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The Shawsheen Tribe
Nanook
The Shawsheen Nation

Leader

War-Chief Ahiga Wayra "He who fights with the Winds"

Founded

Third Age

Territory

Eagle's Peak Area

Capital

Nomadic people

Language

Shawsheen, a bastardised form of Gorajo.

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The Shawsheen are a small tribe of about 300, once in far greater numbers but now diminished due to diseases spread by settlers.  They are based upon Iroquois, Pawnee, and Comanche Native Americans, with a slight twist of Runescape lore.

History

The Shawsheen have a long, tragic history to those involved in it.  Their story involves many times where large amounts of the populace have died, leaving a people who cherish life where it exists to the naked eye.

The Grand Empire of Zaros

Zaros' Peasantry were not well respected in the world, and few were more peasant-like than the farmers.  Stuck serving Vampyres, Demons, and Mahjarrat, Humans who led were an exception to the rule like Viggora.  Even Viggora felt the human race was being oppressed, so he sided with Zamorak to kill Zaros.

The Shawsheen of Forinthry, not even present in their current form, were no exception to this rule.  They worked fields.  They took care of animals.  They broke bones, got sick, or went hungry and died.  There were no old peasants, or bold peasants.  Both were killed one way or another.  Then, something glorious happened near the end of this time, spreading like wildfire.  Zaros was killed by Zamorak, in his own throne room.  The news spread quickly, but what followed was potentially far worse.  Widespread chaos began to consume the Empire as it tore itself apart.  A small grouping of people attacked their Zarosian Mahjarrat lord, who opened a rift to a new realm to escape.  This rift, in turn, spit out a blue skinned, horned creature.  A Gorajo, specifically the Ramokee Stormbringer.  The people looked to this strange, blue creature, who spoke inside their minds to their amazement.

The Ramokee Stormbringer was exiled by his people, not for a crime, but for being too radical in his beliefs.  He wished to explore to new realms and teach what the Gorajo had learned.  He was granted his wish by the Elders, but they did not want him to return or take another with him.

It was here the Shawsheen escaped the dark times, the Ramokee leading them over the Mountains, where no armies marched.

The Age of Migration

The Shawsheen call the age that followed the Age of Migration.  Their people, throughout the Third Age, trekked out of the Wilderness and into the region we now call Piscatoris.  The path was brutal, but the movement was slow enough that people survived, and even thrived.  It was this nomadic lifestyle that brought the Shawsheen warriors into being.  The group of twenty prospered, becoming a few hundred over the centuries.

Upon finally reaching Piscatoris, there were no original Shawsheen left.  They choose the name themselves, from the Gorajo's word for People of the River, feeling they had survived the worst and ascended past it.  The Gorajo agreed, imparting his last gifts.  He taught them to enhance their bows, make Tomahawks, and craft summoning tools.

The Shawsheen were then left alone, building their society once more.

The Age of Desperation

Once the Shawsheen entered a prosperous state, they had a hearty 10,000 or so tribals at the end of the Third Age.  They knew to hunt, fish, and their religion had taken form.

With the Fourth Age imbound, it wasn't long until the Shawsheen had their first encounter with another society, already developing well compared to Misthalin, Fremennik explorers came in the cold of winter to the shores, cutting down trees to build houses of wood and stones to build altars to their spirits.  The Shawsheen noticed soon, fighting off the Fremennik and their long, metal "claws" due to sheer numbers, and their arrow-work.  The War-Chief Sturdy Oak led the men to battle, the Shawsheen winning the day.  However, those who lived by the coast initially were slain, dropping the population down to around 9,400.

After this first encounter with metal men, the Shawsheen decided it was best to form some kind of leadership, choosing the council.

Within another 200 years, Saradominists exploring the world came to discover the Shawsheen, finding their area rich in resources.  Disease ridden blankets were given to the people in exchange for tools, killing many of the Shawsheen.  Those who survived the plague that followed were hardened, dropping the population down to a few hundred.  But those few hundred were powerful, immune to the diseases of the South but with all the functionality of their ancestors.  Remaining mobile, the Shawsheen swore that the "Silver Star Men" would never threaten their people again.

However, the same can not be said of the Merrimac tribe, a group of people nearby who converted to Saradominism! Small skirmishes happening between the two territories were common, and still continue in increasing frequency until today.

The Age of Exploration

When the Anima Mundi cried at Guthix's death, the Shawsheen considered themselves to be in a new age.  The Shamans saw the trees crying as a threat to Nature, and even felt odd aura from the skies themselves as the Edicts fell apart.

