There's a lot here to learn if you're new to the setting. So I've divided it into little spoiler tags to hopefully make it a little easier to digest. Don't worry if it doesn't all go in first time round. I've simplified it for your reading pleasure. Also anyone interested in a deeper look at the settting the pdf of the RPG is only $4 (not bad for 400+ pages). So could be worth a look. Feel free to ask me as many questions as you have, and I will answer them as soon as possible.
A short History lesson…
Before the ancient Greeks, before even the Ancient Egyptians; there lived the mystical race known as the Ven. Little is known of their physiology or culture. What is known is that the archipelago of land which they resided, known as “Shanri” was catastrophically destroyed before the rise of man by an unknown disaster. Taking nearly all record of them with it. What little can be garnered about the Ven is mostly translated from their opera’s, their songs and their pillow books. These are the Ven you will play, larger than life characters fit for stage and song; as opposed to the real representation of them.
The Ven were created by an even greater and more ancient race of sorcerer kings, who’s power is even now beyond imagining. It is not known what happened to this civilisation, and no trace of them remains. They were created to be the perfect servants, artists and lovers to the sorcerer kings. When the Kings disappeared, they created their own society. The Ven were originally ruled by Kings, the last of the Kings coming from house Steele. The last king was a madman, who was eventually ousted and replaced with a senate and the laws which govern the time our story is set.
The Ven are not humans. From their books we gather that they are humanoid, but taller; more lithe and agile than humans. The pillow books describe them as capable of great feats of strength, however, a knife to the heart or chest is still a mortal wound. They are no less mortal than humans, and live around the same length of time. They were creatures of supreme beauty and elegance. the Ven as creatures are far more emotional than most humans, known to fly into fits of rage and into deep, passionate love affairs. They put great emphasis on art in their culture. Technologically the Ven culture was equivalent to ancient or renaissance Rome in their construction, art and science. From what little can be gathered from writing a Ven pregnancy lasts around 3-4 months. Or one season, and most Ven mature slightly earlier than humans.
the Ven never naturally die. As they reach around the age of sixty there body begins to change. Their skin turns paler, Their limbs elongate and they become weak. Eventually their hair falls out and slowly replaced with long, thin white sinuous strands. These strands form a cocoon around the Ven and they enter the solace. Here they dream for eternity. No Ven has ever died in solace, or awoken from it. They can telepathically communicate with their kin, although it is mostly garbled dreams. To deny someone from their solace by murdering them is considered the greatest crime of all. But that section will come later.
The race is split into two castes. The Ven, commonly known as the Blooded, are the nobles of Shanri. They are Powerful, intelligent and cruel. The Blooded become nobles through an ancient rite of passage, its meaning long since lost to them; calling upon the most ancient blood magic. Then there are the Veth, the unblooded. “The people of the soil” would be a poetic translation for it. Most Ven translate it as simply “Dirt”. The peasant class the Ven rule have no rights, and are treated openly as property.
What makes a noble? Two things: blood and land. All nobles are “blooded”, having taken part in the ritual to become nobles. They also own land, and by extension the Veth who live on the land itself. Ownership is a strange thing in Ven culture. People only own what they can keep. If something is stolen from you there is no court of appeal, you were too weak to keep it. Which leads onto…
Shanri has a wide diversity of creatures and plant life. None of it was untouched by the sorcerer-kings. Mutations are everywhere. To the ven, these are ork.
The word “ork” best translates as “monster.” In the English language, we have many kinds of monsters. Trolls, vampires, hobgoblins, boogeymen. All of these fall under the category of “monster.” Likewise, on the face of Shanri, there are many different kinds of orks.
On a deeper level, ork means “other” or “outsider.” The context is plain: anything that is not ven is ork. And while we have a distinct hominid impression attached to the word, to the ven, an ork is any living thing that is not ven. It may be bi-pedal, it may be a carnivorous plant, it could also be a spectral force that cannot be entirely seen. Thus, there is also a malicious connotation to the word. Dangerous others are ork.
The twisted mutations of the Sorcerer Kings run rampant across Shanri. It is it Ven’s job to protect the civilised from them. The Ven will always prevail. They are civilised. The Ven would never fear the Orks…would they?
No ven is above the Law. Set clearly, right up front, making all ven equal citizens.
