of remaining Spirits are all Black Desert Dragons. They collectively are the direct children of Donigētayē and govern the sands, skies and rocky mountains, or at least they did. Hadrav’yan mythology states that in anger that their father was ignored by all the Spirits for their own, lesser realms, they created the Great Storm to remind them of his power. But his sadness at their zealous devotion was too much for them and so they died, though they birthed the Songaskians as a successor people to help ensure the worship of the sun continued.
Then there is the moon. The Hadrav’yans have a strange semi-rejection of the moon as a proper celestial body, claiming that it is merely a reflection of the sun or the place that he stores the Soul Essence of the world. The recent Bone Horror Crisis has been explained by the locals as a terrible accident; that the moon cracked and Soul Essence leaked out and fell to Aloria along with shards of the moon, corrupting the mortal world and causing the disaster that arrived.
Hadrav’yan Unionism is a strange, complex thing, but is generally acceptable to the Regalian Empire for three key reasons. The first is that the Spirit is above all others in their faith and to go against him is heretical most vile. The other Spirits are present, but none have the same power as ‘’the’’ Spirit and have largely retreated from the realm of mortals anyway. He is the only true and utter constant in their lives. Additionally, since the rise of the Imperial Dragon, the Hadrav’yans are more convinced than ever that the Spirit is all-powerful, for he resurrected one of his fallen children to live in Aloria once again. Second, they believe in the Herons. They have been respectful of Unionist customs and themselves haven’t declared any Herons other than those followed by the Empire and the Hadrav’yans believe them to be mortals that did a great service in the name of the Spirit. However, they have long desired to have a Heron created; to name their first Sun Child, Akkara, as a Heron of Farah’deen, but the Regalian Empire has never quite been comfortable with that and so the Hadrav’yans have respected their wishes. Third and finally, they believe in the superiority of the Regalian Empire. They are not a vain people and in fact believe that while the Sun Child is an individual touched by the Spirit to rule the nation, the Regalian Emperors are all men, fathers, and therefore senior in rank and position. Additionally, they are not disillusioned about their small size overall when compared with the vast expanse of the Regalian Empire. They believe that someday, they will join the Regalian Empire and their protection of Hadravia in the name of the Spirit is for the eventual day when that transfer of power will come. The Regalians, however, have been careful with such an idea and so, for now, it remains a political dream of the future and not an active or earnest part of the “Hadrav Cult” of Unionism (as it is often referred to). In contrast, the locals call their faith “Mashashali,” translatable to “Glorification” as the sun possesses infinite glory in their eyes and they are glorifying him.
Literature and Folklore
The Hadrav’yans have a robust literary tradition going back decades if not centuries. The most well-known text is the “Yešositi Kibiri” or “The Glory of Three” which dually describes the glorious rise of both the three former city-states from the Hadrav region and then the three Races which helped to birth modern Hadravia. The text is considered authentic by the local population, though most outsiders have their doubts, as it was commissioned by the first Sun Child to mark the coronation of his son. By that time, most argue that the narrative espoused in the text and the tales it tells were solidified as the narrative of the state by the Songaskian upper class. Others disagree, but regardless, this national narrative is extensively taught to the populace and sayings based on the text tend to confuse outsiders. Aside from this text, an extensive breadth of records and technological knowledge are stored within the Gedami (monasteries) of the region. These holy places should be considered junior Hadritya, given their inclination toward knowledge, though often with a religious angle. Hadrav’yan society is also robust in the external literacy they import into their lands, important translation and copy-work taking place in these monasteries and the urban cities of the region as they seek to remain an informed and enlightened people, eager for new ideas and information and tales from Cultures as distant as those in Ithania.
The Hadrav’yan people are relatively simple folk to understand. They are very open to new people and ideas. Their Culture represents a plurality of the beliefs of three different Races successfully blended together and they believe in maintaining that through contact with others. Such an effort is largely successful, as for years Hadravia has served as the only friendly nation in northern Farah’deen for those of the Regalian Empire and other allied nations. While the ports of the Songaskian Masaya were often open, given that the warfare between them and the Regalians was a long and cold, proxy-using conflict, Hadravia offered security and ports where firebombing or the mysterious “vanishing” of some crew members was far less likely to happen. They are also people of great determination and conviction, fully believing in these ideas of equality and openness and have great, passionate strength to help see them through life. They have experienced near-constant war for over a century with outside people and yet have survived, largely due to this strength and unity in their society. They are also pious people and fully believe that their survival is also due to the Spirit that has the right to rule over them and all the Human peoples of the world. Even for those who perhaps doubt that it was because of him that they have been victorious, they instead feel as though they must maintain themselves to ensure their salvation through following his words.
