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The Plague-Eaters of Lordspire Mountain, The Halkipirya-i - C. Alborostro

This article uses a general tone. Individuals may differ from the trends shown here.

A civilization nestled in the northern foothills of Lordspire Mountain, the Halkipirya-i people have spent generations tending to the mountain range and amassing their knowledge. Though they are a sedentary people, they are known for sending their explorers far and wide across the Heartland, retrieving information for the great library. A majority of Halkipirya-i are Plague-Eaters, but they are known to accept immigrant Tricorns among their ranks from the allied settlements in the southern foothills.

The Halkipirya-i find value in knowledge and wisdom, and are often noted to be a just society by their neighbors. Written arts and textiles are favored means of expression in this culture, and while both are used in some way or another for record-keeping, utility and expressive purposes are equally respected and valued. Knowledge is a treasure, but art is vital, hence both the presence of the great library and the smattering of communal artistic spaces across Halkipirya-i settlements.

Belief Systems

It is partially thanks to the Halkipirya-i people that Lordspire has the sort of dreaming life that it does now. The Halkipirya-i believe the mountain to be a living god-on-earth and a holder of immense wisdom, albeit of the sort that a mortal could hardly understand given the timescale that the Lordspire has lived on. It is through their influence that the Lordspire became known for its pragmatism, though their neighbors are the ones that taught it its sense of compassion. The Halkipirya-i largely teach that the mountain has concerns vastly beyond the individual, and as such their people will only approach to speak to it in times of dire need, such as in drought or famine. Offerings are often made to the mountain at established shrines to its might and power.

The Halkipirya-i place an emphasis on the grand scale of things that is not often observed in its neighboring cultures. As a result, they more typically offer reverence to the great phenomena of the world than such subtle things as other beasts of the earth. Alongside Lordspire, they deify the weather and the great forests of Woodspreyar and the roiling oceans on a similar scale, though for reasons of proximity, these other forces have not curried the same sort of dreaming life as the great mountain has. That said, it is not necessarily that such things as beasts are considered insignificant, but moreso that they are mortal, and no mortal creature can be compared to such immense, ever-living forces as natural phenomena.

Magical Practices

It is commonly understood by the Halkipirya-i that the weather, and by proxy the air and vapor, have distinct supernatural properties to them. Flight is known to change both your physical and mental perspective on the world and show one the incredible, vast power of the earth, and is thought to allow one to bear witness to this power through all senses. Similarly, to share the presence of another in vapour or smoke offers individuals a different perspective on one another, and allows them to share their knowledge effortlessly as though they could tap into one another's barest thoughts. It is believed, as well, that this practice works when communing with the Lordspire itself: those in positions of power enough to speak with it may do so at altars along its spiraling ridges, and in doing so may earn unfathomable wisdom.

In some way or another, these practices are sometimes used during ceremonies for personal milestones, though more commonly religious or recreational purposes. There is debate on what kind of plant smoke works best for which kind of ritual, with wild comfrey and tobacco favored for recreational purposes, and sage and thyme being preferred for religious and ceremonial uses. It is thought that some plants lead to easier thought-to-thought communication than others, but at this stage it is uncertain how, or which ones do so.

Social Dynamics

Among the Halkipirya-i, the most wizened members of society are the most highly regarded, though unfortunately due to the invisible nature of wisdom it is very common for those who look young (and therefore thought to be inexperienced and unwise) to be dismissed on a society-wide level. Elders are typically given more credence in communal discussion, for better or for worse, and are more likely to be both seen and heard, often slowing the progression of change should they be unreceptive to it. Despite this, it is not altogether uncommon for youth to be well-read, and it has been noted that philosophy is a common subject of study among junior members of the culture. Due to the frequent dismissal of young individuals, there is much debate over at what age an individual should be granted personal legal agency, and what rights the underaged should be granted.

Given that no species found regularly around Lordspire Mountain express any sort of sexual dimorphism, disputes over sex, gender identity, or orientation are not ubiquitous. There are no gendered pronouns in Halkipirya-i languages, dominant or otherwise, and many pairings are same-sex. The only extant arguments relating to physical sex are those regarding the disclosure thereof.

Traditions & Ceremonies

The Vantirit

The most long-standing and important tradition among the Halkipirya-i is the tradition of the Vantirit, "the Wandering." Once at the age of personal agency, it is expected of the Halkipirya individual to venture off with supplies and learn to research from the field, to learn to explore and discover. Vantirya-i, "wanderers," are sent off with five long scrolls of sturdy bark-paper, and expected to return with at least one of these scrolls significantly filled. The precise demand varies from community to community, but the intent remains the same through all of them. Though some prefer to return as soon as possible, it has been noted that some individuals stray for long enough that they choose to dedicate their lives to Vantirit, typically adopting the formal title Yat Vantir, "one who wanders," in the process. Some even go so far as to entirely detach themselves from their home culture in favor of exploring and contacting other cultures, typically with the aid of smoke-rituals where language fails.

On their return from the Vantirit, individuals turn their scrolls in to the great library, where their redundancy is determined. On the now-rare occasion where a Vantirit scroll is accepted as new and valid, it is a cause for celebration among the Vantirya's bonded few, and should they be comfortable with it, their wisdom may be shared directly through smoke-ritual. Even so, the return of a Vantirya who has been exploring for months or even years is on its own a cause for a similar celebration, especially in the case of one who has adopted their status as a title.

Intensive construction on this article has concluded, but it may be subject to future edits. Thank you.

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