At a Glance
Sask is located to the east of Aquitaine. bordered by the Kingdom of Vales on the east, and the Rift to the south. It is not a kingdom, but feudal in nature. Sask is a collection of independent states controlled and ruled by powerful warlords. The most powerful of all of them is Reynard of Krune. The warlords and people of Sask will unite against outsiders.
The Saski and the realm of Sask are loosely based on medieval Georgia.
The Black Mountains
Saski: Language is loosely based on the Kartvelian Georgian language and includes its own writing system.
Secondary: Eldian (Common Tongue or Traders Tongue)
Other: A few minority tongues from neighboring states but in general foreigners are despised.
Geography & Geology
Size & Location
Sask is a medium-sized country located in the north-central region of the continent of Vendia. It is bordered on the west by Aquitaine, on the south by the wastelands of the Rift Valley, on the southeast by Vales, and on the northeast by Polvälde. In the north, Sask’s rugged mountains drop to the North Rheic Inland Sea, characterized by numerous deep fjords that provide limited access to the sea.
Highlands are generally cool with sometimes harsh winters. The valleys and sparse lowlands have short summers but can support growing seasons. There are high alpine valleys that will support a short summer grazing season for livestock.
Sask is very rugged and mountainous. It is a harsh land suitable only for the hardiest people. There are both lowland and highland valleys, and numerous fast-flowing glacier-fed rivers and large streams.
In the south and southeast, where Sask borders the Rift Valley and Vales, there are numerous earthquakes. Vendia is gradually being split in two by plate tectonics. There are a few dormant volcanoes in southern Sask, which has given the country the benefit of rich soils in the south. Avalanches, rockslides, and landslides are common in the higher mountain ranges. There is also the threat of steadily advancing glaciers in other regions.
Population & Culture
Race Name: Saski
Human: The Saski are primarily made up of Murians (Aereth’s indigenous human species). They are extremely xenophobic, so there has been little to no influence from the other races. As indigenous humans, Sask can mate with and produce viable offspring with almost all of Aereth’s human and human-like species. Will they? That’s another question entirely!
The majority of Sask’s population lives in the mountain valleys with smaller pockets of people dwelling in the higher mountain regions. There are also a few small villages or hamlets that focus on fishing along the coast of the inland sea and along some of the rivers.
Like all human races, the Saski vary somewhat and run the gamut of builds, body types, height, and weight. Due to their rugged environment, they tend to be robust and strongly muscled. Their fair skin tends to tan easily in the summer and most have smooth complexions. Saski tend to have high cheekbones and refined features with large, well-shaped and wide-set eyes.
Eye colors range from near black through darker shades of brown. Blue eyes are not uncommon. However, odd colored eyes such as hazel, green, or gray are very rare. Saski tend toward thick, somewhat straight hair with a smooth texture. Common colors range from near black through very dark brunette. Lighter shades of brown are uncommon and blonde is very rare. It is thought that those born with blonde hair probably have Vanir somewhere in their ancestry.
Average: 80 – 100 years
All sifakas lemurias (Murians) have the genetics and the protection of Aereth’s magical fields that allow for longer lifespans. Although the Saski are a strong and healthy race, they live in a harsh and demanding climate. Additionally, most do not trust healers and would not take advantage of their magical gifts if any were actually available. Aereth’s physicians are relatively advanced in their medical knowledge but Sask is very insular. Few trained physicians live within Sask’s borders and even fewer Saski will travel to a Guild of Airmid for training.
General Personality Traits
The people of Sask tend to be hard workers. However, they are very insular and distrust outsiders. This tendency toward xenophobia and abhorrence of magic make them rather hard to get along with…unless you are bringing cool trade goods. Generally speaking, like Earth’s humans, Saski tend to run the range of personality traits.
Magical Race: Limited to a few individuals
The Saski would not be considered an arcane race since not everyone is born with natural magical abilities. Occasionally, there are children born with arcane gifts. The arcanely gifted are viewed with suspicion and some fear. It is likely if anyone abuses their magical abilities or harms someone, they will be tortured for a confession and put to death (horribly).
As far as Magical Affinity is concerned, the Saski consider almost all magic anathema. The Grayborn and Shadowborn are dealt with even more harshly than the Lightborn.
Varies by State: If all of Sask’s wealth was pooled into a centralized government, it would probably be considered very wealthy for a rather small geographic region. However, the majority of Sask’s wealth lies with the nobility. The peasantry do manage a decent living off the land and there is a burgeoning merchant class. It is about the only time that the Saski welcome in strangers – when they have something cool to trade. A source of wealth and income are Sask’s naica mines. They are also a major source of contention with the neighboring kingdom, Vales, which covets the mines.
Medium: Overall stability comes and goes based on how things stand amongst the nobility, their alliances, and who is getting the drop on whom. The Saski tend to be very warlike so peace never breaks out for long.
Danger to Outsiders
High!: Unless you are a merchant or trader with cool things, you are in danger. On a good day, the Saski are suspicious of outsiders. On a bad day, they will kill you on site.
Form of Government
Patchwork of feudal states ruled by a vigorous and warlike nobility. Basically anarchy to the eyes of an outsider though alliances make things more complex than that.
None: Last Saski king was overthrown, and his family wiped out almost a century earlier. In theory, the High King of Vale, but that is no more than lip service at best.
None Designated: Since no state or noble has been designated – or declared themself – king, there is no current capital city.
Hierarchy and Structure
The various nobles exercise personal control over government, finance, and diplomacy. Some towns have their own charters and non-noble governments, but few would challenge the nobility in most matters.
Regulations and statutes are very complex as they vary depending on noble, community, tradition. There are some traditions common to the Saski though. Punishments for violations of major laws almost always involve the death penalty often in brutal fashion. Torture is an accepted form of gaining confessions of guilt. Giving one’s word is as binding as a written contract.
Freedom and Oppression
Varies: The nobility enjoys total freedom from oppression unless they lose a conflict with a neighboring state. As far as the remainder of society, the amount of freedom is dependent on their state’s ruling class. Some are fairly benevolent, some are very dictatorial.
Saski armies are built around a strong core of nobles and their retainers forming the cavalry, then the commoners might be called out for major confrontations to serve as infantry – mostly armed with spears and crossbows. There are a lot of castles up in the mountains, hard to attack and even difficult to besiege given the difficult terrain. These are almost always defended to the death. In Saski history, whole communities have been known to commit suicide if starving and at the end of their endurance rather than submit to capture by their besiegers.
The Saski are excellent soldiers, tough fighters but lack both the unity and numbers to have ever become a major power. They have long been inveterate raiders of their neighbors.