Woad Tattoos

Posted by The Worldsmith on July 25, 2010

As the next product that i’m working on details a very different culture to that described in my previous work so far I would like to do a series of posts that bring their culture to life.  The first is one on tattoos, enjoy and remember to leave me your thoughts about it.

Markings and body paint are important parts of the Gracian culture; they denote a person’s prowess in their chosen art, station, whether they are favoured by the gods, social rank and a warning to others.  The majority of markings utilised by the Gracian’s are normal tattoos inked upon the body however amongst the Gracian’s not all markings are benign.

The greatest of the markings is made from a plant known as Woad.  When ground a blue dye can be made which is put upon the person and enchanted by the gods in a ritual creating a group known as Woad Warriors.

The ritual must take place in a sacred grove, where a Druid will mark the potential recipient with woad in a simple design.  The recipient will then lay within the centre of the grove as the druids in attendance conduct a ritual which will ask the gods to judge the warrior.  If they recognise the warrior’s deeds and believe that their heart is stout then the gods will enchant the woad permanently upon them and in doing so they alter the shape of the tattoo from its basic form into a symbol of the language of the gods and enchant the tattoo with a power.  Through this enchantment the warrior is given a gift of power that draws on the spirits of their dead ancestors to offer strength, courage and protection during times of need.

This ritual is very taxing upon the druids and is not always guaranteed of success for if a warrior presents themselves in judgement to the gods and are found unworthy the gods will wipe the intended marking from them.  This brings shame to the warrior and his tribe and as such only members of a tribe who are truly worthy will seek such enchanted markings.

Tattoos created in this manner will bear a sparkling silver lining indicating that the person is seen in the eyes of his kin as being worthy and having achieved much.  Yet there is another way that woad tattoos are bestowed.

The second method is rare but is the most revered of all markings, it is a tattoo lined with sparkling gold.  This is given to Gracians by the gods when the gods themselves believe that the person is worthy not when they request judgement.

Last modified on July 25, 2010

Categories: Lands, Synathia
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One Response to “Woad Tattoos”

  1. Jolnir Says:

    Hark Clan WinterMoon!

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