**There are still images to be added and some information on the sheet may be added/removed/modified.
Province: Sacred Groves
Sacred Tree: Alishan, Mother of the Groves
Patron Spirit: Nyyq
Shaman Family: The H'Assan Fae
Music: [ x ]
Very Common Races:
Byyst, Byyst Hybrid, Human
Abeybalgau, Ajin, Cheka, Mitanos, Mjolt, Norishi, Thena, Uril, Xan'ii
Agmae, *Haon, **Hiekka, Mbuzi, Siikri, Yoryyntaur
*Though many varieties of Haon originate from the Sacred Groves, they are not often welcomed to the tribe due to their nature to eat the shadows of trees, as well as Byysts and Humans. The poaching of Byysts is punishable by death.
**Hiekka would have originated from either the sand from Lake Mimar's shore, or the Sacred Groves' southern beach.
*Though it may seem strange at first, Merfolk in Alishiani are available to members albeit rare. However, it must be taken into consideration that Alishiani Merfolk are very limited in what they can do! - They would be mostly restricted to the river than runs through the village, although have access to the eastern Lake Mirmar and humid weather means they can comfortably come out of water for a limited amount of time. Homes would typically be built on the village riverbank/within the river for them. All Merfolk would have to be based off of freshwater fish.
Dyjiki, Grai'zhul, Iyool, Jalbi, Plyca,
The Traditions of ShamanThe tradition of Shaman is not more practiced in any tribe than the Alishiani, with their beliefs and workings centered heavily around believing the story of the Mother Tree, H’Assan, is not myth, but truth.
The title of Shaman in Alishiani is hereditary, and it has been passed down through a family of horned Byyst for generations, with their ancestry dating back to the very first Shaman. They are the H’Assan Fae, meaning 'Sacred horn'. Due to such an honourable lineage, most in Yoryyn have heard of the H’Assan Fae. Yet, despite such ‘fame’, the family is strictly modest. They do not consider themselves leaders, but mentors to the people and servants to the pillar trees and the guardian spirits.
All members of the H'Assan Fae possess adept spiritual powers, though the Shaman's are naturally the strongest.
It is tradition that the first born daughter of the Shaman becomes heir, though this can be overruled if a son or daughter with six or more horns is born. The heir will then become Shaman once the current renounces their position. Growing up in a family where shamanism is a very prominent lifestyle, the heir thus requires little specific training. Once a shaman is chosen, they renounce their name and become known as the ‘Yoryynsha’; tree speaker.
The female Shamans are typically virgin and must remain so, as such is seen as a sign of purity -- it is their way of devoting themselves to the Patron Spirit (much like nuns in our culture) . However, she will one day have to form a solid union and bare heirs to her position. Come marriage, a female Shaman will not give up her maiden name so to upkeep the ‘H’Assan Fae’ tradition.
It is forsaken for a Shaman of any gender to be promiscuous, and any acts of such may lose them their position.
Due to the spirituality and myth surrounding Byysts, poaching is punishable by death. The current Shaman will perform the execution and the severity of it depends, respectfully, on the severity of the crime.
The H’Assan Fae’s most recent debate regards the withering of the 7 pillar trees and the spirits. They are aware of this and work to restore them whilst keeping it a secret from their people.
Climate and Geography[ Annotated Map ]
Region Size: Roughly 605,000km²
The north most point of the Sacred Groves descends from the Otcer Mountains. As the mountains descend into the province’s borders, the landscape is a picturesque view of thick forest and mountain-esque hills, carved from the cascading waterfalls which then converge to create the rivers and pools of freshwater in the forest floors below. Some of these waterfalls are heated by the tectonic movement below the Otcer Mountain, giving rise to natural hot springs.
The north-western area, bordering the Northern Groves, is cool and thus temperate rainforest before maturing into the Sacred Groves’ infamous thick and most abundant tropical rainforests, prominent throughout the rest of the region, diverse with life. As expected, the climate is hot and humid throughout the majority of the province, with rainy season ('Erthei Cime') coming early Spring.
Otcer’s melting snow and thawing glaciers provide the Sacred Groves with its rivers that contain and provide much life. The native carp, Aeyrn, is abundant here and a common food as well as the many fruits, exclusive to the province. Strong bridges, built by manipulating the roots of living trees over hundreds of years, provide footing over these waters.
Naturally, during Erthei Cime (rainy season), the water level of the rivers become much higher and the carp swarm towards their mating grounds - many of the children come to watch and try their best at catching them in the high waters, much to the dismay of the worried village women!
With the rising water levels, the main river’s banks burst, causing many new networks of smaller rivers and streams to branch off, lasting for the duration of the year and refilling again come the next annual Erthei Cime.
Thus, the vast majority of the Sacred Groves is thick with luscious green tropical rainforest - a huge network filled with diverse life that can completely provide for the tribe. Grand trees of countless variety tower high and, beneath the canopy, rich mosses and ferns grow where pathways have not yet been marked out by the Alishiani. - Even when still, the forest is alive with colourful flowers and wildlife. Rivers and streams run throughout the tribe’s lands, creating small falls and pools of clear blue water, seen as picturesque while offering the tribe a fresh water source.
