The Torman are a race of Humans that are found in the far west of Tregaron. They are natives to the kingdom of Mordencrast, and are mostly renown for their steady diplomatic relations and reverence of the finer arts.
Lucille, Olivia, Allycia, Isabelle, Elizabeth, Noreen, Silvia, Loraine, Janis, Felicity
Howard, Harland, Frederick, Tomas, Watson, Seymour, Trevor, Isaiah, Wyatt, Wayne, Aiden
Braylen, Alexi, Lee, Lily, Gordie, Marilyn, Hazel.
Like many other races, Surnames given by humans are typically derived from the role that they once served in society, or the location they were known to be from. This later evolved into family names. Unlike most human civilizations, Torman last names hold a lot more weight; They were typically kept within records to keep track of their past accomplishments and deeds, which added legitimacy and credence to the individuals. Example names include: Bancroft, Emmet, Symons, Cantrell, Hopkins, Hargrave, Huxtable, Wheelock.
Major language groups and dialects
Common: The 'Common Tongue' is actually a refined version of the Torman language. While 'Old Torman' is often seen as ineligible compared to the common tongue, it still pioneered the language used throughout human society today. Mordencrast Accent: A Mordencrast accent is known for being rather 'posh' and 'refined' to some people. They're clear, well spoken, and enunciate most of their words perfectly.
Culture and cultural heritage
Put bluntly, the most important part of Torman culture is impressions. It hardly matters whether or not they're first or second impressions, but the Torman are fond of using diplomacy to make them appear as appealing and agreeable as possible. This stems from their time in the feudal era, where Mordencrast was often seen as a very important point of contention due to it being found nestled into the cove of a mountain chain beside a massive coastline. Not only does this make Mordencrast the only way of heading north, but it allowed the old Torman people to take advantage of their strategic position. Walls were built at either side, ensuring nobody would dare tread in or out of Torman territory. Mordencrast never expanded beyond this, and in fact, kept to themselves as a neutral and isolationist nation despite their preference for diplomacy. The only way people could ever head to the north or south from the western half of Tregaron was through Mordencrast, lest they travel through the perilous mountains at the center. The Torman people capitalized on this by levying fees from anyone that passed through their territory, be it through coin or goods. This 'tribute' ensured a safe passage through their home of Mordencrast. All in all, the Torman people focus on putting as much of a good impression on themselves as they can. Appearances are very important to them, and they always intend for that appearance to be good.
Common Etiquette rules
Although the Torman are known for being rather amicable and pleasant in terms of hospitality, they're also known for being rather strict when it comes to etiquette. They're fond of following strict formalities, with the purpose of ensuring everyone can get along through a prim and proper meeting. Hospitality, for example, is very important to them. Guests are to be treated like royalty in one's house, with them being given the first seat while their gracious host provides them entertainment. Chivalry is an important code that the Torman follow. Men and women alike are expected to follow a code of honor, showing decency, courtesy, and honor in all situations outside of those most dire.
Common Dress code
For both genders, one of the curious things practiced by nobility is anonymity. Special masks are made of porcelain and gold, which they wear whenever they leave their castle to other affairs. The mask simultaneously grants people the acknowledgement of their noble status, and keeps their anonymity. Masks are important to wear for most occasions, and it is considered a crime to remove the mask of a noble without express permission. They prefer formal apparel that covers the body and keeps the modesty. Men are fond of suits and frocks, while the women often wear corsets and long dresses that cover the legs. Widebrimmed hats are something that citizens of Mordencrast are fond of; with tophats being especially popular among the wealthy.
Art & Architecture
Torman housing is often built of brick or stone due to the cold climate that surrounds Mordencrast. Large bay windows are also often constructed into the sides, and the rich or well off are particularly fond of balconies placed or perched upon the second floor of their homes. Many Torman homes use woodstoves or fireplaces to warm themselves, with chimneys sprouting from the rooftops to billow wood smoke. Art is very important to the Torman people; oil painting and literature being the two most important pieces of their artistic craft. Reading is a favorite pass time to the Torman; be they a poor man rocking in their chair at the porch, or a rich noble looking over a balcony with their wine and cheese. Writing isn't the only thing that the Torman learn through academics; women are often expected to learn how to oil paint from a very young age. Oil painting and drawing alike are important to their culture, with some walls found painted with colorful murals depicting the history of their city.
