Atlir

From World of Charun

"When the sea is calm everyone can steer the boat."
- Old Atlir saying

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Contents

Description

Atalheim is a nation that has developed rapidly during the century after its founding. It is a centre of trade and home to the Atlir - a mixed group of humans descending both from immigrants and natives of the Old Land. Where features in Atlir culture dating back to the founding of the nation are often similar to Northman traditions, most of the newer ingridients in their culture is inspired by the immigrants from the Three Isles.

The urban culture found in the capitol Dagandal differs greatly from that outside its walls. The immigrants arriving mainly from the Three Isles in the mid 5th century brought with them a lifestyle far from that found in the fields, which in combination with foregin merchants and visitors has resulted in a cosmopolitan way of life.

The other settlements and the countryside of Atalheim has a rougher and simple way of life with peasants, hunters, craftsmen and various labourers who go about their business with little regard to matters that might occupy the minds of the Dagandi, as the inhabitants of Dagandal are called. Randsala is perhaps the fiercest corner of Atalheim, with a large garrison of warriors to protect the nation's northern border and a population of hunters, borderers, and those making a living from dangerous raids into Urman territory. Doing things the 'Randsala way' is an expression in Atalheim that describes matters dealt with through less finessse and more brute, direct force.

Farms are a common sight in Atalheim where the terrain allows for such. The majority are owned by rich lords, known as Margraves, who hire peasants to work their land. The Margraves emerged in the mid 5th century when land was plentiful and given away for free. Each family willing was given one patch of land large enough to provide for them. Many of them were allured by the following offers made to them by rich merchants, where they were paid for the land and offered work on it afterwards. The quick earnings and continuing existence in what they regarded as home led to many accepting the deals, resulting in an unwanted situation that grew out of hand before any laws could be made to prevent it.


Life expectancy and Fertility Rate

Adulthood: 15 years
Life expectancy: 65 years
Maximum lifespan: 120 years
Total fertility rate: The average number of children born to a female over her lifetime is 3-6.


Etymology

Atalheim translates to "Home of the Fierce" from Nordska, spoken by the Northmen. "Atlir" means thus "the fierce", even though the correct grammatical definition would be "atalir".


History and Origins

The Atlir are mainly descendants of three groups of humans. Upon the founding of Atalheim in 364 IV, it was inhabited by locals and Northman immigrants, mostly peasants, hunters, and fishermen. Then in the mid 5th century population increase reached new heights with a great wave of immigrants arriving from the Three Isles, some allured by the possibilities offered by a nation on the rise, while others merely wanted to escape the over-populated realm and the poverty found within it.


Appearence

The Atlir appearence is a result of the mix of immigrants making up the population. The Northman complexion of blonde hair and blue or grey eyes has been mixed with that of later immigrants, resulting in dark blonde, auburn and light brown hair, usually accompanied by brown or hazel eyes, even though blue and grey eyes do occur. Atlir are taller than average, a trait inherited by the Northmen - even though they don't reach to the Northmen's heights. One could say that in general people tend to be both taller and fairer in complexion the further away from various settlements one gets, because the Northman blood flows stronger there.

Men favour beards in the countryside, while the women usually wear their long hair in braids. However, in Dagandal hairstyle varies greatly, being inspired by the latest fashion and various cultures.


Language

The Atlir speak a dialect of Islean - the common tongue of Charun.


Society

Governmental Form

Atalheim is a monarchy, still ruled by the bloodline of Randvar Leikrson, the founder and first King of Atalheim.

Atalheim law emerged during the reign of Randvar Leikrson (364-391 IV). It was affirmed and repeated in judicial decisions throughout the 4th and the first half of the 5th century. As the nation grew, so did the need for a revised law. The revised Atalheim Law came into force in 462 IV. It was a major work, remarkable in its systematisation and in its qualities of clarity and rigour concerning matters of property. It has remained intact ever since.

More about: Atalheim Succession Order


Social Stratification

The Atlir upper class is made out of higher governmental officials, wealthy merchant lords and the Margraves, who are lords owning the majority of land found in the nation . The middle class is made out of officers of the army, skilled craftsmen and merchants operating smaller businesses. The lower class consists out of peasants, soldiers and others who are employed as workers, be it on a ship or in a stable.


