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"The Wastes have no time for the weak, and the Ermehn themselves are just as harsh."- Rachel Bennett[1]

Northern Wastes Winter

The Ermehn are one of the six races native to the Four Kingdoms, and the only race besides the Polcan[2] without a kingdom of their own.[3]

The Ermehn were driven from their homeland by the Canid a few generations ago.[4] After a few generations of living in the Wastes, many Ermehn view their current situation as hopeless, and some have accepted their destruction at Canid hands as inevitable.[5] Quite a few Ermehn, however, still think a peaceful solution with the Canid is possible.[6]

History

The Ermehn originally occupied what is now Aisling.[7] They were the second race to found a capital city only nine years after the founding of Gair.[8] The Sunsgrove-Aisling alliance brought the Ermehn down and drove them from Aisling to the Wastes.[9]

The Canid claim that the Ermehn, especially Sratha, cruelly oppressed them when they ruled Aisling.[10] They also say that Sunsgrove’s intervention was the only thing that kept the Canid from being destroyed by Sratha’s armies.[11]

Geographic Distribution

After losing the war, most Ermehn were driven to the Northern Wastes by Canid forces.[12] The Canid shored up their defenses along the border between Aisling and the Wastes, trapping most of the Ermehn up there. The Canid don’t tolerate Ermehn in Aisling and usually kill them on sight.[13]

Those who reside in the Wastes have split into tribes and are forced to savagely compete for resources to survive.[14] Some Ermehn are refugees in other parts of the Four Kingdoms, and are generally better off than the others,[15] although many displaced Ermehn have been forced into slavery.[16]

While the Canid did their best to remove all Ermehn from Aisling, there are a couple in hiding.[17] A few Ermehn have also been enslaved by the Canid in Aisling, however, this is not a common practice.[18]

Culture

Ermehn have a strong sense of cultural pride.[19] When the Canid drove them to the Northern Wastes, they were forced to adapt their culture to survive, but they changed as little as possible.[20]

Combat

The Ermehn have two ways to hold a dagger- a dueling grip, where the guard nests between the thumb and finger, and an inverted grip used by executioners.[21]

For the Ermehn, a command of long distance combat is often the difference between life and death- especially when outnumbered and facing a larger, more-heavily armored enemy and outnumbered.[22] However, balanced throwing weapons are rare among Ermehn weaponsmiths, because of the level of craftmanship needed and if you miss you essentially throw your weapon away.[23]

Food

Ermehn have been known to hunt grouse.[24]

Music

The music of the Ermehn favors small pipes, flutes, and percussion instruments. Their music ranges from fast-paced to melancholy.[25]

Religion

The Ermehn worship more than one god. All of their deities based on individuals who were mortal at one point or another.[26] The Ermehn believe that the gods can affect the outcome of a battle.[27]

They also believe in reincarnation.[28]

The story of High King Aeslid is a well-known Ermehn folktale.[29]

Social Structure

The Ermehn in the Wastes have split into tribes.[30] Tribes vary in size, but most have at least a few dozen able-bodied members.[31] Depending on the size, tribes usually have a number of fires scattered about which the Ermehn use to warm themselves.[32]

The Ermehn see a leader as one who can craft a plan the tribe will agree with.[33]

For the Ermehn, personal worth is almost entirely based on what you can contribute to the tribe. As such, adult Ermehn are likely to stick with that they know, become the best at it and avoid being put in a scenario where their usefulness to the tribe s questioned.[34] The Ermehn do not have a defined line between child and adult. Children are treated as adults as soon as they are capable of wielding a sword or attending to other physical chores.[35]

Tribe Champion

Every tribe has a Champion, or undisputed leader of the tribe. In the eyes of the tribe, the Champion can do no wrong and the tribe takes the name of their leader.[36] Their purpose is to limit conflicts between tribes and to keep losses to a minimum by risking one warrior instead of an entire tribe. Since the Champion's death can result in the entire tribe losing their identity due to assimilation into another tribe, only the strongest warrior in the tribe will be chosen as champion. Ermehn sometimes die in competition for the role.[37]

Tattoos

Every tribe has their own distinctive set of markings that stay relatively consistent across its members[38] which represent the tribe itself[39] dyed into their fur.[40] Tattoos are received upon becoming a fully fledged adult in the tribe, at which point the tribe believes the bearer is worthy of upholding their tribe's unique attributes, and that they are fully committed to the well-being of their tribe,[41] regardless of physical maturity.[42]

This dye needs to be refreshed as needed because the fur naturally sheds.[43] Annual reapplication ceremonies are celebrated like birthdays.[44]

For the southern tribes, the tattoos also serve as charms, wishing things like health, good hunts and strong children on the wearer.[45]

Any tattooless Ermehn in the Northern Wastes will be distrusted at best, shunned at worst.[46] This is because an Ermehn without tattoos either has no tribe, has been completely absorbed into another culture or has been exiled.[47] Tribeless Ermehn are either the result of Canid purges or banishment.[48] Exiled Ermehn are forcibly shaved to remove all the dye.[49]