Well, not exactly.
Law refers to two different kinds of citizens, bound by very different Laws. The Blooded and the unblooded. All are bound by the Law, but the Law is not equal for all.
The Blooded own land. The unblooded do not. In fact, the Blooded own the people born on the land. They are property. . And like property, you may treat them as you wish. You can treat them well or you can treat them poorly. As the Blooded, it is your right to do so.
If a member of the noble class commits a crime against another member of the noble class, a Jury of Peers (other Blooded) is called. Trial, decision, punishment. If one of the unblooded commits a crime against the Blooded, he is killed. You may, if you wish, demonstrate mercy, but it is not considered a Ven virtue. as for Crimes Against the un-blooded. No such thing. If you are not one of the Blooded, you are someone else’s property. That means if a noble slaps you around, your only recourse is to complain to your liege that one of the Blooded has abused his property.
The First Law:
The Law Binds All
No ven is above the Law. This is the First Law, reminding proud, vain ven that no matter what their cunning, plots or rank, no ven may claim immunity to the Law.
The Second Law:
No Ven May Commit Murder
Killing another ven is the most foul act a ven can commit. The Second Law deals with this. Remember, the ven don’t believe in souls. Murdering another is robbing that ven of Solace and whatever may follow. This is the greatest crime.
The Third Law:
What You Own is Yours
The ven tradition of ownership is pretty simple. If you own it, it is yours. Even if you just took it from another ven’s hands. If he did not want it, he wouldn’t have given it to you. This also creates a complication in issues of trust. “Hold this for me,” carries a whole new set of connotations now, doesn’t it? If something is taken from you, you weren't paying enough attention to look after it, time to start working on getting it back yourself.
The Fourth Law:
You Own Your Promises
The Fourth Law seems to be a follow-up on the Third. The ven are very careful about making a promise. Unlike our own culture, “being a flake” is a crime. If a ven does not say the words “I promise,” he is not bound by anything else he says.
The Fifth Law:
No Ven Will Practice Sorcery
The Fifth Law is the one the ven ignore. All of them. Well, nearly all. There are a few exceptions in the literature, but otherwise, nearly every Ven breaks this Law.
The Sixth Law:
No Ven Will Make War
No Ven may raise an army for the purpose of making war against an other, and may only maintain a modest private guard. Again, as evidenced by what we know of Ven history, the Sixth Law was something the ven did not truly respect. They voiced respect for the Law, but in practice, secret armies are everywhere. Most Dukes keep secret armies to raid the fields and farms of their enemies.
The Seventh Law:
Let the Punishment Fit the Crime
Finally, the Seventh Law, giving the Ven a guide for setting punishment for those who break the other six. Like everything else in their lives, the punishment must be appropriate.
A trial by a jury of the other blooded takes place; and if found guilty is resolved with three common sentances. To wear the black, usually or a year and a day, such that all will know the Ven's shame. Second is to be stripped of their titles and lands, banished to wander Shanri. And finally, in the most egregious of crimes, only death is a suitable punishment. If the Jury decides the matter is to be solved between two wronged individuals, the process for a duel is followed.
The ven are civilized creatures. They agree upon a set of Laws, and abide by those Laws, surrendering certain civil liberties in exchange for safety. Without this mutual agreement, the ven would be no better than orks. Even still, there comes a time when words and rhetoric fail, and when they do, the only recourse is violence.
The noble caste recognizes this, and recognizes a citizen’s right to defend his honor, and defend it with Blood, if necessary. Violence is a part of ven culture, but if arms must be taken up, they will be taken up with a mind toward Art. Two opponents, each with the same weapon, facing off to prove or disprove a claim of dishonor. This is the purpose of ritual violence: to address the necessity of aggression in a civilized culture. The rules for duels are encapsulated in a book known as The Swordsman.
A formal duel is a serious affair for all involved. Even if a duel is set for first Blood, accidents happen. It is more than just a test of skill, but a test of honor for both parties. There are three kinds of grievance, Insult, Injury and True Pain.
“Insult” is publicly questioning another noble’s honor. Calling him a liar, an adulterer, a welcher or a thief is cause for the claim of Insult. According to The Swordsman, Insult cannot be claimed without a witness willing to testify to the Insult before a Jury. This is why so many nobles couch their Insults in word plays and innuendo, thus avoiding a duel.
