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Niuonnar

Half army half group of showmen

''It is simple, it is part of the Natural Way, even! The niuonnar are the masters of war, the commoners aren't, and thus it is futile for them to try to fight the brave ones, there is simply no way they could win!''  
-Iter Ennau Ickai
These elite warriors make up the entirety of most states' permanent armies, even if most only have a few dozen of them. Being picked up from among the ranks of the military aristocracy at a very early age, they are extremely skilled and can often make quick work of whatever foes are unlucky enough to cross their path (although they lack much discipline).

Organization


''Don't even think for a moment you are superior to us! You are our equal, for we both are aristocrats, born of high parents and beloved by the gods. If I were you I would never act as if that was not the case...''  
-a niuonnau to his equal
Due to a combination of several factors (two of them being that everyone comes from the same small aristocratic communities, and that local traditions in Ikaharin give said aristocrats a massive amount of power and independence to do as they please) many of the state armies consist of a group of essentially independent, yet skilled warriors who refuse to accept orders from anyone.

The suwonnau

''You are truly remarkable! Thus you have my full obedience and loyalty, I trust my fate upon you and hope you guide me properly!''  
-a niwonnau to his master
Despite the aforementioned, if a group of niuonnau finds a man they deem worthy of giving them orders, they can give him a banner and vote him as their suwonnau, who will be allowed to properly command them until he retires or is voted out of office.   Although there are no official requirements for being a suwonnau, holders of this title often have very good oratory skills (which are sorely needed to rule over such a group of people) and an excellent military history, having won many duels and/or saved his companions from certain death.

Specialization

''I am the master of the axe! I know its secrets and could wield it even if I went blind! What, you think I'm kidding? Then why don't you blindfold me and let me show you?''  
-a niwonnau boasting
Even if niwonnau can, and often do, function as one-man armies, owning and being able to use a wide array of weapons, a degree of specialization can be found across all of Ikaharin's armies, this being most visible in niwonnar that have a suwonnau (as he can tell them to work together as a proper army and specialize for the common good).

Equipment


Armour and clothing

''-And you call that a good protection? God, what kind of deformed, sickly animal did they take the leather from? It looks like it will crumble away into nothing! And please don't get me started on what I assume you call 'scales'! They look so brittle they might as well be made of flint.   -Oh, please! Do you really think you're an authority on armour? You look so unprotected you might as well be naked! Hell, I am fairly sure that if that were the case you'd be better off, at least people wouldn't want to come near you...   -Well, your sister would think otherwise, if you know what I mean, which I doubt based on your lack of wit''.  
-two niuonnau roasting each other
Their clothing starts with a full bodysuit, generally made of fine cloth and decorated with various colours and patterns. On top of that they wear a heavy shirt, usually made of several layers of hardened deer leather, which is then reinforced by bronze or brass scales.   To cover their legs they wear a skirt made of strips of the same leather as the shirt and sewn to plates of the same metal. This skirt is kept around their waist thanks to a belt, one whose buckle is fairly large, sometimes big enough to serve as a shield.   Their limbs and joints are usually left unprotected, although particularly wealthy or risk-fearing individuals may cover them with plates of metal. The only exception to this is the neck, which virtually everyone protects with what could be described as a very thick scarf, dense enough to protect from most cuts and blunt force impacts.
''Horns, spikes, crests, feathers, animal designs even! Oh, what do I hear you say? Do you think those are boring and everyone around you already uses them? Well, no problem! I can surely make you a monster or god no one has represented before!''  
-helmet craftsman advertising his services
Finally, wearing unique and original helmets is almost mandatory for any self respecting niuonnau, with everyone spending very generous amounts to have the flashiest headgear (even if sometimes they sacrifice functionality). On that note, flamboyant capes are fairly common, as they also help draw attention towards them.

Tools

''-Oh, my fine lady, you must know that niuonnau are taught to be good with all sorts of weapons... I would be more than willing to make you a demonstration of my abilities, after all, you know what they say, a niuonnau never fails to impress and always satisfies expectations.   -Well, people like you spend their entire youths surrounded by men, so I doubt you would know how to use that weapon with me''.  
-a niuonnau's seduction attempts
Their formal training is focused almost exclusively on learning how to manipulate several weapons, no less than 8 in most schools. Due to this experience, a regular niuonnau goes into battle with many different armaments, from axes to short swords and even a sling. The latter, however, is barely used, as their style of fighting is centered around hand to hand combat.   Besides that, shields are also widespread, with these often having a sharpened edge just in case they need to use them offensively. It should also be noted that they never miss an opportunity to be easy to identify, and thus these pieces of equipment are always customized with the warrior's emblems or patterns.
''I have come! Yes, me, Erahie Adzaneki! Adzane's unbeaten champion, winner of 15 duels and slayer of many. From the distant jungles of Ioltaharin to the frozen wilderness of Sunharin everyone cowers in fear as they hear my name!   Now tell me, warriors? Will you be as wise as those poor souls and flee before my very sight? Or will you be brave and try to claim my glory?''  
-Erahie Adzaneki
Another important tool they often have on them is a musical instrument of some kind, this being paramount to announce themselves and their deeds.

