Messellat Mdûlûn Ethnicity in Samthô | World Anvil
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Messellat Mdûlûn

General introduction

The Messelat Mdûlûn are a people of sea elves living around the northwestern and northeastern shores of the Grey Sea. Historically they came from the South with their exact origins being somewhat muddy. Several thousand years ago they settled all along the northern shores of the Grey Sea as well, before being replaced by first the Duiniken and then, more permanently, the Tarrabaenians, a people from the North.


The Messelat Mdûlûn have a long history, reaching far back to the Era of the Trees. During that time they lived further South but eventually started migrating towards the more northern areas around the Grey Sea.


As all Len the Mdûlûn stem from the one original group of Len who were, together with the humansm the second generation of beings possessing the Gift of Reason. As the Len split up, each following a major element, with the exception of the Orohlen.

These big subgroups each split up again, settling all of Samthô with more or less success. The Sea Elves, though, were among the most successful, due to their affiliation with water and their often tremendous capabilities to deal with the challenges, but also opportunities this element offers.

As with many Mdûlûn, the Messelat Mdûlûn's origin myth tells of a journey by boat, with their origin being in some undisclosed mythical island far out in the ocean. They came to the central southern shores of Erana during the Era of the trees, settling by the sea and expanding their sphere of influence. Eventually their population grew too big and they started leaving their earlier homeland to found cities along the Grey Sea.

Settling around the Grey Sea

Even the earlier phase of Messellat Mdûlûn settlement in Erana is somewhat shrouded in the mists of history. All of their authorities, all of their mythology and their scarce historical sources indicate, that the first settlement area was south of the Central Erana Montain Range. As the Mdûlûn were not as numerous in the early days, they were probably pushed north be the Arakat people. Up north they found probably still empty lands and started to build first city states. Some also think, that other Len, probably of the Suadleyn branch settled the area before, but they were superseeded by the Mdûlûn. This would explain the somewhat eclectic pantheon of Messelat Mdûlûn worship.

Early state formation

The Messelat Mdûlûn took quick advantage of the rich resources they found along the shores of the Grey Sea. Due to their affiliation with the element of water, they could fully use not only land-bound material and food sources, but also go fishing on the shore or use the rich fishing grounds further into the Grey Sea. This led to a fast increase in population and to the establishment of more centralised and well organised forms of government.

While in the beginning they started to spread across a wider area all along the northwestern, northern and northeastern Grey Sea, leaving wide open and only sparsely populated areas in between, later on groups started to congregate around wealthier families, forming tribes, probably due to threats from the Central Erana Mountain Range in the west, mostly lawless raiders, Joun or people, that have either retreated deeper into the mountains or died out completely.

These congregations ultimately came together as walled settlements that grew into smaller cities. Production of agricultural goods was kept outside but within reach of these small cities, so in case of attacks people could flee behind the city walls, ideally bringing cattle or supplies with them. Leadership in these settlements fell to either one dominant family or an oligarchy of a few families. These had their individual storage houses which were used to store the duties of the dependant peasant families and redistribute those goods back to them. The surplus was used by the aristocratic family in charge or, to their advantage, traded off.

Expansion phase

Eventually the population of some of the cities grew so big, that groups of settlers were sent out to claim land elsewhere in the name of the city they came from. This system was called the system of mother cities and filial cities. It lead to a strong economical basis, especially before the Great Cold, when Samthô was substantially transformed and agriculture still yielded enough crops for substantial population growth. The filial cities were often far remote from their mother cities and partly became wholly independant poltical entities. In most cases however a strong bound between mother city and filial city remained.

As a result of this phase, the area all around the middle and northern Grey Sea as well as the islands within became a belt of burgeoning and competing city states in ever changing alliances. Albeit all the competition a strong feeling of belonging together united all the Mdûlûn, forming a common identity called the Messellat Mdûlûn, a term that means 'the Mdûlûn of our sea', with the sea being the Grey Sea.

Encountering the Duiniken

The shared identity was, what in the end prolonged the eventual downfall of some of the northern city states of the Mdûlûn. To the north, a strong and expansive people, the Duiniken, were living in the area wedged between the Central Erana Mountain Range and the Sévo Mountains, with the sphere of influence touching upon the Grey Sea in some areas of reaching beyond the Sévo Mountains to the East, probably as far as the Paunis river.

Feeling threatened by the expansion of the Mdûlûn, the Duiniken started to push southward. This push started with the Era of the Earth, around 4500 years ago, when Samthô's climate normalized again. The preceding Great Cold hit the Mdûlûn city states harder than the people to the north, creating enough momentum for the directly neighbouring Duiniken to act, while the Mdûlûn were still in a weakened state. While individual city states were wiped out forever and some areas were in a century long state of back and forth between the Duiniken and the Mdûlûn, the sense of belonging together resulted in substantial military support from the southern city states.

As a result, the Mdûlûn, while overall surviving, lost a substantial part of their posessions to the North and the Duiniken, on the other hand, got weakened, so a new people migrating in from north of the Sévo Mountains, the Tarrabaenians went from being tolerated vassals of the Duiniken to a rogue intruding force driving away the Duiniken and establishing themselves in the area.

Contacts with the Asargam Empire

Until their utter destruction by the gods at the end of the Era of the Trees, the Mdûlûn were also in contact with the Asargam empire, which by that time turned it's attention to the north, as the military operations to the continents of Auchulpa and Murahisi still went extremely successful and brought high hopes for similar success in the North.

It is not known how the Arakat people interacted with the Asargam Empire, but historical sources from the Asargam Empire itself - though scarce - show evidence, that the Messellat Mdûlûn were the only faction in Erana welcoming the empire. The exact nature of the contact stays unclear, but must have been restricted to some envoys and the exchange of some gifts.