Come nightfall, the Sacred Groves are an even more spectacular sight. The forest becomes home to luminescent plants which light up the dark with a spectacular glow, emitting a glowing pollen into the air as though floating lights. Due to the high concentration of these luminescent plants around Alishan and the Temple of Mother, they’re considered to be connected to the spirits and thus, something sacred. As the tribe sits itself between Alishan and the Temple, their settlement has the privilege of these spectacular luminescent sights.
General Information and CustomsThe Alishiani are the most spiritual of all tribes, their traditions pertaining to the belief of the Mother Tree. As consequence of these beliefs the Alishiani have great respect and regard for the spirits, and practice peace, spirituality and tradition. A communal and a self-sustaining tribe, wealth and riches have no importance here - ‘honour’ is the only currency, and so many males become hunters or warriors to promote their status.
The Shaman has the duty of being ‘leader’ to the tribe, and thus must guide them as a community and offer advice. Close family of the Shaman tend to aid leadership decisions, much like advisers, though the Shaman may often choose to seek help from the spirits, and especially so their patron spirit. It is tradition that Nyyq is summoned every Sunday, which is known to the tribe as ‘Ky’lahna Volui’; Wish Day.
As a spiritual culture, the Alishiani are a very community-based people with no social classes - this, coupled with all the forest has to offer, allows them to be self-sufficient and have no requirement for finance or the riches that come with it. Self-sufficient and a tight community, the people work together to help one another and be helped - no one person goes without. However, this is what has lead to the tribe having quite specific gender roles.
There is little-to-no agriculture or farming, (asides from privately owned, small paddy fields should a member choose to cultivate one) simply because it is unnecessary. With the rainforest providing such a diverse abundance of life, the tribe can make their way by hunting and gathering alone. The rivers are filled with fish and the forest floors sporting all sorts of wildlife to hunt, but what is most exclusive to the Sacred Groves are its hundreds of different kinds of fruits.
Growing both high in the canopy or low to the ground, nestled in bushes along with berries, with as many various flavours and textures as there are types, it’s no wonder that they make the main source of the Alishiani’s trade and diet.
Alongside gathering fruits, hunting plays a key role in the Alishiani’s culture and diet. Due to gender roles, hunters are typically male. Each kill is treated with the utmost respect. Most commonly hunted animals are boar-like and deer-like creatures that frequent the forest floors.
The atmosphere of the tribe is typically calm and relaxed. No one member is bound by ‘work hours’, so to speak, so long as everyone does their best to contribute to the good of the tribe. This gives each member the freedom to enjoy life, and some may choose to go on days of adventure away from the tribe, to visit popular areas such as the northern hot springs.
The Shaman, Yoryynsha, sometimes gives the tribe ‘days off’ and they go on communal visits to other areas of the province.
The Southern Plain’s birds often flock to the Sacred Groves in migration, adding to the large array of tropical birds that already call the canopies home, and they are well welcomed. Any colourful feathers dropped are often used in clothing by the Alishiani.
- Live fires are forbidden on the ‘island’ where Alishan sits.
- The tribe is warned to keep away from Muozo, and if he is to be sighted it should be reported to the Shaman immediately.
Society and JudiciaryDue to their spiritual and communal nature, the Alishiani have no social classes, and what hierarchy they do have is modest and typical of any tribe. All tribe members are equal, with expert hunters and warriors being noted and commended for their feats. A great hunter or warrior may bring honour to their family. Only Yoryynsha and the H’Assan Fae are perceived as ‘superiors’ - or leaders/elders - though naturally so.
As the Alishiani are communal, riches and wealth have no importance here. ‘Honour’ is the only thing that could make a tribe member well known. Men can be known to bicker and brag amongst themselves for status, since it makes them eligible bachelors. But alas, boys will be boys~
HousingThe Alishiani mainly use the native vegetation to build their homes. The most common are rectangular, low buildings made of the giant sturdy leaves of a tropical palm called the Me’inne, which are waterproof on one side to shield inhabitants from rain. The other side of the leaves have a texture of that like felt and help insulate the house. The shape and style in which the houses are constructed reflects asian architecture, though it is simplified. The homes are of a modest size, enough to house the family comfortably. However, should a family have a business or store etc, their houses tend to be slightly bigger to accommodate for their trade.
All homes tend to have a small paddy field on their property so that the families may plant their own grains, vegetables etc and cultivate aeyrn (a type of carp) in the waters. - The tribe is very self sufficient.
The largest house of the Alishiani is positioned above the others on a small hill, enclosed by large trees and drooping mosses. It is home to the H’Assan Fae and the Shaman, Yoryynsha, resides there. It is quite temple-esque as members of the tribe are welcomed inside to speak with the Shaman. It is generations old, positioned there by the first Shaman to overlook the village, giving the people a sense of protection.
