Dystota: An Ongoing Exploration
by Hannes Jareb and Natia Grey
Table of Contents
Ril’ont was originally one nation but ended up expanding into the capital and seven outer villages: Pro’ili, Pro’ont, Pro’ag, Pro’enan, Pro’arb, Pro’un, and Pro’oss.
While every village has a military, Pro’ili is known for theirs. They breed the strongest, the most strategic, and the most emotionless people.
Pro’ont is known for its mineral trade. Set-up in the mountains, they have easy access to various metals and gems.
Pro’ag is all but gone. There are few who remember the village and few who live in the village. Once, they were the farmers of the country. Though they no longer mass produce ground vegetables, a mysteriously large amount of rare ingredients are still traded from the region. And they have no interest in courting Mu’line for their merchants. No one dares to travel that far West because of the temperatures.
Pro’enan produces hunters. They’re obsessed with unusual game and will chase any monster they can. Most meat trade comes from them, but they are also highly regarded in the Rile army—well, used to be.
Pro’arb is the village of trees. They’re lumberers but trees aren’t their only trade. They also have a talent for clothes mending and produce the main cities best tailors.
Pro’un is named for the Unta Lake it was built along. They’re fishers. But most of the game they catch comes from the ocean, as the fish of the lake are held in importance.
Pro’oss is the home of herders and medicists. While medicists would be more important to the country, herders are held in higher regard. Being able to tame the wild animals that surround them is rare. Especially for use by the military. They prefer their herders young, strong, and plenty.
The Rile Monarchy has seen only seven rulers since Torren’an came to be (156 years prior). The first was King Isaa. His son, Edmund, replaced him after 17 years and ruled for 56. Edmund’s son, Aegon, ruled after him. His rule was only 9 years, as he met an unfortunate end with a Bar’ont. Aegon’s son, Boris, ruled when his father died and ruled for 23 years. After him was his son, Bruno. And after Bruno, Bruno’s son, Anton. Anton was to be the most recent King, but he was assassinated during the Scorched Rebellion and replaced by his younger brother, Ansgar.
Ancient Rile Language is a forgotten dialect, but is still practiced among the Mu’lins—they alone are responsible for carrying on the Rile culture. Though it’s not widely practiced, it’s still a well-employed language. The names of the country, the villages, the animals, etc. are all Ancient Rile. And while no one quite remembers what every word means, it’s become somewhat self-explanatory to them.
It’s both a simple and frustrating language. One word nouns are just written as is: Aal. Combined nouns become more complicated: Aal’kue. And further still: Aal’kue’gt. Some modifying words are just added to the noun with no space: Unta Lake. But this only applies to geographic-related words. (Mountains, Lakes, Oceans, Seas) In the case of a plural word versus a singular word, the rule is simple: add an “e.” Men’ril versus Men’rile. Except in words that already end in “e.” Then an “n” is added. Aal’kue versus Aal’kuen.
A quick guide to Ancient Rile:
Aal’kue/’gt — Fried Potato Pancake
Bar’ont/e — Bear/s of the Mountain
Kal’os/e — Horse/s of the Bone Forest
Mu’lin/Ma’clum — Merchant daughter/son
Men’ril/e — Mongoose/s of the Rile
Pro’ — Village
Aal — Potato
Bar — Bear
Kal — Horse
Mu/Ma — Merchant
Men — A giant rodent similar to a mongoose
Pro — A denomination for the outer villages
Kue — Pancake/cake / Gt — Fried
Ont/e — Mountain/s
Os/e — Bone Forest/s
Lin — Daughter / Clum — Son
Ril/e — Of Ril’ont
Ag — Farming
Arb — Forest
Enan — Hunting
Ili — Military
Ont — Mountain
Oss — Medicine
Un — Water (Unta — Green Water)
Named for its brutal history, the Scorched Haunts were the original burial ground for King Klemens—the Torren king known for his kind and fair sentencing—and King Anton—the Rile king known for his rough but strong leadership. Both met their ends in a bitter display of camaraderie built on feeble lies; in a rebellion meant to rid both Kingdoms of “inadequate” rulers, but that only led to incurable tension between the nations. The Scorched Rebellion was built by two resentful young men intent to overthrow their own kin—their own elder brothers… A rebellion led by King Decha and King Ansgar.
