Tuesday, September 4, 2018

More People of the River

So last it was the Rowing People, now here are some other peoples of the river Sargal and the Altai. Like last time, each group has a gift from their guardian spirits which PCs could, in theory, gain access to being being initiated in to that group.

The Orluk:

Mother Huldra bore one child. A child with brown fur and beady black eyes. A long-necked child with dark whiskers. A strong jawed child. A clever child. A child with sharp teeth and a short tail. A child who grew up fast and was first of the Orluk. She is named Saumo and she is very old. Saumo’s children tend to fields of flax and cultivated water reeds. They wear clothing of dried and woven reeds which don't get heavy in the water, a useful trait.They drape themselves in heavy woolen cloaks in the cold months. The well to do wear fine fur hats and tightly fit linen vests, men and women both. The men have beards of thick, bristly whiskers.

Nicholas Kole made this by the way
Imagine this but with a more human face, hands, feet, and a greater hatred of eels

Every useful herb, every sweet-smelling fruit, every medicine root, and every use for river reeds is known to them. They live everywhere. Most settlements in the lower and middle river have Orluk enclaves but the largest Orluk communities are up the river Altai where domes of wood with mud bases sit on the river bank. These houses have an underwater entrance for escaping during wartime and for children to swim in through. The Orluk travel the rivers in small leather canoes or on the backs of Monster Toads, which they have domesticated. The toads drag cargo in water proofed leather bags as they frog-kick down the river. Orluk clans are large and closely woven, membership is passed down matrilineally. Some Orluks live like nomads on the river, only settling down for winter with the nearest cousin when its time for the toads to hibernate under the mud. There are secret handshakes and mundane rituals clan members use to identify themselves to their relatives on the other side of the river. Three clans control the trade in iron, extracted from the bogs around the Altai, and have entered an uneasy alliance. They indulge in Besharan spices and Voichean tapestries but live in fear of each other. Each clan has separately decided to store their money in the belly of a fat swamp troll who is muzzled, de-clawed, and heavily guarded. To get the coin out, a troll-cutting knife is needed. The Orluk clan-mothers gather together at the beginning of summer to honor Mother Huldra. They stand in the shallow river and hold hands and cover themselves in water lilies. This ritual was taught to the Orsuk by the Pike-Eye clan, but the Rowing People cannot understand Mother Huldra, they only understand salt and rhythm and blood. Mother Huldra is not the river Sargal. She is not the Altai. She is the whole waterway, every stream and reservoir between the two seas. She is the spine of the world. The Altai and western Sargal are her shoulder blades. All other things are just extensions of her. Every summer she exhales and as she draws in breath again winter begins. We are low before her.
The Orluk consider the River Folk a delicacy, their flesh is so greasy and muscular.

Guardian Sprits: Mother Huldra, Swift-Swimmer Saumo, The Lily-Witch, The Frog God

Languages: Orluk, Trade Talk
Speed 25ft, Swim 20ft
-Can hold their breath for an hour 
-Gain advantage on all nature checks relating to the Meager Country
-May move 5ft once a round as a free action without provoking opportunity attacks

Spirit Boon: Become immune to charm effects and life draining effects while wearing a crown of water lilies plucked at twilight. Once the blooms wilt, the effect ends.

Image result for otter
You've sunk your last boat, pirate

The River Folk:

They look like huge black eels with two spindly arms where their fins should be. They have four fingers, their chests bulge uncomfortably when breathing air, and their striking yellow eyes are closer together than an eel’s should be. They spawn in the sea and make their way up the river Sargal as they grow. The farther up the river you go, the larger the River Folk. They do not care for their young. They form small groups of equals called pits, short for eel pits. Pits live in underwater burrows together and compete with other pits for resources. Pits of stronger River Folk make the members of weaker pits fight each other to the death for the right to join them.

