Tantian is home to high, rocky mountains, cliff faces and wind swept plains. It is not uncommon to see whole towns carved into cliffs.
Upon the highest mountain in Tantian, Azten, stands the temple Semzra. Here, regular offerings are made upon the circle calendar and any untimeliness is met with a severe reprimand from the goddess herself.
The large flat plains of Tantian are home to sprawling farmland and supply food for countries all over Erda.
The Tantian people also rely on their fishing culture to increase their domestic supply of food. Tantians not only supply food to the wider global market but pearls, woven flax textiles and all sorts of pottery and decorations thanks to the abundant clay pits, named Dzado, around the coast.
Glass is very important to the Tantian people - not only does it's light focusing properties allow them to send intricate messages to one another through the cliff-homes, but is also allows them to refine hourglasses for the various rituals they celebrate over the year.
The people of Tantian often hang reams of coloured fabric flags around an area in order to show a holy space or somewhere which they want their goddess to pay attention to. This can be homes, shrines, farms struggling with abundance or even a stall. It is considered a good omen for birds to sit upon the flags as birds are a symbol of the Goddess Morrgan.
Morrgan takes an active role in the ruling of her patron country. She sits on her throne at the great calendar Semzra atop the mountain Azten and deals with those who disobey her personally.
There is normally a line of attendants and Chodan waiting to hear her judgement from the first rays of sunlight, when she allows people back into her throne room.
Farmers, priests and soldiers alike wear feathers or other avian tokens to please the goddess and garner her favour. Feathers are used in all sorts of applications - from clothing accessories to writing utensils. Some of the most beautiful are even sealed in glass and sent or taken to Morrgan as offerings.
Tantians are hardworking, timely and place great value on that which their goddess presides over. As they aid the goddess so directly, they often carry a great weight of responsibility and believe in prevention, rather than cure in all aspects of life fearing god-level retribution should anything go wrong in their presence.
Above: Map of the world.
Below: Flags hung by an Albian Fis to honour Morrgan during rituals
Timely, precise and fiercely hardworking, the Tantian people follow the Goddess Morrgan above all others in the pantheon and follow a rigorous set of rites in order to please her and thus allow all worldly cycles keep moving.
~ Tantian ~
Rituals of Tantian
Summer Festival - Kala Disa
Each year at the Summer Solstice, a large, nationwide festival is held where the people of Tantian gather and make merry in Morrgan's name.
It is at this time that the bulk of the offerings are made to Morrgan, whether to thank her for the plentiful sun and the anticipation of a fruitful harvest, or to please her, in the hopes that she will extend the life-cycles of a loved one for a little longer before releasing them to Nasni.
At the climax of the festival, usually midnight on the solstice, the people communally smash their personal timepieces, usually hourglasses of varying sizes, in a large, copper bowl. It is common for families to share a timepiece among them, but those who fare better in their wealth may have their own. The children of the community then assemble before a Maester, who, with the assistance of a Chodan, checks each, new timepiece that the children have forged in the preceding year. Each child takes an approved timepiece and returns with it to their family, who are now ready and prepared to honour Morrgan in the timely fashion she so demands.
At the end of the festival, the broken shards of wood, glass and the grains of sand are collected and separated in time for the Winter Celebrations where the children of the communities, using newly forged glasses, make the hourglasses anew, before the next Summer Solstice.
Above: A time piece crafted for Kala Disa
Winter Ceremony: Coming of Age
The winter is cold and harsh on the high plains of Tantian, but that doesn’t diminish the brightness of it’s people. In fact, much like the rest of the year, the Tantian people find something to celebrate during the cold, Winter Solstice too: the Coming of Age of their Children.
The Ceremony is held for all children who have turned 14 in the year between one Winter Solstice and the next. All children take part in the rite, regardless of their heritage or duties.
The celebration takes place over three days, culminating on the Solstice itself. On the first day, the children assemble in the centre of their settlement and are each given a clay pendant, into which is inscribed the symbol of an hourglass. They are then taken and taught the art of hand glass-blowing. Over these three days, the breakfast of poached fish and bread, fast during the day and have only one meal of rice and vegetables at night, before they go to bed, with the exception of Solstice night, when they join in the Feast.
On day two, the children then spend the majority of their time blowing their own hourglasses, using the techniques they have learned. This is of course, done with assistance.
On day three, their time is spent decorating and filling their glasses. After their glasses are filled with sand but before they are sealed, each child breathes into the glass, which is known as Giving their Soul’s Breath.
In the evening, the Children gather before the Tent of the Maester where they each consult with him in turn. During their Consultation, the timekeeping ability of their glass is assessed, but they also spend some time diving their future’s path from the twists and imperfections in the glass. It is from this consultation that Children choose their future occupations once they have begun adulthood, and the outcomes are many and varied.
Once this is done, the Children are each granted their own Hourglasses and hand over their clay pendants in exchange, symbolising the loss of their innocence and protection for a destiny made by their own hand. The celebration is then culminated with a large feast for all in the settlement, with the usual praising and offering to Morrgan, with the wish that she guides these children for the rest of their lives.
It is considered of utmost importance that these personal hourglasses are guarded carefully for the duration of the new adult’s life. These glasses are not included in the Summer Celebration known as Kala Disa. If a glass is broken, a subject must go personally to Morrgan and beg her permission to re-craft another.
Since the glasses also contain one life’s breath from each subject, the offender must also over the course of the year following the breaking of the glass, appeal to Nasni for her forgiveness in denying her the future claiming of this breath.
While it is considered bad form for someone to break their glass, followers of Morrgan often believe that everything happens for a reason, at the right time. This means that sometimes, the breaking of a glass can denote a change in the person’s future, or calling, and so only on re-divining the meaning in their glass can someone know why this may have come to pass.
Of course, sometimes, people are just clumsy, and this is shown if their calling does not change when their glass is re-blown.