Life In Aedra

Introduction

The island Aedra was inhabited by dogs and felines around thirty years ago, and have since then adapted to this world at a remarkable speed with the help of the Sky Gods and native spirits.

The first tribes were founded a few years after they had arrived, with the Meteor Tribe and Solar Stag Tribe being among the first. Today, more than a dozen tribes exist, with several of them having more than twenty members.
A tribe is usually led by one male, ranked as Jarl, he may rule the tribe alone, or together with a female ranked as Viscountess.

All members of the tribe also have ranks, but each tribe may have different ranks than the next, depending on what the tribe considers a priority.
No dog or feline living here will age beyond three years old. It is yet unknown what may be the cause of this. Those that are brought to Aedra from Earth will also stop aging. Despite this, dogs still add a year to their age at each new year.

A new year has begun when for a day the sky is lit with a bright white light that moves in similar fashion to fireworks.

Beliefs

There are two main beliefs that the inhabitants may choose to follow, the native spirits of this world, or the Sky Gods, the former being more common. They have learned about the history of the Sky Gods, but most of them have a negative relation to them due to them being brought to this world and abandoned without a choice.
A more popular belief is to believe in the native spirits. Many tribes have their own chosen spirit that they follow and pray to, the main one being the Solar Stag spirit. Usually, the tribe will worship the benevolent spirits, but there are also tribes that worships the malevolent.
Spirits are represented in the pattern of the stars, and giant stones can be found all around the island that has been risen
by the spirit itself. Usually, writing can be seen on these stones, describing what spirit it holds, and what it may do. Inhabitants often travel to these stones and place various items around it, in hope that it will enhance their prayer and the chance of them being heard.

Some tribes will even have members ranked as Priests. They will spend most of their time praying while also constructing and maintaining shrines.

Shrines are often seen in the shape of stones, carefully placed in a circle or close together, usually on top of hills or mountains.

Another spiritual construction is the Guardian.

Guardians are formed by tying thick tree branches and logs together to create a tall-standing creature, the body is often decorated with bones and antlers to look as intimidating as possible.

These are believed to ward off evil spirits and dark magic, but may even welcome the evil ones to enter.

Flags and paint

Each tribe has their own color that is painted onto their members and belongings. The tribe will have set markings that represent their rank, and these markings will be unique to them. The paint is collected from wild flowers that populate the entire island.

The color from the flowers can easily be collected by hanging them to dry and placing something bowl-shaped underneath, usually an antler.

A tribe will have at least one Artisan ranked member that will

re-apply paint onto the members and their belongings.
Along with paint, the tribe will also have a flag, painted in their colors, as well as a symbol that is unique only to them. The flags

are seen within the tribe area, at each entrance and around their territory to mark out that the land is claimed. Whenever a tribe territory is abandoned or wiped out, a flag will be risen, vacant of any symbol, showing that the territory is once again unclaimed.
A territory that is known to be uninhabitable, whether due to low prey, harsh climate, beasts or other reasons, may be marked out with red crosses to warn others to stay clear of this area.

Buildings

Canines and felines usually sleep in large huts that are built to withstand the harsh climate. The foundation of some of the more advanced huts were not constructed by them themselves, they are believed to have been built by the spirits that watch over this world, a less popular theory is that the Sky Gods are responsible.

They can however add on to the huts, they can reinforce the structure and decorate the interior.
Some territories may also have tall walls in certain areas, protecting those who live there from dangers that may be lurking on the outside, though not all predators will be stopped by the wall.

These walls were also not built by the canines or felines, though they may be reinforced or repaired by them.

Two strong wall structures surrounding a large area was located on the island when the first inhabitants arrived, one in the north and one in the south. These areas were quickly claimed due to the safety and position the walls provided.

Domestication

There's plenty of native wildlife on the island, and each species has markings that glow in the dark that protects them against ghouls.
This ability didn't evolve through natural selection, it was instead given by spirits or Sky Gods.
Inhabitants have taken an interest in some of these species because of the way they are protected in the dark, the main species being the Nova Antelope and the Imperial Moose. They have learned how to tame and raise these species within the territory. Aside from the extra protection they give against the ghouls, the animals can also give food and leather whenever the tribe needs it. Those who have gained the trust of their animals can also use it to transport heavy logs that they themselves are too weak to carry on their own.

