The Oo'Wa'Oo culture is a general overview of the contemporary culture of the Rocky Mountain Sasquatches, specifically pertaining to those likely to be involved in the crossroads setting.
Background Skills: Acrobatics, Climb, Intimidate, Knowledge (Nature), Perception, Stealth, Survival
Background Feats: Bellowing Roar, Elusive, Endurance, Hurl, Musk, Point-Blank Shot, Track.
Native Language: Oo'wa'Oo'px,
Taboos: Looking inside another's Ha-ah, Wasting food or water, revealing the location of a campsite.
Special: A Oo'wa'Oo sasquatch’s native terrain is always Mountain.
Oo'wa'Oo resemble normal sasquatches, but darker colors of fur are more common among them.
Oo'wa'Oo wear little by human standards, but more than most sasquatches. Almost all Oo'wa'Oo own a Ha-ah, a specific type of utility bag. The bag is sizable, made of sturdy leather, and designed to hold itself shut securely with pin-and-loop fasteners. It bears a wide band that's worn over one shoulder so the bag hangs on the opposite hip. The band has a number of vertical and horizontal slits along its length, which can be pulled out to allow weapons and tools to be securely slipped between them, allowing them the be securely held in place and easily accessible while leaving the hands free. It's a very practical item, and its design has been continually improved over hundreds of years of use. It's also considered to be very personal, each individual makes their own and it is considered extremely rude to look in another's Ha-ah.
Oo'wa'Oo typically don't care much for grooming, but they understand the practical advantages of it. Most wash themselves when possible, about twice a month, but those with stronger musk may need to bathe more often to minimize the effects of their stronger scent.
Oo'wa'Oo are highly practical and pragmatic in mindset. Every possession, emotion, and course of action is evaluated for usefulness, and those that do not help them to survive are discarded, suppressed, or abandoned. This is not to say they discourage creativity, in fact, creativity is highly prized, but only if it yields tangible benefits for the individual or the tribe as a whole. One defining trait of their psychology is preparedness. In the harsh environment of their homeland, one never knows what comes next, so they usually prepare for the worst whenever entering an uncertain situation. There is also a certain eagerness to act, most prefer to be doing something actively than waiting for something to happen.
The Oo'wa'Oo strongly believe that wasteful behavior is shameful, and at a certain extreme, dangerous. Children who waste food or water are harshly punished, and adults tend to retain a certain unwillingness to waste anything. While wasting resources is the most obvious application of this, the Oo'wa'Oo regard many things as wasteful. Killing a defeated enemy is largely seen as wasteful,
Oo'wa'Oo live a simple, goal-oriented life. Most awaken as the sun begins to set, eat a bit of whatever food stores they possess, and ready their gear for the evening. Males depart from their camp sites to go hunting and gathering, while females remain behind, raising the children or working various crafts to make more supplies for the next night. When the males return, the tribe eats, each family enjoying the fruits of their male's labors. After the food, there is some time for socializing and planning, and finally, the tribe prepares for the morning and the coming night.
Arts and Crafts Edit
Oo'wa'Oo are masters of practical crafts, the females being those who produce various material goods. Typically, they work in the common materials of the land, usually stone, leather, bone or horn, and sometimes wood. Luxury items are all but unheard of, as is needless decoration. They generally believe that a well-made item has a more real kind of beauty. Even the most artistic usually apply their art in the process of making something functional. Any item that has no use or can't perform its task is discarded.
Oo'wa'Oo generally develop little technology, but their focus on practicality allows them to see the advantages of technology they encounter among other groups. They have encountered firearms, but generally don't use them, as the need for gunpowder and bullets make them largely impractical for extensive use in their isolated mountain homes. However, crossbows are spreading through the mountains, their relatively simple construction and easily noted advantages making them highly prized possessions, though some still prefer the greater potential power offered by horn bows.
Oo'wa'Oo have relatively few spellcasters, usually relying on the powers of a handful of priests in each tribe. These usually specialize in protection magic and divination, using their protective magics to ward their camp sites against detection, and divination to seek out new resources such as clean streams and safe camp-sites.
