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Author Topic: Body Modification (Tattooing, Piercing, Scarification, Branding etc)  (Read 19113 times)
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Tharoc Wargrider
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« on: 13 May 2008, 03:14:19 »

*NB* This initial post is just to let you all know what I am looking to achieve with this subject. It is in no way intended to represent the finished article. In fact, this topic will probably never be closed, and will continue to expand and change as more races/tribes/clans etc are discovered. If ever there was on on-going project, then this is it!

Please feel free to post comments/suggestions etc at the end of class. Even though this is my baby, I want as many people as possible to get involved.

My primary aim is to gather as much information as possible about the tattoos, piercings, scarification (deliberate scarring), branding, body painting and hairstyling of the peoples of this world as possible (concentrating on Santh/Sarv for now....lets not get carried away!) If your tribe etc has any form of deliberate marking or hairstyle that sets them apart, then I want to know about it. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it was done deliberately, and it identifies them as belonging somewhere.

Things I'll need to know include: Why is it done (religion, coming of age, first kill etc), What equipment is used (needles, thorns, quills, sharp sticks, dyes, pigments, ash etc), what design is used, and why, who did it (parent, shaman, self, tattooist etc), in fact anything you can tell me is great. If you don't feel confident having a go yourself (after all, this is a pretty specialist subject), just tell me what you want and I will be happy to guide you through the process, step by step. If you want anything explaining, just ask. Between us we will come up with the ideal body-mod for you.

My initial thought on how to set all the gathered information out is to write an overview of the different types of body modification, with brief descriptions of methods, equipment etc. Then I will add an overview of the history of body-mod. All the information contained in these two sections will be based on RL fact, cunningly crafted so it fits neatly into Santharian boundaries.

Then comes the main body of the project, the people. I think the best (and easiest) way of setting the info out for ease of retrieval is to list all the races individually, an to further sub-divide the races into tribes/clans/sects etc. Say, for example, you wanted to know about Tethinrhim birth tattoo's. Rather than reading through loads of stuff in the equipment section to find out what tools are used, then read through loads more in the design section etc etc, you could just go to the Elven section, find Tethinrhim and, Bingo!

Obviously, with the amount of tribes/clans/sects etc we already have, it is going to be quite a list, but that is my ultimate aim, to be the one stop shop for all things body-mod related. Obviously, it's not my only project (the MasterBard keeps me chained to my bench in the greenhouses most of the time, but she treats me well and the food is decent enough), so if you find anything you think may be of interest to me buried in the dusty bowels of the library or compendium, slip it in your pocket and push it under the greenhouse door next time you're passing. If you already have a tribe or person who is mod'ed in some way, post details below and I'll get back to you asap.

Right, I think thats it for now.

Please feel free to comment, good or bad (lets keep things balanced!). Ideas and suggestions always welcome.

Tharoc



« Last Edit: 18 May 2008, 16:50:23 by Tharoc Wargrider » Logged

Use the force, Luke.

And if that doesn't work, try switching it off and back on again.
Tharoc Wargrider
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« Reply #1 on: 14 May 2008, 05:28:41 »

           Tribal Body-modification in Santharia and Sarvonia
               
The History, Methods, Tools, and Variations of Body-Modification


A Brief Overview & History

This chapter is designed to give the reader an idea of what the different styles of body modification are, how they are achieved, and how they developed. Most tribes or clans use their own individual methods and tools, and indeed have their own particular reasons for performing them, so a more in-depth explanation will be given in their relevant entry of the Races chapter.

