The Sahmarian Clans
The Sahmarian Clans (Still WIP, stay tune for more)
The Sahmarian Clans are a loose collection of settlements and cities situated in the Shuriman Waste, bound together by common interest in trade and security. A nomadic and mercantile culture, the Sahmarian Clans’ settlements are the premier trading hub for trade routes going in and out of Shurima, where markets spring up like desert flowers after rain and commerce blossom, and a place where anything can be found for the right price. Reflecting their culture, the Sahmarian’s settlements are borne atop of giant, ancient scarab beetles called the Sunteth, which allows the clans to move the settlements at will. The mobility of the settlements is an ability originally meant for surviving the changing sand dunes of the wastes and seeking valuable oasis that is now adapted into a tool to out maneuver their competitors on the market, moving from outposts to outposts and intercepting promising trade routes before anyone else. Intelligent, optimistic and pragmatic, the Sahmarian Clans can prove to you that, sometime, all that glitter is gold.
Sahmarian’s settlements vary greatly in size, from a small town’s block borne atop a young Sunteth, to towering capital cities borne atop several ancient and venerable Sunteth. Sahmarian’s architecture tends toward tall and dense urban structures that facilitate a truly multi-level city, where walkways between platforms and windows create streets that run atop one another like a spider’s web. A building would have its core structure of brick and abode, built to a simple and sturdy design. From this core structure, multiple platform, walkways, balcony, stairs, slopes and roof are constructed of simple wood, fabric and ropes, jutting out from the various opening of the tall abode towers, connecting to one another, even across multiple levels. This design stems from multiple reasons. The “tall” designs of Sahmarian structure conserve space, which is a precious commodity atop a Sunteth back. It also maximize shading, shielding the Sahmarian from the blazing sun as the multitude of various platform, walkway and roofs provide ample shades and shadows for the citizen. The density of the population and inter-connected nature means that everything is almost within arm’s reach of one another, facilitating commerce for both outsiders and resident of the settlement. Lastly, the light, almost improvised, nature of these woods and fabric platform means that they are exceedingly mobile, able to be disassembled and stowed back inside the brick and abode “parent” structure in case of a sudden sandstorm or emergency mobilization of the Sunteth.
As the Sunteth grows, so does the settlement, for it now has new land available on the scarab's back. The outer and upper structures of a settlement would be the newest one, while the inner, "urban", core of densely packed structure would be older, more established housing, most often time owned by wealthy and influential merchants or families, providing them with easy connection with many other well established businesses in the area. The further from the center, the poorer the family, with the exception of the very outer most rim where some entrepreneur and hopeful youth would willingly set up his shop. The outer rim's new buildings are more sparsely packed, offering less protection and support from the weather and the Sunteth movement than the tightly packed and interconnect core, as well as less business opportunity, being sparsely located with only a few also newly opened shop nearby instead of being surrounded by influential business running back hundreds of years. However, there is one advantage to the outer rim that makes it appealing to upstart youths. The price of the estate is much cheaper, and most importantly, it is situated as the first thing people encounter when coming into a settlement. While the older businesses of the core and the legendary market might be what draws people to a settlement, to embark upon and to move into the market center, they must all first pass by the Outer Rim, where newly founded upstart business will try their best to make a great first impression in order to draw in customers and hopefully becoming established on their own. Moving upward in a Sunteth settlement, the shops becomes smaller, more obscure. As the floor and first few levels are occupied by big merchant families selling bulk general goods, the higher up one goes, the more obscure and “strange” the shops become, as well as housing becomes more apparent as a function, slowly shifting to “a house with a shop” instead of “a shop with a house” of the market ground level. Upon the higher one can find such things for sale as Shuriman scavenged (and tomb-robbed) artifacts, goods plundered from beyond the sea by the pirates of Bilgewater, illegal Zaunite and Piltovian trinkets, totems from the Voodoo Land, alchemical ingredient from the Plague Jungles, as well as fences for stolen goods, shady businesses offering mercenaries and assassin work and slaves traders.
