[Lore] Fétskí Skefét Atlas

#1
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Fétskí Skefét (pronounced “FYEHT-skee SKEH-fyeht”) is a city that is comprised of five parts: a subterranean, religious cavern of traditionalist Ceaca; a treetop haven among the boughs of the jungle’s canopy populated equally by Verdan and Ceaca alike; an alpine village shared between Ceaca and humans; an isolated but progressive Ceaca collection of podlike habitats affixed to columns of stone jutting up from the sea; and the hub of the city, situated along, within, and below the cliff face of a graceful waterfall. Traditionally a city built for those able to fly, there are now bridges and ladders that foreigners can use to fairly easily make their way around the central hub of the city, where more foreigners choose to stay.

Things to know before starting:
Oríyu, the language of the Ceaca, is the primary language of the city, though many Ceaca can understand and communicate in Echovian.

The City Laws, in summary are as follows:
1. Don’t do anything with the intent to hurt someone
2. Don’t steal or vandalize
3. Pay the city tax
4. Everyone works
5. There are no retrials and decisions are final

Parties of Interest:
The Evenfsíku or Evanesce are the city guard and army. They are more emotionally distant and are often seen as calm and collected, in stark difference to the rest of the population. They are trained in ranged weaponry and quick to step in at any sign of trouble. Typically, there are more of them in heavily populated areas and fewer of them where there are fewer people. Their ranks consist of members chosen as children and reformed criminals.

The Junosíku or Mystics are a highly skilled order of Ceaca able to traverse the Fade and well educated in history. They are responsible for choosing the members of the Council and advising the Ceaca people. Their ranks consist only of members chosen as children who pass the a process of trials before apprenticing under an already established Mystics.

The Skefétsíku or Council are the official ruling body that presides over the city. They are responsible for city-wide policies, wartime decisions, and foreign policy. There are seventeen members that are appointed by the Mystics, however the only requirement to be chosen as a member of the Council is that one must be a Ceaca.

The Romulsíku or Artisans are a popularly, casually elected group of people who serve as representatives for each tú leth tú (or “borough”). They are responsible for attending a bi-seasonal meeting with the Council and for overseeing the day to day functioning of their respective tú leth tú. Their ranks can consist of any race, but only one member of each school of trade can be elected.

The Ínúhasíku or Inquisitors are an exclusive, but personable group of historians that specialize in detecting lies. They are responsible for upholding the laws of the Ceaca and pass judgement on criminals. Their ranks consist of children who ask to be apprenticed, though there are never more than seventy seven Inquisitors per tú leth tú and one apprentice under each.

The Haresíku or Traders are an outing, wanderlust filled group. They are responsible for physically trading with other cities and nations. Their ranks consist of anyone with a desire to travel and passable business sense.

The Resbáversíku or Caretakers are a group of storytellers and historian. They are responsible for facilitating university discussions and maintaining the city’s library. There is no requirement to become a Caretaker, and while they are always residents of the city, they range in race and age.

The Losínusí or Ambassadors consist of educated orators with a desire to travel and participate in cultural exchanges. They are responsible for improving relations with other cities and nations with varying mandates given to them by the Council. Members must be literate and well-versed in at least one aspect of Ceaca culture, however mixed race Ceaca are the most sought after and training is available for these cases.

Government:
The city is essentially run by the Council and is supported by a social welfare system. Though the Council can make calls on city-wide policies, each tú leth tú is relatively independent. The Evanesce, Inquisitors, and Mystics are technically not part of the government, but any can be chosen to serve on the Council or as an Artisan.

Wealth:
All players are required to start at the “common” wealth tier. Characters can still move up in the tiers but cannot fall below “common” as long as they are living in the city (this includes Ambassadors as they are employed by the city). Everyone is expected to work and produce product, but as long as they do so their basic needs are met. The majority of Ceaca use a barter system, with some areas being more open to marqs. There are still things for purchase, and many Ceaca who cannot immediately afford what they want to trade their time in odd-jobs and general labor to earn what it is they want.

Education:
All children are expected to attend a general school from age three to age ten, during which they are instructed on how to better control and recognize their emotions as well as multiple trade lessons to find what they are passionate about. From the age of ten, children choose who they want to apprentice under and are able to attempt to join several exclusive groups. All apprenticeships last for seven years, and anyone can apprentice under a master willing to take them for that amount of time. There is a university within the city, however it is more of an open forum of discussion than a formal institution.

Race Relations:
All races are welcome in city. Slavery is not recognized as a status and the Ceaca legal system treats slaves as it would any sentient individual.

Cuisine:
Most dishes have some mix of fungus, insect protein, and fish. They are often seasoned with fresh herbs and accented with fruits and other meats. Treated as an art form like most everything else, the dishes range from having a pleasant aesthetic to being masterful displays of plating prowess.
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Lexicon Reference

Useful Links:
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Last edited by Dust on Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

[Lore] Fétskí Skefét Atlas

#2
Overview
An In-Depth Look
The City
There are multiple entrances to Fétskí Skefét, the central borough or tú leth tú, on the cliff face of the Drámur Flo or Draumur Falls, including windows to private homes, but there is a single, most obvious epicenter, Imposá Frílíth. Shops and homes sprawl out on either side of the mouth of a giant crag in an eastern-facing cliff. The oldest and most elaborate buildings are carved right into the rock, but many bamboo bridges and other constructions weave around the cliff walls. There is reflection of nature in their buildings; physically higher homes are larger and connected to the open air, often housing artists and philosophical advisors of the Ceaca. Tradespeople and foreigners tend to live around the crowded mouth of the cave with many buildings, bridges, and ladders making it a relatively easy part of the city for land-bound races to traverse, while traders and workers of stone both practical and ornamental live toward the bottom. On the northwestern side, where the morning light touches the longest, a series of greenhouses and agricultural homes have been well established. Opposite the massive cave entrance, experiencing relative darkness for most of the day, The University of the Living Dream campus hangs from the inner wall. It is known for its courses in art, philosophy, and history, as well as its extensive libraries.

At the very bottom of the Imposá Frílíth, pools of water are interspersed with slimy stalagmites, but the life and refuse there has resulted in something of a mushroom forest where more private Alameians have built small, rounded homes to echo the subtle beauty of their fungal neighbors. Past the pools, into the deeper reaches of the cliffside, are a seemingly endless maze of caves and deserted passageways which, while not necessarily off-limits to citizens, do not offer the same safety and resources as areas closer to the metropolis. These caves include a sporadically lit road to Béralá Skese, the entirely underground settlement about twenty miles in, though foreigners will find themselves experiencing increasingly powerful hallucinations should they manage to follow the flickering, emerald flames.

Though some buildings, namely where the Council gathers, are impossible to reach without wings, the majority of buildings have silk and bamboo ladders that flutter down from doors and porches, precarious but accessible to any who walk upon the earth with no wings to raise them.

