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 On the Riada, most fierce.

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Akaron Corvus
First Knight and Lore Master

Male Number of posts : 689
Age : 30

PostSubject: On the Riada, most fierce.   Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:50 am

Herein lies the tale of the Riada, proud and warlike. Compiled under the auspices of most glorious Wraith, caretaker of the Vale.
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Akaron Corvus
First Knight and Lore Master

Male Number of posts : 689
Age : 30

PostSubject: On the Birth of the Riada   Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:40 am

In ages long past, when the gods were unborn, Sun and Moon walked together.
Mighty love they bore each other and upon Moon, Sun forged the stars.
Ages bore on and from the northern and the southern stars came Danu, the mother, and from the eastern and western stars came Aongus, the sky.
Aongus was strong and proud, warlike in his flashing armour, and it was on the eve of midsummer he came upon the maiden Danu in the gardens of heaven.
Beautiful was the maiden Danu, and so enamored was she of the handsome sky that she took him into her embrace and bore him the warrior twins, Cernus, the huntsman, and Luagh, the blade dancer.
Mighty were the twins Cernus and Luagh, and together did they push back the Infernal Dark to carve a place for the Vale.
Again did Danu conceive, and Taranis the Stormcrow sprang from her womb, the winds in his right hand, and the thunder in his left, these he set to the Vale, shaping it with flood and thunder.
Again did Danu conceive, and from her sprang Narn, Lord of Fire and Master of the tides of magick. In his forge did he he smith the mountains and land.
Again did Danu conceive, such was the passion 'twixt her and Aongus, and from he came Elunnara, the Nurturer. She who watches the coming of children.
The four great gods doted on their sister, and delivered her gifts and preserved her from the ravishes of the dark ones.
Cernus and Luagh went out hunting the world dragon, from whose bones came the ore of the mines, when the darkness came.
Crom, lord of the Night, came upon Aongus the sky and slew him, dashing his body to pieces from whence comes the clouds, flaying him, and pinning his hide to the heavens, taking Mother Danu for spoils. Upon her he forged daemons, and all manner of evil things.
Cernus and Luagh, upon hearing the cries of their mother and seeing the flayed hide of their father, returned to the heavenly marches, and fell upon Crom, casting him into the pit in vengeance for their father and the rape of their mother.
But the myriad scion of Crom restored his broken body, and set him upon the throne of the pit, and he became Crom Cruach, the Dark God.
The Dark God sent forth his children to multiply, and they fell upon creation, building strongholds and shaping the fell creatures.
Their rage burning brightly, the twins called upon their brothers and sister to aid them in preparing to make war upon Crom Cruach and his spawn.
Cernus went down to the wilds, and summoned Bjaren, the Bear King, and Faolcha, the Wolf Queen, promising they and their children, the Bears and the Wolves, eternal reverence and might if they would couple and produce two children, a male and a female.
Faolcha took Bjaren into her embrace and from her sprang the twins Bjarla, and Faolchu. Cernus took the children and delivered them to the heavens, where they grew strong.
Cernus again went down to the wilds, and summoned Jarek, the Stag King, and Lillith, the Raven Queen, promising they and their children, the Deer and the Ravens, eternal reverence and might if they would couple and produce two children, male and female.
Lillith took Jarek into her embrace and from her sprang the the twins Lillia and Jarith. Cernus took them also and delivered them to the heavens, where they grew strong.
When the halflings had grown strong and full, Elunnara's work began.
Elunnara came to them all, blessing their unions and giving Bjarla to Jarith and and Lillia to Faolchu.
From Bjarla and Jarith came Cormac, the blessed one, and from Lillia and Faolchu came Brigid, the beloved.
Narn, the smith god, forged for them new bodies, in the image of the gods themselves. Strong bodies, perfect in form and beauty.
Into the bodies he placed fire and magick, so they might be fearless and fell.
Then came forth Luagh, who shed his own mighty blood into them, steeling their muscles with power and their hands with skill.
Then came forth Cernus, who shed his own mighty blood into them, sharpening their eyes, softening their step, quickening their hand, and filling their minds with the knowledge of the wilds.
Then came forth Elunnara, gifting their bodies with a portion of her medicine and steeling the body of Brigid for the rigours of birth.
Narn then crafted two soul gems, using the full might of his magick and skill.
He bade Luagh to sacrifice them, freeing their spirits from their former bodies.
Using magick ancient and powerful beyond reckoning, Narn caught their souls, one in each gem and set them into the bodies he created and his siblings blessed.
Finally Taranis came forth, and imbued them with the fury of the storm, forever grafting the souls to the bodies with the flash of lightning and the roar of thunder.
They awoke, with antlers swept back and fangs long. Luagh gave to Cormac the Sword of Heaven, and Brigid the Spear of Fate. Full were they of the power gifted them by the gods.
The Might of the Bear
The Ferocity of the Wolf
The Speed of the Stag
The Cunning of the Raven
The Fire of Courage
The Steel of Muscle
The Skill of Hand
The Sharpness of the Huntsman's eye
The Softness of his step
The Quickness of his hand
The Knowledge of the Wild
The Blessing of Healing
and the Fury of the Storm.