Training


Early years

''I am going to be frank with you, my breakfast was braver than all of you combined! And it was a bowl of broth''.  
-random teacher
All future members of a niuonnar are chosen from among the ranks of the state's military aristocracy when they turn 6 years of age by already existing niuonnau. These boys are then sent to the so-called 'house of bravery', a sort of military school where they are taught how to operate all the necessary weapons and properly fight duels. However, they do little more than that, with teachers not telling them about discipline and such things.

Hilatsane

''Oh, my boy! Let me tell you one thing and one thing alone, those teachers and their boring lessons have not taught how to be one of my kind. Oh no! Not at all, you still don't act like one of us! Where's the bravery? Where's the pride? Where's all the decorations? Oh no! You still don't have the spirit of a niuonnau''.  
-a niuonnau talking to his pupil
Once they've finished their 8 years in the house of bravery, the niuonnau who chose them will take them under their wing and teach them to more... cultural aspects of being one of their kind (alongside teaching them more about weapons and dueling).   Another important task they will have during these years is carry their master's supplies, from food to whatever he doesn't want to carry with him and maybe even the tents if they are going to be out for too long.

Initiation

''Remember what I told you back then, boy? Well, now I say you are one of us. Of course, you cannot compare with me but well, nobody really can... Anyways, what I want to say is welcome to the niwonnar, your initiation will happen soon''.  
-a niuonnau talking to his pupil
When the master of the future niuonnau decides he is ready for the fight, he will arrange a ceremony of initiation for his apprentice. This ritual starts with a non-lethal duel between the students of two different warriors, one in which the winner will be awarded membership into the unit due to his victory and the loser will be given entry because of his great bravery.   After that is over, there is a great feast where the entire niuonnar is present, one which ends with the new members offering a libation of olive oil to the great Adzane and the old masters giving their former protégés a dagger.
Type
Infantry
Overall training Level
Elite
Assumed Veterancy
Decorated/Honored
Dictionary (Shiuihikane to English):
  • Niuonnar: Brave group.
  • Niuonnau: Brave One.
  • Suwonnau: Respected One.
  • Adzane: Shiuihikane name for the god of war, bravery and metallurgy shared by most pantheons in Ikaharin.
  • Ioltaharin: 'Southern Land', originally used to describe any regions south of Ikaharin, currently used to name the tropical rainforests of the far south.
  • Sunharin: 'Northern Land', originally used to describe any regions north of Ikaharin, currently used to refer to the taiga and tundra of the far north.
  • Hilatsane: Tutelage.
Trivia:
  • The Natural Way is a concept that features heavily in the region's belief systems, and it states that everything, both in the physical and spiritual worlds, has a proper order, role and way to function due to the will of Nature (the uncreated force that created and permeates everything in their cosmology).
  • Ikaharin is divided into a sprawling patchwork of small city-states, the most populous of these settlements having around 25000 people and ruling over a rather small area.
  • The vast majority of urban cultures in these lands believe their ruling elite is of a different breed than the commoners in one way or another.
  • Aristocratic power in Ikaharin also shows in the fact hereditary monarchy is not a thing, all kings being elected by the nobility.

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Comments

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HuginRonin
Juan Belío
6 Jan, 2021 17:07

Very good take and spin on the knight order concept. As I read more and more I start to notice all these styles and tropes and from you, I've always seen that the way you write funny quips is always fresh. I'm very much glad that you decided to use quotes as well as you do.

6 Jan, 2021 19:47

Thanks! Glad to see you like my quotes!

Ynar wishes you a nice day!   Feel free to visit my world, Ikaharin
6 Jan, 2021 21:49

Tu sentido del humor es inigualable! Las quotes aportan muchísimo al estilo del artículo y por favor necesito ver esos cascos XD

Am I writing or procrastinating? Take a guess and visit my galaxy
6 Jan, 2021 22:19

Graciass! Con un poco de suerte los verás algún día de estos...

Ynar wishes you a nice day!   Feel free to visit my world, Ikaharin