JeehvalJeehval culture studied and got acquainted with by Thrimgir the Wanderer.)
General descriptionJeehval are nomad people of windy desert. They are rather few in number and especially known of their nearly fanatic piety. Originally they are fosters of desert and got used to living very ascetic life. Isolated way of living has been both beneficial and harmful. In a way it has helped preserving the culture unchanged for centuries, but on the other hand also prevented it changing and adapting as required by the age and the spirit of time.
Skin color of jeehval is mainly light-brow and hair is nearly without an exception dark-brown or black and slightly wavy. Other hair is rather minor, but usually black, which gives an impression there would more it than actually is. Eyes are usually black or brown. Physique is slender and thin. Typical jeehval man is about 160cm Ė 175cm tall weighing about 55 65 kilos. Women to same extend are about 150cm Ė 160cm tall and weigh about 40 Ė 55 kilos. Fatness is a shame among them and is thought to be clear sign of weakness of oneís faith.
Common features are narrow and slightly convex nose, high cheekbones and rather small chin. Eyes are rather small, but not very deep in the head. Commonly taken the features give an impression of slightly famished person especially if oneís cheeks are dented. Jeehval grow beard like all humans, but growing beard is not very common. Moustaches instead are popular. Most important thing in this matter like in all other matters too is the reasonableness. For this reason moustaches usually are either short and thick or long but narrow. Length of hair depends on person itself and any rules donít define it. Commonly taken men usually have very short hair and women have shoulder-length. Barren conditions of desert have formed the features during times for what they nowadays are.
Life expectancy of jeehval is about 50 Ė 60 years. Lifetime varies quite a lot depending on residential area. As a rule jeehval living in towns live longer than those living in countryside. The reason for this mainly is safer conditions of towns. It is not rare in thinly populated regions that a shepherd herding its flock falls victim of some predator and is left on that way.
(Writerís note: The jeehval people seem to be same time both ragged beggars and very elaborate and caring of their appearance. Main reason for this may be their features and often tanned faces where signs of harsh life are clearly seen.)
General personalityJeehval have very narrow-minded opinions and practically accept only their own opinions. They are also ready to take up arms to defend their point of view and make their opinions more effective. One can get along with jeehval like any other human cultures, provided that he remembers some certain matters: Religion and magic are the most remarkable things that must be paid regard to. The jeehval think magic to be blasphemy and therefore one should not mention anything about magic if wishing to trade with them for example. Under normal conditions they are rather unsociable people. They are not very talkative and have no reasons to express themselves among other people. Exceptions to this are the two matters mentioned above, magic and religion. Of those two matters they donít hesitate to bring their own opinions disclose or mention about the blemish they notice.
Their mutual relations are marked with many different habits like keeping a sufficient distance to other person. Jeehval are very strict about touching and wonít even touch members of their own people without special meaning. When speaking it is very important to look at another person straight in the eyes, because that is believed to prove pureness of soul and sincerity. It is said that person with evil intentions canít look person pure in faith straight in the eyes, because the evil spirit or demon is observing the world via its victimís eyes.
(Writerís note: Dealing with jeehval was very difficult at first because of many matters that had to be remembered. I admit that my own nervousness, lack of own experiences and certain kind of black and whiteness of otherís instructions made the things even more difficult. After beginning things progressed without any bigger difficulties. I could say that human is always a human regardless of what culture he belongs to. After all two people unknown to each other get along well rather easily in non-personal matters.)
Clothing / Decorations / ArchitectureThe jeehval are very strict about dressing and different rules dominate dressing of both men and women. Perhaps the most important rule is that one can only wear clothes with two different colors at the same time. This rule concerns all persons except priests. Clothes have usually been made of cotton, wool or linen. Leather is only allowed to be used in shoes. Clothes of both women and men could be said to be very simple and very old-fashioned. Many clothes are loose and base on ancient clothes of nomads. In warm times ensemble usually consists of loose shirt and loose pants and they usually are light in color. In cold times to same extend people get dressed warmer to several layers of cloth and color of clothing is darker. Use of headdresses isnít very common. Shoes are usually made of sheepskin and usually have long haft covering half of shin.
(Writerís note: Despite of trying I didnít find any reason for this rule of two colors. I think it could have something to do with avoiding needless ostentation.)
