• The balshatoi, or Northshoremen, are an ancient ethnic group who live, as their name suggests, mostly on the north shore of the Mezzovian sea. They are politically subordinate to the terrasans in the empire, but many of them have been highly integrated into the fabric of society, and for the most part, the northern cities--Segrià, Iclezza, and Razina--and all the lands around them, are high in people who claim balshatoi blood. In the hinterlands, smaller villages, and backcountry, these people live much as their ancestors many generations ago--farmers and villagers with their own customs and their own languages, owing only nominal allegiance to any of the Dukes or Kings of the area--but in the cities and surrounding areas, they are fairly thoroughly "terrasanized." The balshatoi language is somewhat endangered; few speak it in urban locales except the elderly, and culture, music, cuisine, architecture and fashion are all more recent local developments that are more based on trends from the south than they are backwards looking into their own heritage. Although the culture of the north shore can be considered a hybrid of sorts between ancient balshatoi and terrasan mores, it's one that owed more to the south than the locals--this is the so-called nordero culture, described in the first part of this series.
|Ancient balshatoi building styles|
|Modern balshatoi camp on the prairie|
|Tarushan "gypsy" in the woods near Iclezza|