Lorgan's Notes: The Nevemere

The Nevemere began as a group of small clans with common ancestry, in the rainforest of the Snake's Head Peninsula. After the ecological disaster caused by dryans, their home turned into a desert, and they changed in kind.
 
Research:
Nevemere
by our intrepid Finder hero, Lorgan the Humble   In this Research Document:
 
all images by Shanda Nelson unless otherwise stated
 
Jyotirmoy Gupta from Unsplash
Nevemere wanderer youth
 
 

The Nevemere

  The Nevemere are the better-known native nomads of the Snake's Den (while Voristi travel the desert as well, they do not have the numbers of the Nevemere). They are tall, tanned humanoids with orange to brown hair, and webbed fingers and toes that belie a watery beginning (as does their name. Nevemere means 'forever ocean'). Their eyes are typically coated with black makeup to protect them from the sun's glare.   The nomads who traverse the wastes (wanderers) typically wear their hair short. Landed Nevemere sport longer hair, though it rarely goes past the middle of their back. They use razors to trim their locks. Vi-van like the traditional style of front buns and braids and ponytails, with free-flowing hair in back, so if you see someone with those styles, treat them with reverence.
 
They love jewelry, especially polished stone. They make beaded necklaces and bracelets and wear them both in formal and informal settings. They prefer dangling earrings that flutter in the desert winds, though the dor-corous wear hoops tangled together.   Makeup is usually black, but whites and reds are common colors. They don't reserve it for the eyes, but apply it on any part of the face. Both sexes looking for mates will draw designs on their faces, representing beauty and creativity. There are no formal marriage ceremonies, just an agreement to join. If the agreement falls apart, the two tell others they're no longer together, and they move on to their next relationship. Any children go with the mother.
 
watch.jpg
 
man Zakariae Daoui from Unsplash
rocks Jake Mackos from Unsplash

Watching for rock storms
 
Nevemere are not shy folk, the landed in particular. While they wear heavy materials against wind-blown sand or for work, when they're on their leisure time or if employed in non-manual jobs, they're nearly or completely unclothed. It's hot, and they refuse to roast.
 
The leadership and the wealthy use little to no clothing as a means to distinguish themselves from the common nomad (since common nomads often work, and therefore need to wear something to protect against the elements). More prudish Finders might wish to visit alternative habitations such as Sunbright Temple, Kepher, or the Grindal Oasis because insulting the leadership is not a good idea. Vi-van are especially sensitive to disdain of their traditions.
 
NOTE: The nights in the desert can get COLD. Like hypothermia-cold. Traditionalists believe in wearing less even during the darker hours, and shivering is considered a sign of weakness. Landed Nevemere prescribe to this more than wanderers, but both show disdain for shuddering. If you have non-nomad natives in your group, it's best that they wear heavier clothing and not shiver.
 
 
dor-carous
Mike Jones from Pexels
Dor-carous

Leadership: Dor-carous

  The dor-carous, or descendants of Carous, are the hereditary leaders of the Nevemere. All claim their lineage from Carous, the man who first prayed to Darkness to help his people and founded Black Temple in the process. Both men and women can take the mantle, though men have a more accepted voice in this role (conservative nomads believe men should become dor-carous, and women should become vi-van).   Depending on the size of the community, there can be one dor-carous or a council of them. Councils have a spokesperson but not a single leader. Black Temple has the most, with fourteen.
 
    Traits:
  • Inventive in dealing with unexpected disasters
  • Good-looking enough to cajole others through their beauty/handsomeness
  • Creative in solutions to local problems (water shortages, etc)
  • Direct battle, whether against other beings or the many terrible creatures that roam the sands
  • Willingness to listen to vi-van and absorb their advice
  Humbleness before Darkness and the Snake and presence at religious observances used to be a pre-requisite, but that dropped out of the assumed role around a thousand years previous, and I'm not certain why. I think all religious activity was transferred to the vi-van.
 

