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The Blatians

The Blatians are descendants of the Ikarian colonists and the native peoples of the Kallian plains and the Peninsula of Moria. They spoke the Blatian language derivated from the old Ikarian language and have inherited the culture and religion of the old empire.
They consider themselves as the paradigm of civilization and they are known because of their exquisite art, they advanced urban lifestyle and their military prowess. Its thought that every blatian male has at least a basic fighting skill for defend their homes or their Empire for external threats. They are also related to the Oronai people who are related also to the ikarians and that speak either a similar language to the Blatians, although they consider the oronai as highlanders and sometimes semi-barbarians.
A warlike people, the Blatians are very proud of their army and of their martial traditions. Being part of the army is viewed as an honor and a lot of the members of the chieff offices of the Empire's burocracy have military background.
It is not allowed to the Blatian people to live in servitude, whom the inmortal gods wanted to rule over all peoples
Erennius, Blatian soldier, to a Crorai officer that demanded his surrender, (The Great Kallian War by Gelius Book 2, chapter 7, 22-23)
The Blatians are also a very religious people, they worship more that 20 gods , being the highest of them Abon Shabai,the god of wisdom and nature among other things. Religion play an important part in their lives, since the time they wake up till they go to sleep. The Blatians believe that the survival of their state lies in having the approval of the gods. This is also true in case of declaring war, they can only declare it where it is shown that the gods are on their side. Various religious festivals are celebrated across the realm in which various events are held including races, theatre, musical recitals or banquets. The most important games for the Blatians are the so called Vedrian Games, held in the city of Vedria, on the foot of the Albinian Mountains and are dedicated to the Abon Shabai and only Blatians are allowed to compete. Other important religious event is the Silvian Games, that held the same type of events but in this case elves are also allowed to compete since the games are dedicated to the godess of Nature, that is a common deity to both peoples.

Culture

Major language groups and dialects

The Blatians spoke their native Blatian Language, derived from the old Ikarian language, itself a member of the Ikarian branch of the Davidovan family of languages. But it is not unsual specially among merchants and nobility to know other languages, specially the Elvish language which is considered as the lingua franca and also a language of culture among many people in the continent.

Culture and cultural heritage

The citizens of the Empire are very proud of their culture, tracing it back to their Ikarian forefathers who mixed with the pre-Ikarian peoples of the region. They believe they are the most sofisticated and civilized culture in the human world. They are libraries in the mayor cities of the Empire attesting the high level of culture and literacy achieved in the realm. Also the Blatians are famous for his litterature, specially poetry and history and for his scientist and, of course, wizards. Other of the passions of the Blatians is theatre , either played in the open or in specially designed buildings. Comedy is perhaps the most popular genre, but also plays narrating the old stories of heroes and gods are extremely popular.
Blatian culture and language alongside the Oronai language are the last remnants of the Ikarian branch of the Davidovan family of languages and peoples, believed to have arrived to this lands many centuries ago. The Blatians have inherited from the ancient Ikarians not only its customs, traditions and languages, but his sofisticated urban life and martial prowess. The Blatian cities are some of the most populated cities of the known world and some of the most higienic and pleasant for live in.

Average technological level

The technological development of the Blatians is certainly impressive. Specially in warfare, they've invented some terrible weapons for example fire that burns in the water, or an explosive mixture that can launch proyectiles at high speeds, or machines that can lunch salvos of multiple arrows.
In a more... civilian context, it is said that they have invented machines that can move with water and steam, although these are only experiments and these kind of machines are quite expensive and unreliable.
Central heating is probably one the great technological innovations of the Blatians, assuring that every house is warm in the cold months, and also allowing them to heat the water for their baths.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