“Injury” is a more serious crime, one that results in a physical, spiritual, or financial scar. The wording of this is ambiguous, a fact many nobles have used to make claim to Injury. Like a claim of Insult, it must be brought before a Jury to decide the validity of the claim. The discovery of an illicit affair is the most common cause for a claim of Injury: a loss of honor and reputation.
Finally, “True Pain” is reserved for Offenses that cannot be undone. In other words, injuries that cause permanent and irreparable damage. This is the rarest of all three duels as most juries try to avoid declaring them. But in the most extreme cases, such injuries can only be settled with a duel to the death.
Once the Insult or Injury has been made, the offended party must make a claim within two days of the incident.
The Injured party writes a letter to his liege, declaring his intent for Revenge. Once the letter is in his hands, the liege lord announces proper Revenge has been declared and gathers the Jury. This is important: a noble cannot declare Revenge for himself. His liege must do so for him.
If the offended party does make a claim, all further details are handled by “seconds.” A second is a trusted friend or relative who speaks for and supports a noble engaged in a duel.
The Jury’s Decision
As I said above, the Jury then hears arguments from both sides: the accuser and the accused. If the Jury decides an Insult or Injury has taken place, procedure may continue. If not, that’s it. It’s over. Once this is done both seconds will draft a final letter of apology. If the two duelists refuse to sign the apology, then the duel will commence. There are a number of types of duels, listed below.
Duel to the Touch
In the case of minor Insults, a duel to the touch may be appropriate. Both duelists stand a few steps apart and at the drop of a handkerchief, they draw Swords quickly, trying to gain the first hit against his opponent. The duelist striking first is declared the winner and the affair is ended. A duel to the touch is rare, usually insisted upon by the elders of a family who don’t wish to see their young relatives killed in a senseless affair of honor.
Duel to Blood
Also known as a “Blood duel,” duels to Blood are used to settle serious matters of Insult. Claims of Insult are resolved when one of the duelist is wounded to bleeding. This is the most common form of dueling, the others reserved for more serious affairs of honor.
Duel to Injury
More serious matters of honor call for a duel to Injury. The duel proceeds until one opponent is Blooded (as above). He is then allowed the opportunity to apologize (the offending party) or claim satisfaction (the offended party). An apology or concession ends the matter. If no apology or concession is given, the duel continues, breaking with each Blooding. The offer of concession or apology is made again, and if none is made, the duel continues. If a duelist cannot continue for his wounds, the duel is over and the matter is finished.
Duel to the Death
If a matter is so serious as to demand death, a noble must seek to prove a claim of True Pain. True, there are instances of these kinds of duels, but if it has gone to this, the crime must be egregious.
Colours and Language.
The Ven language is divided into common and high speech. Common speech is used by the Veth and rarely passes the lips of the Ven. The high language spoken by the Ven may not be spoken by the Veth. It is common for the Veth servants who speak the high language have their tongue removed; such that they can still serve their masters without being able to speak the language to the other lower classes.
The high language has a constantly shifting phraseology with every line veiling a dozen secret meanings. This leaves it perfect to the dance of politics that the Ven play. Colour is also very important to the Ven and used to communicate things about them.
-- Black “I am veiled by shame”
For the ven, wearing black is a symbol of shame. Criminals wear black. At parties, everyone ignores them. No need to point out another ven’s shame. He’s already being punished enough.
-- Red “Get out of my Way”
Red can stand for two things. For romance, or for revenge. In the Ven language, both are represented by the same word. Wearing red shows others you have declared romance or revenge, and nothing stops a Ven on either of these paths.
--Grey “Tears are not enough”
Grey is the colour of mourning. Worn by widows and lovers.
Yellow is the forbidden colour, it stands for sickness, for the greatest of horrors. No Ven wears yellow.
--Green “spring in my veins”
Green is the colour of youth, of vibrance, and of availability
-- Blue “Knowledge bound”
Those who wear blue are those in search of knowledge. It says I want to learn. Paler blues denote the wise, whereas darker colours show students.
--Lavender “entertain me”
Lavender is a care free, party colour. It says tells other Ven that they are looking for fun.
