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Alperkin

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Alperkin
Flag of The Alperkin
Flag
Coat of Arms of The Alperkin
Coat of Arms
Motto: "Jed Eä I Nanä" (The Far Are Near)
Anthem:
Location of The Alperkin
Map versions TBA
Capital TBA
Largest city Alpazkigz
Official language(s) Alpazkigz
Official religion(s) Alpazkigz Religion
Demonym Alpazkigz
 - Adjective Assorted
Government Tribal
 - Jed Janavasu-lile (The Heavenlet) TBA
 - The Ashk TBA
 - Legislature TBA
Establishment 37.62 PSSC (6/13/18)
 - Ranked N/A
Area ~ TBA sqkm
 - Ranked NA
Population TBA (37.62 PSSC)
 - Active
 - Ranked N/A
Currency Faznamä
Abbreviation ALP
Time zone(s) {{{timezone}}}
National website N/A
National forum N/A
National animal Chamois
National food Noctic Rabrev Leaf
National drink Noctic Rabrev Stem Milk
National tree Noctic-Rabrev

The Alperkin is a woodland region defined by a loose confederacy which exists between the nomadic bands of practitioners of the Alpazkigz Religion, which centers around the extensive consumption of the crop known as Noctic-Rabrev, and the worship of the vampiric alps who inhabit the wild shores of northwestern Lake Morovia.

Contents

History

Origin

Timeline

The existence of each individual Alpazkigz community or tribe centers around the worship of at least one adult alp, such as the High Alp which is pictured. Such alps, in turn, live on at least a part-time basis amongst their communities of worshippers.
Date Event Significance
TBA PSSC (04.VII.1661) Caputian travelers report tales of mimic vampires. Caputian travelers seeking to settle along the northern shores of Lake Morovia report the presence of elf-worshipping mimic vampires in the region. These reports prompt investigations by the Caputian military and New Zimian War League.
TBA PSSC (11.IX.1661 - 08.X.1662) Colonization of Southern Alperkin Despite its supportive overtures, the Alpazkigz quietly and covertly opposes the efforts of the Caputian Resettlement Administration, which oversees the settlement of citizens of the defunct states of Neo Patrovia and Monoviaville in the southernmost lands claimed by Alperkin.
38.12 PSSC () War and Defeat Alperkin military forces, known collectively as the Baratar, are overcome by the Anti-Noctic League, a paramilitary organization which represents the Greater Morovian Independence Initiative, resulting in the hostile occupation of most of the region known as Independent Alperkin
38.28 PSSC () Establishment of Alperkin Frontier Confronting an increase in Caputian settlement in its southern territories, and the hostile occupation of its borders by the Anti-Noctic League, the Alpazkigz authorizes settlement in the region known as the Alperkin frontier.
38.90 PSSC () Overthrow of Caputian Alperkin Foreign authorities operating in the region known as Caputian Alperkin are overthrown by Odiferae para-military forces supported by rogue elements within the Baratar.
38.94 PSSC () The Great Gorge Neo-Patrovans in Alperkin - fearing for their lives as they are increasingly targeted by radical practitioners of the Alperkin religion - emigrate from the region en masse.

Geography

A map which highlights the various distinct geographic regions of Alperkin.

Climate and Topography of Alperkin

Climate V Elevation >
Sea Level Coastal Plains High Plains Highlands Mountains
Dwa - X X
Dsd - X X

Coastal Woodlands

The Coastal Woodlands lie in Alperkin's southeastern region. These sparse, oak woodlands mark the border between Alperkin and the Bassarid territory of Vaeringheim.

Southern Odiferae Wetlands

The Southern Odiferae Wetlands extend across most of southern Alperkin. The dark, imposing swamps found in this region mark the border between Alperkin and the Bassarid territory of Lewisburg. The Southern Odiferae Wetlands are divided from most of the nation's territory by the River Noctis, Alperkin's largest navigable waterway.

Gloom Forest of Perpetual Autumn

The Gloom Forest of Perpetual Autumn extends across most of the central region of southern Alperkin. In the heart of this sacred region one finds the Amanitian Lowlands, where the people of Alperkin bury their dead in the deep, ancient tar-pits which are found here. Noctic-Rabrev grows in extreme abundance in this region.

