The Red Bear Clan is a barbaric society based in southern Durid. They are a proud culture, having been here centuries before the Hurvans, whom they despise as encroachers who are infested with misguided priests of weak gods and demon wizards. They are primarily hunter/gatherers who also trade with nearby pirates for metals and food. A member of the Red Bear lives by strength and willpower, trusting only in his own courage and, if his prayers and sincere, the blessings of Sunube, Father Earth.
The Red Bear, a society of approximately 30,000 individuals is ruled by King Damek, who is the thirteenth generation of the current ruling family. They are divided into clans of extended families of twenty to thirty each. Clans are run by a chieftain who inherits the right to rule. (When a Chieftain dies without heirs, the rule of the clan is decided by mortal combat.)
Society is male-dominated and warlike. They value fighting prowess, care for their children and respect their elders. Men and women alike are trained to fight and hunt (this has been true since ancient times; legend tells that the tribe was nearly wiped out by orcs once while the men were out hunting), but women must put down their arms after being married. Men are permitted as many wives as they can support. Women are considered as property - a girl is owned by her father until a suitable bride price is agreed upon. Thereafter she serves her husband. Widows and orphaned girls are inherited by nearest male relative (or chieftain). Women can not own property.
A man´s worth is decided by three things --
The Red Bear Clan recognizes only the true gods -- Sunube and his woman, Akodi. They worship Sunube, the life-giving creator, all-powerful god of the earth and all living things. The clan respects the soil, rocks, and mountains --stonemasonry is considered one of the most blessed of crafts, and special significance is attached to various gems. (see list)
Each clan supports a male shaman who provides religious guidance and conducts sacred ceremonies/rituals such as weddings, internments, baptisms, and coming of age trials. Upon reaching adulthood, each clan member must undertake a quest/hunt in which they must find a sacred rock which, after being blessed by the shaman, will be worn over their heart for the rest of their lives. this rock, called the Soul Stone, represents the individual´s favor in the eyes of Sunube and, when buried with them in the soil, will guide them to the afterlife.
Since the soil/stone in sacred, all tools used to dig in the soil or work the stone must first be blessed by a shaman. To use an unblessed tool is considered blasphemous.
All Clan members who die must be buried in the arms of Sunube (in the ground), and covered with a cairn of rocks. The soil is also used as a way of cleansing -- a clan member who wishes to atone for a sin or failure must cover themselves in mud and pray for forgiveness until dawn.
The Red Bear Clan has been given many signs and omens which Sunube has given them the wisdom to interpret. For example, the owl is a symbol of death. If an owl hoots three times it is a sign that someone will die before the next dawn. The snake is sacred, as being the closest creature to the soil. To kill a snake is considered blasphemy. to survive a snake bite is seen as a sign of victory assured. To see an owl kill a snake is a sign of impending doom. Rocks also reveal much knowledge. A falling rock means that Sunube points the way. An earthquake is a sing that Sunube is waking and the age of Dasht-e Kavir is near. Dasht-e Kavir is the time when Sunube and Akodi will awaken to return and punish their children for their arrogance in taking over the world. All who worship the child gods will have to prove themselves in a time of strife which will see the destruction of the weak and the evil. Though all dead are buried with honor and ceremony, warriors who die in battle are given a special place of honor atop Mount Vexus. The mountain itself symbolizes honor and glory. The bear represents strength and power; to wear the pelt of a bear slain with a dagger is a symbol of great courage. A stag with full antlers is a sign of fertility; a woman who kills one will give birth to twins who will become great warriors, but she will die in childbirth. A man who kills one will father many sons. The raven is a symbol of deceit, the mountain lion represents war/conflict, and the bat is a sign of good fortune.
Precious rocks have the following symbolisms:
|agate||restful & safe sleep|
|amber||wards off disease|
|beryl||wards off foes|
|bloodstone||controls the weather|
|carbuncle||grants the power of dragon sight|
|carnelian||protection from evil|
|cats eye agate||protection from spirits|
|chalcedony||wards off undead|
|chrysoberyl||protection from possession|
|chrysolite||wards off spells|
|chrysoprase||grants invisibility to one´s enemy|
|diamond||safety in river crossings|
|hematite||gives strength in battle|
|jade||skill in stone cutting|
|jasper||protection from venom|
|malachite||protection from falling|
|sunstone||protection from fire|
|onyx||puts fear into the enemy|
|peridot||wards off enchantments|
|star sapphire||protection from demons|
|turquoise||never fall off horse|