Moon People

They're peculiar, ain't they? Don't look nothing like Esereti, and only a little like Oliens. Some calls them "Toads". They say their people came from the moons in five ships that fled the fall of their civilization when "The Thing on the Threshold", a being they do not name, consumed all else. Moon People customs are strange too. They put no stake in ancestry, only skin color and have a reputation for violence and fighting over the least little things.
  The Moon People are found in the north-east of the Eseret territories, north of Taurien lands. They are short, typically 5 ft or less. Build is thin to lanky, and rarely heavy, bulky or stocky. When fat, it is all belly fat. They get wrinkled with loose skin hanging on the neck, body and from arms and legs as they age. The hair is fine, limp and stringy. The color is white, black or shades of grey/ salt-pepper or streaked. Their eyes are large and bulging, with small flat noses and overly wide mouths with thin narrow lips. The Moon People barely show more than whisps of facial hair in men and none in women. Eye color is pale - a white blue to white green. Prominent fang teeth is considered a beauty mark. Ears are small and long lobed. Hands and feet have webbing to the second joint. Skin color is stark white ( not albino however), shades of grey or black. Black and white skin tones are considered superior - marks of favor from their Gods. Black or white are about 50% likely to produce offspring of their own skin tone. Mixes are 90% greys and any given couple of greys are about 20% likely to produce a child of white or black skin tone. Black skin denotes a superior person, the Excellent. Being closest to the Gods the Excellent, they are gifted with the Sight and should study and be scholarly, teach the Laws, sacrifice and provide worship of the Gods and serve the people as mages and Seerers. They may trade but should refrain from gross labor and crafts. Likewise they are not rulers, governors or leaders of armies. White skin is the mark of the exceptional, the Splendid. The Splendid are chosen to serve and protect and gifted with the Punishing power of the Lash. Their labor is the protection of the people and the world. They are the chosen to lead and govern. They may trade but are prohibited from common works. The grey skinned "stone" person is regular, on a spectrum of skin tones from dark Masters to pale Accomplished with most being Gifted at a skill or trade. The Stones are the foundation. They make the walls and shelters of all the people and support the Excellent and Splendid in their duties.

Naming Traditions

Feminine names

Most feminine names end in Te, i or ah.  Vowels are preferred.

Masculine names

Most end in R, T or IS.

Family names

The tribes of Moon People trace back to the ships they supposedly descended to the world upon. Names are Personal, tribe, family. The Tribes are:

Family name is by historic trade name. Cooper, carpenter, mason, carver, Ossler, brewer, herder, hunter, farmer, etc.  Tribe and family are important, and these names endure.


Culture and cultural heritage

The Moon People say that they came to the moons from beyond in a great ship in the Demon Age, over 15,000 years ago. The Dynasties of Splendid monarchs ruled for millennia until the wars with the "Thing on the Threshold", also called the "Devouring Chaos". The Monarchy and government became increasingly corrupt and focused on self enrichment and indulgence. The Gods turned against them and allowed the Thing to hurl masses of Warped evil and Chaos that smashed the buildings and civilization, as well has hurling down to the world, smashing a corrupted part of the Crystal domes of the heavens. This part fell and brought the Tumult, crashing into the land to create a huge crater that became the Inner Sea and caused the land to ripple and buckle- changing the face of the world, sinking and twisting parts with the inner sea and new ranges of mountains. The five ships of the escaped Moon People came down in this and created a colony.

Shared customary codes and values

The Core of Moon People society are the Laws of the Gods ( The Ta'am of Ariatotep and the Tuif of Pozaxinus) - see the side panels.
Any dispute between individuals that can't be settled in negotiation is settled by duel. In minor issues duels might also be wrestling and pinning an opponent where blood shed is not desired - such as insults, debates, insubordinate children or trade disputes. Duels require witnesses and they declare disputes resolved (either voided or to satisfaction in the winner's favor) at the end of the duel (First blood). No duel may occur if no witnesses are available and disputes are considered open. Submission avoids duels but carries a stigma of weakness. Major crimes are judged by Exemplars and Splendid, though injured/ wronged parties may demand duels as well.

