|Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs|
12 July 2017 – 7 November 2017
|Preceded by||Freeland Newworldia|
|Succeeded by||Normandy and Picardy|
|Assumed office |
6 August 2019
|Preceded by||Brys Questions|
|Deputy Minister of Immigration|
May 2018 – 13th December 2018
|Preceded by||New Lettia|
|Member of the Law Commission|
|Assumed office |
21 April 2019
|Appointed by||Minister Ramelia|
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Founded||30 October 2016|
- 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 one of 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.
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)
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!
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
- Adjectives and the word they describes are fused together. In the case of place names etc., it doesn't have to just be adjective and noun, but noun and noun (and so on)
- 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"
- 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).
The Harndonians follow the original Harndonian Calendar (Reshtramaeao - literally, "Star Tracker"), first created in the 23rd Century BCE. It is based upon the movement of Miyana's second moon (Daithresh, as it is known in Harndonian) in relation to the movement of the Sun (Zheraresh).
The calendar is split up into 9 months, with 8 equal length months that cover Daithresh's full rotation around Miyana, and another which is 1.25 of a full rotation. Each month is made up of approximately 43 days, but that is not counted; instead, only the movements of the second moon is counted. This can easily be measured by the proportion of the moon's surface that reflects the Sun's light (both moons are tidally locked both with eachother and with Miyana).
During these 9 months, Miyana will have completed a full revolution around the Sun, and so the cycle begins again.
Each Month (including the longest month of 1.25 rotations) is seperated into 6 phases, made of equal time periods from Daithresh's orbit around Miyana, as formulised by Kepler's Second Law. Each phase has days alloted to it. There is no fixed number as to how many days go into a phase, however a day belongs to a phase if the entire day is covered by said phase. This means that even if only an hour of a day is not covered by a phase, the day is then considered to belong to the next phase, and is designated as the first day of that phase.
|Month||English Translation||Length (In Daithresh full orbits)|
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.
The Harndonian race tends to be small and slim in build, with the tendency to be lithe rather than bulky. Their skin tones, face shapes and hair colours align with that of the Siberians and northern Khazak and Mongolian tribes. Harndonians have a distinct sense of humour, which relies on backhanded compliments and biting sarcasm. This can make Harndonian comedy entirely incomprehensible to other nations and cultures.
Tribes and Tribal Units
As the large population of the tribes (especially because of historical merging) is too great for any local environment to sustain, each tribe splits off into smaller groups of varying sizes, known as tribal units. The number and sizes of these can fluctuate throughout the year, with regular meetings and coalescences between tribal units (including between those of different tribes). It is a rare event for a whole tribe to gather in one place; such times are held as great festivals of culture and fellowship.
The age of tribal holdings have long since passed, so although many tribal units stick close to their anscestral lands, others move throughout the country, meeting with units from other tribes more often than from their own.
Harndon's climate is mainly affected by the meeting of three systems: oceanic, polar, and continental. Summer and Spring are cool, and tend to be calm. Summer is also quite wet. 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. Harndon spends the vast majority of its time shrouded in mist, as the air is so laden with moisture.
As a result of the amount of fog and lack of direct sunlight, the forest that covers the majority of Harndon is classed as Temperate Rainforest. This spreads far inland, to the mountain ranges that draw down across Harndon. The forests within the peaks and the lands surrounding them are more akin to the alpine and temperate forests of Scandinavia or Britain.
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
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.
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 (Vlekribraoquitlrethnicharequ (translates as Wise Council chamber, or - literally - Wise Blood-Moot Open-Room)), 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.
However, for someone to be allowed into the civil service, the local Debating Chamber must hold hustings so that the populace can quiz them on all issues. A vote is then held. Only if there is a two-thirds majority for, will the applicant be accepted into the civil service.
All civil servants and representatives are subject to a public vote recall policy at any time.
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. People who are in office for one term cannot then run for another 3 terms.
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.
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.
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.
Crime and Punishment
Despite Harndon having a very low crime rate (recent World Census figures put the figure at approximately 1.51 crimes per hour), the need was raised at the writing of the constitution for the codification of laws, processes and punishments.
Apart from the elite Quera, all policing is done by communities themselves, with bottom-up control of policing by all people of voting age. For each particular area/migrating tribal unit, there will be a number of delegates (depending on the population) elected to a board. These delegates then organise the police force, with all main decisions taken by the populace of that area as a whole. Each police officer and delegate is subject to an immediate recall vote at any time, and delegate terms last for 3 years. Like much of the rest of the governmental system, people who are in office for one term cannot then run for another 3 terms.
Juries are selected randomly, with each term lasting for a year. Once a person has been selected, they cannot be selected again. Each jury is made up of 5 people. The jury oversee the trial, and ensure that all proper processes are observed. All juries are subjected to votes of no confidence as a whole.
Trials take place within the local Debating Chamber - or any central place, as the nomadic majority are not always near a deabting chamber at the time - and all adults of voting age are summoned.
Each defendent is assigned a lawyer from the civil service (who, like the rest of the service, have gone through repeated and continuous democratic scrutiny), free of charge.
The trials are only held when both sides' lawyers have agreed that they have all the evidence they are likely to get. They are then held on a single day, with the lawyers tasked to be as time-efficient as possible. Evidence is released into the Debating Chamber internal computers a week before the trial, and are limited in size, depending on the case. Only those who have read the evidence in its entirety can then go on to vote on the defendent's guilt.
If found guilty, the jury then decide upon the punishment, as proscribed by law.
