Tokari Ethnicity in Shadowfire | World Anvil


Potential triggers: themes of cultural displacement and slavery.
  Originally the largest of the clan groups of the Uferbrech goblins, the peoples of Clan Tokaru have become a displaced people since the invasion by the Protectorates and the loss of their home island Tokaru.   The Tokari were known by the other clans as the People of the Wind, for the affinity they had with the air and skies. This affinty was shown with their deep relationship with the Giant vultures of Tokaru, and the complex mechanical wonders of the Windwheels, whose ruins can still be found across the island.  

The Fall of Tokaru

When the Protectorates invaded, it was not without warning. Clan Tokaru had seen what had happened to Clan Otenkari upon the island now known as Timesdawn. But at the time, the clan was the largest of all the Uferbrech Goblins, and many could not foresee how such a thing could happen.   Many amongst Clan Motu believe there was treason or betrayal involved, and pointangrily to the presence of Camp Thrifty - still unmolested by the Protectorates for two generations since the fall - as evidence for dishonourable dealings.   They also point out the arrogance of the Tokari, that in their pride they could see no threat.   When the attack against Tokaru came, the leadership of Leoti Windrider and many senior Seers were lost in the first days. The resulting confusion and dismay was all it took for Lord Protector Ackron Der Kustos to solidify his control.  

The Tokari since the Fall

After the fall, many of the Tokari fled to Camp Thrifty or the southern reaches of Tokaru. Some managed to remain in hiding for many years, or to escape to the island of the Motu.   Many, however were killed or captured. Those captured became what Lord Akron referred to as 'prisoners of war', but were essentially slaves. Lord Akron forced them to build Fort Kustos upon the ruins of Shakumir which would then be renamed Omberstad. Others were forced to work the many mines in the mountain ranges, and to help transport the riches off the island back to mainland Protectorates.  


Over the many years, Tokari still living in Omberstad would seek escape, and a constant trickle of them would find ways out of Omberstand and across the Uferbrech Sea. Taktuk Roostwarden was one, as was Xilocoth Stormholder a generation later.   The hard truth for many of the Tokari refugees living with the Motu is that they are treated as second-class citizens by many, and are often excluded from the Motu kithweaving. At worst they are openly ridiculed for having lost their homeland and abandoned their responsibilities to Wala's Vigil.   It is this shaming that led the now famous Tokari, Taktuk Roostwarden and Aktaca Galerider to form the The Talons of Aetora to take back Talon's Reach on Tokaru.   Now, two generations since the invasion, and while the Uferbrech Wars continue, slavery has finally been outlawed by the Protectorates. A large diaspora of Tokari have found a new life in Sudengard along with descendants of the Otenkari under the progressive leadership of Rue du Col.   Those remaining in Omberstad, are still treated harshly despite the official cessation of slavery, and while the conflicts continue to escalate on the southern end of the island, Lord Akron's rule becomes harsher and more and more of them seek to flee - either to join the Talons, or to seek safe harbour elsewhere.

Naming Traditions

Family names

All members of the various Kingroups shared the clan name, Tokari, with their given names assigned at birth by the Seers of Ashtiri. Other names would be given based on the names of thier Kinma and Kithma.   Throughout their lives, the members would then be assigned nicknames - much like a personal title. These would change as needed, but usually describe some aspect of the person's nature, and their relationship with sky, wind or bird.   Like most things about the goblin kin of the Uferbrech archipelago, names are non-gendered and can be used interchangeably.   Some notable names of Clan Tokaru include:
  • Leoti Windrider
  • Taktuk Roostwarden
  • Aktaca Galerider
  • Xilocoth Stormholder
  • Culture

    Average technological level

    The Tokari were master craftspeople, mechanists and animal handlers.   Their peoples mined the mountains for ores and gemstones, and they transformed the landscape with their terraced farming and complex irrigation. The windwheels brought heat from beneath the earth to warm their towns, and the forebears of the The Talons of Aetora bonded with the Giant Vultures as messengers and scouts across the land.   They were, however, mostly peaceful, and very little of their techjnology had been devoted to warfare and conflict. This is what made them so vulnerable to the initial invasion by the Protectorates.