The Tarrabaenian threat

With the aforementioned rise to power of the Tarrabaenians in the Duiniken lands, a new threat arose in the north. The cause of the migration that brought the Tarrabaenians to that area in the first place was a migration of warlike and monstrously cruel Umoyaleyn, that drove a number of peoples around in northeastern Erana and brought about the end of some others. This being driven away from their homelands resulted in a deeply rooted hatred towards all Len, which was also projected upon the Messellat Mdûlûn and resulted in fierce wars against them. In the end the Tarrabaenians could not wipe out the Messelat Mdûlûn, but were held back by strong alliances of their city states against the threat from the North as well as geographic constraints.

The Tarrabaenians managed, with a few setbacks, to permanently get control of the northern shore of the Grey Sea with the mouth of the Paunis river being the border point to the east and the mountain spur between the Mdûlun city state of Kissalinn and the Tarrabaenian province of Tresalbeo in the west. They also established a relatively competent navy to prevent Mdûlûn raids on their shorelines.

This situation lead to the Mdûlûn states being geographically being divided by the Grey Sea, which is notoriously difficult to navigate. The city states to the west and to the east have started to form varying alliances to deal with the Tarrabaenian threat. All of this resulted in a century spanning stalemate between those two that is unlikely to ever be resolved.

Alliances and civil wars

The Messellat Mdûlûn have, despite them consciously perceiving themselves as one people, always been vying for power over each other, too. This may be a result of their early history, when the stronger leading aristocrat families had to fight to put themselves above competing families. This competetive mindset was carried over to the era of the city states as well and still influences the Mdûlûn psyche greatly.

During the wars with the Duiniken and the Tarrabaenians, alliances were formed between larger and smaller city states, which on the one hand were effective in repelling the Men from the North as well as launching expansionist campaigns deep into the enemy's lands. On the other hand though, these alliances often resulted in stronger partners within the alliances incorporating smaller city states or abusing their resources for their individual rather than the common good of all the partners.

One noteable of these alliances is the Sendarian League, which was struck between Sendar as the leading city state and several other city states in the eastern part of the Messelat Mdûlûn settlement area. It is still in existence today in a weakened state. The original purpose of the alliance was to drive the Tarrabaenians away from the Grey Sea entirely during the phase of strong mutual aggression between the Tarrabaenians and the Mdûlûn during the second millenium of the Era of the Earth. During the fourth and last major war between these two powers, the Tarrabaenians destroyed the alliance's fleet utterly in the so called 'Fourth War against the Southern Elves'. Sendar used force to keep the alliance together in the centuries after, which resulted in resistance within the alliance and resentments of other city states against Sendar's ways of treating their allies. One such city states is Rodasaikus, which currently rallies its own allies to overcome Sendar supremacy in the East and presumably take once more a more aggressive stance against the Tarrabaenians in the North.

Recent history

In recent years the Messellat Mdûlûn and the Tarrabaenians have entered a state of cold war with the borders between both powers being locked in place for several hundred years. In the west the bordering city state of Kissalin has barricaded itself against the North as the Tarrabaenians have taken position against Kissalin by keeping the old Duiniken fortifications armed and manned at all times. To the east power seems to be slowly shifting from Sendar to Rodasaikus, a new rising city state taking advantage from its protected position on the mountainside as well as advantageous climatic conditions and natural resources from the Hruzk mountains.

With Kissalin being the bulwark against the Tarrabaenians to the North and the difficult navigating conditions around the Paunis river's mouth with its shoals and skerries and shallows, both parts of the settlement area of the Mdûlûn are protected and thriving from this state of protectedness. Especially Kissalin is becoming more and more powerful, due to the strong concerns of its people in charge about the potential threat posed by the northern neighbours.

Overall domestic trade is becoming more and more effective and diversified and the Mdûlûn are engaging in long distance trade with Andaperna to the East and communities of mountain peoples in the Central Erana Mountain Range to the West as well. The division of East and West by the Tarrabaenians also created need to not only have a well functioning navy able to harry the shorelines, but also vessels apt for offshore navigation to keep in touch with those on the other side of the Grey Sea. A certain amount of exchange takes place via the sea, but is ultimately too few to enable intensive cross-sea cooperation. Sendar, in search of allies, has also launched naval expeditions to the far Southeast recently.

Systems of Government, politics and organization

Messellat governments can be divided into roughly two major forms - secular and religious governments. Furthermore, some of the city states have experienced surges of democratic movements, taking power from single leaders or restricted leading factions and transferring it to the people in general. These developments have lead to strong dynamics of various sorts in the past and continue to do so in the present.

Rise of the aristocracy

The beginnings of the Messellat Mdûlûn around the Grey Sea were marked by extensive expansion as well as by existential threats posed by the native people who may have lived there of by the people coming from the mountains or the north to seek easy plundering grounds. When becoming sedentary, some families occupied better spots than others, leading to them having an advantage in protecting their goods. This eventually led to some of them being chased away by others who wanted to get hold of their advantageous positions or it led to others rallying behind them to seek protection in position and numbers. This way, two types of aristocratic governments developped: One, where the leading family was above the others and eventually formed the head of the state and the other, where multiple strong families banded together to form an aristocratic elite which again formed the states' government.

At first the aristocratic systems under a single family were lead by the head of that family, the so called koripaja, who assigned duties to his kin. The koripaja system was non-hereditary and after a leaders death the position was passed on to the second in command, whoever that might have been in the respective state.