--Brown “I’m not messing around”
Brown is the colour of the Veth, and can show that the Ven is poor. However it can also be interpreted as a statement of a Ven's directness. Serious, Dour Ven prefer brown.
--White “I am ready”
Worn by those preparing for Solace
--Silver & Gold “Blooded”
Only the nobles may wear these colours, and it denotes status.
In the minds of the Ven, “love” is a dangerous thing, making you act against your own best interests, against your family, against your friends. It is a kind of loyalty that your superiors cannot control. Remember: the word the Ven use for “love” is the same word they use for “revenge.” Vrentae. Dangerous Obsession.
Like Revenge, Romance is deadly. It’s only asking for trouble. You know how things will go when you get involved in a Romance. The heat of passion makes you stupid. Makes you ill. You feel sick when your lover isn’t around and when she is around, you feel giddy. How can this be anything but dangerous?
Ven scholars denounce Romance for these reasons. Of course, that doesn’t stop Romance. In fact, making it forbidden just fans the flames
Love is a relatively new concept in Shanri. Only in the last 50 years has the idea of romantic suitors become normative, with nearly all Ven placed in arranged marriages by their parents for political gain around the age of 10 to thirteen. In the beginning, these affairs were completely chaste—a kiss was a daring gift, and if discovered, could lead to banishment, or even death. As all marriages have promises of fidelity.
Then, as the concept of courtly Romance became more popular, the lady’s rewards became more… rewarding. Eventually, romantic sentiments overcame the power of tradition, and we have the beginnings of what we have now: flirting and courtship as tests to finding your one true love. But in the world of the ven, love is still a dangerous philosophy, practiced at risk, in secret, away from the eyes of those who would ruin the greatest game ever created, as to be found in an intimate affair with another lover, carries the death sentence.
We don’t know when the Ven began using sorcery, a left over power from the Sorcerer Kings imbued in their blood. Official records give us any no clues. Ven leaders have expressly forbidden use of sorcery by any of their subjects under penalty of death. Of course, this did little to hinder Ven nobles’ research of the topic.
Use of sorcerous rituals pervades almost every court in Shanri, although it is still considered a crime on the streets and in the fields. In fact, it is still considered a crime anywhere, but the dark art has become so commonplace among the nobility, any condemnation of it would only point out one’s own hypocrisy. Blood swords everywhere— carried by almost every swordsman. Nobles use blood oaths to maintain alliances between Houses. Espionage indulge in various sorcerous tools every day. If any noble was to dare accuse another of using sorcery, he had better have his hands clean of blood.
Needless to say, some Houses keep such a minor noble around for just such a happenstance: a young ven who has never cast a ritual, never been the target of a ritual, and never makes use of any blooded tools. In the current social climate, however, this is incredibly dangerous. Not utilizing the benefits of blood magic puts one at a significant disadvantage. However, it also keeps a ven’s conscience clear when he makes an accusation of sorcery.
Using blood magic is not difficult. You need three things: knowledge of the ritual, sacred herbs, and enough blood to make the ritual work. If a noble knows the proper ritual, he can perform it. All he needs then is the blood and herbs.
The ven word is ilsyrr. “The quiet death.” Poisons are omnipresent in ven literature. Ven biology is such that most venoms and toxins do not affect them. A few are potent enough to make him stumble or perhaps even knock him on his backside. But the ven explicitly list five poisons powerful enough to kill.
Arsenic: The Emerald Waste
The ven originally used arsenic as a dye, but quickly discovered its toxicity, and turned the powder to less cosmetic means. Since then, the ven have developed arsenic into a thin, white powder. Tasteless and odorless, it absorbs into liquid quickly, leaving no residue. Despite its new appearance, arsenic’s name remains.
Once poisoned, the victim’s skin turns pale. Headaches. Vomiting and retching. A complete failure of the digestive system follows. Horrible stomach pains. Sparkling red eyes. Death comes within hours.
Arsenic must be ingested, but it can be fed to animals, and even after cooking, any ven who eats the poisoned animal will suffer the effects.
Cyanide: The Crimson Gasp
Made from fruit seeds, cyanide appears as a grey or brown powder that smells like almonds. The ven originally used it as a flavoring powder as lower dosages caused giddiness and a severe lack of judgment. Further experimentation lead to its current usage.