 
Naeim Jafai from Unsplash
Vi-van

Leadership: Vi-van

  The vi-van are Nevemere wise women. Their tradition stretches back to before the desert formed, and many of their ranks played an important role in leading their people during disasters. Vi-van are always women; a male counterpart, the vi-cad, are basically assistants for the vi-van. They have no official voice in society. While there is no assumption of heritage, most vi-van come from long lines of women who donned this role. Nowadays, especially in Black Temple, the vi-van are from dor-carous families.
 
    Traits:
  • Inventive in dealing with unexpected culture clashes
  • Caretaker of tradition and culture
  • Sewer of religious tapestries that are imbued with magic and hung in the community's main temple
  • Direct religious ceremonies, with the most prominent ones designed to revere Darkness and the Snake
  • Willingness to advise dor-carous, but to also understand when to get out of the way
  The split between conservative vi-van and progressive vi-van is growing. Conservatives cling to tradition as they cling to the last drop of water in an oasis, while progressives wish to expand their influence and open the Nevemere to outsiders. They see this as the future, if the Nevemere wish to remain viable leaders of the desert.
 
 

Landed Nevemere

  When I say landed, I mean landed. They have an aversion to stepping outside their settlements if they can avoid it (and since they don't wear much clothing, I'm betting this keeps them from getting sunburnt). They look down upon those, like guides, who must.   While Black Temple is the exception (completely underground, made of black stone), most landed Nevemere live in communities where they have a central oasis and buildings spanning away from it, all covered in tent fabric. They have tall poles keeping the canvas out of the way, and there are no breaks in the cover until the edges of the community is reached. Some even house their Spits and ronyx under canopy. Houses are clay brick or stone brick (easy to find building materials) with flat tops and no windows because of the rock storms. Vi-van spell it all to withstand the pelting, with varying success.   The oasis has special fabric that collects moisture from the air and adds it to the pool below.
  • interact with non-Nevemere more, but see spirits as cultural enemies
  • are less strict about hierarchy, but more strict about wealth=status. They can treat the common Nevemere poorly and deny them help in times of need
  • see the dor-carous as supreme leaders, rather than the vi-van
  • do not hold as strong a grudge against the Voristi
  • see Darkness as their savior from the desert's cruelty
  • vi-van consider themselves descended from Cleso, so believe they have a divine link to both Darkness and the Snake
  • speak the common Evenacht tongue. Only the vi-van know their traditional language, Gesu. This causes difficulties when the wandering Nevemere want to settle in town.
 

Wandering Nevemere

  They wander. In the past, clans often followed oases, trying to hit the next one before it dried up, but nowadays they do more in the way of bringing the landed supplies from far distant coastal docks. They set up a small community outside these settlements, consisting of tents spelled for rock storms, or they take shelter in caves, load supplies, then be off.   Wanderers use wagons that are pulled by spits or ronyx, and they have special sliders made from Death's Stand wood that they fit under wheels for use in sandy terrain. They walk next to their beasts; only the leadership rides. The sick are kept in a separate wagon towards the back of the caravan line, though, from all accounts, they are better cared for than what the landed Nevemere manage.   Why do they still wander? It's not for adventure. They tour sacred sites and their vi-van offer prayers to various syimlin, and they care for the oases scattered about the Snake's Den. They believe they keep their people hale and whole through the effort and mock the landed for not doing the same.
  • interact with non-Nevemere less, but are not as adverse to spirits
  • wealth≠status. Good Leadership is more important
  • see the vi-van as supreme leaders, rather than the dor-carous
  • elders hold a stronger grudge against the Voristi, younger do not
  • see Darkness as the landed's excuse for their ill-treatment of the wanderers
  • prefer the Snake, and claim their vi-van are the only wise women he acknowledges
  • speak their traditional language, Gesu. This causes difficulties when wandering Nevemere want to settle in town.
 
NOTE: The grudge against the other major nomadic people, the Voristi, seems to come from their refusal to see spirits as ancestor killers (the dryans destroyed the rainforest and brought misery, and they were spirits, so therefore spirit=bad). While the hate has dwindled in modern times, traditionalists still despise them, especially since they've gotten wealthy off the Grindal Oasis and through trade.
 