Northern and Western Highlands

The Northern and Western highlands are hilly, semi-mountainous regions which mark the inland borders of the lands claimed by the Alperkin nation. This highland region divides Alperkin from the Green of central Keltia.

Overview of Customs

Architecture

The Yurt

Well suited to the nomadic lifestyle of the region's people, yurts are central to Alperkin architecture.

The Yurt-Story

Using local hieroglyphics, individual Alperkin families are known to record their histories on the walls of their own yurts. The histories of communities may be recorded on yurts owned by local chieftains or shamans. In addition to such histories, the walls of yurts owned by local shamans are often inscribed with he names of significant patron alps. It is believed that alps may reside in any yurt inscribed with their name. The walls of the residence of the Heavenlet, in the Alpazkigz, tell the entire history of the Alperkin region and its people.

Alpazkigz

Described by outsiders as "a tent city within a tent," the Alpazkigz is a massive, completely enclosed city of palatial yurts which, as the home of the Heavenlet, serves as the capital of the region of Alperkin. Like all other Alperkin communities, the Alpazkigz is not a permanent settlement. Rather, the complex is constructed in the period surrounding the Cricket-Rise Festival, and is de-constructed following the Cricket-Fall Festival. In the weeks surrounding the Silence, the entire city is relocated to a different part of the Alperkin region.

The Canïfaha

Alperkin temples are known as Canïfaha. These locations, which are present in virtually all communities in the region, serve as centers of Alperkin ritual worship, and are the home of chief priests and priestesses of the Alperkin religion. In some cases High Alps may also reside in Canïfaha, along with their attendant Dark Alps and companion Savage Alps. Tar, the King of the High Alps, is said to reside during the season of Fall-to-Winter at the Graji Canïfaha, in the tent city of Alpazkigz. The timing of Tar's departure from the Graji Canïfaha corresponds to the beginning of the Cricket Rise Festival.

Non-practitioners of the Alperkin religion are strictly forbidden from entering the Canïfaha. In some cases, attempts to enter these Alperkin temples may result in death.

Calendar

The Liturgical Calendar.

The Alperkin Calendar is divided into four distinct seasons. The first of these is the season of Winter-to-Spring. The second is Spring-to-Summer. The fourth is Summer-to-Fall. The fourth is Fall-to-Winter. Each of these seasons is defined by its own respective holiday.

Winter-to-Spring: Cricket Rise Festival

The holiday which defines the Winter-to-Spring season is the Cricket-Rise Festival, which commemorates the re-emergence of the crickets from their winter-time dormancy. This holiday is celebrated during the first full moon following the year's first notes of the nocturnal cricket song.

Spring-to-Summer: The Cicada Song Festival

The Cicada Song Festival coincides with the first new moon following the first occurrence of the cicada song, which takes place near the Summer solstice. This is the most important of the Alperkin festivals, insofar as it marks the beginning of the year's annual migration for most of the region's tribes.

Summer-to-Fall: The Cricket Fall Festival

The Cricket Fall Festival takes place during the first full moon following the final occurrence of the cricket song. A dark celebration which commemorates the dead, it is reported that certain Cricket Fall rituals include necromancy and cannibalism.

Fall-to-Winter: The Silence

The Silence is a festival which coincides with the winter solstice. A somber festival, which stands in stark contrast to the boisterous and highly sexualized Cicada Song Festival, rituals and ceremonies associated with the Silence are intended to promote introspective meditation.

Fashion

Pseudo Tarnkappe

The Pseudo Tarnkappe is a common type of every-day hat commonly worn by male and female practitioners of the Alperkin religion, which is designed to resemble the Tarnkappe worn by Alps and by their worshipers during rituals and festivals. In contrast to the Tarnkappe, which is imbued with magical properties by the sacred silk which is produced by the social spiders of Lake Morovia, the non-magical Pseudo Tarnkappe is generally made from cotton, hemp, or other types of common plant fiber or animal skin.

Woolen Robes

The people of Alperkin are known to wear darkly colored, highly ornamental woolen robes, made from the coats of a specific type of domesticated chamois that is native to the highlands which lie to the north of the Alperkin region.

