As we viewed the island from afar, I knew we would be forced to land there. Our hull was breached and we are taking on water rapidly. My hope of us making the island is grim, but I keep a face up for the crew. The rumors every sailor has heard of this dreadful place makes even the stoutest sailer make water. We shall see.
-Captain Edver Brakuars, Second to Last Journal Entry.
They stand at roughly 5’ 3”, the shortest of the derevo tribes. They have dark skin and angular features, at times seeming gaunt and in ill health. While their skin is dark, tanned from exposure to the sun, it occasionally has an ashy appearance to it. This is associated with a powder, similar to talc, that the find in the islands caverns. Their eyes are small and uniformly grey with dark hair. Their teeth are filed to points in a ceremony of age, when the youths are fully accepted into the clan as family.
When they were cast out of their ancestral homes they fled the wrath of their cousins and went east, to the coast and beyond. Vamiar-Gretalia took his people to their new home with the hope of building up their tribe strong enough to return and take what he felt was rightfully theirs. They built small, shallow boats and fled to the isolated islands off the coast. There they spent many years in seclusion that led to their first attempts at cannibalism to survive. Part of this change was due to the lack of edible food on the island as well as the hidden secret they unearthed in their search of their new home.
The island where they chose as their new home weren’t as deserted as once thought. There were abandoned temples dotting the islands expanse, large stone temples hidden by the overgrowth of the forest as if nature itself tried vainly to hide their existence. They searched the island yet found no one. Nothing moved on the island except the occasional biting insect and the occasional lizard and wild boar. One of the dangers of the island is the Burrow Dragons, a large lizard like creature that digs its home in the ground to wait for passing prey. The emptiness is the main reason they began resorting to cannibalism. The temples were not deserted however, not all of them.
The largest temple on the island was positioned at the top of the centermost peak. The cool air kept the gretalia at bay for only so long until they could not hold their curiosity in any more. When Vamiar entered the temple with his protective guard what they found was never spoken of again. The temple enclosed about them like a tomb, the entrance closed off to them completely. No light broke through a single crack in the stone walls, it even seemed as if sound itself was denied entry as their voices were soft and dull, stopping long before a usual echo. They traveled through the corridors with a single vine taunt branch used as a torch. They traveled until the torch was completely gone and then traveled by touch.
When fear began breaking their hearts, they fell into a room alight with treasures and warmth. The diffuse light had no source, but was everywhere at once. The glitter of gold was unimportant to them; the artwork fell on dead eyes as they couldn’t find the beauty in them. What gathered their attention and horded it, was a dais of bone and blood. Erected in the center of the treasure, blood could be seen draping off the edges and on to the gold beneath it. What was not seen were six upright tombs held open by a dusted skeleton, fallen to the age of time.
Vamiar knelt before the alter of bone and began praying a prayer that had never crossed his or any of his peoples lips before. It bespoke of power and age, of strength and blood. The six guards that followed Vamiar into the temple also knelt, only they encircled him as if in reverence and began a low hum to echo his prayers. A voice spoke in the heads of the guards, telling them to follow their leader to the grave, that the rewards of the afterlife would surpass that of the flesh. To accept this they took their Khanjar daggers from their waist and sliced their own tongues, lest they speak of their pact and betray their leader.
Vamiar also heard a voice. It was booming in his head, encompassing. It threatened to separate his skull in two yet it soothed his ills and his fears at the same time. It learned his sorrows, his fears, his loss, but most of all; his hatred. It took this in and used it. Learned from it, and gave it back to Vamiar. He told him of his rightful place of power was at It’s side, as the Hand of Redemption, the Caller of Ash, and the Taker of Blood. It showed him the truth of power and the way to gain it through the blood and soul of ones enemy.
As eager as Vamiar was to get this power and gain his revenge on his cousins, the voice spoke of patience. To build their strength so their enemies would not be able to repel them. Reluctantly he agreed, but as he listened to the voice he began to see it had the truth he had been searching for when leaving his banished home with his kin. The worship of the Lost God had begun anew and It’s power increase with ever sacrifice, every poor soul who washed up on the beach from a ship wreck or sailed searching for treasure from the stony temples, all fell before the tribal rituals of the gretalia and Vamiar. Ages have past since their arrival; they have used their boats and those stolen from those who were foolish enough to come to their home. They reach out to other coastal towns, raiding for the flesh. Sacrifices and for food, all is needed in their venture for revenge. One thing has not changed in the many years of their banishment, Vamiar and his six guards still walk the island preaching their practice and calling out that the Coming of Blood is near.
They practice a form of tribal religion based on their beliefs that the temple gods decree. They found these abandoned temples in the jungles and began learning the script, deciphering the rituals and incantations written on the stone walls. What they didn’t know is, the temples were prisons built to house demons and the religion of Caedmon. The main temple within the islands center has a Demon Gate below it. The voice Vamiar heard in his head was that of the Dark Lord, one of the four faces of Ishchali. It used the Demon Gate as a way to enter Vamiar’s mind and alter his beliefs.
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? Responses (7)-9
So make the religion a seperate post and link it in.
All and all it has the makings of an interesting location. There are good hooks to the ancient past (and its 'Evils'). It gives you a bit about the tribes (though it might be nice to have some more details on species/ peoples). I like it. I don't love it. But it gets a paw up!
Not bad...but I echo Moon's sentiment.
Waiting for the religion.
Updated: Religion is finished...