Sat Aug 27, 2011, 10:57 AM
Dagou have a reputation for being protective of people — or animals — they hold dear.
They are also considered somewhat backwards and less developed than the other countries.
* Basically, the can be seen as the beast tamers of the world. They're very family-oriented in general and worry more about people than land. Their motto might be seen as something like "Family matters." Of course, this stereotype does not have to be present in your oc. u w u
In the Age of the Lost, the Dagou first washed upon the island of modern Andelour and found it teeming with many animals and rich land. They were comfortable there, but hounded by the Baesh that drove their animal friends wild and senseless. More than anything in the world, this is something the Dagou absolutely abhor, and this more than anything can drive a Dagou into blinding, bloody rage. The first age was very vicious, as the Dagou waged a bitter hunt against the Baesh, tracking them down in small, fast hunting parties and actively making sure no more existed on their island. Because of this, and because they were very nomadic at that time, they did not establish much of a government at all, instead forming traveling groups of people who gathered what they needed and founded territorial borders more than actual villages.
It was thanks to the Dagou's abhorrence against the Baesh that they weathered the following Age of Conflict as well as they did, because there were too few of the Spiteful One left who were capable of standing against the Dagou and animal combinations, especially since contracted beasts could not be tainted and turned into twisted by the Shadow. However, those un-contracted beasts who were twisted were very tragic to the Dagou, who formed a despairing hatred for them. When twisted, beasts lose the freedom of their minds and turn extremely vicious and mean. Even if they speak, it is only words to harm and destroy, and never help. Some of the kinder ones lost their minds entirely and were reduced to madness in a similar manner to when faced with Baesh. They cannot be saved, so death is the only deliverance for them. Andelour's first official army was pulled together when they connected with the other countries to counter-attack against the Shadow. This army remained in control of the Eldermann family, who took the Sacred Hammer and founded the port of Henel as a way to keep international relationships open. They found themselves warring with their neighbors, especially over their precious wood and farmlands to the south and shipping rights. In the end, Henel's access to a larger amount of wood (and their defense of it thereof) granted them the title of Port of the North over both Shaif and An Dufein. However, keep in mind these wars over trading dominance (and border defense) were mostly fought by the Eldermann family and their army. During that time, it was considered the duty of the citizens to purge the land of the remaining twisted.
The Age of Progress saw the nomadic lifestyle start to disappear and the now common villages be established, since the twisted were slowly eradicated and there remained little reason to roam. An era of peace, this age also saw the general move of any civilian from wielding deadly, bladed weapons into focusing on non-lethal, blunt-force weapons, instead. Henel became known for its shipwrights and trading markets, and Andelour became the breadbasket of the world. During this age, the summoner-centric village of Fallowden (originally 'Fallow's Den,' indicative of where it was built) was established in the swamplands for other Dagou to visit and research or learn at.
In the current Age of the Spiral, Henel is suffering from debt to Shaif. Nine years ago, a terrible blight struck their farmlands and caused a famine that lasted for the following six years. In order to feed their people, the Eldermanns met with chiefs from various villages and agreed together that they must needs import food. In order to fund this, the various major cities (led by the Eldermann family and Henel) borrowed money from Shaif under the stipulation to repay it within five years after their famine ended. It is now three years after the famine ended, and Andelour's markets have lagged with the growingly insular trading situation. Thus, they are still quite in debt... If they don't repay Shaif in time, Shaif's king will gain the right to an area of farmland near Bendem's Point. They will also gain control of Henel's market for as long as it takes to repay half of remaining money due them.
Northern Andelour is sheltered by the continent of Shaif, and for the most part it is temperate. It gets a lot of snow in winter, but isn't nearly as cold as Shaif because the ocean regulates its overall temperature a lot more. It warms up in summer to level off at around 75 Fahrenheit (~24 C), rarely getting hotter. It is most noted for its high hills, herders, and the famous port city of Henel (which serves as about the only large city of Andelour, and also is where the Hammer is kept).
Central Andelour is home to swamps and lowlands. The mountains on its eastern border trap moisture from the western oceanic winds, so they get a lot of rain and snow, and even on a nice day it's normal to have mist, fog, or haze. Highly humid. The western side and much of the center is filled with a vast swampland merely called "The Great Swamp." Non-swampy forests are also very common in this region, as well as forest-dwelling clans of Dagou.
