Broken Ties

Setting the Scene

Moonshae Isles
Moonshae isles

You are all born and raised on the island of Moray located within the Moonshae Isles in the Sea of Swords off the coast of Amn in the realm of Faerun. Humans have lived in the central valley of Moray for a relatively short time (4,000 years). In oral tradition passed down by your ancestors, humans migrated West from the Isle of Sarifal during a “Time of Troubles” that is spoken of only in vague, uncertain terms. From what you have learned in these oral traditions, a great necromancer gathered an immense army of undead creatures in an attempt to control the islands for his own purposes. Tradition holds that this necromancer discovered an arcane spell deep within the bowels of the Black Mountains which would enable him live forever by feeding on the souls of converted undead. As humans were pushed to the outer reaches of the Moray Isles, they encountered other “evil” races as well as unimaginable wild beasts. It was only with the help of these “evil” races and animals that the evil necromancer was driven back deep within the Black Mountains where it is believed that he was unable to maintain the conditions for the arcane spell he discovered. In the historical tradition of your people, a great druid brokered the deal with the “evil” races and called upon the wild beasts of the land to join forces in defeating this necromancer.
Shortly after the necromancer’s defeat, cooperation between humans and the “evil” races ceased to serve any purpose. It is said that the main-landers of Sarifal were unwilling to lend Morayans any assistance in this matter. Nonetheless, over the course of several hundred years, the “evil” races were driven into the mountains of Moray during the Great Marsh Wars; the orcs into the Orcskill Mountains and the trolls into the Trollclaw Range. There they remain to this day although occasional raids upon human settlements are not unheard of.

Economy and Means of Subsistence

Moray is a very primitive society from the view of Sarifalians. Most individuals in your society are either hunters or farmers. Your island’s economy relies mainly on fishing and the trading of various crops which each clan specializes in. That said, Moray does not have much of an international economy and prefers to keep it that way. As an island, it is isolated from the other Moonshae Isles in virtually every way, to say nothing of the Faerun mainland. Each village is made up of several patriarchal clans who rule with the interest of the clan in mind, not individual families let alone individual peoples. Individuals from the clan across the field are not to be trusted; people from other islands are to be met with outright hostility, and main-landers are a virtual myth, but if encountered are to be driven away on sight. This leads to strict “business only” interactions between clans. Sarifalians, Omans, and Flamsterders have all resolved not to trade with Morayans and their economies reflect this arrangement. Even though Flamsterders require the importation of most of their goods, they have developed trade relations with Omans due to the fact that Morayans are so xenophobic.

Moray Clans

You are part of the Farview Clan who live in the city with a corresponding name. The other clans, with their own corresponding cities, are Clan Caer (the most powerful), Clan Dynnegall (known as Clan Dyn), Clan Bray, Clan Kork, and Clan Horst. Because the other clans settled on the eastern side of the Breasal Marsh, they have developed loose trade agreements over the years.

Clan Caer

Clan Caer are descendents of Thraebin Caer who’s family of generals liberated Moray from the “evil” races. Thus, Clan Caer has maintained a position of power for 4,000 years. All business with main-landers, what little there is, flows through the head of Clan Caer. Clan Caer also regulates inter-clan trade, almost exclusively to their benefit. This has allowed them to maintain their military power through the ages. However, this is not to say that they are a tyrannical clan. Their military keeps the northern line with the trolls in check, and they lend military assistance in the South whenever orcs threaten Clan Horst. The presence of Clan Caer also ensures that other clans seldom engage in inter-clan wars of significant size.

Clan Farview

Your clan is a bit of an anomaly; an outsider amongst outsiders. Separation from the other clans by the Breasal Marsh has led to the development of a unique, self-sufficient, and highly xenophobic society. Your clan prides itself on being able to take care of itself. Your hunters embark on week-long hunting trips on the plains to the North and the Crescent Woods to the South and are renown for their knowledge of these lands. Left to fend for themselves against the orcs to the South, they have keen, if unconventional, fighting skills. Clan Farview is blessed by the Ketchikan gods who are said to favor them above all other clans.

Ketchikan Religion

Your religion, Ketchikan, values honor, loyalty, and inter-community relationships above all else. Xenophobic views of other clans are interwoven into the history and fabric of Ketchikan belief. The origin of this xenophobia is a result of living sandwiched between orcs and trolls for several millenia, and left to fight alone. Ketchikan is composed of several anthropomorphic gods, which will be explained in detail later. The oral tale “Akitu’s Death” explains 1) the creation of the universe 2) the origin of human life and 3) the nature of life and death. Other clans’ religions are also based off of “Akitu’s Death”, however, different gods have favored different clans based on their actions over the past 4,000 years.

Creation of Faerun

Akitu was a giant of astronomical proportions who came from another universe when he was a young man. He settled down with his family and took to farming and hunting, much as your clan still does today. One day, however, Akitu’s family was attacked by malicious otherworldly beings who wished to visit unspeakable evils upon his family. Akitu urged his family to escape while he fought off the otherworldly beings. After slaying several dozen of them, Akitu was slain when one of the beings slit his head in half with a magical axe. As he fell, he reflexively cast a spell which would create life from his death. As he lay dying, life sprang from the top of his cleaved skull. His brains hardened into earth, his blood thinning into water, and his dying breath lasts to this day as the wind upon everyone’s back. This is the world which you inhabit; the skull of Akitu.

Origin of Humans

Soon, many thoughts of Akitu spilled out of his dying brain. Images of his family sprang to life forming humans of all kinds. However, many of Akitu’s nightmares also sprang to life and this is how the “evil” races came to be. The spirits of all the animals Akitu had killed in his many years of life escaped as these imaginings sprang to life and were able to inhabit the heavens. As they were leaving, however, several felt guilty about leaving Akitu’s imaginings to starve and fend for themselves. Since Akitu had liberated their spirits, they felt obligated to care for Akitu’s imaginings. After discussing what to do, they agreed to send portions of their essence back into Akitu’s thoughts for his imaginings to eat. This is how the many different animals came to be. It is said that the gods sent especially powerful portions of their essence to help fend off the evil necromancer 4,000 years ago.

Ketchikan

Ketchikan is the god of insects. He is very important as he is a go-between for the other gods. This is evident in Faerun because all animals, no matter how large, are always seen with insects in their midst.

Symbols

The different parts of the insect are used as religious symbols to call for favor from Ketchikan. The most holy of symbols is the wing, which is thought to be most important because it enables Ketchikan to travel between the different gods to relay messages. During festivals, people in your clan dress up as insects focusing on their winged aspect. There are several other minor symbols which are important depending on the occasion.

Practicing

Ketchikan must be kept happy and complacent if Clan Farview is to have successful hunts. Because Ketchikan can see many different aspects of Faerun at once with his many eyes, it is important to gain his favor prior to hunts. Ketchikan has been said to reveal crucial information to hunters on the hunt after especially generous displays of reverence. This is mainly done through prayers, but also through sacrifices.

Magic

Because of the infamy of the evil Necromancer, magic has always been viewed as inherently evil to Morayans. In truth, most citizens of the isle doubt its very existence due to the fact that virtually no one has knowingly seen it being practiced. There are rumors of secret societies who practice magic to the detriment of all, but these are viewed mostly as stories to scare children into behaving “properly”. No one claims to know how it is even supposed to work, which only adds to the mystery surrounding it. However, the punishments for confirmed sorcery practice are no mystery. Those found guilty are burned alive for all to see. This is supposed to keep Ketchikan happy by proving that Morayans are serious in their intent to never let another evil Necromancer attempt to wipe out their civilization.

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