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Offline Maggot

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Race-Snake Riders
« on: December 09, 2004, 06:46:14 AM »
I] In ages past,I walked as a godess among my people.I was their lady,their divine High Queen,the great creator who was credited with shaping their blessed isles where food and water was plenty.Those days are still remembered as the golden age,the time when immortals walked among men.

  Alas,I was no god.Like my beloved consort,we were merely the sole survivors of a race now long dead.The children of another world,one far older,we came here when it begun to die,hoping to save our people.Ironic then,that only the two of us escaped when the great clamity befell them.How were we,in our supreme confidence,to know that our creation would develop a mind of it's own and turn against those who had raised it from the watery maw of the ocean? Yet it did,submerging the central plains where the great city lay,destroying everything and everyone.Tarrod we call it now in our lost tounge,meaning ''monster.''


 The very creatures we had created and partioned from each other for our amusement,the creatures we had overseen like silent gods for millenia,we now observed as they escaped their failing boundaries to explore the world that had now passed into their hands with the demise of their creator.
 
  Savage Eshal,proud Anura,ravening Lurdi,arrogant merfolk,docile and gentle humanoids,we witnessed come into violent conflict.Despite our own tragic loss,we could not help but mourn silently for them as they found themselves menaced by cruel foes they could not defeat.And soon we resolved to help them,these gentle beings were suffering so much.Using what remained of our power to escape the foul abombinations drawn from a dark unknown place and which sought to keep us imprisoned here forever(Black Ones),we left the ruins of our once noble city and sought out the humanoids.
 
 At first,they were so dazzled by our wonderous and dazzling appearance,that they fled in fear.But with great effort,we succeeded in convincing them that we meant them no harm and were here to lead them from this savage land to a world where they would be better off.At this,they prostated themselves and begun declaring us gods that had been sent to save them.Though this embarrassed us to no end,we realized that playing the role of divinities would aid us greatly in saving them.And so we proceeded to amaze them further by teaching them to construct great ships of wood.Then urging them to gather all their belongings,we set sail with the humanoids in search of a new home.

 After wandering the open seas,we finally stumbled upon a great chain islands not too far away from what had once been our home,bur far enough that none from that now monstrous place would be able to find our haven.Great was the joy of those we had saved at finding this new home and doubled was their awe and devotion for us.

 It was in this tranquil place that they encountered the Great Serpents.Though I like them was intitally afraid of these seemingly fearsome animals,I soon learned that these great beats were gentle things that sought only to slay if attacked. Slowly winning their trust,I thought
my new people to do the same.And with the Serpents,they discovered a unity that was strong and pure,learning much from their reptillian wisdom,foremost among them being the value of patience and caution.

 Admist all this plenty and joy though,there was one pressing concern though. To the extreme north,there was a great land mass which seemed to radiate an aura of great power,but a power so dark and twisted and dark that it made our skin to crawl just to feel it.Fortunately,the people we had saved lacked our facualties and thus remained oblivious to that which so troubled us.
 
 We for our part,convinced ourselves that since whatever it was on that landmass remained ignorant of the existance of these islands,it would
never cross the leauges of watery wastes separating us from it to seek out and destroy our haven.And so they lived,giving us a island far bigger than the rest and a great distance from the rest of the chain,for our abode.Meanwhile,my consort,determined that they never again be terrorized by others,thought them the arts of fighting.But no others came and there was no cause for violence.And so for millenia,we lived here,starting a lineage of our own while with the pasage of time,our people completely forgort that they had come from another land.We for our part,were glad to encourage this,for why remind them of a land where their ancestors had suffered so much ?

 But time corrupts all and soon our people had become a race of warriors,squabbling and fighting with one another over petty matters,using the very arts of warfare meant to protect them from the vioence of others against one another.Evne the Great Serpents were roped in,serving as mounts to their beloved human companions that rode into battle.A few millenia back,we would have been shocked and troubled by this.But we too had changed,turning into deities that approved of blood shed in battle,deities that were in every respect,what a warrior culture would demand of it's gods.For among these simple people,we had actually come to believe ourselves gods.And we chose to parade this by wandering among the people and impressing them with our power,our children choosing to do the same.And thus it was,that to those mortals who incurred my wrath,I became the Death Crone,the dark harpy of the netherworld that would choose those warriors which would be given the terrible honor of pleasing her with their company.

 Gods grow tired of things easily and we were no exception.My husband would leave me often for the compnay of sweet young maids and I never resented this,for I too did the same.This too would have bothered our conscience previously,but what were such issues to gods?

 Ahh,cruel hubris.We were not gods after all,despite all our pretensions. How could we have allowed ourselves to be deluded so?One dark night,our illusions were shattered completely.

 They came from the great landmass we had all but forgotten now in our arrogance,dressed in strange and exotic garb.Human,but humans radiating the dark magic that had so unnerved us when we were humbler and wiser.Seizing controll of the northen islands,they declared themselves the new gods of our people,ordering us to leave.Of course,dark power or no,we were enraged that anyone would question our divine right as gods.Sallying forth from our palace,we gathered all our children for the coming confrontation,confident that we would smite these invaders with ease.

