• Mangsa

    (mang-sa)

    ‘You are grown now young one, you have made your first kill, so I tells you. Soon you will hunt with Kitharkti’s blessing, and so I tells you.
    In the beginning this land was abundant with game, and the Kitharkti hunted. We do not hunt in some places to ensure we hunt there again, but then the game was plentiful and Kitharkti hunted when Kitharkti wanted. For Kitharkti is the great hunter, and all is prey.’
    ‘Kitharkti was not the only being though, for he shared the world with the Rewera. The Rewera hunted with Kitharkti, and for a time they were clan. Kitharkti soon became bored and yearned for more interesting prey, for back then the game was less clever and slow.’
    ‘Kitharkti said to the Rewera, ‘I yearn for interesting prey, I will go and find it. You must hunt in my stead, and keep the game from consuming the land. And Kitharkti left to find better game, and the Rewera hunted.’
    ‘After a time the Rewera grew lazy, and allowed the game to start consuming the land. For once this land had much water, but the game drank most of it and this is why we roam the plains.’
    ‘And Kitharkti returned, and saw the Rewera lazing about and Kitharkti saw that the game had consumed much water. Kitharkti was angry and struck the Rewera.’
    ‘Kitharkti said ‘Why have you not hunted, for now the game had drank most of the water!’ and the Rewera were angry and sullen for Kitharkti had scolded and struck them as if they were misbehaving children. The Rewera said ‘How were we to know the time? To us it was but a few days!’. And although Kitharkti was angry, he could see they had a point. This is why we at least listen to the young ones for who else sees the world with no prejudices? And so Kitharkti took his best bronze cooking pot and polished it until it was mirror bright, and a hipbone from a kill that gleamed pale white and shot them into the sky with his bow and created the sun and the moon.’
    ‘And the Kitharkti went again to hunt better prey and told the Rewera to hunt. And the Rewera hunted for a time, and once again grew lazy and the game started to consume the land. The game at the mountains this time and this is why our lands are flat. And Kitharkti returned and saw there were no mountains only open plains where prey could see far, and he was angry.’
    ‘Kitharkti said ‘Why have you not hunted?! I have made the sun and moon to tell time! The game has eaten the mountains!’ and the Rewera replied ‘We are not as great a hunter as you Kitharkti, how can we curb the game without you?’
    ‘And Kitharkti was angry, for he had seen the Rewera hunt to excess before, letting their kills rot and seen them blooddrunk. And Kitharkti knew the Rewera were lazy and had no will. And so Kitharkti took some clay and fashioned them into beings. He gave them fangs to eat their prey with, and eyes to see by the light of the moon; some were given claws and swift reflexes, others legs that would not tire and keen noses.’
    ‘He called them Mangsa and taught them to hunt. He taught them the secrets of weaving and leather working and follow the prey. And Kitharkti was pleased and favored them above the Rewera. The Rewera became envious as the Mangsa began to create like the Kitharkti. And Kitharkti began to distrust the Rewera, for they had begun to feast on the offal of the game and smelled of rot. So Kitharkti warned the Mangsa to not trust the Rewera as they were deceivers and covetous of their gifts.’
    ‘Kitharkti went on one final hunting trip and brought the Rewera. But Kitharkti had deceived them and drew a veil between the worlds, separating them as the seas and deserts separates hunting grounds. Kitharkti hunts the Rewera now, and we join him when we die for a time, to forget what we knew so we may learn these things again. But the Mangsa have always remembered the smell of the Rewera for they smell of rot, and this is why we know where the veil is thin. This is why you must be quick and brave and fierce, to honor Kitharkti young one, for how can you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been?’

    Creation Myth

    The Mangsa claim they were created by their deity Kitharkti, pronounced (ickt-r-t) loosely translated to ‘Great Hunter’. Mangsa are almost exclusively carnivore although they do eat some vegetables and roots. Bread has never been a mainstay of their diet, and the breads they do have are flatbreads; this is why most yeast breads are such a treat. Mangsa value the family/clan over all else as most of their hunting for food is done in groups. Mangsa are matriarchal due to the prevalence of females, as they tend to outnumber males in births. Mangsa will typically have 2-4 children per births, and feline looking children being able to be born to canid Mangsa and vice-versa.

    History

    The Mangsa have always been isolationists, greatly valuing their freedom mainly due to their semi-nomadic culture. Most trading has only ever happened through the few permanent outposts on the edge of their lands, making it difficult for most nations to trade with them. While the Mangsa have known of other nations they have had little reason to trade outside of their allies the Tu’toni and Zayeaf.

    Like the Zayeaf, there has never been a successful occupation of Mangsaan lands or territories. The Mages Fraternity tried to send ‘dignitaries’ assuming that the Mangsa were unintelligent savages due to their semi-nomadic lifestyle. This resulted in the Mangsa being greatly insulted and their response is considered legendary to this day. Eight fraternity dignitaries approached Mangsaan borders and requested to speak to their ruling party to bring ‘education and modernity to the Mangsa’ otherwise they would be invaded. The Mangsa allowed the dignitaries to pass into their inner lands to meet the Elder Matriarchs council. A year later two of the dignitaries returned to the fraternity with the message ‘Thank you for your offer, but we must decline; please enjoy the gifts and use them well’ . The gifts included dried meat, beautiful bone jewelry, and ornately embroidered brilliantly dyed leather garments and satchels in an ornately carved bone chest. The Mages Fraternity leaders were informed by the shaken two dignitaries that the remaining six dignitaries were used to make the ‘gifts’.

