Suragi family names are the same as clan names. Most clans name themselves after nature while others name themselves after a champion or important figure in their clan. Here are some of the most notable clans:
Major language groups and dialects
All Suragis speak some dialect of Suragi Orcish. In its native pronunciation, the language is called Uruk' vrak. Uruk'vrak has at least fourteen mutually intelligible dialects, unique to each clan. There are fifteen unintelligible dialects of Suragi spoken by five eastern clans.
Culture and cultural heritage
Suragi culture is highly egalitarian. Since many packs/clans often split roles such as farming, hunting, and fighting into different villages, everybody does the same thing. This lead to a cultural attitude of uniformity and conformity. The work of the individual impacts the whole. In terms of gender and dynamic equality, all dynamics and subsexes are allowed to perform any role they can. A lot of the culture is based off the polyestrous nature of orcs. Orc dams will go into estrus multiple times in a season. This leaves the season as the only period of fertility. This causes the sires in the clan to go into rut multiple times as well. So there isn't an issue of any subgenders having to do less or more work. Both parents stay behind to care for the litter since there are three to five cubs born each time. The couples often treasure the care of the cubs and raise them until the cubs come of age. This practice frees up space for the couple to continue birthing cubs. The sheer amount of cubs born in each litter makes it the entire village's responsibility to raise the cubs. This strengthens ties among kin and pack. Another aspect of culture is the robust size of an Orc. Their sheer anatomy requires them to eat twice their weight, which is a max of 800 lbs. Due to this, the culture has an attitude of frugality. Aside from celebrations that occur roughly three to five times a year, food is well rationed, so as not to strain their environment to terribly. This root attitude grew into a cultural emphasis on sustainability and frugality. Lastly, a prominent hand in Suragi culture is fighting. This doesn't necessarily mean conflict. It is a way of strengthening each other, resolving conflict, and evaluating mates. This is seen in courtship rituals, joktag tournaments, and even lovemaking (which is hardly a private affair in Suragi culture).
Shared customary codes and values
Commonly shared values for Suragis are rooted in their folk religion. A major feature is extreme and intensive care for the earth and its creatures, as well as the veneration of birth and the feminine. Another common value found amongst clans is resourcefulness. None of the clans belonging to any of the Surag ethnicity have shown themselves to be individuals who have a great disdain for wasteful behavior. This value is seen in the number of uses they have for a kill, to the amazing dwellings they can build out of wood, stone, and the ground. Another major value is pulling your weight in the community. Laziness and lack of productivity aren't tolerated in any of the clans. There is always work to do, and if you've finished tasks that you're assigned you can always help others out. This is based on the pack link that all orcs have. They function best in groups of individuals and don't so well without them. That's why clans are often referred to as packs and have an entire culture based on being part of a collective.
Average technological level
Major discoveries included a crude ore that was ideal for building dens. A such, many have homes built halfway underground with good ventilation. These dens remained in style ever since the 3rd century. With electricity built into these homes and connected to a power supplier in the province, the homes are an ideal shelter. Inventions include newer hunting items. Crossbows and rifles that kill prey rapidly cut hunting expedition time in half. This freed up time for Suragis to begin to practice subsistence agriculture. They majorly tend to wild plants and don't domesticate them for commercial agriculture.
Common Etiquette rules
While what is considered rude varies from clan to clan, there are a couple of unanimous traits that can be found regardless of region. In the home, it's generally considered rude to enter one's den without being asked. Once inside, you shouldn't go where you aren't invited, and stay clear of the Dam's nest. Don't touch or hold cubs unless you were previously given permission. When eating, always give the pregnant, nursing, or old the first of the food. Don't eat until the Dam gives their blessing first. The cubs eat before the sires. Always clean up after the meal and help to clear the table. When meeting someone for the first time, it is common to be challenged to a fight. This is based on a relationship of honesty. If someone is hostile, they will decline the fight, preferring to hide their strength. If someone is amicable or on friendly terms, they will accept a spar, in which they fight with all their strength. This is done as a common greeting. If talking to someone 5 years your senior, you'll address them formally. If talking to someone younger, or the same age, they're addressed as a familiar.
