Krainivaya

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Krainivaya
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Krainivaya
Pronunciation Krai-nee-va-yah
Common Names Krai, Oltary
Classification Wildland Culture
Origins Oltaran Republican Hegemony (Essalonia)
Dominant Race Ailor
Social Classes Engineers, Writers, Poets, Riders, Farmers, Commanders
Major Cities Kyizamok (capital of Zemlya Obitovana), Kharko, Novhorod and Mosskaya

Origins

The exact origins of the Krainivaya (sometimes also shortened to the Krain or Krai people) is unclear, as they come from a continent with which both the Altalar and Regalians have had very little contact. Early writings and legends have it that the Krainivaya come from the Oltaran Republican Hegemony. There used to be a theory that they came from Mirnoye, but recent expeditions proved this to be just a mis-translation of early Krainivaya language by Regalians. The Krainivaya arrived in the Regalian Archipelago at the height of the Skagger Wars, recounting tales of how events in their homeland had caused a severe disruption of daily life. The massive numbers of Krainivaya who fled from Oltaran (in the hundreds of thousands), were staunch royalists who lost a civil war in the Oltaran state that saw their High King killed and their royalist factions exiled. The Krainivaya offered the crown of the High King to the Emperor of Regalia, who accepted, and pledged to give the Krainivaya new land in Drixagh should they help oust the Skaggers, to which they agreed. Eventually the Krainivaya were given nearly a third of Drixagh when the Skaggers were finally defeated, and thrived within modesty while integrating into the Regalian Empire and swiftly converting to Unionism from their previous, now long-forgotten, monotheistic faith.

Core Identity

Introduction

To be Krainivaya is to thrive in the toughest of conditions and to always have a plan, or a way of moving forward, even when the situation would otherwise cause all others to surrender. They are a people of little means who derive great faith and resilience from spirituality, with a military history of carving out their new homeland, and fostering their own place in the Regalian Empire while preserving their unique identity. The Krainivaya are unusual to the other Cultures, coming from a land far away and having little in common with the other Ailor save for their utter devotion to the Emperor, and their belief in the Everwatcher. To be Krainivaya is to constantly be dealt the toughest of conditions and smile regardless, braving all tragedy with comedy, and not letting bleakness and poverty get in the way of hospitality to others, while also fiercely and protectively defending what is one’s own.

Cultural Alcoholism

It is often said by the other cultures that the Krainivaya are professional alcoholics and, to an extent, this is true. The drinking of alcoholic beverages is permeated deeply in their culture, for a variety of reasons. Primarily, the Krainivaya believe that alcohol is one exceptional way to dull the monotone difficult lives especially the poor among them live but, more importantly, getting drunk together is one of the greatest expressions of friendship and camaraderie. Even the poorest of Krainivaya families have a special bottle of vodka and snacks stashed away for visitors and guests, believing that even if family members should perish from famine, that their hospitality is important above all. The Krainivaya have produced the largest collection of varied alcoholic beverages, and Kvass (a rye fermented drink) is drunk throughout the working hours instead of ground-water, which is hard to find clean in Krainivaya lands. A Krainivaya can never refuse a drink when offered and would also be immensely offended if someone were to refuse a drink they offered to them. A common practice among them is also to flick or tap their neck once, which is a substitute for a verbal invite to go drinking.

The Rainy Day Fund

Krainivaya life, without a doubt, is hard. From the way their society is structured with its strictly autocratic habits and enforced serfdom, to the relative poorness of the land they live on with a larger population than it can sustain, the Krainivaya have to always squeeze value out of what others would consider waste. Every Krainivaya family knows how to ferment, pickle, and preserve. Nothing the Krainivaya buy or produce goes to waste. Every Krainivaya, no matter noble or common, has a so-called Komora where hundreds of pickling jars and fermented and dried foods are stored, usually behind a thick wooden door and a strong lock to keep out vermin. The Krainivaya in general have a cynical pessimistic worldview due to the chronic hard living conditions of their homeland, a life philosophy called the Avos’, which roughly translates to the “bleakness”. The Krainivaya acknowledge that other cultures have richer and more fertile lands, but consider their ownership of the Zemlya Obitovana region of Drixagh an Imperial Mandate and a holy duty of stewardship and, as such, are resigned to the harshness of the life they were commanded to live. Despite the low life expectancy and standard of living, the Krainivaya have developed an extremely colorful and comedy-filled society, where they would be the first to think up a joke in the face of misery, and decorate the bleakness of the Zemlya Obitovana region with flower patterns and embroidery of symbols of spring.

