Mevoriim

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Mevoriim
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Mevoriim
Pronunciation Mev-or-em
Common Names Sendrassian Men, Jungle Ailor, Cap-heads, Curly-beards
Classification Farland Culture
Origins Sendras
Dominant Race Ailor
Social Classes Merchants, Mages, Scholars, Boxers, Herders, Fishermen
Major Cities Tel Mithrith, Avadin, Malam, Al Kushum, Mevoram

The Mevoriim are a unique Ailor society, originating from a unique area of Aloria isolated for over two centuries from external influence. It still bears the marks of the Ceardian Ailor society, who shipwrecked on the north-eastern shores of Sendras, but the discovery of a god, in a place now known as the Sea Caves, changed their lives forever, leading to the establishment of one of the most unique religions in Aloria. Blessed by him, they became able to survive the deadly diseases that have thwarted the military and exploration missions of so many other Alorian powers. As a result, and thanks to other actions, they built their society around their deity and are dead set in their ways as a people, most outsiders would consider arrogant. But learning of their history and their extraordinary experiences, one might be swayed into understanding their beliefs; they are an Ailor culture blessed with uncanny disease resistance by a deity, setting them apart from their other fellow Ailor.

History

The Mevoriim began over a century before the Cataclysm, when a group of Ceardian Ailor seeking to escape Ceardia over the sea were pushed wildly off course by a fierce tropical storm. It did not push them outward, but inward, forcing them to crash on the eastern coastline of the continent they had only heard tales of, known today as Sendras. To the ancient Ceardians, Sendras was rumored to be a dark hellhole, the characterization spawned by the spread of Altalar ideas about the continent into the population they raided, bitter about their failure to explore it effectively, despite their supposed magical superiority. Those who would become the Mevoriim knew of these stories and so hid themselves in coastal caves found in the region, away from the jungles and their diseases. Even with their lack of interaction with the lush green wilds above them, the diseases of Sendras began to creep into their population and, gradually, they began to die out. In response, those healthy few remaining became the scouts for a daring mission: fully abandon the surface for the deep depths of the dark caves. But their exploration did not get far before they found a wondrous being. What the being actually was is heavily debated to this day; to the Mevoriim, it became their god. The being performed its first miracle that day when it returned with the scouts to the main encampment of the Mevoriim, promptly blessing them with a flash of light and a gesture of its hand. Not only did it immediately cure their illnesses, but it also made them immune to all future diseases. In the wake of this event, those individuals who had discovered the being became a priesthood, and covered the cave walls in devotional script and artwork to their new deity, as they officially named the being Eliah. Eventually, the Mevoriim realized they could brave the jungles, immune to its diseases, and so left the caves for the surface. Eliah, for his part, seemed mute and merely followed the group around, seemingly able to understand their desires and supposedly protecting them through further miracles.

Over the following decades, the Mevoriim continued to develop, vastly growing in population within a short time under the watchful gaze of Eliah. However, disagreements began to crop up, promptly turning to arguments and then an escalation to violence between the different settlements. The Rabbis, teachers of the way of Eliah and the result of the old priesthood that had formed around the being, ultimately put a stop to it in favor of a great public discourse on the subject of the disagreement. What this disagreement was is still unclear, as some claim it was over desires to return to Ceardia with the god to help their ancient homeland, while others claim it was purely political or transactional, involving animals and land rights. Whatever the case, the council took a bad turn when sudden violence killed three of the Rabbis and reportedly caused Eliah to look away from his people. In response, the losing faction was promptly exiled, specifically being told to go past the distant southern mountains to live out life far away from the deity they had so offended. The leading Rabbi in this effort, Reuel, also soon went by another title, Shafat, or “Judge” in Common. He became the head of the Rabbis, as he had been the force of judgment in sending away the people soon known only as the Galutes (Exiles). Reuel then retreated back to the caves of their fathers to pray and worship, returning with renewed convictions and implementing their rules across the remaining Mevoriim. But this power soon came under threat from a distant magical event, the Cataclysm.

