The Fellow Islands
Form ofgovernment: Edit
Like the Great Desert, the Fellow Islands were originally a single centralized state - the Guawarian Kingdom. The decree of King Almeido the Sea Wind made the Fellow Islands a community of settlements. At the same time, the dependence of all Guawarian ports from the former capital of Bandabaze stayed. The Bandabaze governors are descended from Guawarian kings. According to the law, every captain who can pay 1000 salds to the treasury of the city (or whoever brings in more, when two or more applicants) can become the governor of the city. Elections are held annually. Bargaining for the right to become the governor of Bandabaze begins with 5000 balances. However, up to now, no captain has been able to win over the governor from the former royal family. In fact, the post of governor of Bandabaze is inherited, although at the legislative level everyone can become the governor. The Guawar Trading Company (GTC) possesses the real power over all the Guawarian ports (Guawars do not build cities far from the sea), as well as over all the ports of Elinor. This is the largest guild that took control of all maritime trade. The GTC is governed by a Council, consisting of the richest and most influential people of Elinor, necessarily Guawarian captains (at the same time representative of any nation can become a Guawar and get the captain's Vambraces). In fact, the Council selects the head of the GTC, and can at any time deprive him of his powers. Throughout the history of the GTC, the governor of Bandabaze has always been a member of the Council, but he has never been elected as a head. Hypothetically there may be a dispute between the governor and the Council over the division of spheres of influence in trade; however, in the history of the GTC such conflicts never happened. The GTC together with the official Bandabaze always followed a unified policy. According to the laws, in the event of a full-scale war among the Guawars, a supreme admiral, a single leader and, in fact, a dictator for the period of military operations, can be elected. In history it happened only once, when the Guawarian fleet under the leadership of the supreme admiral Iron Kureen won a grand victory over the demons of the North in the lands of the kingdom of Tuasmatus. After the victory, Iron Kureen resigned, completely abandoning political ambitions, and even didn’t take the proposed seat in the GTC Council.
Common. Guawars have never had their own language. At first they spoke in the old Djunitian dialect, but with the development of maritime trade they immediately switched to Common. The Guawarian Common differs slightly from the classical Common in sounding and abounds with marine terms, Guawarian folklore and a large number of untranslatable swear words.
Largest city: Edit
Bandabaze (also the largest city of whole Elinor).
Bandabaze. As it was said, in fact is not only an economic and cultural, but also a political centre, while the governors of other cities do not obey the governor of Bandabaze (however they obey the will of the GTC).
Other large cities: Edit
Panchea, Rios, Dawn Harbor (Castaway’s Harbor). Many of the ports of Elinor live according to Guawarian laws (often the port and the city's territory – different things). For example, the largest city of the kingdom of Tuasmatus Cheestan obeys its’ king purely nominally, living by Guawarian laws and fulfilling the will of the GTC.
Geography and climate: Edit
The Fellow Islands is an archipelago in the South-Eastern part of Elinor. The climate is tropical, hot and humid. Eternal summer. The weather is almost always clear, with occasional rains.
Borders with: Edit
The Guawarian people came out from the Djunits, when the youngest son of Marawie Wolf (Djunitian name Zakir) led followers to find the initial goal of his father, the one giving wealth and wisdom. Wolf was a strong and confident leader, a match to his father, but in many ways he was inferior to him. For example in science, or elementary orientation. According to the most popular version, the detachment of the Wolf-Zakir has lost its’ way in the desert, thinking that it is moving to the South, but actually moving to the East.
The fact that the members of the group survived can’t be called anything other than a miracle. The Wolf's team went three times further than his father's detachment from the Valley. Old tales hold information that the detachment was in contact with the wild nomadic tribes of the Eastern desert and the Bronze Chekatta. Many could join the detachment - this explains its’ rapid growth from a small detachment to a whole nation. But there is no confirmation of this, though. Chronicles of the sea people began to be carried only when Wolf led his people to the sea.
