Mubuluki

From World of Charun

"It's better not to poke a lion with a short staff."
- Old Mubuluki saying

Mubuluki Purple Wizard
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Mubuluki Purple Wizard


Contents

Description

As the undoubted rulers of the Southern Reaches, the Mubuluki control the better part of the region, forcing neighbouring cultures to submission and slavery. Wizards are a powerful force among the Mubuluki and the only ones able to master wizardry among humans. While not a social class of their own, most wizards there accrue great wealth and influence. Most children (and their parents) harbor dreams of wizardry, but the hard reality is that very few actually attain this goal. Mubuluki standards are exceedingly high and only the brightest of individuals are even allowed to study magical arts at all. In the case of the state-sanctioned Purple Wizards, the requirements are even harsher. Rumor holds that a prospective Purple Wizard must endure innumerable tests of magical prowess without a single error, any one of which is assuredly lethal. Afterwards, no wizard is ever the same.

Wizardry is of the utmost importance, so great as to be in exclusion of other magical disciplines. Mystics are especially reviled, viewed by Mubuluki wizards as dangerous and unpredictable. In their minds, those lacking the intellect necessary to access the Far Realms via wizarding formulae has no business with such power. Individuals daring to enter pacts with the New Powers quickly find themselves hunted by Purple Wizards. Alchemists and other arcane-casters are scarcely better off; only the few who opt to flee survive, and even some of the more dangerous above them are tracked beyond the nation’s borders. For this reason, non-wizards are generally unwelcome in Mubuluk, and most foreigners do well to hide such gifts among them.

The Mubuluki are one of the few societies to actively support the practice of slavery. More than that, they are the single greatest user and supplier of slave labor the world over. Sanctioned Mubuluki hunting parties scour the untamed regions of their realm for unwary Desert People or Kamale cannibals to throw in fetters. The luckiest of these slaves are exported to the Three Isles and beyond, where they might have a small chance at fair treatment or eventual freedom. The remainder are put to hard labor within Mubuluk. There, they can expect to be worked cruelly up until the day they die, with nearly no hope of escape or leniency.

More about: Slavery


Life expectancy and Fertility Rate

Adulthood: 15 years
Life expectancy: 65 years
Maximum lifespan: 120 years
Total fertility rate: The average number of children born to a female over her lifetime is 3-5.


Etymology

The nation Mubuluk and its people are named after their founder, Chief Mubu.


History and Origins

Today the desert of Cadumbu can be found in the centre of the most southern parts of Charun. Very few enter it and even fewer manage to cross it alive. It has not always been like this. During the Second Age the western most parts of Cadumbu were actually a fertile region, home to a race of men living primitive lives as gatherers and hunters, ignored by the Sauroids east of them. Then in the very beginning of the Third Age there was a change in climate and the region fell to draught, rapidly swallowed by the sands of central Cadumbu turning the former fertile region into a desert. The legends and myths of the Cadumbians tell of the sand devouring the region very much as a hungry pack of lions devours a young antelope.

The inhabitants had to leave and they emigrated to the east, mainly in two large groups led by great chieftains. Both leaders blamed the drought on the other group for angering Tamacami, a trickster-god of the deserts, who thus punished them all through sending the sand into their homes.

Where earlier they would have met heavy resistance and certain death at the hands of the Sauroids, they now had a clear and safe path cleared by the Niematharin. One of the tribes, led by their chief Mubu, migrated southeast, finding a varied land of exotic jungle and desert. The land was foreboding but habitable, and Mubu settled his people there, laying the foundations for the future nation of Mubuluk.

The greatest fear of the Mubuluki was the loss of their new homeland to the desert, as they had lost Cadumbu. To this end, great faith was placed in the shamans among them to work their magic against such a fate. Gradually these shamans, or the primitive wizards they were, came to replace the tradition tribal chieftain in ruling the Mubuluki. This soon led to the formation of the Council of Seven, as the wizards organized themselves into the various orders that would form the functioning Magocracy that rules Mubuluk today.

The Mubuluki originally held dominion over only the regions south of the Bawulu Desert, as the north had been claimed by a rival Cadumbian tribe, forming the nation of Kunbawa. Near the end of the Third Age, the Mubuluki launched a massive attack against their sister nation. After a few short days, the Mubuluki had put an end to their rivalry by force, soon laying claim to most of the Southern Lands east of the Desert of Despair.

More about: Mubuluk


Appearence

Like all Cadumbians, Mubuluki have dusky skin and curly black hair. This they wear in a variety of manners, with little differentiation between sexes so much as classes. Mubuluki in outlying regions favor practical styles, often cut short or shaved entirely. Upper classes and cityfolk usually wear their hair longer, elaborately braided and pinned up. Facial hair is fairly uncommon regardless.


Language

The languages used in the Southern Reaches have all developed from a tongue that was used by the Cadumbian tribe in the end of the Second Age. The Akilo language used by the Desert People is thought to resemble it closely, whereas the Mubuluki tongue has gradually drifted from its original speech.