The Nova Antelope is the most common choice to keep as cattle because of their friendly and trusting nature. Their lifespan is usually around 12 to 15 years in captivity.

The cattle, which are mostly undisturbed and protected from other predators, will thrive in captivity and produce many calves each year. If the territory isn't big enough to supply food for the cattle, the tribe will have to relocate the herd each summer to other feeding grounds. Shepherds will stay with the cattle during the whole summer to keep them protected from other predators. Once summer is over, the cattle will be herded back to the territory and kept within an enclosed pasture. The cattle will have to feed on the grass inside the territory until spring arrives.
While most of the cattle will be killed, a few selected cows and bulls will be kept alive for breeding purposes. Those who are in charge

of the cattle may get attached to these individuals, they may even name them and nurture them back to health whenever they get injured.

The capital

A place that is often mentioned by tribes is the capital,

referring to the territory of the Matriarch.

The Matriarch is a female that is the leader of Solar Stag tribe,

the largest tribe currently existing on the island with over 40 members.

Her appearance is only known by a few individuals.

Throughout the years, the Matriarch has provided a set of guidelines, to keep life in Aedra as peaceful as possible.

No tribe has to follow these guidelines, but doing so will grant them access to get more help from the capital if needed, and ally bonds with other tribes can be created.

The capital is located in the Virean province. The territory is vast

and stretches from the Emerald Realm to the Floating Isles, with

the Oracle Lake claimed as well.

The Matriarch sets the guidelines and gives orders, but she doesn't execute them herself, it is her Baron and Viscountess that will take charge from there to carry out her wishes.

Another sub-ordinate order is the Guild. They are a small pack of canines and felines that a few times a year travel around Aedra to gather scrolls from each tribe. On these scrolls, everything that has occurred in the tribe in the last few months is written down, from how their cattle is doing, to loss or increase of members.

There are two Guilds, the Highland Guild, which travels the northern part of Aedra, and the Lowland Guild, which travels the south. Highland Guild is lead by female Rifle Axilyah, and the Lowland Guild is lead by male Southern Jaro Nordulv.

Each Guild has very few members, but they don't need to be great in numbers as they are protected by the capital and the Matriarch.

It is strictly forbidden to cause them any harm, if someone breaks this law, the capital will consider it as a direct assault on their tribe and they will attack.

Games

Days can be hard to push through, the everyday concerns and chores that awaits members of a tribe can sometimes become overwhelming.

To combat this, they have created various games that the entire tribe often takes part in.

Races- Path & Cross Country

Tribes can organize races that takes place on a set route where competitors has to gather a flag or torch at each checkpoint.

The races are held either on a cleared path with logs and creeks as obstacles, or at a more dangerous location, like in the mountains or thick forests. This game can just be for fun, but there's also competitions held where one has to qualify and compete in several rounds.

It happens that tribes sometimes organize a race together and have tribe members compete.

 

Pawball

Two teams compete to get a ball crafted from leather across the field onto their ground.

It's not allowed to take the ball in the mouth or use anything other than the legs to get it across the field.

Crime

Despite that there are no general laws that everyone must abide to, there are rules and regulations within the ally bonds, often set forth by the Solar Stag Tribe, the capital.

A rulebreaker may be dealt with in various ways, and often the tribes involved will work together to decide what the punishment should be.

Although rare, executions happen, and are often done by the capital in front of witnesses from various allies that can later testify that the execution happened with minimal blood and cruelty.

Ranks

Jarl and Viscountess

A tribe can be ruled by a Jarl and/or a Viscountess. The Jarl is always a male and the Viscountess a female. They may be a pair but that doesn't always have to be the case, the Viscountess may sometimes be a trusted friend, relative, or tied together with an ally where they were given that position to strengthen the ally bond between that tribe and the tribe she originally came from. Both are addressed as "Your Grace".