Distinguishing the strip of land on the horizon, people moved further towards the unknown, not wanting to stay on the shore, completely unsuitable for life. On primitive boats, Wolf and his followers crossed several straits before they discovered the island of Banda (translated as the Reward, although there is no such word in the Old Djunitian language). The island had everything necessary for life - an abundance of plants and animals, fish, crabs and molluscs, and most importantly - a magnificent forest for the construction of ships and beautiful deep-water bays.
Thus, a young marine civilization was born with its capital, the city of Bandabaze. The island of Banda was not the only large island near the continent, but also the largest in the archipelago, which later acquired the name of the Fellowl Islands.
Probably, the Guawarian people gained their present name already under Wolf, when they mastered the fishing of huge guawas. Guawas’ meat is not much different from other fish in means of taste, which are much easier to catch. Most likely, the temper of Wolfs’ detachment hardened during the wanderings through the desert, and people were thrilled with adventures deeds. Guawa – is a huge, predatory fish that lives on the seabed, floats out of the depths of the sea only once in a few years, and eats everything in its’ path. First to catching a guawa was considered bragging, but afterwards it became the main tradition of the sea people. For example, a person who did not catch a single guawa in his life did not have the right to become a captain of the ship.
In his old age, Wolf became a tough and despotic ruler. Sometime he even was on the rampage. Wolf was killed by a person from his immediate circle – commander Tion. He became a ruler, but he himself was also overthrown in a few years time because of the assassinating Wolfs’ children (grandsons of Marawie). Tion wanted to establish his dynasty and was afraid that the Guawars would support the famous family. As a result, the branch of the Marawie clan ended off. The Guawars managed a free election of a new ruler, who became Alvar Berdin. Representatives of the Berdin family have since become kings of Guawars, and now change each other as governors of Bandabaze.
Guawars began to explore the surrounding waters. Alas, the South turned out to be unfriendly. Along the shoreline of the continent, Guawars were met by fire algae that accumulated in places where the temperature of the sea was incommensurably higher than usual. Such algae could eventually be transformed into fire reefs - an impassable ridge, literally burning boards of ships with a very strong poison. However, algae have become not only enemies of the Guawars, but also their friends. During the ascent of the Guawars, it was possible to drift near the fire reefs, luring the fish to seaweed. Guawas, at the same time, have eaten poisonous algae, were doomed.
To the South the Guawa Ridge was discovered - an impassable space, literally all pierced with small sharp underwater rocks.
To the East lay a boundless ocean. And whichever number of times Guawars swam to the East, they could not find a single piece of land. It was then that the belief was born that beyond the boundless ocean lies the Edge of the World, from which there is no return. Attempts to cross the ocean were unsuccessful. And there were less and less of those who were wishing to go to the East. Then a tradition was born to send criminals to the East. And to him who gets to the Edge of the World, the forgiveness was promised. Many criminals were returning on the second or third day of the voyage and swore that they had visited the Edge of the World. After that, the tradition of exile to the East was abandoned for a while and replaced by an execution in the jaws of a guawa.
Next, the Guawars began to explore the North. They opened the Reyro Peninsula and founded the city of Guawo. The climate of Reyro was much more severe and unfriendly than the warmth Fellow Islands. However, the rich deposits of ore and delicacies of the sea motivated the Guawars to build the city further. But the Guawars were disturbed by the demons of the North, who attacked Reyro. After ten long battles Guawars understood that they can not constantly resist this scourge. Guawo was abandoned, and later completely destroyed by demons. Soon they left, and the young nation of Mechanics settled in Reyro. Guawars did not return there.
They focused on the development of the native archipelago. The largest cities , after Bandabaze, are Rios and Panchea.
