The Riverfolk are a nomadic people, swathed in colors, story and song. Although they descend from raiders, reavers and brigands, most Riverfolk stick to trades and lores as the true paths to prosperity. Naturally, there are those that follow the old ways and there exist Riverfolk who cheat and lie and steal as a way of life. However, these are exceptions to the rule, the greatest majority of Riverfolk are honest and hard-working… at least, as far as the rest of Midworld knows.
The symbol adopted by the Riverfolk is of a multi-colored phoenix spread-eagled over a sky and sea. The dominant colors upon the phoenix will vary according to the holder of the symbol.
The Riverfolk are born to road, river and wilderness – cursed to never know hearth and home beyond these on pain of death. Nevertheless, they pride themselves on an optimistic perspective on their dire circumstances. Certainly, the Writhing Curse keeps the Riverfolk a mobile people and prevents them from repopulating their homelands. But the Tihluurani believe themselves a hardy, resilient folk, capable of surviving, withstanding and even thriving in the worst that fortune has to offer. Even the worst of situations have a bright side to it… or at least, a side that allows a Tihluurani to escape the clutches of death. Some call it delusion and false hope, the Riverfolk prefer to think of it as an overwhelming will to live and an inability to feel despair.
The Riverfolk are well-aware that the world is a wheel: that there are times spent in the bottom and there are times spent at the top. They know that bad things happen, but they understand that good things happen as well. As the wheel rolls on, those who are on the bottom will find themselves on top and vice versa. At this moment, the Riverfolk are a nomadic, homeless people – but the future can bring so much more. Naturally, when one is at the bottom, there is no way else to go but up.
The Riverfolk are fond of song, music, story and dance. Even when not participating in these past-times, there is a certain poetic, musical quality to their movements and their speech that even Silver Elves find enchanting (albeit a bit rough). The Riverfolk are willing to be loud, melodic and noisy, preferring silence and subtlety only when necessary. That is not to say that the Riverfolk are not a subtle people; they simply do not seem as such at a first glance.
When one of the Riverfolk is bored, he starts singing, talking or telling a story. This leads people to consider many a Tihluurani to be air-headed loudmouths who speak without forethought. Truth be told, Riverfolk are as capable of quiet and thought as most folk. However, songs and stories are entertaining ways to pass the time and conversations have a tendency of building bridges and revealing secrets that many Riverfolk have found to be useful.
Accent: The speech of the Riverfolk run the full gamut of Midworld’s accents. Some have adopted the accents of other Kingdoms in their speech. Others still speak syllabically, giving focus on particular syllables of a word while flowing seamlessly through words and speech. For a Kingdom so varied in appearance but united in origin, it is fitting that they are similarly varied in the way they speak the same language.
Because of their nomadic culture, Riverfolk names display the greatest of variety when it comes to nomenclature. Riverfolk names tend to be either island dweller names (simple, two-syllable names), ancient bloodline names (two to three syllable tribal names) or even Wyrdic names (Roman/Latin names). Many Riverfolk bear these names or a combination of the themes above. Names taken from other Kingdoms are an uncommon practice among the well-traveled Tihluurani.
Surnames: Among the Riverfolk, surnames are uncommon. A Surname usually denotes an affiliation or a bloodline from a prominent clan or family. Occasionally, a Tihluurani takes up a surname based off of a deed or a feat that she has accomplished.
A typical member of the Riverfolk usually uses his or her first name for most encounters. Surnames are reserved for when some prestige is desired or there are multiple people with the same or similar names.
Male: Ah-has (snake), Balgan, Doran, Gregorius, Kahlasag (armor), Malakas (mighty), Nikos, Sulakan, Terasius, Valos
Female: Ahrasa, Diwata (fey), Gabi (night), Korason (Crown), Hilaga (north), Ligaya (joy), Nikola, Rosa (Rose), Vayani, Zora
The Riverfolk are based off of a fusion of pirate, Romani and Filipino culture. The last is mostly a veneer placed upon the concept to make it more interesting… and as a veneer, it is easily stripped off and explained away. The Riverfolk have little in the way of true historical analog, although the nomadic, landless people are a staple of fantasy literature.