The Vaas
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The Vaas, commonly called "Highlanders," are a human ethnic group who first colonized the Highlands region of Corwyn.


The Vaas first appeared in the Third Age, when their scattered tribes banded together in the mountain-valleys of the Highlands region of Corwyn.

At that time, the Vaas people were divided into nine distinct Clans. (see below)

Unlike many other human races, the Vaas constantly squabbled amongst themselves, each clan fighting the others over territory or other natural resources.

For this reason, Vaas men and women were among the last race in western Corwyn to have a nation to call their own.

Unlike the neighboring Aeryn, Iskari, Ralani, and Thann peoples, all of whom were united by the end of the Third Age, the Vaas did not make any real attempt to do so until the end of the Fourth Age.

Throughout that chaotic time period, various Vaas warlords forged small strongholds and petty kingdoms, spread throughout the Highlands region.

These early Vaas settlements included: Harloch, Karthis, Chelstad, Cymereth, Pike's Ferry, Redmark, and Rilsavar.

It wasn't until the early Fifth Age, that a great Vaas Chieftain named Erin Fremantle was able to unite all nine Clans together and forge a kingdom in the Highlands called "Erindar."

Today, the largest Vaas civilizations are located in the nations of Derianor, Elyria, and Erindar, as well as the Wildlands.

There is also large minorities of Vaas found in far northern Cyrendar, western Alveron, and the northern region of the Reach.

APPEARANCE


Vaas men and women are usually tall and stocky, with soft features. They have varying shades of yellow-blond, copper, or red hair, pale ruddy skin, and bright eyes of blue, green, or hazel.

OUTLOOK


Other races sometimes feel that the Vaas are lazy and self-centered, for so many of them are free-spirited and carefree.

But in actuality, most Vaas folk are modest, hard-working people, with a penchant for strong religious devotion, and a strong sense of freedom and independence. Vaas folk also love spirituality and freedom of expression.

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There are strongly held class and gender divisions set up within Vaas society, with a person's station at birth playing a crucial role in how he or she is measured by Vaas society.

Although few Vaas speak openly about a strict class based system in their society; most Vaas men and women live out their lives according to their station, risking social expulsion or even imprisonment if they do not adhere to societal norms.

The Vaas dwelling in the Theocracy of Derianor view themselves as superior to all other other humans races; even to those Vaas men and women who dwell outside the nation's borders.

Another aspect of Vaas culture is their fierce independence and spirituality. Losing faith in the Gods is considered the worst of cultural sins, and most Vaas folk would do anything to avoid such.

Saving face demands that all Vaas treat others as they present themselves, regardless whether such facades bear any resemblance to the truth.

Once a person or family loses face, they often lose their status and can be relegated to a lower social class within Vaas society. Privacy is therefore a precious commodity, for it allows individuals to act as they wish without outside scrutiny, which could result in such social punishment.

Vaas also place great importance on hospitality and manners. There are strictly defined rules and benefits for both guests and hosts. Guests cannot inflict harm on their guests, and are protected by a sacred tradition of guest right under the roof of their hosts once invited in.

The social classes of Vaas society are in order from highest to lowest; The Ruling Class, the Advisers, the Military, the Clergy, the Merchants, the Artisans, the Laborers, the Farmers, and lowest, the Servant class.

Only women are are allowed to marry above their social class and all such arrangements are strictly scrutinized within the larger Vaas culture.

VAAS CHARACTERS


Many Vaas are drawn to adventuring in hopes of serving their Gods, while others seek out the free-spirit sense of adventure that lies outside their own lands.

Other human races view the Vaas as quick to anger, short-tempered, and arrogant. In truth most Vaas seek nothing more than a lifestyle of comfort and obedience to the Gods. Vaas men and women can easily become characters of any player class, but most prefer to become clerics, druids, barbarians and rangers.

LANGUAGES


The Vaas people speak Vaasi as well as common, and there are seventeen different dialects.

Vaasi is one of the seven original dialects of western men, and the language of the Vaas people of the Highlands region of Corwyn.

This language is most commonly spoken throughout the realms of Derianor, Elyria, and Erindar, western Alveron, and throughout the Wildlands.

Today, Vaasi is the one of the most widespread languages in common usage on the continent of Corwyn.

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In addition to Vaasi, many higher-educated Vaas speak Khurylan; the language of the dwarves of Corwyn.

NAMES


Common male Vaas names include: Althorn, Hanlon, Harwin, Haryld, Hastafar, Heremmer, Hernled, Hommen, Hrothgar, Hullen, Keldorn, and Kelthorn.
Common female Vaas names include: Ariana, Arwyn, Elwyn, Eriadne, Olena, Hama, and Helena.

THE NINE VAAS CLANS


In the Third Age, large migratory tribes of humans began to populate the Highlands region. These peoples were collectively called the Vaas, but there were nine major ethnic sub-groups; called the "Nine-Clans." These were: