as the sands that they travel, the Sor’inyt tribe is sometimes an enigma to the
outside world. Being both nomadic and matriarchal, this
human desert tribe of
the continent of Aeruillin has learned, often through hard experience, how to
survive where most would not. The
tribe members call themselves “sisters of the sands” or “sand sisters”
(“Sor da luc Inyt” or “Sor’inyt”).
The Sor'inyt represent a closed society, and therefore knowledge of the Sor’inyt is hazy and vague at best. For example: though they have been documented to travel the lands between the Plain of Col’Paehjaar and the Plain of the Dead on a seasonal basis, sometimes they have been known to break the pattern by visiting the Plain of Esaechorodd during a particularly hot spell of normally warm Aeruillin weather.
Image description. The Markings of the Sor'inyt. Picture drawn by Quellion.
As testament to their harsh living environment, all women have skin that is
tanned a dark bronze from many hours in the unforgiving sun. Both hair color and
eye color vary, though brown hair is a common sight. Hair is typically braided
and styled atop the head, often decorated with gold strands and/or ornaments.
Height among the tribe also varies, but an average height for the
fighters is around 1.85 peds. A few elevated members of the tribe have dark
symbols (“Wani’toia”) tattooed on their faces and/or bodies, often representing
a special achievement or blessing. Because of these markings, many outsiders
often find these though women to be exotic or fearsome - sometimes they are
considered to be both.
Coat of Arms/Sign. [...]
Territory. The Sor'inyt are a desert tribe of Aeruillin, which can be mainly found between the Plain of Col’Paehjaar and the Plain of the Dead, sometimes they have been known to break their travelling pattern by visiting the Plain of Esaechorodd during a particularly hot spell of normally warm Aeruillin weather.
There is only one settlement known to the Sor’inyt: the movable Opi’t. The Opi’t consists of collapsible yurts and tents, which can be easily and quickly dismantled and moved when needed. The Opi’t is generally moved once in a season, four times a year. It is always centered around a water source.
Travel is essential to the tribe because of the magnitude of importance the totit plays in their lives. The plant, not yet cultivated for civilized farming, only matures twice a year and does not grow in close proximity to itself. Because of the amount needed for the Yuatu’way, the tribe is forced to travel to gather enough of the plant. Travel is also important to the Opi’t. The tribe moves the Opit for fear of eliminating their current water source.
Image description. Women of Sor'inyt tribe of the continent of Aeruillin. Drawn by Quellion.
The Sor’inyt tribe consists strictly of women. It is hereditary based; “joining”
of the tribe is not allowed. If one wished to join, the woman must have provable
family ties to the tribe. They are very tight-knit and closed to the outside
world - strangers are not welcomed lightly.
The numbers of the Sor’inyt tribe lay around three and a half score. With an average birth and death rate for their size, the tribe usually sports an equal number of both per year. (On average, the tribe experiences 2 births and 2 deaths every year.)
There exists a notable difference between the terms "Sor’inyt" and "Sor’inytian":
...refers to the individual or personal associations with the tribe. It is used when one wishes to convey the “human” aspect. For example: you can say “the Sor’inyt warrior” but not “the Sor’inyt settlement.” - Common uses: “the Sor’inyt,” “the Sor’inyt warrior,” “she is Sor’inyt.”
...refers to the object in association with the tribe, For example: you can say “A Sor’inytian spear” but not “a Sor’inytian woman” (which would almost be repetitive since there are only women in the Sor’inyt tribe). - Common uses: “a Sor’inytian bow,” “a Sor’inytian nature,” “Sor’inytian cloth.”
Sex and Pregnancy. There are many rumors
concerning the fertilization of the Sor’inyt tribe members. For instance: the
peoples of the Hot Winds Bay believe that the Sor’inyt women have both male and
female sexual organs - and thus reproduce with each other. The peoples north of
the Dunes of Thiva, who have a lower opinion of the tribe, believe that the
women, coming so close to the
in the wanderings, breed with demons.
