frudence: (Default)
Fru ([personal profile] frudence) wrote2013-01-30 11:10 pm

Sahn: References for World of Cheakir

Physiology: classic human, although Mediterranean (Italian) / north African (pale Egyptian) skin tone. Age in years is the measure by which other Tribes are standardized.
* Special Attributes:
  • Nearly the whole populous is literate by adolescence, because there's not specific professions yet save the Mercantile class and those that follow them.

  • Nearly the whole populous speaks one other language by adulthood / finishing their apprenticeship to a profession. In the Mercantile profession, even more so (2 or more).

  • They are the hardiest, most well-worn group of people. Not many - aside from the farmers and merchants - travel very far, but the people all have the build to do so. They require less sleep and their wounds heal faster than other humanoids.

  • Some Sahn have even been reported to help sickly children and flowers alike grow up strong. (Not advancing in age.) The reverse is also true.


Ancient Times
As will become obvious, the Sahn people were fortunate in their geography, but wise in their foresight. They could tell they were in the middle of everything, and opted to become the pioneers of contracts and fulfillment enforcement, if one party went back on a deal. Their pleasant weather meant that they had no great need for many things as their society grew up, but in Ancient Times they came in contact with shiny baubles from the other Tribes and immediately developed a very sophisticated bartering system that involved small carvings in the shape of common goods - bushels of crops, reems of fabric, and prized beasts of burden like bulls and donkeys. The most successful men and women to accomplish these things wore many such baubles, showing off their wealth in that they could afford to buy instead of trade such things.

Mercantile businesses developed, as did the professions that supported these endeavors - like the highway engineers of the ancient world. In order to get "first pick" or "fresh material," the guilds started sending people out traveling to the other nations in search of exotic items to bring back. A term developed for those who traveled for work - waeflaegen - compared to those who did everything traditional related to village life - staemaegen. The two groups developed a pleasant rapport with one another, joking and teasing while understanding that they depended on each other.

A phrase, that the Sahn probably invented themselves, cropped up: "If a Sahn hasn't seen it, it's not real." Much like travel agents of modern day, the waeflaegen soon set up permanent shops everywhere and "going to see the Sahn" meant you were going to get something appraised, traded, or pawned. The Sahn were wise enough to maintain good relations and neutrality whenever conflict broke out.

All of this out of little villages like this. What happened was that one of them was the most central way-station on the trade routes in all directions, near two rivers.

Villages were still generally comprised of a few families whose members could perform all general duties of village life, men and woman alike.

Middle Ages
Villages started expanding or growing together. This would be an example of the largest at the time:

By Shreend & Tau's time, a city will have cropped up that rivaled Dlo‚ÄĘgam's capital in size. The difference in Sahn was that there was no centralized government agency - it was all based on etiquette and social graces; who you could depend on to put you up for the night, who were your best buyers, etc. In this way, the unofficial Capital of Sahn developed in much the same way as Chicago. There was no denying who ran that town - she and her husband owned all of the taverns - where weary caravans could not only eat, but stay the night, store their wagons in a guarded area, and let their donkeys rest. Understandably, former waeflaegen made the best staemaegen supervisors of the businesses that specifically catered to waeflaegen. Such was the lifestyle cycle in Sahn. If the waeflaegen guests were from wealthy guilds, they had horses and Protectors too. The Protectors grew out of reports that people from many of the Tribes, not just Sahn, were attacking caravans along the new trade-routes.

While the taverns were operated by the the husband and their children, she was the central point of contact for all of the guilds who wished to stay there. She was also fully capable of black-balling a guild who disrespected her establishments or her workers. The general populous wasn't fully cognizant of her position, for her favor was a fiercely guarded prize. She had curried favor with many influential Mycuans until she was finally able to procure some of the secrets of their Magic; in exchange, she shared with them their new discovery: a writing system, carved into wet clay tablets. It didn't work exactly like they said, but it worked well enough; she taught her family how to 'pull out, not push into' the emotional states of others, almost always to tell if she was being lied to.

In this time, the clothing styles of the staemaegen will start to shift to more Greco-Roman and even Algerian & Tunisian than ancient Iraq (Uruk/Sumeria), while the waeflaegen shift into some Pacific Northwest (Haida/Tlingit) and California Amerind technology, with a heavily stylized clothing interpretation as well - since the geography is so different.

However, notable among the Pacific Northwest / California Amerind influence for all of Sahn will be beadwork, architecture in sandstone reminiscent of their woodcarvings, "misthouses" instead of sweathouses, and Potlach ceremonies. This along with a tradition of wearing an article on your body of another nation with whom you have traded.


Recent Modern
Under her covert power, the city grew and grew. She took advantage of the social etiquette structure in which the more connections you had, the more reputable you became - male or female. On a small scale, this had meant whoever in a village could make the most comfortable scheduling arrangements for trades between families held the most clout. On a large scale, it was guilds instead of families, and that's just how she did it.

Smaller versions of the capital cropped up elsewhere, but none rivaled the splendor, and so the Sahn people became a loose grouping of city-states. The former waeflaegen wore the most flamboyant styles of clothing, but many staemaegen where similarly gaudy clothing for festivals and other special occasions.

The Sahn's greatest flaw these days is that for all their talk of social obligations, they can often be quite selfish - ignoring the problems of other families, city-states, and even nations in order to preserve their own lifestyle. They look at is as two sides of the same coin; if one group is trying to advance on another, who's to say if the advancing group wouldn't be a better business partner? Contracts are practically religious script, but what is left out of contracts is not their concern.

Speaking of writing, Sahn's language has solidified now into a combination of spoken Sahn and the newly created Mercantile "language" plus the writing into the "Trade" language, as opposed to "Common" in many other fantasy settings.

Sociological / Technological achievements:
- Pottery, at the introduction of the clay wheel and seals
- Professional scribes
- Poetry ("false writing" / fool's writing)
- Board Games, dice games, and cards in the style of Tarot made from marsh reeds (based instead on the 8 Tribes + Gods)

Religion: Monotheistic, recognizing their ancestor Sahn's mother as the deity that governs all aspects of life from farming to trade, luck to love, politics to war. She sent Sahn forth - along with the other Tribes - simply to propagate over the land. Thus, those who own land or travel far are equally blessed by her.

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