Drastic Reformers

The rich hunt us. The poor revile us. The kind pray for us, pray for their little gods to grant us the release of death. The just find any excuse to bring their lawful axe down on our necks. Cleansing the land of filth, if you listen closely, sounds a lot like that damned axe.   Enough is enough.
Riven Drast
  The Drastic Reformers, also generally known as the followers of Riven Drast's ideals, are a scattered people made up of species and people that 'proper' society of Valathe has deemed to be 'lesser'.   Tieflings, goblins, orcs and similarly prejudiced-against species are perhaps the most commonly seen, but even the more privileged species have their oddballs. Half-elves find no small amount of disgust for their existence in both of their home communities, and half-orcs more so. Aasimar who fail to fit the angelic image typically find they have much in common with the Drastic Reformers.   Humans, elves, dwarves - whilst their species may mark them as privileged enough to be accepted by society, many practice ways of living that lead their people to reject them. Whether it be dabbling in necromancy or dating someone outside their own culture, the Drastic Reformers endeavour to create a safe space for all people to inhabit.   Riven Drast's ideal reforms to societal order overturn the existing prejudices and establish a safer place for the downtrodden, and the Reformers take that further by banding together and enforcing his rules and ideas within the spaces they can carve out. Many times, those spaces are small alleyways and underground caves, claimed through violence and desperation. The Reformers are determined, however, and that determination makes up for every defeat: their spaces are their homes, and they find happiness in those homes where they can.

Naming Traditions

Family names

Many Reformers choose to drop their former family names upon officially joining with a branch of Reformers, instead choosing to adopt the name of someone they greatly respect or of an achievement of their own. Community leaders encourage careful thought on these new names, and gently rebuff any choosing to take Drast's own name. This causes issues for the few groups trying to survive in the Medimian Empire: their home nation has forbid any mimicry of the Reformation, and hunts down those who would change their name to try and join it.   First names, however, usually remain the same unless a member has a particular level of disgust for their birth name. If a new first name is sought, the Reformers offer as much help in finding one as needed, often going so far as making lists of names in their own native languages and cultures to offer to their fledgling friend.

Culture

Major language groups and dialects

Common is the language most often spoken in Reformer circles, though some have taken to using Undercommon instead as a means of differentiating themselves.   This second practice endears them to many drow, who tend to avoid the Reformers: rather stereotypically, Valathean drow have far too much pride in their own kin to wish to lower themselves down to their 'equals'.

Shared customary codes and values

We take care of our own!
— Ghriza Oathsworn,orc leader of a Gothadruni encampment
  Above all, the Reformers protect their right to be considered people on an equal level to any other member of society. They reject notions of social status and caste based on race alone, and espouse the virtue of personal strength and wisdom above preconceived notions. Their ideology suggests that their kin should find ways to prove themselves, and that through strength and unity, existing barriers to a welcoming society can be torn down and replaced with a new order. This directly follows Riven Drast's proclamations of revolution and truth, marking the Reformers as enemies of any state that wishes to crush Drast's ideals.   That being said, the Reformers are a loose blend of beings. Conflict is not uncommon, especially when it comes to ideals of cultures and standards. Many Reformers come from rough and prejudiced backgrounds, and bring aggressive words and harsh punishments in their wake. Drast, as the founder of the Reformers, is perhaps the biggest culprit in this regard: armies gather around him, and as violence spills in his wake, so too do the Reformers take his violence as an example.

Major organizations

Traitorous scum!
— Oread peasant tired of being harassed with Drast's ideals
  The Reformers have a complicated relationship with a number of different countries. The Medimian Empire despises the Reformation's existence. It cites equal treatment of its citizens split by social caste and refuses to acknowledge the many incidents of tiefling death - often deploying other more strictly-lawful tieflings that adhere to Medimian rulings as a counter-argument and means of destabilising Reformers. If publicly outed, any follower of Drast in Medimia can expect to be imprisoned at minimum.   The Aletheian Empire has declared Drast an enemy, citing his terrorism and destruction as the reasons, but as a whole find his Reformers confusing. Aletheia is reportedly a place where less prejudice is pleasant; the Reformers are more feared for their connection to Drast than welcomed for the light views they may hold. Emperor Aneirin of Aletheia (as a tiefling himself) has publicly stated that any members of the Reformation who simply wish to live a life without prejudice are welcome to petition the Palace directly for intervention in issues and to claim clemency, but that any attempts to uphold "Lord Riven Drast" and his twisted ideals on how the world should work will result in an investigation and potential arrest.   Ordan, prior to their attack on the Aletheian Empire and subsequent loss of power, heavily suppressed any Reformer activities with mandatory time in the country's many dungeons. Their current regime instead adopts a reformative approach (pun not intended) that seeks to rehabilitate Drast's followers into modern society and encourages appropriate retribution and reporting of those they find themselves angry with. Naturally, this hasn't been going well, not least because many of those in charge still perpetuate the same prejudices Drast's people despise.
Riven Drast by Hanhula
 
Founding Father
Lord Riven Drast
Related Items
Related Locations
A Note from the Shadows   It should be noted that this article is considered heavily biased, and the author is suspected to be a sympathiser with these 'Reformers'. Its accuracy cannot be assured in the greater context of the world.
Photobash by Hanhula with thanks to Cristian Newman, Thomas Dumortier, Dhuong Nhan, and Pixabay


Cover image: Drastic Reformers by Photobash by Hanhula (credits in description)

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
Master Brinsmead
Caitlin Phillips
16 Jul, 2020 09:12

This is such a great article! So well written, and just bubbling with tension and fantastic plot ideas! The note at the end gave me a good chuckle.

Cait x