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Established February 2010
by Jamie, Gina & Bowie.

* Plot Information for Shalador

The capital has been destroyed, replaced with the spewing ash and liquid lava of Shalador’s Eldest Sister. The surviving factions and Clans scramble for a new leader and a way to save the jungle Territory from the remaining volcanoes. The Black Widows, long held at arm’s length, have stepped up to guide, by force or willingly, the Territory towards salvation.
Culture of Shalador
Shalador's Unification
Tribes of Shalador
Tribal Heirarchy

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Author Topic: Culture of Shalador  (Read 1261 times)


Offline Izel Itza

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      Guardian of Shalador

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Culture of Shalador
« on: Dec 20, 16, 05:39:10 PM »

Capital City: Tikal (Formerly Aztlan before the Eldest Sister volcano destroy it.)

Population: 4.8 million, Combined Blood and Landen
Population Breakdown: 75% Native Shaladorian.
Caste Breakdown: 80% Landen to 20% Blood (10% Blood are Mixed).
*Within Shalador There has been a shortage of Queens Until Recent Decades.  In the last few decades a slow but steady resurgence of Queens began but many are still barely the age of their Offering.
*Within Shalador there is a surplus of Healers. Many believe that the blessings of Shalador's forests, bountiful in many potent healing herbs  only found within the Territory's jungles, is the cause for this.  Within Shalador there are even a surprising number of males who have learned the arts of the healer.  There are even a rare few men, who often take positions of high council for peace amongst the warring clans, warrior diplomats, who come to the arts of the Healer naturally.
*The racial population breakdown of Blood is as Follows.  60% Native Shaladorian. 10% Immigrant Eyrien, 15% Shaladorian/Eyrien Mix, 5% Native Eyrien, 10% Other.

Major Exports: Gold, Silver, Obsidian, Healing Herbs, Produce, Meat, Raw Materials.
Major Imports:  Textiles, Processed Goods, Manufactured Goods, Alcohol, Steel, Books.
Climate: The Province of Nayarit experiences the four seasons of a Temperate Rainforest with winters being very mild and barely worth note the further south one travels in the Province.  The Territory is a Peninsula bordered on all sides by water save for the eastern which is defined by the Tamnara Mountains. Beyond the Province of Nayarit, the jungles of Shalador are lush and humid. The forest is dense and the trees that are both tall and ancient creating a dense canopy over much of the Territory.

  • ELAHO (Districts: Athabasca & Cassiar)
  • NAYARIT (Districts: Tloalocan & Apanoayan)
  • OMINECA (Districts: Uxmal & Nakbe)

Credit to phinneas for creation.



Shaladorians, in spite of their warrior ways, are a surprisingly easy going lot when it comes to forgiving and forgetting when the regret and penance is real. Unless a high law is violated,some things are unforgivable, and for their passing a sacrifice must be made, a sacrifice of life to make up for the mark on the darkness in Shalador's name.

In their world so rich in resources, and in a community built on sharing amongst one's tribe, there is seen little need for the frippery many of the Blood wrap their lives in.  Technology and craft is woven together to build a life, therefore palaces of cold stone and glass are of little interest to Shaladorians. 

The Fifteen Great Tribes

Shalador is a nation of Tribes dispersed through Provinces, Districts, and in the case of very small Tribes, towns.  If you ask an elder they will tell you that Shalador is one great tribe with many names, but someone more current would answer that there are fifteen Great Tribes, and lesser tribes who pay respects to the grander Tribes for protection and aid.

Territory remains consistent. Tribes stick to the land of their founders.

The Elder Council of Seven

The Elder Council of Seven is made up of seven of the fifteen leaders of the Great Tribes.  Every year power shifts so as the years and seasons turn different elders, different voices are being heard. It is the purpose of this holy order to oversee and guide the actions of the carefully watched Hourglass Coven. 

One must have seen a minimum of five decades in order to serve upon the Elder Council of Seven.

Blood Sacrifice

Shalador has a few great sacred temples, one for each province and a fourth for the Territory Queen To commit Blood Sacrifice elsewhere, without the weight of the Temple's Law - overseen by the Province or Territory Ruler - is a sin itself punishable by death upon the altar. It as seen as the most selfish offence to commit the dark ritual act of soaking in the blood and the death of  another for one's own singular gain. Like every other territory there is still no law against murder, however, there is a difference between a kill and the sacrifice and all Shaladorian children are raised to know that difference well and keep it in their hearts.

The crimes for which death upon the altar is a possible charge: All forms of rape. Theft from the Territory. Attempted Invasion(Shaladorans take no prisoners). Kidnapping. Wrongful warring between the tribes. Violation of trade laws. Murder of a Queen.   

