The Sitomus collective

Geography:
The Sitomus Collective (Sit’to-mahs collective) lies in the foothills of the Grey mountains. It is a Triple Junction zone, with the Ocianic plate subducting under the Agnorian (Ag-nor-I-an) Plate and the Andoniat (An-doh-nee-at) plate, while the Andoniat plate and the Agnorian plate are meeting resulting in continental collision. As a result The Sitomus collective is surrounded by high mountains to the north and east which have a moderate amount of volcanic activity. However there is a great deal of tectonic activity in the form of earthquakes and hot springs. Do to the eastward prevailing winds, this causes a lot of rainfall to fall on the Sitomus collective, causing many of the minerals and nutrients in the soil to runoff into the sea or into the lowlands of Tai Pan (Tie Pan). A few valleys hold great farmland, and the entirety of the agriculture for the country, but the rest of the Sitomus Collective is marked by its moss covered stones and rocky scrub. There are no major rivers in the Collective and rain fed streams and tributaries have been known to spring up overnight, all flowing out to sea or to join the Sitomus river in Tai Pan.

People and Politics:
The Sitomus Collective has no major exports or imports as it’s government condones no government sponsored trade, however wool, cheese, and a fine whisky are often highly traded out of the country by independent or desperate traders. Homes are usualy made from natural stones mortared together out of mud and adobe. They often grow moss and blend in with the scenery. The first settlers in Sitomus were Alesial (A-leez-ee-all) refugees seeking religious freedom. Unable to find it in Agnor (Ag-nor) they traveled on and finally settled in the hills of the Grey mountains. After the people settled, still they could not agree on an accepted religion and a civil war broke out. The war was short, but bloody, consisting of several religious factions that grew to hate each other. When resources in this barren land grew few and the people had but a handful of families still lived, the religious leaders of the different factions gathered together the remaining peoples and held the first mikils ga-faurds (Mee-keels Ga-Fords), or Great Council. Soon it became apparent that the factions could not agree and would soon kill the few of them that were left. Until a young man named Adalricus Sitomus (A-dall-Rih-cuss Sit’to-mahs) who banded together the women, the tired, and war weary, and formed what he called the collective. At the last day of the meeting, when it was clear no truce could be made the Sitomus gave a great speech, blamed the religious leaders for their pandering and bloodshed and, with the collective, hung them all. Adalricus Sitomus became the first Mikils Laisareis (Mee-keels Lie-zur-is) or Grand Master and the people became the collective.

As a result the people of the collective rejected religion and returned to a life of relative peace. But soon a new threat arose. Bandits, the remnant of the religious elements left in the collective, and random monsters and giants. The Collective once again fell into chaos and the war worn county did not have the wherewithal to regain control. This time became known as the un-suti (oon-Sootee), or Time of Chaos. Warlords went from town to town burning and pillaging, untill there were few who could raise sheep and grow food. The Maharaja (Má-ha-Rá-jha) of Tai Pan (tie-pan) took notice and raised an army planning to take the Collective. Sitomus, now an old man, was called upon once again to save his people. He went to Lady Tethys !Chats (Tehth-iss <tongue click>Cháts) leader of the last religious elements in Sitomus and made an agreement, the Triggwa (Trig’wah), a holy bound contract, to allow a church of the collective if they in turn protected the collective from all threats. Thus the Aikklesjo us gaqissai (ek’lez-eeo oos gah-kis‘sigh), or the Order of the Contract was created. By banding the warlords of the collective together, Tethys formed her church and her army and with a simple show of force got the Maharaja of Agnor to back down. The Aikklesjo now serve as army and religious center of the collective but are separate in all governmental matters. They are paid tribute by the collective, which is decided upon every five years at the Praizbytairei (Prâyz-bih-tear-âe) or Meeting of Elders.

Each town or area of Sitomus has an chosen leader, called a Laisareis (Lie-zur-is), who has a voice in the Praizbytairei. These Laisareis are chosen based on each area’s chosen idiom. Some are born into being Laisareis, some are elected, and some take it by force of strength or will. Each acts as representatives of his town or area and, using a percentage of the towns production, called a tribute, bids for protection and wealth in the Praizbytairei. Towns, however, tend to share The towns tend to share everything that is produced and dividing the wealth equally among members of the village. A person called the Distributer makes sure everyone gets an equal share of what is produced, handles investigations into people who withhold their production or steal from others, and makes sure everything is accounted for.

