Fallien

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Capital Irrakam
Form of Government Matriarchal
Ruler(s) The Jya
Legal System Common Law
Official Language(s) Fallien
Population Approximately 3,400,000
Religious Type Suravani, Cult of the Sun
Literacy 43%
Technology level Late Ancient
Major Imports Food; Livestock; Lumber
Major Exports Glass; Horses; Poisons; Oils; Herbs
Natural Resources Glass; Iron; Spices; Herbs; Rarely wood
One of the most mysterious regions of Althanas, Fallien is a desert country with a matriarchal government and strangely xenophobic citizens. Throughout the region are different trades which can be found nowhere else in Althanas. Currently, Fallien has recovered from a state of upheaval due to the recent uprising of the Cult of Mitra and the Harpies

For more information, read the Rough Guide to Fallien.


[top]Geography & Climate


Fallien lies in the middle of the ocean, east of Corone and south of Scara Brae. It is mostly desert, bisected by the river Attireyi. The mountains of Zaileya further divide this continent, towering almost fourteen thousand feet above the sea level, east of the Attireyi.

Suravani’s Oasis, the only other confirmed reliable source of water, lies in the north, just west of the Zaileya mountain range. It is also the lowest point on the continent, fourteen feet below sea level.

The continent’s climate is hyper-arid and close to static, changing very little between the seasons. The land is dangerously hot in the day and frigid after dark, year round, with a temperature fluctuating between 40-50°C (104-122°F) in the day to 0-15°C, (32-59°F) in the night during the summer, to 30-50°C (86-113°F) and -10-10°C (14-50°F) in the winter. Rain and humidity are rarities, especially during the summer.

Its many natural hazards include dangerous wildlife, extreme temperatures, and (in the mountains) landslides and cave-ins.

((Click here for a map of the region - updates to come))


[top]Places of Interest

[top]Irrakam


When Suravani destroyed Fallien, turning it into a vast desert, only a few survived the starvation and disease that reigned for months afterward. These few remained on an island at the center of the river Attireyi, and cared for each other and all who came to them for health.

Because they showed no greed or selfishness, which was what she had destroyed this land for to begin with, Suravani felt regret for her anger, and had mercy on these last few. Blessing them with long life and wisdom, the moon goddess called them the Hatazista which meant "those spared from execution".

The island, which became known as Irrakam, continued to be their home, and over the years that followed, they shaped it into a beautiful sanctuary against the deadly heat of the desert.

Six hundred years later, the island remains, although it is much changed. At the northern edge rises Jya's Keep, an architectural marvel where lives Jya and her priestesses. An amazing feat of Fallien architecture, the Keep is a beautiful white palace bedecked with gold and flowers. Hidden gardens and shady alcoves are the home to statues and reliquaries telling the legends and history of the Fallien people. Each set of rooms is decorated with beautiful tapestries, cool fountains, deep soft rugs made of the finest fabrics, and perfectly crafted furniture imported from all over Althanas.

Jya's Keep is protected by no less than four well-armed guards before a massive bronze gate with the crest of the phoenix sculpted in gold on each side. Although a fortress, the palace is cool and airy, with large windows that allow the rare breezes that grace the desert to travel freely through the rooms. Priestesses serve Jya as well as her guests, bathing and clothing them as necessary.

The Keep rises several stories above the rest of the city of Irrakam, nestled on a hill at the northern end of the island situated at the center of the river Attireyi. On a clear night, one can stand in the desert, miles from the shore of the river, and see the Keep lit up in all its splendor.

At the southern end of the island is the Outlander's Quarter, where all foreigners are required to do all business, and cannot leave without the proper documentation. This documentation can be applied for at several places throughout the Quarter, and usually takes only a few days to be approved by Jya herself (although it is said that she allows her priestesses to do this job for her). There are only two ferries which are legally permitted to travel from the island to either shore, although ships can sail up the river Attireyi and are welcome to dock in the Outlander's Quarter.

