|Home Continents: Vestin and Aust|
|Countries: Primo, Secondo, Terzo, Quarto|
|Languages: Druden, Trade|
|Slavery: Illegal everywhere but Quarto|
|Relationships: Friendly with Ziegun, Subagel, and Datong. Neutral with Senjo and Illph. Borderline hostile with Duendo and slightly icy with the Vorgess, despite their trade relations.|
|Average Height: 5'5"-6'|
|Average Weight: 145 lbs|
|Lifespan: 250 years|
|Focus: Trade, wealth and entertainment|
|Holidays/Festivals: New Year's|
|Notable Members: N/A|
- 1 Overview
- 2 Animals
- 3 Art
- 4 Children/Families
- 5 Clothing
- 6 Common Classes
- 7 Education
- 8 Festivals
- 9 Food
- 10 Housing
- 11 Monasteries and Convents
- 12 Subculture
As far as they're concerned, Drude are the most “civilized” Faeri, their culture and technology roughly equivalent to that of medieval Europe. Drude tend to be of larger build than all but the Duendo Faeri, and are the most outgoing -- exploration wise -- of the Faeri subraces. They are a culture dominated by the merchant and noble classes in most areas, and ship their goods throughout all of Ehrdi. The Drude were the first race to begin exploring -- and conquering -- alien territories after the War of the Ancients' Fall and still hold the most political and economical power in Ehrdi, though they have released most of their old territories to their original owners. They were the first to propose and form the International Trade Alliance.
Most Drude tend to be loud and boastful, always happy to share a tale or two with an audience. The main goal in a Drude's life is to make as much money and live as lavishly as is possible within their lifetime. They seek comfort over all else, but that doesn't mean the Drude are entirely selfish and greedy. Many have at least some sense of honor and justice, and even a few famous crusaders are of Drude stock.
Drude skin ranges from a near-white pale to a full peachy pallor, and blond and light brown are the most common hair colors, though black and red are known to appear on occasion. Drude's eyes are often light brown, blue, light blue or green, and very rarely hazel or gray.
Though they have some significant cultural differences, the Drude live in very similar climates, and as such, tend to have the same kind of domesticated animals. Common pets are various breeds of dogs and cats, as well as rabbits and sometimes various birds, such as ducks or geese, though these birds are usually pets on farms or in the ponds of wealthy Druden.
In terms of livestock, the Drude tend to most often herd cattle, pigs, chickens, goats, donkeys, and sheep. Livestock animals are most often used as a primary source of meat, dairy products and clothing for the Druden. Though hunting game is not unknown, it is primarily frontiersmen and their ilk that catch most of their meat. Otherwise, hunting is more of a part-time sport for some wealthier Druden.
Mount animals do not differ greatly from region to region, and the most common mount animals the Drude use are horses, mules, ponies and donkeys.
Art is a huge part of Druden life. While lower classes tend to prefer functional art, purely decorative pieces are more popular with the nobility. Some common themes and styles of most Druden art include:
- Religious events - The Church is a prominent power in the Druden nation, and as such, is a primary commissioner to artists. Even work that is not church-commissioned often depicts religious events, because the Druden are (at least outwardly) religious and superstitious people. Religious scenes are particularly common in tapestries and manuscripts.
- Stylized figures (In manuscripts/tapestries) - Earlier Druden art from 4100-5300 AFE tended to simplify and generalize the humanoid figure, with little individuality or true representational styles. From 5300 AFE to Rune Master's time, more naturalistic, yet idealized depictions are more popular, after a revival of classical Ziegun and Druden Empire-style artwork that started in Secondo. This style is most common in paintings and sculptures, while the older, more iconic styles are still popular in manuscripts and tapestries.
- Emphasis on painting and sculpture - A majority of Druden artwork comes in either the form of paintings (often oil on canvas or frescoes) or marble/stone/wood sculptures. In the north, sculptures are most often found as part of the architecture in churches and cathedrals, while in the south and Quarto, statues are usually intended to be free-standing.
- Spiritually uplifting - Whether functional or decorative, religious or contemporary, Druden artwork is meant to awe and inspire. Bright, vibrant colors are favored in paintings, sculptures contain deep cuts that leave stark shadows, and many architectural designs contain highly reflective and/or colorful glass and metal objects that allow light from the sun to shine through and reflect to create dazzling effects.
Generally speaking, Druden art tends to focus on paintings, sculpture, and manuscripts in the north and east; these are also popular in the west, though they also focus on tapestries.