A Culture that does not Hide

The Krainivaya are an immensely crass and blunt people, though not in an overly offensive way. They are always courteous to strangers but are never afraid to say exactly what they feel and think, and are also not shy about large and open expressions of emotion, even if court protocol would dictate they should be. To the Krainivaya, happiness and joy is a common property and right, and so should be experienced third-hand by everyone. They do not use niceties and courtesies for the sake of them, only when the situation demands it, or if they would experience difficulties in other societies. For example, an important cultural notion among the Krainivaya is not to smile without a reason. A Krainivaya might become very uncomfortable if exposed to a person who is just passively smiling, thinking they are somehow insane. Every month, the Krainivaya have a specific day for each family which they call the Svyatkuvannya, where a family invites friends, neighbors, and distant kin over for a communal feast or tea drinking. Each Krainivaya family has a very ornate Samovar, a large decorative tea-kettle on legs usually made of silver or some other such metal that stands in the middle of a table, with all guests sitting around the table and sharing drinks and food. It is said that the first Krainivaya came with their heirloom Samovars from the Oltaran State and continue to pass them down from generation to generation.

Language

The Krainivaya speak a language called Kriv (an equivalent to modern day Ukrainian), which is audibly similar to the Dvala and Clavna languages, but completely not mutually understandable or even related by vocabulary. The Krainivaya used to speak a language called Prichna, which was common in Oltaran. However, this language died out fairly quickly after they arrived in the Regalian Archipelago. Kriv is written in a specific alphabet that differs from the Common Ceardian or Altalar alphabet, being the Starniti alphabet (which is based on Old Church Slavonic in the real world - not Russian cyrillic). This makes translating Kriv to Common quite difficult, though modern schools do teach Krainivaya children both the Common and Starniti alphabets. (It is important to note that all the names use the Ukrainian spelling, not the Russian spelling.)

Examples of Male-coded Krainivaya names: Andriy, Danylko, Grygoriy, Kostyantyn, Kuzma, Mykhailo, Oleksander, Oleksiy, Symon, Volodomyr, Yevheniy, Vasyl, Petro, Dymtrus.

Examples of Female-coded Krainivaya names: Lyudmyla, Kateryna, Marta, Yeva, Yulia, Xristina, Zlata, Oksana, Larysa, Zoryana, Nina, Oksana, Olga, Lilya, Valentyna, Galina, Ulyana.

Examples of non-Gendered Krainivaya names: Zhenya, Valya, Shura, Sashka, May, Kyra, Nyka, Zhenka. It is important to note that names ending in “a” commonly determine female Krainivaya names. Even though non-Gendered names could fit either gender, they are still perceived as female as they all end in “a”.

Krainivaya surnames are usually based on either the name of the founder of the family, the place from where they come, or their professions. Common suffixes that are added onto such names are (sh)enko, yshyn or ishin, vych or ko. For example, if the founder of a family was called Zlata, the surname would become Zlatachenko, while a family founded by Vasyl would become Vasylyshyn. A tailor would be a Kravets, which would become Kravchenko, while a potter would be a Honchar, which would become Honcharenko or Honcharishyn. A curious surname structure is for those who come from outside the Krainivaya culture. For example, an Anglian family moving to Zemlya Obitovana and adopting Krainivaya culture would have the surname Anglyn, while a Wirtem doing the same would become Wirtyn. Those who enter the Krainivaya culture from the outside are usually given surnames that denote where they come from such as “of the Anglians” or “of the Wirtem people”.

Religion

Why exactly the Krainivaya attached so fanatically to the Unionist faith is unclear, but their beliefs and the Everwatcher have permeated through every facet of their culture, with Unionist symbolism being prolific everywhere. The Krainivaya almost exclusively adopted Dogmatic Unionism, being one of the most resilient religious groups that deny the encroachment of the other Unionist schisms and stick with the original version of Unionism. The Unionist Calendar affects the working cycle of the workers, distance to shrines dictates whether businesses thrive or die, and religious virtue is immensely important to the ruling classes, as serfs frequently rebel against those who they believe are mired in Unionist sin, or have writs of sin issued against them by the priests. The Krainivaya take Unionism a step further by also venerating the Princes and Princesses of the Imperial Family. While the Emperor is naturally above everything, the Krainivaya also have special holy names for all the (non-titular) Princes and Princesses, and may possess religious icons of them in their home to bring praise to, or watch over them. It is common to praise multiple icons of different Princes or Princesses, and to have multiple hung over one's bed to guard against evil spirits. A list of all the Imperial Family members and their Krainivaya Holy names:

