Harndon

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Harndon
Harndon Flag.png
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
12 July 2017 – 7 November 2017
DelegateAusterain, Courelli
MinisterFreeland Newworldia
Preceded byFreeland Newworldia
Succeeded byNormandy and Picardy
Incumbent
Assumed office
6 August 2019
MinisterGoncar
Preceded byBrys Questions
Deputy Minister of Immigration
In office
May 2018 – 13th December 2018
DelegateCourelli
MinisterOmerica
Preceded byNew Lettia
Succeeded byHelvurium
Member of the Law Commission
Incumbent
Assumed office
21 April 2019
Appointed byMinister Ramelia
Preceded byOffice established
Nation details
Founded30 October 2016
(3 years ago)
 (2016-10-30)

Summary

  • Official Name: People's Republic of Harndon
  • Current Spokesperson: Kariva Ulav
  • Nation Type: Confederation of Nomadic, Semi-Nomadic, and stationary tribes. Direct Democracy
  • Capital: Quechkhonia

Harndon is a mysterious, mist-concealed land, heavily forested and cold. The people that reside in this place are primarily nomadic, wandering the vast swathes of woodland as they go about their lives. This does not, however, impede their sophistication. A rich, druidic culture and technological specialisations in medicine, chemistry and astronomy make these tribespeople... unique. Since antiquity, Harndonian tribes have had some kind of democracy, with the chiefs holding moots in debating chambers and forest clearings, where the issues of the day would be discussed and voted on. Arguably, this makes them the first "true" democratic powers. Although under the yoke of Courellian oppression in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Harndon is now a unified country (and has been since 1906), strong in its cultural identity and freedoms, noteably, its system of direct democracy, introduced in 1950.

National Anthem

Note: The Harndonian national anthem is normally sung a capella, although it has on occasion been played to guitar, or tribal drums.

Harndonian (With Transliteration)

Line 1.png
Oh Harndonia! Er vagera fas quope, a er itolia fas kibandavi;
Line 2.png
Er chema a puva ber hop dashre vi.
Line 3.png
Gasavir huth drene, er klu ber thu a sir
Line 4.png
Bene sazho qued o nomutha er Kri!

Line 5.png
Chebaque er rozh, lak, a vevori mani,
Line 6.png
Er tol ber er Kri hash breto o Guvar
Line 7.png
Pos er lizh vad itheko e hop marne vi;
Line 8.png
Chema thupole e er bu Kri!

English Translation

Oh Harndonia! The forests our saviour, and the mountains our guardians; The hope and splendour of this sacred land. Though they tried, the forces of fire and greed Could only fail to devour the Tree!

Through the cold, dark, and troublesome winter, The heart of the Tree still beats to The Song Of the life that thrives in this hardened land; Hope manifest in the great Tree!

Language

Harndonian script is constructed from symbols that each represent a letter or sound. All that is needed is to put the symbols together to make a word. To find the (ever growing) dictionary of Harndonian, see the Factbook on the Harndonian Language

Note:

  • He/She/They/We/I etc. are all separate words, and are not attached to or dependent on verbs.
  • There are no masculine or feminine words in Harndonian, so, for example, abbot and abbess are the same word.
  • All scientific and non-Harndonian religious words are either in Latin, Greek or English (or the language of the religion), unless otherwise stated below.
  • There are no plural words in Harndonian, so "many trees" turns into "many tree"

Tenses:

  • Past: Add ne ("neh") at end of word
  • Present: Add o ("o") at end of word
  • Future: Add in ("een") at end of word
  • (The English “(at)(t)ion”, “ed”, “ance”, “al” endings would relate to past tense)
  • (The English “ive”, “oad”, “ly”, “ent”, “ence”, “ious”, “or”, “uate”, “able”, “ing”, “ment”, “ingly”, “ate”, “(t)ory”, “ic”, “y”, “(iv)ate”, “(al)ity”, “er” endings would relate to present tense)

The above doesn’t just apply to verbs, ie, accelerator (Thuvao) would be accelerate (Thuva) with a present tense ending (o), or accidental (Mokathne) would be accident (Mokath), with a past tense ending (ne).

Alphabet

Alphabet.jpg

Geography

Human Geography

Population of Harndon (2017 Census): 52,323,742
This figure is split up into 2 distinct groups:

First, there are the city-dwellers. They are your regular(ish), run-of-the-mill citizens. The vast majority of the immigrant population are part of this figure, though some do adopt the old ways. Many live in Quechkhonia, but others live in towns, cities and villages throughout Harndon. They are influenced by the old ways of living, and do not forget their roots, but tend to be the most open to adapting the old ways to fit whatever circumstances they may find themselves in. These make up a smallish wedge of 13% of the population.

Second, there are the tribespeople who keep to the old ways: nomadic/semi-nomadic descendants of the ancient tribes, and are by far the majority, at 87% of the overall population. They move from one ancient town and village to another, regularly voting there. They tend to move either on Wyvern-back or by Ashkelun, a strange type of equine animal that is native to Harndonia's thick forests. They are the most populous type of Harndonian, and have kept pace with technological and social advancement by having portable labs, and equipment to set up shrines at holy sites. Lessons are done interactively, in small groups, on the move. They may stop for the duration of the winter (and often rest for a few days througout the year), though this often depends on the particular tribe, location or situation. They abide by the philosophy that, if you spend too long in a place, you damage the natural Spirit there, so, as a result, they travel around. They tend to keep their company within their tribe, but they have a very strict code of of hospitality (which most Harndonians adhere to, but in a more informal way), which means that if someone approaches them, they will warm-heartedly greet them, and may strong-arm them into taking a tea break.

