Avadian

The Avadian people originate from the Beyan Archipelago off the south coast of Arikanda. They have inhabited this archipelago for as long as any of the peoples of the Calinan can remember, with no information as to where they may have dwelled before or which people they have splintered from. The name originally referred to the people populating Isla Avadia, named for their sea goddess Avadi, they have since completely settled the Archipelago under their banner to the point where anyone in the Archipelago is considered Avadian. They have also in recent centuries expanded to the southwestern coast of the continent, which they have colonised, and have even established ports on the northern shores of the continent of Calina.   The Avadians are a seafaring people and have been since very early in their history, and are famed throughout the Calinan Sea and on the shores of three continens for their legendary aptitude for shipbuilding, sailing, navigation and trade. They are known for their adventurious and enterprising spirits, along with a disdain for aristocracies and stratified authority.

Naming Traditions

Feminine names

Sabina, Merina, Kallia, Esta, Chara, Danaë, Valeia, Merea, Lydaë, Caleni

Masculine names

Masari, Brysos, Quenero, Alexas, Calliano, Stovas, Cynos, Phaion, Kelander, Halyio

Family names

Avadians do not use clan or family surnames. They instead append the name of their town of birth or the ship they serve on; for example, Statos of Breseni or Kallia of Barcelles.

Culture

Major language groups and dialects

Avadian is the most commonly spoken tongue among the Avadians. They also use the Avadian alphabet for recording. Due to Avadian's prevalence as a trade language, there often isn't a need for any additional tongues to be spoken by the average Avadian.

Culture and cultural heritage

Avadian culture is a mixture of both the ancient ways of the original settlers of Isla Avadia, with distinct cultural elements from the other islands added to the mainstream culture over the years of Avadian expansion and assimilation across the Beyan Archipelago. In the past millennium, it has given rise to a number of variances; for example, the colonies of southwestern Arikanda, being more terrestrial, forgo some of the more marine-based elements of the culture, while the former colony of Maganti has become a fusion of Avadian and Calinani cultures.

Shared customary codes and values

Avadians hold personal freedoms in higher value than most other Arikandan cultures. They despise the idea of castes or blood-based elites, instead valuing individuals on their success, ingenuity and merit. They shun social titles and ranks, instead using one of two titles; 'Master' for citizens who do not captain a ship, and 'Captain' for those who do.

Average technological level

The Avadians, like the other empires around them, have reached a technology comparable to the late Bronze Age. Most weaponry and armour is bronze. Money exists in the form of the Avadian hex, a silver hexagon-shaped coin that is prominent in trade markets not just in Avadian territory but across the Calinan. The Avadians have advanced naval technology, developing biremes and specialised warships alongside cargo ships such as the Penteconter.   Due to the commerce-oriented nature of Avadian civilisation, the Avadians have near universal literacy, and writing is a refined art. They usually use waxed wooden tablets as a surface to write, although clay is used for documents that require permanence.

Common Dress code

Avadians are primarily a warm-weather people and their attire reflects this. Like most civilisations, most manual workers opt for short cotton tunics, sleeveless vests or simply cut-off cotton trousers.   The merchant class often wear linen clothing in a variety of cuts and styles. The most iconic Avadian outfit is a light linen short-sleeved tunic, over which is worn a wrapped skirt or kilt fringed with colours or patterns, and a tasseled belt. These are worn by both men and women. These can be worn in a variety of colours, with navy blue, burgundy, off-white and teal being common. Merchants also often wear jewellery such as bracelets and necklaces, often made with glass beads, cowrie shells, copper and silver.

Art & Architecture

Most Avadian buildings are constructed of limestone mined from the local quarries around the archipelago. The buildings are usually a distinctive chalk white in colour, usually with frescos and murals of blues and reds. If limestone is not in easy supply, baked bricks and wooden buildings can also be used. Newer cities, especially the colonies on the mainland, are developed as planned cities, and Port Avadia is divided by district due to its size and importance.   The centrepiece of most Avadian cities is the central palace of the local governor or, in the case of Port Avadia, the Sealord. These palaces are not so much a single building as a large complex of buildings usually situated around a central courtyard. The courtyard is usually used for public gatherings and events.  