In aristocracies lead by a group of dominant families, councils and elder councils were formed, with the councils being made up of the head of the family and the elder councils of the retired heads of the family, as each head of the family had to pass on the leadership role at a certain age. These elder councils were called upon in difficult times and had a veto right, in case the councils' decisions were deemed wrong or ill thought out.

Kingships and clerical leaderships

Certain positions within the aristocratic systems lend themselves to an accumulation of power over time, so many of the aristocratic elites were eventually replaced by a leading figure on a certain position within the governmental system. In some states these were more secular, as leaders of the army or the bursars took the leadership role, in other cases the power came into the hands of religious institutions and the city states were and still are governed by religious leaders.

Kissalin for example has a despotic leadership system, where most of the power lies in the hand of the Sikko, the former bursar of the early Kissalin aristocratic phase. Now the Sikko holds power over the state authorities, governs the money and goods coming in from taxes and levies and redistributes the incoming finances to places where they are needed. He does not order the Kissalin army though, but instead installs the generals of the army.

In Rodasaikus a group of aristocratic families were leading the state until the union between the families broke. In the end, two families prevailed, leading to an interesting system of a double head of state. These two heads of state are both called koman, which means king. The kings are the koripaja of their family's and are the kings until they reach a certain age. At that age, the most capable son of each is made koripaja of the family and koman of the state. There are certain duties to be fulfilled and the kings take turns with taking care of those governmental duties. These change of competence happens annually.

Inarikudad, a city state in the Southwest, is governed by the leading moon priest of the Okta Tsumol Si, which is the main temple of moon worship in all of the Messellat Mdûlûn lands. The head of the temple is likewise the head of the state and orders a group of higly trained and capable monks around, which take care of all the tasks they are assigned. The government is supposedly set in charge by Salena, the moon god and lead by his divine interventions which show themselves in dreams and visions to the leading priest, the Salenad Kotokai.

Democratic movements

In some of the aristocratic city states, the peasant families have demanded more rights as they felt pushed around by their aristocratic leaders without profiting in a noticabe way from the system or felt their opinions were disregarded by those in charge, although they contributed huge amounts of goods and labour to the wellbeing of their individual city states. One such example is Sendar, which saw several phases of democratization since the beginning of the Era of the Earth. At first, peasants stood up for the right of freedom within their own state, abolishing the system of debt bondage that was and still is normal in Messellat Mdûlûn city states. As a second step, the people protested for a right to bring in proposals for laws or political acts. This was realized by installing a patronage system, where peasant families could rally behind aristocrats to have them push their favoured agendas or supress unwanted agendas from being put in motion. The last step was an opening of posts to citizens of the state in general instead of only members of the aristocracy. This was realised by a tier system based on income, which enabled peasants to take minor posts in the state but keeping the more important posts still reserved for the aristocratic elites.

The implementation of democratic elements is a source of Sendars rise to power during the early Era of the Earth, but also a major contributing factor to its faling out of favour within the Sendarian League in recent decades. Some avaricious aristocrats have instigated the people with false promises of wealth, success and grandeur, so they could abuse their privileges against their allies within the Sendarian League and sideline resources for their personal political gain. So the people voted for the confiscation of substantial amounts of common goods of the league under false pretenses, which were used by the aristocrats to build certain public commodities, to further improve their standing with the masses. This has lead to a cutthroat climate within the city's council and to a strong distrust of former allies with Sendar altogether. Profiting from this is the rivaling city state of Rodasaikus.

Inter-city-state relations

As mentioned, the city states not only face danger from outside, but also from one another and from within. This has lead to a dynamic system of alliances that are always shifting, breaking apart and coming together again in new iterations or different forms.

This circumstance creates times of peace, strife, prosperity and unrest over all of the Messelat Mdûlûn lands. While posing threats to safety of either individual city states or groups of them, this has also lead to a very active engagement in crafts, philosophy, technology and research, a situation that is similar to the city states in Andaperna, which are also very progressive and creative to better deal with the competitors around them.

The formation of alliances has always been a major factor of political activity in Messelat Mdûlûn history. Most of the time it were indeed smaller states banding together to meet threats posed by bigger states. Against the Duiniken and the Tarrabaenians, huge alliances were formed, consisting of dozens of city states working together firmly to protect their fellow Mdûlûn or to strike against the dreaded foes to the North.

Some city states are exempt from these struggles, though, as they house sacred sites venerated by all Messelat Mdûlûn alike. They are neutral entities, which every Mdûlûn from every state can make pilgrimages to. Pilgrims are, regardless of other affiliations, always protected from all kinds of persecution, unless of course they break the common laws of all Messellat Mdûlûn, also called the Pilgrimage Laws.

Foreign relations

As the settlement area of the Messellat Mdûlûn is surrounded by mountains from almost all sides and the Grey Sea is notoriously difficult to navigate, contact to other nations is limited to a minimum.

The western Messellat Mdûlûn are trading with Tarrabaenia in very limited ways. Other than that the Arakat states to the South are a neutral neighbour with whom some trade is conducted. The mountain peoples of the Central Erana Mountain Range are too few in numbers and economic strength as to account for more than some exchange of everyday goods and wares. Also the mountain peoples are often very volatile in nature, changing from neutral trade partners to raiding parties driven by spontaneous needs ever so often.

In the East, the situation is comparable. The eastern Messellat Mdûlûns disposition towards the Tarrabaenians is even more standoffish, though, so no trade cooperations exist between the two factions. Again there are mountain ranges, namely the Hruzk Mountains, cutting the eastern city states off from the Moiyeli Swamplands and Andaperna. As the Hruzk Mountains are easier to traverse, trade between the Messellat Mdûlûn and Andaperna city states is possible at least during the summer months of the year, after the snow masses have molten away. Taking advantage of their fleet, Sendar has recently launched expeditions to the Southwest to open new trade routes and to find new allies against their competitor Rodasaikus.


