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The Sabwaid society was a complex culture emerging in the highlands of Region C in the local Chalcolithic era.

EncompassesEdit

  • Kir-Tama
  • Sabwa
  • Kikatur

Material CultureEdit

Much of the Sabwaid arsenal of techniques and technologies is designed to aid living in valleys and high altitudes. The use of terracing to increase the range of productive land is common, as is cliff-side building. The cities themselves tend to be built on extremely solid ground, though the area is littered with both abandoned and still-lived in towns directly etched out of mountain rock. Stone and rock for housing here is totally ubiquitous, with wood only ever used for supports or decoration. Slate is an admired and prestigious material, but marble even more so. The grandest and most affluent buildings are always built out of marble, either the common white marble or rarer yellow marble, or diorite which is even more costly to import via specialised rafts following the river course. Natural caves are frequently used to help construct tombs, many rather precariously reached via mountaineering. Specialist tools for mountaineering have been developed. Turquoise, only found here in the entire region, is an incredibly precious gem that is often considered royal in its connotations. Copper is commonly used for tools and weaponry, but tin does not yet reliably reach the area. Arsenical bronze is sometimes used instead, but does not occur in the area in great quantities and the substance is also hazardous to work with. Cities are predominantly fortified, usually incorporating natural features of the mountains into their defences. Kikatur in particular is heavily fortified, with caves that can be used as an emergency refuge. Silver is a frequently used metal for exchange, but gold is considered even more valuable. Cities tend to be arranged in a fairly ad hoc manner, with the fortifications as later additions to pre-existing centres. The city of Kir-Tama in particularly has a strong seafaring tradition, with ships largely similar to those of the Yewad culture.

SocietyEdit

The mountains are not as harsh here as they are in other lands, but they still serve to create highly individualistic sub-cultures and identities. Specific cities, however, are often quite strongly co-operative and egalitarian. The relative nature of that egalitarianism is quite different depending on which particular city, with one extreme being Kir-Tama which is instead ruled by a King but with no other social castes. Competition can be quite fierce in lean times, however, with much co-operation involved in the sphere of agriculture to ensure that there are no lean times. Hazelnuts are a popular import from the north as a good capable of helping with those lean times. The Sabwaid societies also practice a form of 'blanket' agriculture, designed to allow potatoes to grow through any potential winter frost by coating the ground in an insulating blanket of linen and soil. Winter is not a constant in this environment, but a sufficiently strong wind blowing from the east can cause frosts in higher altitudes. Much social ideology is based around the notion of defence from winter conditions, as well as the notion of agricultural co-operation. Military affairs tend to involve a great deal of trained mountaineers using relatively crude weaponry. Sabwa is the traditional heartland of this region, but with the growth of international trade and the emergence of Kir-Tama balance is shifting towards the latter. This is causing a shift in culture, a more outwardly looking focus towards the sea rather than an inward focus towards one's own affairs. Religion tends to heavily involve sacred peaks and mountains, though in Kir-Tama sea deities are frequently invoked as well. Caves are also frequently centres for religious activity. The sun is an incredibly important deity. Despite the occasional frosts, this is still an affluent society that has adapted to its surroundings.

DietEdit

No plants native to the region are considered to be higher or lower status, with all of them being pretty much totally available for any individual. The exception to this is the Sabwaid grapevine, also exclusively found around Kir-Tama. The export of the alcohols generated from this to the other Sabwaid cities is another reason why Kir-Tama is growing in importance. Kir-Tama is also the entry point for imported wheat, hazelnut and citron to enter the region, along with dried pear from the west. Freshwater fish is common along the region, and saltwater fish on the coastline. Wild birds and game are the most common sources of meat.

NotesEdit

Kir-Tama and its hinterland are growing so different from the mountainous rest of Sabwaid material culture that it is likely to become its own distinct entity very swiftly. Also, tin will eventually make its way to the region but only once trade routes carrying the metal to this part of the world emerge.