The Ederru are an ancient people, dwelling in the coniferous forests of their homeland Ederrot for as long as any can remember. Long a stop for traders because of their valuable exports of amber, furs, hides, and unicorn horns, the Ederru eventually began to settle into coastal fishing and farming villages. The Ederru were for centuries divided between two major tribal confederacies before finally uniting into one.
The Ederru traditionally followed their own animist faith, with special significance given to the caves of Lemdeh, but in recent years, they have almost universally converted to Maninism. A new dynasty, Cyve, has replaced the old country of "Ederru" on Ederrot.
The Ederru have traditionally been restricted to their home island of Ederrot, the largest island in the north of the known world.
Ederrot is dominated by coniferous forests; their woods are some of the tallest and strongest in the world. The uplands are dominated by limestone outcrops, into which a number of deep caverns (such as those at Lemdeh) have been cut by the countless eons. Rocky uplands give way to several broad plains in the south, while in the north the land gets more rugged, the forests thicker, and the people fiercer. Traditionally, Ederrot freezes over every winter, with a tremendous snowfall unmatched by any other region in the known world. It has been getting warmer in recent years, though this has mostly helped the island's struggling agriculture...
To Ederrot's southeast is the small island of Gilot, which consists of a number of moors and fens. The mainland to the east also follows this pattern; few have explored very far into. Ederrot is bounded on the south by the icy Yadyevu Sea and on the east by the Gilbok Channel.
The Ederru were first encountered by Bronze Age merchants, probably Ailuttorutto or Fermani. They traded a number of raw luxuries southwards -- ivory from walrus tusks, hides, and "unicorn" horns. At this point, they were still a tribal people, dominated by a bipolar power structure where the "strong one" of a village would share power with the "wise one".
Over the next thousand years, gradually increasing contact with the outside world (driven by Trilui merchants) began to bring civilization to the Ederru. The practice of socially acceptable rape began to disappear with the disapproval of southern merchants, which was sometimes translated into armed intervention. The people began to settle in small fishing villages in the south of Ederrot, with Ditayukl being the most important; Ditayukl's harbor was large enough for any number of southern ships, and heretofore unavailable luxuries poured in. The people around Ditayukl began to farm, and this practice spread throughout most of the southern plains.
The rise of Kedoy, the first real Ederru state, frightened many of the neighboring Ederru tribes. The city-state was quite liberal by Ederru standards, gleefully abandoning the old ways of hunting and whaling, trading with the northerners who still practiced those ancient arts. Its population swelled; to try and stop its growth, the other Ederru banded together in a confederacy centered around Lmehugu.
For nearly three hundred years, these two nations expanded side by side, each trying to press the other into obscurity. At about the same time, some Ederru probably crossed the Yadyevu and founded the nation of Lor. Around 290 by the Seshweay calendar, the deadlock was finally broken when the wise ones of either nation agreed to join into one people, centered around Ditayukl.
For a time, it seemed as if the newfound peace and prosperity would go on forever, but this illusion was shattered when the Stettin tribes of the mainland crossed the Gilbok Channel en masse and attempted to establish their own kingdom in the east of Ederrot proper. Meanwhile, Gallatene missionaries brought the Maninist faith to the Ederru, which rapidly undermined the traditional religion. In time, the Ederru came under attack by the rising power of Luskan to the west.
The Luskan were able to overrun nearly half of Ederrot before a new dynasty, Cyve, was able to unite the various Ederru tribes and drive out the invaders.
The Ederru have traditionally been strongly tribal, patriarchal, and conservative. The Iliv (strong ones) and Ruiv (wise ones) rule each village in tandem, surrounded by a council of Vlasrog (those with sticks). Beneath these are women and then children. The male-dominated society is quite brutal at times, with institutionalized rape long an accepted practice, though it has died out with contact with the south. The society traditionally valued hunting and whaling skills above all others; women were viewed mostly as child-bearers.
Traditionally, children bear the names of their parents until they go on a quest, the Idayrdothey (the naming of the child); then they typically find their path in life, and keep their parent's name only as a surname.
Ederru's folk religion has always been something of a complicated affair, with many gods -- Iyayaddi (builders) -- worshiped jointly. Among them was Sinr the Architect, represented by a cross, Itnut, the Owner and identified with the moon, Ihedleh, the Foundation Layer, who created Deh, the land of the dead, Murror, god of the sea and represented by a sweeping cloud in the night, Siyayge, the Roof Maker who created the sky, Irevagg, who gave men fire, Adle, who gave the world its plants, and is traditionally identified as the first planet, Omulno, the give of animals, also the second planet, Fyaj, the yellow planet and the Entertainer, and Enyayabb and Sebirho, the slow moving planets who bring disaster.
Long ago, it is said that these builders tried to create many animals to give intelligence to. Each of their creations failed in turn to properly worship the gods, and so were banished to another world; finally, with humans, they have thus far succeeded.
Another important aspect of their religion revolved around the caves at Lemdeh. This, in the Ederru language, meant "Midway caves", as they were halfway between the world above, Stes, and the world below, Deh. Since it was so close to the world of the dead, it came to be a traditional resting place for many of the dead, as well as a convenient way to execute troublemakers.
In recent years, Maninism has become the dominant religion of the Ederru. Its strongly dualist ethos does not sit well with the Ruiv, but is quite popular with the people. The Gods of old are often viewed as aspects of the path, and worshiped as subsets of the overall Maninist creed.
The elite of Cyve have begun to dabble in the faith of Ardavan.