The Clan Mothers took this information in from the Shamans, determining the threat was massive, and a Warrior was needed.  Ahiga Wayra, He who fights with the Winds, was chosen.  His work with bows, tomahawks, and even strange stones to tame the wind have made him a wise selection to face the unknown threats of the south, however sure they would come.

They did not anticipate, however, that Nathan Renderra would be the next person to come to them.  Hailed as the "Two-Spirits" Nathan was viewed with respect by the Shamans, his magical skill and transgendered qualities made them view him as spiritually powerful.  Even more so, when he used Lunar Magic telepathy learned from his step-mother to move past the language barrier.

Ahiga Wayra decided the best option the Shawsheen would have to survive the coming war, was to side with the Renderra.

Religion

The Shawsheen Tribals follow a very simple religion, but strange in the fact it goes without Gods.  They worship the Anima Mundi, the very essence of life in Gielinor.  They believe all life is sacred, and are against unneeded violence as a result.  This belief, is called Animism.

As a result of the worship of life, women have an extremely elevated importance as givers of life themselves.  The Shawsheen pass on their clans, and their leadership from mother to daughter.  On the obverse, men are viewed as warriors and takers of life.  They live to hunt, and hunt so their people can live.  If a warrior dies, the Clan Mother claims his weaponry, to give to another warrior of the clan.  Usually, however, they have the courtesy to give it from father to son.

Every scrap of every animal is used.  This is done to the extent of having specialized priests to practice taxidermy, using hides for clothing and armour, bones in weapons and structures, and all meat and organs as food.

However, the Shawsheen's theory on life extends even to things that are not alive.  Due to a lack of understanding of magic, they often see "Fire Spirits" or "Rock Spirits" that are really just elemental beings, leading them to believe everything is alive in some way, shape, or form.  They go as far as calling the Ramokee Stormbringer in their history the "Sky Spirit," a wise, blue creature who taught the Shawsheen many things to help their survival.

The Shawsheen are a very religious people, however they associate with the Godless.  They disliked Saradominists, even more so after scouts have seen the Battle of Lumbridge's remains.  They get along best with Godless, Guthixians, and Serenists.

Notable Shawsheen

  • Ahiga Wayra "He who fights with the Winds" - A Tomahawk and Bow expert, as well as the current War-chief.  Comes from the Eagle Clan.
  • Kahon:tsi Okwaho "Black Wolf" - Fights especially well with bows, and knives.  Champion of the Wolf Clan and a reknowned hunter.

Political System

  • The War Chief (Osamekin)

The War-Chief is a rarely called for member of the Shawsheen society.  Their hatred of bloodshed has led them to not requiring a standing army, though all men and boys are trained for battle through hunting.  When more than the minor Skirmish is seen on the horizon, the Clan Mothers elevate one warrior above themselves, usually a wisened man who has either seen war before or has proven his strategic skill, to lead the Shawsheen.  The War-Chief is responsible for the safety of all the Shawsheen, and protection of their beliefs and customs throughout the war, as well as eventually negotiating peace.

When peace finally comes, the War-Chief steps down to a more modest role.  However, his legacy throughout the war has likely made him a powerful figure of influence among the Shawsheen, especially as a teacher.

War Chiefs typically use any form of weaponry traditional to the Shawsheen, including Spiritual Talismans.

  • The Clan Mother (Akshotha)

At the head of every clan is the clan mother.  Due to the Matriarchal heritage, the Clan Mother is considered the most important leader among the Shawsheen.  Their government is run by a council of Clan Mothers, usually living in a solid, permanent longhouse due to their age.  All day to day life is run by the Clan Mothers, who approve marriages, appoint Shamans, and teach working trades to the youth.

When a Clan Mother dies, it is the job of the Shaman to lay her to rest, and hail the next Clan Mother of that clan.

  • The Clan Champion (Ashkii)

The most fit warrior of a clan, as chosen by that clan's Clan Mother.  The Champion, or Ashkii, is a dedicated warrior to teach the youth combat.  He defends the honour of the clan if needed, and will lead hunting trips if a specific animal is needed for a ceremony.  All warriors of his clan serve him, after the Clan Mother.  The Champion can be of any age, from his naming to his death.  He could be married into the Clan, or born into it, but when he leaves the clan due to marriage a new Champion must be chosen.   Typically, the Shaman teaches the Clan Champion how to summon a spirit through a talisman, for emergency use.