Physical Geography

Maps

Climate

Despite its relatively reasonable latitude, cold air currents from the North are the main influencers of Harndon's weather. Summer and Spring are cool, and tend to be calm. In Autumn, mutliple violent storms batter the northern coastline in the space of a few months. Winter is cold, though less stormy than Autumn. Snow is very common, and is permenant on higher ground.

Aside from the seasonal variation, Harndon tends to have 3 main weather types: mist (or freezing fog in earlier spring, later autumn and throughout winter); clear, cool and crisp; and precipitation.

Average annual weather:
Average annual weather for Quechkhonia

Geology

Harndonian bedrock is entirely made up of harder igneous rock (such as granite, basalts and diorites), or metamorphic rocks resulting in a very "soft" water as the water supply (a victory for the many tea drinkers in Harndon). Soil types are variable upon the location, but tend towards the acidic, due to the bedrock types. There is a large variation and concentration of metamorphic rock within the west of Harndon, yielding a wide range marble types within various deposits in the western Polosi Moountains.

Harndon is very hilly, with almost no flat ground, with the exception of the marshy tundra of the northeastern coastline. Closer towards the centre are larger hills and forested low alpine areas, with fjords within some of the valleys. Along the spine of Harndon is situated the Polosi Mountains. Within the valleys and plateaus of this region lies flora that would not ordinarily survive Harndonian conditions, if it weren't for the shelter of the mountains from the cold winds and storms. The Nameu Lake is a large inland sea within the centre of the Polosi mountains, and was thought to be formed from a mixture of plate movement, erosion, and a cataclysmic eruption of a long-dead supervolcano that now lies beneath the lake. Due to Harndon not being near any active plate boundaries, any volcanoes that previously existed are no longer alive,and earthquakes are very rare.

Harndon is very heavily forested, with a large range of cold-resistant flora sheltering beneath the trees. Many of these are unique to Harndon. Within some valley floors, and atop some plateaus, the forest floor can be marshy terrain. These swamplands have their own range of flora and fauna that are adapted to these conditions.

Political and Legislative Systems

System Summary

Referenda

Harndon is, to all intensive purposes, a direct democracy. A digital mainframe manages each of the separate referenda into order of popularity (each proposal for a referenda must have at least a 5% support from the people of Harndon in order to hold a vote. For a population so politically active, this is not difficult, and requests for referenda normally reach 40% or higher).

In each settlement, no matter how small, there is at least one debating chamber, linked up to the mainframe, which then calls the Harndonian people to vote (rather similar to the call to prayer). Any work happening at that point is (safely) postponed until the vote is over. Due to the frequency of the debating chambers throughout Harndon, this doesn't take too long. Votes for different legislation normally take place simultaneously at the same time on one day. There may be votes every day of the week, but this is fairly rare, as up to 3 votes can take place on one day. The voting time is normally mid-afternoon. Harndonians do get prior warning of the votes.

Political engagement begins early in a child's education, similarly for sex education and well-being classes, so by the age of 10, most children can navigate the basics of the Harndonian system. Voting is enabled from the age of 14.

All votes have a period (the night before) where there is debate from various people who contact the state broadcaster, and ask to share there views on the debating show. All candidates must share their view on the phone/website before they can speak it on air. This is to prevent too many people with one political view taking up too much time, as the state broadcaster (The Harndonian Broadcasting Service (HVQ, for short (in Harndonian transliteration))) has strict rules regarding impartiality, like much of the traditional press in Harndon. This debate is also aired online and on radio. The people on air are regular, working Harndonians. Any person who represents Harndon abroad, or who represents a community within Harndon cannot go on one of these shows, to protect their neutrality, and to make sure no side presents a better argument through only more practised, eloquent delivery.

Representation

There is a small element of representation, in an effort to streamline the system when there is a serious event that requires fast action, although a vote may be called the next day to confirm that action, where possible.

There is a small Hall of Representatives (10 seats), held in the Quechkhonian Chamber of Wise Council, from Harndonian's democratic tribal past. Each representative is voted for once every 2 years, and represents the views of particular religious, cultural or tribal groups. There is then a Spokesperson, who is also elected once every 2 years. This person's job is to represent Harndon abroad. The spokesperson cannot voice their opinion on any political event/result/vote whilst they are in office. The current Spokesperson is Kariva Ulav.

The government is made up of a not-so-small-army of civil servants, diplomats, scientists and engineers, all voted to their positions by their community. Each community has an equal number of civil servant, diplomat, scientist and engineer slots they can vote for. These are also voted upon once a year. Scientists and engineers who are voted in to these positions are normally put in charge of enacting policy in their respective fields. Scientists and engineers do their jobs as normal if not voted in. Voting is only required for them for a position in government, and are for senior positions only; 28 seats are available.

Electable Figures in the Harndonian Government and Civil Service (with incumbents)

Senior civil service members are elected to oversee the task of carrying out the People's will, and to work out how the People's will can be manifested. Therefore, senior civil servants are elected to the 28 available seats on their competence and vision, rather than their political stance. Similarly, people are elected to the Hall of Representatives on their ability and willingness to listen to the represented, and their competence and - to a lesser extent - their political views.

The Spokesperson holds no political power, and only is a figurehead that represents Harndon abroad, so is elected on their diplomatic ability, erudite manner, and their compassion to those who have least. The competition for Spokesperson is therefore a competition of character.

