A Plague of Onces
Harrape Tribal Grounds
In the time shortly after the Red-Asunder those that survived banded together into small communities composed primarily of several family units. Hundreds of years passed, and these small communities developed into tribes. The lands were dotted with various small tribes with separate distinct names, histories, and cultures. While living was nowhere near primitive, many of the tribes never developed beyond the tribal units, content to remain in their familial lands.
However, several centuries provided ample time for some tribes to band together, nations to form, armies to conquer, and blood to be shed. As the political landscape of the known world changed, the tribal communities were swept up with it. Some were absorbed by wrote or force into the developing nations. Some resisted and were destroyed. Some were lucky enough to stay out of the way and remain relatively isolated. In any event, those that remained on the new conquered lands were often pressured to assimilate, and those that refused were often relocated.
One tribe to fall in this last category is the Harrape. Originating from what is now the province or Lareux Foret in Royaume-Oublie, the Harrape Lands once stretched from the southern and western cliffs known as The Lobster Wall over the Fishmish Straights, east to the Arrow River that terminates at Greener Falls, and north to the bottom portion of the Soundless Marsh. That was until about 80 years ago, when the kingdom of Royaume Oublie, then ruled by a monarch – King Florent Beaumont Augustine. Beginning on the northern coast of Ambroise Ame, the kingdom spread outward by war and marriage until it had reach Lareux Foret, and after some battle, claimed the entire peninsula for themselves. The Harrape were not exactly defenseless, but their culture emphasized violence second to diplomacy. In any event, they were entirely outmatched and by the time Florent’s successor – King Sacriphant Laurent Augustine – took power, the Harrape were well cornered on the tribal grounds in the southwest coast. As of this writing the Harrape tribe consisted of roughly 100 individuals from seven different families, Basha, Dumein, Jassan, Khalid, Mostana, Pashar, Rein.
Below is an image depicting the original Harrape territory. At of this date, they are now confined solely to the encampment indicated:
With the discovery of gold in Synod Mills, just north of the Harrape territory, the crown decided to appropriate Harrape lands, building DuPont keep to garrison soldiers to protect the gold shipments, as well as the village of Coinge which had sprung up to support the mine. This did not sit well with many Harrape, and those that chose to fight split from the tribe, forming the Rue Gang Clan. For other Harrape, they found themselves being continually pushed back to their current location – an encampment just south of the Eversmoking Cave.
It was hard to take, but things became so much worse following the Order of Confederation in 882, signed by the King under duress to rant broad powers to the Marquis of the four provinces. The effort to strong-arm the king to signing the Order was led by two of the Marquis, one of which is the Marquis of Lareux Foret, Marquis Matthias Josue Bathurst, I. In the 18 years since then, the Harrape have faced endless hardships. The Marquis does not much care about the right of tribal people, and his expansion of the prison system and reliance on slave labor mean many tribes suffer. The Harrape have had many of their community arrested and forced into labor, or executed for minor crimes.
While they harbor only little ill will to the Oublian people, as they see them being just as oppressed nearly as frequently since the signing of the Order of Confederation, they certainly harbor anger toward the Marquis and his officials – especially his Sheriff, John “Jackrabbit” Hicks and his deputies. However, most reviled by the Harrape and most other tribal people is the group of hired “detectives” known as the Jackrabbits and their leader, the cruel and brutal Bocephus Jackson. These Jackrabbits, little more than hired thugs, are available nationwide and often called in to bust up labor organizations, popular uprisings, and especially to harass the tribes that have not bent a knee to the Marquis. They can be found in especially large concentration in Lareux Foret, where they chase escapes convicts and slaves, and harass the tribes, Bordeaux-Mobile, where they act as the thugs for the Vidames, and Pointe-a-a-Hache where the Company uses them to break up strikes and prevent unionization of the mine workers.
