Estvo of Vetroy-Zapad
|Estvo of Vetroy-Zapad|
Seven hundred years before the calamity, a massive amount of humans came by sea from the western coasts of Enarion. Two of these clans, believed to be the ancestors of modern Vetrii and Zapat had landed in what is now known as the region of Calendale and Rheyn. Due to tribal infighting amongst warring chiefdoms, these same clans emigrated southwards to the southern swamplands, in which they created their own primitive societies. While less capable in raw manpower, these clans were quickly able to take from the Elven nations the concepts of identity, trade, and society. With this, they became one of the first human nations to achieve a civil status amongst the other races.
The Swamp Wars was a general period of conflict in the southern swamplands region of Enarion involving two regional powers, aptly named Vetroy and Zapad. This is the first instance of the names in actual use, with it seemingly related to that of houses or families, eventually growing more broad to encompass entire populations. These states warred over many of the same things, being trade routes and farmable land. These two things were critical in the development of any nation, and both were in short supply. However due to the short-sightedness of the conflict, other rising powers were able to gain much leverage over the mercantile states, with eventually Selia, another southern nation, conquering both Vetroy and Zapad in entirety, ending the bloody conflict after decades.
Under the boot of Selia, the now crumbling territories began to slowly rebuild, their populations finding a shared resentment for their new overlords, whom were publicly seen as nothing but inferior opportunists. Finding some common ground on an issue, this began a cooling of tensions between both Vetrii and Zapat, leading to a sharp increase in cooperation between both groups. They began to trade, fight, and even intermarry with one another while still keeping their own distinct cultures. This all eventually led into the eventual unification of Vetroy and Zapad, something the Selian conquerers were unable to stop. Once the monarchs of each states were married, this created the first instance of Vetroy-Zapad.
Rise to Power
Slowly but surely Selia lost it's stranglehold over her dominions, with Vetroy-Zapad going from a subjugated state to a powerful cog in the politics of the nation. What was surprising though is that Vetroy-Zapad never actually declared independence, instead opting to remain with Selia due to the numerous trade connections built over the years. While still viewed as inferior, it was the Vetrii-Zapat people exerting control over the nation. This dominion could now do as it pleased without much resistance from the more official branches of government that were supposed to keep them in check. For all intents and purposes, Vetroy-Zapad was free.
The Calamity hit the shores of the south hard, with Vetroy-Zapad being one of the first battlegrounds against the unknown threat against civilization. The focus was no longer on trade, with instead nearly every aspect of life in the nation soley dedicated to fighting against the calamity. The wealth accumulated over years was spent, all connections used, and the nation lay decimated, those surviving fleeing as refugees to parts unknown, heading north for greener pastures. Despite all nations eventually falling, the insult of theirs being the first to fall has always been a sore point for most Vetrii-Zapat.
In 21 AC, the portals opened up for the Vetrii and Zapat people. Seeing their homeland in ruins, untillable by the forces of death and corrupted beyond anything they could fix, they were forced to live under the nation of Rheynland as merchants, later moving to Valora. Seeing their culture slip away, the few remaining Vetrii and Zapat looked for any way to maintain their way of life and culture, unwilling to mesh with any overlords. They found opportunity within the Kingdom of Brenna, which had long since devolved into a bandit kingdom. They purchased the nation in it's entirety, then forming the Estvo, or Authority, of Vetroy-Zapad.
They quickly began construction of the capital region, destroying the old dirt hurts and in their stead placing foundations made of stone. They negotiated with Valora for access to the northern mines and settled all outwards debts they could. As for the local Brennan populous, they either left due to the insult of their homeland being purchased or integrated with the now dominant Vetrii-Zapat ethnic group, saving as much of their culture as possible while doing so.
The Vetrii are a race of leaders, diplomats, merchants, and negotiators. They are creative, brimming with passion, and are completely cutthroat in their ascent to power. Most Vetrii are polite, well mannered, and speak with a light accent (whether this is to differentiate them from the rest of humanity or simply a leftover of the original Baz language is undetermined.)
As for the Zapat peoples, they are nearly opposite. While still also polite, they are often more direct and blunt with their words, opting to not beat around the bush when addressing an important issue. Their stoic nature and monotone words often give foreigners the idea that they are nothing more but dumb brutes, however, this is far from the case. They are a highly refined and equally important part of the biracial society of Vetroy-Zapad. They most often take up roles that require an analytical mind and a hardened soul, such as soldiering or inventing.
