Winterwood tribes

Parent ethnicities
Encompassed species
While the valleys of Winterwood are mostly free from human presence, an estimate of forty to fifty tribes of Perrots inhabit the system, and live a spiritual life far from civilizations. This article aims at describing major aspects regarding the tribes that occupy the location.

Physical aspects

Color patterns

The Winterwood birds follow similar color transition patterns as other Tribal Perrots. They usually have a white belly and legs, and a blue back. Their wings and crest have a color transiting from the blue to the purple, and end up with black tips. Before sexual maturity, young birds display a white down with blue specks on their belly and back. What is more, similarly to other tribal birds, Winterwood perrots usually have a pale pink skin, visible around their eyes and their legs.

Makeup and jewels

Winterwood birds always use blue pigments for their makeup, in addition to a beak whitener. They apply makeup on their beak and their legs, as an indication to their tribe, age, and status. On some special occasions, the makeup can be associated with some feather powder pigmentation, to present symbolic body patterns. While the birds do not wear clothes, individuals always wear a lot of symbolic jewels. Those jewels, enchanted or not, are offered or produced on symbolic occasions such as aging ceremonies, heroic acts, farm harvests, etc.

Culture and cultural heritage

Religious beliefs

The Winterwood Perrots are animists, although their beliefs do not stem from the same worships as the The City Anima Cult. To begin with, they believe that every bird in the world is linked to one another, and is part of the same great family. What is more, according to their beliefs, humans are not sentient being. They are thought to be evil spirits that materialized from the Shadow World. As mentioned, the Winterwood believe in the existence of a Shadow World where minds can communicate and be read. However, the delimitation between this Shadow World and the Caves and mountains surrounding the valleys seems to be relatively blur. It appears that the birds believe their physical is nothing but a small bubble of flat reality surrounded by the Shadow World.

Enchantment

Winterwood tribes are known to be exceptionally good at Enchantment. In fact, most of them use ghostpowder as an everyday tool, helping them for hunting, farming, cooking, or for spiritual ceremonies. Any member of a Winterwood tribe is on par with the level of skills a city shaman acquires after years of training. However, while they control more easily ghost power, they tend to only manage the production of crude and efficient enchantments: the tribes lack the deep mastery of mathematics or algorithmic that would be required for complex, and precise enchantments such as Shadow blocks. Because of their thorough use of ghostpowder and understanding of the Shadow world, Winterwood tend to often compete for resources with Masked Shadows, and even manage to overcome them underground, in their preferred field. As a result, they are generally disliked and feared by the surrounding Masked Shadow villages. Finally, since every Winterwood bird is especially good at enchantment, the choice of a tribe's shaman takes it even further. Their shamans are chosen for being able to stay the longest in meditation in the Shadow World without losing their sanity.

Status in the tribe

During its life in a tribe, a bird will change of status and responsibilities several times. During the first year and a half of their existence after hatching, perrots are called Fledglings. They do not wear makeup, and usually stay in the nest. As they grow feathers, they are taught to fly by their parents until they are ready for the Flight ceremony, and to lead the whole tribe in the air. After the Flight, the bird is called a Youngling. It usually stays so for two to three years, until it learns to play rite music in rythm. The youngling will then become a Pupil, and will learn spirituality and enchantment with the Shaman and the Priest from that moment. Around their fourteenth year, the pupils have their Experience ceremony. They will enter the Shadow World through meditation with the Shaman, and will experience what is called an Exchange: they will for a moment feel the world from another bird's senses: usually the shaman, or another pupil. Depending on the result of their Experience and their choices, the adult bird can have various status:
  • The Hunters fight beasts and gather the Shadow World through the underground, to retrieve Ghostpowder.
  • The Farmers are in charge of the surrounding crops and orchards. They produce food for the tribe, and trade with other tribes.
  • Houselings have several assigned roles: doctors, crafters, priests, shamans, as well as some apprentices. However, they are all capable of the same feats. They are particularly talented enchanters even for the tribe's standards, and as such are staying within the village to work.
  • Each tribe has usually two or four Warriors, sometimes accompanied by two learners. They are the tribe's champions, and are fighting agrainst each other during ritualized combats. They are also leading the tribe to combat, during times of great troubles.
  • Finally, the Old Ones are elder Perrots that are particularly respected by the rest of the tribe. Generally physically or mentally ill, they do not work anymore, but are allowed in major decision meetings.
  Decisions in one tribe are either taken by the whole tribe, or in more closed meetings including the houseling couples, the warrior couples and the Old Ones.  

Relation with other birds

While they did sometimes ally under the same banner to fend off opponents (birds from Anglepreaks, a clan of Social Bears far too south, singing hounds...), most of the times each tribe is either at open war or angry at a third of the others, and trading goods with the rest.   What is more, each tribe usually has one chief couple of Condors, that deals with the other Condors couples. While they don't live in the village, the condors are usually closer to one tribe than to the other, and attached to that one. Although they usually avoid taking part in conflicts, they are regularly manipulated by chiefs into going at war. Finally, Wirka birds are known to often lead raiding groups in the Winterwood valleys to try to capture and enslave isolated birds. As a result, Winterwood birds are known to particularly dislike and fear them.


Cover image: by Pouaseuille

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