Often criticised by outsiders as primative, the Harndonian justice system is multi-faceted in its approach to offenders. Fines are not employed. The categories of punishments are as below:
- For medium to light crimes, most offenders are sent to Aspect Shrines to work for their sentence, overseen by senior Tolomiri. Included in this is ritualised prayer, and several rehabilitation processes, which are geared to each individual case.
- For the more serious offenders (serious assaulters, muderers, sexual offenders etc.), they are placed in the most remote Aspect Shrines for longer sentences. Devotees of The Void are tasked to oversee them. Rehabilitation is part and parcel of every sentence, but corporal punishment is also dealt by The Void's devotees if the rules within the custody itself are broken.
- On top of those measures above, sexual offenders are branded upon the right cheek, whilst murderers are branded upon the left.
- The most serious of all crimes (Crimes against the Harndonian People, war crimes etc.) are meted out in the traditional fashion. The criminal is buried alive up to their neck, and kept alive with sufficient food, drink and warmth by druids of The Void. Death tends to come quicker to those who face this punishment than those who don't, but the criminal is kept alive for as long as physically possible. Once buried, the criminal stays buried.
Flora and Fauna
There are a few noteable additions (the most famous/useful of which are listed below). Some of these have been included due to plants not being mentioned in the above articles; or that the conditions have allowed these plants to grow naturally, have or that some of these plants are native only to Harndon.
|Wild Rice||Found elsewhere||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_rice|
|Bog Moss||Found elsewhere||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphagnum|
|Water Mannagrass||Found elsewhere||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyceria_fluitans|
|Lady's Bedstraw||Found elsewhere||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galium_verum|
|Wild Oat||Found elsewhere||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avena_sterilis|
|Wild Lentil||Found elsewhere||https://www.cwrdiversity.org/crop/lentil/|
|Brassica Rapa (Turnip, Bomdong, Bok Choy, Komatsuna) wild equivalents)||Found elsewhere||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brassica_rapa|
|Wild Onion||Found elsewhere||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_vineale|
|Wild Garlic||Found elsewhere||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_ursinum|
|Arumleaf Arrowhead||Found elsewhere||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittaria_cuneata|
|Chinese Artichoke||Found elsewhere||https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stachys_affinis|
|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.|
Again, Harndon shares fauna with Scandinavian alpine and Celtic Rainforest environments; namely these fauna (with all of the extinct species florishing with the exceptions of the Aurochs, the Tarpan and the Boar, which have never lived in Harndonian forests) and these fish in the majority of Harndon. In the inland alpine areas, these mammals and these birds are predominant.
Other wildife includes:
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. The climate means that many types of food preservation (such as outdoor smoking, salting or drying) simply are not effective. As such, there is a high reliance on pickled foods, with the majority of the smoked foods being seafood.
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 are preserved through soaking in brine or coating in wax or waxed leaves/cloth. Cheese is produced through the use of lady's bedstraw or fruit vinegar and normally produces a "cottage cheese" akin to Rubing or - alternatively - soft like british cottage cheese, due to the impracticalities of ripening cheese on the move. In aspect shrines, ripened cheeses have been produced for millenia, and normally take the shape of semi-hard cheeses like feta or bucheron.
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 and climatic issues with salting, smoking and drying 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 grain 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.
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).
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 or trousers made from layered cloth or ashkelun hair keep the legs warm 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.
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" (of Nature)).
|Religion||Followers as a percentage of the total population (2017 census)|
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.
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. There is no fixed doctrine or central set of texts: it is more of a loose connection of folklore and beliefs that all share the same worship of nature in each and all of its Aspects.
|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.|
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.
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, kolfden, 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.
|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.|
Guvar and Harndonian culture is so entirely intertwined that it is effectively impossible to separate them. As such, folklore plays a huge role in both the religious and cultural lives of the Harndonian people, past and present.
|Disturbing a grave.||If a body's final resting place is disturbed in any way, the Aspect of The Void will be angered; pissing off the Aspect of death and decay is predictably a bad idea. The perpetrators are hunted by the Walking Shadow, a shard of The Void present in reality.
Once the Walking Shadow finds its prey, all parts of the perpetrators' bodies that had entered the inside of the grave - or had touched anything from inside of the grave - dissolves away to nothing. Before the victim dies, what's left of their body is inhabited by the Aspect to return the grave to its undisturbed state.
|The 5th summer of a child's life.||It is believed that a soul must have spent 5 summer seasons in the world creating links and spiritual connections with the living world around them before it is spiritually 'mature' (hence the Harndonian insistence on a childhood properly lived). Once it is 'mature', that soul can - in the case of the body's death and proper burial - travel down from the now 'empty' corpse the roots of plants and trees to sink deep into the deepest recesses of the Earth, to be one with Guvar and their kin. If a child dies before the end of their 5th summer, then that soul is unable to find its way back home, and so becomes a ghost, doomed to wander the surface of Miyana until it meets the one who can provide that link for them (see "Ghosts").|
|Ghosts||In the Harndonian belief system, ghosts are the lost spirits of those that died before their fifth summer, or died without a proper burial. Haunted by their fate, they wander the earth, seeking to head back into the Earth where they belong, so they can be one with Guvar.
Unlike in many other cultures, ghosts are not malevelent beings that cause harm; instead, they can even provide help for those most in need. If you are visited by a ghost, the advice it gives you is always wise and trustworthy.
Someone who has met a ghost, however, is then honour bound to return the favour by helping the spirit to return back into the Earth. This is done by bringing druids of The Void to the place where the person and the ghost first met, and then holding a ritual called Kalnaro (translated as Binding).