Trade is mostly domestic, due to the Messellat Mdûlûn being mostly cut off other cultures by geographic features. The only exceptions so far is a bit of trade conducted with the Arakat to the Southwest, the mountain people in the Central Erana Mountain Range to the west and some minor trade with the Andaperna people, which is greatly hindered by the Hruzk Mountains. The situation with the Tarrabaenians to the North is difficult. But some restrictions have been lifted recently, as the Tarrabaenians are in need of more fish and salt than they could get from their own shorelines and other trading partners. In return, the Messelat Mdûlûn import Nillámina and exotic goods from the east, especially glass from Madini via Tarrabaenia.

Historically there seemed to be at least some contact between the Asargam Empire and the Messellat Mdûlûn during the Era of the Trees. This is very likely to have involved at least some exchange of goods, as elements of Asargam craftsmenship are still to be found in some of the Messellat Mdûlûn's material culture, especially their architecture.


Messellat Mdûlûn culture is heavily influenced not only by their nature as a maritime people of sea elves, but also by their cultural and geographical surroundings. One the one hand they are a seafaring culture living by the shore of a large marginal sea. On the other hand this sea is hardly navigable and forces this people of Mdûlûn to also make use of the land bound resources aroud them. This makes the Messellat Mdûlûn special insofar as they are not an exclusively maritime trading culture, but also a culture of pastoralists and stoneworkers. This has lead to them forming a very stable, yet dynamic on the inside culture that sets them apart from many other Mdûlûn.

Material culture and architecture

Being forced to deal not only with the sea, as the Grey Sea is harsh and doesn't provide its residents with bounties of resources, the Messellat Mdûlûn had to adapt to life on land as well and developped a culture rich in stonework, metalwork and a cuisine offering a variety of sea based as well as land based delicacies.

Messellat Mdûlûn are also good craftsmen, creating commodities of high quality for domestic as well as foreign trade. Among their most favoured goods is a certain kind of pottery made from a very hard and dense clay that lends itself perfectly to creating vessels for the transport of liquid goods under rough circumstances.

The architecture shows some influence of Asargam culture. In the beginning, as with many Mdûlûn, the architecture was light and not too sturdy. Mdûlûn in general tend to built settlements made up of wooden houses and huts from where they embark on their seabound journeys. Solid and permanent architecture is mostly unnecessary for them, as they couldn't guard them and their goods while being absent. Messellat Mdûlûn though had to make compromises, as the adjacent Grey Sea pressured them to get more used to a life on land. In the beginning their architecture was mostly as light as normal for most Mdûlûn, with the exception of the more powerful clans having the fortified hill dwellings, the precursors of the walled cities with their aristocratic elites.

While not much is known about the Asargam Empire in general, as the gods wanted to wipe it off Samthô's surface as completely as possible, some remnants of their structures still exist. These show marks and features also seen in Messellat Mdûlûn architecture. As the nature of the contact between the two civilizations is unclear, the Messellat Mdûlûn were effectively only a group of somewhat culturally connected band of different tribes on Asargam's periphery. Maybe some Asargam outposts existed in southern Erana, so the Messellat Mdûlûn could take inspiration from their architecture. A different explanation would be, that prisoners or slaves were taken and brought to Emniyama, where the Asargam heartland was and were used to costruct buildings there. Later some of them must have returned to their homelands somehow and spread knowledge about the construction of stone buildings.

Arts and crafts

One of the most well-known crafts of the Messellat Mdûlûn is crafting with Nillámina, a special kind of mother of pearl won from Ahóstrea. These seashells are endemic to the northern Grey Sea and the Mdûlûn only have limited access to the material, as the Ahóstrea are hardly present as far south as Kissalin. In Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl Ahóstrea are called Karri, the mother of pearl is called Yanak nu Mepar, which translates to 'willows and roses', as the mother of pearl glistens in shades of rose and light green.


Textiles play an important role in Messellat Mdûlûn society as they are used to indicate social status, social roles and affiliation to certain groups. It is thus no wonder, that the artistry reached in the fields of sewing, dyeing, embroidery and all kinds of textile crafts has reached an exceptionally high level. It is no understatement to say that of all the crafts of the Messellat Mdûlûn this is the most diversified and highly developed area of craftsmenship. One piece, the Lintad Pu, plays probably the most important role. It is a headscarf indicating a woman's marital status which is universally worn in all of the Messellat Mdûlûn city states and has a number of traditions revolving around it, tieing it to other arts as dance, music and poetry.


Metalwork is employed in a number of fashions by the Messellat Mdûlûn. First and foremost it was used to create status symbols for the rich. Rings, amulets, pendants, brooches and clasps of all kinds exist and are treasured highly within individual families and passed on from generation to generation. The durability and ability to stay sharp or pointy has soon led to the use of metals in weapon making as well. These new weapons, again, spurted the development of new kinds of armour as well. Nowadays metals are used in all kinds of different fashions. Except for some rare pieces, all the metalwork for mundane pieces like tools or weapons is quite unspectacular and pragmatic. It's in jewellery and musical instrument making, where this art is at its finest. Again the Lintad Pu with the attached decorative and instrumental part called olisu is a prime example of how refined Messellat Mdûlûn metalwork can get.


Messellat Mdûlûn have no strong inclination to working with clay and ceramics. They do have access to a very special kind of clay though, that is well fit to form vessels stable enough to withstand the difficult sea travels between the eastern and the western shore of the Grey Sea and of course also transport by land. The clay deposits of that kind are in the West and are found by some rivers as sediments washed down from the Central Erana Mountain Range. The clay body is a saturated grey and get fired at high temperatures to get food safe and dense as to not leak its contents. The Messellat Mdûlûn do not know any form of glazing.