Tattooing

Just over 100 years ago, a hunter seeking shelter from a storm in the Vindel Mountains of northern Sarvonia took refuge in a small cave. In that cave he found the mummyfied body of a man sat upright on the floor, with his knees drawn up to his chin and his arms crossed around his legs. All over his dried skin were unusual blue markings, symbols of a kind the hunter had never seen before. He decided to carry the small body back to his village to see if the shaman could explain this strange find.
The shaman could not explain the body's presence in the cave, but he did recognise some of the symbols on his skin. They were tattoos of ancient origin, meant to protect the wearer against illness and disease.
Before long, Telor Caey'cao of the Aellenrhim, a scholar of ancient Santharian civilisations and tribal customs heard of the hunters discovery, and went to see this tattooed body for himself. He was amazed to see the excellent condition of the corpse. He said that the position of the body suggested that the man had gone into the cave for shelter and warmth, and had died of starvation. He estimated from the ancient symbols on his skin that it had been in the cave for at least 3000 years. These are still the earliest evidence of tattooing in Caelereth.
There are as many different reasons for wearing a tattoo as there are tribes who have them. Some use them as a way of showing rank or class, some as a way of denoting their religious beliefs, while others use them merely as decoration. Tattooing has also been widely used by many races as a means of marking criminals, with marks showing their crimes engraved onto the face or hands.
The tools used to create the tattoos are also many and varied; from fine metal needles, to sharpened bone fragments, to thorns or quills. The inks and dyes used are usually made from nature; berries, flowers, animal skins etc, but like the tools, every tribe has their own favourites.
No-one knows when the first tattoos were done, but scholars agree that they were probably discovered by accident: someone, a warrior perhaps, had a small wound and rubbed it with a hand dirty with ash or soot from the fire. When the wound healed, he noticed that the scar had a blue/black colour that stayed permanently. In fact, as you will see in the Races chapter, the Osther-oc of the Osthen Mountain area use a very similar method to this day.
Over the years, tattooing has developed in some areas and with some tribes into almost an art form. What were originally rough markings have become intricate designs, capable of telling somones life story in beautiful detail. In most tribes, the practice of tattooing has become the responsibility of a few individuals. Shamans are widely chosen, as they have great knowledge of symbols and runes, and are thought to be able to see into the soul of the person being tattooed, and so produce the design which will serve the wearer best. In some tribes, the tattooing process is preceeded by a religious ceremony or rite, as are most of the methods shown here.
Religion and tattooing do not always go hand in hand, however, and there are many cases of churches, or even whole tribes, forbidding the practice as un-holy. Some places even go so far as to forbid any tattooed person from entering their domain, usually quoting some reference from their holy scriptures which denounces any changes to the body as immoral. Many people throughout Caelereth look on tattooed people with disdain and mistrust. This probably stems from the time when tattooing criminals was more common than today. 

Piercing

Piercing various parts of the body has been practiced probably for even longer than tattooing. Many ancient writings mention people with bejewelled ears, noses or lips. Although usually done for purely decorative reasons or as a show of wealth, there are some tribes who use piercing as a way of making themselves appear more menacing or aggressive. Almost any part of the body can, and has, been pierced by someone at some time; ears, noses, lips, nipples, eyebrows, and even, in rare cases, the reproductive organs! No special tools are needed for piercing, save for a sharp needle and a steady hand.

Branding 

Originally used as a means of marking cattle or wildstock, branding is another ancient practice whose origins are lost in time. It has more than likely been around for as long as man has kept animals. It is known that XXXXXXXX used branding as a way of marking their slaves, so that they could not run away without being found. Usually the owners mark was applied to the neck or hand. It has also been widely used as a way of marking criminals, with a design or letters announcing what their crime was being applied to the forehead.
The tools for branding are very simple; originally an ember from a fire was drawn across the skin in the required pattern, but these days, a metal rod or wire is bent into the desired shape, heated until glowing red, and then pressed firmly onto the skin and held there for a short while. The smell from this branding is terrible, as is the pain suffered by the subject. Great care must be taken of the brand, with cool water and soothing lotions being applied regularly until healing is complete. When it has healed, the brand will appear as a permanent raised design on the skin, which will be a darker shade of pink than the rest of the skin (or whatever colour skin was branded). In recent years branding has been used by a few individuals to replace tattooing as a way of showing their bravery and ability to withstand pain.

Scarification

Although it is undoubtedly primitive, scarification is a quite recent discovery, and appears to be used by an extremely small group of people, native to the island of Nybelmar.
Scarification is similar to branding, in that the mark it leaves behind appears as a raised scar, several shades darker than the surrounding skin, but it allows for much more detailed designs to be used. The methods used to achieve that mark are, however, very different.
First, the shaman or "cutter", as the person who performs the operation is called, draws the required design upon the skin of the subject. Next, an extremely sharp knife or blade is used to cut around the outline, and then inserted under the edge of the cut until a small flap of skin can be gripped between finger and thumb. Then, slowly lifting the flap with one hand, the cutter gently uses the blade to slice the skin away from the flesh underneath until the whole design has been uncovered. This can take many hours, and subjects regularly faint from the pain.
The process is extremely painful, as complete healing of the marks is prevented for several weeks by means of picking or scraping off the scabs which form and rubbing special ointments or lotions into the raw flesh underneath. This has the effect of raisng the scar from the flesh, until even a blind person could recognise the design just by feeling it.

