Rise and Fall of Valencia
Geographical name: Carratacan Mountains (Car – rat- a – kin)
What a citizen is called: Carratacan (Car – rat – a – kin), or by tribe
Government: Each clan is ruled by an individual thane, but the majority of the Carratacan people have joined the Aurelian Empire.
Real World Inspiration: Celtic/Scottish/Yaksmen/Scandinavian/Germanic
“We must stand vigilant! All this bickering aids only our enemies!”
The Carratacans have lived atop, within and around their mountain range for as long as any of them can remember, and stories tell of their ancestors originally clearing out the previous denizens gloriously. Their history is defined by clan warfare between themselves, but they stand united against a threat from the north, raiders known only as the Tang.
In recent centuries there has been no sighting of the Tang, and so the younger generations consider them to be a myth. This resulted in increased clan warfare until a number of tribes under Clan Fireforge joined with the Aurelians and helped them conquer their brother clans, hoping to unite them under a foreign power.
“Already we have divided too many times…if this continues every man, woman and child will be their own clan.”
Each clan has their own unique society, some being settled agriculturalists while others are roving hunter-gatherers in the mountains and surrounding forests. For the most part, all of them are worried about their survival more than anything else and take a practical view to everything. Their thanes are generally the most skillful among them, either the greatest warrior or artisan, with the leadership skills to stave off death.
Since joining the Aurelian Empire, many Carratacans have left for urban centres in the far south, to work as mercenaries where their reputation and sour demeanor get them easy money. This has caused troubles in many clans, as the majority of their next generation have simply up and left them, forcing them to merge with neighboring clans in order to survive.
“You think I smell funny? Does my axe smell funny too? No?”
Carratacans are generally tall, bulky, and as hairy as the yaks they ride throughout the cold mountains, though different clans will favour different traits. The rough lifestyle they lead produces great warriors and hunters, and their abundance of food in the plateaus leads to larger people as a result. In many cases it is said that Carratacan women are just as big and hairy as the men, and are to be feared more. This is not necessarily the norm, but is true in some cases…
Contrary to popular belief, Carratacans actually take great pride in their grooming, and a good beard is seen as a status symbol. The men wear simple kilts with ornate sashes to mark their clan and place within it. Aside from these kilts, garments are generally sturdy wool to protect from the cold, with heavy fur cloaks to aid them.
“The End Times are coming, and we must be ready!”
The Carratacans have a complex religion revolving around ancestor worship and ascension into the divine. Their first king, Aeldraed, was the first to ascend and see the real threat in the heavens. Then, from the dead he began recruiting an army to fight off the vicious enemies, whose army was composed of monsters such as trolls and giants and dragons. To this day he fights the Great War in the heavens to protect the mortal world, and he still recruits from fallen heroes to man his army.
In addition to fallen heroes, Aeldraed’s army also has several allies, incarnations of nature. And so there exists a subsect to the religion which reveres nature as its own divinity. However, this is seen as almost a cult and is frowned upon by most of the warriors who don’t appreciate the competition to make it into the ranks of Aeldraed’s army.
Major Gods and their Clans:
Every major clan can trace their ancestry back to an ascendant:
Aeldraed, Lord of Death, The Guardian. Aeldraed rules over all clans, though no clans existed when he was a mortal.
His symbol is the Open Eye on a Shield of red.
Siv, Mother Earth. Aeldraed’s wife, who died and came to embody nature and its allies. She is also seen as the recruiter of Aeldraed’s soldiers, as all things that come form her return to her. She’s a prominent figure in the nature cults of the Carratcans.
Her symbol is an Evergreen Tree
Theodoric Frostblade, the first to have slain a frostwyrm and turned one of its teeth into his famed claymore. He is the Champion of Aeldraed. His symbol is a white blade.
The Frostblade clan was the largest and remains so even in the present. They put up the fiercest resistance to Aurelian rule.
Bhaltair Fireforge, was a master artisan and learned how to create iron. He is Aeldraed’s Master of the Forge, and crafts all the Dead’s weapons and armour. His symbol is a raised hammer on an anvil.
The Fireforge clan has been in heated competition with the Frostblades for time immemorial, but has generally remained their inferior. There was a point in time where they had the advantage, when they alone held the secret to smelting steel.
Jyrgal Quickstrike, a master hunter believed to have slain mythical creatures of great proportions with his trusty bow. It said that only after he had hunted every beast worth hunting that he ascended to Aeldraed’s side, to hunt far more vicious prey. His symbol is a cleft spear.
Eiderea Redmane was sister to Jyrgal, renown for her fiery temper and ability to drink everyone under the table. She represents celebration and merriment more than any other, but also what happens when you cross the wrong person. Her symbol is a red wolf with a fiery mane.
Mannix Ironwolf was a stoic man, always concerned with the safety of those he cared about. Drawn to duty more than any of his brothers, he was known to be ever watchful for danger and too stubborn to die despite numerous wounds that would be grievous to most men. His symbol is a stone tower.
Comgal Earthshaker was known for his strength, able to throw cabers and boulders further than Jyrgal could shoot with his bow. Legends say that many of the plateaus were caused by his stomping and that he wielded trees in battle. His symbol is a clenched fist.