The Moon People hold hospitality as vitally important and none may deny a request of Guesting for food, drink or shelter except under the most extreme conditions or situations.

Average technological level

The Moon People are unique in the use of Moonstone ore to make a white metal that is lighter than iron and almost as strong. They do not allow others to know their secrets of making it and will kill anyone they learn of that is doing so.
The Moon People also have a unique Magic tradition of Seerers amongst the Black skinned that make prophesy. The white skinned have a power that is called the Punishment that should be used  in protecting the Law and the people.

Common Dress code

Traditional garb includes a turban. In women, brightly colored and patterned. In men typically subdued and monochromatic - white, black, brown or pastel yellow or pink. Married individuals will have a large decorated pin in the front and center. Unmarried may have one or several small pins. Feathers above the pin denote scholarship (white), magic (red) or priestly (black) status by color. Vests, loose pants and shoes with upward curved points complete the costume. They wear longer coats in the cold weather and furred vests.
Unmarried women may go topless, or are expected to dress in alluring and revealing outfits to show off beauty and dsirability.  Married women are expected to be more modest in dress.

Art & Architecture

The Moon People dislike straight smooth lines. They like arches, curved surfaces and crescent or half-moon shapes. Their weapons favor scimitars, curved cutlasses and crescent shaped blades or horns.

Funerary and Memorial customs

The Moon People observe that each has only one life, arising from nothing and passing into nothing. Ghosts are phantom memories, or evil spirits that feed on memory and recognition. To invoke the dead gets the attention of these things ( they are not the dead, only images or reflections of them) and haunting. The dead are burned and ashes cast into flowing rivers, into lakes or cast to the wind. Names are no longer used and titles of "Mother", "Father", "Child" replace them in farewell ceremonies that recall stories about the dead. The Moon People say "It is better to live one day under the sun than to spend a thousand years as a shade and memory in darkness."
Undead are hated and feared as monsters and threats, as well as violations of the proper order of things.

Common Myths and Legends

The Gods are Ariatotep ( A man with white skin, Eagle head and wings, wielder of lightnings), the Light Moon, bringer of laws and letters, justice and compassion, daylight, sky, wind and agriculture and Pozaxinus (snake headed man covered in black scales), the Dark moon and overseer of mysteries, knowledge, magic, secrets, healing, night, water, caverns and underground.
Opposite Ariatotep is Chree, chaotic God of fire and alcohol. War and combat. Chree hungers for blood and violence and is kept restrained by worship and offerings and Pozaxinus' spells.

Opposite Pozaxinus is Khizech, God of lies, deception and evil. Khizech wants suffering, hurt and hunger. It whispers from the belly to cast aside the Law, to bend and break it. Khizech has the form of a great bug, a beetle of vapor with pincer jaws. It's servants are bringers of disease, spoilage and decay. They are rat-like things with many legs, hard shells and tusks that drop venom.  

The enemy of the Gods is the Unnamed, The Thing on the Threshold, the Mad Devourer. This appears as a funnel cloud of smoke with tentacles, no apparent eyes and a sucker mouth with rows of razor teeth all around and down the throat. It is a Destroyer from Beyond. It wants destruction. Silence. Cold. It's heralds are the Shto, blobby, lobulated things that roll, or extend knobby projections that pull them forward. They whine and cry in eerie whistling piping sounds and the Unnamed follows or is summoned by them.

The legends of the Moon People say they built a great civilization under the Gods Ariatotep and Pozaxinus. Using magics they tamed and controlled Chree, who always sought to escape. They warred with strange things from beyond, leathery winged, tentacled with pincer claws on the ends of each and dozens of eyes. These worshipped the Unnamed and brought it to destroy the Moon People and nearly did, in a huge attack that also freed Chree and caused it to rampage. The victory was achieved in part by Khizech's turning the ancestral monarchy to evil. Five ships escaped the destruction and came down to the world.

