Woodsman

From World of Charun

"The bushes don't rattle if there's no wind ."
- Old Woodsman saying

Woodsman hunter
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Woodsman hunter


Contents

Description

The Woodsmen dwell in the forests found in the Stormy Cliffs which abound in deer and other wild beasts they hunt with spear and bow. They are an honest and friendly people who always treat their guests well. People who lodge in a Woodsmen home would often hear the housewife say to the husband early in the morning: "I'm going to hunt some breakfast for our guests and you go to fetch water." When the guests have washed, the woman with a bow slung over her shoulders would return with a roe back. The Woodsmen are expert hunters. Both the males and females are hawkeyed archers. Children usually start to go out on hunting trips with their parents at the age of seven or eight. And they would be stalking wild beasts in the deep forest and cliffs all on their own at seventeen.


Life expectancy and Fertility Rate

Adulthood: 15 years
Life expectancy: 55 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 Woodsmen have dwelled in the forests of the Stormy Cliffs since the days of the grand kingdom of Narghal in the Second Age, and that is where they are first mentioned as "the men of the woods" - "woodsmen".


History and Origins

The true origin of the Woodsmen is still shrouded in mystery, but most sages agree on that they belong to the Narghali branch of men. For thousands of years the Woodsmen have lived a life of hunting and fishing in the forests. They went on hunting expeditions in groups, and the game bagged was distributed equally not only to those taking part in the hunt, but also to the aged and infirm. The heads, entrails and bones of the animals killed were not distributed but were cooked and eaten by all. Later, deer antlers, which fetched a good price, were not distributed but went to the hunters who killed the animals.

When refugees from the fallen kingdom of Narghal arrived to their region in the end of the Second Age, an alliance that was to last to the very end of the Third Age began. The Woodsmen took in the refugees and helped them survive until they were strong enough to found the realm of Stormwood 289 years later. The Woodsmen carried on as scouts and rangers for the newfound nation all the way till its fall almost seven centuries later.

Upon the fall of Stormwood and the end of the Third Age, the Woodsmen fell back to their old ways. They found refuge in the cliffs and forests, managing to avoid destruction. Within one generation they had lost what they had learned as allies to Stormwood.


Appearence

The Woodsmen have light skin and dark brown or black hair. They have grey eyes. Both sexes are known to use fat to erect their haircut into spikes or alike. Many also tattoo their entire bodies and faces with abstract nature symbols.


Language

Woodsmen speak Wood Talk - a tribal language that bears a close resemblance to Ancient Narghalan, with influences of Northern Narghalan.


Society

Governmental Form

Woodsmen are divided into groups of roughly 60-100 related persons, known as clans. There are around 250 clans, each one led by a chieftain who is usually the most experienced and skilled hunter. The chieftains main concern is to ensure that the clan is provided for. All clan chieftains gather to a council four times a year to share news and discuss eventual problems.


Social Stratification

Woodsman society has almost no social stratification, and while males are more likely to engage in combat based on being slightly stronger, both males and females are social equals and acquire similar respect for their hunting skills.


Economy

Woodsmen live according to a subsistence economy, and while occasional individuals go out into the world and return with manufactured goods, for the most part the Woodsmen are completely self-sufficient.


Army

The Woodsmen have nothing resembling an army. At need, all adults serve as combatants -- they far prefer to avoid combat with their neighbors if possible.


Technology

Woodsmen technology is simple, and like most people living a hunting lifestyle, tends to revolve more around natural lore rather than manufactured items.


Culture

Diet

The Woodsmen primarily eat what they hunt, and what they supplement in the mountains and forests -- pine nuts, fish, and game are their primary staples.


Customs

The Woodsmen, who have fallen back to their primitive lifestyle, have many taboos. One prohibits a woman from giving birth in the home. She has to do that in a little hut built outside the house in which she is confined for a month before she could return home with her newborn. They have a long list of don'ts. For instance, they never call the wolf by its actual name but just "grey tail" and the bear "granddad." Bears killed are generally honoured with a series of ceremonies; their bones are wrapped in straw placed high on trees and offerings are made for the souls of dead bears. The Woodsmen do not work out their hunting plans in advance, because they believe that the shoulder blades of wild beasts have the power to see through a plan when one is made.

