Islands of the Redmen

General Overview

Location: Uncharted island chain
Language: Ancient Common
Outsider contacts: No diplomatic ties; minimal trading
Physical Traits: Red to Red/brown skin, dark brown eyes, black hair
Myths: No creation myth; left up to personal philosophizing
Political Structure: Theocracy
Legal System: None; disputes settled by personal combat or by religious decrees of a master
Social Structure: Small villages organized around fighting schools; spread out over several small and one large island
Buildings: Mostly wood, except for the Misaii (Mi-sa´-hee), the holy temples/training schools which are made of stone and coral. In times of trouble, all the people will gather at the Misaii.
Technology: Simple. No horses or native metals. Canoes, fishing and sheep breeding
Education: Oral traditions. fighting schools, only priests are educated, with access to tombs and to one small library.
Exports: Embroidered cloth, red coral art and jewelry, spices.
Imports: Metals, prestige items (e.g. dragon´s teeth), gold, technological gadgets
Customs: Bitter but non-lethal rivalries between fighting styles that are often indistinguishable even to the trained fighter, respect for elders and ancestors, contests and games enjoyed by all, tattoos are common among non-priests, dangerous criminals are branded and exiled, vices are tolerated as long as they don´t interfere, outsiders are tolerated if customs are respected, refusal of personal combat is highly dishonorable.

Beliefs and Customs

The Oaxoxans respect their elders and value the skills and knowledge of their hand-to-hand fighters. There are many bitter rivalries between the fighting schools. Use of weapons is considered dishonorable, as is refusing a challenge to fight. Outsiders are tolerated only if they respect local customs. As a theocracy, religion and religious philosophy are the basis of their daily existence.

The Oaxoxans worship a collective divine entity called Ootheca (o-ah-thee´-ka). Ootheca is the combined spirit force of all honored dead. Priests may communicate with the entity through individual dead ancestors. Each priest has a favored ancestor who follows and advises the priest in the name of Ootheca. The people hope to join Ootheca when they die. Nonbelievers will sink into oblivion except for strong willed ones who become independent spirits upon their death. Some of these spirits are evil, others are only mischievous.

The primary goal of the faith is to encourage respect, if not worship of one´s ancestors by all people. The secondary purpose is to seek knowledge and attain enlightenment.

The schools differ not only in fighting styles, but in the nature of the knowledge which they seek. Some seek to glorify the truth of their particular fighting style through combat and personal challenges. Others seek to divine the origins of their people. Some ask esoteric questions as to the meaning of their existence. One very small school desires to determine the most desirable ratio of men to sheep.

Each school has one master, all the masters form a council to rule the islands. There is much conflict among the council members, creating an occasional lack of governmental productivity.

Clerical duties and requirements

Alignment: Chaotic Good, Neutral Good or true Neutral
Min. Stats: Wisdom 11 (16 for 10th+ level), Dexterity 12
Gender: Any
Weapons: None permitted against people. Required: Martial arts, dagger Recommended: Quarterstaff, oriental weapons
Proficiencies: Required: Read/Write/Speak Common and Ancient Common, Tumbling
Duties: See Goals. Also officiate contests, spread knowledge of ancestors to lay people. Officiate weddings and funerals. Embalm the dead and maintain tombs.
Rights: Permitted to speak with the dead (blasphemy for non-priets). Access to tombs and to the library.
Restrictions: No armor. Weapons can only be used against animals, monsters, and supernatural beings. Can never own more than they can carry. Respect for other faiths. Only get followers on home island.
Spheres: Major: All, Necromantic, Astral, Thought
Minor: Divination, Travelers
Powers: Detect graves within 60´ (30´ through wood or stone; 10´ through thick stone or earth).
5th level: Can go without food & water 1 day/level. Gain 1 language/level (through 8th level)
7th level: Battle Awareness (no penalties for rear attacks, +1 to initiative rolls)
9th level: Enhanced Combat Reflex (dexterity check before saving throw to avoid missile attacks, including arrows, magic missiles, lightning bolts, fireballs, etc. -4 to dex to avoid spells; -8 for normally automatic hitting spells)
10th level: Prophecy

Recent History of Oaxoxa

Oaxoxa has had little more than incidental contact with the outside world. The contact that did occur was in the form of merchants coming to Oaxoxa and priests traveling to the mainland. International relations are of little consequence to these people who are generally more issue oriented in their politics.

The clans of Oaxoxa are now at relative peace with only a few blood feuds brewing. This has not always been the case. Fifty years ago, a major conflict erupted when an ambitious ex-priest by the name of Cassius tried to establish a civil government on one of the smaller islands. Cassius had the support of several clans who resented the religious hierarchy. When the common people rose up with weapons in hand, the combined priesthood managed to put down the revolt and thus proved their superior ability to rule. The victory has been accepted by all and relations between the populous will be smooth until the religious hierarchy is perceived to be weak again.

Several issues are currently important to the Redmen. Trade has recently slacked off due to believed pirate activity. Priests have begun accompanying traders on their vessels upon request. There are also concerns that the livestock breeding pool is too inbred and many have voiced the desire for increased trade with the outside world to obtain new breeding stock. An increasing number of outsiders are living in the largest town. Their lack of respect for local customs has some citizens up in arms. On the religious front, the Council of Masters is worried about reports from travelers concerning those who are dead but are not dead. There are some who say that in ancient times, it was the duty if the Redmen to seek out and destroy them, but if such were the case, any knowledge of these events are now little more than scary stories told to children.