"We are the fire, we are life, and like a great fire we will grow and spread across the world that was meant for us no matter what obstacle blocks our path" -Goran GodspeakerThe Goran are a collection of ab human races on the surface of Soi that make up the Goran Nation. They are most commonly characterized by a fair complexion and red hair but have large range of breeds of mankind. The Goran are made up of various genetically engineered castes that each fulfill a unique position within their civilization as dictated by the Fire God. They are the most populous group of ab humans on Soi.
"The Goran are a very kind and welcoming people, so long as you serve the Goran." -Wise Master councilMany only think of Gorans as a horde of ruthless thugs or monsters that will burn everything you hold dear. This is not entirely untrue, however a far deeper sophistication exists in the Goran culture. The Goran exist in a very complex and rigidly structured caste system, which gives every person a place and purpose. All born are born to serve a specific duty that they were bred for. They value shared simple joys of life, waxing philosophy and proving themselves in the eyes of their religion.
"The Goran value simplicity and grandeur in their design. Their buildings will doubtless stand for a thousand years, but will awe all those that pass." -Hearth on Wheels caravan master
Like all Goran works, faith comes first. When the first schematics are drawn the question is asked, “Does this bring glory upon the Fire God?” Additionally the Gorans are people of bloodshed and war, having experienced no break in war throughout their entire history. Defense is always a factor when Gorans build. Gorans usually build large, modular structures that are shaped like pyramids. Goran obsession with flame has lead to disastrous effects in the past. As a result, most architecture is built out of stone or metal to prevent failure in the future. Contrary to the misconception that Gorans are illiterate, stories of faith and glory are carved upon the walls to tell the tales of the people. Admittedly many Uroks still need others to help with comprehension. Because Gorans live for eternity in tales, statues depicting great battles or scenes from their religious text grace even the base foundations. A column may be a mighty warrior and a bridge a fallen foe.This serves as a constant reminder to Gorans of their place in the world religiously.
The Goran do not spend their gold as currency between themselves and thus their society and central leadership stockpiles large amounts of gold. This gold is often dusted onto many of their central pyramidal buildings and baked on, causing most Goran central buildings and statues to be covered in a thin layer of gold.
As a people, Gorans have an obsession with storytelling. Specialized buildings have been crafted to tell the tales the Goran people hold dear. The buildings are constructed to carry the voices of the actors to large crowds. The stage is built in a way to allow pyrotechnics and advanced scene transition. Larger cities can even expect performances at all hours of the day. Smaller outposts and townships may be lucky to get a stage at all.
Functionally serving as a reversed amphitheater, both ritualized and true combats are performed for display of the public. The majority of combat is done in a strictly non-lethal manner for training purposes. Every so many years a tournament will be held with true fights to the death and the victor being given privilege to join the ranks of the Chosen. Musicians and singers fill the outer ring of the colosseum where all voices combine in the center to create a unique experience. The makeshift equivalent is a circle drawn on the ground surrounded by spectators.
At the center of every Goran pyramid is a cylinder-shaped dome that is designed for religious services. Here, services are held throughout the day to all people and caste. The structure is built to have a special harmonics. The crowd will experience a unique unity or wholeness due to their own singing. Above all, the God Speaker’s position in the chamber allows all to clearly hear what they say, sing, or preach. Gorans are able to sing simple harmonies while the God Speaker preaches the faith. When a devout flock experienced in singing is combined with a powerful speaker the experience is truly divine.
Their language and culture often cause conflicts with other nearby nations
Having a history of serfdom and slavery, the People of Flame have many hymns and songs in support of the Fire God. Over the years what were once simple working songs have evolved a full art. Only after the introduction of the Bard have Gorans began to introduce instruments beyond drums and torch.
From throughout the ranks of the entire Goran nation, special souls are born with unique talents in writing and singing. When the Inquisition has discovered someone of said abilities necessary resources are channeled to them and they are brought on tour across the entire Goran nation. On tour they write new songs and hymns for glory of Gor.
Goran armies sing as they march in step. The songs consist of the immortality of the glorious souls, the perfection of the world, and destruction of the corrupt. All cadences are designed to inspire the Gorans in their march and intimidate the enemies. It is not uncommon to have warriors adopt instruments to increase the glory of a march.
A musical instrument that requires no human to play. The instrument consists of chamber designed to hold a bonfire with a post in the center. The bonfire pulls in air which is channeled through tubing creating unique sounds based on the burn. Each time the instrument is played a unique song will be played. It may also be used in the ritual of purification by flame. The corrupted soul is placed in the chamber. Their wails create a unique song to inspire the faithful.