With War between the Gods brewing, the Clan Champions serve the Clan Mothers' will by aiding the War-Chief however possible.  They act as the equivalent of Knights, highly trained and skilled warriors seasoned by hunting to use their strategies in the best form possible.

  • The Shaman (Otkon-Ronkwe)

Literally named "Spirit-Man," the Shaman plays a heavily important role in ceremonies concerning his clan, and the world around them.  It is his or her job to speak to the Spirits about them, fulfilling similar roles to the Druids of Taverley through the practice of Summoning, or the Seers of the Fremennik through predicting the weather to come.

Recently, in the "Age of Exploration," the Shamans are exploring techniques involving Divination, which the Shawsheen view as using the gifts of Mother Gielinor directly.  The religious zeal driving the Shamans have made them a very powerful group in the new skill.

As a direct result of the coming war, Shamans must restate their oaths to never shed blood directly, only doing so through the Spirits themselves.  They have become a powerful group in setting defenses, crafting new tools, and even in battle with their familiars.

  • The Brave

A Shawsheen Brave is a standard warrior among the Tribe.  Braves learn most of their combat through hunting.  Their style of fighting obsessed with patience and eventual swift, clean tactics to preserve as much of the body as possible.

Braves often fight with either Tomahawks, Bow and Arrow, or Spears.  Each serves as having multiple purposes in survival and combat.

Braves can be male or female, though no female who has born a child into the world is permitted to enter war or hunt.  Typically, this keeps many of them from progressing past the rank of Brave.

  • The Crafters (Iktomi)

Coming from the Shawsheen word for Spider, the Iktomi are crafters who create all the tools and equipment used by the society.  Traditionally women, the crafters shape what was taken in death to protect, aid, and cultivate life.  They are considered somewhat sacred in their task to put an animal's spirit to its full use, as to not waste the life they had taken.

Weapons are made solely by the warriors themselves, for the dual purpose of women not crafting tools of death, and the men knowing how to repair their own weapons, should they break.

The Clans

The Shawsheen run with a multitude of clans under a single tribal banner, each drawing upon the characteristics of some animal the original clan founder admired.  Even today, the qualities are visible in the Shawsheen's existing clans based on genetics and selection of these qualities.

  • Eagle

An all-around powerful clan, the Eagle Clan draws it qualities from the Eagles of Eagle's Peak.  They aim for the average qualities all around physically, also valuing mental strength.  An Eagle Clansmen will often wear the feathers of an Eagle somewhere on their body.  Their preferred colour of dye is Cyan.

The Eagle Clan Familiar is a flying wind magic user, flapping its wings to summon gusts upon those who dare to take it from the sky.

  • Bear

The Bear clan focuses almost entirely on physical strength.  They are taught to fight from a young age, often wrestling with each-other for the sole purpose of developing muscles.  They tend to be the bulkiest of the Shawsheen, standing closer to 5'10, with a heavier build.  Bear claws or pelts are used to show allegiance to the Bear Clan.  Their preferred colour of dye is red.

The Bear Clan Familiar is incredibly strong, a brutish tank upon the battlefield, best suited for open combat.

  • Wolf

The Wolf clan is a strong group that focuses on teamwork.  It is excessively rare to find a Wolf clan member on their own.  Often, Wolf-Clan members will be short, lithe, and stealthy fighters who are patient in their groups, awaiting ambushes.  They symbolise their allegiance with wolf claws or pelts worn on their body.  Their preferred colour of dye is green, to better blend in the forests.

The Wolf Clan Familiar's howl is invigorating, riling up Shawsheen to fight with an added boost of Adrenaline, while terrifying unknowing opponents.

  • Chinchompa

The Chinchompa Clan is a more peacefully aligned group that makes and creates tools with their hands.  Men and women both are very learned in fletching and crafting, giving the Chinchompa clan some of the best weapons to use out of the Tribe.  The Chinchompa clan wears Chinchompa fur as a symbol of their allegiance.  Their preferred colour of dye is gold.

The Chinchompa Clan's Familiar is explosive!  It charges fearlessly at a target, before exploding in a burst of magical fire.

  • Kebbit

The Kebbit Clan of the Shawsheen is known for bearing sharp senses.  They act as powerful sentries, with heightened sense of smell, sight, and hearing.  Their task is usually to warn others of approaching danger, act as scouts, or sometimes even spies.  The Kebbit clan typically use Kebbit claws and pelts to show their allegience to their ancestry.  Their preferred colour of dye is dark blue.