Scholars have determined that around the same time the Fifth Void Invasion, Cataclysm, and the distant Well Explosion in Dexai far to the east occurred, Eliah began to move. The Mevoriim grew very distraught and feared that this was a reaction to the rules of Reuel. The man and his supporters were almost lynched, but he managed to convince the people Eliah was not abandoning them but merely moving into a new stage of his existence. He vowed to follow the golden being wherever he went and to return once this new stage had been reached. And so he did, for around a month. The journey became hard, and some weaker members had to be left behind in the care of what few attendants had come with the group, but at last, the traveling came to an end as Eliah came to a stop on top of Mt. Mechudash, to the north of the Mevoriim heartland. It is said that he then spoke, for the first time since his discovery, and raised from the earth a single tablet upon which he inscribed seven Commands for his children. At the end of this glorious action, he then sat and did not move from the mountain’s top. Reuel and his followers staggered back down the mountain, tablet in hand, and preached their words while they also added their own explanation and expansions to these base laws. The original tablet was eventually returned to the mountain, where the Mevoriim built a great temple around their god, sealing him away inside the central vault to ensure none could ever anger him as the Exiles had. But he remained connected to them through the Shafat, who became a king-like figure and within less than a generation also known by another title: prophet. It was said that the Shafat was privy to a unique connection with Eliah, able to visit the central vault with him at the beginning of his reign to receive this connection.

Over the following two centuries, the Mevoriim grew, their early expansion slowing significantly as they sought to remain close to their holy mountain central to their faith of Muz'havel, developing impressive cities to pack in populations. They did not actively explore though, nor ply the coast, as ancient prejudices, fears, and more recent religious ideas insisted that the world outside was harsh, cruel, and filled with dark beings that would surely kill the light of Eliah’s chosen. Unfortunately, this led to a blissful ignorance to the scouting parties and vessels that scoured their coastline that ultimately led to an invasion. Suddenly, the Mevoriim cities to the south and nearest to the coast were under attack in 212 AC. Those ancient Exiles had survived beyond the southern mountains and, in fact, thrived due to the arrival of Qadir fleeing the rising Songaskia. The Güneyliler as they were now called had long watched their old brothers in faith but under Padişah Süleyman Bey, leader from 189 to 223 AC, sought conquest in order to reunite them. The Mevoriim resisted with enormous zealotry, convinced that the ancient and vile Exiles had returned to steal their god away. The conflict was bloody, given the Güneyliler had a higher level of technology than the Mevoriim. Despite the two groups having developed separately, curiously enough, they shared the same faith. In the areas they occupied, it became clear to the Mevoriim there that they followed the same rough ideas of faith. It took time for this realization to sink in and the fighting, at last, stopped in 218 AC at the foot of Mt. Mechudash, though only partially due to this fact. Several Rabbis, learning that the mad Shafat Dazan ben Sals had completely ignored several envoys of peace sent over the course of the war, deposed him in a bloodless coup. The new Shafat immediately opened negotiations that lasted half a decade, eventually seeing the Mevoriim join the Güneyliler Empire.

In the years following this, another event rocked the region when the Regalian Empire made limited contact with these Ailor from Sendras. This contact occurred on the sea, either through limited Güneyliler-led trade on the Ceardian Sea or through Regalian landing. Those that docked were promptly put back on their ships to instead talk outside of the toxic and disease-plagued lands of Sendras, which was quick to start killing these outsiders. Through these interactions, the wider world exploded into a reality that first shocked the Mevoriim. But their faith was even more strengthened as time went on, conversion efforts led by Unionist missionaries failing largely due to the difficult logistics but also due to the Mevoriim’s even greater feeling that they were a chosen people compared to the dozens of other Ailor Cultures and Races out in wider Aloria. As a result, they have remained hauty and isolated from the rest of Aloria, though some have sought to travel and spread the Word of Eliah to the uneducated masses, or have traveled with more politically motivated Güneyliler as their servants, staff, or partners to such distant places. Only time will tell how or if Regalia will increase contact with this distant corner of Aloria, perhaps using their disease-resistant Allar or subjects, or determine some way to fight the diseases in the hostile southern continent of Sendras.