Other rumors speak of the tribe raiding small villages and enslaving the
None of theses rumors are true. Despite these sometimes fantastical and imaginative ideas, the answer to the riddle of Sor’inyt procreation is something that few outside the tribe know and is actually quite simple: the women of the Sper’itua will periodically stop at towns, villages, and cities where they spend a night with men of that place. Because they do it both for pleasure and procreation - the stops do not always end in pregnancy. Only members of the Sper’itua are allowed to mate.
During the pregnancy and also after the birth, both mother and daughter are expected to remain with the Tor’iti until the child is weaned and the Sper’itua return once more to the settlement. After which, the mother would return once more to her old position and the child would remain in the Opi’t to be raised by a Gret’upi.
The Sor’inyt women have a method of “birth control” that they use to raise the chances of bearing a girl-child. The Hemor plant is used in this case. The Sor’inyt incorporate the plant into a few of their more important food substances: such as Cop’a, Frodip, and dried meats. Because of this large amount of Hemor-tainted food, the women are ensured a daily consumption of the drug/plant. The plant is digested and introduced within the blood stream through the natural ways. Once in the blood stream the plant then accumulates in the outer lining of the woman’s womb. When a successful conception occurs, the drug reacts to the male genes. Since all being are initially female, the plant simply blocks the element that would allow for a male child. This process does not always work, since nothing is proven perfect. Nineteen times out of twenty the plant works effectively, but every so often the plant proves faulty and a boy-child is born. Though this happens rarely, once a generation, when it does happen, the child is immediately killed. Twins, in accordance to legend of The Twins, are also killed at birth. But the birth of twins is even more rare than that of boys.
Only members of the Sper’itua are allowed to mate. During the pregnancy and also after the birth, both mother and daughter are expected to remain with the Tor’iti until the child is weaned and the Sper’itua return once more to the settlement. After which, the mother would return once more to her old position and the child would remain in the Opi’t to be raised by a Gret’upi. Once the child becomes a woman at the onset of her moon-cycle, she is allowed to choose her profession in the tribe. She will then be trained accordingly. Despite set professions within the tribe, all girls are trained to handle weapons, if only simply, in case of an emergency. After several years in a position in the Sper’itua, a woman can choose to retire her position and take up one with the Tor’iti.
Leaving the Tribe. There are two ways of leaving the tribe: choice or banishment.
Leaving on own choice
A woman in the Sor’inyt tribe has many choices available to her. Among those is that to leave the tribe if she so wished. The reason for her leaving does not matter, but the woman must call an audience with both the Wo’di’on and Do’wi’on. She then must state her wish publicly. She is then granted her leave. But, she is formally reminded that if she were to leave, she would never be allowed back into the tribe nor would she be allowed to associate with other members of the tribe. She then has one day to remove herself from the tribe. Though this does not happen often, if it does it most likely is because the woman has fallen in love with a man and wishes to live with him. Her daughters, if they so wished, would be allowed into the tribe without question.
If a woman breaks one of the G’iao, most often the punishment is banishment. She must leave the tribe immediately. The day’s notice that is common in the case of a choice to leave is not granted. The woman must leave then without farewells to her comrades or provisions. She is only allowed to take that which she has on her body and her horse.
Image description. Typical Sor'inyt tents. Drawn by Quellion.
Housing. Simple, small tents and yurts make up the
majority of the housing of the Sor’inyt tribe. Most of the traveling by the
Sor’inytia is done on horseback. This allows them to carry their collapsible
yurts and tents with them.
Clothing. The following clothes are commonly worn by members of the Sor'inyt tribe:
Favored garments for “Sper’itua” (warriors/travelers) are hardened leather pants and sleeveless cloth tops covered by leather chest-guards. Various other leather guards are frequently worn, such as forearm protectors and hardened kneepads. Toughened boots are also an important element to the riders’ wardrobe.
“Tor’iti” (Non-Warriors): Those members who do not travel prefer loose skirts and sleeveless tops, made from a soft tribal-woven cloth, to the hot leather garments of the riders. Gone are the leather protectors - replaced with decorative gold arm cuffs and necklaces. Light, but strong, sandals replace the heavier boots.
The Sor’inytia adorn themselves on days of celebration in loose flowing skirts/shirts or dresses of bright colors (green, red, yellow, and/or purple). These outfits are often made from one or two long pieces of cloth, which are then wrapped around the torso and held in place at the waist with a length of gold cord. Gold jewelry is used liberally on days of festival. The members of the tribe that wear the tattoos (or “Wani’toia”) are known to darken the designs with a mixture made from roots and spices. The light sandal of the Tor’iti is worn by all during festival occasions.