Wading Boots

In terms of footwear, the Alperkin people are known to wear a type of footwear which is designed to keep feet and legs dry in swampy and rainy environments. These boots are often made from the hide of swamp shark.

Diet

Noctic-Rabrev Leaves

Most practitioners of the Alperkin religion are known to consume Noctic-Rabrev leaves such that they are able to maintain the euphoric bloodlust which is associated with Noctic Vampirism, without developing any symptoms of the disease which may eventually lead to death. Some radical practitioners of the religion, however, continue to consume the leaves even after developing lesions and necrosis, often consuming extremely large quantities up until the moment of death. Such people are said to be "Chasing the Emptiness."

Jasmine Rice

Owing to how well it grows in the swamplands of Lake Morovia, brown rice is the most prominent staple of the Alperkin diet. Among the most popular meals which are eaten by the Alperkin people is a combination of rice and shrimp, seasoned to a greater or lesser extent with Noctic-Rabrev.

Atteran Purple Algae

The purple algae which covers large portions of the Lake Morovian wetlands during the Summer can be eaten raw, or dehydrated. The nutritional benefits of this algae, especially when eaten fresh, help to counteract many of the negative symptoms associated with Noctic Vampirism.

Shrimp

Abundant in the shallow, briny waters of Lake Morovia, shrimp provides the main source of protein for the inhabitants of the Alperkin region. Among the most popular dishes in Alperkin society is shrimp gumbo. This dish is nost commonly prepared at the height of the Cricket Fall Festival.

Swamp Shark Soup

Although they are widely revered by the practitioners of the Alperkin religion, the Atteran river shark is often hunted for its meat, which is incorporated into a popular local dish known as Swamp Shark Soup. Regarded as being extremely nutritious, this dish involves boiling shark flesh, along with rice, and occasionally shrimp, in water rich in purple algae. Swamp Shark Soup is a common ritual meal, and is frequently consumed during major religious festivals.

Human Blood

Despite that it possesses no nutritional benefit when consumed, the people of the Alperkin region are known for their insatiable urge to drink fresh human blood. This irrational urge is a result of the extensive consumption of the leaves of Noctic-Rabrev, which is consumed in Alperkin as part of the region's indigenous religion. Although the consumption of raw blood is common, cannibalism - as in the consumption of human flesh - is almost entirely unheard of save for specific ritual events, such as those which surround the Cricket-Fall Festival.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds are an every day snack for the people of the Alperkin region. Consumption of pumpkin seeds is closely related to the worship of the demonic entity known as the He Eater of Pumpkin Seeds.

Water Buffalo

The most commonly raised type of livestock in the region surrounding Lake Morovia is the Morovian water buffalo. Such water buffalo are generally raised for their meat which is consumed in place of regular beef, for their milk which is ideal for the production of cheese, and for their blood which may under certain special circumstances, be consumed in place of human blood. Cheese made from water buffalo milk may sometimes be flavored and colored with human blood. This cheese is known locally as Osencakëse, a term which is translated as "essence cheese," or "cheese of essence."

Pickled Chamois Feet Stew

A dish which is prepared over the course of several weeks, and which can be made to last for years at a time, Pickled Chamois Feet Stew is a favorite meal of Alperkin children, who often do not have a taste for dishes such as Swamp Shark Soup.


Religious Beliefs

Theology

Alp-Worship

The Alperkin Religion centers around the worship of the vampiric elves known as alps, who have inhabited the shores of Lake Morovia since before the beginnings of human settlement in the region. Believed to be close relatives of the Vae for which the city of Vaeringheim is named, there are - according to the Alperkin Religion - two types of alps which may be worshiped: High Alps, and Dark Alps.

High Alps

When summoned through ritual conjuration, Tar appears as a masked, bearded satyr, dressed in robes adorned with bones. Tied to hist waist with a rope is a bottle of wine. Perched on his right arm is his constant companion, the owl. In his left hand he wields an ancient variant of the tar worm spear. In this form, Tar is known to wear on his back the shell of a Morovian Swamp Tortoise.

