Ashes and Blood
Who are the people of Alera
Alerans are humans, taking their name from the country they inhabit. They are the most developed civilization on Carna, and they exert their influence over all other sentient races through their use of furies. Their far-flung empire spans most of an entire continent, but they are pressed on all sides by hostile enemies. Their government is a feudal monarchy with institutions derived from the Roman Empire. The government is headed by a single patriarchal monarch, the First Lord, who controls the high lords and their territories. The Senate is the political body for the empire, establishing laws and government appropriations. All of the high lords and senators are part of an aristocracy called Citizens, as are lesser lords and nobles. To become a Citizen, an Aleran must either win a duel with a Citizen called the juris macto or be appointed by the First Lord. Citizens are similar in status to Roman Patricians.
Aleran culture is male dominated and allows for people to be bought and sold as slaves. Women’s rights are lacking in many respects but a highly influential Dianic League is winning support for more rights. The country is organized into city-states, with each of the major cities ruled by a high lord. The outlying areas of the cities are inhabited by farms, called Steadholts. Each Steadholt is led by a steadholder who rules that area of Alera, under the authority of the local High Lord.
The Aleran military is organized into legions similar to those used by the Romans. Each High Lord is allowed and responsible for maintaining three full legions (containing Knights and foot soldiers called legionares) and a contingent of bodyguards (singulares). Each legion has sworn loyalties to their High Lord, which causes issues when conflict arises between the First Lord and a High Lord.
Large, anthropomorphic wolf-like creatures and fierce warriors. They are long-lived, with a society organized in a caste-like social hierarchy which is susceptible to political in-fighting. Canim speak a growling barking language more suitable to their muzzles than the mangled Aleran that they attempt. Most Aleran contact with the Canim is through Canim raids along the west coast of Alera. (Think Werewolf Klingons.)
Very little is known about the Icemen except that they are a savage enemy of Alera, held at bay along the northern fringes of the empire by the Shieldwall. Icemen are apelike creatures, the tallest the size of a legionnare but with broader shoulders and chest.
The Marat are a silver-haired, pale-skinned people who reside on a continent connected to Alera via a land bridge (where the Calderon Valley is located). The Marat appear in many ways to simply be barbaric humans, but their culture and physiology show several key differences, including night vision and exceptional physical abilities, and are noted to have a much higher body temperature than Alerans. They are an aggressive race who routinely fight one another in small scale conflicts. The Marat bind themselves to another creature (such as a Wolf, Herdbane, Gargant, Horse, Fox or Lion) and call this creature their Totem (chala), gaining many of the creature’s strengths and abilities; for example, the members of the Gargant clan have exceptional strength, while those of the Horse clan are faster than other Marat. They are also known for “partaking” in their fallen enemies, where they eat their adversaries (sometimes alive) in combat to gain their strength. It has not been shown whether this actually improves the physical abilities of a Marat or is merely superstition.
A few races were driven extinct by the Alerans. These include the Children of the Sun (formerly of the Feverthorn jungle), the Malorandim, the Avar, the Yrani, and the Dekh.