The Sasquatch culture is a general overview of the contemporary culture of the Sasquatch people, specifically pertaining to those likely to be involved in the crossroads setting. There are two subcultures: [Ha’ah’oO] and [Oo'wa'Oo].
Background Skills: Acrobatics, Climb, Knowledge (Nature), Perception, Stealth, Survival
Background Feats: Elusive, Endurance, Hurl, Lucid Dreamer, Musk, Nature’s Armory, Rugged Northerner
Native Language: Ha'ah'oO, Ha'oo'px, Oo'wa'Oo'px, Oowoo'a, Wahah'a, Oo'px'huu
Bonus Languages: Zhongwen
Mandates: Retrieving a body for proper burial
Taboos: Revealing the location of a settlement
Special: Sasquatches of all sasquatch cultures are trained to move through their environment without impediment and to remain hidden. They select one of the following terrain types as their Native Terrain: Cold, Forest, Jungle, Mountain, or Swamp. While in their native terrain, they gain a +2 competence bonus to stealth checks, survival checks, and can move at their normal speed over natural difficult terrain. Magically manipulated terrain affects them normally.
Sasquatches are tall, muscular hominids covered in long, shaggy fur. They stand between six and a half and eight feet tall, weighing between 250 and 600 pounds, males being slightly taller and heavier than females. Their shaggy fur is usually some shade of brown, ranging from a lighter brown to almost black. White fur is very rare, but it periodically appears. Males tend to grow longer fur, particularly on their arms, creating a draping curtain of fur. This fur covers a sasquatch entirely but for the soles of the feet, the palms and fingers, and the face. Sasquatches have a number of apelike features, including a small crest at the peak of the skull, long, sharp canines, and slightly protruding jaws. Females do not possess breasts, except during mating season (summer), and while pregnant or nursing. Females are fertile year-round, but most mating takes place during the *summer. A sasquatch pregnancy lasts 11 months, the child’s development slowing to almost a stop during hibernation. In winter, most sasquatches enter a state of hibernation until the spring thaw, though they can avoid entering hibernation if they continue to eat regularly and stay active and warm.
Most sasquatches do not wear clothes in their everyday lives. They typically rely on their dense fur to protect them against the weather, and they have little societal pressure to cover their bodies. Many will wear simple jewelry, made from small vines or leather strips woven or knotted together, occasionally strung with amulets or beads of stone, bone, or shell. Some groups will wear belts, harnesses, or bags, to help them carry supplies or tools with them. Some will wear loin cloths, particularly those groups that have peaceful contact with humans.
Sasquatches, particularly males, tend to develop a powerful, musky odor if they don't regularly wash themselves thoroughly. Most societies do so, washing themselves in rivers, streams, or ponds near their villages approximately twice a lunar cycle. Clans groom communally frequently, picking clean the fur of their clan-mates, particularly the areas a sasquatch can't see or clean on their own. Some groups that have more trade with human groups have access to combs, which prove to be all but invaluable to the grooming process. Parasites and insects groomed out of fur are killed, not eaten.
Sasquatches are a secretive people, always keeping a wary eye out. Many may see them as skittish or jumpy, but in truth, when among their own people and feeling secure, they can be quite laid-back. The near-extinction that drove sasquatch communities into hiding in the first place still affects their day-to-day lifestyle in a profound way, and they are slow to trust newcomers, and even slower to trust outsiders. But while they may be quick to jump away from danger, when pressed, they can be ferocious enemies.
Sasquatch morality is based around the principle that secrecy is safety. Sasquatches usually want nothing more than to be left alone to live with their communities in peace, and their taboos and mandates center around keeping hidden and keeping the community from being discovered however possible.
The daily life of a sasquatch is taken up by the activities of foraging for food. For the most part, sasquatches are herbivorous, subsisting on fruits, nuts, berries, leaves, and even certain kinds of tree bark. However, they are opportunistic omnivores at heart, and will eat small animals, insects, and eggs if the opportunity presents itself. They may even hunt larger animals such as deer if times are particularly lean. The remainder of their time is spent socializing and interacting with the other sasquatches in the community. Most sasquatches are nocturnal, active and awake during the hours of darkness, stirring as the sun begins to set.