When not performing the services a Goran was born to do one can find them pursuing many recreations. Tabletop games are a full-time passion of many Uroks. This is due to the sheer amount of downtime an Urok would have. Of the tabletop games the most popular are the many variants of Bloodage. This does not mean Gorans do not play the many other games of the world; just they are less common. Religious ceremonies are not a dull experiences as they are for many peoples. They involve pyromaniacs, cinematic battle stage play, or passionate stories of legend.
"The Goran brought in great piles of food to the celebration, as we shared meat and mead. One of their warriors offered to share the strange, clear, orange sauce they placed on their food. I accepted, only for the first bite to set my mouth ablaze. I rushed for my ale, draining it in seconds. I feared I had been poisoned, but looking over I saw them bursting into laughter. I've since grown quite fond of the flavor." -Knight of Thorns, Broken Kingdom and Goran peace conferenceGoran food comes from the cultivated lands surrounding their townships. Most of the foods grown tend to be tree born fruits, bush berries and root crops often preserved in honey. The high sugar diet makes their diet good for short bursts of energy.
The Goran are known for a spice grown mainly in their lands. The spice creates the sensation of burning and fire in one's taste buds. God peppers are a biomorph strain of fire pod exclusively reserved for religious ceremonies or rites of passage.
The Goran countryside is comparable to an endless orchard filled with apes and men. It seems fruit bearing trees and bushes with berries have been randomly planted to serve the Goran hordes. Whatever plant happens to be in season is consumed en masse and all extra is used in the production of alcohol as a means of preservation.
Because of the biomorph bees that live in plenty, Gorans have no choice but to consume copious amounts of drink every day. This is due to a unique pheromone produced in Goran honey that is used in the production of all Goran alcohol. This means even children must have at least one mug every day to prevent the wrath of the many bees of the countryside. It is not uncommon for Gorans to fight one another while under the influence. The majority of combat is comparable to roughhousing or wrestling. To a Goran there is no greater joy in life then to fight someone you consider a battle brother after drinking large amounts of alcohol.
Traditionally all meats are served heavily spiced. The majority of meat served is fish and lamb. Goat is served in the outer ring of the nation as they are used for Goran expansion and the elimination of natural flora. Meats are the only dish reserved and distributed to those considered worthy. Once a Goran has achieved status they may sit at the meat tables. Other tables are served meat sparingly and seasonally.
Gorans as a people are entirely ab human. For over a thousand years Gorans have been bred for specific tasks needed within the nation. An example of this genetic root is the fact that red hair is a common trait among all Goran castes. Within the blood of the true Goran no single human has choice of whom they breed with. This is determined by one of the three branches of Goran government: the Moulders. All Goran share some common ancestral appearance and the breeding programs are not 100% self-contained. In childhood, some Goran show merit enough to be switched castes and even Orders on occasion. Paragons of specific skills, traits, or abilities are also sought out from outside the Goran nation to add more genetic diversity and limit nature born diseases. Survivors of plagues are also given breeding rights to help prevent against mass death. Goran breeding is divided into two Orders, the Order of Flame and the Order of Will. These two Orders control both a Goran’s blood and role in life.
Order of Flame
The namesake of this group is to serve as a reminder to all born within it. Failure within the order means to be purified by flame. Birth in the order means to serve the god of flame directly. This group is characterized by having a light brown skin tone and superior intelligence.
Although this group is technically its own breed of Goran, the Paragon consists of the top from every breed of Goran bred together for generations. Not measured individually but as a composite average, the Paragon is tested in all forms of functionality. From muscle density to agility to memorization to wit the paragon must be able to out perform the previous generation. Intermittently, other breeds of Goran are brought into the Paragon bloodline to further enhance overall performance because of this physical traits from all other breeds may also be emergent in a Paragon. The primary function of this breed is to fill an administrative role, facilitate foreign affairs, and cover any general deficit of the nation.
Where a Paragon may be a genius to an average man, the Savant outclasses all. With forced captive breeding of those found with what most nations would consider severe mental illness, the Goran have managed to harness much of the amazing force of the human mind. Savants can be capable of instantaneously generating statistics from censuses and war data from the throughout the nation or memorizing every word of a library with specific celerity. Unfortunately most do not see what said information means and are unable to do any useful work on their own. Only those trained to work with the particular Savant are able to get them to generate useful information. When a Savant is well trained with a functional relationship with a handler, they can do extraordinary things. The average Savant body will either be very gaunt or obese; few manage to be between the two.
Order of Will
This order is far larger and has the most direct impact on the success of all Gorans. The many Goran hordes come from the Uroks of this Order and all things crafted are made by the Gratok of this Order. As a group they have fairer skin and even higher chance for red hair.
