by Max Barry

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The D52D00FF9A56Fx6D362A4A30262 of
Democratic Socialists

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1

An Introduction to the Great Kiu


EJADRIR DEGHEU GIYEF KUDEYVH.

THE GREAT KIU OF GHES' PEOPLE
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HERE WE SIX MAKE OUR STAND, UNITED AGAINST THE WORLD

Link ᴀ ᴍ ʙ ɪ ᴀ ɴ ᴄ ᴇ 

FROM WITHIN ✵
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It has been one thousand, three hundred, and seventy-nine years, by the tellers' reckoning, since All-Father Ghes first trod on the ground of the Basin- since his horses, sure of foot and swift of speed, came down out of the high Kiadan range to break grass beneath their hooves. One thousand, three hundred, and seventy-nine years since our forefathers, our Clan-Fathers, first entered our home. One thousand, three hundred, and seventy-nine years of scorching summers, freezing winters, dry dust and the smoke of brushfire choking the steppe, of pounding hooves and rushing wind and lives spent in glory under the eye of our watchful, loving Ejadrir, our Sky-Mother.

We have won one thousand, three hundred, and seventy-nine years of glory- of our Clans. Of great Eihusik, mighty in number, riding over the swaying green grasses of our heartland; of Vhetesik, those blessed by the North with great fortune, the keepers of the inner realm from reviled Aldonuash to Endus' rushing banks; of Khadusik, fiery Khadusik, bastion against the South and the bloodred sun; of Khionesik, proud against the raging sea and the East, people of fir and of plain, lords of the Alechi's domain; of Rhigesik, the mountain-folk, with mounts sure of step even on Kiadan's peaks; and of Endusik, lastborn, river's people, tempered by the coldness of bitter winter and the unknown. One thousand, three hundred, and seventy-nine years of our prosperity, our resilience, our survival against all who would seek to overthrow us.

One thousand, three hundred, and seventy-nine years of the Ghesite people. That time, a time beyond the memory of all elders, is testament to our greatness. Even the Berghi Empire to our south, for all its wonders of architecture, for all its so-called "natural philosophy", for the supposed blessing of its sun-god, and for all its rage against us, has failed to topple us, and nor has it persisted as long as we have. Despite their rage, we prosper. The Northmen, from Nalbus-on-Endus and the other crown jewels of their confederation, bless us with wealth and with the patronage of their wares, and the Alechi, our dominion along the sea to the southeast, march to war with us and earn their place in our tellers' songs and tales.

But as the children of Ghes age, so too do we weaken. Our foes bring more than bronze against us now, and are clad in armor from head to toe; their armies swell across the land, and their sandals trod in the thousands on our ground. They drink from our streams and hunt our game for sport. The Berghi, they spit on us, and they claim us wild savages, unfit to stand before them. But for all their haughty pride they disbelieve their eyes when we do nonetheless, our backs unbroken, and they fail to comprehend how we break the whip over our knee when they lash us with it. We are strong. We remain strong. We must simply change. This is as Ejadrir wills it.

It has been twenty-seven years since our last Caller, Oloughin, son of Kemoughin, called our clan elders to Council and declared to us that we must stand, that we must not bend our backs to the tyrants or those who would wish to subvert us. He said to us that we were a strong people, a noble people- that we were not Kiu Khadusik or Kiu Eihusik but Kiu Ghesik, Ghes' nation, and that we must rise as one people if we were to prevail. He was called the Unifier- a great man, a godly man. He willed us to defend our home, to fight for it, to tear down the foreigner and the traitor and all those who stand against our right to raise our own banners over our homes. And we did. We fought and we killed and we died until the rivers ran red with the fruit of our efforts. And just as we died, so did the Unifier.

Oloughin, son of Kemoughin, is dead. And the successor he left to us, the only child he sired before illness took him, is a daughter.

It has been one thousand, three hundred, and seventy-nine years since we found our home. It has been twenty-seven years since in one voice we swore to protect it. It will be a thousand years and a day until it falls while we defend it. And we will defend it as long as blood runs in our veins.

FROM WITHOUT ✵
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Kiu Ghesik, (roughly "the nation of Ghes' people/descendants"), is a nomadic "state" made up of a number of clans ethnically descended from a single migratory people. These clans have recently within the past 30 years been unified into a rough confederacy by Oloughin son of Kemoughin, after his appointment as Caller on the Council and subsequent leverage of that position's influence and his strength of arms to bring the six Clans, the primary division of state among the Kiu's sub-nations, to heel. The primary boundary of the Kiu's territorial influence is commonly defined as the extent of Ghesite ethnic distribution, which thanks to the people's semi-isolationist nature is roughly tied to the territorial bounds of their geographic region. The Ghesites lack significant material capacity compared to their neighbors, wielding bronze tools acquired through trade and fighting with javelins and compound bows, but have nonetheless become famed for their taming and utilization of horses on a significant scale for the purpose of labor, as beasts of burden, and as weapons of war. The people of the Kiu are an ethnically homogeneous group (excepting fringe populations) that claim to descend from the mythological figure Ghes, who traveled into the broad, empty steppe most commonly and simply known as the Ghesite Basin in everyday parlance accompanied by his wives, children, relatives, slaves, and horses, where he fathered the people who would become the Ghesites. The Ghesites have a significant understanding of agriculture and aquaculture inherited from the dependent Alechi semi-state, but for the most part disdain it in favor of a more nomadic, pastoralist lifestyle.

