Sunul

From World of Charun

"Thorns themselves will not harm you - you hurt yourself on the thorns."
- Old Sunul saying

Sunul brave
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Contents

Description

The Sunul, or Irinthar as they once were known, live in the southern foothills of the Snowy Peaks, around the region where the Fierce Sea has its most northern shores. They have a feral lifestyle and a bitter animosity towards both Urmen and the men of Arinthia. Their lifestyle can be misleading though, since the Sunul may live a life that seems both primitive and feral, but that is a conscious choice by them. They possess great knowledge that they have attained across the centuries, they just do not believe in applying it into their way of life.

They live in permanent villages that usually have a creek or well nearby. Sunul houses are circular, simple arrangements of stones that hold branches of trees in position, often covered with moss and leaves. A Sunul village is nearly impossible to detect for an untrained eye, and stories tell of people actually standing in the midst of a village without knowing it. They cook all their food in a clay container that is dug into a hole and covered with red-hot charcoal, finally buried under dirt. This method creates virtually no smoke, and these cook-pits are often found within the house itself. A typical household consists of a family with a male, female and their children.

While the Sunul spent most of the Third Age and early Fourth Age in near-extinction, they appear to be making a surprising comeback in the Fourth Age, to the extreme consternation of their neighbors, as the Sunul are by no means friendly to outsiders. They are wood-wise, strong-willed, and hostile -- an unfortunate combination for those discovered in their territory.

Life expectancy and Fertility Rate

The Sunul share their life expectancy with the rest of the Mórail. Their population, on the other hand, seems to have been expanding notably in the past century or two, in stark contrast to the slow but steady decline of the other Mórail (who have a very hard time replacing any kin slain through combat or accident prior to having children). This has caused much discussion among scholars, who note that they have been living under very violent circumstances. The reaction of other Mórail appears to be one of shock and confusion, obvious even across racial and cultural divides.

More about: Mórail


Etymology

The name “Sunul” translates from the Mórail language to "rebel", and the explanation for why they bear such a name is found in the history. The Sunul were once known as Irinthar (i-rin-tha-r) which translates to "many of divine origin coming from the mountains". The Narghali called them Beinmórail, which translates from Ancient Narghalan to "high born of the mountains".

History and Origins

The arrival of the Irinthar and the other Mórail kinships launched the Second Age - a period that was largely dominated by their race. The Irinthar differed from their cousins in that they favoured darkness and rock over skylight and nature. Being skilled stoneworkers and miners led to them seeking the Snowy Peaks, where they spread across the central parts. The Irinthar founded several settlements - first above ground or in cave systems, and later under the mountains themselves as generations had shaped the rock into magnificent architecture. Worshippers of Rinthaos, they were tremendously-skilled miners and craftsmen. It is said that almost all of the great treasures found within Mórail lands, and all of their precious gems and jewels, came from the mines and workshops of the Irinthar. Legendary artifacts such as Thuwaneih, Thuwanil, and the Hand of Rinthaos were made by these Irinthar, next to which the greatest works of both human and Mórail in the Fourth Age seem nothing but minor trinkets. Indeed, a number of Mórail scholars have claimed outright that the great creations of the Second Age will not be seen again unless worship of Rinthaos returns to what it was under the Irinthar.

The local Urmen had, from their arrival to the peaks, been a problem, with contiuous skirmishes and battles, but the Irinthar managed to defeat them over and over again. The early Third Age saw a change when a large number of Urmen clans of the Snowy Peaks gathered and began attacking Irintharin settlements across the region, successfully destroying them one after one. The Irintharin kingdom of Thunder Hall was the largest and strongest of them all, and many refugees fled there to seek shelter. Other survivors, bitter and furious at the development, fled to the southern foothills and began waging a constat warfare against the Urmen and raiding human settlements in Arinthia - the latter to much dismay among the other Mórail kinships, who soon began calling them "Sunul", which is Mórail for "rebel".

As the War of the Races began and more and more Irinthar were forced to leave their mountain halls, they found themselves increasingly dependent on understanding the surface for their survival, the Sunul particularly so. In order to survive, they began to pay less attention to Rinthaos, the avatar of dead material, and more to Saindam, avatar of the living. As more and more Irinthar were either killed or forced to join the Sunul as a matter of simple survival, the importance of Rinthaos waned, and that of Ethalias Thunitar grew more and more powerful, with many Sunul considering his worship to be the only thing preserving their people.