High Alps are those alps who are worshiped by the tribes of the Alperkin region. Such alps are often public figures, who interact on a regular basis in human society. The most important of these is an ancient, horned High Alp named Tar. It is widely believed within Alperkin society that Tar is the god provided humanity with the illicit, dark power of Mask Changing.

Dark Alps

Dark Alps are those alps which are not widely worshiped by any major Alperkin tribes. Such alps do not tend to interact with humans, save for whatever few rural worshipers they might enjoy, preferring instead to remain as much as possible in the shadows of nature. Certain Dark Alps may be classified as Duende. These Alps are known to reside, with permission or not, within the dark recesses of family or individual homes or communities.

Savage Alps

Savage Alps are those which exist entirely in nature, engaging in virtually no interactions with humans save for those they might kill and eat. Most notable among the races of the Savage Alps are the Sasquatch who inhabit the northern reaches of the Strait of Haifa. Legend tells that exposure to the blood of the Savage Alps of the Gloom Forest of Perpetual Autumn can cause the development of lycanthropy in certain predisposed practitioners of the Alperkin religion.

Half-Alps

The term Half-Alp is used to refer to any individual who is conceived as a result of a sexual relationship between an alp father and a human mother, or who is conceived under highly particular circumstances by two human parents who are infected with Noctic-Vampirism. Half-Alps are revered in Alperkin society, and often serve as political and social leaders within tribal communities.

Alperkin ("Mimics")

Colloquially referred to as Mimics, the Alperkin are a regional, religious community of humans and hominids who in order to emulate their alp-gods, engage in the extensive ritual consumption of the leaves of the Noctic-Rabrev.

Nonkin

The term "Nonkin" is used to describe residents of the Alperkin region, who do not participate in the ritual practices of their Alperkin neighbors, and who generally do not engage in the consumption of the leaves of Noctic-Rabrev, though they may consume the plant in other forms. Life in Alperkin is difficult for people classified as Nonkin, insofar as they are generally excluded from every day social life, and are often preyed upon for their blood. The number of Nonkin in the region has increased in recent years due to an influx in immigration from Neo Patrova.

Scripture

The Hymns of the Tarcreep

The Hymns of the Tarcreep contain the ritual knowledge which sits at the heart of every-day and ceremonial Alperkin religious life.

The Alpernomicon

The Alpernomicon is a collection of written rituals and incantations which can be used by practitioners of the Alperkin religion to conjure spirits, including notable high Alps.

The Songs of the Gorging One

The Songs of the Gorging One is a collection of the hundreds of tales and fables which constitute the body of Alperkin mythology.

Eschatology

The Tar-Creep

"The Tar-Creep" refers to the idea that in the end of days, all of Lake Morovia, and perhaps the entire Valley of Haifa, will be flooded by an uninhabitable sea of tar. As evidence of this belief, which is similar to the Bassarid belief in the "Mother of the World Fungus," practitioners point to the average annual increase in the size of the tar-pits for which the northwestern shores of Lake Morovia are widely known.

Tar Funerals

On the basis of their belief in the concept of Tar-Creep, practitioners of the Alperkin religion are regarded for their unique funeral customs, which involve submerging the mummified corpses of the dead in sacred tar-pits. Certain individual tar-pits in the Alperkin region, for this reason, are believed to be filled with hundreds to thousands of human corpses. Among the most significant of such tar-pits are those found in the perpetual shadow of the immense fungal carcasses which define the landscape of the Amanitian Lowlands, a network of valleys which extend through the heart of the Gloom Forest of Perpetual Autumn.

Noctic Smoke Mummies

Prior to undergoing tar-burial, most individual corpses are mummified through a process which involves prolonged significant exposure to the smoke of large quantities of burning Noctic-Rabrev. This process of mummification serves a twofold purpose. On one hand, it serves to help ensure the physical and spiritual preservation of the individual corpse. On the other, it helps to protect corpses from the appetite of the region's vicious tar-worms.

The Emptiness

Similar in principle to the concept of the Inner World in the Pallisican Religion, and the State of Madness as described by the Stripping Path, The Emptiness is a type of enlightenment which is believed to arise as a result of the consumption of extremely high levels of Noctic-Rabrev.


