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Mojeveterk, Shliiritiri, and the Asaatarla - Culture
Written By: Deirdre / Wyld_Dandelyon (Writer)
In which we learn a little about the history and customs of the people who inhabited Mojeveterk (All Thatís Left) during the sundered times.
 
 

History and Culture of the area formerly known as Mojeveterk, or "All That's Left"

This area was assimilated into the Brimar Region in 1359.

Including: Mojeveterk (All Thatís Left), The Land Priestesses of the mystic, Shliiritiri, the towns of Tifairili, Tiffamaag, and Tifarimar, the seven clans of the Asaatarla, and Kilojeveterk (New Land Fragment).

Mojeveterk

In the sundered times, there was a time-shard in the Brimar Region, which now surrounds the relatively new planned-city, Affamarg, which is Brimar's capital. Until the time of rejoining, they called the area that they had access to Mojeveterk, (which translates to ďAll the LandĒ or ďAll Thatís Left"-- mo- is the pronoun root for "all/every" and terk is the word for land. jev is "remnant"). Mojeveterk had several larger towns and a dozen smaller ones, as well as lots of farmland and some wild areas.

The people of Mojeveterk are mostly of average height, with delicate features, pale skin, and straight or wavy hair. Hair ranges from an almost white blond into a bright shade of brown or any variety of red. Eyes are blue, gray, green, or very rarely, violet, and can be flecked with gold or silvery tones, as well as with one of the common eye colors. These people sunburn easily and don't tan well, leading to a fondness for long sleeves and hats at mid-day, especially in the summer. The Asaatarla tend to be paler and shorter than the townsfolk and farmers, but there was enough interbreeding that the populations are not genetically distinct.

The earthquakes that heralded the Upheaval, and the discovery that most of the world was apparently destroyed, had a huge impact on the people of All Thatís Left.

The Land Priestesses of Shliiritiri

At some point, not too long after the Upheaval, a very charismatic mystic and poet, a woman named Shliiritiri, started preaching the message that there was a mystical connection between women and the land, a connection that men had either never had or had destroyed by mistreating the land until the Upheaval happened. She convinced people she could sense what was going on in even distant parts of Mojeveterk, and said that she believed the rest of the world no longer existed at all, since she could not sense it.

Her teachings became very popular, and her poetry was collected into books and used as religious and practical inspiration in the area. Her followers enacted laws defining the roles of women and men, especially in regard to the use of land. They also kept very specific records of her life and of the church she founded. The stories claim that she started preaching in the days after the Upheaval, and kept preaching and writing poetry until her death. Over time, parts of the the record of the days between Shliiritiriís life and Rejoining were destroyed by accident or decay, but the tales of Shliiritiriís own life were copied and recopied, and were never lost.

According to the Priestesses of Shliiritiri, this time-shard experienced 798 years until the first border was noticed to have become passable, and 837 years from the Upheaval to the time when Mojeveterk and Kilojeveterk were no longer isolated from the rest of the world. Of course, this is shorter by roughly seven centuries than the Empireís count of years since the Upheaval, so most Empire historians discount the Priestessesí histories as at least partially fiction, and in particular are certain that the belief that Shliiritiri experienced the Upheaval first-hand is false.

Although the towns varied on the specifics of gender roles, in the sundered times and up until the area was annexed by the Empire, land was owned only by women and passed to their natural or adoptive daughters. If a woman had only boys, she could attempt to have one of her sons named, legally, a woman, if the priestesses agreed that said child was suitable, and if he underwent an elaborate ceremony to bring him into mystical contact with the land. However, this process was time-consuming and expensive, and it was accepted as fact only if the priestesses decided the new mystical connection had been adequately established, so the usual solution to that problem was for the woman to adopt her favorite daughter-in-law.

Women and men could both handle money, run businesses, and own other types of property, but there was believed to be a mystical connection between women and the land. This belief arose from the words of the mystic, Shliiritiri, who allegedly lived in the time of the Upheaval. She taught that prior to the Upheaval, most of the land was owned by men, who (in their masculine ignorance) lacked the ability to mystically commune with the land to make sure they didnít take actions that harmed it.