Economy

Atalheim has a solid economy lagely based on the income of trade and the taxes associated with it. However, the royal treasurers are careful to note that the nation is able to maintain its defences and provide for its people through domestic production, should trade for some reason diminish or even dissapear. Many scholars around the world doubt this, claiming that the apparatus that is Atalheim needs to be fuelled by thriving trade.


Army

The army of Atalheim is known as the Redcloaks. They are skilled soldiers who have made a career out of their choice of profession. Prior to the eruption of Lord's Hill they numbered nearly 15.000. Out of the 3.500 Redcloaks posted in Dagandal, 3.000 lost their lives in the catastrophy, cutting down their numbers to 12.000 in total.

A large portion of all males between the ages 15-40 seek employment in the army, usually in order to provide for themselves and escape a life on a farm in service of a Margrave, or a similar fate. Nevertheless the reasons for enlisting, most soldiers are prepared to die for their country. All Atlir are aware of the blood has been shed in order to have their nation prevail. They are taught from an early age that the time may arise when every man and woman has to take up arms and defend their realm - a destiny that is not far-fetched considering the looming threats north of Talewood in the shape of the Dhazzir and vampires. This spirit, or 'fierceness' is embodied with the old traditions surrounding Saghalla and the teachings of their deity, the First King.

More about: The Redcloaks


Technology

The Atlir are firmly within the second tier of human technology, able to engage in large and sophisticated building projects, yet incapable of mustering the kind of raw magican and technological sophistication of Mubuluk or the Three Isles. While they tend to import more knowledge than they export, Atalheim's reputation as a cultural center is good, especially by comparison with the miserably-backwards A'Soar to the west.


Culture

Diet

Atlir diet is a firm mix of farm goods and meats, and fish from the sea, the latter diminishing notably as one moves inland. Beef and meat is common fare even for the poor, though the quality can diminish somewhat, concentrating more on stews than on particularly good cuts.


Customs

The centre of customs in Atalheim in the century following its founding were the ceremonies surrounding Saghalla, where every Atlir could have a statue risen in his honour. The practice slowed down considerably a hundred years later with the arrival of the Islander immigrants. Saghalla still stands though, with its traditions upheld mainly by the Ataldottir, a group of female warriors who are devoted to the spirit of Saghalla. Beneath Saghalla lies Atalburdr, usually refered to as the "womb of Atalheim. The inscription above the gate reads: Atalburdr - In Death the Fierce are Born Again. The gate is always guarded by one of the Ataldottir.

Parents still upholding the old Saghalla traditions tend to take their children into the central chamber of Atalburdr in order to instill the pride and spirit of Atalheim. The usual ceremony at the location involves lighting a candle, from which smoke drifts through the hole in the ceiling and into Saghalla above. It is a way of honouring their ancestors and the people of Atalheim, and a way of rekindling their devotion to the spirit of Saghalla.

Travel is made possible for nearly every Atlir youngster wishing to journey abroad. Ships arrive and leave the harbour of Dagandal on daily basis, and most of them are prepared to hire a cabinboy. It is quite common to see a youngster spend a few years on a ship and enlist in the army upon returning.


Marriage

The Atlir are stoutly monogamous, and tend to disdain cultures which practice polygamy as lacking in respect for women. Weddings are opportunities for large and raucous celebrations, though this tends to the case more with Isles familiies than with older Northman ones.


Clothing

Both men and women dress in long wool tunics and cloaks, as well as in leather and furs when it gets chilly. The clothing is practical, easily repaired and replaced if need. The choice of clothing varies greatly in Dagandal hairstyle, being inspired by the latest fashion and various cultures. Jewelry is common among those able to afford it.


Arts

The Atlir have generally mellowed in cultural influence from their Northman roots, but when it comes to artwork, the nation's cultural lineage is obvious. Northman art tends to be resurgent in fashion every generation or so, as Islanders "rediscover" the Atlir heritage.


Games

Atlir are notably fond of card games, like their far Sanctian neighbors, and it's said that they got much of the custom from Sanctian merchants early on in their reign. Taverns are a popular place to socialize and have been from the founding of the realm, when even important personages were regularly seen with a mug of ale in their hands at one inn or another.


Weapons and Armour

The traditional weaponry and armour of the Atlir was largely influenced by the Northmen, with axes and mail armour being the most common ones for those able to afford it, while spears and leather armour served the less wealthy well enough. The Islander immigrants brought with them the use of lighter weapons in the mid 5th century, such as rapiers and smallswords, tools of war laughed at by elder Atlir generations.

