The Westmen & The Warlords of Nod
Thousands of years ago, the tribe of men that have come to be known as Westmen settled the continent of Nod. They were powerful warriors and magic-users. At first there was peace, but then there was a great Civil War between Warlord Houses for contested land and resources as they discovered abandoned Ancient Cities. The greatly dwindling population due to how the war ravaged the supplies of alchemies that ensured the survival of Men, in combination with casualties and other horrors that were unleashed by delving into the Labyrinths. During this time the Messiah -- the Holy Mother -- was born and matured, instituting the Order that exists today through "The Second Book of the Law" and her original 12 Disciples -- the First Saints. During this Great War, many Westmen sought refuge with another tribe of Men far to the east, the Hassan -- leading to a degree of intermingled cultures.
The Warlords are organized into large families with histories and treasured family names -- the names of the original Warlords -- to this day. "Warlord" is the old name for these families, the modern term is "Overlord" or "Overseer" as they have been charged with managing the land of the Parishes through the "Second Book of the Law."
Most of these Warlords were males and the near-extinction of Westmen and Hassan peoples during this period is cited in "The Second Book" as a lesson for the dangers of unbalanced sexual dominance. The Immortal Mother demanded the obedience of the Warlords by evidencing that she was the Messiah -- the Mortal Incarnation of Sophia, Goddess of Creation, the Tripartate God. This is one of many mysteries lost to legend and history that took place during the Great War.
The appearance of Westmen is minimally sexually dimorphic. Men are effeminate with minimal facial hair. Women have minimal breast tissue and slender hips. Heights and weights are similar, women very slightly shorter and lighter on average. Complexion is pale. Men tend to develop ruddy patches in patterns that respond to increases in blood pressure or temperature. Overexposure to sunlight will cause sunburn, resulting in redness. Hair is straight-to-wavey, typically platinum-white, blonde, red/orange, strawberry-blonde. Eye color is pale-grey, blue-tones or green (especially with red hair). Freckles are rare, indicating Hassan ancestry. Westmen with some ancestry from the Hassan or Bantu tribes will have darker complexions, eye color and hair.
The music of Westmen includes shouting choruses, glossolaliac singers, string and percussion instruments. Singers are praised for their range of affect and variety of "No-Words" in their singing. Singing using real words is taboo -- a point of contention amongst Hassan and Westmen cultures, as Hassan songs are their verbal histories and legends. This is reinforced by the religion of the Immortal Mother in that words are considered to have Holy Power and should not be used in the pursuit of trivial things. The four traditional instruments are the Standard Drum (leather stretched over wood and played by hand or hammer), the Iron Drum (a concave plate of iron that is played with specialized hammers), the Hand Bass (a one to three string standing bass), and the Hammer Bass (a bass laid horizontally and played with flexible wooden sticks).