Water System: A marvel of engineering, the Sahmarian possesses a highly sophisticated waterway system, adept at not only surviving but flourishing in the Shuriman Waste. Colloquially known as the Tar’Allar, or the Path of Life, the waterway system encompasses all parts of the water cycle process, including gathering and generation, purification, distribution and storage, irrigation, collection, re-purification and re use. Doting the Sahmarian landscape are Water Tower, great cylindrical column that sets itself apart by its prodigious height even when compared to the Sahmarian high-rise architecture. These Water Towers have two functionalities. Its main functionality is water collection. Each Tower is a marvel of engineering mixed with magic, a lesser form of magic derived from the World Rune “Sand” that was discovered thousands of years ago among the Shuriman Waste that led to the founding of the Sahmarian Clans. These Water Tower are capable of perfectly absorbing all moisture in the air through its various and numerous holes and opening situated down its sides. Moisture, when collected, are then deposited down the tower hollow core into a sprawling aqueduct system that is situated just below the settlement and inside the Scarab’s shell (this actually does not harm the scarab as its shell is so thick that the building of an aqueduct barely makes a dent in its shell, as well as the Scarab’s limited nervous system means it does not feel pain even when pierced in the flesh, much less its chitins shell. These aqueduct systems sprawl the underground of the settlements, expanding as new Water Towers are built and housing sprung up near it. A small, newly founded settlement may only have one tower, while capital cities may have dozens per Sunteth. The water in the aqueduct is then used for the secondary purpose of the Water Tower: cooling. Wind are collected by the peak of the Water Tower, which then blows down a hollow shaft into the aqueduct system where it is then water cooled, then deposited back out through a series of pipe to the ground level of the Water Tower, cooling the densely populated Sahmarian settlements. The water is then distributed as follows: First, they go into the city reservoir, large brick and mortar structure resembling a large pyramid. Secondly, they then go into irrigation, the utmost important function as the water are then distributed to the various plants and crops inside the Sahmarian famous Floating Garden. After this, it is then transferred to private reservoir, often time owned by influential families and clans who have agreed to pay monthly tithe to the settlement’s official for the privilege. As water is a precious commodity in the desert, some truly decadent families will construct beautiful artificial river and water fountain in their private garden as a show of wealth and power. Afterward, the water is then distributed to the masses through a series of pipes and communal “wells”. Waste water is collected, physical contamination shifted through a filter of sand and charcoal acting as a filter, and then further disinfected by rapid heating and condensation, facilitated by a series of lens that focuses the blazing sun of Shurima to rapidly heat the water, which is then left to condense in water still before being reintroduced into the aqueduct.
Floating Garden: The Floating Garden, named as such for their hanging basins, refers to the Sahmarian farming technique of vertical, aquaponic farming and main food sources. The Floating Garden consists of various hanging basins growing various types of crops that is suspended over a running body of water, with roots inside the water, organized in a vertical stacking manner to save space. Water from the aqueduct are transported to the top, where it trickles down from the top basin, moving from basins to basins with the help of gravity and clever positioning and angling, before being purified and reintroduced back into the system, with only occasional refills to account for evaporation and introduction of clean water. Fishes and other small aquatic animals are cultivated inside the basin, as their excrement fertilizes the water for plant consumption. The Floating Garden are housed within thick brick and mortar structure not unlike the reservoir, though Floating Gardens are often cubic or dome like in structure compared to the water reservoir, where the climate is carefully controlled with cool winds from the Water Tower and the wall’s insulating property. Sunstones are used to light and provide solar power to these plants in place of sunlight. Multiple types of Floating Garden exist, from huge behemoth industrial Floating Garden growing crops and food fishes that can provide food for countless families, to lush green Floating Garden housing exotic types of flowers and plants from all over Runeterra and colorful and delicate fishes swimming between the roots inside clear crystal basin surrounded by intricate masonry.
