Rhuidim

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The Rhuidim are an independent and cautious people, mistrustful of outsiders. Exiled from their home nation of Ivial and having lost their gods, they are set on achieving prosperity and greatness on their own. The kingdom of Tol Rhun has been built up in the stretch of land between the sea and the mountains on the western border of Ivial. Despite their close proximity and conflicting philosophies, the two nations maintain an uneasy truce that was made upon the initial exile of Rhun and his disciples.

The kingdom of Tol Rhun is known for its cultural embracement of sorcery. When the last of the fading old gods appeared to Rhun and gave over the book detailing the secrets of the old gods' power, Rhun eagerly delved into the ways of sorcery and based his new exile nation on the idea that the people themselves would achieve great power, rather than rely on the power and favor of distant gods.

Cultural Personality

The Rhuidim tend to harbor a certain bitterness toward the outside world, and feel they are best left to themselves. The outside world tends to agree, as many view the sorcerous practices of the Rhuidim to be controversial at best. Those few Rhuidim that do leave their homeland often do so in order to further scholarly pursuits - rarely do they work with others for longer than they deem absolutely necessary. While they are arguably civil to outsiders, they tend to often be caustic or judgmental, treating the world as the world tends to treat them.

Fashion

Fashion among the Rhuidim often reflects the dark and gloomy feel of the nation itself. They make extensive use of dark colors, with black being the most popular, and varying dark shades of other colors. They will often contrast these dark colors with white or lighter shades of gray, most often in the form of a tunic (though always underneath a coat or vest), and silver or gold accessories. Metallic jewelry and accessories are very rarely made from iron or steel, as such materials interfere with sorcery. The style of clothing is heavy but fine, with high-collared shirts and longcoats, embroidered large-buttoned vests, fancy buttons and cuff-links, sweeping voluminous cloaks with elegant clasps, and high-topped boots. There is not a great deal of difference between the traditional garments of males and females, though female clothing will occasionally be adorned with lace or frills.

Magic and Technology

The primary magical philosophy of the Rhuidim is sorcery - their nation is in fact founded on it, based on the teachings of the sorcerer Rhun and his disciples. Sorcery is used for common utility in Tol Rhun in ways that many other cultures find to be controversial or deplorable. For instance, it is not uncommon for well-to-do households to employ nether-animated constructs or even animated dead as servants and laborers. Important figures may be reanimated after their death in an attempt to wring a bit more usefulness from them.

In addition to pure magic, the Rhuidim have managed to achieve a level of relatively advanced technology enhanced by sorcery. A notable example of this would be their nether-animated clockwork automatons, combining the concept of animated constructs with the increased efficiency and power of a clockwork body framework.

Religion

There is no large-scale religion among the Rhuidim, as it is founded in the idea that the people should attain greatness through their own study and actions rather than by relying on gods, though there are some scattered sects and cults here and there dedicated to various gods and other immortals.

History

In the distant past, when the Kingdom of Ivial was established in Southeastern Arad by immigrants from the southern continent, there was a priest named Rhun. Rhun saw the immigrants first arrive, and observed their philosophy of the Inner Light spread amongst his native people, overshadowing and replacing their old traditions and causing them to abandon their old gods. Such were the wonders and power of this "Inner Light" that one of the new priests united the scattered tribes of southeastern Arad into a single nation, called Ivial, and soon the old gods were all but forgotten.

Rhun, however was ever faithful to the old gods. It was true, they had never shown themselves to him or granted him powers like those of the Inner Light, but he had served them faithfully for decades, and he enjoyed a certain status due to his priesthood. So he resisted the transition to this new philosophy, though his office and status soon meant little to the people.

Rhun gathered the few believers in the old gods left, and they clung to their old traditions. They could not compare to the marvellous powers of the Light, however, and while the philosophy of the Inner Light forbade people from outright persecuting Rhun and the remaining disciples of the old gods, they were nonetheless ridiculed by the people and treated as outcasts.

Becoming ever more spiteful and angry, Rhun and his people prayed fervently to the old gods to help them, to give the others a sign that they were real. During one of these prayer sessions, one of the old gods appeared to them, a shadowy figure in deeply-hooded robes of jet-black. He informed them that he was the last of the old gods, and that the others had vanished, no longer having enough believers to sustain them, and that Rhun and his people were to be the gods' replacements. He gave Rhun a book in which was written the secrets to the old gods' powers - the powers of sorcery. As the book left his fingertips, the last of the old gods vanished.

Rhun and his people diligently studied the teachings of this book and came to great power, secretly recruiting many citizens of Ivial into their fold. When they become confident enough, they challenged the leaders of Ivial, in the name of vengeance for the old gods. A brief civil war ensued, and eventually Rhun and his disciples were defeated and captured. The leaders of Ivial insisted on showing mercy, however - rather than being executed, Rhun and his remaining disciples were exiled across the mountains to the west, to live in the wild lands between the mountains and the sea. A treaty was set - as long as Rhun's people did not attempt to return to Ivial, they would be left alone.

Rhun and his remaining disciples went to the wild lands allotted to them and began their new nation, Rhun decreeing that they would realize greatness on their own with the powers of sorcery, rather than relying on gods.