The modern history, culture and thr way of life of Guawars were largely determined by the discovery of the Truths’ Mine near Bandabaze. Initially, it was considered an ordinary rich deposit of silver. However, when one Guawar killed the other directly at the mine, it became clear by the experience that the ore carries an inexplicable power. The ruler of Bandabaze began to inquire who committed the murder, the criminal went ahead and confessed in everything. He himself could not explain why, he seemed to want to hide the truth, but confessed. "Let it be the last blood of Guawar, spilled by another Guawars!" - said the then ruler Anton Berdin. This phrase has become one of the winged sayings. The killer was not sent to the Edge of the World, but worked in that mine until the end of his life, smelting the wonderful metal vambraces. And everyone who wore such braces, couldn’t lie a word, no matter what question they were asked. Now any man could answer with the braces. Braces. Exiles to the Edge of the World resumed. Now, if the criminal returned and stated that he had visited there, the Edge of the World, he was checked on his vambraces. If he lied,(and no other cases were recorded), the whole team was subjected to the penalty (which, of course, also consisted of rogue deceivers). Over time, this gave its’ effect, and returnees from the Edge of the World became fewer.
At first, the Vambraces of Truth were worn only by the people from intimate circle of Guawarian king. However, in the history of the kingdom, a number of events took place that changed its structure.
The Guawars discovered the island of Davos-Beastias to the North of Reyro and encountered demons, again. A few years later, those same demons attacked the kingdom of Tuasmatus at Reyro. Guawars, understanding that it was them who could have provoked the invasion, formed a military alliance with the Tuasmatus. The Djunits also organized the supply of food to the Reyro. By a strange coincidence, in those years sand dragons and scorpio-anglers became incredibly active. The Djunits had their own great war.
When the demons were about to sweep away the capital of Mechanics from the face of the planet, the outstanding commander, the supreme admiral Iron Kureen approached Reyro with a huge fleet and smashed demons. Reyro was freed in two weeks. Kuriin went further and headed the campaign for Davos-Beastias, where he won another magnificent victory. Success in that war gave an unprecedented economic impetus to the kingdom of Guawars. As a reward for the help, which could not be overemphasized, the Guawars received from the Mechanics: gold, technologies and the right to trade in their lands without taxes, as well as the actual management of the port city of Cheestan, based on the site of the long-destroyed Guawo.
However, increasing the wealth of the kingdom contributed to the development of piracy. Very soon the Guawars were divided into Guawars-settled and Guawars-pirates. The pirates began to threaten first the Djunitian cities, and later the Bandabaze itself, after what the King of Guawars abdicated, the cities of the Fellow Islands became independent, and each captain became obliged to wear the Vambraces of the Truth. And any other captain, any port attendant had the right to ask the captain the question: Is he a pirate? And there could not be dishonest response. If the captain confessed that he was a pirate, his fate was predetermined - the Edge of the World.
Piracy was extinguishing quickly. Many pirates were wishing to serve the governors, and pirate captains, who had acquired a sufficient fortune, could become governors themselves. It is against this backdrop that the Guawar Trade Company had strengthened, now capable of maintaining its own army and navy, ensuring order at sea and on land. By the way, many former pirate ships (with teams, of course) are now officially subordinated to the Company. Guawars, instead of adventurers and explorers, became associated with maritime traders.
Industry, agriculture and economy: The Fellow Islands are sown with rich plantations of tea, coffee, sugar cane, cotton, vegetables and fruits. Food is abundant; trade with other countries is efficient. Guawarian rum is highly valued. Due to the small area of the islands, livestock farming is poorly developed. In the Guawarian diet, fish food prevails over meat. The Fellow Islands do not have large deposits of ore, but the fossils near Cheetan compensate for this. There is an extensive trade with Djunits, where Guawarian vegetables, fruits and fish are exchanged for Djunitian precious metals and stones. The forest is bought from Taurs in large quantities as on the Fellow Islands the material for ships is almost gone. The Guawar Trading Company is a monopolist in the sea trade of Elinor. Along with the Academy of Djunits it is one of the main forces on the mainland. The GTC is capable of artificially changing economic trends throughout Elinor. Guawarian salds in time have become the common and only currency. Several centuries ago they were quoted only in the Valley. Now, the Djunits, the Taurs, the Tuasmatus, they all have given up their national currencies.