So were the Riada born.

-from the "Saga of the War in Heaven."

This is but a small portion of one of the greatest Riada Sagas. On winter's eve the entirety is recited by the ranking bard of the community, known alternatively as a Skald or a Seanchai depending on the region. Some tribes even possess a tradition of acting out the entirety of the saga on this occasion. Notice the lack of reference to the creation of other races. This is a direct reflection of the respect the Riada have for other religions, they believe that their gods are responsible for them and them alone, and while they do not hold to other races gods, they accord them due respect in the pantheon of heaven.
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Akaron Corvus
First Knight and Lore Master

Male Number of posts : 689
Age : 30

PostSubject: On the Riada people themselves   Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:30 am

Among the peoples of the Vale, I have never fought a people possessed of a more ferocious and unsettling manner. They are large and strong, and nigh impossible to kill. They are possessed of a most hardy constitution, able to handle extremes of temperature and weather with seemingly no ill effect. As for their appearance they are fair in skin, and typically red or blond haired. From their foreheads sprout antlers that grow swept back curved over their heads. The men often wear their hair in an unruly mane between their antlers, which are far smaller on their women. They possess pointed ears like our own, but typically of a sharper point and larger. They also possess wolf like fangs which are also larger on the men then the women. The men often grow long beards and moustaches which they braid and groom most carefully. A great many have intricate tattoos and long honour scars that they display proudly. Among the barbarian races, their woman are perhaps the most beautiful, despite their antlers and fangs, being typically possessed of a buxom and voluptuous figure and green, blue, or grey eyes. All in all, a most barbaric and strange group, and one to be feared and respected in equal measure

-excerpted from "Of the Barbarian Peoples" by Elven Sage Althurwyn.

While the Elven contempt for other races is well documented, such a description is entirely fitting for the physical appearance of the Riada, as any who has encountered them will attest. Their powerful form is well suited for battle, as evidenced by the prowess they display as well as the high regard they give to feats of arms.
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Akaron Corvus
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Male Number of posts : 689
Age : 30

PostSubject: Of Riada culture   Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:09 am

Warlike are they, boisterous and proud. Fond of strong drink and a strong fight. They are a welcoming people, entirely lacking in xenophobia, but filled with a righteous hatred of the evil things of the world. Among them hospitality is a virtue only behind courage and honour in their estimaton. They will themselves starve and thirst to accomodate a guests every need and desire, even going so far as to offer their spouse or mature children to a good guest.

They are a people quick to anger, but as quick to forgive, most disputes being settled by way of unarmed combat with the adminstration of a sound thrashing usually satisfaction enough for the participants.They are a just people, taking serious crimes quite seriously, and murder will almost always result in a blood feud of three generations. Inter-clan warfare is endemic, but small in scale, and many battles are settled by duels. Warfare among the clans is usually in the form of cattle raids or matters of honour, but it seems that many wars are fought simply out of boredom, usually by groups of hot-blooded young warriors eager to prove themselves.

Hunting in their eyes, is a most noble pursuit, and they see it as merely an extension of warfare. The opponents simply being the creatures of the wild instead of another warrior. They are amazingly skilled hunters, seemingly only superceded by the Wood Elves in woodcraft and marksmanship. They are a social people, and groups hunt like the packs of the wolves they claim descent from.

Riada are famous for their craftsmanship, music, and dance. Their weapons and jewelry are among the finest in the Vale, and they export their beer and another, stronger drink they call "uisce", to taverns around the land. Their music is renowned for its beauty and imagery and bands of riada musicians can be found all around the Vale, plying their trade at taverns,parties and faires throughout the land. Their dances are merry and wild, and clans can often be found holding a dance around a roaring fire on nights when they have nothing else to do, and in this they are like my own people, who have a great bond with them. Often satyr tribes and Riada clans will have faires together, where they revel and pit their music and dance against the others.