Electable Civil Service Positions

  • Head of Biological Research: Aquera Opolande
  • Head of Astronautic Research: James Guthera
  • Head of Physical Research: Dafar Thero
  • Head of Aeronautic Research: Vikiska Builandia
  • Head of Hydronautic Research: Zhac Nsh
  • Head of Medical Research: Oe Daks
  • Head of Civil Engineering: Nebatha Uon
  • Head of Mechanical Engineering: Gaskari Halash
  • Head of Administration: Lokata Benal
  • Chief Economist: Hera Vogaf
  • Head of Anthropological Research: Folafi Keth
  • Chief Diplomat to the SLU: Sazh Requi
  • Chief Diplomat (excluding SLU): Baquu Lomata
  • Chief Tribal Negotiator: Bethany Smith
  • Head of Social Sciences: Gura Uthil
  • Chief Environmental Officer: Kuilska Qua
  • Chief Law Officer: Kopolista Numad
  • Chief Scout: Thiral Eshkale
  • Head of Fire Service: Ben Mendeleev
  • Head of Search and Rescue: Deraquo Nobev
  • Head Child Protection Officer: Utholochiko Tele
  • Head Minorities Officer: Vov Helios
  • Head of Land Management: Poaska Vuaquo
  • Tribal Affairs Officer: Chechali Kaldi
  • Governmental Communications Officer: Lashaf Isuildo
  • VOVIA Chief Executive: Otto Müller
  • HVQ Chief Executive: Eraks Gufal
  • Head of Referenda: Thanando Hashti

Seats in the Hall of Representatives

Spokesperson: Kariva Ulav

Seats Delegated to Tribes:

  • Haqueri: Utha Kuo
  • Aginka: Zheas Theraski
  • Quozh: Gey Va
  • Iliosh: Kile Choku
  • Hethanda: Bevani Vecho
  • Voviana: Sasha Ivanov

Seats Delegated to Settled Regions:

  • North Coast: Laura McKee
  • Polosi Mountains: Hasha Ira

Seats Delegated to Foreign Affairs Experts:

  • SLU: Dave Johnson
  • World: Zhach Udak

(The Spokesperson is also required at all meetings of the Hall of Representatives whenever possible.)

Oath of Office

Civil Service and Representatives

   On my Honour and that of my ancestors,
   I do solemnly swear
   That I will respect my office,
   Respect the People.
   I acknowledge the power
   Given to me by the People,
   Who can just as easily take it away.
   I promise to enact the will of the People
   Without fear or favour,
   Prejudice or doubt.
   I will use my abilities to further Harndon and its cause,
   And be thankful for this opportunity
   To help my fellow Harndonians,
   Until the time of my Departure.
   So be it.

Spokesperson

   On my Honour and that of my ancestors,
   I do solemnly swear
   That I will not seek
   To persuade or dissuade
   For my benefit.
   Instead, I shall be the mouthpiece of the nation:
   Calm and collected,
   Compassionate and brave,
   So that Harndonia's cause can be spoken
   In the strongest possible voice.
   Harndonia's cause is my cause,
   Until the time of my departure.
   So be it.

Quera

Modern Quera kit.

Scouts (Quera in Harndonian transliteration) are the Swiss-army-knife of the Harndonian People. They are rangers, for protecting and conserving Harndon's ecosystem; they are armed police, who, are the nation's defence in case of an invasion, or any other armed conflict, and provide aid and medical assistance in case of a natural disaster or conflict; they are also intelligence officers, capable of guerilla activity and intelligence gathering.

As a result of their broad range of uses, the training to become a Scout is long (5 years), arduous and demanding. As such, Scouts are held in a very respected place by Harndonian society, as they are the keepers of the peace and guardians of the forest.

The main Scout headquarters is in the governmental district in Quechkhonia, although they have many outposts throughout Harndon, and many of them reside in huts along forest tracks, so they are able to give help to any passer-by, providing they aren't stationed in a settlement, or live among their tribe, be it nomadic or semi-nomadic, to provide advice, security, and know-how for the young.

A Scout's body gear is made up of light, manoeuvrable body armour; a dark, camouflaged cloak, with the Harndonian flag on the right shoulder; an extensive but compact first-aid kit; the signature black bandanna and black knee-high boots; and a communications device strapped to a lower arm. Their equipment normally includes a Harndonian-made Vaguerao-Zhaf (roughly translates to Forester-Rifle: a bolt action gun akin to a sniper rifle, renowned for its reliability, strength ("punching power" - it has been known to punch through heavy tank armour) and accuracy, with a relatively small cartridge due to the large size of the ammunition); and a hatchet or kolfden (a broad-bladed, barbed and/or hooked hunting spear). Many stationed in the wild tend to also have tea leaves of various kinds and some Dastari shortcake in case a stranger walks by.

Flora and Fauna

Native Flora

The floral environment within Harndon can be easily compared to nordic and celtic forests, with a few noteable additions (listed below), due to certain growing conditions, or that some of these plants are native only to Harndon.

