- The Etausi are an indigenous species of intelligent reptilian four-armed bipeds, of which there are five sub-species; The swamp dwelling etausi-boh; The etausi-duat of mountainous regions; The etausi-grat of the plains and deserts; the etausi-mal of forests, and the etausi-rure of of sea-shores. Despite these differences the five groups share a common cultural patterns.
- The Etausi of Entorais, are considered primitive and bestial by more civilized cultures, mostly because they have less advanced technology. They live off the land, in small tribal communities, not forming nations, and seemingly disconnected from each other, beyond their physiology, and religion which is strangely universal despite vast geographic separation between groups.
- Etausi are quite reclusive, and xenophobic. All tribal decisions are arrived at by a communal consensus amongst the available adults, as a result they lead fairly stable lives. They have simple lives where each member contributes according to their abilities.
- Etausi that have contact with neighbouring rooks, or other sapient peoples, may engage in trade for materials and objects they can't produce themselves.
- Very few Etausi tribes engage in agriculture, although a few early efforts have arisen in scattered colonies.
- Fruits, root, and vegetable crops.
- Only a few tribes have any form of domestic animal keeping for food or other uses. Generally limited to a few preferred food stock species.
- Hunting of small game is the primary source of protein in the etausi diet. Other crafting materials such as leather, antler and bone are also obtained in such a manner.
- For those more amphibious tribes living in and near water fishing often replacing hunting in importance for meat, and other materials like shells and coral.
- For tribes not yet practising agriculture or not completely converted to planting their own crops, gathering of vegetable food sources, roots, nuts, berries and herbs is common practice.
- Resource Extraction
- The etausi do not engage in much resource extraction beyond simple placer mines, or gathering clay, wood, and plant fibres from readily available sources.
- Etausi do not engage in any large scale manufacturing, instead they will craft tools and other items to met their needs as they come up. In a few cases where a trade option exists, they may craft some objects expectant of being able to exchange them for other desired items.
- Etausi as a whole have yet to advance much beyond stone age technology, except what they might acquire through trade or pillage.
Imports / Exports
- Any transport of goods would be carried in packs on foot, as the Etausi do not have vehicles, or domesticated pack animals.
- Trade Routes
- Any trade routes employed by etausi would generally not extend beyond the edge of their own territory, or into a neighbours territory. meeting at the edges to exchange goods and materials with amicable trading partners.
- The Etausi do not have a concept of currency, or even tokens. Any trade they engage in is strictly barter.
- The etausi have no organized military, being such small tribes. Instead all those capable with hunting weapons will double as warriors in defence of the colony when required.
- Etausi use a variety of spears, javelins, knives, axes, clubs, and a culturally unique throwing wedge called the Ky-min.
- A three bladed star weighing roughly 2 lbs, crafted from flint or obsidian. The weapon is used with great effect as a tool for downing small animals.
- The Etausi religious belief is centralized around the belief that they are the chosen people of the great dragon. They believe themselves to be the mates of the dragon, whom guides and protects his chosen to exist in harmony with the planet.
- When the world ended, the dragon king gathered all the females of etausi-kind together and protected them from the fires, poisonous smoke, and diseases ravaging the world. After the dying times he returned them to the world reborn in small clutches scattered throughout the lands. The etausi believe they must live their lives as is proper, and pay homage to their divine protector, so that should another end times come, they may once again be gathered up and sheltered from the apocalypse.
- Great Dragon
- The singular masculine god-king of the etausi. This great winged beast is the benevolent and guiding force behind the entire etausi culture. He is responsible for the protection and guidance of his chosen people through his lesser dragons and the tribal shamans.
- Lesser Dragons
- Material agents of The Great Dragon these beasts carry out his wise administration upon the world. They will often be tasked with great quests or duties to protect certain tribes or individuals from evil forces acting against The Great Dragons wishes.
- These small pseudo dragons are seen as minor divine servants of the Great Dragon. Etausi will gift any drakes they encounter with small game and other food. Many etausi colonies temporarily house a number of drakes who visit during their migratory cycles due to the free meals and protection offered by the Etausi.
- Dragon Scales
- Scales from dragons are considered blessed relics, and will be used to craft charms against all sorts of perceived threats.
- Tribal Shamans
- A singular etausi of each tribe will be the revered holder of the stories. This member of the community does not hunt or work beyond their capacity as the observer of the heavens and recorder of all the tribes history. This individual will tend to the spiritual needs of the tribe while also recounting the history in story and song. The shaman will train and educate several apprentices to continue the tradition when the time comes to leave the world of the material and enter the grand caves of the dragon king. This tribe member is often, but not always the matriarch of the tribe.
- The eldest member of the tribe is seen as mother figure to all other members that were not direct brood mates. This position is one of great respect.
List of Religious Observances
- The etausi do not follow a religious calendar with specific observances or anniversaries. They will perform ceremonies appropriate to event in the tribe as the happen.
- Aside from the roles of Shaman and Matriarch there is no formal structure to the religion of the etausi.