As the centuries passed by, the Sunul distanced themselves from their former allies, the other Mórail, falling back to living in small tribes along the southern foothills of the Snowy Peaks, finally isolating themselves from all but their own kin. Powerful spiritual leaders had emerged, preaching a "pure" form of worshipping Ethalias Thunitar, their Creator, who wanted them to live as close to nature as possible. It is said that there was a long controversy between the priests of Rinthaos and those of Ethalias Thunitar, but simple survival made the outcome inevitable: the priests of Rinthaos were not suited to a life of raiding, skirmishing, and wandering the surface, but the adherents of Ethalias Thunitar not only survived such an environment, but thrived in it. The Sunul embraced the teachings, discarding all items and traditions that required too refined techniques to produce. By doing so they explicitly rejected the importance of craft, and made a permanent and fundamental break with those things which were important to Rinthaos, in order to more fully align themselves with the living creatures which are Ethalias Thunitar's concern. It is at this point that the Irinthar can truly be said to have become extinct.

In the late 8th century of the Third Age only Thunder Hall remained of the Irnitharin settlements. Sunul numbers had swollen with the development, as had the number of inhabitants of Thunder Hall. Relentless in their pursuit of the Mórail, the massive gathering of Urmen fianlly found a passage to the lower levels of Thunder Hall, from where they launched an attack, forcing the Mórail to retreat to higher levels. Soon thereafter the war reached a stalemate, where the enemy occupied the lower levels, but could not manage to break through the Mórail guarding the passages leading up.

The legends claim that in 908 III the Urmen had gained new leadership in the shape of an ancient demon, who led their charge up the passages, finally killing just about everyone in the kingdom. Whether there is any truth behind the claim or if it's a legend describing the ferocity the attack was carried out with is hotly debated. The few survivors that managed to flee joined the Sunul and were absorbed culturally by them.

During the Third and Fourth Age their numbers gradually dwindled, with many believing that they would go extinct. Apparently that was not the case, as the world discovered in the years after Mount Doom's eruption forced the Sunul to migrate northward and upslope to escape the heavy ashfall created by the eruption of Mount Doom. With the high peaks relatively inaccessible, they skirted Mount Doom itself, existing in the foothills and gradually returning to lower lands, where they migrated along the shores of the Bay of Harigum, in numbers which early observers found incredible. Rather than a few small, isolated bands, Sunul numbers are in the thousands, and appear to be increasing further.

Unfortunately, initial attempts to approach the Sunul resulted in disaster and violence. Many of the Sunul interpreted the eruption of Mount Doom as the equivalent of a mother bird forcing her children from the nest, and while pleased with the areas to which they migrated, their encounters with humans and other Mórail did not go well. The Sunul skirmished regularly with Fearanni trying to control the Grey Fens, and Islean sentiments seemed to range from claiming their new homeland (since the Three Isles historically controlled all of the area surrounding the Bay of Harigum) or else seemed like an invitation to war for those who would not fight themselves, but hid on their unnaturally-designed islands. Culturally, the Three Isles, with their distinctly urban lifestyle, appear to be the polar opposite of everything the Sunul stand for.

Additionally, encounters even with other Mórail have proceeded badly. The Sunul are now omnivores, and Mórail disgust at being offered meat does not sit well with those who already believe most of their kin to be traitors to their own kind. Making matters worse, the Niematharin insistence that they are servants of Ethalias Thunitar is considered laughable by the Sunul. The Niematharin vision of nature is a fundamentally gentle one primarily emphasizing the needs of the forest and plant life, rather than the fauna within it. While it is the Sunul who have changed over time, they regard the Niematharin as deluded at best, heretical at worst, and to be trusted in neither case.

Sunul goals currently guarantee conflict, as they seem determined to restore Charun to a feral state. Sunul dryw regularly destroy buildings and built-up environments, destroy roads, etcetera. The Sunul have never been at peace with humanity, and they appear to have no common ground now, as they defend their new lands from all comers in the same way they have for the past thousand years -- by killing any and all trespassers they find.


Appearence

The Sunul share the physical build of the Mórial. They differ in that they have brown or black hair with brown eyes. Both sexes use scarring and blue-green tattoos to decorate their bodies. The dye for the tattoos is retrieved from a plant found in the wild that is rumoured to have a numbing sensation on the body’s nervous system when rubbed into the skin. This has made the plant, that is known by its Mórail name “Nulathuar”, a highly sought ointment by human warriors who see it as the ultimate painkiller.

Both men and women vary their hairstyles greatly, depending on which clan they belong to. Some have mohawk-style haircuts, while others wear their hair long or in beaded braids. Most non-Sunul that are somewhat familiar with their culture recognise their clan origin from the hair style, or other distinguishing features, such as tattoos or jewellery.