The city center is part of a larger whole, surrounded by several boroughs:

Fétskí Skefét
To the north, about a half-day’s fly or day’s journey on land lies Home Fétskí, known to Echovians as the land of life or the living land, though often it is simply called “Home”. This treetop haven is the only Ceaca settlement that is not predominantly carved from stone. Instead, an elaborate infrastructure of living wood and silk rope hides among the leaves of the Fétskísí jungle. Consisting of near equal parts Ceaca and Verdan, Home Fétskí is a quiet settlement that has a reputation for its humility and slow pace of life. Food is abundant and varied, even with a steady stream of much of what is grown and harvested sent back to the central borough. bi-seasonally. Homes are spacious and airy. Wooden bridges swing between thick leaf cover from the upper trunks to the canopy, but the locations of buildings are known better by the name of the tree they hang from than the street they stand on. The Homesí live in sharp contrast to those who defend them; a specialized version of the Evanesce patrol the perimeter with poison-tipped weapons, preventing beasts and other intruders from invading their pristine village.



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Apofse Béralku
To the east, a day’s fly or several days journey on land perches the mountain borough of Apofse Béralku. Though it is second only to Fétskí Skefét in population, humans just outnumber Ceaca in this alpine village. Tucked away in a steep chasm within the Túskefét Mountains, the original settlers were curious Ceaca pilgrims looking for a secret, sacred place to call home. The metals they found in the earth, as well as its defensible location, attracted the attention of human settlers. What began as a tense stand-off for valuable land turned into a tentative alliance; since then, Apofse Béralku has become something of a refuge for those who cannot find home elsewhere. Translated as “The Eye of the Mountain”, or “Where the Earth Sees”, Apofse Béralku is set apart by its distinctly human influenced architecture and countless, carved stairsteps. Though it is still presided over by Ceaca mystics and Artisans, recognized by the Fétskísí council, there is still much political tension between the capital and its most distant settlement.



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Finku Luf
To the south, about twenty miles out, there have always been stone spires rising out of the sea, chewed away by the roiling waters. Until about a century ago, there were only a handful of families residing on what was then called Finku Flo, “That Which the Sea Made”. But a recent pilgrimage of tinkerers and artificers, seeking further freedoms in their creative expressions and experiments, have swiftly colonized the area, bringing with them brass and lumber and, above all else, ingenuity. Renaming the village Finku Luf, or “The Outcome of Time”, the newest borough in Fétskí Skefét prides themselves on their message-delivering pulley system and balloon-operated elevators. Their pod-like homes sparsely freckle the strange stone structures that jut up out of the ocean, each a testament to their determination and grit. Though it is perhaps not the most classically beautiful of the Ceaca settlements, it is regarded by far as the most techno- and sociologically progressive borough, incorporating Trader leadership and the international currency of marqs from the beginning of their revolution. In any case, the Finksí would argue that invention is its own aesthetic, the other side of beauty’s coin.



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Béralá Skese
Deep beneath the pools of Fétskí Skefét, far out of reach of the light of the sun, the oldest borough quietly rests, illuminated by green alchemical fire that hangs from the ceiling of a massive cavern. A geometric mandala of hanging stone buildings drip between actual stalactites in this hidden realm. The architecture follows simple, elegant patterns and glitters with mined jewels and artificial light. Beneath a 50- to 100-foot drop is a sprawling underground lake, with buildings carved into the sides of the cavern wall, just slightly above the water’s level and imported bamboo radiating in in hypnotic, kaleidoscope patterns to form intricate floating platforms. Béralá Skese, roughly translated as “The Earthen Heavens” or “The Firmament of Stone”, is a deeply religious society rooted in darkness and tradition. Where racial tolerance and spiritual freedom may have reached other settlements, Béralá Skese has remained separate from the world since its founding nearly a millennium ago. Few outside of Fétskí Skefét have even heard of this place, and the Béralsí remain content in their isolation from the wingless, heartless children of the land.

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Ket Mar
Existing just outside of the city limits, perched happily atop the cliff and built around an offshoot of the river that cascades down the Drámur Flo, is The Market, or as the Ceaca call it the Ket Mar or “The Exchange of Money”. The Market was built within the past several decades, and is a collection of buildings of various sizes and styles that seem a patchwork of wood and stone and thatch. It is difficult to determine where the village started, as there are very few buildings that have not been repaired, expanded, and adjusted with each new wave of traders seeking asylum from the Council’s city tax. Thanks to a particularly business savvy human Fétskísí, he was able to convince the Council to allow foreign traders to build a village on the outskirts of the city’s limit where merchants could stay and sell their wares without needing to pay the tax asked of all who live within Fétskí Skefét. The human has since passed, but the village remains. Thanks to the innovative Finkusí, there is a large artificed balloon operated elevator that can transport people to the top of the cliff, where the village is located a short distance into the jungle. This village technically has no governing body, however the majority of Fétskí Skefét’s laws are generally accepted. It is not under the protection of the Evanesce and, technically, it is a lawless area. Many a foreign traders has awoken to find small baubles or goodies missing from his stock - it is often suggested to keep wares under lock and key.
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The Land
Much of the borough of Fétskí Skefét exits within the cliff face of Drámur Flo, receding into the earth at places while other times building directly onto the cliff itself. Thus, the climate of Fétskí Skefét is as diverse and colorful as the people who populate it. Within the borough of Fétskí Skefét, where the city is surrounded by the strong arms of their earthen walls, the light is dim and the air is cold and crisp, with pressure currents between large and small caverns carrying with them occasional chills. Within the more open, central area of the Imposá Frílíth, the buildings and people are more exposed to the salty breeze of the sea and the warmer, heavy humidity of the jungle’s climate, made all the more stifling from the pools and ocean’s spray. Many foreigners find the heat and humidity difficult to adjust to, and it is not uncommon for Ceaca weavers and tailors to cater to their needs, selling loincloths and other minimalistic articles of clothing at the Imposá Frílíth entrance.

The jungle itself, which houses the borough of Home Fétskí, is generally warm and humid, experiencing what is essentially an eternal Wood with minimal drops in temperature during Air and Water and increased humidity and dangerous temperatures in the open sun during the actual season of Wood. Though there are still wet and dry seasons that follow the trends of jungles along tropical latitudes, there is almost never a need for water nor fear of food in the coasts and rainforest the Ceaca call home.

Within the alpine reaches of the Túskefét mountains, the climate is far more extreme. Air and Water are cold and snowfall is common, though Earth brings with it a gentle, though still brisk, atmosphere of growth. Due to the borough's altitude, visitors often find it more difficult to breath in the thin, chilled air. Humidity here is very low, and many Ceaca are seen wearing heavy robes to protect their wings in the colder seasons.

Out in the open waters of sea, the air is salty and sweet. Dark green masses of kelp forests can be seen beneath the lazy waters. The heat is more intense, as is the humidity, but both are are minimized within the curious pods of the city’s most technologically advanced borough. Visitors and foreign traders alike are often herded onto the small ferries that transport goods back and forth between the central borough and its aquatic extremity. It is a popular area for foreigners to visit and even more to reside within, as their habitats are by far the most temperate.
Last edited by Dust on Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

[Lore] Fétskí Skefét Atlas

#3
Laws & Crime
Helpful Links:
  • Inquisitors
  • Rúmpá Ef
  • Laws
  • Evanesce
As their society is very closely tied to their empathic understanding of one another and general desire to work for the good of their kind, it is uncommon for Ceaca to break their laws. It should be noted that while their laws are few, the consequences for breaking their laws can be severe. It is generally understood that these laws exist for the good of the Ceaca people, and while the city may seem a peaceful utopia, there is a very strong, inbred authoritarianism that lies just beneath the surface. They are quick to forgive minor infractions, but major offenses are viewed in very dim light and many quietly remember.

