Posts Tagged ‘Gracian Tribes’

Tribes of Gracia

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

So far we’ve looked at a variety of aspects revolving around how the Gracian people see themselves in the world and some of their belief systems. Today I’d like to expand on this by going into a little more depth with regards to the structure of the Gracian Tribes which includes a brief of one of the great tribes.

As always enjoy the read and feel free to write your comments below or email me if you’d like a more indepth answer.

There are many tribes throughout the Gracian lands and they range in size with the smallest comprised of between 50 and 80 people while the largest of the tribes have tens of thousands.  This has led to a fairly fragmented and complex system of relationships between these people.

Typically the smaller tribes will either be conquered by a neighbour or absorbed into a larger tribe through marriage or diplomacy. While midsized tribes are the most active in terms of power struggles and political machinations as they constantly vie for increased power and prestige against local tribes but also in regards to prestige in the eyes of their respective Kings.

The large number of tribes also means that loyalties amongst the tribes are a complex matter as each tribe will have alliances and friends amongst their geopolitical area, but they will also have allegiance to their respective King who may call upon them in times of need.  It is only in times of great emergencies that Gracia will band together and become one.

The most influential tribes of the three respective bloodlines are currently the Iribane, the Irrian and the Veyan.

The Iribane

Current Chieftain:            Argandest “the Bloodied Handed”

Chiefs Champion:            Deramest son of Anlyeh

Symbol:                        Griffon facing front in a rampant position with wings spread

This is one of the oldest tribes and is the direct descendants of Kafaris, as such they have always been strong and influential amongst these people.  Kafaris was a powerful warrior and follower of Oda, the God of the Forests. Legend has it that he rode a griffon as a steed and that he was granted the Spear of Va-haugen by Oda.  This weapon of legend and power has since been lost to the Doth-Erian’s during the previous war where the General Harvrim took it as a trophy of his victory against the Tribes at the battle of Taymor Valley.

Due to the tanistry line of progression amongst these people the Iribane are the leading and most prominent tribe amongst the Kafaris and thus Argandest is the current Eastern King.

The tribe has had many glorious moments and spread their lands through exploring and sailing the seas to the east, discovering trading partners such as the cities of Two Waters and Arondeer.

Gracian Weapons of War

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

A strong part of the Gracian culture revolves around conflict and proving your worth in battle and as a skilful warrior.   Due to this dominant aspect to the Gracian mindset the Tribes have honed their skills in particular weapons of choice and also developed a variety of unique warrior professions.

Favoured Weapons

Spear: This weapon is ubiquitous to the lands of Synathia with every culture using one or more forms of this very simple but effective weapon.  The Gracians tend to favour two handed long spears during battle using them to form phalanxes to defend their villages and forts. While the smaller one handed spear are preferred for hunting as it provides more flexibility when transverseing the forests.  One handed light spears called pillums are also typically carried by hunters and raiders as their light weight and long reach provides a great versatile weapon to compliment their arsenal.

Bows: As one of the major sources of food comes from hunting, most Gracian children are taught to use a bow so that they can hunt for food and provide for their family and village.  Not all children will continue using this weapon as they age but all Gracian’s will have some natural affinity with this weapon.

The Gracian’s use three types of bows, the standard short bow, a long bow and the supreme Gracian ranged weapon, the war bow.  All Gracians are permitted to use both the short and long bow, but only Gracian nobles are allowed to use war bows.  The nobles who take up this honour form a group known as Noble Archers and are deadly marksmen.

Axe: The axe is the most notable and featured melee weapon of the Gracian culture and features heavily in the cultures symbolism.  It is believed that the love of this weapon stems from its uses outside of warfare such as for lumber which saw the reliance on this tool to build the homes and villages of the people.

It is no surprise that this weapon has come to prominence with its two bladed two handed axe being the more revered and prized weapon for the culture with many of the most notable warriors preferring this style of axe.

Hammer: In a similar manner to the axe this weapon’s use as a tool for construction has seen this weapon proliferate as a weapon of choice for many Gracian’s and mirroring the love that these people have for more brutal devastating weapons the two handed hammer or maul is far more common than lighter single handed hammers seen in other cultures.  For those warriors who choose lighter and single handed options they will typically choose a mace, morning star or flail as the impact and look of these weapons inspires greater fear than a simple hammer.

Swords: As with many other cultures swords are also common amongst these people but do not hold the notoriety of some of the proceeding weapons.  In a similar vein two handed swords such as the claymore or bastard sword are preferences amongst these people however single handed swords such as the broadsword also feature amongst the Gracian arsenal of younger warriors.

Dirk: Teaching how to use a dagger goes hand in hand with teaching Gracian children how to hunt with a bow. Not only is this weapon useful for close quarter fighting it is an invaluable hunting and household tool.  The daggers that the Gracian’s uses are called Dirks and they are larger than the average dagger.

Death Amongst the Gracians

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

The death of an individual is seen and celebrated differently amongst all cultures both in our real world and also amongst our fantasy settings. It is such an integral part of our existance that I feel the need to include a brief look at how the Gracian’s view death and how it impacts up the lives of the living. In this way I hope that it helps to increase your understanding of these people and their way of life.

The death of a Gracian is a moving time for the family of the deceased but it is never an unhappy one as Gracian’s believe that when a person dies in this world they become spirits and take on lives in the spirit world. As such they view death in this life as the beginning of life in the spirit world and the continuation of existence. This is why spirits play such an important role within their culture and in the lives of every member, for not only can communication with the spirits be achieved but the spirits will also influence the lives of the living.

In this way the living will bring into their lives the spirits of those people or elements who are truly meaningful to them.

There are typically two types of ceremonies for when a member of a tribe passes into the spirit world, preservation and burial. Preservation is reserved for the noble class and will involve the removal of body parts from the corpse that epitomises the individual. These body parts will be preserved in liquid and placed within ceremonial urns. The urns are highly decorated and made from exotic materials, typical decorations will include imagery that tells a tale about the person and why the body part has been preserved, patterning associated with the tribe and gemstones that encrust the urn. The bodies of the nobles who go through this process will be wrapped and buried with the urns in an individual cairn or family crypt.

Commoners amongst the Gracian’s will by default be buried in a simple grave. The site of the grave will vary depending on the family as they may have an area of the lands that they prefer or have some attachment to that all of their family members will be buried in or the individual may have an affinity with a particular area which they will be buried in such as a favourite hunting ground. Alternatively if a large amount of warriors have fallen in battle the commander may demand that the fallen are all buried on the site of the battle, particularly if it was a great victory, in this manner they will forever be recognised for their part in bringing about glory to the tribe.

Woad Tattoos

Sunday, July 25th, 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.