The Provakh are a race of half-giants that share ancestry with the Primordial Giants. They make their home in the mountains of Varstad, but Provakh caravans travel Veth to sell wares from the countries they traverse. The caravans are most well known for selling Varstad wyvern eggs and other exotic pets.
|Hair Color:||Dark brown or black|
|Eye Color:||Light greys or light blues|
|Lifespan||Up to 100 years|
|Country of Origin:||Varstad|
|Languages:||Provakhi, Varstakh dialect|
|Major Religions:||Grandfather Stone, Ancestor Worship|
|Related Races:||Primordial Giants|
The Provakh emerged in the Zarloc Colossi around the same time the Primordial Giants became extinct sometime in the 100,000s BT (Before Tagrana). It’s possible that life among the high mountains and a reduction of resources due to competition with other races caused the giants to develop into a shorter race. The Provakh, however, have a more mythical explanation related to their worship of Grandfather Stone, or Ulugh Dashykh in their language.
Ulugh Dashykh is the name for the first Primordial Giant to walk Siveth. It’s said he was a god made by the elements who was meant to be a steward of the lands. He had a stony hide, the height of the tallest mountain, and the strength of a raging river. It was a lonely life since many of the smaller creatures fled from him in terror, for it is also said that he was as hideous as he was strong. When he could no longer withstand the isolation and rejection, he tore off chunks of his flesh and hurled them across the lands until he succumbed to his self-inflicted injuries. His chunks of flesh became his First Children who then populated Veth.
His remains are said to form a series of mountain peaks that vaguely look like a body in repose. A new race miraculously sprang from the divine rocks and soil that were once the first giant’s bones, but they were shorter than his First Children and appeared more like golems. They had no guidance or direction until a tribe of Primordial Giants found them. Ulugh Dashykh’s progeny intermingled together which over time resulted in the race known as the Provakh.
The earliest history of the Provakh was passed down orally through generations. A few Provakh knew the written language of the Primordial Giants. Its use died out with time, and for a long time no one could read the writings left behind and history was passed down orally. Isolated from neighboring nations and peoples, they developed legends and cultural practices based on a simple tribal lifestyle until Varstad became a home for more races. Fables using the native dire yaks and parables with Primordial Giants were how they taught the younger generations about social norms and morality. Certain historical figures became exaggerated demigods over time, but the related tall tales have a kernel of truth about real events.
Perhaps the most well known legend that turned a mortal Provakh into a demigod is of High Chieftain Marykh Hargh, Born of Khar Daugh, Son of Quarykh Jagh the Brave, Dire Yak Tamer of Nyalzar. Marykh existed sometime between 20,000-10,000BT. He is credited with starting the Provakh’s practice of domesticating and training dire yaks. The wild dire yak he tamed was named Ashynykh and was said to be the meanest one of its species. Both figures in this legend are exaggerated to be taller, stronger, and braver than any living Provakh or dire yak. It didn’t help that Marykh himself exaggerated his stories during his life. The truth of that matter is that Marykh found an abandoned dire yak calf and raised it to be a mount and companion. That in turn led the Provakh to realize the utility and potential in taming herds of dire yaks.
Records written by the Provakh returned in 600s BT and are related to increased interactions with races that later moved into Varstad and settled in the valleys up to the timberline. Initially documents were written in crude Common. Then in 617 BT, an ingenious High Chieftain by the name of Elykh Daugh transcribed Provakhi into a written language with its grammar and idioms saved for use into posterity. He and the Provakh he taught began writing down their oral history, and turned their culture into a codified system.
Tensions in Varstad among the newly arrived races and the Provakh were settled by having a representative from differing groups come together to settle matters as a council. Varstad has remained outside and disconnected from many political conflicts on continental Veth, given the region’s rugged and isolating geography.
Provakh have a tribal culture with groups separated into what are called herds. The herd is at the center of their life, and each member does what they can to help and provide for their community. Elders are given a special place of recognition on councils that help plan for upcoming seasons. A herd isn’t necessarily restricted to blood ties, and members can be adopted or married into the group. Infirm Provakh are cared for, but they're expected to take on what duties they can to help the herd. The demanding environment of Varstad combined with their lifestyle often means the sickly do not survive for long.
Their nomadic lifestyle follows the seasonal patterns of Varstad. Herds can have different patterns of movement however, and they’re able to endure the extreme cold high up in the mountains during the winters. Herds that rely on livestock such as dire yaks migrate within the valleys to follow seasonal plant growth. Hunter-gatherer herds often stay in the valleys during the spring and summer then ascend the mountains during the winters. Many herds travel in caravans across Veth to sell wares and most notably a menagerie of exotic pets.
There are many large gatherings of herds throughout the year, primarily during the summers and springs. Provakh men and women test their skills in competitions like dire yak racing, wrestling tournaments, and various feats of strength and skill. Champions receive accolades and medals, which are then used as props during boisterous stories while gathered around a bonfire.
Provakh cuisine is tailored to their nomadic lifestyles with emphasis on foods that can be preserved. Hard dire yak cheeses, jerky, and dry biscuits keep herds going through the winters and long journeys. Communal meals made with readily available seasonal ingredients become common during spring and summer. A fermented dire yak milk beverage is very popular among the Provakh, but it can be hard for outsiders to stomach the fizzy and alcoholic dairy product.
Typical Racial Characteristics
Provakh men and women range in similar heights between 8’ to 9’. They are naturally muscular and have stony plating on sections of their skin that provides armor-like protection. Skin color can range from slate grey to a light bluish-grey. Eye color ranges between light blues or greys. Hair is usually very dark brown to black.
Scarification and tattooing are done to tell their individual tales with designs done in glyphs and geometric shapes.
Magic use is rare among the Provakh. Sometimes proficiency in earth or ice based magic emerges in a select few. Rarer are those who show shamanistic talents.
Male names often end with a -kh, ykh, -gh, or -ygh. Female names often end with -aa, -maa.
Last names are based on the maternal grandfather.
It’s common for Provakh to have similar first and last names based on the herd they were born into. They’ll also incorporate the tallest mountain near where they were born and the name of their father to help distinguish each other early on. Provakh add to their names over time as they accrue accomplishments and accolades, i.e. High Cheiftain Elyk Saurgh, Born of Borjygh Daugh, Son of Beylik Kusygh the Swift, Warrior of Hoyuzar.