Religion plays an important role in all Messellat Mdûlûn city states and is firmly in the hand of religious specialists. Private worship exists as well, but it is not organised in any specific way. The Messellat Mdûlûn pantheon is diverse, though commonalities exist. It is no wonder, that ocean and water deities play a paramount role in worship as do dieties related to storm and weather or astral bodies. Interestingly, some important gods and goddesses of trees, vegetation and fertility exist as well all over the Messellat Mdûlûn settlement area. This hints at the presence of Suadleyn or Joun being present in that area before, the former of which might have been incorporated into the Mdûlûn ethnicity alltogether, while the Joun were either replaced of forced to move elsewhere. In any case, such a proposed cultural substrate is the most probable explanation for the Messellat Mdûlûns eclectic pantheon.

Main gods and godesses

Water and ocean gods
Depending on the city state, the main water and ocean gods are Karnyo and her husband Konkamis, who are revered as a couple of one of the two takes the dominant role in worship. They are both originally gods on the bounties of the sea, with Karnyo being associated with fish, cephalopods, crabs and crayfish, whereas Konkamis is associated with seaweed, corals, starfish and seashells and kelp. She is the herder, he is the gardener. Other than those two, Naosu, the master of waves and currents is also often the main ocean god in some city states. Sometimes he is interpreted as Karnyo's and Konkamis' son, sometimes he is their hermaphroditic parent. When he is given a gender, he is always male. Sometimes he himself has a wife, called Missoyo, which means ocean breeze.

Storm and weather gods
Seafaring is greatly dependent on weather, so dieties associated with wind and weather are also of major importance for Messellat Mdûlûn worship. Winds are exclusively governed by female dieties of all sorts. The aforementioned Missoyo is in some city states the one goddess who is prayed to for safe travels across the Grey Sea. Otherwise the Sixteen Sisters, each of which stands for one of the 16 months and likewise one of the 16 directions of the wind are sometimes the main object of worship in some city states.

Vegetation and fertility gods
The last and very unusual group - at least for Mdûlûn, sea elves with a strong affiliation to water - are dieties of vegetation, growth and fertility. Okpaisu, the 'Lord of the Oaks' is especially revered in some western city states. To the east, Kûdenos, the 'Great Gardener' is the main god of Rodasaikus, as it is a landlocked city state and agriculture is their main source of food production. Lûnnakmu is the goddess associated with fresh growth in late winter and spring and also plays a major role in some city states.

Rural or overregional places of worship

It can be argued, that the Messellat Mdûlûn's most important religious sites are not situated in any city, but rather out in nature. Overregional sacrificial places or venues for religious festivities are frequented not only by citizens of individual city states, but are destinations for pilgrimages even across the Grey Sea. One of these places is Akessia, where every seven years a great festival with tournaments is held. In years with an okisimi, a special tidal event that takes place roughly every 13 years, the festival is especially lavish. The name of this festival is 'Yudi Akedias', Akessian Games, where an older form of the name of Akessia is preserved. The site of Akessia is close to the city of Rússamak on the western shore of the Grey Sea.

In the East, where Messellat Mdûlûn settlement took place a little bit later than in the West, there is only one of those special sites. It is an altar for sacrifices to Lammi Mo, an archaic god of the tides. While no regular festival is held there and there's not a certain day or time of the year which is associated with the worship of this god, he is nonetheless an important and respected figure in the Messellat Mdûlûn's pantheon, as representatives of all city states make regular sacrifices there. Furthermore it is also a place of an oracle, where people - rich and poor, official or private - ask for advice on any sea travels they might make.

Otherwise a remnant of the probably inherited cults from the original settlers of the region are numerous local cults and practices, some of which with their own cultic sites, that are connected to trees, groves, rocks or mountains. These play only a role on a local level, but passers by often do pray, incantate or bring small sacrifices at these sites as well, as Messellat Mdûlûn are eager to please the gods in hope for some luck and favour or just for general well-being.

Cities of major importance to religion

Opeilûkûl in the very south of the settlement area to the West of the Grey Sea is not only an important city state but also a major religious site. Here there are seven bigger temples dedicated to different water deities, a number that is nowhere else to be found. Opeilûkûl is also a city governed by its religious leaders, who decide over the city's involvement in inter-city-state relationships and every other aspect of the city's politics. Opeilûkûl has become a major site for pilgrimages in the West and as a result a plethora of smaller temples and sacrificial altars have been erected in the city ot by the routes towards the city.

The eastern city and city state of Tikuisso is somewhat an equivalent of Opeilûkûl in the West and boasts seven big and old temples as well. These are dedicated to water-related deities, with the exception of the Haksisso Dra, the 'temple on the white rock', which is a joint temple for the goddesses of the six foothills coming down from the Hruzk Mountains and defining the city's shape. This city is not so much a pilgrimage site as Opeilûkûl is. In the East people tend to conduct more of their worship at religious sites out in the wild than in the West.

Important festivities and celebrations

The aforementioned 'Yudi Akedias', the Akessian Games, are an event held in honour of the sea god Naosu, who might have been the original ocean god of the Messellat Mdûlûn. The games consist of several rounds of competetive sports and are held to celebrate the indvidual prowess of the partakers of these tournaments and - vicariously - also their respective city states. The games are so important, that all inner quarrels between the city states are put on hold for 42 days, the duration which is normally takes to come to Akessia, even from the remotest corners of the settlement area of the Messellat Mdûlûn. This peace is considered sacred and breaking it is inacceptable under any circumstances. In fact this time of peace is respected so much, that even court cases are not held during that period of time, as those are also seen as an act of conflict.

