Silt Orcs of the Southern Continent
Silt Orcs are the larest Orc population on the Southern Continent, living in small to medium sized settlements in the deltas, marshes, shorelines, and estuaries areas where water and earth mix freely. They live comparativity simple lives, trading fish and the fruits of the seas and rivers for materials they can't produce themselves or that they desire. They, along with the Lava and Smoke Orcs, were among the first peoples to set foot on the Southern Continent. With the rise of human empires and nations, the lives and lifeways of the Silt Orcs have changed. While many have remained true to their traditional ways, others have become integrated into, or even assimilated, into human cultures. The Dakan Confederacy, by far, has the most Silt Orcs as citizens, with the Iumbu Empire being a distant second. No Silt Orcs live in Saqah, and as a general rule avoid the place, citing that the land, even around the river, feels "wrong". There is a significant population in the Annas Archipelago, and this is regarded by the Silt Orcs as their spiritual homeland. The only people that the Silt Orcs have poor relations with are Lizardfolk, as they compete for the same environments and resources. However, in the north, Silt Orcs and Lizardfolk has set aside their traditional conflicts to present a unified front against the amphibious Temnosal invaders from the Great Northern Jungle. This alliance has sent ripples through the larger Silt Orc world, and its long term ramifications are unknown. Silt Orcs have positive thoughts about magic, even though it is comparatively rare in their people. Any magical skill is welcomed, but those who can master the skills of water and earth elemental magic, through arcane skill or divine interventions, are particularly prized by Silt Orc society. Shamans are welcome as well, but are the most rare type of magic user in the Silt Orc population. The arms and armour of the Silt Orcs is fairly unique. They share the skills and preferences of the Dakan humans for armours of treated fish hide and scale, and they often reinforce these with copper or bronze scales. They also make woven armour from the tougher reeds and grasses. Silt Orcs prefer harpoons, bolo knives, and crossbows. The Silt Orcs of the North Coast have recently been introduced to the spring bolter, and have enthusiastically adopted it when they've been able to. Silt Orcs have been instrumental in transforming the Dakan Confederacy's military, and are found throughout it at all rank levels.
Dalha, Warao, Urho
Kahro, Nanrh, Tahao
Mohro, Fahra, Ruruo
Dharag, Khorah, Jhanda, Fhoroh
Major language groups and dialects
Dialects: North Coast, West Coast, Inland, Archipelago, Saqic (extinct). The Saqic dialect was spoken by the Silt Orcs who lived along the river in the Empire of Saqah; all of its speakers are beleived to have been killed in the event that destroyed that nation.
Culture and cultural heritage
Silt Orc cooking is heavy on seafood. Fish, amphibians, reptiles, shellfish, seaweeds, reeds, and more make up the bulk of their diet, and their cuisine focuses on enhancing natural flavours through different preparation and storage systems. Rice was introduced to them through the Dakan, and is slowly supplanting reeds as their primary source of starch. Silt Orcs are widely recognized as the best fishers and divers on the Southern Continent, and the quality of their food bears this out. The architecture style of the Silt Orcs is bound to the conditions of the North Coast and wanting to be near water and earth. They built floating reed homes, anchored around islets or precious treated wood pillars. Their homes rise and fall with floods and tides, and have proven remarkably resistant to the storms that can wrack the area. They are single level constructs for the most part, with wood being used sparingly and only for important parts. With the invasion of the amphibious Temnosal, they have developed watch towers, warning devices and underwater defenses to protect themselves.
Average technological level
The Silt Orcs of the Southern Continent make and use copper and bronze, and have a preference for those metals, owing to their corrosion resistance. They design, build, and use a number of skiffs, rafts, barges and small sailing vessels, and have a well developed knowledge of the uses of plants and animals in their prefered areas for numerous uses.
Common Dress code
Silt Orcs of the Southern Continent wear shendyt, a kilt or skirt like garment, and prefer to go barefoot (unless in drier areas, then they wear simple boots). For tops, the women prefer a loose fitting sleeveless shirt and a shawl, while the men tend to wear shortsleeved shirts. In inclement weather, both don rain wear made of leaves or wide bladed grasses.
Art & Architecture
Silt Orcs are renowned as wood carvers and clay scuptors, creating intricate and beautiful designs; in particular, their depicitons of spirits and the Elemental Lords are exquisite, and in great demand by temples and shrines across the continent.
Birth & Baptismal Rites
Silt Orc babies are not named until they have eaten their first fish, and do not receive their full names until they have caught their first fish, reptile, or other food animal (one of sufficient size to feed them and their parents).
Coming of Age Rites
Tattoos are a component of every Orc culture on the Southern Continent, and Silt Orcs embrace this. On coming of age, Silt Orcs receive their first tattoo, a combination of stylized waveforms and abstracted wildlife that represents their family and spirit. This tattoo wraps from the left pectoral around the shoulder and onto the left shoulder blade. Recipients are expected to make no noise while it is being done.
Funerary and Memorial customs
On death, Silt Orcs of the Southern Continent are returned to the earth and water, released on simple rafts designed to sink slowly as they travel until the water and mud swallow them. The rafts are constructed during a three day mourning period, where the village shaman works rituals of return over the deceased. Preparations complete, the raft is released in a boisterous ceremony that is similar to that of a fishing vessel's first launch, where the Silt Orcs celebrate the passage of the deceased into the next world. The raft generally sinks within a few hours of travel, and at that point, the rituals activate and cause the corpse to breakdown and become water and earth.
It is taboo for the Silt Orcs of the Southern Continent to consume the flesh of intelligent sealife, or to drink alcoholic beverages (with the exception of weak beer) outside of celebrations or holy events.
The ideals of beauty among the Silt Orcs are, broadly, as such: Men: Hair tied back or braided and tied back, clean shaven, with a powerful upper body and a strong core. This is based, in part, around the physique acquired by orc men when engaged in orc style fishing. Women: Hair braided or shaved, powerful shoulders, strong hands, and muscular legs. This is based in the physique that was gained by shellfish diving by Silt Orc women.
Orcs in general do not assign much by gender, and Silt Orcs are no different. Matching one's mind to one's body is of importance, and Silt Orcs recognize a wide spectrum of genders; to them, the idea of gendered activities (save for bearing children and early care) is quite strange. Silt Orcs are known for their shamans' abilities to mould bodies to meet the mind.
The Silt Orcs of the Southern Continent follow a very simple courtship pattern. The attracted parties spend time together, make sure their families have no bad blood or things they need to resolve, then move in together. If no one objects, the courtship is deemed over.
"Builder and User"; the ideal relationship for Silt Orcs of the Southern Continent is one where a harmonious loop is formed by joining a builder and user. The builder creates the circumstances for the user to go forth and get the things that the builder needs to build. In an ideal relationship, these broad roles mesh well, creating a healthy relationship.