Shliiritiriís Rede

When the land was ruled by men
And all things bowed to their demand
And women stood by their right hand
The land was hurt and hurt again
ĎTill it sundered, stranding us alone
Toppled buildings, stone from stone
If it can heal, we donít know when

The men didnít listen, or didnít care
Though the land must support us all
They stripped it bare, then let it fall
I tried to warn, to shout, bewareó
But I was stopped by men of power
The world was cracked in just an hour
The rest is gone; we donít know where

Since menís deeds left us all bereft
Now women must make a sacred stand
To guard and tend and heal the land
To protect us all from some new Dread Cleft
For men canít hear our own land cry
While women can; we donít know why
So women shall hold All Thatís Left



Tifairili, Tiffamaag, and Tifarimar

The towns were divided as to how gender should affect a personís possible political roles. Tifairili, Shliiritiriís hometown, which was on the northwest border of All Thatís Left, only allowed women to hold political office; Tiffamaag required judges (mediators?) to be women, but both genders could hold other political offices. And the southernmost town, Tifarimar, enacted a law about 100 years before rejoining, that allowed only male politicians, believing that provided a balance of power since only women could own land.

Instead of surnames, people were named for the land they lived on, with each farm and even parcels of land in the towns bearing the name given to it by the woman who was owned it. Some parcels of land kept the same name for centuries; others gained new names when that parcelís woman had a mystical revelation that it was time to change it.

Most people, especially women, were content to live where they grew up; men would wander in their youth if they didnít find a wife near home, and then would settle on her land.

The Asaatarla

In the early years, while the townspeople and farmers came to follow, and eventually, worship Shliiritiri, some people chose instead to be traveling traders. They came to be known as the Asaatarla, and took on functions of carrying news and letters, escorting young men on their courting journeys, and providing complex entertainment in the form of musical plays and athletic dance exhibitions. Over the centuries, the Asaatarla came to have a recognizable look, delicate features, pale skin, and athletic build.

The Townspeople had relatively simple marriage customs; a husband was a husband only so long as the woman wanted him. She could banish him from her land at any time, and the marriage was over. The primary tie of a woman and her family was to the land; the health and beauty of a familyís land was directly tied to their status in the community.

In contrast, the Asaatarla had very strong ties to their clans, and consequently, they made a big production of weddings, defining not only the relationship between the new husband and wife, but the relationship of both to the clan. Occasionally someone born in town or on a farm would apply to join one of the Asaatarla clans. If accepted, the adoption ceremony included all of the elements of the marriage ceremony meant to cement ties between the adoptee and his or her new clan.

The Asaatarla had seven clans, Peacock, Dragon, Firefly, Parrot, Phoenix, Butterfly, and Magpie, all brightly colored flying creatures. (Notes: During the sundered times, Peacock, Dragon, Parrot, and Phoenix were all believed to be mythical creatures. The mythical "peacock" has feathers that we would recognize as a peacock's feathers, but it is depicted flying high in all weather, and is associated with rainbows, having rainbow coloration, much brighter than the "drab land-bound cousin" that still exists in some areas in the south. The parrot, in contrast, is much like the actual animals found in the Rainbow Rainforest and elsewhere. Finally, the ďmagpiesĒ the clan was named after were the genetically-engineered, bright-colored performing magpies that eventually came to be known as blinkbirds. )

The Asaatarla had a naming convention where they took a name that was already long and added Ėiv, -oiv, -eiv, -ivi, -ivoi, -ivei, or Ėivii. If another consonant is needed to join these suffixes with a name, the most common are y, rv, and vr. Someone who married into the clan was expected to take a long formal name following this rule, often having -ar- added in the middle, for ďbelovedĒ. In contrast, the townspeople tended toward short names with only one or two vowel sounds.