One moon cycle of the smaller moon, Pingyêwôl, after the winter solstice, a time of the year starts, that is on the one hand relatively cold, but also almost free of any wind. These days are called Anyassad Sôtten, 'peaceful skies', when all Messellat Mdûlûn, due to the clear weather and good viewing conditions celebrate some kind of festival of lights. For this they handcraft little ships or little balloons, which are carried either by a creeks or rivers current or by the convection of a candle or oil fire into the air with the help of a makeshift paper balloon. This lights are called gotar, which is also the word for firefly. A popular ethymology says, that the name was chosen to inspire hope for the next summer with its mild, peaceful and lit by fireflies nights to arrive soon, while in reality this festival most likely celebrates dieties connected to celestial bodies, as those are most clearly visible during the Anyassad Sôtten. This makes sense insofar as celestial bodies play a major role in navigation, which is an important part of all Mdûlûn life.

As Messellat Mdûlûn lead their lifes in conflict, either between city states or with foreign powers, the beginning of the war season by the end of the summer is also celebrated with games and military parades and practises in every single one of the city states. Weapons, armour and equipment are checked, brought to temples or other religious sites to have them receive a gods or goddesses boon and special feasts are held for the soldiers and their leaders, to get especially strong and healthy. Each city state has a deity that is closely connected to war as well as what aspect of life or nature they are mainly connected to. Some city states have a certain war god or a small group of them as well, like Rodasaikus, where the two brothers Kuparo ('the fast one') and Ettokas ('the one who scores') are not only minor gods of the hunt, but also gods of warfare, hinting to the strong role of archers and slingers in Rodasaikus' army.


The Messellat Mdûlûn have a long and rich literary heritage. Unfortunately the constant domestic or external wars lead to parts of the corpus of old texts getting lost in conflicts on a regular basis. The texts are considered somewhat important, but not sacred or building identity, so the losses are mourned by few and only for a short time. Some major works of literature exist though, that are either common for all Messellat Mdûlûn, inherited from what is common to all Len in general or which are as exceptions highly regarded by a big enough number of connaisseurs, so copies exist here and there, so they are not in danger of getting lost that easily.


The tetralogy of epics

Four epics exist from the times of the Era of the Trees, over 5000 years ago, when the Messellat Mdûlûn supposedly were driven from their homelands and moved on to Erana. The four epics revolve around either a pseudohistorical figure or around an event. The epics are written in classical Tamôl, but a plethora of commentaries in Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl exists around them. Also poetry inspired by the epics is written in either classical Tamôl or Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl.

Otono ado Kvênlôn
The first epic is the 'Book of the King', Otonad Kerron, which revolves around the events at the end of a mytho-historical golden age of Mdûlûn history. The book tells about a chain of islands, where many small states exist. While they all had their own rulers, the great king, named Kanmudi Man was their leader. The epic revolves around his actions as a wise, just and respected great king. The second part of the book tells about the younger of his sons, who is jealous of the firstborns right to inherit the throne. He commits fratricide on his older brother while out on a hunt, which plunges the king in despair and ultimately leads to the immoral younger brother being put on the throne after the kings demise.

Kaiyênman ado Kvênlôn
The second epic is the so called 'Book of Jealousy', in which the illegitimate heirs incompetence and flawed morals lead to other states rising up and trying to usurp power. The main focus of the book is on fighting, individual heroes and leaders and their untimely and gruesome ends. This book is often regarded the most depressing one, because, while the thord book tells of the fall of the capital and the sinking of the islands, the second book views war and its consequences on a very personal, emotional and sensitive level.

Nagayugi ado Kvênlôn
The third book, the 'Book of the Downfall' focuses on the eventually all encompassing civil war and it closing in on the capital. In the end, the capital is in flames and an earthquake forces the Mdûlûn, despite all their enmity, to band together in order to get out of the life threatening situation somehow.

Lyudabi ado Kvênlôn
The cycle closes with the fourth epic, the 'Book of the Journey', which tells about seventy ships setting out to find a new home. The fleet of refugees meet many adversities on sea, like storms, monsters, hostile island people or infertile lands on their way. This splits the fleet into seven parts eventually and explains the existence of different Mdûlûn peoples all around Samthô. The book mainly revolves around Kalinomar, who describes the events around him from his perspective. This makes the epic special, as it is not written in third person, like the others. Some believe it not to be an original part of the cycle for that reason. Otherwise Kalinomar eventually finds land, which is called Alahad or Alad. This land is believed to be the southern part of Erana, where the Arakat people still live nowadays. Kalinomar is thus seen as the mythical founder of the Messellat Mdûlûn.

Collections of smaller and private works

As said, Messellat Mdûlûn do have a considerable production of literature, abeit not having an interest in maintaining and safekeeping it so much. But there are always lots of poems of varying quality around, as writing poetry is a hobby for many and also a pastime on feasts and visits among friends. Sometimes more financially well off individuals collect poems they and their guests made on a certain event and commission them to be written down and sometimes even have them illustrated in small albums. These are called 'Yuwanad Sisotte', which translates to 'Thoughts of an evening'. A dozen of these have become so well regarded, that they have been copied over and over and found a wide distribution among all the city states.

One very famous example is the 'Yôlad Siotte', the collection called 'Thoughts on the Moon' by Torronad Atassod Sôminn, which was written in the second millenium of the Era of the Earth during a time of relative peace with Tarrabaenia and among the city states to the west, where Sôminn lived in the countryside of Kôrrasôn, a small city state close by the Central Erana Mountain Range. It contains poems by him and a friend, named Kimiyo, whose exact identity will probably forever remain a secret, since no last name is given.