Today most weapons and armour profitable enough to import from around the world can be found in Dagandal. Besides the imported goods, the domestic forges produce a series of quality weapons out of iron. Even though the range of weapons and armour produced is highly dependant on the demand, most variations can be found.


Religion

Religion in the terms of institutions is nearly non-existant in Atalheim. The tradition of separating state from religion was introduced by King Randvar during a time when much blood was spilled based on which deity one paid homeage to. He introduced the tradition of having no temples or shrines are erected in favour for a deity, besides Saghalla where Atlir ancestors and heroes were honoured.

In 493 IV rituals and practices around the Spirit of Saghalla were dwindling among the general populace, mainly due to the large amounts of Islander immigrants who had little connection to old Atlir heroes and ancestors. Individualism gained more ground as the nation grew, and the solidarity between Atlir encouraged by the Spirit of Saghalla attracted few followers. This was when a small group of Atlir traditionalists entered the scene, proclaiming that Atalheim's identity and future stood at stake, should they abandon their old ways. They hailed the Atlir heroes of old, as well as the concept of the Spirti of Saghalla. Being a loud group of skilled agitators, they managed to gain more and more followers - few of whom had any actual experience with the old ways. Soon Randvar Leikrson, or the First King as they called him, was elevated to a heightened position among the ancestral heroes. Within a decade the cult had taken a new direction, seeing Leikrson as the undisputed leader, still ruling the dead Atlir heroes in their afterlife. Out of the myths surrounding Leikrson grew legends, and finally a faith where the First King is regarded as the patron deity of Atalheim. The Ataldottir do not approve of the First King faith, regarding it as a misconstrual of Saghalla's ideas, and fierce but civil religious debates in the Saghalla have become common of late.

The Atlir tradition of ancestor worship is often combined with worship of other deities as well. Most existing faiths are represented in Atalheim, the majority arriving with immigrants and merchants.

The tradition of not building temples was abandoned in the beginning of the 6th century, when "houses of shrines" began appearing, containing several shrines of popular deities.

More about: First King


Statistics

Location in Charun: Atalheim

Population: 175.000 (prior to Lord's Hill eruption: 300.000)

Settlements: Dagandal 25.000 (prior to Lord's Hill: 130.000), Randsala 35.000, Myrrvik 18.000, Lesing 15.000, Holtlund is abandoned (prior to Lord's Hill eruption: 7.000)

Army: The Redcloaks

Government form: Monarchy


Player Characters

Atlir names for your character: Atlir Names


Faction

The Atlir are part of the Civilized Faction, along with other human cultures and the Mórail.


Genetic Modifiers

Human cultures bearing heredity to two or more ethnic groups are labeled Mixed Blood cultures. This doesn't apply as much to individuals born in a mixed marriage, but more so to entire cultures where bloodlines have been mixed. Mixed Blood humans all have one thing in common - all racial traits have been thinned out, but they have gained extra insight through their exposure to several cultures.

Cultural Modifiers

Proud Bargainer:
Most Atlir get in touch with business, even those living in the farthest corners of the realm. There is always something to sell, a merchant to bargain with or a Margrave to haggle with. The Atlir are also instilled with a patriotic pride from an early age, resulting in a strong-willed population. Atlir characters get a +2 Will Save Bonus and a Skill Bonus: +3 Appraise.

Classes

The Atlir have the following cultural classes, which they can choose from during character creation. Following levels may be taken in the general classes (rogue, mystic, warrior) or in the cultural class chosen during character creation.


Languages

Native Tongue: Islean
You can always speak your native tongue as long as your INT is above 0, but you will not have any "language slots" at INT 7 or lower.
If your INT is 7 or lower you will not be able to understand languages other than your native tongue, regardless of whether you know them or not.

Faction Common Tongue: Islean
At INT 8 you will be given your first language slot, which if starting with INT 8 or higher will always be used for your faction's common tongue. If the native tongue is the same as the faction tongue, the slot can be used for a secondary language.

Secondary Languages: Nordska, Mubuluki, Necharami, Kurashami, Urman
At INT 10 and each 2 INT after that you will be given another language slot, which can be used upon entering the game for the first time to pick a language from the secondary languages list. Language slots may also be used later to learn new languages.


Back to: Races | Human | Human Ethnic Groups | Mixed Blood

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