 Great was our shock then,when they unleashed their dark power,slaying many of our children.This is not to say that we were weak and powerless.On the contrary,our powers had grown and expended since we had come here.But there was a whole host of them and only a few of us.And when armed with their terrible arts,they found it simple to rout us and send us fleeing.But still the war dragged on,with our depleted fighters making futile attack after attack on our vile foes,only to stagger back defeated each time.Finally,grim relaization struck us that we could not defeat this foe and those of us who survived,made a decision to flee into the astral relam,that strange etheral place where the shades of men wander and faeries dwell.Though the idea of being refugees in that ever shifting place galled us,we knew the alternative would be sucide,even my stubborn consort that chaffed bitterly at having to forsake the trappings of our godhood.And so,using the great gateways we had created to help channel otherworldly forces to aid us in our previous divine efforts,we fled the relam of men,never to return.

 Moving into our former dwellings,our victorious conqurers,overflowing with savage esctacy,tampered with the gateways and turned them into specail windows,that while never allowing us to come back,gave us ample oppturnity to helplessly watch all that happened in it under the reign of the new masters of our people.Their purpose behind this was two-fold.Firstly,they knew it would be the ultimate insult to the fools that dared style themselves ''gods.''.Secondly,it would be a useful tool to awe and cow into submission,those wise men and wizards among our people,that monitered the gateways on the other islands and still remained loyal to their old rulers.For who,after witnessing their might and skill,would be tempted to defy them?

 
 But Fate was fair.She brought our foes down as cruelly as she struck us from our own lofty perch.All of us,both former gods and mortal wizards,watched as they used their dark arts to twist life itself.And watched as life struck back at them in savage retaliation,wiping them out utterly.The details of their fall are bizzare and macabre,no doubt of interest to those of you that enjoy such tales.But they have no place in my story.Suffice it to say that this became history admist the great rejoicing of our newly liberated people.Of course,like with all other things,this history became legend with time and legend in turn became myth and myth fianlly became obscure lore that only a few grey beards remember.


 And now I watch,as they once again return to the dreadful land that their ancestors left behind eons ago.As they encounter there the final curse left behind by the vile sorcerors,a curse that might destroy them yet.And all I can do is watch.
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Race-Snake Riders
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2004, 03:30:13 PM »
They're Vikings. Cool


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Offline Maggot

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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2004, 10:06:58 PM »
Yeah,I based them on the Norse. :oops: I thought it would be cool to have a culture that was the total opposite of the isolated,fantical Eshal.Though brabarian and crude,the Snake Riders have the potentiol to be a great people.So,got any ideas?
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Offline Maggot

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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2004, 05:09:57 AM »
Added two more points.Still awaiting the creative input of the citadelians.
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Offline Sentinel

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Race-Snake Riders
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2004, 09:18:28 PM »
Sounds excellent

-Their fortresses are usually made of wood and they are excellent at this. They make a moat around the area, uneven and diffrent, with sharpened pikes at the bottom and will stop calvary(dangerous to Caladin Soldiers for their power is their calvary). After that is a palisade wall that has wooden spikes that will stop an attack, but can be burnt. The houses inside are long and wooden and if combat comes they can rush out soon to the defenses where the entrances are. The entrance and exit is low enough for to enter you have to bend down, the reason behind this is to cut off the head of an enemy entering easily.

There
Evil Is A Faceless Stranger,
Living In A Distant Neighborhood
Evil Has A Wholesome, Hometown Face
With Merry Eyes And An Open Smile
Evil Walks Among Us, Wearing A Mask
Which Looks Like All Our Faces

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Race-Snake Riders
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2004, 09:23:38 PM »
Sentinel, I don't believe this was for Caladin at all.
And in any case, the Great Serpents are aquatic.
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Offline Sentinel

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Race-Snake Riders
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2004, 09:33:55 PM »
Nevermind then. And yes, it is something that Maggot said that we will be encountering in the Voyage we will be making.
Evil Is A Faceless Stranger,
Living In A Distant Neighborhood
Evil Has A Wholesome, Hometown Face
With Merry Eyes And An Open Smile
Evil Walks Among Us, Wearing A Mask
Which Looks Like All Our Faces

Offline Maggot

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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2004, 09:52:18 PM »
Well,the Great Seprents can breathe on land too,being amphibious.And they are not the sole form of transport for the Snake Riders that use great long boats too. Just imagine the sight of massive water monsters with men seated astride them,slithering onto your shores and scaring the life out of your fishermen.And to make things even more scary,they seem to be taking orders from people in those evil looking longboats.