Art letters

Another genre of literature that has become popular quite recently an especially so in the East, are art letters. Those are letters sent by philosophers, artists and thinkers to their peers, exclusively in other city states. The back and forth between these intellectuals from different backgrounds have greatly forwarded philosophy in the areas of ethics, state philosophy and logic.

One famous exchange is the one between Kansod Renn Imiyuji, a priest from Opeilûkûl and Hanasenad Terayu, a member of the elder council of Rodasaikus. Due to the nature of this exchange being held from one far end of the settlement area to the other, this collection of 14 letters from 4221 to 4237 of the Era of the Earth, the death year of Terayu, is called 'Kaisu Kaimalbê', which means 'Conversation across the Sea'. It is considered a major work on development in the field of fate and fortune and individuals capacity to deal with matters they have no influence on.


Messellat Mdûlûn cuisine is more diverse that every other tribe of Mdûlûn's cuisine. This is caused by the Grey Sea, which is an especially rough sea that doesn't offer too much to the people living around it. While it is rich in fish, seafood and the like, its harshness prevents the Mdûlûn from getting enough out of it to be able to sustain themselves. So they also tend to herd animals, practise a bit of agriculture or go foraging in the forests and mountains. All this resulted in a very rich and sometimes even surprising cuisine, that also differs from city state to city state.

Still, fish, seafood and meat make up the majority of the dishes. In the East as well as the west, goats and mutton are the most prevalent domestic animals, as the soil is often too rocky and poor to sustain lush meadows for cows or horses. Kissalinn is almost the exception, being watered by quite a few rivulets coming down from the Central Erana Mountain Range. The people of Kissalinn breed mainly horses, which are used in war, for work or for food. The East is more humid, but also rougher than the West, so more wild animals are hunted in the forested mountains.

Some grain is cultivated where it is possible and many families have small patches of land to grow vegetables here and there. Otherwise fruit trees are planted in communal places to offer shade in the summer and food in the autumn or winter. All other plant based food is collected from the wilderness. There are cultivation projects for wild vegetables or herbs everywhere, another indication of former influence from an now extinct either Suadleyn or Joun population in the area.

Examples of Messelat Mdûlûn food

Kaisenni Hittan ('Mutton on the Beach')

The mutton on the beach is a very special dish, eaten mainly in the Northwest. Meat of a mutton (plain meat from the back, breast or legs) is chopped into small, ready to eat pieces and then put into a marinade of boilt sea water and different herbs from the shore over night. The next day, dried and chopped algae are put on a plate. The meat is steamed in a kettle and then put onto the bed of algae. In some cases, especially during the winter, the meat is passed through some molten warm, but not hot, mutton lard to add more flavour and calories.

This dish is an interesting mix of the strong mutton flavour in conjunction with the more oceanic taste from the bits and pieces of algae sticking to the pieces of meat.

Umasettad Sôssan ('Blood sausages made from horse blood')

The state of Kissalinn not only has a good number of horses, that sets it apart from other city states, where horses are a rare commodity, but also some famous horse-based dishes. Sausages are popular especially in the western settlement area of the Messellat Mdûlûn, so it is no wonder, that some form of sausage is a famous dish for Kissalinn. It is salty and sweet, as salt from the Grey Sea is used to spice the horses blood which is stirred in big brass kettles with wooden spoons. To make the blood congeal in a slow and regular way, an almost tasteless, but coagulant herb by the name of sankibû is used. The sweetness comes from a syrup made of boiled onions and red or black grapes. Sometimes also wild berries are used for the syrup. As nobody likes skin on the sausages, the thick liquid is filled into moulds made of flammed kidi wood. This wood adds some smoky flavour to the sausages and leaches chemicals aiding with the congealing process. After a while though the moulds are leached out and have to be replaced. The old moulds are often used as firewood.

Kôyak Kendar ('Grilled swordfish')

Grilled swordfish is very popular in all southern states, East and West alike. The swordfish, kendar, is the most abundant big fish after the pankyar, a very massive groper, that is not regarded as special due to its dull taste. The kendar on the other hand has a mild flavour that is underlined perfectly by the aromatics brought forth by grilling it on woodfire. First the kendar is gutted and salted and then grilled until it's well done. Next the head, skin and fins are taken off and the kendar is covered with a viscous dough spiced up with some herbs or sometimes even exotic spices. It is put onto the fire once again until the dough is baked and crispy. Mdûlûn love to prepare different sauces to the dish, spicy, sour, sweet, creamy, so everyone can enjoy the dish to his or her individual liking.

Tusui Hittan ('Goat out of the Earth')

This dish is a traditional one of Rodasaikus. It was most likely inspired by a similar dish from Andaperna. The trick here is, that one entire goat is sheared and gutted, so it is clean and free of all outside appendages that cannot be eaten and would spoil the meat. Also the feet are cut off because of the hooves that would melt during the baking process as well. The meat is then well seasoned and put into a thin crust of salt and flour. The thusly covered goat is then put into a hole with stones heated with fire and put under a thin layer of earth as to not char the goat. To keep the heat in, the goat is again covered with a thin layer of sand and some heated stones. Again some sand is strewn over the stones. The goat sits like this for several hours before being dug up and eaten.


The Messellat Mdûlûn speak a highly derived form of Tamôl. The case system has been greatly reduced and the language has become more inflecting and partly even incorporating than Tamôl. Also the phonetics have changed substantially, allowing for consonant clusters and voiceless consonants within a word or at the end of a word. It is hardly a written language of literature, though, as it is only used for trade or political or private correspondences. Almost all higher literature is written in classical Tamôl, which the majority of the Messellat Mdûlûn is fluent in.