Religious Practices

Sacraments

The Blood-Share

The main event of the annual Cricket-Fall Festival, the Blood-Share is a term used to describe a series of bizarre and gruesome rituals in which the vampiric practitioners of the Alperkin religion share blood, saliva, and other bodily fluids with one another, in an effort to induce intense dreams and nighttime visions. This ritual is intended to promote contact with the dead and the gods of the dead.

The Gorge and The Hunt

The Gorge refers to the three-week period prior to the beginning of the annual Cicada-Song Festival, in which practitioners of the Alperkin Religion increase their consumption of Noctic-Rabrev leaves by as much as three times. This dietary ritual is a precursor to the Hunt, in which practitioners of the religion hunt, and drink the blood, of non-practitioners. Both the Gorge and the Hunt serve to commemorate the Vengeance of Tar, which was first outlined in reports by the Caputian Reconnaissance Mission of 1661-1662 AN.

The Blood-Let

The Blood-Let is a ritual which marks the beginning of the Cricket-Rise Festival, which is defined by practices involving extreme self-mutilation, and blood-letting. Such rituals are regarded as purifying and redeeming, and are intended to prepare practitioners of the religion for the coming year.

Symbols

The Chamois

The Chamois is regarded within the Alperkin Religion, due to its apparent high tolerance for the extremely potent psycho-active properties of the leaves of the Noctic-Rabrev

The Harpy

Owing to the influence of the Bassarid Religions of Lake Morovia, the Harpy is revered within the Alperkin religion, on the basis of a myth which holds that the first vampire was born when a harpy mated with a chamois. The Harpy, in the Alperkin religion, is represented in every-day nature by the glowing sphinx moth which is common across Lake Morovia. Harpies are spiritually closely connected to owls, which are regarded as the companions of Tar.

The Goat-Headed Harpy

The Goat-Headed Harpy is the symbol of the first vampire to inhabit the shores of Lake Morovia, who was born to a harpy mother who mated with a god in the form of a chamois.

The Dread Rein

Featuring prominently on the crest of the Alperkin nation, the Dread Rein is the steel chain which connects humans to the Night Mare, the fearsome beast which drags them on a nightly basis through the realms of sleep and dreams.

Religious Paraphernalia

Tarnkappe

Made from silk produced by the Tarn-Legs, an unusual type of spider which is native to central Keltia, the Tarnkappe is a hat which is believed to imbue its wearer with the power of invisibility. The Tarnkappe, with this in mind, is often worn by practitioners during certain religious festivals such as the Gorge and the Hunt.

Thyrsus

The thyrsus in the Alperkin religion is a symbol of devotion to Tar, the most revered of the High Alps. The Alperkin religion mandates that any thyrsus which is used in ritual practice should be made from the wood of the region's nightmare pines.

Tar-Worm Spear

The Tar-Worm Spear is a device which is used to subdue the giant predatory worms which inhabit the tar-pits of the Alperkin region, and which are known to feed upon the corpses of humans who have undergone tar funerals.

Tar-Worm Flesh Charms

Practitioners and non-practitioners of the Alperkin religion are known to carry magical charms made from the flesh of Tar-Worms, which serve as wards against the attention of undesirable dark and savage alps.

The Lotos Faces

The Lotos Faces are a species of predatory, sentient lily-pads which are native to Lake Morovia, which feature a pattern which bears a striking resemblance to a shrieking human face.

Government

Political Organization

The Saint Mothers

The Saint Mothers are a convent of Half-Alp high sorceresses who are recognized as the twelve daughters of Tar. The Saint Mothers preside over all meetings between leaders of the Clan Chieftans, and preside over conflicts and disputes between Alperkin clans and tribes. The most powerful of the Saint Mothers is known as Saint Mother Death.

The Clan Chieftans

The Clan Chieftans are powerful tribal leaders who are elected within their communities to represent separate, related Alperkin tribes. Their primary role is to serve as intermediary between clans and the Saint Mothers, to petition the Saint Mothers, and to resolve disputes between tribes. Only the Heavenlet, the Chieftan Father, may be allowed to engage in diplomatic discussions with foreign nations on behalf of the Saint Mothers. Each clan is governed by a single Clan Chieftan.