Use of decorations is also minor. Only priests are allowed to use metallic decorations, like rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. These also usually have something to do with their profession and worshipping and respecting of their god. Others can freely use any kind of jewels made of other materials. It is not very preferable to use jewels, because person using them is easily thought to be gatherer of earthly property, whom earthly property is more important than spiritual one. Of course it completely depends on quantity and material of decorations how others treat that person. Favored decorative motifs are different symbols and ornaments describing wind, all kinds of themes describing desert and nomadic life and emblems of own family.
Jeehval architecture is very simple and excluding temples all buildings are very simplified. A typical jeehval building is rather small hut usually consisting only one room. Most common construction material is wood. Roofs are usually thatched roofs. Of course residential area affects for used construction materials. In woodless areas for example it would be very hard to use wood for building and therefore usually adobes or stone are used.
(Writerís note: At least jeehval canít be accused for materialism. They have only needed amount of different clothes, equipment and items.)
Housing / SocietyNowadays jeehval live in western parts of the Great desert of ancient gods and eastern and southern parts of Endoria. They donít anymore have actual own nation after Kingdom of Jeehva joined to Endoria at the end of the Age of miracles. They live both in towns and own small village communities consisting few families near other towns and villages. The jeehval living in towns donít live scattered among other people, but are usually concentrated to one small area or district. Jeehval district usually always has their own temple and possible also other services they need.
Even though jeehval nowadays mainly live in Endoria and therefore are subjects to laws of Endoria, their everyday life and habits are mostly controlled by their temples. The clergy has very strong grip of people and priest can for example declare a person to be heretical or possessed. In that case the person in question is in very difficult situation among his people unless he doesnít immediately begin making penance and mend his ways. To become declared heretical or possessed doesnít need big reason and for example speaking with a wizard or person worshipping another god could be enough. The situation isnít any better even though the person wouldnít even have known the person was a wizard or worshipped another god. Even though the person would become a reformed character and again gains priestís acceptance for his recovery, the person usually has to carry the mark of heretic rest of his life.
Jeehval society is nearly unique also in the matter that people hasnít been divided into classes. Practically there are only the clergy and other people. They donít even have nobility among them.
Livelihood and economyOriginally jeehval are nomads and even nowadays live very crudely and by using old manners. Cattle breeding and farming are main livelihood methods. Most common way to support family is to farm a small patch or herding a small flock of sheep or goats, which give just enough food for own family. Most typical cultivated plants are wheat and corn and many kinds of root vegetables. In desert also Barum tree is used some. Mutual trading is always exchanging. Use of money is rare and the money is only needed for buying something from other people. Jeehval donít have any other trading.
RelationsJeehval culture is very patriarchal. Family descends always by man and all properties of family are controlled by man. Womenís task is to take care of children and home and not to stick into other matters of the family. Religion comes along in very early stage of fostering. Teachings of Garneird are indoctrinated into mind of children usually before he learns to walk. Marriages are always wed between members of own people and it would be unexampled blasphemy to marry member of some other culture.
(Writerís note: Marriages are usually arranged and women have rather small prestige in the matter who would be their coming husband.)
Language and penmanshipJeehval speak their own language jeehal. Structure of the language is rather simple even though it would sound incomprehensible gibberish to ears of one who doesnít speak it. Syllables are short, usually only four letters in maximum. Mainly only clergy can read and write. Commonly taken among jeehval reading and writing are not thought to be necessities. For that reason only about 1% of people in addition to clergy can read and write.
Religion and religious festivalsJeehval worship Garneird as one and only god. For them there arenít any other gods. Who believes otherwise, is making a blasphemy and must be converted by any means available. The jeehval are known of their little extraordinary and strict way to interpret texts of Garneird. They have entirely own book of teachings of Garneird. This book is called as The way of wind. Teachings of this book donít follow in any way The Celestial book of Garneird that other people know. Jeehval themselves claim to have found wholly new statements from The Celestial book and most important thing is that they have found is that no other gods exist. Many people think these claims to be completely incorrect.
The most important festival of jeehval is the Day of Great wind, which is celebrated at the first day of every starturn. In that day every self respecting person must quiet down praying and reading teachings of Garneird.
Myths and legendsAppearance of Garneird is common tale among jeehval and it is part of their story of creation and history. This is actually the only widely known jeehval legend.