 I like the idea about the wooden forts.They would be posted at vital water ways to prevent rival tribes or others from seizing them.
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Race-Snake Riders
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2004, 09:55:26 PM »
I got this info on the fortress in "Eaters of the Dead" by Micheal Chriton, which is a biography on the journies of Ibann Faad, who was an Arab who was captured and taken by Vikings who fought these creatures that came from the woods and ate the flesh of their victims and their family.
Evil Is A Faceless Stranger,
Living In A Distant Neighborhood
Evil Has A Wholesome, Hometown Face
With Merry Eyes And An Open Smile
Evil Walks Among Us, Wearing A Mask
Which Looks Like All Our Faces

Offline Maggot

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Race-Snake Riders
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2004, 10:29:02 PM »
I read that book too!Enjoyed it myself.Now to describe more about Snake Rider dwellings and villages.I will put it in separate post so that it can be clean.
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Offline Maggot

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Snake Rider agriculture
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2004, 12:29:34 AM »
Snake Riders are by far and large,fishermen and fish rearers.though they do grow rice and yams.The rearing of cattle and other traditional livestock is absent due,to the fact that the narrow  and muddy islands they live on are to small to support this.Thus,they supplement the fish they eat with the flesh of seals and otters that they hunt with their long,iron bladed harpoons.

 Due to the limited land they have to work with,the Snake Riders have to come up with inventive ways of producing food.Since the interior is taken up by their dwellings,this is done on the parts of the coast.To extend the land set aside for crops,the people of the village collect a large fleet of boats that are no longer sea worthy.These are secured by stout strips of rope before being filled with the wet muddy soil that can be found in abundance.After this,the soil filled boats have yam and rice seeds or seedlings planted in them.They grow as well as any plants on dry land,needing ony ample water and suffecient sun light which they get in copious amounts.This is due to the fact that the strains of yam and rice used are hardy varieties that are adapted to ride out the buffeting of the strong costal winds.When they ripen,all the planters have to do is go out in a boat and harvest them.Slamon too are grown the same way,with retired long boats serving as large,floating tanks.They are fed with tiny compressed pellets made of offal from left over meals.
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Offline Maggot

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Snake Riders villages and houses
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2004, 09:47:55 PM »
Snake Rider villages and settlements:Snake Rider villages are designed like a giant wheel.In the the very middle,is the residence of the tribal chief and his family.Built against it's sides are the little huts that house his slaves.Surrounding it are the homes of his nobles and retainers and beyond those are the homes of the ordinary members of the tribes.The poorer they are and the lower their status,the further out their homes are.Most places of business and trade,such as inns and markets are located along the coast where they are often visited by merchants and returning warriors.Smithies are also located here,due to the fumes that they give out.The Great Serpents ridden by the Snake Riders are housed in great under water caves,with the larges caves belonging to the elite.

 
Snake Rider homes:Snake Rider homes are usually simple long houses built of great cypress logs are roofed with thatch.The home of the tribal chief is built on a larger and more lavish scale though,with walls that are richly decorated with silver carvings and roofs that have wooden tiles.They also have outhouses as opposed to the common latrines used by most members of the tribe.
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More on Snake Riders
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2004, 10:15:40 PM »
Epithets:Called Snake Riders by most of the civilized people they encounter,they are also called Wild Men of  the Islands and Serpent Men.The Snake Riders have no single name by which they call themselves,since each tribe or alliance of related tribes have indidvidual nmea for themsleves.

Food:Snake Rider cusine is coarse and simple,but it is rich in fat and protein,helping the body to create healthy muscles.Most dishes consist of roasted or smoked salmon and otter meat which is served with steamed yams and rice.Dried blocks of seal blubber are also eaten,as well as yam and salmon casseroles.Their main beverage is a kind of wine brewed from fermented rice.Heady and potent,it is only for heavy drinkers.
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Offline Maggot

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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2004, 11:00:56 PM »
Hope to come up with Snake Rider society,spirituality,trade and war fare soon.Would be much obliged if someone helped me create a Snake Rider creation myth.Snake Riders worhip a serpent god of commerce and trade and his consort,the godess of fertility,who is also the fate spinner that weaves the destiny of each mortal on her loom.
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2004, 03:54:51 PM »
During the spring months, the great whales arrive from their exodus to the distant, and more hospitable waters of the south, but during the spring and summer they return for the good feeding, and the many sheltered deep bays and inlets that are the best for the birthing and rearing of their calves. During this time, after the long winter has left most of the villages hungry and lean, the longboats are launched, bedecked with the charms and blessings of the gods of fertility and war in the hopes of landing a bull whale. A single carcass can feed a village for several months, as well as providing amplbe amounts of whalebone for making tools and weapons, as well as the valuable ambergris that the Snake-Riders use in the making of magical potions and tonics, which other distant people trade them for, as it is a potent base material in the manufacture of perfumes and colognes.

This is a time of trials for the young men who wish to become warriors of the clans, and earn a place on one of the great serpents. Those who fail their rites of passage, but are still capable warriors are resigned to positions on the wooden ships, pulling at oars until they land, raiding behind the blooded warriors who won the honor of riding the serpents into battle, and thus arrive fresh and with the terror factor of the serpents themselves.