    Art & Architecture

    Traditional architecture

    The clans of Tokari had distinct architecture built from the natural materials in abundance on the island. The dark volcanic rocks of the shadowside plains were often used to build the low walls and terraces of their villages, and the first story of their many buildings.   The upper stories and roofs were predominantly constructed from double-layered leather tenting stretched over flexible but sturdy wooden frames - mostly made from timber brought in from the mangrove forests on the southern side of the island. Buildings were highly organic, based around a radial format, and rising in steep central spires which would channel smoke from fires on the base floor, and where snow and sleet would quickly slide off.   Most buildings would be at least two stories, sometimes more, with only the bottom story made of stone. The tallest of the many houses being the multi-story Windwheels along Windwheel Pass.   The Tokari who lived along the sunside and southern parts of the island would largely forgo the stone foundations in favour of building their tent houses directly in the boughts of the trees, often carving rooms and stairs into trunks themselves, and linking the buildings with elaborate balconies and walkways. This form of architecture, even if falling into disrepair, is still seen at Talon's Reach.  

    Arts and craft

    The artwork of the Tokari is often sculptural, and kinetic. It can range from simple jewellry, mostly made from the feathers of the vultures, carved wood and polished volcanic rocks. The Tokari also traditionally mined the many gemstones found through the mountains, and precious stones would often feature as centre points to their work.   Larger peices often involved complicated moving parts that would be powered by wind energy to create movement and sound. Their villages and homes would be decorated by wind-chimes, often tuned to particular tonal frequencies that would cycle and waft through progressive waves of chords that would fill the valleys.   Many of these wind chimes and kinetic sculptures were important Moji that had been handed down through generations of Kingroups, and had collected Kahi, Ancestor Spirits.  

    In the modern era

    Elements of the Tokari mechanical crafts, kinetic sculpture and tonal wind chimes have survived with those who escaped the invasion. The diaspora who now live in Camp Thrifty, with clan Motu, and even those who have found freedom in Sudengard all continue to practice and evolve the traditional crafts and architectural approaches.   Those Tokari who remain in Protectorate enclaves across their home island, such as the town of Omberstad, have been forced to largely abandon their traditional practices. The Tokari who live within The Icepen and Ladders at Omberstad have managed to preserve some of their Moji, and keep their crafts alive in secret.

    Common Myths and Legends

    Members of Clan Tokaru had a specific cutom tied to their custodianship of the Mirrorshield of Wala.   Only the Seers of Ashtiri knew the specific rules, but according to the Kithweaving, certain descendants of the clan were ongoing custodians of not just the Shield, but also of knowledge given from Wala that would guide the Tokari's responsibilities to Wala's Vigil.   It is rumoured that the bloodline of Aetora herself flows through the Tokari, and that a chosen from each generation is handed this knowledge when they come of age. The form it is handed down is unknown however.   With the death of Leoti, who was the last known keeper of the Mirrorshield, it is not known if this knowledge has been lost. But hope drives many of the surviving Tokari.   Others, who have drifted from tradition, are less devout, and are highly cynical of what they see as just old fashioned superstition.

    Historical figures

    Leoti Windrider was the last Mother of Clan Tokaru at the time of the Fall of Tokaru. It was believed that she was a direct descendant of Aetora herself, and that she carried the secrets of Wala's Vigil with her to her death.   Her descendants were either killed along with her during the Fall, or taken captive. Those who were captured managed to keep their close kingroup ties to her quiet.


    Relationship Ideals

    Like the other clans of the Uferbrech goblin, the Tokari followed the tenets of Kingroups and Kithweaving. However, since the Fall of Tokaru, the Seers of Ashtiri assigned to the kingroups of the Tokari have lost ther continuity, and much of the old records have been lost along with it.   Traditionally, Uferbrech goblins practice highly polyamorous and fluid romantic relationships outside of the more formal strictures of the Kithweaving.   In recent generations however, the Tokari living within protectorate enclaves such as Omberstad and Sudengard have begun to establish more permanent bonds. In part this was a matter of survival. In the first generation after the fall of the Tokaru, the clan members who were not killed during the battles, were taken into captivity and their relationships highly controlled by the invading forces.   Polyamory specifically was discouraged, but the practice of having non-gendered parents - the kithma and kinma - was able to continue. This eventually led to many Tokari keeping long term relationships with their Kith partners - to raise their young without the protection of the clan.   This is why the families of the modern day Clan Tokari are the only ones across the many Uferbrech goblins that are small and tightly knit, with two lifelong bonded parents, and a small number of close siblings.   For those Tokari families who have managed to join the Motu, this has become a source of troubles. The Motu see the small familial structure as unnatural and alien, as a sign of weakness, and perhaps even perversion. Those families are often the subject of ridicule as a result.

    Articles under Tokari

    Cover image: by Midjourney


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