Society

Governmental Form

The nation is a magocracy, ruled by a council that consists of representatives from seven different orders. Almost nothing is known about these orders, other than that each of them elects a representative to the Council of Seven – the ruling organ of the nation. Every young wizard in Mubuluk dreams about a membership in one of the seven orders, for it is said that great power and utmost knowledge is granted to the members. At the same time, Mubuluk is a land increasingly riven by contradictions, as its northern and southern regions debate over how best to guide their nation forward.


Social Stratification

Mubuluki society is one of the most strictly regulated in Charun. The amount of bureaucracy involved in its governance is staggering, and as a result most Mubuluki are used to a degree of oppression. Even citizens of Mubuluk traveling elsewhere aren’t entirely free, as the nation has been well-known for keeping tabs on it’s people abroad. In fact, many Mubuluki found outside of Mubuluk are actually well-trusted, loyal citizens; it is rumored they actually serve as spies and informants in the countries they visit.

With a government as pervasive as that of Mubuluk, it is unsurprising that many choose to leave. Those wishing to defy the established conventions of their society have little option but to seek their fortune elsewhere. Worshipers of unapproved Gods, outlaws and slaves, or those desiring to escape their social station, there is little shortage of people desiring changes in their lives. Many of these folk are apprehended by the Purple Wizards, but those who do succeed are hardened by their exodus. Many of these folk fall into an adventuring lifestyle, the better to keep on the move and beyond the notice of their homeland.


Economy

Mubuluk exports copper, magic items in the form of simpler scrolls and trinkets, as well as slaves caught amongst the Desert People and the Kamale. Slave trading is an important part of their economy, and they have even been known to sell prisoners, be they Mubuluki or foreigners, as slaves when others have not been available. There are many professional slavers (sanctioned by the government of course) that actively hunt Desert People and the Kamale, a dangerous task since both groups are extremely dangerous and warlike.

The town of Ngozi consists almost solely out of miners and their families. The hills north of the village are filled with numerous copper mines, which is from where Mubuluk gets all their copper for domestic use and export.

All of Mubuluki trade travels across the Sea of Sharks and onwards along the Trail of Gold. Pirates have always been a threat and a large problem, especially since Mubuluk lacks a proper fleet, which has led to many ships, both arriving and departing, sailing in convoys in an attempt to increase their safety.


Army

The Force of the Seven Stars has evolved considerably over the last century, in keeping with the needs of its increasingly divided society. The army of Mubuluk is an unique one. It consists of four organs, where the core is a large mass of infantry with the sole task of absorbing damage and protecting the wizards of the army. Whereas a couple hundred years ago the average soldier of Mubuluk was neither especially skilled nor well equipped, times have changed. They are still somewhat-poorly equipped, but are discovering the power of professionalism, and have begun to show sufficient competence to dismay foreign powers whose previous "Mubuluk plans" involved simply trying to neutralize the wizards and their Golg.

The mages, known as the “Purple Wizards” are the elite troops of Mubuluk. All are skilled spell casters, powerful enough to wreak havoc on their own, and in large numbers able to defeat most foes before them. Last, but not least, are the Golg – massive and unnaturally intelligent constructs that are able to act on their own. The Golg can follow orders, as well as make their own decisions and despite them not being very numerous, they are able to turn back any attack on the nation. It is believed that the day Mubuluk figures out how to transport these constructs (ships rarely hold very many of them) many realms across the Western Lands should look over their defences. Few can stand up against the Golg in combat.


Technology

The Mubuluki possess a very high level of technology by human standards. While they have no access to the Morail hydrostatic sciences, they are capable and effective engineers. While the average Mubuluki soldier possesses only rudimentary arms and armor, that does not mean that the same Mubuluki who can create Golg are incapable of creating better equipment should they choose to do so.

Mubuluk is the only human nation capable of creating golems, and it is said that many more-primitive variations exist alongside the famous Golg.


Culture

Diet

The Mubuluki are omnivores as are almost all humans, but for the most part tend to eat lightly except during feasts, with the majority of their food coming in the form of vegetables and grains eaten on various flatbreads. The Mubuluki are generally skilled and inventive cooks who have created a wide variety of culinary schools and sauces.


Customs

Frequent exposure to the occult has done very little to still quell superstition among the Mubuluki. On the contrary, non-wizards are as wary of magic as most others, if not more. The average farmer or miner had no more understanding of magic as a layman of any other people, and tends to err on the side of caution in the presence of practitioners of the supernatural. As a result, they tend to show known mages an amount of respect from the outset. One who later proves themself to be a wizard can expect this respect to be genuine. Other arcanists are far more likely to be the subject of hastily sketched warding symbols to their turned backs. These gestures are often drawn from actual magecraft, but are naturally quite ineffective in the hands of the untrained.

No Mubuluki would ever dare let themselves be caught wearing purple; to do so would be to tempt the wrath of the Purple Wizards, who claim this color as their own badge of office. Even Mubuluki outside of their homeland tend to adhere to this tradition, as one can never be sure whether or not they are clear of the prying eyes of the Council of Seven.

