THIS IS UNDER CONSTRUCTIONHistory
FORGIVE THE ROUGH EDGES
The Felori, despite the generalizations on the matter, are not one individual race; it would be more accurate to say that they were a group of largely ideologically affiliated races, much like Meliora, Northport, or a host of other nations in Tamelise.
Despite their differences in functional race, however, the Felori regard themselves as being of the same race, but their caste system and the rigidity of the Felori religion completely restrict marriage not just between Circles, but between Tribes.
Some Felori reject this, however, and so flee the Folsted Imperium to other nations to find a new life, but almost always find that such unions are sterile. The rare few that can afford magical assistance in reproduction, however, are vastly content with their new lives.
This should not, however, lead anyone to believe that the Folsted Imperium is inherently bad, or is detested by those who live under it; its promises of order and a place for all have dazzled millions across all racial boundaries, such that in the few areas that have been won back from the Folsted Imperium through force of arms, there is often fierce resistance from the very people who had once lived there and fled from the invaders.
'Felori' as a term of reference is not actually one endorsed by the Felori; they prefer to call themselves the Taswen, or Thirteen Tribes in their language. 'Felori' as a term of identification stems from the discovery of the islands they originate from, and their subsequent naming after the then-First Citizen of Northport, Midas Felor.
The Thirteen Tribes originated on a series of islands off the coast of Fenario, at the northernmost coast of Tamelise. Long isolated by the vicious storms and the treacherous coastline, first contact was made with the islanders by the Northport Fleet, which discovered a society vastly more advanced than had been envisaged; one that had not only developed gunpowder, but one that had created the ability to mass-produce it; one whose medicine was not reliant on often ill-functioning magic and sawbones quackery, but logical reasoning and testing; and one whose society was not in the constant state of flux that the violent rebellions and the vicious repressions caused that nearly all others were in.
The Thirteen Tribes were unified through intra-island warfare carried out by canoe, but the canoes that could pass unscathed through the dangerous coasts were no match for the rough seas, and so the ideas of the Felori could not be spread to the mainland. That changed with the coming of the Northport Fleet, where ideas for medicine and agriculture were exchanged for the seemingly unimportant secrets of naval architecture, in creating resilient yet fast boats that were able to manoevre past rocky outcrops, and able at least to withstand glancing blows, if not direct hits.
When the Northport Fleet returned, they were hailed as geniuses among the merchant community for swapping relatively unimportant technology for the vastly profitable secrets of medicine, and when twenty years passed with only the occasional Felori galleon passing by, most thought that they were harmless.
They were wrong.
Twenty years after first contact, a Felori transport fleet of nearly ten thousand ships carried close to a million soldiers onto the Tamelise mainland, utterly obliterating the Fenario military, destroying the ruling dynasty, and imposing their rule and their ways of thinking on the local populace, before mustering themselves into a jyhad
that swept down the continent, from Fenario down to the isolated kingdom of Meliora in a matter of fourteen years.
The strategic genius behind this is the Emperor of the Folsted Imperium, Emperor Folsted I, whose first action after the destruction of the Kingdom of Fenario was to obliterate the formerly ruling Circle of Five and impose himself and his descendants as the rulers in perpetuity.The Felori Religion
The Thirteen Tribes venerate the Twelve And One, animal deities that the Felori are allegedly descended from. Each of the Twelve corresponds to one of the tribes, but as the Muth'Ser are all physically distinct, none of them has matched the One, until Emperor Folsted I.
There are no restrictions on which gods are worshiped by each tribe, as each has different responsibilities, but most Felori will worship two gods; their Tribal god, and their Patron.
The Felori religion is administered by the Council of Twelve And One, the high priests of each of the Felori gods, while their words are enforced by the special religious soldiers of the Felori, the Inshallin.
Numerology is highly important in the Felori religion, and so it is often that the brightest of their priests will also be highly proficient mathematicians. Most of the more secular mathematicians look down upon them as dogmatic, but they are highly capable nonetheless, with priests commonly enlisting as artillery officers in the Felori military.The GodsThe Thirteen Tribes
The Thirteen Tribes are divided into three 'circles' of importance, which largely define the caste system as a whole.
The First Circle, the largest of the three, is comprised of eight of the Thirteen, as well as all other races that are a part of the Folsted Imperium, forming a 'ninth tribe' in the Felori reckoning.
The Second Circle is comprised of four of the Thirteen, as well as a certain few noble houses that were permitted to remain intact, forming a 'fourteenth tribe'.
The Third Circle is comprised of the final tribe, the one which Emperor Folsted is a part of, and this 'circle' has only existed for the past nineteen years. Previously, this last tribe was a part of the Second Circle, but when Folsted I took power, he demanded that his tribe be set aside from the rest.The First CircleThe Second CircleThe Third Circle
The Third Circle is comprised solely of the Muth'Ser tribe. 'Muth'Ser', in the Felori tongue, means 'outcast', and this is from ancient Felori tradition, dating back before the unification of the tribes five hundred years ago.
The Muth'Ser are not a tribe in their own right, with their traditions of descent from one of the Twelve Gods; rather, each member is born in another tribe, then ritually 'Cast Out' into the tribe of the Muth'Ser, due to their vastly different appearance from their fellow tribesmen. However, due to their complete differences from nearly all other Felori, the Muth'Ser are sterile, even within their own 'tribe'; pregnancy still occurs, but children are always either miscarried or stillborn.
Many different Muth'Ser have been reported, some having the aspects of great predator birds, some with faces like wild jungle cats, and others with totally unidentifiable aspects. Some Muth'Ser even look like members of the First or Second circle, but due to their birth in the wrong tribe, were Cast Out to the Muth'Ser. Viceroy Lanmar of Harkan, for instance, is physically identical to one of the Inculte, but was born to the Cretas, and so was Cast Out. Emperor Folsted himself has the aspect of the One, a major contributing factor to the respect he earned from his initial conquests, and the deciding factor in his ability to maintain government after his coup, being seen as the Reborn One.
Oddly enough, it seems that certain Muth'Ser, those who were initially from the same tribes, can reproduce within Meliora, having children who fit those tribes; for instance, if two former Cretas were to attempt to have a child, they would succeed and have a child who, for all appearances, was a Cretas. Due to the recent discovery of this phenomenon, the Council of Twelve And One has yet to make a ruling, and so the offspring of such unions remain Muth'Ser.The Forsworn
Those Felori who have violated any aspect of the Code, such as marrying from another Tribe, and yet survived their punishment, a rare occurrence, are branded on their right hand and cheek, stripped of their Tribe and any rights, and released back into Felori society. They are prohibited to own weapons or perform any job more meaningful than menial labor, and it is very common to see a Forsworn dead in the middle of the road in the early hours, having been beaten to death by anyone who felt like it, or having committed suicide.
Some of the Forsworn, however, have escaped into other nations, where they readily find work as mercenaries.
There have been many calls from the First Circle to allow for the rehabilitation of the Forsworn, or even the creation of a separate tribe for them, even if it were still the lowest of the low, but the Council of Twelve And One has blocked this constantly amid apathy from Emperor Folsted on the issue.