- To the Etausi their very existence is attributed to the actions of their god, and is ingrained to their very biology.
Integration with Civil
- The religious observances of the Etausi, and their beliefs in their saviour, are so integrated into their daily lives, that they do not see their religion as a separate thing.
- The hatching of a brood is an important moment which will bring together the entire colony to celebrate and welcome new children into the colony. Names are general given after a few days of observation and consultation with the shaman.
- Hatching of a male
- In the rare (one in a thousand) chance that a male hatches in an Etausi brood. The mewling infant male is sacrificed to the god-deity.
- Sacrifice of a male
- The method of sacrifice is particular to each tribe, some examples include:
- The entire rook is gathered and the male hatchling is placed upon a stone altar then stoned to death by the gathered adults, whom shout prayers seeking forgiveness and mercy to their god. The resulting corpse is left to decay or be eaten by scavengers; further interaction with the dead male hatchling would anger their god.
- The hatchling is cut open upon an alter and his organs are fed into the flames of a ceremonial fire. The body will be disposed of in a manner befitting any other member of the tribe.
- The hatchling is butchered and eaten by the tribe in a communal meal without a single piece left over.
- An Etausi's first mating is a deeply personal and very significant moment. Sometimes it is expected that their partner will be the matriarch or shaman.
- After a successful mating, when a Etausi lays her first clutch of eggs, she is considered an adult by the colony, having truly began the final act of motherhood. After brooding her first clutch she will no longer be considered a child, and expected to adhere to the social role of an adult.
- To the Etausi, death is a natural and expected conclusion of life, and they will hold ceremonies marking the moment.
Remembrance After Death
- Funeral ceremonies vary between tribes, a few possible examples:
- The departed ones remains are buried under a stone cairn marked with funerary staffs decorated with tokens and charms to aid the spirit until she can join the Great Dragon.
- The corpse not longer houses the spirit and is placed upon a stone or wooden structure for carrion eaters to consume, thus returning her flesh to the cycle of life.
- The dead tribe member is eaten entirely, or choice parts of the fallen. The strengthens the tribe as a whole, allowing the departed to continue as part of the tribe for future generations. Adults that are not currently in brood will engage in sexual coupling believed to spread the departed ones spirit amongst potential future offspring.
Structure / Size
- Etausi tribes typically number around forty individuals, of which fully two thirds will be adults. Only a few members will be in brood at a given time guarding a communal clutch of about a dozen eggs.
Roles of Family Members
- Eggs are laid in communal nests and brooded by the contributing adults in rotation. The hatchlings are considered children of that brood circle, so they are considered to have multiple mothers.
- Given how closely related all members of the tribe are, their is no real distinction of family. The tribe is family, and they are all mothers, sisters, or daughters of each other.
- The all are family attitude is reflected in relationships between tribal members as well as relations between neighbouring rooks. Relations may not always be smooth, even sisters fight from time to time, but in the end they are all part of the larger family.
- Etausi are omnivores.
- Fish, birds and other animals provide the majority of dietary protein which is paired with fungus, fruit, nuts, and greens.
- Cultural Dishes
- Generally meat is roasted, steamed, or baked. Vegetables are usually eaten fresh and uncooked.
- Spice / Flavours
- The Etausi do not embellish their food with spices or herbs.
- Beverages are not considered part of a meal, but are consumed as required to maintain hydration.
- Water and fruit juices.
- While some fermenting of stored fruit juices may occur, the etausi do not metabolize alcohol well, and therefore do not practice the consumption or production of alcohol.
- Disease and Pestilence
- Etausi are not susceptible to most disease that afflicts treahni. There are diseases which they can and do contract; usually variants of common ailments unique to their physiology.
- Etausi do use herbal, and some mineral based medicines. The gathering and preparation of such is seen no differently than gathering foodstuff, and the knowledge is shared equally amongst the whole colony.
- The etausi have no specialized doctors. Injuries requiring significant intervention beyond simple splints, stitching, or amputation are beyond the knowledge of the Etausi, and will generally be fatal or leave the casualty significantly impaired should they recover.
- Amongst the etausi there is no practice of formal education, young are simply taught by example how to perform the various tasks of daily living as requried by the colony.
- Most etausi are illiterate.
- The etausi have a vocal language which naturally evolved independently. Limited social contact between the Etausi and Tre-ahni has kept inter-lingual influence to a minimum. Each colony speaks its own dialect, with nearby groups possessing similar enough language to facilitate communication between such groups.
- The etausi have yet to develop complex scripts as a whole, but some groups have adapted runic markings for ceremonial purposes.
- Most etausi posses limited ability, but complex mathematics have not been developed.
- Outside of their religion, most etausi believe in a natural order of things. They see themselves as merely a part of the complex whole that makes up the living world.