Laws of Fétskí Skefét
Though there is no formal display of these laws, most Fétskísíku will happily explain them to any who ask, and often they will do so out of their desire to see that the city remains calm and peaceful. Minor infractions can be handled between the parties involved, but once an Inquisitor is involved, the outcome of trials is non-negotiable. Foreigners who commit minor infractions are immediately expelled from the city, without trial, and are banned for the duration of the season (or the approximate length of one season). Should a foreigner commit a major infraction, such as those listed below, that foreigner will be judged as a Ceaca native and is subject to the same outcomes of trials.
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1. Above all else, intent to harm is to be condemned:
No matter the crime, should the Inquisitor find that the act was committed out of a desire to cause harm to another person, the accused will spend a specified length of time within the Rúmpá Ef at the discretion of the Inquisitor. These outcomes are non-negotiable and cannot be shortened; however there is always a stipulation that should a Ceaca fall into the depths of remorse, they are to be reconsidered in a second trial during which, depending upon the severity of their harmful intent, may be allowed to rejoin society. If their harmful intent was severe enough, they are given the option to be a part of the Evanesce; however, they must earn back the privilege of being part of the city’s community after their sentence has been served.

2. That which is taken must be paid for in equivalency.
This covers all things relating to property that has not been explicitly shared. The destruction, theft, or unbidden alteration of any thing is to be properly paid for. In some cases, if the accused has affected an item outside of the intent to harm, the accused may have the option of labor or a set amount of time spent in the Rúmpá Ef, as time is an appropriately valued tool of barter within the Ceaca culture. They may also trade an item of equivalent value to their accuser; however, the value is entirely at the discretion of the accuser. These crimes are rare in the Ceaca culture, as their social welfare program makes sure the citizens are well fed and taken care of.
For foreigners, should they attempt to steal and are caught, they are immediately expelled and banned for the duration of a full season, unless there is an apparent intent to harm, in which case they are tried as a Féskí Skefét native.

3. The needs of the many are the needs of the few.
Bi-seasonally, eighty percent of all food, water, clothing, art, and furniture that is not considered “trade goods” is to be passed to the Artisans of each borough to divide among the people. These welfare packages are collected every seven days, and they contain enough supplies for the average Ceaca to live comfortably. As twenty percent of these goods are retained by their producers, extra items can be purchased through trade of items, services, or often given as gifts. To refuse this tax is considered an act of harmful intent, as it endangers the Ceaca people as a whole, and is dealt with harshly. Any action driven by greed or selfishness, if caught, is treated as harmful intent towards the Fétskís themselves.
For foreigners, this law is rarely applicable. If a foreigner decides to sell wares within the city limits, that foreigner’s sales are subject to the city’s tax. Many foreign merchants and traders are very careful to set up their shops just outside of the city limits to avoid these taxes; however, if they refuse, their wares are seized, they are expelled, the goods that are due to the city are distributed while the remaining percent is returned to the merchant’s declared city of residence.

4. All work is good work.
Unemployment is illegal. Though it is frowned upon, very few Ceaca hold grudges against those who refuse a day or two of work. Those found shirking their duties are brought before an Inquisitor, where the severity of their negligence is weighed and a verdict is made. Very rarely is a sentence given that does not involve supervised labor; however, those who express an acute desire to harm through the interrogation process are given long and serious sentences.
For foreigners, this law is slightly adjusted. Any foreigner found harassing others or otherwise being a disturbance to the peace will be immediately expelled from the city and banned for the duration of a season assuming there is no apparent intent to cause severe harm. This is does not include light-hearted heckling; however, it is at the discretion of the Evanesce and the Ceaca people what is considered a disturbance. It is very rare for a foreigner not to be warned of their behavior by a Ceaca citizen before an Evanesce decides to step in.

5. That which is decided by the Inquisitor is to be follow without question.
To attempt to escape from prison is to be in open defiance of Fétskí Skefét’s laws and customs. This is dealt with very seriously, and those who attempt to escape, no matter the reason, are given extended sentences and are moved deeper into the Rúmpá Ef with each repeated offense.
For foreigners, this is the same as it is for all Fetskisi, Ceaca or no.

A note on slavery: The Ceaca have no specific laws against slavery, however this is not due to their support of it. They do not understand the basic premise of slavery, and they treat all sentient beings as individuals. Thus, should a master mistreat a slave, that mistreatment will fall under breaking the first and most important of Fétskí Skefét’s laws. While the master receives a sentence, the slave is treated as any other foreigner and allowed to remain within the city or even settle there as a citizen. This does not mean that any slave brought to the city is automatically free, only that the status of slave is not recognized within the Ceaca culture. Masters who do not break the law will not have their slaves taken away. Slaves who break the law may very well be imprisoned, and there is nothing their masters can do about it, resulting in some slaves choosing to commit small crimes to escape their owners. Should masters try to contest the verdicts passed by the Inquisitors, they will be imprisoned as well (see Law 5).

Crimes and Punishment
Natives to Fétskí Skefét, if they are careful, are able to avoid the Inquisitors; in fact, most of the sentences are laid down upon foreigners and visitors. Sentences range from insistence of reparations paid - these may be in the form of equal trade, labor, or time spent in a cell - to a lifetime of imprisonment. There is no death penalty, as death is rarely considered a punishment to the Ceaca to return to the Fade upon their departure from the mortal plain. Instead, the most severe punishment a Ceaca can receive is isolation, and it is doled out according to the Inquisitor’s assessment of an accused’s intent to harm.

In most cases of petty crimes where there is little to no intent to harm, accused may spend up to twelve hours in isolation. As severity grows, however, it is not uncommon to be sentenced for months or years. As it is a law not to contest the outcome of trials, Ceaca generally do not express any dissent, most of them understanding that, while harsh, the actions that lead to the sentence were avoidable - this is a difficult concept for humans, especially when it seems as though families and friends of those imprisoned seem not to care; many Ceaca care, but they are often more wounded by the decisions the imprisoned made than the sentence given by the Inquisitor. Due to Ceaca’s racial ability to empathize deeply with others of their kind, it is very rare for them to be upset with an Inquisitor, as they can clearly feel the Inquisitor’s desire and intent to keep the society as a whole safe.

The Legal System
All trials are held in the home of the presiding Inquisitor. The accused is allowed no proxy to speak on the accused’s behalf and is expected to answer any and all questions asked by the Inquisitor. Two Evanesce are always present at every trial, both to escort the accused and protect the peace should the need arise. Accused are immediately brought before the presiding Inquisitor, and they are sentenced after their trial, which is essentially more of an interview. The Inquisitor will ask the accused several different questions, the first always being whether or not the accused admits to the crime in question. If the accused is honestly able to deny that the crime was committed, the trial is ended and the accused is released. If the accused is unable to deny the crime was committed, the accused is then asked questions about intent (primarily “why” and “what” questions, e.g. “Why would you do something like this?” “What were you thinking at the time?” etc.).

