The Lisdanese The Don'karrix are a nautical race and likely developed elsewhere before migrating to the island of Lisdan and settling there. In their mythology there is mention of an ancient and no longer worshipped Goddess Lelix unravelling a road on the ocean for them to leave the primeval pits to reach the illuminating light of civilization. There has been some speculation that they might have originated somewhere on the Western Continent, but as no vestiges or ruins have been found of any lost culture or ancient civilization, this is still merely speculation.
They settled first on Eva'Nutra, flourished, and then discovered and staked out land on the Eastern Continent mainland. Their naval forces are the best in the world, and it is partly due to this resource that the Lisdanese are the ones who mapped the seas, skies and land. They are the primary scientists in the world.
A few terms to clarify: Lisdan: The country of Lisdan. Lisdanese: The English adaptation of the people of the country of Lisdan. In their own tongue they are called 'Don'karrix'. The Suoro call them 'Doncarruss', the Muzina call them 'Don'Karez', to the Speritanians they are 'Kilizdan', and 'Donn Karru' to the Bodovians.
Appearance: The Lisdanese are a swarthy, dark-skinned people as tied to the sea as a non-amphibious race can be. They have blue-black skin with a smooth, velvety complexion that looks robust and healthy when perspiring or flushed. They have brown eyes - though the shade varies quite a bit from a pale honey-coloured brown to a nearly black-brown. Their hair is misty blue-white, generally growing in white and turning pale blue at the edges or tips. Their skulls are slightly eliptical, with an almost bulbous rear portion to the skull. They have largely lobed ears, though rounded at the curve like that of a human. Their noses are broad and often flat against the face, with full lips that often protrude past the nose and smallish-rounded chins.
The men are between 5'5" and 6'1" and the women are between 5'2" and 5'9". They both have very long torsos and relatively short legs by human standards. Their wrists and ankles are thicker than those of a human, giving them less of a progrssive line. Their feet are large and thick and without any pronounced arch, making them flat-footed and stable, which suits them well on the boats.
The men can and do grow beards, some letting them grow as long as their waists and tying them off with rings of stone or cuffs of metal. The men are also prone to thick body hair on their chests and navels, with pubic hair in their armpits and groins that sometimes spreads to the back or their shoulders and buttocks respectively. They almost never develope hair on their legs or arms. The women, while having hair in their pubic region and under their arms have very little anywhere else. The women tend to have sizable, heavy breasts, and are prone to heavy-set thighs, especially after bearing children.
Fashion: Traditional Lisdanese clothing is made of oiled cloth so that it is stiff and waterproof, like sail canvas. This thick, durable fabric protects them from the elements, and allows them to line it with fur, fishscale, batted cotton or padding for warmth and insulation. As the crafting of the fabric and the waterproofing of the stitching and other fasteners improved, the designs of the clothing itself got more complex. Now they incorporate military-like jackets and cloaks, with body suits that fasten into the boots and gloves so that no skin but the face is exposed. Men of the Lisdanese Imperials wear a double cord over their left shoulder and women over their right. On land, these water-proof materials aren't required, and much more rustic garments are worn, with both men and women wearing calf-length pants, loincloths, vests, loose shirts, head wraps and gauze wraps on hands and feet for workers.
They often peirce their ears with stone or metal, but on men it is usually only one ear and not both. Lip and nose piercings are also common, but usually studs rather than hoops that could get caught on things.
Marriage: The Lisdanese accept proposals from the man to the woman, or vice versa. Engagements are quite common as a test period, during with the prospective couple must get the blessing of their respective families, and will move in together to test their compatibility. Before the wedding itself, both members must fast for three days - an abstinence which includes food, sex, substance intake, or sleep. They may only drink water in order to purify their bodies, and must meditate, trance, or focus to keep their mind clear and alert. On the third day, they take a ritual walk for 1 hour, as slow and steady as they please, at the end of which, they visit the Kozji, or marriage minister. The men are circumsized, and the women are douched in a cleansing ceremony. When these acts are done, and both are purified, they are joined together for the first time in three days in ritual wedding garb. All of their extended family will be present for the banquet, and the husband and wife are seated facing each other.
The traditional marriage banquet must contain 8 dishes:
1 dish for each of the flavour palettes: sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter, bland/clear, smoky, and rich/heavy. Generally, the sweet is served as a main dessert course, the clear as a broth or beverage that separates the other courses, the bitter a tonic or fermented dish that cleanses the palette after dinner and before dessert, and the rich/heavy as some sort of fatty dish - usually a meat.
Marriage can be undertaken out of romantic love (shishun), friendly love (miershun), familial alliance (erxun yimah), strategic/financial alliance (wishua yimah), breeding/security (falyit). All are considered valid reasons to marry, though the sort of celebration offered at each kind of marriage tends to vary. For instance, seductive dancers are generally only present for Shishun marriages; comedy troupes are popular for Miershun, and tragedies or troubadours are popular for either type of Yimah. However, music is generally a safe choice - though any respectable musician will want to know what type of wedding it is, so that appropriate songs may be chosen/prepared.
