Tales from the Inner Sea
Tan Ti Kikkuya
A barbarian level society in the East, on the borders of the Empire. They are a warrior people with a deeply spiritual and moral compass and believe in being Of Right Heart (a state of being that adheres to a strong moral and honour code) and doing Right Action (behaving in a way that follows what they believe is right, irrespective of convenience). They understand the concept of property and understand the necessity to own certain things, but the best and most elegant way to live is to have as few possessions as possible. This has led to a society free of materialistic concerns and possessed of a truly unique world view. The way the society works without money and without acquisition is in moral richness, and the drive to be Of Right Heart, which paves the way for their passage into the next life and their being with their gods Mur Vek Pan (Satrom) and Shin Shi Nur (Bumi-Bijiran).
Food is not regarded as a property but a collective product. Hunters and farmers are highly respected for feeding the people, and indeed all members of the people are regarded as socially equal, resulting in an extremely egalitarian and community run society. They have nobles called Suu Kuur Meen, for someone needs to coordinate and organise, but they do not garner any more status for it and the farmer and hunter has the same rights and respect as a noble.
In martial terms they have a strong warrior culture where men and women alike fight equally, and the pursuit of the Ki Ver Yan (Three Blade Way) is a large part of this. They use 3 swords for battle (along with unarmed combat styles) and all adults become proficient in their use, though some honoured souls follow the Ki Ver Yan exclusively and form the bulk of battle groups and instructors (called Yan Do). In battle they work in small groups of up to 50, led by the most experienced senior warrior and have an organic and adaptable form of warfare, each group instinctively knowing where they need to be in the ebb and flow of struggle. They eschew all armour and have a strong emphasis in dodging attacks and using their blades to parry. Such is their prowess in this that providing they know of a ranged attack they can parry a thrown weapon, or dodge a bolt, arrow or slingshot without needing to spend a whole round to do it.
In terms of numbers, they are about 300,000 and rarely leave the forested Kuya hills and mountains that they make their home in. They fight a number of hostile foes, most notably the Natri-Bro-Addah who they hold up to be the best example of why the Tan Ti Kikkuyah being Of Right Heart is important. Lately they have come into contact with the Armavine Empire and relations between the 2 are cordial yet distant, though the recent resurgence in Natri-Bro-Addah militarism and imperialism has caused some concern. Whether this turns into a more formal relationship between the vastly different Armavine Empire and the Tan Ti Kikkuyah remains to be seen. There is guarded and wary mutual respect between them and the Omiskiirans, though cultural and geographical differences stop it short of being an actual alliance, more “an understanding”.