The Mammutcha culture is a general overview of the contemporary culture of Mammutaq, specifically pertaining to those likely to be involved in the crossroads setting.
Background Skills: Handle Animal, Ride, Survival, Swim
Native Language: Mammutcha Yatii
The mammutchadinne, as they refer to themselves, are a native people with deep olive-colored skin. Typically, they have thick, straight, black or dark brown hair, and brown eyes, and oval-shaped faces.
Mammutcha clothing is traditionally made of caribou hide, with the boots and pants stuffed with mats of mammut fur for extra warmth. Since trade with the fusangren have provided them with the techniques and supplies to shear, process, and spin mammut wool, the typical garb has been modified to a caribou-hide over garment and knitted wool undergarments. Mammut wool is widely known as tsawo, and is relatively thick and coarse, but it’s a very durable fiber, and the natural oils make it very warm and highly water-repellant. Wool-bred mammut have finer, more luxurious tsawo. Mammoth hide garments are very highly prized, and often end up being worn by shamans or medicine men.
The land of mammutaq is crisscrossed with rivers, streams, and lakes, and there is almost never a shortage of fresh water. As such, bathing regularly is considered important, particularly in the warm months. Mammutcha families bathe, on average, twice per lunar cycle in nearby lakes or rivers. These bathing trips are an opportunity for bonding among the family and between the human and the mammut, who often wash each other, with the human scrubbing the mammut‘s fur and the mammut splashing or spraying water. Mammutchadinne often have fine combs made from ivory or wood, and they brush both themselves and their mammut regularly.
Mammutchadinne are very closely bonded to the mammut they share their lives with. The mammut is regarded somewhere between pet, sibling, spouse, and deity. Mammutchadinne are responsible for their mammut like one is responsible for a pet, they have the shared childhood of a sibling, they spend their entire life together like one does with a spouse, and the mammut provides food, warmth, strength, and transportation, giving it an almost deific amount of power in one’s life.
The daily life of the mammutchadinne is relatively simple. In the early morning, the humans eat a meal of smoked venison or fish and berries while the mammut browse on pine needles near the tent. Then the male rides out to hunt or fish for the day and the female stays near the home to knit, sew, and gather berries. Some southern communities use their mammut to clear trees, pull plows and fertilize fields, which can yield quite impressive returns that can be used to feed larger communities.
Arts and Crafts Edit
Most mammutcha crafts are descendend from mammut products. Ivory carvings of immense beauty, marvelous tsawo garments and tapestries. They also do a great deal of leatherworking with caribou hide and fur.
Technology and Magic Edit
Mammutcha technology is pretty much on par with their neighbors, though they do have a few specialized weapons and tools to accompany their mammut-based lifestyle, such as a long spear designed to be used on ground targets from mammut-back. Their magic has a few dramatic advancements, however. Seeking deeper connection with the mammut, the mammutchadinne have a strong traditions of druids, and have developed a variety of new spells. This includes the ritual to alter the calf of a pregnant mammut, a ritual that makes a tree regenerate broken limbs or stripped leaves, to help feed mammut in urbanized areas with little greenery, and techniques that make certain spells more effective when cast on mammut.
Love is complicated in a paired relationship such as with the mammut. If the human partners find love, their mammut are not always of the appropriate gender to pair off as well, and they may even butt heads at times. A family with similarly-gendered mammut, or mammut who do not get along, may have to breed their mammut with a neighboring family’s, which creates a bond between the groups that fosters a sense of community among the mammutchadinne.
War within the mammutchadinne is extremely rare. However, they are no strangers to battle, using their mammut as living war engines. The mammutchadinne ride to battle atop mammut. One of the most effective arrangements is to have two riders on one mammut armed with bows and arrows. One sits behind the shoulders, facing back and shooting anyone who approaches from the rear and sides. The other faces forward, guiding the mammut and using his bow to pick off targets fleeing to the sides of the mammut‘s path. The mammut simply barrels forward and gores or tramples anyone who gets to close.
The mammutchadinne regard death as a great loss, the absence of one made all the more poignant by the remaining half of the pairing. When half the mammut-human bond dies, the remaining member is viewed as incomplete. The common belief is that the bond connects the souls of the two, and when one dies it takes a portion of the survivor’s with it as it goes. Indeed, on the spirit world, the soul of the dead one’s spirit is often accompanied by a ghostly facsimile of its partner.
Society and Culture Edit
Mammutcha culture has changed drastically since the mammut first left Where We Do Not Hunt and arrived in their lands.
Mammutcha leadership was originally filled by strong hunters who could provide for the local tribe and showed strong leadership. Since the fusangren and european traders have begun making contact and trading more intensely for mammut ivory, tsawo, and fertilizer in recent years, the leadership role demands greater and greater business savvy. These merchant-cheifs are a new breed and many in the tribe dislike the change from their traditional way of life.