[top]The Spice Fields of R'uuya


The Spice Fields of R’uuya are found on the North-Western section of the continent, in the relatively temperate climate. This is where the herbs, spices and poisons that Fallien produces are grown. The In'wehtos tribe (Author's Note: see Chapter IV: The Living for more on the individual tribes) controls much of the land here. When interviewed, the tribe's high priestess said:

Suravani gave this land to us even after we betrayed her trust. She destroyed our homes, our people, our culture, but she had mercy on us and brought us here. The In’wehtos tribe is grateful to our Mother Goddess for her mercy. We are the people of Ruuya, the Spicefields, where we live and work. It is here that we have been blessed to harvest things which determine the fate of men. Spices for the food that sustains us, perfumes to bring love and lust, poisons to bring death, and medicinal herbs which bring life, these are our domain.

We brave the heat, the wrath of the sun and the desert winds which threaten our crops, and we make our lives full here. We brave the wild beasts, the harpies which steal our children, the desert drakes which kill our livestock and scorch our fields. We brave the foreigners which would invade our land and take what is not their right. We are blessed by the goddess. She will sustain us.

Nirrakal the Blight, the Fields of Glass

Nirrakal, the deadly Fields of Glass (often called The Blight) is found on the southern half of the continent, stretching from shore to shore. This is where the Fallien people harvest glass. No plant-life grows in this devastated region, but the hardy Fallien people somehow still thrive.

One of their shaman allowed me to record his words, and this is what he said:

They call this land The Blight - an area of Fallien where few survive the scorching heat of the sun and its reflection from the fields of glass. Suravani left this for us in case the desert wasn't enough of a reminder of her hatred toward avarice and pride. But we live here.

We are the Mi'sheteri, the Glasswalkers, and this is our home. We live beneath the sands, in caves of glass. It is here that we create intricate works of glass that are nearly priceless throughout Althanas. At night we emerge from our caves to harvest the glass- there are many different kinds after all.

We use the sugar-glass which is found in amazing hues in order to color our trinkets and bottles. There is the shard glass which when melted down can be molded into glass so strong that it is very difficult to break. We've even found entire sheets of glass beneath the surface of the desert which when cut properly can be sold for use in cathedrals and palaces as windows.

This land is fatal to those who do not know it. They think it is because of the elements. Perhaps we help those elements to their victims?

[top]Suravani's Oasis


Suravani’s Oasis is home to several tribes, the oasis in the northern region of Fallien is the land of the legendary Fallien steeds. In this area, the Esseker and Deklan tribes with the help of several minor sister tribes breed and trade amazing horses known for their speed, strength, and unparalleled stamina. These people are volatile and known to be violent not only toward outsiders, but toward each other.

In the case that a person feels courageous enough to brave the deserts of Fallien in order to reach Suravani’s Oasis, great care should be taken to avoid the temporary settlements of the different tribes. Fearful of foreigners, these people have been known to summon strange and terrifying beasts to frighten away and sometimes kill those who would venture too close to their safe haven. These creatures take many forms, each indicative of the tribe which summoned them. In the case of the Esseker tribe, they often take the shape of an eagle or griffin. The Deklan tribe sends hordes of massive hound-like creatures.

Should a foreigner find it necessary to steal one of the legendary steeds bred in this oasis, and have the bad fortune of being caught, numerous methods of punishment may be employed by the natives. The favorite method is to tie the offender down onto the ground, and then allow a stampede of horses to trample the person until dead. The same punishment is used for foreigners who are discovered not to have the proper exit papers to authorize travel in Fallien outside the Outlander’s Quarter.

(Author's Note: those who dwell in the Oasis have yet to give a quotable comment.)

[top]Astaka


The home of the Ahketamika, its literal translation is 'going to one's eternal home' for that is what they consider it, their eternal home. The camp is mainly permanent tents made of wood and leather or other tough animal hides, and lies between the mountains of Zaileya and Suravani's Oasis. Once a year there is a large celebration held here, the Festival of the Dead. All are welcome to come, even foreigners.

