Cultures of Metal Age Kur

Copyright Peter Mork © 2015

Duwa

After centuries of experience skirmishing against the Vulfen, the Duwa-Pon grew increasingly militaristic. Eventually, they realized that it would be easier to conquer their coastal Duwa brethren than the Vulfen. So it was, that a great horde of Duwa riders swepts down from the highlands and established themselves as the “caretakers” of Kale-Met.

With this maneuver three key changes transpired. First, control of the plains was ceded to the Vulfen. Second, the Pon transferred agriculture (and many other technologies) to the lowlands. Third, and most tragically, it was the end of met.

The Pon renamed themselves the Duwa-Ron or saviors of all Duwa. The combination of the Ron's warrior tradition, their usurption of priestly responsibility, and their discovery of beast mastery allowed the Ron to establish Kale-Met as a formidable city state. They further established satellite cities along the coast, reaching nearly to Greatbridge. The leader of the Ron is known as the Ruler of the Earth, Lord of the Sun & Sky, and Steward of the Sea.

The remaining Duwa people were assimilated into a single culture group focused on farming. Near Kale-Met, these Duwa-Kor were free people. But, the further one traveled from Kale-Met, the more the Kor were enslaved.

Religion

The Duwa continue to believe that their ancestors’ spirits live among them in perpetuity (which is partially correct). These ancestors have lost any earthly desires—they simply exist. However, these spirits can be harnassed by shaman-priests for simple healing, light, and nature magic. Because the spirits are not thought to have personality, shaman-priests treat the spirits as tools, content to accept their own similar fate.

When a Duwa dies, their body is laid to rest in a passage tomb. In these tombs, the differences in life are set aside. Within these mounds, the spirits are likely to linger much longer than they might otherwise. (Legend claims that the greatest of these tombs actually fell from the sky; legend is probably more right than wrong.)

Specifically in Kale-Met, the Keeper of the Skins is the highest religious position. This individual is charged with preserving the prophecies of Gatlin, a collection of nearly 1000 short tales captured on cow hide as pictograms. The keeper is frequently used to prop up the Ron regime, but some keepers rebel against this role and endeavor to correctly interpret the prophecies.

Fears

All Duwa are terrified of murderous Vulfen or Undead descending on Duwa farms and cities. Secondarily, the Kor fear random acts of violence committed by their Ron overlords. Similarly, the Ron fear an uprising that would provide the aforementioned external threats with an opening. Perversely, the overriding fear is largely irrational; the Vulfen and Undead are unlikely to mount an offensive.

Duwa-Ron

Lifestyle

Most Ron spend their days in service to the city: training with other soldiers, supporting the local shaman-priest, training animals, collecting tribute, etc. Certainly a fair number of Ron are out on patrol at any given time, but the majority reside within the city walls. Indeed, most Ron now prefer city life to the open road.

Most evenings, the men and women/children assemble separately. The men are organized into colleges. These colleges offer little to distinguish one from the next, but they inspire fierce loyalty. Colleges often compete against their rivals in athletic contests. The women organize themselves into family groups, attending to domestic chores.

Clothing

The Duwa-Ron wear sheets of woven grass called teels loosely wrapped around their bodies so that only their eyes can be seen. This shroud lends an air of secrecy (and fear) when they deal with other Kor.

Marriage

Ron have abandoned marriage as a social construct. Instead, men and women are free to mingle with each other, but any children that result are exclusively the responsibility of the women to care for and raise. The Ron are very proud of this arrangement, and would take great offense if someone were to (correctly) point out that this practice is a weak mimicry of Vulfen tradition.

Duwa-Kor

Lifestyle

The Kor spend their days raising crops, some of which they keep for themselves, and a large chunk of which is sent to support the nearest city. Once the sun sets, they retire to their simple homes to tell stories, mend tools, and attend to other domestic chores. Their lives are generally short and boring, punctuated by moments of Ron cruelty.

Clothing

Grass teels are only worn by the Kor for special occasions. Normally, the Kor wear skirts and shawls made of fabric. To protect their pale skin from the sun, they wear wide straw hats to which they attach items of personal significance.

Marriage

The Duwa-Kor preserve Galria through their marriage sacrament. Young men and women eligible for marriage are granted a few months to travel in search of a suitable spouse. In areas that practice slavery, the location of the wedding determines who will own the newlyweds (which rewards Ron that treat their slaves well). Of course, some Kor use this as an opportunity to run away, hoping to join a nearby maroon settlement.

Telquelli

The Telquelli inhabit the southern jungles of Venat. They are a generally peaceful people, with a curious take on leadership; they believe that their leaders serve the people. The more influential a family becomes, the greater the humility that family is expected to exhibit.

The contributions made by great families is most evident in the monuments they construct for their extended clans. The most common monuments are artificial hills, atop which a megalithic marker is placed.

