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Author Topic: LORE: The Races of Matope  (Read 877 times)

Matope

LORE: The Races of Matope
« on: May 14, 2019, 12:40:01 PM »
This topic is created to hold more comprehensive information about the various species found in Matope than just the main thread! This thread might be edited or updated with new information. If it is, there will be an announcement in the main thread.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2019, 12:40:49 PM »
Matope

The Kimeti (and recently, some of their former cousins) are located in a vast swamp (called Matope) approximately the size (and shape) of our Earth's state of Tennessee. The majority of the Kimeti in the thread are located on the far northern border of the swamp, although Kimeti can be quite nomadic and may hail from anywhere in the swamp. This area of Matope contains many flat marsh plains and is slightly easier to survive in than the wilder areas. At the center of the largest of these marsh plains is an enormous mound of wood and stone and earth called Ghost Thistle's mound where most Kimeti gatherings take place. It is one of the few places above water in all of Matope.

To the North of Matope the swamp peters out into flatlands, and then rises up into gentle hills. Beyond that, very few Kimeti living have ever seen. For more information about the geography of Matope, please see the map in this thread.

To all other directions lies an ocean. Matope is situated on a penninsula. Some few Kimeti have seen the ocean, but the trip is not hospitable, and most do not live to tell the tale.

There are essentially two seasons in Matope: the warm, and the cold. The cold season is still fairly temperate, with snowfall being very uncommon and generally melting before it has time to pile up. In the warm season rain is less frequent but still occurs at least once weekly, and thunderstorms are common. In the cold season, the rains are steadier but milder, although occasionally mingled with sleet.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2019, 07:25:35 PM »
Kimeti
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The original of the races, Kimeti are quadrapedal, sentient, sapient omnivores with no definite social structure. Some form into tribes and clans, some remain solitary, and some form pair bonds. Breeding among Kimeti tends to be open and monogamous relationships are uncommon but not unheard of. Homosexuality exists in Matope and for the most part there is no stigma attached to it, although it is very rare. The Kimeti's voices are similar to whalesong and can, with effort, be projected some incredible distance, especially when many Kimeti sing in tandem. Their eyes are pupilless and glowing--even Kimeti with black eyes emit a very faint purple or blue glow.

The diet of the Kimeti consists of vegetation and fish, reptiles, insects and slugs, and the occasional small mammal. Although Kimeti will drink clear water when it can be found, for the most part they get their water from the food they eat.

Mentally, Kimeti are quite intelligent and have a system of oral folklore and some rudimentary knowledge of astronomy and mathematics (see below posts), as well as an extremely primitive written language. They highly prize knowledge and stories, as well as songs, and many are quite talented musicians and improvisational dancers. The idea of theater is familiar to most Kimeti, who classify it merely as a sort of story. Theater among Kimeti tends to be similar in set-up to Ancient Greek theater on our Earth, especially in the use of choral responses.

Emotionally, Kimeti are capable of all the emotions a human being can feel, with just as much variance in personality as humans have. While most do not form monogamous relationships, they are familiar with romantic love, and some do pair up for the long-term. While most Kimeti do not actively raise their young, some do. Others simply wait for the foals to wander back to them after hatching, and may or may not raise them from that age. Some Kimeti live solitary lives, and others live in groups called tribes or clans.

The Culture

The Kimeti live in the Swamp, which they revere and dedicate themselves to; this is their home, and they cannot leave it for long, even if they want to. Should they try, the Ache -- a desperate, painful longing -- always drives them back.

Roleplaying Notes

Kimeti, as the first of the species, are most at home in the Swamp, and lack some of the uncertainty that the other species may have finding their way to this new home. Their naming dreams have a tendency toward nature and natural things, toward those animals and plants that may be found in the swamp, weather patterns or sounds that are a reminder of their home.

The Familiar

The Kimeti familiar is the crane; it is particularly revered, because the crane is said to be the shape most favoured by the Swamp when S/He takes a mortal body. The crane is majestic and intelligent, and its feathers are highly prized.

Tell Them Apart

Kimeti are the easiest of the species to tell apart, as they have completely diverging lines. In growing breedings, male Kimeti come from blue egg sacks and female Kimeti come from green ones.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2019, 07:39:35 PM »
Kiokote
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The Kiokote, half-forgotten and thought to be the stuff of legend and story, have returned from the Northern hills to the Swamp.

