Utuk'taseg - Those that Seek
It hadn't been long since she arrived, but already she could feel the difference. Or rather, it was the lack of a certain feeling she noticed first. No one was staring at her, or better yet no one was charging at her swords drawn preparing to steal away her life. Everyone was like her here, they had all been prosecuted, attacked, and known people that had been murdered on the side of the road by so-called knights, and protectors of the realm. To those outside this reclaimed land, they were monsters, whose ears were to be collected and traded in for coins or to be used as a tool to sharpen the experience of their blades. But here, here they were embraced, warmly, and kindly by each other. A place to start fresh, and be amongst others of similar ilk and fortune. The Utuk'taseg, Those that Seek. And for her, she sought a home. And she believes she has finally found one.
About twenty years ago, in 738 EoC. Several tribes of what are considered humanoid creatures banded together and decide that enough was enough. They were tired of being killed, persecuted, and disrespected. One of them had heard of a freed land to the east, a valley sheltered behind tall mountain peaks. A wildland no one had tamed. One, if they could reach it, could be their new home. So, they marched, day and night for months. Travelling across the continent, they faced many trials; they could seek no shelter as none would take them, their food stores would run low but none cared enough to feed them, and at every pass 'noble knights' and 'protectors' sought to slay them in the name of justice and law. None wishing to listen to their words, for all they sought was freedom. Not violence or condemnation. Soon their message spread to others of their kind, orcs, goblins, and all shapes and sizes of men and women of the so-called monstrous races joined them on their pilgrimage. After months of journeying, nearly ten thousand strong passed through the mountain peaks that protected their new home. They would call it Raum'alur, the Valley of the Embraced. And they themselves would become Utuk'taseg - Those that Seek. They have lived there ever since their numbers growing daily with new arrivals seeking their own freedoms. The Utuk'taseg are a young society, but through their efforts, they intend on creating a place where their kind can live free and without persecution.
PoliticsThe Utuk'taseg do not have a written system of law, however, for matters of great importance a council of elders, consisting of representatives of each race living as one within Raum'alur are called upon. They meet when decisions of great magnitude, especially those that concern lands outside of the valley, need to be made. Their wisdom is widely respected and honoured, and their advice is typically that which is followed. Since law has not been codified, it is handled on a case by case basis. Typically matters are left to be handled by each individual community, but if the situation escalates or becomes unreasonably violent then the council will be called upon to make a judgement based on the situation occurring. If at any time, however, an individual living within Raum'alur is deemed to have actively and willingly harmed or endangered their way of life in the valley they are exiled from the valley immediately and cast back into a land that fears them. This system is not perfect, tensions between various communities and villages do arise and fighting does happen amongst the residence. But the people, and the council, do their best to contain and limit these happenings. Stressing to people the importance of harmony, community, and cooperation. If they all were to fall to their basic instincts, then they are no better than the opinions the outside world has of them.
SpiritualismThe Utuk'taseg are greatly spiritual, many saying that once they entered the land they felt a great energy envelop them as if the land itself was welcoming them into its embrace. As such, the people of Raum'alur worship the land, air, and waters of the valley by conducting various rituals throughout the year in its honour. They also believe that what is taken from the land must not be wasted, as to not insult the gift the valley has given them. In turn, whatever is taken must be returned in kind. Trees are planted when felled, crops are sowed when they are harvested, and the souls of cattle are prayed for as though they were citizens of the land themselves ensuring guidance to an earned afterlife. Though many of the Utuk'taseg have turned away from the consumption of meat, instead they do their best to ethically raise animals and use whatever is sustainably sourced from them. This would include things like unneeded wool or milk; their hides and meat only being used or consumed after the natural death of the animal. Final rites and prayers of safe passage to the afterlife are common for cattle in Raum'alur, as many of these animals are cared for as if they were family members.
The Utuk'taseg seek what they call personal freedom. To them, this means finding whatever brings inner peace to a once-troubled life. For them, a still young society of once persecuted individuals their ideals of beauty, relationship, and visions of success are fluid and fall on the individual or community they have found themselves in. A common ideal in Raum'alur is the owning of land, operating a business, or tending to one's own fields. A simple thing for most in the world but a nearly impossible dream at one point in their life for most. Until they arrived most could not have hoped to own land or do any of these things safely. So, if a newcomer wishes to sow their own land, and harvest their own crops, they are given land and asked that in return they provide for the people with that which they do not use. Similarly, if one wishes to run a trade shop, bakery, or any sort of goods and services business they are given land appropriate to do so. Though in both examples the individual or group is expected to build and maintain what they are gifted for if they do not they may become a burden on their community. Because of this, coin is not highly valued in the valley. In its stead is a trading system, where the two parties bargain for fair trade of requested goods and/or services.
LanguagesThe Utuk'taseg speak dozens of languages derived from the past societies their people originated from. Though over the twenty years of co-mingling and living together slowly a new language is forming, having roots derived from each community.