Korbasan Ethnicity in Melior | World Anvil

Korbasan (kor-BAS-san)

A mix of mountainous and seafaring folk known for their sweet Ember liquor and fine wines.

Listen, you've got to stop calling them mountain pirates - derogatory stereotypes like that are a punishable offense. Come on, let's go for a few shots of ember and I'll tell you alllll about Korbasan culture. Now tell me, have you ever surfed a wave before? How about a mountain? Well, these folks know how to do BOTH.
— A local guide
Stranded on the slopes of The Great Stubs of Anvil and hammered by the Sea of Esses, the people of Korbasa are best known for their seafaring, copper mining, and excellent wines.   With their long history of trading, Korbasan culture has spread through the The Jolundrian Empire and across Melior.
Most notably, words and phrases from the sailing cant, Korba, have mixed with their original Portlendian language and can be found in many far reaching countries of the world.   A long period of piracy tarnished the popular image of Korbasan folks during The First Age around 300 years ago and references to this have made deep roots in childrens tales, novels, songs, and theatre. Whilst they were originally painted in a negative light, Korbasans have spoken up and reworded the tales to be positive and historically accurate.

Ancestry & Demographics

The capital city Sunja was the earliest settlement in Korbasa and was set up as a shipping port for neighbouring countries to trade across the sea in Arklend. The ships brought foreign coin, investors, and many new folks looking to settle down in the developing area.   The largest population of Korbasan folks have Jerani and Portlendian ancestry; Portlend conquered Jeran and claimed its land, capturing many prisoners of war. After many diplomatic negotiations, an agreement was made that Portlend would "release" its prisoners to Korbasa where they could start a new life.
Each year they were sent a single ship of provisions and materials to support their development, and many Jerani and Portlendian families migrated to join them.   The folk demographics of Korbasa are predominantly corvidans, with varied plumage pertaining to their heritage. The rest of the population are mixed with many human folk and fauns, though since the opening of rifts to other realms after The Rupture there are an increasing number of other folk types living in the region.  
    The flag of Korbasa has five colours. Red and white were the original colours from the flag of Jeran, the stripes of blue represent the Portlend flag, and the colours fading from blue to black are believed to signify "the ocean between us" and how Portlend gave the Jerani prisoners of war "a new start".
The Korbasan people really did make a name for 'emselves! An' now their copper industry ships even b'yon th' rif's!

In fac- [hic] I bet 'alf the coins in yer pocket are mad've Korbasan copper!
— A local guide, after consuming one too many shots of ember.

Cultural Expressions

Arts & Music

Flutes and pipes are the musical instruments of choice for Korbasan folk, and their melodies travel far on the winds.

Korbasan pottery and ceramics are fired with lustrous metallic glazes and are shaped with many loops so that they can be hung from colourful twine.


Korbasans are well known for their tasty seafood dishes, but it's their wines that are famous around the world.

Top exports include their sharp Newick red and the alluringly sweet liquor called Ember - known for making more than your mouth tingle with warmth...


With The Great Stubs looming over their backs and the Sea of Esses at their doorstep, it's no wonder Korbasan folk are well known for their surfing and snowsurfing events. Athletes competing in the world famous Beluvian X Games tournament come to Korbasa to hone their skills in this perfect terrain.

Mountain Pirates

An era of piracy began in Korbasa during 266 of the First Age when Portlend applied heavy taxes upon all Korbasan vessels - something they had no right nor power to lawfully impose.
This sparked heated disputes and many traders began smuggling operations to keep their businesses afloat.  
In the forty-six years that followed, smuggling devolved into all out piracy; traders banded together in fleets and amassed mercenaries amidst their crew.   Songs and literature spread tales of famous pirates that roamed the Sea of Esses, plundering from any Portlendian ship that crossed their paths. It got so extreme that other traders would rather take the longer voyage around Anvil than to sail past Korbasa during this time.   A famous treasure hoard was recently discovered by Elma Pritchell in the lost and ruined mountaintop city of Salore.   Not only did she find the largest collection of loot known in the history of Anvil, but she also discovered the Wings of Salore - a lost technology that (in theory) allowed corvidans (and possibly other folks) to fly.   Her research team is piecing together evidence that currently supports the popular story of mountain pirates who soared down from the skies to ambush lone ships for their cargo.