Money is everything within their society. Both Zapat and Vetrii alike share an unabating hunger for coins. In the culture of Vetroy-Zapad, money is not only one’s material value, but the social and spiritual value is well. The richest of the rich are regarded almost with reverence, while the poorest of the poor are seen as an invisible class- a great failure in the eyes of their equals.
Their main exports are limited to porcelain related products, as well as a variety of other luxury goods created by their hands. Raw resources are not the main staple of Vetroy-Zapad’s economy. They do however make up for this in their entrepreneurial savvy, implementing complex and wide-reaching economic plans that allow for the vast wealth of their people to be kept by themselves and themselves alone. AS of recent however, these plans seem to have been removed in favour of the free market system most other nations implement.
Vetrii and Zapat once had a complete language known as Baz, though as centuries of intermingling with different peoples as a trade empire they had more or less become accustomed to speaking in common. Today, the original language has been reduced to a variety of words, most being slang terms used exclusively by the ethnic groups.
Depending on the ethnic group, there are foreign ways these people name themselves.
Exclusive to Vetrii is a unique naming system. Though it may seem daunting, at its core Vetrii names simply require a little context to fully understand. They name themselves with the first two letters of their father’s name, followed by the last name, which usually never exceeds 6 characters, averaging four. Then, the ‘first’ name one would address the person in casual conversation. So in Vetrii society, if your father’s common name was ‘Antony Fallon’ and he had a son called Johan, the formal Vetrii name would be “An-Fallon Johan”.
For the Zapat, it’s even easier to understand. At birth, they are granted a normal common name same as most others in Enarion. However, upon the age of 16, they are to change a singular vowel of their first name, symbolizing their maturity and teaching them about hard decisions and how to handle them. Many Zapat spend their entire youth trying to figure out a name, as they may not change it later. For example, if a child is born and given the name “Joan Miller”, once said child reaches sixteen they must change a vowel in their name. This can be any vowel. So Joan Miller could change into “Jaan Miller”, “Jion Miller,” so on and so forth.
The Zapat enjoy fine clothing as well but prefer to blend in with their surroundings more than standing out. Duller hued clothes with less boisterous elements are preferred over loud and obnoxious Vetrii wear. Long coats are in style, with any Zapat man being incomplete without their overcoat.
One universal facet of fashion is a lack of dresses in Vetrii-Zapat culture. Women who wear dresses are often looked on with bewilderment and disgust. While this disgust is well hidden for foreigners, Vetrii or Zapat women would be best to avoid such things. The only proper wear is pants, shorts, or pants with something worn over it. The exact origin of this is unknown, but it is theorized that this probably stemmed from a universal work ethic back when these folk were still in their tribal phase.
Holidays & Traditions
The Scia Stena
Quite literally translating into “The Walled Walk”, this ancient tradition was founded from the ancient wall that once separated the two nations from one another. Due to their unification, this wall acted as a symbolic piece of what once was. Every year, large numbers of Vetrii and Zapat alike walked from one end of the wall towards its center (Zapat walked west, while Vetrii walked east), and then participated in a grand military festival, complete with the related fanfare.
While today that wall is little more than rubble, enough remains for the Vetrii and Zapat to continue that tradition, dutifully walking to remind themselves of how far they had come from simple warring states.
In the Estvo, marriages are equal parts built upon mutual attraction, social status, and economic gain. Once a pair has settled and have declared their intent for marriage, the state will therefore arrange for a contract to be written up between the two parties. This contract dictates under what circumstances the couple is allowed to divorce, have children, etc. The state simply acts as a mediator in this procedure, with the couple deciding for themselves what they want in the contract. Once agreed upon, a wedding ceremony is observed in which both parties sign the document, with all of the attendees as their witnesses. They then clink the ceremonial glasses of their families, and celebrations may begin. The celebration can vary from drunken benders to exquisite balls, it is all up to the couple.
Dubbed “glassing” by both groups, this tradition dates back to the custom of clinking one's glass to celebrate something of importance (most often business deals.) While then it was simply done at the dinner table, most Vetrii and Zapat will now clink upon the completion of any deal or agreement. Many important figures in Vetroy-Zapad brandish complex designs on these glasses, using them in the same way a noble crest would be used. You can usually identify the lineage of either ethnic group based on their glassware.
Legal Codex of Vetroy-Zapad
There are three tenets to law in Vetroy-Zapad, those being based off of society, property, and the individual. Punishments for violating most laws stand in similar light to other laws of human nations, though it should be noted that property crime is a serious offense due to the Vetrii-Zapat idea of money equating to value of self, as well as just it's own economic value. For example, stealing something like a bar of mithril could very well result in not only death, but the seizure of all property of the perpetrator to be handed over to both the state and victim of such a crime.