At first glimpse it is easy to count the Tribe of the Shrew as a simple band of barbarians, berzerkers, cannibals, and destroyers. While at its heart, the Tribe is just that, it is also more than that.
The Precepts of Consumption
If the Shrews had a god, it's name would be hunger. All shrews are dominated by their relentless apetite and the only time they stop eating is when they mate or the rare instances when they sleep.
The Precepts of Consumption
I. In This Place Brother, All Flesh Must Be Eaten,
II. Flesh is a sacrament, last is the flesh of the fallen, next the flesh of the foe, next the flesh of thy sibling, next the flesh of thy mother, last and greatest is the flesh of thyself,
III. Hunger feeds upon Death, and Death is An Empty Belly
IV. Let Those Who Build Burn
Most of the time Shrews are rarely a menace, as their apetites keep their numbers in check as well as competition between bands in the wild and the limited amount of territory each can claim. There are three things that can trigger a boom in the Shrew population that lead to the formation of a Shrewish Host. Much like the scourging Locust swarms of the bible, these hosts scourge the land for vast areas. Anything living in these areas is quickly reduced to partial skeletons, as only the most dense of bone is not devoured by the host.
A famine can drive a host together for the sole purpose of hunting large prey and tearing it apart. These famine hosts last only so long as there is prey for them to consume. Lacking suitable prey or carrion, the shrews will turn on each other in a cannibalistic frenzy.
By creating an excess of carrion, be it a human or livestock plague the Shrews gain a massive amount of food. Once gathered, the host will eat through the available food supply and then turn on anything else that is alive. Like the famine host, the plague host only lasts as long as the food supply.
The Scourge Host is considered to be one of the worst menaces among rodents. This hosts gathers under a charismatic leader and burns with a religious zeal for the Precepts of Consumption. Such a host will go on a semi-religious pilgrimage/pillage until it reachs a sort of religious critical mass, is defeated in battle, or the leader falls and like the other conditions, the host falls on itself in a religious orgy of cannibalism.
The Lone Shrew
Hard of sight, but with a keen nose, the lone shrew is not the savage monster of mousy horror stories. In smaller numbers they can be talked to and reasoned with, but it is always wise to either have obvious strength in numbers or an ability to keep the shrew's apetite in check. They are cunning when it comes to matters of herbalism and brewing and they themselves excrete a paralytic toxin that they rub their claws in before going to battle.
Fury of the Horde
All Flesh must be Eaten is intended as a supplement for the Shrew-Haters, as in that already long submission, the Shrews were shown as inarticulate savages capable of only murder and cannibalism. The Shrews have a violent and nomadic culture and their language is a mongrelized amalgam of other animal tongues, so that often two shrews from different areas do not speak even close to the same dialect. They have a very strong almost psychotic zeal to their religion and are very vulnerable to peer pressure and mob mentality.
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? Responses (8)-8
The ravening Horde of the barbaric Shrews...
A decent companion piece to the Kingdom of Mus, but not remarkable in itself. More detail about shrewish culture, social system, and possessions would make it more interesting. As it is, it's still just bare bones, waiting for more detail.
Parts that I particularly liked included the religion of hunger and the various reasons for the gathering of the Host of the Shrews.
Good job Scras
No vote or suggestions with this comment. I was just wondering if you knew there was an RPG titled All Flesh Must Be Eaten?
I do not own it, but I am well aware of it's existance. Much like I am aware of Mars' existance, and yours for that matter ;)
A darker take on such things as Nihm and Redwall. Good stuff!
Nice. A poetic reseprentation of a simple religion. If I ever try GMing Redwall I'll use these.