Korba Cant

Korba is a sailing cant (or secret language) that developed between Korbasan traders in order to communicate hidden meanings within common words. The phrases all sound familiar, using nautical and seafaring terms to refer to other things.  
While Korba itself is not a true language, many Portlendian speaking traders still use Korba cant to haggle a better deal at the docks. Trade has spread many of these phrases far and wide into other territories of the Jolundrian Empire.  
Corvidan by TJ Trewin
Korba Phrase Meaning
Admiral of the narrow seas One who drunkenly vomits into the lap of the person next to them
Anglers Petty thieves who use hooked tools to swipe goods
Capsized Overturned, messy
Cloth market Between the sheets, bed
Catch a wave To find a good bargain
Foundling An orphan
Spliced Married
An' that's only half of it! The rest I'll tell you tomorrow - I'm headed to the cloth market!
— A yawning local guide
Folk Demographics
- 29% Human
- 4% Faun
- 65% Corvidan
- 2% Other
A corvidan parent playfully launches their young child into the sky, where they gleefully daydream of being able to fly like the birds high in the sky above them.
Corvidan parent and child by TJ Trewin
Related Locations

Growth of a Nation

  • 62 1A
    The town of Sunja is established as a trade hub with routes to Kondura and Pengaresh.
  • 67 1A
    After conquering Jeran, Portlend releases their prisoners of war (along with many other imprisoned folks) and sends them to start their new life in Korbasa, "the arid backside of Anvil". The town of New Falwick is founded (named after Portlend's capital).
  • 74 1A
    Small towns pop up along the coast, leading from Newick (the evolved name of New Falwick) along the coast to the trade markets of Sunja.
  • 112 1A
    It is believed that the once-great city of Salore was established during this time.
  • 153 1A
    Sunja develops into a sprawling, industrious city and is formally declared the capital of Korbasa.
  • 181 1A
    The surge of copper industry brings great prosperity and new trade agreements to Korbasa.
  • 234 1A
    Construction of Kortel, the grant city fort carved directly into the mountains.
  • 266 1A
    Portlend applies heavy trade taxes, sparking smuggling operations and increased use of the cant slang, Korba.
  • 312 2A
    Smuggling devolved into full-blown piracy and Korba is more widely spoken on-shore.
  • 368 2A
    More shipyards constructed, providing better ships for longer voyages circumnavigating the coasts of Anvil.
  • 397 2A
    Along with many allied countries, Korbasa joins the Jolundrian Empire.
  • 410 2A
    Korbasan ships help fight off Orubian invaders in the Shattered Isles, defending the Sea of Esses.
  • 427 2A
    A huge global interest in trading with Korbasa arose following their victories at sea.
  • 514 2A
    The Rupture.
  Korbasan sailors often carry translation guides and personal dictionaries when travelling to foreign territories to trade. As such, the Common Calendar has become a popular essential carry item.   This circular calendar has one side translated for imperial months, and the reverse side shows the date but in Rréraliázi, the language of the Melopian Commonwealth.  
The Common Calendar
Technology / Science | Nov 30, 2022

An inclusive calendar used as a tool to spread propaganda through education.

Language | Nov 30, 2022

Known throughout regions under Melopian rule as "The Common Language".


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Sep 7, 2022 15:52

What an awesome tour! Can't wait for the other half. :>

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Sep 9, 2022 17:55 by TJ Trewin

Thanks :D

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Sep 7, 2022 18:21 by LexiCon (WordiGirl)
Sep 9, 2022 17:55 by TJ Trewin

Thank youuu!

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Sep 9, 2022 17:41 by Time Bender

Wow, this is such a beautiful article, so many pretty pictures and things to interact with! This is also wonderfully creative, and had to take a while to come up with everything. Great work! :D

Sep 9, 2022 17:54 by TJ Trewin

Thanks so much! :D

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Sep 9, 2022 23:39

This is an amazing article. I love your map style. I hate making maps and I appreciate gorgeous ones like those you have attached to your chronicle. I've been really enjoying lurking around Melior and this is an excellent addition to your body of work :)

Be sure to check out my entry for this month's challenge: Ancient Carrion
Sep 10, 2022 13:18 by TJ Trewin

Thank you so much! :D

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Sep 13, 2022 15:47 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I really like the little section on cultural expressions, particularly about the pottery. I bet they're pretty. :D   As always, your slang is masterful. <3

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Sep 14, 2022 14:35 by TJ Trewin

Thank youuu! <3

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Sep 15, 2022 14:31 by K.S. Bishoff

This is amazing!

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Sep 15, 2022 21:04 by TJ Trewin

Thank you so much!

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Sep 26, 2022 04:37 by Polina "Line" Arteev

I love that little demographics graph in the sidebar! Lots of wonderful content in this article.

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Sep 26, 2022 17:19 by TJ Trewin

Thank you! :D

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Sep 26, 2022 19:43 by E. Christopher Clark

So many great bits, from the mention of surfing mountains to the Korba Cant glossary near the end and everything in between. Off to check out your Chronicle now!

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Sep 27, 2022 12:09 by TJ Trewin


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Apr 8, 2023 05:39

Lovely article, would you mind if I asked you how you got that graph of the population demographics? Was it an image you used or is that a feature I'm not aware of?

Apr 8, 2023 17:09 by TJ Trewin

It's custom made :D I created it using containers and styled it with CSS. (An image probably would have been easier, though!)

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Apr 8, 2023 23:44

Cool! Thanks for the insight and the reply!

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