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Fear our slick sisters of the river
 The River Folk make short trips inland to gather wood and other materials. Sometimes they build small hovels of mud on the river’s edge to store supplies or for making smoked fish. The River Folk dress themselves with jewelry made of clam shells and with crude leather clothing usually made from horse hide. The River Folk are expert scavengers, they scour ship wrecks for useful materials, like iron nails and sailcloth. They also make shipwrecks. They attack boats at night, plunging hooks into their sides and pulling oars into the water. Sometimes they’ll follow sinking boats for miles. The older pits have learned how to make a flammable, sticky substance called eel jelly. It burns when wet. There is nothing more terrifying than a ring of fire appearing around your ship at midnight. The River Folk believe they were the world’s first people before the land was raised and legged creatures were born upon it.

Guardian Sprits: The Eel with 18 Coils, The Undertow Goddess, Mother Huldra, the Fisher of Men

Languages: HIIIESH
Speed 20ft, Swim 45ft
-Amphibious, can breath water and air for 12 hours at most
-Can move at full speed while crawling without being slowed by difficult terrain and without provoking opportunity attacks
-Slippery when wet, checks made to grapple River Folk are made at disadvantage and they gain advantage on saving throws against effects which would restrain them

Spirit Boon:
-Can eat a pearl wrapped in water weeds to start producing a thick mucus from their skin, which grants resistance to fire damage, +1 AC, and keeps the skin moist. This lasts for a day.

Image result for eel person
The Limber Folk
Like ghosts they stand, tall and thin, among the spindly birches or the mighty pines. Everything about them is lanky and dry. Their hair is like summer hay in texture and color, they all prefer to keep it loose around their shoulders. When they are born, their skin is a light magenta, sometimes tinged with blue. As they age, their flesh becomes darker and harder. By 45, most have skin the color and thickness of tree bark and deep wrinkles. This is considered extremely ugly and disgusting. A few get lighter as they age, but their skin begins to thin and eventually peels off. Their thick, brownish blood, drips down their peeling skin and becomes hard as amber. This is considered very beautiful. The Limber Folk keep stout ponies, cattle with thin horns, and big flightless birds with brown feathers and good singing voices. Beyond this, and a great respect for mothers, the different groups of Limber Folk share little.

Speed 30ft
-Ignore difficult terrain created by vegetation and shallow water
-Treat half cover created by vegetation as three quarters cover
- Limber People gain +1 AC as natural armor for every 10 years they age over 15
-Thick Blood, advantage on all constitution saving throws

The Untamo:
The forests of the Untamo are dark and swampy. They build halls with long sloping roofs and wooden shacks on the banks of mossy lakes and among swampy stands of trees. They remember themselves as tall and mighty in an age long forgotten before famine and disease were invented, the age of Heroes and of Long Stanzas. They clear swampland to let their animals graze and grow their few crops, wheat and barley, upon. Their most treasured animal is a sheep with wool like silk. However, all the fabrics they wear are scratchy and dry, but this doesn’t bother them. The Untamo are masters of woodwork. They weave shoes, baskets, and backpacks out of birch bark and can build a boat without a nail. They still know ironwork though and the richest among them wear twisting copper jewelry. The Untamo are not well organized. Families live far apart in their own halls and come together for festivals, weddings, trade, and war.

File:Halonen Vainamoinen.jpg
Tell us how the world was born (Artist)

They have no kings or chiefs in the traditional sense. Authority is usually derived from age and experience, or from wealth in a pinch. Untamo shamans are called Singers. They remember the Long Stanzas, the record of the Untamo from the beginning of time and before it. By recalling the origin of a thing it can be controlled, if the right song is sung, the right magic words are used. The trees will bend to he who knows the story of how the world was made fertile. The wounds will close of she who knows how Oli Maki discovered iron. The greatest singers can make the spirits weep and sing flesh to wood, water to honey, and sand to grain. When a pair of twins is born, they are given to the nearest Singer to be instructed in the Stanzas. They will close their eyes, intertwine their hands, and recite the entire history of the Untamo in the darkness. Friend of Deep Waters came first and sung first, he planted seeds from which the Limber Folk sprung. He was born older than old. Oli Maki invented the forge and made the sky. The two had many adventures in that glorious age when starvation was unknown and men only made war for sport. The Blind Witch ended this age, jealous was she of the wonders of Oli Maki’s forge. The most sacred space of the Untamo are the Spirit-Trees, silvery birches which rise from the swamp floor. The most important festivals are held here. Each Spirit-Tree has, in the past, produced disks of Silver Chain and sheets of Sky Metal. Silver Chain armor is made by threading fiber or sinew through the perfectly square holes of each disk. Friend of Deep Waters left these for his people, the disks are etched with prayers for good fortune in his ancient language. Sky Metal is a dark purplish red color. It is incredibly hard yet flexible. This armor is treated with great reverence and only the most respected warriors may don it. Though the heroes of the past receive the most reverence, bear worship is becoming more common, and the abandoned spirits of the Hisvek are finding new worshipers among the Untamo.