In modern times, people of Asaatarla descent still usually give their children very long names, but for everyday and professional use, almost always use a shorter version. If a traditional Asaatarla wedding ceremony is performed, the bride or groom is given a longer version of their name. Many people use it only for the ceremony, while others may continue to use it for family gatherings or religious rituals. Some people even go to the extent of changing their name legally.

Kilojeveterk

798 years after the Upheaval, in the early Spring of that year, by the count of the Land Priestesses, a wagon of the Peacock clan was traveling in winter, during a storm, in an effort to get one of the women, who was having a hard time giving birth, to a midwife. They became lost and strayed much further west than they had intended. Finally the snow grew too deep, and they struck camp where they stood.

Shortly after they got the shelter up and a fire going the baby girl was born, and named Mradinaliroiv. Mother and child rallied as the storm died. The people traveling in and with the wagon settled in to wait for a thaw.

When the thaw came, they realized they were in a land that no one had been in before. There were no roads and no familiar landmarks. They had sheltered under a species of tree none of them had seen before. The rabbits of the area were a pale gray rather than white, and had shorter ears than they were used to.

Spooked, they fled to the Temple of Shliiritiri to tell their story and seek blessings. The priestesses took their time in investigating, but finally declared that the new land was wholesome and unoccupied, and called it Kilojeveterk. Nearly all the younger daughters of the land wanted to settle there. There were attempted bribes, barroom brawls, and escalating arguments about who should get to own some of the land. It was a huge political and practical mess, so the priestesses resorted to a theological solution. The little girl, now 8, was given the name Shliirita, and was named the owner of all of the new land.

The priestesses planned to adopt her into their number, and then use her as a figurehead to divide the land by holy fiat, or perhaps by some kind of random draw. But she wasn't interested, and said so publicly, which led to a few hundred young and not-so-young farmers offering (some very insistently) to marry the little girl.

The girl went into hiding, doubtless adopting yet a third name, which has been lost to history. Dozens of squatters moved onto the land, each woman who claimed land also claiming that the girl had given them her blessing. It is unclear, to this day, whether the girl might have said something that could legitimately be interpreted as permission to one or more of the squatters, or, in fact, whether she even understood the land-ownership rules.

In any case, the squatters were happily farming and the rest of the people of Mojeveterk were still ineffectually squabbling 30 years later about who had the right to live on and farm Kilojeveterk. Then the other sundering borders fell, and the Empire's emissaries gave everyone other things to think about.

No one ever learned what happened to Mradinaliroiv/Shliirita.


Mojeveterk Under the Empire

Once the borders opened, the Empire soon annexed the area, since Mojeveterk had no military at all and no cohesive overall government; the priestesses were rather distracted arguing about the theological implications of the fact that there was more to the world again. The initial officials noted that there was a significant history of rivalry between the three largest towns. As a result, when the Empire decided to place the regional capital in this area, the Empire chose to build a new capital city rather than risk elevating any of the existing towns to that status.

When the Empire moved in and took over, that got the priestessesí attention. They could not stop the Empire from annexing the land, but they were able to get the Empire to sign a treaty recognizing Shliiritiriís home as a religious temple, and allowing her ordained priestesses (now to be known as the Land Priestesses) access to Empire officials to advocate for the land, with the goal of promoting healthy and harmonious land use and preventing any new Upheaval.

Not that the Empire believes in any of that mystical stuff, of course, but the Empire saw practical advantages to the treaty. In general, the Empire allows religions that are not disruptive; the treaty provided a formal recognition that aided with assimilation. Also, this religion kept this region stable and peaceful for centuries; that argued that the Empire wanted the power of the priestesses allied to it. Also, the treaty put in place a nice, orderly way for the officials of the religion to interact with the Empire. Finally, when the politicians and scientists take the time to explain their laws and regulations properly to the Land Priestesses, they predictably get a nice orderly way to encourage the citizens of the region to comply with the Empireís laws.

People in this area tend reflexively to refer to The Empire as a woman, since now the Empire owns all the land.

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