Home Region: Valleys of Podrusa, Barakon
Origin: Coastal tribes and lake clans before 1000 BR
The Podrusan culture is perhaps the most isolated one of the southern continent of Barakon. To their north is the great Dan Verig Mountain chain, and to their west is the Cursed Coast - both desolate and barely traversable places. They have persisted through their prominent coastal position as one way of transporting goods from the Western Gateway to the Eastern Gateway - often a route that bypasses the pirates who roam the inner seas. To the east, Podrusan nations maintain only limited contact with the roving barbarians and Lammetrians beyond. Those closer to the edges of Podrusan influence, such as the Cities of Linsan, Kybaea, and Zurem, formed trade republics and became the site of a melting pot of Podrusan, Ghiskan, and Balan cultures.
Several early Podrusan states developed a unique style of government. They were headed by Sills - a Podrusan word for a king who fights in the front. These Silldoms dominated much of early Podrusan history, notably of the legendary Podrusan Empire. In time, Sills were only held in reverence, as dynastic inheritance proved not to produce the best warrior kings.
Around 100 AR Podrusa united behind a centralized unity and formed the Podrusan Empire for a time. Their religion was regarded highest among all else within this empire and it maintained a sense of unity between all Podrusans - apart from those of Zurem and Kybaea. The Podrusan Empire was able to last a long time due to this, but it also proved their undoing. In 250 AR a new state formed called Zahret, and it supported a radically new belief in Nabuelism worshipping only one deity called Zemour. How this new religion began is often pegged on a prophet, but the theories are endless.
Regardless, a new chapter began in Podrusan history. The Zahreti, styling themselves a Caliphate, was also based on a religion - apparently more attractive than the original Podrusan Pantheon. Zahret's core belief brought influence from the Cursed Coast and the Dresnid nomads who traversed around the Podrusan region. Some say that Zahret was not a true Podrusan state - but was instead one run by the Dresnids themselves. The Zahretian Caliphate soon grew at the expense of the Podrusan Empire's collapse, and eventually became the new dominant empire over Podrusans. Many embraced the new religion, but other fought vigilantly against it. The states of Zemia and Monha fought to uphold some sort of legacy, while the old capital of the Podrusan Empire, Fidas, wallowed in a decaying state.
The Zahretian Caliphate lasted for a few centuries before its constant infighting finally erupted in a complete fracture of the state. The Imperial Civil war set the empire almost reeling, and an unfortunate series of successions in the mid-600s AR saw the rebellious factions within Zahret's borders gain strength and later independence. The end of the Zahretian Caliphate saw the Podrusan culture thrust into chaos and a millions independent Emirates, Beyliks, Duchies, and Counties.
Podrusans value their harvests and are often grateful when they provide bountiful, which is not an uncommon occurrence. While Aziz of their pantheon stands as the God of the ocean and weather, they do not place as much devout faith into worshipping water. The only exception to this are the tribes and clans around Lake Godon, which is commonly regarded as the main source of water from which many of the rivers in the region flow. The others instead worship the land and the animals which roam it. They have an affinity with the mountains which are rich in metals and the valleys in between which provide fertile soil. There are a plethora of localized festivals to be had regarding all of these things.
Podrusans admire the faith and piety in one-another, especially in times where they wish to unify. As such, religions play a sizable part of a Podrusan's daily life - whether it be prayer or labor dedicated to a certain god. On the other hand, these feelings are not as strongly held as far as Kybaea and Zurem are.
With their close proximity to the Dan Verig mountains, the Podrusans are mostly humans but have extensive contact with the wild varieties of monsters and beings dwelling within the mountains. Humanoid Goliaths can be commonly found in northern Podrusan cities and towns, while Genasi are known to roam the western-most provinces.
The most powerful giants in the world are said to dwell in the Dan Verig mountains, and the Podrusan Empire of legends is said to have had well-established contact and treaties with the being. However, nothing is known for certain about their circumstances, and most Podrusans as of 900 AR regard the Giants as unruly and beings to be feared.