Internai (Orizon Supplement)
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Originally a primarily agricultural center before the breaking, Internai’s already stretched infrastructure was utterly devastated by the breaking. The continent had fewer remnants of the old world remaining after the breaking and had less to build on top of during the salvage era. The people of Internai are typically more mobile and nomadic than those of other continents and are deeply connected to the land and sky.
The Internai of the modern era is a lush and fertile continent of diverse people. Internai sits to the south of the equator and in its location is mostly a temperate continent, prone to vast plains rather than deep forests. The southern regions of Internai are bitterly cold, especially the southern island, which, on its south, is dominated by ice and tundra.
Most of the peoples on Internai are seemingly primitive compared to those of other continents, but they have developed an expansive system of varied nations and cultures. These cultures are mostly nomadic, the natural wealth of the continent has afforded its peoples the great abundance to accommodate this hunting and gathering lifestyle, so few cultures need to keep to one specific area. Some peoples of Internai travel in great planned and organized migrations, others simply wander.
Because there is a lack of development with airships or sailing, there are very few people on Internai that have made much use of the skylands. Those that do have not been able to settle above the lower nimbus, or have simply not been able to get that far.
During the early elevation period there was a conflict that began in the elemental planes. Tensions between the various clans of genies, believed to be encouraged by the devils and demons of Incancatus, eventually sparked into a full blown war. The genies of various races discovered portals to the mortal realm that exited in the continent of Internai. The genies each decided that a foothold on the material plane would be a valuable place to stage a war against their enemies. Though this motive the war spilled out from the elemental planes and into Internai.
For decades the entire continent was sunk into elemental chaos. Powerful elementals roamed the continent and many people were enslaved by the genies to serve as foot soldiers in their invader’s war. The war continued well into the middle ages, devastating any hope the people had of rebuilding.
Finally, the old gods of Orizon took pity on the people of Internai, and realized that this elemental chaos would only undermine attempts to rebuild the world and the flow. Each of the old gods sent their most powerful agents onto the world, a single solar archangel each. To add to this, the mages of Internai had begun to learn much from the genies and their elemental armies, learning potent elemental spells and casting the opposing elements against genie foes. With this new angelic assistance added to them the armies of mortals were able to begin to turn the genies back.
The victorious armies pushed themselves forwards, into the depths of the genies great fortresses. The leaders of the four elemental armies were imprisoned, and the once grand portals they shredded open from the elemental planes were sealed. With the war over, the people were finally free of the elemental chaos, left to deal with its aftermath.
Much was lost during the generation’s long war and was never truly recovered from. Though for other continents and nations the elevation was a period of recovery and rebuilding, Internai saw its people knocked back into the stone age, as the angels made no efforts to help rebuild. There were positive benefits, though, elemental chaos imparted the land with tremendous riches, making the land almost impossibly lush and rich. Things grow well on Internai, well enough that large scale agriculture simply has not been necessary.
A great prison hidden away in the remote regions of Internai, this place was constructed at the close of the maelstrom war to seal away the four oldest and most powerful elemental genies, the leaders of the war that the mortal forces were unable to kill. For over a thousand years the four of them have been trapped. Each of them once commanded armies that literally shook the earth, now they are trapped.
Each of the four genies have their own cells within the prison. The power of this prison is derived from the four genies, the more each of them struggle, the stronger the prison that traps their opposite. Each of them are aware of this trap, but each would rather die then let their rival escape. This prison has a second purpose, the excess power from their struggles feeds into the world, helping to keep Internai lush, a payment for their war crimes.
At the island to the south of Internai, living on the frozen tundras south of the hills and the ice along the oceans are the Katar peoples. During the summers, the katar live to the north, hunting caribou and fishing the rivers when they thaw. In the winter the Katar travel to the south, striding across the ice to hunt the beasts of the cold oceans.
During the summer the Katar travel in very small groups, only a few families, they spread out in their hunts to cover a lot of ground without overtaxing any one spot. During the winter, they live in larger communities to take advantage of the bounty that a single whale can bring.
