It wasn’t always like this in the swamp. Or at least that’s what my mother told me when she packed our bags to leave our only home. Maybe when things get better, we can return. The few times we’d left the swamp sent my skin crawling, people muddled together — content with hard stone floors. Is this the future I must endure? We set out on a boat . . . the only one that remained after the Kadindi came to swallow our village whole . . . to begin life anew. I saw the shimmering light first — like a refracted rainbow when the sun shines in the rain. It is sure to be another trap. My mother warns. But I press and we go. And that is how we found a safe haven — a home — in Kosi Idan.Kosi Idan is a village nestled deep in the Uncharted Swamplands. A cloudy cacophony of color crackles from above and around . . . a clear indicator of the Faraday Dome used to protect the village from the Phasma beasts that lurk in the swamp and the Phasma Practitioners who seduce away one’s power. Residents of Kosi Idan are refugees from the increasing terror of the Swamp and asylees from cities who have abused or been abused by the intoxicating lure of Brane. New residents soon learn not to ask about another’s past. It is always rooted in tragedy. Old residents learn to let go of regrets. It is only the present they can control.
Physical DescriptionBeyond the trees is a blue sky; yet Kosi Idan is always overcast. The Faraday Dome creates a swirled tie-dye enclosure that reaches sixty feet in the air. Flying birds tend to avoid it — though if they pass through, they will come to no harm. Phasma spirits cannot keep form when they’re within it. Those that try return to the M-Brane realm. Brane is useless in the community of Kosi Idan; all attempts at circumventing the dome will fail. As an added measure of protection, a stone wall has been built around the town, just inside the Faraday enclosure. The air in Kosi Idan always clings to residents’ skin as if walking through water. The ground suckles at their feet as if it wants to bring them to their grave with every step. The murky river, which runs through the center of the little town, rises with every storm, threatening to sweep each house away. Wooden pathways line the spongey mud. Homes are crafted into trees and built on foundations of stilts. Little care is put into exterior paint or design as the persistent humidity leads to frequent home repair. Atop each tree are solar panels, which provide electricity for the community. Too many sunless days in a row divert all energy to the Faraday Dome. Every resident has a cache of candles for such occassions.
The river which runs through the city is good for fishing and great for shrimp trapping. A floating garden sits at the far side of town. Tending to the wild rice, wetland herbs, and other produce is quite simple because of nutrition provided by the fish and the natural filter of rocks as the plants soak up the swampy water. Fruit-bearing trees have been planted near the swamp, which also provide extra roots and keep the swamp from expanding. And fallen logs are gathered together in order help propagate mushrooms. Ducks are raised for both meat and eggs.
“Catchin’ frogs” is a popular pastime for children. Every member of the community helps keep an eye on young ones so they are free to roam when not in classes. Children spend hours jumping around the swamp and searching through logs and trees to find frogs. When caught, they put them in baskets. The children run contests to see who can catch the most frogs. Parents love when their kids play this game because it means additional protein in a delicate package.
Political StructureThe Head of Kosi Idan manages the community to ensure that everything is functioning correctly. The Head consults daily with a council of advisors. The seven advisors represent the seven work roles in the community. Advisors are elected by their work peers each year and are often elders who no longer work but provide a wealth of experience for newly arrived residents. Rather than term lengths, the community has a vote of confidence for the Head each year. Since Kosi Idan’s inception, there has only been one Head. Although people practice their individual faiths, Kosi Idan is largely secular. Residents are free to practice whichever beliefs they hold, so long as they petition no Phasma and invoke no Loa's name. When crime is committed in Kosi Idan, the wronged party must bring the crime to the Head or one of the advisors. They will listen to the parties involved, as well as any witnesses. After which, the council will convene to discuss the matter. The Head takes their recommendations into consideration when issuing a judgment; however, the ultimate choice lies with him. Kosi Idan operations on a reparations system of justice. That is, the Head will decide what compensation must be given to the victim in order for the violator to be restored as a full member of society. In extreme cases, offenders may be banished from Kosi Idan. Every week, the community convenes for a public meeting where they have the opportunity to air grievances to the Head. Townwide decisions and issues are also presented by the Head in these meetings. When supply runs must be made, residents are able to submit their names for consideration. Meetings occur over a townwide potluck.
Supply runs are often made by five to seven people who serve in any work role. However, at least two Slayers and one Healer must make up the travel group. Many residents have no desire to leave Kosi Idan or the Swamp, even for a short period of time. However, there are those who enjoy temporary trips into other settlements or wish to sell their wares. Travel is done by boat. The boat provides enough amenities that leaving it is not necessary during the trip, Although the main river runs through Sikel City, supply runs tend to take place in Luertere, a providence of Soleil. It can take between three to five days to get there. During that time, at least one Slayer is on alert.
Work RolesThere are seven work roles within Kosi Idan. Roles are assigned based on community need and individual’s skillsets. Although not common, it is possible for a resident to change their assigned role. This happens most often when there’s an increased need for a work assignment. Roles are as follows: Slayers Slayers are thought to be one of the most important roles. Slayers are in charge of defending the community against beasts. This becomes vital during times when the Faraday Dome fails. Additionally, Slayers accompany travellers on supply runs to ensure that they come to no harm. On a daily basis, Slayers tasks include guarding the wall, conducting training exercises to ensure their skills stay sharp, and mentoring boys to gauge suitability for this role. Healers Equally as important as Slayers are Healers. They help tend to any injuries and sickness in the community. They also act as midwives. Healers spend extensive time cultivating herbs for medicinal purposes and concocting medicines and salves to use. Although they do have access to modern pharmaceuticals, supply is limited in the Swamplands and reserved for extremely ill patients.
Although men and women are considered equal within Kosi Idan, there is a strict stratification in regards to Slayers and Healers. For men’s hands are meant to defend, a woman’s to restore. It is unclear as to why this tradition stands in Kosi Idan; however, all citizens abide by this rule.Collectors Collectors are in charge of catching fish, setting shrimp and crab traps, and gathering fruit from the trees. Tenders Tenders are in charge of cultivating the water gardens and caring for the ducks. They also raise mushrooms. Crafters Crafters create dishes, tools, and weapons for the community. Often, different crafters will specialize in different objects. Many of them consider their work an art form. Builders Builders gather wood and ensure that the walkways are in good repair and boats are properly oiled. They are also the foremen when new houses are created.
Building a home is a community affair. When a new family arrives or a household outgrows their home, the residents will join together to build the house. The completion of a new home ends in an all-night celebration. Stories are shared, Slayers show off their fighting skills, the musically-gifted lead drum circles, and everybody partakes in a large pot of gumbo cooked over a bonfire.Educators Educators are in charge of teaching children until they are 14 and prepared to start apprenticeship in a work role. Children will meet in groups of peers for most of the day while their parents work. In between classes, they have free reign of the town. Although currency is used for the purchase of goods outside of the community, it has little value within the walls of Kosi Idan. Regardless of ability to work, resources are divided equitably among households. Elders who are pass the age of work are considered valuable members of society for their insight and wisdom. Lack of currency does not stop the trade of nonessential goods. In their free time, people fashion trinkets and jewelry that are traded amongst themselves. Long time resident, Remy, has a special 'shroom brew that he’ll provide to anyone of drunken age in exchange for some roasted frog legs or a particularly entertaining story.