  • Emperor Alexander is Korol (Emperor) Oleksander Korolivsʹkyy (of Royal), and an icon of his likeness exists in every single Krainivaya household without exception, and is also venerated by patriarchs and rulers.
  • Prince Reynaud is Raimond Spochatku (first) Korolivsʹkyy, his icon is usually venerated by artists and business owners and those who wish to produce something with a spark of divine beauty.
  • Prince Frederick is Fridrihy Korolivsʹkyy, his icon is usually venerated by Knights and those who live in service of others and soldiers off to war to be given a heroic death if they should fall.
  • Prince Raymond is Raimond Druhyy (second) Korolivsʹkyy, his icon is usually venerated by peasants and the poorest of the poor and those seeking to be helped to a better life.
  • Prince Thomas is Tomas Korolivsʹkyy, his icon is usually venerated by those in need of repentance and on the road of forgiveness and those who wish to avoid sin and indolence.
  • Prince Duncan is Dunkan Korolivsʹkyy, his icon is usually venerated during parties and drinking booze-fests, as well as brewers and those who wish to have many friends and be a good friend.
  • Prince Valdis is Valdiy Korolivsʹkyy, his icon is usually venerated by tailors and embroiders, as well as leatherworkers and those who wish to have success with women and in love.
  • Prince Dominic is Dominik Korolivsʹkyy, his icon is usually venerated by the Oprichnyy, which are the secret service of the Krainivaya rulers and those who wish to have success in their occupations.
  • Prince Cedromar is Sedriy Korolivsʹkyy, his icon is usually venerated by generals, tacticians and marshals and those who wish to be a good father and protector of the family.
  • Prince Renly is Renliy Korolivsʹkyy, his icon is usually venerated by children and young adults before they have taken an occupation and those who wish to thank their parents and elders.
  • Prince Xander is Ksander Korolivsʹkyy, his icon is usually venerated by guards and soldiers as well as hunters and those seeking to prove themselves to their parents or grandparents.
  • Princess Noor is Nohr Korolivsʹka, her icon is usually venerated by craftsmen and metallurgists and those who seek the strength to be honest and enduring in their dreams and ambitions.
  • Princess Juliana is Yulia Korolivsʹka, her icon is usually venerated by warrior women and female religious figures and those who seek to find truth and understanding in others.
  • Princess Amalia is Amaliya Korolivs’ka, her icon is usually venerated by matriarchs and house-wifes, as well as women who wish good fortune on their husbands off to war.
  • Only icons of living Princes and Princesses are usually venerated. There is one exception: The Unionist Hero Vlaas Kade also has an icon, as his role in the Krainivaya inclusion in the Regalian Empire was crucial. He is venerated as Volodomyr Velykyy (not receiving the royal suffix of Korolivs’kyy) by politicians and scribes.

Families and Romance

Krainivaya marriages usually occur through a process of endogamy, or marrying only locally. It is fairly unheard of for Krainivaya couples to have married from different towns or cities, and usually, marriages are arranged through a complex procedure of bribing and permission. The process of dowry as such is very similar to the Anglian and Wirtem cultures, but the component of choice is very important. Young people usually choose who they want to marry themselves, after which the groom asks for permission from the father. It is custom to then pay the father a bribe to be allowed to marry the daughter, while the bride-to-be watches and waits. Sometimes however, the groom can also abduct the bride and refuse to pay the bribe, in which case they elope together and get married, but are usually expelled from the family unit. Krainivaya families are otherwise designed to incorporate their parents. Indeed, Krainivaya parents have many children, so that when they grow too old to work the field or perform their occupations, their children might take care of them in turn. As such, most Krainivaya households are multi-generation family compounds. Krainivaya families usually also include a lot of so called kinship, which are non-blood related family members like god-aunts, god-uncles, and godfathers or godmothers, which are usually present as witnesses during a birth or Sanktism of Birth Blessing for children when they are introduced into the Unionist faith.

Atypical family compositions like same-sex relations, polygamy, and unmarried lovers with children are entirely taboo in Krainivaya society. The Krainivaya believe strongly in the duty of every Unionist to bring forth new generations of Unionists, which excludes same-sex couples (the Sanktism of Harmony is denied to same-sex couples). Those of a same-sex orientation are usually told to just accept a marriage of convenience and do their duty to the Everwatcher. It is then somewhat acceptable for the person to take a so called “Znyattya tysku”, a paramour who lives with the married couple in a distant back-room and provides the necessary relief of unwanted desire, with great discretion.

