Cruvans Ethnicity in Creus | World Anvil
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Toreo frowned at the sight. They were in the middle of the empty hills in the deep south of the Principality, not far away from the Wrecker's Shore somewhere in the Vannis District, and there shouldn't have been anything to see other than endless rolling scrub grass. But there was some sort of tent here nestled between two short hills, an old tent, colorfully decorated yet partially collapsed, but with clothes on a line, a sign of recent human activity. After dismounting their power-wagon, he kept a hand on his dagger as he approached, but Cara put a hand on his arm.   "No need for that." The Magistrate Valier pointed a black-gloved hand at the drying clothes. "This is either a very small child or someone without the stature to do us much harm." She strode up to the tent confidently to poke her head inside, then waved the Marshal over.   Inside the tent was an ancient old woman, sleeping with long, shallow breath, raspy and wet. She didn't stir at their entry. The tent was already small, but the collapse made it smaller; there was only barely room for the woman's small cot, a sack of old fruit, and a dilapidated chest of belongings. She was small and wizened, thin from malnutrition.   Cara already had a hand on her forehead. "Slight fever. Toreo, retrieve the medical kit from the wagon. This woman has been out here for some time alone and requires nutrition aid."   The Marshal frowned. "I may not have had the education of an Officer of the Principality, but this might be an old Cruvan lady. You think she wants our help?"   "Irrelevant. This woman needs water and salt." Magistrate Caranda Valier had an iron tone to her voice. "Etoilean progress demands that we help all who are in need, and she is a citizen of the Principality. Our duty to her is vouchsafed by Etoile, with no consideration for the opinions of the First Princeps or his peers."


Major language groups and dialects

Cruvans spoke a trader's pidgin composed of bits and pieces of all of the major trade languages of pre-Etoilean civilization, and intelligible enough by others to facilitate basic commercial transactions. It is unknown if there was a deeper 'Cruvan' language that they only spoke amongst each other; no records indicate as such, though many at the Academy argue that they must have had a native language of some type. All known written works by Cruvans were written in the languages of neighboring peoples and states.

Culture and cultural heritage

The Cruvans were a pre-Etoilean people that inhabited the southern coast of West Saibh, during the era of petty kingdoms. They were a cultural mismatch to the rest of the mostly agrarian cultures of the era, as they were nomadic hunter-gatherers wandering the vast and dry hills of their home lands, lands that most considered too poor and thinly populated to be worth claiming. This resulted in regular conflict with the neighboring states, who considered the Cruvans to be little more than poor thieves, especially when a Cruvan clan would appear along their border territories. Cruvans were typically barely tolerated at best, and subject to attack and persecution at worst.   After The War of Unification, the Cruvans were driven out of the lands they used to wander, as the new District of Vannis was created in order to pursue mineral claims that had been prospected in the area. The Principality of Etoile attempted to gather and settle them into a town built for the purpose, but the Cruvans regularly attempted to leave their new home to return to the hills, in direct defiance of Etoilean Progress. After a few years of this approach proved fruitless, the First Princeps decided that Progress demanded a more drastic approach - he forcibly dispersed all of the Cruvans he could find across the continent and required them to abandon their original culture, with all Cruvan children sent to special schools to assimilate them into Progress.    Within two generations, most Cruvans had been fully assimilated into Etoile, and their descendants usually have no knowledge of their ancestry, relegating the story of the Cruvan people to dusty archives at the Academy.

Shared customary codes and values

The historical Cruvans were one of the few lasting societies in the era of petty kingdoms that were collectivist in nature. Reasoned speculation from The Academy of Etoile point to the poor soil and few resources in their native lands as a root cause of this; Cruvans were the only people that had no concept of private property, with all material goods shared amongst themselves, parcelled out under the rules of the Cruvan religion (which has been lost to time). Accounts contemporary to their existence paint a less neutral picture, portraying Cruvans as a people that were forcibly expelled from all other lands due to their general hostility to other peoples and a willingness to steal resources from others.    All accounts agree that the Cruvans placed their clan and people first and were willing to do nearly anything to ensure their collective survival - modern day morality under Etoile has no direct mapping to this more introspective form of relative morality, though the Kheim have a similar basic idea underpinning their own society. This stood in generally stark contrast to the other peoples of Saibh, pre-Unification, who were more family oriented and were subservient to a nobility class. Cruvans, as far as can be determined, had no class structure or nobility, and all Cruvans participated equally in collective decision making, though nothing resembling a Cruvan state has ever existed in history.

Common Etiquette rules

Contemporary records emphasize the strict adherance Cruvans had to hospitality - guests to any Cruvan household would effectively be 'temporarily adopted' for the evening, and would never be turned away hungry, not even by the poorest or most threadbare of families. This was not, however, considered a gift, but a favor - the guest would be expected to do the same if their hosts ever came calling in the future, a regular point of contention and frustration to those who were unaware of this custom.   The emphasis on collective property meant that Cruvan people were expected to share anything they had virtually on demand, for some sort of collective use. For Cruvans that lived near other non-Cruvan people, this resulted in regular allegations of theft, as Cruvans would, for example, simply take tools that they needed from their neighbors, and would not understand why the neighbor would become upset.

Common Dress code

Some examples of old Cruvan dress survive in the anthropological research archives at The Academy of Etoile - mostly traveling leathers and roughspun clothing, meant for comfort and ease of repair, but dyed in bright splashes of color. This follows accounts of how Cruvan travelers were instantly recognizable in towns.

Art & Architecture

While some Cruvan people lived in settlements with neighboring peoples, most Cruvans were itinerants, living in small tentpole huts that could be raised and packed in under a day, and traveling with their families and pack animals across the hills and valleys. These small homes were lavishly decorated with materials and motifs local to the area, manzanita woodworks and imagery of deer and hill-lions. Due to their medium, however, few examples survive to the modern era.

Foods & Cuisine

Cruvan cuisine was not well regarded by contemporaries. As a non-agricultural people, their standout food was a meat preserve made from ground game meat, rendered fat, and dried fruit, known as 'tin meat' for its ability to keep for multiple seasons. While an excellent food for travelers and adventurers, it was ill suited to the ordinary farming villages of most of pre-Etoilean Saibh. One notable account considered the rest of Cruvan food 'bland' and 'not worthy of note', though presumably this food was derived from local game and gathered plants.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

The Cruvan were a highly religious people, though the exact details of their faith were not recorded by anyone other than perhaps the The Last Mythspeakers, who in any case will not recount stories for official archival. Vague outlines indicate something of druidic or shamanic origin, more in common with the stories and faiths from prehistory, prior to even the era of petty kingdoms. Only a few vague outlines can be surmised - a faith in some sort of nature god or goddess, from which all life was created and will return (indicating some element of cyclic belief not too dissimilar to old myths of the Askri), and a proscription against hoarding and greed, the requirement to share all of oneself in the collective. The traditions here were all oral in nature, with no known written holy words, artifacts, relics, or anything similar.

Funerary and Memorial customs

While there were no permanent settlements in the lands that the Cruvan wandered, it was notable that a specific location was marked as a boneyard for dead Cruvans and their favorite animals. Somewhere in the now-District of Vannis is a graveyard containing every Cruvan that was properly buried according to custom and religion. The location of this graveyard was a secret that the Cruvan kept from outsiders, and is unknown in the current day, as Vannis is a large and desolate District mostly devoid of major landmarks.
Encompassed species

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