“Why am I not the tranquil sea
On which your beams descend,
Where molten diamonds and fire
And milk and honey blend?
Alas, why am I not at least
That cold tomb of the dead,
On which your rays so tenderly
Their tears’ bright sadness shed?"
- Vardapet Armaght, “Sublime Radiance is your Face”, prayer to Sah
Bloodline from southern Svalos. Named after the legendary king Halraav, son of Mzura, the chief of Zkhetara (one of the first 36 clans), who founded the kingdom of Zkheta-Churevi in the Svalek Lowlands, unifying 7 clans into the confederation. Two of their clans have founded noble houses in the Serelskan Marshlands. The traditional position of their ‘Naxarar-Mets’ (great house) is that of Aspet, or Commander of the Cavalry. There has always been a rivalry between the Halraavi and the Srivli, the latter of which traditionally fields the Vardapet (Supreme Priest) – and the two houses represent polar views on Ovech theology. The Halraavi put ancestor worship higher than other gods in practice (thus maintaining a large pantheon), but nonetheless have always been associated with The Wolf, god of conquest and strength, and the element of metal. Other Halraav symbols include the Qalavrian pink lotus, the cup of Zarevand with a moon suspended above it, the three-headed white horse of Halraav, the Gilani lake-and-moon, the double-headed Sah, the triple bangles of Juxa, the peacock-fletched arrows of Arshavir, and the wolf clutching the lotus.
- Karaxanquri, the ruling family in Karavko. Descend from the house of Aršavīr, as well as the eldest line of Halrāv.
- Ravkturi of Patishxwarshahr, a major cadet house of Karaxānqurī
- Arzanivandī of Shadarvaz, descend from Čerašahī and a cadet line of Karaxānqurī. Kōčārī.
- Uzeri, of Uzherax, eldest line of the Arzanivandī. Mostly settled.
- Qoztaluri (Gosteli), of Haslau (Vanak), descend from Qoztalos, hence a cadet of Karaxanquri.
- Daradani, of Madevaxti. Descend from Bedrak-Shirvan.
- Churaluri, of Xwarshahr (Qelvarsh), descend from Armaɣt and Astɣar.
- Syashpahri(†) of Vanishtana, descend from Šah Syašpař; an ancestral house to the Xuragani and Ɣanbarvandī.
- Suqdanishvili, of Kazberdi, descend from Suqdān, daughter of Buraš.
- Churevi, of Bedragerd (Paqrakert), descend from Zanebelī, and hence the eldest line of Maŧikō.
- Xuragani(†) – previous nomadic Šahs. Minor rulers in the Gilani Dragoncrest.
- Shoxrani(†) of Ostberk, Shoqrani of Daqaur-Qalavria. Descend from Xuragani.
- Shoxrani of Qalavria, descendants of Vače, are called Vašīrišvilī.
- Dinashi(†) of Zreh-i-Vaxt, descendants of Halrāv’s eldest child Dinašvura, ancestors of Parnavaz, Anāhita’s first husband.
- Kulangōhri(†) of Hazardahyuvar, descendant’s of Anāhita’s second husband, a Čurevī man.
- Ghanbarvandi of Shadarvaz, descend from the younger line of Syašpař; heavily intermarried with the Xuragani.
- Vānaftī, a cadet house and powerful Kōčarī group.
- Mukhranuri of Guran, descended from Jūxa and Manōvča, eventually from the Čuralūrī and Srivlī.
- Leritsōvtī of Yušvakarta, descended from a bastard line of the Čuralūrī. Minor rulers in the Dragoncrest.
Historical Figures and Gods:
Note: Ancestor worship was practiced in the old days, and was the domain of nobility (priests were simply members of the Naxrar), and shamans contacted other spirits. After the Archonate-era reformations, these practices were banned and male fire-keepers became the only allowed priests. Hence of the below, only Srosh-Mihr-Rashn and arguably Haradvi are official. The others are still worshiped in the home or by those not in the Kingdom of Svalos.