Much of the Serpent Rider culture is based around venerating the warrior spirit, and the dieties associated with this warrior spirit. Their deities are the bloodthirsty, but honorable type, similar to Badb, Morrigu, and the other Welsh deities, to prevent the Serpent-Riders from becoming norsemen on Snakes.


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Offline Maggot

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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2004, 11:07:03 PM »
Thanks for the Great Challenge,Scras.It is something I will include in the upcoming Voyage RP.And my even bigger thanks for giving me the idea of using the Celtic deities for my Snake Rider gods.Moggiru will be used as the inspiration for the dark aspect for the consort of the Serpent God.
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Snake Rider
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2004, 08:17:18 AM »
Epithets:Called Snake Riders by most of the civilized people they encounter,they are also called Wild Men of the Islands and Serpent Men.The Snake Riders have no single name by which they call themselves,since each tribe or alliance of related tribes have indidvidual names for themselves.

Food:Snake Rider cusine is coarse and simple,but it is rich in fat and protein,helping the body to create healthy muscles.Most dishes consist of roasted or smoked salmon and otter meat which is served with steamed yams and rice.Dried blocks of seal blubber are also eaten,as well as yam and salmon casseroles.Their main beverage is a kind of wine brewed from fermented rice.Heady and potent,it is only for heavy drinkers

Genotype:Snake Riders are a dusky,somewhat stocky people with features similliar to those of the South Americans.They have black hair and eyes,with hardly any body hair.Most of them are of ordinary height,with men averaging around 5'8 and women,5'5.

Dress and Fashion:Snake Rider men wear baggy leggings made of otter or seal pelts that extend a little below their knees.They wear no shirts or tunics,leaving their chests bare except for the twin leather straps that criss cross their chests,though on special occasions,though on special occasions they wear the robes of bull elepahnt seals.These leather straps have little holders where knives and other small tools or weapons can be slipped.This stems from the almost superstious belief that Snake Rider men have towards the tools of their trades,believing that to to be caught anywhere without them is to invite ill fortune.For foot wear,they wear high moccasins made of seal hide.Their faces and chests are covered with interesting tribal patterns,but the most eye catching thing about them is their hair.Each Snake Rider man has a large pot of quick-lime which he uses to make his hair turn white and stick up in spikes.During mating feats and other rituals,the men try to outdo each other when it comes to having the most prominent spikes.It's believed among Snake Riders that a man with great spikes on his hair,will father strong,heathy children.For this reason,the tribal chief is always careful to have the biggest spikes.


Snake Rider women are famous for their revealing,outrageous clothes that would certainly be frowned upon by  civilized people.They wear otter pelt skirts that stop a little above their knees and wear tight vests that aren't any bigger than corsets.During mating feats,they wear nothing but their skirts that they decorate with cormoront feathers.The rest of their body is bare but for the tribal patterns that cover them.Their hair is always tied in little braids and is often adorned with feathers.


Music:Snake Riders use a variety of stringed instruments,with the lute and harp being the most popular of them.During feats and banquests,these instruments are used to accompany the singing of bards and poets that seek to get the attention of the chief.On the whole,Snake Rider music is deeply stirring and masculine.


Society:Snake Rider culture is dominated by elite warrior chieftains and aristocrats that must earn the respect of their people at a very young age,mostly by leading succsessful raids.Chiefs that fail to fill the footsteps of their sires,often find themselves deposed by younger but more ambitious siblings and none will protest this,from the nobles to the poorest member of the tribe.In their rough and ruthless world,they can scarcely afford to indulge feckless chiefs that would bring nothing but ruination to their people.Even sons that are not meant to succeed the chief on his death,are also expected to take great risks for their tribe when they are called upon to be part of a hostage swap between two tribes that wish to cooperate,but do not fully trust each other.

 Most of them are hunters and fishermen that have chosen to follow the trades of their ancestors.However,there are some that unsatisfied with the family tradition,apprentince themselves to a skilled artist.Most reknown of them are bards.Highly repescted,bards are treated with great honor and courtesy by chieftains wherever he goes.Among a people largely unable to read,the bard's ability to immortalize great deeds and events in song is much revered.There are even a few that have been made honored advisors by impressed chieftains and are given the official title of ''High Bard.'' and a gold ring that proclaims their new status..Every noble or chieftains aspires to be able to sing like a bard at important gatherings  to a certain extent and the noble or chief that manages to do this after years of coaching from a High Bard,is higlhy respected by both the common people and his peers.Master brewers are held in great regard too and often live a life as comfortable as that of any chief.Those that are skilled enough to secure the petronage of a chief,are given a gold bracelet to mark their position as a skilled craftsman.

 Regardless of their occupation though,all Serpet Riders are warriors that go on raids when commanded to do so.Many is the poor hunter,that after distinguishing himself in battle,finds himself made a trusted retainer of the chief.
       