[top]Outlander's Post


The cliff face where the Post was founded was discovered by the dwarfish explorer Irah Yvesson (-daughter, actually, but she thought the -son sounded better) and her expedition, three years ago.

The dwarfs found a natural harbor among the treacherous cliffs that lined the north-eastern shores of Fallien. The cliff face that lined this harbor was worn through with caves, holes and rough tunnels, created by nature, or by long forgotten natives and wildlife. The location wasn't lost on the enterprising dwarf, and she and her people quickly set up camp within the caves

Things sort of snowballed (an ironic term, in this dry and barren land) from there.

It is a very small outpost, and isolated: beyond the Oasis, and well on the other side of the Mountains of Zaileya. It is allowed – not supported, entirely, but allowed – to remain there by the Jya, though the Fallien militia members recently stationed within the post (to ensure the Outlanders adherence to Fallien's laws in addition to the Post’s own credo, of course) do very little to prevent marauding tribes from attacking it. It mostly exists as a stopping point for ships from Scara Brae, and even those ships need to continue to Irrakam if the passengers and crew wish to go anywhere on Fallien other than the Post itself.

The harbor has a long pier, good for small boats, but the harbor itself can generally only hold four moderate-sized ships at a time. The outpost doesn’t have many exports: only reclaimed water that is sold to ships, exotic seafood for Corone and Scara Brae, sharkskin sold to weaponsmiths, and touristy junk sold to gullible travelers who don’t think twice about why a man with a Scarabraen accent would own ‘authentic Fallien artifacts of power'...

Its main attraction is to ships that do not wish to continue all the way around the continent to Irrakam, and to the fledgling mail service arising in the land. The mail comes through approximately every two-or-three weeks, assuming the mail carriers haven’t been eaten by something in the desert on the way.

The outpost is built atop and within the cliff; a combination of a stockade and a pueblo colony. The top-side is about half-a-mile square, while the shoreline beneath the cliff is about twice that. The part of the outpost that lies atop the cliff is lined by sturdy stone walls that have been covered with stucco to achieve an overall smooth-appearing surface. These walls run at about two to three feet thick, and fifteen feet tall. There is only one gate, wide enough for a yoked pair of oxen to pass through easily enough.

Despite the fact that a majority of the outpost is within the tunnels, there are a fair amount of buildings on the surface – none of these buildings exceed two stories in height, and most of these have colorful, tent-like roofs. Many of the buildings show signs of being damaged before, and some have been rebuilt several times. There are not many people in the outpost that don’t work just for the outpost – in the water-restocking, the mail, the fishing and shark-hunting – as the outpost is not yet at the point where it can sustain simple colonists.

The native tribes of the area seem to vary on how they view the outpost. There are those who have overcome their dislike of non-natives (the presence of the militia members has also had some effect on this) enough to trade with them (though both sides tend to cheat the other), and there are those who (despite the presence of the militia) view it as easy pickings and raid through to carry off whatever they can.

The Outpost’s council often states that traveling into Fallien proper through the outpost is not allowed, but oftentimes there is not much they can do to prevent determined people from getting out and venturing deeper into the wilds. Granted, one can only wonder how far those travelers get without a pass…

[top]The Ruins


Ever since Fallien was destroyed nearly 600 years ago for the greed of its citizens, there have been few cities established besides the capital at Irrakam. The wreckage of the once-great Fallien civilization exists almost everywhere on the continent, scattered across the desert, as a reminder to the people of Fallien what the wrath of their goddess can do. Rumors remain, claiming that these ruins guard treasures and dangers unknowable, simply waiting to be found.

However, it is also said that there are tribes still living in certain of these ruins. These tribes do not worship Suravani, but instead follow her brother, Mitra, in the cult of the Sun. Little is known of these tribes, and some whisper that there are not truly any living people there, only ghosts who haunt the shattered cities. Whatever it is that roams these darkened places, few who enter ever escape.


