ust south of Roshamuul, inmidst of warm currents of the ocean, a new island was discovered. When nearing the island, high mountains are the first shapes that become visible on the horizon. Lush grass and jungle-like vegetation covers the lowlands. On the coastal lines, the land is partially flooded by water. Small islets surround the island, just like ice floes surround large icebergs. Cause for this partial flooding is the very slowly rising sea level that has been going on for centuries.
The island, called Marapur, provides the perfect living environment for the Nagas. Nagas are devided into two factions: On the one hand, there are nagas living in the coastal regions. They have integrated the rising sea level perfectly into their way of living. They call it the Rising and take advantage of the moist and watery surroundings rather than trying to prevent any flooding.
On the other hand, there are nagas living in the mountains. They have not been affected, yet, by the Rising.
Due to the different living conditions, there are some cultural and religious differences between these two groups. The different lifestyle results in different customs, as well as different food preferences. These differences are no reason for any open conflict, though tensions do occur.
Nagas are quite distinctive looking creatures. Their lower bodies resemble enormous snakes, however, they have a humanoid torso and head. They have four arms, so, for instance, they can fish, weave, and wield weapons at the same time. Usually, they hold their heads up high, but they can increase their speed dramatically if they lean forward. They can dash through the marshy grounds like lightning through the sky.
Nagas in general have a strong sense for aesthetics. They love to wear silken clothes, and jewelery. For practical reasons, they do not wear anything extra on their lower bodies, though, to ensure that they can glide through nature easily. At the most, they will use armor or other suitable protection for that part of their body.
They are true masters of magic. In order to cast spells they perform unique gestures with their arms. They call this art yukti. Many nagas can only perform yukti with two arms simultaneously, others have internalized these gestures to such a degree, however, that they perfom yukti with all four arms, making their magic strong and unmerciful.
Among other not very naga-distinctive jobs, there are occupations that you can only find in Marapur:
Some of the nagas living in the coastal areas have gained immense knowledge of the water surrounding them. They study tidal currents and can reliably predict when it is safe to travel by boat, and when schools of fish are close by, for example. These tide sages can even predict which islet will be affected by the Rising next.
Other nagas are true wave shapers. Over the years, they have developed water-empathy that allows them to solidify water and shape it as if it were soft wax. They create the unique naga structure known as solid water. It often looks like solidified waves or water bubbles. This material is very receptive to magical energy and therefore often enchanted. Solid water had been created for and was used solely as an attempt to push back the rising water in the past. This has shown to be ineffective, however. So nowadays, solid water is used to direct and guide water and to collect it in certain places, as well as for decorative purposes.
Another profession some nagas take on is beaver whispering. Beavers are used to transport timber or other materials across the island. Beaver whisperers build a trusting relationship with these animals, motivating them to be reliable and trustworthy workers.
Some nagas are also talented gardeners. For example, they cultivated an allrounder plant called starleaf, which has become a source of food, but is also a sturdy craft material.
Nagas do not live in families. They rarely form longer, monogamous relationships. Their offspring hatches from eggs that are collected in large nests. There are brood helpers that take care of all the eggs. After hatching, nagas become independent quickly.
The current generation of nagas is developing a tendency for longer lasting relationships. They feel a need for belonging. More bonding between individual nagas could strengthen naga society as a whole.
A typical, but not very serious matter nagas argue about are sleeping positions. Some sleep in rather large, padded, round baskets, affectionately referred to as basket sleepers, while others sleep by curling their snake bodies around thick branches. These are then lovingly called branch sleepers.
There are three different holidays that the nagas celebrate. Rising Day commemorates the beginning of the rising of the sea levels. Cobalt Tide is celebrated yearly mainly by the coastal nagas, around the time of the summer solstice. It is associated with inspiration, beautiful secrets and love. And the Invocation is a time for the mountain folk, a time for quiet contemplation, fasting and sacrifices in a plea for protection.
Buildings on Marapur are mainly built with reddish-brown baked bricks. Due to the restriction of the landmass, there are multi-storey towers.
Ornaments and other decoration, as well as sculptures in the form of snakes or serpentine dragons, as well as wave-shaped elements make up the very distinguished look of residential buildings, magnificent temple complexes and palaces.
Pads of giant water lilies that grow several feet in diameter are sturdy and thick enough to be used in an architectonic way. They support smaller structures made of light wood, for example shelters that are used for fishing, or smaller shrines.
In the mountain areas, bridges connect different locations.
In the coastal areas, several buildings are partially or even completely submerged in water. Paths made of small lily pads connect different areas here. In addition, there is also lively boat traffic between the islets.
A typical naga invention are marsh gas lamps. Once ignited, they hardly ever go dark. They are nourished with flammable marsh gases that ascend through hollow stems into the lamp heads. The stems are pushed right into gas veins in the marshy grounds.
The nagas are an old and proud race. They have built up a remarkable culture and their cities are said to be filled with gems, gold and other treasures. They are potentially dangerous to humans, but many of them are rather benevolent towards the two-legs, as they call the humanoid races.
Stronger tensions exist between nagas and asuri. They used to live in the naga realm ages ago, but were expelled and banished. They are constantly trying to return to this resourceful island, however. They try to wreak havoc on naga society and try to counter any attempts of the nagas to strengthen their relationships among each other. Asuri truely oppose a strong and united naga race.
Nagas are not the only creatures that inhabit Marapur that can be dangerous to the two-legs. There are also makaras, foam stalkers, and parders, for example. See for yourself:
Also two-headed turtles, and jungle moas can be found. Please take a look at our supported and promoted fansites, or our Facebook page for further pictures.
Hard Facts for curious Tibians
- Discoverers are happy to announce that Marapur is the 20th area they had been searching for.
- Tibians who want to travel to Marapur will be able to gain access. Once there, they will be tested in quests, in fights against mini bosses and a bigger boss fight.
- The level of difficulty resembles Asura Palace, Lions Sanctum and Lower Roshamuul.
- Marapur is a Premium area.
- Tibians will be able to live in Marapur. There is a settlement called Silvertide in the coastal area, and a settlement called Moonfall in the mountain area. There will be 3 new houses and one new guildhall.
- On this island, there will be the chance to receive a new mount, new achievements, and new decorative items.
- Nagas also have quite an arsenal of items. These will be described at a later point in time.
Stay tuned for further summer update information during the following weeks!
Upcoming next week: Convenience Features - what features will be released with the summer update that will make your Tibian life easier?
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