Diet. The members of both the Sper’itua and the Tor’iti have the same diet, which consists of: Small desert game, water, spiced wine, and flat bread made from the stem of totit (Cop’a). Other desert plants such as cacti and small fruit bearing bushes (Dog’nata) complete their diet.
Weapons. Though they prefer light weapons, the members of the Sor’inyt tribe are versed in several different categories of arms:
Common weapon preferred among the Cani’tpa and the Cani’tpa’eta. Unlike most northern bows of wood, the Sor’inyt bows are made from bone. Often they are decorated with gold.
Javelin, Spear, and Pike
Another popular set of weapons among the defenders. Made from either bone or wood. Often carven with designs and inlaid with gold.
Occupations. There are two main occupations of the tribe, under which are several “sub-jobs”. The following occupations are limited to females only:
The “Sper’itua” (Warrior/Traveler)
These members of the Sor’inyt travel the eastern lands of Aeruillin. This group is divided into four categories: Loopa, Rash’ida, Cani’tpa, and Wo’di’on.
- The “Loopa” (Hunter)
This group of the travelers traps and hunts several varieties of small game in the desert such as dune mice, lizards, and sand ferrets - which are then used for food.
- The “Rash’ida” (Gatherer)
This group of the travelers gathers the roots, stem, and leaves of the plant they call “Totit”.
- The “Cani’tpa” (Protectors)
This group of the travelers is the main body of the Sper’itua. They are the members of the tribe that are the most experienced in fighting. They protect the Loopa and the Rash’ida while touring the lands.
- The “Wo’di’on” (Leader)
This title belongs to a single woman who in charge of leading the Sper’itua. She is responsible for both the lives of her women and plotting their course of travel.
The “Tor’iti” (Non-Warriors)
These members of the Sor’inyt stay in the small moveable settlement (the “Opi’t”). This group is divided into six categories: Gret’upi, Kad’iyt, Maast, Fod’itia, Cani’tpa’eta, and Do’wi’on.
- The “Gret’upi” (Nurturer)
This group in the Tor’iti cares for the young children. Children do not go on the travels, and therefore must be left in someone’s care. Often the Gret’upi are old or baren women.
- The “Kad’iyt” (Preparer)
The group of Tor’iti that prepare the totit plant. They also dye the cloth after it has been woven.
- The “Maast” (Weaver)
The group that weaves the totit into cloth.
- The Fod’itia (Baker)
The group that bakes the cop’a and makes the frodip. They also are in charge of preparing various other foods such as game or small birds.
- The “Cani’tpa’eta” (Camp Protector)
The group of Sper’itua that remains with the settlement. These Cani’tpa of the camp protect the vulnerable elders and children. They often serve as the first teachers of the adolescent children.
- The “Do’wi’on” (Camp Leader)
The title given to a single woman who is in charge of the Tor’iti. She is responsible for both the lives of all who reside at the camp and the trade of goods.
Men are not
included in the everyday life of the Sor’inytia. Little is known about them, but
the women of the Sor’inyt tribe must be fertilized somehow. These facts are
largely unknown to the world outside the tribe. When women do give birth to male
children, the infant is killed and the mother is demoted in status.
Government. The Sor’inyt tribe is ruled by a spilt republic. The members of each the Sper’itua and the Tor’iti cast votes for their respective Wo’di’on and Do’wi’on. The leaders have little actual contact with each other, but yet need the other to survive; thus not allowing for a split of the tribe.
Tribal hierarchy is based on the fertility of the woman. She is considered blessed and elite if she bears only girl-children. If she were to bear a male child or twins (both of which must be killed immediately after birth), she would then be demoted in status.
While there are very little matters that concern both leaders of the Sor’inyt, they must form a union in the case of a violation of the “G’aio”. The G’aio is a set of laws that must be obeyed. They are very few and are reinforced all the more because of their little numbers. The penalty for breaking the G’aio is banishment or, worse, death.