[top]Demographics

[top]Humans


The Fallien people are a beautiful contradiction. On one hand they are terribly xenophobic, and yet they can be kind and welcoming to any that they’ve decided (for reasons only they can answer) are worthy. Dark skinned and dark haired, and usually dark eyed (though there are those who have pale blue or silver eyes – it is said that these have been blessed by Suravani), most Fallien are small people, under five feet five inches, and fine boned, but strong and weathered in the desert sun. Depending on where one goes in Fallien, there are contrasting clothing trends and traditions in the different areas. Everyone is subject to the wrath of the sun and its neverending heat.

In Irrakam, the women can be typically found in either beautifully embellished silk saris and chitons beaded with the finest Kalli glass, or lovely embroidered tunicas made of that same rich silk. Such silk can be found in every hue of the rainbow, and the richer the citizen, often the brighter the color she wears. The lower classes can often be found in the same garments, but rather than silk, which is not necessarily affordable or reasonable, they wear fine linen. The men typically wear linen or silk robes, with the same embellishments, although more masculine color and decoration.

As one ventures away from the more civilized parts of Fallien, it seems that the need for modesty falls away, and therefore so does the desire to wear more than the merest sheer layer of linen over the more sensitive areas to prevent sunburn or irritation from windblown sand. Men often wear only a loin cloth, and women a short sleeveless tunic. Footwear is absolutely necessary in the searing heat of the desert - the flesh could quite literally be melted off of ones feet if they were bare when they met the sun-scorched sands of the desert, or the scalding stones of the city. Most wear simple thong sandals, although many wear more elaborate laced sandals with beads and silk ribbon winding up their ankles.

In the midst of the most scorching days, or the worst sandstorms, those citizens which are forced to be out in the elements can typically be found with linen shawls or scarves draped over their heads, faces, and shoulders. Some of these can be quite elaborately decorated as well. The priestesses are required to wear these shawls at all times.

[top]Harpies


Before the wrath of Vadhya swept over Fallien and remade it, it is said that a female prophet from beyond the seas came and drew maidens of the tribes away from their scriptures, forsaking both Suravani and Mitra for a fabricated god. Instead of allowing them to perish in the Vadhya, Mitra swept the women up and twisted their bodies to horrid feathered beasts, a cross between woman and foul carrion bird.

Harpies commonly kidnap Fallien children and carry them off, screaming to their lair-nests. There they "eat" them, sucking out their life and turning them to ash, thus absorbing their youth. Harpies are incredibly vain, and cannot stand being called ugly (one in every ten harpies is actually good looking). Mitra had originally intended on forcing them to live short lives of misery and pain (particularly the molting), but the harpies' queen was clever, and discovered ways to keep living to punish the others of Fallien.

[top]Rava Featherblood


In the aftermath of the Vadhya, when the harpies were vomited down onto the dry and thirsty earth, it became apparent that not all of the maidens had suffered the worst of the repercussions. Among those few rose Rava Featherblood, a hellion amidst the shrieking feathered demons. She viciously fought against the others that scrabbled to lead the harpies and through both a clever wit and sharp talons, rose to her status as queen in a glory of blood and gore.

Rava appears as any usual woman would, save for a large pair of brown feathered wings that grace her back, though the tremendous claws on her fingers and warped feet cresting with talons at times off put the desperate men. Like all Harpies, Rava shuns clothing as she associates it with the humans that they all hate. The denizens of Fallien call her and her kind (the less mutated of harpies) the "Desert Sirens", as their beauty has drawn many men to a messy and painful death.


[top]Economy


The main trade system utilized in Fallien is bartering. Fallien has no native currency, though most merchants are quite open to using other nation's money. Bartering is performed on a needs basis, though gold is often used as a reward.