Language and Dialects

The Mevoriim Language, called Mevor, is a very strange tongue, unlike the others that exist in Aloria. It sounds exotic to the ear, with syllables and sounds rare in most Ailor tongues and lacks any ties to the Proto-Regalian and Nelfin Language-influences that exist in most other Ailor Languages. In appearance when written, it is also considered somewhat archaic, sharing vague similarities with Faraddi as they are both smooth, almost artistically written. For foreigners or those wishing to learn the Language, it is very difficult since no other Language exists that is similar to Mevor. Even Güneyce, which has a based in older Mevor, has been heavily impacted by Faraddi.

Naming Customs

Mevoriim names are diverse and strange. Their first names are often some warped version of a traditional Ceardian name or unique to their region based on the unique Language of Mevor. The Culture has no surnames, but instead uses the town or city they come from, with the word Ben meaning “of.” For example, a man named Ari from Malam would be Ari ben Malam. Some examples below:

  • Noam ben Shaffir
  • Ophek ben Zion
  • Tamar ben Maimon
  • Devorah ben Lu’ud
  • Eytan ben Tel Mithrith
  • Avital ben Yphrach
  • Or ben Bezelal
  • Gid’on ben Malam
  • Na’amah ben Sals
  • Shoshanna ben Mevoram
  • Yadon ben Danon

Laws

The laws of the Mevoriim are deeply ingrained into their society, due to a dual support based on their Religion and general Culture as formed around that faith which has guided them from their earliest days. The Mevoriim believe that Eliah, a god who walked among them, commanded seven things when he spoke his only Words to the world, contained within the holy text known as the Nevuit. The Nevuit, in addition to being a law book, is also an account of Mevoriim history and of religious belief, the three all woven together in a philosophical, historical, and theological text almost unequaled in Aloria for its depth and complexity. The main seven laws of their society, also known as The Commands, are found below:

  • I have no equal in this world.
  • You must obey my words and the words of my prophets.
  • You must respect your parents and your family.
  • You will hold this day to be a holy time of rest. (The day in question is when Eliah stopped on the mountain peak, identified as a Friday)
  • You will not lie before a judge of any kind.
  • You will not shun the weak or harmed, but raise them up.
  • You will not steal or murder unjustly.

Each law of the Mevoriim is based off of these seven lines, with a heavy emphasis on religion because of their origin point. As a result, if you break the law, you are also sinning and must be punished immediately, usually through the removal of hands or fingers. There is leniency though, as foreigners (like the Güneyliler) or those of a young age (counted as being before 15 for both sexes) are often released with a warning, especially if they committed an act by accident or through a misunderstanding. In addition to these religious-based crimes, their society also has a standard set of laws drafted over the years by the Judges, with the punishment for these lesser crimes often being less severe. The enforcement of these laws are overseen by the Rabbis who act as judges, but if they are biased or found to be lacking in faculty for the case at hand, an impartial judge is elected from another settlement (in the case of a city, another quarter or area).

Lifestyle and Customs

Families

The Mevoriim are a family-focused people thanks to the commandments from their god demanding as much. In the past, this focus used to result in a lot of inter-familial conflict as slights and wrongs to the member of one family would see that family then do the same to the original aggressor. It did not help matters that due to the original low population and needs of the Ceardian Ailor, the group practiced polygamy. But eventually, these factors faded away, with polygamy dying out soon after the departure of the Exiles and the size of families gradually shrinking. As a result of this ancient past though, many Mevoriim claim descendance from a group of twelve figures, who are named within the Nevuit as the people blessed by Eliah who eventually left the caves. Most external scholars note that there were surely more than twelve people remaining at the time, at least several dozen (especially as the spouses of the Twelve Makorguf are rarely if not ever mentioned), but the names of the Twelve still carry on in significance as identifiers for the Mevoriim. These are the men Reuven, Natan, Hiram, Boaz, Eli, Avner, Meshullam, Seraiah, Tovi, Moshe, and the women Sarah and Miriam. As a result, Mevoriim families owe respect not just to their own immediate members, but often a network of others, sometimes directly related but many more not, tied together by their one founding Makorguf.

