Shirk Ethnicity in Tilandrial | World Anvil
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In the year 30 of the Fourth Era, a group of humans settled in a lush valley that is now known as The Oasis. The soil proved to be extremely fertile, and the people started to export their excess crops. Barely twenty years later, all of Tilandrial knew the food from the Shirk Valley was the best. At first, The Natura farmers tried to expand outside of the valley in respond to the increasing demand for their food, but for whatever reason the soil was not a fertile and they couldn't grow the food they were famous for. The farmers kept demanding more space to grow their produce, even at the cost of shoving the rest of the city into uncomfortably close quarters.

The mountains that surrounded the valley were dormant volcanoes, and some daring Terra utilizers started to explore the cave systems. They soon discovered the caverns were full of valuable gems, and started to mine and sell them. The city got richer, even as the living conditions worsened. Finally, in the year 88 of the Fourth Era, the city's leader implored all those touched with Terra to build a city within the volcanic caverns. It took them five long years, but in the year 93 of the Fourth Era, the city of Shirk'la was completed, and everyone moved underground.

The Natura farmers discovered a species of bioluminescent mushroom that they named nuropi'ga, and cultivated them to grow larger and give off more natural light. In doing so, not only did they provide Shirk'la with natural lighting, but they also discovered a way to grow crops underground. Any food meant for consumption by the Shirk was grown underground from then on.

Sadly, in the year 249 of the Fourth Era, the dormant volcanoes became active in a cataclysmic event that darkened the sun and caused The Year of Snow. This event did bring about the reincarnation of the Arch of Ignus, but Arch Ananda was still saddened by the eruptions. She thought the Shirk were lost, as the valley was completely obliterated and the Oasis now too acidic to drink.

However, in the year 472 of the Fifth Era, Shirk'la was reintroduced to the rest of Tilandrial, forced to reopen by Emika Henyalka. The Arches were thrilled, but surprised to see the Shirk no longer looked completely human. They now had grey, almost scale-like skin, and their eyes reflected light the same as cat eyes. They had also perfected the art of gem-molding, a highly advanced form of Terra magic that not even Arch Toloc could reliably perform.

Naming Traditions

Feminine names

Child names:
  • Emika - "she of the red hair"
  • Hyina - no real meaning
  • Nashir - "the color of dried straw"
  • Rin - "noisy"
  • Vonmika - "she of the dark hair"
Adult names:
  • Yshin - "she who serves" or "subservent"
  • Lainka - "fame"
  • Irsale - "soft-spoken" or "quiet voice"

Masculine names

Child names:
  • Neva - "new" or "beginning"
  • Konpat - "gem, specifically the ones used to detonate those of the gem-miner class"
Adult names:
  • Theron - "bold" or "one who is daring"
  • Kroyik - "one who is powerful" or "one who is intellegent"

Family names

Family names are passed down through the mother's line, as males are the ones joining the family.
  • Henyalka
  • Ankonpar
  • Iskish
  • Dashki
  • Shinkash
  • Nuropi
  • Belumk
  • Other names

    Names are very important to the Shirk, for not only do they hold a lot of information, but it is believed the names are bestowed by the Arch of Terra himself. A full name is structured thusly: [last name]'[section of the city Shirk'la they are from] [adult name] nobu (a word that means "was named") [child name] ke (a word that means "of" or "of the class") [which class they belong to].
    A full name in Shirkyasti would look like so: Henyalka'kita Emika ke Isteda, which fully translated, roughly means "Emika Henyalka, born in the kita section of Shirk'la, is of the child class."
    An adult's name would look like so: Ankonpar’ma Yishin nobu Nashir ke Sheuma, which fully translated, roughly means: "Yishin Ankonpar , once called Nashir, born in the ma section of Shirk'la, is of the servant class.


    Major language groups and dialects

    Shiryasti is the language of the Shirk, spoken all throughout the city. Formality is deeply ingrained in the Shirk, so the language has three levels of formality. The most formal level is spoken to those of a higher class or if the other is a stranger. Servants also strictly speak to their masters in the highest level of formal speech. The informal level of speech is used between family members, and those of the same or lower class. The common level of speech is used only by the lowest class levels, such as gem-miners and ranchers. Someone of a very high class may not even recognize the common level of Shryasti if they have never heard it before.

    Common Etiquette rules

    Although the High Priest/Priestess of Terra are the rulers of the Shirk, they only speak in the most formal level of Shiryasti.

    Common Dress code

    The Shirk use gems to denote class structures, and the lower classes cannot wear any gems utilized by classes higher up. Yellow gems are strictly for those in the holy order, and yellow crysoberyls are only allowed to be worn by the High Priest and Priestess. Not even their own acolytes are allowed to wear them.

    Art & Architecture

    Since the Shirk are the only one who perfected gem molding, and keep the knowledge of how to do so closely guarded, the gems they mine and mold are in high demand once the city reopened.

    Coming of Age Rites

    Once a Shirk has hit their twentieth cycle, a special Naming Ceremony is held and their adult name is bestowed upon them by a Priest of Terra.

    Common Myths and Legends

    Seighild the Betrayer is the most well known myth across all of Shirk'la. It details the death of Arch Toloc, killed by the one he trusted most.
     Yellow is considered a sacred color due to the belief that Arch Toloc had yellow eyes.
    Encompassed species
    Related Locations
    Terra: extremely common
    Natura: common
    Obscurum: rare

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