Oo'wa'Oo are unlike most sasquatches, in that they believe that strong emotional bonds to be a liability. In the vast majority of cases, the selection of a mate is purely a practical choice. Males try to attract females that are particularly attractive, or have useful skills to support them. Females try to attract the males that are capable providers. If their attempts are mutually successful, the females may join a male's harem, which is an exclusive relationship within the harem. A female can leave a harem at any time, but is generally reluctant to do so, unless the male fails to provide for a long enough period. When romantic love does arise, most tribes will try to subtly discourage the relationship, but rarely spend too much time or effort doing so, confident the individuals will see the error of their ways soon enough.
Oo'wa'Oo believe full-scale war to be wasteful, taking valuable time away from the hunting and crafting needed to survive. The tribe's leadership will usually endeavor to ensure that any conflicts remain personal and don't spiral into larger conflicts. If a group conflict is inevitable, the leadership of the clans will put forth champions from each group to settle a dispute by proxy. It's widely believed that killing the fallen enemy, if not entirely necessary, is similarly wasteful, provided the defeated learns their lesson from the experience. Most Oo'wa'Oo rely on fear to keep individuals away from their camp sites. If they can avoid being spotted they will, but if they are seen, they will typically try to intimidate an enemy or chase them away, rather than trying to lose them.
Oo'wa'Oo see death is it is, the natural order of things. It's widely understood that if one is killed by an animal or an enemy, or in an accident that could have been somehow prevented, that the one who died is at least partially responsible for their own demise. They are taught that those who die in this way were weak, that their death was the consequence of weakness, or failing to prepare, and that though it may hurt for a time, ultimately their loss will strengthen the tribe. If an accident or uncontrollable disaster takes a life, or if the fallen was particularly young, there may be more ceremony, but only if the time and resources can be spared.
Oo'wa'Oo leadership is much the same as other sasquatches, but the leaders are for the tribe, rather than the clan.
Social Structure Edit
Oo'wa'Oo live in tribes of between thirty and 100 individuals. The tribe is not based on direct blood relations like a clan, rather consisting of many different families blended together. Marriage within the tribe is perfectly acceptable, but attracting particularly alluring individuals from other tribes to join the tribe is a greater accomplishment and offers greater social prestige. The main body of the tribes consists of bachelors and unattached females, usually the young adults who've yet to form or join a harem. They typically pool their resources under the direction of the hunt chief, to ensure none go hungry and everyone has the tools they need. Children outside of harems are usually left in the care of the wise chief.
The basic family unit within the tribe is the harem, consisting of one male and as many as five attached females and any immature children. These harems are self-contained, each member relying on other members of the harem to provide them with all their needs. They provide their own food, their own supplies, they care for their own children, and so on. Males and females are raised the same until they reach 10 winters of age, when a male's education is given over to the male of the harem, or the hunt chief if the child is not in a harem, in order to learn how to hunt. At the same time, females begin to really learn the nature of the crafts. At 15 winters, the child is considered fully adult, and leaves the harem, or the care of the chiefs, to join the unaffiliated adults of the tribe.
Oo'wa'Oo have relatively few traditions, seeing them as wasteful, the one exception being the Sleeper's Feast, which they view as the one time a year they can truly relax and celebrate without fear or caution. The celebration tends to get somewhat wild.
Other Races Edit
The harsh environment of the mountains and the dangerous creatures that inhabit it make other races a rare sight in Oo'wa'Oo lands. Occasionally a tribe will wander up to the higher reaches of the mountains from the foothills, and the Oo'wa'Oo will try to keep their distance. If that becomes impossible, they will usually try to frighten off the intruders with mighty roars that echo off the stony peaks and midnight attacks with pelted sticks and rocks. However, if an individual or group approaches with the appropriate signs of their intent and offerings of sufficient value, the Oo'wa'Oo may sometimes be convinced to escort them through the mountains safely.
The Oo'wa'Oo have two great spirits, the Earth and the Sky, all other things being created by the efforts of those two beings. They often pay respect to other powerful nature spirits and the animals they kill, but they never expend resources in the process.