 For what seems to be a male dominated society,women suprisingly play a great role that is appreciated and valued by the men.When the men sail the seas hunting otter and seal,it is they who see to it that the crops are taken care of and the salmon well fed.Most women are also smiths,due the fact that the intricate nature of Snake Rider weapons and tools make it such that only the nimble fingers of a women can hammer out or carve the required tool or weapon.The detailed patterns carved onto the heads of ceremonial axes owned by chiefs are testament to their great skill.Women also have important spiritual functions.Every tribe has a priestess called ''the omen reader.''She is a priestess of the dark aspect of the consort of the Warrior Spirit/Serpent God and can read the fate that her mistress has imposed on any man.Women enjoy great freedom too.No woman can be forced into a marriage.Neither can she be taken against her will by any man,including the chief himself.Any who forgets this and rapes a free women,will find himself banished from the tribe,regardless of his social status.The only way he can avoid this is to pay her large amounts of gold and other riches until she is satisfied that justice has been done.And a woman's freedom does not end with marriage.As long as he has no evidence that she has betrayed him,a husband can do nothing to prevent his wife from talking to men other than him.

 As for their treatment of their slaves,Snake Riders treat them well,not starving or beating them uneccesarily.Attempts to escape or rebel however,are dealt with ruthlessly.Slaves that rise against their masters are executed.This is not to say that there is no way a slave can ever get back his freedom.A slave that saves the life of his master,or does anything else just as courageous,is rewarded for his bravery by being freed.

 Among them,rapine,robbery and killing is never tolerated,as this would go against the honor and chivalry so dear to Snake Riders.Murderers and pirates are skinned alive and rapsists are cast out of the tribe with nothing,unless they can satisfy the victim's family with gold and other riches.Petty theft is punished with a public flogging.This harsh justice is meted out by wise elders and nobles respected for their impartiality and wisdom.Preists are never called upon to to do this,for burdening them with such worldly tasks would distract them from their spiritual and intellectual efforts.

 

 Spirituality:Snake Riders worship a whole host of gods,but two among them stand out.They are the Warrior Spirit and his consort,the Wave Godess/Death Crone who has twin fair and dark aspects.Care must be taken to avoid their wrath,lest great disaster befall the mortal brash and rude enough to offend them.But if respected,they will bring great blessings.The priests and preistesses that conduct the special prayers and sacrifices for them,are very revered for only they are able to read the sacred runes that are used to worship the gods.Many preists and preistesses are also thinkers and poets,due to their reflective and wondering bent.Any one who has the required intellect,can be a priest or priestess.There are many tales of the heirs of powerful chiefs giving up everything to become a person in the service of the gods.The most gifted of them can even perform what most would call magic.The Snake Riders call them The Serpent Touched.

 Snake Riders place great belief in augaries that are often dire and grim.Simmiliar to the Irish geas,every great hero or famous king has to avoid doing a certain thing that would mean his destruction.Of course all men must die ultimately,but strictly observing the geas for as long as possible can put off the moment of death until that great indidvidual feels that he is ready to welcome it.Most famous among them,is the great conqurer king,Kulach of the powerful Hilal tribal alliance,who was tricked into breaking his geas by his enemies when they deceived him into eating the flesh of his beloved Serpent.Fits in with the Snake Riders philosophy regarding death which sees it as something that if cannot be avoided,can be put off until one feels that one is ready to enter the relam of the Death Crone to await trial before the judges of the netherworld.This is something they take very seriously,since it will determine whether he moves on to the haven of the Warrior Spirit,or remains there forever to to be punished for the crimes he has commited in life.


Customs:Hospitality is considered a great virture among the Snake Riders and the poorest hunter will  lay out everything he has before a guest.In return,the guest is expected to entertain his guest with a song or poem.Any guest who declines to do so will outrage his host.
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Race-Snake Riders
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2004, 09:06:11 PM »
Would be very grateful if someone helped me come up with Snake Rider customs and quirks.A creation myth would also be very welcome.In the meantime,I will work on Snake Rider commerce and warfare,in addition to fleshing out the two central deities of the Snake Riders.
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Snake Rider trade and commerce
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2004, 03:51:57 AM »
Snake Riders roam great distances in their trading vessels,trading with merchants eager for their wares.Especially sought after in the port towns of Caladin,are their seal and otter pelts that are in great demand among the dress makers of Calan who know that dresses trimmed with fur are very popular with the wives and daughters of nobles and wealthy merchants.And as for their famed potions made of ambergris,there is never enough to satisfy the voracious demands of perfume sellers eager to cash in on their famed ability to supposedly induce intense feelings of passion in those of the opposite sex.Despite discontent from more xenophobic folk who mutter darkly about ''barbarian witchcraft'',the colonges and perfumes distilled by the Snake Riders continue to be in demand among both commoners and those of royal blood. Some Snake Rider merchants have even sailed as far as Talahar to get wealthy.
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Warfare and Honor
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2004, 04:00:21 AM »
The main weapon used by them is a massive battle axe that has two heads.It is made of ""cold"iron that is beaten into shape on an anvil with muscle power rather than smelted or shaped in a forge.Primitive by the standards of most advanced civilizations like the Calan,but their sheer size makes them deadly weapons that are truly terrifying to behold.Secondary weapons are daggers and arrows made of whale bone.These are always smeared with a poison that is collected from the sap of a certain shrub.Slow acting,it paralyzes an opponent instantly,but only kills him a couple of hours later'