Hadray’yan folklore is dense and filled with stories concerning the Spirits and their interactions with the mortal world. Humans, more often than not ancient Qadir, are often at the center of them and serve as the victims or instigators for what occurs. Some tell of times an individual came to the four lesser Spirits and asked for the answer to a riddle, before the Spirits argue about the answer, while other times the Qadir individual is a great hero seeking some challenging danger from each of their realms to complete a great machine. Other stories tell of times Bīhonimi lusted after Ānik’a and sought to use other Spirits or Humans as his pawns to trap her in her watery form. He always fails and it often rendered him into a calmer being with his body parts more befitting calm, domesticated animals. Then there are the tales involving the Bizuwochi. It is here that Songaskian Dragon Ancestor worship shines through the hardest, as virtually all of the Dragons from the official records kept by the Songaskian Masaya and traditional Songaskians are also maintained here. They are commonly depicted as interacting with Humans and with the other Spirits as is befitting their assigned personalities; Rakka the Gold debating Libu-Libu on matters of agriculture; Inni the White dancing for the pleasure of Ānik’a; Kash the Black gloating of his battle prowess to Bīhonimi; or Birr the Black advising Humans on how to build their cities, for a price of some sort. All of this is then united at the end with the Yek’ut’a Tereti or “Tale of Rage”, the name for the events that led up to the Black Desert Dragons unleashing the Great Storm onto the world.
Hadrav’yan art has often been referred to as “crude,” though that is somewhat rude and a misrepresentation. Their most common artwork is religiously focused and made on panels of wood which feature great and colorful artworks of dark-skinned individuals from their unique Unionist mythology alongside important leaders and religious men from over the centuries. The style is thought by some to contain influences of Khaneh (thanks to a Qadir origin), but is quite decisively unique, with the features of clear outlines in all the images and a common facial profile for all of them; that being two large eyes with large black pupils and a wide, flat, nose, all held in a two-dimensional style. Differences between the sexes and Races is made obvious by a standard set of features as women have a different, longer hairstyle to the curled arrangement of men in the world, and Songaskians are represented by two simple horns and darker skin. Qadir are the base image and Ailor possess paler skin than the usual general tanned look of all the figures. These figures additionally all have what Ailor and other Unionists might call a “halo,” though the Hadrav’ya call it a Dewili’ye Ch’ereri or “a ring of rays,” which represents the light of the Spirit touching them. Half Races are rarely represented in this artwork, largely because, as it is of a religious and historical nature, the Songaskian element that really varied the physical appearance of the group didn’t arrive until much later. The artwork, as previously mentioned, is also very colorful, with deep reds, pure whites, bright yellows and vibrant greens helping to form elaborate images. Aside from this, their visual art is also deemed odd in the realm of pottery, as every jug, amphora and container has the image of a face. These faces are relatively plain in expression with large, “closed” eyes, simple noses and small mouths, but it is a local cultural belief that where there is a neck, there must be a head and so it is done to preserve a “natural law” of the world. Their carvings, done in stone and bone, also commonly follow this more minimalistic style.
The other major feature of Hadrav’yan art are their immense Stelas. Records and ruins demonstrate that the region has been erecting these great and mighty pillars to the heavens since before the Cataclysm, though a number of them fell down as a result of the quakes that shook the region’s coast and a further number fell in the strong winds of the Great Storm. They are monuments to the dead, a record of their life, and are only done for the nobility of the land. The monuments are made from a single piece of carved stone and are carved as if they were a representation of a building. Two doors are carved in at the ground level, with windows all the way up and even the odd balcony or two carved into the rock. This is meant to represent the world and the immense height one must ascend to reach the Spirit of the Sun, but also somewhat a representation of the individual’s social status, as many rooms is equated to much wealth. At the top of all these Stelas is the Sunrock, a semi-circular top section in which is carved the face of the individual whose grave the Stela marks. The face is often extensively marked and painted so as to appear white, a representation of their holiness and place with the Spirit of the Sun. Sun Children also always have at least one piece of Solacrox inserted into their top section as an added representation of the sun’s light. These massive upright grave markers are anchored in the ground by as much as half their size and the chambers over which they stand, are often cramped and simple, designed more for maintaining structural integrity than glorifying the individual gone. The tombs of the Sun Children, however, each have a great tablet which lists their accomplishments in life, while all others only get a scroll or smaller carving of at least one major accomplishment. These graves are additionally Unionist in nature, with the same entombment processes for the rich (that of organ removal and etc). The tallest is 70 feet from the ground up, not counting the 30 feet underground, though the true tallest is the Stela of the Lost Kings, which fell down shortly after the Cataclysm and its broken pieces reveal it to have been some 100 feet tall.