All in all they are a remarkable people.

-Chiryn the Wise.

Chiryn the Wise was a satyr of some note famed for his knowledge of the Vale and his eccentric lifestyle as a hermit living in the woods, occasionally guiding travellers, playing practical jokes, and sometimes taking on a student or two who wished to learn from him. His account may of course be biased, giving the jovial and cordial relationship between the Satyrs and the Riada, who seem to recognize a sort of kinship with each other.
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Akaron Corvus
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Male Number of posts : 689
Age : 30

PostSubject: Of the Riada faith.   Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:26 pm

The great gods are five,
the children of the earth and sky.
Cernus, the Huntsman.
Luagh, the Blade Dancer.
Taranis, the Stormcrow.
Narn, the Blaze of Magick.
Elunnara, the Blessed.

Cernus is the hunter, and father most blessed.
He knows all the beasts, wild and tame, and calls to them by name.
His spear knows no equal, his bow no mark unstruck.
War and the Wild are his domain, and he knows them with equal measure.

Luagh is the knight, and the arbiter of men.
No coward does he suffer, no craven sits in his halls.
His sword is the swiftest, his halberd the strongest.
His armour flashes brightly and his proud crest never bows.
War and Honour are his, without one the other fails.

Taranis is liken to the tempest, master of wind, water and thunder.
Man nor mighty oak stands before his bolts, all is destroyed in his wrath.
His fury is unmatched, so great is its force and speed.
Storms and Seas are his, and no man can resist their force.

Narn is last of the brothers, master of fire and flame.
The tides of magick bow before him, all is consumed in the blaze.
Nothing but ashes and dust, once his fury is slaked.
Fire and Magick are his, the brothers grim are they.

Elunnara is last of all, most blessed is she.
No beauty surpasses hers, nor love surmounts.
She loves unyieldingly, giving of her energy.
Love, healing, fertility and the hearth are hers. No place more essential.

- Names of the divine, written by Diarmaid Sworddancer, druid.

While the Riada recognize countless minor spirits, and even major entities, such as Danu and Crom Cruach, focuse of their devotion are the twin war gods Cernus and Luagh, who represent different aspects of war, The elemental god Taranis, usually known as Taranis Stormcrow, The magick and fire god, Narn, also known as Narn Spellsmith or the Blaze of Magick, and Elunnara, their sister, who essentially rules over what is left. Their religion is sacramental in nature, with festivals and sacrifices a near constant occurence. Surprisingly, given their martial culture, Elunnara recieves reverence perhaps equal to that of the Twin Warriors, demonstrating their special esteem for kith and kin.
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Akaron Corvus
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Age : 30

PostSubject: On Riada weaponry   Mon Nov 12, 2007 12:27 pm

The Riada came down like a wolf on the fold,
their warriors shining in steel and gold.
A great tumult raising, came the great stampede
the barbarians charging with unnatural speed.
In each man's hand a weapon, of near divine make.
Blades a-plenty, their fury to slake.
Axe and halberd, spear and war-sword,
their weapons shining as they splashed through the ford.
'Into the enemy! For a beautiful death!' came the cry
and there the goblinkin knew they would die.

-Attributed to Rurik Stoneheart, dwarf, after the battle of the Ford of Skulls.

Though but a short excerpt, this illustrates the Riada manner of battle and the weapons they favour. The Riada are quite skilled in the making of weaponry, choosing weapons wielded by their gods.

War Sword- probably the most common weapon carried by Riada warriors, typically between 2 and 4 feet long and designed to slash, stab and parry with equal efficiency. The style varies immensely based on the personal desire of the warrior carrying it. This weapon is a reflection of the god Luagh, who charges into the thick of combat, with shield and sword, smiting all about him.

Halberd- A powerful weapon with a haft often between 5 and 7 feet long that holds both a broad-bladed axe and long spear tip. These weapons will often a scroll wrapped around part of the haft, listing the lineage of the bearer and thus the history of the weapon itself. This weapon is a reflection of the god Cernus, combining the symbolic spear of the hunter, with the heavy axe of a mighty warrior.

Spear- another common weapon, with a haft often between 6 and 8 feet long. Some bear sword-like blades useful for slashing and stabbing. This weapon is a reflection of the god Taranis, whos strikes with the "spears of heaven" (i.e. Lightning.)

Axe- A heavy weapon with a haft usually between 3 and 5 feet long, bearing a broad and heavy blade. This weapon is a reflection of Narn, representing his overwhelming destructive power.
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