Body Painting

Although less extreme than the previous methods, body painting is no less ancient, in fact, this is quite possibly the oldest of body modifications.
It is thought that painting designs on the skin was originally used by warriors going into battle, something which can still be seen even today. They would use dyes obtained from berries, mud or even blood, to paint symbols of protection all over their face and torso, or even, perhaps, as a form of disguising themselves amongst the foliage or rocks of the battlefield.
Gradually, these symbols came to be used away from the battlefield for things such as religious ceremonies. As the use of body painting became more popular, so the designs became more intricate. A bride to be, for example, can spend many days having her hands, arms, chest and neck decorated with finely detailed vines and flowers, butterflys and birds, all looking so lifelike that you would expect them to fly away at a sudden noise!
Today, body painting seems to be favoured more by women, as men regard it as not painful enough to show their bravery. There are some occasions, however, where males do wear the designs, but they are scarce.
The painting itself is also usually done by women, as they appear to have the better eye for the fine detail required of the modern designs. Each painter has their own method of applying the designs, and will usually make their own pencils and dyes as well.

                         Researched and chronicled by Tharoc Wargrider 



                               The Races

The Elves

The Tethinrhim

Before describing the varied designs used to mark and identify every Tethinrhim elf, a brief history of the practice in the Auturian woods, as well as some quick remarks on specific techniques used must be noted. Tattooing based upon tribal hierarchy began very quickly after the first Kaierian Warriors began defending the Tethinrhim, somewhere around the lumber wars of 10350 b.S. At this time, branding was done very simply, and tattoing was crude neither as sophisticated nor as detailed as it is today. Nevertheless, artists were trained in these less-than-difficult methods, and some soon became somewhat skilled even with the poor quality tool available. Then, in 1446 a.S., Aryia'en Evasha created the first crude versions of a Tethinrhim weapon known as Salén Pins. These thin pieces of wood soon became thin pieces of metal as technology grew, and despite the difficult study it took to effectively use these in battle, the pins were very soon employed by tattoo artists as great tools for drawing tattoos. When the pins evolved to metal, these could be heated and used for detailed and complex branding as well.

Perhaps the most constant portion of this practice in Tethinrhim culture is the ink used to dye tattoos. While small stores of variant colours can be found, that dark green shade so easily lost in a forest surrounding is always well stocked. The process for creating these dyes has always been a rather closely guarded secret. Though members of all races are allowed into the Academy at Sillena, none but Tethinrhim graduates are given tattoos. Therefore, the secret of the beautiful sheen and glowing appearance the ink used in these tattoos gives has been kept within the tribe. It is without a doubt that ingredients for the dye are found solely in the Auturian woods though, possibly discovered by only these elves; those who have plumbed the depths and uncovered many secrets of this elven wood.


Birth Tattoo: At birth every Tethinrhim child is tattooed on the upper left arm with the Eye of Avá and a special, unique symbol representing their soul name. The current Spiritual Guider looks into the soul of the child and instructs the tattoo artist on the symbol, in a ceremony known as the Arethás Methoriás (Styrash: “Ceremony of Names”). The meaning behind the symbol is known only to the Spiritual Guider and, eventually, to the person it belongs to. The meaning behind the symbol is known only to the Spiritual Guider originally, but is often revealed to the bearer after a special event or achievement in their life. Sometimes this is the completion of a quest; others, their graduation from the Academy in Sillena; and for some, their true nature is only revealed as their life nears the close. Those who find it out earlier often choose to share it with a loved one or special friend. Because ties between parents and their children are not usually strong, most do not know their offspring’s soul names.
The birth tattoo is the tattoo upon which all Kaierian tattoos are based off of. As Kaierian warriors grow in power, new and intricate designs are added to the original birth tattoos, until it spans the entire upper arm.


Kaierian Warriors:

1.   In the first stage of Kaierian training, Cáo-króin must complete the beginner exercises from the coordination, reflex, and acrobatic techniques known as Iteh. After mastering this physical training, a study of the surrounding nature, including plants, animals and basic ranger guidelines, is undertaken. Upon completion of both, the dark green band of the Kaierian is added at the base and top of the birth tattoo, extending the circumference of the arm.

2.   At the second level of Kaierian training known as Tethin-króin, students continue to complete ever more rigorous exercises from the Iteh. After the three years it takes to graduate from this level, thin, wavy lines extending a palmspan down the arm are drawn from the bottom band. This represents the ever increasing flexibility and ability to adapt a student gains from the Iteh. Again, this is done in dark green.

3.   The third part of training known as Asthár-króin, is all about control. Discipline and respect are stressed, and lack of either can get a trainee in serious trouble. Late in this Third Warrior stage, the most basic of weapons training begins, and advanced ranger lore and tribal legends are passed on from the elder warriors. Trainees who successfully complete this step after many years of hard work receive dark green lines, as straight and controlled as the student they are placed on, and drawn from the upper band.