Dwellings

Avadian dwellings vary depending on location and wealth of the particular person. In Port Avadia and most settled towns, working-class Avadians live in modest rectangular duplex buildings made from stone. These usually have two to three rooms. The mercantile class reside in larger townhouse-style homes with specialised rooms and central courtyards, while the elite reside in urban compounds or semi-rural villas with multiple buildings and facilities.   Captains and members of ship companies usually reside in small tents that they bring with them on their voyages and set up on shore each evening.

Foods & Cuisine

As a maritime society, seafood is quite prevalent in the diets of most Avadians, with fish and shellfish alike making up considerable staples. Fermented fish sauce is a common condiment. In addition to seafood, chicken and pork are quite common. A variety of fruits from both sides of the Calinan Sea are also regularly consumed, such as dates, pomegranates, mangoes and oranges. Avadians also have the advantage of being able to import many foodstuffs from across the Calinan Sea, and enjoy a more varied selection of foodstuffs than would usually be available.   Rum is a popular beverage due to the abundance of sugarcane available on the islands and colonies, and wine is also produced both locally and imported from Arikandan cities. Fruit juices are also popular, particularly among sailors.

Funerary and Memorial customs

Avadian dead are usually cremated. Prominent Avadians, and Avadians who own a ship, are often placed aboard their own vessel, which is normally set ablaze. A recent custom that has emerged involves particularly intrepid Avadians being cast adrift on their boats, sailing to the great unknown.

Common Taboos

Slavery is abhorred in Avadian society; indeed, slavery is the only crime in the Sovereignty where execution is mandatory. This ties into the Avadians' strong independent streak and love of freedom.

Common Myths and Legends

One major mythical figure is the First Sealord, believed to be the founder of Port Avadia. She was said to be a daughter of the sea goddess Avadi who came from the sea, arrived in Isla Avadia and united the indigenous people to create the city. She also taught them the art of sailing.

Religion and Faith

Most Avadians follow the original faith from their founding; the Avadian gods. The Avadians themselves are named after their most prominent goddess, the sea goddess Avadi. The Avadian gods are more numerous than the Elemental gods of mainland Arikanda, and cover all kinds of aspects from the sea and war to gardening and record-keeping.   There is no unified temple or church hierarchy as with Elementalism or Solarity, with faith generally considered a personal matter and kept seperate from state matters. With that said, most Avadians have some degree of faith, and regularly sacrifice and attend festivals dedicated to the gods they are most connected to.

Historical figures

One of the most revered figures among the Avadians is Katanya Xira, a famous explorer who sailed to the northern coast of Calina and made first Arikandan contact with the Calinani.

Ideals

Gender Ideals

Avadians pay little to no heed to gender when it comes to how a person should act or what they should be doing with their lives. From their perspective if a person is capable and up to the task, that's all that matters. As a result, it is common to see female sailors, merchants, captains and soldiers alongside their male counterparts. They also don't particularly care how a person chooses to present themselves; if somebody who is biologically male chooses to dress like a woman usually would, then that is their right and they are not judged - they are treated as whoever they present themselves to be.

Courtship Ideals

Avadians have no real concept of class restrictions when it comes to who to court or marry. If a merchant chooses to marry a dockworker, they are free to. While merchants have been known to marry to form alliances and pool recources, it is legally forbidden for a person to compel another to wed. Married Avadians retain their own individual names and fortunes, unless they decide otherwise.   There is also no particular stigma towards choosing not to wed or seek a relationship, as such pressures are seen as counterintuitive to Avadian personal freedoms. The understanding among Avadians is that one does not have to be 'paired up' to contribute to society.

Relationship Ideals

Avadians are very laid-back when it comes to who people can be in relationships with. Their official stance is that as long as the person is a consenting adult and not being exploited, there is no problem. As a result, same-sex relationships and polyamory are quite common and accepted.


Cover image: by Vertixico

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