Seogharan

The people of the ancient land of Seoghar, rich with history and culture

Description

  The Seogharans are some of the world's oldest people, originating thousands of years ago and dating back to the very earliest periods of recorded history - when The Spirit Kings descended to Zheng-Kitar after the sacrifice of the six great ancestors. Seogharan civilization is historically considered the dominant culture and ethnicity of eastern zheng-kitar. As one of the earliest peoples, Seogharan culture has and continues to exert profound influence on the philsophy, virtue, etiquette, and traditions of eastern Zheng-Kitar - their language, ceramics, architecture, literature, martial arts, religion, philosphy, cuisine, and history have near global influence.   Seogharans are a deeply spiritual people and one concerned with family and lineage - Seogharan society has historically been dominated by the rule of various dynasties that each trace their roots back to a singular family tree and name. Families are thus extremely important to Seogharans, and one's family(Where one gets their last name) and clan(Made up of various families) are a hallmark of Seogharan life. And while dynasties do not have the importance they once did - a fact that greatly frustrates traditional Seogharans - Seogharans nonetheless place great importance on their family and clan, to which many aspects of their life are drawn from and determined.  

Appearance

  Seogharan clothing is almost inseperable from silk - a material discovered by ancient Seogharans that has since spread from Seoghara to most of the continent. Their society uses clothing as a status symbol - markers such as the ornateness of one's outfit, the length of a skirt, the wideness of sleeves, and even the degree of ornamentation all point to one's standing in Seogharan society. Their clothing tends to be loose and baggy, with many folds and layers that are capable of hiding the bulk of one's form even long into old age. Most Seogharan males and females carry hand fans - an item now considered synonymous with their society - as well as items made of jade, though these are usually reserved for those of at least a moderate to high standing in society. The collor yellow, however, is usually reserved for Seogharan royalty.   Seogharans have a distinct look, with squarish faces, smaller eyes, light skin and small noses, and tend to be quite tall as well as quite bulky. Due to Seoghara's massive size, southern Seogharans can look quite different, with darker skin, broader noses, rounder eyes and faces, shorter statures and skinnier bodies.  

History

  Seogharan history is some of the oldest in all the world - the first populations of Humans and Bomujeo that formed the first tribal, cave-dwelling elements of Seogharan culture first appear in the historical record some 6000 years ago in the form of cave paintings and cultural relics from archeological excavations, some 1500 years before the advent of the The Spirit Kings. The first record of a cohesive Seogharan Culture was recorded around 500ASK - some 4000 years ago, with the advent of the Sho-Bai Dynasty in what is now the modern day Seogharan River Valley, birthplace of Seogharan Culture. Over the next 4000 years Seoghara endured and fractured more times than most can track - the country has split itself countless times and fixed itself as the dynasties have risen and fell, and countless ages have gone and past there, and their history is long and storied - one of countless myths and legends, heroes and rumors, and one of countless wars and rebellions.   Over time, Seogharans migrated out of their original homeland and took up roots in what would become the modern day iteration of Seoghara - and in recent years, with the Age of Descent some 1300 years prior to the modern day, the Dwarves have migrated into the lands of Seoghar and mixed their own unique culture and history with their own, leading to a whole new renaissance in the land of new blendings of ideas and cultures and peoples.  