Species Distribution Description
Oat Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oat
Lentil Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lentil
Apple Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple
Turnip Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnip
Leek Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leek
Onion Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion
Chives Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chives
Arumleaf Arrowhead Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittaria_cuneata
Bulrush Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typha
Wild Ginger Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asarum
Ginseng Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panax_ginseng
Chinese Yam Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_yam
Chinese Artichoke Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stachys_affinis
Burdock Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctium
Angelica Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelica
Mauka Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirabilis_expansa
Beetroot Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beetroot
Skirret Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sium_sisarum
Parsley Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsley
Ithal Unique to Harndon Nut-growing trees. Hard (yet edible) shell protects fleshy innards. High in protein, fat and energy.
Tai Unique to Harndon Tall, wide-branched tree. Grows fruit that is similar to Ithal, but with a hard, inedible red shell, instead of a dark brown edible one. Once ripe, the shell starts to peel away, even whilst on the plant. The flesh on the inside of the shell is similar to a dried fig, and tastes like a mixture between dates and lemon.
Thuzhne Konta Unique to Harndon Climbing plant, with arrays of long, thin leaves, similar to pine leaves. The leaves have a citrusy flavour, and are high in vitimin C
Reft Unique to Harndon A family of bulb-producing shrubs that can grow to 8ft in height. Multiple species exist, all with differing bulb colours. Before the bulbs flower, they can be crushed and processed to make dyes
Sister's Wort Unique to Harndon A small shrub that has blood-red leaves. If the root wort is set on fire, it explodes, due to the chemicals within the plant, and the air pockets running through the root. Used in chemical manufacture for millennia
Ribradanov Unique to Harndon Name literally means "Blood-leaf". A shrub that has short, fern-like leaves that grow off the main stem. When made into a tea, tastes and looks similar to redbush tea, though with a slightly more bitter taste.
Namai Unique to Harndon Namai are hardy herbacious perennials that grow alongside streams, and within shallow marshes. Very similar in structure to papyrus, the majority of parchment in Harndon was (and often is still) made from namai. Parchment can be made by overlapping thin namai strips, previously soaked in water to initiate decomposition (which makes the namai stickier), on a flat surface, and then applying a large amount of pressure for a long time, normally through the use of a large rock, similar to the surface that the reeds were placed on. The sheets were then dried, with the rough edges being smoothed through sanding.

Native Fauna

Again, Harndon shares fauna with Scandinavian alpine woodland environments; namely these mammals, these fish, and these birds.

Other wildife includes:

Species Distribution Description
Wolf Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf
Goats Found elsewhere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_goat
Forest Wyvern Unique to Harndon Forest Wyvern.jpg

Although fairly rare, this carnivorous 2-winged, 2-legged creature is the apex predator of the Harndonian slopes. The colours can vary from dappled green to black, and this is normally dependent on the environment in which that subspecies of forest wyvern developed in. Adult forest wyverns can be anywhere from 4m to 7m in length, with a wingspan of 5m to 8m. It is possible to tame a wyvern (the Quera have some of their members who use them as both mounts and partners), though this takes years, and is only possible if the wyvern and the human grow up together. Wyverns have an average lifespan of up to 45 years, and are at the top of the food chain. They prey on almost any of the mammals within the ecosystem, with the exception of bears, lynx and wolves.

Ashkelun Unique to Harndon Ashkelun.png

Ashkelun are a type of equine animal home to Harndon's forests. Stocky, pony-like in stature, ashkelun tend to be dark in colour, hairy (and therefore more resistant to the harsh Harndonian winters), stronger than both horses and mules, and with greater stamina. Ashkelun have large, grippy paws instead of hooves (with an ankle just above the paw, unlike any other other equine creature), so that they can easily move quietly through the dense Harndonian woodland. Their milk is drinkable to humans, and yogurts and cheeses can be made from it. Their milk and meat have been compared often to that from goats.

Cuisine

Harndonian cuisine is made up of what can be foraged or harvested at that particular place and time. As such, it is entirely seasonal, with very little reliance on overseas imports throughout the year, except for food from other cuisines. Food is rationed, as much to ensure everyone gets enough to eat healthily, as to prevent over-consumption, which would damage both the environment and the people.

Diet

The Harndonian diet tends to contain very little meat, mainly due to the scarcity of supply (Harndon is unsuitable for most forms of animal husbandry, and there has been strict import regulation on meat since the 1987 Anthrax outbreak caused by meat imports, where 120,000 Harndonians died). What meat there is is served as a luxury dish, marinated and cooked with the best ingredients that can be found, whilst the scraps are boiled down into gravy. Fish is more common, due to the plentitude of streams, marshes and fjords that are capable of harbouring life.

As a result of the scarcity of meat, the Harndonian diet consists mainly of fruit, vegetables (especially root veg) and grains. The majority of the protein is gained through grains like oat, veg like Mauka, pulses like lentils, or nuts like chesnuts. Sugar tends to be from natural sources; fruits and honeys are used widely, consumed a they are, or as part of a sweet dish.

Cheese, butter and milk are important aspects of any Harndonian's diet, with Ashkelun milk being the primary source. Milk is often used to enrich dishes, or drunk. Cheese and butter is preserved through soaking in brine or coating in wax or waxed leaves/cloth.

Food

Harndonian cuisine shares many traits with the far eastern cuisines, like Thai and Chinese. Soups, stews and stir-fries are staples, due to the communual nature of Harndonian cooking: when a tribe stops for the evening, and gathers to break their fast the following morning, meals are made in large pots and pans over open fires. All the equipment must be easily stowable, or drawn from the natural surroundings (i.e., disposable), meaning that many dishes are "one-pot wonders"; breads and cakes are normally fried, roasted directly over the fire, or baked in dutch ovens. In keeping with this theme, sweet and savoury is often combined in the same dish, unlike many modern cuisines.

Pickling in fruit wine vinegar is a common way of preserving food, due to the historical cost of salt and difficulty with smoking whilst on the move. Many stir-fires and stews use a base of pickled root and/or leaf veg and/or fruit, herbs and/or spices.

Breakfast and Tea are the 2 main meals of the day: porridges made from oats, nuts or root veg are prevelent at breakfast; and stews, stir-fries, soups or curries used in the evening, often with what was gathered that day. Lunch doesn't really exist, instead Harndonians eat when they need to throughout the day (though this can often concide with the traditional lunch time). These snacks can be anything from leftover dishes and dumplings, to breads and savoury biscuits, to raw or pickled veg and fruit. Many forego any food throughout the day entirely: the two main meals are often very calorie-dense.