The Inquisitors of the Ceaca differ from humans in that they are primarily concerned with the intent of one’s actions, not the action itself. Their ability to so deeply feel the emotions of others allows them a greater insight into the mind of those they interview, and as they spend their entire lives familiarizing themselves with the many different faces of deception and the historical legal precedents of those who came before them, they are very difficult to lie to, especially in terms of intent. If the accused is found to harbor intent to harm, that intent is gauged by further questions, eventually resulting in a sentence of some set amount of time in isolation within the Rúmpá Ef at a specified level of depth. If no intent to harm is found, the maximum time that an accused can be held is a total of three days, though it can be as short as half a day.

Contesting the Inquisitor’s sentence immediately adds seven days of isolation at one level lower than was decided. Further contesting adds thirty days and a decrease in level, one year and a decrease in level, and finally life in isolation at the deepest levels.

It should be noted that the Ceaca operate under a different hierarchy of needs than other races. First and foremost, at their most base level, Ceaca desire to be part of a community. This community does not need to be Ceaca, but it does need to be sentient and accepting for this basic need to be met. From there, Ceaca are able to concern themselves with physiological needs such as food, water, warmth, and rest. When they have all of these needs met, it is then that they are able to pursue their individuality and creativity.

Ceaca who wish to do harm to other Ceaca are considered “aberrant” or “volúthse” - which here can literally mean “An Aberrant Creature”, a very serious title to bestow upon and Ceaca, as it removes their “sí” (or “self”) and replaces it with “se” (or, here, “creature”). These volúthse can be reformed, and depending upon the severity of their intent to harm, can reclaim their “sí” and rejoin society.

Due to their base desire to be part of a community, isolation is both their greatest punishment and one of their most effective treatments for aberrancy. When left in isolation for long enough, Ceaca can regress into purely instinctual states, crying out in wordless, emotion filled screams that sound like songs. These “songs” or “leth át kel” - here meaning “Outcry of the Soul” - signal that a Ceaca has reached a place of repentance, guilt, shame, and desire to place the needs of the many above the needs of the self. Not all Ceaca who reach this point are able to rejoin society. Those who were imprisoned for extensively malicious intent are given the option to join the Evanesce, remain imprisoned, or be exiled with a brand upon their face (that of a simple moth, about half the size of the face, burned on the left side of their face, called “Leth Ment” or “The Wound”) that all Ceaca who know the ways of their people will immediately recognize as a threat to all Ceaca. Most choose to become a part of the Evanesce and serve for the rest of their life in repayment to the society they once tried to destroy.

General Ceaca sentiment around the volúthse is negative; however as long as the Inquisitor deems them able to reintegrate into society, most Ceaca are able to forgive with time, as it is difficult to hold grudges against someone who is constantly shrouded in remorse.

Foreigners rarely benefit from this extreme isolation and many who are given serious sentences go insane to some extent. Those foreigners who are released from isolation that lasts longer than a year are permanently banned from the city and are given a brand upon the left side of their neck in the shape of a simple moth, though it is also called “Leth Ment”, it has a bit of a softer empathic emphasis, making it more “The Mark”.
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Defense of Fétskí Skefét
The Evanesce, or the Evenfsíku, are the sole defenders of the Ceaca people. The organization as a whole operates as its own entity, though they accept and welcome the guidance of the Mystics and answer to the call of the Council should the time for war ever arise. All members are trained in non-lethal restraints and incapacitation techniques. They are comprised of four separate “roots” or “rúmpá alef”, as Ceaca often equate memories to that of roots running deep throughout the loam of the Fade, as follows:

Báversíku - The Wise
These are the members of the Evanesce who are responsible for training and guiding the organization as a whole. Báversíku determine where Evanesce should be stationed, what they should be doing, how they should be doing, and, most importantly, they are responsible for reminding the Evanesce why they are doing what they are doing. They are equal part philosophers and warriors, but they bear a heavy a burden. While few in number, no more than one hundred seven at any time, the báversíku are all skilled mesmers and Mystics, and use their abilities to help train the members of their organization. Part of the induction into the Evanesce is to allow oneself to dampen one’s emotions. These emotions are not completely eradicated, but they are lessened to such a degree that members of the Evanesce are distinctly different from other Ceaca, slightly more gruff, less understanding, but still kind. Kindness, especially, is held in the highest regard among the organization, and cruelty is an offense that will result in a life of imprisonment.

This ritual is known as “Hasí Leth”, or “The Nothing”, and is an intense ordeal for both the Báversíku and the would be initiate. Involving a mix of mesmerism, drugs, and a willingness to give up one’s past, the Báversíku traverse the memories of the initiate, removing the feeling from their memories of the past and placing limitations on what they can feel in the present. It is exhausting for both parties, though more so for the Báversíku, and is only done with the permission of the initiate. At the age of ten, the ritual takes roughly three days in total, with most of they day spent dampening the memories. With each additional year, the process is lengthened by several hours, with the longest ever recorded Hasí Leth ending just shy of a year with every member of the Báversíku having taken part. When the ritual is complete, the initiate still feels, but it is a distant, quiet sort of sensation. They are able to remain calm and focused in emotional situations, and though their relative lack of emotion in comparison to other Ceaca certainly makes them stand out, they are all heavily schooled in Ceaca philosophy, law, and ethics.

They are also responsible for raising each generation of Evanesce, training them not only physically but philosophically as well.

The use of mesmerism within the ranks of the Evanesce is not common knowledge among the people. It is not explicitly hidden but it is very rarely, if ever, talked about. The Ceaca people appreciate what the Evanesce do for them, and they understand that sacrifices must be made. Most don’t feel the need to know exactly what those sacrifices are.

Néxsíku - The Good
These make up the bulk of the Evanesce and serve in any position from guards to patrols to laborers. Each member of the néxsíku undergoes a willing initiation into the organization by allowing the báversiku to dampen their perception of pain, fear, and anger, vowing to place the well being of the Ceaca above all else. It is a private ceremony, held within the deepest reaches of Béralá Skese, though this is done primarily out of tradition and not due to any political ties to the subterranean borough.

Most néxsíku are stationed in a specific area of each borough, cycling between labor and guard duty. They range in skill from simple labor to artisan crafting, but they often keep to themselves or fraternize with other néxsíku over engaging in average Ceaca community. Though they range in personality, there is a collective duty in what they do, and it is never far from their eyes, whether they smile or frown. The Ceaca people gave them their name, the “néxsíku” or “The Good People” both out of respect and love for what they do, yet both parties know they are different, and that difference does serve to keep them slightly removed.