4.   While all previous training took place in the Academy or Riá, the stage known as Pharanhé-króin requires a journey far from the Auturian Woods. Some find adventure quickly and return to the homeland after only a month abroad, while some take years and travel far from their homeland, though they are instructed never to cross overseas. Upon returning, the trainee is placed in the care of the Avár'Soorn or an elder Kaierian. Details of the journey are discussed, as well of the lessons found therein. This point in an elf’s life is one of the most common times for the meaning behind a birth tattoo to become clear. Regardless of whether it does, the newly returned Zoúm-króin, or Home Warrior, receives an intricate design extending from the straight lines tattooed at the previous level. The image depicts a scene or lesson from the elf’s travels, and commonly extends onto the elf’s shoulder and upper back

5.   Now that the basics have been taught, advanced weapon skills are taught during the stage known as Krói-króin. Almost all students develop an affinity for a specific weapon during this grueling stage, and upon its completion the likeness of their chosen weapon is tattooed at the end of the wavy lines drawn from the bottom band. Like the band, the weapon is drawn over the entire circumference of the arm.

6.   Unlike the first journey undertaken by potential Kaierian Warriors, those in the next stage known as Sýs'pharanhé-króin are often gone for great lengths of time, even overseas. Usually at this stage elves are deemed accepting enough to view cultures on other continents that are vastly different from their own. After what can be decades of travel, the trainees return to once again describe their journey, though this time to the Ava’Ránn or Rónn of the tribe as well as the Avá’Soórn. At this point, trainees are more often than not considered for graduation, and if accepted, are tattooed with their final design. This tattoo also varies greatly. Sometimes, students request that the tattoo be in a unique colour, contrasting with the others. Often a depiction of a scene from the recently completed journey is requested, though this is done far larger and more detailed than the one after the previous journey. This is entirely customizable though, and personally created symbols or images of a loved one are allowed. Most are very large, often a fore from top to bottom depending on the elf’s height, and extends across the lower back. The graduate is now a fully fledged Kaierian.


Avár’Soorn (Spiritual Guider) and Rónn or Ava’ránn:
It is surely debatable who holds more sway in the tribe, the Guider or the (Ava’)Rónn. Perhaps because of the similarities in influence and power these positions entail, their tattoo designs are very similar. All tattoos for both positions are done by the same tattoo artists who do the other  tribal tattoos. In an induction ceremony where the incoming ruler or Guider takes of the post his or her predecessor held, the tattoos and brandings take place. The Guider and Ava’Rónn oversee this ceremony for their counterparts. Though the tattoos of Kaierian Warriors often take up the entire back, children of the current rulers are required to keep their upper left shoulder unmarked, (even if they become warriors) until they themselves become the rulers. For both the Spiritual Guider and the current Ruler are branded with a hand in the aforementioned spot. The difference between the two is subtle. The Guider’s brand shows a hand, palm up, as if waving. Meanwhile, the Rónn or Ava’ránn’s tattoo shows a fist that is clenched, with the wrist and the back of the hand visible. This difference is perhaps the best way to explain the subtle variances in these two positions.

Besides the brand, all Spiritual Guiders recieve the image of the Urban tree stretching across the entire back, in the same dark green used by the Kaierian. This represents, of course, the first Spiritual Guider, Ná’Pherán who brought the Urban tree into being.
The previous Rónn or Ava’ránn, usually the parents of the one to come, leave instructions on a special tattoo added to the chest below the neck of the new ruler. This tattoo has meaning understood only by the person receiving it, similar in some ways to the Birth tattoo. It is surmised that secrets of guidance and general advice on leadership and life are conveyed through these.


                       Researched and chronicled by Druaden.

The Meladrhim


The Humans

The Ash'mari Barbarians

The Sor'inyt (Sand Sisters)

The Eyelians

Piercing
Almost every Eyelian has pierced ears, and more piercing are common for both sexes. Every piercing tells the tale of an Eyelian’s life, and almost every piece of jewelry they bear is completely natural. For instance, Eagle or Gryph talons are commonly put through the ear lobes, and a bear claw through the nose is not unheard of in the warriors of the Bear clan. Bone piercings are also fairly common. Please note that each piercing (talons and claws) not only represent clan membership, but the virtues held sacrosanct by each clan. So a particularly graceful member of the Bear clan may have an eagle talon, and a very creative Eagle clansman might have a bear claw piercing.

Traditionally, warriors, chiefs, and beastmasters wear more piercings then other members of Eyelian society, and the more exotic piercings (like the Bear clan’s nose claws) are rarely found in the more developed Eyelian communities.

Nearly every Eyelian gets his first piercing as a child, after he or she has learned the language of the beasts. There is traditionally a glorious celebration, foreshadowing the coming-of-age festivities that will occur when the Eyelian is a bit older. In fact, it is called the Ali’ijsal, or Celebration of Youth, compared to Ali’yonuv, the Celebration of Adulthood.  After the celebration, the Eyelian is taken to the sweat lodge for one of many times in their lives, and the tribe shaman pierces the right ear, after blessing the youth. Depending on the environment, this can be done with a burnt-tipped thorn, or a piece of bone. An Eyelian’s second ear is pierced after his coming-of-age celebration five to ten years later.