Cyanide poisoning shuts down the body’s ability to process oxygen, causing the victim to helplessly gasp for breath as his brain slowly dies of asphyxiation. After death, the blood takes on a tell-tale cherry red color.
Cyanide may be ingested or inhaled.
Hemlock: Fox’s Revenge
The hemlock plant is beautiful to look upon. Pure white, spotted with blue, red and purple. “Fox’s Revenge,” indeed.
Almost the entire plant is poisonous, but which part depends on which part of the year. Once poisoned, the victim’s body begins to slow down, exhibiting symptoms of Solace. The limbs grow heavy, the body cannot move. Pain as the muscles shut down. Eventually, the victim’s lungs cease and she dies the kind of slow, agonizing, beautiful death that only a Fox can provide.
Hemlock must be ingested.
Oleander: Ikhalu’s Milk
The ven know the entire oleander plant is toxic, but they rely solely on the sap—the white, milky sap—when seeking Revenge. Ikhalu’s milk must be ingested, but once it is, the effects are immediate and fatal.
Ikhalu’s milk forces the heart to beat at a staggering and irregular pace, causing the entire body to shut down. Irregular and violent blood flow. Almost immediate death.
Ikhalu’s milk cannot be hidden well. It is sticky and thick. It does not mix well with other liquids. It must be ingested. But while the other poisons listed here provide a painful death within minutes or hours, oleander is the only poison of the five that causes almost immediate death to its subject.
Strychnine: The Spectre Dance
Of all the poisons listed here, strychnine is, by far, the most dramatic. Introduced into the system, the victim immediately begins suffering seizures of a most violent sort. His limbs flail, his head and neck thrash. His screams. Introduced into the body through ingestion, the victim appears as if he is suffering from a mad, vicious dance with invisible beasts.
The spectre dance.
There is nothing subtle about strychnine. Its effects are immediate and obvious. The spectre dance is used by those who wish to make a point. It is the poison hammer. “Let it be known.”
In our own time, nobles title are inherited. Passed down through Bloodlines. For the ven, this is also true, but not as often. In fact, more often than not, someone other than a noble’s direct lineage inherits his land. This is because, in the world of Shanri, “nobility” is something that is taken, not inherited.
The ven put a great emphasis on taking what is yours and keeping it. It demonstrates courage, conviction and cunning. They like that. Getting something because you were born in the right place at the right time is shameful. Therefore, daughters and sons must at least make the appearance of usurping their land from their parents.
Taking another noble’s land from the hands of his incompetent heir is both right and honorable. A weakling cannot rule. Strength. Courage. Cunning. These are the things that make a ven noble. Not inheritance.
Remember nearly every noble mentioned took the land they rule from someone else. That end result did not have to end in death. Surrender is an honorable option.
Surrender gives you the opportunity to live another day and plot Revenge.
A Ven who demonstrates he can keep hold of a small amount of land may approach a Baron, someone able to maintain their land, and request to be knighted. If the Baron believes their request reasonable, the Ven becomes a knight, and begins their task. A Knight must then go out into Shanri and conquer land in the name of his liege. By conquering land, the Knight forces others to swear fealty to his own name, or he may win the favor of other knights through less violent means.
Eventually, a Knight has vassals of his own: those who have sworn fealty to him out of respect, love or fear. When a Knight has these followers, he brings them before the Senate and declares himself a Baron, offering his fealty to any Count who may take it. (A Baron may have a specific liege in mind, but the ceremony of announcement is a ritual that should not be disregarded.)
If the noble claim of Baron is not accepted by any Count, the Knight remains a Knight. The Senate rejects his claim of Baron. Likewise, when a Baron has enough vassals who have sworn fealty to his name, he may go before the Senate and make the claim of Count. And a Count make the claim of Marquis. And the Marquis make the claim of Duke. Each time appearing before the senate for recognition.
Knights are commonly referred to a roadmen. Tasked with guarding a barons lands outside of his castle. Roadmen are men and women of note, given title by a lord, granting them privileges not available to those of lesser status. Becoming a roadman is recognition by the noble class of “a worthy heart.” When a group of heroes saves a village from a band of orks or rescues a Baron’s daughter or thwarts an assassination attempt, the typical reward is the title of roadman.
