The Great Plains might seem to be an obvious choice for the mighty nation of Altera to reign however, there really can be too much of a good thing. The endless plains to the east are simply too vast for any real centralized government to hold. The herdsfolk of Larana however, have no such problem. Large caravans, that more closely resemble traveling tent cities, follow the grazing herds. The herds recognize no boundaries or territories, why then should the Larana? The seemingly simple life of nomadic wagons belies the depth of culture and development of the Larana who maintain a complex web of social favors and agreements that bind their society together. Elections and open discussion are commonplace for nearly all decisions from who will lead the caravan for the next year to how many heads of cattle will be brought to Losharin for market.
For the Larana their word is their bond, nothing is more sacred than a promise. With those ideals comes finely honed legalistic minds that are known to exploit loopholes in agreements for often unpredictable results. For the Larana, this is simply good business – to get as much as you can while giving up very little themselves. For those outside the Wagon Circles, it is best to be wary of them, if not outright suspicious. The Larana are taught the Law of the Land from birth and this is how they live in harmony with one another. Those who take the time to understand the Law have no problems dealing fairly with the Larana.
The Law of the Land
Do not take from the Herd more than the herd has given
For everything there is a use, Waste no gift of the Land
Honor the Mother and Father, if agreements cannot be made their word shall be Law
Choose your Mother and Father with care, for they lead the Caravan for the year
Hold to your word as you do breath. Without that you have no honor and without honor you have no life.
Take nothing that does not belong to you. A thief is to be Branded and left behind.
That which a person leaves of their own will is obviously not cared about and belongs to the finder.
Answer what questions are put to you. Lies and denials are venom given sound.
Always ask questions to know as much as you can. If you don’t, there is none to blame for your ignorance but yourself.
Do not answer what is not asked. If someone fails to ask a question that fault is theirs.
The Branded have broken the Law. Forgiveness is for the Land itself not for people. None will be found in the Caravan.
Capital City: Moradon
Type of Government: Representative Democracy
Approximate Population: 4,000,000 inhabitants
Title of National Leader: Speaker Tristan Girault and Speaker Myriam Léger
The Great Grass Sea of Larana is nothing but waves of green in spring which fade to brittle browns in the winter. Pop up rain storms will come and go with little warning and leave equally little trace once gone. The land does have fierce winds that cross the Sea and can become great cyclones of grass, dirt and debris at their worst. It is said that the longer a Caravan tries to stay in one place, the stronger the winds will blow until the Caravan returns to the herd and the open road.
Titles of Citizens:
Mother and Father – The heads of a person’s own caravan. Mother and Father are the elected leaders of the caravan who serve for one year. It does not imply that they are romantically involved in any way.
Brother and Sister – The common people within your own Caravan
Aunt and Uncle – The heads of another Caravan
Cousin – The common people of another Caravan
Branded – Castouts whom the Caravan has left behind. The Branded are so called because of the branding iron burns left on the face.
The people of Larana are community-centric to an extreme. They embrace the concept that a family is the people you choose, not to whom you are born. Every adult treats the children equally as their own and every child answers to the adult collective. Marriages are uncommon but not unheard of. When a Caravan grows too large or the herd cannot support them all then it is time for some to break off and form their own Caravan. It is in this way that a new family is born.
There are only three formal cities in Larana. Often, even these cities are dwarfed by the numerous caravans that surround them during their respective seasons.
Moradon is the capital and this is where all Larani gather to discuss national concerns and choose new Speakers.
Septavim is the Larani necropolis to where the dead are carried.
Losharin is the city of harvest where the herds are culled or sold to other nations.
Most Larani have never understood the need of other cultures to define what they believe. You can no more know the name or nature of a god any easier than touch the sun or control the wind. Why shackle the spirit of man to any one term for the divine light in every person? In general the Larani are happy to entertain these discussions but never put any real weight in such topics. They believe that life would be better for all of Altera if others did not care about this as much either.
Barter and trade is preferred by the Larani and they only uses currency when dealing with foreign merchants. The massive plains of Larana are home to grazing animals of all sorts and so they are rich in leather, meat, and horn. It is difficult to judge the economy of Larana as a whole as each caravan keeps their own records.
High in gamey meats as well as whatever can be gardened off the side of a caravan wagon.
Simple and practical dress defines the Larani style of fashion. There is no difference in how a Speaker, Mother, or Cousin would dress. There is little to no overt ego wrapped up in choice of fabrics which often leads to clothing that is a hodgepodge of whatever happened to be available at the time.
Men tend to wear simple but sturdy pants and shirts. The occasional vest or coat may be thrown on for special occasions.
Women tend to wear equally eclectic but simple dresses with a sash or belt cinched at the waist. For special occasions they may have more elaborate dresses with hidden color panels that only flare out while dancing around the campfires.
Common types of magic:
Witchcraft and Wizards
Outlawed Magic, Cults, or Societies:
Larani are more suspicious of practical connections than any religious ones. The Paladins of Altera are viewed as tools of an abusive and controlling establishment so they are always kept at arm’s length, if possible. Those who will only deal in coin instead of barter are equally untrusted – after all, why should anyone put value on a piece of junk metal just because someone else says it is valuable?
Real World Cognates:
French Bohémiens, Caravans, and Romani