Women's Role in War

Shalador is a warrior culture and they make no illusions about women having a place in battle.  You'd be hard pressed anywhere in either of the realms to find a Healer more capable and more steady in battle than a Shaladorian Healer.

Protocol however still has a role in what part women take.  Women never leave Shalador for war, their skills are the woman's arts.  The Bow.  The Staff.  Daggers.  Projectile Weaponry. Craft. These are the standard disciplines every young girl at least learns the basics up growing up.  Shalador, small as it may be comparatively to other “more developed” Territories, gains its edge because during times of invasion every citizen past the age of eight knows how to fight back.

There is only one group of women who learn the more brutal arts of war and step into the thick of battle as a force, they are called the Felidae. More on the Felidae and who and what they are can be read below. 

Gold, Silver, & Onyx

Shalador has two major industries, the first is its mining industry.  Shaladoran miners are a respected, and massive, group of workers who master the craft of pulling metals and materials from rich veins in the earth without harming the land.  In the Shaladoran section of the Tamnara Mountains there are many bountiful veins of gold, silver and onyx. The territory is the realm's largest supplier of gold.

Healing Herbs

Shalador's forests produce plants, herbs, fungi year round that are unique to the Territory and serve as potent ingredients in many of the most powerful of healing tonics and spells and it is the second largest grossing industry in the nation and the only which even begins to come close to the metal trade.  The Healer's Guild has the lion's share of this market under their control.

85% of this massive and plentiful industry is controlled or touched upon by the Healer's Guild, a mere 15% of the rest makes it to the common people's pockets without being caught at some point by the hungry, taxing pockets of the Healer's collective.

Trade and Banking

Travellers, foreign entrepreneurs and monarchs alike are often surprised to discover when attempting to get wealthy for themselves off Shalador's goods that the nation has some of the most developed and strict banking and trade laws in all of the Realm.  Hayllian bookkeepers themselves struggle to find loopholes with which they may exploit Shaladorian markets.

The Territory's laws are intricately structured to be as fair as a regulated-free-market can be.  They aim to encourage foreign interest and investment while preventing any foreign nation or group of investors from gaining too much control over Shaladorian goods and markets. 
The Castes And Their Common Standings

All castes come to service in the courts.  The castes for which it is specifically mentioned are the castes where service is seen as almost mandatory.  Any career is secondary and in service to your Court.

The Male Castes

It is not unknown for Warlords to serve as District rulers.  Warlords also are known to run and control their own business enterprises. They also serve in military capacities, though they climb to the highest ranks less frequently than the higher casted men.

Princes Serve in Courts.  Their duties often require they be skilled in either, or both, the arts of war and diplomacy.

Warlord Princes
Warlord Princes Serve in Courts, and whatever positions they fill within the court they all also train in the art of war.  More than any they are held to the tradition of being bound in service to a woman.  Should they not be fit to serve a woman for whatever reason they are sent to stand in service and guard to the Blinded Vigil. 

They are not trained in these Male Mystic Shaman's arts.  Their life is one of penance for being unfit to serve a woman as man is bound to do by protocol.  So volatile and dangerous is the temper and psyche of a Warlord Prince they live the life of the ascetic, tending to the needs and safety of the Blinded Vigil's holy sites and in turn having their minds cared for by the uniquely gifted sightless men they serve.

Dual Casted Males

There may be a male caste/Priest but it is very rare and not trained in Shalador.

Male Caste/Healers are not unheard of because of the Territories surplus of healers, and healing goods. There have even been a few rare reported Natural Male Healer's through the generations.  These men are the warrior poets and those who bind themselves to war only as a last result.  They are the rare males whom no matter their caste or power are not forced to serve a woman.  This blessed, sacred gift is one that grants them a unique zen and calm that make safe unbound.

There are absolutely no Black Widow/Male castes outside of the Blind Vigil. The very rare occasion a man has shown natural black widow tendencies, no matter his age, he has been whisked to the vigil and blinded. 

The Female Castes

Hearth Witches

There are benefits to remembering the old ways.  In Territories where the Blood have forgotten their connection to the land because they've grown too proud of their own craft cleverness and ingenuity, so too have they forgotten the sacred duties of the Witches of the Hearth. Hearth Witches are afforded the same respect as Witches, and though they have neat and tidy demeanors in may tend house as part of their work they are more than that. These women are more skilled in protecting the homes and villages they care for than almost any other caste. 