Jewelry is uncommon in Mubuluk, in favor of another custom derived from the prevalence of colorful plant-life adaptable for dyemaking; tattooing. There is little regulation on the content and design of these tattoos, save for social conventions. It is expected that a Mubuluki be tattooed acceptably in accordance to their social position, reserving complicated and elaborate designs for the high classes. One who ignores these unwritten conventions is quite likely to be the subject of disdain among Mubuluki they interact with, a status that applies even to foreigners.


Marriage

The Mubuluki are monogamous, though it has been known for both men and women to occasionally take on lovers or concubines. This is generally frowned on, but not usually subject to retribution unless adultery or coercion is involved. Adultery is not tolerated and results in public corporal punishments designed to shame both perpetrators, and any coercion in such circumstances is invariably punished with a gruesome public execution.


Clothing

Clothing and decorations are stratified according to class . Simple cloth is the trademark of lower classes, as expensive materials are usually beyond their means. Among the more well off, clothing can be found in more costly imported materials and styles. Coloring is common among all, as long as purple is avoided, due to the availabilty of various dyes.


Arts

Mubuluk is one of the longest-surviving human nations, and has a tremendous array of arts and sciences. Though jewelry is uncommon in Mubuluk, pottery and glassware are elaborated to a very high level, rivalling even the Morail.


Games

The Mubuluki play a wide variety of games involving strategy, and even their favored dice games typically involve extra pieces which are moved about according to numbers on the die. Though popular in the Isles, the Mubuluki are known to have originated backgammon, but play a notably complex flavor of it wherein various individual pieces may be altered according to complex formulae based on the position of the pieces on the board. While other games are generally popular, avid players of backgammon can be found in every town and village, any three of whom is likely to be a match for some of the best players in the Isles.


Weapons and Armour

Aside from the army, most Mubuluki are simple people who lack even the most basic martial training. When pressed, they defend themselves with only basic or improvised weaponry, quite often the tools of their respective trades. They rely primarily on the protection of their milatary, as well as the Purple Wizards. Magic is indeed the true weapon of the Mubuluki people

Mubuluki soldiers are little better off than common folk. The regular troops wear boiled leather cuirasses and bronze shields, bearing broad-bladed short swords or hatchets into battle, both weapons doubling as trail blazing tools in the jungle. Skirmishers, merely conscripted slaves and prisoners, fight unarmored, bearing only clubs and slings in combat.

Mubuluki wizards bear staffs that serve as a badge of status, most of which are ornately decorated but otherwise mundane. By contrast, the staffs and robes of the Purple wizards are rumored to bear powerful enchantments, their normal-looking materials as hard as forged steel.


Religion

The cult of Zurkan is the only approved religion among the Mubuluki people, and only temples to the Spellmaster can be found within their lands. Worship of any of the other Gods is actively discouraged, limiting their influence. Naturally, those found leaguing themselves with the New Powers are often subject to brutal retribution from the Purple Wizards, particularly in the southern, more tradition-bound segment of the country.


Statistics

Location in Charun: Mubuluk

Population: 400.000

Settlements: Walam – 150.000, Ngozi - 30.000

Army: Force of the Seven Stars

Government form: Magocracy


Player Characters

Mubuluki names for your character: Mubuluki Names


Faction

The Mubuluki are part of the Civilized Faction, along with other human cultures and the Mórail.


Genetic Modifiers

Cadumbians are physically powerful, shaped by an existence wehre they relied on their natural fortitude to hunt and make war. However, they rarely make effective leaders.

The Cadumbian heritage has the following ingame effects:

Ability Modifiers:
+1 CON, -1 CHA


Cultural Modifiers

Menacing Aura:
The Mubuluki of the South are mysterious and feared, thus projecting a constant imposing aura of menace about them. Powerful arcanists, mighty warriors and vicious enemies who have through history crushed their opposition as easily as they might open their tomes. A Mubuluki seen away from Mubuluk is a person to fear, unknown whether an agent of higher powers, or a private adventurer with a grudge. Mubuluki this gain a +3 Skill Bonus to Intimidate.


Classes

The Mubuluki have the following cultural classes, which they can choose from during character creation. Following levels may be taken in the general classes (rogue, mystic, warrior) or in the cultural class chosen during character creation. Player Characters should note that selecting the "Mystic" class is inherently dangerous, and that Pact marks can not be hidden in case of bodily inspection.


Languages

Native Tongue: Mubuluki
You can always speak your native tongue as long as your INT is above 0, but you will not have any "language slots" at INT 7 or lower.
If your INT is 7 or lower you will not be able to understand languages other than your native tongue, regardless of whether you know them or not.

Faction Common Tongue: Islean
At INT 8 you will be given your first language slot, which if starting with INT 8 or higher will always be used for your faction's common tongue. If the native tongue is the same as the faction tongue, the slot can be used for a secondary language.

Secondary Languages: Akilo, Kamale
At INT 10 and each 2 INT after that you will be given another language slot, which can be used upon entering the game for the first time to pick a language from the secondary languages list. Language slots may also be used later to learn new languages.


Back to: Races | Human | Human Ethnic Groups | Cadumbian

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