Arts and Crafts Edit
Sasquatch art pieces are rare, and usually small enough to be worn around or easily stowed. Instead, most of their artists work in intangible mediums, such as stories, song, or among the magically talented, illusion. Those that do work in materials usually are carvers, working with wood or stone to sculpt fine, detailed icons and figures. These carvings can usually be found on necklaces or other jewelry. Sasquatch also have painters, who create works of art on the walls of their caves with natural dyes.
Sasquatches are somewhat behind the curve on technology. Their tools and weaponry are simple in design but always well-made. Sasquatches rarely contact other groups, so there is little spread of ideas, which can limit their advancement. Most sasquatch communities lack industry and only a few trade freely with human groups, so they have no access to advanced materials such as iron, or machined goods. However, most have no need of such technology. They live just fine with stone or wood tools, and a spear can be just as lethal as a bullet.
Sasquatch magic is quite advanced, but not quite as showy as many native societies. Typically their spellcasters focus on illusion and abjuration, both having an important place in the daily life of the sasquatch. Abjuration protects the caves and the people during the winter sleep, and illusion helps keep them from being discovered. Some spellcasters may use illusion to illustrate stories or songs as they perform them.
Sasquatches believe strongly in love and romance of all kinds, but they have little cultural need for 'marriages' as most human groups have. Many sasquatches never form any sort of bond, and quite enjoy a life of “fooling around” without attachments. There are three kinds of bonds in most sasquatch societies. The first is the loosest bond, essentially a formal declaration of affection. Both parties can continue to fool around, and may share partners, and either can break it off at any time. The second is a bit more formal, more akin to 'going steady'. The two are typically faithful to each other, but the bond can be dissolved by either party, and they remain in their original clans. The third is the closest to marriage, where the two officially bond themselves. The male joins the female's clan, and the two may be bonded indefinitely, though the two can 'divorce' for a number of reasons.
Sasquatches prefer any number of alternatives before actual war is undertaken. Typically, the first resort when confronted is to retreat and disappear. They rush off into their home territory and attempt to evade their pursuers, disappearing into the wilderness. If suspicions are raised, they may make an extra effort at home, keeping the noise down and keeping most of the community inside the cave until the outsiders lose interest in the search. Should they be tracked down, they then resort to scare tactics, attempting to intimidate or chase off those who get too close, to keep them away from the heart of the settlement. If even that fails, then they pack up and move, abandoning the settlement and moving elsewhere to find a new place to call home. Should they continue to be pursued, though, that is when the warfare begins. Sasquatch favor guerrilla tactics and night-time attacks, hurling rocks and spears at enemies from a distance, using their mastery of the terrain and darkvision to move around their foes and set up ambushes. They may also launch quick strikes against enemy encampments and villages, sneaking as close as they can before rushing in, sabotaging and breaking as much as they can before the enemy forces can properly mobilize, then vanishing back into the wilds. They generally don't kill their targets, they just aim to make it unpleasant enough that they give up the effort of attacking them. Though, if the attackers have done something unforgivable, such as slaying the young ones, they may adopt more of a 'scorched earth' tactic.
Sasquatches regard death much the same way humans do, with great sadness and a great deal of mourning, particularly if the dead one was a child. Sasquatches seek to honor their dead as much as they can, and will seek to recover their fallen whenever possible, even if that means launching a mission into enemy territory. Members of the fallen's clan will dig a grave somewhere out on the periphery of their territory, and then bury the dead one, often with some of their treasured possessions and a single tree seed in their hands, clasped over their chest. They then plant seeds atop the grave mound, usually annual flowers of some sort, but herbs are not uncommon. The seeds help to decompose the body, and the skeleton is usually destroyed in the process. Some communities use fruit seeds or nuts and edible herbs to mark the graves, allowing the fallen to help nourish the clan even after their death, but other groups find this distasteful. Sasquatch graves are scattered all around there are no designated 'graveyards'. Sasquatch elders that are well cared for can sometimes live into their 70s.
