The War of Night
To many, the Tian all look the same. However, there are many different cultures in Karcau. More in fact, than the rest of Ustalav combined. And somehow, they are one of the most harmonious city states in the land.
Karcau is also the most densely populated city. families living virtually in each others pockets, slums and tenement housing abound, noise forever rising above the rooftops and buildings leaning towards each other as the city continues to build up, stifling the light as it struggles to get past the eaves of the houses to the crowded streets below.
How the Tian hordes arrived is still not widely known, and how they co-exist as peacefully as they do is also somewhat of a mystery. What is known, however, is that they revere their warriors. Ninjas and samurai are the two prominent sects, and both have a martial strength many other people find hard to fathom. Loyalty, honour, respect are as deeply valued as sheer willpower and martial skill. Of course, Tian codes of conduct are extremely complex and losing any of loyalty, honour and respect can be as simple as looking in the wrong direction for those of another culture.
Trade is something the Tian people thrive on. They make some of the most shrewd business people in Ustalav. Tinkers, tradesmen, craftsmen…anything that can earn gold, the people of Karcau learn to excel at, and are even better at extracting the top price for. It does help that Karcau goods are frequently seen as a superior quality to many other goods. especially prized are the cloth goods, often enchanted.
Karcau is ruled by an Emperor. Empires have been ruled by the same family for as many generations as that family can survive their political system, called the Great Game. There are many families all vying for the political power the Emperors family would provide. The Great Game is both subtle and deadly, the intricacies being all but impossible for one not born to the Great Game, to follow.
Karcau, housing the most people in the land, has a current population of over 110,000, all in a similar amount of space as Caliphas.
The Tian (pronounced TEE-yawn) people come from the distant continent of Tian Xia, located far to the east of the Inner Sea. The few Tian who migrate from their homeland to the shores of Avistan and Garund are generally classed as a single ethnicity. The Tian people, however, come from an entire continent, and as such are not one united ethnicity, but many different ones. All Tian in the Inner Sea region, however, have one thing in common: they are thousands upon thousands of miles from their ancestral homeland.
While composed of many different ethnicities—which foreigners find difficult to differentiate—the people of Tian Xia do have some features in common. First, they are generally smaller in stature than the average Avistani or Garundi human, with men rarely standing above five and a half feet tall, and women rarely rising much taller than five foot. Their builds are generally smaller as well, especially members of the Tian-Dan and Tian-Sing ethnicities, who are often viewed as emaciated. Tian people generally have straight, black or very dark brown hair, regardless of ethnicity. Occasionally, Tian are born with pure white hair, which is viewed as a sign of greatness. The eye color of the most populous Tian ethnicity, the Tian-Shu, is brown, and so it is the most common eye color amongst the Tian in general. Eye color varies between the different ethnicities of Tian Xia, and the Tian-Min of Minkai boast the widest range of eye colors within the ethnicity.
The history of the Tian culture is the history of an entire continent on the opposite side of the world from the Inner Sea, and as such, not much is known outside their own lands. The civilization of the most numerous people of Tian Xia, the Tian-Shu, has existed since before the fall of the Starstone, and its current form is reckoned to be 7,000 years old. Tian Xia has seen the rise and fall of three great empires in recorded history, the most recent empire having collapsed a mere hundred years ago, leading to a revitalization of the various cultures of Tian Xia.
Most Tian prefer to wear loose-fitting garments, no matter their social standing. Those who can afford to, wear brighly-colored, robe-like clothes, elaborately embroidered with nature scenes or exotic animals such as dragons or phoenixes, while the poor often make due with simple kilts or trousers with linen wraps or course, and leather jackets on their upper bodies. Almost all Tian prefer bright and interesting colors; only the poorest wear undyed cloth.
Persons of Note: