Lyptyn

Region: The Tamed Lands, Sector 1
Positive Traits: Independent, Caring, Sturdy
Negative Traits: Passive-Aggressive, Lenient, Blasé
Consider This Culture If: You love Vikings, universal basic income, and horror stories

Overview: Blessed by the tail end of a tropical oceanic current, the land of Lyptyn is split in two – the temperate lowlands with soft sand beaches and even a small grove of coconut palms on the southernmost tip of the island; while the highlands are in perpetual winter from an arctic current that slips along the upper coast of the country. These two currents meet on the east coast and are known for savage storms and incredibly treacherous seas. The majority of the population lives along the southern half of the country, in the more temperate regions, and only a sparse few choose to live amongst the glaciers and frozen pines of the north. Despite the warm(ish) water of the coastal regions, it is not uncommon to see calved icebergs from the north inching their way past, leeching brisk air to give the towns an unusual chill.

While fostering a fiercely independent culture, with children being encouraged to roam on their own or in packs of agemates (colloquially known as ‘meirgiersi’ – ‘little icecubes’ literally), and a large amount of small businesses crafting highly specific and niche items or services, there is a strong foundation of social wellness and mutual aid, thus enabling a single parent to provide for their family by selling, for example, exclusively left handed corncob trimmers. Basic food, clothing, and housing are provided by the democratically elected parliament of Bergin, located in the capital city.

While the coast is relatively warm, inland rivers that run to the sea are shockingly cold, and many are deep and deceptively fast. Many people go missing in these rivers during the spring melting season, or after heavy rains upriver. A local legend claims that bodies of those who die in the icy waters must be recovered or else they will be lost on their way to The Apothecary and become a type of ghoul known as “Fiann”, ever searching for a healing warmth, and often taking it by force by drinking the blood of its victims. It is considered taboo to specifically ask for warm drinks or clothing in the cold, or to go to a stranger’s door in cold weather and directly ask for access to their hearth, as these can be seen as inviting the Fiannen into your lives. Instead, innocuous and passive statements are used, such as “I’ve always loved a good cup of coffee,” “The stonework of your hearth is lovely,” or “Oh my, I seem to have forgotten to put away my extra blankets,”. This sort of passive requesting habit has leached into much of Lyptyn life, and as such can cause cultural clash when speaking with foreigners who don’t realize that something is being requested, or that outright requesting things can be seen as rude or bad luck.