The Moon People do not worship ancestors and do not believe in reincarnation. They say the dead are gone and ghosts or spirits are only lingering shadows of memories that will vanish if names and histories are forgotten. These Memories don't want to be forgotten and will try to keep themselves "alive" with tricks, malice or aid.

Historical figures

Moon People histories omit names to prevent the ghostly memories coming back to haunt the living. Historic figures are named by trade and ship. The ancient ones from the Moons are given their trade and the "ancient" title. The Ancient Smiths learned to make and work Moon metal and lunaargent. The ancient generals of the sixth dynasty fought the Fellspawn that brought the Unnamed.  The Ancient Monarchs abandoned the Law and the favor of the Gods.


Beauty Ideals

For both sexes prominent fang teeth is considered very attractive.  They shun face paints in favor of scarification, making chevrons, wedges or clustered bumps to the sides, forehead  and cheeks.  Fighting and duel scars are also considered attractive and dress may be arranged to show them.  The wealthy or powerful favor lacquer painted nails on hands and feet and it is widely copied.  The working/ laboring classes wear off or chip such paints rapidly.  Aggressiveness is also a desirable trait and meekness is seen as weak.

Gender Ideals

Women are expected to be thin, small breasted and decorated with jewelry, colorful turbans, scars and nail paint. Fae elf style and fashions are popular as a desired look. Thin transparent or translucent veils are also worn.
For men of the Splendid, dress is billowing pantaloons and wide sleeved shirts.  Long robed shirts and skirts for Excellent. Stones may be more sturdy trousers or short pants. They decorate showing bracers, rings and pendants, or painted lacquer nails.

Courtship Ideals

There are several recognized marriage forms:
High Form:  An arranged type marriage.  A father or family gifts a maiden to a man of status, wealth or influence.
Bride price: a groom and family negotiate with the maiden's family a bride price paid by the groom.
Love:  a man and woman agree to marriage either with or without family approval.
Abduction:  In war or battle a woman taken captive is taken as wife.  Sometimes this is outright abduction of girls, then taken away to different towns.  Local tolerance is variable- where some do not accept it or others do, but it is unseemly.
One Child: A contractual marriage where a groom or family pays a price for a temporary marriage that is released on producing a child for the groom's family.

Relationship Ideals

Women's greatest place is as mothers and householders. They may work to support and aid husbands or fathers or support themselves and any children. As such they are helpers and assistants expected to obey the men of the family in matters beyond the walls of the home. Within the home it is considered that "Happy wife makes a happy life." Women may own property, and typically own the home or home possessions. However, they should be subordinate to men according to Moon People ways. Exceptional individuals may command men, provided they are Excellent or Splendid status.
Marriage and family is considered one of the highest values.  Avoiding it is scornful. The Family and Tribe endure, not the individual.   Homosexual relationships are tolerated in youth, or as acceptable affairs in marriages. Exclusive same sex relationships in adults over 20 is scorned. It is considered selfish and against the Gods and nature to deny gender roles.

Major organizations

The Excellent possess the power of the Seerers: The power may be used a number of times per day = User Rank/ power rank. ( at Rank 5, 5 per day Direction, 2 Insight, 1 Augery, Foresight or Stepback).
* Direction: this power lasts 1 scene, giving the user the general direction of the desired specific named target. The force of the pull is stronger with closer things, weaker the farther away and faint at great distance.
** Insight: This power gives a vision of the stated target in it's current location and condition. The target produces a glow in the vision, enough to see a foot around it, if there is space.
*** Augery: use of this spell allows the beneficiary to have the augery noted. It is a prophesy of some future event and is spent to allow the beneficiary to have one 10 lb or less mundane item they need or would benefit from, "foreseen" as needed. The item doesn't need to have been specifically obtained - it just "appears" and is recalled as something obtained for the prophesy.
**** Foresight: This blessing is carried forward until used. It allows undoing one action from the last round/ turn and redoing it. This could be trying something different or simply just reroll.
***** Stepback: Save until used. This prophesy allows a scene to be reset and started over.