Of the other races present in the Collective the most common are the Whisper Gnomes, Illumians, Sharakim, Half-elves, and other outcast races. Because of the nature of law and the people in the Collective make them tolerant of different races, but the nature of life in the Collective doesn’t make it much of a melting pot. Still races that can’t find much of a home in Agnor tend to end up here. The Whisper gnomes on the other hand are descended from the race of gnomes that were displaced by colonization. They became mercenaries for hire and tend to go to the highest bidder. The Sharakim moved down from the mountains long before the colonists came to this part of the world. They found the terrain to their liking and stayed. They have communities hidden in valleys or in the roots of the mountains and tend to follow their own customs, within the confines of Triggwa. They recently were able to buy their way in to the praizbytairei and find a voice in politics. Half-elves, usually of Calentaure (Kal’len-Tawu-de) decent, find a kind of peace in Sitomus, judged not on their Elven bloodline nor their human. They father long lived families and usually find their way into politics or as pillars in their community. The Illumians that live here are all members of the Cult of the Line who find a place among the harsh laws of the Aikklesjo us gaqissai.

Religion:
The Aikklesjo us gaqissai are the only official religion allowed in the Sitomus. They are the followers of Triggwa and the upholders of the law. It is a matriarchal establishment with women holding the highest levels of the ecclesiarchy. The religion worships Triggwa, which roughly translates to The Law. It’s traditions and ceremonies are an amalgam of various beliefs and traditions barrowed, taken, or perverted from other religions and beliefs. These are all recorded and practiced in exact concordance of the written Triggwa, and over time the original deities these traditions were meant to honor gave way to their symbols and to triggwa itself. Men serve as recorders, studiers, and judges of the law. As such they usually prohibited to speak save to comment, give advice on, or make a judgment in accordance with triggwa. Women defend the church, govern the money and the politics, oversee the mikils ga-faurds, and legislate triggwa when it is required.

However this is not the primary religion in Sitomus. Because of the deep seeded fears of religion bred out of the violence of the past many do not follow a religion. Instead they tend to have faith in the communities they grew up in and to the decisions of the mikils ga-faurds. Followers of other religions, and sometimes the followers of triggwa, are looked down upon and outcast from communities. This is especially true if the individuals are particularly evangelical. There is a saying in Sitomus, “Follow your family-follow the state, or follow too ruin.” Often the words for state and family are interchangeable and lead to a culture of good samaritanship. However these traditions change slightly from town to town. In central Sitomus there is a nomadic culture which herds huge flocks of sheep which tend to remain aloof and free spirited. In eastern Sitomus where a great deal of Sitomus’s wealth is mined in coal and steal, there is a culture of strength based combat used as a political tool, where the leaders of each town chosen from the strongest and toughest. And along the coast there is a wealth based political hierarchy where the wealthy are often named the political leaders.

The whisper gnomes tend to “worship” particularly prominent ancestors who accomplished great feats in the past. These stories tend to have a practical message attached to them. Some religious texts even read like a playbook of dos and don’ts. Some have taken to worshiping Mârto (Mar-toe) a god of luck and fortune, blaming bad fortune and rotten deals on the wrath of Mârto and good as his loving embrace. This may be a little misleading as well as the name of Mârto can be used as a synonym for luck, giving rise to such phrases as “what rotten Mârto.”

The Sharakim seem to worship the world itself believing that a spiritual essence breaths through us all. We are born from this essence and die back into it. They call this essence the Shara. Their practices are subtle and have no places of worship, existing in greetings and certain practices. Even if they did worship openly, the Aikklesjo don’t allow evangelicalism in Sitomus.

Cities:
Árheimar – The primary port in Sitomus, Árheimar is the the most technologically advanced and second richest city. It is a primary port for the pirates of Andoniat, as the Triggwa has no set rules against debauchery and the sale of stolen goods. Just as long as the people of Árheimar are unharmed the pirates may do as they like. As a result it has become a center for the scum to stay.

Common Languages
Agnorian (Tai Pan)
Alesial (Sitomus)
Gnomish (Whisper)
Celestial
Sylvian
Terran

Common race types
Human (Collective)
Human (Agnor)
Whisper gnome
Illumian
Half-Elves
Sharakim

Arcane Magic availability
2 The Sitomus Collective tends to attract Arcane casters whose activities and research are not accepted anywhere else. As long as the casters do not break the laws of the Triggwa then they will not invoke the wrath of the Aikklesjo, but many are disinclined to openly project what they are doing.

Divine Magic availability
2 The Aikklesjo exist in every town, but generally don’t share their services or relics openly. Other divine objects are very rare.

Common organizations
Cult of the Line

The Sitomus collective

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