Lumidari Ethnicity in Excilior | World Anvil


Cultural amalgamation

Their most audacious accomplishment is having created an entire culture based solely on the principle that they have no culture.
Anmar Anakar, Asjarian chamberlain, 1376 AoE
he Lumidari are the second-largest ethnic group on Excilior. Of all casterway peoples, they are the only ones who are commonly identified as "white", although they display a great variety in their phenotype from country-to-country, and region-to-region. Their traditional lands are considered to be most of northern Isleprimoton and the historically-contentious Sentinnarean region. Although there are numerous countries that primarily identify themselves as Lumidari, Thigny is widely seen as the ideological home of their culture, and the country's legendary founder - Abnold Camponimous Thigny - is warmly remembered as their founding father.  
Despite their implicit connection to Abnold Thigny, they are one of the few cultures that does not claim to have descended from a common set of ancestors. Abnold Thigny certainly had children, and there are many alive today who can still trace their heritage back to his name, but there were plenty of white people on Excilior before he arrived in 649 AoE, and many who immigrated to his lands had nothing in common with him genetically. When Abnold Thigny established the nation of Thigny (which would eventually give rise to the Lumidari), he laid out a groundwork for political nonaggression and, some would say, isolationism. But like nearly every casterway ethnic group, the Lumidari would not adhere to these ideals for long.  
Noctern Relations
Although all oplander cultures have at least some legacy of Noctern aggression, and Noctern persecution was well established before anyone identified themselves as Lumidari, the Lumidari nations were some of the first - and the most strident - to enact formalized genocidal policies toward their subterranean neighbors. They were also some of the first to suffer the withering consequences of (trying to) wage outright, protracted wars against the Nocterns. These conflicts have broken out, repeatedly, over thousands of years, with the first (and perhaps, the most famous) being the Nomadic Wars, which began in 1202 AoE.  
The irony of these conflicts is that, in more modern times, most Lumidari nations have had a longstanding unwritten policy of simply leaving the Nocterns alone. This somewhat-recent, and seemingly-peaceful, stance has nothing to do with any improved relations between the Noctern and Lumidari peoples. Quite the contrary. Racial animosity, mutual distrust, and outright hatred is alive-and-well between both cultures. But the Lumidari (after many painful lessons) seem to have learned that instigating a fight with the Noctern is akin to throwing rocks at a hornets' nest. Most Lumidari rulers and political leaders have come to realize that if they simply ignore the Nocterns altogether, it's quite easy for entire generations to pass without either culture bothering the other in any way.  
Sontsu Relations
Lumidari nations have learned no such lessons about the Sontsu. With the Sontsu people slowly expanding northward from their ancestral base at the southern edge of the Sontsu Peninsula, and with the Lumidari eagerly expanding southward from their original home in Thigny, the eventual clash of cultures in-and-around the strategic (and resource-rich) Sentinnarean region has been the stage for some of the most brutal and long-lasting wars in casterway history. After (literally) thousands of years of bloody conflict, Lumidari nations now control all of the countries that border on the Sentinnarean. However, these victories have come at a terrible cost and the "peace" that currently exists between these groups is best described as fragile and tenuous. Although there are currently no open conflicts between these two peoples (and the countries they control), the legacy of racial hatred between them runs deep and the wounds are still fresh. Despite the current, outward appearance of peace in the region, the Sontsu people openly contend that all lands in the Sontsu Peninsula are, by ancestral right, theirs, and the ongoing presence of Lumidari kingdoms on the northern edge of the peninsula is a continual source of (barely concealed) tension between them.
There will be no peace in this land so long as there is even one filthy, stinking, degenerate Sontsu slithering over that peninsula.
Vintcius Munatius Arrianus, Guilian king, 2206 AoR
Jontzu Relations
The other ethnic group that shares broad borders with the Lumidari is the Jontzu. Although these groups have no particular love for each other, they have enjoyed a long history that has been (mostly) devoid of conflict. This history of non-interference mostly stems from the fact that the Jontzu are famously insular, while the Sontsu have long been openly expansionist. Many Lumidari leaders have spoken derisively about the Jontzu (when they are amongst friendly company). But given the constant threat of renewed war with the Sontsu, the Lumidari have generally been loathe to initiate a second, draining campaign against the Jontzu. Such hesitance to initiate new aggression has also been supported by the fact that the Jontzu have a frightening, almost-mythical reputation for scorched-earth warfare. The live-and-let-live nature of Jontzu-Lumidari diplomacy has only been seriously threatened during those historical episodes when the Jontzu have openly allied with the Sontsu, or when they have been found to be collaborating.  
"White" Culture
The common view of the Lumidari is that they are the "white" culture. And while this observation is overly (incredibly) simplistic, it is often used because, as an ethnic group, they are more varied than nearly any other population. Their peoples' height, size, body type, hair texture, and facial features are quite diverse. But given that no other ethnic groups are primarily associated with the Lumidaris' skin color, this has become their defining trait when referenced by foreigners. However, this can occasionally cause tension with other white people on Excilior. This is because there have always been at least some white people who do not identify with the Lumidari at all. There were white people, individually or in minority communities, sprinkled throughout the population before Abnold Thigny ever established his nation as the future centerpiece of the Lumidari - and some of those communities never felt compelled to relocate to Isleprimoton or to adopt the newfound traditions of this then-embryonic culture. And to this day, there are still people falling to the planet via excilation - some proportion of which are white - who have no idea what the Lumidari are, and feel no connection to their ways. For these "independent" white communities, it can be taken as a significant insult when they are blindly labeled as Lumidari and are lumped in with all of the foreign traditions and the putative faults of a people with whom they have never identified.