More about: Mórail


Language

Sunul language is a Mórail dialect that has developed into an unique tongue during their long period of isolation. The Sunul dialect can be understod by the other Mórail, and vice versa, even though it sounds much harsher.


Society

Governmental Form

The Sunul are divided into sixteen clans. Each clan is governed by a chief, usually a wise elder who often is a dryw. In times of war a war-chief is elected, who leads the clan into war. The war-chiefs are always able and experienced warriors that have proven their courage in countless of skirmishes.


Social Stratification

The Sunul share their social stratification with the rest of the Mórail, though their intense worship tends to lead to notably greater respect for members of proven faith.

More about: Morail


Economy

The Sunul live on a subsistence economy, producing only what is necessary for survival.


Army

While all Sunul will act as combatants at need, the Sunul possess no organized army.


Technology

It is said by other Mórail that the Sunul could resume the Irintharin lifestyle, should they choose to do so. Whether they have actually retained said knowledge, and continually disavow it (preserving it in order to demonstrate a contrast with their previous existence to justify their own), or whether they are no longer capable of great works is a mystery -- the Sunul, trusting neither other Mórail nor humans, are not inclined to discuss the matter.


Culture

Customs

Since the Sunul have abandoned all non-natural aspects of life, they do not use metal tools. Instead they have mastered making stone tools from a variety of different kinds of stone. For example they shape or chip flint for use as cutting tools and weapons, while basalt and sandstone are used for ground stone tools, such as quern-stones. Wood, bone, shell, antler and other materials are widely used as well for weapons and tools, while sediments, like clay, are used to make pottery.

The Sunul way of life builds solely on living within nature as a part of the wild. They consider themselves equal, not more or less, than the other inhabitants of the wild. This view on life and death is mirrored in their burial rites, where a dead Sunul is simply left naked in the forest for its inhabitants to feed on. Their belief is that they are thus partaking in the circle of life and death that enables their own existence.

Neither other Mórail nor humans are trusted by the Sunul. They regard the other Mórail races as traitors, since they according to the Sunul “sold their souls and bled dry” when they agreed to let humans rule former Mórail lands. Humans, on the other hand, have proven to be naught but trouble since their arrival, which has led to the them trusting no one but their own kin.

The Sunul were traditionally known to have foes in the Urmen and the men of Arinthia: now that others are meeting them, it seems that they have foes in everyone. The Sunul have apparently become completely xenophobic, and even other Mórail are typically attacked on sight. Their children are taught from early on that they are in constant war with all other peoples, and that it is the obligation of each Sunul to see to it that the foes are slain and driven off to some dark corner of the world. This has made their society very combat and war oriented.

A Sunul warrior is a feared opponent, raised to fight and die for his beliefs, his kin and his clan. They feel little remorse for their foes, never taking captives – a defeated foe is more often killed than shown mercy and released. A common tradition amongst the Sunul is to take scalps off their foes and the most prominent warriors can display dozens of hair-locks hanging from their weapons and armour.

More about: Morail


Diet

Food sources of the Sunul include nearly everything that is edible in their natural environment. Eggs are an important source of protein as is milk from elks that are "persuaded" to let go of it by Sunul dryws. The milk is often spiced with crushed berries, such as lingonberries, blueberries, juniper berries or cloudberries. This does not mean that the Sunul will not hunt -- far from. Unlike the other Mórail, Sunul appear to be excellent hunters who do not hesitate to return their kills home as food.

This habit is completely contrary to most of what is understood about the Mórail, and fills other Mórail kindreds with horror and revulsion. Some scholars argue that the Sunul have somehow become more similar to the Dhazzir (who are known to eat fish) than the other kindreds, but how this came about is a decided mystery.

More about: Morail


Marriage

The Sunul practice monogamy and usually marry outside their clan. The ceremony is held by a dryw, after which the female moves to the male’s clan and village.


Arts

Sunul arts are almost exclusively tied to creating functional items required for survival, or for worship.


Games

What the Sunul do for games is an open question; outsiders are not welcome in their villages, and those Sunul who have travelled have responded to the question with disdain.


Clothing

Even though they live in a fairly cold environment, with occasional snowfall brought down from the peaks, the Sunul wear little clothing. A loin-cloth and a pair of soft leather boots, sometimes with a pair of leggings, is their basic outfit. The women usually top that off with a leather vest or tunic. Fur trimmed cloaks are worn if the weather is especially cold.