 

Baron and Baroness

Second or third in command, depending on how much power the Viscountess has.

A small tribe will usually only have either a Baron or Baroness, while a larger tribe will most likely have both.

Those with this rank will have the responsibility to report back to the Viscountess or Jarl about the welfare of the tribe, making them ideal priests if the tribe has strong spiritual beliefs. Baron is addressed as "My Lord" and Baroness is addressed as "My Lady".
 

Thane

High in command next to Baron/Baroness, advisor to Jarl/Viscountess, makes decisions regarding the land and trades.

 

Lead Warrior and Warriors
The Lead Warrior and Warriors are responsible for the protection of the tribe from danger. They also are tasked with training the others of the tribe in self-defense, especially in tribes that do not have a lot of members, or not a lot of warriors. Although determined by the Jarl or Viscountess, warriors are typically the next in command behind the Baron or Baroness

 

Lead Hunter and Huntress

While tribes will have several of their members join in on hunts, those ranked Lead Hunter and Huntress will be in charge of the hunt. They will choose which ground they should hunt on, what type of prey and how often they should hunt.

 

Lead Shepherd and Shepherds

The Lead Shepherd will be in charge of the welfare of the cattle. It is their responsibility to make sure that the cattle is thriving, that they are healthy, has enough food and space.

Shepherds will help with the tasks of relocating them to summer feeding grounds and picking out animals for slaughter.

 

Herbalist and Healer

Both the Herbalist and Healer will have about the same knowledge when it comes to herbs, but the Healer will always stay with the tribe while the Herbalist will go out on long travels to collect the various herbs the tribe is in need of. Healers are often well rounded when it comes to healing the sick and wounded, while Herbalists may also know what herbs can be used to keep meat stored and fresh for a long period of time, how to craft poison and even how to summon malevolent spirits.

 

Guard

Usually positioned at the border, Guards will need to be vigilant and alert, ready to at any time act at the sight of intruders or dangerous beasts. If needed, Guards will let out a long, loud howl. Felines are usually seen as unfit to be a Guard because of their inability to howl, though feline-dominated tribes have figured out other ways to alert the tribe.

A tribe with a large territory will often have several members ranked as Guard, and they will work in shifts so that they don't tire themselves out.

It is usually forbidden for members not ranked Guard to howl.

 

Caretaker

A Caretaker will be in charge of taking care of the young in the tribe. They will stay with newly born offspring and help the mother out if needed.

If the parent is absent, the Caretaker will teach the young how to read and write, the laws of the tribe and everything else there is to know.

 

Artisan

An Artisan is in charge of keeping the huts strong, re-applying paint to the members and repairing clothing. An Artisan also plays a cruical part in keeping the armor and weapons in perfect condition.

Priest

A Priest will be the one in charge of rituals, ceremonies,

shrine and graveyard upkeep, as well as being there to support troubled members that are in need of advice and comfort.

A Priest is usually, just like the rest of the members, not allowed to interact with dark spirits.

Not all tribes will feel the need to have the Priest rank available, and instead will place whatever responsiblity a Priest would have onto their Jarl or other high-ranked members.

 

Apprentice or Unranked

New members of a tribe that are yet to be ranked will either be given a temporary rank called Apprentice, Unranked or something similar. They usually also have a specific paint attached to their rank.

Tinget

Every second year during the summer, Barons and Baronesses from each tribe may choose to meet at “Tinget”, inside the Pastures of Truce, where they will speak on behalf of their tribe.

The Baron or Viscountess of Solar Stag Tribe will be the one leading the meeting.

At this meeting, tribes can ask for help with getting more cattle, members or land. They can also create or destroy ally bonds.

Before the meeting can begin, all participants must agree to the rules.

Some of the things mentioned:

Weapons are left outside of the meeting area. Attacks and insults are not allowed. Spiritual beliefs shouldn't be mentioned or used in an argument.

If something has happened that requires immediate attention, the Jarl or Viscountess may be called to Tinget instead of the Baron.