Naming Traditions

Feminine names

Dolia, Elzna, Cheydva, Roshar, Elzinor

Masculine names

Jeshiah, Ishaiah, Saramon, Peasach, Avishar

Unisex names

Gorn, Javan, Ori, Shydra, Caramon

Family names

Thigny, Breck, Graitz, Herebron, Orkron


Major language groups and dialects

Even the most enchanting poem hits the ear as vulgar drivel when it is vomited from the mouth of a Lumidari speaking Komon.
Iriniya Amyrxan, Mapit troubadour, 3694 AoG
omon is the only language officially and routinely spoken amongst the Lumidari. Although they have, over the millennia, come to think of it as "their" language, anyone with a passing knowledge of casterway tongues understands that Komon did not originate amongst the Lumidari and it has always been something of a "utility belt" language for all regions and all cultures. The fact that the Lumidari do not have their "own" language feeds the narrative amongst some foreigners that they are not a "real" ethnic group or a "real" culture - but rather, a hodgepodge of traditions and ideals borrowed (stolen) from other societies, loosely identified by skin color.

Shared customary codes and values

lthough it's impractical (or even, illogical) to ascribe any single set of values to a culture that encompasses more than 40 million people, there are certainly some ideals that seem to be echoed repeatedly in Lumidari lore, and in the practices that are codified in their laws. The first such value is that of rugged individualism, coupled with a corollary admiration for a "pioneering spirit". This trope plays out in the founding stories of their nations, but it also applies at the personal level. Even in places where there is scant Lumidari influence (i.e., most of Islegantuan and Islemanoton), there is a persistent stereotype amongst all cultures that the secretive (and somewhat-odd) loner living completely by himself on some distant cliff or in some abandoned cave, is probably Lumidari. (And it's probably in everyone's best interest if they just leave him alone.)  
Epic Tales
Although they are not known as having a better (or worse) seafaring tradition than other cultures, some of the greatest epics of daring exploration center on Lumidari adventurers. These tales are almost always more myth than history, but they usually have some seeds of truth. The fact that these tales are so beloved in Lumidari culture strengthens their shared admiration for such adventurous spirits. The fact that these tales are even told at all in non-Lumidari lands only serves to cement the stereotype of bold (and sometimes, foolhardy) Lumidari pioneers. For example, the epic tales of the (never proven) Wyndwerd Isles are centered on mythical Lumidari figures. As are fanciful yarns about heroic and adventurous oplanders who supposedly delved deep into the uncharted (and hostile) Ontorlands and lived to tell the tale. However, it should be noted that Lumidari epics have, at times, been appropriated by other ethnic groups, whereby they have substituted a protagonist of their own ilk for the for the original Lumidari hero.  
Persecution Complex
It is perhaps this go-it-alone spirit that has, in turn, fostered the widespread perception (amongst non-Lumidari cultures) that they often harbor a pervasive (and annoying) persecution complex. To be clear, in those non-Lumidari regions where there are established minority groups of Lumidari, it is historical fact that they have, at times, absolutely suffered periods of persecution from the dominant ethnic group of the land. But most cognoscenti are quick to point out that this makes them no different than nearly every other ethnic group on the planet. Nearly all casterway groups, when living in minority enclaves, have experienced some kind of prejudice and persecution at the hands of those who hold power. But the impression amongst non-Lumidari peoples is that minority Lumidari communities are the first, and the loudest, to whine about any perceived-slight visited upon them by other ethnic groups.
Any desire one has to redeem the Lumidari is completely undercut by their shameful embrace of the Agnoscio.
Darvyn Pok, Diasporan webber, 1452 AoE
Agnoscio Connection
It's possible that this loner mentality has also fostered a particular Lumidari interest in the Agnoscio. As a secretive, cultist, and frequently-outlawed order, there have never been any reliable numbers ascribed to the Agnoscio at any point in history. So any "study" of the Agnoscio must be taken with a sizable grain of salt. However, for those few cognoscenti who have actually admitted that the Agnoscio even exist, and have gone so far as to try to document their numbers and their make-up, there seems to be an overrepresentation of Lumidari in their ranks. Even in regions with sparse Lumidari populations, ad hoc observations from neutral reporters frequently indicate that the few Lumidari who do live in the area are also (coincidentally or not) Agnoscio.  
Awkward Diplomacy
Lumidari nations have built a long history of frustrating foreign leaders with regard to diplomacy and negotiations. It's not that the Lumidari are opposed to negotiations. And in their minds, they believe that they are constantly working to strengthen diplomatic ties. But foreign archives tend to paint Lumidari "diplomacy" as: "Here's what we're planning to do. If you agree with us, you are more than welcome to join us in our endeavors. If you don't agree with us... that's a shame."

