“Throughout history, we have wrought the greatest triumphs of civilization, and the greatest tragedies of war; often by the same deeds. No one and nothing exceeds the breadth of our grasp… except, perhaps, our own reach.”
-Jules Calverson, Parliamentary Lord (Deceased)
Amarans are, by a significant margin, the most populous ethnic group in the known world; then again, lands are only considered “known” if they are known to the Amarans. They enjoy this dubiously high level of influence thanks to their government’s control of travel and commerce between the two known continents. From the sprawling cities of Amara to the intrepid colonies of Ki’Mara, the mighty Amaran Empire reigns supreme. Individual Amarans vary quite dramatically in both appearance and personality, often adapting regional attributes in favor of national ones. One trait many share is a confidence in an Amaran destiny to bring civilization to the world; a destiny made manifest by the continued re-colonization of Ki’Mara.
At some point around the earliest recorded human history, about 4,500 years ago, several tribes of humans on the Ki’Maran continent united to form the Kingdom of Acheron. Over time, other ethnic groups of humans emerged with their own systems of government, but none could rival the Acherians and the scale of their ambition. For millennia, Acheron and other human groups maintained peaceful relations with both Elven nations (the Pallidus and Ecferus) and the kingdom of the Dwarves. About two thousand years ago, the Acherians discovered a powerful new form of magic and used it to win a brief but devastating war of conquest (known by history as the Generations War) against all the other races of Ki’Mara. Within a year, the Ecferus were scattered to the wilderness, the Pallidus had been enslaved, the Dwarves were driven underground, and all other Human groups were subjugated by Acheron- except the Harena, who built ships to escape the regime, and became the first human settlers in Amara.
A few short years later, before the Acherian control of Ki’Mara became absolute, the Ecferus returned in vengeance, bringing with them a new race of gigantic humanoids called Trolls. With their natural immunity to magic, the Trolls made short work of the Acherian opposition, and the human kingdom was forced to retreat from every battle. Eventually they were confined to the southwestern shore of Ki’Mara, and made the fateful choice to dismantle their homes, build ships, and sail the unknown Vast and Trekless ocean. Though many ships were lost, most found the Shimmering Strand, and travelled its length until they found a new home- Amara. While at sea, the ruling caste of Mages that had instigated the Generations War were thrown overboard by a conspiracy of shipwrights, captains, and crew. While a widely supported action, this nevertheless alienated these crews from their passengers, and shortly after landing at present day Leonine, the sailors broke off from the main body of the Acherian settlers and traveled to the icy north where they formed their own society- the Odun.
The remaining settlers founded the Amaran Empire in the new city of Montus Mar. Their desire to avoid repeating mistakes of the past gave rise to a radical departure from former systems of government- rather than granting power to noble bloodlines, they assigned authority to figures of industrial or commercial power, ostensibly able to keep each other in check and balance. The system wasn’t perfect, but it was much more representative of its people’s interests then Acheron had ever been, and it was extraordinarily effective at conquest. However, it was under this same regime that the Balicai were killed almost to extinction by Amaran disease, believed by some to have been purposefully spread through trade in order to vacate desirable land. At the end of this conquest, some 1,700 years of relative peace went by, in which the Amaran Empire continued to grow, becoming extremely populous and draining natural resources with ever-increasing speed.
Amarans in the Caravan
As an Amaran in the Caravan, you may have joined the Expedition for the same reason that it was founded by Parliament- in order to do your part searching for a solution to the impending ruin of the Empire on the wild, unknown frontier- or, you might be an entrepreneur seeking personal fame and fortune on the edge of civilization, where danger and opportunity come hand in hand. You might be with the Caravan against your will, a criminal serving out your time in the army- or you could even be with the Caravan in order to prevent natives from coming to harm at imperial hands and protecting them from conquest. You must also decide whether you are an “Imperial” Amaran (born in Amara, and a recent passenger on the Seventh Great Journey Ship that brought most of the Caravan to Ki’Mara) or a “Colonial” Amaran, (born in a Ki’Maran Colony, and a more recent addition to the Caravan).
Role-Play and Costuming
“They’re so full of
Amarans tend to possess a strong sense of pride, which may manifest as belief in racial superiority, a deep reserve of personal confidence- or something else entirely. It may also range in scope from understated, humble self-assurance to extreme (even pathological) arrogance.
“They always bounce back.”
Amarans have a historical record of adaptability to new circumstances and perseverance through hardship. Many Amarans take this history to heart and live by the “stiff upper lip” philosophy, keeping calm and carrying on through difficulty and change.
“They all wear fancy clothes.”The elaborate suits and dresses worn by Amaran Lords and Ladies in grand halls are certainly popular images, but even the provincial clothing of Amaran commoners tends to be more elaborate, layered, and carefully tailored than what most races’ aristocrats wear.
Relations with Other Races
- Arachnis: “They seem to share our love for commerce, which is heartening. They have also been known to eat us, which is upsetting. It’s best simply to smile, nod, and buy their silk- just make sure you don’t lose your hand when they try to shake it.”
- Balicai: “We are a nation of immigrants, and they are the aboriginals. It’s a great shame that so few of them remain, but we do what we can to preserve their deeply spiritual way of life, and through the Advocacy, we have given them a strong voice in Parliament”.
- Dwarves: “While we lead most of the world in technology, the Dwarves have ancient, decaying machines that seem centuries ahead of our most advanced work. A more active relationship between our peoples would advance us both greatly, but their fungal problem makes this impossible- very unfortunate…”
- Ecferus: “They drove us out of Ki’Mara two thousand years ago, and a century ago, they tried to wipe out our first colony there- such things can be difficult to forgive. It’s true that some of their tribes have adapted well to civilization, but others kill us on sight and wear our ears around their neck.”
- Harena: “This group has been curiously independent since the days of old Acheron. They cling to strange, ancient traditions that may seem like folly to us, but they are our primary source of Helatite within Amara- eccentricities are permissible under such circumstances.”
- Odun: “A hardy, sea-faring folk, they built and crewed the ships that brought us to Amara. Though we experienced some division in our early history, we have since set aside our differences, and in truth, we continue to rely on their shipwrights to maintain our internal trade routes.
- Pallidus: “The alliance between our peoples exceeds all others, both in power and controversy. What began as the indentured servitude of prisoners of war has become a kind of co-dependent symbiosis. Say what you will of our arrangement- they themselves are its staunchest supporters.”