The Morturii metalsmiths are famous for forging beautiful and deadly long-knives from the prized black iron native to the Byzantur hills. Even in the armies, the sword is not a popular weapon in Nemerl, and the longest knife of anysoldier would be approximately the length of a short ceremonial sword. The Morturii have a large standing army to compliment a frugal existence and to protect their thriving slave trade, but they also consist of merchants, sailors, fishermen, and craftsmen. There is little arable farmland north of Sondek, and Ankar subsists almost wholly on trade from Minh and the foreign merchant ships that ply the harbor in the late summer and early fall. They also do a brisk business with the port
cities of Volkovoi and Arbyss across the Channel.Morturii women are reputed to be sorcerers and witches, and the Byzans believe this and keep a respectfulvdistance, but in truth, most of these ‘sorcerors’ are mere charlatans and Fate Dealer. By nature, the Morturii are haughty and aloof. There are no open hostilities between Morturii and any other country, and they worship Om-Ret, a snake goddess that is said to be a fey incarnation of Deva. Om-Ret is notoriously unforgiving of anyone breaking her many rules of conduct, and as a result the Morturii are rigid in nature and unforgiving of criminals, deserters, and all law-breakers.

Physically, they are tall, lanky, and rather plain looking, with golden-hued skin and hair coloring ranging from charcoal to reddish-brown. Their language is Falx, a guttural and difficult language with influences of Minh and Volstlander. Morturii families are patriarchal with a central male figure, usually the highest ranking, making all the family decisions and managing the finances. Children are the property of highest-ranking male in the extended family. Adults have only one legal spouse, but males can have many concubines. Indiscreet behavior in females -unless the woman is very high born and protected by her status - is illegal and a wife’s adultery is punishable by divorce and disownment.