Askuzai Ethnicity in Arcane Realm | World Anvil


Askuzai are a group of Amazons who mainly live in the Mammoth Steppe.    


  Hair   (Color): Black, Brown, Auburn, Red   (Texture): Straight (fine), wavy, curly   Eyes: Brown, Hazel, Green, Blue, Gray   Complexion: Fair, Light Brown, Medium Brown


Culture and cultural heritage

Askuzai are well known to be formidable warriors within the region by their surrounding neighbors. In battles, the Askuzai would use large numbers of highly mobile archers who could shower hundreds of deadly arrows within a few minutes.   Spirituality   Askuzai revere a collection of war goddesses of various pantheons mainly Athena, Artermis, Bellona, Durga, Kali, and Jiutian Xuannü. It is thought that their worship of diverse sets of gods has to do with their nomadic nature and incorporation of people groups either through marriage or conquest.

Average technological level

Askuzai are well known as formidable warriors who invented the composite bow that outclassed the previous wooden bow. When the Askuzai fight on foot, their weapon of choice is a battle-axe with a long narrow pointed blade, like a narrow pick-axe.   Askuzai craftswomen were good at casting metal. They worked gold, bronze and iron, using a combination of techniques like casting, forging and inlaying with other materials. None of these required large amounts of equipment and Caspiane is rich in metal ores, but it did require skill.

Art & Architecture

Askuzai are a nomadic people, they have no houses but live in wagons that are very small with four wheels. Others with six wheels are covered with felt; such wagons are employed like houses, in twos or threes and provide shelter from rain and wind. The men, children, and nursing mothers live in these wagons, but the defending women always remain on horseback.   The Askuzai carried portable possessions that were robust. The objects they buried with their dead are generally small or lightweight – such as small drinking flasks and wooden bowls. Originally they had no furniture to speak of, but eventually they were able to trade with their neighbors for a few pieces such as low tables that can come apart. Thick floor coverings were essential in their wagons though, in the form sheepskins, felt rugs and even imported pile carpets.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

Horses   The Askuzai culture is so strongly tied to horses that they developed horse breeding and riding to a new level. They are accomplished riders and do not use spiked bits or muzzles. Askuzai horse gear (saddles, bridles, bits etc) are also highly developed and functional, durable and light. These are accompanied by halters, bridles and saddles, and occasionally whips, pouches and shields.   When a rider's saddle horses perish, they are buried with very elaborate costumes including headgear with griffins or antlers, saddle covers decorated with combat scenes, and long dangling pendants.   Askuzai horses are well looked after, most often live to between 15 and 20 years until they are put down. Almost all horses were killed in the same manner: a hard blow of a pointed battle-axe to the mid-forehead. Although this is regarded today as a ‘humane’ method, within a society which prized horses, the killing of horses must have made a deep impression.   Hemp Tent Parties   During leisure times, Askuzai will gather the flower, leaves and seeds of cannabis and construct sauna-type arrangement of felt tents like tepee with a felt or leather canopy. They will take the hemp-smoking equipment inside the tent and have parties where they get high. These events often include alcoholic drinks made from their horses milk known as kumis.

Funerary and Memorial customs

When the Askuzai bury their dead they take care to equip the corpse with the essentials they believe are needed for the perpetual rides of the afterlife. They usually dig a deep hole and build a wooden structure at the bottom. For important people these resemble log cabins that are lined and floored with dark felt – the roofs are covered with layers of larch, birch bark and moss. Within the tomb chamber, the body is placed in a log trunk coffin, accompanied by some of their prized possessions and other objects. Outside the tomb chamber but still inside the grave shaft, they place slaughtered horses, facing east.   The Askuzai took great effort to preserve the appearance of their dead using a form of mummification. They removed the brain matter through holes cut in the head, sliced the bodies and removed as much soft tissue as possible before replacing both with dry grass and sewing up the skin. In the high mountain region near the Mammoth Steppe, the frozen subsoil has meant that the organic remains of Askuzai buried in tombs have been exceptionally well preserved in permafrost.


Gender Ideals

Like virtually all Amazons, the Aszukai follow matrilineal rules of descent, virtue and status. They name themselves along their maternal family line and a child's status is determined by their mother's reputation.

Relationship Ideals

Marriage & Family   Traditionally, Askuzai marriages had the aim of cementing clan relationships and strengthening alliances. It is customary to marry outside one's clan group and are designed to reinforce existing bonds between family groups. As such, this is why roaming Askuzai women would go to other clans to find husbands or find them from hauflin settlements which often have more male eligible bachelors than other amazon clans.   For Askuzai with good relations with certain hauflin groups, marriages are typically arranged between an amazon wife and a husband who are compatible with the future bride bringing with her a dowry consisting of such valuables as livestock, jewellery, cloth, servants and the men pay a bride price. As the Asuzkai don't have cordial relations with all hauflin clans, it has been common practice for the woman to steal husbands during raids from settlements or even defeated Amazon clans during warfare.
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