Néxsíku are almost entirely made up of children chosen by Mystics. The children are often singled out as potential volúthse, or aberrants, and are taken from their families to train with the báversiku. There, they are given rigorous courses in learning how to control their emotions, how to hone their bodies, and how to expand their minds. At the age of ten they are given a choice: to be inducted into the Evanesce or to try to live their life as a common citizen. Very, very few refuse their induction when they are offered. From there, their emotions are damped and their military training begins. They are primarily taught how to wield deadly chakrams, though as their people began to trade and expand their knowledge of other cultures, bows, javelins, bolas, throwing knifes, and a plethora of other ranged weapons are often chosen as secondary weapons. None of the néxsíku are formally trained in melee combat.

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Strúnsíku - The Strong
Comprised of reformed criminals and people who were identified later in life as potential volúthse, this rúmpá alef is only stationed at the edges of the city’s borders. There is an exception in the treetop borough of Home Fétskí, where the Evanesce are held in higher regard and the people are more readily able to forgive the transgressions of reformed criminals out of respect and reverence for their decision to serve. The strúnsíku are traditionally trained in the use of the spear, and while it is not uncommon for them to experiment with other melee weapons, most carry the spear with a sense of pride, no matter how serious their previous transgression.

Though they are often regarded with polite suspicion by the average citizenry, they are considered family within the Evanesce, providing their desperate need of community and comradeship with a suitable and accepting outlet. Their induction into organization is much the same as the other roots, however, they are also made to feel their sense of commitment and dedication more strongly. It is enough that, should the báversíku demand it, they would give their lives for the Ceaca people without question. This particular aspect is one of recent debate in whether or not it is ethical to do so, however, most strúnsíku are adamantly in favor of the magically enhanced fidelity, mostly out of fear that they might feel compelled to harm their fellow Ceaca again without it.

As they primarily protect the borders of the boroughs, it is not uncommon for strúnsíku to live together in single building homes scattered around the city’s limits. Any child of a strúnsíku pairing is adopted by parents chosen by the báversíku, and these children are typically celebrated as products of true Ceaca reformation.

Their name “strúnsíku” was given to them by the báversíku, to not only inspire pride within their ranks but also as a testament to the Ceaca people that there is strength in remorse.

Lúrútsíku - The Young
Quite literally the smallest root of the Evanesce, these are the child recruits. Though they vary in number depending upon how many potential volúthse, or aberrants, are discovered in each generation, the lúrútsíku undergo rigorous training and conditioning to help protect them from going dark and becoming volúthse. These children range in ages from four to ten years old, but they are well cared for and live in communal academies presided over by several báversíku.

When they turn ten, they are given an option to join the ranks of the Néxsíku or rejoin society. While it is rare for them to rejoin society, some are approached by Inquisitors and offered an apprenticeship among the Mystics. Of all children who undergo the often overwhelmingly rigorous training required to become a Mystic, the lúrútsíku have the highest rate of success.

When a Mystic identifies a child who will become part of the lúrútsíku, the family is first notified. That family is given a choice to either entrust the child into the care of the Evanesce or leave the city. Some choose to leave, but most are happy to give their children to the Evanesce, for they understand the dangers of a child going dark and what it means for their society as a whole. Most lúrútsíku retain weak if any relationships with their biological families and instead tend to view their báversíku as their parental figures.

Lúrútsíku are given no martial training at all during their time in the academies. Their studies are entirely based in learning to control their emotions, law, philosophy, art, culture, and history - primarily that of Ceaca violence and the outcomes of that violence. Many partake in artistic activities, though they primarily invest their time into dance, which is the most physical, martial artform available to them.
Last edited by Dust on Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

Re: [Lore] Fétskí Skefét Atlas

#4
Demographics & Society
Race Break-Down
  • Verdan - 30%
  • Human - 20%
  • Massani - 10%
  • Noiros - 8%
  • Kumale - 5%
  • Ayoh - 3%
  • Kithsek - 3%
  • Oracles - 1%
  • Ibaani - 1%
  • Etain - 1%
  • Svalrkin - .5%
  • Asrai - .5%
  • Duslach - .5%
  • Sharkmer - .5%
  • Shaiad -.5%
  • Mereidan - 0%

    Fétskí Skefét Population: 600,000
    Surrounding Villages Population: 30,000
Government
Each tú leth tú or “borough” of Fétskí Skefét is ultimately presided over by the Skefétsíku or “Council”. The Council are comprised of seventeen Ceaca, chosen by the Junosíku or “Mystics”, and are seen as the most capable Ceaca to make decisions for the Ceaca people as a whole. There is no restriction to age, gender, skill, or perceived ability, only that each member of the Council be a Ceaca and chosen based off of five recommendations from separate Mystics. Historically, the youngest to ever be appointed was eleven and the eldest an impressive one hundred three years old. To be chosen as a túsí or, loosely, “Esteemed Council Member” of the Council is one of the greatest public honors that can be bestowed upon a Ceaca. These appointments are not limited to the Ceaca living within the immediate boroughs of Fétskí Skefét, and three times throughout the history of the Council, members have who have been abroad or even adopted by families in foreign cities have been appointed and eventually found and brought back to lead their people.

The Council are responsible for overseeing both inter- and intra-city trade, foreign policy, punitive policies, social welfare, education standards, city expansion, regulation, and repair, and is the only Ceaca power that can declare a state of war, during which they assume command of the Evanesce. While a long list of responsibilities, the majority of the day to day operations are taken care of by a separate branch of elected government. The Council are primarily responsible to evaluating, reviewing, and, if necessary, adjusting the laws and regulations within their sphere of influence. This can be as small as how many mealworms a family should receive in each social welfare package to as large as closing their borders to foreigners indefinitely or going to war with the Asrai (both highly unlikely scenarios that have been brought before the Council to review in the past). Though incredibly important to the continued development of the Ceaca as a race and culture, the Council are more of a body of discussion, where ost debate stems from the clash between progress and tradition, with a secondary emphasis on Fétskí Skefét’s place among other nations and races. These two schools of thought are known as Hutaskefet (“high dream”, defined by an emphasis on nationalism, culture, and religion) and Fris’haluf (“new world”, known for valuing growth, diplomacy, and progress)..

Just slightly beneath the Council are the Romulsíku or the “Artisans”. The Artisans are relatively fluid in that they are primarily the most talented, most capable craftspeople, artists, and laborers within their borough but are popularly elected bi-seasonally by, essentially, who receives the most cheers when their name is called. Outside of their roles as representatives to the Council, during which they bring concerns or critiques before the Túsíku to consider, the Artisans are responsible for overseeing the day to day functioning of their respective borough. Typically, Artisans relatively steadily consist of the best sculptor, painter, storyteller, farmer, and most dedicated laborer. Depending upon the borough, there may be other tradespeople included in the fluid council of the Artisans ranging from artificers to hunters to fisherman to Evanesce, and they can be of any race. Regardless, while only two are officially chosen as representatives twice a season, all of them share the responsibilities of the day to day Artisans, meeting every seven days to discuss and delegate intra-city trade, borough expansion, regulation and repair, distribution of welfare, and borough education.