Often specializing in protective spells of the hearth and spells for long term health benefits which they weave into their recipes from the garden's of Shalador's bountiful, mystical forests hearth witches magic is old, ritualistic, practiced and potent.  Day by day they devote bits of energy to sigils, to old spells keyed into homes and into the land that can put up old barriers stored by the little bits here and there stored up in the land. This and other such practiced, tradition bound, magic of the home and healthful tidings are what the witches of this caste are known for.   


Witches are the blessed women gifted with power, but with no destiny.  The magic and the skills they garner are limited only by what they try to learn. 

Witches who study hard may even forge a destiny for themselves by working and gaining the gifts and spells of a Caste.  It is because of this freedom that witches are quite skilled in making money and engaging in enterprise.  They more than most understand, trade and work with the Landens.


Healers, within Shalador, have more nation-wide respect than they do in most other Territories.  The Healers Guild within Shalador is a force to be reckoned with.  The High Healer is revered at the same status as the High Priestess, and rulers always hold a guild representative in their court on the same ranks as their spiritual (Priestess) and mystical (High Seer) council.

Their power comes because of their numbers and their numbers come because of ancient laws that bind a stranglehold on the majority of the export of Shalador's finest and rarest healing herbs.  Some sell at values greater than the gold mined from the many rich veins on the Shaladorian section of the Tamnara Mountains, one of the Territory's most fiercely guarded and often threatened assets.

Healers not a part of the guild find it hard to find much lucrative business outside of serving in houses and being treated as, well, servants meant to fix every ailment of the wealthy as to not mar the flesh.  In what counts for Shaladoran High Society it is seen as a mark of refinement to bear no scars. 

The wealthiest employ a Healer as their constant attendants. In this there is money, but little honor.  The Guild makes it hard for a healer striking out on her own because even one other major power rising in the trade ranks and gaining access to as many of the precious Court bound medicinal trading rights as they have could cut deeply into the guilds profits, and thereby the pockets of the guild members as a whole.  Unsurprisingly in a warrior culture, even Healing can be a cut throat business.


Shalador lives the way it does not because they are poor or they do not know better, but because they wish to be close to the earth that so much resonates with the power of Mother Night and the Darkness itself.

Unsurprisingly, Priestesses play a major role in this society.  Unlike many territories where even when lauded, the Priestesses duties are looked too as largely for spiritual council or religious ceremonies such as birthright or marriage events. Women of this caste in the forested Territory lead busy, active life steeped in craft, lore, and even the largely lost old tongue itself.

In Shalador their role is far more prominent.  Shaladorians law, and culture, calls for many rituals – not just of the sacrifices of blood and heart.  Like it or not, Everything has a Price, and the potent antiquated spells of the Priestesses order call for the costs which always demand more than simple craft know how and jewel strength.

In terms of political power the Priestesses are not so much a manipulating force on the ruler as they are an entity, separate but necessary because of the power they wield.  Shalador is a Territory of careful checks and balances, a tangle of law and protocol written and bound to keep everyone needing everyone.  The greatest tribe, what Shaladoran's call themselves as a nation, works because each caste holds a position within society and fulfills their roles.  Is this always fair? No, but life is not fair, mortals are greedy and the groups within Shalador of course scheme and fight for power among themselves.

Tributes of gold, goods and gems are of course customary to leave at the four temples where the sacred rites are enacted, and the Priestesshood gathers much wealth from the bartering and trade of these goods for favour and voice in government.  This is how they are at once part of, and yet separate from the wheel that turns Shalador's political waters.

Black Widows

Not in spite of, but because of, the remarkable gifts of the Hourglasses' calling, the Coven of Shalador holds the least amount of actual political power and sway in the government. They are tightly watched and restricted by those who serve and guard them because Shalador's Black Widow's do not tread carefully through the many bramble thorns of the Twisted Kingdom.  Like all things Shaladorian's attack they approach the Twisted Kingdom with a terrifying determination and fearlessness that borders on madness when sights are set.

The strange and dangerous powers unique to those of the snake's tooth, the seers of what has been and what will be, healers of the haunted caverns of the mind, masters of that which spoils and poisons the blood, those gifts must be tethered and bound in protocol for everyone's sakes.  It is the Elder Council of Seven that holds and binds the tether of the Hourglasses' power to the people's greatest interests.

Individually, Black Widows still have their personal rights and freedoms, it is just the Coven as a whole that requires monitoring because the power a group so talented and, literally, venomous shouldn't be left to work unobserved.

To be a Black Widow separate entirely of the covens one must pay handsomely for rare out of coven training, and then hefty service taxes imposed upon those unbound by the coven's restrictions. It is generally only the very wealthy, the very connected, and most often the wealthy and connected women of the Widow's caste who are allowed to work their wiles and craft with almost no regulation.  These women suffer a social stigma for this decision as it is seen as selfish. 

