|Resources||Stone, Iron, Fish|
Tekorva is cold land with a mountain range running through the centre of the region surrounded by large flat expanses of snow. North of the mountain range lies the frozen wastes where few dare to tread. There are three important natural landmarks:
South of the great mountain range lies Ketazan, a snowy plain where most of what little flora and fauna of Tekorva may be found. Ketazan stretches from the south western borders of Tekorva to the Korvan river. In the south east of Ketazan is the mightiest evergreen forest of Tekorva, Tazaki where edible roots and berries may be found. Between Tezaki and the Korvan lives the Hunters as the most animals and biggest fish can also be found here. East of Ketazan are some smaller hilly areas where a few light forests and the river Torgad can be found. These hills are rarely visited, but important to the Hunters as it is their belief the Ketazan needs a year of rest every three years or the spirits will become angry. North of the small hills, beside the river Torgad is the smallest walled settlement of Tekorva, Mavorg. Mavorg is known for its strong people and most of the people assigned Hunters hail from Mavorg.
A little west of the centre, the southernmost mountain in the great mountain range Metako is the tallest peak in the region of Tekorva. Metako is located near both the Korvan river and Ketazan plains. Metako boasts the largest and most well-established city, Kyomet. Kyomet is the official capital of Tekorva. Metako is also close to the safest mountain pass to the most remote settlement Vagon, which lies beneath the north easternmost mountain in Tekorva on the outskirts of the frozen waste. Vagon is a remnant of a time when the climate was much warmer and trade with the north was not completely cut off. Thus, Metako and consequently Kyomet is incredibly important to the people of Tekorva.
The Korvan is the biggest river in Tekorva, running from its sources in the western mountains, in front of Kyomet, slicing through Ketazan and toward the very south east of Tekorva. The Korvan has three main sources, joining the mighty Korvan at various points before the river turns southeast. The eastern source lies between Kyomet and Mavorg. This is where the fourth main settlement of Tekorva may be found, Jikag. Jikag is the smallest of the four main settlements and was initially a fishing village, however as the Jikag we know today was dug into the mountain it was discovered to be rich in various useful metals. To this day, there are mines in Jikag which supply Tekorva with metal.
The people of Tekorva are a tall (between 7'2 and 8'4), heavily-built people with light (almost white) hair and tanned skin. Their eyes are the many colours of the sky, ranging from a deep purple of midnight to the light blue of midday and even the oranges of sunrise. They have lived in the harsh, snowy mountains for many centuries and as such have adapted to these conditions by being generally hairier and bigger than their southern counterparts.
Generally clad in furs and rarely without a weapon, the people of Tekorva are very peaceful and tend to hate violence, though not to the extent where they will actively avoid it when violence is necessary. The weapons they carry are usually decorative and ornate rather than functional with the exception of those who are assigned as Hunters who typically carry bows and arrows as well as a well-used skinning knife. Nonetheless, the average person of Tekorva practice one of the many forms of martial arts to stay fit. These martial arts tend to feature flips, sweeps and strikes of opportunity and is more decorative than functional.
Traditionally, the people of Tekorva wear their hair short, with the men growing a tail of hair which are worn in different ways to signify different things. For example, a married man of Tekorva will usually spend much time braiding and beading his hair to lie down the center of his back. Beards are common to both the men and women of Tekorva and are usually left to grow long for decoration. It is not uncommon to see a well-braided beard featuring beads with runes for good luck or coloured ribbons as a sign of wealth. Women's beards are generally wispier and softer than the men's.
Due to their large size, the people of Tekorva currently only live on average until their late thirties or early forties.
Due to most people in Tekorva spending their nights in homes beneath the mountains, the cave systems are constantly being expanded. Much of this stone is used to wall outdoor areas of the towns around the bases of various mountains, however the people of Tekorva have a hard time using all of it. Surplus stone is regularly available for trade. While various metals are also plentiful, the people of Tekorva store this useful commodity for themselves. Jikag in particular is famous for its iron mines. Though food and warmth is scarce, the Korvan River provides more than enough fresh water fish for the people of Tekorva to share.
Though Tekorva is perfectly capable of sustaining itself, the people of Tekorva import rice to accompany the majority of their meals. It holds special importance to them due to positive interactions they have had with other peoples in the past. Furthermore, as Tekorva itself is largely unsuited for growing grains, this tradition of importing rice has helped greatly in balancing the diet of the people.
The people of Tekorva do not have an organized religion, however that is not to say religion does not play a major role in their day to day lives. Due to their beliefs that spirits bestow good fortune upon them when content and exact vengeance when unhappy, the people of Tekorva do various things to try to keep the spirits happy. These spirits are believed to come in two broad types. The light, energetic, warm spirits and the dark, sober, cool spirits. It is believed a balance must be maintained else the neglected spirits become angry and the world becomes chaotic. Thus, a peaceful balance is of special importance to the people of Tekorva.
It is considered bad luck to be underground while the sun shines bright outside, so most of the people of Tekorva spend much of their time in walled in settlements at the bases of mountains near the flatter lands. As killing a tree or removing the dead trees would upset the balance of the forest, shade in these settlements are made of stone, bone, furs, leather and sometimes even ice. To better enjoy the sunlight when they can, the people of Tekorva lean toward shades with supports, but no walls. The only outdoor buildings with walls are the temporary structures the Hunters reside in while gathering food far away from any of the settlements.
The spirits currently are present in all things, but the people of Tekorva believe when an item has been made which is technologically revolutionary the spirits are delighted by it and make their presences stronger within the item. Thus, the proper rituals must be done before, during and after the use of such an item to appease the spirits and make the item more effective. Failure to recognize the presence and fascination of these spirits will have dire consequences.
Before the current ruling family came into existence, the people of Tekorva were far from united. The four settlements would each claim their leader were the smartest in the land and as a result, avoided speaking to each other unless it was necessary before violence broke out or the balance became upset. The first of the ruling family (who's name has been lost with time, shall we refer to him herein as the First) was not from one of the four major settlements, and had an unremarkable life until he came of age.
Upset that the people of Tekorva were not unified, the First allegedly rode to each town in tern in the depths of winter as soon as they were able to speak publicly and proposed that of all the four leaders, surely a contest could be held. The well respected members of society could vote on who won this contest and so a leader could be chosen. Seeing sense when finally prevented with it, the people of Tekorva finally agreed to the idea after forty years. By this time the First was a leader of Kyomet.
So a battle of wits took place and the First won. By how much varies depending on who you ask, but all agree the most important fact is that the First won. Happy to see the people of Tekorva finally united, they worked hard to ensure the nation would continue to prosper.
After the First died, one of his children won the battle of wits. After the leadership of Tekorva had been held by the same family for many generations, it was decided the children with the blood of the First were the most intelligent in the land, and as such to simplify matters greatly it would make the most sense if elections were among the family rather than the entirety of Tekorva.
Were our current Elder to die without producing a worthy heir, Tekorva would surely be plunged into chaos as much of the (by now much larger) population raise their hands as the most intelligent of Tekorva, therefore worthy to compete in the Battle of Wits, and perhaps even leading to civil war.