Dumplings are popular, and are made from ground oat flour/ground nuts/ground bark, fat (butter, milk, lard etc.) and water. They can be spiced, kept plain, or sweetened. Gaith is a stuffed dumpling, which are often filled with leaf veg (fresh or pickled), cheese, fish (fresh or pickled), or fruit (fresh or pickled). Harndonian dumplings are cooked one of 2 ways: roasted on spits over a fire, or steamed in a cage above the simmering meal in the cauldron below. Plain or savoury dumplings soaked in gravy (Ishtemar) is a delicacy. If there is a lot of butter or lard that needs to be used up, then oats cooked in melted fat (Kreo) is made, and is also considered a luxury dish.

Drink

There's a saying that Harndonians would drink anything, if it's hot. This saying is not innacurate. Favoured traditional drinks range from broth and thin gravy to various kinds of herbal teas and warm, spiced juices. Warmed, spiced wines made from fruit are popular, as well as warm mead and Higar, a spirit distilled from fermented oats.

Cold drink of choice include iced herbal teas (if possible), spirits, wines, juices, fresh water, oat beers, mead and Ashkelunipneazh - fermented Ashkelun milk (an aquired taste: it is often said by visitors that they'd rather die a slow and painful death than drink it again).

Clothing

Traditional Harndonian clothing has to be both hardy and warm to provide adequate shelter and insulation from what can be a fairly harsh environment. Knee-length tunics are used universally, with undertunics made from cloth, and overtunics made from ashkelun hair (which, when made into cloth, has the same insulation and water-resistant properties of wool) and/or fur. Treaded light boots or moccasins made from hide or waxed cloth give an ideal mixture of protection, grip, flexibility and "feel" of the ground. Long stockings made from layered cloth or ashkelun hair keep the legs warm. These are secured to a rope belt that lines the top of a set of light cloth underwear. Hoods, bandanas and hats to keep the head warm are also sported. Cloth or hide gloves are also an option. A tough belt of either hide or waxed layerd cloth is worn over the overtunic, and important items like waterskins, small tools, pouches etc. can be strung from it.

Below are some examples of Harndonian dress.

Religion

Although all major religions have a small presence in Harndon, by far the main religion is that of the Harndonian Druidic traditions of Guvar (which roughly translates to "The Song").

Religion Followers as a percentage of the total population (2017 census)
Guvar 57%
Atheism 32%
Dalinism 8%
Other 3%

It should be noted that even amongst the Atheist and Dalinist populations, many of the traditions associated to Guvar still apply, as they are as much Harndonian traditions as religious ones.

Guvar

The Harndonian Druidic religion was composed of the 5 Aspects of Nature: Father Sea, Mother Earth, Brother Nature, Sister Fire and the Void. All of these had their own realm and powers, and the main temples of these Aspects were places of learning and research into that Aspect's domain. The time of creation of Guvar is unknown, but it is thought to have been developed over hundreds of years in the 3rd and 4th millennia BC, and not just incorporates Harndonian folklore, but comprises it entirely.

Aspects Description
Mother Earth The most revered of all the Aspects, Mother Earth is the Aspect of all things that come from the earth, be it grain, stone, or humans. She guards the Harndonian people and all their advancements, like trade, sanitation and crafts.
Father Sea The vengeful and unpredictable Father Sea is the Aspect of the oceans and their bounty, as well as those who sail them. Those who follow him will be protected from his wrath, and his druids will teach them the ways of the sea.
Brother Nature With his gentle, loving embrace, Brother Nature is the Aspect of healing and the natural world and its denizens, preserving the balance of the wilds. The riches of nature are his to give, and his to take away: take care of Nature, and Brother will take care of you.
Sister Fire Volatile, caring, and violent, the duplicitous Sister Fire is the Aspect of fire and metal. She strikes with furious anger at those who defile Harndon with lava, chemicals and iron.
The Void
Namuil, ready to fight
Feared and revered in equal measure, The Void is the Aspect of death, decay and madness. It is the great leveller, the faceless horror. It provides balance in a world full of light and life, and its followers fanatically follow that aim, whatever horrors it may lead them to. In the past, devotees of The Void would be militant defenders of the Harndonian People, to the point of death.


The Namuil (roughly translated as "Chosen") were such a group: they'd drink strong concoctions that dulled the feeling of pain and clouded judgement. As the Void's representitives on Earth, these warriors were taken as youths - if they showed particular skill and strength in combat - and were ritually trained, tortured and drugged by their attendees, until they became (to put it mildly) mad. They were oblivious to pain, and entered a rage when either they or their people's ways were perceived to be threatened, carving through battle lines with their large axes, and instilling terror in the hearts of those who face them. Armoured in hide and cloth, with the Ithafak (a circular metal plate blessed with dark spells from the Void) strapped over their hearts, these warriors wore bone and metal face masks to instil terror in their foes.

Aspect Shrines

As well as the travelling shrines within the nomadic tribes and the temples within settlements, many Aspect Shrines dot the Harndonian landscape. These - often simple - structures are built upon a natural resource that belongs to a particular Aspect's domain. Tolomiri are druids that both create and work these shrines, cultivating and protecting the resource, using it both for responsible trade and worship of their Aspect. Harvesting of the resource in question was done as to not disturb the careful balance of the forest, usually by growing plants in the natural shade of the trees, and by keeping the amount of felled trees to an absolute minimum. These places, over time, become renowned holy sites, where pilgrims (or tribes simply passing through) would come to both worship and trade. As a result, some of the more highly visited aspect shrines have become small villages, with priests catering to the needs of the pilgrims, making them a cornerstone of the local economy, the goods and services generated here going on to be sold for lesuire and production.