Navigator’s Spire: Situated at the heart of every settlement, the Navigator’s Spire is tallest structure around with the exception of the Water Tower by necessity. A combination of a grand library and an observatory, the Navigator’s Spire, like its name suggest, is owned by the Navigator Clan, whose cooperation is vital to every settlement well-being. A hub of trade routes from all over Valoran, it is natural that knowledge and text are also carried over these trade routes. A melting pot of culture and knowledge, Sahmarian settlements are ripe ground for the Navigator and others of intellectual leaning to start collecting and curating these vast reservoirs of science, culture and the arts. Vast bookshelves line the winding corridors of the Navigator’s Spire, containing anything from ancient Shuriman tablet to the newest Piltovian textbook, with displays containing objects of history besides the newest inventions from the Navigators inside glass domes. Each Navigator’s Spire is topped with a giant crystal and glass dome housing a complex array of lens and shifting gear that is essential to the Navigator’s craft. With closely guarded technique and ancient knowledge, the Navigators operate these arcane machineries along their map of stars, and with it, are able to map and navigate the ever shifting sand dunes of the Shuriman Waste. Not only for navigation, these giant contraptions are also used for divination by the positioning and movement of stars as well as the phases of the moon, observation of nearby areas, and for various experiments conducted by the Navigators. The imagery of a shining tower, as well as various star clusters and constellation are also common within Sahmarian art, particularly as engravings on their exported telescopes and navigation tools. Lens are also situated on top of Water Tower, to be used by thralls and slaves of the Navigator Clans for further observation before reporting back to their master, or to redirect sunlight back into the main spire for scientific purpose
The Bazaar: The heart of the Sahmarian settlements, the Bazaar is a well-defined, permanently roofed and enclosed market square most often found in the heart of a settlement. Possessing the highest density of business, the Bazaar is undoubtedly the commercial core of the Sahmarian settlement, a gigantic network of merchants, banker and craftsmen, with narrow alley way lined with countless stores selling everything under the sun. Distinguishing itself by its permanent enclosed structure compared to the improvised roofs and platform normally seen in a Sahmarian settlement, the Bazaar marks itself for the scale and seriousness of commercial dealings. A Bazaar is not for buying a new shirt or one’s next meal, a Bazaar is reserved for those who would like to invest in gold stock, trade spices and food in bulk capable of feeding entire cities for months, purchase the service of armies or haggles with an information broker, securing alliances or obtaining slaves in droves. With the density of people inside the Bazaar, it is given priority when it comes to security and cooling
The Sunteth is a race of scarab native to the Shuriman Waste. A Sunteth is scarab of truly epic proportion, as even new born are the size of houses, and with time and proper care, can reach sizes where they can even be mistaken for part of the landscape. Venerable, the Sunteth is theorized to be immortal age wise, as a Sunteth’s natural death has not been recorded in modern history. A Sunteth size grows constantly for as long as it lives with correspondingly titanic strength, resulting in gigantic scarab capable of carrying cities on its back. Despite its prodigious size, the Sunteth are completely docile, rarely responding to outside stimulus and preferring to simply sun bathe in the sand, digging their legs deep into the sand to absorb water while also absorbing moisture and dews from the air. Their abnormally efficient digestive system and metabolism combined with their inactive and docile lifestyle means that the Sunteth can simply subsist on a diet of mineral rocks, sands, other insects and organic wastes inside the sand and are capable of surviving for extreme periods of time without food or water. A Sunteth typically uses their front two legs, which are larger and thicker than the other and are armed with a gigantic chitin claw, to shift vast amount of sand into their mandible. These claws can also be used for self-defense, but due to their docile nature and slow speed, are rarely effective. The Sunteth have a low birth rate, of 1 to 3 scarabs every 50 years. Combined with their ineffective self-defense mechanism, means that most Sunteth dies early due to predators, with only a few surviving to grow to a point that their very size makes them an unappealing target to all but the most determined predator. In the wild, Sunteth numbers are very low and most do not grow into the size they are known for today. It is with human intervention, cultivation and protection that the Sunteth are allowed to grow into city-bearing size in a symbiotic relationship. Due to the lack of historical recording of the Sunteth in ancient Shuriman text and ruin, it is commonly agreed that the Sunteth came into being after the fall of Shurima. The residue energy from the failed ascension ritual had mutated the common scarab into a Sunteth, but this is merely a theory amongst the Piltovian researcher about the origin of the Sunteth.