As for the immediate families themselves, it is a two-parent household with usually at least one child. Love matches are just as common as arranged matches, often between families familiar with each other who want to further strengthen bonds or tie business ventures together. Mevoriim who are single for too long are seen as distasteful, not fulfilling the role that Eliah made for them when he healed all of their ancestors; to multiply and strengthen in this hostile land. Others who remain single are sometimes assumed to be homosexual, which is handled differently based on the region. While as a whole the Mevoriim find homosexuality distasteful, if not sinful in the most extreme circumstances, non-binding “weddings” between same-sex partners is allowed so long as they take a prominent role in supporting or adopting those weaker or poorer than them, like orphans or the disabled. This practice is generally more a southern phenomena, further from the religious heartland of the north where such practices are often forbidden by the local Rabbis.

Gender Roles

The Mevoriim are a patriarchal society, following many of the norms of other Cultures in Aloria with their emphasis on the male gender. The reasons for this are various, from Eliah appearing more masculine in artwork and in the writings of the Nevuit to a number of unfortunate sayings, urban myths, and ideas spread by male Mevoriim amongst themselves. The most common of these is that it was the women from the days of cave-life who were the most fearful of the deity, and tried to compel their husbands to kill it. In addition, there is the story of the Demon Queen Betziyka, who supposedly appeared shortly after the early Mevoriim left the caves and tried to seduce the men into abandoning Eliah. It is written that his second miracle was dispelling her from the land with a look. As a result of these stories and a variety of generally uneducated rumors, women are seen as temperamental and unable to properly rule over a society. On the complete opposite side, women also have great respect given to them, but only if they follow the role as set out for them by the man, that being housekeeper and child-bearer. On rare occasions, women can possess power, when their husband and significant male relatives have all died, as she must now take over their role in leading the family. This position is only stewardship until her firstborn son, if she has any, passes the age of 15 or if her daughter marries a man, she must then hand over her power and step back into her role as defined by the society around her.

Holidays

The holidays of the Mevoriim are almost too numerous to count, as they have a number of sacred days and celebrations thanks to their deep faith. There are days dedicated to each of the Twelve, each taking place at one month of the year, there are other days dedicated to the memory of major religion-historic events in their society, and finally, there are more local celebrations that take place when a young person reaches adulthood (15 years old). While private birthday ceremonies do take place, all of the new adults of a month are brought together on the last day of that month for the entire community to celebrate the new generation of adults, with the function also serving as a matchmaking opportunity with dancing between the new men and women heavily encouraged. Below is a listing of the most important of these many celebrations.

