Twalaki Tribe

Not many outsiders will ever truly understand the Twalaki and the sacrifices they make not only for the Lithorian people, but for the rest of Valindir. It is widely believed among the people in that area of the world that there is a rift or fissure in the realm of the spirits that allows them pass through into mortal’s domain. Somewhere, deep in the winding tunnels, there dwells monstrous creatures that are vicious beyond most people’s wildest dreams. It is the Twalaki that not only keep them from escaping the mountains, but destroys many of them, retaining the balance between the two worlds.

Most of the men and women who serve in this tribe are young adults who choose to serve their people before committing their life to a mate or career. It is considered a high honor to have served in the Twalaki, but not an obligation, and no shame has ever been cast on anyone for not joining. They serve as little time as they please, most staying fifty years or so, but there are some who spend their whole lives there, as wedded couples and their children often dwell in their outposts. In more recent history, some of the Talmori have served in this tribe, and are the first outside the Lithorian race permitted to join. While others have joined them on hunting quests, they were never seen as Twalaki, and not given the honor of being one of them.

The Twalaki ritualistically dye their hair and fur a deep, jet black to better blend in with their surroundings. To take this dye onto ones fur is considered both a great honor, and a hefty responsibility, so they have designed a ritual that all of them undertake. At the start of every month, those that are considered adults and are joining the tribe are gathered in one of the outlying outposts along with their family and friends. Feasts are prepared and the soft melody of music can be heard throughout all the tunnels within their territory. After the young men and women cover themselves in black dye they are assigned a Kapta, or teacher. For one year they will travel the tunnels, learning the skills which they have chosen, whether that is gathering, hunting or guarding. After this year they are considered full members of the tribe and are allowed to become Kaptas themselves. While most see the black and grays that they wear as bleak and almost saddening, the Twalaki see it as a celebration of cunning and strength. Not only do they become harder to see as they blend into the cave walls, it makes those new to the area practice seeing into the darkness and being able to spot even those who are camouflaged. Many of the children that live there play hiding games with one another, not just simply for fun, but to train their senses to find people hiding within the caves.

When a visitor has broken the laws of the land, they are permanently exiled, with no chance of being re-instated. To be seen again on their lands after being cast out is considered a willing ending of your life that the Twalaki will assist you with. While it may seem cruel, the Twalaki pride themselves in their quick and painless executions, and see no need for torture in any situation. It is seen as a cowardly act that no true warrior would even think of partaking in. Even the bodies of the most hardened criminals are given a deep respect and are taken care of as anyone else. All bodies are cremated, the remains taken in a boat and then sprinkled out on the water. It is seen as a cleansing of the soul for the next life so that a smooth and painless rebirth is possible.

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Posted September 22, 2011 by belimedra

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