The cities borne atop the Sunteth have two ways to grow and expand. One, the most common one, is to build taller and only extend outward with the growth of the Sunteth. When this has become inefficient or ineffective, such as the growth of the city outstrips the growth of the Sunteth or the weight become unsustainable, additional Sunteth may be purchased for exorbitant amount of money, which are then grouped together as a herd and connected, each medium-sized Sunteth serving as a district. These structures on top of the Sunteth are connected by huge, extravagant swivel bridges and bears incredibly important culture significance as bridges are one of the most important symbol in Sahmarian culture. Once connected, the Sunteth herd moves as one under the control of the Navigators. The Sunteth also seems to enjoy company, as the bridging process and close proximity often happens without the slightest protest from the Sunteth.
The people of the Sahmarian settlement mostly are native Shuriman, though any and all races of man are accepted and included into the Sahmarian settlement. The culture of the society is very open and inclusive of outsiders and even encourages others to learn and be a part of their society, and will accept all who shows goodwill and standing with the locals as one of their own. They are quick to adapt to outside influences, readily taking on their beneficial characteristic and integrating it seamlessly into already existing Sahmarian culture. Their don’t ask don’t tell policy on immigration means that you will see all sorts of people and nationalities in a Sahmarian settlement, for the Sahmarian cares not of your past, only of the gold you pay for housing. As a consequence of their dense population, the sense of community in a Sahmarian community is integral, which might seem to an outsider a direct contradiction of their mercantile society. Except for the filthy rich and truly upper echelon, almost all Sahmarian will hang out all day only a few meters from one another, eat at the same place and buys from one another. They rarely take things personally, and commercial competition rarely intrudes into personal relationship.
All of this, however, only applies as long as you’re human. For all of their acceptance of other culture, Sahmarians are notoriously xenophobic of other races, and in fact have a thriving slave market. Yordles, Vastayah, Ursines are all treated with dismissals at best and out right contempt at worst, and are often time captured to be sold and traded as slaves. Even amongst slaves a distinction is made between human slaves and other races slaves. Human slaves are closer to indentured servitude, being made a slave as punishment for a crime, to repay debts or even voluntarily. Human slaves have an iron collar around their neck to note their position, and are often employed as servants, cooks, harem girls or forced craftsmen. Human slaves are entitled to a small pay for their work (much less than a normal worker and in much worse condition and being unable to refuse the task set upon by their master), and are able to purchase their freedom their master through either a purchase with their master, or a direct appeal to the Sahmarian court (often at a much higher price than direct dealing). In stark contrast, non-human slaves are treated as property, are permanently branded with the slave brand. Cruelties and abuse is rampant, and they are often made to work in harsh condition as miners, farmers, haulers and sex slaves. Any dissenter are harshly reprimanded with the usage of the lash or the Blue Pin, a set of metallic pins and needle that drives into the back of the spinal cord, causing excruciating pain through their interaction with the nerve endings, named as such for the distinct discoloration of the flesh and skin through repeated use of the device. Though pain is often used as punishment and motivator, physical mutilation and injury are rare, if only for the fact that an injured slave is less productive.
