Similar to any other world of vast size and diverse geography and locations, Drekhjarta has many different cultures, traditions, and religions that permeate the lands. You can choose to meld your character into one of the cultures listed, create a character that follows one of the established religions, or a character that scoffs at anything considered “traditional” and forges their own path! If you have your own idea for a specific culture, remember to check out the World Building forum to review other member-written options or create your own!

Naming Mechanics

While names can be rather similar to each other at times, each species has their own tradition when it comes to naming their offspring. Please do your best to follow these “formulas” when creating your characters! The characters of Gull (THOD’s creator) are used here for examples.

Humans: Human first names have no recognized mechanics; they can reflect any first names found in real life or fiction. Human middle names are uncommon, oftentimes only seen in royalty or in long lines of family with the same first name. Human surnames are typically not words that can be found in a dictionary, and they can vary in length. EX: Rhen Vastyra.

Fae: Fae first names are typically long (most similar to elvish names online) and oftentimes have the ability to shorten into a nickname. It is common for fae to introduce themselves by their nickname, only giving the knowledge of their true name to those they trust or respect. The species does not see a need for middle names. Fae surnames are typically compound words (a combination of two words that have meaning on their own). EX: Ealamhyn "Eala" Sunvale.

Dragons: Dragons do not see a need for middle names or surnames, and only recognize first names – they believe it is sensible to only have one name to remember. Their first names are often only one or two syllables for ease of use, and are typically not words that can be found in a dictionary. EX: Tova.

Bastards: Bastards are offspring with at least one unknown parent and are often seen as lowly when it comes to the social ladder. Their surnames reflect their bastard status depending on the region they were born in. EX: Senna South.
Birth Region Surname Given
Norderhalt North
Vestri West
Austanferd East
Sunnarst South
Eyland Island
Kastali City or Haskadell Lands Heart
Only humans and fae practice these naming mechanics; dragons do not care about the circumstances of one's birth, nor do they use surnames.

Culture & Traditions

It is highly recommended that your characters adhere to these guidelines. These cultures and traditions are widely known throughout the lands of Drekhjarta, and those who deviate from the “known” may not receive the best reception from others!

Kastali City: Kastali City is filled to the brim with both humans and fae. The region is known as Drekhjarta’s “melting pot,” with no particular physical feature standing out over another. However, there is a distinct societal difference between those that live in and near Castle Drekmerki and those that live in the surrounding districts and farmlands. People closer to the Castle tend to be seen in fine silks, lace, and leather, while those farther out wear much simpler garb, as that is typically all they can afford. With the shift in who wears the crown, humans are the wealthier of the two bipedal species. Fae tend to be middle-class citizens employed by the crown for their magical abilities. Most Kastalians share the same goal; survive the city, and try to gain that big break into the upper-class.

Despite the capital region’s ethnic diversity, dragons are very rarely seen. Those that are seen are guaranteed to be imprisoned dragons and are typically property of the crown, as the Human King keeps a close eye on the valuable beasts. The wild dragons stay far, far away from the reaches of the Crown and its city, well aware of the fate that would meet them should they be seen by anyone loyal to the King.

Norderhalt: Sharp and pale as the ice and snow they come from, the people of Norderhalt are the second-tallest in Drekhjarta, often standing at 5’5” to 6’1”. They are pale-skinned, pale-haired, and pale-eyed, with little variation. Because Norderhalt society is intensely hierarchical, build and physique varies wildly based on class, with the nobility tending to be heavier, finer, and more physically untouched while the lower class is gaunt and firmly weathered. The wealthiest members of society adorn themselves in fine, colorful furs and expensive jewelry, while poorer members of society express a preference for the simple and the functional, often dressing in dark colors with few to no showy details. In spite of the regime change, because Norderhalt culture has an intense respect for magic, fae are still valued above most humans, and “new blood” in the nobility has struggled to find a place in the well-defined power structure that permeates the region.

The people of Norderhalt are proud, reserved, and hardworking. They do not trust outsiders, and they tend to be exceptionally private, rarely willing to surrender details of their personal life to anyone outside of their family or close friends. They are a family-oriented people who generally consider their blood to be the most important thing that they have. They put exceptional value on buffalo, which are necessary for the survival of most people in the region, as well as any hunting dogs or birds they might have. The animals are practically regarded as family. For many years, they have trained fae with powerful magical abilities as knights, and many of the most powerful mages in Drekhjarta still come out of the region, or travel there to train.