Appearance of Garneird
In the beginning of times a people eke out a living in desert. They lived by worshipping earth and air and without needlessly burdening or dishonoring them. They worked hard for their livelihood and were grateful of everything they got. From every harvest they sacrificed a part for wind, which brought them rain clouds to irrigating their fields. For the wind, which also blew too warm air away giving a way to coolness and freshness. For the wind, which drives away pests from fields ensuring sufficient harvest. Every village, even the smallest one, had a high wooden tower atop of which the sacrificial gifts were sprinkled.
Times had been tough and great aridity had bothered communities of the area for a long time. Harvest had been lost nearly entirely and even game hadnít been seen for a long time. That least what was left of the harvest had been almost wholly lost into mouths of enormous cricket swarms. Domestic animals withered in lack of water and feed and didnít grant any nourishing milk. Some animals, mainly goats and sheep, had to be butchered for food. Desperately people dug wells deeper in hope of finding water. Never before had those people been in same kind of situation. Of course there had been dryness and poor years before, but never before so many bad years in a row.
Elders of the villages were in front of difficult situations. Something had to be done and soon, because there wasnít enough food for a long time anymore. The elders gathered in to meeting pondering solution to this difficult situation. Most leaders of the villages had an opinion that they had to leave searching new and better residential areas. The oldest and most respected of them all, Alew, got completely angry of those talks and demanded that they would never leave their living regions. Numerous generations before them had managed all hard times and had never given up. His opinion was that these were trials testing their tenacity, toughness and stubbornness. The meeting lasted for a long time and finally the elders of the villages ended up to a common solution. They would send a group of young and healthy warriors searching a reason for these trials and returning proper living conditions.
25 young men were chosen for the task and they were equipped with best possible weapons and equipment. They got instructions that they had to find as high place as possible and ask guidance from the wind. They were sent on journey. They also got a little food and drink, so that they would maintain their strength until finding other nourishment.
Brave young men left traveling to north towards distant Dragon Mountains. The journey was long and difficult. Unforeseen heat scorched them at days and chilly coldness gnawed them at nights. After traveling a week six of them had perished due to hotness and coldness. Despite of the losses the rest continued their journey towards mountains. They still had at least two weeks of traveling ahead. Luckily they found a clear spring from the middle of desert and even eatable animals around it. How could it be possible that there still was a working spring in the middle of desert? The youngsters believed it to be a sign of that they were in right path and got new strength to continue towards their destination.
The joy however remained short, because just next day they were surprised by sandcrickets, which could grow to be even half meter long. After the battle six of them were lying dead on soft sand. The remaining thirteen warriors didnít let that discourage them but firmly continued their journey.
The travel proceeded and edged Dragon Mountains appeared menacingly in the horizon. Quickly closing sandstorm brought new twist on the journey. Furious wind whipped sand everywhere. The youngster could only try to do their best to find cover, but despise of that six of them had disappeared without a trace when the wind calmed down. The seven, who were left, concluded that the storm had taken them. Lessened group could only continue their way towards quite close appearing mountains.
They reached the mountains in couple of days and head for the highest peak. The road to the peak was long and very rough. A good way after halfway a small earthquake shaken the mountain and its peak collapsed. The collapsed peak rumbled downwards on a mountain slope with a deafening noise and straightly towards courageous youngsters. Six of them were unlucky in evading and they dropped to their death among the landslide. Only one person, Naw, was left of that brave and fearless group.
Despair began sneaking into his mind and soul, but still he had to continue towards the peak. Rest of the journey felt like an eternity, but finally Naw managed to reach the top of the mountain. On a top he glanced around and hectically pondered what he should do. He saw nobody around and didnít even understand how he could find a solution to his peopleís problems from up here. Anyway, he did as was instructed and shouted as loudly as he could: ďGreat wind! My people are in great grief and needs your help! My people need your refreshing strength, your strength to keep pests in discipline and above all your power to carry rain clouds above our fields. I humbly ask help us Great wind!Ē
An answer wasnít heard. Five days and five nights Naw spent on a top of the mountain waiting. Every day he shouted the same plea of help for the Great wind. Finally at the morning of sixth day he woke up on great gust of wind that nearly threw him off from the mountain. The wind howled in his ears. Naw forced himself up and like challenging the wind he shouted: ďHelp us oh Great wind and tell how we can serve you!Ē The wind whirled strongly around him and the howling seemed to get even louder, but then its noise changed and Naw began distinguishing words: ďYou have come on this mountain to seek my help and made great sacrifices along the journey. Your people are tenacious and deserve better. Return to your people and tell them and teach them how to live so that the winds would always be pleasant.Ē Immediately after that the wind calmed down and Naw remained amazed standing on a top of the mountain.