Relationship to other languages

While almost all Len speak a language derived from classical Tamôl, with the exception of the Orohlen, who speak mostly languages other than one derived from classical Tamôl, there are almost no groupings or branches of modern Len languages that belong closer together than others. Thus Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl is a language as remote from classical Tamôl as almost every other Len language.

Interestingly this is even true for the Mdûlûn languages or the Kubolen or Suadleyn of Tuuqasleen languages, which do not form closer connected groups or branches among each other. While some smaller groups cluster together as they are close to one another and may either derive from a common ancestral form of their language or form a Sprachenbund, Messellat Mdûlûn is indeed isolated, as no other Len live close to them.

Loanwords to and from the Messelat Mdûlûn language

Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl has had and currently still has contact to neighbouring languages, which have left traces within the language in shape of loanwords. Likewise Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl loanwords have found their way into other languages as well, but only in a very few cases for political reasons as especially with their northern neighbours relationships are difficult.


Tarrabaenian has very little loanwords from Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl and the other way around. This is due to the strong mutual disdain for one another, which is reflected in the languages of both as well.

Tarrabaenian loanwords in Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl are mostly from the fields of military or some names of objects for everyday use. Also one derogatory term for Tarrabaenians has been loaned from the Tarrabaenian Language, based on a misunderstanding or rather a mockery.

Word in Tarrabaenian Loanword in Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl Meaning
cúpis kupi tip, spear, (sharp) edge
eserticó êssetikko in Tarrabaenian: army
in Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl: any group of enemy soldiers
apida appida round shield
albú allu a pot for water
sulles sult tools, goods, wares, stuff
vétor petê ox-wagon
CDTT (cósílió démuste Tarrabaenié) kussideta in Tarrabaenian: council and people of Tarrabaenia
in Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl: derogatory term for Tarrabaenians

Loanwords from Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl in Tarrabaenian are mostly from the fields of seafaring, cuisine or culturally significant or special objects and items.

Word in Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl Loanword in Tarrabaenian Meaning
puni púnis any kind of ship
kûkkasôn cecássó war ship
êllôn illó oar
hannê hanis in Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl: sail
in Tarrabaenian: any big cloth
sôssan sosa sausage
kendar cendar swordfish
hopinn opinis an amphora like vessel for transportation of liquids

Andaperna languages

Loan words from the Andaperna languages are mostly in circulation in the East, except for some words describing things that even make their way to the western city states.

Word in Andaperna languages Loanword in Messellat Mdûlûl Tamôl Meaning
kalkis kalkit grain
kakka kakka in Andaperna languages: ivory of the Madini sabretooth cat
in Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl: tooth
kapani kappann in Andaperna languages: river
in Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl: the Zigra river
pattar pata basket
anashai ansai Anashai

Only one Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl loanword has made its way into some of the Andaperna languages: hhopes (from 'hopinn', the vessel used to transport liquid wares like wine or water)

Duinis 'Éch

The Duiniken have not taken any words from Messellat Mdûlûn Tamôl, based on their hatred towards the sea elves. Likewise there is hardly any influence of Duinis 'Éch on the Messellat Mdûlûn's language. The only exceptions can be found the field of architecture. The Duiniken's architecture is extremely sturdy and still in almost perfect condition. Nowadays the Tarrabaenians still use the fortifications and watchtowers, which in turn necessitates the use of words describing these buildings. Thus the words 'kellik' (meaning watchtower, from Duinis 'Éch 'keliken') and 'pall' (meaning wall or fortification, from the word 'pail').

Science, technology and philosophy

Messellat Mdûlûn profit greatly from their inner dividedness. Although conflicts are generally speaking horrible and taking a huge toll on individuals' lifes, it cannot be talked away, that the competition between the city states interrupted by phases of strong cooperation to meet outer threats like the Duiniken or the Tarrabaenians has led to a climate of constant thinking, rethinking, developing and evolving to meet the ever changing challenges the Messellat Mdûlûn meet, either on the level of individual city states or as a community of Mdûlûn altogether.

History of philosophy

It is not known, when exactly the Messellat Mdûlûn started to engage in philosophy, but early on, probably shortly after their arrival in Erana, they must have formed their epics, which already contain a great deal of philosophy, especially in the field of ethics, morality and social philosophy. After becoming sedentary and meeting times of relative peace, wise people began to not only deal with the people and their interactions, but also started to wonder about the wonders of nature and their origins. So it looks like literature, the epics to be precise, were the beginning of the venture into questions of existence and being together as people and shortly later, after getting more connected to their own new homeland, they began to fascinate themselves about the marvels of the physical nature as well.

Later on, all the city states had their own wise people, some of which did not or not only take care about the community working on a day to day basis, but rather researching and enquiring about broader topics and existencial questions. In different city states different schools of thought sprung up, some of them being more close in areas of interest than others, some working together, some competing with one another. Also mobility of ideas started to develop, when wise Men and women started to spread their ideas either on pilgrimages to religious sites and events or as a certain kind of wandering philosopher oder teacher, a tradition that is still very alive today.


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Jan 28, 2023 18:28 by Secere Laetes

Du hast es wirklich gemacht. Alle Wörter in einem Artikel. Herzlichen Glückwunsch. Und der Artikel wurde doch wirklich sehr nett - wobei ich mal wieder insbesondere von dem Sprachpart und den Rezepten angetan bin. Toll. Und Geschichte... ach, du kennst mich ja. Wenn alles gut geht ist der Artikel in meiner Reading Challenge mit drinnen.