Vestri: The western region is by far the most laid-back, with an equal population of human, fae, and dragons. Vestrian bipedal species have rather average features; their heights range from 5’3” to 5’11”, their hair is a rather bland blonde or brown, and their eyes are a typical blue or brown. They dress simply with most clothes made with solid-colored cloth, tailored to their chosen jobs. There are really no noteworthy striking features, but many would argue that their physical plainness is more than made up for with their sought-after proficiencies in magic and their chosen professions. The region puts a lot of value in honest work and intellect - fae are well-known for their controlled, powerful magical abilities, humans are sought after for their skilled labors, and dragons are revered for lending their passive magics to care for their beloved region.

Vestri is often considered the most open-minded and accepting compared to the other regions, caring for little else but the continued peace they strive so hard to maintain. Despite the region’s lackadaisical and tranquil nature, troublemakers and lawbreakers are not tolerated. Criminals and those who incite drama are met with heavy punishment, including stripping of professions and titles, reclaiming items and property, banishment, and - in severe cases - even death.

Austanferd: Two distinct ethnic groups occupy the Austanferd region - the Austan, who inhabit most of the towns and cities in the region, and the nomadic Silvigrin, who occupy the Endalauss Forest. The Austan are a willowy people who often stand between 5’4 and 6’0 in height, varying by race and sex; their features are generally long and pronounced, with distinct cheekbones, deep-set eyes, and angular features. Their noses are often hooked, and they often have tanned, olivine skin. They tend to have straight, dark hair, varying in color from a rich brown to an inky black, and their eyes are often light in color, with blues and greens being the most common shades. They are expressive, celebratory people who love the arts and love fine craftsmanship; Austan are fond of dyeing their hair, piercing their bodies, and getting colorful tattoos, and they often have an eclectic sense of fashion. Because of the rich natural resources found in the region, the Austan are a wealthy people, and they have festivals regularly throughout the year.

The Silvigrin are small, elusive people, with men who rarely stand over 5’5 or 5’6 and women who rarely stand taller than 5’2. They are all human, and they rarely leave the forest they call home, though each tribe sends a few young members as “Emissaries” to the King every year. They generally have light, curly hair, quaint, elfin features, pale skin, and earthy eyes, with hazels, browns, and greens being the most common shades. When they interact with outsiders, Silvigrin always wear wooden masks with intricate carvings on the face; these masks represent events that have occurred in the Silvigrin’s life thus far, and they are considered to be a physical representation of the Silvigrin’s soul.

Sunnarst: The Sunna are the tallest people in Drekhjarta by far, generally standing from 5’7 to 6’5, depending on species and sex. They are generally athletic and muscular, regardless of class, age, and sex because of the intense physical labor desert living tends to require. The Sunna are dark-skinned and dark-haired, though, on rare occasion, a Sunna might be born with bright red or blonde hair. Their eyes vary wildly in color, from icy blues to such dark shades of brown that they can be mistaken for black. The Sunna favor bright, bold color choices in their clothing, and they often wear loose linens; their style tends to be more revealing than that of the rest of Drekhjarta, because of the incredibly hot climate. They often wear jewelery, regardless of sex, but the Sunna are rarely tattooed, they seldom dye their hair, and they are almost never pierced - even piercing one’s ears is often seen as disagreeable. Most Sunna are hardly ever seen unarmed, regardless of the situation, but this is not considered threatening. Rather, it is seen as a necessary precaution for their often-dangerous lifestyles.

The Sunna are intensely community-oriented and selfless, and, to much of the rest of Drekhjarta, they often come across as overly-involved and excessively familiar. The Sunna see this as an important necessity for desert living. Even in cities, they maintain a strong sense of community and have great empathy for their fellow citizens; as a result, they have an exceptionally low crime rate and a high standard of living in spite of their relatively scarce resources.

Eyland: All native Eylanders are human and share the same stark features regardless of their allegiance: sleek, moon-silver hair, tanned, golden skin, almond-shaped eyes ranging from a dark gray to a rare ice blue, and a relatively short yet fine-boned stature. There is little physical variation in pureblooded Eylanders because they have lived so long in isolation - there does exist a rare mutation that results in black hair, but besides that no other hair colors are possible.

Two centuries ago the Eylanders split into two distinct cultures: the Kashi, or the Old, and the Atara, or the New. Physical attributes aside, the two groups could not be more different. The Atarans, by far the larger allegiance, are proponents for an industrialized Eyland with a highly structured society concerned with trade and seafaring. They welcome fae settlers and have learned to tame wyverns to defend their ships against the sea serpents of the Alreider Sea. In contrast, the Kashi persist in their traditional way of life and inhabit small, tribal settlements deep in the Hloa Jungle. They are suspicious of fae and dragonkind, and - though the Atarans still practice feralism - remain devout to their nature religion. The two groups tend to avoid one another, though their differences have never led to bloodshed.