- Haradvi, the aspect of Sah most worshiped by the Halraavi. Deity of running waters, purity, and rivers. Often depicted as overseeing the gifting of the ring of lordship (symbolizing Xwarnah) to rulers.
- Mihra, Srosha, Rashne, great fire spirits who serve as aspects of Ath. Represent Covenants, Conscience and Justice respectively. Mihr also bestows Xwarnah on rulers and is invoked in many rituals, especially tsatsloba. Srosha is associated with distribution of blood and family, and Rashne ‘enforces’ the other two.
- Tišŧrya (Tīr) – a shared ancestor with the Levraan, god of rainfall, sacrifices and fertility. His consort is a she-wolf, and Halraav is his eventual descendant. Thought to be a form of the Bear, the month of the Bear is named for him. Associated with sprahm and other fragrant flowers and herbs. His daughter is Ashi, charioteer-goddess and bestower of deserved rewards (spiritual and physical).
- Sisters Akrospuri, daughters of Ašī – guardians of places sacred to sah. associated with drought, storms and disease respectively. generally considered malevolent.
- Ushisha the Exile, the first Šah, patron of wayfarers and explorers. His grandson (with Yeravneh of the Levraan) is Sangara, god of stability, protector from earthquakes, and of architecture. He (or his ancestor Ašī) is considered the true “root” of the Dynasty.
- Yeravneh – Ušīša’s wife. She had 2 children by him, and 1 by Aramkō (son of Būzbar, who in Levrān legend was a mare) in sturīh.
- Bedrak-Shirvan ‘The Reformer’ – smithing and jewelry. Forges the ‘ring of kingship’. Descendant of the third child of Ushisha.
From the line of Saŋāra:
- Mathiko – wisdom and agriculture, patron of farmers, her daughter (with Cherga) is Zanebeli, goddess of valleys, fields, and flowers. Ancestor of many settled houses.
- Armaght ‘The Far-Seer’ – astronomy and mysticism; descendant of Mathiko. His children are the Churaluri, the high priests of Karavko. His consort is Astaghar, daughter of Sah, goddess of destiny, stars, and (romantic) love. The ‘star dance’ is named after her.
- Jukha, Eristav of Guran, famed for marrying a Kaji, a spirit with powers of metalworking named Samdzimari (‘Bangle-Wearing Woman), who leaves him when she is discovered by his mother; Jukha erected a shrine to her, and she is revered as a deity in Daqaur-Guran, who safeguards women. Jukha’s children are the Mukhranuri, rulers of Guran.
- Manovča Shoroyzhade, author of ‘The Zovinari’ – patron of history and epic poetry. His father Gurdztabrāxt had an illegitimate child, who went on to form the Leritsōvtī, which Jūxa would go on to fight, largely without success.
- Xushyot, a famous classical poet, associated with feasts and traditions of joy and revelry.
From the line of Tsiūrša:
- Tsiursha – protector of vinyards and burial grounds, associated heavily with moonlight, felines, and sah. A common ancestor to the Czerat house. Patron goddess of the Karaxanquri, from which their standard of the panther derives. Descendant of the second child of Ushisha.
- Arshavir ‘The Dragon of Zkheta’ – patron of horse-archers and protector of the dead. Husband of Mzia “green-of-eyes”, a protector of the hearth, giver of blessings to those faithful to their blood. The pair are generally referred to as the Draxtxvaday, (“dynasty-master”), due to their association with the protection of a lord. To invoke Srosh, the spirit of faithfulness, sacrifice is made in their name.
- Anayis (Anāhita) ‘Tareg-Anush’ (‘Of Sweet Words’) – patron of wayfarers and reconciliation. Wife of Parnavaz, who died at the hands of her grandfather Arshavir. Ironically, the Kulangōřī and Karaxānqūrī (descendants of her two husbands) fought bitterly for centuries, reconciled by the former’s complete extinction at the hands of the Anthoriel.
- Vrej ‘Asdvadzadur’ Halraavi, leader of the Great Serelskan Rebellion – patron of hunters and bringer of justice and revenge. A Karaxānurī.