The Culture

The Kiokote live on the plains and revere, above all things, speed, freedom, and athleticism. For the most part Kiokote live in small haremic groups of several does and a lead buck referred to as a stallion. Although stallions are figuratively leaders, most tribes, especially the larger ones, have a council of does that are responsible for making any major decisions about the group and delegating duties. Hunting is shared equally between members and for the most part does are free to move between tribes at will. While solitary does are uncommon, many bucks end up on their own for obvious reasons, or formed into small bachelor groups.
 
In many ways the Kiokote are very similar to Kimeti, including their stance on monogamy (not for everyone), their love of song and story (although your average Kiokote would rather a foot race than a sing-along), and their omnivorous diets. They tend to be closer to their children than Kimeti, however -- although not all Kiokote foals are raised by their parents, many are.

Roleplaying Notes

Your Kiokote character may have come over under many circumstances. Most commonly the Kiokote are affected by a strange illness called The Ache which manifests as intense depression and wanderlust; while this previously led frequently to death, a sweeping epidemic of the Ache accompanied by strange dreams recently led many Kiokote to seek out the Swamp, hitherto known only to them in lore. Your Kiokote may have come with this initial delegation, or come alone, or been brought here by the recent catastrophic flood, or even born in the Swamp itself (or on the borderlands) to one of the initial travelers. Their history will determine their view of Kimeti: a normal part of life or strange people that still seem quite alien.
 
Just like Kimeti, Kiokote have Naming Dreams. Their names are far more likely to feature athletic, woodland, or prairie themes, however.

The Familiar

The Kiokote familiar is the cheetah, known among the Kiokote themselves at times as merely "the cats." Bred to help in the hunt and to be a formidable racing companion, cheetahs are protective, loyal, and frequently unfriendly to everyone but their chosen Kiokote. The secret of taming and controlling the cats (inasmuch as the cats can be controlled) has now been passed to the Kimeti.

Tell Them Apart

As eggs, female Kiokote are accompanied by greenish-yellow grass, whereas males are accompanied by bluish-green grass. Adult Kiokote can be distinguished by their facial hair: males have beards, while females do not.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2019, 07:43:41 PM »
Acha
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Legends in their own right and frequent stars in old tales and songs, the fun-loving Acha have made a splash in Matope.

The Culture

Even more gregarious than the Kiokote, Acha live in huge good-natured tribes on the open deserts. Able to go for days without water and with very little food, the Acha are hardier than their dainty appearance might suggest, but for the most part no more substantial: the Acha are hedonists to the bone, living for beauty, art, music, and fleshly pleasures. Their cultural addiction to good times runs so deep that serious disagreements are few, rivalries play out in elaborate social snubbing and friend-making and backstabbing, and figurehead "leaders" for most tribes are chosen purely on the basis of good looks or musical or artistic talent. Acha tend to move from one from oasis to another, leaving one when they've worn it out with their constant partying to find another. Groups meet and merge and separate frequently, and despite their vast territory the Acha are on the whole well-connected with one another.
 
The exception to the rule are the hunters, who work with their trained dogs and live an altogether more solitary life. They are usually charged with providing their tribes with meat, but some live lonely lives in the harsh desert, away from the oases favored by the Acha. Even these strange people, however, are driven for the most part by a raw love of the hunt and a pursuit of pleasure.
 
The Acha also have a singular gift that has never been seen before: although they love stories, their poetry is altogether of a more formal sort than the usual Swamp fare, and they have, in their vast numbers, invented elaborate choral singing - a precious gift they are gladly spreading among their new friends.

Roleplaying Notes

The Acha aren't ones to do things in a small way. When they got the dreams that told them to pursue the old stories, they got together and made a general decision that it sounded like fun to take a little traipse south and see what was going on with the old folks back home - folks that, curiously, their songs had not forgotten despite their isolation. So they came in waves, a few dozen for every hundred or so Acha, and continue to arrive a few at a time. Despite the hardships of their journey - a journey they were far less suited to than they imagined, that sacrificed more of their numbers than they had thought possible - they remain upbeat, prepared for all the new kinds of fun and beauty the Swamp has to offer.

Like the other Kin, Acha receive their names via Naming Dreams--but remember their native environment and social focus on beauty and the arts!

The Familiar

Aloof, dainty, speedy, and beautiful, the Sand Dogs are nearly as gorgeous as their owners. Capable and fleet-footed hunters, adept at bringing down the huge-eared hares of their desert home, Sand Dogs are prized companions. They are loyal, but tend to have a certain regal detachment to them - usually. Some Sand Dogs are quite silly and playful, especially compared to the savage Eaglehound of the Swamps - whom they can, incidentally, breed with.