Heroes are made roadmen for two chief reasons:
--So the lord can be identified with the heroes who performed the deed,
--So the lord can fund the heroes’ efforts and further his association with them.
Turning brave common ven into roadmen increases a lord’s reputation among his people and the reputation of his court. Of course, only rarely is a roadman Blooded. That particular ritual is reserved for those of exceptional calibre. Particullarly favoured roadmen may carry their Barons banner, these men and women are often refered to a banerrets or bannermen, and are seen as a class above normal knights. Long serving Knights without interest in political gain may become “master of the road” The leader of a Baron’s Roadmen.
Proper address for a roadman is “sir” or “dame” accompanied by the roadman’s personal name. A roadman is referred to as “honorable,” as in “the honorable Tilvan Syver.”
The baron is on the bottom of the land-owning lord, one step up from being a Banneret roadman. A baron does not always own the land he governs, but is given the title to distinguish him from the other non-land owning nobles. In the end, a baron almost always reports directly to a higher noble and stands the chance of having his lands revoked if he offends. A baron’s land contract is often for a single generation and must be renewed by his liege.
Proper address for a baron or baroness is “Lord” or “Lady.” Barons and baronesses are referred to as “Your Lordship” or “Your Ladyship,” as in “Her Ladyship, the Baroness of Q’nn, Shara Yvarai.
When a Baron has gained enough self-sufficiency and proven enough loyalty that he can accompany his lord on important journeys, his liege promotes him to the title of count. A count is responsible for a county: a large parcel of land made up of many shires and townships.
Counts and countesses are referred to as “Your Excellency” as in “His Excellency, the Count of Vimour, Lord Pywnn Steele.”
“Marquis” is a distinction given by a duke to an impressive (and dangerous) count. The title was originally given to a noble who was set to guard the outer lands (the marches), a place of great danger. Dukes gave these lands only to those they trusted most. A high gift. A dangerous gift. While his lands may not have been as vast as another noble, they held a particular value that could not be entrusted to just anyone. Since then, the title has changed. A marquis is now a title of distinction, demonstrating one who has taken lands of another by force, guile and cunning. He has risen up through the ranks of the nobility by his own actions, earning him respect and fear by the other nobles.
A marquis and marquise are referred to as “Your grace” or “the lord protector.” As in, “His Grace, the Marquise of Flouven, Lord Protector Ellwn Thorne.”
Shanri’s most powerful nobles are the dukes. The title comes from the personal guard the Emperor kept, the most powerful and influential ven in Shanri. These days, ven Law forbids an Emperor. Instead, the people are divided by the Houses, ruled by the dukes, the true owners of Shanri. Dukes own their own land. They are vassals to no-one. Their word is Law and their authority unquestioned—in the open, at least. Dukes are high above the social order, almost immune to it. Almost.
A duke or duchess is referred to as “Your Highness.” As in, “His Highness, the Duke of Myvster, Olderon Burghe.”
the Senate, is the voice of the ven, those who own land and guide Shanri’s destiny. They sit in the Senate because they fought for that right. Bled for it. Killed for it.
For each region a noble governs, he owns a seat in the Senate. The number of seats he owns equals the number of votes he may cast when the Senate votes. He may use his votes as he wishes, splitting them or even abstaining. His votes are his own.
A Senator’s rank depends on the land he owns. A duke outranks a marquis outranks a count outranks a baron. You will soon discover a rank’s importance.
The dukes lead the Senate. They recognize speakers. They call for votes. On matters of order, they perform “the duke’s privilege.” The council of dukes—however there may be—vote on the matter in question, settling disputes and deciding on matters of unclear precedent.
The Senate meets on the first new moon of each Season. Any Senator may bring voice to the chamber, but he must be recognized. At least three other Senators must recognize him. Three other Senators who outrank him.
One recognized, he may speak for as long as he may hold the floor. He may not sit, he may not drink, he may not ask for support. He may pause for questions, but he must answer the question posed directly. Avoidance of questions calls for removal from the floor. A Senator indicates he is finished by kneeling and bowing.
At the end of his speech, the Senate hears comments. Then, the Council of Dukes calls for a vote. Votes are made in public. The duke’s privilege is made in secret.
No duels allowed on the Senate floor. No Bloodshed.