The Splendid possess the power of Punishers. It is usable once per day at Rank/ power rank.
* Liar's face: When activated the power lasts 1 scene. The caster can tell if someone is telling a lie and the liar is punished with an electric shock that only does minor fatigue damage. Only outright lies are detected. Omission or half truths are not detected and do not induce the shock.
** Smite: Use of this power allows a re-roll on a missed/ failed attack. It activates on use and may be used immediately after a miss.
  *** Circle of Protection: This power can be placed on a location or person. It provides a sphere with a 5 ft diameter ( 10 ft sphere) that holds back undead ( roll Undead Power Rank vs caster rank. If undead overpower the circle they suffer damage equal to a 1 d attack at Rank of Caster) and provides a +1 defense/ armor against all other attacks for those within the 5 ft radius. The power lasts for 1 scene.
  **** Laying on Hands: Invoking the Gods this heals on successful roll at die = rank. The healing acts as 1 day rest and recooperation per success. Alternatively the Laying on Hands does damage at Rank dice to attack and damage vs evil. The damage is electrical.
  ***** Geas: Places a magical obligation to perform some service or duty and return to the caster with proof the mission has been performed. Each day not working on the mission, delay or avoidance causes a cumulative -1 on rolls that is only removed by the caster on completion.
The Law of Ariatotep (The Ta'am)  
None is born wise. Children and animals live without the Law, ruled by the desires of the belly. But the child can be taught and the animal trained to the heart and the mind. The Mind seeks wisdom. The Heart seeks compassion. The Belly seeks pleasures and taking what it wants.

Virtue is to practice the Law and to teach it, to live a happy life with light heart, admiration of peers and society and favor of the Gods.

Wisdom is not allowing others to suffer, to live in evil or ignorance. Always aid others in justice and kindness.

Duty is to not lie, deceive or cheat. Do not steal from the temples or from others. Do not slander or deny truth. Do no evil against another. Do not exploit the weak, lower or disadvantaged. Do not cause suffering or allow it to be ignored. Duty is to serve the worthy and to be lifted up in service. Duty flows from individual to family and friends, from family and circle to village, from village to nation and nation to all the people.  And then back again from the People and Nation to the individual.
The Law of Pozaxinus (The Tuif)
Reality is Truth. What is true is so, wether we know it or are not aware. All life shares the unity of breath. Respect all that lives. Self is a temporary illusion and the world of distinctions is a phantom. All proceeds from causes and conditions and can be changed by reflection upon these and choosing to follow the Law and mind or heart or the belly. Evil flows from evil and choosing the path of the belly.

The Law says better yourself. Better others. Live in cleanliness and obeying the disciplines of the Tuif. Follow all the Disciplines and most importantly the ones of your skin.

Discipline of Knowledge: This is the domain of the Exemplary. Study the Laws and all knowledge. Seek to understand Truth and what is true. Teach and share the knowing and guide others with Wisdom. Serve the people and the Gods, and shine light on lies, deception and evil ways.

Discipline of Action: This is the domain of the Splendid. Act without selfish interest. Defend the weak, those below you and those who need help. Rule with justice, kindness, the open hand and Virtue. Do not allow evil to spread.

Discipline of Devotion: This is the domain of the Stone skins. Devote yourself to excellence in your works, deeds and speech. Keep the wise tongue that speaks no evil. Keep your hand from evil acts. Follow the teachings of the Law and obedience to those above. Deliver up service to the Exemplary and Splendid, that they may deliver Wisdom, Virtue and Duty back so that all prosper.

Cover image: by mutterwolf


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