Kalnaro involves the person who met the ghost placing a single drop of their blood onto a single root stem of a living plant from the area, all whilst the druids sing a chant called Kalnaro Guvar (roughly translated as Binding Song of Nature). Once the chant has been finished in its entirety, the root stem is to be returned to its rightful place, carrying the blood with it. The ghost can then channel its soul through that spirit-touched blood down into the Earth to finally find peace.
|Four pointed tapered star||Set of symbols common to cave paintings found throughout the world. Its meaning appears to have been Success or a Successful endeavour, and is still viewed so to this day.
In Harndonian folklore, it is the crystal heart set into the aethereal tree of Guvar, from which the energies of all life flow.
|Birth and death of the universe||As the light and warmth from the centre of the crystal spread to each of the four points, the four main Aspects (Earth, Sea, Fire, Nature) were brought into being, each acting as a bridge from their individual arm of the star into what will become material reality.
Within the aethereal crystal, however, heat and light continued to radiate outwards, until the centre was left entirely cold and dark. In this final act, the crystal brought into being the Void Aspect, so bringing death, decay, and the cycle of life into the material plane.
The universe will one day die, not with the explosion that birthed it, but with the slow, gradual decay. All of the energy within the heart of Guvar's tree crystal will eventually seep out into the material plane; with such an act, the tree will have given its all, and Guvar will slowly fade and shrivel as the very source of its life would be taken away. In the end, each of the four initial Aspects will too join the material plane in death, leaving the Void to exist, alone, amongst the faded remains of what was.
|Right of sanctuary/honoured guests||Arguably as a product of what can be quite a harsh environment, Guvar contains within its beleifs an unalieable right to compassionate shelter free from any kind of danger or threat. Travellers, whether alone or part of groups up to the size of tribal units, are to be offered - always from the larger/more settled/better prepared group to the lesser - shelter, food, tea and companionship. Turning down this offer would be a source of great offence. It is a sacred duty, that, if neglected, can begin to fracture the iron-hard social ties that keep Harndonian society alive.|
|Guardianship of nature||As nature itself is represented by the five Aspects, especially by Brother Nature - the aspect of beasts and all life - harming the environment is actively harming the Aspects themselves. Damaging the Aspects is always reciprocated in kind, as is being seen with the relentless march of climate change, or man-made disasters. Taking care of the environment is not just a moral and sacred duty, but also an act of both joy and self preservation.|
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
|House (Quechkhonia)||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||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)||See 5 Temples|
|Debating Chamber||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.|
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.
c. 4200 BCE: First Evidence of Human Activity
Approximate date of earliest evidence of human activity within Harndon: the Uldia excavation in the forests just south of the Polosi Mountains yielded a selection of stone tools (spearheads and axes) and what looks to be a broken wooden hut, preserved in the peat bog of that marshy area.
c. 4000 BCE - c. 3600 BCE BCE: Development of Guvar
Guvar (and Harndonian traditions) develop. Historians tend to agree that this was when the notion of "Harndonia" as a concept was created.
c. 3600 BCE - c. 3000 BCE BCE: Aspect Shrine Construction
First Aspect Shrines begin to appear within the north western coastal region and the Polosi Mountains, and are the first signs of any real development of the land in Harndon. The number of these grow as time goes on, spreading outward from these two regions, with all regions of Harndon having at least one Aspect Shrine by c. 3000 BCE.
c. 3350 BCE: Namuil Rites Begin
The first evidence of Namuil: a bone mask (very similar to that worn by the Namuil in later periods) found within the Quechkhonia area in 1923 is dated to approximately this time. Tools of torture and skins with traces of hallucinogenic drugs found within the same archeological dig indicate that the rituals surrounding the Namuil were also performed at this time.
c. 3200 BCE: Writing
First evidence of writing within Harndon: a primitive script was used on a cave wall in the north-eastern Polosi Mountains.
c. 3000 BCE: Domestication of Ashkelun
Ashkelun domesticated. This is a revolution in the lives of Harndonians: now, each tribe has a fairly stble source of food (especially fat and protein), triggering a population boom in the early 20th Century BCE.
c. 2800 BCE: Harndonian Alphabet
Modern Harndonian alphabet developed in the eastern forests by the Hethanda tribe. This will have spread across the rest of the Harndonian region by c. 2000 BCE, and be used by all tribes in the 2nd century BCE.
c. 2750 BCE: Askelun-back Riding
First recorded use of Ashkelun being rode as transport. This was found within a druid's (belonging to Brother Nature) written reports to the Chief of the Hethanda at the time.
c. 2400 BCE: First Debating Chamber
First debating chamber built in the south-western forests of the Iliosh tribe, where all can challenge and debate with their chief, regardless of status or gender. The Iliosh spend the next 100 years wondering the entirety of Harndon, driven by an apocolyptic eruption in a volcano to the south of Harndon. They pass on their ideas of formal tribal democracy, with the majority of Harndonian tribes recorded to have adopted this system by the end of the Ilioshi migration, which ends c. 2300 BCE in the south-eastern forest-marshes.
c. 2300 BCE: Harndonian Lunar/Solar Calendar Created
The first written calendar in Harndon was based off the movements of the 2 moons, named Daithresh (translates to "Gold-star" (for the moon's sandy-coloured surface)) and Hagadiresh ("Rock-star": this moon is closer, and so the grey, rocky surface can be seen in more detail), and the movements of the Sun (Zheraresh: "firestar"). This calendar was used officially by Harndonians until the Courellians introduced the modern calendar (many Harndonians adheared to it even then), but following the founding of the Harndonian State after independence, it came back into full use.