Common Dress code
The materials that many clans use to make their clothes include leather, fur, skins, metal, and gold. In some regions, the clans farm cotton and raise bushboar. These two fabrics resulted in the emergence of embroidery as an art in many clans. Those who could trade made different materials available to their clans. Colors for dying clothes are only found in the capital settlement of a clan. Smaller villages in the capital's periphery create the days from materials they've bought from other villages. A typical outfit in the Surag clans has three parts: the Kak trousers, the Raeg, a thick leather belt, and the breechpelt, a short pelt that goes around the wearer's waist, bears the individual's clan name, village, family tree, and subgender embroidered on it. In the winter, a Gaang, a long shirt that reaches down to the knees, is added. Sires tuck it into the kak while dams leave it out. Boots are also added and warriors often wear them year-round. Underage cubs often wear the kak, tied with a loose belt, and cubs under five will be without clothes of any sort. Druids will wear the normal clothing of a suragi, but they replace the breechpelt with the unworked pelt of their patron animal. Druids also wear their gaangs untucked and year-round.
Art & Architecture
The art of the Surags is heavily based on geometric patterns representing nature, myths, and the Mothers Three. This can be seen in popular recurring embroidery patterns in clothes, to carvings decorating homes and village gates. The most popular motif happens to be the three moons of Azimuth, or as they're known amongst the Surags, the Moon Mothers Three. The second most popular motif is the Bruk Bear. Its pelt is often used in many works of art. Suragi architecture makes heavy use of the soil around them but will use additional materials such as ganite and wood. Many dens are built partially underground and resemble a bear den. The druid's dwelling, however, is completely below ground and serves as the site for many important religious functions.
Common Customs, traditions and rituals
The renewal is a biannual ceremony and ritual that occurs during the equinox. It is believed that this ritual wakes and rests the Moon Mothers at the Summer and Winter solstice respectively. There is also the tradition of celebrating the harvests during a celestial phenomenon that aligns all three moons vertically. Lastly, the new year, celebrated every 330 days, is observed by a ritual cleansing of all the dens in the village.
Birth & Baptismal Rites
Birth is one of the biggest ceremonies in Suragi clans. The entire village waits outside the soon to be mother's den. The druid(s) (a druid in under Moon Mother Bruk will wait on the dam if it is an Omega. If the dam is a Beta a druid in the order of Moon Mother Skakoth will call in the help of a druid under Moon Mother Bruk) are in charge of delivering the cubs. After the cubs are safely delivered, it is bathed in deer blood and the den's baths. The dam feeds the new cubs before they are taken out to greet the village. Three days after the cubs are born, the druids hold a naming ceremony. The cubs are taken to their respective druids, named for characteristics they exhibit, the month they were born in, and their dynamic. The village holds a feast for the couple (or couples). Afterward, the druids give the family extra provisions, such as meat and clothes, and give them a couple of months off from clan duties.
Coming of Age Rites
Presentation: When a cub turns sixteen they go through their first estrus/rut. The clan organizes a hunting rite for them during which they must track down a dire wolf or Siriam bear and kill it with their bare hands. This tests their sense of smell and their self-reliance. After they bring down the kill, they must skin it and cook the meat. The pelt becomes their sugthur. They'll wear the skin to any and all important functions afterwards.
Funerary and Memorial customs
Funerary rites begin by sending both the Skakoth druid and the druid of the deceased's Moon Mother to pray over the body. Before Burial begins by removing the tusks of the deceased and bestowing them upon the deceased's family. They then wrap the dead in animal skins, after gutting out all the internal organs. The corpse is then taken to the edge of the forest and burned. Corpses of the dead are cremated since their spirits are thought to be sent into the spirit realm once the body is burned. The Druid of the Spirit Moon for Moon Mother Bruk to welcome of the spirit back, while the druid of the deceased's Moon Mother prays for the essence to be dispersed amongst future cubs. The belongings of the deceased are then redistributed amongst the family.
