Liber is the island that is off the eastern coast of Teyen. The climate is similar to the rainforest of Teyen; but much less humid. Formed from a volcano long ago, Liber is old enough that the harsh volcanic rock has crumbled into a mineral rich soil that supports agriculture. A circuit of small freshwater rivers that are considered to be the “veins” of the island supply water for drinking and farming.
Ancient HistoryIt is believed that Liber was not settled by Sobukanders until sometime early in the Kings Wars. Many Ancestor Spirits will recount how people were frightened, tired or sick of war, and so they left and sailed to the island, looking for peace. The people who settled here created a community built on honor and trust.
Transition to EmpireLiber largely stayed out of the Kings Wars as much as possible. When peace allowed for it the people did trade with Teyen. When the Empire was formed, delegates were sent to the island to create the Land Treaty which stated that Liber was subject to the laws and protections of the Empire and that the Empire would respect the traditions of the Islanders. Although there was some apprehension at first, the Empire has supported Liber in how it governs.
Present DayThe people of Liber live in harmony whether they live in the city, towns, farms, or small fishing villages. Mantimus D’Leon was the first Governor of the island, and his family is still active with the people and government today. One of his descendants, Theresa Altivo, was instrumental in creating the Land Treaty with the Empire. She continues to maintain diplomatic relations.
Montagne D'arbreisMontagne D'arbreis, a city that is just east of the center of the island, is located at the base of the dormant volcano. This is probably the largest city of Liber and hosts some of the greatest markets in all of Sobukand.
BarbillaBarbilla is a city located on the western coast of Liber. This is the oldest city on the island and has a protected bay suitable for docking large ships.
VoetA large town of note is Voet. It is located on the south eastern coast and is where people go to do deep sea fishing.
IndustryLiber has a rich agricultural tradition. A wide variety of tropical fruits, plants and vegetables are cultivated for use and direct trade with Teyen and Ziel. Many of the fruits, plants and vegetables are also dried for transport to the central and western parts of Sobukand. There are also herds of cattle, goats and sheep. The sheep of Liber have short coats and are mainly used for production of milk and meat. Very little wool is collected from these sheep. Horses were brought over from Sobukand with the original settlers and they have been bred to be strong and fast. They are essential to the agricultural tradition of the island.
Culture, Clothing, and Traditions
FoodThe foods of Liber are unlike any other region. Stews are favored and they have a complex combination of spicy and sweet flavors. Vegetarian dishes dominate the cuisine, supplemented by fish, seafood, some goat, and sheep. Seashell candies are popular in the markets especially during holidays.
Sangre de ArbolDuring the last eruption of Liber’s volcano, centuries ago, a great tree was encapsulated in lava. As the lava cooled, it changed the structure of the tree and the sap encased inside. When the settlers of Liber explored the island, they found pockets, or eruptions, of the crystallized sap. These crystals could be shaped and polished into precious stones. The people of Liber call it Sangre de Arbol. When they first found these deposits, they were able to find generous amounts of the crystal. Sangre de Arbol is carefully kept and traded. In a decade or so, most of the crystals had been sold, traded, or kept hidden. Many of the original families of the island have small amounts of the stones as family heirlooms. The stones hold quite a bit of spiritual energy. It is said this energy was granted by the island itself. After a decade or so, demand for the crystals caused people to head back to the mountain to look for more deposits. Those who searched found two more pockets. These pockets are difficult to find, but a new one has been discovered about every twelve to fifteen years since the original find.
HolidaysHolidays include Harvest Festival, Sea Festival, Solstices and Equinoxes. The Winter Solstice is preceded by a weeklong celebration with an emphasis on remembering and honoring Ancestor Spirits. The Harvest Festival happens in every market seven days after the end of the winter or rainy season. All the people come together to share a day of celebration. There is no trading or sales on this day and everyone shares what they have. All goods, foods and crafts are shared and enjoyed by all. In this way, the people have an appreciation of quality and value for the creations. Also, a ritual of calling upon the spirits to “renew the land’s cycle” is performed as the sun sets. When the new day begins, the earth is renewed. Sea Festival happens seven to fourteen days after the Summer Solstice. Bounty from the sea is cooked and distributed to all who want. Seashell candies are made and shared during the festivities. The Sea Festival is celebrated to honor the spirits of the sea.
MusicMusic is a large part of this Region’s culture. Drums and chimes are popular musical instruments. Drums are made of many different materials and can give a large variety of beautiful sounds. Chimes and pipes are reminders of the wind and the water.
ClothingThe people of Liber wear loose flowy clothing because of the hot climate. Light fabrics and removable layers are popular. The citizens of Liber are fond of bright colors, as they honor the myriad of beautiful flowers and birds on the island.
TaboosOn Liber, people value honesty and fair trade above all else. In the past, cheating on a trade had been punishable by death. Since joining the Empire, persons who cheat or trade unfairly are exiled.
Birth and DeathWhen a child is born on Liber, there is a great celebration. People bring food and gifts for the family and the infant. It is a very joyous time. When a person dies, the family and friends of the deceased gather and bring gifts. The mood is somber until the leave-taking ritual is performed. Once the Spirit has gone to the Ancestors, there is celebration and feasting. The body is then placed in a boat and sent into the arms of the sea.
TraditionsSince farming is a large part of life on the island, its people see the earth as a living thing and they honor it with everything they do. It is not uncommon for the people of Liber to place messages in bottles to communicate with spirits and other entities. There are some towns that make special journeys to the water at auspicious times of the year to deliver their messages. These journeys can be simple affairs akin to a walk or they can turn into elaborate parades with music and dancing.
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