c. 2000 BCE: First construction of pottery in Harndon
Simple pots of clay found in an Aspect Shrine near the port town of Utoshe date from approximately this period. Traces of fish were found in these pots. The discovery of pottery would go on to be an important factor in Harndonina life and history, in its wide range of uses in both warfare and peacetime.
c. 1800 BCE: First Boats
c. 1700 BCE: Bronze Age Begins
The first bronze tools made in Harndon date from this point. Among the most used (and most dug-up) were kolfden (hooked, barbed hunting spears), axes and pots/cauldrons.
c. 1630 BCE: First Internatinal Trade
The first recorded trade between a Harndonian and a foreigner took place in the far east of Harndonia, when some enterprising traders from the Anaaxean region travelled west, entering into the land of the secretive Harndonians. Luckily for the traders, the first Harndonians they met were of druids to Mother Earth, at an Aspect Shrine built on a clay deposit. Had they met a tribe, or druids from a less accomodating Aspect, the Anaaxeans would have been lucky to espcape with their lives. What was traded was not written down, merely the mention that there was one. This would herald a slow increase in trade with outsiders, and a growing acceptance of the Harndonian People towards outsider cultures and civilisations over the next millennia.
c. 1500 BCE: Five Temples Built
Hewn from marble deposits of the western Polosi Mountains, the Haqueri tribe, under guidance from tolomiri from all the Aspects, constructed The Five Temples. Building commenced in c. 1523 BCE and took 23 years to construct all 5 temples, which were constructed simultaneously. During this time, the Haqueri settled to finish the production. The 23 years remaining stationary is the longest recorded period of no migration for a Harndonian tribe; a whole generation grew up to a settled lifestyle, and so the Haqueri struggled with the move back to nomadic existence, with reports of starvation and infighting for the first few years of migration.
c. 1200 BCE: Brotherhood of the Quera Created
Written guides and rites from the Quozh tribe contain details of the creation of the Quera (literally meaning "Scout") brotherhood, and the training and fitness requirements of each brother. Although each tribe already had scouts, the people of the Quozh took this one step further, creating a military, social and reconnaissance elite that could not be matched by other tribes. Through contact (and sometimes conflict), nearby tribes adopted this system over the next 50 or so years, and then filtered through the rest of Harndonia, taking only 150 years to completely take hold in the entirety of the isolated region. These scouts would prove invaluable in later centuries. This is the first (and probably the only) societal activity that women were ever excluded from (though there were exceptions, depending on individual tribes).
c. 700 BCE: Sailing
c. 500 BCE: Harndonians Look Outwards
After centuries of the only interaction with outsiders being on their own soil, some of the more enterprising and wonder-struck Harndonians begin to travel further and further from their own tribes, first within Harndon, then outside of the sacred land. Many of these become merchants, buying and selling goods with different Harndonian tribes and outsider peoples.
c. 250 BCE: Iron Age Begins
Through the import of iron tools and the recruitment of foreign experts, tolomiri of Sister Fire start to construct the first Harndonian-made iron products. Since iron was even more rare than bronze in Harndon, tools continued to be made out of wood, bone, stone, horn and copper.
Ancient Harndonian Society
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 ("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 clothing and equipment, like the finest lamellar armour in times of strife (heavy by the standards of the Harndonian tribes), constructed from horn, bone and wood. On top of this, Derevashi are the only tribespeople within the societal structure of the tribe itself 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.
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 (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 material goods and - with the respect that their station affords them - their voice is elevated above that of their lay tribespeople within the debating chamber.
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 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.
Some tribes see the opportunity in increased trading opportunities, and recruit adventurous souls amongst their tribespeople to act as travelling merchants (Bethtali), in order to both diversify the life of their fellow tribespeople, and to enrich their coffers. Due to the risk of banditry and sabotage from other tribes, Bethtali had to be good fighters and scouts, quick-witted enough to be both cunning merchants and canny travellers. They often travelled in parties, mounted on the fleetest ashkelun the tribe possessed, with the finest war gear they could scrabble together. Many started with little, but enriching the clan meant that they themselves were also enriched: established, successful Bethtali had better equipment than those new to the trail. Outside of the main tribal power structure, their positions were both precarious and variable, with more influence proportional with success and service. When the tribe itself was under threat, Bethtali would use their - comparitively - vast wealth and experience to equip themselves as a fast medium-weight shock cavalry.
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 on, 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.
c. 190 BCE: The Holy War
The Kilizh tribe raided an Aspect Shrine to Mother Earth situated in the eastern Polosi Mountains, appearing in the night to slaughter and pillage. Come the morning, nothing was left but smouldering ashes. Some bethtali happened to be travelling through the area at the time, who rode at full speed to the next aspect shrine (one to The Void), dispatching two of their number to ride back to the last known location of the tribe en route. When the party arrived at the aspect shrine, they described what they had saw to the druids there, who then killed them. The other two, after riding for 2 days, managed to catch up with their tribe (the Chemi). After speaking with the tribe in a local debating chamber, the bethtali guided the now enraged tribe towards the destroyed aspect shrine. The chief of the Chemi dispatched quera to report to other local tribes and the local tolomiri archdruid before departing. The Kilizh (a much larger and wealthier tribe) were waiting for them. It is unreported what occured in the combat that ensued, but it is clear that the Chemi were massacred. Some escaped, others did not; they died where they stood, cut down by Void fanatics.