The Katar have many threats to their lives from living in the deep cold of the south, besides the cold itself. Frost giants occupy the hills and have been known to raid Katar villages, stealing food and killing or enslaving entire families. White dragons roam the cold tundras and they are unpredictable and devastating in their frosty whims. And massive kraken roam the deep oceans where the Katar hunt whales.
Many Katar depend on their nimbleness of their small traveling units during the summer, and band together in militias to protect themselves during the winter. Occasionally people seeking to prove themselves, or to answer challenges from the gods, hunt down these threats, and are richly rewarded by their communities if they should succeed.
The Katar people try to have some defenses for their villages by enticing nature spirits to their homes. They conduct totem poles that illustrate stories flattering these spirits. They hope that by doing so they can solicit a new guardian for their people.
Along the cold plains of Internai’s continental south-west roam tremendous mammoth. These shaggy beasts wander the plains, grazing the tall grasses that survive without trees being able to grow. Roaming behind these herds of mammoth are the Mamut.
During the cold winters, the mamut hunt mammoth. They spread out across several semi-permanent hunting camps, located within caverns of skylands above the mammoth migration areas. These camps are protected from the wind and insulated by thick mammoth pelts and heated by burning bones. These “winter camps” are occupied by a few small families living together in these close quarters.
In the warmer summers, these winter camps break up and meet in a prearranged location, in a grand, but brief, meeting of clans where stories are shared, trades are made and relationships founded. There are exchanges of people between the clans during the summer camp to help keep the Mamut moving. The location of these summer camps changes annually, each time meeting nearby the winter camp of a different Mamut clan.
Sweat lodges are an important part of Mamut culture, people use them as meeting and relaxing places during the bitter cold of the southern winters. Occasionally mild drugs are added to the steam of a sweat lodge to enhance their “healing” powers or aid in ritual magic of understanding the cosmology.
Mammoths are the most obvious symbol of the Mamut people, and the gigantic shaggy beasts are incorporated into almost every aspect of Mamut culture and construction. The Mamut use mammoth bones and hide in their tents, and mammoth fats and meats in their cuisine, Shrines to honor the gods are constructed almost entirely out of mammoth ivory, with intricate carvings scrimshawed onto them.
At their foundation the Sharadamai were several different tribes and cultures that gradually merged through intermarriage and cultural codependency. The sharadamai make their territory along the strong rivers and steep cliffs along the central region of the continent.
The Sharadamai are made up of four distinct peoples, each of them make their own collaborations to the cultural lattice of their people.
The Sha people live up in the skylands. They build a lattice of bridges between the floating islands and the ground. The sha hunt flying creatures, especially windfish, they are also expert craftsmen with floatwood.
The Ra people live along the hills and cliffs by the rivers, they are gifted miners and craftsmen. They work with simple hooks to help maneuver the bridges of the Sha and construct the tools for the other Sharadamai.
The Dam people make their living on the river. They hunt the huge fish that swim along the river’s currents. Some of the dam people travel south to the ocean to hunt the fish of the salt water.
The Ai roam the forests. They gather fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms as they roam far throughout the forest and hunt for meat from the woods creatures.
Each of the different parts of Sharadamai tribe contribute something unique, and members within the tribe consider themselves to be members both of their small section of the tribe and of the Sharadamai as a whole. All of them collect their supplies and goods and bring them back to the low skylands the sha maintain.
This matriarchal tribe occupies the forests in the central region of the continent to the southeast of the Sharadamai rivers. The Hadum have carved their own territory out of the forests, stripping and bending young trees to construct long huts that they cover in bark.
Deer have a prominent place in the culture of the Hadum. Their old elven members have captured deer a long time ago and managed to domesticate them. These deer are considered sacred pets by the hadum and their riders hold special significance and importance. The ability to tame a fresh deer is considered a rite of passage for young women of the Hadum.
A grandmother is the most respected personage of the Hadum. A grandmother and their wisdom is considered welcome in any home and people will seek out the advice of their own grandmothers before they make any major decisions. In the social life, grandmothers act as matchmakers for their grandchildren.
