Sahaugin history from Shek Vyl perspective

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Sahaugin history from Shek Vyl perspective

Postby Chris Johnston » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:03 pm

Brief History of the Sahaugin from the Shek Vyl perspective...

The Sahagin
In the great oceans of the Fracture that most of the mortal inhabitants never see live a race of
aquatic humanoids known as the Sahagin. Several groups of them exist, and their culture is
quite complex, though most of the air-breathing “landwalkers” would never know that great cities
lie on the ocean floor in the dark and icy water.

The Sahagin that exist today have a variety of beliefs about the origins of their kind. Many of
the more barbaric ones speak with unwarranted assurance that they are the spawn of a
powerful god shaped like some beast of the ocean. The more civilized and scholarly Sahagin,
however, understand that their race originated in another world entirely, a place that no longer
exists. No one can agree on the name of it, but it is said to have been a place mostly consisting
of vast oceans with many islands of varying sizes. The Sahagin supposedly inhabited the
oceans, preying on the humans that sailed the oceans and lived on the coastal settlements.
That was a long time ago, however. For the Sahagin, it was a time of barbarism, and there is
basically no recorded history from that period. Many centuries have passed since then, and a
substantial civilization has arisen in the deep oceans since then. Of course, there are still some
Sahagin that live like their ancestors did, but these savages have largely been banished to the
shallows. This has had the side effect of giving the Sahagin something of a bad name among
the people who live on land, because their only interactions with Sahagin are typically with the
“barbarian raider” sort that aren’t accepted by their more civilized cousins. If asked, most deep
water Sahagin would respond with apathy, as they tend to consider most air-breathers savages
as well.
In any case, the Shek Vyl empire was founded approximately five-hundred years ago when a
Sahagin by that very name united several smaller tribes. Some of them joined through
diplomacy, seeing their would-be emperor Vyl as a strong leader who would bring them safety
and prosperity. Others resisted, only obeying once conquered. Some Sahagin fled to shallow
water, and many of those would eventually become members of the Rhyx Fyl, a shallow water
tribe known for their savagery and barbarism. Other groups exist as well, either being too far
away from the original emperor to be affected by his war of unification, or they were small
groups that fled from him and settled elsewhere.
Over the last five-hundred years Vyl’s empire has, at least examined over a large period of time,
done quite well and grown large and prosperous. Setbacks have occurred, of course. The
deep oceans of the Fracture are not any more safe than the land after all. Still, it is one of the
greatest civilizations to ever exist in this place, and is almost certainly the most successful one

Birthplace is Everything

While the traditional methods of procreation are as ineffective for the Sahagin as they are
anywhere else in the Fracture, the Sahagin’s aggressive genetic material can -- with help from
advanced healing techniques -- create new life. Genetic material is mixed and then placed into
a sort of artificial womb where it matures much like one would expect. In ages past, this
process was rather bloody and unpleasant, but with the rise of the Empire and the scholarship
and education that came along with it, creating new Sahagin is only moderately unpleasant.
The circumstances of birth in Sahagin culture have a drastic effect on what sort of life a given
Sahagin will lead. Broadly speaking, there are three categories.

The Shek Vyl Empire
The luckiest Sahagin are born in the Shek Vyl Empire, which qualifies as an advanced
civilization by most standards. There are perhaps a million or more citizens of the Empire
scattered in settlements across the sea floor. These Sahagin enjoy the benefits of education
and safety that most other Sahagin (and most air-breathers who find their way to the Fracture)
can only dream of. While the Empire isn’t what you might call empathic -- indeed, it can be very
“cold” and perhaps a bit fascist when compared to different culture values of different worlds -- but it is far better than
the alternatives.

The Empire is ruled by the descendent of Shek Vyl, Jax Vyl. His word is law; disobedience
brings harsh punishments. Beneath the emperor are a number of politicians, magistrates, and
so forth. Most of the inhabitants of the empire live at the “Citizen” level and have decent lives as
hunters, craftspeople, soldiers, scholars, and so forth.

Young Sahagin in the Empire do have some amount of freedom to decide what skills they wish
to learn (and thus, what profession they will enter), but the one thing that is not viewed well is
incompetence. Particularly incompetent Sahagin -- ones that are stupid, disabled, and such --
are sometimes cast out by their parents. Rarely, another family will take them in, or they will
find their way to one of the independent tribes, but there are a not-small number of cases where
these young outcasts wind up starving to death or as food for some deep-sea predator.

Independent Tribes
Those Sahagin not born into the Empire might still be fortunate enough to live among a smaller,
independent band that might range in size from a few dozen to a few hundred. The conditions
and temperaments of these tribes vary greatly, but most of them are what you might call
“benign.” Many never see the surface world and live their entire lives underwater. Even if a
band of Sahagin is violent, these groups rarely have the manpower to cause any substantial
amount of trouble.

The Rhyx Fyl
Finally, any Sahagin that does not fall into one of the above two categories is almost certainly a
member of the Rhyx Fyl, a loosely-aligned band of savages that were long ago banished from
the empire. The Rhyx live almost exclusively in the shallow coastal waters and are for the most
part raiders and barbarians. If a human sees a Sahagin, the odds of it being a Rhyx are very

The culture of the Rhyx Fyl is very primitive and savage. Personal weakness means a life of
servitude or death. They have only a limited ability to make many crafts and goods, and have to
rely on raiding to gain many supplies. Literacy is not a skill that most care about, and writing is
usually only practiced by shamans, who are among the few that actually use the Sahagin’s
deeply inherent magic.
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Chris Johnston
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