Tell Them Apart

In the egg, female Acha can be identified by the flowers growing on their cactus. As adults, male Acha have an extra set of curled horns beneath their ears which the females lack.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2019, 07:51:24 PM »
Totoma
{alt}

The Totoma have arrived, a first few hardy travelers from the icy North braving the heat and humidity of the Swamp and the lands between, harsh for them even in the depths of winter. They blew in with the snow and brought war stories and their peculiarly brash and simple way of looking at the world, a mindset and philosophy born in and nurtured by rocky, snowy mountains and cruel, hard tundra. From the bleak taiga and the unforgiving permafrost has been forged a Kin more death-defying and stoic than any other.
 
Strong of limb and stubborn of mind, the Totoma are to almost to a beast straightforward, honest, and honorable. They live by strict if somewhat odd codes of behavior, most of which dictate what constitutes a fair fight - the Totoma, more than any of the Kin, like to resolve their problems speedily and with force. This is equally true of females and males: there is little gender differentiation in Totoma society, and in fact does are expected to be somewhat hardier, since pregnancy and labor do not excuse them from their duties as hunters and warriors.
 
Lone Wolf-ism is more common among Totoma than any of the Kin except Kimeti, although a little more than half of all Totoma group up, in tribes ranging from fierce clans to strictly-regimented military societies. These tribes (and also the lone wolves) are nearly always at war of some kind of another, and life for the average Totoma is an endless succession of raids, defenses, kidnappings, and strategy. Peace is typically declared out of necessity in the wintertime, when scarcity and brutal weather drive the Totoma to shelter and huddle.
 
For all the battle-hardened, bloodthirsty nature of the Totoma, death in the course of warfare is uncommon except in the bitterest of feuds. Battle is highly formalized and typically takes place on a one-on-one basis, and it is considered more honorable to acknowledge one's inferiority and forfeit than it is to die stubbornly and waste a valuable resource (i.e. your body). Therefore death typically only occurs as the result of wounds sustained during battles between matched equals, usually days after one or another has been brought down to defeat.

The Familiar

The Totoma's familiar is the Golden Eagle, a huge, vicious beast. Their bond with the Totoma is mystical and celebrated, and it is considered a pinnacle of accomplishment to catch and subdue a fully-grown adult. Some prefer to rob an eagle of its hatchlings as soon as they start to fly from the nest and fall to the ground, but this route is generally frowned upon as cowardly. One can offset this idea by doing it when the mother eagle is supervising, if one is suicidal.

Life Cycle

Unlike the other Kin, Totoma are born live. The tundra and the mountains are no places for a fragile egg. Covered in a thick coat of fur that rapidly dries and fluffs up after birth, the Totoma walks within hours and is relatively self-sufficient within weeks. When other Kin are stumbling foals, the Totoma's eyes are opened and they have already learned a few rudimentary words. The fluffy birth coat rapidly gives way to hard, plate-like scales of thick flesh, and keratin spikes and horns: a creature made for battle, even as a young thing.
 
Their live birth means that, strangely, Totoma are robbed of Naming Dreams. In a concept that will surely seem incredibly alien to the other Kin, the Totoma neither dream their names nor are given them by their parents: instead, Totoma earn their names through some act of bravery or valor. Your Totoma will be certed as "Totoma" until they are an adult, at which point your chosen name will be assigned to their cert under the assumption that they have earned it (meaning yes, you will choose a name for your newborn foal). Please remember that this severely limits available names for Totoma: be ready and willing to explain what act gave your Totoma their name. This also means that phrase-names like Carries-All and Spills-Blood are far more common than single words, although these do exist. The Totoma do not go in for purple prose and flighty poetry, so make your name as simple and straightforward as possible.
 
To die nameless is the greatest shame a Totoma can face (and so the name Nameless is not an option for your Totoma, in much the same way we would not name a baby Coward), and so some older nameless Totoma are driven to perform suicidal acts of sacrifice to earn a name. These unlucky but brave few are given the post-mortem honorific "who-died-honorably," such as Travels-Far, who-died-honorably: perhaps a Totoma who perished in their journey to the Swamp.
 
A great many of the Totoma embarking for the Swamp were nameless, in search of honor. This may be something to remember when naming your adult Totoma: did they, perhaps, earn their name on the trip over? Or was it an established name before they left home? 
 
