The Andaperna are actually not a single ethnicity but rather a cultural area spanning the eastern plains of Erana. These plains are characterised by a dry climate and a network of rivers which historically led to the growth of city states. Four distinct cultures are present in the area which all are different from one another, reaching so far that they even speak unrelated languages. Yet the constant interaction between these cultures has led to a majority of the Andaperna being bi- or trilingual besides a lot of other adaptations they have taken from each other.
Of the four Andaperna cultures three can be considered indigenous. The Duiniken, of which the major part migrated further east, are a late addition to the area since they only started settling there after being driven out of their homeland to the west by the Mdûlûn and later also by the precursors of the states now forming the Confederation of Tarrabaenia. The Duiniken at first shifted the power dynamics quite a bit by claiming land and getting into conflicts with the indigenous peoples. These in return banded together and waged war against the newcomers, eventually beating them. This lead to them resuming their migration further east to the coast. Some Duiniken stayed and became assimilated into the local cultures.
Most of the city states are led by a priestress-queen, regardless of the underlying culture. These priestress-queens are charged with important annual festivities honouring the main deity of the respective state. This can be either a river god or goddess, the sun or moon god or goddess or a storm god or goddess. The leading individual is surrounded by a group of specialists involved in matters of government, administration and economy. All city states show some form of palace economy and are highly centralised.
There are two forms of military: Either debt slavery is employed with the creditor receiving a child from the debtor to clear a debt they would otherwise be unable to pay for. These children are in most city states by law required to be trained in a way that is not only beneficial for the creditor but also for the state. These laws have been passed a long time ago by the quasi-mythological priestress-queen Tarhunniza who is said to be responsible for the majority of important laws and codes that have existed for such a long time they can not be traced back to an other historical figure. Otherwise the Andaperna have volunteer armies which are trained and provided for by the central government. Men and women alike join military service. In some of the city states they are trained together, in others men and women get different training.
Most city states are connected by waterways formed the rivers. This facilitates trade and communication, mostly from the south to the north, since most of the rivers flow in that general direction before turning east. There are also some roads connecting settlements but due to the dry and windy climate maintenence often proves difficult as roads regularly get covered with sand.
Economy, culture and crafts
The Andaperna are sedentary farmers mostly working the arable banks of the rivers. They also have a well developped irrigation technology which helps maximising crop output. Their most important food sources are wheat, dates and fish. Salt is a rare commodity, so food is often preserved by drying it. Their main building and crafting ressource is clay which can easily be collected from areas close to the rivers. Huge deposits of clay have been washed up everywhere due to the regular floods. Stones too are used for building and sometimes toolmaking, especially in the south, where the Hruzk Mountain Range borders on the plain and to the north, where the Hazzaak Mountain Range towers over the the Kingdom of Larasha, which is the northernmost of the Andaperna states. Wood on the other hand is very rare and considered a luxury. One of the most important ressources for export though is the metal huwawit, which stems from the Hruzk mountains and is washed from the river sediments. It is especially suited for seals, ornaments and jewellery. It is similar to polished silver in appearance but does not corrode.
With clay being the most readily available material it is no surprise that the Andaperna are known for their brick architecture and their pottery. Bricks are not fired but dried in the scorching sun during the summer month. Some Andaperna states use rather flat bricks while others use large and hollow ones. Pottery vessels are made for everyday use and have different shapes and sizes. They are hardened not by the sun alone but also by an alchemical process to allow the production of amphoras, jugs or beakers but also cooking vessels that can hold liquids like wine, beer or honey.
Small charms or tablets made from huwawit have become its biggest export though. Andapernans are very superstitious and seek help to get rid of evil spirits, ghosts, demons and the like that might in any way or shape influence their lifes or undertakings from all kinds of religious experts. A whole industry revolves around the panning, hammering, peening and embossing these charms or tablets, their treatment by religious specialists and their trading. These artifacts are mostly for one-time use as they are crafted on special occasions like a travel, the birth of a child or of cattle or to help with averting diseases or the healing proccess. After they have been used they lose their power. Somehow, mediated by the Madini, some of these huwawit artifacts made their way to the Confederation of Tarrabaenia and caused a craze among the wealthy and scholars alike with the first being captivated by the exotic design and the eyecatching qualities of the material which they call évipetuo egento, that means 'eternal/everlasting silver', and the latter being rather interested in what is inscribed on the plates and charms or the alchemical properties of the material that can not be found anywhere in Tarrabaenia. This even went so far that there were political scandals revolving around these artifacts, since rich people, scholars and alchemists alike tried to take different measures to somehow monopolise the trade, forcefully get hold of either shipments or an individuals huwawit possessions and so forth.