Drude family ties and size depend heavily upon the area in which they live, and the lifestyle they lead. Family heredity is very important, especially to those of the noble classes. Though not always close-knit, families often belong to clan lines, and most clans have a coat-of-arms to display their bloodline. Knights and other nobility tend to display their family emblems upon their formal attire and armor.
Families, especially rural ones, tend to be on the large side; couples rarely have fewer than two or three children, and eight to ten living offspring is more the norm. Infanticide is somewhat common in the peasantry due to disease and unclean conditions, but overall, most children survive into adulthood.
For the most part, children are very important in the Druden family. They are integral to continuing family lines, and in the case of laymen, extra hands to help in daily chores and other livelihood-related work. Among the nobility, children are used to increase their family's influence and advancement through advantageous marriages - and some of these marriages are planned before the children are even three years old.
Very young children are left to play and are watched by their mothers and/or older sisters in the lower classes, while nobles can afford nannies to tend to their young. Upon reaching age three or four, Druden children begin their education. Rural peasants usually home-school their children, while commoners in towns and cities send their children to public schools. Noble children are either privately tutored or sent to prestigious academies. General education often ends around age eighteen, though in some places the educational system runs until twenty-one. Afterwards, the young adults either enter the workforce, or pursue higher education if their families can afford it.
Rural children are educated in a more relaxed environment, and their learning often focuses more on general history and important work-related education, rather than reading/writing, science, and other more "sophisticated" subjects. Many farmers and other country peasants are illiterate or close to it, because they rarely have any need for the written word in their labor-related lives. Commoner children out in the country after age seven or eight begin assisting their families in everyday labor, and begin their apprenticeship if their families are craftsmen. Sometimes children are apprenticed to other craftsmen outside of the household if the family has few connections, or a surplus of children.
In larger families, particularly those in Secondo and Terzo, it is normal to send one of their children to a monastery or a convent to become monks and nuns. The idea behind this is that it guarantees divine favor and blessings to the family. Because of this forced entry into the monastic life, stories of monks and nuns escaping their religious-devoted lifestyles are common. The real number of those on the lam remains unknown - many monks and nuns still enter into the lifestyle voluntarily, while others more forcefully inducted learn to adapt to it.
Birth and Naming
As in most societies, Druden births remain a female affair. Mothers giving birth are often accompanied by a midwife and her assistants, as well as any older female family members. Men usually aren't involved directly in the childbirth, though in Primo and Secondo it is becoming more common for husbands to accompany their wives during delivery for moral support. Babies are named soon after their birth by their parents. Naming after another relative is common (especially among the nobility), but names from religious and historical figures are also popular.
Men are almost always considered the head of the household, and family ties are traced through the father's side. The family patriarch holds much responsibility and power over his family. Usually, property is evenly distributed among a patriarch's heirs upon his death, rather than simply favoring the eldest son. In the past, a man would often have several wives (especially if he was well-off), but in the past thousand years, it has become more common for - at least legally - marital relationships to be strictly monogamistic. The Church condemns polygamy, and is the main reason the Druden keep only one spouse -- though it is not uncommon for nobles to have other lovers. In theory, this too is forbidden by the Church and is considered amoral, but it is nonetheless a relatively common occurrence for a nobleman to have a "secret" mistress or two. It is met with mixed societal acceptance, with the lower classes being more morally loyal to their one spouse and less likely to "cheat," but met with some acceptance and almost some expectancy in the upper classes. Adultery, in practice, is usually only considered a crime if the wife is unfaithful to her husband, not the other way around.
In Quarto and Terzo, women have little political political and societal rights, and daughters are usually seen has bargaining chips to hopefully marry into well-off families and give the clan better connections. Even with limited rights, however, women are often free to divorce their husbands under certain circumstances, such as abandonment or conviction of crimes. It is still easier for men to obtain divorce from their wives (especially under the accusation of adultery), but the practice from either gender is not particularly common.
In Primo and Secondo, however, women tend to be more liberated. Granted, these two countries are still primarily patriarchs, but women are granted more rights and tend to have more personal freedom, near-to equal that of men. They can even serve in the military if they so wish, a tradition that dates back to the Druden Empire during the Age of Conquest, where women in the middle and certain branches of the upper-class were allowed to be trained as soldiers to help boost the military's numbers and give "unwanted/extra" daughters a place in society.