This propensity for massive public works is most evident in Hyk. Here the Telquelli built a massive burial labyrinth, accessible only from the ceiling. Atop the mound, they constructed an immense tower of pink granite (imported by Dwarves), ringed with Kraeguth skulls, and with a huge mirror at its pinnacle (stolen from the Sea-Krals). This tower has grown to have great political and religious significance, as it is used as a site for sacrificial rites, both animal and human.

Unfortunately, the Telquelli are ringed by antagonists. The plains to the north are filled with Vulfen tribes (and packs of Darkhunters). The deep saltwater swamps to the east are home to bands of Shuikmar. The western seas are owned by the Sea-Krals. Indeed, their only real allies are the Skell and Dwarves to the south.

Lifestyle

Most Telquelli live on terraced farms or in adjoining villages. These farms are cut from the jungle hillsides and formed into terraces to support agriculture. Their houses are built on stilts at the bottom of the hill. Farms are connected to villages by dugout canoe. Villages are connected to each other by an extensive system of causeways: stone and dirt when possible, but wood in most locations.

Within Telquelli culture there are two primary roles: gatherers and crafters. The gatherers are experts at collecting raw materials, especially stone. The crafters are experts at transforming these materials into finished goods. Within any community, there will be roughly an even split between the two. Both cultures share in food production. During the metal age, neither the gatherers nor the crafters are more likely to rise to positions of power and service.

Clothing

The basis for Telquelli garb is a short leather cape (about 3-4 inches long) called a meniqui that covers the shoulders. For daily use, a long tube of cloth is attached to the meniqui using copper or bone pins. When riding, a shorter tube is worn (to form a shirt) and pants are added to the outfit. For longer travels, pigkin shoes are also worn.

Religion

Early Telquelli religion revolved around the sacrificial burning of plants, including some mild intoxicants. However, given the long exposure to hostile forces, their religious practices have grown to include both animal and human sacrifices (although these remain rare).

The selection of tribal leaders also carries religious significance. Given the service and (personal) sacrifice expected of their leaders, potential leaders are subjected to a series of trials to demonstrate their perseverance and commitment to the tribe. These trials often involve feats of physical endurance (digging ditches or building causeways) or expansive trade journeys to acquire goods for the tribe.

In Hyk, there is a new cult devoted to the prophecies of Gatlin. These writings were secretly copied from the originals onto great sheets of parchments. Every few years a new copy of made as the old copy begins to mold away. Over time, several errors have crept into these copies, but at least they are more accessible than the originals.

Marriage

Marriage is primarily an economic partnership. The newlyweds need to establish a new farmstead for themselves, with the help of tribal leaders. Clearing the land and building terraces is no easy task. Once the first crop has been harvested, the newlyweds are expected to host a feast for their neighbors.

Fears

The Telquelli have much to fear: Vulfen, Sea-Krals, Darkhunters, Shuikmar, and even Kraeguth. However, they face these challenges with considerable pragmatism and deliberation. Of the hostile forces, only the Shuimar elicit an immediate fear response. Nothing is more terrifying than being dragged beneath the water to become the main course!

Skills

The people of Venat have access to the following skills.