In the early days of Eyelian society, there was great in-fighting between the seven original clans, and the greatest warriors would often have many piercings taken from the claws of enemy familiars. This tradition continues today, in a form. The warriors in Eyelian society take count of the fallen enemies in a battle, and receive a piercing symbolic of the number of enemies killed. For instance, a small bone shard might symbolize a kill or two, while a dangling bear claw might symbolize the slaying of many potent enemies. Tattoos, in the form of claws or talons are also used for this purpose, with a single claw representing a minor victory, and a full paw symbolic of a great struggle.


Tattoos
Tattoos have been practiced among the Eyelians almost as long as piercings have. They tend to have much more significance then the piercings, and the ceremony involved is even greater than that of the sweat lodge piercings. Every time an Eyelian engages in the sacred ritual of tattooing, it is referred to as Ali’iynk, or Celebration of the Tattoo. These tattoos are almost religious in significance, and certain designs are rumored to give the wearer strength, agility, charisma, or other natural gifts.
Tattooing takes place in the lodge, but there are typically four people involved. The shaman presides over the ceremony, blessing all participants, but the chief is the one who actually draws the design on the Eyelian. He does this with a twig or brush smeared in ink made from the berries and fruits native to the environment. Commonly, these berries are from the Day Berry bush, commonly found in many parts of Southern Santharia.
The parents also hold an important role, as the mother is the one who prepares the needle and tattoo ink, and the father does the actual injecting. The needle is made from bone shards, and must be blessed by the shaman before the Ali’iynk begins.

Tattoos are granted for a variety of purposes, and are often completed over a period of days. Most Eyelians bear a clan seal or family coat-of-arms on their arm. Chiefs receive massive tattoos upon induction to their new station. These tattoos often cover over half the body area and are made of swirling, organic designs, reminiscent of fur or feathers. These patterns represent the chief turning not only his mind and spirit to the needs of his tribe, but also giving his body to the Great Beast that presides over the tribe’s affairs. Beastmasters receive facial tattoos, in the form of a mask, representing the animal they are most “in tune” with. It is said that the mask allows the Beastmaster to communicate even better with the natural world around him. It is also said that the mask inspires fear in evil spirits, and those who would do them harm. Just gazing on the face of a man with a wolf’s face over his own, and one is easily convinced there is a grain of truth here!


                     Researched and chronicled by Nsikigan Ho'Tonanese Yourth

The Dwarves


The Brownies

The Rat Brownies (Mud, Field, and Faded varieties)

Very little is known about these subterranean creatures, but for the little we do know, many thanks must go to the foremost researcher in this field, Milken Brownie Gratcha Swath.

It is impossible to tell how long the Rat Brownies have been practicing their crude tattooing methods, as the only real evidence we have of the designs have been found on dead bodies caught in traps, or in the jaws of scavenging dogs and cats.
Likewise, the methods and tools used to create the marks can only be guessed at, as can the reasons behind them. However, with the aid of Gratcha Swath's excellent field notes, and the help of contemporary Brownie researchers such as Rookie Brownbark, it would be remiss if we were to not include their expert postulations in this listing.

From specimens acquired from rat-catchers traps, Gratcha describes the Rat Brownie tattoos as being "Unlike the normal blue or coloured markings sometimes seen adorning Human flesh, but rather the pattern is raised from the surface, sometimes by up to two grains, and often a dark black."
From this we can safely assume that the marks are created not by traditional "stabbing" or "injecting" of the inks, but rather by cutting the design into the skin then applying the colour by rubbing or pouring pigment into the cuts. Taking into account the unsanitary living conditions enjoyed by these unfortunate creatures, it is very likely that the healing process takes far longer than normal, and this would lead to the raised or "swollen" condition of the tattoo. Considering their lack of sophisticated tools, they most likely use whatever they have to hand to create the marks, things such as rat claws, sharp stones, and splintered bones being the most likely.
As for the pigments, again the lack of any skill in making such a thing would point us towards them using whatever they could lay hands on. As they spend most of their time in the sewers and tunnels beneath the cities of Caelereth, it is surmised that mud, slime, and even faeces could be used to colour their designs.

Gratcha also notes that only the Mud, Field and Faded Brownies have been found to have any tattoos, as yet none have been seen on any Shadow's or Twisted's.

