Kushtaka Pelt

Common Knowledge

Kushtaka pelt are a rare luxury resource in Haven. Harvested off the corpses of the Kushtaka people, given their namesake, these furs are coveted for their natural warmth to whatever they’re crafted into, as well as its ability to shed water and protect the wearer from the elements. Commonly the pelt will be used in cloaks to get the most benefit from its properties, though it can also be used as a lining specifically for warmth.

Characteristics

The furs are almost always the color of those slain, a gleaming white, gray or tan. The fur of fresh pelts are always oily to the touch, though older or used ones soften significantly. The hairs themselves are deeply rooted in the leather, and are quite resilient to wear or pulling, though with excessive use or lack of maintenance, the hairs will release from the leather and cause spots of baldness on the material. The pelts themselves are quite heavy, with full cloaks weighing as much as ten pounds.

Maintenance

The furs must be maintained, they’re regularly cleaned with a soft brush to loosen any dirt from the fibers, and then shaken out. If a pelt becomes muddied, one would use clean water in this brushing without any need to worry about damaging the article, let it dry, then repeat normal maintenance. A light oil should occasionally be applied to a clean pelt or article using the fur, applied sparingly and with a soft brush, to maintain its original water-shedding properties and to keep the hide from drying or cracking.

Cultural Relevance

Depending on where one comes from in Haven, Kushtaka pelt hold a particular significance as a resource. People of the coastal region of the Solemn Expanse regard the pelt as invaluable for its innate water-shedding properties and ability to keep the wearer warm. For the Kushtaka, its wearers as a symbol of the genocide of their people, harvesting what they know to be sapient beings solely for their material value. Given the Kushtaka’s very recent arrival to Haven, they were able to avoid their hides from being more commonplace in Solmite culture. This however doesn’t stop cultures less accepting of beastfolk from attacking them for this commodity. Notably The City of Marble still partakes in attacking Kushtaka found swimming in the Blacksea, though without consistent means to travel to Yupic Island, attacking the people directly has been deemed not worth the cost to do so.

Historical Controversy

Shorewall has a troubled past with this resource. Given their hostile demeanor, Kushtaka were once believed to be a nuisance animal when Seawatch was establishing naval control over the Blacksea, and consequently they were hunted as game for their pelts. It didn’t take long for Solms to realize the peoples they were hunted here indeed civilized, creating a divide between those who kept to their cultural ways of hunting beastfolk and those with more respect for the sanctity of sapient life. The Kushtaka were still assailed by the sailors of Shorewall, their pelts no longer a commodity but a trophy or war and the glory of triumph. This practice has ceased entirely since the navy has gained an influx of beastfolk to their ranks, as well as the fall of Lady Death making killing them far more dangerous than any value that could be gained by doing so. Although hunting Kushtaka is outlawed by them, many of the older ranking officers still keep or wear their cloaks, and they’re often used as an heirloom. Shorewall has tried to use to use this measure this as an act of good faith between the cultures, though the Kushtaka still hold great animosity towards any and all menfolk for the atrocities committed against them.



Cover image: by Damion Otter

Comments

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28 Jul, 2019 08:29

That was a really cool article! Pelts made from humanoids :O I can see how that would create rifts in society even after the practice has stopped.   I wish you had included a tooltip or information on the sidebar about Kushtaka people. What kind of "beastfolk" are they? Where do they come from?   Finally, is there a way of telling how old a pelt is? Because if there isn't, I can see how some fringe sectors of society could still try to hunt a Kushtaka person. They would simply say that the pelt is an heirloom and get away with it.

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