Religious Festivals

Guvar has 5 main festivals, one for each Aspect.

Festival Aspect Time of year Description
Kiko Mother Earth Spring Equinox The main ceremony involves the participants making pots out of clay, then filling them with a single colour of dye (gained from various different Harndonian plants), and pouring in oil. All the pots are then placed on top of the temple, and are set alight. The pots then explode, showering the non-flammable dye over the Temple and the gathered people. Parties are then held in the streets and market squares, and involve feasting and drinking from plates, bowls and cups made only from baked clay. The food is that of typical Harndonian cuisine.
Uthale Father Sea Vernal Equinox Uthale is a festival that celebrates the bounty of the sea, and begs the Father’s mercy for the coming winter; Harndonian winter storms are vicious. At Uthale, a simple service is sung at the Temple, with ancient Harndonian chants and hymns sung a capella or with quiet pipes or drums. Harndonians partaking in Uthale are prohibited from eating fish for a week before the service, and afterwards, a drink made from fermented seaweed is drunk as a toast. The vast majority agree that it tastes foul. A new addition is Gadak i er Quechab (playing in the winter), where a heavy metal band is selected at random before the service, and then plays at the end, from next to the altar at each major temple. After all, Harndon is very fond of its heavy metal...
Popoldi Brother Nature Summer Solstice Popoldi is a festival that celebrates life and nature within the forests at summer time. And by celebrating, I mean partying. Hard. Large tables are set out in the table, and all kinds of Harndonian food cooked with fresh fruit and veg, and washed down with mead, fruit wines or ales. After everyone is satisfied, hymns are sung from within the Temple, and in the streets, with the song about to be sung relayed about by radios, so that all of Harndon erupts into song in one voice. Choqui fights then take place, where a large circle is formed by people holding shields, and then two people fight naked with swords, spears, axes or falxes (blunted) with no real rules. As everyone is inebriated at this point, no-one takes these fights seriously, and it all becomes very silly very quickly; there have been no recorded deaths or serious injuries as of yet due to this custom. Dances similar to the Ceilidh (Kashti) are held, with as many people joining in and laughing as possible.
Ferdu Sister Fire Harvest (exact date decided at Popoldi) Ferdu is a festival rather like the aspect its dedicated to: fiery and spectacular. It involves professionally trained bravados leaping into the pit of boiling oil, and swimming across it, whilst the spectators drink wine and mead spiced with herbs and spices from Harndonia’s forests. Spicy dishes are consumed, usually wrapped in soft dumpling dough. Dancers with flaming bracelets, hoops and sticks roam the streets, performing shows for anyone that wishes to see.
Ravov The Void Winter Solstice Ravov is a sombre festival about remembering the dead, and respecting sacrifice. A service is held at every temple or shrine to The Void, where people lay winter flowers upon the altar, with tags of their dead loved ones written upon them. This is accompanied by traditional funeral chants. These flowers are then left after the service, until they rot and wither away. A toast to the ancestors of Higar is then drunk.

The 5 Temples

The 5 Temples are massive places of worship that were originally built by the ancient Haqueri tribe in 1500BC, hewn from the marble of the mountains near Quechkhonia, and the unique mixed colour seams there. As a result, each temple is made from a different coloured marble, which is spectacular to behold, especially on a clear day. As the ancient Harndonians (and some modern ones) were druidic, each of the Temples were dedicated to an aspect of nature: Father Sea, Mother Earth, Brother Nature, Sister Fire and The Void. Each Temple is dedicated not only to an aspect of nature, but also a particular festival where that aspect was traditionally honoured. These five festivals are held throughout the year at important points during the Harndonian calendar, and people flock to Quechkhonia to see and partake in these festivals at this magnificent place of worship. Although these festivals are held throughout Harndon, they have become synonymous with the 5 Temples, especially internationally; for tourists, it is a breathtaking, albeit confusing, thing to behold.

Location of the 5 Temples in modern-day Quechkhonia
Temple Description
Temple of Mother Earth Now surrounded by Quechkhonia University, the Temple of Mother Earth is the largest and most impressive of all the Temples: it is a large complex that surrounds a cave filled with luminescent crystals; this is where the altar would be, and is made out of red marble. The crystals shine out of the hole in the ground, and light up the centre of the Temples, so no lights are needed there. People, whether tourists, pilgrims or residents, are welcome to walk through the vast cave system underneath the Temple and that part of Harndonia, but are persuaded to take a guide: there are many twists and turns down there.
Temple of Father Sea Perched on a small island at the ocean end of Quechkhonia bay, The Temple of Father Sea is constructed of Creole marble that, on a hazy day, means that the Temple can disappear against the backdrop of the sea.
Temple of Brother Nature Surrounded by the natural canals and forests of the river island of Ashurtil, and looking out onto Quechkhonia, the green marble temple of Brother Nature is filled with greenery and even has its own squirrel population.
Temple of Sister Fire Built on a small natural oil well, the Temple of Sister fire has a burning pit of oil at its heart, which is said to be impossible to put out. Constructed from pink marble, and fire lighting up its interior and exterior, Quechkhonians joke about it being a better lighthouse than the actual Hashbikhal lighthouse.
Temple of The Void A stark Temple that represents its aspect: massive black marble columns and decorations bear representations of The Void. It is situated on the very outskirts of Harndon, and stands as a bleak reminder of The Void's grip on the world.