    This caused the Mages Fraternity to react with violence rather than their usual subterfuge, and they ripped the veil releasing demons into their lands. The Mangsa faced annihilation along with the Zayeaf and it has caused them to be both more suspicious and more inquisitive of other races and nations, if for no other reason than to know potential enemies.

    Society

    The Mangsa are a matriarchal semi-nomadic society, broken up into clans headed by the eldest female still able to hunt. Because of the climate of their lands they evolved as semi-nomadic hunters although they have a few permanent cities that serve as ‘hubs’ to which hunting parties return to. The eldest females (elder matriarchs) are the true heads of state and work as a council on behalf of the Mangsaan nation. When they are not in session they act as teachers for the young. The young, elderly and those that are with child reside in the permanent cities.

    Mothers stay with the young until they are weaned and then will start going on short hunting trips, gradually lengthening them until the child is old enough to walk and speak. Once they are able to walk and speak they are presented to both their mother’s and their father’s clans (if they are from different clans) and formally welcomed. At this stage each clan member takes turns staying with the child (usually children) and teaching them with the elder matriarchs. This allows the children to learn more varied techniques and strengthen clan bonds. After their first hunt (usually 12-13 years of age) children are proclaimed adults and required to stay to hunt with their clan for a minimum of 5 years. After the 5 year period they are required to spend another 2 years in one of the permanent cities or outposts as part of their standing army.

    Both sexes have equal rights, however only females may hold government stations. Mangsa are not generally monogamous, usually preferring to seek a mate and then communally raise their young. Life mates do occur though are considered rare, though they are more prominent in some clans than others. Fights for mates are rare though they do happen; usually between females but rarely to the death if ever first blood, as most fights aren’t much more than intense sparring bouts.

    Mangsa are expert leather workers, dyers, embroiderers, and bone/ carapace workers. The Mangsa use as much of their kills as they can, and this has resulted in surprising uses for bones/ carapaces that they have incorporated into almost every aspect of their culture, with many items being ornately carved and decorative. Dyes are one of the few cash ‘crops’ as many are root or animal based and the Mangsa have refined the dyeing of leather and textiles to an art form. Mangsa get most of their cloth by raising non-prey animals and insects in their permanent cities who also supply a modicum of milk. Using the sheared fur and unraveling the casings the Mangsa create ornate fabrics and embroidered goods in bright colors. Since their lands have very little metal deposits or wooded areas, lumber and metals are considered precious, and the raw material is usually bartered from the Zayeaf. The Mangsa operate on an almost exclusively barter system due to the scarcity of metal, which has led to difficult initial trade negotiations with other lands.

    Mangsa are vehemently against slavery and outlaw it in their lands with the punishments being severe. Since Mangsa are so fiercely clan based slavery is considered detrimental to their very culture; as it is looked on as denying a clan one of their members and thus jeopardizing it’s ability to effectively hunt and bring in game. Bringing or employing a slave is considered highly insulting and Mangsa will not do business or associate with anyone who owns a slave. This has made it difficult for some (with exceptions being the Teutoni and Zayeaf) to gain access to Mangsaan lands and until recently why most trade negotiations broke down.

    Mangsa do not stigmatize those that practice magic, although they are cautious of it and it is heavily scrutinized. After The War of The Mages Folly and the significant damage it brought to their lands, Mangsa are extremely cautious and require all magic users be documented while in their lands. Due to their isolationist behavior until recently, not much is known of Mangsaan magics.

    Mangsa are more tolerant of outsiders than their allies the Zayeaf, although they are fiercely territorial of their lands. While they maintain isolationist tendencies, they have always been more open than their allies the Zayeaf. Like their allies the Zayeaf, the Mangsa faced not subjugation but annihilation by the Mages Fraternity. The Mangsa are unable to use/ occupy around a fourth of their lands due to the damage inflicted by the Mages Fraternity, with those lands too dangerous to occupy safely. This is one of the reasons all Mangsa are required to serve 2 years in the military.

    Racial Description

    Mangsa are characterized as furred humanoids with distinctly canine or feline features. Mangsa have 5 fingered hands with some individuals having noticeable claws on both hands Mangsa have a diverse range of eye color and shape with both vertical and round pupils existing. Mangsa have a variety of teeth types with some individuals having nothing but canines/fangs to those with only flat grinding teeth to those similar to humans. Mangsa run the gamut with tails, some having them and some do not or have shortened versions of a tail. Players will wear either a latex or silicone prosthetic depicting canine/feline features or full face paint in a furring pattern with appropriate detail, no simple ‘pie’ face. Players can choose whether they have claws however they must be appropriately represented as such. If a player chooses to have their character have fangs they must be represented with an appropriate dental prosthetic/ denture. If a player chooses to have their character have a tail it must be represented as a feline/ canid tail in keeping with their coloring.
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