History: The Three Owl Tribe as a group originated somewhere about 200-300 years ago. At that time they were each their own group that lived in the plains northwest of Greyfalls. At the time these three tribes were each ruled by owl beastmen who held sway over the tribe as a shamen. Each wished to rule unite the other tribes held by the other owl beastmen and so the three tribes fought. Strangely enough, they all succeeded in uniting the tribes, but not under them. They all three died in the fights, but their efforts did bring about the unification of the 3 tribes who named themselves after these divinely blooded leaders.
Since then, they lived in the plains, fighting, living, trading, raiding, and living the pure life of a barbarian. They had good years and bad, times when they fell under the sway of some force or another, before again becoming their own people and continuing on. Now though, a great change has come over them and they have left their ancestral lands for new ones. Greyfalls sent a great host to destroy the long troublesome tribe once it learned it was lead by a Lunar. In the face of such superior exalted might Crimson Voice, the changing moon lunar who has taken control of the Three Owl Tribe lead her people away to find new lands. They hoped to take the area where Valeria is for their own, but she met her husband to be and settled north of that land in the forests.
Diet: The Three Owl Tribe enjoys the fertile lands of of the Hundred Kingdoms, and starvation is rarely an issue amongst them. Virtually all their food gathering is done by hunting and gathering. Slaves captured by the tribe tend to a few goat herds in hills that were within their domain. These goats were used both for food, and their milk was used in combination with a variety of plants to create their own alcohol that takes a lot to get used to the taste. Since it was never plentiful though the dangers of alcohol abuse never came up. Things have changed somewhat now with their move to a forest and plain mixed environment instead of just plains. They no longer create the alcohol they once did, but their hunting and gathering techniques needed little to adapt. Their new home is just as fertile as the one they left and is located in the area in Jarrith, northwest of the Valley of Shards.
Culture: The Three Owl Tribe is a semi-nomadic group. During the summer months, when food was at its most plentiful they would settle down and make rough camps in one place. Otherwise they were often on the move. This gave them an edge in that there wasn't a very large time frame when they might be gathered for punitive strikes from civilized lands.
Amongst them, honour of word and valor were seen as the greatest virtues. An oathbreaker could expect either death or exile depending on how lucky he was. With courage and fame in combat being loved so, most practiced with weapons when they could, though only the best were permitted to engage in raids. The rest would hope for a chance to earn their name against a deadly beast or in a fight against bandits or other armed forces moving through their lands. Cowardice was always punished by exile, as death was seen as being a little too clean for such people. A coward will never succeed in life, so they are banishment is seen as a greater punishment then death.
The Three Owls Tribe is a tribe of runners. They use no horses or vehicals, an ancient taboo laid long ago by a spirit still in effect amongst them. Since they get everywhere by foot, carrying what they need on their persons they are as a rule a very lean and lithe tribe of people, quite healthy and able to run for long distances without tiring.
Leadership lies in the hands of the three Chiefs. These three are each the leader of a large portion of the tribes, which still are very much like three tribes in one. With three of them, descisions are easy to reach and there can be no deadlocks. The position is earned through fame, skill, and the strugles of the sub-chiefs over who will move up. Currently there are 3 chiefs, but also a Lunar who leads them. In the face of such a living god, she has complete power over them but mostly lets the 3 chiefs run things. The Three Owl Tribe is large, and they do not move around in on large group but many smaller ones, each ruled by a sub-chief or Athar, a corrupted Old-Realm word for second, or assistant. There is always one shamen with each group who has an apprentice, though there are several wandering shamens as well who move throughout the tribes. They are seen as sancrosanct, and as a respect for them as holy men, the tribes will do them no harm and provide for them when they need it and extend the same courtesy to other holy men if they realize what they are. The faith doesn't matter so much, and even Immaculates gained this respect. Shamens deal with the spirits, and other divine beings and also hold much of the history of the tribe and the more advanced herbal lore. These shamen also know several thaumaturgical techniques. They share knowledge of the Art of Warding and the sciences of Alchemy and Enchantment.
The rest of the tribe falls into about 3 rough groups. Warriors of the tribe are the most select and deadly hunters and fighters of the tribes. Skilled in blade and hand to hand, they are the ones who lead the raids and fight the battles when the need calls for it. The rest are normal barbarians, which means they do everything really though of course some have strengths, or are just waiting for a chance to prove themselves in some way and earn great renown amongst their people. Finally come the slaves, those who were taken in raids from civilized areas or captured when they were part of a trade mission or attack into the Three Owl Tribe lands. These are the ones who tend to the goats and do minor subsistance farming. Those who try to escape are killed if they fail to. Whenever a new Chief is chosen, as part of the tribe's way all the slaves are released. This means though, that shortly after a new chief rises up, raids increase to replace those who were released and to trade in slaves to the Guild.
War and Fighting: To the Three Owl Tribes, a bow is a tool for hunting, not a weapon. To fight means to go to battle face to face with your foe, with only your hands or a blade to decide your fate. Amongst the Tribe, fights and battles are over face, which remain nonlethal. Killing an opponent does nothing for face, but fighting one, and besting without serious harm is worth honour. Sometimes entire false wars are fought between several groups, which while they are very painful for all involved most of the fighters survive it. Kidnappings are used to gain both face and trade in ransoms, though it also is used gain a spouse. Stealing a husband or wife from someone by subdueing them and sneaking them back to your own tribe is a gauranteed way to get a spouse, though a Wergild price is expected to be paid for such a theft.