  • Atzmauut: Also known in Common as the Night of Cleansing, this ceremony is performed once a year on the 6th of June in every Mevoriim settlement. The festival was likely once nothing more than a ritual cleansing of the community but has since grown in scope to become a day dedicated to educating the young about demons and vile forces of darkness out there in the wider world. These “demons” are often very Elven in appearance, with either pure black skin and wicked features or unearthly pale skin with a heavy focus on Magic. Imagery of these demons, most commonly a central totem with both sides carved but one painted white and the other black, are kept close at hand while the Rabbi tell stories and tales of Great Eliah defeating them or of how their Ailor ancestors in Ibuderetz (the “Lost Land,” their term for Ceardia) did so. The night of education comes to an end when the totem is burned along with all masks and symbols of evil as the Rabbi(s), and his students perform the Chant of Cleaning. The day then concludes with a vast feast illuminated using this great roaring pyre in the middle, with other fires fed by flames from the central pyre helping to cook the food.
  • Yom V'shnach: Translatable to Friday of Rest, this day was said to be when Eliah stopped atop his mountain and gave his laws to the Mevoriim people. One of his Commands specifically refers to this day, stating that it should be “a holy time of rest.” Ever devout, the Mevoriim have completely dedicated themselves to this, as little to nothing essential happens on this day. Food is made beforehand, travel is restricted, and most spend the majority of the day indoors with their family. The day ends with everyone traveling to a service given by the Rabbi, before returning to their homes to sleep.
  • Z’man shel Tzal'yanut: The Time of Pilgrimage is a celebration dedicated to traveling, worship, and Eliah, takeing place during the first three weeks of January. During the celebration, families return to their hometowns if they are separated while already large or collected families take in those who have the same Makorguf. During the trip and when gathered together, the Mevoriim talk about their journey, but also religious travels such as those spoken of in the Nevuit. These are: the journey to Sendras by their ancestors as they fled a failing land, the travel deep into the caves to escape disease where they found Eliah, their journey onto the surface, their travel to their first settlement, the travels of Reuel following Eliah and finally, much more recently (but also rarer), the journey of the pre-Güneyliler Galutes. The celebrations during this time also feature plenty of food being eaten and gifts being given and is one of the rare periods that Yom V'shnach is ignored.

Religion

The Shelet, a symbol tied to Eliah, commonly adorns the clothing and decorations worn by the Rabbis and the Judge of the Mevoriim people.

The Mevoriim have a complex faith known as Muz'havel, deeply impacted by 400 years of shaping and formation under fascinating circumstances. Their faith is centered around Eliah, also known as The Eliah, Father, and God, who is the central figure in Mevoriim theology. He is a divine being living in Aloria, watching out for his children the Mevoriim since they discovered him in the sea caves. All aspects of his history with them have been mythologized, and many non-Mevoriim doubt he’s a real figure, claiming he is pure fiction or if he did exist, is an exaggerated leader with no magical powers who is long dead. Regardless of his true nature, Eliah remains the central figure in their faith. Next to him are the Judges, leaders who are also prophets with a deep connection to Eliah who grants them leave to rule over others. They are most comparable to kings, and there is only one at a time, with several families possessing the title over the three centuries since it was born. Below the Judges are the people most comparable to priests, called Rabbis. These figures serve a variety of roles but are most often characterized as teachers of the faith and teachers to the Herd of Eliah, a common metaphor for the Mevoriim. The Rabbis officiate weddings, record major and minor local events, and are actual teachers, helping the population remain literate but also well aware of the many parts and aspects of the Nevuit, their holy text. This text, last updated in 256 AC, contains the bedrock of many Mevoriim principles. The last aspect of Muz'havel is the Herd, the Mevoriim, as the children and disciples of Eliah, forever under his guidance and in debt to him for saving the lives of their ancestors. Some Mevoriim, though more radical sects, believe that Eliah created them and that Sendras is where all Ailor are from.

  • For more information on Muz'havel, click here

Literature and Folklore

Literature

Mevoriim literature is heavily based around the Nevuit. Once a series of scrolls, Shafat Ezer bin Sals sought to compile them together into a single text, the task being completed in 201 AC when he died, and his son came into the title of Shafat. The book contains twelve M’gilahs (literally translated to “Scrolls” but in essence just chapters), and each is named after one of the Makorgufs. They do not claim to have been written by the Makorgufs but are instead named in their honor and tell the tale of the Mevoriim people over the years. As a chronicle of history, they are limited in usefulness as the Mevoriim have so deeply married their religion, folklore, and history together that truth in events from the text is almost impossible to determine. The Nevuit has only increased in proliferation over the past several decades, as the printing presses of the Güneyliler greatly increase production capacity. Indeed, there is already talk of updating the text once more, but for now, the current Shafat has not summoned leading Rabbis to perform such a task. Aside from the Neuvit, supplementary texts on religious philosophy, law and other similar topics written by Rabbis and even a few of the Judges also exist in their society. It is also a highly literate one, as the Mevoriim strongly believe in the power of words and writing.