Common Customs, traditions and rituals
Dueling: To solve altercations and disputes, it was common practice for duels to be done. Duels are always formal affairs, and it was a method to ensure that violence was isolated between two parties rather than causing collateral. Whenever somebody desired to challenge somebody to a duel, they would leave a formal declaration. Duels weren't always to the death, and instead were frequently done with first blood. Traditionally, Torman dueling was always done with fisticuffs; it's often outlawed to bring weapons to a duel unless the terms are made clarifying otherwise, and guns are outright banned. The Pope & Pauper: The Pope & Pauper was a common tradition practiced by the Torman people, but has since been discontinued due to its negative connotations. During the feudal era, every month began with a week of Pope & Pauper. On the first week, a grand drawing was made where a citizen was selected as a Pope by nobility. The Pope, along with their immediate family, would be taken into the castle to live for a week and experience the living conditions of nobility. From there, they'd select a Pauper from their own ranks to serve as a manservant to the commoner. The Pope was spoiled with feasts, servitude, and given the finest clothing that the nobility could muster. This was discontinued shortly after the Mordencrast Conspiracy occurred, where vampiric nobles would kidnap their 'Pope' in a sadistic game of sport. There, the Pope was isolated from their home at the dead of night, where they were groomed and treated with utmost care as with before. However, the named Pauper was a vampire amongst the caste, and would inevitably feed upon the 'Pope' before they were drained of their blood, and dispersed amongst the nobles as a grand feast.
Funerary and Memorial customs
Generally speaking, the will of a person is often encouraged to include where and how the person desires to be buried. If no such thing is available, then the method of burial instead falls upon the shoulders of the deceased's closest relative. Roses are often planted around the grave, where it grows into a thorny brush that surrounds the headstone.
Despite their seemingly uptight ways and habits of following very strict etiquette, there is little in the way of a true taboo amidst their people. The Torman strive to keep to themselves, and in their eyes, believe that business should be done so long as that business does not encroach on the freedom of another. One of the only strict taboos is to meddle within the affairs and businesses of those that one doesn't have any business in meddling with.
Common Myths and Legends
The Everbloom: Somewhere deep within the woods of Mordencrast's mire, there is said to be a spreading corruption that both kills and corrupts the plants around it. Trees grow gnarled, bending, and in the corner of a traveler's eyes, they bend to reach for them with their thorn-wreathed branches. Vines thicken, deform, hardening and morphing into dangerous tendrils laced by stiff spikes. This corrupted glade presses through the wood with menace, and can be found mostly within the old grove of Galdslann.. This glade seems to spread constantly; with travelers marching through Mordencrast claiming to be beset by the trees themselves, and the monstrous, thorn-riddled beasts that were seemingly twisted by whatever foul design lurks within the glade. The Talltree Heart: In northern Mordencrast, the Talltrees are renown for the towering, column-like redwood trees that make up the vast forest. They are a common site for visitors and tourists to enjoy due to the unique view, however, deep within the recesses of the woods and far from the trail, it is said that a dull heartbeat can be heard echoing through the woods at night. Sefton Wray: A voyage gone awry, and among one of the many testaments to the haunted nature of Galdslann and the Everbloom. Sefton was a crusader that served the Faith Keepers. While he was like many crusaders and was tasked by the Church to eliminate any surviving Elf that might lurk within the mire, Sefton opted to instead make it his mission to attempt escorting them to Hunter's Reef, where they could take a safe voyage out of Tregaron. When Sefton and his band departed for Galdslann, they were never heard from again. Their corpses were later found lined up and drained of all blood, meticulously clean with their hands held over their chest in solemn prayer beside the river. Their hearts were pierced by wooden spears. The scout that located them also claimed to have seen a hunched figure looming over one of the bodies, muttering obscenities into the air. When the hunchbacked crone was called to, she only turned her head and muttered words in Elvish, before leaping into the river and disappearing from sight. The only evidence left was the curious bodies, and the blood soaked rag left at the chest of the only bloodied corpse amidst the line.