 Snake Riders charge into battle naked,but for their leggings and the bright blue war paint covering their faces and chests,trusting the Warrior Spirit to shield them from the blades of the enemy.Each warrior will search for a foe that seems worthy.When one is found,the warrior will rush him and boast at the same time of his prowess on the battle field and his past victories.It is for this reason that chiefs leading the men of their tribe into battle will seek out the enemy commander and try to defeat him in a one-on-one combat.


 Thus,cowardice cannot be the reason why Snake Riders avoid massive battles on land.The real reason behind this aversion is the fact that they are seen as messy  and unecessary affairs that waste the life of many a warrior.This is why they will usually raid ''soft'' targets such as costal villages or poorly defended port towns.Then,they withdraw and vanish on the waves of the ocean before a strong,capable force can be rushed to the scene.It is a tactic that has been used to frightening effect against people unfamilliar with the Snake Riders.Of course,the Snake Riders themselves,long used to such lightning raids,are very careful not to be caught off guard this way and many a chief daring enough to raid mighty Caladin itself has taken careful precautions to protect himself from the wrath of the Imperial Navy.Built along important rivers and water ways,are large forts.These fortresses are usually made of wood and they are excellent at this. They make a moat around the area, uneven and different, with sharpened pikes at the bottom and will stop calvary(dangerous to Caladin Soldiers for their power is their calvary). After that is a palisade wall that has wooden spikes that will stop an attack,but can be burnt if needed. The houses inside are long and wooden and if combat comes,they can rush out soon to the defenses where the entrances are.The entrance and exit is so low that for you to enter,you have to bend down.The reason behind this is to easily cut off the head of an enemy attempting to entering.

 Of course,the Snake  Riders are not uncouth,savage pirates.The Warrior Spirit demands that they follow the sacred custom-laws of honor which govern warfare.In their culture,these laws are all important and any warrior or chief that breaks them,is cursed by the gods and his own people who will see him as being less then a murderer.Here,these customs will be described.

 Disposal of an enemy's remains:No warrior that has died bravely,must be left for the carrion birds to devour,even if he be a enemy.Indeed,respected is the chief that conducts the proper rites for worthy foes that has fallen by the hands of him and his warriors.It is something that stems from the strong belief they have in the importance of conducting a deacent send off for a warrior.If this is left undone,the Death Crone will not come for the soul of the fallen one and it will be doomed forever to linger the living world as a spectre in torment.And this is a fate that no man deserves.Surely not a foe that has fought and died vailantly.Thus,when all the enemy have been slain,their bodies are gathered and put on simple rafts made of wood.Then,while a priests chants the sacred words entreating the Death Crone to take the souls of the dead into the after life,the rafts are pushed into the waters of the ocean where the waves will carry their passengers to the great hall of the Death Crone that lies at the door step of the watery gateway that separates the land of the living from the land of the dead.Though this is a Snake Rider ritual,it is performed for all foes,regardless of their race.Snake Riders are not fanatics and do not distinguish between their own and those not of their race,when it comes to honoring the fallen.To them,any enemy that dies with courage is worthy of the final rites.

 Prisoners of war:When one Snake Rider defeats another by disarming him,the loser is compelled to serve the victor as a servant.The term of servitude is fixed at a certain length of time agreed on by both and during this time,the vanquished must do as his master commands,with no complaints.If he rises up in anger,he will embarass not only himself,but also his tribe for refusing to accept his defeat to a warrior greater than him.It is something that only the most childish and arrogant would do,certainly not a true warrior that is man enough to accept his defeat and live with it's consequences.

 Proper behaviour when facing a foe:A Snake Rider warrior must always remember that he is not a thug  or common criminal,but rather a paragon come to do his tribe proud.This is why he will never behave like a lout and taunt his foe with crude and foul insults,even in the heat of battle.To boast of his own skill as a warrior is manly,but to throw uncivil and rude comments questioning the honor or parentage of a foe,is most boorish and base.To them,a fight is a dignified and solemn affair and must never be allowed to denegrate into a brawl.As they say,real warriors fight with their weapons,not their tounges.


 Abstaining from looting and sacking holy places:Snake Riders have a deep respect for sacred symbols or places of worship of any kind,even those not related ot their own faith.Once again,it is a result of seeing themselves as paragons of honor.Hence,no monastery or temple is ever sacked,regardless of the great wealth they may harbour.For the same reason,no priests or holy men are taken as slaves.