The Scorched Rebellion
Two traitors bound by one purpose
two kings bound by their fate
trained right hands bound by their duty
traitors unaware of consequences
kings unaware of betrayal
right hands stained with regret
two new kings stepping forward
unable to address the damage
from what they claim the other caused
but the nations cannot heal completely
and hatred is sprouting
always butting heads
but always retracting the threats
not wanting to be the first to war
yet the tensions solidify fully anyway
sons greatly affected, daughters too
the tensions are no longer a question
but a statement
there’s no room left for compromise
all that remains is
Torren’an is a recent country, one raised only 156 years prior. It came to be at the same time Pradscen ceased to exist. Since it’s erection it’s been a secret from the world, save for Ril’ont. Many of the residents of Torren’an were originally Rile people, but they couldn’t return to Rile due to their “newly acquired” symbiotes.
A melting pot of people from countries around the world, Torren’an is an eclectic mashing of cultures. Or was. Over the years, traditions have been lost to make room for Torren exclusive traditions—not festivals or celebrations but funeral rites and death penalties.
Hard-pressed to name themselves, an Ancient Rile name was chosen. Torren’an means Torrens of the North. To the Rile residents, it meant they were above their people. To the others, they were just on the Northern side of the continent. (Not all Rile-Torrens believed they were above the others. It was only a select few.)
The Torren Monarchy has seen only seven rulers. The first were Rom and Fleta, who were forced into leading by the people around them. They were given their crowns because of their ability to lead despite their problems. When they were assassinated, Rom had already chosen a second to replace him (if something dire occurred). His chosen second was Tumelo, an older man hailing from Insuley. He was replaced by the rightful heir, Rochus—son of Rom and Fleta, twenty-five years later. Rochus gave his throne to his son Sten, who only ruled for seven years before he was killed in a tragic accident. His sister, Timi, was the one to fill-in for him. She ruled for 30 years before she handed the throne down to Sten’s son, Klemens. Klemens was to be the last until now, but he was assassinated during the Scorched Rebellion. His younger brother, Decha, was the one to stand-in for him.
Tectarth is the only democratic city in Dystota. It’s known for its safety and prides itself on being the “most peaceful” city on the mainland. It’s also the only country in Dystota that experiences all four seasons. Each season has a celebration, but that’s not unusual because Tectarth is also known for its love for festivals, celebrations, and general partying. However, all “unacceptable” establishments (bars mostly) are sequestered to the outskirts of the city. It contains the rowdier folks and keeps them from wandering the streets of the city. But it also mixes them with incoming and outgoing residents or visitors, which can get a bit messy at times. That’s why most of the guards in Tectarth are stationed along those outskirts.
It’s also the trade capital of the mainland. All trade routes through their city. Tente, Insuley, and Riddōrdōrn trade included.
Piran is considered to be a “lawless” nation, as there are no rulers and no proper government. Once, it had a monarchy similar to the other nations, but it was dismantled in one of the last wars. Not only is Piran known for its lawlessness but also its war. Though there have been civil wars, the most notable wars in Piran were between Piran and Tente. There is a long history of hatred between them.
Even with the warring, Piran is still considered to be one of the best educated nations. Their libraries are extensive and all-inclusive. They have the histories of every country in Dystota, save for Insuley. And their fiction sections are exquisite. They are on par with the intelligence of Torrens or Mu’line.
The nation is still a dangerous place to travel. The lawless quality is seen in how they interact with outsiders. That’s why many of them seek refuge in other countries. The slave trade, the human trafficking, the violence, etc. are too much for many of the Piranese residents to handle. Luckily, residents are welcome to leave at anytime—as long as they’re alone.
Piran experiences only two seasons: rainy and sunny. In the winters, there’s constant rain and the Ocean brings cold winds. In the summers, it’s hot and the Ocean brings warm winds. Summer lasts until winter and winter lasts until summer.
