Shoanti Tribesmen

   
Shoanti Tribesmen

I like the Shaonti Tribesmen. Reading their culture reminds me of Klingons for some reason. These fierce, nomadic, warrior peoples are a cross between Mongols and the Plains cultures of the American Natives. I have added a few things to help fill in the corners, just as I did with the Varasian Gypsies.

Shoanti Ritual Scars

Ritual Scarification is practiced in all Shoanti Tribes. Most often it is done by an Honor Blade, but special circumstances can apply.

Ritual scars are denoted from regular scars by the use of pigmentation to create colors, and sometimes even through the use of colored thread stitched into the scar. Ritual scars are always for significant occasions.

Examples:
Primarily Green Ritual Scars indicate a Punishment from the Tribe.
Fouling the water during a drought or causing the death of a tribesman through cowardice or malice. Shoanti who have been exiled from the tribe will bear these.

Primarily Blue Ritual Scars indicate an Atonement from the Tribesman.
A Tribesman who feels he has significantly harmed his tribe and sought redemption instead of waiting for punishment. Very rarely will these Shoanti be exiled, though they may choose leave their tribe out of guilt.

Primarily Red Ritual Scars indicate a fight over a matter of honor.

Primarily Black Ritual Scars indicate a foe killed over a matter of honor.

Primarily Yellow Ritual Scars indicate a matter of Personal Loss.

Shoanti Honor Blade

Sometimes referred to as the Tribesman's Knife by non Shoanti. This weapon is long and thick for a dagger but not quite lengthy enough to qualify as a short sword. The tribes have different styles for their blades, but there are enough similarities for outsiders to recognize them. Often patterend after the tooth of a predator, the blade is only sharp along one edge. Most often the blade is curved, with the edge on the inside such as a Khukuri. But the blade may be more straight in the fashion of a Viking Saex or even more 'civilized' in appearance like a Bowie Knife.

The Honor Blade has the same combat statistics as a dagger, with the following exceptions. Damage is 1d4+1, weight is 1.5 pounds.

The Shoanti Honor Blade is used for nearly all ceremonial blood letting, including sacrifices to the gods, swearing blood pacts and ceremonial scarification rituals. It is also used to cut hair, ritual cords, etc... Just about any cutting of objects in a ritual or ceremony is done with the Honor Blade.

Coup de Grace : Shoanti Honor Blades are used to commit Coup de Grace upon an honored opponent. Shoanti Tribesmen cut the throat of their fallen brethren using the Honor Blade as part of their burial rituals. Using any other blade to Coup de Grace a Shoanti Warrior is considered an insult and one of their highest disgraces. Shoanti Tribesmen may ritually cut the throats of enemies after they have been killed and it is considered one of the highest honors they can grant to an non-Tribesman.

All Shoanti Tribesmen, male and female, are gifted with an Honor Blade upon coming of age. Non-Shoanti with an Honor Knife are rare, as they are only given in tribal ceremonies. Non-Shoanti with an Honor Knife who act as if they know nothing of Shoanti traditions are liable to be attacked by Shoanti Tribesmen at the earliest opportunity.

The Honor Blade is never bought or sold. It's cost as a curiosity in cities is somewhere around 20 gold, depending on condition. Considering the danger of owning one without being a Tribesman, not many will deal with someone attempting to sell an Honor Blade. Shoanti Tribesmen who find someone is keeping an Honor Blade as a museum piece will often break in to steal it, or if they think they can pull it off, simply kill everyone in the room and take it.

The Honor Blade is almost never used in combat. Ever. Most Shoanti would rather die using their fists than dishonor the Blade by such use. "He has blackened his blade with dishonored blood' is one of the worst insults you can give to a Shoanti Warrior. The Only Time an Honor Blade may be used in combat is when two Tribesmen have sworn a pact to fight over a matter of Honor. Such fights are usually until first blood, at which point the wound is specially treated with pigments so as to leave a bright red scar.





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