Festivals and EventsThe Alishani have many festivals and events and for two prominent reasons: They have a community and family-orientated nature. Generally, the Alishiani enjoy one another’s company and bond greatly through festivals. For every festival, the entire village is invited to partake. Yet, possibly the most important of the two reasons, is that the Alishiani are the most spiritual of all cultures, and they use festivals to praise, give thanks to and celebrate the guardian spirits and Alishan. Their largest festival is the Alishan Mazzar; Alishan Festival. Alishani’s biggest, liveliest festival. It celebrates and takes place on the day the first flower of the Alishan blossoms.
Ku'lahna Volui; Wish Day: Every Sunday morning the villagers travel up the hill to the Shaman’s house with questions or wishes for Nyyq written on a small piece of parchment. The parchment is dropped into a basket hanging outside the house. The Shaman then collects the wishes and sorts through them during the day before giving offerings and speaking with Nyyq at dusk. She will relay some questions and wishes to him, thus the day has inherited the name ‘Ku'lahna Volui’, meaning ‘Wish Day’. Guided by the patron spirit, the Shaman then tries to cater for the requests and wishes of her people.
Volsa Mazzar; Sun Festival. Also known as the Summer Solstice: The Alishiani celebrate the Summer Solstice as though it is a day of rebirth. The tribe relates the day’s idea of rebirth to the creation of H’Assan’s seven children, thus celebrating their coming to being. Many tribe members believe that it was on this day that H’Assan’s seven children began to emerge from their seeds as saplings.
For Volsa Mazzar, the tribe visits Alishan and gives thanks and countless offerings to the tree. The tribe visits at dawn so to watch the sunrise, and the celebrations last all day and long throughout the night. During the day, there is a live performance by the children of the village, where they dress up and reenact Yoryyn’s creation myth. Come evening there is dancing and music, played on hand crafted instruments from natural materials. Live fires are forbidden in the area, but such is fine - the luminescent plants brighten their nightly activities.
???, ???; Winter Solstice: The day is sometimes called the ‘day of sorrow’. As the shortest day of the year, it is believed to represent death. Being the opposite of the Summer Solstice, the tribe thus relates the day to the death of H’Assan. The Alishiani believe a myth that it was on this day that the mother tree, H’Assan, perished.
The current Shaman, Yorrynsha, leaves the tribe for this day and visits the Temple of Mother. She spends the whole day there. It is unknown what she does and it is forbidden that she is followed.
Alishan Mazzar; Alishan Festival: Alishani’s biggest, liveliest festival. It celebrates and takes place on the day the first flower of the Alishan blossoms. The festival is to celebrate and worship Alishan and their patron spirit, Nyyq.
The tribe will travel to Alishan and watch as the first flower blooms before beginning the festivities. Much alike the Volsa Mazzar, there is music and dancing throughout day and night, and many activities to partake in.
The tribe will spend the festival by their sacred tree, Alishan, dressed in furs and wearing hand crafted fox masks in respect to Nyyq’s form - some members may even use body paint for further decoration.
Many fruits are harvested from Alishan, most of which are eaten on the day of the festival. The seeds are then collected and taken back to the tribe once the festival ends, which is typically the next day.
One of the activities present at the festival involves a contest for the best outfit/fox mask, the winner of which is presented with a prize from the Shaman.
Another activity involves trying to climb Alishan to reach the first flower that bloomed that day, and bring it to the Shaman so that they may wear it on their person for the year. The person who achieves the feat is also presented with a prize.
?? Mazzar; Harvest Festival: Much like many cultures, the Alishiani have a grand harvest festival. Though, whereas in most cultures where a harvest festival celebrates the cultivation and harvesting of crops, the Alishiani’s is moreso in thanks to the vast abundance of food their diverse forest grows - in actual fact, the Alishiani do not cultivate their own crops apart from a few grains as aforementioned in ‘Housing’.
The festival starts at dawn. Typically, the men set out and acquire foods for a grand feast that will take place in the evening. They harvest the food throughout the day, to then bring it back to the village for the women to cook and prepare the feast.
What is harvested depends on the tribe member’s preference, of course, but typically the feast will go on to include many of the Sacred Groves’ exclusive fruits, vegetables, grains from personal paddy fields, freshly hunted meat and fish.
There is also a contest for the most beautiful aeyrn that has been either caught or grown. Yoryynsha offers a prize in exchange for the fish, which she will then cook in private and offer to Nyyq once the festival is over and tribe members have retired for the night.
Marriage and Courtship: Courtship and marriage are important aspects of the tribe’s tradition - virtue and union through marriage are taken very seriously. Typically, courtship takes place before marriage. It is important for the man to ask the woman’s father blessing to both court her and for her hand in marriage. However, some marriages within the village are arranged. Once a marriage has been agreed, the ceremony will take place beneath the tree of Alishan and the two will be wed by the Shaman, whom will ask Alishan’s blessing on the marriage during the ritual.
White robes are usually worn for the wedding, and there is an exchange of gifts and vows.
devyoryyntel: © ~monokroe
Alishiani © =Mirvirus & ~monokroe
Art and Characters Yoryynsha, Aeir © =Mirvirus
Character Syzair © =Lanaluu
Background image credit: wallpaperswide.com/rainforest-… and in-game screenshots I took from TERA online
. Soon to be replaced with my own art pls.