Druden clothing varies in style from region to region, but the most common and basic article of attire is the tunic. Tunics are worn more often by men than women, but they are considered gender-neutral. Women who don't wear tunics tend to wear kirtles - that is, tunics with longer bottoms, often reaching down to the ankles. Pants usually accompany tunics, along with simple shoes or boots. Sometimes basic shirts (both long-sleeved and short) are worn with pants or shorts.
While richer and more aristocratic Drude have more clothing options at their disposal, tunics, dresses and pants are still very common; however, even when these simple articles of clothing are worn, they tend to have more vibrant colors, elaborate patterns, and other decorations - especially with emphasis on the sleeves. Other popular noble clothing includes surcoats, cloaks, turbans, sleeveless jackets, hats and veils (for women). The specific designs depend on the fashion of the region.
The material tunics and other clothes are made out of depend on the wealth of the wearer; peasants and farmers often use wool, leather linen, and cotton (in Primo/Secondo) for their clothes. Clothing of the nobility is often made from more refined cottons, linens and silk.
In Terzo and Quarto, the dye of clothing for commoners tends to be basic if dyed at all - cheap earthen tones such as browns, dull yellows, and greens are the norm. Blues, reds and purples are reserved for the nobility and royalty due to their rarity and expense. However, in Primo and Secondo where the economy is unusually strong and stable, such vibrant color dyes are actually relatively cheap, and it is not unusual for even commoners in these countries to own at least one set of brighter colored clothing.
Knights and other warriors are fairly commonplace in Druden culture, and like any warriors, protection is a must-have. Druden armorers are among the best in the world, and they excel at forging all sorts of metalwork armors ranging from chainmail to plate mail. Leather armor is also widely available, though it is used mostly by thieves, foot soldiers and others who can't afford metal armor - or those who simply prefer freedom of movement over denser protection.
In Primo and Secondo, full body plate armor is the ideal, with wealthier nobles and warriors often wearing suits of chain link mail underneath for even extra protection. Full plate helmets in this region often cover the entire head, with a section in the front converted into a movable visor for comfort and improved vision outside of combat. Chainmail suits with pot helmets are also popular among the poorer and more commonplace soldiers.
As for Terzo and Quarto, they are well known for their mounted calvaries. Their men adorn themselves and their horses with plated armor, though more often than not, they keep themselves lighter with only a chest plate, steel boots, and a protective, closed-faced helmet. Some troops of heavy calvary remain fully armored. For men fighting on foot, chain and scale mail are the preference. Knights of these countries often display their family crests on colorful tunics that are placed over the chain mail.
In most places, there is a strict division between classes in Druden society. They use feudalism as their social structure. In descending order, their social ranks go essentially as such: Kings/queens, nobles, knights, farmers and other laymen. The royalty runs the overall countries, while nobles each have their own regions they own and oversee. Nobles either are knights themselves, or have at least a few knights in their service, and are expected to provide at least one to their king in times of need. Knights themselves serve nobles and own their own lands, however small in size. Farmers are most often serfs that work the farmland belonging to a knight or other high-ranking official. They do not own the land and are in service to their lords. Some are yeoman farmers that do actually own the land they till, but they still must pay taxes to local lords.
Common folk living in towns and cities may not be farmers, but they still must pay respects and taxes to the local government. What townsfolk do varies, but many are some sort of merchants or artisans. Priests and other holy men and women vary in rank and importance; most are humble clerics serving in local communities, but in areas where the Vetero Church is in control, they often hold sway over the government and many higher-ranking church officials enjoy lives similar to those of nobles.
Of all their achievements, perhaps greatest is the Druden educational system. Though children of farmers are most often taught only basic history and never learn how to read, a vast majority of town and city-dwelling people are literate. Nobles can often afford the finest private tutors available, but even the commoners receive a basic education. Much of the taxes goes into public schools where reading/writing, history, mathematics, science, and literature are always taught. Most towns hold at least a single public school where all their children attend. Cities have several schools, and many of the larger areas boast specialized institutions with higher learning available.
Aside from basic public education, the Druden nation also contains some of the world's finest universities and academies. Some of these institutions are specialized public schools with classes available from childhood on into adulthood, while others are meant to be taken after rudimentary education at public schools have been completed. These universities greatly vary in subject, and can teach anything from magic to anthropology. Fighter academies are also popular, with those who can afford it learn more disciplined and refined styles of swordsmanship.
The Druden hold a variety of festivals, and are perhaps masters at partying and enjoying life to the fullest. Even the celebrations of the poorer commonfolk are oft filled with drinking, dancing, decorations, and other merriment.