Skill Category Skill Note
Armor • Light Soft Leather
Armor • Light Textile
Artistic • Active Mimery
Artistic • Active Mimicry
Artistic • Active Play Instrument: Percussion
Artistic • Passive Drawing
Artistic • Passive Painting
Artistic • Passive Poetry
Artistic • Passive Sculpting
Athletic • Brawn Power-striking
Athletic • Brawn Power-throwing
Athletic • Brawn Weight-lifting
Athletic • Gymnastics Contortions
Athletic • Gymnastics Pole-vaulting
Athletic • Gymnastics Rappelling
Athletic • Gymnastics Tightrope-walking
Awareness • Searching Reading Tracks
Awareness • Searching Tracking
Combat Maneuvers Mounted Combat
Combat Maneuvers Quickdraw
Combat Maneuvers Restricted Area Combat
Combat Maneuvers Reverse Stroke: Melee
Combat Maneuvers Reverse Stroke: Missile
Crafts Animal-crafts
Crafts Earth-crafts
Crafts Fletching
Crafts Food-crafts
Crafts Rope-crafts
Crafts Stone-crafts
Crafts Textile-crafts
Influence Leadership
Influence Recruitment
Lore • Magical Symbol Lore
Lore • Obscure Undead Lore
Lore • Technical Stone Lore
Martial Arts Combat Maneuvers Reverse Stroke: Martial Arts
Outdoor • Animal Animal Handling Specific skills include Aerial, Aquatic, Arthropods, Carnivorous, Dangerous Herbivores, Draft, Flying Monster, Hybrid Elemental, Land Monster, Passive Herbivores, Reptile/Amphibian, Unearthly, Water Monster (see Creatures & Monsters and Fire & Ice)
Outdoor • Animal Animal Mastery Specific skills include Aerial, Aquatic, Arthropods, Carnivorous, Dangerous Herbivores, Draft, Flying Monster, Hybrid Elemental, Land Monster, Passive Herbivores, Reptile/Amphibian, Unearthly, Water Monster (see Creatures & Monsters and Fire & Ice)
Outdoor • Animal Herding
Outdoor • Animal Riding Specific skills include Aerial, Aquatic, Arthropods, Artificial Being, Carnivorous, Construct, Dangerous Herbivores, Draft, Elemental, Flying Monster, Great Drake, Hybrid Elemental, Land Monster, Lesser Drake, Minor Drake, Passive Herbivores, Reptile/Amphibian, Unearthly, Water Monster (see Creatures & Monsters and Fire & Ice)
Power Awareness Divination
Power Manipulation Channeling
Resistance Divine Resistance
Resistance Psychic Resistance
Self Control Stunned Maneuvering
Special Attacks Whip Grapple
Spells • Divine Base Lists Inner Walls
Spells • Divine Base Lists Moving Ways
Spells • Divine Base Lists Nature’s Guises
Spells • Divine Base Lists Nature’s Summons
Spells • Divine Base Lists Nature’s Way
Spells • Divine Base Lists Path Mastery
Spells • Divine Open Lists Barrier Law
Spells • Divine Open Lists Concussion’s Ways
Spells • Divine Open Lists Detection Mastery
Spells • Divine Open Lists Light’s Way
Spells • Divine Open Lists Lofty Movements
Spells • Divine Open Lists Nature’s Law
Spells • Divine Open Lists Purifications
Spells • Divine Open Lists Sound’s Way
Spells • Divine Open Lists Spell Defense
Spells • Divine Open Lists Weather Ways
Spells • Impulse TP Lists Arachnemancy
Spells • Psychic Open Lists Anticipations
Spells • Psychic Open Lists Attack Avoidance
Spells • Psychic Open Lists Brilliance
Spells • Psychic Open Lists Cloaking
Spells • Psychic Open Lists Damage Resistance
Spells • Psychic Open Lists Delving
Spells • Psychic Open Lists Detections
Spells • Psychic Open Lists Illusions
Spells • Psychic Open Lists Self Healing
Spells • Psychic Open Lists Spell Resistance
Spells • Psychic TP Lists Animal Bonding
Subterfuge • Mechanics Camouflage
Technical/Trade • General Rope Mastery
Technical/Trade • Professional Architecture
Technical/Trade • Professional Mining
Weapon • Bow Bow
Weapon • Chains Whip
Weapon • Chopping Axe
Weapon • Chopping Hammer

Starting Skills

Category or Skill Duwa-Kor Duwa-Ron Telquelli Crafter Telquelli Gatherer
Athletic • Brawn 1 1 1 1
Athletic • Endurance 1 1 1 1
    Swimming 1 1 2
Athletic • Gymnastics 1 1 1 1
    Climbing 2 1 1 3
Awareness • Perceptions 0 0 0 0
    Alertness 2 2 2 2
Awareness • Searching 1 1 1 1
    Observation 1 1 1 1
Body Development 0 0 0 0
    Concussion Hits 1 2 1 1
Communications: Wrin 2 2 2 2
    Duwa (S) 5 5
    Telquellish (S) 5 5
    Wrin (W) 1 1 1 1
Crafts 0 0 0
    Animal-crafts 1
    Earth-crafts 1 1
    Fletching 1 1
    Stone-crafts 1 1
    Textile-crafts 1 1
    Wood-crafts 1 1
Lore • General 3 3 3 3
    Culture Lore: Own 3 3 3 3
    Fauna Lore 1 2 1
    Flora Lore 2 1 1
    Region Lore: Own 3 3 3 3
Outdoor • Animal 3 1 1
    Animal Handling: Draft 2
    Riding: Draft 3 1 1
Outdoor • Environmental 1 2 2
    Foraging 1 1 2
    Hunting 2 1
Power Point Development 0
    Power Points 1
Resistance 0 0 0 0
    Disease Resistance 1 1 1 1
    Divine Resistance 1 1 1 1
    Fear Resistance 1 1 1 1
    Poison Resistance 1 1 1 1
    Psychic Resistance 1 1 1 1
Spells • Divine Open Lists 0
    Weather Ways 2
Subterfuge • Stealth 1 2 1
    Hiding 1 2 1
    Stalking 1 2 1
Technical/Trade • General 1 1 1 1
Technical/Trade • Professional 0 0
    Mining 1 2
Weapon • Bow 2 1
    Bow 2 1
Weapon • Chopping 1 2 2
    Axe 1 2
    Hammer 2
Weapon • Pole Arms 1 2
    Spear 1 2
Weapon • Thrown 1 2
    Sling 1 2
Hobbies 4 4 4 4
Everyman Skills Mounted Combat Mining
Cost [1] -1 14 -1 1

[1] To determine a character’s background options, add up the racial cost (40 for Human, Wrin) and the culture cost (-1–14 for the Duwa and Telquelli). Convert that total into talent points or background options using Talent Law. All of the Wrin/Venat combinations fall in the 26-75 point range, resulting in 55 talent points or 6 background options.