[[Copying this from my Tumblr. I'll clean it up and edit it later. Right now, I'm just kind of looking to get an idea of general interest level.]]
So, group idea time!
Moni and Jay pointed out to me that there are a plethora of yaoi/bl/male-only groups on dA, and those groups are matched by only a small handful (if even) of yuri/female-only groups on dA.
I wanted to fix that.
My initial idea ran something like this - take a group of tribes of women, their patron goddesses, and see what you can do with them. Of course, I have to offer 106% credit to Moni, Jay, Noah, and Lenny for pretty much giving me every idea listed here.
This is an entirely female oriented group. For the purposes of this group, men don't even exist. Because I feel like it. [It's possible that I might integrate men at a later point as a plot device, but as it stands, there wouldn't be any men in this group. That is, dudes can join with female characters, but you know what I mean.]
So, in essence, there are five tribes of women. These tribes are loosely based on ancient Greek/Amazonian cultures, but dress codes and customs don't necessarily have to match that. Beyond each tribe having its own fairly unique manner of dress, there won't be any specifically strict dress code (because having more freedom means more fun, right?).
The tribes have a history of tension between them, with some acting as allies or enemies to the others. Each tribe pays homage to a patron goddess (described below) and has some specialty that they are known for.
The tribes are:
Forest tribe: The women of the forest tribes live in small clusters of homes scattered around the forest, but nevertheless they consider themselves one tribe. Whether built on the ground or in the trees, their homes are made of wood and skins, and they know how to move about in perfect silence. Their patron is the Goddess of Animals and the Hunt. Traditionally, they wear more natural clothes to both blend into the forest while hunting and to respect their patron goddess — think skins, furs, bones, rough-stone accessories, knives, bows, tattoos, etc. They are particularly at odds with the Hill tribe, and they are friendly with the Desert tribe.
Water tribe: The women of the water tribe live on floating pontoon houses in an estuary along the coast where two of the three main rivers lead out to the sea. They've been known to move up and down the river at certain times of the year, following the good fishing, but usually they stay in the estuary. Their patron is the Goddess of the Sea. Traditionally, they dress sparingly, favoring sarong or bikini-like garments. They favor seashell accessories, and even weave intricate nets to wear in creative ways to honor their goddess. Of the tribes, they are one of the most peaceful, and don't have any particular affiliation with any of the other tribes. This can leave them vulnerable to attacks from the Hill tribe, for they have no strong allies, but moving along the rivers often makes it hard for the Hill women to find them.
Hill tribe: The women of the hills occupy both the hill lands and the flat valleys between them. They are a proud, warrior tribe of women, and they honor the Goddess of War above all others. Because their resources are few, they focus their labors on fighting prowess, and take what they need from other tribes by force or trade. Many of the other tribes are victimized by them, but they have a particular rivalry with the Forest tribe, as the Forest tribe is known for putting up the most fight against them. They have no particular allies. They are the only tribe capable of forging blades that have a chance of matching the blades of the Desert tribe. They tend to dress in hard leathers and metal armors, spartan to show their dedication to their craft. However, they take pride in wearing trophies of battle, like captured jewels or scarves.
Plain tribe: The women of the plains live between the Hills and the Desert. They are herders and farmers, and they provide many of the other tribes with food. They owe their success with agriculture to their patron, the Goddess of the Harvest and Weather. They tend to dress somewhat conservatively, but the elaborate needlework and fine make of their clothes is the pride of their tribe, and unmatched by any other. Because they are peaceful, they get along well with the Water tribe, and though they are not fond of the Hill tribe, they have recognized that they cannot effectively fight them, and so they have a willing trade agreement, in return for the Hill tribe not attacking them.
Desert tribe: The desert tribe is the most isolated of the tribes, laying far beyond the plains, but it is also the most sought out. The women of the Desert tribe follow the way of the Goddess of Craft, and as such, their weapons and jewelry and wares are beyond compare. They wear loose-fitting clothes but tend to cover up to keep the heat of the sun off of them, and they are proud to wear the best of their weapons and jeweles. They live in sun-baked clay houses and tents, and they are nomadic by necessity. Because they provide such essential goods, they have good trade relations with most of the tribes, and the Forest tribe in particular because they are grateful for the food the Forest tribe often supplies them with, and support the Forest tribe in their campaigns against the Hill women (the Desert tribe is not fond of the Hill women because they so often raid them to steal their fine weapons).
Temple: In addition to these tribes, there is one additional "tribe" that is utterly neutral. More of a temple with a small surrounding village of no more than a hundred women, the Temple of Life is where all women go to receive a child. Because it is so valuable to every tribe, every tribe, regardless of their feelings for the other tribes, is sworn by oath to protect and defend the temple, and the Hill tribe is especially dedicated to it. The Temple is attended full time by a near army of priestesses, and women from all tribes travel there to pray before the Fertility Goddess, the Queen of Heaven, and the Giver of Daughters. If the Goddess chooses one, she can return to her tribe, to her lover or mother or sisters, and she will soon find herself with child.