Gender Norms

Krainivaya society has effective gender equality, but with greatly imperfect execution. While in theory women can hold office and inherit, in practice, men are strongly preferred, and men also prevent women from rising up the ranks by electing distant cousins or men who are barely even related to positions instead. This only occurs in politics (ruling) and the military (generals) however, in every other sector of Krainivaya society (even the city guard and local Hetman offices), equality is effectively in place, even if very few women cross over into the more masculine occupations. Outside of occupation norms and marriage traditions however, the lines for gender interpretation are somewhat blurred. Men and women both wear the Vyshyvanka, a bone-white blouse with colorful embroidery of roses and flowers and plants on it, as well as geometric patterns and shapes. For both men and women, their waist is covered in a scarf wrapped and let hung loose, usually of a bright color like red or blue, long tassels and embroidered patterns. The only clothing difference comes from what they wear on their legs and head. Women wear skirts all the way to the ground, while men wear baggy wide cloth pants. Women usually wear a scarf, though not one that covers the whole head, only from the back of the head and their shoulders, while keeping their neck and most of their hair on top free. Both men and women braid their hair, though never in ponytails, and both men and women decorate their hair with artificial flowers, usually cut from cloth or silk. Jewelry is also common for both genders, with the amount of beads and coins stitched into the jewelry denoting social status and wealth. The Krainivayas however avoid Gold jewelry, as they consider Gold to be a color reserved for royalty.

Politics

The Krainivaya don’t really have a political ideology because of their extreme devotion to the Emperor. They have a saying: “the severity of laws and rules in our country is compensated by the unnecessity of following them”. This sentiment underscores the deep-seated distrust and dislike the Krainivaya have for any secular and non-Imperial administrative body, even when sanctioned in his name. The Krainivaya consider the seat of Chancellor and the civil government of Ministers to be corrupt and self-serving, and believe that anything less than a government 100% occupied by the Emperor and the Princes and Princesses could never reach their level of divine righteousness. The Krainivaya in general thus resist any type of State centralization, and are always fanatically in favor of granting more power to the Emperor, and appointing Princes and Princesses to government offices. The Krainivaya have refined disregarding and civilly disobeying the government into an art, believing that only the word of the Emperor has the right to command them to obey and that anyone pretending to reign in the name of the Emperor, is a fraud.