Harrape people run the gamut in height from 5’1" to 6’4" (typically.) Their skin is from a pale white to a caramel color. Their eyes are usually brown, but there have been some genetic mutations in the tribe and producing children with outsiders to produce green eyes in some rare cases. They do not tend to be overly muscled, but most are physically fit. Harrape people have a genetic predisposition to having heart problems. One physical trait unique to the Harrape, produced over many generations, is known as “Harrape Ears” where the lobe of the ears has a distinctive shape sort-of like a bean.
- The name “Harrape” comes from a word in an ancient tongue spoken only among the tribe in a language also known as Harrape. It means, “we’re together” from the words Hara for “together” and “Pe” for “we are.”
- The symbol for the Harrape is a muddy handprint, signifying a connection to their land.
- The Harrape are a tribal community led by a group of elders. The elders are made up of the oldest representative from each of the seven families: Basha, Dumein, Jassan, Khalid, Mostana, Pashar, Rein.
- It is common practice in the Harrape tribe for a person to have two names – one that is given at birth, and a nickname that is later earned or prescribed due to an event or personal idiosyncrasy.
- The Harrape do not change their names at all when married. Marriage is considered sacred and eternal. For those who have a spouse die or arrested by the Marquis, a long period of mourning is traditional. Remarriage in these cases is allowed and expected, but you forever remain married to both spouses. If a second marriage ends, then most Harrape do not take a third spouse. Divorce is very rare for the Harrape, but when it happens the attitude is generally that the two were never really married at all, and everyone simply goes on. There is little place for bad blood in the Harrape tribe, as they face too many external pressures to fight among themselves. Sometimes a bitter husband or wife cannot handle a divorce. Those people usually leave to going the Rue Gang Clan.
- Harrape revere shamans, but worship is very individualized. Most worship totemic creatures. However, those that choose to follow specific gods are accepted, as the Harrape believe all divine being to all essentially be the same entity with different names. In short – positive energy is positive energy, regardless of the face it wears. There have been some Harrape that have worshiped darkness and hatred, but they have split off with the Rue Gang Clan or have joined them afterwards.
- The Harrape cosmology says that the Red-Asunder was the birth of the world, and that it was a difficult birth because the universe was not big enough. Aorthe had to force its way into the world. When this happened, fissures opened across the world, and from one such fissure the first Harrape were born. When they saw the world was hurting, they healed it and have lived on its surface ever since.
- Everyone has a job in the tribe. Even those that cannot work are useful.
- There is little need for judicial punishments for the Harrape. Theft and murder are almost unheard of in their tribe, though many have given to despair since being forced back to the tribal grounds. The main punishments for offenses are shunning for minor offenses, and exile for major offenses. Many who commit capital offenses merely join the Rue Gang Clan.
- A member who leaves the tribe and wishes to return, or returns from the Rue Gang Clan, or an outsider wishing to join the tribe, must attend a ritual led by the shaman, in which most tribe members attend. They are ritually cleansed with smoke and then wash in a ceremonial basin. They then stand before the tribe and announce themselves by name, and explain why they wish to join or rejoin. The tribal members then proceed to vote. If they approve admittance, they will bang a large ceremonial drum known as a “hukkek.” If they disapprove, they break a small branch and throw it at the feet of the petitioner. If a large majority of the tribe (about 2/3rd of those in attendance) approve, the petitioner becomes a probationary member of the tribe. They then move in with the elders, and they are expected to learn from them until they are given a nickname. After that they become a full member of the tribe, and are entitled to live on their own.
- Burial for the Harrape is done one of two ways – either via funeral pyre or by a rock cairn. Of the two, a rock cairn is preferred, but the forced abandonment of Harrape burial sites means cremation has become more practical.
- Families are usually very small. The Harrape have few resources, but infant mortality is low, so they general have only one or two children to prevent sending the tribe into resource scarcity.
- The Harrape economy is based on trade. Furs for a knife, fruit for bread, etc. The Harrape have no real use for gold coins, since they aren’t usually welcome anywhere that accepted them.
