High Rostran Ethnicity in Manifold Sky | World Anvil

High Rostran

High Rostrans are an ethnic group within the Rostran species of humanoid. The 'high' aspect of High Rostran culture refers not to a perceived divide in class or social standing, but is rather in reference to the mountainside communities where the ethnicity originated.

Naming Traditions

Feminine names

Meryx, Laxa, Kara, Oiya, Aya

Masculine names

Arxid, Iodex, Eidger, Saxilard, Dairon, Uigo

Family names

Sagan, Inga, Axi, Maran, Index, Iugin, Kar, Muir, Xana, Dailaxis, Saxilard


Major language groups and dialects

The High Rostran ethnicity utilizes the Iuxat language, a patois of various island diaspora languages which were eventually reintegrated and formalized into a unified trade language. Iuxat is famous for it's frequent use of the "ks" dipthong (typically written as "x") and double vowel sounds. While each island in the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy will usually have its own traditional dialect, almost all are intelligible to one degree or another to a speaker of Iuxat, and almost all High Rostrans (and Rostrans in general) speak Iuxat as either a first or second language.

Culture and cultural heritage

Most High Rostrans retain religious roots in Rostran Esotericism, despite the tendency for technology and the realities of inter-cube conflict to drive religion out of people. Rostran Esotericism provides much of the basis for High Rostran art, literature, and shared values, including the ever-present quest for one's purpose and place in the cosmos.

Shared customary codes and values

High Rostrans place a high value on duty, loyalty to family, and having a clear sense of one's place in the "cosmic sea." The ideal High Rostran fulfills an important function in their local community and family, but is also capable of narrating the exact moment when their path in life became clear to them. At the same time, High Rostrans believe that once's proper station in life should be arrived at through personal introspection, not imposed by some authoritative source; this idea serves to prevent the High Rostran's sense of duty from being used to unjustly dominate the individual, and is the source of the relatively democratic governing ideals of the High Rostran culture.

Common Dress code

High Rostran apparel makes liberal use of plant-based fibers and, after the conclusion of the Rostran-Ovinex War, wool. Finely-woven shirts and pants in natural wool colors are currently popular, where the porosity of the fabric makes it insulating in the temperate mountains and moisture-wicking in the humid coastal regions. In any event, shirt sleeves are usually kept short, and pant legs and skirts typically only come down to the knees, to keep the wearer feeling airy in all conditions.   In High Rostran fashion, brightly-dyed symbols or logos are often contrasted with the mostly monochrome nature of the surrounding woolen fabric. Visual motifs of woven latticework and organic shapes, hearkening back to the days when palm fronds were the simplest materials to acquire, commonly appear in High Rostran clothing. Accessories include broad, conical hats, aprons (for workers), and the occasional surcoat or breastplate; these are composed of woven palm fronds, wicker, or even carefully carved or warped wood sheets, depending on the wealth of the wearer. Wooden sandals are the preferred footwear for occasions where footwear is considered a necessessity, such as in formal environments or where the terrain is jagged.

Art & Architecture

Decorative High Rostran architectural elements are subtractive in nature, making frequent use of carved and polished hardwood and whitewashed stone. The islands of Rostral C are bountiful with vibrant, naturally-occuring pigments with which the High Rostrans produce colorful paintings and sculptures featuring avian motifs and complex geometric patterns.

Coming of Age Rites

A yuong adult High Rostran is not considered mature until they can undertake a self-sufficient journey at sea or (if in a dry cube) over land to an adjacent community. In modern times, this journey must be at least 10 miles away, cannot be made with the use of a motorized vehicle (with rare exceptions), and may sometimes be made as part of a group of other young adults making a similar journey. An adult family member or other trusted member of the local tribe will shadow each youngster to make sure that they are safe, but will not intervene unless absolutely necessary.


Beauty Ideals

High Rostran culture considers a distinctive profile to be an important element of a person's beauty, with certain angles drawn between the arch of the nose and the upper edges of the ears being more attractive that others. Angular facial features are considered attractive in men, while more rounded features are considered attractive in women. The ideal High Rostran, in terms of beauty, is lean, athletic, has large and inquisitive eyes, smiles knowingly, and shows no signs of a sedentary lifestyle (unless the individual can also affect the image of a scholar).

Gender Ideals

High Rostran culture features firm (but not ironclad) gender roles; this is an extension of the overarching idea that every High Rostran has a function or role in society that they should seek out for themselves and, once they discover it, pursue that role to the best of his or her ability. While there are no formal strictures put on men and women, men and women are expected to pursue different categories of career out of their natural inclinations and the needs of their families.

Courtship Ideals

As with friends and family, when it comes to courtship, High Rostrans place a high value on loyalty. High Rostran romantic relationships are monogamous, exclusive, and bespoke. Moments of passion are typically concealed from public view. This secrecy is less a matter of prudishness than a way to build anticipation for the moments when the couple can get away from prying eyes to express themselves to one another. When a man and woman are courting, they are slowly developing a set of intimate, secret connections; ideally, by the time a couple is formally married, it should come as something of a surprise to outsiders that the man and woman weren't already a married couple.

Relationship Ideals

High Rostrans blend families through both marriage and close friendships, with the previously disparate island tribes of the early Rostran peoples eventually achieving lasting peace through this process. Above all, High Rostran culture puts a high value on interpersonal loyalty.   High Rostran culture incorporates the so-called Civil Ovinex culture into itself. Civil Ovinex are often adoptive members of High Ovinex families, receiving education (as appropriate for the somewhat limited ovinex cognitive set), job training, and the necessities of life from the family in exchange for physical protection or assistance in the family's business endeavors. While outsiders may look at this relationship as one of masters and slaves, neither High Rostrans nor Civil Ovinex generally perceive it as such. Nevertheless, the sense that being brought into the culture of their traditional enemies is somehow demeaning does eventually drive some Civil Ovinex to return to Native Ovinex lands and ways.

Cover image: by BCGR_Wurth


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