Guardian Spirits: Friend of Deep Waters, Oli Maki the Primaeval Craftsman, Ahto the Sword-Singer, Uulou the Honey Eater, Rainbow Maiden, Water Mother, Sky Father

Languages: Limber Language
-Can be cured of all diseases and spiritual ailments (possessions, life drain, ect) by spending three days straight in a sauna without food or water

His songs are stronger (Artist)

The Lapuans:
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What an age it was (Artist)
They are just barely people of the Meager Country, the Untamo have been pushing them northward as far as memory goes. A few clans have gone full bore and traveled far north as one can go. The Droven call them Reindeer Riders and are terrified by them. The majority of the Lapuans can be found north of the Altai or between the Uulung mountains. They are semi-nomadic. They build foundations of stacked stones and bury supplies in pits, then circle round between these camps the whole year round. Some tribes only have a summer and winter camp, they raise honeybees and grow crops like the Untamo. Unlike their arctic brothers, the Lapuans of the Meager Country just have their ponies to ride on, though they’re starting to catch onto this reindeer thing. Lapuan shamans are few and far between. They are outcasts rather than pillars of their communities. They can control the forces of disease and lay mighty curses on those who upset them. A word from the shaman’s mouth can be enough to shred your being into its five constituent parts. The phrase “crawl back to your mother’s womb” is greatly feared. The Lapuans maintain that it was The Blind Witch of the North who made the Limber Folk out of tree sap and snow and that the fault for ending the age of Long Stanzas (or the age before ages, as the Lapuans call it), lies with Friend of Deep Waters for trying to steal Oli Maki’s Engine after he could not have the hand of Rainbow Maiden in marriage. Maybe if he could keep his lusts to himself, the Blind Witch would never have had to give birth to the 9 Plagues.

Guardian Sprits: The Blind Witch of the North, Rainbow Maiden, The Lone Shepard, The 9 Plagues, The Mischievous One

Languages: Limber Language 
-Can easily call a spirit of the North Wind by burning a pine branch, a handful of snow, and a drop of blood. The spirit will swirl around the one who's blood was offered to it and give them resistance to cold damage. The spirit can be dismissed as bonus action. This creates a mighty gust of wind, all creatures within 25ft of the spirit's controller must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone. Torches are snuffed out, water and food freezes. If not dismissed this way, the spirit will stay for half a day.  

The Lair of the Lynx by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, 1906

New Items:
A Jar of Eel Jelly. A small clay pot with a cork inserted through the center. One half is jelly, the other is water. If the jar is successfully thrown at an enemy, they are covered with ignited eel jelly. At the start of their turn, they take 1d8 fire damage. They may use an action to attempt a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw to get the sticky jelly off.

Silver Chain Armor. Heavy Armor, 17 AC, 13 STR, only takes up 6 inventory slots

Sky Metal Plate. Medium Armor, 18 AC, only takes up 4 inventory slots

Toad Whistle. Made of river reeds folded just so. Blow it and all frogs and toads within 120ft will be alerted and hop toward you. Blow it for longer than 10 seconds and all frogs and toads within 120ft will flee you.

This post is dedicated to Chris L'Etoile, who never responded to my email

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