The Mud and Field Rat designs tend to lie on the chest or back, suggesting that they are meant to be seen by other Brownies. Perhaps, therefore, they serve as a message or warning?
Faded's, however, almost always wear their designs around the wrist of either hand. Rookie Brownbank has suggested that this is probably due to the fact that they are blind, and so these designs need to be felt rather than seen. It could be that while they are travelling through their sewer homes, by feeling the wrist of the Brownie next to them, it is possible to tell who they are? Why this would be of use is a mystery to any but the Brownies themselves.
In all cases, the tattoos are always very simple (dots, lines or swirls), and as large as possible, covering as much of the surface as possible.

There are no complex symbols which are used by all Rat Brownies, indeed, it is unknown if most tribes do use one or not. The few which have been seen appear to be some kind of representation of the spirit or God which they honour the most, or consider the most important. Some of the marks seen on the corpses of captured Brownies have also been seen by exterminators and sewer workers, roughly carved or painted around the entrances to their ramshackle underground dwellings. It is unclear whether this marks personal ownership, tribal affiliation, or ritual homage of some kind.

Current research by Rookie Brownbark into this most fascinating of races suggests that the tattoos are signs of respect for certain tribe members or ancestors, and perhaps even depict some kind of tribal or family hierarchy. Such suggestions imply more capacity for logical thought than they have previously been given credit for, but are surely worth serious consideration. 
                        Researched by Gratcha Swath and Rookie Brownbark. Chronicled by Rookie Brownbark and Tharoc Wargrider. Thanks go to Rookie for allowing access to the original fieldnotes of Gratcha Swath.

The Halflings


The Orcs

The Ashz-oc

The Losh-oc

This tribe of vicious orcs live mainly in the hills of Oro, north of the Tandalas. They use several different types of modification styles, each for a different purpose.
Piercing of the ears and nose is the most common, and is used to show their family heritage. It is quite a complex code for such a primitive race, but I shall attempt to explain it as best I can. Each family within the tribe has it's own colour, or shape, or material from which the rings are made. For the males, in the right ear, two rings are worn showing which family's their parents were from. In the left ear, four rings denote their grandparents family line. In the right eyebrow, small rings of plain design and material (often bone) are worn. These show the number of females this warrior has taken as his own. The left eyebrow also bears plain rings or studs, and each one represents a male child sired by this individual. Most warriors also wear a single ring through the centre of the nose. This is made from gold or any other precious metals taken from the bodies of defeated enemies. As more enemies are killed, so the ring is made thicker, stretching the hole so that eventually it is possible for a finger to fit through it. At this stage, some warriors will start to use finger or rib bones from their enemies bodies to increase their ferocious look. Adult males also wear lip piercings, but we shall discuss these later on, as they are not family related, but are awarded as a sign of military rank.
The females of the tribe also wear piercings, but not as many as the males. A female Losh-oc can only wear the rings of her parent's families in her left ear until such time as she becomes the property of a male. Then she must immediately remove these rings and throw them away (as a sign that she now no longer wants to be associated with her parents), and replace them with the rings of her male and his family. This is done more to show ownership than as a sign of allegiance. Some males will allow their favourite female to wear bone rings in her right ear, one for each male child she has borne, to show the rest of the tribe how fertile she is, and thus, what a fine possession she is.
The Losh-oc young have their ears pierced within hours of birth, and wear the same rings as their parents.
So, just a quick look at the face of any Losh-oc warrior can tell you his family heritage to two generations, and how successful a killer he is.

There is nothing a Losh-oc warrior savours more than meeting the enemy on the battlefield. Their savagery and mercyless nature is legend, but even they feel the need of some protection against harm. The night before a battle, the warriors will, after tending to their weapons and whatever armour they possess, gather around their camp fires and carve magical symbols of protection upon themselves and each other. They do this using a method which is a cross between branding and scarifying. A knife is heated in the fire until it glows red, then it is used to carve the symbols into the flesh. It is considered very weak to show any sign of pain while this is happening. Some will then rub hot ash from the fire into the marks, to ensure they remain for future battles. The designs are of simple shapes and symbols, and even crude representations of animals like the Warg. Like most things in life not concerning the battlefield, it is suspected the Losh-oc warriors have little or no understanding of the significance of these symbols, and any actual benefit gained from them is doubtful, other than to convince the wearer of his invincibility. And sometimes, perhaps, that is enough.
 
Another practice favoured by the Losh-oc warriors is one we have not mentioned before. After a battle, any warriors who have made their first kill will be rewarded with the Losh-oc equivalent of a medal. He will be taken before the senior officer who uses a small hammer and blade, or sometimes a rough file, to cut the edges of one of his front teeth until it forms a sharp point. This practice is known as "cutting your teeth" and is regarded as a great honour indeed, and any orc returning from battle without at least one tooth shapened is regarded as being worthless until they too earn their reward. After each subsequent battle, the young warriors will have another tooth sharpened, until every one of them resembles a sword tip. When this moment is reached, the warrior is regarded as a hero, and can expect to recieve a greater portion of the treasures looted from the enemy, as well as more suitable females in his bed! Once the warrior has "cut his teeth", they are expected to use them in battle, to tear out an enemy's throat and then drink his blood. This allows him to gain the strength of his enemy.

