Carnonacae Ethnicity in Caledonia | World Anvil
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Carnonacae (Car-non-ak-ae)

The Carnonacae are amongst the most archaic and unchanged of all the tribes of Caledonia. A clan made up of extended bloodline that goes back countless generations, even the druids say that the Carnonace bloodline have occupied these lands since the war of the trees. They reside in the deep and pathless glens of the rugged high mountains of the west, is it any wonder they retain an ancient lifestyle, being isolated by their remoteness and lack of frequent connection to their neighbours. Even their name Carnonacae takes its meaning from the high mountains around them. The Carnonacae live by the hunt, having very little in the way of fields to till or pasture to raise livestock but instead an abundance of wild land teeming with wild game and beasts of all manner, they are renowned hunters, better trackers you will not find, men of few words but hardy expressions and fierce countenances. Due to their isolation and infrequent travels they have a somewhat legendary status among the tribes of Caledonia, although some might make light of them as backward savages none would dare to speak of them this way within earshot.


The Carnonacae occupy a vast expanse of uncharted mountainous terrain, made up of lofty mountain chains separated by countless impassable defiles where streams cascade down the mountains into the dark forests below, each mountain range is separated by a wide glen where turgid rivers flow with icy black waters. These rivers form deep lochs that make navigating their territory almost impossible. A guide is normally sought to pass through Carnonacae lands, although not often visited by strangers, those that do wander here alone seldom return. The coastal regions are in no way easier to navigate than the hinterland, being made up of deep sea lochs and estuaries of the many rivers that flow from the mountains and innumerable rocky outcrops that jut out from the turbulent waters that crash upon the rocky shores. This is no place to sail for those unfamiliar with these most remote coasts, most merchant vessels choose to pass by here without stopping. There are a small number of settlers from the Northern tribes Who have set up farmsteads and settlements upon the rocky peninsulas, seeking to carve out their own territory in this unforgiving land, safe harbour could be sought nearby if only the merchant vessels dared to sail closer to the shore to catch a glimpse of them.


To the north dwell the Caereni it is they who have sent colonists to the rocky peninsulas that jutt out into the sea along Carnonancae territory, here they reside in their mighty Broch towers. the Carnonacae tolerate their existence here, partly because they choose not to enter the hinterlands where the Carnonacae hold their hunting grounds and partly because some trade exchange takes place between these peoples. They do not break bread together, join in festivities with one another or marry into each others bloodline instead choosing to live peacefully apart keeping trade relations for necessity alone. For the Carnonacae have no need for the trappings of modernism, fine wine and glazed vessels, they get everything they need from their land, as they have always done since times of yore.
  To the East dwell the ruthless Smertae , who above all else fear the Carnonacae and relent from pestering or raiding their lands as they do to others. This is because the Carnonacae do not till fields or raise livestock so they have no provisions that the Smertae might covet. The Smertae know that they are outmatched by the Carnonacae, if they entered their lands they would be lost and hunted down by man or beast before ever leaving.
  The Cerones occupy the mountains to the south and the land facing the isle of Scitis. These peoples do not mix, although both parties respect the border between their peoples, if giving chase to game in the hunt and by chance the beast crosses the border they give up chase and let the beast run free. Although there is no respect or relation between these tribes they at least recognise the limits to their respective territories.


The Carnonacae do not observe the festivities and ceremonies common to the tribes of Caledonia, typically these are seasonal festivals that mark pastoral and agricultural events. The Carnonacae have no farms, or fields, for this reason they recognise their own archaic rituals honouring the hunt and the gods that dwell in the mountains and the forests that provide them with their sustenance. They venerate their prey and hold festivals and feasts in honour of them, oftentimes wearing the skins and horns of deer, auroch, wolf and bear whilst dancing around a bonfire taking on the mannerisms and movements of wild beasts and howling into the night.
  The Carnonacae speak a brutish dialect of the common tongue with many words of their own passed down to them from a time before the common speech was brought to these islands, only the druids can know the true meaning of their speech, they can easily understand the speech of others, in turn those that listen to them speak struggle to understand them. It is a strange and remarkable thing among them that they have their own way of communicating across long distances, they whistle and make cries that echo across the glen making a sound as if they were themselves like animals. In this way they can communicate simple commands over long distances.
  For burial they observe the custom of excarnation, upon death the breasts and buttocks are cut away and mixed with the flesh of a sacrificial beast, the body is then carried in solemn procession to a sacred precinct in the wilds where it is fastened to a tree or some outcrop, here they leave the deceased to be consumed by wild beasts, thinking that their soul will become one with the animals that consume the flesh. they wait a number of weeks until all that remains is a few bones, these bones they gather up and return to the settlement distributing them among the mourners. The bones are then crafted into all manner of talismans and charms, if it is a long bone it is hollowed out and turned into a flute or some useful object that might serve as a reminder of that person, thinking that an these objects are imbued with the essence of that person that might ward off any ill fortune that might befall them.


Of all the tribes the Carnonacae dress in the most distinctive fashion, choosing to wear animals skins and hides with the head acting like a hood, the youth wear the hide of a deer and often don antlers thinking that this dress might help to camouflage them during the hunt, upon reaching manhood they don the pelt of whatever beast the have received as their totem animal, the stealthy among them wear the pelt of the lynx, the cunning don the fox hat, the strong wear the Auroch and the mighty and most accomplished wear the bearskin, all of these beasts they must hunt down and prepare themselves. For arms they prefer the hunting bow but all of them also carry a short spear and a dagger at all times, these they deem the tools of their trade and no-one goes anywhere without them.

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