The Clans are extremely influential founding families and the origin of the “Clans” in the Sahmarian Clans. No settlement is able to survive, much less flourish without the clans help. Despite their almost supreme power over the Sahmarians settlements, they do not exercise direct control or leadership. Instead, the Clans send one of their people over as acting agent to both monitor the settlement and to help the settlement grows, and in return, tithe is paid back to the clans while leadership is left to the local to figure it out for themselves, with most either choosing laissez faire free market or at the very most elected city councils. The clans power comes from their wealth, seniority, political position and their closely guarded secret crafts. To reveal a clan’s craft to outsider is a grave crime, one that begets extensive torture and execution for the clan traitor. Any who is let in on the craft is also executed, or in rare cases, given the choice of joining the clan or executed. Marriage are most often in between Clans, though there have been some cases where outsider have been married to a Clansmen.
- Navigator Clan: The Navigator clans are, as their name suggest, navigators, along with librarian, historians, diviners and scientist. Chiefly charged with steering a settlement, the Navigator clans ability to navigate is unmatched. Though chiefly using ancient, but regularly updated, star maps, a veteran Navigator is capable of navigating regardless of any circumstances, whether it be limited visibility, weather patterns, freak geological phenomenon such as the infamous Dancing Dunes or Dusk Zone (zone of unnatural magnetic disruptions rendering compasses useless). At the highest level, it is rumored that a Navigator can pin point his position on the map without any tools simply through observation. They also are knowledge curators and the meeting place for the brightest minds travelling through the Shuriman Waste. They also export highly sophisticated lens and optics that are sought after particularly in Piltover and Zaun for their high degree of quality and precisions.
- Kharnat Clan: The Kharnat Clan are beast masters tasked with taking care of the Sunteth, and the chief reason why Sunteth are allowed to grow to such prodigious size compared to Sunteth in the wild. While an adult Sunteth is nigh indestructible and capable of eating just about everything, newborn Sunteth requires specialized diet and care. The Kharnat takes care of new born Sunteth while the parent are busy moving the settlement. The baby Sunteth are fed special diet and engage in regular exercise, as well as a special form of shell “massage” similar to pressure point massage which excites and stimulate growth for the Sunteth, allowing it to reach mature size at close to 1.5 times the speed of natural Sunteth. The Kharnat clans also steer the Sunteth. Where the Navigator gives direction, the Kharnat are the one who control the Sunteth, gently nudging it in the desired direction. The moving of the Sunteth is often a highly disruptive activity, and as such it is common for Sahmarian to pack up their platforms and walkway back inside their housing and cut down commerce and outdoor business to a minimum. However, a skilled Kharnat can lessen the impact of moving, allowing business to assume as usual with minimal disruption. A skilled Kharnat is imperative for a city that have grown to herd size, as it takes a special brand of patience and technique to move a herd of Sunteth as once, as while docile, Sunteth are clumsy creatures. A skilled Kharnat can move a herd without damaging the various structures connecting the differing districts on top a Sunteth’s back, as well as keeping perfect formation. Those Sahmarian who have become accustomed to the tremor sometime even fails to realize they are moving at all.
- Sunborn Clan: The Sunborn Clans are geologist, blacksmiths, jewelers and rune enchanters. It is the Sunborn that first discover the secret of the Sand rune and refine them into the Water Tower we see today. Outside of the construction and maintenance of Water Tower, the Sunborn also possess a deep understanding of the earth and sand beneath them, as well as the various resource veins hidden deep beneath the early exterior. Of chief importance amongst these minerals are the Sunstone, one of the chief commodities of the Sahmarian settlements. Sunstones are a fragile crystal found in deep veins beneath rock layers and in scarce quantities. When submerged in water, the Sunstone then give out light at intensity equals to that of sunlight, and as such are widely used worldwide for various purposes from farming to alchemy. Together with the Navigator ability to read the stars and predict the weather and the Merca Clan ability to extract information out of the seemingly incomprehensible chaos of the market-scape, the Sunborn guides the Sunteth toward optimal positioning, whether it be places where earthen riches are abundant or position near rivers that will soon be formed if the Navigator’s prediction are correct or intercepting budding trade routes at the height of its prosperity. The Sunborn are also master jeweler and black smith, and often time produce truly one of a kind work of art from ivory, gold and gems, or runic enchanted artifact made to personal request of world governments.