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Though not technically part of Fétskí Skefét’s government, the Junosíku or “Mystics” are a highly skilled, highly exclusive organization within the Ceaca. Though they are responsible for appointing the Túsíku of the Council, the Mystics are primarily revered as historians and advisors. While some of the Mystics are directly involved in the government, some being elected to the Artisans while others are very rarely chosen by other Mystics to serve as a Túsíku of the Council, the majority of them are more interested in the Fed or “Fade”. Any child, once they turn ten years of age, may attempt an apprenticeship under one of the Mystics; however it is an incredibly trying experience and very few complete the training necessary to traverse the Fade safely and explore the ancient memories of countless lives past. As close to a decade of intense spiritual, psychological, and emotional training is necessary to truly be considered one of the Mystics, they are highly revered by the Ceaca in general and traversing the Fade is considered to be one of the highest art forms achievable by their kind.

The Ínúhasíku or the “Inquisitors”, are responsible for upholding the laws of the Ceaca. They spend the majority of their time with books, scrolls, and other historians, primarily concerned with very specific parts of their people’s history: law, judgements pasts, instances of Ceaca deception, and outcomes of allowances in relation to the law. They are, by far, the most personable of the Ceaca “hierarchy”, and they are often seen among the people when they are not sifting through the countless memories of the past. At the age of ten, any child can be chosen to undergo an apprenticeship under one of the Inquisitors. There are never more than seventy seven Inquisitors per borough; however each Inquisitor can prepare one apprentice to study under them and take their place when the time comes.

Trade and Commerce
While the Skefétsíku are responsible for overseeing inter-city and international trade, the Ha Nét Res - or more popularly the Haresíku, meaning “Traders” - are the ones that physically make the trades. Viewed with a mix of appreciation and curiosity, the Traders tend to be comprised of outgoing, wanderlust filled Ceaca who never quite felt at home behind a potter’s wheel, before a canvas, or entangled in a weaver’s loom. They are a minority among the Ceaca people, but with each new, exotic tale they return with, more and more Ceaca seem to don the mantle of the Traders, some even going as far to leave the city altogether in search of adventures of their own.

Though the more progressive parties within Fétskí Skefét, namely the borough of Finku Luf, use marqs, the Skefétsíku and the Ceaca people in general primarily expect physical goods to be brought back by their traders. Thus, though the Traders often have no qualms trading their wards for marqs or whatever currency the city they are in uses, they almost always use that money to purchase exotic goods including sugar, salt, meat products, cotton, wool, furs, wine, and gold to bring back to their homeland. Each caravan belonging to the Traders consists of at least three traders with double the Evanesce guard - typically Néxsíku, however many of the Traders have no qualms with Strúnsíku accompanying them - while larger caravans may even consist of a handful of the Traders with double their number in Ceaca citizenry who have volunteered to assist with transport and a large Evanesce guard.

Fétskí Skefét, though an established exporter of silk, jewelry, jewels, pearls, art, paper, medicines, silver, copper, tin, and more recently artifice creations, is infamous for its drug trade, mainly in the production and distribution of narcotics. Because the Ceaca physiology is all but immune to addiction, there is less of a stigma for the use of mind-altering substances than there are in most other states. Dream dust and poppy tonic can be found in market places alongside orchids and dragon fruits, a popular attraction for tourists. In fact, the hallucinogen that allows the mystics access to the Fade is potent enough to be outright illegal in almost all other cities. This results in something of a resentment for the laws of these places, and a point of contention in diplomatic relations. The Evanesce themselves are known to defend merchant ships carrying such cargo, regardless of their national allegiance.

Perhaps due to their own cultural attachment to these substances, the Fétskísí have little patience for those who have succumbed to its effects. Intoxicated foreigners are given harsher sentences when arrested. Hospitals have few resources for treating addiction, a disease that is seen as a niche hobby among healers. Farmers, distillers, and merchants in the drug trade do not tolerate the indecent habits of most criminals who would presume to trade with them, resulting in a rather sophisticated reputation among those that do.

Within the city, eighty percent of all non-inter-city trade goods (inter-city trade goods are determined by the Council and are relayed to the Artisans as, essentially, work orders) are delivered to the Artisans who then send the agreed upon goods to other parts of the city as dictated by the Skefétsíku. These collections make up the entirety of the city’s welfare packages. In this way, no citizen of Fétskí Skefét is ever hungry, nor are their clothes in disrepair or furniture falling apart; however, the remaining twenty percent of goods that is not collected for welfare is retained by the producers and can be sold among the people. While the welfare packages provide basic comforts, Ceaca who enjoy the more luxurious side of life will often trade their remaining twenty percent of goods with Ceaca from other borough or foreigners. Those who do not have items to trade for goods and services they want to buy will often trade their spare time instead, working for another Ceaca for an agreed upon amount of time before being paid in the desired item or service. These payments are typically agreed upon by both parties and are generally honored in good faith.

It should be noted that, with time, almost any Ceaca can buy almost anything, but it is still more difficult for a Ceaca who is primarily a repairer of homes to purchase a particularly expensive piece of jewelry for his would be life partner than it is for a talented artists with pieces that the ring seller is interested in. Occasionally, Ceaca will simply give other, less fortunate Ceaca the items they desire, especially if the less fortunate Ceaca has a very positive reputation as a dedicated worker, but this is almost never expected by any Ceaca looking to make a purchase of any kind.

Education
Primary Education
Ceaca children, fondly referred to as the téxásíku or téxku, meaning “The Little People” or “The Little Ones”, attend a “átá oríjul junos” or a “general knowledge school” from the ages of three to ten. During this time, their lessons are split into two sections, lasting for about nine to ten hours in total every day. The first half of their day is dedicated to “morná báverku” which means both “Morning Lessons” and “The Dawn of Wisdom”. These are primarily lessons in learning to identify emotions internally and externally, separate those emotions as belonging to the “sí” or “self” and to the “leth sí” or “others”, control one’s emotions, and finally the value and meaning of those emotions. These classes grow in sophistication as the children do, but they are rife with exercises disguised as games and silly wordplay. Though often not viewed as important by the laughing, giggling Little People, it is one of the most essential parts of any Ceaca’s education and ability to function within Ceaca society. Morná báverku also include history lessons in the form of stories and philosophy and law lessons in the form of songs and poems they learn to recite by rote. Children who excel in morná báverku are often good candidates for historians, scholars, philosophers, and are the most likely among the Little People to have a better chance of becoming one of the Mystics.

The second half of their day is comprised of “efá báverku” which means both “Evening Lessons” and “The Twilight of Wisdom”. These lessons are entirely focused on tradeskills and range from pottery to painting to sculpting to carving. The lessons have very different craft focuses depending upon the borough. For example, in Apofse Béralku many children are drawn towards sculpture, stone carving, and architecture whereas in Home Fétskí there is more interest in hunting, wood carving, and agriculture. Again, the classes become more practical as the children age, starting almost entirely with games and ending in practical classes in which they are able to begin exploring their creativity and decide upon what sort of apprenticeship they want to seek out. Children who excel in these classes often become successful artisans and, if their are sociable and generally well liked, may become good candidates for the Artisans.

After classes are finished, there is a two hour period called “hasí síku” meaning “caring for my people” during which children form groups and go about the city performing various simple services ranging from sweeping away cobwebs and scrubbing at moldy facades to helping with building repairs and construction. Some children become very invested in hasí síku and may spend their free time and holidays finding new ways to help the city. These children are often more considered for positions among the Skefétsíku.