Fallien, as a mostly barren nation, relies heavily on imported food products and livestock, as well as almost anything made of wood. Given the nation's xenophobic tendencies, it is fortunate that they produce many rarities that allow them to give as good as they get; otherwise foreign merchants might become content to take their wares elsewhere.

[top]Unique Exports


The major exports of the nation are glass, horses, and the spices and herbs grown in the spice fields, the attributes of which can be read below. Each of Fallien’s main exports have their own traits which make them among the most sought after in their class. Other natural exports include iron, and the rare wood found in the areas surrounding the Oasis. Trade in Irrakam can occur anywhere, making the streets both hazardous and festive at the same time.


[top]Religion


The main religion (and only religion supported by the Jya and her priestesses) is the worship of Suravani, the moon goddess. The Jya, as mentioned previously in this guide, is thought to be Suravani incarnate. She is served by her priestesses –representatives from the surviving tribes- and is thought to rule justly. It is said that there are tribes living still in certain of the ruins, however, who do not worship Suravani. These tribes, instead follow her brother, Mitra, in the Cult of the Sun. Little is known of their worship at this time, except that it is, ironically, far darker than that of the Jya.


[top]Government


The natives of Fallien are seen, simply, as Fallien in nationality. The main form of government is tribal matriarchal, with most tribes (or clans) being led by a woman. Bloodlines and birthrights are also traced through the mother’s ancestry.

[top]The Matriarchy


The ruler is the Jya, the Mother of Fallien. Bordering on miraculous, the women who have led Fallien since its destruction nearly six hundred years ago are strong and wise. Every time a girl child is born, she is blessed by the priestesses, and if she exhibits certain attributes, both physical and mental, she is taken to Irrakam and raised to become a priestess. Every priestess is trained to possibly become the next Jya. The wisest, most motherly of them will become Jya when the current Jya either dies or is no longer able to perform her duties as the mother of Fallien.

It is said that Jya is the living incarnation of Suravani, the moon goddess of Fallien who turned the land to desert so long ago for the greed of its leaders. In a way which astounds those around her, this mysterious woman seems to know a person's deepest thoughts and desires, and even seems to have foresight into the future. There are tales of magic and miracles performed by the Mother of Fallien, and those given her blessing are said to be unstoppable.

Because of her wisdom and compassion, there are few citizens of Fallien who do not adore their ruler. Those who are resentful or rebellious towards Jya, tend to be members of the Cult of the Sun, a group of religious zealots who worship Suravani's enemy and brother, the Sun god Mitra.

Jya allows her people to be mostly self-governing. Each family delegates a member which speaks at all clan meetings, each clan delegates a member which speaks for the clan in regional issues as well as a priestess who represents their interests before Jya. The Jya makes her decisions based on the wishes of her people.

Truly she is the Althanian incarnation of the beloved Suravani.

[top]The Chain of Command


As mentioned previously, the Jya governs the tribes justly, listening to a representative of the tribe, who in turn listens to a representative of a family within the tribe. These full-tribal representatives deal with things on a regional basis, while the Jya is assisted by priestess appointed for and by the individual tribes. The exact chain of command is as follows: the Jya (sometimes advised, sometimes not) ultimately makes the decisions. She then tells her high priestesses her orders, and those alone. They, in turn, carry her orders to the lower priestesses and council leaders for the various regions. These take the orders to the tribal leaders, be they in the nomadic tribes or in the villages, who give them to the people.

[top]Judicial System


The judicial system is common law, often with harsh penalties for those found in the wrong – especially if the one in the wrong is a foreigner. Penalties for thievery can range from simply repaying the one stolen from to removing the thief's hands to the thief becoming a slave of the one he stole from. The penalty for murder can range from fines to death - and everything in between. The penalties usually vary depending on motive, premeditation and the state of the victim.

[top]Rivals


The ''Cult of Mitra/The Cult of the Sun'' is the Jya’s main rival; headed by the nomadic Kehlat tribe. They are behind almost every attempt on the lives of the Jya in the last six hundred years. They are still active in the shadows, and still present a very real threat to followers of Suravani –and the Jya in particular- through their ongoing missions. Little is known of these tribes, and some whisper that they are not truly living people, only ghosts who haunt the shattered cities.