Philosophy

Mevoriim philosophy is construct heavily influenced by their isolation and unique ways developed as a result. It’s largest aspect is their chosen status in the world, which produces great pride, and some would say almost unbridled arrogance as to their importance. As far as they are concerned, all other Ailor save them and the slightly misplaced Güneyliler have fallen from a true way only they have discovered thanks to true hardship and suffering. Theirs is a life of true faith, dedicated and focused on what matters in the world and those who do not follow Eliah can only be saved through conversion and forsaking all they knew before. In that sense, their arrogance is also a hostile one, as they see little room in compromising for people lesser than themselves. Their word is not only better, it is blessed by a living god who guides and oversees them. Another aspect that only adds to their aggressive hostility is their blunt honesty. They dislike if not shun lying as a path that leads to Demons, and so even if it hurts others, they tell the truth. Beyond these traits, the Mevoriim life philosophy is marked by a major hatred for all Nelfin. While few Mevoriim have encountered them as the population largely lives on Sendras, those that do live in the outside world who encounter one often immediately act hostile with words, if not actions, toward said Nelfin. Due to their beliefs, they see all Nelfin as evil, corrupting, and manifestations of sin on earth. However, they will not try to murder Nelfin, unless severely forced to. To kill a physical vessel of evil is not enough, as the evil soul which has tainted the flesh will escape and simply go on to corrupt another, possibly a non-Nelfin. As a result, some Nelfin might find themselves harassed and seeking to be “cleansed” by Mevoriim using ritual food and water as well as signs and prayers though these carry no real power, even against actual Void-infested Nelfin.

Folklore

The tales and stories of the Mevoriim are entirely religious in nature, intimately tied into morality, Eliah, his faithful, and those forces which seek to corrupt those faithful. These “Demon against the Faithful” are the most common stories and range from the simplistic, easy-to-define moral tales one would tell children to more complex and layered stories often put down in plays, as sermon lessons or shared among adults. The Mevoriim are also unique in their depiction of Demons, taking anti-Nelfin sentiment to a whole new level. Their lore tells them that far to the west, Demons dwell in pain palaces and eternal fires fed by those enslaved to their will who die over and over again. These Demons have very Elven features, from long pointed ears to Magic, but are more monstrous, possessing unearthly skin tones, pointed teeth, and horns or other bestial body extremities. They are headed by the Demon Queen Betziyka, the first Demon, who came and tried to tempt away the Mevoriim from Eliah once she realized they had found him. She failed, but her many minions still try, from Averice to Sluttery to Gluttony to Sloth, who seek to dismantle the Mevoriim world in her name. Aside from these figures, the Mevoriim also speak of a variety of other corrupted Races they have had limited contact with other the years, from the monstrous “Ackzar” (Allar) to the half-Demon “Sandaka” (Songaskia), who they largely see as having fallen into favor with or have been completely taken over by Demons simply based on their appearance.

The Arts

Art

Mevoriim art is less refined than that of other Cultures in Aloria due to their “visual” art being more dedicated to the written word. It is not of a poor quality, in fact sometimes being quite rich in coloration and decoration thanks to the natural resources of Sendras. But their art is primarily focused on major figures and depicting them realistically, without much flair or exaggerations. The only notable areas of their artwork are how they depict Eliah, their specific brand of symbolism, and the paintings of the Coastal Caves. Eliah, in all their work, is a glorious and physically golden figure with his arms outstretched before him or at his sides as he looks up into the heavens, or down the scene, he is presiding over. His features are somewhat androgynous, and he lacks genitalia, but he does have a masculine chest and is frequently depicted to possess a great beard and mane of hair. Such a depiction is missing from older works, as is it from small works like minor statuary. Then there is Mevoriim symbols, the most common being the lamb, used to represent the Mevoriim people themselves, with figures of authority like Rabbis and Judges wielding crooks along with scrolls, to represent the law, the word, and the Nevuit. Sunlight and light as a whole are used to represent Eliah. The final unique artistic aspect of the Mevoriim is their ancient cave art, which survives from their earliest years on Sendras. Found along a short stretch of their region’s eastern coastline, these wall carvings and black-pigment artworks are the easiest documentation of the Mevoriim people, and start before they discovered Eliah, picking up after this momentous event in this history. The caves were abandoned 300 years ago, but they are still visited by the most zealous of their population as well as by Rabbis and Judges on religious retreats.