Birthdays are a big event with Druden. How large the party and how many (if any) presents depends on the community and the wealthiness of the birthday boy/girl's family. In smaller towns and villages, birthdays are a community event, with everyone pitching together for food and games. Gifts are almost always bestowed upon the subject of the celebration, even if the gifts are humble. They are most often granted by immediate family, though sometimes friends and other people will pitch in as well. Cakes and other sweets are a popular dessert at such gatherings to those who can afford them; the poorer often substitute them with fruits and other naturally sweet foods.
Funerals are a somber matter with the Druden. They are treated with the utmost respect and seriousness. The deceased's body is prepared for burial. With the common people, this often involves merely setting the body carefully into a casket, but the richer often can afford wakes, and so the body is cleaned up and dressed formally before being placed away. A ceremony held by a priest and tended to by the family (and often members of the community) is held at a local church or outdoors. Ceremonies range in size and length, but they always include at least the most basic of last rites. Once the ceremony is complete, the casket is carried by four to six pallbearers -- often the deceased's brothers, sons, nephews, grandsons, or other close friends -- to the burial site. Royalty, lords and heroes of note often have grand funeral processions complete with their family banners carried by standard-bearers around the casket.
Burials are almost always in churchyards and the surrounding area. In cities and larger towns where space is limited, graveyards located just outside city limits are more often the case. Wealthier families sometimes have private tombs and crypts, either located on their land or at prepurchased spots in cemeteries. Most graves are marked with a plain stone with a simple inscription of the deceased's name and dates of birth/death. Sometimes small prayers and words of love are engraved into these markers. Deceased nobles and heroes often have more elaborate grave markers, usually statues of themselves or various religious symbolism.
After burials, mourners leave flowers and other items of love and importance on the fresh grave. A final prayer is recited by the priest, and the procession moves out.
Perhaps the largest celebration of all Druden festivals, New Year's is celebrated over a two-day period: The first on New Year's Eve (Octouna 45), and the second on New Year's Day (Unaluna 1). New Year's Festivals usually involve drinking, dancing, games, and contests. Another popular aspect of the celebration are costume contests and parties, though these are usually seen only in towns and cities. Costumes can vary in theme, but signs of the zodiac, demons, and caricatures of political figures - past and present - are the most popular.
Amongst the nobility, grooms are often much older than their brides. For the female Human nobility, it is rare to still be unwed by the age of 19; Half-Faeri women are oft married by their mid-to-late 30s, while Faeri women above the age of 60 are often married. In the lower classes, the average age of marriage is only slightly older, but has more flexibility and less urgency than noble marriages, which are generally used as political and social moves. Whether arranged or of love, noble or common, marriage is an event of great festivities for the Druden.
Before weddings, there are betrothal ceremonies, which take place on the day of the betrothal announcement. Sometimes this is while the bride and groom are still children, and the marriage is arranged. The betrothal ceremony takes place at the bride's house and the village gathers to celebrate, sometimes giving wooden utensils or other small tools as gifts.
On the day of the wedding, brides are dolled up in their regional ideal of beauty; make-up and bleached hair are popular all around, and in Terzo many noble women pluck their hairlines to give themselves a higher forehead. Commoners who cannot afford expensive perfumes and cosmetics will at least thoroughly bathe beforehand and decorate their hair. Floral crowns are a common sight among the peasantry and lower nobility.
The wealthier the bride and groom, the more elaborate their attire is. Noble brides wear dresses usually made out of silk (often imported from Sokuhen) with fanciful designs embroidered in gold and silver threads. Wedding dresses are almost always some shade of blue, the symbol of purity. Colorful, expensive jewelery is popular as well. Wealthy grooms dress in their best court attire, usually with their own embroidery and gems encrusted into the design.
Poorer brides and grooms, while they cannon afford expensive clothes and jewelery, still dress up for their big day. Cotton, wool and light leather are used in commoner clothing. If the bride's family can afford it, her dress, like the noble's, will be blue. When blue is too expensive (as is often the case), bridal dresses are dyed forest green, brown or maroon.
If in the vicinity of a castle, nobles and the middle class generally hold wedding celebrations in a Grand Hall or courtyards. Otherwise, most marriages are held in a church. All weddings are preformed and blessed by a priest or other cleric. In castles and upper class weddings, all the local nobles and distant relatives attend the ceremony. For small villages and other country weddings, attendance usually is limited to neighbors and close relatives.
