Mishans Species in Totania | World Anvil
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Mishans are the Bearfolk of Moroza, a Kingdom living in an inhospitable land that they have had no choice but to adapt to.  

Government Structure

The Mishan Government has changed a bit in recency, with it no longer being a full Tsarist Autocracy. Once upon a time, the Tsar had complete power over the government of the Mishans, but over the past three years, this has changed.   Now a small council is elected to help pass laws, while the Tsar still has veto power over them, he is not absolutely the ruler anymore. Not only that, but after the creation of this system, the Mishans officially allowed the World Court to begin sanctioning them, wishing to join their ranks alongside many other governments in the world in the International Prosperity League.  


Tsar Sackerton by Jarhed
The current Tsar is known as Tsar Sackerton, a Mishan war hero. He is much more of a figurehead than the old Tsars that had sat in his position before, as by his own orders, he has lessened his power in favor of a more populist system of government.   In years past, the Tsar would make all decisions. They would be the equivalent of a King or Emperor, but now they mostly just lead the army and have veto power. He has the power to remove the council at any time he pleases, as well as nominate half of their members to their positions, but aside from that he holds no power over them.  

Ice Council

The Ice Council is a group of elected officials. The Tsar would nominate half of them, while the other half was elected by the people, both being two even groups of 100 representatives.   The Ice Council is in charge of passing new laws, which are then sent for approval by the Tsar. As the Council was only formed in 545, there has not been a change in membership, though the terms are ending soon.  


Not many Mishan cities are known, as few expeditions have been made to Moroza, and any that have returned returned with little new information, barely surviving. However, there are three known cities.  


The capital of the Mishans, this is a location that powerful mages have travelled to. Details about it have been kept vague by order of the Mishan government, but it is known to have some beautiful architecture. A singular painting has been made of it, with it featuring prominently Erra's Cathedral, a beautiful multi-domed building at the center of the city.   It is said to reside at the tip of the world, in the Northern-most point in Totania. Erra's Cathedral then sticks up past the tip of the world itself, and is meant to reach up to the Gods themselves.  


The coastal city of the Mishans, this is a place that many ships have spotted on the coast of Moroza. Any expedition to Moroza will often start here, a place where the Mishans help out visitors and warn them not to travel further. They say that the further into Moroza the travellers go, the less friendly the people and the environment will be.  


A city mentioned in some Mishan stories that have made their way to Elone. Exact details of it are unknown, but it is home to many legends, which say it is a distant and difficult place to reach. Some believe it is a subterranian city, while others say it is in an especially inhospitable region of Moroza.  


Not much is known of Morozan culture, but some stories have penetrated Elone culture, as well as some things about their customs.  

Famous Tales

The Curse of the Firebird is the most well known Mishan tale. It is believed to be about a creature known otherwise as a Phoenix, a being from the Fire Plane, but some others say it is a different creature.   The Firebird is featured in a story where a Mishan travels to Nyazran with a Fenn in search of the legendary Firebird. The Mishan allows the Fenn to lead him on the journey, and the Fenn gets them lost, always saying that he sees the Firebird up ahead. The Mishan knew the way to Nyazran, but trusted the Fenn.   Ultimately, the Mishan gets killed and the Fenn finally finds his way to Nyazran via the dying words of the Mishan. As he gets there, he meets the Firebird, who curses him for getting the Mishan killed. This curse is passed down to many Fenn and even has spread to Mishans and other races. The Curse of the Firebird, also known as Fire Magic, is believed to be the mark of bad leaders and those that lead their comrades to death in Mishan culture.
Guyug the Wolfman by Jarhed

Another prominent figure in Mishan storytelling is the Chilled Man, a man whose appearance always signifies Winter. He seems like a Frost Giant, but as the story says he is "made entirely of ice." This has led many to believe that he is actually an Ice Genie from the Frost Plane.   He was once someone who only came every hundred years. However, there was a time when he arrived that the Mishans were prepared for him. They were angry that their generation had to be stuck with the Winter, so they tried to fight him.   The Chilled Man, who merely wanted to share his gift of Winter, was upset at this response, but he understood. They were ungrateful, but they were right. It was unfair that they were the only ones that got to experience winter. So the Chilled Man decided he would not wait every hundred years, instead he would go to Moroza every year to bring winter. That is why Winter comes every year.
The final major story of the Mishans that is known is that of the Stepnova, an old woman who resides in Nyazran and hands out curses and blessings at random. No one ever knows which she is giving at any given moment, so the story is meant to say be careful with strangers, because they could mean good, but most likely they will do bad even if they don't intend to.