Sasquatch clans are led by two leaders each, the leaders of each clan in a settlement coming together into a council for the community as a whole. The leaders are known by different terms in different languages, but they roughly translate as 'hunt chief' and 'wise chief'. The hunt chief is in charge of the day-to-day survival of the tribe. They ensure there are enough gatherers to feed everyone, that food is distributed to those who can't gather, that there are enough supplies for everyone in the clan, and that everyone keeps to the rules of secrecy and stealth. In general, the day-to-day needs of the clan. The wise chief is in charge of the long-term survival of the clan. They are usually a priest, druid, or chosen one, and they are in charge of major things like making contact with other settlements, determining when and where the clan moves, determining who it is safe to trade with, and making sure the spirits are appeased. They are often in charge of educating the young ones in the traditions of the sasquatch, and may be the only resident magician for a clan.
Social Structure Edit
The smallest unit in sasquatch culture is the clan. A clan is centered around a direct female lineage. Any child born to a female of a given clan is part of the clan, and some males may be adopted into the clan with permanent bonds. Most clans consist of a “greatmother”, the direct ancestor of all members of the clan, and two or three generations of her descendants. Her male siblings may be part of the clan as well. When the direct genetic link is broken by death, clans split, though they may remain in the same settlement together. Members of the same clan are forbidden to mate. An average clan consists of between 20 and 40 individuals. Multiple clans live together in a single settlement, usually from 2 to 5 clans.
A sasquatch's clan is their family, and they are as close to them as one can be. The child of any female in a clan is considered the responsibility of the entire clan, and it's not uncommon for there to be a handful of young ones in any given clan at any given time, being passed around among relatives to be cared for. There is one duty that is always the mother's, and that is breast-feeding. Where a human child usually has a mother and a father, a sasquatch child is nurtured by their mother and the rest of the clan. Sasquatch children reach physical maturity at 12 winters, but most groups don’t consider them fully adults until 16 winters.
Sasquatches have many varied traditions, in many different regions. One common, almost universal tradition is the Sleepers’ Feast. As autumn comes to an end and the cold sets in, the sasquatches go out and gather food, stockpiling for a week. Berries, fruit, roots, tubers, bark, whatever is available. They may even hunt animals to round out the menu. When the gathering is complete, they hold an enormous feast that may last for days. There is singing, and storytelling, and quite a bit of fooling around, which lasts until the food runs out. When it does, the sasquatch make their way into the cave, the wards are set, the winter guards posted, and the entire settlement settles in to hibernate through the winter.
Other Races Edit
Sasquatches generally don't interact closely with other races. They are exceptionally nervous about contact with humans in particular, due to their history of interactions with them. Some other races may be able to make peaceful contact, but it depends on the settlement in question. No race can freely walk among sasquatch settlements, not even other sasquatch.
Sasquatches are firmly religious, but the exact nature of their relationship with the spirits changes from culture to culture. Some have almost no formal religion, simply offering respect and appeasement to the local spirits. Others are much more formalized, naming mythic sasquatch deities and formalizing their beliefs. And still others, particularly those who have close contact with neighboring human groups, may adopt their religious structures. •History and Folklore Long ago, sasquatches were the only hominids of the new world. They built empires and nations nearly as grand as the nations of the humans who now inhabit the land. But there was a climate shift which destroyed their way of life, rendering the once great nations into scattered bands of survivors. Then humans arrived on the scene, and the two groups clashed. Humans came out on top, and nearly drove the weakened sasquatch into extinction before they began to hide in the deep wilds. Sasquatch have various versions of this tale, heavily altered by generations of repetition and reinterpreted through the lens of storytelling.
Sasquatches speak many languages, their root languages splintering into many different tongues as the sasquatches scattered and separated into isolated groups. Coincidentally, all surviving sasquatch languages are descended from the same language family, perhaps indicating some truly ancient root language. Sasquatch languages sound, to human ears, like simple ape vocalizations, hoots, whoops, screeches, and kissing sounds. However, the have a hidden depth, combining tone and sound together to create context. For example, while one particular sequence of hoots and howls may indicate movement, the tone can explain moving quickly through water.