All across Harndonia, tolomiri of The Void and sympathetic tribes turned against their brethren, killing and enslaving druids of other Aspects, and anyone who would stand in their way. Come the turn of the seasons to winter, 16 separate uprisings had raged, aided by 4 separate tribes, including the Kilizh. It had become clear to the rest of Harndonia that The Void had declared war against the other 4 Aspects in its endless pursuit of power and chaos. In an unprecedented move, the other 38 tribes met at the 5 Temples, along with all surviving archdruids and many druids and tolomiri, in what became known as the Dashreoquit - the Sacred Moot. There, they declared in one united voice the initiation of Dashreestem, the Sacred War. The 38 were divided into 19 groups, of 2 tribes each. These travelled separately, with 2 groups converging on each treacherous Void aspect shrine simultaneously, and in turn. None were spared. The 4 tribes where annihilated in turn by vastly larger forces. Men, women and children of the offending tribes were killed, until the tribes existed only in the histories.
In the fallout of this bloody year, several reforms were passed, for the first time in the history of Guvar:
c. 130 BCE: First Map of Harndonia
The Moot of Archdruids of Mother Earth in c. 134 BCE met and decided that there was a need to have a formal map of Harndonia, complete with physical features and tribal territories. Their reasoning was this: in the age of growing internal and external trade, the need to direct foreign caravans and bethtali through other tribes' land was apparent. Also, the growing wealth of the Harndonian tribes were starting to draw the attention of some of the more opportunistic outsider tribes, and a series of maps, openly available to the tribes, could improve co-ordination and defence, especially concerning aspect shrines and the small (but growing, albeit slowly) number of seasonal villages.
Quera from each tribe were loaned to the archdruids, who sent them to map their tribe's territory. Once they were done, they were to deliver it by hand to the archdruid of The 5 Temples. This monumental task took 4 years, but it was (largely) successful. These maps were then copied and distributed to each tribe, and a handful of Chokta across the region. By today's standards, these maps were fairly crude, but far from inaccurate.
c. 200 CE: Hold Construction boom
This coincides with an increase in the trend for seasonal villages within Harndonia, where parts of some tribes settled temporarily: some in times of harvest, most in winter: a warm hearth and a strong roof is more welcome than canvas and campfire in the bitter cold of a Harndonian snowstorm.
c. 250 CE: Kalgatha invented
The followers of Sister Fire devote their time to alchemy and fire constructs, with the most famous of their concoctions being Kalgatha: a combustible, sticky liquid brewed from plant sugars and extracts, very similar in application to nahptha. It is normally held within a clay pot with a fuse poking through the top. Once lit, contact with an object or person causes the clay pot to break, showering the enemy in burning, corrosive liquid that seeps through armour, defences and flesh. A deeply unpleasant weapon.
Texts from the Temple to Sister Fire at the site of the 5 Temples recorded that this discovery was a mixture of happy accident, and very-much-not-happy accident: the druids were attempting to create a plant-based alternative to a candle when the mixture exploded, covering the 3 working on it in flaming, corrosive liquid that couldn't be removed from their skin or clothes. Unsurprisingly, they died. Horribly.
302 CE: Kira's Maxims Completed
Kira Thurshe was the chief of the Menama at the turn of the 4th century, and was a renowned scholar, especially knowledgeable in the history of the Harndonian People. Using her learning, she wrote a selection of texts that gave guidance on how to rule, how to lead people, and how to fight wars. She called these her Kazhgre, or maxims. These texts became known, therefore, as Kira's Maxims, and were eagerly lapped up by the academic druids of Mother Earth (who reproduced the original manuscripts for distribution and storage in Chokta around the region), as well as other learned chiefs and derevashi. Kira's writings are thought to have guided the leadership of some of Harndon's greatest historical figures.
438 CE: Tiasha Accord
Following the increase of wealth and power of bethtali across Harndonia, many chiefs and derevashi began to to shut out the most influential bethtali from their respective tribes, in a mixture of paranoia and disgust at the fact that tribespeople could gain power through merely being a shrewd merchant. Those bethtali that were shut out lost much of their wealth (stored often in tribal holds or with the tribes themselves), and any authority to trade with other Harndonian tribes - the vast majority of bethali trading partners, despite the ever growing foreign market. Therefore, exile from a tribe (whether formal or not) could be as much as a death sentence to any bethtali, no matter how cunning and well-equipped they were: without a party to help them, they became easy prey for bandits.
In answer to this, a handful of bethtali from the north of the region met in the river village of Tiasha in June 438 CE. Amongst their number were bethtali who had been exiled, and others who had not. They agreed there that, in order to protect their interests - and more importantly, eachother - all Harndonian bethtali would belong to the Guild of Bethtali.
Although entirely ineffectual at first, their numbers grew over the next decade. Using their combined wealth, they created rest houses throughout the region, so that bethtali could bring in their goods and trade with both the local populace, and any Bethtali in the area at that time. Small holds belonging to the Guild were built to act like vaults for each bethtali's personal wealth. In order to not provoke the tribes, the Guild stated that any bethtali that was a member was not allowed to even speak whilst inside of a debating chamber; these bethtali could no longer wield their influence, and so the power of those at the top of Harndonian society (built on respect, honour and sacrifice to the tribe, and jealously guarded) was not to be threatened. With this move, the Guild gained the support of many chiefs and derevashi around Harndonia; some even made membership of the Guild compulsory to those they enlisted as bethtali.
471 CE: Bethtali Take to the Seas
Sea trade had historically been the provision of druids of Father Sea, and the individual sea-faring tribes of the northern and western coasts, with the bethtali of the vast majority of tribes taking the forest trails on ashkelun (as the wheel had not yet made it to Harndonia: the Harndonians had not yet discovered it, and the small forest trails were entirely usuitable for outsiders to bring in carts). However, with the uptick in goods being taken by ship along the coast (north and south) and to the Kanorian Archipelago, the other tribes and their bethtali wanted to break into the monopoly the seafaring tribes had with this vast trade potential.
