A Land of Dinosaur and Human Cooperation

Four Cultures

There are four vastly different societies within the borders of Materia. Those of the Nation of Materia, the Flyer Guilds, and the less formal organization of the “traditionalist” pelaons who are also at times incorrectly called “ferals.” In addition, a fourth culture generally referred to as “Swimmers” are more mysterious and live under the surface of the ocean waters.

Each of these groups have their own traditions, government structure and ways of living and looking at the world and their place in it. One of the only similarities between the four is a shared primary religion, although humans have a wide variety of their own religious beliefs. The Nation is the only society in which humans are common and thus the only group which most humans would view as civilized.

Click on one of the society groups to the right to learn about that society.

Continue reading below to learn about their interactions and the religious beliefs all four share.

Society Interactions

These four societies must interact as they share the landscape. The Nation of Materia attempts to keep peace with all others, however the Purists and the Guilds seek to interact with what they call “humanized” communities only as often as is necessary. Swimmers are more open to dialogue and cooperation, but communication can be a challenge.

The Flyer Guilds will make individual service agreements with nearby communities or individuals to provide services on rare occasion. These can include escorting trade carts, carrying messages, patrolling for threats, and search & rescue. This is often offered in exchange for food, medical assistance or refined and cast or forged metals which the flyers use for decorating.

Swimmers control the waters but little is known about them. They can understand most languages and are usually friendly and generous, but keep to themselves. Despite understanding land-based species, swimmers communicate in negotiations mainly through body language. They do have vocal languages of their own however no reliable translations have yet been made.


There are many religions across Materia. Most pelaon and some humans follow the teachings of Ruuk which is explained below. Most of the remaining religions are practiced primarily by humans with occasional pelaon followers. Of these there are too many to list and some are believed to have common ancestry in Aert.

There are no formal originating documents or “holy book” for the beliefs of Ruuk, and the oldest known references are in cave drawings in the southern mountains. Much of the beliefs and practices were verbally communicated until more recent generations when scholars and priests began to write these oral traditions.

The religion’s namesake deity is said to be the father of all species. The followers of Ruuk believe that he came from the stars and formed all of the species from the sea floor and then ascended to the sky to become the sun and watch over the daytime activities of his creations. His mate became the largest of the moons and his three offspring became the smaller moons.

Early cave art depicting Ruuk, his mate and his three offspring being worshiped by a group of dinosaurs.

Ruuk is often depicted as a winged tyrannosaurus with four forward-pointing horns projecting from above and below his eyes and one centered horn projecting forward from his bottom jaw, the three sets of horns differing in size from longest at top to short at the bottom.

Worship involves dusk gatherings each clear day where participants gather at an open area or temple to watch the sunset and sing a song of thanks to Ruuk for providing another day and to wish him a good night. During poor weather, these gatherings do not take place and many followers use the time to reflect on their deeds believing there is a reason Ruuk does not wish to see or hear them that day.

Cities have temples dedicated to Ruuk and smaller temples are constructed in larger towns as well. Priests reside in these temples and have memorized all legends and teachings passed down from their predecessors, offering wisdom from the teachings and telling the stories and legends related to the beliefs to all who attend the temple. Offerings of food are brought to the temple, especially during winter months or periods of poor weather, as it is believed that taking care of the religion’s priests will improve one’s standing with the deity.

Due to the legend regarding Ruuk’s mate and children becoming the four moons, they are seen as symbols of innocence and fertility and are often represented in jewelry. Each solar or lunar eclipse is treated as a grand holiday with pageants and feasts in honor of the family reunion. Eclipses involving the largest of the moons and the much rarer eclipses in which multiple moons touch the sun are given far larger festivals while transits of one moon across another by themselves are cause for lesser festivals.