After standing there long enough Naw left climbing down and began a long journey back home. The journey back was a lot easier though very long to travel alone. The closer home he got, the clearer everything came into his mind. All matters worthy of consideration about life styles to cult ceremonies clarified in his mind. He also realized that the strong wind had been Garneird himself and that it was only true god. Numerous other gods were only products of weak peopleís imagination and desperate attempts to grasp and find shelter of something greater.
Finally Naw got back to his home village and at the same time enormous rain clouds rumbled ahead covering the sky completely and refreshing rain moistened the ground. Word about Nawís return quickly spread to other villages and everywhere people were happy and celebrated.
Right next day after his return Naw began to work and at first told to his own village what he had experienced and what they should do and how to live to prevent same kind of happenings occur anymore. He was the first jeehval high-priest and he used his whole life spreading and indoctrinating the words of Garneird to minds of people by visiting villages.
History / Comprehensions about historyThe history of jeehval is very colorful and many times the existence of them has been threatened. By their on comprehensions they are the chosen people of Garneird and have got a great honor from Garneird to be his representatives and teachers in Meln. Ancient dwelling places are located in the Great desert of ancient gods and mainly western parts of the desert. First notes in chronicles concerning these people and Kingdom of Jeehva are from the New age of dragons and these is very little if any information about them and their moves from the times before that.
(Writerís note: In my opinion little incorrectly people speak about Kingdom of Jeehva. I myself would rather speak about theocracy than a kingdom, because the leader has been high-priest.)
The jeehval become more known not until the Age of miracles when the world was in the hands of great changes and upheavals. Kingdom of Endoria had happenings all the time and the entire area was under great changes. Area of nowadays Endoria expanded quickly and new people joined to it. The jeehval however couldnít stand sinful life and especially favoring of magic in Endoria. Hatred and contempt had marked the relations between araries, who were main people of Arorus, which to same extend was precursor of Endoria, and jeehval for as long time as these two people had have something to do with each other.
Endoria prospered and jeehval looked that sinful life in a fit of fury. They had began calling themselves as a Southern brotherhood. As a sign of this the priests used long snow-white robes and pronounced the words of Garneird and provoke people against Endoria and especially araries. Quarrels were not rare, but still anything about organized warring couldnít be talked about.
The destiny however had of a different opinion about co-existence of jeehval and araries. A great new danger threatened jeehval from the east. Strong and barbaric kearies had appeared to the desert and robbed and destroyed its original populace. Kearies lived by robbing and conquering and quickly gain a footing in desert. Jeehval got into difficulties and were between two fires. The priest got a new target for their hate and furiously demanded revenge for those heretic barbarians, who were destroying their home lands. Endoria was left alone and all resources were focused against kears.
(Writerís note: My interest towards people of kear awakened and tried to find something about them too, but with poor results. I found nearly anything about kears, only some little mentions here and there. It is not known do the people of kear even exist nowadays. It could be possible that jeehval had used name kear about some people living in eastern side of the great desert. On the other hand robbing and conquering doesnít fit to their peaceful nature. The great desert of ancient gods is enormous, so in that proportion people few in number could disappear there rather easily. Third possible thing is that kears have simply disappeared from the face of Meln and wouldnít even be first or last nation suffering that faith.)
Family of Morthocos, who ruled Endoria found out actions of jeehval and the danger threatening them and decided to act. The ruler of those times was an excellent speaker and he began negotiations with jeehval high-priests. The family of Morthocos assured jeehval of that they couldnít handle kears by themselves. Partially that was true, because kears had managed to expand their areas further and crushing jeehval tries to take their lost areas back. Above all military help was promised to jeehval. Jeehvals accepted that and the Kingdom of Jeehva joined Endoria. Grand-Endoria was born and it was one of the mightiest nations of its time. Its glory however didnít last for a long. Mighty armies rumbled to the desert and kears were crushed and they disappeared as quickly as they had appeared.