The Vatakor are people almost exclusively of the skylands, they are experts in the use of grappling hooks and have, through extensive training and practice, exceptional control over the rope and hook. To the Vatakor these grappling hooks have a great deal of cultural significance. A Vatakor isn’t truly considered an adult until they are able to handle a grappling hook with the same skill as the rest of the tribe.
There are many different Vatakor tribes that travel throughout the continent of Internai. Each of these tribes are bound together by a common language and culture. Two different tribes coming together in their wandering on the same skyland is one of the few reasons for the vatakor to spend more than a week or two in the same place. These joinings are a big celebration with an exchange of goods and crafts.
The Vatakor are a purely migratory peoples. There are no central Vatakor territories or camps and they do not maintain any settlements. Though the Vatakor have been known to spend months at a time in locations that the tribe has found fruitful. The Vatakor harvest floatwood at many places they pass through, making intricate carvings of the enchanted wood or boards for them to ride on, slowing their descent and using their ropes to control their direction. They also use the floatwood to construct gliders.
The Vatakor are primarily populated by Kor, as they were the first people of the tribe but other races gradually joined the Vatakor, wood elves especially found themselves fitting in well with the freedom of movement. There are no dwarves among the Vatakor, as they have difficulty as a people managing the dexterity required to travel with the Vatakor hooks.
Once, long ago, the Aptakor was a tribe of the Vatakor. The tribe came to rest on the large skyland to the north of the Hadum territory where they found a tremendous bounty. The tribe decided that they would stop their wandering and settle down, becoming the Aptakor.
The Aptakor have converted some of their ancestral grappling hooks into ladders and fishing nets for them to catch passing shoals of windfish. The Aptakor cultivate and trade floatwood, build homes and run simple forges. All abandonment of their old Vatakor traditions.
The other Vatakor tribes have a tense relationship with the Aptakor, they use the Aptakor island as a way-point or resting ground, but intentionally do not stay long and make a point of avoiding the Aptakor villages. Some older or infirm members of the Vatakor travel to the Aptakor to settle down there.
The Sarmun occupy the warm northern plains of Internai. The Sarmun tradition holds most of the tribes warriors and hunters to be women. These women consider themselves to be the chosen of Diasilva and they revere wolves. Sarmun warriors model themselves after wolf packs in their hunts and incorporate wolves into their art and clothing.
Back at the main Sarmun camp, the men have the responsibility for guarding the home, cooking and raising the children. The tribe moves their central camp once every few years and use large and elaborate markers to mark their favorite campsites and places the tribe has rested before.
The Sarmun are known also for their fine ceramics and intricate ceramic sculptures. The construction of a large kiln is one of the first things to be built in a new Sarmun camp. The ceramic camp markers are the last things made in a Sarmun camp, each one made over the course of the tribe’s time at the camp to mark significant events.
To the southwest of the continent there is a large skyland that has come to rest close to the ground, drifting close enough that the vines and roots growing out from the bottom of the soil allowed people to climb up the skyland. The Zelladon climbed the skyland and made it their home.
Once up there, the Zelladon built gondolas and connected them to the ground so they could continue to travel along both the sky and the ground. The Zelladon mostly use the skyland for simple farming and allowing animals a place to range. Their homes are built onto the sides of the skyland, with a few small tunnels that connect to the cliff caverns.
The Zelladon have spent a great deal of time expanding and fencing off their cliff side caverns, keeping them open to the sky and allowing people to use them to survey Zelladon territory. Deeper in the caves the Zelladon have stretched out thick pelts to keep cold winds out.
Occupying the caves of the mountain range to the north of the Zelladon territory, the Losaduun have carved their way into the mountains. There they take advantage of rich soil and dig out copper for simple bronze works in their primitive forges.
The majority of Losaduun are dwarves, that have decided that life on a skyland with the Zelladon was not worth the hassle and moved north to the mountains, where they turned their old skill and practically reinvented the practice of forging metal.
The dormant volcanoes and the digging of the Losaduun has left an abundance of hot springs and heat, even in the cold of winter. These hot springs are often used as communal baths and relaxation areas.