Life and death are natural and cyclical. All living things need living things, or their remains to survive. This is a sacred truth of the world. No individual life is sacred on its own, but as part of the larger cycle, yes. The cycle itself must continue, and death is a necessary part of that cycle. All living things - plants, animals, etausi, treahni - feed other life after dying. How can you preserve life without death? - Sishala, Matriarch of the Sand Cliffs Rook
- The idea of social, technological or other progress is not part of their culture. The Etausi are just doing what they do. Occasionally, one might make a small improvement to some aspect of their colony's daily life, but without sharing of ideas between disparate groups very little progress occurs as a whole.
- Etausi do not have any modesty taboos, so their clothing is limited to harnesses, pouches, and the like. They may add small totems or charms to their tools. Some ornamentation with simple jewellery, usually bracelets, rings, ankles, necklaces or the like. Materials, design and techniques vary widely between individual rooks.
- Generally leather, rope, or simple weaving of plant fibres.
- Basic plant-based dyes may be used in some colonies.
- Simple adornments using natural materials such as shells, wood, teeth, bone, antler, feathers, or fur.
- Simple belts, and harnesses for attaching pouches, tools are the norm.
- Simple jewellery made from natural materials such as leather, shells, wood, teeth, bone, antler, feathers, or fur.
- Given their natural camouflage, most etausi do not paint their scales, although some ceremonial body or face paint may be worn from time to time.
- The Etausi are possessed of an unusual artistry, which is most evident in the design of their tools.
- Voice / Singing
- The natural speaking voice of an Etausi is a tonal melodic blend similar to birdsong and wood wind instruments as such they're well suited to singing.
- Some drumming on hollow wooden drums, or stretched leather tambolins. Shakers made from gourds, shells, or carved wood.
- Etausi produced wind instruments are designed to amplify and augment their natural voices. Non-etausi have difficulty producing any enjoyable sounds from such instruments.
- Etausi will sing short songs, which serve as poems.
- Etausi dance is generally a rhythmic smooth form reminiscent of liquid, wind, or smoke. For the more aquatic colonies dancing in water with the added third dimension is a regular activity. Some use of ribbons, streamers, or tassels can add to the visual spectacle.
- The etausi do not practice any theatrical arts.
- Painting is limited to simple decorative painting on objects such as pottery or other tools.
- Practical applications such as pottery, or wood carving is typical. Some totemic representations for ceremonial purposes may also exist.
Sports / Competition
- Etausi will engage competitive activities related to skill at hunting or fishing. Sometimes they have foot and/or swimming races. Generally such activities are more about teaching the young than proving one is better than their sisters.
- Etausi like to play games with a puzzle element to them, such as riddles, or match making or gathering games.
- The etausi do not gamble.
- In evenings the colony will often gather for communal meals, and social activities before retiring for the night. They do not throw celebratory parties outside of ceremonial observances.
- Etausi are almost exclusively cave dwelling, sometimes living in dug hovels. Stones, wood, thatch and clay may be used to produce support structures as required.
- When natural caves are not available, etausi may dig hovels into soil and using branches vines, or whatever other material is on hand to build a roof structure, which is then covered with the excavated soil and sod.
- The etausi do not have specialized buildings by function, but instead segregate areas within their homes to various purposes such as brood chambers, sleeping areas, meal preparation, storage, workshops, and the like.
Hours / Watches
- Etausi have a general assessment of the time of day based on the sun's position in the sky, but do not track the hours like other cultures.
- Etausi are most active during daylight. They rise in the morning eat a light meal and then proceed to go about their daily activites of hunting, gathering, and crafting on an as needed basis. They will gather in the early evening for a communal meal and social time before retiring to sleep.
- The etausi do not keep a calendar beyond the cycle of the seasons. They do not mark the days nor do they engage in marking of any anniversaries.
- For the Etausi as a whole, they do not record history as a sequence of events. Individual colonies may have their own specific histories retold through stories and song, but the exact dates are irrelevant to them.
- Etausi are seen as primitive and territorial, while they do not generally encroach on others if left to themselves. If pressed, they will defend their own territory, however, due to differences in technology, lower numbers, and aggression levels, the Etausi often suffer either genocide or enslavement.
- Interactions between different Etausi colonies are generally neutral, unless one group is specifically seeking to annex the territory of the other. Trade, or other exchanges may occur, and is a usual result as most see other etausi as extended family.
- Treahni and Drolac
- Etausi have little contact with the various Treahni cultures or the Drolac, so they lack a collective attitude towards them. New encounters are approached with curiosity, later encounters will depend on the experience of that first time.
- Relations with the Qulani are generally benign, due to lack of competition for territory or resources. The similar communal social order gives some common ground for the two peoples as well. However such meetings are rare due the Qulani's subterranean lifestyle.
- Etausi dwelling within the Forest of Sildara peacefully co-exist with the Sildaryn, through mutual respect of nature, and the lack of direct competition for resources. They generally avoid each other, but seldom have hostile interactions when they do meet.
- Etausi and Pëlöryk do not get along, due mostly to the later groups opinion that the Etausi are food. a Pëlöryk band discovered in Etausi territory will incite the entire colony to rise up and hunt them down before they can establish a warren.