THE HINEANS


The air was thick with strange fragrances and smells, but it still felt very much like home. Daethar of Zinova was far away from home now, in a land that would certainly not be very trusting of him or his compatriots. These Lenorians were a rowdy folk, but even they could surely see reason. And experience had taught him that even the most bitter hatred could be defeated with gentle gestures and a honest demeanor.

Their group drew many dark looks as they ventured into the crowded, albeit still a bit war-torn market of Kern Avanna, but he saw the glimmers of curiosity shine through in more than few of them. It was not for nothing he had seen to it that their most exotic wares were displayed openly, and spices and scents were allowed to spread their fragrances.

Several months had been spent on preparations: learning their language, choosing wares and gathering a suitable group. Lenorian, he had noted, had odd similarities to the Gabbardani dialects. But he was sure that it would all be worth the effort, and with hard work and a little luck, his endeavors would be recognized as beneficial for the commonwealth.

So they built up their stall, and while one or two threw slurs their way, most people seemed content to keep their distance, barely masking their interest. He had forced his men and women to rehearse this many times, so that the work would not only be efficient, but also stylish. In no time at all, their wares were proudly displayed, with the aromas of his home lands quickly spreading and his helpers giving out samples among the market goers. He looked upon the scene with pride swelling in his chest as the Hinean colors lit up the dour market, and a crowd hesitantly gathered.

Yes, this was where he would build his fortune.

A brief history of the culture

Long ago, the Hineans (the tribe of Hina) came to the lands which they now inhabit together with several other tribes. Old stories tell of a great disaster which ruined their homelands, forcing them to wander northwest in search of a new home. Much of this history has been lost, together with history about the ages when gods walked among the tribes. It was only after the gods left and Rakkath the Godslayer rose that history was put into writing that, though many of the early texts have been lost as well.

As the gods disappeared, the Hineans had to strive hard to find stability, with many conflicts and power struggles. It was only when the Rakkhari started to show military might together with the Dalari that a shared vision of unity arose. By the time that Fal narn fell to the Rakkhari-Dalari alliance and the red plague, the Hineans had banded together into a nation. The turning point came when the Ulavi tribe decided to ally with the Rakkhari willingly. Now, it seemed that opposing this alliance was tantamount to suicide. While the Hineans didn't oppose the Rakkhari philosophy of godless self-rule, they were reluctant to give up autonomy to some outside force. But simple pragmatism won in the end, and they reluctantly joined the Rakkhari commonwealth.

Since then, they have grown to become the most prosperous province in the commonwealth, and enjoy a high status among their neighbors. Since joining the commonwealth, they have built up an admirable network (if not small empire) of merchants, and solidified themselves as a sort of moral backbone. Though their military involvement in the golden crusade against the gods is small-scale, they train specialized troops who undertake missions too complex for normal soldiers. They also had a big hand in stabilizing the brewing civil war between factions of the Ulavi tribe, and the occupation of Yak Trok.

In recent times, Rak al Hina has suffered due to the unpopular incursion into the north by the Rakkhari crusade, as it has stifled trade and placed a heavy financial burden upon the province, not to mention the human cost. As the uprising in Gabbardan struck, Rak al Hina saw some turmoil as well in several cities, as commonwealth-critical factions took to the streets. These were swiftly dealt with, but the instability is still there and the situation feels ever more uncertain, even if the Rakkhari-Lenorian war has come to an end. Many also fear the changes that the new Arch Commander may bring, but only time will reveal what they might be...

Mentality

There are two things more important than anything else in Hinean society; Family and dignity. Above all else, the family must be respected and cared for. Conflicts and hardships come and go, but the bond of family remains eternal. Together you grow strong and prosperous, but a family divided sows only discontent and misery in society. When it comes it dignity, the Hinean view is multi-faceted: you should not act foolish or callous, nor should you commit acts that are in any way dishonest or deceptive ("while a Dalari merchant would rob you blind on the spot, the Hinean merchant would have a customer for life"). Being honest and forthright is vital to being trusted - and respected.

Though the Hineans may seem like a society easily charmed by profits and flashy status due to their mercantile ways and their love of style, this stems largely from the aforementioned dignity. A person with great dignity takes care of how they dress and adorn themselves, and they also take pride in being successful in their work. Honest work done well is worth more than prestigious work done half-hearted.