History

Before the Ermehn were ejected to Aisling, they had more detailed tattoos focused on the forearms and wrists, with minimal markings on the torso and decorated the upper arm with jewelry. Plaid was also more readily available because of the more time and resources available to craft or acquire it.[50] Once they were driven to the Wastes, they were forced to adapt to the much colder climate. Determined to change as little as possible, instead of adding garments to cover their torso, the Ermehn chose to wrap their extremities to stave off frostbite, wearing a cloak if the torso got too cold. This forced them to change the location of their tattoos, which formerly had been on the wrists and ankles. Now the Ermehn tattoo their chests for better visibility and increased the complexity of the facial markings.[51]

Trade

The Ermehn are capable of limited trade, particularly with the Polcan, who see kindred spirits in them and are capable of sailing around Canid checkpoints.[52]

Era of Reason

Notable Ermehn

Trivia

  • Ermehn are based upon stoats[53] and ermine.[54]
  • The Ermehn make cloth from plant-based sources, such as bark.[55]
  • The Ermehn culture were originally influenced by an even split between Scottish and Polynesian culture, but the latter influence has waned over time.[56]
  • In their introduction page, the positions of the Ermehn are meant to look "scatter shot" with a backdrop of trees and wilderness. This is meant to convey a sense of freedom in the Ermehn, as opposed to the rigidity of their Canid foes.[57]
  • Ermehn tend to be both shorter and slighter than Lutren.[58]

References

  1. Beyond the Western Deep: Prologue, Page 9- Rachel's Commentary
  2. Beyond the Western Deep: Prologue, Page 11- Alex's Commentary
  3. Beyond the Western Deep: Prologue, Page 9- Rachel's Commentary
  4. Beyond the Western Deep: Prologue, Page 9- Rachel's Commentary
  5. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 57- Alex's Commentary
  6. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 61- Alex's Commentary
  7. Beyond the Western Deep: Prologue, Page 9
  8. Intermission: Week 1- Alex's Commentary
  9. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter Two, Page 43- Alex’s Commentary
  10. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter Two, Page 42
  11. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter Two, Page 43
  12. Beyond the Western Deep: Prologue, Page 9
  13. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter Two, Page 53- Alex’s Comment on August 30, 2014, 3:34 pm
  14. Beyond the Western Deep: Prologue, Page 9- Rachel's Commentary
  15. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 60- Rachel's Comment on May 5, 2013 at 9:46 pm
  16. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 50- Alex's Commentary
  17. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 60- Rachel's Comment on May 5, 2013at 9:46 pm
  18. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 60- Alex's Comment on May 5, 2013 at 10:51 pm
  19. Cast Page, Hardin
  20. Intermission: Week 1- Rachel's Comment on June 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm
  21. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 51- Alex's Commentary
  22. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter Two, Page 17- Alex’s Commentary
  23. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter Two, Page 17- Alex’s Commentary
  24. Fall of the Evyn-Din
  25. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 39- Alex's Comment on December 9, 2012 at 10:43 pm
  26. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter Two, Page 53- Alex's Commentary
  27. Fall of the Evyn-Din
  28. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter Two, Page 52
  29. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter Two, Page 52- Alex’s Commentary
  30. Beyond the Western Deep: Prologue, Page 9- Rachel's Commentary
  31. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 57- Alex's Comment on April 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm
  32. Fall of the Evyn-Din
  33. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 56- Rachel's Commentary
  34. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter Two, Page 20- Alex’s Commentary
  35. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 60- Alex's Commentary
  36. Fall of the Evyn-Din
  37. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 55- Alex's Comment on March 30, 2013 at 10:37 am
  38. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 58- Alex's Commentary
  39. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 55- Alex's Comment on March 30, 2013 at 1:11 am
  40. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 48- Rachel's Comment on February 9, 2013 at 6:33 pm
  41. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 55- Alex's Comment on March 30, 2013 at 1:11 am
  42. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 55- Rachel's Comment on March 30, 2013, at 1:35 am
  43. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 1- Rachel's Comment on November 5, 2015 at 3:33 pm
  44. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 55- Alex's Comment on March 30, 2013 at 1:11 am
  45. Fall of the Evyn-Din
  46. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 1- Rachel's Comment on November 5, 2015 at 3:33 pm
  47. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 1- Rachel's Comment on November 5, 2015 at 3:33 pm
  48. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 55- Alex's Comment on March 30, 2013 at 1:11 am
  49. Song of the Eastern Sands, Page 1- Rachel's Comment on November 5, 2015 at 3:33 pm
  50. Intermission: Week 1
  51. Intermission: Week 1- Rachel's Comment on June 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm
  52. Intermission: Week 1- Alex's Comment on June 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm
  53. Beyond the Western Deep: Prologue, Page 11- Alex's Comment on February 11, 2012 at 9:52AM
  54. Cast Page- Alex's Comment on February 23, 2013 at 4:20 PM
  55. Intermission: Week 1- Alex's Comment on June 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm
  56. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter One, Page 48- Rachel's Comment on February 9, 2013 at 2:38 am
  57. Beyond the Western Deep: Prologue, Page 9- Rachel's Commentary
  58. Beyond the Western Deep: Chapter Two, Page 83- Rachel’s Comment onJune 28, 2015, 6:14 pm

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