As a sign of the marriage, the bride and groom exchange wedding rings to wear on their left hand ring fingers. Among the nobility, these rings are gold and sometimes gem-encrusted. The middle class favors simple silver or copper bands. Those too poor to afford any ring at all instead break a coin, giving one half to the bride, and the other to the groom.
After the actual ceremony, the couple leaves the church while the guests throw seeds or grain to wish them a fruitful marriage. The post-wedding celebrations of nobles most often include entertainment such as minstrels, jugglers and other performers. Festivities are usually held in a manor or castle ballroom.
In the country, celebrations include music and dancing. The groom, if not a local, traditionally buys a round of drinks for the young men of the village as compensation for "robbing" them of a prospective wife. In turn, the young men arrange a mock serenade for the newlyweds.
Feasts are a common aspect of Druden weddings. Nobles enjoy a variety of imported meats, breads, cheeses, fruits, and other sweets with rare wines and other fine liquors. Commoners usually eat locally grown and/or baked breads, vegetables, meat and fruits. In both cases, the festival includes small cakes brought by the wedding guests. These cakes are stacked on top of each other. To mark the beginning of the wedding feast, the bride and groom try to kiss over the top of the cakes as a sign of luck and prosperity.
As the celebrations wind down, wedding gifts are exchanged. The bride's family bestows her new husband with her dowry, while the groom's family provides the new couple with a suitable home and income to start their new lives. A final, small gift is given to the priest who oversaw the ceremony, usually in the form of some small, treasured trinket. Sometimes wedding guests give gifts of small furniture, given to the groom. These the groom offers his bride the morning after their marriage is consummated, as a sort of thank-offering or compensation for the loss of the bride's virginity.
Drude food, while defendant on local climate, has many unifying themes. Overall, grains, local meat and vegetables are the staples of the commonfolk, while nobles enjoy finer grains, meats, fruits, dairy products and internationally imported foods. Stews and soups are part of everyday cuisine amongst all classes. Alcohol is very common as well; ale is often drunk daily by the Druden, though its actual alcoholic content is low. In the country and small towns, alcoholic drinks are made locally and usually appear in the form of ale, mead, whiskey or beer. Nobles can afford more refined drinks, and favor wines, brandies, and cordials. Alcohol consumption is normal, but excess to the point of constant drunkenness is frowned upon. Primo and Secondo have age restrictions on the consumption of alcohol - legally, one must be at least 16 to consume it.
Vegetables are more common amongst the peasantry than the nobility. Common crops include cabbage, beets, onions, garlic, carrots and potatoes (imported from the Illph). Chickpeas, fava beans and peas are an important source of protein for peasants and the middle class, but are frowned upon among the nobility for their tendency to cause flatulence and their association with the lower classes.
For those who can afford it, corns, kidney beans and tomatoes are imported from the Illph nation. Though tomatoes are actually a fruit, they are less sweet and are often grouped with other vegetables in meals.
Fruits are popular and can be served fresh, dried or preserved. Because sugar and honey are expensive, fruits are more commonly used as sweeteners, and can be found in many cooked dishes. In the southern reaches of Primo and Secondo, lemons, bitter oranges, pomegranates, quinces, and grapes are popular. In the north and in Terzo and Quarto, apples, pears, plums, and strawberries are more common. Figs and dates grow in the southern and central Drude nation, and are imported and enjoyed throughout. All classes enjoy fruits, but peasants stick to fruits that can be grown or forested nearby, while nobles can afford to import all kinds.
Grains provide the primary source of nutrition for commoners, and make up a significant portion of upper class diets as well. Grains are usually consumed in the forms of various breads and alcohol. They are also generally boiled whole into a soup or stew. Common Druden grains include oaks, barley, rye, buckwheat and millet. Rice is imported from the Senjo nation to the Druden nobility on the Vestin continent, but remains a local grain in Quarto.
For those who can't afford or provide their own meat, cow, sheep or goat milk provide a large source of protein. Fresh, unaltered milk is generally saved for children and the elderly; adults rarely drink it unless they are poor or sick. Its lack of use comes from difficulty in preserving it for long periods of time, and almond milk is often used instead.
Cheese is perhaps the largest part of Druden commoner diet after breads. Some are made to be traded and exported, but most are made for local consumption, leading to hundreds of different regional varieties. It is also used for pies and soups. In regions where cattle are common, butter is made and used in large quantities for cooking. In areas where butter is scarce, oil and lard are used as substitute cooking fats.