Queens are the stewards of the people and leaders of Shalador.  In the years since the purge Queens have been few and far between.  In the last decade and a half though, that has started to change. The sudden renaissance of the sacred ruling caste has been largely attributed to the strength and the frequency of the sacrifices made lately to the Darkness for guidance and strength under Rian's leadership.

There has never been a Queen not born of one of the fifteen great tribes because when a Queen is born to one of the lesser tribes, the greater tribe they serve takes the family on as a whole and adopts them into the Tribe for the safety of the Queen and her family and for of course, the prestige. 

Though a legendary terror upon the killing field when they formally step upon it, Shaladoran Queens are prohibited from learning and participating in close combat.  They are raised and taught to serve as commanders, generals and diplomats.  Queens of the Shaladoran Tribes work closely with their Masters of the Guard in order to form the best possible strategies and plans. Woe to the Master of the Guard who tries to keep his lady from a decision.  The punishment for such disregard and arrogance is not a small one, and the greatest of such betrayals have been warrant for blood sacrifice themselves.

Healers Guild

The Healers Guild is run by the High Healer, elected through a vote which every member of the Guild takes part in. Membership in the Healer's Guild is a ticket to education, money, and high society. The Healer's Guild controls 85% of Shalador's second largest industry, not to mention the bulk of the Territory's most talented Healers.

Rulers who find themselves on the wrong side of the Guild's favours find that the representatives sent to them to serve in their court are the weakest of bumbling neonates.  Rulers in favor of the guild need never want for safety, security, or the tonics of their choosing. 

The High Healer is held in the same regard as the High Priestess and the Head of the Hourglass Coven.

Though the law forbids the guild from punishing Healers who are not a part of their very generous system, it's commonly known that the guild has it's ways of laying pressure onto the system.


The Felidae are an organization named for the predatory cats that roam the Shaladorian forests.  Felidae, in the ancient tongue of Witch, is the name for a female jaguar.  It is a suiting name for this organization of women who are allowed to learn the forbidden arts of the large blades, close combat, and craft normally reserved for men.

Every woman within is a Black Widow who has trained her body as well as her mind to be a fierce, sacred weapon.  The Felidae are bound to the land by oath, sworn never to leave Shalador.  Around the realm they're posted in small groups, bound to protect the sacred spaces of land where only women are meant to tread.

Like the Hourglass Coven, the Felidae are overseen by the Elder Council of Seven.  Felidae do not serve in the courts, their service is for Shalador.  They are bound to not have families, and long term relationships, even just friendships, outside of the Felidae are frowned upon.  Focus is key, though the women within the order do occasionally take the time to get pregnant and bring more Shaladorian children into the world though they do not raise them.

The Blinded Vigil

The Blinded Vigil is an ancient sect, it's history ties back to the beginnings of the Felidae, for they are two parts of one whole said to have been forged in the beginning when Black Widow's first began showing up in Blood society.

The  masculine to the feminine of the fierce coin of the Widow's arts the Blinded Vigil are Male Black Widows, mostly trained who make the decision to sacrifice their sight and their freedom for the sanctity and safety of Shalador's sacred male places.  They too may never leave the lands of Shalador but they also must give up their sight.  Upon induction to the Vigil, the men are blinded both physically and through craft.  This magic is wound by the Felidae themselves upon their brothers of the Vigil Men in the Blinded Vigil are limited to the most basic of Craft sight, allowed to see the outline of objects if only to navigate a room. Though a man may be able to see the outline of a book, he’d not be able to read the words on the pages. This limitation makes the blinding a severe handicap and the male would be almost worthless on the battlefield.

Any man who has ever shown the tendencies of being a Natural Black Widow has been, regardless of age, taken from his family, blinded and inducted into the order.  The power of the Hourglass Coven in a man is something that does not come easily or without great danger.  They must give up their freedom, their right to a family, and their right to see save for their dangerous visions in order to serve.

During the Harvest Season, when the walls between the Realm's are at their thinnest and travel through them at its simplest, it is the Blinded Vigil who work the rituals which that the demon dead and guardians trapped in Hell, long sealed off from Terreille and Kaeleer, to walk through the Territory as ghostly spectrals who meet with their family and see their homelands.  This Festival of the Dead is on of Shalador's most holy times, on par with Winsol itself, and it is the secrets of the ritual possessed only by the Blinded Vigil that allow it to happen.

Like the Felidae and the Greater Coven, the Blinded Vigil is overseen by The Elder Council of Seven.

Concepts and content creditted to Petrichor.