We now return to the piercings mentioned earlier. As a sign of his progression through the ranks, a Losh-oc warrior wears rings of different materials through his lower lip. The warrior new to battle will wear a single bone ring for his first battle, two for his second, and three for his third. Before his fourth battle, he removes these three rings and replaces them with a single ring of simple metal. With this ring comes responsibility, however, as it means he is now in charge of another soldier, a first-timer who he must guide and instruct. For his next battle, he wears two simple metal rings, and has charge of two more recruits. This continues for subsequent battles, going from simple metal to silver, and finally to gold, all the while increasing the amount of men under his command. When the warrior reaches his third golden ring, he is considered a General, and takes his place among the warrior chiefs of the tribe. By this time, he will have many men under his control, will have taken many heads, and will also have taken many females and sired many more male children, as befitting his rank.

                             Researched and chronicled by Tharoc Wargrider

The Losh-oc also shave and cut their hair in different ways. More information on this can be found in Masterbard Judith's forthcoming entry.

The Osther-oc

Inhabitants of the Northern Sarvonian region of Caael'heroth, particularly the areas surrounding Mt. Osthen, this tribe of warriors/assassins tend to use less extreme forms of body-modification than any of their Orcish cousins, and seem more interested in changing the appearance of their unfortunate enemies!
The most commonly seen decoration is the blue or green patterns painted onto the bodies of warriors going into battle. These patterns can take many forms, from simple swirls and groups of dots (made with paint covered fingertips), to various emblems which identify the battalion they belong to. Each battalion has it's own unique design, which can be anything from an animal, to a weapon, a mystical symbol, or just a plain shape. As the Osther-oc are also often employed as mercanaries, they will often also paint the sign of their employer onto their skins, as well as their shields and clothing. If the battalion is aligned to any particular city (or is paid to be so), they will also add the coat of arms to their designs. The blue and green colouring is also, on occasion, used to dye the hair, to give an even more frightening countenance.
To make the blue colour, a crude dye made from Aomar algae is used. The green paint is obtained from moss and lichen scraped from the frozen rocks of their territory, ground to a fine powder and mixed with the saliva of the old women who's job it is to prepare the dyes. The painting is always done in the battalions personal tent, with the female fighters painting the males naked, pale grey bodies, and the males painting the females.

Some of the more seasoned warriors, females as well as males, practice a very primitive and particularly gruesome form of tattooing. After a battle, each battalion will bring back their dead comrades for burning. They will also collect the body of the most senior enemy they have slaughtered. Whilst the spirits of their fallen brethren are being returned to the Gods, the body of their dead foe is tied at the feet and hoisted up in the air so that the head swings just above the ground. The battalion commander then severs the head and allows the blood to fill his upturned helmet. This is then passed around the tent, allowing each warrior to take a drink. The head is then impaled on a stake and displayed outside the entrance to the tent.
When the pyre of bodies outside has finished burning, and the shamans or priests have finished their work, each commander takes a scoop of the ashes and mixes it with the blood in his helm. He will then return to the tent and gather any soldier who has an injury where the flesh has been cut. A handfull of the blood/ashes mixture is then rubbed into the wound, using a finger to make sure it has filled every corner. Using this mixture is believed to give the warrior the strength of his enemy, and ensure that his fallen comrade will return to the battlefield to fight again, and it is considered such a honour that un-injured troops will very often cut themselves deliberately in order to receive it. When the wound heals, the scar will remain as a black mark, showing enemies that this warrior has fought many battles, and will not be easy to kill. Some of the senior generals have so many of these marks, or "battle-scars", as they are called, that from a few peds away their skin looks to be almost completely black.


                                     Researched and chronicled by Tharoc Wargrider





« Last Edit: 31 July 2008, 03:32:50 by Tharoc Wargrider » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: 14 May 2008, 06:14:12 »

Thar, if you need any help with this prestigious project, I can always help. Just throw a tribe at me, I'll throw some ideas back. In ready-to-integrate format, of course :)
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« Reply #3 on: 15 May 2008, 01:28:20 »

Thanks, Nsikigan. An extra pair of hands is always welcome!

As yet, I'm still assimilating the data I've got already, and a few folk are roughing up ideas for their tribes/clans. When that's done we can have a look and decide who wants what.

Do we have any Gnome or Halfling dev's on site? I could do with seeing if they know of any tattooing etc that goes on. Probably more loke hairstyling for them, though.

