High Rock:Cultures

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Bretons

Brets

The Brets are the largest culture in the Breton race, making up around 55% of the total population in High Rock. If one is to meet a Breton outside of High Rock, it is likely a Bret. They occupy the majority of lands in Greater Bretony, consisting out of the regions of Lesser Bretony, Ilessan Hills, Glenumbra Moors, Skeffington Woods, Ravennia and the Bjoulsae Delta. Bret families rule over the Kingdoms of Daggerfall, Wayrest and Camlorn, no significant Bret minority is ruled over in any other kingdom. Brets are known for their ability for commerce and are considered the most Imperialized of the Bretons. The trade of the Illiac has lead to prosperous and expansive cities, supported by the fertile farm lands controlled by their lords. Brets are the only Breton culture which buries their dead, often creating large mausoleums and crypts much like the Witch-Kings of old.

Bret Military tactics often involve heavily armored knights and cavalry, often aided by their own magical skills, bolstered by battalions upon battalions of pikemen made up by peasants and mercenaries. These tactics favor large open spaces and flat ground, leaving them unfavorable against the Norman and Orcs of the Wrothgarian mountains. Bret kingdom's usually hire Redguard corsairs when sea superiority and protection is required, not specializing in naval warfare in any way.

Norman

The Norman are the smallest of the Breton cultures, making up only 20% of the total population in High Rock. Norman reject the term Breton, too proud to be compared to the southern Brets. They occupy the majority of lands in the Wrothgarians and the North-West coast, making up the regions of Norcambria Plateau, Wrothgarian Mountains, Wrothgarian Foothills, Gedalan and Malekna Forest. Norman families rule over the Kingdoms of Shornhelm and Northpoint, large amounts of Norman are present in the Bret Kingdom of Camlorn and the Orsinium Province. Norman hold the legacy of the old Nord blood of High Rock within them, carrying on much of their ancestor's traditions, passion and ferocity. Norman do not rule over favorable land, instead surviving off of the bounty of the sea, and tribute off of strategic forts which lord over trade passes. Norman burn their dead much like Ostern, though many of their greatest heroes and figures have been buried in and around the mysterious Crypt of Hearts.

The Norman are plain folk in plain clothes, with strict hierarchies and strong traditions, isolated homesteads and fishing villages where people keep to themselves. Historically and partly due to their Nord heritage, they have strong naval traditions when it comes to whaling and fishing. Some villages being periodically devoid of their entire male population, as they venture out into the Sea of Ghosts in order to bring back whale oil, meat and blubber, or cod for salting like the Nords do. Some whaling expeditions reaching as far away as Roscrea, where several Norman whaler camps seasonally pop up on the southern coast. With life at sea being dangerous in and of itself, the treacherous waters of the Sea of Ghosts have only enforced the religious piety among both those at sea and their families at home. The colourful and pragmatic approach to the Divines that is often associated with the Bretons, is not very characteristic of the Norman at all. In their approach to religion, they have more in common with the pious Colovians, than with the vibrant and dynamic citizens of the Illiac Bay. Perhaps similar to Cyrodiilic cults, they worship Kyn (Kyne or Kynareth) as a goddess of the ocean, wind and of safe voyages. It is not surprising that a culture centered around fishing and with Nordic roots, would have such a deity as the head of their pantheon. Perhaps as another relic of their distant Nordic influence, they have a more sympathetic perception of Sheor than anywhere else in High Rock. With a relatively small population covering a vast area of land, the Norman have strict traditions and arrangements in place for intermarrying between clans and families. Among the ruling class, a form of bigamy persisted until relatively few centuries ago, a distant leftover of Nordic polygamic customs brought in by First Era raiders and subsequent landowners. There's descriptions of the practice still being place among some of the most rural towerhouse manors.

Norman Military tactics are centered on defense, using tactics of retreat and fortification. Rangers patrol the mountain passes and use the cliffs to pick off enemies before they get close to a settlement. One the battlefield, magic is sometimes utilized but more often than not physical weapons and armor are relied upon more. Powerful enchantments are focused on, making the average soldier worth as much as an elite Orsimer or Nord warrior. Norman are master sailors and use their powerful enchantments to create Dragonboats which are immune to many offensive magics which can also breath fire on the opponent's ships.

Ostern

The Ostern, the middle group of Bretons, make up 35% of the total population in High Rock. Much of the Ostern's origins are shrouded in mystery, emerging from the Middle Dawn as a rejection of the Allesian Reforms. They may not be a majority in any region but they are spread all over eastern High Rock, making up the regions of Bjoulsae Basin, Dragonfields, Druadach Highlands, Western Reach and Creag Coast. Ostern are typically elected by the Evermore nobles as their monarch and the city of Farrun has been ruled by Ostern families since the late first era. Small minorities of Ostern are ruled over by the Kingdoms of Wayrest and Haafingar. Ostern aspire to achieve a society based on the values of the Direnni of the first era and identify closely with their Merish roots. Magic users hold the highest place in their society and Wizard Towers dominate their lands. Much like the Norman, the Ostern cremate their dead with a few notable expections being buried in the Crypt of Hearts.

Ostern Military tactics revolve around utilizing magic to their most potential, both directly and indirectly. Massive complex illusions are implemented to confuse and divide the enemy. There have been times when the Ostern have confused the enemy enough to send them against themselves. Evermore implements a large array of towers which help augment the effectiveness of their magic and helps to transport supplies in an instant. Lone agents are often implemented to infiltrate enemy settlements and then destroy them single handedly, unleashing a torrent of destructive spells before recalling away to safety. When armies are required, the Ostern often hire mercenaries from Hammerfell or local guilds to protect their settlements for them.

Orsimer

Orsinium Orcs

The Orcs of Orsinium come from many different clans, making up 70% of the Orsimer population in High Rock. Orcs from all over Tamriel have been migrating to Orsinium on the promise it has to finally make a home for their people. The Wrothgarians and Dragontail mountains are the only territories this culture of Orsimer reside but within these lands their numbers are large. Orsinium is the epicenter of Orsinium culture, the Kingdom of Wayrest has a minority group of Orcs living within its city walls ever since hostilities against Orsinium were ceased.

Free Orcs

Direnni

Bjoulsae Tribes

Reachmen Tribes

Centaur Herds

Giant Clans