Culture

  Seogharan culture is a deeply spiritual one - central to the Seogharan culture and way of life is the notion of Daoism, which can be described as many things: tradition, a philosophy, a religion, a humanistic or rationalistic religion, a way of governing, or simply a way of life. All of these descriptors and more fit Daoism well; It was developed and was born from the Hundred Schools of Thought that were prevelant in Seogharan society long ago, centralized and born from the teachings of the Kazusada Dao, a legendary Seogharan Philosopher who coined the Five Constants - five values central to the teachings of Daoism that are considered humanistic, and that pervade Seogharan Life at all levels:  
  • Benevolence/Humaneness - A Daoist virtue denoting the good feeling one experiences when being altruistic. Considered the essence of what it means to be alive. A popular saying tells that "It is not far off; he who seeks it has already found it.".
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  • Righteousness/Justice - A Daoist virtue denoting one's commitment to what is right and just.
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  • Proper Rite - A Daoist virtue meaning reason or ratio, as well as customs, measures, and rules and the rites which establish relations with the gods. A proper government is envisioned as following the principles of reason and rule, and all may pursue perfection when learning and practising it.
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  • Knowledge - A Daoist virtue meaning the willingness and ability to learn and better one's condition with enlightenment and knowledge. To seek it is just and good - to better oneself with teaching and tutelage beneath the watchful eye of a better or teacher.
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  • Integrity - A Daoist virtue representing the strength of will to retain one's values in the face of great adversity.
  Accompanying them are four great virtues, which are considered to be four qualities integral to all living beings and are what makes a proper and perfect life:  
  • Loyalty - This virtue does not represent subservience to authority - it demands reciprocity from the superior as well. Those who follow this virtue are expected to remonstrate with their superiors when necessary, and that if a ruler is incompetent, they should be replaced. If they are evil, then the people have the right to overthrow them. A good Daoist Ruler is one who accepts his ministers advice and presence, as they will help him govern the land better. Many realize this virtue often can come into conflict with that of Filial Piety, especially in times of social chaos.
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  • Filial Piety - A virtue of respect for one's parents and ancestors, and of the hierarchies within society(Father to Son, Elder to Junior, Etc). In more general terms, it means to be good to one's parents, to take care of them, and to engage in good conduct to not just one's parents but also outside the home to bring a good name to one's parents and ancestors. It also means to perform one's job well, to not be rebellious, and to show love, respect, and support to them. Blindly following one's parents is not considered to follow this virtue.
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  • Righteousness/Justice - A Daoist virtue denoting one's commitment to what is right and just.
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  • Contingency - This virtue represents the ability to make plans and have a comprehensive plan for one's life - to plan for various scenarios and to think ahead in all that one does is considered virtuous.
  Many more elements exist than are noted here - such as honesty, kindness and forgiveness, honesty and cleanliness, shame, bravery, respectfulness, frugality, and modesty.   Martial Arts also play an integral role in Seogharan Society, and it is heavily influence by the above virtues and constants - learning martial arts is considered to be good for both the body and mind, and is practiced not just for self defense but to hone one's spirit in times of chaos and unrest - the values of hard work, dedication, achievment through suffering, and more that are learned in martial arts training is applied to almost every strata of Seogharan Life. The martial art of "Jugatsu-Do" - which translates from ancient Seogharan into "Way of the Raging Rapids" - is taught in hundreds of Dojos across the country, each with different variants or teachings or styles that differentiate them from each other...and though many other martial arts exist in Seoghar such as Bajiquan(Famous for its explosive, short-range power and its elbow and shoulder strikes), Jugatsu-Do permeates society utterly. Every child in Seoghar grows up learning it, and carries its teachings into old age with them - even if they do not practice its combat applications, its life lessons and everday uses will be carried on forever.   To this end, and to the end of achieving and upholding the constants and virtues that are so integral to their society and culture, Seogharan Parents traditionally send their children off to nearby monastaries once they come of teenage years - to train with monks of a nearby temple and learn the ways of these constants and values for themselves, and experience what it means to be at peace with the world. It is during these temple stays, which generally last anywhere between four months to a year(With those who enjoy it coming back later in life as adults to become a full monk) that Seogharan children are taught what it means to practice martial arts and follow the constants and virtues.
Naming Conventions
Seogharan names follow almost exclusively chinese naming conventions. Like a few other countries, they use their surnames first followed by their given names.
 
Male Names
Lao Ka, Qigang, Mu, Jiang, Tai, Huang
 
Female Names
Xia, Nuan, Chen, Shuren, Xiu, Shu
 
Surnames
Chen, Gao, Yang, Zhong, Fan, Lai
Encompassed species
Related Organizations

Curses/Expletives

  "Nakshatra's Mercy!" - A saying of surprise, similar to "Good god" or "Holy shit".   "Temples take you!" - A vile curse that is also uniquely Seogharan, and describes much of its strangely polite culture - the curse literally wishes not ill-will on a target, but instead bids them visit a temple or monastary, that their life might be turned around.  

