Who are you?
I am Gorgyi Denarovic, Captain of the Boyar's Hetmen.
Who are we?
We are loyal soldiers of the Boyar, Hetman cavalry devoted to our lord. We are citizens of our great and noble mother country, Vaarta.
What makes us great?
Our land is ancient, our ways have been handed down from father to son for centuries. We are the greatest horsemen in the world, proud warriors, strong and bold. Our God is with us and our sabers are sharp.
What is the difference between men and women?
It is a woman's duty to look after her husband and his house. It is a man's duty to protect his mother country, to direct those beneath him and to serve God. Women are weaker than men, and their souls are not as pure, but it is our duty as men to give them guidance and to pity them for their innate faults.
Where do we live?
We live in the halls of our Boyar, within the walls of the strong Evronski Keep. The Hetmen's Hall is next door to the great-spired church, our own humble building seems small by comparison to the glory of God. We have family quarters, but soon you will move into the barracks where you will live with your comrades in arms until you find a good woman to marry.
How do we live?
We are allowed a share of the game that is the preserve of our Boyar, so we feast well on venison when we can, also boar and game birds when the season is right. Not for us the beet soup of the peasant unless times are lean. Our bread is dark and moist and we drink the finest vodka.
My wife, your mother, beloved Visina, makes many of our clothes on her own loom, including this fine cloak of mine. She is a marvel at design - notice the geometric reindeer pattern she has sown into this.
For sport we hunt with our Boyar, or play the horseback games of our forefathers. We dance and sing to the music of the balalaika. We stand ready to take up arms, whether to follow the Khazar to war against Tlaxu or the Empire, or to defend the peasants from a marauding tusk-cat
What is my lot in life?
You will learn horsemanship like a true Hetman. Already I see you are skillful in the saddle, doing well against your friends in the pig-sticking contests and able to kneel in the saddle. You will take vows before God to serve the Khazar and his Boyars.
Who rules us?
The country is ruled by the Khazar, but Evronski is ruled by Boyar Magrovic in his name. Yod Uri, a wise old man, is the highest standing member of the Church locally.
What makes a man great?
To show great skill as a hetman, to win glory in battle and yet remain humble before God. You must never forget that our country is vast, much bigger than a single man, and the greatest amongst us have been those who have shown humility and adhered to the way of Markam.
What is evil?
Kebel the Deceiver plants wicked thoughts in the minds of men and tries to lead them from the path of righteousness with temptations of the flesh. It is a sin to deny the pre-eminence of God and to worship false idols. It is wrong to deft the laws of the Khazar and the Church.
How do we deal with others?
Outsiders are wicked and unclean heretics who must be taught the true ways of God by word or by the sword. Women and peasants are weaker than us, and we should try to protect them.
Who are our enemies?
The Empire is a louche nation of sinful and lazy people, with no clear faith and no moral path in life. They tried to invade us once, but they were too weak to succeed. They are typical of the decadent outsiders.
The Tlaxu are closer than the Empire, but they are more like beasts and so lack the will to threaten us. Nevertheless they are wicked creatures and you would be doing one a favour by putting them down.
Who are our gods?
We have but one god, the True God, Creator of All. To build a bridge between Himself and his creations, he sent his sons. We revere one son, Markam, as provider of truth and wisdom but the other, Kebel, sought to defy his divine father and spoil what he had made.
The Saints and the Church Fathers are also to be revered. St. Iantash formed the Church as we know it and kept the Word of Markam. St. Zandrei helped protect Vaarta from the Empire. There are many others recorded in the holy books of the Church.