Secondary Education
Once children reach the age of ten, they join the masses as “apofsíku mésun” or “searchers of purpose”. While it is very suggested that any apofsíku mésun seek apprenticeship under a tradesperson in a craft that interests them, it is not technically required. While many apprentice under their parents or relatives, others may travel to other boroughs and find a master tradesperson there, especially when their interests are more prominently practiced elsewhere from where they were born. From this point on, if they are accepted as apprentices, they remain under the tutelage of their master for the next seven years. While an apofsíku mésun can only have one master, tradespeople can have multiple apprentices. The state of apofskíku mésun only requires that one be at least ten years of age and having never completed an apprenticeship. Any race of any age that is at least the equivalent of the Ceaca ten years of age can be taken as an apprentice, and it is not uncommon for adult foreigners to be working right alongside Ceaca youth as apprentices to well established master tradespeople.

Upon completion of their apprenticeship, typically around the age of seventeen, the Ceaca is no longer a child and is free live life, as long it is a productive one. It is at this point that other Ceaca will finally refer them as “sí” and “síku”, a cultural acknowledgement that they are now their own self and able to pursue whatever dreams they may have. This right of passage includes foreigners; so when a foreigner completes the seven years of apprenticeship, Ceaca will often treat that foreigner as more of a native Ceaca, referring to them respectfully as “frisí” and “frisíku” meaning “new self”.

Higher Education
The Resbáver Fétskí Skefét, like many of the various names of buildings and locations in the Ceaca’s native tongue, has several meaning and purposes. The first is that it is “The Library of the Living Dream”; a place where anyone who is willing to trade new knowledge for old may come in, share their wisdom, and be guided to into the deep recesses of the upper cliff to a vast, carefully maintained hall of stone. The Library is lit with torches and braziers with a small network of tunnels that lead upwards through the roof to let the smoke ventilate, the careful work of several evokers, and is watchfully maintained every seven days. Beneath the ornately carved murals upon the ceiling, the air is dry and cold; yet, there is a hearty warmth that springs from the various Caretakers of the library, the Resbáversíku, who happily relay old songs and stories that foreigners and natives alike find too difficult to discern from the plethora of scrolls, journals, books, and tomes. It is not a quiet, somber place, but rather a place of joy, music, and edification - albeit a bit chilly for long swaths of time if not cloaked in the several layers of silken robes the Caretakers wear as their official uniforms.

Anyone who is willing to trade useful information for the wisdom held within the books and minds Caretakers may use the library with no further caveat, whereas Ceaca and foreigners who do not have knowledge to trade are asked to help maintain the library for a set amount of time before partaking of reading - though this does not mean they shun listening to the stories or songs so long as one is working during the time asked. The library - this including all written texts and oral knowledge - is replete is Ceaca and Verdan religion and history and culture, philosophy, art, mathematics, architecture, agriculture, and legends. Among the less populated subjects are those of foreign history and culture, foreign geography, and commerce, war and warmongering, smithing, animal husbandry, and foreign gods. The exchange of knowledge for knowledge is at the discretion of the Caretakers, however most times there is little issue as long as the information is new and interesting.

The second meaning of the Resbáver Fétskí Skefét is “The University of the Living Dream”. This loose translation can sometimes be considered a misnomer by foreigners looking for a traditional formal education. Rather than classes or lectures, the Ceaca gather for “ínu luf” or “the time of speaking” during which it is an open forum to discuss topics and aspects of a subject agreed upon at the conclusion of the last ínu luf. In this way, Ceaca spend most of their dime debating, reviewing, redefining, and conjecturing about the knowledge of the past and present and what it means for the future of said knowledge. These discussions tend to revolve around art and philosophy primarily, however as the Ceaca have continued to garner more and more foreign interest, foreign topics are often brought up among groups, especially those containing actual foreigner. History is also discussed, though these discussions often are focused on how best to portray the story through the use of Prusoselá Oríyu than they are an actual lesson. For foreigners and Ceaca alike who enjoy learning through debate and critical thinking, the ínu luf of the Resbáver are a worth resource. The discussions range from light-hearted to very passionate, though Ceaca strive to move away from anger in their debates and foreigners may be asked to leave for time to cool down should they get too invested. These gatherings ask only that you participate; passive listeners are politely asked to leave or try the library if their interests do not involve debate.

The ínu luf are held in the Resbáver’s spacious halls which are open to the sea on three sides with a passage at the back leading deeper into the cliff. The area is open, though there are no formal stairs to reach where the university hangs from the upper reaches of the cliff face, silken rope ladders hang from the main archway where surefooted foreigners can make the precarious climb to partake in the shared knowledge of the mothlings. The floors are all carefully carved with intricate murals of the past, depictions of legends and historical figures, and songs and platitudes. There are pillars with the same mix of carvings, and the ceilings as well have history and culture engraved into the stone. Scattered about are silken pillows and rugs, bamboo mats, tastefully carved chairs and low tables; all fair game to those who would come and share.

Religion

TBD

Race Relations
Overall, the Ceaca of Fétskí Skefét are open and welcoming of other races. There is a general sense of foreigners being new and exciting, especially when it comes to refreshing perspectives on art of all forms, but that they are fleeting. The longer a foreigner stays with the Ceaca, the greater pressure is placed upon that foreigner to conform; though pressure is more so in the form of quiet whispers and a gradual polite but deliberate ostracization the longer that foreigner refuses to conform. For those passing through, however, the Ceaca are open and friendly, happy to swap stories, art, furniture, or anything else. There is no stigma against inter-racial relationships, however it is generally expected that a Ceaca marry a Ceaca, and being bound so intimately in the Fade is only possible between such a pairing and considered a beautiful event (this does not mean that they are upset when a Ceaca marries a member of another race, merely that some of them might think it a temporary bond in wait of the more permanent Fade bond). Interracial babies are a little bit of a different story, as they cannot fly. This makes getting around the city very difficult for them, and it is suggested that these mixed babies live in boroughs that are more hospitable for terrestrial races.

The Ceaca, especially within the last hundred years or so, are very active in international relations. Many young orators with dreams of seeing the outside world are appointed by the Skefétsíku to represent specific aspects of Fétskí Skefét ranging from cultural exchanges to very sensitive discussions regarding drug-trade policies and trade route security. These Losínusíku or “Ambassadors” are an increasingly popular choice of profession, especially among the youth who are interested in seeing the world but less so in peddling wares. Mixed race Ceaca are often pushed towards the role of Ambassadors and given the option of special courses with the Caretakers to help them better prepare for the job, however any Ceaca with a firm grasp of whatever aspect of the city they wish to represent may request audience with the Skefétsíku to verbally state their case as to why they should be appointed as one of the Ambassadors. As long as they are convincing in their argument and able to display impressive knowledge of their desired field of representation, they are given permission to leave with one of the Trader caravans, a silver pin in the shape of a moth that officially designates them a Losínusí of Fétskí Skefét, and a destination with a mandate to carry out.