Compliments

  "Imperial" - A very dear compliment that can mean many things, but in general means that someone is "one who makes me want to be better". Can be romantic or platonic depending on context.   "Sifu" - An honorific title that literally translates as "Divine Father/Mother", but is given to a master, teacher, or other guide or mentor figure. Has a strict connotation of being usually used in martial arts, but has permeated Seogharan Society. A very respectful honorific given to an elder, skilled master, or otherwise senior member of society.   "Ox" - A common Seogharan compliment that is used to refer to one who is a great friend, always willing to offer help and stand by one's side, and is reliable and steadfast. Can also be used to simply compliment the impressiveness of one's physique.   "Dragon" - An enormous compliment not given lightly, which is used to denote the paragons of Seogharan society. Used to refer to someone who is perfect in one way or another - either in beauty, personality, or otherwise. A common 'kiss-ass' compliment, but one that will land you jailtime if it is taken as an official title without proper permission, as it also denotes a societal rank.   "Nushi" - Another honorific that can be used as a title and a compliment. Very common, and simply means 'honorable one' - a very common way to be respectful to others is to refer to them as 'Nushi'.   "Well-Clad" - A compliment that is used to praise one's powerful bearing, ability, prowess - usually used in a martial sense, but can be used to compliment anyone. In a more literal sense, can be used to compliment(or insult) one's attire or armor - often in a high-society sense.   "Pighipped" - A very strange Seogharan compliment used mostly for women, that refers to one's extreme fertility, sexual attractiveness, and potential for or already having extremely good looking and/or capable children.   "Croweyed" - A compliment used to praise one's perceptiveness, intuition, and understanding. Used to refer to one who is incredibly witty, perceptive, and is likely both inquisitive and intelligent - liable to figure out mysteries or unravel the unknown.   "Whale" - A dirty, somewhat lascivious or lewd compliment common amongst the lower class and those who care little for social decorums - it refers exclusively to the extreme largeness of one's genitals or other prominent parts of the body linked to one's sex(Such as the chest). Will likely get you slapped in respectable circles.  

Insults

  "Riverstone" - An insult used to refer to a brat or someone who is especially rebellious. More specifically, refers to one who has either refused to learn Jugatsu-Do and its teachings, or has failed and either dropped out or has been kicked out of training - to Seogharans, one implies the other.   "Sān bǎi" - A Seogharan Insult that means '500', which is used to call someone else a halfwit or a moron.   "Erwŭ" - Another odd Seogharan insult meaning '250' that is difficult for many outsiders to grasp, that roughly means 'Not enough/Insufficient/lacking', but more insulting. A much worse insult than 'Sān bǎi' above - more likely to cause grievous insult.   "Fisheyed" - A mild insult used to convey that someone looks vapid, uninteresting, and/or out of touch with reality.   "Fox" - An enormous insult to Seogharan females used to insinuate a woman is a danger to men and others around them and most likely possess dark intentions. A manipulator, enchantress, beguiler, etc.   "Wolf" - An enormous insult to Seogharan males that is used to refer to one who preys on the young, either in a hostile or manipulative way or in a sexual way - in either case, has extremely insulting and negative connotations.   "Hardmouth" - A mild insult that is used to call someone stubborn, frustrating, etc - one who is unwilling to admit mistakes or defeat. In some areas 'Pigheaded' means the same.   "Blowing up cow skin" - A colorful phrase that, when used as an insult, insinuates one is a blowhard, braggart, boster, etc.  

Turns of Phrase

  "To become great, one must first leap the Dragon's Gate" - A phrase commonly used by Seogharans that means something along the lines of "Any can achieve greatness, with great effort" - but also can mean "You cannot expect to achieve anything without effort".   "He who seeks face always, shall have none" - A Seogharan saying used as a cautionary warning against chasing something to the exclusion of all else, and a warning against obsession, especially with social standing and respect amongst one's percieved 'peers'.   "He'd wed a beggar and expect gold" - A phrase used to call someone an idiot. Can also be used to mean someone only does things to be praised or given things because of it.   "Shake not thy pillars" - A cautionary phrase used to tell someone to be careful - mostly used in the context of not dishonoring one's ancestors, but can also mean 'do not bite the hand that feeds' or 'respect what got you here or what supports you' in a more general sense.   "Blowing up cow skin" - A colorful phrase that, when used as a turn of phrase, is used to say that what someone is doing is useless or just for show.   "Wearin' a green hat" - A seogharan phrase that implies one's spouse is cheating on them, or that they are otherwise a cuckold. This expression has pervaded Seogharan society so much that it is considered in extremely poor taste and rude to give a man a green hat as a gift.   "Eating Vinegar" - A phrase that means someone is extremely jealous.   "May we meet again, beyond the Gates" - A Seogharan Phrase used to bid farewell to one you don't expect to see again, or to say farewell to the dead.

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