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We approached the Motsaandu Tribelands with caution, anticipating difficulty with the locals. In reports from our allies who are neighbors of the Motsaandu, they are presented as little more than savages. We anticipated ambush, but quite the contrary, we were greeted openly by a well-equipped squad of foresters who escorted us through the towering hills and fearsome mists to meet their chief. The chief and leadership were resting within a substantial hall made of timber and decorated with finely crafted shell-work. Intricate songs celebrated our arrival and departure from each tribe's hall...   The people are small, yet proud and fierce. Every citizen of age goes about their daily business armed and armored. They were friendly to us as strangers. Members of each tribe spoke disparagingly of other tribes, though as we traveled, we did not see any great differences between the peoples...   The semi-nomadic tribes exist in a state of constant skirmishing among themselves that occasionally escalates to open warfare. It is their practice to settle at least one growing season in an area centered on one of their great halls. A tribe will then move to another area, usually taking a great hall by force from one of the other tribes. There are several unused halls in the region at any time, and the peninsula has enough room for many more people than live there now. The scouting team believes their regular battles to be a matter of custom, not need...   The Motsaandu consist of five tribes: Bayan, Uutsag, Uutsoshil, Ervangorlen, and Erdebusai. During our mission, we met with the leader of the Bayan, Uutsag, and Erdebusai tribes. The current domains of the other two were deeper into the Motsaandu Peninsula than we were prepared to travel...   From our discussions with the tribal leaders and reports from the borders of the tribelands, the tribes will cease their internal battles when faced with an external threat. Then they come together with astonishing efficiency to remove the problem...   The tribes are known to consider themselves "the claws of Motsaandu", but it is not clear what the name Motsaandu represents. This is one area where the tribespeople we talked to were close-mouthed...   The recommendation of the scouting team is to treat the Motsaandu as diplomatic equals. Any kind of invasion or exploitation of the tribelands is contraindicated and entreaties to bolster our allies on their border with Motsaandu should be rejected.  
— excerpts from a Rothilimion Ambassadorial scouting report
In game terms, Motsaandu is the common name for a set of five Halfling tribes that exist in a state of constant low-grade conflict. A background in the Motsaandu tribelands would be a great choice for a Barbarian, not really recommended for a Wizard.

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Articles under Motsaandu


Author's Notes

Describe a culture in your world which has particularly warlike traditions.
— Summer Camp 2019 challenge

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4 Jul, 2019 02:35

Halfling tribes that battle each other out of sheer cultural tradition? Sounds pretty metal to me! Puts quite a twist on the whole Halfling party personality too which really sticks out to me. A couple tips and questions that I think would be enjoyable to add: First, why not give the people in the scouting report some names? "We" is the word stated through the entire thing and it doesn't give us much context where "we" is hailing from or who specifically is doing the expedition. Second, as I'm sure a lot of people will state, that sidebar looks awfully lonely, and adding some fun-facts or external information could be a great way to give more context into the report we're reading. Think of a legend for a map, where all the symbols are given a name to help clarify what is what on the map. I personally enjoy reading these kind of articles since it feels like an actual story taking shape, and you have a lot of potential here for more!

~ Tristan
4 Jul, 2019 05:37

I really love first person recounts of expeditions! Journal style entries are my jam. This one is really well done, and I love the dynamic of the 5 halfing tribes and their constant "low-grade" conflict! The fact that the tribes fight among each other and continually move into and take control of other areas, taking the great halls, is fantastic.   One thing that I think would really benefit this article, aside from Tristan's suggestion of adding names to the journal entry (a very good idea! more personality!), would be to populate the sidebar with some information. I think a great addition would be some information on each of the 5 tribes. Add the tribe as a header, maybe add an image of the tribes symbol, then a short little description of what makes that tribe unique.   Another thing, related to that; adding in some linked articles, complete with tooltips, would really help a reader! More small tidbits of information on any words they might not know would be great for additional information.   I look forward to seeing more from this world!

Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
4 Jul, 2019 08:09

I really liked what you made here with the halflings, and how someone else is recounting their ways of life. I was left with many questions, but of course, those questions are only known to you, the GM, not to the Rothilimion Ambassador   I think perhaps expanding this by adding a pencil drawing or a map on the sidebar could be nice, adding to the whole journal/report feel of the page. As others have mentioned, the sidebar feels a bit lonely. Should you wish to stay away from images, since they are hard to find, you could add some quotes from the halflings, or maybe a smaller journal entry by another person of the team... The possibilities are many, and I'm looking forward to reading what you make of them :)   There was one sentence whose meaning was clear, but it was perhaps a bit too difficult to read: "It is their practice to settle at least one growing season in an area centered on one of their great halls."

4 Jul, 2019 12:10

I really like the first person account and when I finished the main panel, I got to the side panel.. And realized we're talking about warrior-halflings being all bad ass. That makes it even better!   I bet very few look at the warlike prompt and go "halflings", so the curveball is just great. Will you tie prompts into this one? :)

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.