History and Folklore Edit
The oral history of the Oo'wa'Oo is fragmented, due to relatively few scholars and largely independent tribes. Most scholarly sorts believe the groups once occupied lowland areas and were driven up into the higher lands by human expansion.
Oo'wa'Oo'px sounds much like any other sasquatch language to the untrained ear, but in truth, it's one of the most orderly and logical. The language has very few homophones, makes use of prefixes and suffixes, and some scholars who study the tongue comment on how consistent the tonal grammar is.
Oo'wa'Oo naming is logical and consistent. A child's name is made by taking the first syllable of one parent and the first syllable of the other and combining them, with a final suffix to indicate the order of birth. Male names put the father's syllable first, and female names put the mother's syllable first. When they come of age, they earn a descriptive name in addition to this name. Males are given this name by the hunt chief, and females are given this name by the wise chief.
Cities and Settlements Edit
Oo'wa'Oo have no permanent cities or settlements, they are nomadic by nature, setting up a series of campsites as they travel in secure locations with access to resources such as fresh water. However, tribes often reuse campsites from year to year as they roam. Wherever they set up camp, the tribe's spell-casters will ward the site with magical rituals to offer a little magical protection from being discovered or attacked. Each year before the long sleep, tribes will gather in large, common campsites outside traditional over-wintering caves. The number of tribes varies based on the size of the cave system, but for a few weeks before and a few weeks after the long sleep, the tribes share the region and interact freely before each goes their own separate ways.
Oo'wa'Oo have very little to trade in the way of material goods. Most of their economy is devoted to the resources needed to survive, and any surplus is usually preserved as much as possible to prepare for future lean times. Most of their external trade consists of services offered for goods, usually an Oo'wa'Oo guide or escort team to lead outsiders through the mountains safely. A group that approaches the high mountains can indicate their desire for this service by lighting a large, smoky fire at sunset and waiting for the Oo'wa'Oo to come investigate. If the guests show they desire aid, and show respect, the wise chief will come to negotiate a deal. Most often they will accept magic weapons, or items that continually produce valuable resources like arrows or food, but have little use for trinkets that will break eventually or serve no immediate purpose.
Example city Edit
Px'Huu'Ah is a typical overwintering cave in the mountains, consisting of a flat plateau on the eastern slope, above a sheer cliff, with a cave going into the side of the mountain. From a distance it appears uninhabited, and it is difficult to approach, but if one crosses a certain line they move through the dome of illusion, revealing the runic lines that mark the edge of the dome and maintain the illusion. However, unless you happen to be there between late autumn or early spring, the area is empty. For those few months, however, the area is occupied. In late autumn, the plateau bustles with a couple hundred sasquatches, eagerly catching up after many months apart or comparing accomplishments. Children play 'hide and chase', among the rocks, watched over by their mothers and the wise chiefs. During the winter, the plateau is empty once again, apart from a handful of grizzled, harsh-looking winter guardians standing vigil at or near the mouth of the cave. And in the spring, the tribes emerge once again, saying goodbyes and preparing to move on once again, before, as the middle of the spring returns, the plateau empties once more.
Creating Oo'wa'Oo Characters Edit
Oo'wa'Oo are ultimately practical and pragmatic. Consider your character's actions carefully, and see if they would be considered wasteful or unnecessary. Consider your character's gender and how it would shape their experience in their homeland. Be sure to take into account the dangerous, harsh environment they were raised in, and how that would shape their views and reactions.
Special Options Edit
As with all sasquatches, the Winter guardians have an important role among the Oo'wa'Oo, protecting the tribe during the long sleep and fighting their instincts all through the bitter winters of the high mountains. Oo'wa'Oo are more focused on hunting than many other sasquatch cultures, and most possess the Track feat. In addition, they more often rely on fear to scare away those who get to close, often taking the Bellowing Roar feat, or later, the Fearful Display feat.
Oo'wa'Oo as Characters Edit
The majority of Oo'wa'Oo adventurers are hunters, but there are a number who become warriors, putting their immense strength to full use. Priests are reasonably common, though most priests would require a dramatic reason to leave the tribe. Chosen and Warlocks appear from time to time among the Oo'wa'Oo, but are comparatively few in number.