The Kerinthia are a dark-skinned Morrim race, who love the sea, and spend the majority of their days in their vast city-ships. They are the best sailors in the western realms, and prefer to spend as little time as possible on the land.
The Kerinthia are descended from a group of Morrim who once made their homes in the Garan Isles. Calling themselves the Kerini, and sharing the name with the isles, they eventually took to the seas in order to expand their territory. They quickly learned that they were more successful at trading than war, and eventually fell in love with sea, visiting foreign nations and climes, and trading their goods. Since then, they have adapted completely to life at sea, and a rarely found on land.
The Kerinthia rarely call themselves so- instead they refer to themselves according to the clan to which they belong. Each clan is split into septs (tribes), which are further split into city ships. These clans were originally based on kinship and tradition when the Kerini lived on land, though now they are just as much based on marriage, economy, and ship-citizenship. The Kerinthia maintain a strict hierarchy. The Captains of the city-ships are known as the Camari, and are in charge of the entire vessel, with no one able to undermine their command. The city-ships and Captains of a certain sept come under the command of a LiCamari, or Sept Captain, who in charge of each particular sept. The LiCamari is elected from amongst the Captains, and rules for a whole five years, her ship becoming the Septs main city. Further, the various septs of the Clan come under the command of the Rintha, the Sea Mistress. The sea-mistress is in charge of the entire Clan. The Rintha, again, is chosen from amongst the ranks of the LiCamari, though she generally rules until death.
In charge of all the Kerinthia is the Orinthali, or Wavemistress. She is usually elected from amongst the Rintha, and again rules for life. The Orinthali is the undisputed leader of the Kerinthia, though she mormally leaves the day to day running of the Clans to the Rintha, and they in turn let the LiCamari run the fleets.
The Kerinthia do not possess castes as such. Those who train well, and succeed, can become both Urlian or Camari. After that, it is possible to become even the Orinthali, if the candidate is skilled and well-loved enough. However, these positions are open only to females (Ilkera). Males (Ankera), whilst not considered inferior, are nevertheless restricted to a military or craftsman role within society, and are never allowed to run ships. The Kerinthia are matriarchal, and some females have been known to marry more than one male (although Captains usually do not). In a sense, then, the Ilkera and Ankera are separate social castes. Males, should they hope to reach positions of power, generally join the Krakina, hoping to make the rank of Kraken or High Kraken. This is rarely achieved by prowess however, and is usually an honourary title, given should the male be lucky enough to marry the Captain or Sea-Mistress. The most powerful male is usually the Krakilthali, who is married to the Wavemistress, though no male currently holds that position. Captains and Mistresses will rarely marry any man who is not a Kraken.
All other males and females on the ship fulfill the various roles required in any city- traders, craftsmen, innkeepers, soldiers, guildmasters and even prostitutes.
The only other caste amongst the Kerinthia is the Halithia, or Damned Folk. Despite the harsh name, this caste are neither feared or loathed by the Kerinthia, just pitied. The Halithia are those, who for one reason or another, fear or dislike the sea. Most are descended from a few septs who, in the past, did not take to the waves. They perform necessary land duties for the Kerinthia, such as running inns, the temple, or dry-docks- yet they can never hope to achieve any power. The Halithia have their own hierarchy, often designating a leader, though this only applies on land, and is never official or respected by the Sea-going brethren. It is considered a taboo for a Kerinthia to marry or mate with a Halithia, though sometimes there are friendships. The Halithia, although long ago a separate clan, have long since been taken over by their Kerinthia, and now include members of other clans who simply fear the sea. The Halithia create the much-sought-after sea-pottery which is important to Kerinthia trading.
All Kerinthia refer to themselves by their full temples, including their name, city-ship, sept and clan, for example, Camari Misara il Dorona ni Kendara ni Loran (meaning Captain Misara, of the Dorana Clan, Kendara Sept, on the city-ship of Loran.
The Kerinthia do not maintain a standing army of such, and no structure beyond that of a city-ship actually exists. Each City-Ship has its own Sea-Wolves, as well as Marines. These help defend the ship when attacked. Should the need arise, every able person on the ship will help defend it, even the females (who fight as well as any male). Each ship also carries its own guards who patrol the city, maintaining peace.
The Sea-Wolves and Marines rarely operate under anyone but their own Captain, though occasionally, should another ship be threatened, they will offer assistance to it. But their own ship comes first and foremost. In the rare event that the Kerinthia need to make a land assault on an enemy, or a large boarding action, the Sea-Wolves flock under their own high Kraken.
Again, there is no Navy Structure as such amongst the Kerinthia. Each ship is a city in itself, and is self-governing. Although ships will occasionally travel together, on long journeys, each as its own agenda, trade-laws and rules, and go where it wills. In times of trouble or warm, or when a trade delivery is so large that more than one ship is needed, the ships submit themselves to their LiCamari, who commands the sept.
The Kerinthian ships are a sight to behold, and for many of them it is a wonder they stay afloat. Vast hulking cities, they dwarf even the largest Atlantean vessel. The city-ships prows are covered in towers, buildings and fortresses, and small streets cover the town-sized decks. Generally, the shops, inns and trading centres occupy the area below the top-deck, whilst barracks, guild-houses and official buildings are built above-deck. City-ships, like real cities, vary in size, though most have at least three or four inns, up to twenty shops, and over 1,000 inhabitants. The aft is usually the location of the Camarrin, the Captains Manor, which often occupies three or four decks. Many visitors to the ships often spend several weeks trying to find their bearings, and avoiding getting lost.