Apart from the Games that we have talked about, the Blatians have many common customs. One of them are public baths, concieved as places for socializing and for clean yourself. They're very cheap and very common in cities and towns.
The Blatians believe that every important enterprise cannot be done without the approval of the gods, so in this case they always make a sacrifice or an offering before doing important things. They have also a New Year festival, in which the families get together and have banquets for celebrate the New Year, but before the banquet begins they have to recite together a prayer asking the gods for protection for the incomming year.
But perhaps one of the most famous of the Blatian customs are the duel tournaments. They are hold in every city and town, and every adult male can participate. The duels are fought with real weapons and every round is fought with different weapons ( mainly swords, spears and maces). Each combatant is given a good armour and the duel ends when one of the duelists surrenders fall to the ground or bleeds. A referee enshures that the combat rules are respected and looks for the combatants safety and enshuring that no lethal injuries are produced. One must win 6 duels in order to win the competition.
Although nobles can participate in this tournaments they usually prefer other types of tournaments, mainly archery tournaments or a game called zakon, in which two teams formed by 6 horses each, has to score points hitting a ball with sticks while riding horses and trying to insert them in little boxes. It is believed that this game was copied from the Seris people at the other side of the straight.

Birth & Baptismal Rites

When a baby is born in a Blatian family the custom is to put him in the ground, in his fathers feets. If he recognizes the child as legitimate he would rise him and give him/her a name. Then, the next day the parents make a libation to the goddess Tyr and then they show the child to the rest of the family, usually it is customary to hold a banquet between all the members of the family in order to celebrate this happy occasion.
At the age of seven, acording to the religion of the Blatians, the child has to be baptized in the river, ensuring his or her purification. he has to inmerse seven times in the river, and then made an offering, usually milk to the god Abbon Shabai and pronounce his name also seven times. Then the child is accepted among the community of believers of the Blatian religion.

Coming of Age Rites

The Blatians consider that children become adults when they reach the age of 16. The rites they have to perform are basically the same for boys and girls. Firstly, the child goes to the temple of the goddess Tyr (the goddess of Earth and protector of children) accompanied by his/her parents. While there, they made an offering in the altar, usually a toy symbolizing the end of childhood. In case of the boys they recite these words:
"Oh Goddess Tyr, Mother of the Gods, Wife of Abon Shabai, I am (x name) (he pronounces it three times) and with this offering i thank you for caring for me those years".
For the girls, since Tyr is also the protector of women, the words they have to recite are :
Oh Goddess Tyr, Mother of the Gods, Wife of Abon Shabai, I am (x name) (he pronounces it three times) and with this offering i thank you for caring for me those years. Oh blessed Goddess now i beg you to protect me and prepare me for my adult life and as the Earth to give new life to this world when it'd be needed".
Then the child returns to his/her home when it is dress in adult clothes. After this the child will learn a trade in the case of boys, and for girls they can do that and also they are thought how to do the housework and to be prepared for maternity.

Funerary and Memorial customs

Funerary rites are very important for the Blatians, because they have to be done properly in order to ensure the soul to reach the afterlife. When a person dies, his body is washed and wrapped in a cloth except the face. Then it remains in the house for 1 or 2 days in order to the rest of the family, friends and neighbours to say goodbye to him. Then his body is transported to the closest cemetery where his tomb is prepared. Usually the tombs are wholes excavated in the ground with niches for placing the food and personal objects that the deceased will have in the afterlife and a place for placing the head of the dead person, like a kind of pillow.
Before putting the corpse in the grave, his head is covered and the priest recites a funerary prayer in order to protect the soul in his new journey. Once the body is in the grave, a toy is place in the chest, simbolizing his new childhood and his return to the "mother Earth", the goddess Tyr. Then the grave is covered and an stele is place in the spot with the name of the deceased and the relatives who paid it, but its not strange to have also a funerary poem be inscripted in the stele.
Finally the relatives hold a banquet in honor of the deceased that its also repeated every year the same day. But there are also other special banquets, like the so called "Day of the Dead", in which it is believe that the souls return to the world to be with his relatives, and a banquet is usually held upon the grave, with customary libations to the dead and an empty chair, simbolizing the soul of the deceased that it is eating with them.

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