The Tribal Leaders

Tribal Leaders govern individual clans within clans. Tribal leaders are expected to serve as intermediaries between tribes and clan leaders, to petition clan leaders and other tribal leaders, and to resolve conflicts and disputes within individual tribes. Each tribe may feature several Tribal Leaders, and the number may vary depending on circumstances or problems confronting the tribe.

The Family Councils

| Family Councils govern individual groups of families within tribes. Such councils, which can be constituted by a range of roles depending on the context and circumstances, serve to resolve disputes within and between families, and to petition tribal leaders on behalf of family members. Within each tribe there may be dozens or hundreds of family councils, and the number may fluctuate according to the needs of groups of families.

Political Divisions

Caputian Alperkin

Until 38.90 PSSC, around 72% of the Alperkin region was claimed by the Kingdom of Caputia, which settled the region in 37.66 PSSC in a haphazard and unsuccessful effort to stifle Bassarid influence in Lake Morovia. In the period following the dissolution of the Caputian national government, Caputian authorities operating in Alperkin territory were deposed by forces representing the Odiferae, with aid from the Baratar which provided support despite the objections of the Alpazkigz. Today the region formerly known as Caputian Alperkin is governed by the Odiferae, which acts as the primary domestic rival of the Alpazkigz government.

Independent Alperkin

Representing around 28% of all Alperkin lands, Independent Alperkin is notably the home of the Alpazkigz, and of the Heavenlet who governs the Alperkin nation. Following invasion in the early 38.10's PSSC, a large portion of Independent Alperkin is today loosely controlled by the government of Morovian Alperkin.

Morovian Alperkin

Morovian Alperkin refers to the region which in the 38.10's PSSC fell under the authority of the Greater Morovian Independence Initiative following a successful invasion by military forces representing the Anti-Noctic League. Included within the borders of Morovian Alperkin is the Alperkin capital city of Alpazkigz.

The Alperkin Frontier

The Alperkin Frontier refers to the lands which lie beyond the formal recognized borders of Alperkin, which were settled by Alperkin refugees following the establishment of Morovian Alperkin.

Foreign Affairs

Relations with the Bassarids

Relations between the Alpazkigz and the Bassarids are defined by divisions regarding the use of Noctic-Rabrev. While it is the case that the flowers of the Noctic plant are used extensively within the Bassarids in the production of certain types of alcohol, the consumption of the plant's leaves is strictly prohibited within the Haifo-Pallisican Imperial Trade Union. This prohibition has contributed to a level of informal tension between the Bassarids and the Alpazkigz.

Relations with Caputia

Relations between the Alpazkigz and Caputia were defined by conflicting territorial claims along the northwestern shore of the Lake Morovia Basin. They were furthermore complicated by what the Alpazkigz perceived as an unwillingness by the government of Caputia to ratify a formal agreement which would help to settle territorial disputes. Despite these disagreements, the two nations nevertheless maintained a generally neutral relationship, until 38.90 when the Caputian regional authority was deposed by the Odiferae and its allies in the Baratar.

Relations with the Greater Morovian Independence Initiative

The Alpazkigz is highly opposed to the Greater Morovian Independence Initiative, regarding it as an aggressive destabilizing force which seeks to dominate the native peoples of Lake Morovia. The two nations maintain a state of active hostility, in which the Independence Initiative has - in an effort to co-opt and capitalize upon the regional Noctic trade - invaded and conquered a significant portion of Alperkin territory.

Law and Order

Law Enforcement

Although there is a central code of laws which broadly governs the Alperkin nation, which is dictated by the Saint Mothers, laws in Alperkin generally vary from tribe to tribe. Laws are furthermore enforced within individual tribes, by individuals and groups of individuals appointed by Tribal Leaders. Clan Chiefs may provide some legal and logistical support with respect to individual tribal law, in light of extraordinary circumstances.

Military

The Baratar

The Baratar is a military force which defends the Alperkin region under the command of leaders - typically notable and experienced war-chiefs - who are appointed by the Council of Saint Mothers.

The Noctic Fleet

The Noctic Fleet is a community of Alperkin pirates who operate in the waters and dense swamps of Lake Morovia. The pirates of the Noctic Fleet are known for their worship of the Dark Alp Goddess Palina Palina, who gave birth to Tar, the King of the High Alps.