- Merca Clan: With informants and agents planted in nearly every market in Valoran, the Merca Clan manipulates the market and the trade routes like the strand of a finely woven fabric. Master traders, politician and spies, the Merca Clan exemplifies that Time is Money, and Money is Power. With a little coins in multiple market, the Merca set in motion intricate plans that to an outsider would seem to be merely the unpredictable flow of the market, ultimately shifting the market to the Sahmarian’s advantage. Overtly, they are responsible for their network of connection, inviting potential investors and businessman to old and new Bazaar alike, and is vital to setting up a new settlement and grabbing a foothold in the Valoran market. The Merca also are the regulating body when it comes to the coinage system as well as their judicial system, though their book of law are decidedly sparse and loose compared to other nation to facilitate freedom. Behind the scene, they plant informants and spies in almost all market and court they can get their hand on, and are willing to use all advantages available to them for the good of the clan, as well as sell the information they obtained for the right price. They are also responsible for long distance message deliveries between settlements, often time using a special breed of hawk for express delivery, or couriers. Sahmarian couriers are adept at survival in the desert and often travel alone to maximize speed, braving the harsh wasteland with no backups. Due to this, they are often romanticized in stories and tales as dashing and brave adventurer, and often serve as guides when needed.
The governing bodies of Sahmarian settlements differs from each settlements, but they all answers to the Clans, who for their part, want only their tithe and leave each settlement to govern their own. The result are often time a loose form of feudalism, where there were still a limited amount of law in place (the essentials that the have been set up by the clans, like do not kill unless to defend for protect, do not steal etc.) and law enforcement sent from the clans, but the running of the settlement are left to the people, who naturally leans toward anarcho-capitalism.
The Sahmarian are pacifist, preferring to make trades, not war, and as such have a small standing army. However, natural advantage of the hostile land, combined with their position atop nigh indestructible Sunteth, means they are very rarely assaulted or invaded, as what armies that aren’t destroyed by the harsh dessert or crushed by the Sunteth, are faced with the problem of even getting into the city as the Sunteth will simply up and walk away. To aid on to this, Sahamrians culture places a mark of honor on the art of archery, and as such, even beyond their standing armies who are world-renowned archers, most citizen milita have had practice with the traditional Sahmarian bow. Any particularly stubborn, and foolish, army attempting to scale a moving Sunteth will find their advance halt by a veritable storm of arrows, firing from a high vantage point. On the rare occasions that the outside army in fact did manage to enter a Sahmarian settlement, as was the case with an ancient Ionian invasion whose shinobi scaled the city walls with frightening speed, the very nature of the infrastructure poses another obstacles. Narrow and winding, it is incredibly to get lost inside the Sahmarian maze like structures, whose walkways, platforms, trapdoors and hidden arrow slits are known only to the natives, who utilize them to their fullest potential, laying traps and hit and running between the buildings. One surviving shinobi said that it was like fighting sand itself, for whenever he retaliated to one of many multi angle ambushes, he would have found the perpetrators long gone, scurrying between floor boards and jumping from walkways, ever shifting out of his reach. The standing armies are also faced with various mercenaries forces, who strike the invading armies in the interest of protecting their best customers, and those who don’t are often paid to. Employing superior mobility due to their adaptation of the desert lifestyle in conjunction with their use of the bow, mercenaries raiding forces often wreak havoc on supply lines and support forces, outmaneuvering the standing army with their mounted archers and striking with blinding speed either from ambush or with cavalry raiders, leaving the army with a choice of either retreat or die of attrition. Banditry: However, the Sahmarians suffer from a particularly big banditry problem. The desert bandits, adept at survival in the desert, is able to bypass the Sahmarian’s natural defense, and their small and mobile force are able to scale and raid a Sahmarian settlement without being noticed until too late, and often simply grab whatever riches they can and then escape before alarms and guard force can react. Some can be bribed or paid protection money to stop the raids, but for most developing and small to medium sized Sahmarian cities, bandits are a constant threats.
