County of Veldenz
|County of Veldenz|
The Everardans; a people rooted in the legacy of the Firstmen and the scholars and artists that they spawned. Everardan humans are thoughtful and analytical by nature, shirking the savagery of lesser men and paganistic religions in favor of reason, art, and cultural expansionism. It is for this reason that the annals of history shall forever recall Everardans as the supreme cultivators of high culture and higher society. Descended from the Firstmen, the Everardan peoples grew without stopper of violence and wanton war -- they instead invested in the more elite facets of life, choosing to erect spires of beautiful alabaster and rich gold, reflecting the rays of their solar godhead. Their swords were forged flat and flexible, made to be danced with, not swung in a fervor of violence. Their halls are filled with portraits of enlightened men and radiant scenes of triumph. Among men there are few found to be fairer than those of high Everardan birth, who safeguard their bloodlines and appearances with great passion.
Everardan society is a place where class and social politics frequently rule the day. As such, the concerns and lives of the various classes can differ greatly. Among the nobility a penchant for high fashion is common, often copied in other lands such as Rheynland and the Valoran Republic but always at its most extreme within the Everardan heartlands. Both men and women wear cosmetics of various kinds, with subtle differences that indicate social standing. In public gatherings they are also prone to wearing very elaborate masks. These are hereditary and identify one's family almost as uniquely as the heraldry on a crest. Servants sometimes also wear masks at public events that are simpler and not so elaborate as their masters' which indicate the noble household they serve.The Everardan peoples are highly zealous in the practice of their faith, often imposing it upon vassals and conquered foes. The faithful are held in high regard and the small but closely guarded High Cult is very much so considered sacrosanct. These members often hold positions of political or aristocratic importance among the Everardan peoples, controlling the ebb and flow of their cultured kinsmen. Especially favored in Everardan knights, who swear their oaths not only to their liege but to the Ascendant Man as well, religious practice defines the value of an Everardan.
|“For what is a torch, compared to the sun that awaits you all outside?”|
Succinctly unique from their Nornish, Nordyr, and Valoran cousins, the Everardan peoples’ subscribe to a faith founded upon the veneration of the Ascendant Man, a theoretical being of great righteousness and limitless wisdom, who transcended his mortal coil in the ancient age of beginning and ascended to the heavens to be wed with the Sun. His ascension is believed to be the apotheosis of humanity, whereupon the world will no longer be worthy to contain one’s mortal vessel. The Ascendant Man is often spoken of as being three different men, who share the same soul and essence -- each one being a reflection of the others, praised for their virtues and victories.Everardan worship consists primarily of storied sermons and praise, centered wholly around the accomplishments and conquests of the Ascendant Man, varying greatly upon which reflection the sermon exalts. The greatest of all Everardan holy-sermons concerns the defeat of the Adversary, who envied the beauty and power of the lovely Sun and sought to usurp it for himself. The Adversary, thought to be the moon above Enarion, took the form of a large crow or raven (records vary regarding the form taken) and perched itself upon the Sun’s throne, intending to deceive the Sun and usher endless night upon the world. The Ascendant Man rose to the heavens before the Sun could return to its throne and cast down the Adversary, having laid bare its vile scheme to blacken the world. Upon the Sun’s discovery of this victory, the Ascendant Man proclaimed it his bride and wrested the crown of the heavens from its hand to be worn upon his own head.
|“For so long as victory exists, so too will the vanquished.”|
The Everadan have a long militaristic tradition predating the Great Calamity. It was said that boys as early as five were taught in the arts of war, a tradition that remains today. For ten years, these boys would train vigorously as the weak withered out, only those strong enough to stand at the end of the day would live to see the next. Prior to the Great Calamity, the Old Everardans were known to be fierce warriors and disciplined soldiers, hiring out their services during rare periods of peace for their country. Following the Great Calamity, much of it’s traditions were passed down by word of mouth. The Everardans predominantly fight with swords, spears, polearms and axes. Although it always had few on the battlefield, owing to the cultural perception of utilizing ranged weapons being a cowardly alternative to melee combat, Everardan archers are equipped with longbows. They are known to be skilled horsemen as well, some say second to only the horse lords of Norn. The Everardan knights also follow a strict code of chivalry, with honor being the most important facet of the lives of not just the soldierly class, but also everyday citizens. Duels for the sake of honor or settling grievances are popular among the common folk and nobility, but they rarely end in death: to slay a fellow Everardan for something as personal as a duel is seen as wasteful and selfish.
The Everardan are also zealous people, with religion playing a central role in warfare. All will fight and die to defend their faith and persecute any who attempt to disgrace it, even those who are not traditionally of the soldierly class. Prior to every large engagement, it is tradition for every soldier to pray and receive some form of penance to purify their soul before battle. After battle, soldiers typically clean the blood and grime off of their weapons, armor, and bodies in a ritualistic manner, so they may not be filthy in the presence of the Ascendant Man.
|“The sun smiles amidst the chaos.”|
While every Everardan is fluent in common, many tend to use words from the language of their ancestors. Before the great Calamity, the Everardan spoke in their own dialect, this being known as Old Everardan. A language only known to by their people. Some of these words from Old Everardan still find their way in modern Everardan speech.