Dala-Davan People Ethnicity in Getninia | World Anvil

Dala-Davan People

The Dala-davans are two closely intertwined ethnicities, the gnomish Dalans and the human Davans. Living in the head of the Nirthr Peninsula, the two ethnic groups have been coexisting for 800 years. Due to the inhospitable environment of the Nirthr Peninsula, limited resources and geographic isolation have forced a symbiosis between the Davans living along the southern coast and in the Nirthr Fjords and the Dalans living in the icy tundra of the Dalan Ice Plains. Through this relation, the two groups have largely merged cultural values and a developed a common tongue. Importantly, the Dalans are the last remaining free Gnomes in the known world, with all other gnomish ethnicities being subsumed into Dwarvish and Human polities.


Major language groups and dialects

A group of less than a million, there is only two major dialects, Dalan and Davish, though the differences between the two are lexical, stemming from the cultural traditions of each group. For example, Dalans have specific terms for the different kinds of cave dwelling, while the Davans have different terms to describe the various stages and kinds of reindeer they raise.

Culture and cultural heritage

The Dala-Davans are shamanistic. They have an animistic faith, believing that everything has a spirit, good or bad, living or dead, natural or constructed. They are rumored to guard a relic believed to date to The Year of the Bright Star, it's location a closely guarded secret of the Elder Shamans.   Davans have traditionally followed the migration of Nirthr Reindeer, and as such many aspects of Davan culture contributed to the Dala-Davans surround the importance of the reindeer. In mixed communities along the eastern coast's fjords, the hunting of walruses is the valued cultural activity.

Shared customary codes and values

Dala-davans are mistrustful of outsiders. Centuries of total isolation have left even the Davans reluctant to interact with other humans, whom are as foreign to them as they are to the Dalans.   The Dala-Davans might take great pride in their own skills and accomplishments, and might be hesitant to ask for help from others. However, they might also have a strong sense of justice and fairness, and might be quick to come to the aid of someone who is being treated unfairly.

Art & Architecture

The Dalans are tinkerers with limited mechanical resources with which to tinker. Dalans live mostly underground in mountainous fjords, in intricately arranged networks of chambers and tunnels. In taiga regions, the Dalans and Davans live together in villages made up of semi-subterranean houses.   Dala-davan art exists mostly as etchings in stone or leather, and there is a strong musical tradition, with a yearly festival on the longest night of the year being regarded the most important.
Encompassed species
Related Locations

Cover image: Nirthr Artbreeder Drawing by trekman10