Music

The music of the Mevoriim is limited as they focus primarily on the voice and chanting songs. What few instruments they use are primarily of the string family. Harps of all sizes are commonplace, while a local instrument known as a “Gishgudi” is also used, this one possessing a melodic and echoing sound. It has a solid body long-necked instrument tuned with guttural strings typically from a ram or sheep. It is often played in religious ceremonies and during retelling the trials and tribulations of the Mevoriim people.

Fashion

Mevoriim fashion is very consistent in terms of style. Both men and women wear similar clothing in the pursuit of modest but also due to a general desire to avoid overt expressions of personal wealth to your family and neighbors. Robes for both genders extend to below the knee and additionally have long sleeves. When Mevoriim don lighter clothing, during the particularly humid summer times, such clothing will often be accompanied by armbands and corded wares that they wear on their arms. Many Mevoriim, despite not being married, have a multitude of rings, many of them inherited by relatives who lived centuries before them. Piercings anywhere except the ear isn’t commonplace and often frowned upon. Tattoos do not hold much prominence in Mevoriim society, but when they are Judges will typically be the ones to adorn them with symbols and writings representing their powers or devotion to the Eliah, comparable in some way to Calemberg-based religious tattoos focused on Unionism. Hairstyles for men often vary, and they are given the freedom to choose anywhere from short, to shoulder length or long hair. Hair extending past one's shoulder is often braided in a single continuous braid. Facial hair is common for men in Mevoriim society and is often attributed to representing one’s masculinity. Their beards, like the hair on their heads, are often curled and on occasion will carry golden beads on the end as well as other pieces of jewelry. Women, by contrast, are expected to keep their hair long, but if they are married, they’ll often wear a hood or scarf to let one know of their marital status as taken and to present an image of modesty. Headwear for their society is limited, as they have grown so used to the rains of Sendras few if any wear protective hats though some Mevoriim men adorn what appears to be a small cap to outsiders, yet is an important religious symbol. It is called a Kippa, which the Mevoriim use to represent a “divine presence looming over them.” It is most commonly worn by the very devout and religious leaders, though some populations have their new adult population don it for at least a week after their great gathering to emphasize their new status and the presence of Eliah presiding over them in this lifetime.

Architecture

Mevoriim architecture is as similarly lacking in specific style as their visual arts. The majority of their population live in simple, one or two room stone dwellings areas of the space marked out for certain activities or people. This is especially true in more rural communities, while Mevoriim cities are loosely walled and heavily urban, with multi-story houses and larger homes for the more well-off members of their society. These cities tend to sprawl and conform to the natural landscape, resulting in uneven streets, sudden dead ends, as well as isolated, undeveloped areas of Sendrassian brush (usually converted in parks). The one structure unique to them with consistent, notable features, is the Synagogue. It could most easily be compared to a temple, as it is the religious heart of the area around it, but it is also a place of education, commerce, and substantial architectural focus. They are often made up of white marble, making use of columns and pillars as a system of support visible on the outside but more obvious inside as well as possesses wooden shuttered windows. There is also a roof dome, plain on the outside but inside, often decorated with a beautiful, idyllic mural featuring Eliah in full force in the center. The style has been compared to something that one might find in Dressolini or Etosian areas of Aloria, which is not inaccurate.

