'Seen as common manual workers, the Volka are often branded cowards who would rather till a farm or work in a mine than one who would stand up for themselves. As a result other Amaranthains, especially the Firas, look upon them with little respect.
Similar to the Amaranth, very little is known about them, though their culture is surprisingly deep and rich. Whilst their skill with tools is noted often, very few people realise that this equates beyond manual labour. Volka can lend themselves to anything from artistic endeavours to using their tools a weapons in combat - a Volka charging with a logging axe is a sight that may not instill much fear, but that is generally a misconception people would make only once.'
~Bloodlines, a primer
The Volka is the blanket term for multiple cultural groups native to the realm of Amaranthine, and includes such derivative cultures as the Zapada, Calator and Sincer racial groups. Each share a common language and to a certain extent, genetic similarities.
The Zapada Volka inhabit the Northern reaches of Amaranth, far removed from the modern hustle and bustle of Locke. Many still live in remote, icy locations - at home among the trees and snow.
The Zapada take pride in their strength and ability to hunt. In common culture, much emphasis is placed on a man's ability to work and sacrifice for his family, equal emphasis is placed on the woman's inguenity and ability to make the most of impossible conditions. Zapada do not fall into the trappings of pride, believing that a humble person is preferable to a braggart, regardless of skill.
Despite this emphasis on strength and close familial ties, the Zapada have inherited the Volka predisposition to avoid conflict with their fellow man. Their hunts are limited to what is needed to survive and rarely tend towards greed.
The Calator Volka, like all Volka, originally hail from the descendents of Ariamis. Not content to forge a new life in new lands, the Calator travel in temporary camps in a vague attempt to relocate their lost homeland. While many openly admit that such a cause is lost, the de facto leaders of these camps often truly believe their homeland may be recovered.
Calator tend to be opportunistic but mostly honest. While their official moral code (derived from the Ariamis Codex, one of the few true relics left) has a strong stance against theft and instigating trouble with locals, these rules have been known to bend if individuals deem it 'necessary'. That said, Calator rarely cause harm to each other, believing that their travelling bands only exist through their shared heritage and strong bonds.
Calator Volka put great emphasis on story-telling, art, music and shrewd trading skills. This stems from a reverence for their lost culture and the realistic needs of travelling folk.
More xenophobic than other Volka groups, Calator are not openly hostile to visitors, but are wary and distrustful of those they do not know well. However, once trust is gained, Calator become stalwart and welcoming.
In contrast to the other main racial groups of the Volka, the Sincer seem uncultured and not at all close to their brethren. This seems to be due to the Sincer's belief in the honesty of toil and relatively small settlements.
The Sincer embody the common view of Volka in Amaranth - honest workers, self-sufficient people and a fearsome foe if wronged. Most Sincer live and work in small farming communities, sharing toil and profit equally, switching and assigning roles as needed.
As mentioned, their culture and heritage is less rich than the Zapada and Calator groups and in a sense - the Sincer care about folklore, but rarely put much effort into glorifying it.
Sincer Volka are partisian by nature and shy away from conflict but will defend to the death their families and friends, even going as far as to band communities together into peasant militias. Each Sincer is first and foremost a member of the group and an individual second, they are willing to work and sacrifice for common good or survival.
Rarely seen in Amaranth due to their highly xenophobic nature - the 'True Volka' (known amongst themselves as just 'Volka') chose not to mingle with the outside world after their exodus from Ariamis.
The True Volka cling to the old ways to a much more fervent and honest degree than the Calator. Of all the Volka to leave Ariamis, these were the last - it is sometimes theorised that they did not leave the city in time to avoid the calamity, instead waiting the disaster out underground. While this would explain their pre-disposition to working underground, it is largely unprovable due to their extreme xenophobia, even to other Volka.
The True Volka boast a mastery of mining and architecture. The few outsiders who have seen the Hollow marvel at the size, beauty and wondrous creations contained within.
The cultural and genetic precursor for all Volka, the Aria Volka originally hailed from Ariamis, the missing city of legend. While the fog of history has descended on their true origin, it is believed that all racial groups of the Volka left Ariamis in a mass exodus; popular theories suggest supernatural happenings, natural disaster or political upheaval as the reason for this.
This should no means be considered an exhaustive list of the Volka social and cultural groups, these are merely the most common in Amaranth. Some Volka have been known to travel overseas and begin new cultures on other continents, others have integrated into other bloodlines over many generations.
All Volka share a common heritage; their bloodline descends directly from the inhabitants of Ariamis.