Social Structure Edit
Mammutchadinne live in nuclear family groups, with a husband, a wife, their children, and all the paired mammut of the family. These families are organized into local bands of four or five families, usually related somehow, such as siblings with their own families. The band often works together for group hunting or fishing or creating a new lodge for a new family, but each is largely independent. Then there are regional bands of multiple local bands, who gather together when there is a particular event, such as a festival, or the spawning season for fish in a certain lake.
Family his very important to the mammutchadinne, and the mammut are as much a part of the family as anyone. Attacking a man’s mammut is the same as attacking his brother, or his child, and he will generally react the same way in either case. Mammutchadinne generally recognize each other as part of the same extended family, descended from the same mythical ancestor, and are unlikely to clash unless there is some relatively serious transgression. The children in a mammutcha family are raised by the women.
Mammutcha traditions are many and varied, but one of the most important ones is the mammut dance. Performed in spring after the first bloom of flowers in an area, the dance is performed by humans and mammut together. Humans paint their faces with colorful dyes, and the mammut have their fur temporarily colored by bright powders. The humans ride the mammut in complex patterns while wearing elaborate ceremonial masks representing different powerful spirits of the region.
Other Races Edit
Mammutchadinne have a relatively small number of giant-born among them, from intermarriages with the tuniit. Spirit-born among the mammutchadinne are most commonly descended from Mammut, but there are a few children of Caribou or various fish spirits. Innunguaq are reasonably rare but they’re not unheard of.
Mammutchadinne religion is similar to many other dene groups. They lack any universal creator-deity that brought the universe into existence, though they have a wide variety of deific figures and powerful spirits. Though not truly a god, the figure they hold in highest reverence is Mammutgoheitaa, ‘Mammut-Born One’ a woman that was half mammut and half-human. She led the mammut south from a mysterious paradise in the mountains to the lands of the mammutchadinne, in order to better the lives of the humans.
History and Folklore Edit
When the mammut first arrived in the lands known a mammutaq, the humans there hunted them. Some say that a mammut-born female brought forth the idea of humans and mammut living together as brothers, some say her existence was just a myth. But whatever, or whoever, introduced the idea, it took nearly 500 years to bring the mammut from their primeval form to the domesticated state they are in today.
The mammutchadinne speak Mammutcha Yatii, an Athabascan language. Once just a small offshoot of the dene languages, the language’s importance has grown as the lands of mammutaq have grown. Now the mammutchadinne control an empire rivaling the size of the tuniit, and their language is important.
Mammutcha Translates to Mammut-Rib. This word is used as a descriptor to describe various things related to the culture and people, and ties back to their folkloric origin of being the descendants of a mammut-man being. Mammutchadinne Translates to Mammut-Rib People. Used to describe people with the mammutcha culture. Mammutaq A Tuniit word meaning ‘Land of Mammut’. This is used to describe the area that the mammutchadinne live in. Tsawo A mammutcha Yatii word for mammoth wool. Tsawo-dee is the finer, more luxurious wool from wool-bred mammut.
Written Language Edit
Mammutcha Yatii did not have a written language until the expanding area of mammutaq came into contact with tuniitaq and learned the runic alphabet from them. Writing is still highly uncommon, but it does exist, usually carved into mammoth tusks but wood isn’t uncommon either.
Mammutcha names are shared between the human and the mammut they are paired with, though they have different suffixes that can reveal a great amount about the relationship between the mammut and the human. The suffixes can indicate which was born first, or if they are of the same or different genders. There‘s also the suffix -gok‘ee, which is attached to the survivor when one of the pair dies. It roughly translates as ‘half of one‘.
Cities and Settlements Edit
Mammutcha cities are relatively rare, and usually end up coming into being in the more southern portions of mammutaq, where the mammuts can plow and fertilize the farms necessary to produce a surplus of food and support the division of labor. Cities often have a number of regenerating trees spaced throughout to feed the mammut of those who live within the city.
Mammutaq’s economy is driven by mammut products. Tsawo, fertilizer, and particularly ivory from ivory mammut. All three trade extremely well to both fusangren and European traders. In exchange, they gain food, iron tools and weapons, firearms… Some particularly wealthy trade-cheifs are known to mount cannons on their mammut, though the mammut generally don’t appreciate the recoil.
Example city Edit
Mammutaq‘s largest permanent settlement is known as Yellowtusk, on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake. The city is known as yellowtusk because there are copper deposits nearby. A common way to display one‘s wealth in the city is a set of copper sheathes for a mammut‘s tusks. The city trades this copper ore in addition to all the usual mammut products. It‘s supported partially by this trade and partially be a few small farms around it‘s outskirts.
Creating Mammutcha Characters Edit
Mammutcha characters offer characters an option unheard of in the real world, and can be extremely flavorful characters that add depth to the setting. When making a mammutcha character, keep in mind your character’s relation to the mammut. If the character has a mammut companion, were they born before or after it, or even born on the same day? If they don’t, how did they lose it? Were they never paired? Did the mammut die?
Special Options Edit
Mammutcha characters have a number of special feats and spells at their disposal.
Mammutcha Characters Edit
The majority of mammutcha characters are either hunters or druids, with mammut companions. Others may become medicine men, or brutes emulating the strength of the mammut, or runecasters.