The Mishans do not trade much, but they do have a trading partnership with the Church of Phrixus. They bring food and other goods to the Church in exchange for protection if necessary, as well as news of the world to the South of the Northern Islands.   The Temple of Phrixus has said to journalists in the past that part of the reason for this partnership is because they are terrified of what the Mishans would do to them if they declined their offer, and they get food from it, so they don't mind. Still, the Church fears the Mishans and has warned Elone that the Mishans invading could prove more than the Nerodil Guard can handle.   The Mishans continue trading with all of the races on Moroza when they are not at war with them. The Mishans, being the second most advanced race on Moroza, has an upper hand in trade negotiations with the Wolfmen, while often taking whatever they can get from the Fenns.

Ice Mages

An honored group of people in Moroza are Ice Mages, also called "those that control the land." Due to Moroza being mostly ice and snow, Morozan Ice Mages are likely some of the strongest in the world. Verthica Draconians often send their most skilled Ice Mage, a candidate to become the next Bing Zhi (or Ice Zhi).  

Fire Mages

Fire Mages are less honored, yet more needed. In winter time, they are sought after more than anything. They often import Fire Mages from the Fenns or even foreign ones from out of Moroza, though if they come from out of Moroza, they never leave. Fire Mages are believed to be gifted pupils cursed by the great Firebird.


The Mishans did not grow food for a long time, instead relying on hunting animals like the Wolfmen do. However, when they allied with the Fenns, they were taught secrets of farming that would allow them access to crops even in the harsh, snowy terrain of Moroza.   This required Ice Mages, which were gladly quite plentiful in Moroza. They had to bring the level of ice in the ground to the lowest level possible, using their abilities to reverse the terrain back to the closest it could get to normal soil.  


Unlike many other races on Totania, Mishans do not have an official religion, instead worshipping a mixed pantheon of various Gods. This pantheon is headed by Erra, who is patron of the Mishans and has his Temple in Moroza. Erra is prayed to in any situation that does not apply to another God in the pantheon, as well as before meals and during times of famine.   Next in the pantheon is Phrixus, the God of Protection, who they often pray to before battles. Next is Kadakalan, God of Survival, who is prayed to in the winter season when it gets colder than some Mishans can survive. Finally, Ishtar is prayed to in hopes of increasing the population, as winters can sometimes be so bad that the population of Mishans takes a major hit.  

Diplomatic Relations

The Mishans were once the fierce allies of the foxlike Fenns and enemies to the Wolfmen and Frost Giants of Moroza. This all changed after a war with the Wolfmen in 545, when the Tsar of the Mishans was killed in battle by a pack of Wolfmen, including pack leader Guyug.   Among the changes Tsar Sackerton brought to the Mishan Autocracy, one of them was his dismissal of his alliance with the Fenns in favor of a defensive pact with the much stronger alliance of Wolfmen and Frost Giants.   The Mishans have also made positive steps towards diplomacy with many other members of the International Prosperity League. The Southern Nereid Kingdom and the Ruzrugh Peninsula Trading Mammen are the greatest allies of the Mishans in the League, though Alzirgos and the Gnomes seem to be making their way up that list.
This story is also believed to be a representation of a Wild Magic user, who cannot control her magic and therefore it goes wild and does random things. It is considered progressive in that aspect, but is often criticized for calling the Wild Mage evil.   All of these stories and more were packaged in a book called The Bear Book, which was a bestseller among parents so they could teach their children life lessons. Scholars study the stories wondering how much truth lies within them.  


The Mishans marriage culture is rather simple. There is no major ceremony necessary, as a matter of fact there is no paperwork required. Mishans agree to get married and then do so. If they wish to, they can book a time at Erra's Cathedral to have a big ceremony, but not all of them do.
Boris Nesti the Mishan by Jarhed


Mishans are not the most well educated, with the best educated among them studying with the much more academically minded Fenns, who have built the only schools in Moroza.  


Very little is known about Mishan history. No one knows when Erra made the Mishans, as their history is kept hidden by the government. The most that is known is that after the death of the previous Tsar and the appointment of Sackerton, they began to be a bit more open to the world.   The Mishans, alongside the other groups in Moroza like the Fenns, Wolfmen, Frost Giants, and Ice Jinn, sent a representative to Elone to attend the Magic College. The chosen Mishan, Boris Nesti, was allowed to go because he was the kindest Mishan and they believed he could do great things.   Boris was the first Mishan to make an official visit South of the Northern Islands, and has already made a name as a top ranking student in the class.  


The lifespan of Mishans is averaged at around 50 years old. A healthy Mishan could potentially live at most 70 years without magical life extension, while many die in battle in their 20s or 30s.

Cover image: by Free-Photos


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