Architecture

Despite the migratory nature of the Harndonian people (resulting in many temporary shelters being little more than glorified huts), the permenant structures within Harndon, be they large monuments like the 5 Temples, or simple homes, have their own unqiue style, often commented as beng a cross between Japanese and Islamic architectures.

Examples of Harndonian Architecture

Building Image Description
House (Quechkhonia)
Quechkhonia House.jpg
Being the kind of state that Harndon is, pretty much all of the houses in Quechkhonia are of the same build and standard, of a small-ish size with a decent garden. All new homes are built to be like the older ones (at least on the outside). The very first houses built in Quechkhonia are from the 13th century, though most are from later than that, and an effort has been made to ensure that the look of Quechkhonia is conserved, at least in some of the details. All homes are in easy access of a Metro station and/or a longboat ferry stop. Within easy reach of each house is also an open-air market place, where food is sold, and the residents can buy goods, and eat out.
Chokta
Chokta.jpg
When it is no longer sufficient to have a handful of druids teaching their art to any tribesperson that walks into their place of worship and learning, a Chokta is built. This is a simple library containing texts filled with knowledge ranging from religion to chemistry, medicine to astronomy. Druids of Mother Earth (as the Aspect of Knowledge) manage the library and teach those to whom the texts cannot give all the answers they desire.
Temple of Mother Earth (Quechkhonia)
Mother earth temple.png
See 5 Temples
Debating Chamber
-forest nomad debating chamber constructed.png
Even in antiquity, Harndon's tribes have partaken in some kind of democracy, where the figurehead of the tribe (the Chief) would convene the elders and they would debate the merits of each case. These turn into the focal point of each tribe, and so become the scientific (the Harndonians live simple lives, but are quite advanced in some aspects, like medicine, practical chemistry and astronautics) and cultural centres for the tribes of a particular area.

History

Antiquity (c. 4200 BCE - c. 250 BCE)

Ancient Harndon was a isolated place. What tribes there were somehow eked a living from the cold forests and mountains. As Harndonians saw their entire scope of perception grow from just the tribe to the entire region and beyond, interactions and receptions varied from the amiable to the outright genocidal. There is no way of knowing how many tribes were lost during this period, though it is known that as Harndon entered its iron age, 43 tribes walked the forests. Warfare in its tradtitional form didn't occur: what was the point? Instead, there was raiding and sabotage between the tribes (and later on, with neighbours). Despite of all of this though, the Ancient Harndonians made multiple advancements very early on in their existence, such as a written language and alphabet, a calendar, sailing and democracy. This period defined Harndonian culture and society for the next couple of millennia.

Major Events

Ancient Harndonian Society

Societal tree. Closer to the top corresponds to more power and influence.
From c. 1000 BCE onwards, Harndonian society was of the same fundamental structure until the confederation of 1906. Authority and influence was gained through merit, not birth, with roles in which applicants/nominees must prove themselves worthy through a series of tests, or through repeated and sustained service to the tribe.
Derevashi
Derevashi in high-quality horn and cloth lamellar
Derevashi ("Respected Ones") were those in Harndonian society who had proved themselves a worthy asset to their tribe, be it in combat, trade, academia or scouting. Due to their station, Derevashi wield greater soft power, using the respect they have gained to influence minds and hearts in the debating chamber. The wealth that often accompanies such a station afford members of the Derevashi class the rare opportunity to acquire high quality lamellar armour (heavy by the standards of the Harndonian tribes), constrcuted from horn, bone and wood. On top of this, Derevashi are the only tribespeople for whom it is worthwhile gaining strictly martial weapons, such as the war axes they wield with such skill. If a Derevashi was incredibly wealthy, they might even be able to comission metal armour.
Derevashi-Opoli

A chief would handpick a successor to take control of the tribe upon their death. This would be the Derevashi-Opoli ("Most Respected One"), who could then reasonably act as a "junior chief" of sorts.

Woodrunners
Woodrunners in full wargear
Woodrunners (Vagerarontos; literally, Forest-runners) are tribespeople of sufficient skill, experience and wisdom to have a position of respect within a tribe. The name is derived from the ceremony required to become a Woodrunner, where the nominees (chosen by fellow tribespeople) must race along a stretch of forest, overcoming various (randomised) problems along the way. Some are solveable through dexterity and strength, others through quick wit. Those who pass the test, therefore, are worthy of the title, and the boons that come with it. Woodrunners have access to better eqipment, with superior wooden or horn armour and a sturdy polirakolfden (literally, long-kolfden) the ceremonial war-gear for these deep-cunning tribesmen.
Quera
Quera in the traditional wooden lamellar armour
Quera were military scouts used by the Harndonian tribes both as an advanced warning system, and as an elite ambush force. It was considered a great honour to be part of the Quera, as the requirements were almost legnedary speed, stamina, skill and stealth. They were also rewarded for their hard, dangerous - and often lonely - work: Quera were given immediate access to the debating chamber when arriving at a tribe, and commanded the ear of chief and tribesman alike. When they were with their tribe, they lived almost lavishly; the finest furs, equipment, ashkelun and clothes were provided. Quera sport distinctive wooden lamellar armour, decorated and designed to show their status and prestige whilst still being light, manouverable and quiet.
Archdruids

Archdruids were senior druids selected by their peers for their quick wit and piety. These tribespeople would co-ordinate the movements of their local branch of druids and tolomiri, managing relations with the local tribes. Normally, there would be an archdruid for each tribe, plus more to co-ordinate the region-wide activities and Aspect Shrines.