You are also free to leave your Totoma nameless. They will be certed as Totoma, and you can change this at any time via RP. Changing an ADULT Totoma from nameless to named MUST be done via RP. Do not simply choose this option unless you plan on leaving them nameless or RPing the name-earning. Otherwise, go ahead and give them a name.
 
While nearly all Totoma names are the result of physical strength, even the Totoma recognize that not all are so hardy. Therefore strategic intellect, stealthiness, a talent for tracking prey or enemies, or even a particular knack for singing the glory of fighters or honoring the dead can earn a name, although this path is more difficult than simply performing an act of strength or hardiness.

Tell Them Apart

Male Totoma have a noticeably shaggier patch of fur on their chest, which the females lack. As lambs, there is no visible difference - your colourist will tell you whether your Totoma is a buck or a doe.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2019, 07:55:04 PM »
Zikwa
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With the return of the Totoma, the Crane's family is nearly restored. There remain only the most devoted, those who have patiently served what they feel is their sentence of isolation for their act of unforgivable betrayal in leaving the Swamp. And so some have felt the calling to leave, to emerge into the frightening glare of the sun, and to face down their fear of the sky and the light to find the rest of their beloved family.

The Culture

While the rest of the Kin may have forgotten about the Zikwa, they have not forgotten anything.

They live beneath the lands of the Totoma and the Acha and the Kiokote, and in dark underground places on the fringes of the Swamp. In the vast caverns of their secret homes they lead devoted, passionate, introspective lives. The central tenant of their society is love: familial, romantic, erotic. Conflict is nearly unheard-of among them, and when it occurs it tends to be born from passion, not from hate.

The Zikwa elevate the idea of family above all things: one's mate (for lifemating is more common among them than any other race), one's offspring, even one's neighbors take priority above all things, including self-preservation.

And they extend that courtesy to their other Kin as well. Although some strange combination of superstition and supernatural impulse has thus far prevented them from intentionally disclosing their existence, they will emerge from their hiding places after dark where there have been battles and disasters, and they will perform rituals among the dead that they believe speed the soul's flight to next life.

The Zikwa believe intensely and devotedly in the idea of karmic reincarnation, and believe that they themselves are the last stop on the way to universal oneness. When a Zikwa dies it is a time of enormous celebration: when a Zikwa dies it does not have to toil through another existence. Instead it is united with all the Kin that have gone before it, its essence suffused into the earth to sustain the ones that will go after.

Living below ground has made the Zikwa curiously tolerant of extreme temperatures, although it has robbed roughly half of them of sight, with skin filming their shrunken sockets. The other half can still open their eyes, but they are tiny, weak things, unsuited to much other than blurry shapes.

All Zikwa, however, have an intensely sensitive sense of smell that helps them find their way, and all can perceive patterns of light and dark. This latter ability may explain why all Zikwa are born with distinctive glowing patterns in their skin--the only Kin to have such a glow besides Kimeti. These patterns can be used to identify acquaintances at a distance. They also have a weak temperature sensory organ much like a snake (although much less refined) that is useful more in the open than it is in their cave homes, which are densely crowded and hot.

Zikwa do not independently raise their children below ground. Instead, "brood mothers" are appointed to watch over the caverns where eggs are laid. These gleaming, pulsing sacs, secured low to the walls and on ledges, are monitored by the brood mothers until they hatch. They are allowed to join the rest of the Zikwa when they are old enough to tell the brood mother the story of their Naming Dream, a ceremony of great importance.

The Familiar

Living on underground algae, on plants brought in from nighttime foragers, and on fish caught in underground streams can be strenuous, especially with the large numbers the Zikwa maintain. They are helped, however, by the giant bats that share their caves. These bats form mysterious and unpredictable bonds with individual Zikwa, and will independently bring them food from the outside. They are affectionate creatures, and often rest on their chosen's back, wings draped over the Zikwa's ribs and nose buried in the Zikwa's wrinkled, hairless neck.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2019, 08:14:31 PM »
This really isn't that vital, but since we encourage poetry, it's good to know that your words fit your meter and rhyme scheme. Thus, this brief guide:

Acha: AH chah or AHK uh; pl. Acha
Kimeti kuh MET ee, kye MET ee, k'MET ee; pl. Kimeti
Kiokote: key oh COAT ey, key oh CODE ey (last syllable rhymes with "hay" )
Matope: muh TOPE ey (with the middle syllable like "taupe" and the ending to rhyme with "hay" )
Totoma: TOE TOME uh (nearly equal emphasis on all syllables); pl. Totoma
Zikwa: ZEEK wa; pl. Zikwa