There is also some rivalry of late between the traditional supporters of the Jya, and those who think that Fallien needs to move forward, as well as the ever-typical debate between the merchants, the foreign merchants, and the current administration.

[top]Foreign Relations


Fallien, as a nation, is xenophobic – most of their interaction with other nations is through trade only. In order to be legally permitted to leave the Outlander's Quarter and travel throughout Fallien (or even the rest of the island of Irrakam), every foreigner is required to obtain an Exit Pass from the local authorities. These can be obtained for several reasons, including trade, tourism, or to serve in a temporary capacity in the Fallien militia.

If a person chooses to venture forth into Fallien without the required documents, he most certainly is taking his life into his hands. In some areas the punishment is as severe as death. At the very least a person will be jailed for a certain time until someone who has the amount of their fine will speak for them and remove them from the country - this is a permanent exile from Fallien.

However, even with the twin roadblocks of the pass and xenophobia, merchants and ambassadors travel to Fallien regularly; paying to use the Outlanders' Quarters as a nuetral ground, or to establish trade routes deep into the island's wildernesses. There is no major treaty or alliance with any of the other nations, but some say it is only a matter of time...


[top]Culture


Fiercely religious, the people of Fallien worship Suravani with an undying faith that has kept them going through the destruction of their entire civilization, various uprisings, and multiple assassination attempts on their leader. Temples can be found scattered throughout the continent, although typically they are simple tents or huts that house a few priestesses and a simple altar or statue of Suravani. In Irrakam these temples are ornate whitewashed cathedrals where pilgrims often travel on dream-quests that they have been supposedly sent on by their goddess.

The Jya is the leader of a matriarchal society, and she is believed to be an incarnation of the Fallien goddess. Most tribes (sometimes called clans) in Fallien are led by a woman. The clans do not recognize their family lines through the fathers, but instead ancestry is traced through the mother. Father figures are usually the mother’s brothers or uncles, rather than the man who was responsible for the pregnancy. A man may marry a woman from another tribe, but he must either join her tribe or return to his tribe except for what are essentially conjugal visits. Women are not bound to a marriage, and may have relations with anyone they wish – they are fully responsible for any children they produce.

Typically, each clan has one or more shamans, a combination healer-mage-seer that provides medical attention, magical defense, and mystical clairvoyance. Again, this position is usually held by a woman, frequently a close relative of the clan-chief but only if that person has the necessary abilities. It is unknown just how powerful these shamans truly are. They are responsible for the summons which attack those foreigners who brave Suravani’s Oasis without their approval, and have often provided important information prior to devastating natural disasters.

The population in this arid land has increased significantly since the Vadhya, and the Fallien of today has an approximate population of four hundred and twelve thousand (412,000) people, broken down into ninety-eight percent human, and the final two percent mixed races from the world over. The average age is thirty-two, and the average life expectancy in humans is seventy-five years.

The people of Fallien share many common traits and beliefs, but they are also separated into several major clans that occupy the various sub-regions (see: Cities & Regions), each spoken for by a Priestess of Suravani (see: Government, Diplomacy & Foreign Relations; Religion). Smaller clans also exist, but in times of strife these sister clans generally align themselves with one of the larger clans.