Bridges are very important to the Sahmarian culture-wise, as depiction of bridges features prominently in Sahmarian artworks, whether on murals or pottery. Bridges serves as a permanent and concrete connection either between houses or between one settlement to another, and are often constructed with great ceremonies and care as opposed to the quick and improvised nature of other wood and fabric walkway. For the Sahmarian, the bridge is a symbol of connection, an important concept to a mercantile culture whose livelihood depends on the connection to trade routes and other cities. It also symbolizes unity, a meaning harkening back to the day where individual nomads would band together to survive better and give birth to the Sahmarian Clans of antiquity. A common wedding ceremony of influential Sahmarian houses is to build a bridge between the houses, symbolizing their coming together for the good of the couple, as well as the marriage itself serving as a connecting bridge between the houses. Said bridges are often time lavishly decorated, with in-laid gold engraving, ivory handles and intricate murals on the sides, patterned brickwork and even glazed titles, with the money pooled from both houses as both a sign of wishing prosperity on the newlywed couple, as well as a show of wealth so common with the upper-class. Bridges are also a common motif to be found in jewelry, most commonly as golden bridges necklace
Bearing the entire city on its back, the Sunteth is also an important symbol for the Sahmarians. Though they see that the Sunteth are docile and rather “dumb”, the Sunteth are still nevertheless revered for their special connection with the city, physically and spiritually. The older and thus bigger the Sunteth are, the more venerable they are seen as, and the more elaborately their honoring rituals become. Hurting or disrespecting a Sunteth, whether newborn or venerable, is seen as a great offense to the Sahmarians. The Sunteth are often lavishly decorated, with golden engravings on the sides of its shells, great velvet sash lining from one point to another, silk banners fluttering in the wind. The Sunteth enjoys perhaps the highest quality of food in the land of Runeterra, as not only do they get to eat the city, already extravagant, organic waste, but it is common for people, and especially rich families, to donate food wholesale to feed the Sunteth as a sign of goodwill to the Sunteth and its race. Said food often times are exotic goods from across the land, from fresh carefully prepared wholesale whale from Ionia to live krug beast or sentinels. Said offering are also a good time to showcase your wealth and social standing to the community in a way that is not seen as wasteful or decadent. As a symbol, the Sunteth stands for longevity, endurance, peace and adaptability, as well as appearing on the crest of the Sahmarians as well as their coinage. As contrast to the bridge imagery used for everyday jewelry and decoration, imagery of the Sunteth are treated with more reverence, often time embedded onto personal memento such as a locket or family crest rings. It is also commonly seen in tattoos and body marking designs.
Clothing, Art and Cuisine:
A true melting pot of civilizations, Sahmarian culture takes notes from almost all other culture with their own twist on it, while still maintaining a core and distinctive mark. Sahmarian clothing can incorporate Ionian patterns with Noxian hard and rugged shape and a touch of Freljord shamanic trinkets, but maintains the principles of being lose clothing, breathable fabric, multi-layered cloth and long robes or cloak extending least to the knees, with scarfs and sashes a commonly seen sight. Jewelry is common, from silver and gold to ivory and gem stones, extravagant jewelry are a distinct mark of Sahmarian fashion, and are thought to have emerged to offset the Sahmarian comparatively plainer lose clothing.
Sahmarian music is a form of throat-singing backed by light percussion and sometime flutes. A wide variety exist, from the street musician singing to invite customers to his corner with songs of riches and exotic artifacts of the land to the retelling of ancient history, set as backdrop to a dance performance for the high class’s entertainment. “The Golden Sunteth” is an exceedingly common song for its simplicity and highly relatable lyric, which is the brief retelling of the Sahmarian’s history, as well as telling of the virtue of the land and the people, ending with praise for the Sunteth. A common misconception is that The Golden Sunteth is the Sahmarian’s anthem, while the truth is that the Sahmarian settlements are too lose to be considered a unified state or nation, much less agreeing on an official anthem.