World View

  • The Krainivaya are strictly anti-Occult and despise any type of magic or aberration, with historical implications that the war in the Oltaran state was lost because the republicans used magic against the non-magic-using royalists. The Krainivaya noble and Hetman have a secret service or hidden police called the Oprichnyy which operates outside of the usual city guard or local constables, who go out and hunt down mages and aberrants. It is not uncommon to hear tales of Oprichnyy tearing children away from families, never to be seen again, when they show even the slightest signs of Magic. The Occult in general is considered a vile curse among the Krainivaya, who wish to see it purged from the world, though often have to bite their tongue on the matter because the Emperor says so. When it comes to the Imperial Dragon, the Krainivaya simply pretend it does not exist.
  • The Krainivaya in general detest the absence of color in things. Imperial clothing above all with its excess of black and white, makes the Krainivaya feel uneasy and gloomy.
  • Krainivaya nobles live in large but simple houses, just like the peasants. All levels of Krainivaya society live in so-called “Khata”, which are built out of mud and thatch roofs, with the walls whitewashed with lye. This building style is considered traditional, and humble, to remind even the richest of persons that they are insignificant before the Emperor. Rich Khata however tend to have better, whiter walls, and sometimes also side-buildings with decorated onion-roofs, within which Princely icons are painted.
  • The written word is immensely important. The Krainivaya invest a lot of money into printing presses and spreading the literary work of poets and authors. Most Krainivaya towns have some kind of legendary author who is known far and wide in the Zemlya Obitovana region, producing poetic epics or legendary fiction.
  • The act of gift-giving is immensely important among the Krainivaya people. Simple acts of kindness towards them quickly demand them to give a gift in thanks. Frequent generic gifts might include flowers, chocolate, or vodka.
  • The Krainivaya people have the highest respect for hard sciences like math and engineering, and many of the largest Krainivaya cities have at least one Engineering academy, favoring Steamtech. Their traditional specialty is weapons of war, however increasingly, these engineering academies have started producing machines and devices to make the lives of the serfs easier.
  • Metallurgy is a greatly respected craft among the Krainivaya, every family having at least a few pieces of Silver (such as a Samovar or silver necklaces) that are passed down from generation to generation. It is said that the Krainivaya are some of the most skilled silversmiths, capable of producing intricately decorated pieces of finecraft. Notably famous products are the so-called Sribni yaytsya or silver eggs. These items are fist-sized egg-shaped silver ornaments with intense and intricate decorations and gems inlaid, usually seated on a standard, given as gifts during the Unionist spring season as a celebration of childbirth or Unionist ascension. Every Krainivaya child has at least one Sribni yaytsya that they treasure dearly, and is with them until they die (and is buried with them).
  • The Krainivaya people (despite their fanatic support for the Emperor’s autocracy) actually mostly lack nobility. While it is true that some nobles exist such as the Princes of Kyizamok and Kharko (neither of which are sovereign royals, and more comparable to Dukes), the majority of local authority is vested in the so-called Hetman. Hetman meaning Head-man is comparable to a mayor, but with greater local authority. A Hetman can block a marriage, split up a family, exile a family, or decree the building of new buildings. Hetmans usually rule smaller pieces of land than nobles do, but have greater authority over the land than nobles do, and most serf peasants are in service to them. The Hetmans are subject in turn to the Hetman council, which is a collective of villages, which in turn answers only to the Imperial Palace and usually ignores the Civil State in between.
  • Krainivaya military is strongly centered around the Krainivaya light cavalry, which turned out to be a perfect complement to the Wirtem heavy cavalry Drixon lancers during the Skagger wars. Most Krainivaya military tactics involve using mass-cavalry charges and hit-and-run tactics until enemy supplies have been so thoroughly exhausted that they pose little risk in open battle.
  • Krainivaya music and art is lively, showing displays of love, family, celebration, spring, animal birth and especially fields of grain, the Krainivaya love the artistic expression of grain fields, even if Zemlya Obitovana does not grow any. This is all a leftover from their original Oltaran homeland, which supposedly had fertile flatlands filled with golden wheat. Music is usually inspired by everyday events and experiences, but also filled with love songs and serenades to nature or people or the Emperor.
  • The Krainivaya are intensely superstitious, despite Unionism’s stubborn attempts to root out superstition among the faithful. The Krainivaya believe in bog witches and evil hags that steal away children to eat them, such as Baba Yaga, and other creatures like the Upyr, a sort of proto-Vampiric Demon, or the Firebird, a majestic bird of intense omen. The Krainivaya are also afraid of, for example, breaking mirrors, walking under ladders, or crossing paths with black cats.

Variants

Ohrneti

The Ohrneti are a group of Krainivaya who, in their zealous faith, chose to pursue those Velheim who had fled from Drixagh to continue the holy war called against the Skaggers by the Regalian Empire. Instead, their leadership was decimated when they reached Ellador, and women were forced to step up. The Ohrneti are ultimately a different branch of the Krainivaya for this and other reasons, the full list of differences noted below.

  • The Ohrneti's main trait is their true gender quality. Influenced by the rise of a female warrior leader who helped them in their darkest hour after great failure, the Ohrneti see women appear not just in the military but also politically too, equal to men, across the social structure.
  • Ohrneti are also strange in having given up their crusade against the Velheim, instead transferring their hatred toward the Vampires, Cahal, and arcane beings that litter Ellador. Some groups are also hostile toward Isldar, but these are fringe elements, as the Urlification of some Kades as well as time spent with Dwarves and others has dulled Ailor supremacist sentiments within the Ohrneti.
  • Ohrneti fashion has been altered even more than the traditional fabrics of the Krainivaya have needed to in the cold of Drixagh. Ohrneti clothing puts practicality first in the form of furs, and dark, thick insulating fabrics. However, the trademark patterning, colors, beading and more of the Krainivaya shine through in the colorful scarfs for the face and cloth belts wrapped around the midsection utilized by the Ohrneti.
  • Ohrneti architecture is notable for being responsible for some of the only stone fortresses raised in recent decades within Velheim territory, serving as isolated but hardy bastions of defense for those traveling important but hazardous roads.
  • While once focused on Hedryll, the Ohrneti have spread out across other areas of Ellador, most notably setting up as defenders of the Maarket Colonial Charter, but otherwise exist beyond the government reach of formal Regalian territory, even if the Ohrneti enclaves do have loyalty to that state.

Trivia

  • Quality Krainivaya alcohol is highly sought after, but hard to come by due to their high affection for it.

Accreditation
Writers MonMarty
Processors Okadoka, Athelois, Firefan96
Last Editor HydraLana on 04/18/2022.

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