[top]The Tribes


  • The ''Esseker'' and ''Deklan'' tribes patrol the Oasis: raising the horses that make the oasis famous. They are well known for their warriors, and for the shamans that raise the summons used to protect the lands there.
  • The ''Mi’sheteri'' tribe lives beneath the ground of Nirrakal, coming out at night to harvest the glass found in the fields. They are also known as the Glasswalkers, and are often responsible for guerrilla-style attacks on foreigners. They have been known to raise Karuku-tal, as well.
  • The island of Irrakam has the ''Hatazista'' tribe, those that remain of the first tribe to re-emerge following Suravani’s wrath. The Hatazista are often known as the merchant class of Fallien.
  • The Spice Fields of R’uuya are tended by the ''In’wehtos'', the closest thing Fallien has to a farming people. They are well versed in poisons, potions and oils, and have an agreement with the Mi’sheteri for the bottling and storing of their wares.
  • The ruins and wastelands belong to the ''Kehlat'', the followers of Mitra. This tribe is a dividing force in the nation; they do not have the support or blessing of the Jya (far from it!) and are not supported via priestesses in Irrakam. They do, however, have somewhat of a foothold in the Outlander’s Quarter.
  • The Zaileya mountains may hold the ''Tash’Hari'', but no one knows for certain, as this tribe was lost from records shortly after the Vadhya. If they still exist, they have not emerged, and are not acknowledged by the priestesses in Irrakam.
  • And then, of course, there are the ''Ahketamika'' of Astaka, who have a permanent camp between the Oasis and the mountains. The Akhetamika are like most other tribes within Fallien: They have a female leader and a Shaman who controls the warriors of the tribe. The major difference between the Akhetamika and the rest of the Fallien tribes is in their abilities and their physical appearance. Like everyone else they have darkened skin, yet as they grow in power white designs begin to show on their skin in differentiating patterns, no ones being the same. Their hair and eyes are also very strange, never actually being a normal color either and they are much taller than the regular Fallien natives - however, this mainly only covers the warrior aspects of the tribe, those that can see the dead. Those not born with this gift look exactly like any other Fallien native.


[top]Military


Fallien’s military is mostly handled in militia form – local pockets, no strict barracks and very few specific training areas. The size of the military is, therefore, varied, as all children, male or female, are trained to join the militia at the age of twelve.

[top]Specialized Military Units


There are, however, a couple specialized military units: the Mi'sheteri tribe, also known as the Glasswalkers: natives of Nirrakal who dwell under the sand, and the Fallien horsemen and Shamans who guard the Oasis.

[top]Fighting Techniques


These are only some of the many different techniques employed by those trained in the military. They are also, in less fatal forms, used in competitions.

  • Pankration - A combination of boxing and wrestling, the object is to gain either your opponent’s submission or incapacitation. Joint locks and choke holds are common methods of incapacitation, often manifesting in broken fingers, limbs or even a broken neck. The only disallowed techniques are biting and gouging. This style of combat is frequently lethal, and the elite of this style rarely surrender, but would rather die than accept the dishonor. In non-military combat, the match is won either through an opponent’s submission or incapacitation. In some cases, the only form of submission accepted is unconsciousness or death. The only disallowed techniques are biting and gouging. There are no time or weight limits, and competition is frequently lethal unless other rules are decided.
  • Varmakkalai - Also a form of healing, this style of combat involves the use of various pressure points on the body in order to incapacitate or cause severe pain to the opponent. It focuses on stopping the opponent without causing permanent damage, with or without weapons, regardless of the situation. This is possibly the most time-consuming art to learn, and often takes ten or more years of study to become proficient in its use.
  • Bandesh - A series of techniques used to lock limbs or hold down an opponent thus forcing him to submission. The six stages are Pavithra (footwork), Rokh (blocking), Lapet (Twisting), Fekan (Throw), Cheen (Snatching) and Bandesh (Lock hold). Lock holds are employed against different kinds of weapons like swords, daggers, and long staffs.
  • Vajramushti - This particularly unique form of fighting requires the combatants to use a weapon called a knuckleduster (like brass knuckles) made of animal horns or bone, and in some cases, glass. The Nirrakali people use knuckledusters made of Valaiyalman glass with shards of Mukakkanati or poisoned Cillu glass embedded or glued onto it. In non-military combat situations, a fight is considered over when an opponent’s hand, holding the knuckleduster, is immobilized.
  • Vita - A mounted style using a lance with a barb on one end. This method, particular to the Oasis, is practiced on the legendary Fallien steeds, and the lance is either thrown at an opponent or used to impale the opponent. In non-military combat situations, if a combatant falls from his horse, or is unable to hold his lance, he is considered to have lost the match.
  • Fari Gadka - A bladeless armed combat technique using a cane stick called Gadka and a small leather shield called a Fari. This method is practiced like sword-fighting, within a twenty foot square arena. The match is considered lost when a combatant has received five strikes to the body. This style of fighting is generally not employed in actual combat.
  • Lathee - Essentially stave fighting, this style is fought in a forty foot arena with five to six foot lengths of cane wrapped in leather. Opponents are protected by cotton-padded leather bracers on their forearms, and prohibited from strikes to the groin, nose, or eyes. The same rules for winning are used as in Fari Gadka, and again - this style of fighting is generally not employed in actual combat.
  • Muki - A form of bare-knuckles boxing where there are two groups (two or more fighters per group) that each try to drive the other group back. Whenever one team is either left with no able fighters or driven out of the marked area, a winner has been determined. This style of fighting is generally not employed in actual combat.