The Kebbit familiar is small, but fast.  It runs quickly from place to place, making it a perfect way to send items.  It can also throw stones quite well with it's tail.

Lifestyle and Traditions

Mythology

The Tale of the Great Forest

A story describing time from the first age to the fourth, about war between the gods.  The Shawsheen attempt to describe nature through the myth itself.

Names

The Shawsheen go for up to ten years of their lives without having a name set in stone, to be remembered for generations to come.

Names mean more to the Shawsheen than what someone is called.  Each name marks an achievement, or a quality the person carries with them through life.  As an example, Three Arrows could be the name of a man who fired three arrows into the sky, and took down three geese of the same flock.

A Shawsheen can have many, many names.  Each name acts almost as a title.  A Shawsheen is considered an adult as soon as they earn their first name that doesn't come from a clan name.  Until then, they are called something along the lines of "Eagle-Child" "Bear-Cub" or "Wolf Pup."

Clan names come from the Maternal side of the family, passed Mother to Child.

Dying

The Shawsheen make many, many dyes for ceremonial use from their surroundings.  It is common for both men and women to wear them for formal events, applied directly onto the skin or simply dying clothing.  There seems to be no distinct pattern among dying, besides warriors wearing black dye during times of war.

Otherwise, a Shawsheen may wear green over the right arm, yellow over their skin, and red around the eyes one day, but wear half blue half red the next.  Each clan has a colour they tend to favour more than the others, but they don't require these colours to be worn.

Black is traditionally used solely in times of war.  Warriors wearing black mark themselves as killers of mortal life, but out of necessity for the protection of the tribe.  Tactically speaking, it is harder to see a Brave wearing natural clothing with dark, dyed skin compared to the usual bright colours.  White, and other colours, are often used on top of the black to create stunning artwork.

Tattoos, are also possible among the Shawsheen.  Given by a kebbit claw needle and ink, they usually carry religious importance to the wearer, or a tie of family.  In this way, the permanent dying never leaves them.

Fashion

Hairstyles

The Shawsheen have a deep love with keeping and grooming various hairstyles in their culture.  It is not uncommon for dyes to be worn in the hair, to add a sense of self to it.  Natural, plain Shawsheen hair is jet black in youth, but darker gray with age.

  • The "Mohawk"

Used by the real world Pawnee tribe, not the Mohawk Tribe, the Mohawk hairstyle is a single crest of hair over the head, the sides methodically picked clean of hair.  The crest is often greased up with animal fat or plant resin for wartime, giving an addition to the wearer's height for intimidation.  It is favoured by males of the society.

  • The River

Long, flowing hair, kept loose by the sides of the wearer.  This style of hair is natural, never cut since birth.  It is the first hairstyle worn by all Shawsheen, and many choose to keep it until death.  It was once considered a sign of humility to cut the long locks when asking for forgiveness from the Anima Mundi for taking a life.  Typically, this is why warriors cut their hair short, but that requirement has since been waived.

It is considered a good quality for women to let their hair grow as long as it can (To show they are pure), typically it doesn't get longer than the thigh area, however.  Basically, Shawsheen think long hair is attractive.  This style was worn by the real-world Comanche.

  • The Braid

A way to make long hair move out of the way for less formal events, the Braid is used among men and women alike.  It is useful in everyday tasks to keep long hair from getting in their way of work.

Shawsheen often tie their braids with copper wire, holding shells, feathers, and other ornaments into the hair.  This style was worn by the real world Comanche, and some Iroquois.

  • Gustoweh

A Shawsheen with a Gustoweh is almost always a male warrior.  The warrior plucks tuft after tuft of hair from their head, leaving the scalp bald until they reach a patch behind the crown of the head, located on the back.  Leaving a square there, three short braids are made with various decorations adorning them.  This style was worn by the actual Mohawk Native Americans, as well as the rest of the Iroquois league.

Armbands

Some Shawsheen of high repute have earned an armband, or Wampum.  Someone carrying the beaded armband has earned it many times over, the band serving as a badge of office to a Shaman, Clan Mother, Champion, Chief, or Hero.

Wampum armbands are made of many beads tied together with wire or flax.  The beads, are made from shells.  Different coloured, but well arranged beaded patterns are worth more.  The skill is considered honourable, and all Wampum go through the Clan Mother's hands, as well as the War-Chief in times of war.

Some Wampum, contain a strange, round bead.  When the wearer is silent, this odd glassy object sometimes glows a slight blue...  The Shamans are puzzled, but it is believed these beads are a gift from foreign friends, woven into existing Wampum.

