The March of Charnobor – Visitors from dark forests5 Żywiołów
#intrigue #politics #mystery
Charnobor is the most recently acquired land of the Kingdom. The March was included into the Kingdom’s territory less than half a century ago. King Sędziwoj II Longbeard and Voivode Zdravko Vukovic concluded a treaty with an arranged marriage between their firstborn children: six-year-old Gniewomira and four-year-old Jovan.
The inhabitants of the Kingdom don’t know much about Charnoborans and Charnoborans themselves aren’t eager to deny half-truths and myths that have been told by their western neighbours, Ossorio and Riccolante, for centuries. It’s true that a typical Czarnoboran is, at least towards strangers, a taciturn and distrustful person, and that the dense forests of their land hide a lot of secrets within their thickets. However, the stories about Czarnoborian vampires feeding on virgin blood, or werewolves living in the woods can be put among fairy tales. On the other hand, Charnoborans themselves, being rather ill-disposed towards foreign merchants or travellers snooping around their mines, don’t deny such rumours at all, reacting to them with indulgent smiles, nodding their heads pensively. The undeniable fact is that you shouldn’t trust Charnoborans an inch, and that the admiration of Czarnoborian nobility for intrigue and backstage manipulation is downright proverbial.
The forests of Charnobor provide many goods that the March trades in: wood for masts and ship hulls, animal leather and fur, and delicious forest honey, but it’s the province’s mines that are its main source of wealth. Not only iron, copper and tin are mined in Charnobor, it’s mostly gold and silver.
Appearance and visual characteristics:
Charnoborans are not easily influenced by fashion coming from the rest of the Kingdom and they still dress in accordance with the centuries-old tradition. They wear long, flowing robes in subdued, dark colours (black, brown, grey and navy blue are dominant). Some other colour accents may appear from time to time, but they’re usually just minor details rather than entire garment elements. According to Charnoborian dressing tradition, both men and women tend to cover almost their entire body (except for the hands and face).
The exception, when it comes to both modesty and colours, is headgear. Every Charnoboran must always wear either an intricate, time-consuming haircut / a ravishing wig, or bizarre (by Kingdom standards) and often very colourful headgear.
Names and nomenclature:
The names and nomenclature used in the March of Charnobor should be associated with those of The Balkans and South Slavs.
Examples of female names:
Anka, Bojana, Dubravka, Emilija, Jadranka, Jagoda, Katica, Ksenija, Marica, Milanka, Nada, Sanja, Tena, Vesna, Vlasta, Żelijka
Examples of male names:
Andrija, Ante, Boris, Branko, Darko, Dragan, Franjo, Ivan, Josip, Krsto, Matej, Milan, Nebojsa, Pavo, Radovan, Slobodan, Tomislav, Vink, Zdravko
Other lands in the eyes of Charnoborans:
The Duchy of Ossorio:
Honourable to the level of being disgusting, they value promises given to strangers and all that chivalrous nonsense too much, underestimating the importance of cunning and acting in the dark. But they understand and value blood ties, and realise that hierarchy is an important thing. What’s more, they’ve always protected the rulers of the Kingdom; and our blood already flows in the veins of those who are on the throne.
The County of Sapphire Island:
Thieves, robbers and, worst of all, people with no family or roots, who can be deceived like little children. Their garish clothes are as unacceptable as their awful manners. Let them stay at sea, and they’d better not try to put their feet on the mainland, especially on the part that belongs to us.
The Free City of Glassburg:
Dull bean counters. They underestimate the importance of tradition, and they value agreements and contracts above fidelity to family. They want to make money from our forests and mines, so they keep sending various spies to us. But we’d better not underestimate their wisdom. It’d be good to see more of our youth at their University. And they have quite a good sense of fashion.
The County of Riccolante:
Noisy rabble. Garish, motley peacocks, having no respect for others. And giving your own youths away for hire to let them shed blood for money and die in other people’s wars is a true abomination. We’ll never understand them.
Charnoborans value family and blood ties above all else. Although they’re masters of deception and intrigue, deceiving, even in the smallest matter, a member of one’s own family is perceived as true sacrilege.