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[ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/139531-xionism-the-way-of-primeval-man/?tab=comments#comment-1317839 ]
This is a basic set of guidelines and concepts surrounding how a player may take advantage of the recent event-driven first-generation migration of Yultharans; LoTC’s cultural counterpart to real-life Japanese. This guide will be frequently updated.
The Yultharans are said to have descended from an Eastern peoples known as the Oyashima, who in modern day are known for having shattered an Eastern-Aeldinic society known as the Cathant. In ancient times, Oyashima migrants landed upon the southern shores of a land known as Athera, whereupon they migrated further east until they found themselves able to comfortably settle in a land of valleys they would come to coin as Yulthar.
In their time of migrancy, the early Yultharan peoples were inspired by the many cultures they witnessed throughout Athera. Many aspects were adopted into their own ways, affecting aspects of their identity from architecture (a very “western” or Gothic style) to formalities to even weaponsmithing. What was once a people whose ways could have been considered graceful, if in a foreign way, were now anchored down by ideals of independence and sturdiness, for in the unknown land they settled there were no friends or allies they looked to.
On an undated day, four entities known as Old Lords came upon the Yultharans, shrouded in darkness, and imparted unto them a scripture that dictated that they should question all things that comprise their world, for theirs was a world unrightfully reigned over by Gods. Dissent against the Gods, they say, and your mortality shall be truly realized. They departed upon this, and never again returned. Come many hundreds of years later, when the Abyss took shape to the west, the ancient scripture given to the Yultharans was fully realized as truth.
In the time before the Abyss took shape, all manner of evils began to sprout from the dark corners of Yultharan territory; rising from the further, unseen east, the north, the south, the west. Beset on all sides, the Godless peoples were forced into a corner. Demons and unholy beasts, of which cannot truly be described as to exemplify their abhorrent variation, fell upon Yulthar in an effort to devour all humane peoples that dwelled there; but through equated ferocity and mortal fervor, they were driven back time and time again. The stalwart nation of Yulthar warred with Demons and beasts for decades-- throughout centuries onward. Their ways became ones forged by brutality, where all notions of peacefulness and ideals of reaching one’s satisfaction in life were replaced by an unkind, bitter dogma; kill all that which converge upon sacred Yulthar, or be killed.
These Demons and beasts, having set upon Yulthar so plentifully and for so long, forced them into such a vicious conflict that it wore down upon the isolated society in whole, and gradually forced it to fragment into many small, displaced and only loosely unified by their antideific ideals and their desire to exist in a world that would not have them. What was once the nation of Yulthar is now merely the Lodge of Yulthar, where a culture of beasthunting is maintained, and few men subscribe to lifestyles that deviate from training for one thing -- to utterly decimate all threats that rear their head in their native homeland.
With the advent of the Abyss, the ancient keepers of Old Lord scriptures came together to form a Godless covenant headed by an essential pontiff, known as the Highvicar. Only one Highvicar has reigned over Yultharan beliefs, known only as Mezame; believed to have kept himself alive throughout centuries through secrets revealed in their coveted doctrines. It is through the Highvicar that some form of unity is retained throughout Yulthar, ensuring that men and women still fight their eternal enemies, the Demons and the beasts, for the sake of their own survival.
The ways of the modern Yultharan are grim, unkind, xenophobic and hateful, for they believe their ills to have been perpetuated by the will of cowardly Gods, and that these very same Gods are the ones who control the world they live in. The Yultharan is violent, humorless, relentless and unbudging from beliefs they had been dredged in since childhood, though among these harsh adaptations, silver linings can be seen. An almost obsessive focus on honor is imprinted throughout Yultharan society, where it is consistently preached that if a man abandons notions of honor and integrity, then he may as well be as low as the creatures they have fended off for centuries; and the only regard that these creatures gained from Yultharans was the hateful edge of a sword.
Anything considered artistic or broken off from the usual violence of Yultharan ways are nonetheless infused with their grim outlook on life in the end. Every musical note is dire, every painted depiction is unsettling, every formation of architecture is stoney and colorless. Even their language, which had deviated from Oyashiman dialects overtime, has become harsh and aggressive. In place of fantastical, fictitious stories are straightforward guides and tomes of knowledge on how to do everything one requires to survive in Yulthar to the point; manuals aplenty.
Armor and weaponsmithing in Yulthar had become a prime subject of labor in their Demon hunting days, and had been influenced a great deal much like their architecture and other parts of their culture. For example -- the Oyashiman katana, which is a known Eastern blade, had been modified in its model and method of creation until what is known as a kurenza, or “cleanser”, had been conceived; a heavier, more sabre-like blade that lacks grace but makes up in its ability to match common weapons like longswords. The unique style of a kurenza is conveyed by its lack of a sharp tip; all focus is spent on ensuring the edge is as sharp as possible, as Yultharan swordsmiths idealized cleaving an enemy apart so they may perish from bloodloss or trauma rather than focusing on pinpoint, precise methodology in swordplay.
The armor of Yultharans, though uncommon among the plentiful impoverished or “laboring caste”, focuses on tying sturdy, thin sheets of metal plating together over several vestments and garb while ensuring whole pieces of plate armor are utilized as scarcely as possible.
However, on behalf of the majority of Yultharans being both empty-handed in wealth and raised up to kill anything that threatens their immediate vicinity, many of them take to fashioning improvised armor from the scraps they find in old battlefields or even around their own homesteads. This has instilled a common strategy among those tasked to be Demonhunters where they convey their brutality through sheer, ferocious speed and dexterity-- cutting apart their foe without giving them a chance to recover or recoup, without tiring themselves in the process. This has made demon hunting far more successful in their realm than in older times, where they had previously employed heavier armaments under the belief they would be protected from the might of beasts. They soon learned otherwise.
As this is a Japanese-oriented culture, Yultharan characters are free to use Japanese dialects in a tasteful fashion during RP, and may name themselves in a Japanese fashion, but it must be ensured that one does not portray their character as some cheery, distasteful otaku-centric anime character. The Yultharan are nothing short of vicious and unkind, and systematically root out all signs of weakness from their own people to ensure they do not fall into a state of degeneracy, and thus, cultural lethargy.
It is preferable that Yultharan characters follow at least a very basic degree of Xionist belief. This does not suggest one subscribe to Xionism’s Dark Art centric set of beliefs, as in Yultharan culture magic is either vilified or regarded in a sacrosanct measure, where the latter only happens when the Highvicar and his followers achieve “miracles” with the obscure, dark ritualism they partake in.
For the first time ever, the Lodge of Yulthar had been provoked by foreign mortal entities that did not consist of simple barbarian tribes or brigands alone. With the recent seasons having revealed a lower influx of invasive beasts to slay, a coalition of military might had been formed and contingencies of Yultharan warriors were assembled to march toward two specific locations: one in a land known as “Atlas”, where the Cursed Descendants settle, led by the infamous elite band of warriors known as the Seven Sons of the Red Sun, and another larger force toward a far more distant land -- Aeldin. It is unclear as to exactly why and how either lands had been subjects of provocation.