Sasrâl

The people of Nusrawá, the region of the continent of Yosrail closest to Gnial. The area was settled in 1373 after extensive warfare between the Sasrâl and the Iómr Mnór. The term is considered somewhat derogatory; their own name for themselves is Nóvnas.

Around 1000 AA, the Iómr Mnór society, which had always been somewhat stratified by wealth and class, began to truly break apart. The upper classes began to become more inbred, and the lower classes became more oppressed. Civil strife erupted, in the form of the Sasrâl Wars of the 1200’s, which culminated in the Sasrâl Exodus of 1373. Thousands of Sasrâl moved to Nusrawá between 1400 and 1450, and the Sqécqas Sévslaf (Six Chiefdoms) of Nusrawá were established in 1469.

Since that time, relations between the Sasrâl and the Iómr Mnór have often been strained, but there has not been outright warfare. In any case, armed conflict would be difficult, because the voyage crossing between Nusrawá and Gnial is long and dangerous, not least because of the frequent storms, tsunamis, and nuthsir. Both sides have been subject to nsunrur (piracy), however.

The economic base of the Sasrâl is diverse, including fishing, small farmsteads, lumber, and (in the southern, less mountainous regions of Nusrawá) even some ranching; but they are best known for their mining, jewelry, and craftwork (not least because those are the easiest goods to transport across the ocean to Gnial).

While they retain memory of their fight for freedom against the Iómr Mnór (and indeed their name for their homeland is Zâqtsas “Exodus”), a parallel or additional myth of their origin has developed, in which they were grown from the ground by the Earth goddess Béqithtas, who defied the Iómr Mnór father-god (Gratas) in order to make people of her own. Other characters in the folk-pantheon include Béqithtas‘s mother Arâtsaq, her precocious brother Nétsdhas, and the warrior-saint Prâtéqcaq.

There are two parallel power structures in Sasrâl society: the nobility (headed by the Sqécqas Sévslaf) and the Sórqas (church), headed by the Gátas Nâmnas. Traditionally, the chieftains are male and the church is more matriarchal, each with different powers in the social life of the people, in a power structure apparently derived from the family / clan structure of the Iómr Mnór. However, the division is different: the chieftains control things such as children, education, and marriage, while the church controls possessions, professional and social work, and the spiritual life.