Wind burials are practiced by the Woodsmen. When a person dies his corpse is put into a hollowed-out tree trunk and placed with head pointing south on seven feet high supports in the forest known as Burial Wood. Sometimes the horse of the deceased is killed to accompany the departing soul to the spirit world. Only the bodies of young people who die of contagious diseases are cremated.


Marriage

Monogamy is practiced by the Woodsmen, who are only permitted to marry with people outside their own clans. Proposals for marriage as a rule are made by go-betweens, sent to girls' families by boys' families.


Clothing

Both the females and males dress in leather leggings and tunics, with boots and belts made out of rawhide. Dyed porcupine quills and various animal parts are used to decorate their outfits. Fur cloaks are used at wintertime.


Arts

Woodsmen females, who also hunt, show marvellous skill in embroidering patterns of deer, bears and boars on pelts and cloth that go into the making of head gears, gloves, boots and garments. They also make basins, bowls, boxes and other objects from birch barks. Engraved with various designs and dyed in colour, these objects are artistic works that convey the idea of simplicity and beauty. Pelts prepared by Woodsmen are soft, fluffy and light, and they are used in making garments, hats, gloves, socks and blankets as well as tents.

The Woodsmen are a race of dancers and singers. Men, women and children often gather to sing and dance when the hunters return with their game or at festival times. They sing praises of nature and love, hunting and struggles in life in a lively rhythm. Among the most popular Woodsmen dances are the "Black Bears Fight" and "Wood Cock Dance," at which the dancers execute movements like those of animals and birds. A kind of harmonica and a hand drum are among the traditional instruments used. Played by Woodsmen musicians, these instruments produce tunes that sound like the twittering of birds or the braying of deer. These instruments are sometimes used to lure wild beasts to within shooting range.


Games

Woodsmen play a variety of games based on the hunt, and an ingenious and surprisingly difficult game involving the tossing of small twigs onto a pile to cross other twigs, which are then removed. Victory goes to the player who has most of his twigs remaining in the circle after five tosses.


Weapons and Armour

Woodsmen use longbows, clubs, knives and spears, with spear- and arrowheads made out of iron. Metalwork was never part of their culture and all metal objects in their possession hail from the fallen realm of Stormwood. If preparing for a battle they usually wear leather armour.

Occasionally Woodsmen warriors are seen with round shields made out of hide, covered with sacred symbols gained through dreams that are said to protect them.


Religion

The Woodsmen are shamanists or animists; they worship nature and their ancestors, and believe in the omnipresence of spirits, all under close guidance by their dryws. Their objects of worship are carefully kept in birch-bark boxes hung high on trees behind their tents. They never really accepted the Brunite faith of Stormwood, even though they lived close to one and other for seven centuries. Those who did pray to Brunir always kept their old faith close to their hearts as well. The Woodsmen have many tales, fables, legends and riddles that have been handed down from generation to generation.


Statistics

Location in Charun: Stormy Cliffs

Population: 20.000

Settlements: None

Army: All able men and women count as warriors.

Government form: Tribalism


Player Characters

Woodsman names for your character: Woodsman Names


Faction

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


Genetic Modifiers

The Narghali are naturally influential, generally projecting unusual confidence, along with great communication skills. However, they are generally poor at book learning since their culture has evolved more around pursuing virtues than knowledge.

The Narghali heritage has the following ingame effects:

Ability Modifiers:
+1 CHA, -1 INT


Cultural Modifiers

Hunter's Skill:
Training from an early age to track and hunt, the Woodsmen are among the most skilled of hunters. Their beliefs, which require respect for the beasts of the wild, have further heightened their skills. Without the plans others might use, the Woodsmen can rely only on their training, which stands above that of others. Woodsmen characters gain a +1 Attack Bonus vs Animals and a Skill Bonus: Survival +2.


Classes

Woodsmen 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.


Languages

Native Tongue: Wood Talk
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: Dhazzir
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.


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