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Buildings Edit

People groups within the Vahim Regaad construct their homes out of stone and clay. Buildings are largely circular in formation, and almost exclusively single story structures of one room or several adjoining circular rooms separated off from one another by curtains or hanging tapestries.

Temples are constructed on a much larger scale and are built exclusively of stone. They may take the natural rise of a hill as their central foundation, around which one or more galleries will circle.

Housing Edit

Typical rural and village housing consists of single story, single room circular structures with approximately an eighteen foot radius, yielding a living space of around 260 square feet, though some homes in wealthier cities like Rivah frequently have as long as a thirty foot diameter and approximately 700 square feet internal space. More commonly, instead of constructing one large circular space, several smaller rooms are built. These may be adjoined in rows, semicircles, or full circles, or elsewise constitute several separate, proximal buildings. In general, Northern, Central, and Southern Vahim Regaad homes are conjoined, while those in the West are built separately. The most common formation for the laity is one to two room homes; if there are two rooms, they will separated such that one is a communal living space, and the other smaller chamber sleeping quarters for the heads of the family. Homes tend to be low in height, such that a tall person might have to stoop when entering.

Homes are constructed with thick clay and stone walls that may be over two feet thick at the base. Often, stone slabs are stacked one on top of another in layers. It is extremely common to combine this with rammed earth and to cover the stone with clay; in some parts of the South, West, and Center, and much of the lower East, buildings may be constructed entirely of rammed earth, in which damp lime or chalk is compressed to build a solid earthen wall on top a stone foundation. Dampened materials are poured into an externally supported framework, which, when the walls are clamped together in iterative sections, compresses the wet earth to fifty percent its original width. The resulting rammed earth structures are thermally massive, noncombustible, strong, and durable, but are labor-intensive to construct. To avoid water damage, Southerners along the rivers dig gutters and drainage systems to draw waters away from the house.

Windows are rare and never large because the weight of the walls would make large windows unstable; doorways are covered over by a hanging rug. The indoors are consequently quite dark, receiving light from the fire in the center of the room and any yak butter candles lit inside. If there are multiple chambers within the home, each of those rooms in turn are divided by a hanging rug or curtain.

On top of the houses, cockatrices build their nests, lining the edges of the flat walls with a ring of stones, clay, and dried plants. It is not uncommon for cockatrice guano to drip down from the tops of the roofs.

Generally, homes are spaced approximately twenty to fifty feet from each other in villages, but are adjacent and almost touching in larger cities. City streets curve around homes and follow along the natural incline and curves of the settlement's hilly ground.

Religious structures Edit

Temples are constructed from stone; larger slabs may be used, set together tightly, and carved with murals and religious inscriptions both on the inside and outside of the religious structure. The center of the temple is frequently built on a hill or natural local earthen incline; a terraced pyramid will be built on top it, with covered chambers on the top for the most important and intimate religious ceremonies and procedures. Around the temple in a ring will be built at least one gallery; the innermost gallery will consist of a thick collonaded wall with several rooms inside it, and will circle the pyramid and several vestibular structures. A second ring may encompass an even larger area, which will be more open and contain fewer and less important vestibular structures. People will be able to walk on top the galleries between periodically placed dome structures, near which will line a set of stairs.

The precise layout of the temple, as well as the purpose of the vestibular structures and innermost pyramidal rooms, varies per deity. In general, the rooms on top of the pyramid are sanctioned for prayer and communion with the god, where ceremonies will be performed to access the deity and pay homage to her or him. The vestibular structures of the innermost ring will contain important ceremonial artifacts and chambers for permanent resident worshippers. In the outer layer of the temple, between the outermost and innermost walls, may be located a library and lodging for temporary temple visitors.

Taranvor palace Edit

The Xhadouk palace in Taranvor is constructed akin to the temples, and bears a mirror image to the nearby temple of Taranvor, Temvah.

Furnishings Edit

Most furnishings are low to the ground and laid on the floor on carpets. They are laid around a stove which is placed in the center of the room.

Floors are typically covered in rugs, woven from yak wool. Yaks grow a fine layer of coarse down underneath their outer hair; the hardy material can be used to craft ropes, cockatrice saddles, blankets, wall hangings, and various rugs. Rugs include large carpets of general use to be laid on the floor of the homes; round dinner mats upon which to place the family meal; individual dinner mats for individuals to place their soup bowls; seating mats; and sleeping carpets, usually no larger than four and a half by seven feet long. Nearly every home contains all these forms of rugs, though seating mats are reserved primarily for the lower classes, being as upper classes will sit on cushions.

The walls of the house are lined with fabrics and wall hangings, some of them very large. Dyes for both wall hangings and carpets are limited, but reds, browns, greys, blues, yellows, and greens are available from plants like nuts and madder, and are used to make the interior of the house as bright as possible. Each weave is done in intricate designs, combining curling, circular geometric patterns with artistic depictions of mythological, religious, or legendary scenes.

In addition to rugs, wall hangings, and cushions, homes contain bowls and pottery crafted from clay. Ceramics are elegantly formed, detailed in religious motifs, and black in color; they are crafted by hand, dried in the sun, then stacked in a careful pile and fired. Unglazed black pottery is treated with a mixture of barley powder and yogurt whey to detoxify and seal the surface inside the pots.

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