Most of them, I'd imagine, given that they are, A., descended from the Yughort, who had that as a cultural trait, and B., are familiar with the risen dead that emerge from the burial towers Go to Comment
To the Hwuzdak people of the jungles, the dzoen tree is everything- its bark provides bark-cloth for clothing, shoes, and woven walls, its broad leaves are woven together for cloaks, its multitudes of round, pinkish fruits are eaten in all manner of ways (simply as-is, or dried, mashed, cooked with meat, stored for hard times, baked into malty-tasting bi'z bread). In the dry season, its roots can be mashed for the water they trap.
Thus, it is no surprise that the Hwuzdak venerate the dzoen, in the form of worship for the Sak'puz, the Dwarf Gods, tree-spirits who are said to look specially after the affairs and welfare of the Hwuzdak people.
The Sak'puz are the living spirits of dzoen trees, and dwell within their branches, perched, if one should be so lucky as to see one (an auspicious thing indeed!), in the form of a tiny dwarf, black as the night, with long, curly white hair and a silky white beard. Their tiny hands and feet are like the paws of monkeys, and they are sexless. Their eyes are glinting green jewels, and they carry in their hands the I'ozduk, the rain pots, which they shake out when Hwu Ogza, the Sky Serpent, thunders forth his commands.
The Sak'puz are not powerful gods- the jungles in which the Hwuzdak live contain many cosmic beings which are vastly more potent than the kindly dwarves of the trees, such as Nakz'akz, the Devouring Flame, god of the forest fire, and Soz'u, god of drought and thirst. But none are wiser than the Sak'puz, for they hear all the secrets that have ever been spoken through their roots and through their branches and their leaves.
The Sak'puz are venerated monthly in Hwuzdak villages, in a ritual known as the Dzoen Kzu'ab, in which the Sak'puz are fed with offerings placed below their trees and in which prayers and thanks are painted onto the bark of the dzoen trees. Each Hwuzdak is also taught that when something is harvested from the tree- bark, fruit, leaves, or roots- the Sak'puz must be thanked and properly recompensed with a little bit of beer or a chunk of boar fat. If a dzoen tree bears no fruit, or becomes sickly and collapses, or if a nest of deadly jungle-bees takes up residence on its trunk, the Sak'puz of this particular tree has become angry through the misconduct and sacrilege of the villagers, and their dereliction of their duty, and must be apologized to and soothed with the planting of a new tree from the black, sticky seed pods that sprout from a dying tree, along with the proper rituals and offerings. Go to Comment
Wow. Quite an impressive bodymod. I can see it as being some kind of legendary "boogeyman" mod in a more advanced cyberpunk society. Perhaps Big Boss Matsu's legendary enforcer, the former Sikh wrestler Guraj, strides into the room... Whispers break out: "I heard he had a loverboy done..." "No way!" "yes!" "Full?" Yadda yadda.
Very interesting. Go to Comment
Interesting... I'm not sure I'm quite in love with the whole "big bad dude" idea, and it reminds me of Kadum and Kadum's sea of blood in the Shattered Lands setting (reddish tint, anybody?), but when he gets to the actual sea itself, I quite like it, especially the warlike "merremenne" (obviously merfolk) and whatever the "batrakhones" are... Intriguing. Go to Comment
I could imagine the shamblers as being common in a city plagued with the risen dead, maybe the symptoms of a curse, or perhaps as simple little freaks of nature in an ancient huge city of horrors or that sort of thing. They aren't very scary, but I think they would function perfectly as sort of a "symptom of a greater ill", a sign of a city's corruption and of the evil horrors that lurk in it (sort of the way flies in a restaurant typically mean that it's dirty even if you can't see the filth) Go to Comment
What if the sources of precious metal in the realm all failed, so that the only sources for gold and other precious metal were hostile foreign lands? Gold coinage might become increasingly rare, resulting in hoarding. Player characters that appear with masses of treasure might be suspected of being in the pay of foreign powers.