Southern Andelour rises slowly up out of the swamps to form fertile hills. Perhaps the most fertile land in the world, it is incredibly conducive to crops, making it the breadbasket of the world. On the southeastern coast there are tall, sheer cliffs pocked with canyons along the edge, called "Cracks of the Earth."
1) Speech with animalsKeep in mind different creatures have different mental capacities. Larger animals and predators have higher mental capacities than rodents or smaller creatures. Smaller birds are hard to hold a conversation with, and sea mammals usually are very hard to understand. The older they get, the more aware of their world they are, the more intelligent they get. (Insects and fish are impossible to converse with.)» Sometimes, animals of the sea, birds, or reptiles will ignore or retaliate with violence to a Dagou. This is especially true if they are predatorial in nature.
2) SummoningUsing their ability to speak with an animal, they can form contracts with land beasts. When they do, the Dagou gives the contract beast a token to wear. The Dagou creates a similar token with the same rune carved onto it, and uses it in summoning.
Dagou summon using a chant — requiring both specific words and limited melody.» All details can be found on the rune's equipment icon here!
Names are backwards, and the middle "name" is actually a title. So it goes [family name] [title] [given name].
odda: great old one (sexless, also most venerated, since it is used most often with anyone older than a great-grandmother/father. Also used in reference to deceased.)
pallo: uncle (not a father; can be unmarried or just without own children yet)
woa: aunt (not a mother; can be unmarried or just without own children yet)
fir: unmarried/single (sexless, not used often - some places might not recognize this word)
er: unmarried/single man
iya: unmarried/single woman
falo: child, boy
yifala: child, girl
nea: baby (sexless)
Houses :: Rural houses are build of mud and stucco-like rough bricks. Their shape is ovular or circular in nature, with straw thatched roofs. Ovens are usually on the side of a building, or are sometimes outside. Houses in Henel often replace the top half of the building with wooden panels and clay tiles, but retain their rounded edges as a throwback to older times. Square corners don't exist.Not everyone decides to live in towns; nomadic life is also common, alone or in small groups of traveling stewards of nature.
Food :: Dagou are herbivorous by nature. While they can eat meat without any side effects (and some may even develop a taste for it), raw meat will make them sick (no sushi!), and their bodies do not take much nutrition from it, cooked or not. Their diet includes a lot of vegetables, grains, and fruit.
Clothes :: Woolen, cotton, and rarely imported silks from Wenstir or It Imlour. They refuse to wear hides or furs, since it is disrespectful to the creature whose skin it once was. Typically light on the legs due to their own fur.
Pets :: Terrestrial (that is, land mammals). It's uncommon to find a Dagou without animals near it, and it's very common for one to pick one up as a pet. Keep in mind pets cannot fight; if you want a fighting companion, consider picking up the summoner subclass. (However, pets can be used in battle - read the pets section for more information!)
Music :: Dagou are famous musically for their tribal chants, which are performed either solo, passing the song from one person to the next, or for special occasions (weddings, new years celebrations, births) they sing together, long chants with incredibly complex harmonies. It is a truly inspiring sound to hear.
Beliefs :: The Dagou hold the circle of life sacred, and have made a study almost to the point of being a religion based around it (but not, because there are no rituals or churches for it — it is merely a common philosophy). They observe the balance in the world around them and are protectors of the various animals that live in the wild around them. Sometimes, if a climate shift or a natural disaster starts to lower the numbers of any given wild species around them, they will go out of their way to cultivate new homes for those creatures. In this way, they see themselves as the stewards of the beasts.
However, the circle of life is bound by both predator and prey. If all the prey lived, then the weak and strong would survive, and the race would not get stronger or evolve to help them survive against predators or the twisted. Likewise, if all the predators could live, then even those not desirable for the continuation of the race would live. The Dagou accept this circle.
Jobs and Demographics
Inner lands of Andelour (the south and center) are almost 100% Dagou. However, in the harbor city of Henel, there is a healthy mixture of Dyndwe, Aefan, and Heuma. Dagou consist of roughly 50% of the population of Henel, with 25% Heuma, 18% Aefan and 7% Dyndwe. The area around Bendem Point has a mix of Dyndwe (~20%), and a small percentage of Heuma (~10%), but few Aefan (~2%).
Common jobs :: Rural: farmers, herders, breeders, explorers, keepers of the balance (they are seen of as a kind of shaman class), singers, messengers, millers, artisans (wood carvings), potters (clay), merchants (grocer and cloth), carpenters/tool makers.