Who would be the best person to ask about magical tattoos? Ones that are created magically, or are worn as a defence against magic, or as an aid to casting?

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« Reply #4 on: 15 May 2008, 01:36:04 »

Fox has had some interresting idea on "Focusses" in the magic section that might be in tattoo-shape.. Magically created tattoo's would be.. earth magic? Probably so, but ask Mina, Fox or Twen. Tattoo's that guard against magic would be Enchantments, requiering powerfull (Earth, for the property of stillness?) magic, but i think that is not realy done that easilly..
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« Reply #5 on: 15 May 2008, 01:40:45 »

Oh you mean Dragonmarks? Oops...wrong fantasy world.  :P
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« Reply #6 on: 15 May 2008, 01:44:44 »

I have absolutely no idea what any of that means, Mira. I don't have the slightest understanding of magic in this world, I've had a look round the forum, but it's way to complex for my orcish mind.
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« Reply #7 on: 15 May 2008, 03:28:22 »

Oh you mean Dragonmarks? Oops...wrong fantasy world.  :P

As well as Tattoo Magic that Red Wizards use. :P


And Mira: Having tattoos being able to serve as focuses would indeed be cool, though I can't give any definite info about such things yet but I do plan on returning to the focuses work in time. They wouldn't necessarily be Earth magic, as the actual creation of the tattoo would probably still be mundane, just depending on what it is used for would determine if it suits a specific element, or is instead a general person-specific focus. Either way, not something that can be elaborated on yet.
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« Reply #8 on: 15 May 2008, 03:51:49 »

i was referring to tattoo's created by magical means. both the pigments as the idea of making a permanent picture fall under Earth.
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« Reply #9 on: 15 May 2008, 08:49:12 »

I don't know of any Dwarven tribes that tattoo (there's not much exposed skin to show it off!)  However, their hair and beard styles are enviably well-developed, so an entry on that will be coming at some time...

Other body modifications would be inadvertent - missing fingers due to mine accidents, mostly...  though I haven't ruled out earrings: since dwarves are notorious jewelers, I'm sure their women love the decorations as much as any race.  More later!
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« Reply #10 on: 16 May 2008, 01:39:22 »

Thanks, Judith. And Hello! We haven't spoken for ages.

Maybe the dwarves decorate their hair/beards with jewellrey?

And do you think they would be good at making metal needles or such?

And thanks for your support when I mentioned about setting this thread up hug
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« Reply #11 on: 16 May 2008, 02:31:32 »

Rat Brownies now have tattoos Mr Wargrider...

(second paragraph of appearance section)

"Some trappers even report finding strange tattoo-like markings on Rat Brownies they have managed to catch, although noticeably never on Shadow or Twisted Brownies.  The marks are not like the normal blue or coloured pigments which are sometimes seen adorning human flesh.  Rather the pattern is raised from the surface, sometimes by up to two grains, and often a dark black.  Mud and Field Rat tattoos tend to lie on the chest or back, whilst Fadeds usually have them on the wrist, presumably because these Brownies are blind and must feel them rather than see them.  The patterns are normally simple and as large as possible, covering the whole of the available surface."

(small sentence in people section too)

"Tattoos found on some specimens even suggest some sort of respect for certain members of the tribe, or perhaps some sort of hierarchy."

I might change the wording slightly (the repetition of "sort of" in the last sentence for example), but that's what I was going for.

Anything there that doesn't go with what you were thinking of?

I don't think any of the other tribes would practice tattooing to be honest - I can't really put my finger on *why* but there you go.  Or maybe some sort of magically made tattoo for life mages.....but we don't actually know how life magic works yet so best to stay away from that for now.
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« Reply #12 on: 16 May 2008, 21:37:54 »

That's great, Rookie. Thanks.

I don't know if you want me to include this as it is, or do you want me to re-write it in more of an "encyclopaedia" style, using quotes from your original text where necessary?
If you ok the re-write, I could use a bit more info, IE: do we know who does the marks, why, what with etc. If you like, I can rustle something up for you to look at, and see if it would fit into your original idea.

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« Reply #13 on: 16 May 2008, 21:46:57 »

You're welcome to go into more detail - what I'm writing is a general overview of rat brownies and so hasn't gone into huge detail on anything.

I suggest just waiting until I've finished the Rat Brownie entry, as there will be a few details about a certain Milken Brownie who became fascinated with them and spent most of her life collecting stuff about them.  I guess dotted around her extensive writings would be descriptions on brownie bodies found in traps, ones kept as pets etc etc.  These would no doubt have details on tattoos, but you might have to do some extensive flicking through the pages.....you might even find a few scribbles on what she thought they could mean...
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« Reply #14 on: 16 May 2008, 22:24:17 »

No problemo!

I eagerly await your finished entry.
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