The Nadhili of Tanzia: the humans who remained to fight Maraa to the end. Separated from Cavendians for a thousand years, the people have developed a warrior culture that deserves some scientific examination.
Appearance and Physical Characteristics
The obvious variance is that the Nadhili have dark skin. The Nadhili possess considerably less body hair than Cavendian adults, though no less facial or head hair, which does not gray until much later in their lives than the hair of whites. The differing of skin color among men was apparently present long before the time of Maraa, and it is believed that the difference is owed to the different latitudes they inhabited, for the Nadhili are immune to the terrible sunburn and skin diseases which plague whites in similar latitudes on Sutherbury. Whites presumably originally lived on the northern coast of Tanzia, now settled by the Nadhili. Due to both groups having lived in nearby regions of Tanzia, there are no major immune systems differences between Cavendian and Nadhili people. The same major diseases seem to plague both groups.
Nadhili clothing varies with location. The more northerly Nadhili tribes often wear durable buckskin clothes made from deer, with a fringe so that they dry faster. They rely upon bear or wolf furs and other winter garments such as the environment provides. The extreme southerly Nadhili often wear little that is not linen (usually red or natural brown) to keep them cool on the savannahs.
Both northern and southern Nadhili settlements wear tall hide boots as a defense against snakes and brush when afield. In town, sandals are common.
The Nadhili are expert armorers and their battle dress made to a standard unheard of in Cavendia. Nadhili fluted armor is legendary for its lightness, durability, and beauty. It has been refined over centuries for fighting Servants in close quarters.
The Nadhili peoples all across Tanzia now share a common tongue. The fact that only a few know old Cavendian indicates the two peoples were already very distinct cultural groups before the Reign of Maraa.
It is a non-tonal language written by means considerably easier than the Cavendian alphabet. The fault of an alphabet is that each letter’s phonic may change depending on other letters in the arrangement (for example A in “apex” vs. A in “Amen” vs. A in “apple”). The Nadhili system uses a syllabary, in which each character in their script is a full syllable — the pronunciation never changes. There are 106 syllables in the language, each with its own “letter.” Once the 106 corresponding characters are learned, this marvelous language allows the reader to say new words with perfect confidence that his or her pronunciation is correct.
However, the language’s far more complicated element is its very precise and difficult cursive-like script. Its grammar structure easily understood. It is generally agreed that the sounds of it are beautiful to listen to and ripe for use in song and poetry.
There are Nadhili tribal settlements along rivers in the north eastern forests, the northern coast, but few in the Faerie lands separating these climes from the distant southern savannahs. The capital of Nadhili civilization is in the far southeast corner of Tanzia, called Anvil Peak. Ranches and farms can be found throughout the southeastern Cape Plains.
Culture and Technology
The nation functions under constant threat of the Servants. The finest example of Nadhili architecture is Anvil Peak, a castle with thick stone walls, a drawbridge across sea cliffs, and crenelated ramparts that has sheltered the southern Nadhili for centuries. A more open city like Charleston could be penetrated by a monster on any side. The Servants cast a shadow of their lives which requires every male, and a number of females, to be both warrior and worker.
By age 12, every Nadhili possesses every skill required to live as a herder or farmer. It is then that they pursue either a specialized craft or supplementary training in warfare, which continues for the rest of their lives. By contrast, a Cavendian may earn an income from his investments and live a life cozy in his sitting-room. A lad may turn his entire attention to the crafting of watches or eyeglasses for his billet, and he may neglect his own personal training. The Nadhili, however, each possessive an extensive and rounded skill set, which has enabled them to thrive in their environment.
Another aspect of their medieval society is its strict emphasis on a Code of Honor. One facet of this is the Right of Retribution. If a Nadhili citizen is threatened or injured by a Servant — if for example, one attacks his flocks or cattle — he may appeal to the Nadhili king, whose knights are charged with the duty of hunting and destroying the malefactor, usually on horseback with bows and lances.
A curious principle of the Nadhili is seen by the total absence of prisons. A matter of contest may be decided by an impartial judge or by duel. A proven criminal is invariably executed. Torture is non-existent in their more nature-centered worldview.
Not only do the Nadhili trace their ancestry by the mother’s line, the system of inheritance and land ownership is also matrilineal. This is necessary to keep land intact in a system that invariably sees more men killed in combat. Remarriage is therefore common in the culture, as is younger men marrying older, wealthier women.
The Nadhili currency does not consist of cotton bills or even coins, but rather metal cubes about the size of Cavendian dice. These are stamped with a representative value: such as a cow, a bale of feed, a sack of oats, etc.
A final distinguishing feature of Nadhili culture is the outdoor furniture. In particular, the “rancher’s table” which is an extremely tall table whose surface is set between eight and twelve feet above the ground. Tall chairs are climbed via rungs between the front legs. These were developed so that farmers and ranchers could keep a lookout for Servants while tending to livestock or fields each time they took a meal.
The Nadhili worship the Altaica: the super-race of tiger-like beings which are the most ancient and wise of all the sentient beings. *mirror ceremony*
! Special Topic ! Nadhili Martial Arts
The Nadhili Kingdom prizes metalworking highly, heaping great esteem upon smiths. Especially important is wind-forged steel, made only at special times during the year when strong wind hitting the seaward side of Anvil Peak is channeled to stoke the forges.
They use no firearms and do not use factories or machines. They believe in hand-craftsmanship and extensive training when it comes to weapons and war.
Every able-bodied male is called to serve as a warrior. All boys, as well as many girls, hone their skills over a lifetime of regular training in the arts of war.
Archery is fundamental and also the most challenging of these required arts. The Nadhili metal smiths have invented a remarkable weapon called the compound bow, which uses a pulley/cam system to allow for incredibly long shots, as well as high-powered shots. These bows are often made of special steel.
Crossbows and more traditional bows are also employed. When using the traditional recurve bow, Nadhili warriors are trained to carry many arrows in the hand, allowing them to fight at close range and loose arrows with frightful speed. Years of training in the technique make even these simple weapons, in the hands of a Nadhili, as potent as firearms. Arrow-in-hand archery takes years to learn, and every professional Nadhili warrior is trained to master in it.
Similar to archery, each warrior will be an expert in throwing weaponry. When going into battle with a unit, warriors will often volley throwing axes, daggers, or darts into the enemy at close range.
Only after long-range combat with arrows and medium-range combat with throwing weapons has failed will the Nadhili warrior go to close-quarters with a Servant.
The Nadhili melee weapons include lances (deployed on horseback), great hammers, spears, and razor swords, are all articles of perfection, not unlike their elaborate armors.
All the aforementioned weapons take on a much more frightening aspect when considering that the Nadhili have their own highly developed system of chemistry, which they use to produce poisons. Different poisons are used for hunting and warfare, with several formulas developed specifically for Servants. It is possible that the effectiveness of their poisons is the reason the Nadhili have not pursued the development of firearms along with Gremlins.
Horsemanship is another pivotal institution of Nadhili culture.
The complete Nadhili warrior will understand poison-making, survival in the bush, arrow-in-hand archery, throwing weapons, one melee specialization, and horseback archery and jousting, plus some herbal preparations for healing and increasing endurance for battle.
The Nadhili are also known to use elaborate traps to dispose of Servants.