- Qoztelos, founder of the Qoztaluri – masonry, mining and wealth
From the line of Mahāđen:
- Shalva, founder of the Pzchari, god of Lightning and fortune; prayers to him are offered against madness and despair.
- Mahāđen – Descendant of the first child of Ushisha, mother of Zadeni. While the other descendants of Ushisha settled down around her time, her descendants would remain nomadic. She married the Uskārdana, son of Šalva.
- Halraav – strength and honor, patron of cavalrymen. Younger brother of Varahran, he who smites resistance, ancestor of the Ceratis. The two along with Zadeni form the trio of war gods.
- Zadeni, Goddess of the hunt and prowess. Daughter of Shalva (founder of the Pzchari) who was sought after by Halraav’s son Ashodan. She kills him in a fit of anger, rides to Xwarshahr, where Armaght resides, and uses his powers to restore Ashodan to life. Associated with cloudless dawns. Grandmother of Zarevānt.
- Zarevant “Ahosharan” (The Deathless), a warrior who attained immortality by bathing in the moon’s bath. To do so, he later abducts a fire spirit from the great pyre at Ovtendurra; later using it to rekindle a bonfire for Midsummer. Killed in conflict with the Abshuri. The Shoxrani/Shoqrani princes of Qalavria and Daqaur claim descent from him, as did the Xuraghani.
- Baraš – son of Zarevand, inherited at a late age when Xvaraspa, his elder brother died in feud against the Čeratī – Baraš would choose to continue the feud, beginning the Lowlander-Naronese divide.
- Syašpař – Younger daughter of Baraš, sent into exile by the elder Suqdān, her 3 dozen followers would struggle for survival for generations. Centuries later, the Syašpařī became the first rulers of the Xuragani confederation, and of the dozens of rulers of this state, only one would not be her descendant.
- Frevāymǔɣ – A Xuragani salar who founded a short-lived kingdom. Uniting by marriage with the Čuralūrī, carved out a state in the eastern Red Plains in opposition to the Xuragani.
- Artadrafša – Granddaughter of Frevāymǔɣ. Rumored to be either insane or possessed. Initially siding with Artavardya II, the Xuragani king, in defeating Riverlander and Zhagur forces alike. Allying with Berabia against the Xuragani, the latter were defeated, and Artadrafša crowned Šah. The war weakened the Xuragani state, which soon collapsed due to Utheli migrations and Shuci revolts. During the chaos, she became arbitrary – Gil and Qalavria were ravaged so severely, that when her descendants were defeated by Artaškōv III of the Ghanbarvandi, they were given Qalavria as a place of exile. They would eventually recover, and form the Šōxrānī.
- Her second child, Xūrdruša, would found the Xagbānī – a nomadic clan who would aid Vače in his conquest of Qalavria, and be granted Kavsqarō.
- Nǐšahran – Nahapat of the Šōxrānī. Taking advantage of a weak Xuragani Šah, expanded domains into Vanak, vassalized Guran, and developed his principality into one capable of asserting independence. When he intervened in Šōqrānī politics, the Xuragani sent an army under the famed Vindađena to intercept and destroy the Qalavrian force. Nǐšahran ended up being captured in a chance run-in, and forced to marry his son to Srūbanak, sister of the Šah. The eldest child of this union was Mandana.
- Mandana Shoxrani – Last of the Daqauri Naxrars in Serelske, Nahapet of Ostberk (Xentsiberd), minor goddess of beauty, said to be the daughter of Tsiursha – fought Eirik during the Nylist expansion into Serelske.
- Vatche Halraavi – founder of the Vashirishvili – lawspeaking. After Mandana was defeated, only her child and two cousins survived. Living in exile in the Archonate, the Šōxrānī eventually regained their homeland, when the Anthoriel armies (led by Vindaxvarn – a Xuragani eunuch) won the First Moqolese War, distributing the land to the Šōxrānī. Vače was “forced” (legends vary) to marry Parvāneh, a Xagbānī, to avoid being married to an Oberon woman. His descendants are the Vashirishvili.
Many of these are worshiped as gods, often more fervently than the gods of the elements or Tzoha.