Karvish

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A Karvish chieftain looks across his land

History

Although the Karvish claim themselves descended from legendary heroes, they are in reality the progeny of Igosi traders from Bru-Al’s Hearth who settled mainland Skantos. The bulk of these traders hailed from the large Clan Karv, whence the name Karvish derives. The descendants of Clan Karv soon became the foundation for modern Karvish nobility. Although a large country with more people than any other, it is fractured in nature. According to Scholar Jassen, “there is no good way to measure the number of petty kings, princes, knights, and chiefs which make up the Karvish country.” It is said that there are as many fiefs as there are stars in the sky. It is from this disunity that the ultimate dream of any Karvish noble stems: to unify the Kingdom of Karv. It is a vast collection of territory stretching from the Karvish peaks in the north to the Dal River in the south. It was said to have been one country centuries ago, but the Order of Scholars hold no documents which support this claim. Despite their fracturedness the Karvish are arguably the most influential people of Skantos, and many of its contained polities have immense wealth and power. He who is able to unite his people and unify the kingdom will find himself in control of the largest, richest, most populous, and most fertile empire in all of Skantos.

Appearance

Spending many generations away from the sea as farmers, Karvish appear smaller and of less stout build than their Yultani cousins, and near the same height as an average Igosi but thinner still. They have a broad spectrum of complexions, ranging from well tanned to fair skinned, with hair color ranging from light brown to golden. Noble Karvish maintain that they are the most refined people in appearance, and take great care in grooming themselves.

Traditions, Customs, Attire and Cuisine

As a result of the many rival countries which make up Karvish lands, it is said that war is their tradition. It is custom among these peoples that there are only two seasons, despite the presence of the four commonly known throughout the world. The harvest season, when peace is known across the land, and the war season taking up the majority of the year. Although this is not law, as no such force exists to exert common law across all of Karv, attacking during the peace season will attract great displeasure from other nearby Clans and Houses.

Watching and competing in bloodsports is a common pastime for both nobles and commoners alike, with tournaments regularly being held across Karvish towns and cities. Although the noble tournaments are the most fanciful, rarely does anyone die, as strong armor is worn for their safety. Verrislauv, or blood rings, are in all large towns and are where commoners and criminals may fight for money or as punishment to the death.

Despite the diversity of its land, Karvish clothing is similar across much of the country, reflecting its fertile and temperate nature. Deriving from Igosi clothes Karvish people generally wear thinner tunics of plain coloration. Dyeing these tunics is common for those that can afford it, although wearing an enemy Clan or House’s color in war-time is a crime. Nobles have much more elaborate clothing although with more variation than the commoners. A wealthy prince of a coastal trading city will wear far more elaborate clothing and jewelry than that of an impoverished clan chieftain in the hinterlands.

The Karvish have a largely plant based diet as the country has thousands of miles of fertile farmland. Meats are generally a privilege of the wealthy, although many Karvish near the Peaks are hunters. Dragonblood Soup is is a celebratory staple for both peasants and nobility, a meat and vegetable soup mixed with red beets to add the blood color.

Afterword

A politically shrewd people capable of levying centralized armies, the Karvish nobles are as much a threat to each other as to foreign peoples who would threaten their holds. With every passing decade it seems stronger and wealthier Houses exert more and more influence. Indeed in this lifetime the Kingdom of Karv may be formed, and all Skantos may very well find itself subject to Karvish dominion.