Engravings and metal working are two areas where the Sahmarian visual art focuses on. They possess distinctive features such as the bridge and the scarab symbolism, the focus on small intricate detailing as opposed to the larger structures and features and the usage of patterning with higher regularity than other civilization. Examples can be seen on the bridges in a Sahmarian settlement, or on their various jewelry and decorative items such as scabbards, hand mirrors or personal lock boxes. Comparatively, their painting and drawing techniques are underdeveloped and are often time employed in conjunction with and to support the aforementioned engravings and metalwork.
The Sahmarian food are most often time dried meat and vegetable for long storage time, portability and ease of preparation, though the rich do have access to exotic delicacies thanks to the various trade routes running through any given settlement. To compliment these dry foods (and to chase it too) is a drink called Honsou, a slightly alcoholic drink of herbal tea and fermented “milk”. The “milk” is in fact a type of sweet, muddy white secretion of the Hons beetle being fed sugar cane. While the Hons beetle are primarily used to produce dyes, they continue to secrete this “milk” to feed their young, so after enough Hons are collected for the next cycle, Sahmarian dye farmer simply collect these secretion to make Honsou. Described as thick, sweet, warm and full-bodied with a distinctive and hard to describe tang and after-smell, the Honsou is a love it or hate it acquired taste, as those who can brace their initial tasting and smelling of this strong drink will find themselves with a fulfilling and nutritious drink that goes with almost everything, while being easy to store and produce.
Values and Temperament:
The Sahmarian are a chiefly mercantile culture, and as such consider wits, ingenuity, adaptability and a diplomatic mindset their chief values. They are generally a laidback and easy going people personally, but sly and ruthless when it comes to business. To other Sahmarians, personal and business lives are very separate, and they rarely hold a grudge or hostility due to what happens on the market. They regularly employ underhanded tactic in trading, and those on the receiving ends simply accept that all is fair when it comes to money, and lament that they haven’t thought of it first, and occasionally even compliment their adversary on their clever tricks. In is in fact common for cut throat competitors to share a drink at the local inn and complement one another on their underhanded tactics like players of a grand and complicated game. Incidentally, the Sahmarian favorite pastimes are various forms of competitive board games instead of physical sports, which isn’t very practical in the claustrophobic streets of Sahmarian settlement.
Greed and ambition are also considered virtues among the Sahmarian. Lavish shows of wealth and luxury are not considered tacky or distasteful unless they are wasteful of food or water, and often times are celebrated by the locals. On occasions when the decadent rich wants to show off a new statue or a new installment in his lavish estate, he will throw a party with an open door policy. The rich gets to show off his riches to all the locals and take pride in their compliments and the company of guesses, while the locals are treated to a high class meal and other luxuries. Leftovers are then donated to the local Kharnat to be fed to the Sunteth, as an offering for good health and prosperity.
The Sahmarian also pays special interest to the minutia and details, both physically and legally. “Reading the small prints” has practically become an idiomatic expression for Sahmarian bs’ing their way out of, or into, a situation. Every single detail of a contract or document is studied and analyzed, to be used later on when the situation arises. This also leads them to be notoriously pedantic in all facets of life, with each word in a sentence carefully chosen to avoid exploitation.
The Sahmarians are pacifist and diplomats, preferring to talk or buy their way out of a situation. When faced with danger that these two cannot overcome, they will flee the scene with haste, as well as employing every trick in the bag to throw off their pursuer. “Honor” is a phrase lost upon the Sahmarians, and they see those with militaristic culture and rigid adherence to an honor code as unintelligent brutes, lacking in creativity and nuances. Sahmarian merchant are often surrounded by retinues of paid mercenaries and guards, who are all too eager to earn their paychecks