You might survive the bite of a single spider, but you find yourself facing many. And our poison is strong.Ti'aturi is a loose confederation of minor powers located on the far side of known lands in the Inner Shell that have formed an alliance against encroaching powers such as Kharkorp or Mharaji. When their lands are safe and no trouble is stirring from distant powers, the members of the Ti'aturi usually fall back to their old ways of fighting and raiding each other.
Around thirteen different villages and settlements of varying size have joined the Ti'aturi. None of them are equal to any of the great City-States and even united (and they rarely are), they are still inferior in number. But the Ti'aturi fight to defend their homes or to feed their families, and so fight tenaciously. Out of the thirteen, three are the most powerful and the most influential.
Members of the Ti'aturi
The ShokutaThe Shokuta live the closest to the rest of Araea and have spread out across several villages. By necessity, they have become warlike and quick to draw their blades. Though fierce warriors, they have a reputation as being equally skilled poets and have shown a canny talent for playing others against each other. Despite that, when the Ti'aturi call it is always the Shokuta who answer first. Read more about the Shokuta
The ShaeirDue to their contact with Kharkorp, the Shaeir have taken to the practice of ancestral worship and become skilled metal-smiths. To the Shaeir, there's two ways of doing something: the way their ancestors would have done it and the wrong way. The Shaeir still hold their secrets from the other pact-members, including the workings behind their most sacred ritual of Dream-Questing. Skill at arms and skill with words are highly praised among the Shaeir, in reverse order of importance. Read more about the Shaeir
The UdatsaReluctant partners of the Ti'aturi and far from most battles, the Udatsa are feared by the other pact-members as manflayers and maneaters. The battle-standards of the Udatsa give reason to this fear and the skull-masks they wear to battle make them terrifying figures. Despite that, the Udatsa would much rather just be left alone. Their displays give others pause when contemplating a raid, and that has given the Udatsa an attitude of grim practicality and gallows humor. Even so, they've proven more than capable warriors and are adapt at corraling tamed cave-lizards of great size into battle. They are poor poets, another cause for the other members of the Ti'aturi to distrust them. Read more about the Udatsa These are the largest and most powerful members of the Ti'aturi. The others are minor villages or small, distant settlements like river-town of Mahkum and currently harried town of Aburo.
The Ti'aturi pact is pledged again at every third year. Each member agree to cease hostilities among each other when an outside enemy threatens the land they claim as their own, to give no succor to any such foe and to deny the aid of the settlements in their land which have not joined the pact. These are given no protection and can be treated just as one would a foreign foe in times of crisis. Each meeting, the members of the Ti'aturi vie for advantage, playing up their part in the defense of all for material gain, favors or the promise of future aid. It is a spar of words (and occasionally of blades) which always seems just at the edge of breaking apart entirely before coming together at the end of the meeting at the third day.
Despite the defensive nature of the Ti'aturi pact, raiders from the pact have begun to strike the outskirts of 'civilized' land. These attacks are justified as retribution, or not at all. The victims, they say, have made themselves the enemy of the Ti'aturi and have no one to blame but themselves.
Ancestral EnemiesNot all of those who lives near the Ti'aturi have been so quick to join arms against outsider. The people here have fought each other for as long as they have lived here and some nurse feuds as deep as the Abyss. These form a constany danger for the Ti'aturi, as they are all too happy to aid the foes of the Ti'aturi and to attack them while their warriors are occupied elsewhere.
The Cost of ConquestSo far, Ti'aturi suffered several expeditions to colonize and subdue them. These are been repelled, each time at great cost. Each time, the Ti'aturi have grown more canny and have learned that to strike the city-states at their most vulnerable: the coffers. Ti'aturi have learned that if they can make such expeditions costly beyond any possible gain, they will quickly lose traction. They have become experts at guerilla attacks and at leading their foes into dangers (or vice-versa). For the Ti'aturi, if it is greed that lead their foe to invade their home, they will take all profit from them - a policy that has sometimes lead to some extreme measures.
While the Ti'aturi villages are sometimes depicted as uncivilized barbarians or degenerate tribals by stories and plays in the city-states, the only thing that really separates them is distance. The Ti'aturi have no disadvantage when it comes to working metal or forging weapons, though they have much less of the organized economy of the city-states, and their cultures are no less sophisticated. But the city-states, that narrative does not justify another expedition and so they tell a different story.