Iron Age (250 BCE - 500 CE)

The iron age was one where the Harndonian People pushed the boundaries, in every respect. In the early years, they pushed the boundaries of brutality. As time went one, however, various scientific and policy advancements made their mark. The Harndonian affinity for the written word continued, entirely dominating their way of life. The bethtali went through their most radical reform since their gradual creation centuries earlier. Life became easier for the Harndonian tribes - despite increasing attention from outsider raiders - who managed to do that rarest of things: work a balance between development and keeping in tune with their environment. Although the early iron age took its toll on the population, reducing the number of tribes down to 38, this marked a significant slowdown in the loss of tribes to conflict and disaster.

Major Events

Medieval Era (500 CE - 1500 CE)

The medieval age was largely a quiet one for the Harndonian People. There were occasional raids between tribes, and between tribes and outsiders, but none that threatened to grow into all-out conflicts. Following the tend of the iron age, no tribes were lost during this era, and many grew more prosperous and numerous.

Major Events

The Dark Ages (1500 CE - 1906 CE)

This period was a dark time for Harndonia. Under the yoke of the Courellian Empire, technological and social progress stalled: resources and time were spent assissting the Bradley Shipping Company, rather than on Harndonians. A growing resistance from the late 1600s onwards treat their colonialist foes with ever-increasing brutality. Even with the eventual withdrawal of the Courellian Empire, Harndonia continued to tear itself apart, unleashing wounds that would never heal. From the time of invasion onwards, the number (and state) of Harndonian tribe were unknown: they had disappeared into the shadows, leaving behind only those who could not - or would not - follow.

Major Events

Life in Colonial Harndon

Life in the colony was, naturally, highly dependent on who the subject is. The experiences of colonials, occupied Harndonians, and Harndonian tribespeople are very different, though arguably equally unpleasant.

Occupied Harndonians

With the arrival of the Courellian Empire came the arrival of their social systems and structures, as well as Dalinism. Under the colonials, aspect shrines were demolished, and in their place were built more "productive" methods of harvesting the local resources, decimating the wildlife in that particular location. Many smaller temples and shrines (though not Chokta or the larger temples: they were too useful and aesthetic to the invaders to destroy) were torn down and replaced with Dalinian churches. Those caught worshipping the Aspects would be punished (though as many types of Harndonian worship includes meaningful work for that Aspect, meditation, or simply being lost (metaphorically) in nature for a while, this decree was largely defective). Courellian law was introduced in the colony, which made life for the local Harndonians tricky: it was a massive culture change, resulting in many executions and jail sentences for the locals. This only helped to fuel the general resentment of the population towards the colonials.

Over time, however, the ways of the - now settled - Harndonian villagers did change, willingly or not. Some did genuinely convert to Dalinism, rather than just pretending. Some worked with the Courellians, in order to improve the life of their kin. History has not looked kindly on these people, despite their good intentions.

Colonials

Initially, there were two groups of colonials: soldiers and nobility. Over time, however, workers from Courelli were encouraged to move to Harndonia to help with the harvesting of the resources for the aristocracy and the empire. They came and helped the spread of Courellian culture to the natives, who were often viewed as "recalcitrant pagans who had potential, if only they had the ability to act like a civilised person", as one noble put it.

The nobles lived opulently, off the riches gained from Harndonia's forests and mountains. The workers lived a fairly harsh life, constantly under threat from tribespeople. The workers were at the bottom of the dungheap. Except the Harndonians, of course. Everyone shat on them.

The soldiers' lives were grim. Given the impossible task to drive off Harndonian raids and ambushes, they took out their fustration on the occupied Harndonians and captured tribespeople, which only increased the number of attacks in an endless cycle of violence and xenophobia.

Tribespeople
Ashkelun-mounted freedom fighters

On the edge of hunger and death at all times, it was a monumental effort to avoid slipping into madness and brutality. It was a task many failed. Driven by a desire for Harndonia-wide freedom, they cast aside their own lives and freedoms to spend their existence fighting the invaders, both physically and mentally. There means of revenge weren't just limited to war and murder (though there was plenty of that), however: often, it involved nurturing life into a deadened area of forest, or replanting where a factory once stood. Druids would sneak into settlements and administer food, medical and spiritual assisstance to the Harndonians there. Tribespeople would bury the unknown dead left to rot. All the different tribes were united as one in their ultimate objective, despite the cost in Harndonian lives.

Harndonian Resistance

The Headhunters were bands of resistance fighters that formed militia wherever the Courellian invaders landed. These people were fanatics: their families had been killed, their land violated. They had nothing to lose, and nothing to gain. Except, of course, the death of those who killed their loved ones. Mercy was often a distant memory, with horrific acts being performed upon Courellian captives before their miserable end. In combat, they would shriek and bellow anger towards their foe, all whilst chrarging at break-neck speed, firing muskets or rifles (either Harndonian-made, or stolen from a Courellian soldier). It is no surprise that many an invader would turn and run, rather than face these vengeful warriors. If they were lucky, some of these tribesmen would have ashkelun to ride on; many fought on foot. They were normally armed with a kolfden or axe for close-quarters combat.

Confederation (1906 CE - Present)

After the hard years of the Dark Ages, the Harndonian people had a chance to finally recover, and enjoy their freedom. They welcomed this opportunity with open arms. They never forgot their past, but they refuse to let it define their future.

Major Events

Reshardi

Lived: 1850 CE - 1914 CE
Background: Little is known about the legendary Reshardi, apart from the fact that she was the well respected chief of the Haqueri tribe of the north-western coast. She was instrumental in drawing together the surviving tribes in 1906 to confederate into one nation. In a joint effort between her and the druids of the 5 Temples, the constitution was written prior to the other chiefs' arrival. She was known as a good speaker, intelligent, and strong-hearted: favoured traits of a Harndonian chief.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to: