The Rall people live throughout the Boreal forest region of southeastern Cuyania, on the Armorican Peninsula . Throughout their early history, they were mostly woodcutters, subsistence farmers, and fishers. Over time, their villages transformed into large cities and they became one of the most influential groups of the Fourth Age. They were the creators of the Valaran Empire, and some of the most widespread explorers and archaeologists. After the Valaran Empire fell in the wake of The Fourth Reckoning, they faded from prominence again.

  Today, Rall people are mostly concentrated in a handful of city-states that resulted in the fall of the empire. Others live in small rural villages throughout the region, or as minority groups in neighbouring areas like Jausai.


Shared customary codes and values

Rall people have always prized intelligence and academics. Philosophers, writers, and scholars are the most highly respected members of society. During the height of the Valaran Empire, being accepted into an academy of learning was the most sought-after route out of poverty.

  Academies and scholars were so respected that and influential that entire towns developed around them, with the Lord Rector of the academy doubling as lord of the city and, eventually, city-states. The reverence for academics created a sharp class divide in Rall society.

  Although anyone who passed the entrance exam could be accepted into an academy, they often had steep fees that kept poorer people from joining. Additionally, impoverished people could not afford to educate their children, which made it much more difficult for those children to pass entrance exams. The result was a sharp social and financial divide between those who held degrees and those did not.

  Although the academy city-states have mostly collapsed, their influence remains. Education creates a sharp divide among them, with either educated elites oppressing the poor, or education turning into something shameful and derided by the more populous uneducated as a reaction to past oppression.


Gender Ideals

Rall society is patriarchal, although women have many basic rights such as property ownership, inheritance, and divorce. The ideal for both genders is to be a wise scholar, but the fields they are expected to excel at are different.

  Men are considered to be the backbone of society and culture. They are deeper thinkers, wiser philosophers, and more creative writers. The fields of history, literature, philosophy, and art are predominantly filled by men and women have difficulty gaining respect in these fields.

  Women, meanwhile, are caretakers of the home and children and are expected to go into fields based around function and doing. Their minds, it is assumed, are not creative and deep enough to keep up in the more masculine fields. Fields like math, engineering, and medicine are very feminine and considered lighter, easier fields. Medicine is just a step-up from bandaging scraped knees, which mothers have done for generations, and math is just identifying patterns and following formulas. Men who study these fields are looked down upon and seen as unmanly.

  Outside of Academia, gender divisions are based on work. Women maintain the home and children while men work outside the home. Women are responsible for managing a home's finances. Men are expected to be attentive fathers. Men who work for so many hours that their children hardly see them are frowned upon and considered irresponsible.

Relationship Ideals

Homosexuality is shunned, although not explicitly illegal. Those who engage in same-sex relationships are considered deviants or perverts, although the stigma lessons in the higher tiers of society. Among elite academics, a more 'anything goes' attitude is had and less people care what you get up to in your own time.

  In general relationships, men are expected to be dominant and make the final decisions. However, they are also expected to fully consider the needs and wishes of their wife. Making a decision that is equally desirable to both himself and his wife is the mark of a proper man. Divorce is considered a tragedy, but is legal upon request to both parties, no excuse given needed. Having your spouse decide to divorce you is rather shameful, and makes it very difficult to find a second spouse. So, in the case of a mutual break-up, both parties are usually in a race to establish who is divorcing whom.
Diverged ethnicities

Cover image: by Vsevolod Ivanov