Hadrav’yan music is a rich aspect of their Culture, divided up into three distinct styles and forms based on region or location. The first is Menifesi Zefeni, or “Spirit Song.” It is a form of music practiced in the various monasteries of the mountains and the more mountainous areas of Hadravia. It prominently features a sistrum (usually incorporated into the staff of a monk or priest) used to keep the beat of liturgical songs, but that sistrum also serves to help call people to prayer. Bells are also used and overall, the music-style can best be described as “metallic” given the high usage of metal instruments and to some, this is considered to be a result of Qadir adapting broken machinery into serving a musical use. Then there is T’efit’afa Zefeni, or “Flat Song.” It represents the open sands and sparse, though heavily controlled, riverbeds so key to the region’s agriculture. The instruments here are wind and string-based, with reed and cane flutes most common in terms of wind instruments, while a variety of lyre known as a Begena is most common in string instruments. The music here is more melancholic, with vocals added when the beat soars into something grander. Finally, there is Ye‘alemi Zefeni, or “World Song,” the music of the urban and coastal regions of Hadravia. Here, instruments and music styles from other parts of Aloria are common and are used to produce festival and celebration music. Dance is also important to each of these songs and areas of music, which most commonly features a circle of people and a pair or small groups of people at the middle being the center of the performance, though those at the edges still stamp, clap and move as traditional beats dictate as they sing.
Hadrav’yan clothing is rather simple and light, made for the consistently sunny days of their homeland. The centerpiece of this fashion is the shamma; a long cotton robe worn by both men and women. It is generally white, though it can be hemmed lightly or extensively with other colors to provide a more colorful look. Men usually wear simple pants beneath the robe, whereas women wear a simple dress, similarly plain unless otherwise adorned by colorful hemming. A similarly-possible to be richly hemmed cloth belt is often wound around the midsection to help keep the shamma closed. During colder times, far more common in the mountains, blankets and coats are wrapped around the upper body for warmth while more substantive pants and dresses are worn by the different sexes. Footswear is commonly simple sandals, if not barefeet, though shoes and boots are often worn by the wealthy or more urban citizens. As for headgear, while men rarely wear anything if not the military (where simple caps are present on officers and overall, clothing is shorter to allow rapid motion) women often wear simple scarves or shawls, again capable of being richly hemmed. Jewelry in their society is often bead-based, with minimal Gold and precious materials outside of the decorations of the nobility and the monasteries. Women’s hair is sometimes laced with these beads, but more often than not (especially in the case of older women), their hair is hidden under a shawl and is not seen. In addition to this local style, traditional fashion of the Qadir and the Songaskia are still common across the region due to the cultural blend Hadrav’ya represents.
Hadrav’yan architecture is unique in Aloria, based on ancient designs from the city-states that once existed in the region, with influences from more traditional Qadir design, Ailor ideals and Songaskian finesse. The overwhelming number of Hadrav’yan structures are of the same simple construction. This style, characteristic to the region, features alternating layers of stone and wood for walls, with roofs and floors created by the wooden parts of the structure. Additionally, the wooden parts tend to jut out a bit, and these protruding support beams are commonly called “Spirit Heads” by the pious population, some even carving these protrusions to appear as the Spirits they reference. The roofs of these structures are commonly simple tiling, and the overall shape of buildings is one of right angles, either square or rectangular, with few curves. Most rural settlements have these walls exposed, leaving the impression of their somewhat slapdash construction (even though such buildings are actually fairly sturdy) but those in more urban areas often have whitewashed exteriors and possibly even interiors, helping present a clean, bright environment. This whitewashing is also common in the region’s monasteries, which share much with this simple housing style. The only difference is their routine location at elevated locations, two, and sometimes even three, stories and a generally more complex floor plan. Some are even built into ancient Qadir ruins, from either the era before the Cataclysm or the Great Storm. However, a few monasteries entirely shirk this design philosophy in favor of the unique rock-hewn approach, which features a structure directly carved out of the surrounding mountain rock. This arose in response to the many wars Hadravia has had with its neighbors, as frontier churches were routinely destroyed by the enemy seeking to remove this corruption of Shambala from the land. The Hadrav’yan people instead chose to hide their monasteries among the rocks, sometimes even carving structures vertically down on a rock plain and thus resulting in a unique underground church.