Established Religions

While there are many beliefs that can be found throughout the lands of Drekhjarta, the following religions are well-established and known even to those who do not practice religion at all.

Celestialism: It started with the stars. They came in pairs, in clusters, in waves and floods, all twinkling in their sea of darkness to brighten an empty universe. What once was devoid of any light—of anything at all, really, for how lonely and desolate their little universe was—became suddenly overwhelmed with a blaze that rivaled any sun. The stars took their places in the sky and with their shimmering dust began to shape life: first it was the land of Drekhjarta, then all of those that would soon come to inhabit the newly-formed continent. Three species were born of this stardust, but each had different opinions on their true origin. Humans were believed to be created from the original stars’ own bodies; fae thought they were birthed from the explosion of a supernova; and dragons were convinced they were molded from the excess dust used to form the earth. Humans and fae regarded themselves as superior to the dragons, for they were what the stars truly intended to paint and the beasts were mere afterthoughts. The dragons, however—though caring little for the greater purpose of philosophical conspiracies—saw themselves as the real children of the land and looked down upon the two species who claimed to be part of the sky. In all cases, they believe that the stars will guide them along their journeys; the constellations hold their destinies and when the stars align in their noticeable patterns the story of what is to come is revealed. Ill-fate and misfortune only occur when the species misinterpret the meanings given to them by those twinkling lights. Oftentimes, if they wish to be certain about the message being relayed, they seek out places of worship to pray for good fortune, or search for someone of their kind knowledgeable in the subject of astronomy to decipher the significance for them.

Elementalism: There were six Elements - Water, Earth, Fire, Air, Ice, and Arcane. Their constant battle in the darkness lit up the universe, demanding their own space and their own world. The clash of these titans brought chaos, until Arcane proposed a truce to pool their powers and create a world they could all share - a world that would hold pieces of each of them. And so the Elements created Drekhjarta, their magic filling the void and erasing the darkness. The Elements felt that their creation was incomplete, however. The world was beautiful, but it lacked something… life. The Elements thus created humans, who looked to them as their gods and providers. Growing greedy with what they could accomplish, the Elements then created the fae, weaving their own magic into the souls of the fae to set them apart from the humans. Finally, the Elements created the dragons to represent their regality and power. The dragons were the Elements’ true children, and as such, the humans idolized them. Over time, however, the humans grew to believe that the fae had stolen their magic from the dragons, thieving from the Elements’ sacred children. The humans’ hatred of the fae has remained all this time. Every citizen looks to the Elements for guidance in their lives. Some worship a single Element and others worship them all. They are driven by their desire to know the depths of each Element, seeking meaning and understanding of the Elements’ impact on their daily lives. Bad weather and natural disasters are often seen as punishment from the Elements, while good weather and fortune are seen as blessings.

Feralism: The world was simple in the beginning. The saplings reached for the skies and the creatures of Drekhjarta found their places within the food chain. Eventually, though, the animals grew too great in numbers for their world and began to worry. The great Elder Animals, representative of each species, decided on a solution. The elders of all winged creatures decided to create something beautiful and powerful, something that could slice open the sky and soar for the very heavens. The dragons would be their great champions, creatures that could harness the spirit that rested in the Winged Elders’ own hearts. The Prey Elders wished to create something simple yet mesmerizing, something that could represent their own intelligence and will to survive. The humans were created carefully and with love, for they would be the caretakers for all prey animals. Finally, the Predator Elders desired to create something riveting yet deadly. The fae were more powerful than the humans, but the humans somehow found ways to outsmart them. It was a true representation of the natural world that the Elder Animals lived in. Fae, humans, and dragons all hold animals in the highest regard. Each species reveres their creators; dragons to the winged creatures, humans to the prey, and fae to the predators.

King's Decree: There are those who believe in the Human King’s vision, and then there are others who worship him. The ones in the second category are a step above the rest; the King is akin to a god - in fact, he is seen as their god, for no other entity could even compare to him. With the power he emanates and the wisdom he holds, he is capable of anything at all - especially since convincing anyone to believe in his twisted ideals took more than simple encouragement. He worked under the guise of doing right by fae and dragonkind, gaining their trust and taking them into his tutelage. Those who follow the King’s Decree claim unyielding loyalty to him, and to them he can do no wrong. He fought for his spot upon the throne; he is the rightful ruler of Drekhjarta, the kind-hearted but steadfast man who suffered many losses to take hold of a title that should have been his. His devotees will do anything for him without a moment’s hesitation. They do everything for the greater good of the Human King, and all they want is to add to his achievements.

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