The Ambassadors are expected to check in with the Skefétsíku at a minimum of every thirty days by letter, relaying their progress, any difficulties, and making diplomatic requests as a proxy representative of the city they are in. Not checking in with the Skefétsíku results in Evanesce sent to retrieve what is considered the rogue Losínusí, replacing them with a new ambassador and bringing the rogue to stand trial. While the Skefétsíku send may ambassadors to many different cities and regions, the majority of the Ambassadors are largely unimportant. If a Losínusí is given a mandate to improve relations in cities where there is a negative stigma due to the drug trade, that is a huge honor and one that, in spite of the growing number of Ambassadors, relatively rare.
Last edited by Dust on Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:27 am, edited 4 times in total.

Re: [Lore] Fétskí Skefét Atlas

#5
Holidays & Traditions
I guess stuff can go here when I figure out what it should be
Marriage & Divorce
Ceaca are largely polyamorous, and while not all intimate relationships exist in threes and even sometimes fours, it is not uncommon nor frowned upon. The actual ritual of marriage, men romulnes leth men or “many made one”, is one of intimacy and a binding of the past and present. Those who marry very rarely do so on whim, fully understanding that to marry another whether they be one or many, is to intertwine one’s past, present, and future within the Fade. It is not something taken lightly, and those very few who break so intimate a covenant generally never find another partner within the Ceaca community. As once one’s family is cemented in the fade, though they may physically walk away from one another, they never truly part and still traverse their shared dreamscape. For this reason, there is no such concept as divorce among the Ceaca of Fétskí Skefét, and it is almost unheard of to break the covenant of marriage. However, it is not uncommon for Ceaca to have intimate relationships with one another and not marry. This promiscuity is not necessarily frowned upon, especially when it is done while seeking someone to spend one’s life with. It is more frowned upon when it is done purely out of lust and selfishness.

Single Ceaca households are rare and never does a child grow up within the city without the influence of neighbors, teachers, and friends helping to raise it. Most Ceaca within Fétskí Skefét marry other Ceaca, but interracial marriages aren’t unheard of; however, interracial marriages cannot be cemented within the Fade, and there is a general understanding that those marriage are not quite as binding or serious as it is with another Ceaca. This creates an interesting dynamic, especially when a Ceaca in a mixed race marriage breaks faith and falls in love with another Ceaca and desires to be bound in the fade together. It is a subject of hot debate between the more progressive Artisans of Finku Luf - in favor of general disapproval at breaking an interracial marriage in favor of a purely Ceaca marriage - and the more traditional Artisans of Béralá Skese - in favor of the opposite.

Regardless of how many Ceaca are to be wed together, marriages are very emotionally poignant events. They are always presided over by one of the Mystics who binds those gathered in the Fade; however, depending upon the religious preferences of those gathered, there may be other prominent figures from the respective churches present, as well as friends, family, children, and at least one Túsí of the Skefétsíku to bear witness. The events are, by their nature, relatively large events, and they are considered minor holidays. The Skefétsíku provide food and drink and drugs, and the festivities take place after the work day is over; it is not rare for the majority of the boroughs to gather for the event to wish the new family well and partake in the celebration.


Death & Funerals
Death within the Ceaca culture is treated very differently from most mortal races. Where many mortals fear death, Ceaca are, for the most part, comfortable with it. Upon their deaths, Ceaca return to the Fade, their memories and lives forever preserved within the collective memory of their people. Thus, suicide, especially when a Ceaca has passed the prime of life and is ready to give way for the next generations, is considered simply “dying”. There is very little negative stigma around Ceaca taking their own lives, though the younger a Ceaca is, the more common it is that their passing will be met with sadness for their lost potential. This is not to say that Ceaca do not experience the pain of loss or feel the heavy weight of loneliness when their loved ones die, however there is a peace that underlies those emotions, knowing that they still exist within the Fade.

Fin fétskíku, or “funerals”, are range from small to large but are always public affairs. Those who had a personal connection to the Ceaca who passed craft a small handmade item, a physical representation of their relationship with the deceased. Gathering at the edge of cliffs, lakes, or caverns, the trinkets, called “néxá evenfku” or “little moments”, are cast into the abyss in symbolism of returning to the void and letting go of who the person was in the physical aspect. They then return to the deceased’s home and take hallucinogenic drugs and tell stories about who the person was, celebrating their life and eventually all falling asleep together in community, just as the deceased now sleeps with all the dreamers of the past.

Ceaca bodies are burned, not buried, and the ashes are spread into the sky by the light of the moon. This is only done by one of the Mystics, and only members of the deceased’s immediate family attend this event, referred to as “Féskíleth hanep ske.” which is loosely translated as “Death’s Flight”. There are specific locations in each borough that serve as sites for the féskíleth hanep ske which are generally avoided out of respect for the dead. These locations are typically somewhere high with a clear view of the sky.

Belongings of the deceased are given to the deceased’s immediate family; however, if they have neither spouses nor children, their belongings become property of the Skefétsíku and are dealt with as any goods are - typically divvied up into the welfare packages.
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Holidays
TBD


Cuisine

Because most Fétskísí settlements are found hanging off of high rocks or buried beneath the earth, they rarely include proper agriculture. Fruit is scavenged from the trees and meat hunted down in the jungles of Home Fetski, though both are a highly demanded import. Fish is easily obtained from the waters surrounding Finku Luf and beneath the Drámur Flo. Mushrooms and leafy vegetables can be grown in hydroponic systems and below-ground pools. Small home gardens are the best source for herbs and spices, while it is not uncommon for find the subtle taste of flower petals incorporated into a dish. The most infamous aspect of Fétskísí cuisine is its heavy inclusion of insect protein. All settlements include some version of a ranch-like terrarium where such food animals are raised.

Food, like everything else in Fétskí Skefét, is considered an art form. Sweets and other complex baked goods are not as common as they might be in a human settlement though recent trade has allowed for a burgeoning group of young confectionaries to rise among the ranks of the Ceaca artisans, but traditionally fruits and fruit-based salads can be made just as delectable. Even the simplest meal tends to include a personal flourish of garnish or color that honors the value of the life it bestows.

In more formal events, a story is told in a series of very small, very stylized plates known as téxá etíbalku.


Architecture

Most buildings in Fétskí Skefét are carved directly from the stone of cliffs, supplemented by bamboo bridges and silk ropes. Facades are typically veined with fine, detailed carvings in various styles, though religious buildings tend to have a smoother, more dignified finish. Homes and offices of the elite often assume curved, nebulous motifs that seem to defy gravity, shapes reminiscent of the Fade and commissioned by earth evokers. The least fortunate may make their homes entirely out of wood, straw, and silk; districts dominated by these materials are also the most hospitable to non-Ceaca. Otherwise, many thresholds have moderate sized porches with no connection to a major road, requiring inhabitants who cannot fly to climb to the doorway.

Settlements vary widely in architectural style, mostly due to the varied types of rock from which they carve their homes as well as the influence of outside cultures such as the human and verdan. Architecture in the capital has the liberty of forming elegant, rounded pillars and archways from the soft limestone. Meanwhile, better access to metals allows Finku Luf and Apofse Beralku to build what other cultures might more easily recognize as distinct buildings.
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