All women who visit the Temple must leave the garments of their home tribe behind and wear the garb of the priestesses for the entire time they are in the Temple village (and some women stay for days or weeks, trying to catch the Goddess's notice). The priestess garb consists of flowing, loose robes of any fabric - gossamer or silk or lace, etc - the design of which is up to the individual priestess. Some particularly devout tribeswomen may choose to wear some token of their patron goddess, but all other garments (armor, skins, weapons, etc) must be left behind.
In this universe, it should also be noted that each women, from the goddesses down to the most humble of tribeswomen, is born along with an animal that represents the very essence of her being. For the goddesses, these animals are the immortal beasts of myths and legends; for the tribal leaders, these animals are often also mythical in nature, to show their connection with the goddesses; for the tribeswomen, these animals are connected to their very essence, and each animal reflects her woman's innermost spirit. Whatever the animal, they remain the closest and most beloved beings in each woman's life, for they are of the same soul - no woman is disappointed to be born alongside a rabbit or mouse spirit because she knows that that rabbit or mouse is a reflection of who she truly is. The animals can speak and are every bit as intelligent as their human.
It should also be noted that, especially among the women of the Hill tribes but also in the Forests and every other tribe as well, that these spirits can fight, and/or can accompany their woman in any task they need to do — because they are one, the animal is just as capable of fighting or hunting as their human.
The Pantheon of Goddesses are as follows:
The Queens of Heaven reign as the leaders of the pantheon. Chief among them is often simply called the Queen on High, and her domain is in ensuring that the laws and traditions of the land are never violated. She is the Day and the Law, and all other Goddesses bow before her.
Her Queen and beloved, in turn, is known as the Queen of Heaven, and the Giver of Daughters. She is the Goddess of Fertility, and she is in charge of giving children to those who ask for children. She is the Night and Life.
The rest of the pantheon, and the goddesses who give patronage to the tribes, are:
The Goddess of War holds domain over all warfare and conflict. Her people are the Hill People.
The Goddess of the Hunt and Animals holds domain over animals, a sacred trust when every person is accompanied by an animal spirit, and the Hunt. She is also in charge of giving fruit to the life trees, which give daughters to wild (non-spirit) animals. In this, she is in charge of the Life and Death of all animals. Her people are the Forest People.
The Goddess of the Sea holds domain over all water, and she shares domain with the Goddess of Animals over all animal the life in the Sea. Her people are the Water People.
The Goddess of the Harvest and Weather holds domain over the bounty of the land and the changing weather and the passing of seasons. Her people are the Plains People.
The Goddess of Craft holds domain over all things made by human hands. She gives cleverness to fingers and minds to create. Her people are the Desert People.
In addition, these goddesses posses two sisters, equally as venerated, equally as powerful, but who have earned titles other than "Goddess". These two are:
The Trickster, the Thief, the Walker of Ways. She is often blamed for misfortunes big and small, but she is also the chief protector of those who must move between villages (and the Temple), because she keeps travelers safe. She can cause trouble, but she is not malevolent.
The Silent One. She is Death's embrace, and she is the kindest goddess of all. She gives mercy to the suffering, rest for the weary, and offers an end to troubles. Despite this, she is feared by the tribeswomen just as much as she is venerated, though the Hill tribes sing her praises, to the extent that she is almost a second Patron to them. She is the sister of the Queen of Heaven, the Giver of Daughters, and she is independent of the rule of the Queen on High (though she bows to her in any case).
It should be noted that -all- tribes venerate, pray to, and believe in all of the goddesses — it is just that they have also chosen a patron goddess to act as their primary figure.
A few last notes that I can think of:
All animals in the world are also female. However, half of the females of the species have taken on some of the "male" traits as we know them. That is, half of all female deer will grow larger and grow horns; half of all lions will grow manes and grow larger; some species of eagle will be smaller (the "male") than others (the "female"). In order to have children, there are trees all throughout the wild. In mating seasons, mated pairs of animals will sleep under the trees together, and the Goddess of the Hunt and Animals will make a fruit grow there, and the fruit will drop and become a child for that pair of animals.
There are wild mythical animals, including humanoid ones. While mostly all tribe members are human, there are a few humanoid mythical creatures that possess the same levels of intelligence that live among certain tribes (ie, harpies living with and/or among the women of the Water tribes; faun women living with and/or among the women of the Forest tribes, etc). For the beginning, all members will be human, but I think we can think about letting people play as mythical creatures down the line, too.
yeah that's all I got
[[I should add that I'm not looking for any more mods at this point uvu But I'd love to hear from people who'd be interested in joining!]]