Life and culture: The sea defines the way of life and culture of the Guawars. Among the marine people, barely a tenth can read and write. But songs, legends, tales, toasts and other oral folklore is very common. Guawarian Harbor Ports have a large number of taverns and pubs, where this folklore is distributed. Sometimes tales and legends are born out of gossips that are started at a tavern. Guawars are not evil by nature, but almost everyone has an explosive character. They are able to start a fight from scratch, but they can also come to a truce quickly. Very easily forget small grievances, but never forgive the principal insults. Among Guawars there is no explicit patriarchy, women occupy the same position as men. They can become captains and governors. There are no female beauty standards among Guawars, and in local women the cheerful virtue and thrust to adventures is more appreciated then the ability to keep home-fire. Because of this, there are a large number of homeless children living in the streets in large Guawarian towns. However, fraternal mutual aid is the main distinguishing feature of Guawars. Among those homeless children, it is rarely possible to seen the needy and hungry. The natural friendliness of Guawars make them help those in need. Guawars seek enrichment, but the main pleasure comes from the process, excitement, if possible, to enrich themselves. People have a passion for all sorts of adventures. Wealthy Guawars are shy of commoners, and try to live in Djunitian wealthy neighborhoods. Serving in the Governor's Guards or in the Guawar Trade Company is well paid, but not much appreciated among the common people. Guardsmen reluctantly communicated with in taverns. Piracy is forbidden among Guawars, but that theme dominates in folklore. Most of the songs are impregnated with this theme. Although only few Guawars really share the idea of piracy. Rather, it comes from craving for adventure, as propaganda of something forbidden. The Guawar Trade Company is fixed as an image of clear enemy among the people. Practically all the Guawars, who are not related to the GTC and the Guard, either had at least once been engaged in smuggling, or are engaged in it to this day. This does not incur large losses of the GTC, because this craft is not particularly punished and, albeit illegally, imposes its daily imprint on the life and culture of the people. The Edge of the World is inherently present in the Guawarian tales and legends. It is rather something great and unrealizable, which can not be reached, the a fearsome punishment. That is why they talk about it more with longing than with excitement.
A strong imprint in the culture left war with the demons. The two national heroes - Iron Kureen and Captain Aldego - are most admired among Guawars. The first is an example of an inflexible warrior, completely uninterested in trade and politics. The second is a collective image of all Guawarian travellers and adventurers. Aldego lived an incredibly bright life, but there are at times more events attributed to him, than those that happened to him in reality.
Another sacred image – the city of Bandabaze. `it is respected by absolutely all Guawars, even those who were born in other settlements.
The most important difference between Guawars and other nations is that anyone can become a Guawar: not necessarily a resident of the Fellow Islands, a man born from Guawars, or a half-blood. Anyone who joined the Coastal Fellowship is declared to be a Guawar. Guawars have very simple names. Some names change several times for life. For example, if a kid was given one name as a child, another was sealed in the port, and on long voyage he received a nickname with which he became famous. Aristocratic family cherish their surnames. Commoners do not use them at all. However, if a person raised from the bottom, became a captain, and he was nicknamed, this nickname eventually could become a family name.
Guawars believe that the world is governed by the Great Guawa. But for them it is not a fish that floats in the sea. Rather, it is something that can not be explained. In general Guawa for Guawars is just an image. It does not have positive or negative features. It can be anything and anyone. Linking all of his worldview in the guawa, Guawars on the one hand, it is primitize it, and on the other - on the contrary, texpand, not trying to explain things complicated for understanding and leaving room for personal fantasy. There are no great thinkers among the Guawars. Their level of education is extremely low. However, we can not say that the self-consciousness of Guawars is limited. It is very difficult to describe what a normal born Guawar can really believe. In scientific matters, Guawars are reliant on Djunitian scientists, but their philosophical convictions are veiled. It's hard to imagine what a Guawar refer to when he says that the world is on the back of a huge guawa.
=== The Guawarian tongue of the Common Language: === First, again, everything comes down to the image of guawa. Secondly, it has many sea terms and notations that are not available in the classical Common and not used by other nations. Thirdly, it has many abusive (and not only, sometimes just jocular) words and chatting language, which also simply do not have analogues among other nations.