The Sayal are the original people of the Yamenawa region of the Serme Mountains. The name Sayal, sometimes Saial, is Aradal, while the name they use for themselves is õl 'people' or sai õl 'common people, peasants'. Their ethnic language is Sai Õl Tal (Saial language).
HistoryThe most important Saial settlements, Wasäkawakal (Äpõr Wa 'plenty of cattle') and Áçämara (Ai Šä Mar 'temple island') were devastated by the Black Years' Plague 628-630 AH, that killed approximately 1/5 of the population. The Ara people, who were then living in the more isolated mountains, took advantage of the situation and conquered the Saial territory in 631 AH making it part of the Mountain kingdom. Since then the Saial population has declined steadily in the largest cities, but they are still in the majority in the countryside and Southern cities such as Áçäpunkul (Aläk Ai Šä 'the old temple') and Aränwílü. Since the conquest the Ara have purposefully been the proponents of an alternate history where they would have had a longer history in the central higlands, diminishing the independent Saial history. Before the Ara conquest the Saial people were lead from the Áçäwals, temple complexes that work as centers of education and sites for collecting and distribution of products.The Áçäwals are still hugely importalt organisation in the Kingdom, but they were changed to follow the Ara ways after the conquest. One part of the taking over the organisation was that the Ara nobles married the leading woman in the temples.
Major language groups and dialects
The Saial speak Sai Õl Tal ( Saial language) that is not related to any languages outside the highlands. The Saial language has had a big influence on Aradal. Most notably 'person' in Aradal is sayal, which is an obvious loan from Saial, originally meaning 'common people' (sai + õl). Up to this day the Mountain kingdom is essentially bilingual: Aradal is the language of the high class, government and foreign relations, while a lot of the common people are still monolingual Saial speakers, and it has remained the language of some of the oral tradition preserved in the Áçäwal temples.
Culture and cultural heritage
The Saial have perfected the way of living on the highlands. They farm terrace farms on the slopes, and catch fish from the rivers and Lake Ulüwerä. They are also talented woolworkers, but have traditionally bought the wool from the surrounding nomadic peoples. The Ara people have inherited most of the characteristic features of their culture from the Saial, including farming methods, social class system, and religious practises such as Áçäwal temple tradition and the tradition of worshipping and taming dragons.
ReligionThe Saial religion is animistic. Their main holy sites are the highest mountain peaks. Áfawarsal (god) is also a native Saial deity.
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