In northern Altera, the sun glows hot and the plants grow sparse. This is the place where Alterans would lose interest, but for the Mathuradu, this is the start of their home. Buildings of mud, brick, and canvas dot the desert landscape with a city wherever an oasis can be found. In these bustling and vibrant communities, there is always the sound of a low chatter, with the city never really sleeping. Trade wagons come and leave at all hours which means that there is always an inn or warehouse that is also open at those hours to help any who seek it. In Mathuradu, anything is available and permissible if you know who to ask.
The land is ruled by the concept of Janti, which balances the status of the family into which you were born and a person’s individual deeds. All Janti are regarded the same honor – for what is the difference between a city’s priest, civil administrator, tribal elder, or merchant? Each is merely just a title to describe what they do to better the community and, in that respect, all are equal. Even the Unseen are regarded with a type of honor as they accept their Janti instead of struggling against their fate.
The southern parts of Mathuradu are arid but remain farmable. Technology and education are prized here more than in any other nation, for if they did not know the ways in which to collect and save water from the massive monsoons, there would be no way to survive. The wide and cloudless night skies allow for those whose Janti demands it to spend long nights watching the stars and the endless clockwork of the dark. This is perhaps why the Vetic twelve month calendar is so accurate that it has been widely adopted across Altera. These scholars have attained a sort of practical enlightenment and know that on a daily basis the sun and moon rise then fall only to rise again. So too, life is a cycle and they know well that what once was will always be again. This enlightenment is why the Mathuradu teach every child to wield a weapon. The Exile cannot last forever for such things are foretold by the stars that the Elementals must come again. The Mathuradu peoples accept this as the cycle of life and hold no malice to those that would willingly subjugate themselves to such beings however, the Mathuradu are free and they are prepared for each person to defend that freedom whenever the need may arise.
Type of Government:
Peacetime: Mahamatyas (Tribal Council of Elders)
Wartime: Maharaja or Maharani (Dictator: Male/Female)
Climate: Mathuradu is a very arid region. Vast sandy deserts with the occasional town built around an oasis give way to semi-arid but farmable land. Rain is scarce except during the two monsoon seasons which provide almost all the water for the region. There are few trees that provide shade or shelter in this seemingly harsh land where most plants are shrubs or others small vegetation.
Titles of Citizens:
People are judged and held accountable according to their Janti.
Janti is determined equally by Varna which is the Janti of your parents and of your birth but also by their Dharma (individual actions or deeds).
Elarenin (El-are-nin) – Priests, scholars, teachers
Rajavada – Rulers, warriors, and government administrators
Keshanyas (Kesh-an-ias) – Laborers, service providers
The Unseen – Outcasts with no other recourse but to beg and rely on others for their welfare.
Mathuradu maintains a strong family structure while balancing tribal community and identity. Marriages are considered lifetime contracts between families that cannot be broken. They are accepting of any match or lifestyle as long as it is clearly stated in the original marriage contract. Such contracts may include which of the couple is the official Head of Household, if they are expected to be monogamous or not, if not can they have additional wives/husbands/harem or just affairs? If so, how many in total number and per year? So long as it is agreed upon in advance and included in the marriage contract, most anything is permissible.
Major Regions and Daily Life:
Odisha, Varsha, Kalinga, Sarnath, Kotravai
The nomadic life still runs deep in the people of Mathuradu even though most have never actually been nomads. Whether on a trade wagon, in a small village, or the sprawling markets of Varsha, life is largely the same. You wake up, work to fulfill your Janti, and make sure to enjoy the small things in life. The Grand Bazaar in Varsha is awash in bright colors and people bartering to get the best possible deal. Even here, when the bartering and haggling is done, everyone can sit together relaxing near any number of kaffe stalls.
The people of Mathuradu are widely accepting of all religions and cultures so long as they do not bring harm to their own community. Temples to various gods and demons exist side by side along with the halls of academia that decry the existence of any god at all. There is great emphasis put on individual responsibility and a general assumption that the actions of any one person do not reflect on others who share a location or belief. In summary, the religious philosophy of the the nation would likely be “There is some truth in all things.”
The native pride of Mathuradu is that they provide the world with a few very rare desert spices and the kaffe been which only grows in this arid region. Brewers in Mathuradu evaluate individual kaffe harvests like others might view fine wines. The secrets of the various types of kaffe are closely guarded family secrets and have long been a source of competition within the merchant houses. Having little in the way of other natural resources beyond subsistence farming or industry outside of spice trade and kaffe however the Mathuradu have become exemplary traders. Their merchant caravans can be found throughout the known world and some even claim that they have secret ways of travel that make competition with these caravans impossible, this of course would be a criminal offense in the eyes of the Alteran government, so it is obviously not the case. Legal or not, the vast trade network has let them bring in the finest of every nation for their own use.
Vibrant curries, dried fruits, pan fried vegetables are all locally grown and cultural delicacies that preserve the original nomadic culture. Due to their trade networks, this is then supplemented with any type of food from whatever caravan may be passing through – so a meal could include braised ox one night or pickled herring another. These are always adapted into the local style of preparation however, with all meals there is always kaffe.
Most Mathuradun wear lightweight linen or thin cotton in bright and vibrant colors.
Women often wear these as Sarees but they can also be up to highly elaborate gara choli as well.
Men often wear these as a simple doti, colorful sarongs, and even the elegant jama coats.
Common types of magic:
Sages and Druids
Outlawed Magic, Cults, or Societies:
So long as each person maintains themselves with respect and in deference to social contracts, all views and all societies are welcome. Those who do not honor the basic social contracts of society have no place in Mathuradu and are less than the Unseen.
Real World Cognates:
Maurya Empire and Magadha Empire’s of India; Roman Carthage; and the Empire of Mali
What makes Mathuradu great?
- Mathuradu is a land that refuses to be beaten. No matter how many times they have been struck down by the Crown or by the world itself Mathuradu adapts, changes, and continues on.
- All people are equal so if you have the will, the research, and/or the money nothing is out of reach. Each person is limited only by their own choices.
- Mathuradu has the greatest merchants in the world who bring news from all corners back to the north. As such even laborers in remote areas are better informed of world events than many of the affluent in other nations.
What makes Mathuradu less than desirable?
- With a strong dedication comes a willingness to accept distasteful choices others may make. People may sell themselves into servitude or into the bloodsport of the Arena but in each case these are choices made of free will and that free will is inviolable.