Knotting before a courtship. The knot is meant for mates so doing this in a mating that isn't with the intent to produce cubs is consider a somewhat of a social taboo. Eating the dead Eating before the pregnant and nursing Biting a mate without consent Rape Filing one's tusks
Common Myths and Legends
Creation Myth Kolis, (their solar systems sun), broke into three divine entities: the spirit moon Bruk, the blood moon Skakoth, and the soil moon Kran. These three became the moon mothers (moon wives) of the universe and set about creating their new realm. Bruk is the love that binds the other two Moon Mothers together. She is also the leader amongst the three. Kran is the solidity and security of her wives. She also gives life. Skakoth is the lifeblood of her wives. She does the mediating and is a perfect balance of violence and life-sustenance. Skakoth and Kran created the concept of birth and womb. At this stage, the world was still and lifeless. Skakoth and Kran's child Fjar, the concept and action of birth, the rest of the world could now be created. The next child, the spirit bears were the children of Skakoth and Bruk. They served as her emissary, and form a reminder of her presence on earth. Skakoth and Kran then created Ur the beasts of the realm which would serve as the order and balance of Kran and Bruk's daughter Fjeh. Fjeh is nature and life incarnate. The son of all three moon mothers was Raykoth the rain. Raykoth comes from the heavens (like his mother Bruk), gives life (like Kran), and can destroy as well as create (like Skakoth). Bruk and Skakoth created his sister Ray the sky. Bruk and Skakoth created Throsh (fire) after asking for a seed from the Kolis. Bruk then aided Ur in her birth of Brukthur (commonly known as the Siriam bear). As a gift of thanks, Ur asked Bruk to place her spirit in the cub. Brukthur now serves as an extension and emissary of Bruk in the mortal realm. The last children created was an effort of all of the Moon Mothers Three. Brunhildr and her mates Guknash, and Varuk were the first orcs created. In these creatures, Kran, Bruk, and Skakoth all placed their aspects into them. Brunhildr, the first Alpha created, was blessed by Kran with the power of protection and the ability to sire forth life. Guknash, the first Beta made, was blessed by Skakoth with the power of fluctuation and fulfilling roles should danger or imbalance befall her mates. Finally, Varuk (the first omega in existence), was blessed by the Spirit Moon Mother Bruk with the power of the same love and birth that binds her and her wives together. The three were all given the task of bringing forth life in the new Mortal realm. Renewal Myth Suragis believe they were sired by the first orc Brunhildr and birthed by her mates Varuk and Guknash. She was shocked to see that her children were different colors not her own. One had hair like the sun, another had hair like ice, and the third had hair as black as night. As she and her mate raised them, they taught them ways of nature and respect for the moon mothers. Their names were Frostir, Reygol, and Surag. However, the children began to bicker as they grew up. One thought that the best way to rest the moon mothers was actual prey. Another thought the mothers desired their children. Still, another thought they must sacrifice their own energy. The other two laughed, for it was tiny Surag who suggested this. So each held a contest. When the solstice came, Reygol placed the kill on the altar. Nothing happened. Frostir pushed him aside and offered her child to a life of service in the stars. Nothing happened. Then came Surag's turn. She knelt before the altar and pushed her palms into the earth. As she did, the ground glowed green and sprang to life. The ritual ended, and a pleasant hum could be heard throughout the earth. A singing came from the skies, a sign from the moon mothers. Reygol and Frostir apologized for mocking Surag and asked her to teach them the ritual. She agreed and now all types celebrate the solstices this way.