Henel: dock workers, shipwrights (they make boats), patrolmen and -women, accountants, managers, merchants (deal with trade), shopkeepers (sell what they get from merchants), restauranteurs, carpenters, Keepers, innkeepers, singers, bouncers, thieves, sailors, cooks, butchers (typically not Dagou).
Special jobs :: Horse breeder, Traveling Shaman (see below), farmer, Keeper (see bottom)
»Traveling Shaman: Nomads who travel with the specific purpose of observing and protecting the balance of nature. They often have contracts with many beasts to help them serve this purpose. They share names with the military branch, and the two are similar in that they both utilize their summoner powers extensively. However, the focus is different. One can be a civilian traveling shaman without any summon beasts; what is important is that this type of person is a shepherd for animals and works to keep the balance.
Local Rule :: Andelour has a very localized system of government. This is because the Dagou made it a mission to eradicate the twisted from the face of their lands. While the government in Henel was being established during the Age of Conflict and Age of Progress, it became engrossed in the international scene and in protecting their borders. In the meantime, it was the citizens' duty to travel and eradicate the twisted and return balance to the land. In order to accomplish this, the Eldermann family granted the citizens free reign to do this as they pleased, only claiming dominance over their port city of Henel, where they kept the Hammer. Governing in any land not Henel was left up to the citizens themselves, save in times of war or national security.
Now, local customs and courts decide how things are run from one town to the next, and criminal punishment is not standardized throughout the country.
Nobility/Leader :: The Eldermann family controls international trade, the city of Henel, and the military. They are also considered coordinators for the other villages, and often meet with village chiefs to determine how Andelour as a whole will respond to international situations - that is, if that response requires the other villages' cooperation.
The Eldermann is the current head of the family, regardless of actual gender. The process for deciding the next head of the family is long and complicated and involves many familial meetings and discussions. Once chosen, they assume apprenticeship for five-ten years before the Eldermanns change. They are considered a role model, and they make the rules for the port city and act as 'supreme-court' level judge. Other members of the Eldermann family often become judges at common courts, though they are free to take on any job.
The military of Henel evolved during the Shadow War, with the need for a strike force to repel the Shadow and its minions.
However, after the Shadow War the Eldermann of Henel found need of a force that could hold its own against other countries for position in the world. Thus, the Eldermann formalized the Beast Tamers, the Henelese military. It comes in three divisions: Healer/Breeders, Shamans, and Rangers.
Healer/Breeders :: These are the people who breed the war beasts and train them to fight, preparing them for their eventual summoning partner. A subset of this branch involves the healers, who care for both animals and Dagou.
Shaman :: The commanders of the greater war beasts. They can contract with many small ones, or sometimes focus solely on one giant one. They were originally a group of civilian shamans who decided to fight in war, which is where their name is from. However, military shamans are not necessarily focused on keeping the peace, and these days train purely for war purposes only. Thus, their jobs are vastly different (even if their abilities might be similar).
Rangers :: The attack and defense force, they receive a single summon beast from the military and sortie on command with their units to deal with problems. They are typically fast-moving, highly independent units, and are often used as scouts. They are considered the most dangerous, highly-combative units. These units typically are the only ones who learn age-old techniques and weapons used back in the Age of Conflict (read: deadly weapons with blades or spikes, instead of blunt-force weapons meant merely to incapacitate).
Weapons include boomerangs, fists and clubs/hammers — in case they are sortied against an opponent that they do not want to kill, most of them choose weapons that are not edged and can be used to merely incapacitate. Rarely do they bother with shields, but hard leather, bone-carved and wooden armor are common. No shoes, but protectors around the ankles are almost a must to avoid cracked bones around the delicate ankle. Some have chain mail imported from Shaif.Other forces:
Guard of the City, Henel :: Police, basically. Their major jobs involve breaking up bar fights on the warfs and hauling your drunken... butt to the brig for you to sober up (haha). They also deal with smuggling and thieves from time to time, and many have sniffer animals to help them with this job. They are automatically equipped with billy clubs, though some just use their fists. They are forbidden to have sharp/bladed weapons due to the fact that they deal almost exclusively with civilians.
Keepers of the Hammer :: The only unit that is absolutely required to carry sharp weapons, most commonly heavy spears or foot-drawn giant bows (if outside) and knives (for close-quarter fighting). They stay in Henel for the most part to protect the Hammer and the Eldermann family. They typically contract with small, agile and intelligent war beasts, such as hunting cats. Only the most trusted people are allowed to enter this unit.