Dwellings

Most Shawsheen live in longhouses, permanent structures built of wood and grasses to endure the worst environmental issues.  These large buildings have a fire in the middle, with assorted families sharing sleeping quarters in sections.  Each Clan holds its own longhouse in any settlement they exist in.

The other form of Dwelling, is the Tipi.  Shawsheen Warriors carry these tent-like structures made of wood and raw cowhide.  These structures are mobile, easily carried by the warrior to a new camping area to set up a base.  These mobile buildings are resistant to most forms of magic from a long range, as well as able to stop arrows from flying through.  This makes them very effective as sleeping quarters or cover in more hazardous areas.

Tools

The Shawsheen believe in weapons that also serve a function as tools of some kind.  If it isn't effective as a tool, it isn't worth carrying to them.  After all, they don't fight very often, and in fact its hardwired into their minds to take a peaceful lifestyle over a combative one.

  • Tomahawk

The Tomahawk is both ceremonial and functional.  An easily concealed weapon, the Tomahawk can be thrown or used in a swinging motion at a target, but it's main function is for cutting branches and ceremonial use.

Tomahawks are traditionally made of stone and oak, adorned with feathers, claws, and other trophies of importance to the holder.  A special Tomahawk exists for each clan, held only by the Champion of the Clan.  These are made of shining white stone, and carved with scrimshaw on the bone handle.  They are said to hold a mystical property to them.

With the Age of Exploration, the Shawsheen have gained access to metal working through their Renderra allies.  The Renderra have began to make tomahawk heads out of iron and steel, traded in exchange for animal pelts and dyes.

  • Bow

The Bow is a weapon that permeates across all cultures, each bearing their own version, their own twist to make it unique.  The Shawsheen adorn their bows with feathers, and only feathers.  The feather is tied to sinew string, then left loose to the wind.

In this effect, the wind blows in such a way that the feather moves, accurately gauging how an arrow will move in the wind.

Each bow is symbolic and important to its holder, but it also has a dual purpose in being able to light a fire through friction.

  • Spear

The Shawsheen spear is a one-handed spear originally used for fishing.  The difference between a warrior's spear and a fishing spear is purely in ornamentation.

A Warrior's spear, like all Shawsheen weapons, is adorned with various items of importance to its wielder.  While this would be the case with a fishing spear, these ornaments could fall off into the water.  Instead, a pair of warrior's spears can double as a stretcher with clothing between them, a walking stick, and a roasting spit.

A Fishing spear is kept simple in appearance, sometimes having only some feathers tied on.

  • Skinning knife

Possibly the smallest tool used by the Shawsheen, is a skinner's knife.  Made from sharpened stone or bone, the blade is only an inch long.  It it used to remove hides from animals cleanly, and efficiently to prevent waste.  A simple tool, with a simple purpose.  It's use in combat is near-obvious, as a knife.

  • Talisman

An intriguing wood sculpture, the Talisman holds a charm, pieces of its associated animal, and spiritual shards gathered from nearby obelisks.  The Talisman is the tool of the Shaman, a ceremonial device that can summon a familiar to aid, protect, or battle.  It is used in many ceremonies, most notably those involving the animal, those mourning the need to slay an animal, or a coming of age ceremony.

The Language

  • Shawsheen – People of the River.
  • Akenisten – My Mother, Mother Gielinor, From Iroquois word for the phrase “My Mother”
  • Osamekin – Title of the War-Chief.  Comes from another name of Massasoit, a Wampanoag chief who interacted with the Pilgrims who settled Massachusetts..
  • Akshotha – Clan Mother.  Comes from Iroquois word for Grandmother.
  • Ashkii – Clan Champion.  Comes from the Navajo word for young man.
  • Otwan- Spirit.  This extends to the Earth, life, and acts as a title for the shaman.  Comes from the Iroquois word for Spirit.
  • Ronkwe – Man.  Comes from the Iroquois word for man.
  • Yakonkwe – Woman.  Comes from the Iroquois word for woman.
  • Iktomi – Crafter.  Comes from the Lakota spider of myths, usually known for tricks.  The Shawsheen, however, know the spider for its crafts.
  • Wampum – Jewellry made by the Shawsheen.  With the Iroquois, it was eventually used as currency with Colonists.  Used as a sign of respect.
  • Tipi – A mobile home used by warriors and hunters, common among Plains Native Americans.

Trivia

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