“On The Plains” - a sasquatch idiom meaning that one is exposed, and therefore vulnerable. Sasquatches treat being found similar to how most other races treat being lost. Sasquatch A loanword, descended from a Halkomelem word for the wild men, s'asq'ets. Most sasquatch languages have their own words for themselves, and many different cultures refer to them by different terms.
Written Language Edit
Sasquatches do not have a written language of their own. There are no human written languages suitable to write in sasquatch languages, as many of the sounds involved are impossible for humans to replicate.
Sasquatch naming traditions vary from place to place and culture to culture. Some use descriptive names, describing unusual traits or accomplishments of the individual. Some use poetic names, comparing a child to a beautiful flower or a brilliant light. Still others combine the names of their parents into a new name, using a mixture syllables.
Cities and Settlements Edit
Sasquatches settle in different ways in different places. Most settlements consist of between 2 and 5 clans, sometimes up to 200 individuals. Clans may leave or join settlements from time to time, depending on space and food available. Most settlements are based around a natural cave systems, either seasonally or year-round. They use these caves as shelter and to remain out of sight. Sasquatches line their caves with sleeping nests, large bowl-shaped beds made of sticks, leaves, fur, and other materials, big enough for a mother and child to share comfortably through the night.
Sasquatch settlements don't trade often, not even with other settlements. They usually function on a subsistence economy, with each individual providing for themselves, any surplus being used to support those of the clan who can't supply food for themselves, such as elders and young ones. There are very few specialists, most craftsman working on their crafts in the spare time.
Example City Edit
Ho'uu'Ah, which roughly translates to 'Endless Caverns' is the largest sasquatch settlement in the new world, consisting of 20 clans and almost a thousand sasquatches. While humans struggle to find their way through the lightless depths of the seemingly endless cave, the sasquatches have no trouble, and there seem to be very few monstrous residents to be found. The land above is rich with fruit, berries, and game in the summer months, and there's nearly no end to the space down below. And in lean times, there are always bats to be found. The massive sasquatch population prompts the humans of the area to avoid the caverns for fear of the monsters that live there, and the sasquatch are not particularly eager to push them. The endless caverns are littered with sleeping bowls wherever there's flat ground to support them, and ropes and bridges are scattered all throughout, bridging gaps and ridges where travel is difficult. No matter how deep the sasquatches go, the caverns seem to keep going, but some elders warn that going too deep will awaken something they cannot put back to sleep.
Creating Sasquatch Characters Edit
When creating a sasquatch character, carefully consider the area the sasquatch was raised, how the region would affect them, and how they stand among their people. Was their clan particularly isolated, or did they share space with many clans? What sort of environment did they grow up in, and how did they relate to their surroundings? Did they have any unusual contact with outsiders? And perhaps most importantly, what caused them to leave their home settlement and clan?
Special Options Edit
Sasquatch characters have a wide variety of special options. They select a native terrain, which allows them to move without impediment and hide more effectively in the terrain they were raised on. They also have a number of feats available to them. Many males take the Musk feat when they reach maturity, particularly those in the southeastern regions of Vespuccia, the strength of the musk believed to be associated with their potency and strength. The Elusive feat allows sasquatches to move even more freely, without fear of detection and without fear of being tracked. Many more aggressive sasquatch settlements will have many who select the Hurl or Nature’s Armory feats. Some sasquatch may even have the honor of becoming a winter guard, one of the elite sasquatches who stands vigil over the sasquatches through the long winter’s sleep.
Sasquatch as Characters Edit
Sasquatch characters are extremely strong, and have a powerful presence wherever they find themselves. But despite this, they may be jumpy, shy, and are almost always somewhat secretive about their home and history. Sasquatches make frightfully effective warriors, but most sasquatch adventurers are hunters who adapt their skills to combat, warriors being comparatively rare. Rogues are not particularly uncommon, either. Most sasquatch spellcasters are warlocks, chosen ones, or priests.