Weapons and Armour

The Sunul view on life is mirrored in their choice of weaponry and armour. Even though they possess the knowledge to forge metal items, and they can attain all sorts of weapons and armour as loot, they refuse to use any of them. The Sunul warrior who chooses to wear more than a loin-cloth, is clad in leather harvested from dead animals, with a longbow on his back and a hand axe or a club, along with a knife, hanging from his belt. Many carry a spear as well. The arrowheads are made out of flint stone, as are the axe, spear and knife blades. It is not unheard of that a warrior uses a wooden or leather shield, however, the most common way of fighting amongst the Sunul is with one weapon in each hand. The Sunul are known to poison their weapons: whether this is something they had done prior to 780 IV, or was adopted due to their more recent exposure to the Saurians infiltrating the Grey Fens and Maze Hills is not known.


Religion

Ethalias Thunitar is the only deity traditionally worshipped by the Sunul. They regard other gods somewhat in the way they see other races and their lifestyles – as having nothing to offer to them. A Sunul sees himself as someone living the life that Mórail were meant to live. All the Sunul priests are dryw. Very unusually, even for the Mórail, almost all Sunul possess true faith, and their hunters are regularly granted special powers by Ethalias Thunitar.

In the Fourth Age, however, a very small number of Sunul have begun to give homage to Kuhta, a New Power of the wild. These Mórail are considered renegades by the other Sunul, and shunned completely. Only their low population has prevented violence over the matter. One thing that is known about their homage is that they apparently connect their worship of Kuhta to the eruption of Mount Doom, for they refer to the event as "Kuhta's Rage."


Player Characters

Sunul are currently not playable.


Statistics

Location in Charun: Southern foothills of the central Snowy Peaks.

Population: Unknown.

Settlements: Unknown.

Army: All able men and women count as warriors

Government form: Each village has peacetime chief, and a wartime war-chief


Sunul Clans

The clans and their distinguishing features are the following:

Cougar Mohawk hair-cut decorated with beads, shell earrings

Deer One single braid decorated with beads made out of antler

Eagle Long hair decorated with 1-3 eagle feathers

Fang Bearer Jewellery out of predator fangs, such as earrings and necklaces

Fox Clothing decorated with fox tails

Hawk Shaven head, save a lock on the top of the head with hawk feathers.

Lynx Long hair with short cut fringe, erected by grease

Mist Walker Long hair dyed white

Plenty Knives Triangular tattoo from forehead down to the chin

Red Arrow Red dyed mohawk hair-cut

Red Tail Long hair with a red dyed fox tail hanging from the hair.

Sharp Claw Bear claw piercing through nose long hair decorated with claws.

Three Antlers Long hair decorated with small beads, triple antler tattoo on forehead

Wolf Mohawk hair-cut, wolf paw tattoos on sides of head

Wolverine Hair in many small braids, scar tattoos on cheeks, simulating claw marks.


Heritable Mutations

The Sunul are prone to genetic, heritable mutations, some of which are harmful. They have the following ingame effects:

Genetic immunological memory:
Mórail immunological memory leads to a very effective immune system that quickly detects and defeats diseases encountered in their bloodline's past. All Mórail are immune vs diseases.

Tertiary Fertility:
Sunul females, unlike most Mórail, do not appear to universally suffer from tertiary infertility. While Sunul mothers still have a difficult time with childbirth past the second child, numerous travellers' stories have reported what appeared to be mothers with several children. Whether they were truly the mothers, or merely babysitting, is currently a subject of great debate.

Keen Senses:
Mórail have an ability to combine sensory information from visual, auditory and tactile senses into a very detailed perception of the enviroment. As an example, they are able to use echolation through the noise they are making, and then interpreting the sound waves reflected by nearby objects. This lets them identify the location and size of nearby objects, steer around them and also detect small movements relative to objects. All Mórail gain a racial +2 bonus to the listen, spot and search skills. They also gain the Keen Sense feat.

Heritable haemophilia:
Mórail suffer from a genetic disorder that impair the body's ability to control blood clotting or coagulation, which is used to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is broken. All Mórail have a weakened regeneration of Stamina out of combat.

Meat tolerance:
The Sunul, alone among the surface Mórail but similar to the Dhazzir, are able to eat meat and metabolize animal proteins. This is considered to be a great mystery (and source of extreme revulsion and horror) by the other Mórail kindreds.

Heritable Intelligence:
The Sunul genetic mutation has led to an ability of being able to record information about their enviroment and its spatial orientation. They are able to acquire, store, recall and decode information from areas they have visited through creating mental maps. The Sunul are also able to recall where they have been, what they have done and what the weather was like for every single day since their childhood.

Ability Modifiers:
WIS +4, STR -2, CON -2



Back to: Morail

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