Today the free dromans are a happy, content people. Their lives are neither easy nor comfortable and they do not lead carefree lives – but they are free. Every droman born free learns of how important this legacy is, and of the hundred of years that the dromites as a race were enslaved. Among the dromans, there are many Society Minds and through the leadership of these communal individuals, the race is joined into a collective understanding, sometimes called a Hive Mind by outsiders. This, however, is not the case with the dromans. To a droman, the concept of a hive mind is almost frightening, for individuality is an extension of freedom, and within a hive mind there is no individuality.
In addition to their love of freedom, bolstered by what they had been taught by the individualistic orcans, the dromans believe in democracy as the highest form of government. In their democracy, every voice is carried over the worldthought networks to the elected Consort, the leader of the hive. Each hive has a single female, called the Queen, but each year the dromans elect a new Consort who acts as representative leader of the hive and has the privilege of siring new dromites with the Queen. This means both that there is diversity in who sires new children, as well as in leadership. No single dromite can hold the position of Consort in a hive for more than two years, a rule instituted to ensure that the dromans would be free from slavery both to others, and to their own kind.
Droman society is based around the Castes, each has its own subculture and place in the larger droman culture, and the choice of which Caste to join is an important one for an adolescent droman. Unlike what many believe, the dromans aren’t born into a Caste, rather they are imprinted’ with one as they grow into adults. This imprinting is dependent on what caste the majority of people the young droman interacts with during his teen years. This means that as they enter their teen years, a droman must choose which Caste to belong with for the rest of their life. This imprinting is psionic in nature, activating dormant powers in the young dromite, powers which they must learn to use before becoming an adult.
Those few people of other races who join the dromans are also asked to choose a caste and are treated in almost all aspects as true dromites. They have an equal say in votes and equal rights except when it comes to breeding. A non-dromite cannot ever become Consort, because this position is tied into the promulgation of the dromite species at large. But besides this, all creatures are welcome to become members of a hive, regardless of birth. This is also evident in their naming practices, where a droman present themselves with their caste first and individual name last.
Major Geographic Features
Surra Vale is the site of five of the large, almost mountain-like spires, which are the home of the dromans on Tion and a smattering of smaller spires. Surra was the first major area to be settled by the newly arrived dromans, suffciently far away from the Sommaran tribes. Surra Vale lies just south of the Eternal Desert in an area protected from both by two mountains that turn into rolling hills around the vale. Here the dromans were free to pursue their own destiny, away from those who would integrate them into new societies without their approval. Surra Vale is crisscrossed with subterranean tunnels that interconnect the entire area and all major spires, often passing through the smaller ones. Most of the area is irrigated and under heavy agricultural development – it is important for the dromans to be free in all aspects of life, including relying on others for the necessities of life. The mountains are home to a number of nests – the equivalent of work camps for the dromans – places where members of all hives come to work on a common goal; in this case mining the mountains for ore, silver, gold, gems, crystals and anything else of use. The stones are also processed in an almost industrialized fashion to provide for more building material to the spires.
The Underground River was frst found by a number of dromans tunneling westwards in an effort to create a subterranean trade path which could provide safe transit for droman traders. This river begins in the far west somewhere in the Spearclaw Mountains before going underground and exiting at Silver Lake in the east. Its entire passage from the mountains to the lake is made through underground caverns and tunnels and the dromans have taken to using the river for both transportation and colonization. Smaller hives follow the entire river underground, forming in he larger caverns where there is plenty of fish and mushrooms to feed a colonization effort. The settlers have perfected a form of “floating egg” transporters. Using fire hardened clay covered with the extremely tough hide of the dark mantles that infest these tunnels; these foating eggs are packed with food, items or pure ore and thrown into the river. After some time these eggs surface at each settlement downstream until they make it to Silver Lake. At times they are marked with different runes, a kind of address, to show where they are supposed to be picked up (some settlements send food or ore downstream to be processed before sending it towards Silver Lake).
Silver Lake – The first war for the dromans in Tion was fought against a group of Nimotei settlers at Silver Lake – the dromans saw this as an invasion of “their lands” even though they had no settlements aboveground at Silver Lake. The war lasted for almost a year as the dromans focused their attention on Silver Lake, driving the settlers away, one village at a time, until they had killed or driven them all away. At that point, the dromans offered peace terms to the Nimotei who grudgingly accepted, but things were strained for a long time between the two cultures before stabilizing. Today Silver Lake is the second most important area after Surra Vale. Here three major droman hivespires reach towards the sky, perched close to the lake which is the life of the area. Silver Lakers extend their infuence to most of the settlers at the Underground River and the many guilds who oversee trade and production are spread throughout this area. Silver Lake is a hotbed of boats and rafts circling the river exit area picking up the foating eggs and transporting them to the correct hive. The lake is also studded with hundreds of smaller fishing boats, providing the hives with much of the food they need during the year.
Freedom Hive – The frst hive settled and built was formed by all the newcomers as a fortress against the unknowns of their new home, Freedom Hive is situated on the eastern coast, just south of the Eternal Desert. Unlike most of the other hives on Tion, Freedom Hive is not formed like a spire reaching for the sky, but looks somewhat like an orb half-buried in the earth. All entrances to Freedom Hive are situated in smaller orbs about half a mile out from the city – each entrance opening into a long tunnel before exiting inside the hive. This is a purely defensive creation, meant to allow the dromans half a mile of grueling attacks on outsiders trying to force their way through. The same can be said about the general hive structure, it is built by thick stone and reinforced in places with iron girders, only opening up into thin murder slits for archers and energy rays. Inside, the hive is divided into multiple levels, each level only being accessible through a central nave which is easily defendable. Most dromans who live here are trained warriors, regardless of their caste and it was Freedom Hive who supported the war at Silver Lake with hundreds of soldiers when the war effort began.