Mail Order Brides: As the original 'motherland' was the Island portion of the country, many of the disenfranchised yotuhs who went to settle the mainland did so on their own. Young, without any real wealth to speak of, and with uncertain prospects, most of them went alone. After they had hacked out a dwelling for themselves on the shore, they sent home in the hopes of procuring wives and thereby settling this new land they had 'conquered' . However, for the most part, the higher class women they attempted to court wanted nothing to do with leaving their status or university in order to pursue a rough existence in the fronteirs. It was at this point that the Lisdanese tradition of Mail Order Brides, or Yilkuzun, began.
The first Yilkuzun were orphan girls or the unwanted children of prostitutes and other ne'er-do-wells. These girls were marked with a distinctive dot tattoo above their eyebrows, (1 to 5 dots above each brow) which ranked their proficiency and suitability as wives. The dots can be summarized thusly:
Left brow (starting towards the nose and moving out towards the temple): 1 - eloquent, 2 - etiquette, 3 - hard-working, 4 - educated, 5 - innovative
Right brow (starting towards the nose and moving out towards the temple): 1 - fertile, 2 - good heritage, 3 - good health, 4 - attentive, 5 - creative
Further, if the dots are inked in blue, the wife was an orphan child; if in white, the wife was a cast-off. By these dots alone, the male can choose his wife, and the higher the dot count, the more expensive the woman. A refund will only be granted if one of the dots proves incorrect (i.e. fertile, but the wife is barren). In order to avoid these sorts of embarrassments, it is crucial to only deal with Registered Marriage Houses.
Coming of Age:
Comparative Statistics: Intelligence: 15/16. One of the most intelligent races from a cerebral standpoint. They are one of the most creative races, extremely good for invention, mechanics, mathematics, sciences, and are the creators and world leaders in fire arms and nautical endeavours. They are responsible for charting the skies, land and oceans. They made major contributions to the study of evolution, language, the solar system and biology. The only reason their intelligence is not rated a 16 is because they refuse to believe in the existence of magic or gods, trying again and again - and failing - to find an adequate answer in science. Wisdom: 7/16. In Wisdom they fall short, again relying on their cerebral perception of the world for their answers. And while this unadulterated view enables them to see components and theory extremely well, they are missing the intuitive, the personal and the emotional touch in their endeavours. They feel rightly enough, but do not put much stock in the effect or meaning of emotions, and refuse to allow them to become involved with studies or the full picture of the world. This detatchment and skepticism greatly inhibittheir full understanding of the more subtle aspects of life, the universe and other living beings. They do however have fantastic medicine, using 'nervous lines' in the body to affect the natural magic in the body's composition to initiate emotional, mental or physical healing - though, they of course speak of it in purely scientific terms. Agility: 7/16. Not terribly agile on land, they are quite competant aboard a vessel. Truly, they are a nautical race and meant for the skies and seas. Their wrists and ankles have a wedge-shaped construction limiting their flexibility for things like quick foot work, weapons finesse etc. However, it does offer them a very stable grip and stance for things like fishing, craftsmanship, architecture and hard labour. They root well, but this slows them down. Strength: 9/16. They are marginally stronger than humans, but the capacity of their strength is much the same distribution as that of humans. As they are descended from Monkeys, their endurance, raw power and stamina is much like ours. They are generally better in long-distance terms rather than sprints or fast, explosive endeavours, and have a good constitution. Their grip and bite strength is good, and their bracing for physical exertion extremely competant. Resistance: 8/16. In resistance they are completely comparable to humans. They are suceptible to poisons, diseases, infections and damage just as we are. Physically, they get cuts, burns and bruises as we do, being able to resist an average amount of pain or trauma before unconscious responses kick in. They channel magic rather well, which only helps to confirm their disbelief in it. Recovery: 7/16. Theire recovery is not overly good, but a big part of this is their refusal to use magical healing. Their denial of the intuitive world-connected side of themselves hampers their ability to deal with ailments once they are contracted, often exacerbating, and allowing sickness to root deeper into their bodies, minds and spirits. Often they decay and break down in old age, gaining a plethora of health concerns that cause infirmity, dementia and other age-related woes. NMP: 0/6. The Lisdanese are the only race in the world that cannot connect to the Manna Weave and Huskline. Whether this is an evolutionary progression due to their disbelief, their loss of active deities or whether it is the cause for their denial of the existence of magic is unclear. They are able to use non-casting cost magics, like Alchemy, Mind Speech and Channelling, however, as they do not consider these magics, but cerebral sciences. On extremely rare occassions a Lisdanese will become convinced of the existence of magic so strongly and so ardently, that they will actually force themselves to connect with a rating of 1 NMP. These rare few are known as Big Sky Sages.