Winefolk

 
Other names: Children of Beauty
Origin: Children of Beauty began where the wind meets the brightly lit coast, in the place where the gulls love to roost.
Elemental affinities: Air, Light, Emotion
Size: Children of Beauty are human-sized.
Skin: Their skin is either white as a snowshoe hare or black as a bear’s nose.
Hair: Children of Beauty have long, coarse hair, usually straight, sometimes wavy. Their hair is either pure white or pure black. More often than not, the hair color is the opposite of the skin color.
Beards: They have no beards.
Language: They speak the language of Knowledge.
Divine gifts: Their heads glow with an aura or halo that indicates their emotional state. People who are very good at hiding their emotions can also control their aura, but in general, Children of Beauty broadcast their emotions for everyone to see. This light is bright enough to read by. It does not seem to interfere with their vision.
Common magic: The most common magic is the creation of fanciful illusions. Such entertainers are about as common as guitar players in our own world. Although they have no natural affinity for Life magic, the Church of Three Sisters has a tradition of studying the healing arts. Many major cities have healers associated with this religion.

Origin and Migration

The Children of Beauty spread throughout their twin valleys, but mountains discouraged them from expanding inland. Instead, they colonized some of the islands along the Moonaway Coast.

They are not particularly expansionist, although they have a strong military tradition, which makes their leaders acutely aware of territory and strategic position.

Philosophy and Religion

Creation is the highest good. Everyone needs to make beautiful things for self-fulfillment. Once a thing is made, it is sacred. When one takes ownership of something, one is expected to honor the creator by remembering who made it and on what occasion.

Origins of Military Theocracy

In the early days, the culture had some aspects of polytheism. This still survives outside the Theocratic Empire.

In each village, people tended to focus on their own affairs. The priestess of Beauty took the responsibility of organizing labor for the good of the community. By working with other priestesses, she could coordinate labor on irrigation projects that benefitted everyone. As the Church of Beauty took the lead in managing the social institutions that enabled large-scale food distribution, it became more powerful than other religious organizations.

For a time, the Children of Beauty were organized into independent republics. The leaders of the most theocratic republic convinced themselves that their system was the only one blessed by the Goddess.

Whether because they had the blessing of the Goddess or because they were blessed with a great general, the Theocratic Republic succeeded in conquering their neighbors on the mainland, thus forming the Theocratic Empire.