The term Santri refers to members of the most populous ethnic group in Dia.
Santri is the name of the people found throughout Dia, who hail from lands well south of the glacial masses. The widely-accepted total re-emergence of the Santri into Dia occurred at Sasta, in the modern-day state of Treston. The Sasta colonists merged slowly with other surviving colonies to form the first true cities. There are very few written records from this time, though the names (and arguably, families) of notable first leaders such as deLavin and deKerri still survive to this day. The Santri have expanded in the centuries following re-emergence, populating the country known as Old Mesda. For this reason the Santri are often interchangeably referred to as "Mesdan."
Northern vs. Southern
There is an informal distinction between Santri hailing from the North and those living in the South. The division between North and South is informally defined as being above or below the Westermaw latitude (in modern day Steffonia). However, the basis of the differences between the groups stems from a colony which split off of the main group back during early re-emergence in hopes of finding additional surviving groups. Descendants of those original pioneers are recognizably Santri but are culturally, physically and (recently) religiously distinct.
Physically, Northerners are best distinguished by their wide, pigmented noses and oftentimes reddish hair. The origin of the pigmented nose is unclear and not every Northerner is born with one. However the unpigmented individuals seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Northern Santri are generally characterized as a more physical and hardy race with a good sense of economics. Industrialization first began in the North, as well as many other technical innovations. In terms of religion, Northern Santri are for the most part Generalists and follow the first two books of the Bible. Northerners are further split by being either orthodox or non-orthodox in affiliation. Orthodox Generalists cover their heads with light painted caps made of beaten metal or wood, and attend religious services daily. Non-orthodox Santri follow the same belief system but do not follow the Holy words as closely in their every day life.
Southern Santri tend to be physically taller and lighter complexioned than their northern relatives. Their hair color covers a range of brown shades, and sometimes blonde. Southerners are considered to be a more intellectual group, though they are in practice not any more or less learned than Northerners. The majority of Southern Santri are converts to the Carissi religion, which recognizes the King as a direct emissary of Heaven and which considers women to be protectors of the divine Mysteries. Many of the difficulties between Northerners and Southerners springs from this conversion, as Northerners do not like to place an undue amount of religious significance on a living figure.
Relations between North and South
Relations with the Pasori
The Santri have had a long and convoluted history of interactions with the Northernmost race. While each group had ignored each other for the better part of four centuries, advances in technology and weaponry led the first Santri explorers up North in search of resources. Many skirmishes between the two groups followed, with the systematic slaying of many Pasori people by Santri raiders and the kidnapping and murder of Santri settlers by Pasori men. Depending on tribe and popular support or dissent at the time, interactions ranged from friendly interactions and trading to attacks of terror. The relationship between the groups became more stable with the Treaty of 652, which set a defined boundary and limited unauthorized contact between the two groups. Trading, especially of pelts, became more accepted and encourage after the Treaty. The start of the Thirty Years War signaled a new time for both the Santri and Pasori against a common threat.
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