Naturally, these vast floating cities are slow and susceptible to attacks. To cope with this, each city-ship also supports several smaller vessels. The other ships, from largest to smallest, are Rakers, Skimmers, Soarers and Darters. Rakers and Skimmers are primarily defense ships, usually carrying marines and artillery, and usually act as escorts for the City-Ship. Soarers and Darters are fast and small ships, used to transport cargo to foreign cities (as often their docks are too small to support a Kerinthia city-ship), as well as to ferry Kerinthians back and forth between city-ships. The Darters are also used to operate in shallow-waters, where city-ships dare not venture. All these vessels, apart from the Rakers, are usually docked at the City-Ship, even during sailing; the Rakers however, due to their size, can only dock at the City-Ship when it is in port.
Each city-ship has its own home-port on the Isle of Garan, and nearly always docks here when away from sea. These ports are always dedicated to only one (or at the most two) ships, so that a traveller will always know where to find a 'city'(like other Mannish towns). These ports all have roads leading to them, also, sign-posted for the ship rather than the port.The only time the city moves is during trading, and when meetings are called at Stinu, when the seas around the town are filled with hundreds of city-ships, which often connect to each other with a series of bridges. The sight is spectacular.
All Kerinthian city-ships have simple names, nothing bold like those of other nations; to them the name of the ship is the name of the city. The Kerinthians refer to their vessels as males.
The Kerinthia do not mint their own coins, and are usually willing to trade for goods. However, they will happily use or accept gold as payment, and they use a wide variety of coins from other nations (usually Rhutalaltah or the Garan Isles, however). They also trade in their fine Porcelein which is created by the Halithia.
The Kerinthia are dark-skinned, almost chocolate-coloured, with jet-black hair. Their hair is nearly always worn long, in both males and females, and usually worn loose. Nearly all Kerinthia are well-built, fit and muscular, and have great physiques.
The Kerinthia prefer brightly coloured clothing, often in clashing colours, and sually made of the finest imported silks. Reds, yellows, greens and blues are common, with black being a rarity. The Kerinthia, due to their intense heat, generally go topless when on their vessels or in their homeland, and a visitor will often be shocked at seeing the women, even the leaders, walking around so immodestly. However, some of the city-ships will order their citizens to cover-up when in contact with other-peoples, so as not to offend them. The Kerinthia have very few nudity taboos, and wear clothing only for its beauty, not its modesty.
The Kerinthia adorn themselves with tattoos, often displaying vast designs all over their bodies. Most tattoos represent the sept and clan of the Kerinthia, although some tell stories, usually of their ships deeds and successes.
Female Captains and mistresses wear gold chains between their noses and ears. These chains are a sign of rank, and often have small medallions attached. The more medallions, the greater and higher the rank of the individual. As well as the chains, piercings are popular amongst all the Kerinthia, of both sexes. Ear-rings and nose-studs are popular with both males and females, but more unorthodox regions are also pierced from time to time.
When shipboard, the Kerinthia live in their own wooden houses aboard the city-ship. These houses are often ornately decorated, though they usually only consist of a living space and a bedroom. when docked, most will still remain in their ship-board quarters, though a few will stay in the land-based inns, which are built of fine and dazzling white stone, as are most Kerinthia buildings.
The Captains and mistresses often enjoy beautiful and large quarters, often occupying more three or four decks, and usually adorned with arts and crafts from all over the western realms
Being a sea-going culture, the Kerinthia cannot afford to be too fussy about what they eat. The main diet is sea-food, usually fish and sea-weed, though anything that can be dragged from its depths is usually sold in the city-ship shops. The shops also stock a small amount of salted meat, and large amounts of Kerin fruit, to stave off scurvy. The Kerinthia will also buy and eat food from any of the various countries they visit, and so enjoy a rich and varied diet. The city-ship food stores often supply a greater range of food than any of their land-based equivalents.
Kerinthia normally enjoy two meals a day, one before their shift starts, and one after. As their are usually three shifts a day, these meals are eaten at various times. They also usually have a vast Migara everytime they enter a port for a few nights. This migara is a huge banquet, consisting of all the food the landing parties could buy, and is usually a reward for the rations most Kerinthia endure whilst ship-board.
The Kerinthia are a joyous people, who revel in the finer things in life. So much time away from land means they have learnt to appreciate any entertainment they can get, and as a result they often seem to an outsider as excitable and easily-pleased. Despite their loathing of living on land, many of them are still excited and impressed when they reach foreign cities, and spend nearly all the time in inns, theatres and taverns, soaking up the fun. When on board ship, they often dance or play music, especially the Conchana, a strange wind-instrument made of shells, which plays a beautiful melody.
The Kerinthia, whilst not hostile to Norithia (land-dwellers), are still a little insecure around them. Their love of land and remaining in one place confuses them, and they do not understand their lack of curiosity and adventure. Most Kerinthia are distrusting of land-dwellers, and prefer to conduct business in mannish towns, rather than letting them aboard the city-ships. However, they have been known to take aboard guests are travellers, and these lucky individuals are usually treated courteously and made to feel welcome.
Body Dev 2
Weapon 1 2
1 Sea Lore 2
TA: Ocean 1
1 Art 1
1 Craft 2
Language: Kerinthia 7
Language: Common 6
Language: Other 4
Background Pts. 35
Special- All get 25% of original DP's to spend, in addition to the above.