Conquest of the Sphere: Una Ethnicity

Pre Columbian mask

The Una are the dominant advanced species on much of the southern half of the world.  They live in nearly every environment, from desert to ocean.  Some build cities and travel oceans, while others live in remote forests, knowing little more than their patch of land.

Here are a few examples of different Una ethnic groups:

 

  • Kayel: The Kayel live on a chain of islands near the southern coast of the western continent.  They are short, of wiry build, and have gray-blue skin.  Their coarse hair tends to be gray, black, or dark blue, and their eyes are yellow or orange, or rarely red.  They are great swimmers and successfully hunt large ocean fish with spears and nets.  They have even domesticated a mollusk which they use for an air bladder that allows them to stay underwater for longer times.  The Kayel live in communal houses and raise their children as a village.  There are few rules or mores around sexual partners, but there are customs in place involving occasional exchanges of young people with those of another village.  Kayeli religion is based around nature spirits, particularly of the air and water.

 

  • Nanota:  Steppe nomads, the Nanota are a tall, broad shouldered people with dark brown and reddish skin.  Their hair ranges from bronze to gold and their eyes are almost universally black.  Their jaws are often pronounced, and they have small, bumpy ridges that run from the forehead up to the crown. They are legendary animal herders and riders.  They live and die by their herd, and different clans manage different beasts, often having rivalries based on the differences.  Nanotan culture is focused on clans and the often complicated relationships between them.  Yearly clan gatherings involve leadership and grazing rights within the clan.  Every five years, larger gatherings happen among multiple friendly clans, where marriages are arranged, and political decisions are made.

 

  • Bornovian:  Originating in the fertile lands of the east, the Bornovians spread across the eastern continent, becoming chief drivers of settlement and agriculture there.  They are average height and build, with deep brown skin and silver to onyx hair.  Their eyes are usually purple or blue, and more rarely green. They have narrow features, often with pointed chins and noses.  As they spread out, they mixed culturally and genetically with those they came in contact with.  Consequently, their language, religion, and culture has fractured into various derivative forms.  And there are are many areas where people of very mixed ethnicity still consider themselves Bornovian.

 

  • Shulat:  The Shulat are extremely unusual.  Hulking over most Una, they are very tall and thickly muscled.  Even without expending effort or training, they are strong, healthy, agile, and long lived.  Their skin is very pale, while their hair is coal-black.  Their eyes are blue or green, and are usually quite profoundly so, almost glowing with the color, like a jewel in the sunlight.  There are no Shulatin gods, but they do honor fallen heroes.  Their mythology is one of escape from oppression.   Their oppressors, often called the Shadows, take on a supernatural, demonic nature in the myth-narratives.  According to the stories, the Shulat were the slaves of the Shadows, non-Una monsters who ruled another world.  The Shulat threw off the shackles of slavery and escaped, fleeing to this world and settling in the inhospitable mountainous region of the western continent, they now call home.  With intense cultural taboos about slavery, they honor personal skill and craft, looking at any work as a sort of artistic endeavor.

 

  • Tongal:  The Tongal were originally a seafaring people who raided the coasts for generations.  However, several hundred years ago, they conquered Aranam and the surrounding region, embracing trade over raiding, and reshaping the landscape in ways that are still being revealed.  Then a fairly small citystate, Aranam has grown into a trade capital and cultural center.  The Tongal have deep brown skin, often green, hazel, or lavender eyes, and green-black hair.  Tongali features tend to be somewhat avian, with long, aquiline noses and high foreheads.  They are tall and typically slight of build.  Both men and women traditionally keep their hair long, often tied into intricate braids and knots.  Many gods are worshiped among them, with the usual sea deities being most common.  In Aranum itself, however, Lopniss, the patron god of merchants is close to many hearts.

 

You can read more from me at @TheOmegaDork on Twitter.

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