The villas and estates of the nobility, however, follow the same design principles of wood and stone as mentioned earlier and use the same style of wall construction, though it is often far more controlled and elegant, with precisely cut blocks and fine timber used to make these homes. However, over the years, a number of villas have added entirely stone additions as a symbol of power and prestige. The final note to make about Hadrav’yan architecture is its impressive engineering projects. Before the Cataclysm, the region possessed several fine dams and great waterways to help transport water to more arid areas untouched by the scattered green spaces. The damage from that event took years to fix, but then the Great Storm came, and now a majority of the region’s dams lie in ruins. Despite all of this, the region has made great strides to fix its damaged aqueducts and other water distribution systems, which today have helped the region support dozens of cities and towns in otherwise hostile terrain. These aqueducts are marvelously strong, reinforced through metal and other means, and represent the strong spine of the region’s survival. Without these works, Hadrav’ya’s interior would likely become greatly depopulated within just a few short years.
Hadrav’yan cuisine has been described by some as “light” and this could be considered true. It is rare for great haunches of animal to be roasted and eaten in this society and a number of their meals heavily involve the mixing of a variety of plants with smaller amounts of meat in colorful dishes. The most obvious example of this is found in We̠t, a mixture of onions and other plants in addition to different types of meat, producing a wide variety of variants. It could most easily be considered a “dip” of some sort, though it is nutritious and fairly heavy. It is often, if not always, paired with a local variety of bread known as Tenesadabo, a flat sourdough-based creation used to grab or sop up We̠t for consumption. Desserts in the region are scarce, but more urban areas tend to have local variants on a number of dishes from wider Aloria due to the foreign foodstuffs present which aid in this. As for drinks, the region has a number of alcoholic beverages produced from regional monasteries and long-standing noble-run operations such as Ānit͟s’eba, a golden, honey-mead-like drink produced since 189 AC.
The Hadrv’yan people have been at war for years and so it makes sense that their sports are geared toward things to help improve their combat abilities and mobility as an army. The most obvious is displays of fencing, where combatants use blunted shotels (the region’s signature weapon, a unique long and curved blade) in a delicate dance of poise and precision. The length of the blade makes such contests almost like stalking matches, each participant circling their opponent looking for an advantage or willing an attack to come. There is also extensive track sports, from distance running to sprints, all to help build endurance and physical strength for war marches. Despite war not having come to the Hadrav’ya again, and looking more and more likely to not arrive at all, the nation continues these sports in order to prepare their people for attacks from Bone Horrors, the new weekly menace across their arid land.
The Hadrav’yans are passionate in their piety, and so commonly represent themselves as a golden Unionist eye on a field of white, with three rays shining down. This represents not only their following of Unionism, but also the three city-states that once made up the region, the three Races that came together in said region and the three beings who descended from the sky to commune with the Songaskia on the slopes of Mt. Skeila. When not using this symbol, there is the Ānidi-Sositi, or “United Three” of a third of a cog, a third of a ring of fire, and a third made up of one shotel weapon, used to represent the Qadir, Songaskia, and Ailor. This is also sometimes rearranged to feature a cog prominently, with a ring of fire around it all, and two crossed shotels with a banner trailing over the crest stating “For the Spirit!” in K’ala Script.
- Unionists in the Regalian Empire have had mixed reactions to the “Hadrav Cult” for over a century, though in the wake of the First Songaskian War, the opinion has largely been positive.
- The region is filled with ruins going back hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. Most prominent is the “Old Palace,” a Qadir ruin damaged by the Cataclysm and located on a mountain plane in the region’s northwest.
- The Sun Child has never had one permanent home. Instead, he rides across the land through the three provinces followed by a great baggage train as he focuses on knitting the people together, only ceasing his movements to join conflicts when things are looking bad. The Teechisuu Baroni follows him in this and it is rare for them to see their homes for more than a month at a time for the rest of their lives.