Gristar Fjorgan Brokered a peace treaty for the Fjorgan clan in the elf colony-state of Malak. Now they are a semi-autonomous province Brunhildr Revered as a demigoddess, but also known as the first orc. Jotuntrog The mate of the first orc. General History There were at least a couple of notable Suragi clans along the coasts and inland of Euris including but not limited to Fjorgans, Freijords, Kaekh, Síl, Ognalis, and Ellomband. These clans held significant power in their regions. Suragis as a sub-species started out as pack oriented creatures. Many of these familial associations developed into clans of fifty to 100 but later evolved to include as many as 500,000 to 1,000,000 per village depending on the size of the settlement. This was due to extended family and mating with other clans, tribes, and city-states. Some clans were semi-nomadic and kept to a specific range of lands, though pressure from invading elves led them to settle down more and keep their dens strongly fortified. The Fjorgans and Freijords were two clans from the 4th century that were close enough to be routine allies and hunting partners. They live in the northwestern region of Euris. Fjorgan and Freijord history go back centuries and a popular saying amongst other Suragis in their region details their relationship: Koth gungat ragan kothai. "A river flows better in a delta". They would've converged into one through marriage had it not been for the arrival of Sorkos elves. The Freijords were quick to anger, yet the Fjorgans trusted their elf neighbors (see the country of Agerim) and told the Freijords to try and reason with them. The Freijords listened to the Fjorgans' advice and, subsequently, their cubs were all stolen during one of their joint hunting trips. The embittered Freijords attacked the elvish settlement and were bested in combat. Thus their clan was broken into pieces and were severed from the Fjorgans. The Fjorgans were overcome with guilt and asked the fledgling country of Agerim for their assistance as allies in a war, yet their druids forbade entering the conflict. In the age of exploration, elves sought to correct the orcs in their beliefs. So they ordained as many Rukshanas as elvishly possible and sent them into the surrounding villages. The main problem with this is that many of the new priests were some of the criminals sent abroad for rehabilitation. Thus they weren't respectful in their methods, nor were they patient. Some sought to force the Suragis into Azism while remaining painfully unaware of the fact that their religion, and that of the Surags, were not the same at all. A major motivation for the invading clergy was money and luxuries they gained from the temples in Mamkamamfa when they won over more converts and territory. This greed manifested whenever they went into orc villages, they would steal gold, furs, and food, saying that it was the orcs' penance for worshipping Palikos. Rukshanas never committed the thefts while anyone older than a cub was there. They also hid their scent from Suragis by dousing themselves in water and lye. Priestesses almost always targeted the renewals and hunting expeditions since no one would be there to protect their young or belongings. Suragi clans tried to engage in peace talks with the same officials who raided their villages in the first place. But time and time again, the talks escalated into wholesale murder of the elvish territory that stole their cubs. This kicked off the fairy stage. In this practice, elf officials paid mercenaries to steal orc cubs away from their clans and bring them into elf cities miles away from their homes to be educated in Azism. The practice first began as a way to extort Suragi clans but grew into a widespread effort to forcibly "educate" and convert their young. It was here that the Mamkamfans encountered another issue: dynamics. The elves had no experience with secondary genders. They themselves only had the primary two that delegated function and cultural roles. Thus, the elves assumed the orcs were in need of "correction". At the schools, cubs had their scent glands surgically removed. Alpha females had their genitals mutilated while all Alphas had their knot surgically removed. To control Betas since they appeared to have "normal" parts, Azism schools would send alphas and omegas to different schools to make sure there were the same amount of each. This prevented Beta students from having heats or ruts and thus eliminated their role as buffers between the other two dynamics. After their schooling, the students would be given to elvish noblemen and noblewomen to learn how to serve in the courts. The most resistant of students would be forced to serve in the colonies' militias. By this stage, many of the clans had retreated inland to prevent their young from being targeted by Fairies. They closed off their settlements from outsiders but did Some students did escape all the way back to their clan lands only to find their clan had long since left and concealed themselves. The few that did find their homes were welcomed back with open arms, though their parents and siblings were often dead and gone.