Tente is a war-driven nation. Though they are small, they have a strong and well-trained army. And they have advancements beyond what the other nations’ think possible. They once shared this trait with the fallen Pradscen. The nations were once allied because of their advancements and upon Pradscen’s fall, Tente became more cautious of their creations. However, that doesn’t mean the creations have been eradicated all together.
Tente’s hatred for Piran started back when Piran still had a King. The King brought war upon Tente over the island between their nations, and Tente proved why it’s a nation that should never be messed with. Since then the hatred has continued, only producing more and more war.
Tente is an isolated nation, one that does not allow visitors and who’s trade is done entirely through Tectarth. They refuse to accept traders in their city, and trust no other nation to keep their people safe but Tectarth. Tentens are as secretive as Torrens. And it’s equally as strange to see a Torren outside of Torren’an as it is to see a Tenten outside of Tente. Also like Torrens, Tentens have distinct features that stand them away from the crowd: a lack of pigment on one side of their faces.
Tente is a tropical nation. They never see winter or fall. Summer and spring dominate the year in almost perfect halves. But they have a resilience to the cold that other nations don’t understand. Tentens are likely to bare their legs and arms through Tectarthian winters.
The Tenten Language is considered to be a gentle language. It rolls off the tongue well and has few harsh tones. But the way they refer to their people denotes a different view. There is no way to indicate the gender of a person, nor is there a way to refer to a single person; it’s always a collective people: Uo. (There is a means to say “I”: Eo.) This is because Tentens believe it makes it easier to keep their people loyal. “You are not an individual.” “You have no gender.” “You will follow commands like all the rest do.” It’s also a demanding, commanding, and pretentious language. It easily gives authoritative figures a means to talk down to their people and in fact invites it. “I will allow you to help me.” “You are allowed to speak.” Due to this, many Tentens prefer to shorten their language. Anytime they can drop the subject of a sentence, they will. It’s their own rebellion against the system. But it makes it difficult to keep up with them. They are also known to drop the second half of a noun or verb if it suits them.
A quick guide to Tenten:
Denuo be o ke?
Seuo nonte? Denuo xel lorn keot?
Soses e sos.
Do you have two of this?
I allow the providing of a question.
Allow me to apologize.
Are you hurt? (Are you in pain?) Do you need anything?
We are one collective.
Careful! (Command form)
The “Assassin Capital” earned its nickname from the amount of children assassins it produces. It follows closely in Pradscen’s footsteps, converting other nation’s children into their personal tools. However, they are above stealing children from other nations and instead use them as leverage for debts. Any person who owes Riddōrdōrn owes their children.
It’s also a very unwelcoming nation in terms of visitors or traders. Male merchants are allowed into the city walls and lead around by an escort. But females, merchants or otherwise, are often left awaiting their parties or sent away completely. If a woman is allowed within the walls of the city, she is to be escorted by more than one Riddōr, as the men cannot be trusted.
Though it’s further East than Ril’ont or Torren’an, it’s a frigid nation. It sees only three seasons, fall, winter, and summer. All the seasons are extreme. Winter is especially cold, summer is especially hot, and fall brings excessive rain.
The Riddōr Language is a harsh language: the tones, the way sentences are formed, and how they think of people. “People are pain” or “Yōrwen inde kiin” is an often repeated phrase. They believe outsiders are pain, as well as their own people. And it’s shown in how they refer to others. The harsh “ōr” or “ē” sounds used to refer to “you” and “I” are the same sounds used to denote pain. (Sounds that are produced with teeth clenched, creating the sound with the air that passes through: “oor” and “err.”) Words that mean pain often contain one or both of these sounds and if they don’t, they contain another harsh sound. (Ironically, the very word that means “pain” or “hurt” does not contain either sound.) “Kēkka” for example, refers to a “difficult” activity or emotion. And often difficult emotions or activities result in pain. Even the name of their country shows the pain they believe people are.
A quick guide to Riddōr:
Bar kinzat barta inekk.
Ēr ind kiiner?
Ōrta kēkka na.
He would have killed him.
Are you hurt?
You’re not made for this. (Cut out for this.)
True. (I agree.)
My difficult feelings.