Sowes Ethnicity in The Great Shift | World Anvil
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The Sowes were a tribe of man that left the continent of Nog Hreud centuries before any other. Its believed they traveled south through Norsskia before eventually crossing Shipwreck Straight. Many would settle here but far more moved west until they reached the Sko river, where the cold winds came down from the northern part of Antaustret. The Sowes loosely lived throughout this region for hundreds of years before the Samru Empire was established in 1261 BEM.


Shared customary codes and values

The Sowes are an extremely proud people and duels to the death are common in many situations. For the men it is considered a dishonor to ask for help with something without at least trying it before. It is custom for a women to only cook for her family or husband. To cook for another man is considered a great dishonor. Fathers and husbands will often challenge a man to a duel if their wife or daughter dishonors them.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

Fire has deep roots in Sowes culture. They believe that their people stole fire from the gods, which allowed them the use of fire elemental magic. Fire is used to mark many occasions throughout someone's life. Before a child is born, the family will commission a candle maker to fashion a candle inscribed with different fortunes. Its believed that the larger the candle the more fortunate the childes life will be. When the child is born the candle is lit to release the fortunes into the child's life. At the other end, when people die its considered good luck for the dead to be burned atop a pyre. The fire is meant to release their soul into the afterlife.

Festival of the Red Sun

Halfway during the Araḫ Dumuzu, a festival is held for 8 days to honor the Red Emperor's slaying of the Bringer of the Sun. During this time families will light candles within their homes to allow the blessings of the Red Emperor to enter their home. In every city celebrations and festivals are held every night until the sun rises the next morning.

Common Taboos


The sale and trading of slaves is legal in Sowes society. Although to own a slave for your household or business is considered dishonorable. The Sowes believe that no other may tend to their home if they are not family or if help is asked of another Sowes. Slaves are considered to be only used as a tradable commodity. 

Historical figures

The Red Emperor

The Southern Empire is ruled by the Red Emperor who is the ultimate power of the nation. The first recorded texts of the Southern Empire tells of a man who climbed the Red Spires and came face to face with the Bringer of the Sun. The man would slay the God and begin to cut open its chest to reach its heart. When he pulled its heart from its chest he began to devour it as the sun was pulled from the sky. For 7 sol's the sun would turn all below it red. On the 8th sol, the man finished the heart and proclaimed himself the God of the Red Spires and ascend as the Red Emperor. His children would go on to rule the Samru Empire and rule over the region for over a thousand years. Its unknown how long ago this legend was recorded and many believe it to be a myth told to quell any conversation that the Himura family is not destined to lead the empire.


Courtship Ideals

When a man wishes to court an women he must sit cross legged outside her home for 8 days. The man cannot move and it is considered a dishonor to move unless to eat. If the women wishes to marry him then she will bring him meals and provide for him for all 8 days. This is meant to honor the first Red Emperor, who feasted on the heart of a dragon for 8 days. At the end of the 8 days the women will bring the man in to meet her family. It is the father of the chosen bride's job to watch the man for the 8 days. Men have been known to faint from the lack of eating when a women does not choose them.

Sowes Complexion:

The Sowes have light umber skin that has hardened from the cold winds of Antaustret. Their hair color ranges from a dark brown to black and their eyes are all brown.

Naming Traditions

Feminine Naming:

Ami, Hanako, Kasumi, Natsuki, Sinju, Etc.

Masculine Naming:

Daigo, Hanzō, Katsurō, Noboru, Shin, Etc.

Family Names:

When the Red Emperor rose to power, it came forbidden for any family to have a name starting with the letter H. Any family with a name with a H was forced to change it. This was not at first acknowledged until the first taxes of the season took place. Dozens of families were excuted for their insult to the Emperor.

Aoki, Furukawa, Iwata, Kubo, Etc.
Encompassed species
Related Locations

Estimated Sowes Population:
~3.2 Million

Lands held by the Sowes used to stretch from the Sko River to the Shallows. However when the Travgin came south, the Sowes moved further west to remain isolated from other tribes and races. They eventually drew a line north and south of Kusso lake. Loose pockets of Sowes still live throughout the Travgin mainland. Outside of Antaustret the largest population of Sowes is within the southern Isles of Sand. Where many scholars and merchants moved to trade with the Pharahs and others. Small pockets of military and political families live within the Dominion & the Order.

Gods & Deities

The Red Emperor

Many Sowes believe their emperor to be a god among men. The current emperor and his family, the Himura, are the decedent's of the first Red Emperor. Its believe that as the ancestors of the first Red Emperor, they still have the blood of the Bringer of the Sun running through their veins. While this view is not shared by all, it is a crime to openly speak against the Emperor.

Bringer of the Sun & other New Gods

While the Sowes do not pray to the Bringer of the Sun, they do recognize that by his blood the Red Emperor is able to live as a New God. They also believe that the "New Gods" to the north are not true gods. Although this has caused issues in the past, the Samru Empire and the other Nation's of the Rising Sun have shared goals.

Cover image: by piotrdura


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