Suragi Beauty Ideals The ideals of this culture center around physical strength, and long tusks. Long Hair Hair is one of the most well cared for aspects of any Suragi. Many individuals wash, style, and grow their hair with the most dedication. This is due to the utmost esteem in which physical health is held in Suragi culture. Long hair is a primary source for infection, so taking care of it is a habit many train themselves in. Hair is so significant, that exiles have all of their's shaved off before being cast out. Hair can grow to be 7 ft in length. Tusks Tusks are another well-cared-for aspect of Suragi beauty. However, tusks are cared for in a different way than hair. While large tusks are prized, one's tusks must never be too sharp. That is a sign of a coddled and/or unfulfilled life. In wars, hunts, or fights, tusks are endangered, being a prominent feature. It is rare for a tusk to be knocked loose, but if one is, the individual is venerated rather than scorned. If one's tusks are too short, or sharp they are looked at as a coward. Exiles also have their tusks filed down while especially terrible offenders may have their tusks forcibly pulled. The longest one's tusks can grow is three to four inches. Piercings Piercings are featured in every significant celebration and social function, whether religious or secular, The commonly pierced areas are the eyebrows, nose, and ears. Some clans, however, do pierce the tongue and the nipples. The main piercing style is three rings in each place, signifying the three moons of Aurus. Scars Scars are seen as proof of one's courage and strength. This is due to the near-impenetrable nature of an orc's skin. Anything strong enough to pierce an orc's hide is strong enough to kill one. Scars, like well-worn tusks, tell a story. IN fact, many clans have unique scarring styles that force the scar to heal in a permanent way. Tattoos Tattoos, whether religious or secular, are a form of storytelling. Similar to a breechpelt, the tattoos are earned when an individual does something significant, or something significant happens. Events such as a loved one dying, or succeeding in your coming of age ritual, earn one a tattoo. Physical Strength Physical strength, regardless of subgender, is a paragon of cultural beauty that has remained for a while. Dams with lower body strength are particularly prized since orcs birth 4-5 cubs on average. There have even been ritual contests, pre-courting stage, that involve the dam of the relationship crushing a log of wood between their thighs to prove lower body strength. Lower body strength in sires is also appreciated, but upper body strength is particularly prized. Other Ideals Pregnancy is also an attractive trait. This alone may be the reason their clans are typically a size of 450-500 individuals. Sharp claws, large eyes, and lips, as well as rounder figures are also considered beautiful.
Gender ideals often vary based on the clan and its history, though most have similar gender ideals rooted in their religion. Because their gender roles are rooted in their patron Moon Mother (see Panuraic Folk Religions), their roles are based on characteristics of the Moon Mothers Three. Alphas are expected to care for and treasure their Omegas. They also take on more labor-intensive roles such as hunting, farming, and building. An Alphas role as the protector and a provider in their homes, village, and clan at large, are deeply ingrained in many of their societies. Betas are not constricted to any particular role due to their function as societies buffers in reproduction and the workforce. They perform many roles that need filling both in their relationships and societies. Omegas are expected to be pious, kind, and nurturing individuals. They are also expected to give birth at least once in their lives. Omegas are highly valued in their societies as leaders, mothers, and mates. However, an ideal orc (regardless of subgender) is expected to be immensely strong, show no weakness, and aggressive.
Information about courtship rituals can be found in the Mating Ceremony Article. Here's an excerpt:
- Pit-Wrestling: The pair will physically wrestle the challengers. if they win, their claim will remain undisputed. If one loses the challenger has a chance to prove their worth in a series of separate contests in which the mate will choose the winner.
- Hunting: The pair will go off together to go track down prey and kill it. The animal's pelt will be used for their wedding garments and the meat will be dried and preserved to be served at the ceremony
- Introduction to the mate's parents and personal pack: this is done towards the end of the rituals. It´s so they know that the ones important to their mate are important to them too. Here, the pelts from the families are gifted to the couple as good luck.
An ideal relationship between mates revolves around the Dam's sovereignty in the home and in leadership. The Sires are expected to provide without complaint and keep their mates happy. Both mates are supposed to take care of their young and provide for them in a loving and caring manner while avoiding coddling them.
The Fjorgan clan lives in the elven kingdom of Malak and, as such, is also called the Malak Band of Suragi Orcs. There are two other large clans in Malak.
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