The G’aio (Sor'inyt Laws):
A member of the Sor’inyt must never take the life of another member, former member, or child of a member (exception: a male offspring).
A member of the Sor’inyt must never break a blood oath. A blood oath is made between two members of the tribe for various reasons. After swearing this oath they must slice each other’s forearm and draw blood in a form of binding of the oath. Thus resulting in the name - blood oath.
A member of the Sor’inyt must never take money for a man’s pleasure. She may do it for her own pleasure and his, but she can never accept money (or equivalent thereof) for her actions.
Production/Trade. The Sor’inyt are involved intensely in trade with the major cities of eastern Aeruillin. They trade cloth that is woven by them from the root of the totit. A very fine, smooth, and soft cloth, the cloth (Yuatu’way) is extremely sought after, especially by the noblemen of the northern Kingdom, Santharia. They often trade for spices, jewelry, or horses. Once a year, four members of the Sper’itua travel with a cartload of Yuatu’way to Shan'Zarathan and the annual horse fair. There, they trade the cloth for two Azhorhrian horses.
Natural Resources. The following natural resources are of major importance for the Sor'inyt:
Image description. Scene of a Totit harvest. Picture drawn by Quellion.
Another plant that provides essential nutrients is the Dog’nata. The tribe collects the small brown fruit, which are then used in several different ways:
Rotora: name given to the fruit fresh from the bush. Can be eaten uncooked- but the many seeds present problems. The fruit is also naturally bitter.
Topa: the fruit is dried and sliced into thin pieces. Useful for long journeys.
Frodip: the fruit is mashed and strained into a jelly substance. When combined with a sweet spice is used for spread on the cop’a.
Hemor is yet another important plant to the Sor’inyt. The roots of the plant are ground into a fine powder and then mixed with Cop’a and Frodip. The powder is also used to cure meats.
The tribe also collects the desert strip grass, which they then weave into storage baskets. These baskets are then used to hold various items such as: cop’a, cloth, arrowheads, un-woven totit, etc.
Belief. Ironically, the Sor’inytia worship the sun god, Foiros. They consider him above all other, and thus honor him. One girl in every generation is chosen to be the Foret’tuum ("Foiros’ Bride"). She is then automatically a member of the Tor’iti. While, she officially does not have power the leaders often seek her advice. When she reaches the age of 50 summers, she will choose her apprentice from the children. When she dies the apprentice will take over.
Holidays, Festivals and Observances. There are two major festivals in the tribe and one lesser event:
Fhe funeral festival of the elder Foret’tum’s death and the celebration of the coronation of the new Foret’tum.
The celebration of the applying of the Wani’toia to a warrior.
A smaller and slightly lesser event, the Gorda’ta is the celebration of “new women” –or girls who have had their first moon-cycle. Every girl who has experienced her first cycle during the time of the Sper’itua’s absence is welcomed into womanhood during this festival. This event is held exactly three nights after the Sper’itua’s return to the Opi’t.
History. While their history is largely unknown the Sor’inyt call upon a large series of oral stories of their early years as a tribe. The tales are passed from one Foret’tuum to her apprentice- and thus to generation to generation. There are two main orally traded Sor'inyt myths:
|Cani’tpa||Protectors of the Sper’itua|
|Cop’a||bread made from totit and spiced water|
|Dog’nata||small desert fruit bearing bush|
|Frodip||Jelly made of the Dog’nata fruit|
|Fod’itia||the bakers or food preparers|
|Foretium||Festival of the Foret’tum|
|Foret’tuum||Bride of Foiros|
|Gret’upi||Nurturer of children|
|Gorda’ta||festival of the introduction to womanhood|
|Kad’iyt||Preparer of the totit|
|Maast||Weaver of the totit into Yuatu’way|
|Rash’ida||Gatherer of the totit|
|Rotora||fruit of the Dog’nata|
|Topa||dried Dog’nata fruit|
|Totit||Plant that is used greatly|
|Wani’toia||Dark symbols tattooed on warrior’s face and body. Sign of elite-ness.|
|Wani’toiat||Festival of the Wani’toia|
|Wo’di’on||Leader of Sper’itua|
|Yuatu’way||cloth woven from totit and traded|
Information provided by Anaea the Marked