The region the Ghesites inhabit is best described as a swathe of flat steppe rolling down from the foothills of great mountains in the west to an inland sea in the east. The Ghesites prefer to roam largely in the west of this region, though in the past three hundred years since the subjugation of the Alechi agriculturalists living by the sea they have migrated east to be closer to their "allies". To the north and south lie trading cities and trade routes with other peoples, though the Ghesites do not settle here, only occasionally coming and going to trade goods and wares. However, these places are host to some interplay between their own culture and the cultures of foreigners, and so the cities and trading posts in the north and south of the Basin have developed syncretic traditions blending the Ghesite way with that of others. Many traditionalist Ghesites find this repulsive. To the south, along Clan Khadusik's southern border, the Ghesites come into (mostly hostile) interaction with the Berghi Empire's northern dominions, the two powers striving for dominance over what the Berghi claim to be their frontier's integrity and what the Ghesites describe as their ethnic heritage and rightful land.

The faith of the Ghesites is called Sky-Worship and more formally Ejadrism, and is centered around the belief that the sky is home to a sacred mother-deity and that the winds and clouds are her children and messengers respectively. Differently-shaped clouds are viewed as bearers of signs and are anthropomorphized as as figures of good or ill omen, bringers of rain or of drought, of storm and cursing winds or of sun and blessing winds. The winds likewise are viewed as the Sky-Mother Ejadrir's (literally mother) agents on Earth, who carry out Her tasks, who blow the rain from place to place as she demands, who carry up souls or scatter their essence in their gusts, and who light the stars, moon, and sun in the highest heavens each morning and evening. Ghesites do not believe in an afterlife, instead postulating that after death the soulstuff utilized to metaphysically animate the body is flayed from the body by a psychopomp described as the Flensing Wind and scattered into the Upper Sphere of the cosmos to reincarnate in the mortal Lower Sphere as entirely new beings utilizing the same material.

The Ghesites are somewhat stuck between a rock and a hard place, though, as they are threatened by empires and "civilized" states encroaching on them from the north and south, who they simply do not have the population dynamic to oppose, and who their unification indirectly antagonizes. There are a few options, then, facing their society: They can adapt, lose their culture, and join the grave heap of failed civilizations, they can lash out and hope for a few years of conquest and dominance, or they can try to find a middle ground. They seem to be going towards the second of the three, as in recent years the Council of the Clans has confirmed as Caller the successor of their nation's founder, Ari, daughter of Oloughin, who has so far shown that she views the Council as a weapon she can wield to strike at her people's enemies and avenge herself for the dishonor done to her late father.


In Brief

KIU GHESIK

Pop.:

~255,000

Demo.:

Ghesite (78%)
Alechi (19%)
Misc. (~3%)

Lang(s).:

Ghesite
Alechi
North-Speak

Faith:

Ejadrism/Sky-Worship

Gov't:

Decentr. Confederacy
-Council of Clans
-First-Among-Equals











THE WORLD WE KNOW ✵
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THE SIX CLANS

CALLER AKHENS-ARI

THE SKY-MOTHER

THE ART OF WAR

KHADUSIK CULTURE

THE GHESITE LANGUAGE

THE WORLD BEYOND ✵
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❂ | ♛ | ❅


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THE BERGHI EMPIRE


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THE ALECHI PEOPLES


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NALBUS-ON-ENDUS

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THE MOTHER LOVES THAT LAND WHICH IS FAITHFUL.
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Linkheader here
ari's portrait and the war portrait are made by a dude named eugene kray

  1. Standardize the format as something more complex and more versatile. Thinking darker background-block color, header image with 1:5 ratio, text color #d0d0d0, Georgia font for body text? Ditch the "splashes of color"; not visually appealing enough.

  2. FOR GOD'S SAKE, WRAP UP ALL THE WIPS. Except for the language one, that'll probably be forever WIP. Reworking the "On PT" factbook is a must.

  3. Create a factbook on the six Clans, with some ethnic history and perceptions of clan-fathers/Ghes' kids thrown in. Possibly write some of the clan elders? Could be a lead-in to expanding the Kiu's cast.

  4. Finish the Berghi factbook, create a factbook for the Alechi and the Northerners. Center the Northerners around Nalbus-on-Endus for the sake of simplicity, maybe? Possibly make these three factbooks into hubs. Give them leaders, at least in brief- the Alechi, at least, have an observer's seat at the Council, so they could easily have an etsa or someone like that there. Make sure to use Linkthis for the Alechi at least, it'd be pretty funi.

  5. Misc. Characters factbook, so rol becomes official.

  6. Consider converting the current overview into a hub? Might do some good.

  7. prose series, bottom text

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