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Taulli

by hughpierre

Naming Traditions

Family names

The forests of Shadow Cast is the ancestral home of the taulli. However, there has been tides of people forced to leave the hostile environment which has lead to some notable differences in canton and bynames.

Inside the Shadow Cast

Ones
Taulli who continue to live and follow the traditions of eternal war, carry names ending in "ones" such as Butones, Mugilones, Semnones, Jordones and Tacitones

Outside the Shadow Cast

I
Taulli and taulli descendants whose ancestors traversed Salt Side to settle onto Cuit Rock and Kuit Keep morphed their names to end in "i" like Coldui, Lugii, Zumi, Sibini, Boii, Varisti, Naristi and Marcomanni

Culture

Culture and cultural heritage

Amber Trade

Amber is the single most valued commodity in the Shadow Cast. As close to a currency the taulli recognizes. An amber tribute from any of the weaker surrounding peoples earns favourable treatment from the taulli, so long as it continues.  

1000 Men To War

Taulli grow no crops. They sustain themselves on husbandry and hunting which has contributed to their martial prowess and their relating material possessions with social status. The common fighter is driven by honor and supremacy. They go into battle with various religious items as a reminder to their obligations and as a means of enforcing the command structure.   Every realm is made up of some number of cantons which can be home to about 3,000 to 10,000 individuals. Chiefs and generals of these cantons are mandated to draw at least 1000 men every year for the "Eternal War". They are similarly trained to divide into units of 100 bands to practice fake routs in maintaining the Dead Zone.

Shared customary codes and values

Human Sacrifice

There is no particular distinction among the taulli gods on methods of executions. All sacrifices are killed by slitting the throat and throwing their body into peat or shallow pit to be buried.  

Common Weal

Across every canton, resources of the Shadow Cast are shared by the community. The closest to personal property is the loot of kings. First time plunderers and generals are expected to contribute their taken shares among their families, friends and followers.  

Eternal War

Taulli consider it a religious duty to conduct war. Weakness and mercy are foreign concepts and incompatible with their way of life. A purposeful consequence of this is the "Dead Zone".
— Cuit opinions
  "The Eternal War" is much like the Flower Wars in that they happen every year and are much less friendly. It is the pursuit of a foreign policy whereby raids are sent to the collective realms' borders with non-taulli to destroy any settlement found there and kill potential animal game to discourage future immigration into the area.

Average technological level

Bone Weapons

Javlins and spears, axes and bows, knifes and shields. There is little that cannot be made from a man
— Shadow warrior captured during the War of Thunder to his Beron captor
  From an outsiders perspective, the taulii's crafts do not seem to be well put-together. Sinew, tendons and cruddy glue, exposedly and uglily, hold bone to wood to leather in such a way that is long-lasting or easily repairable in the dark humid environment. The apparent wrongness is intentional as a means to scare the enemy.

Common Dress code

Males

Men have the option of being entirely nude or wearing a light cassock in their day-to-day lives.        
Top Knot
Groups of cantons tie their shoulder length hair into distinguished knots unique to the canton as a way to identify their companions during war. They, likewise carried coloured shields and few helmets so they could be seen.  

Females

Only women are allowed to wear the colour purple extracted from the occasional purple salts or dyes traded to them. They leave their arms bare and breasts exposed in their day-to-day lives.  
Braid Crown
This is a kind of wig worn around the fringe of their unshorn head and is made and dyed from the hair clipping from the time of the wearers' maidhood and that of her most influential companions.

Art & Architecture

Tree Graft Lodge

Vine trees, being plentiful as they are, serve as the primary construction material for their buildings, but not as others would. They discovered that it is possible to manipulate the vine trees' growth into wide, narrow, converging and splitting parts by putting obstructions in the plants' growth path. Through these means, the higher hierarchy of taulli settle in the Shadow Cast and can live in living homes.  

Wattle and Daub Houses

Found sticks are up-righted into the ground, then woven inbetween each other followed by several smatterings of animal dung and dead leaves to provide insulation. Young men and women, especially of the lower hierarchy, build these quick-to-build homes until their lodges have grown into their final shape.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

Any taulli can rise to any prominent position.

Kings

Taulli kings are chosen by their splendor and virtues.
By dressing themselves in rich garments, candidates publicize their suitability to the role in that they are capable of properly financing themselves. They gain theses riches through plunder as a raider.   But once they have been elected to kingship, they must be surrounded by the youngest and bravest of men so as to be militarily secure.

Generals

Taulli generals are chosen by undisputed bravery.
In theory, there is no age restriction. In practice, thankfully, it takes many years to build such a reputation among their peers.   It is only by awing ones comrades through strength of arms can anyone be rightfully considered.

Shadow Rulers

A title really only bestowed by outsiders looking in.
They are, in essence, priests or priestesses who divine wars and otherwise dictate to the kings and generals. Strangely, taulli do not acknowledge the existence of these priests ever.   So much so, that common passersby may truly not know that the man or woman beside them possesses more power than their king.

