Batua Atzinako: Kingdom of the Batua PeopleEdit
Batua Atzinako is a realm high in the Ravenspines, ruled by a semi-mythical people known as the Batua. The Batua are the most ancient humans in all of Alamastra, their language, customs, and religion far outdating those of other ancient peoples such as the Celdsi. There language is comprised of an elaborate system of whistles, shrills, pips, and clicks. Their religion is ethereal and complex, mediated through the careful use of totems and shaman. The Batua believe the Otherworld, a realm where everything is opposite the World. In the Otherworld, everything has its equal an its opposite; its complement or its counterpart reflected in the World. The Batua believe that the Otherworld is true reality, and that this World is simply a dream. There is no good or evil, but instead counterbalance of great powers within the Otherworld. The Batua believe people are born into this world to compensate for the weaknesses or as an overflow of their strengths of their true self in the Otherworld. So if one is a male in this World, they are a female in the Otherworld. This is how they explain injustice, random death, that imbalance has occurred creating ripples across the realms. Their religion revolves elaborately around creating or restoring balance or leveraging the qualities or characteristics of their Otherworld selves. Many of these concepts are dizzying and incredibly confusing to outsiders, such as how the Batua often seek out their Otherworld self and marry, with the goal of having a whole family of themselves in order to create a great enough imbalance in the World to be called home to the Otherworld. Denizens of the Otherworld consider the World the Otherworld and hold it in the same perspective as the people of the World hold the Otherworld. There are certain properties that are specific to each realm and objects that transverse between the two realms care with them great imbalance of power, as they have properties that do not subscribe to the realm in which they are translated. The greatest object of reverence, bordering on ancestor worship, is reverence for the last self-avatar which left the World after regaining the Otherworld. These self-avatars are regarded as ancestors, who begat the current form and are revered as guardi ans. These avatars are known as Satvas. They are believed to assist the spiritual kin in traversing between the realms through trance and dream. When the Batua have families, the families are hought to be various iterations of their original self. Therefore large clans of seemingly similar individuals populate the mountians, of them times they are of only one gender. thThe Batua are incredibly religious and subscribe to a very ancient, and poorly understood system of magic that is greatly respected and feared throughout the Alamastran Empire.
According to Batua legend, the Batua simply sprung from the ground one summer during a spring thaw in Ravenspines, the Otherworld children of a great Satva Lord who created so great an inbalance they were able to regain the World from the Otherworld. The Batua are cave-dwellers, living a very minimal material existence, being a very mystical culture. They are often confused with nature worshipers, such as Druids, for their complex naturalistic rituals for restoring appropriate balance in the forces around them. They tend to dress in the heavy furs of mountain rams, wolves, bears, and elk, and as a solemn rite, never cut their hair. As it grows they wrap their locks carefully around their head and tie it up in cloth turbans. The only weapons that they care are a hoary walking staff and a knife of Dragonglass. The Batua consider the Ravenspires to be a particularly holy place because neither the dead nor the undead may traverse there, and the Otherworldly only with great trepidation.
The Batua Lords ruled over a patchwork of isolated clans for countless centuries, each insular and looking to itself for survival. These Lords were of demigod status among their people, thought to be freshly from the Otherworld, or near to regaining it. Their wild magic, isolated location, and sparse numbers, and abject material poverty allowed them to escape subjugation for millennia. Then the Alamastran Legions trooped up into the Ravenspines in support of mining operations and fought a dogged war of attrition against them. Finally bringing them to heal and setting above them overlordship granting the strongest class the crown over the Batua nation. The king became known as the Satva Lord and his vassals-in-chief were recognized with the title Batua Lords. This was in homage to semimythical dynasty of godlike Satva lords that ruled Alamastra at the high of the Batua peoples influence and power. several strife filled decades under this new regime, the Satva Lord was established as an Batua institution. This gave the Batua a new sense of unity and organization the had hitherto lacked. For the first time the Batua ventured out beyond their homeland in the wider expanse of the Alamastran Empire making a name for themselves a battle mages and healers, and shaman. The Imperial Cadre is stocked full of them, assisting in the toughest thick of the battle. Each clan has developed its own underground holdfast, known as a Grotto. These twisting labrynths hewn from the volcanic rock of the Ravines spines have been compared to anthills or dungueons, replete with seemingly random and arbitrary booby-traps, winding, forking corridors, and dead-ends. Yet the entire clan lives within its recesses. The arch-enemy of the Batua is the Drow. The Grottos have been known to overlap with the underground realms of this mysterious population of elves to dangerous effect. The Drow, though far superior in number, craft, and development to the Batua are vary wary of them, considering them powerful spellcasters and especially self-cursed by their magic methods, which the Drow find to be abominations of nature.
The Batua Lords loudly protest the industrial mining of Dragonglass for export, considering it sacrilege to remove the sacred mineral from Alamastra. According to Batua legend, Ravine Spines were raised by one of the ancient Satva Lords as a shield against the spasming overbalances which rumbled in the heart of the mountains of the Rivenwar Plateau. According to the legend, only the Batua who took shelter in the Ravenspines during the first turbulence to spew forth from Rivenwar survived, because the nefarious Otherworldings could not ascend into the dragonglass peaks. It is also said in this legend that this is when the last ancient Satva King along with all of his spirit-kin, both Worldly and Otherworldy perished in the struggle against the First Turbulance of Rivenwar. Being annihilated from both the realms, the Satva King stepped back wholly back into the Otherworld with the entirety of his spiritual kin, creating such an imbalance there that it was felt as a Great Turbulance such as that felt in the World at Rivenwar. This was seen as a repeating cycle until, at long last the legendary Satva, Katapalti was finally able to capture the last avatar of the last Satva King at Rivenwar woo her to sleep. Through elaborate magic, transformed her into a man and slew him. Imprisioning his soul in the decapitated head and hiding it deep within his Grotto within the Ravinespines, surrounded by dragonglass. The turbulances began anew after the Drow pillaged this abandoned grotto many ages later, capturing the head and unbinding the Last Satva King, returning him to Rivenwar. Although, Katapalti had transformed the Satva King into a man, so that he could not pass into the Otherworld, he still had a reflection in the Otherworld, a male counterpart that Katapalti failed to subdue, instead being killed, himself, in a balancing of his own actions. The Satva King succeeded in uniting himself to his otherworldly counterpart, but was unable to procreate his spirit, only able to perpetuate it when it was destroyed. For this reason, many iterations of the Last Satva King have sat as Lord of Rivenwar and been destroyed through out the ages, the last being Faon, destroyed by Malakar.