Royce Volteroy: Royce Volteroy is the founder of the two Volteroy walls; they're massive structures that cover each north and southern side of Mordencrast, cutting it off from the outside world of Tregaron and forcing passersby to either cross through the mountains, or pay a toll to be granted safe passage through their territory. As with many kings of the Feudal era, Royce commanded the respect of his men by fighting alongside him; though he had a preference for using the bow over the sword. Tomas Volteroy: The most notorious ruler of Mordencrast, without a doubt. Tomas Volteroy is often seen as the last patriarch of the family line, and is the reason behind the happenings of the Mordencrast Conspiracy. Once a decorated duelist, Tomas was renown for his skill with the blade. He fought alongside his men much like his grandfather, Royce, but vastly preferred duels and single combat. While Tomas was once revered for his kindness, charming demeanor, and amicable ways, he had unfortunately fallen from grace after it became common knowledge that his family was among the many that fell to the vampiric curse; the Volteroys became a damned lineage, one that ruined the holiday of Pope and Pauper, and was now left persecuted by the Church due to name alone. Dalyn Hargrave: The current King of Mordencrast. Dalyn is a renown soldier and veteran that lived through the crusades. He is an aging man, in his late 70s, and though he is a shadow of his former glory, he was a decorated military general during his time serving as a knight under Tomas Volteroy. Dalyn had later been forced to turn on Tomas during the Mordencrast Conspiracy, facing off against his former King within the castle whilst the Crusaders sacked the city to purge it of any vampiric supporters or influence. In time, Dalyn rose victorious, having crushed Tomas' skull with his morning star.
Clean. That's generally the first and foremost thing that comes to mind when it comes to Torman beauty and preferences. The men are always expected to have neatly groomed hair, be it on their chin or upon their head. Facial hair is to be neatly kept, trim, and groomed, with most Torman not being too fond of bushy or scraggly beards. Men's hair is often kept short, but combed and clean. Men were also often expected to be fit, firm, and strong. Broad shouldered and capable of putting up a decent fight. Women often have their hair longer, though it's often meticulously cared for with various products, ensuring that it comes out curly, clean, and soft. Corsets were also notoriously popular among the Torman, leaving most women often wearing them as a means to accentuate their features.
Men were often seen as the soldiers, the expendable fighters that were dedicated to protecting their people. Torman men were always expected to put women and children before them when it comes to most matters at hand. Women in Torman culture are widely regarded and revered; they were often given positions of power within political houses and handled most of the matters dealing with diplomacy. Women were also frequently encouraged to be artists; with the upper class of the Torman kingdom being given lessons in oil painting.
Fighting is always expected to be reserved as a last resort; the Torman people were notably always very diplomatic and level-headed when it came to most situations, with an outlook that viewed every man as an equal. Most of the Torman were thus often quick to make friends, and just as swift to make amends. Conflict and strife were something that they rarely ever wanted to bring to any occasion. Regardless, every Torman was often quick to assume anyone capable of rational thought was to be amicable and friendly, so long as their interests don't bring strife in the future. In terms of romance, the Torman were known for being particularly promiscuous; multiple suitors or partners were a very common practice in their culture, with 'flings' being rather frequent ways to get to understand and know people. To the Torman, dates and quick, fleeting relationships are just seen as a way to find one's perfect suitor. If there is more than one that fits the bill, the more the merrier, so long as the parties agree upon it. Brothels and prostitution are both fully legal in Mordencrast. These establishments are often carefully guarded by trained soldiers to maintain the peace; with bars and brothels often being seen as a way to play 'match maker' for the Torman people, even if such a thing is intimate for first impressions.