Within the structure, a central worship space with tight-fitted seating areas is the main feature once in the main door, with the far wall containing an altar containing at least one copy of the Nevuit (often the finest made, most expensive or oldest copy in the Synagogue). It is positioned inside of a Tevahrk, a unique type of box with two poles serving as the handles. Mevoriim history claim that the original Nevuit was carried within one during the early years of their society while the Commands (the seven laws that govern their society) were also reportedly carried in one back down the mountain to the people. Those that appear in Synagogues are often very ornate, laced with gold and possessing triangular prism lids or lids with a man and a woman on top to represent both sexes as being bound to the contents of the box and by extension, the power of Eliah found in his Commands. The rest of the Synagogue is devoted to whatever tasks have been set up within the building, often a classroom or two or a training area for scribal work, as well as a room for the Rabbi to meet with people or specifically train chosen students who might replace him one day.

Cuisine

Mevoriim food is, at the same time, diverse but also limited as a result of their isolation. They consume plenty of reptilian meat thanks to the variety of smaller reptiles that live in their region of Sendras, alongside the flesh of certain bugs. They also eat healthy amounts of mutton, granted thanks to a few goats and sheep surviving the shipwreck that stranded the original inhabitants, later being apparently cured of all diseases similar to their Ailor owners. As a result, the local breeds of Ceardian Wooly and Distant Desert Goat are heavily sought after by the outside world for breeding disease-resistant animals. It is also for this reason and the apparent blessing also given to these animals that mutton is largely seen on special occasions or is handled with reverence. Seafood, largely in the form of freshwater Meetok Fish (which the Mevoriim call the “Kafiyf Fish”) as well as other aquatic life are also enjoyed by the population. All of these types of meat are often combined together into a form of eating that comes from the Güneyliler which has gotten very popular, that being the practice of Chawarma, where spits of food are roasted over a fire, being turned, with lengthwise slices being cut off until the thick pieces of meat are whittled down. Another food commonly eaten by their population is Challah, a form of braided bread invented by the Mevoriim. The one food that is not enjoyed by their population is pork. For unknown reasons, the Nevuit mentions the flesh of swine to be unclean, and some believe that those susids who survived the crash were major disease carriers and so were rapidly killed off. As it stands, only the Güneyliler possess swine thanks to external trade, and it largely stays within the bounds of their area of the Empire to this day. As for drinks, water or animal milk is commonly consumed by the population with more alcoholic drinks only common at celebrations or family gatherings.

Recreation

Sports

Original Mevoriim sports are few and far in between resulting in the last century or so with many picking up foreign sports. However, there is one true sport that is of Mevoriim origin and isn’t just used in competitions but in battles as well. Omanut Halechima, when translated means “the art of combat,” which is often shortened to as Om Lech. This form of unarmed combat is rigorous and often painful for those picking it up with the first few years, typically resulting in many broken bones. This factor often deters one from leaning Om Lech due to the many unforeseen casualties, yet those who have stuck to it have often been revered as well known boxers and fighters with the idea of it being used to not only disarm an opponent but use their own body against them. When not used in their tournaments which many Mevoriim of all social classes watch and gamble, they can be seen amongst militias and mercenaries even outside of their homeland resulting in the sport being revered with deadly efficiency.

Symbols

The Mevoriim are a society with many symbols, such as The Shelet or “The Sign,” a mystical symbol found in the Sea Caves which has since pervaded into everyday common imagery of their society, from their art to their everyday speech as they do a rough gesture of the symbol as a blessing or cleansing sign. Some believe the symbol may be an extremely abstract image of Eliah with wings (a rare, older style of depicting him) but even the Judges have kept its meaning or definitive origins vague. Another symbol of the Mevoriim is the principal items of Muz'havel, which are also commonly used in regional heraldry, that being a lamb beneath rays of light on a lush green field, representing Eliah looking down on them in the rich lands that are Sendras.

Trivia

  • Some Regalian scholars, especially in recent years, have come to believe that Eliah might have been an Arken.
  • The Regalian Empire’s attempts at converting the Mevoriim population to Unionism has been less than successful over the years. The last attempt resulted in such radical ideas that both parties became deeply offended by each other.

Accreditation
Writers CorgiJesus, HydraLana
Artists Pandush
Processors HydraLana, TheVigilantWolf, Athelois, AlphaInsomnia
Last Editor HydraLana on 04/24/2020.

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