The Younger Generations

  For both landed and wandering Nevemere, there is a huge break happening between the older generations and the younger generations. Much of the discontent comes from the lower classes, who don't have much to begin with, but are expected to support dor-carous and vi-van and their families through clan taxes despite the fact these leaders already have enough wealth to support their extended families with money to spare.   The younger lot see it as an infuriating way to keep them as uneducated, poorly paid labor for the pleasure of the Nevemere leadership. The Voristi's even distribution of wealth, education for all rather than just the leaders' families, and the fact they come and go from the desert as they please, are attractive examples they want to follow. For Finders, promising a Nevemere youth the chance to escape the desert in return for being a guide to the Snake's Den is lucrative, for both parties. Just make certain you follow through. I'm told snake curses are NOT fun.
 
  • believe everyone should get an education, not just the kids whose families can afford to send them to school outside the desert
  • believe that the current system is exploitative
  • believe that spirits are not the danger traditionalists believe
  • see the Voristi as inspirational rather than enemies
  • believe that even the poorest wanderer should be able to leave the desert if they wish
  • see superstition, like snake tattoos for luck, and religious taboos, like avoiding the Snake's Den temple, as old-timey and not relevant to modern sensibilities
 

 
man Houssam Korichi from Unsplash

Snake Tattoo. These can be anywhere, of any design, and normally worn with pride. Those who have them did something the dor-carous or the vi-van recognized. It's an honor, to be allowed to wear one. Of course, that honor has been going more and more to dor-carous family members, and not to clan members who earned the right.
 
 
 
 
Craig Whitehead from Unsplash
Water hunter dancing in downpour

Labor

  Labor is almost strictly done by non-carous classes. There are merchants, but social divisions are really dor-carous and their families, and everyone else.   For landed Nevemere, the most common jobs are that of guide, farmer, and merchant. For wanderers, spit/ronyx/cow caretaker, tent builder and maintainer, and beast/water hunter. There are no gender divisions in the labor market.
 
Note: Despite the glorified positions of dor-carous and vi-van, water hunters are held in the highest esteem, and if you get on their good side, you'll find dealing with all other Nevemere easier. If you hire Nevemere guides, pay the water hunter more. They all will realize you understand the importance of water and how highly regarded water hunters are in their culture. It's a way to show that you respect them.   Water hunters participate in the most important rituals the Nevemere have. During the rainy season, they perform multiple dances in the downpours, which ensures the continuation of oases and the underground river through Black Temple.   Not surprisingly, water hunters revere Arstet. Darkness and the Snake are nice and all, but Water brings the water. Surprisingly, they don't hold Nem Hala in as high regard. You'd think Weather would attract them since she sends the clouds that bring rain.
 
 

Religion

  For people who believe a syimlin directly interfered and saved their culture, they're not that religious. Most rituals are completed by vi-van, and others leave them to it. There are no mass ceremonies where the people gather to hear what their syimlin asks of them. The younger generations, especially, show disdain for open prayer (except for water hunter rituals). For the commoner, they sing, dance, entertain, and none of it is done for a deity's pleasure.   The Snake is a different story. He is beloved but considered extremely dangerous. Some believe he's the cause of the rainforest turning to desert, and providing correct offerings is the only thing that keeps him from blighting the desert (kinda hard to fathom, what more of a blight he could produce). The vi-van conduct this appeasement, and while other Nevemere accompany them to the Snake's Den temple complex, most never enter the Underruin because they consider it too sacred.   They know the Snake isn't a syimlin, but they worship him as if he were. As a Finder, be cautious about insulting him. There's no quicker way to get left behind by your guides.

Comments

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18 Jul, 2022 01:11

Complex and detailed!

18 Jul, 2022 01:59

Yep! Thanks for reading! And that's probably why I only have five articles done for summer camp. Heh.

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