Funerary and Memorial customs

Cremation and Sacrifice

An open-air pyre is an ancient tradition among taulli men. This is a practice where a volunteer is ritually straggled over their deceased master to burn with on a pyre.
  1. The corpse is buried in a shallow grave for 10 days.
  2. A volunteer from among the dead man's friends and family.
    • Who is followed by a pair of escorts to attend to their needs.
    • Who is given copious amounts of alcohol to drink night and day.
    • Who is charged to sing for as many long rounds as possible to as many homes.
  3. A large wooden pyre is built on which a cushioned bed is layer on top of.
  4. After 10 days the body is exhumed, clothed and brought to the bed surrounded by their favourite foods, beer, herbs, animals and personal things.
  5. The person to be slain sings a final song to bid farewell to the living, particularly to witnessing relatives.
  6. Then they are straggled under a chorus of beats and bellowing from the onlookers.
  7. Finally, the sacrifice is lain next to the master and the pyre set alight.

Common Taboos

Land of Exile

Taulli actively pursue a policy of genocide of anyone and anything within a demarked area called the Dead zone, which includes the trade paths along the shadow pass to prevent habitation by other peoples. Parts of northern Salt Side are included in the defacto border regions that make up the Dead Zone.   However, the levels of salt in Salt Side's ground made growing consumable plant life impossible. Thus, this entire side of the valley is considered 'dead' by taulli.  

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages are considered to be effeminate in the taulii's intense warrior culture due, inpart, to its inhibition effects.  

Usury

Charging interest of any kind is considered robbery by taulli chiefs and perpetrators are treated as thieves.

Common Myths and Legends

Origins

It is said that the seeds of men and women were poured from a godly water jar onto the parched earth and from which the first people emerged.

Sacred Trees

Their gods kept pouring and more good things sprung forth: animals, plants and especially the vine trees from which people made into homes.
 

Demon Rabbits

But this was a mistake by the gods. Things can never be made too easy or too hard, so bad luck had to be poured into the world too. And so misfortune, disease and death came into the world. So too, did the taulli's manifestation of evil.
In ages past, it is thought by doctors that pestilence carried by rabbits decimated the taulli population.
As brutish as they were, and are; taulli wise men apparently knew enough to connect the swarms of rabbits, told about, to the plague.
— Compliments of a Toik surgeon
Thus, survivors learned to fear rabbits as horrible omens and religiously avoided their flesh as tainted.
Their most stout rivals mock them for this by tying rabbit pelt to spears, lobbing their tiny bodies into taulli ranks and smearing rabbit blood onto themselves as runic protection.
— Taulli Wise Man

Ideals

Beauty Ideals

Tallness

Taulli men and women are of a greater than average stature than their surrounding rivals. Standing at an average of 6 feet tall, they are speculated to have drops of giants' blood in their ancestry, like the elkin, but less broad.

Relationship Ideals

Family Focus

Monogamous Marriage
The man's family pays a dowry to the woman's family because the woman is seen as being more valuable. The many constant wars being waged requires clans to prioritize replenishment of their warrior numbers if they want to continue to meet their thousand man obligations. In addition, being childless is inexcusable, as being so is socially detrimental, but not so much that monogamy would not be strictly enforced.  
Slavery
Slavery is a bond of familial relationship among taulli families. That is, families that live within a realm's canton possess a social system of transferable obligation based on monetary value. For example, it is common for a man to gamble away as their possessions and their freedom to a member of their canton; to work the land of their new master as an indentured servant.   Taulli slavery is considerably watered down compared to the way the rest of the valley knows slavery. Taulli slavery is restricted among familial relations which as lead to serious conflict between non-familial masters and a captured taulli warrior.

Major organizations

Shadow Realms

This term usually refers to the five main realms of the taulli made up of dozens of cantons, but there are several smaller territories that lie in-between them also called cantons.   Cantons are lead by chiefs who determine small affairs within their chiefdom. Tribal chiefs oversee groups of cantons and gather to sort large affairs with their peers. Kings of the realm assemble on specific days as according to the red moon. During these times, all effeminacy is concealed and thousands of men are gathered to determine who the armies will war against.

Sayings

Good manners over good laws
— In reference to their chaotic political system and brutish lifestyle
 
A dog's breakfast
— an appetizing option but the only one available
 
Walls turn to smoke
— when reliance on a strategy doesn't work as planned
 
Even a wounded/cornered animal will snarl at its pursuer
— might as well be brave in the face of certain death
 

Relations with other Groups

Cuit Salt State

  • Majority Taulli exiles and descendants
  • Regularly raided by even small bands
  • Have never taken the Cuit settlement on the Rock
 

Kuit Salt State

  • Majority Taulli exiles and descendants
  • Restricted in raiding options due to the Hungry Plains acting as boundary
 

Beron Tribes

  • ost vicious of rivals
 

Tinged Trains

  • Difficult to attack but opportunists may still try
 

Rangers

  • Strikes healthy amount of fear into Taulli
  • Though territories are distant except for Bai Sai

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