Art & Architecture

here is a longstanding belief amongst most non-Lumidari cultures that Lumidari art is simply a wholesale "borrowing" and reimagining of the artistic endeavors already created by other peoples. Given the Lumidari's origin story, millennia ago, as an ethnic group that was essentially "created" where none had previously existed, there was undoubtedly some truth to such accusations. Even today, there are many obvious influences of other cultures that echo throughout Lumidari creative expression. But given that even the most skeptical Lumidari observer would admit that they have now been a "real" culture for (at least) a couple thousand years, it's somewhat unfair to paint their artistic contributions as somehow derivative. Sure - a knowledgeable art historian can, even to this day, identify some of the ancient (and foreign) influences that inform Lumidari styles. But their writing, painting, dancing, clothing, architecture (and any other creative form) long ago morphed into unique forms for which no foreign apology is necessary. Nevertheless, there are many non-Lumidari, who are not fond of their culture as a whole, who take great joy in dismissively laughing at the concept of Lumidari "art". Unsurprisingly, mocking their artistic output can be a fabulously-effective way to spark a violent confrontation with those who take pride in their Lumidari heritage.

Historical figures

o other historical figure is more closely associated with the Lumidari than Abnold Thigny. He did not think of himself as Lumidari. In fact, no one ever started using that name to describe these people until nearly 300 years after his death. Nevertheless, he is universally acknowledged as the founder of the kingdom of Thigny, and it was this political event that served as the catalyst for a long, steady coalescing of peoples around eastern and northern Isleprimoton. It was those peoples who would eventually come to define the Lumidari way of life.


Beauty Ideals

They have wasted centuries trying to accomplish with the needle what we could solve in a few generations with their women.
Jayvan Bhartiya, Galmonian saltfoot, 2286 AoR
umidari are some of the most likely people to feature tattoos - especially, across their arms, chests, and faces. To be clear, tattoo is in no way a Lumidari art form and it is certainly not confined to their people. But since their coalescing as a putative ethnic group millennia ago, they have shown a regular propensity for tattoos. Men are more likely to be tattooed than women - although it is not at all considered unattractive or taboo for women to be tattooed. The extent of these tattoos, on a person-by-person basis, tends to differ by region, with the northern (and more remote) populations of countries like Mouber, Sceraisia, and Dinaisia well-known for being massively tattooed. While the southern states, such as Igne and Chevia, are more likely to have populations that are either lightly tattooed - or not at all. And like any other aesthetic ideal, the public embrace of tattoos has seen multiple cycles of waxing and waning over the generations. At some points in history, the legacy of Lumidari tattoos has faded as something that was "old fashioned" or "out of style". But, as these things tend to do, they have roared back into the Lumidari consciousness when trendsetters inevitably decide that: that which was old is new again.

Gender Ideals

ll of the traditional Lumidari lands are in Isleprimoton. And like all other cultures on the vast western continent, Lumidari societies are strongly patriarchal. While their cultural practices are (at times, extremely) unique from the Jontzu and the Sontsu, with whom they share the continent, one thing they all have in common is their adherence to patriarchal practices. Another thing they all share is the tensions that these practices can sometimes foster with eastern cultures - because the eastern cultures are, at the extreme other end of the spectrum, devoutly matriarchal. It's not uncommon to find eastern accounts that deride the Lumidari as misogynist and hateful toward women. But such descriptions often overlook the broader cultural and regional context - which is that this is not so much a trait of the Lumidari people, as it is a trait of nearly all western cultures.
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