[top]History

[top]The Era of Building Nations

Fallien was a world of lush, beautiful land. Untouched by wars of the mainland, or the conflict that overtook the island of Corone, Fallien was a place of peace. Alerar quickly took advantage of the island nation, forming an alliance and opening trade. The two nations prospered from being allies. As they progressed they continued to allow the dark elven influence into their lands, and eventually were punished for it. Legend has it that the goddess Suravani, displeased with the greed of her people, brought her wrath down upon the nation. Whether it was a natural disaster or truly the ire of the goddess, Fallien’s lush environment and easy living was ripped out from under them. From a world of flowers to a desert, the nation was practically destroyed.

[top]Dynasty of the Desert People C.P. 1 – C.P. 1709


All that remained after the disaster of Fallien was sand, despair, and a scattering of people who formed the clans that are known throughout the country for their individual exploits. Vadhya, as the destruction was known, had thoroughly spread across the lands and the records of pre-Vadhya Fallien were lost. Out of the ashes of Suravani’s wrath came the establishment of the Jya, the “Mother of Fallien”, the high priestess of Suravani. The survivors began building on the island of Irrakam, and over 300 years of building brought about the modern city as it is known in modern times. Priestesses of Fallien grew slowly at first, finding young women who exemplified the ideals of what a Jya was supposed to be were chosen. With such a small, and slowly building population, the religion was slow to build and took centuries to be fully and firmly established.

After nearly a millennia of living within the borders of Irrakam, building populations and reestablishing the clans of the surviving Fallien people, it was finally time for the people to spread throughout the land. Seven clans existed, one staying within Irrakam, one turning towards a land once dominated by their ancestors, the rest spreading to find life and purpose in the new lands. These clans crossed the desert lands, from the Northern edge to the Southern tip. It was nearly 300 years later (approx. C.P. 1200) that foreign influences began to trickle in as denizens of the major nations started to slowly realize what goods could come from the blasted lands and what profit could be made. The Outlander’s Quarters, established on the Southern edge of Irrakam, was originally created for foreigners. Unlike the pristine nature of the Fallien people of the time, foreigners took for granted their appointed area and turned the Outlander’s Quarters into a brutish and ugly place.

Once the clans established their place amidst the sea of sand, inner wars between the clans erupted at times but were short lived. However, the most dominant aspect of Fallien, which lives on in modern times, is the religious war between Suravani (and the Jya) and the Cult of Mitra. Over the next hundreds of years multiple attempts to assassinate the Jya came and went. At times the attempts on the Jya were successful, whereas the majority of attempts failed. It was soon found out that Mitra, the Sun-god of Fallien, demanded a sacrifice of the most devote of Suravani’s followers every hundred years. By modern times, the Cult of Mitra is but a mere usurping group hidden somewhere in the ruins that litter the land.



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