The Doom That Came to Sarnath
Theraa is a a large principality to the east of Kadateron and Ylarnek, the last of the Old Dominion to fall to the Kings. Theraans are a proud people, and considered quite cultured and civilized, nearly as much as Sarnathi themselves. In jurisprudence in particular they are well-regarded, and The Wisdom of the Hundred Viziers is a foundational text read by all members of the Pious Court.
Theraan are lighter skinned than Kadater, though still a bit darker than Sarnathi. Their hair tends to dark blonde or light brown, and they tend to have blue or brown eyes. They are the smallest people of the Old Dominions, and rarely exceed 1.75 meters.
Theraans are unique in Maynar for having three genders – male, female, and tamiz . When Theraan children turn ten or so their gender is assigned by a village priest – always tamiz themselves. Tamiz are raised to either be part of the priesthood or else to be ban’zaitt – holy artists. In recent decades the definition of “artist” has expanded to include the Sarnathi guilds, which has allowed younger tamiz to study in Sarnath, previously a great taboo.
When their gender is chosen, many Theraan are given a new name, although usually it is a play on their childhood name – say there is a child named Jura, meaning “lemon”, a gender neutral word in Theraan. If they are assigned to be a woman, they might be named Jurlani, meaning “lemonade”, a feminine word. If assigned to be a man, they might be Unh’jura, “lemon warrior” – a pun that doesn’t translate well here. If they were tamiz, they might be named Ahjir, meaning the zest of a lemon, the most valued part in Theraan cuisine.
Theraan give their children middle names they carry into adulthood, usually a saint or honored ancestor. Common given names include Abbas, Aske, Donya, Ebrahim, Javad, Laleh, Neda, Reza, and Turan. Theraan surnames include Banai, Iravani, Moridi, and Sadeghi. The most common by far is Keshmiri, and it’s a mild slur to call someone “Keshmiri” or to assume that’s their last name because they’re Theraan. Unlike Sarnathi, Theraan of all classes have surnames, though of course certain names carry great prestige and others do not.
Theraan cuisine favors citrus fruits, pickled vegetables, and hot peppers, as well as goat meat and cheese. The climate is warm and arid, and suitable for both grazing and fruit orchards; olives are also grown in great quantity. Towards the White Death the land grows harsher, until it becomes completely barren. Summers are long and hot, and winters brief, but the nights can get remarkably cold.
The relationship that the Theraan have with the White Death has been a significant factor in shaping their culture and language. It has marked a firm limit on Theraan expansion since time immemorial, and banishment to the desert, though forbidden under Sarnathi law, is still a common punishment in the outer settlements. The enslavement of ghouls has also been a feature of Theraan culture since time immemorial, a feature adopted by Sarnathi conquerors.
Theraan worship the gods of Sarnath, but once had a nearly monotheistic priesthood, centered on the sky-god Nulani and his three wives. The knights of the Gauntlet killed Nulani and his consorts 400 years ago. Theraan also recognize the three gods of the White Death, Reza, Gul-farkad, and Wilu’thim, though these are rarely worshiped.