Co-existence between araries and jeehval proceeded moderately and time healed or at least eased deep wounds and disagreements of these two people. Main residential areas of jeehval remained same, but some of them spread also to area of entire Endoria and they continued spreading words of Garneird. That aroused indignation in many, but acts of the Brotherhood were kept rather harmless, because there were bigger troubles to be handled.
The war of the Black sun began and entire world was in the hands of chaos. The war left Endoria on the edge of chasm. The nation that has been rather peaceful and glorious before the war was only a mere shadow of its past. Even though the war had ended, restlessness remained. Old disagreements of araries and jeehval had smoldered below the surface and raised again and were ready to bust into flames at any moment. The ruling family of Endoria began blaming jeehval for the war and all destruction it has caused. Finally the situation became critical and forces of Morthocos openly attacked against jeehval. Those attacks were mainly focused against priests wearing the white robes, because there were surely known to be jeehval. As a result, the jeehval priests decided to abandon the white robes to protect both themselves and their people. Themselves they explained that they had abandoned their robes just because of the people even though they would have been eager to die as martyrs. Temples were not attacked or destroyed, because they after all had been built and sacred for Garneird. Also araries admitted the existence of the Great wind, even though they didnít accept the jeehval way to interpret his teachings.
For a years jeehval were persecuted and their numbers in Endoria decreased considerably. In those persecutions jeehval were clearly the accused and they were either able to escape them. With a low profile and having dealings with only their own people the hatred gradually began calming down and other things began raising their heads. Nowadays when Endoria is still in rather chaotic state the jeehval people are not in worse position than other people living in Endoria.
TechnologyJeehval arenít very technologically developed and after all they defy all development. Their technology level could be said to be about early middle-ages.
Military / Common weapons and techniquesJeehval favor many kinds of broad bladed and medium-sized sabers and swords. Blades of weapons are usually slightly curved. Their will to fight is usually very strong and if they take up arms they will also hold them till the last breath. Nowadays taking up arms in wider scale is rare mostly due the few numbers of jeehval. In the old times when they still inhabited the desert, they were known of their fury in battle and were commonly called by names ďStorm wind of the desertĒ or ďScreaming death.Ē The first of these names comes from jeehval habit enter the battle with fury and as fast as possible. Their intention is to cause disorder and panic among the enemies. Partly the name derives also from their battle clothing. The warriors usually wear black rather loose pants and shirt. On their forehead they tie a black scarf, which has a symbol describing the great wind Garneird. Latter name to same extend comes from bloodcurdling war cries and squeals jeehval use when rushing into battle and during the battle.
Jeehval donít usually use mounts in battle. Mainly because of the lack of horses, because most horses rather are dobbins than steeds. Should someone have a suitable horse, it would be used.
Relations to other racesIn theory jeehval have rather indifferent attitude towards other people. During the history they have learned to take care only of their own matters, even though hatred towards magic and worshipping of other gods easily raises its head.
Towards other intual races their behavior is almost arrogant and they usually think them to be nearly animals. They donít come along very well with dwarves, Paladries and elves and donít even think it to be necessary. They have shared same living areas with desert elves since the ancient times, but even that hasnít softened their arrogant attitude. Although jeehval have arrogant attitude towards other races, they donít be hostile towards them and donít see that they had to remove those races from Meln.
Many creatures inhabiting the desert cause harm for jeehval. Perhaps one of the worst are the sandcrickets. The sandcrickets are about half meter long insects resembling a cricket, which eat nay living food. They are always hungry and avaricious. Ability to lie under sand waiting for prey makes them especially dangerous. They are able to dug hiding in a moment and also pounce up with a lightning speed. The sandcrickets have short wings and they are able to make leaps of few ten meters long. In the Great desert of ancient gods, which mainly is cool desert, these creatures luckily are rather rare, unlike in hot deserts where they could be even an annoyance in some areas.
MagicJeehval donít have any wizards among them due to their strict religious conviction. They think wizards and people dealing with magic to be blasphemers and desecraters of all good people.
They have plenty of priests mainly because of the large amount of temples. Most priests are low level priests, who are able to use low level divine magic. Largest temples have very high level priests who work as high-priests of temples. They are very strong of their skills and powers.
There isnít any proves or perceptions about psi-powers or usage of psi-powers among jeehval.