Society

As all Rakkhari provinces, Rak al Hina is governed by one of the Rakkhari Warmasters. Governing this province is Tanyvyn of Zinova, a daughter of the biggest city in Rak al Hina and the youngest Rakkhari Warmaster. Though she is very hands-on in her involvement, the province has a large amount of autonomy, since it has proven to be stable and very loyal to the Rakkhari commonwealth.

The highest tier of local rule is the Sun Council, which is made up of representatives from all great cities and regions. This council oversees the diplomatic and financial ties, passes judgment in more serious conflicts and works for the development of the province as a whole.

Below the Sun Council power is distributed among the large cities. Each of the eleven great cities is governed by a Premiere, who can largely dictate how the city and it's surrounding regions are run, as long as it does not break commonwealth law, or any law passed by the Sun Council. These Premieres are picked by the Sun Council, in a process where any citizen may seek to claim the title.

As a part of the Rakkhari commonwealth, Rak al Hina is one of the most stable provinces, and certainly enjoy many privileges. This is not to say there aren't dissenters who would like total autonomy, especially as the House of Carvers are building a stronger presence. But these are still very much in minority. The Hineans have built a merchant network which is gaining more and more influence throughout the commonwealth as they distribute the wares and raw materials that the other provinces produce. Rak al Hina has also become the go-to place for upper-class Rakkhari who like to travel, but don't want to deal with Dalari politics or the dangerous lands of Fal narn.

Faith and beliefs

As a whole, the Hineans have largely aligned themselves with the Rakkhari in that they do not worship gods or other beings. Though their part in the golden crusade is far from zealous, they still support it as a provice. Before they joined the Rakkhari commonwealth, there were several small movements that followed a small pantheon of gods which had wandered the lands, though much of this has been lost to time and now only a handful of stories remain.

What does remain, however, is an age-old worship of the sun, which has been practiced for countless generations. Though this is more of a symbolic tradition these days, it is still a very vital and celebrated tradition. This celebration is mostly carried out through festivities during the warmest days of the year, personal ritualistic gestures and symbols that are deeply integrated into society. Some frown-browed Rakkhari thinkers regard it as primitive practices best left beind, but that doesn't stem the tide of travelers who go to Rak al Hina simply to partake in the sunfests.

Name culture examples

Female: Tanyvyn, Almeren, Kathrame, Menynas, Lamyrys
Male: Anistoval, Esmeren, Datros, Farames, Kalerem

Clothing and fashion

Though it is not necessary that your clothes are expensive, it is very important that they are clean and in good condition, as they tell of how respectable the wearer is. The Hineans prefer thin, breathing cloths due to their warm homeland - thin, light shirts, skirts and pants (worn by both men and women) are mixed with long, stylish vests and fine gloves or decorative lower arm sleeves. It is also customary to wear a small piece of cloth tied around your neck in public spaces. The Hineans also use a special piece of clothing called a "hasram", which is a an angular cloth which hangs from the belt in front and reaches down to about a hand's width above the feet. This is usually very decorated either using family patterns (see below) or motifs based on your profession.

The most common patterns are either floral patterns, or intricate line-based geometrical patterns. The sun is the most recurring symbol that is used, but there is also a growing appreciation for the complex flower pattern that are common in Fal narn. Certain high-status families also have a tradition of family patterns based on complex linework and family symbols.

Well-kept hair is a true source of pride for any Hinean, and is symbolic of how respectable you are. Short are long hairstyles are common both in men and women, as is partially-shaved styles. Most hairstyles is based on simple bindings and partings. Small metal decorations are very common, such as leaves, sunrays or beads. Long or semi-long hairstyles are most common, always bound or kept neat - free-flowing and rustled hair is often seen as a bit juvenile or sloppy. Most men keep a beard and/or mustache, but keep it very short and trimmed.

Like the Fal narni and the Dalari, the Hineans know how to appreciate jewelry, though in a far more dignified manner than their kin. Chains, earrings, necklaces or bracelets are worn by almost everyone, either in fine wooden material and stones or different kinds of metal. These are usually all worn in sets, as clashing sets of colors or aesthetics is seen as classless ("an Akropan eye for beauty", as they saying goes).