Going North from the Land of Meum, the great warrior Dlan, who was three-fourths divine, came to the Hill of the Gods, Kaitak. Dlan, who had sworn a great and terrible oath of vengeance against the God Psuut, who had seduced his wife. Ascending to the peak of Kaitak, Dlan took his sword in hand and cried:
"God Psuut, stealer of women, betrayer of friends, come forth!"
Psuut first came in the shape of a great tiger, but Dlan brought forth a weighted net and cast it about the God, trapping him. Dlan took his sword and cut forth the tiger's fierceness.
Psuut took then the form of a serpent, and struck at Dlan. But Dlan took up a stone and struck the serpent down, cutting forth its cleverness.
Psuut was then a great soldier, and dueled Dlan with sword and fist. But Dlan bested Psuut, for there was never a more accomplished warrior or more skillful martial artist than Dlan, and Dlan tore forth Psuut's skillfulness.
Psuut cried: "I am bested! I am bested!" and threw up his hands in shame for being defeated.
Dlan went to the House of Psuut, and gathered his wife, and there discovered that she was with child. Dlan was angry, and raged at his wife, but Psuut came and said: "Nay, do not strike her, for it is your child she bears!"
And there Dlan's wife gave birth to a child, named also Dlan, who was the first of the Dlanni.
The Dlanni are the people of the rich kingdom of Dlan, a boisterous, enthusiastic people who idolize warriors and the skills of battle. They are a tall people, 6'4"-6'10" (193-208 cm), tall and lanky, with wide shoulders and wide hips. Dlanni have smooth, chocolate-brown skin, and mesocephalic heads that taper steeply towards the chin. Their cheekbones are high and their eyes narrow and almond-shaped. They have long, straight noses with a sharp look to them. Dlanni have black, woolly, hair that is difficult to tame; men wear theirs in many long braids, usually down to the waist, while women pull theirs back into a tight knot behind the head, or straighten it to a long, albeit curly, fall.
Dlanni of both sexes wear the same costume, a loose robe (tlepu) that falls to slightly below the knee, with elbow-length sleeves, and a wide, open collar that bares the upper chest, and, for women, cleavage. They wear loose belts of beads or tooled leather (tlep'bekk) around their waists, and sandals of leather and woven reeds (adlesi). Dlanni wear bright colors with striped and barred patterns in many colors.
Dlanni are fond of gold, and, luckily for them, their country is rich in it. Most Dlanni can be seen wearing bracelets, anklets, and other jewelry of gold, with stones such as rubies and sapphires, as well as amber, which can be found in great abundance in the western regions of the kingdom. Stylized lions, bulls, dragons, and spiders are common motifs.
Dlanni are a boisterous, enthusiastic people who, like their famous ancestor Dlan, from whom the nation derives its name, live each day like it is their last. They love, and hate, and war, and party, all with the same great happiness and optimism. Most Imperials regard Dlanni as a nation of drunken brawlers, with boundless irritating good spirits and a lack of devotion to duty. Dlanni idolize the warrior arts, and especially the martial arts, for those are the epitome of perfection of the body, and of martial skill. The Dlanni are famous martial artists, and Dlanni tutors are often brought to the Empire to teach their skills to the children of nobles and to the military.
Dlanni men are slightly higher than Dlanni women, in their beliefs. Dlanni men were created by Tlevak, the Sun God, to be smarter, and have the capacity to be more skilled, while women were created by Mumti, the Moon Goddess, to be the partners of men. However, Atzah, the Goddess of the Dead, created a weakness in men- love.
Dlanni marriages involve three partners, either a man and two women, or a woman and two men. These marriage triads are sexually exclusive with each other, but they may disband at any time. A Dlanni usually joins his or her first marriage triad at age 15, and stops entering them at age 50. If a woman in a marriage triad has children, the triad cannot disband until the child is cared for.
Dlanni food is based on bread, and Dlanni bread is famous even in the Empire. Dlanni families keep a great pot of dough, usually flavored with grapes, salt and other spices, and whatever other foods that might be casually tossed into it, and this is lovingly referred to as the "vreumol", the &^%$@. The &^%$@ is used to spawn other, smaller batches of dough, which are baked as flat, triangular loaves of bread. These triangular loaves are used like plates for piles of noodles, intermixed with bits of cooked tomatoes, squash, maize, and meat (usually beef or mutton). Dlanni usually drink water mixed with cinnamon out of cups made from wood or metal.
Dlanni music is made with many different flutes (vakar, uuvakar, shahlvakar, and rusavakar), played all in turn and overlapping, so that there is no real pause in the music. Also included are gongs (baardahsi) and clashing slats of metal (shekra). Singing is high and melodious, but with strange vocal yips when a baardahsi or shekra is sounded.
The Dlanni worship Tlevak, the Sun God, Father of All the World. Tlevak's wife is Mumti, the Moon Goddess, Mother of All the World. Their children are Shakuu, the Lion, God of Skill, Ahlat, the Bull, God of War and Cattle, Ahdleu, Goddess of Darkness and Mystery, and and his sister, Psuutsi, the Spider, God of Trickery and Magic. Other Gods include Psuut, God of Animals, a distant cousin of Shakuu and Ahlat, and Muem, God of Smiths, who was the first God, and forged Tlevak from gold. All the Gods dwell on Kaitak, the Hill of the Gods, save Atzah, Goddess of the Dead, who lives in the Land of the Dead over the Sea.
Dlanni Naming Conventions: Dlanni do not differentiate between male and female names. Dlanni also take a last name, the name of their mother, and this is said as "shu(name)". For example, Vehluuk shuBahsai
Example Names: Keuru, Ahshotsi, Psalka, Rutavak, Tlem, Muulep, Asi, Kaibesh, Shuulp
Words to Remember
Skill: Dlanni revere skill in battle- the Dlanni gods and heroes are all mighty warriors, skilled with sword, javelin, and martial arts. One can be skilled without being strong, but cleverness is necessary, and speed is usually also important.
Live Life to the Fullest: Dlanni follow the aphorism that one should live each day like it was your last, because it just might. The hot land and warrior tendencies of the Dlanni make death a distinct posibility with each sunrise, so this is not altogether untrue.
Honor: Honor is important to the Dlanni, in fact, almost as important as Skill. One's Honor must be maintained, and slights to one's Honor are usually repaid with a duel of swords, martial arts, or a bout of two-handed dancing (see Sports thread in Flesh It Out). It is best not to say anything about a Dlanni's family (especially the mother) or birthplace, or anything about them either, lest they construe it as an insult and give the insulter that deadly request of duel, which no Dlanni can refuse. Thus, Dlanni tend to be happy and gregarious, but still somewhat careful and choosy about words, giving the impression that they are holding something back.