Meat and Fish
Meat is enjoyed by all Druden classes, but due to its expense is eaten in larger quantities by the elite. Most Druden meat comes from domesticated animals: cattle, goat, sheep, and pigs. Beef is usually reserved for special occasions, as cattle are valuable for providing milk and as pack animals. Pork is more common, along with mutton, lamb and chicken. For those who are able to hunt wild game, common meat includes veal, beaver, hedgehog, porcupine, quail, partridge, storks, cranes, and larks. Among the upper classes, swans and peafowl are domesticated and sometimes eaten for their meat.
Even more expensive than meat are fish and other seafood, which are generally seen as an alternative to meat during times of fasting. They only remain a staple on coastal cities and towns. Herring, cod, oysters, mussels and scallops are common coastal seafood, while freshwater crayfish, pike, carp, bream, perch, lamprey and trout are popular in river towns. When eaten, fish are often salted, dried and smoked.
Druden housing varies greatly on the region, livelihood, and class situation of the family. Below are described some common house structures for peasants and nobles.
Peasants living farther out in the country tend to have fairly flimsy houses made out of sticks, straw and mud. They are often only one-room and most peasants in these houses share the living space with their animals. Because country peasants tend to be very poor, their houses are often constructed on their own due to lack of funds.
Commoners of better financial situations and/or those living in towns and cities tend to make their homes in wattle and daub houses constructed over a timber base. Roofs still are often thatched, rather than tiled. They still often contain two or fewer rooms, but peasants in this housing rarely have to share it with animals -- either because they can afford barns, or because they don't need farm animals. Some cities offer urban housing, with large stone and timber apartment complexes serving as homes for hundreds, sometimes thousands of families in the area.
Poorer nobles or those who live further out in the countryside generally live in cottages made out of stones and a thatched roof. The cottages tend to be smaller, usually with two rooms - one with the hearth that serves as the living area, and a second with a stone oven. Usually, these houses only have a window or two, and no chimney. Animals are often kept in a small wooden barn nearby, and a small storage building for crops can be found close to the house.
Richer nobles and those living in towns and cities tend to stay in houses made out of brick and/or timber. The roofs are tiled and most of these houses have chimneys and glassed windows. Noble houses of this make tend to be two or more stories tall, with servants sleeping upstairs. In areas where slavery is still legal, the slaves also sleep upstairs with the servants -- unless the nobles are more out in the country and/or are rich enough to afford separate housing for slaves.
Monasteries and Convents
The vast majority of the Cattòlico clergy serve as preachers and ministers, but a notable population of its members take their devotion to a level above as monastics. Those in this group are known as monks (males) and nuns (females) and tend to be more devout than the average clergy members. Monks and nuns take extra vows -- celibacy and living a humble lifestyle are the two main requirements, though additional vows such as silence or a hermit life can also be made if they so desire.
Monastics live in monasteries and convents, respectively. These buildings are often located near or as part of a local church, or near a sacred site in nature. They can range from being small, humble wood and stone structures to large, elaborate buildings that rival the grandest cathedrals. While the main purpose of these structures is to serve as living quarters for monastics, monasteries and convents often have public sections. What these sections are varies, but it is common to find orphanages, schools, and shelter for the poor as part of their complexes.
Most Druden fit into the cultural guidelines describes above, but there is a significant subculture that is diverse from the main Druden fold enough to warrant their own section.
- Main article:Quartian Highlanders
Though more integrated into the rest of Druden culture by the Age of Unification, the Quartian Highlanders still hold many of their traditional values that once set them very far apart from other Druden. Most of the reside in the Est Mountain Range, though their kin can be found throughout the country of Quarto, and sometimes in other areas of the Druden nation.
Highlanders are a proud people, with strong integrity and ties to their respective clans. Many powerful clans are noble houses in their own right, and many outsiders dread the stories of fearless Highlander knights raging into battle. Despite Quarto's official status as a slave-friendly state, most Highlanders are adamantly abolitionist and are often impassioned opponents of slavery.
Their accents are vastly different from other Druden dialects, almost to the point that many believe Highlander Druden to be a language in and of itself. It is not uncommon for well-educated Highlanders to be fluent in Senjose, due to their close ties with the Horse Hordes of Naichi.
Most Highlanders are farmers, and even the nobility tends to live close to the land. Druids are fairly common in their culture, and traces of The Old Way still remain in their religious practices. Class barriers are thin, and the focus of social importance is set more on clan prominence, rather than actual class.