Laren People – Live in Laren Jungle, one of the Cultures of the world
The Laren people are dark skinned, dark haired humans. They live in temporary homes throughout the Laren Jungle in small family groups of about 15-20. Most families are associated loosely with a larger “tribe” or “clan.” (based on religion? to be developed)
Laren technology levels are generally lower than those in neighboring Drael or Sirasea, presumably due to no centralized social structure and the people’s nomadic nature, following the resources of the jungle around throughout the year. Laren folk rarely venture from their homeland. Many Laren people do not speak Common, but only tribal dialects.
Travelers into the jungle are usually tolerated well by the Laren people so long as they do not intrude on Laren life or destroy the jungle’s natural habitat. The Laren depend on the jungle for their subsistence, and they will attack intruders who destroy their home. Siraseans in the jungle will sometimes be attacked on sight, associated with Sirasean soldiers’ attempts to build a road into the jungle from Tabia.
All Laren people have companion animals that they call their Bonded. These animals are much smarter and more capable than ordinary members of their species. The animals are usually the same within family groups/tribes. Children are presented by their family with their first Bonded at around 3-4 years old. There is a ritual performed with a young captured or bred animal and the person to Bond them together. The Bonding ritual “opens” the animal’s mind to the world’s ambient magic, and allows it to become more intelligent and devoted to the Laren person they are bonding with.
The Bonded animal serves as a “focus” to amplify the ambient magic of the area, allowing a person to access ambient magic very easily. Most Laren people are Bonded to a small animal, are minimally trained in magic, and so only use smaller magics, like lighting fires, heating water, untangling their hair, etc. Those who are trained in magical abilities or are Bonded to a more powerful animal can use magic more easily and can become very powerful.
Since Laren magic depends on ambient magic in the world, and uses the Bonded to access that magic, they cannot access magic in Drael or Sirasea or other naturally-depleted “ambient” magical areas unless they have a power source, a deity, or some other means to do so. If their Bonded animal becomes exhausted or unconscious, the same limitations apply.
Larens will create a small item from part of their Bonded when it passes and keep it nearby or wear it on their person (earring, amulet, hair decoration, wristband, etc.). These items can serve as a reservoir of power to add additional strength to their magic or to draw on when there is no ambient magic in the environment (in order to store and later access the reservoir, the person must know how to use magic AND know the NAME of the Bonded animal that has passed away). In this way, as Laren people grow older, they become slowly more powerful and wise, and their magical relics cannot be stolen, since they can’t be used by strangers. Elders are revered in Laren culture. When people die, all the reservoir remnants of that person’s previously Bonded animals don’t work anymore. (So people can’t just collect a million of them from others and be super powerful.)
Most Bonded animals are small/nonaggressive (birds, herbivores, rodents, lizards, etc.)
Exceptions for the normal Bonded pattern can indicate special significance about a person:
- Bonding with an unusual animal (not matching the tribe/family)
- Bonding with an animal that is already mature
- Find their own Bonded before being presented with their first from the family
- Having multiple Bonded at the same time
The gods of the tribes are closely associated with the different aspects of the jungle and its surroundings. The god of the trees is protective and life giving. The god of the beasts is ruthless and unforgiving but also honorable and, at times, compassionate. The god of the north mountains is aloof but powerful. The Mad God of the Great Gloom is destructive and insane.
Death ritual: Bodies burned with all their previous Bonded’s totems, ashes buried.
Expert: leiapico & nink/steeltrain23