If a lord loses all his land, he loses all his seats.
there are 6 major and several minor houses that the Ven of shanri are descended from. Each has its own history and each represents a different aspect of Ven personality.
-- Burghe "Give me a man and I will make him a bear" The house of the bear represents strength. Staking their homelands in the frozen mountains these powerful men and women tend to be more direct and stoic than most
-- Steele "Nobility is not only in blood. But in purpose." The house of the elk represents cunning. The steele were the last family to hold kingship of Shanri, and the magic of a mad king shattered the realm into the lands that now remain. The Steele's were eventually defeated and replaced by the senate and As such the banner of the Elk remains half veiled in black at the senate. The Elk forever working their cunning to regain their power.
--Thorne "I am all I own." The house of the falcon represents courage. The lands of the falcon were quickly snatched up during the rise of the senate, and they had been landless wanderers for many years. However 50 years ago a bold move by the head of house Thorne unraveled his banner in the senate and took his lands back. The time spent fighting in the wilderness imbue them with great courage.
--Yvarai "Never enough" The house of the Fox represents beauty. They are famous for their indulgence and love of art. The perfect seducers and flowers of the senate. They live in the warmer plains of Shanri.
--Myrr "I hold wisdoms price" The house of the serpent represents wisdom. Those of house Myrr were instrumental in ending the mad king steele's reign. They are masters of secrets, or political intrigue, and of poison.
--Adrente "We are either tools or weapons" The house of the wolf represents prowess in battle. and a warrior instinct. they are also fanatical seakers of knowledge, as they believe it is the greatest tool in battle they have.
Aban: “the world forgives daring”
Abazai: “the cherry blossoms fall”
Abendago: “the unforgotten song”
Abhaz: “born in the northern
Aby: “the river’s memory”
Alanya: “protector of the home”
Alexai: “the hand and the sword”
Ashla: “rest here”
Asvil: “born of light”
Ato: “first born son”
Bajinoth: “the wind whispers”
Cavala: “worthy of love”
Chayan: “born of the marsh”
Cosette: “peace of heart”
Dagul: “father of many”
Ddwyer: “hold fast”
Deta: “white and fair”
Davan: “tall and large”
Dara: “in my arms, be born again”
Dosajee: “in the Suaven I trust”
Dranna: “the heavens in my eyes”
Drial: “I am your friend”
Durt: “worthy of love”
Ecc: “Shanri’s mysteries in my heart”
Feyla: “cheerful eyes”
Fyx: “I am alive”
Godfren: “devoted guardian”
Gryndil: “illuminating the darkness”
Gwanal: “my love will give you
Halia: “the hawk’s white wing”
Haroon: “my father rejoices”
Icusalia: “cottage under the moon”
Illudyll: “the soul of the sun”
Isla: “ever watchful”
Jana: “my truth in you”
Jorja: “white hands”
Kavamadii: “purity and grace”
Kyocera: “I cannot be known”
Lisle: “appointed one”
Lonor: “I am the rival”
Lura: “brightest star”
Maja: “laughter heals”
Maura: “the red widow”
Maurevel: “keeper of the woods”
Meza: “where berries grow”
Moryandal: “inevitable victory”
Mxura: “master of the house”
Myri: “full of hope”
No: “forbidden kiss”
Olivama: “I will fool them
Niassa: “the ungentle night”
Rajh: “I will die on your grave”
Rali: “my meal will be wine”
Regana: “slender stem”
Ryandual: “the abandoned plain”
Sagay: “adviser to power”
Shajar: “little rose”
Shanina: “roots of the tallest tree”
Shara: “veiled rose”
Sitthydeth: “sweetest song”
Sorio: “the warrior brings peace”
Suahavan: “the harp”
Szazs: “the unrepentant heart”
Tasha: “the green meadow”
Tatjan: “friend of the mountain”
Tjan: “most earnest”
Torr: “iron does not bend”
Trixauna: “daughter of the Sword”
Tshanja: “the education of
Tzao: “born of fire”
Ul: “spiced wine”
Uthandaye: “small stone”
Van: “little one”
Vangalio: “my deeds will inspire”
Vanglia: “my family will not forget”
Vrdj: “joined in harmony”
Weatha: “the elder tree”
Wyel: “I pledge”
Zrudura: “my heart aches”