In the spring of 471 CE, representatives of the Guild of Bethtali and each of the inland tribes held a series of meetings with archdruids, druids and tolomiri of Father Sea. In these meetings, they agreed that bethtali from the inland tribes could use jetties from their coastal aspect shrine of choice, on the condition that the rentiers are paid 5% of all income from that route. Many of the coastal tribes were not happy in losing their monopoly; indeed, some had built lavish and expensive to maintain holds, temples and aspect shrines. One tribe in particular, the Gonek, had such large outgoings in terms of physical goods that upon the increased competition, they could no longer upkeep many of these structures, which fell into disuse and ruin.
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.
610 CE: Construction of The Library of Harndonia Begins
Satisfied with their decision, the archdruids commissioned that tolomiri working within aspect shrines to Mother Earth within the western Polosi Mountains will work together to cut the stone needed (only a fool builds a library out of wood) and construct the fortress-library. A selection of the more fanatical druids of their order were selected and trained by local quera and derevashi - they would be the constant guard protecting the library, and were to be known as Gemethi: Guardians. The work took 13 years, being completed in time for the spring equinox (and so the Kiko celebrations) of 623 CE.
796 CE: The Wheel
With the ever-increasing trade, bethtali trading with outsiders eventually travelled far enough away from their homeland to discover other peoples using the wheel. This party, under the employ of the Haqueri, brought the wheel back by Poldi, along with drawings of its use, both in carts, and waterwheels. Upon arrival, both the local tribes and local druids took immense interest in this new artifact and these drawings. The diagrams were sent off to The Library of Harndonia to be copied (these copies were then distributed to each Chokta in the region), with the originals being stored within the Library for posterity.
845 CE: First Recorded Use of Anaesthetic
Whilst experimenting with heroin from the Anaaxean region on the seriously injured, druids of Brother Nature (the Aspect of healing, as well as nature) discovered its anaesthetic properties. Although unreliable in its pure form, the druids mixed the drug with various substances, both from within and without Harndonia, until they managed to create a stable, useable tool. Previously, those needing surgery either had to be operated on initially awake, or knocked out by... more intrusive means. The drug itself was barred from personal use (on pain of exile from a tribesperson's respective tribe), and it's unclear how these druids managed to get hold of the substance. However, once these druids submitted their finding to their archdruid, instead of exiling them, she recognised the potential good that this research could yield, so the report was placed in the Library, and copies distributed to aspect shrines and temples of Brother Nature.
c. 1000 CE: Iron Armour
It was around the turn of the millennium that import prices started to fall, due to the supply in the surrounding regions increasing. This meant that more derevashi and chiefs could afford the still-not-insignificant cost of constructing iron armour. Therefore, for the more powerful tribes, each chieftain could evolve their personal retinue to more of a hard-hitting heavy cavalry force than previously, which no doubt made quite of few of their days.
1346 CE: Gunpowder
On the northern coastline of the Harndonian region, a trade ocurred that would change the lives of Harndonians for centuries to come: outsiders had come to Harndonian shores, barrels of gunpower lining their holds. A demonstration was made: an arquebus was fired against a target, which was promptly destroyed, both impressing and distressing the traders who had gathered around the ship. At the news of this cargo, druids of Sister Fire ran from their temple in the village at which the ship had landed to investigate. These druids bought it all, and took it back to experiment on this mysterious black powder.
After a month of intensive research, they had a series of conclusions:
Noting down their conclusions, they sent them to their local archdruid, who (understandably) took great interest in this news. The order was given to start producing equipment and weaponry from these new materials, and then to distribute them to aspect shrines to Sister Fire, who would then offer them in trade to Harndonian tribes. Archdruids of other Aspects, especially Brother Nature, were more than a little concerned at this development, and raised their objections to such a quick roll-out. They were largely ignored. By the beginning of the 15th century CE, all tribes had at least a dozen firearms (and more Zherahagadi and kalgatha bombs) apiece.
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.
1513 CE: Bradley Shipping Company Arrives
With the bethtali travelling further afield in their Poldi than ever before, they came into contact with more and more civilisations they previously had no contact with, such as the Lawattsians, Courellians and Hirematians. The goods they brought with them to trade caught the eye of many, but none more so than members of the Bradley Shipping Company. Intrigued by the strange plants and goods distributed by the bethtali, they decided to send their first ship to Harndonian shores to discover more about the area.
The ship landed on Harndonia's northern coast in the spring of 1513 CE, a week later than intended, due to the thick mist common to the Sea of Monwe hampering navigation. They were surprised by what they saw: an equally advanced society, though with an entirely different way of life, social structure, religious system and aims of technological progress to what they were used to back in Courelli. Sensing opportunity, the traders of the vessel begged for local druids to sell them copies of texts containing histories, geography and details of regional customs. Although initially against this proposal, the local Harndonian tolomiri finally gave way, trading the texts for a large amount of iron and gemstones.
Upon the ship's return to Courelli, the texts were poured over by clerks. What they found pleased them greatly: marble in the Polosi Mountains; new, strange fauna to harvest, especially the forest wyverns; intriguing crop species that have catalysed the Harndonian way of life. They looked again at the maps enclosed within the texts, and saw a region of strange, promising riches. From then on, the shipping company resolved to gain unfettered access to Harndonian resources, and to initiate the spread of Dalinism within Harndonia.
