The Ana Tori
Masters of Horse and Plain
The Ana-Tori are a people who have crafted a unique cultural identity on the central plains of Maratus. Their society is one of class and hierarchy, with two castes – the warrior caste and the noble caste – constantly vying for supremacy. In general, however, the land-bound nobles play politics and write poetry while the nomadic warriors roam the countryside, defending their ever-changing borders and skirmishing with their own until a larger threat presents itself. The Ana-Tori have a saying: “First, care for your lord; then, care for your men; then, care for your horse; then, care for your wife and family; care for yourself only if you have time.”
The Ana-Tori believe in discipline, politeness, honor, and serenity. They are an inclusive culture to a certain point. Outsiders are viewed with suspicion, but if they prove themselves loyal or beneficial, they may be accepted in different ways, depending on caste: the warrior caste will mold the outsider into one of their own, while the noble caste will simply never fully accept an outsider as one of their own. Art is considered an ideal for warriors to pursue along with more practical concerns, with poetry and song being favored over painting and other art forms. The bond between an Ana-Tori and his horse is a unique one; one will often keep a horse or two for his entire adulthood, and the two develop an implicit trust in each other. Marriage for the Ana-Tori is a mostly functional institution; traditionally, women bear men children and take care of all financial and domestic issues, while the men fight or work and gain prestige in their clan for the sake of the family.
The Ana-Tori are very light-skinned, with hair that varies from white to blonde and eyes that vary from gray to green. Generally average-built, they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with many races at average heights of 5’6” to 5’8” for males and 5’2” to 5’4” for females. Ana-Tori regularly have good complexions, with clear, light skin being a standard of beauty in their culture. Their facial features are often long and serene, and those who have had extended dealings with the Ana-Tori often note that they find their facial expressions hard to read.
The Ana-Tori are something of an anomaly as compared to the other civilizations of Maratus. With no enemies, but no long-standing alliances, the Ana-Tori are considered neutral at best, and mercenary at worst by other nations. Generally, Ana-Tori are regarded with caution, being considered strange by most. In spite of this, Ana-Tori horsemen are often hired by militaries in need of capable scouts and horsemen, and thus the loyalties of the warrior caste are often dependent upon which warrior family is being considered.
To many outsiders, it would seem that the Ana-Tori have a slightly alien mindset. They seem to simply accept tragedy and strife in the world as given, and work mostly in the interest of their people. The Ana-Tori that sees fit to wander outside the lands belonging to his people is rare, and overall it seems that they are more concerned with their own affairs than with those of the people around them. Thusly, many Ana-Tori tend toward neutrality (though this is more of a guideline than a steadfast rule).
The Ana-Tori live in the temperate plains in the center of Maratus, nestled between mountains and other natural boundaries in such a way that they were isolated for many years before first making contact with The Jia-Than a few centuries ago, and slowly coming to meet the other three civilizations in the years thereafter. However, Ana-Tori borders remain closed to most outsiders save for certain merchants, who are given limited rights to make trade and then promptly leave.
The Ana-Tori are not an overwhelmingly religious people, but they do worship somewhat. Zona receives a good deal of worship from the wandering warrior caste due to presiding over travel, along with Erastos due to their warlike nature – however, Therona holds a special place in the Ana-Tori pantheon, as their style of crafty guerrilla warfare is especially well-regarded by the goddess of tactics. Those in the noble class will often worship Faerah or Engaenes for their respective ideas of leadership. The serfs generally worship the elemental gods and Debrona with equal respect, hoping for good harvests.
The Ana-Tori speak a language called Ana-idej (ahNA-eeDESH; literally, “plains-song”), or simply Ana-Tori to non-speakers, that most noticeably has the tendency to drop subjects and objects once context has been established, devoice final consonants, and has a wide range of honorifics and such to account for an emphasis on class and societal structure. It is written in syllabic blocks, and tends to use compound words a great deal. It is remarkably difficult to learn, and so those Ana-Tori who wish to make a living outside of Ana-Tori territory often learn Common or Marduuni.
An Ana-Tori goes by his surname first, and in most contexts this is enough. Among family and close friends, an Ana-Tori will be called by his given name; however, his middle name is a closely guarded secret, intended for the one he will marry.
Andriy, Dmitri, Fedir, Hryhoriy, Ioan, Mikhail, Nazar, Oleksander, Petro, Roman, Serhiy, Taras, Vasyl, Yuriy
Allya, Daryna, Halyna, Iryna, Klara, Lesya, Mariya, Nataliya, Olena, Sofiya, Vira, Wasilyna
Akir, Boslaiya, Denysel, Gavril, Ivanov, Kozel, Marko, Pasternak, Sewick, Wolansk, Zelenko
Ana-Tori adventurers are a diverse sort. Some are of the warrior caste, on missions for their lords to retrieve some artifact, gather information, bring honor to his clan, or simply as training for some task. Adventurers from the noble class are often scions out to find their place in the world, or restless prodigies who cannot stand the life of a courtier. Those from the peasant class are out to win land or wealth to free their families from lives of menial labor, or simply to escape from such a life themselves. Common classes for Ana-Tori adventurers include Bards, Fighters, Marshals, Monks, Ninja, Samurai, Scout, and Shugenja.
Ana-Tori Racial Traits
- Medium: As Medium creatures, Ana-Tori have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Ana-Tori base land speed is 30 feet.
- 1 extra feat at 1st level.
- 4 extra skill points at 1st level and 1 extra skill point at each additional level.
- Automatic Language: Ana-Tori, Common. Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Speak Language skill.
- Favored Class: Any. When determining whether a multiclass Ana-Tori takes an experience point penalty, his or her highest-level class does not count.
- Effortless Equestrian: Ride becomes a class skill, regardless of class.