THE LENORIANS


The wind howled and tore at his clothes like a tempestuous lover and the ocean sprayed icy cold kisses over him as wave after wave crashed against the ship. No matter how much he longed to see land again, he could not help but feel the same rabid love for the sea as it seemed to hold for him. He stood at the front of the Wintergale, as fine a ship as there ever was in Lenori, searching the ocean mists for signs of new land. They had been out at sea for longer than anticipated, and people had started seeing things in the mist. Or so they said.

In the midst of the grunting and shouting sailors, he heard footsteps approaching. It was the Captain Lenorova, Tamer of the high oceans, Braver of the ancient winds. A woman of venerable age who sailed the seas by way of matching their temper, rather than evading them.

"No signs yet, Captain. Nothing but sea and wind and mistjumpers."
"I can see that well myself. But we're getting close to it, I can feel it in my bones. Just you wait." she grunted in return.

They stood and watched for a good while as the waves rolled through the mists. Suddenly, pale shapes appeared in the mist, vauge outlines of strange shores with outlandish peaks and structures emerging above the horizon.

"I swear, Captain..." he whispered "sometimes it's like the winds are speaking to you."

The Captain let out a small chuckle.

"It looks like his Lord Tarustev might have his new colony after all."

A brief history of the culture

The small nation Lenori has its roots in the nation Norn, the neighboring nation to the south. In the year 53 b.R. Norn decided to start expanding its territory to try and keep up with its somewhat hostile neighbors. This new territory would be dubbed the Duchy of Kern and quickly saw a large influx of settlers from the lower classes, looking for better opportunities.

But as the Duchy expanded, people grew more and more displeased, wanting independence. Any attempt at rebellion was quickly squashed by the royal army, however. However, when three mystical beings came to the rebels, offering them the independence they wanted as long as the new nation would be a righteous one, the rebels saw their chance and took it. These otherworldly benefactors turned they very lands and seas against the Norn army, sealing the north off. The Duchy of Lenori was free.

And so, the new nation Lenori started expanding. For decades they claimed the wild lands, bit by bit, and life was peaceful. That was, until they came across the Serans - a strange people who wandered in from the north. Apprehensiveness quickly gave way to conflict, and soon the two peoples found themselves at war with each other. A year of war gave way to a brief standstill, before war broke out again. This would likely have meant either nation's end, had it not been for the plague which swept across the lands, bringing ruin upon both. In this mutual suffering, they found common ground, which paved the way for an unsteady peace. This peace would in time grow into an alliance between Lenori and Serdanos, which has held to this day.

Though the alliance was tested during the war with the Rakkhari, when it was discovered that there had existed a plot for Serdanos to annex Lenori as a way to end the way, the two nations still depend too much on each other for the alliance to be broken.

Mentality

If you were to ask their neighbors, Lenorians would be described as passionate, temperamental, rough, and perhaps a bit mournful. There is a restlessness in them, a never dying longing for what may lie beyond the horizons. Though their tempers are short and seldom patient, they have an unwavering sense of togetherness. Everyone is Lenorian at heart, no matter what, and that is the most important thing.

Lenorians also have an innate distaste for all manner of highborn and nobility. This is why no man or woman who would portray themselves as above others last very long before being the target of mobs who aim to prove them to be merely human. This rarely ends in bloodshed, but rather in public humiliation and scorn. Those who learn their lesson are quickly accepted back into the community (and may even be better liked for it), whereas those who do not change their ways will face certain and serious ostracization.

Society

In Lenori, the Ocean Lord or the Ocean Lady sits at the top of power. The position is mostly political, however, and mostly involves mediating between the different Dukes and Duchesses, interacting with foreign ambassadors, as well as administering justice in particularly tricky matters.

The Dukes and Duchesses are those that hold the practical power, governing the Duchies Kern, Lanas, Vodas, Idon, Himon and Rivas. The High Duke/Duchess of Rivas being the most prominent one, tasked with commanding and administering the Lenorian army. How a Duchy is governed is largely up to it's ruler, but if the people is dissatisfied, they are quick to act upon it. The title of Duke/Duchess may be inherited, unless the people feel otherwise.

Because the ordinary community is the true backbone of Lenori. Though they may seem unruly and bad-tempered, the Lenorians place great value on working together towards the common good. Nowhere is this more apparent than among ordinary people - as long as you don't try to use others for your own gain, you have a place and helping hands whenever you need them.

Faith and beliefs

In Lenori, one central belief has taken root over the years - the worship of the Divines of the land, sea and air. This faith was led by wise men and women, who traveled the country, interpreting the signs of the Divines. The Divines were six in number: the benevolent divines of the land, sea and air, and the malicious divines of the land, sea and air. These divines approached the Lenorians as the nation had just revolted against the nation of Norn. They spoke to the Lenorians about the law of the land: from that day on they would contantly be tested. The benevolent divines would send their messengers to challenge the people so that they may prove that they appreciated the gifts that the world around them gave them. The malicious divines, on their hand, would send their messengers to challenge the people to see if they were strong enough to actually deserve the bounties of the world. If the people overcame these challenges, they would receive ever more riches and prosper. But if they failed, they would fall prey to the dangers in the wild.

Soon enough, the Lenorians had a solid tradition of finding any excuse to engage in festivities as a new challenge had been overcome. True enough, there wasn't always a wise man or woman present to actually acknowledge that a messenger of the divines had come to them, but few ever bothered to question the reason for festivities. The feasts were, if nothing else, a display to the benevolent divines that the people truly appreciated the good things in life.

In recent years, especially following the invasion of Lenori by the Rakkhari, this faith has fallen somewhat out of practice, as many wise men and women were captured by the Rakkhari and taken to the south.

But there is also a small group which cling to an old faith, which teaches of the Lord of the Eversea. This faith teaches that the world is like a long ribbon, stretching from east to west, almost infinitely. The Lord of the Eversea gave life to all, but the world is constantly threatened by darkness slowly approaching from the west - a great, consuming shadow that swallows everything in its wake. So the followers of the Lord of the Eversea must ever journey eastwards, towards the light where the sun is born. For somewhere, far in the east, waits a realm of peace and prosperity, for those that are strong and devoted enough.

Name culture examples

Female: Avanna, Briyana, Miva, Samira, Katali
Male: Vordran, Enimir, Vladik, Renov, Marik

Clothing and fashion

The Lenorians favor practical, durable clothes. Clothes which are as comfortable on the fields and in the woods as they are on the open seas. Ponchos, headwraps and scarves are items that can be found in every person's wardrobe. Given the Lenorians' love for festivities, they put great care into their festive attires, which are only worn at special celebrations (and what celebration isn't special?)

More than anything else, the Lenorians have patterns with intricate shapes, lines and patterns. Sometimes mimicing the waves of the ocean, and sometimes the shapes of the forest.

Few of them actually bother to put much care into their hair, and as such they often wear it long or semi-long, but always at least a little bit messy.Though some share the Mountainborns' penchant for uneven haircuts, most Lenorians keep their hair practical. Though few decorate their hair, many put a lot of thought into their headwraps, especially those used for festive occasions. Beards are mostly reserved for those that travel the seas, or hold other distinguished positions.

Jewelry and accessories in Lenori are almost always made out of wood, leather or stone. And given their practical nature, most people only own a few pieces. That's not to say that the Lenorians don't like dressing up for festivities, only that they place more care in clothing than jewelry. Items made by someone dear will, of course, have a great value and are worn as often as possible.

Extra material

More can be found in the library