Much to the amusement of Harndonian scholars both at the time and since, Courellian texts refer to a "King Lvijas", who the Empire seeked to control and assert their influence over. Lvijas was actually a trader from Lafartya who served as a translator between the Courellian ships and the Harndonian delegation tasked with dealing with the BSC.
1514 CE: Bradley Shipping Company Initiates Trade Offensive
Their goals identified, the Bradley Shipping Company got to work. They slashed the price of goods being sold to Harndonians, so to incentivise them to buy as much from the Courellians as possible. Although this would be less cost effective in the short term, the possible long term gains would be significant. It also had an unexpected (though fortunate for the shipping company) side-effect, that would become apparent as the offensive progressed.
1520-1586 CE: Fall of the Bethtali
With the ever-cheaper range of external goods provided by the Courellians, the Harndonian tribespeople relied less and less on bethtali to import goods. As the Courellians were also avid buyers of Harndonian goods, the export capacity of the bethtali also decreased. These combined events spelled doom for the bethtali; as the century progressed, more and more bethtali ceased trading. In 1586, the Guild of Bethtali was dissolved: there were simply not enough bethtali to either sustain such an expensive operation, nor to make it worthwhile.
1607 CE: The Trap Closes
Replicating their successful measures across the expanding Courellian Empire, the Bradley Shipping Company - now that Harndonians were effectively reliant on Courellian trade for many non-food goods, with even inter-tribe trade at a historic low - abruptly cut off all exports to Harndonia. The source of most metals and raw materials used in advanced contruction and crafting vanished. It started to dawn on the tribes their horrible mistake; alas, it was too late: the age of the bethtali had drawn to a close, and each tribe was marooned on a metaphorical trade island.
Enraged, the tribes prepared for the inevitable invasion: aspect shrines and temples across the region preached the importance of standing up to this colossal foe, with chiefs starting to drill their previously untrained subjects. Aspect shrines as villages on the northern coasts started to construct Poldi like never before, cooperating with druids of Mother Earth and Sister Fire to outfit these ships with ballista (bolt-heads filled with kalgatha) and firearms, such as muskets and Vosna, hand mortars that fired small shells of kalgatha and Zherahalgadi. Their limited supply of materials, however, massively hampered the preparation effort.
It was too little, too late.
Spring 1608 CE: Battle of Gonth Bay
Having waited for their trade blockade to take its toll, the Courellian navy struck. They were sighted entering the Sea of Monwe a day before the spring equinox: they were planning to time their assault with the Kiko celebrations, so that they'd catch the tribepeople unawares. The Courellians, however, didn't count on quera being posted in boats on the north-eastern edge of the Sea of Monwe. A bird was sent before the fleet of 50 warships spotted the boat, and promptly blew it out of the water with their cannon. That quera's scarifice is still comemorated today.
The fleet appeared to be heading south-west, down towards the Quechkhonia area. The local tribesmen were mustered, with the Haqueri, Gonek and Nemenari tribes forming the largest warband since the Holy War, backed up by local fanatics from all Aspects, including Namuil. A small warfleet of 24 Poldi were gathered to face the overhwelming might of the Courellian navy. Father Sea, however, had smiled upon the Harndonians that day: the Sea of Monwe was blanketed in dense fog, allowing the smaller, maneuverable Harndonian ships to push off Gonth Bay, and to sneak towards the unsuspecting fleet approaching the shore.
A diary entry from a Courellian sailor on the Luecerian Vengeance give details on what happened next:
We were sailing through the dense fog, relying on our compases and previous headings to lead us to the pagan's great temples (or whatever they called them). It was totally quiet, apart from the creak of the ship beneath us and the lapping waves against the hull. Everyone was tense. Suddenly, we heard screams from starboard of us, away from the shore. The breeze carried the voices of panicked Courellian, pleading not to die. Flashes of light lit the fog, and we initially thought that was our cannons firing at something, but the colour was wrong: it was like a luminous green mixed with bright orange. Without warning, something blew up at our bow, throwing a firery spray the same colour the flashes had been. The spray landed on some of the sailors near me, and they died screaming, unable to wash the hellish fluid off, even using the water we had in buckets on the deck. The screaming to the right of us got louder, and flashes of both our gunfire and their chemical fire lit up on all sides. Our starboard cannons roared, firing blindly in the direction of the screams. We rushed over to that side, clutching our muskets, but we couldn't see anything we could confidently fire at. I've never been in a naval battle so confused before. It was awful.
The flanking attack by the Poldi were intially a success, spreading fear and panic into the Courellian fleet. Boats with Namuil boarded the much larger Courellian vessels, creating havoc. Fires spread onto many Courellian ships, with 15 being totally destroyed or ablaze within the first 10 minutes. After this, however, the assault lost momentum: the rest of the Courellian fleet fired blindly into the direction of the flankers with grapeshot, decimating both Courellian and Harndonian ships and troops. By the time the bay fell silent, no Harndonian Poldi was left, and the Courellians had lost 22 ships, and approximately half their troops.
The attackers then turned their attention to shore. Small landing craft were sent to investigate the coast, with orders to return if the area was clear. After 2 hours, they still hadn't been seen. Taking this as the only clue they were going to get, the fleet fired their cannons onto the fog-shrouded shore, again using grapeshot. The Harndonians were massacred. It is thought that the Gonek and Nemenari tribes lost almost all their adult population in the bombardment. Due to their position to the west of the other two tribes, the Haqueri fared slightly better, but it is still thought they lost approximately 5/8ths of their adults. The Haqueri fled, taking what was left of the Gonek and Nemenari with them, and disappeared into the forest. As news of the defeat spread, the tribes learned: there would never again be a pitched battle between the Courellian Empire and the Harndonian Tribes.