"Ours is the strength and fury of the fire; ours is the duty to burn; ours is the rage and power. We are the guardians of the world, to purge the impure. Fight, live, die, rise to fight again, and when we have proven our worth, ascend." -Goran Urok when questioned why they fight
"They are easily stronger than most warriors you'll find outside of the Iron kingdoms, impossible to break their ranks and numerous beyond what most armies can muster to the field. I fear the red tide will one day wash over the wold and everyone will be too busy bickering between themselves to stop them." -Kushani general on the wallThe most physically adept of the Goran castes, standing on average 6-7 ft. tall and weighing roughly 250-300 pounds, the Urok is a power statement of Goran warrior culture. Uroks are known for a thick layer of muscle that covers the entire body. This is not due to training but just the natural state of the Urok. Matching the muscle is a natural hand-eye coordination that allows the Urok intuitive combat abilities. In theory, an Urok who has never been trained in combat whatsoever should be able to outperform many trained soldiers. They however are typically lacking intellectually. Years of exposure to enhancement drugs have left this group both resistant to the effects of chemical stimuli and more able to survive what would be considered an overdose. Uroks also suffer from a genetic disease that limits their ability to feel physical stimuli. The Urok may have a broken foot and do a 50 mile march merely thinking something is wrong with its shoe. Administrator castes must examine each Urok after a serious combat to determine whether they have been seriously injured and are merely unaware of it. With a poor leader of a war band, an entire group could easily be worked to death. When measured against nearly any other group of men, the Urok will always underperform academically. Only a small number of Uroks trained in Primalism can perform in any academic field. These rare cases are given positions of leadership and power in the Goran horde.
Not all Uroks are built the same. The Farseer has elongated arms that can reach slightly below their knees in a standing position and extremely acute long-distance eyesight. The conjunction of these traits allows them to use longbows to devastating effect. Most suffer from the inability to see close range and suffer in combat when anyone is able to close the combat gap. Farseers rely on battle brothers to ensure no enemy can get close.
This group of Urok is always to the taller and heavier end of the spectrum of Urok. This group was not entirely an original ab human race bred by the Goran Nation but an acquired group. Through painstaking difficulty the Moulders managed to breed in the Mountain Folk into the ranks of Urok. They retain some skin color, size and thermal resistance of their original people but also possess all standard traits of the Urok. This does mean they are even less mentally functioning. Most are considered to be far less intelligent than the average war ape. Because of the natural size of the Blue Skin, they serve most commonly as a juggernaut.
The breeding stock of this group is the most genetically distant of all Uroks. The Chosen of this group always have a unique story as most originate from outside the Goran Nation. Toward the end of any heavy Goran combat inevitably some paragon enemy troops are left standing. The Goran assume that this is due to a superior combat skill and attempt to capture them and send them back to the breeding pits. Other Outsiders are foreigners that have proven extreme combat skill in Goran tournaments and are awarded a place as a Goran Chosen. Most notably are those warriors from distant lands that have such powerful legend that their stories reach all the way to the Goran nation. Squads are dispatched to acquire them through any means to get their blood added to Goran ranks. Outsiders are usually much smaller and lighter on the spectrum of Urok and benefit most from direct training. Warbands of Friendfoe must be treated different then other Urok group because of these special considerations.
Without this group the Goran nation would surely crumble. The Gratok is the shortest group of Goran standing on average 4 feet high. This was an intentionally bred trait to limit the amount of resources the Gratok require. The heads, hands, and chests of the Gratok are disproportionate to their size. To the touch, an average Gratok’s skin would feel more like stone than flesh. This is because of the thickness of their flesh. Most have to work in extreme conditions where most hands would be cut or break into blisters.The Gratok require little in terms of education, learning mostly from hands on experience. Thanks to natural selection in the mines paired with a selective breeding program of the highest skilled craftsmen, most Gratok hold a natural understanding for how things work mechanically or physically. This ability allows them to carve stone without doing painstaking measurements or to know where in a cavern would cause a collapse.
A specialized group for only the deepest caverns and mountains, the Cavernborn may never experience the feeling of sunlight directly on their skin. The skin of a Cavernborne is a pale bone white. A unique genetic trait allows them to live without any health defects due to lack of sunlight. This group was selectively bred to have superior dark vision.
They are called people of the soil. This group tends all things that grow on Goran land. In direct opposition to the Caverborne, they have very dark skin that keeps them safe from direct sunlight throughout the day.
A breed of Goran so extreme it is worthy of its own classification, the race was bred for national morale and to see the limits that human physiology can reach.
At the center or any true Goran's life is faith to Gor and True God . With this comes the duties of a Goran's life. A true Goran is born into one of the great castes Minthos, Rbas, Gratok, and Urok. The caste guides them and molds them in their duties to Gor.
Goran typically dwell within the lands of the Goran nation, whose borders shift on a daily basis.