 Death songs:A Snake Rider that recieves a mortal blow,starts wailing his death song.This is the poem praising all the victories and achievements that he has attained in life,a poem that all those fighting around him will hear,ensuring that the story of his life will not be forgetten.In this way,a certain immortality can be achieved by the dying warrior.This explains why Snake Riders usually do not give their foes death blows that will kill them instantly and why they do not see anything dishonarable about using their poisoned weapons.In their eyes,any weapon that delays death long enough to let a fallen warrior sing his death song can only bring honor.
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Snake Rider culture and faith
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2004, 09:19:52 PM »
Snake Rider culture and religon revolves around the worship of two main deities,the Warrior Spirit and his consort,the Wave Godess,who in her dark aspect is also known as the Death Crone.These gods have a host of offspring of course,but these are just minor deities and thus will not be mentioned here.In the distant part,the divine couple once walked the earth,ruling over the Serpent Riders,but moved to the bottom of the sea where they retreated to the astral world through the aid of a gateway located there,after being driven away by a coven of powerful sorceror kings.Now the only time the priests of the Serpent Riders can contact them,is during the sacred festivasl of Ionash,the day where the astral barrier weakens,allowing for contact between the gods and mortals.But despite this,much of their wisdom is still known,thanks to the vast monuments that can be found in certain sacred places where the gods were once said to dwell.Soaring plinths of stone,they are covered with the sacred runes that only the preists can read,writing that holds the very knowledge of the gods.It is believed by many,that is through these plinths that the gods are contacted.

 Though the gods no longer walk among them,the Serpent Riders still hold many rituals and festivals to worship them,due to their belief that the gods can sometimes reach into their world and answer their payers.After the Great Challenge is done and those that have made it into manhood are given the great honor of mounting the Serpents,a sacred ritual is performed.Birds are slaughtered by the priests and tossed into the ocean to let the gods know that mankind still revere them.Sometimes in the pattern that the blood of the slain birds cast on the waters of the ocean,certain augaries can be read.Every member of the tribe comes to see this being done.

 The Death Crone:The dark aspect of the Wave Godess,she alternately appears as a raven haired beauty and an ugly crone with the head of a Serpent.Death is her relam and it she who has the power of selecting which warrior or hero will break his geas and join her in the underworld where they will be tried by her Serpent headed judges to determine that they make it to the haven of the Warrior Spirit,instead of having their soul consumed by the Hound of Darkness.

 It is said by some that she can be sometimes seen in the mists of the pre-dawn,washing the cloaks of the warriors that will die.The sea hawk is her totem bird and when it is seen soaring over the body of a fallen warrior,it means that he has been given the terrible honor of pleasuring the Death Crone with his company.There are many tales of the mythical hero Rontu,who after fending off her sexual advances when she came to him as the raven haired beauty,was tricked by her into removing his leather helm,the event of his geas that would mean his death.Shortly after,he was killed in a great battle when an enemy threw a dart into his forehead.


 The Warrior Spirit:A young youthful god,he bore his consort the Wave Godess her many children that later created the islands of the Snake Rider tribes.He is also the god of bards and was as potent with his tounge as he was with his axe.Many tales are told of his numerous visits to the courts of great chieftains to dazzle them with his stirring songs and poems,only for them to realize later that it was a god who had visted them.His fondness for wandering as an old blind man among the common folk,separating the hospital and genarous from the stingy and greedy,as well as his infidelity,for he enjoyed bedding the fairest of mortal women when he assumed the guise of the handsome young bard.In the end,this proved to be his undoing.

 In the final battle between the gods and the dread sorceror kings,he was entrusted with the task of setting fire to the enemy camp in the dead of night as they slumbered.But as fate would have it,he spotted the daughter of Baal,the fearsome leader of the soceror alliance,a woman of such moving beauty,that all thoughts of carrying out his vital task fled his head.Throwing caution to the wind,he approached her as the handsome young bard and begun trying to seduce her.Five times was he shoved to the ground by the outraged maiden and five times did he get back on his feet to persist.On the fifth and final attempt,when the maiden attempted to shove him to the ground again,he grabbed hold of her shift and yanked it so hard that it was ripped off,exposing her unblemished body.Losing all controll of himself,he flung himself on her and she suprised him by meekly submitting.Soon,she was enjoying it as much as he was.So consumed by the pleasure coursing through their bodies were they,that they pay no heed to the passing of the day.It was only when he heard the shouts of excitement from the previously slumbering camp,did he realize that he had fallen into the trap that had been laid for him by his willy foes.Changing himself into a hawk,he fled,in the process leaving everything of value behind,including his mighty axe of fire.A weapon of great power,it was lost when the sorceror kings were destroyed by their own hubris.Some of the priests say that it will only be found again in a time of great crisis,though when this time will come,they cannot tell.
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Race-Snake Riders
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2005, 07:05:27 AM »
Updated the Gods of the Snake Riders.
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The Serpent Touched
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2005, 07:54:35 AM »
Among the priests of the Snake Riders,there are those that posses certain gifts that even among their gifted ranks,amaze and astound.Said to be blessed by the Wave Godess,she who birthed the sacred Serpents eons ago,they are called the Serpent touched,While all Snake Riders mount and revere the Serpents,only a few are born with the ability to understand their ancient tounge and share their timeless reptillian wisdom.What the wise men and scholars of other races see as foul tempered beasts,the Serpent Touched see as beings that have much to teach men about peace.For who is the beast?The Great Serpent that uses it's deadly venom to kills only to fill it's belly or defend itself or it's rider,or men that devise horrible weapons to kill their fellow human beings in the hundreds?In fact,these individuals touched by the Serpents,denounce the very act of riding a Serpent into war,calling it an abuse of the Serpent's trust.Instead,they demand,the Snake Riders like the Serpents,should destroy all offensife weapons and fight only in self defence.Only then will they be worthy to mingle with the Serpents.