The people of this tribe favor the sword. A simple weapon to make and maintain, it is their weapon of choice. They also train in a form of unarmed combat which has its roots in the mortal form of Tiger Style, though quite changed over the centuries. Armor is kept to a minimum, though only the most brave or skilled go without any at all. With valor seen as such a great source of fame and respect most of the people learn a weapon at a young age and train almost every day. A spare hour is easy to find, and friendships have been built more often then not off a few youths seeking to get better at fights.
Attacks on civilized groups are based on speed, strongly attacking to break the defenders, and then a quick theft of goods and persons. Staying a while to loot is too dangerous, and they never burn down places unless they enroach on what is considered their lands. Valuables and weapons are taken first, followed by people if possible. The tribe has been doing this for many years and has found ways of combining the individual lust to prove found in barbarians with a group tactic. Plans are designed to be loose and fluid, built on a group system with everyone given set tasks to get done in a fight. Then afterwards boasts and comparing loot is done to get the fame from the battle. Trading with the Guild provides better weapons and news of outside events. Guild caravans moving through their lands face a small fee for the right, which the Tribe mockingly refers to as 'taxes'.
Morality: Most of the barbarian codes are adopted by the Three Owl Tribe. Every member of the tribe is expected to try to be strong and smart. The trying is more important then the succeeding, since so long as you try you are acepted amongst them. Oathmaking is held as the highest act of honour one can do. A kept oath proves your worth, a broken one proves you to be worthless. Note there is a difference between and oath, a lie, and a claim. You can lie, but not when making an oath, and boasts are part lie and part oath. You are expected to live up to your boasts, and at the very least attempt them if called on the boast, but failing to live up to such a minor oath will only get friendly ridicule from your peers.
Men and women are treated equally amongst them, with anyone haveing the ability to raise to any place in the tribe. Against outsiders, oaths are not binding, and a barbarian is expected to give them neither the benifit of the doubt or even mercy unless they have proven themselvs somehow, shown themselves to be a holy man, or asked for the right of Hospitality. Within the tribe, the idea of Gift Giving is held in high regard. To give away your things, to reduce your wealth and possibly your greatest advantage in combat or hunting is a mark of pride, showing that you are confident enough to do so, and that you honour your fellows. This can be hard for chiefs in the tribe, who though not required to are expected to give great gifts to any visiting chief or chiefs which can greatly tax their resources.
A visitor, who claims the right of Hospitality can expect 5 days of it. A place to sleep safe from elements and food and a little company. After that though, anything goes for the outsider so those who abused their time there had best be ready to reap what they sow.
Childhood Rites: A child is born nameless and is not given a name until after one week of life. That is to give time for a shamen to consider the child, and the family and group the child is born into to decide if the child and conditions are permitting for the child to be allowed to live. If the shamen decides no, the child is left exposed to the elements to leave things in the Gods hands. When the child is old enough to be ready to try to become an adult they are sent out from the tribe for one lunar month with nothing but clothing and a knife. Should they return they give themselves a new name which all now call the new adult by. After that the new adult gets to learn more of the women or men talk. In other words, after they earn their place as an adult, the others of their sex fill them in the lore of their sex. Menstruation, birthing, sex, marriage, hunting rituals, etc. They are now also permitted to join full hunts and go to war when they reach adulthood. Any deeds of her youth are forgotten, and she starts with a clean slate. Neither honoured nor lacking in honour, ready to prove herself to her people.
Religion and Worship: Being a people of the plains their worship is simple enough. They worship the gods of the sun, moon, and stars. They worship the gods of the weather and make sure to say something to show their thanks and respect to the gods of the animals they slay. Their rites are simple things, hunts done or shouting of ones deeds to the sky are their way of showing their worship to those great and aloof beings. They have been influenced by exalted in their past and present, so Luna stands formost in their way of seeing the gods. She stands above all the rest, and heart's blood spilled on a flame, or silver jewlery broken on an alter to her are done to seek her blessings of strength and cunning.
The shamens act as intermediaries between gods and men for them, and hold much practical lore on the matter of spirits. Since the arrival of Crimson Voice, a lunar born from their own tribe she too has been elevated to the level of god, and worship is done for their patron who lead them to new and safe lands. She is a mix of both chief and god to them, a living divine patron for her people. This makes things complicated and no group within the tribe treats their lunar god quite the same, though all show respect and deference to her.
Rules: A barbarian from this tribe all will have several skills by the time they are an adult. A minimum of them though is Athletics of 2 or at one with at least a one point specialty in running, Endurace of one, either Martial Arts or Melee at 2 and Survival of 2. They tend to favor stamina and dexterity over strength, though no one attribute is really favoured over any other.
The tribe numbers about 10,000. Each of the three tribes within it number between 3 and 4 thousand. When they go to war, only about a tenth is seen as good enough to be allowed to take part in it, though all fight when on the defensive. Their fighting style keeps them to groups of scales and talons in terms of numbers. A unit of them provides a bonus of 4 to a commander. They do not have any ranged ability though. In terms of armor they tend towards light gear, breastplates being the most common, and are willing to wear anything that has a Fatigue value of 1. In general though, a unit adds a soak bonus of 2 to their commander. Due to the fighting style they prefer, they only have a drill of 2. It favors their fast combat style and is formationed enough to give them an advantage while leaving enough freedom for the individual warrior to prove himself. They have a valor value of 3.