The tribes and villages of peoples are the major cultures of Internai, the ones that have commanded a degree of territory, or consist of numerous tribes, all joined under the same cultural banner. There are many other tribes around Internai, but they are much smaller, taking advantage of the ecological niche in their chosen area. Some of them spread out through the gaps of the larger territories of the major peoples.
The Drow Peoples
The forces of the maelstrom war rent the underground, as elemental earth shook the ground the great drow cities crumbled or were flooded or burned. But there were scattered, smaller, cities that avoided the destruction. These drow cities lacked the grandeur the dark elves were accustomed to, but they remain the most technologically advanced locales in Internai.
Unfortunately, the drow cities are sealed away from the rest of the world and the cities are deep in the dark. Very few drow leave their cities for the world above, and the existence of these underground hold-fasts are practically considered myths by the other peoples of Internai.
Groups and Organizations
Forged by the battle between the genies that broke the continent again, the maelstrom war, various groups rose up among the scattered huddled tribes to oppose the Genie Sultans before eventually succeeding, driving them back to the elemental planes. Many of these groups survive to this day.
Less an organization and more of a tradition, for a long journey young men and women leave their homes and simply wander the land. Some of them seek out other tribes, or go to visit distant family. Some of these people find a new home as they wander out, settling among their new people. Others come back after months or years of traveling, returning to their people with new members or new ideas.
The long journey isn’t something undertaken by everyone, and it is not always successful, This custom does serve the important role though of sharing knowledge and people across the various tribes.
People on a long journey enjoy a great deal of protection from cultural traditions of the many tribes. Someone on their long journey is offered free passage and welcomed to the tribes they visit as an honored guest.
These people were broken by violence, their founders saw the close of the war and so many of their friends dead. They decided that they would throw themselves into battle, that the only value was in killing and killing well. During the war the deathwatch were the foremost warriors in the battle, slaughtering thousands of elementals and slave soldiers.
Now, the deathwatch are simple mercenaries, seeking out conflicts that they can throw their zeal into. They are fanatic worshipers of Vister and truly believe that they must always challenge themselves and prove themselves, that strength will out. Conflict within the deathwatch is settled with challenges and their leadership is decided with blood.
Shaman born as dreamers who, though ritual and magic, enhanced their connection to the astral plane. They use the insights they discover there to serve as spiritual advisors to their people. Their connection to the astral plane is used for them to commune with each other and to share wisdom. Though a dreamweaver’s first commitment is to their people, they are bound together through common cause.
The greatest connection to the spiritual plane that the dreamweavers use is the totemic nature spirits. The spirits help to guide them through the otherwise confounding astral plane and explain to them what they see. The dreamweavers also use this connection for their people, finding a protective totem spirit for each of the people within their clans. Giving them a totem that best represents their personalities and drives.
These are people branded by the history and remnants of the elemental chaos. They reject the totemic spiritualism of the dreamweavers and instead embrace a connection to their element. Elementalists seek out remnants of the elemental chaos and connections to the elemental planes. They immerse themselves in their chosen elements, some burn themselves, others delve deep underground, some swim constantly while others never come down from the skylands.
The most cherished treasures for the elementalists are things touched and infused by elemental magic. They not only covet these wondrous items, but they also seek methods and techniques to create them.
Similar to a missionary group, the harpers exist to spread knowledge and understanding in Internai. They have established some small strongholds along the Northern coast, but their headquarters are located at the mouth of the rivers to the west of Sharadami territory. The Harpers travel to different tribes primarily to spread knowledge and teaching to their people, using simple songs and tunes to teach basic reading, writing, and arithmetic. The harpers are also dedicated to learning the unique secrets of the continent and the histories and magics of the tribes. So far, the harpers have only traveled very close to the coasts but a few of their members have explored deeper to meet with more remote peoples.
The harpers are also the largest trading group on Internai, trading in the goods from the resource-rich continent with the world’s kingdoms. The harper’s council, the organizing body of the harpers, is made up of members from across the world and each works to ensure that their mission of knowledge spreads, and that their trade is profitable.