Rodorsceaft: Pillar of Heaven
The Ainujin are a type of human, native to Towonga. They have been isolated from the rest of humankind since the Withering, and as such have developed a distinctive culture.
Ainujin men and women tend to be an inch or two taller, on average, than other humans. Their arms and legs tend to be slender and they move very gracefully. Their eyes are very large and expressive, almost always brown and hazel (except for sorcerers—Ainujin sorcerers always have icy blue eyes). Ainujin hair color ranges from white to dark blonde, never darker and never red. They tend to have somewhat more body hair than other humans, but this hair is softer than the norm. Skin color displays a wide variety, from a ruddy reddish-brown through orange to a pale yellow.
Ainujin clothing tends to be loose-fitting, generally made out of linen or silk and covered with colorful, intricate prints. The Ainujin have a strong appreciation for flowers, and many of their prints are stylized or abstracted flower prints. Men tend to dress more flamboyantly than women, with bigger drapes and sleeves, frills and sashes and wider belts.
Culture and Society
Despite the fractious nature of their political interactions, Ainujin culture and society is fairly homogenous. Honor and duty are paramount, and glory in battle as well as in the arts are strongly emphasized. The Ainujin have large, expressive eyes, but their faces are almost always nearly blank. Those humans unfamiliar with the Ainujin take a -2 circumstance penalty to Sense Motive against them until they become more familiar (e.g. gain a level and take a point in Sense Motive while living in Towonga). In general, the Ainujin are very reserved; they do not show much emotion, expressing themselves instead through their music, art and fighting.
The Ainujin are a very tribal, clannish society, even moreso than the Cymru. Clan, however, is delineated based upon gender: a son belongs to his father’s clan and a daughter belongs to her mother’s. Marriages are almost always out of convenience, and are almost always term rather than lifelong: a couple is matched by their clan elders to produce one or more offspring, and stay together until the child is old enough to join the clan (traditionally at the age of seven, when he will be fostered out to a master or teacher for his training).
Because of this, gender roles are relatively strictly enforced in Ainujin society. Communal living is common, with men most often living in barracks and women in small private apartments. The women handle social and agricultural planning and the men handle war and defense, with both sides providing labor in about equal measure.
Towonga is abundant with wood but has very little good-quality metal; folding steel techniques are commonplace to make the most out of the poor iron available in the mountains, and most implements are made mostly or entirely out of wood. Craftsmanship, even on the most common implements, is seldom sub-masterwork; Ainujin crofters take their work very seriously and are very good at making the most out of what is available.
The Ainujin lifestyle emphasizes harmony, balance and obedience to one’s elders. Duty is strongly emphasized, as is focus and dedication to one’s assigned tasks. Love is considered very unfortunate, as it tends to make a mess of things. Attachment is discouraged and possession is by the clan; nobody, not even the chieftain, owns anything. To an Ainujin, all property is communal.
Conflict is common amongst the Ainujin, almost as a form of social interaction. Duels are a daily occurrence; to back down or surrender is a shame-worthy offense. Suicide is absolutely forbidden, as one is expected to live with the consequences of one’s actions and decisions. Exemplary behavior leads to social advancement and privilege; shameful behavior leads to cleaning the latrines.
It is important to note that the Demon War left Towonga largely untouched, as the only access across the Barrens at that time was teleportation magic; because of this, the Ainu took a dim view of the geas dreodór and of the Draiocht in general. While the Druids do still enforce the ban in Towonga, the Ainujin warlords retain the highest degree of autonomy from the Draiocht in all the Branchlands.