 Needless to say,this had made them eccentrics among their fellow priests and everyone else in the war-like culture that they live in.Neverthless,they are highly respected,for anyone that can speak with the Serpents must not be dismissed as lunatics.
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The oulaws and rouges of Farna
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2005, 11:35:30 PM »
Among the Snake Riders,warfare is conducted with honor,for the repuatation of the tribe lies in the way it's warriors comduct themselves.A man who kills for sheer profit alone with no regard for both presonal and tribal honor ,is no better than a common murderer.

 But sadly,in every society,even among the proud Snake Riders,there are men so consumed by hunger for gold and other riches,that honor is thrust aside in the pursuit of gold.Such men usually end up dying at the hands of their outraged tribes but there are those that do manage to slip away with their miserable lives.For these malcontents and rouges,there is only one place where they can find refuge:The isle of Farna.Uninhabited by any tribe it,it is the perfect refuge for the law breakers fleeing the justice of their tribes.It is there that they find shelter in the cloying embrace of Farna.

 The inhabitants of Farna are a collection of various pirate and outlaw bands that have found shelter here in this desolate isle.Though each band operates independently,they are all under the controll of Guntu,One Eye.Leader of the largest pirate band,he rules the island with a firm hand.All the other bands give him a share of their loot and in return,are allowed to keep the rest of it in peace.None know his background,though it is rumoured that he was the son of a minor cheiftain,kicked out of his tribe for raping a hunter's daughter in the throes of drunken lust,only to have his right eye stabbed by her returning bethroted,before being promptly dragged before the council of the elders to face justice.Taking his warriors with him,he searched  the  islands of the Snake Riders for a refuge,before finally stumbling upon the isle of Farna,the object of a quarell between two tribal alliances that both claimed it.Since neither was powerful enough to defeat the other and move in to occupy the island,Guntu decided to set up shop there.Being an astute if dishonest merchant before his exile,it wasn't long before he realized that rather than risk the anger of his men by forcing them to scrounge a living by fishing in this fetid swamp choked island,he would do well to make a living form the little pirate bands that sometimes hid here to escape the wrath of angry tribes they had raided.With his superior army,Guntu forced them to accept him as their over lord,killing any pirate chief that refused to submit to him.Then using the plunder he had collected from them,he proceeded to build a shelter for the filth and scum from the tribes of every stripe.

 Farna is now a den of sin.Covering the entire northen shore and built on raised stilts for protection against the seasonal floods,are located a vast warren of shanty structures that rot in the suffocating heat of Farna.This is the town that Guntu built.Home to teeming numbers of pirates and criminals,it is filled with brothels,gambling dens,taverns,flop houses and other places of evil repute and  is a favourite hide out among pirates looking for a safe base from which to operate.Order is kept by Guntu's warriors that have do not tolerate violent street brawls and collect the tribute the pirates pay to Guntu.Guntu himself lives in  large stone mansion in the centre of the town and oversees the running of his domain from there.

 All the pirate chiefs are loyal to Guntu and often join his warriors in their raids on wealthy tribes,in addition to helping him compell any Calan merchant vessels that pass through the waters he controlls to pay a heavy toll in exchange for being allowed to retain most of their cargo.Even ships from mighty Talahar that are passing through the waters of Farna,find themselves boarded by those loyal to Guntu.But the worst of their infamies lies in their abuse of the sacred Serpents.Totally violating the beliefs of their people,they keep hundreds of the Serpents in squalid conditions and treat them no better than common animals,enslaving these magnificent things to do their vile bidding,using starvation and harsh beatings to wear down the will of theses once noble creatures.There are even sick degraded spectacles where two starving Serpents try to devour one another,with bids placed on the outcome.Guntu himself wears a cloak made of the hide of the Serpents he has slain.

 Recently,the filth of Farna have begun to hire themselves out as mercenaries to the fanatics from the south that have declared war on those tribes that continue to revere the Serpents.
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Any comments or criticisims?
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2005, 10:39:28 PM »
Anything to say on the isle of Farna?Comments,suggestions,anything at all?Feedback wanted!
“I'm yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Hollywood and Madison Avenue, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you're old and weak.” -Bill Watterson

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