Horrified at the losses they had sustained, the Courellians nevertheless continued southwest, until they arrived at the site of the 5 Temples. Though expecting resistance, there was no-one to be found. The 5 Temples were empty, apart from the fabled riches that the Courellian Empire was determined to gain.
1608-1632 CE: Invasion
Over the course of the year, more ships were sent to Harndonia. Most (but by no means all) managed to cross the now-infamous Sea of Monwe, and it's hidden tribesmen with chemical firearms. The Courellians marched onwards, capturing more villages, holds and aspect shrines. There was either no physical resistance by the inhabitants, or no inhabitants at all; the locals made the invaders pay another way. In every seasonal settlement and hold the Courellians came across, traps - some crude, made with sharpened sticks and faeces; others with Kalgatha and/or Zherahagadi - lay in wait, ready for an unsuspecting soldier to open that door, or to step on that path. It is entirely unknown how many invaders died from these, but it is thought to number into the thousands. Combined with this, tribespeople would stalk a column, taking advantage of any opportunity they had to cause havoc: a "trap" here, or a disappering scouting party there. The effect on morale was devastating: troops recruited to go to Harndonia known as the "Unlucky Legions" amongst the Courellian people and armed forces; and the offensive was slow.
Despite their difficulties, the long, agonising campaign was declared a success in 1632, when the Courellian Empire had decided it owned enough of the productive areas to stop expansion. Settlements either built by Courellians, or expanded and made permenant by them, became islands of security in a sea of threat: it was impossible to tell if you would make it to your destination alive if you dared to venture out of a settlement.
1805 CE - 1883 CE CE: Courellian Colony Weakens
From the start of the 19th century, the Courellian Empire was spread thinly, with piracy a constant concern. More money was spent within the booming manufacturing sector within Courelli, rather than in the outlying colonies that had supplied the Empire with riches in the previous centuries. The Bradley Shipping Company, once instrumental in the invasion and running of Harndonia, became the Bradley Machinery Company, shifitng its focus away from the region. Courellian military presence was gradually reduced over the course of the 19th century, as more pressing conflicts and disasters ocurred elsewhere. Some even made it back to their fortified ports alive.
As the number of invaders fell, the number of attacks by the local tribes increased. Attempts were made to hunt down some of these tribes, but these attempts resulted in a nasty end for the soliders unfortunate enough to be sent on such a wild goose chase. It soon became uneconomical to continue supporting the colony, yet the Courellian Empire did not withdraw: the nobility were too fond of their mysterious Harndonian luxuries to allow such a move.
1883 CE CE: Courellians Withdraw
After 3 years of epidemic-level cholera outbreaks on the Courellian mainland, the resources, troops and will to hold onto Harndonia simply no longer existed. The Republic made the bitter decision to withdraw entirely: families, soldiers and workers were moved from the relative safety of their fortified settlements into the forests and the mountains, in order to make their way to the ports. The Harndonians had a field day. Entire communities were murdered whilst on the march. None were spared; not women, not children, not the unarmed. Those that managed to avoid or escape the local tribespeople left Harndonia forever, permenantly scarred by what they had been exposed to.
1883 CE - 1901 CE: The Years of Blood
The enemy that had united the Harndonian People for hundreds of years had gone, leaving tribespeople that had spent their entire lives fighting for freedom, but had no idea what to do with it. The warlike nature that had been imposed onto them by centuries of guerilla warfare against a perennial foe turned them against one another. Grudges were unleashed; unevidenced reports of collaboration with the invaders would lead to Holy War-style crusades against the accused tribe, no matter how spurious the claims. This dark time was known as Er Fenem ber Ribra, "The Years of Blood".
Eventually, this brutality and infighting slowed and settled. It was finally dawning on the Harndonian People that they could be free, if only they let themselves.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5th October 1906 CE: The Confederation
Horrified at their own actions in the Years of Blood, the remaining tribes sought reconciliation with eachother in the years leading up to 1906, remaking bonds that had been severed over centuries of hard survival. Seeing the growth of major powers around the nearby regions, the Harndonians realised they could never hope to defeat an enemy like the Courellian Empire again and come out of it with their sense of identity intact. The archdruids of the 5 Aspects called the tribes to meet at Vlekribraoquitlrethnicharequ in October 1906, at the behest of Reshardi, the chief of the Haqueri at the time. There, both the archdruids and Reshardi spent a day with the chiefs and respected tribespeople from each tribe, attempting to persuade them to leave their differences behind them, and unify into one nation. Eventually, they were successful, and in the Temple to Mother Earth, the chiefs of the 11 surviving tribes signed the first Harndonian constitution, previously drawn up by the druids of the 5 Temples and the Haqueri.
The constitution made some large changes to the structure of Harndonian society, some of which had already occurred over years of occupation, but required formalising.
23rd April 1950 CE: People's Republic Formed
Inspired by leftist uprisings and election victories across the globe, there began to be a clamouring within the tribes for an update to the constitution. Under this pressure, the Second Harndonian Constitution was signed. This constitution is still in effect today.
12th August 1979 CE: Formal Declaration of Peace with Courelli
Despite there being no conflict between the 2 nations since the end of the 19th century, peace was never formally declared. Although a formality, the significance of the fact that the Harndonian People decided that this should occur marked a turning point in Harndonian history: once again, Harndon was beginning to look outwards to the new world it had found itself in.
30th October 2016 CE: Harndon joins the SLU
Kinda does what it says on the tin, really.
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.