- Khemed Dumein “Born Of Thunder” – The eldest of the tribal council at 78 years old, this man was born during the time when the Oublians began moving into Lareux Foret, and was alive during the strife and split of the tribe. He is so named due to an incident when he was a young warrior for the tribe. He was one of the people responsible for the split between the Harrape and Rue Gang Clan. He advocated for violent resistance, and rallied many of his fellow warriors to the cause. During a raid on a nearby village (pre-Coinge) his innate sorcerer’s powers manifested in a surge of wild magic, causing a deafening wave of thunder. This gave him pause as he considered the danger inherent in this power, and shortly after he resumed the Harrape way of non-violence. He has regretted his role in the tribal split ever since.
- Yasheira Jassan “Bright Like Fire” – Khemed’s wife and eldest woman in the tribe, she is often regarded as a mother to the tribe. She is known for being confident in her opinions, and prepared to take a stance against anyone or anything that might attempt to sway her. This proclivity for defiance and her bright red hair (now entirely grey) were the reasons for her name.
- Hama Pashar “Little Flower” – The second oldest woman in the tribe, Hama was once a gifted shaman who brought healing and comfort to the tribe. She has since given that up in her old age, passing the torch to “Strange One” many years ago. Her name comes from her small stature and shy demeanor.
- Aseir Basha “Strange One” – The current shaman of the tribe since Hama passed the responsibility onto him around 5 years ago. His name comes from his demeanor, as he is very quiet and often awkward in social situations.
- Jasmal Mostana " Bitter As A Berry" – The elder form the Mostana family is known for being difficult to deal with. She generally takes a disliking to most things, and has a sharp tongue for fools.
- Meilil Khalid “Like Rumbling Earth” – The youngest woman of the elders at only 45 years old, Meilil like to say her nickname comes from the way she commands respect, but it’s because she is allergic to milk, and when she drinks it she gets thunderous farts.
- Mehmen Pashar “Touched By Magic” – Meilil’s husband and youngest male on the council at 50 years old, Mehmen gets his name because he was once arrested by King Sacriphant Laurent Augustine when he was five years old and was remanded for rehabilitation. As it turns out, this was little more than being a subject for magical experimentation. After two years, he escaped his cell and make his way back to the Harrape. Since then he bears horrible scars on his body, but much like Khemed he also is prone to bursts of magical energy.
- Zasheida Rein “Red Like Blood” – This elder got her name from the fact that when she gets embarrassed, laughs too hard, or gets mad she turns a bright red. In addition to serving on the council, Zasheida runs a lodging house and is responsible (with her son, Zasheir) for taking care of visitors and guests of the tribe.
- Notable Members
- Atala Dumein “First To Dance" – The child of Khemed and Yasheira, Atala is an older woman that leads the domestic duties of most of the tribe. She organizes the washings, cooking, etc. She is also known for her outgoing personality, from whence her name comes, and for organizing plays and dances to entertain the tribe.
- Bardeid Jassan “Loves To Dance” – Husband of Atala and leader of the hunting parties. His name is ironic, since he hates to dance, but he loves Atala and that is where the name comes from.
- Ceidil Jassan " Warrior Spirit" – The daughter of Atala and Bardeid and leader of the war parties. Her name comes from an incident when she was only 8 years old and was arrested by the Marquis for suspected poaching. While being carried off by two constables, they were attacked by a wild bear. The bear was mad with rage for some reason, and quickly killed the two constables. You Ceidil seemed to be next, and when the bear came close and roared in her face she showed no fear, and instead slapped it hard across the head. The bear stood on its hind legs, and still Ceidil showed no fear. Perhaps this confused the bear, or impressed it. Either way, the bear walked off and Ceidil arrived back home. Now she is 26 years old, and considered one of the tribe’s best warriors.
- Haseid Khalid “Like Clear Water Of A Lake” – Haseid is the keeper of the tribe’s oral history and ensures the well-being of the tribe’s families by making sure the sick have the medicine they need, the children have food to eat, that orphans are taken in, etc. His name comes from the fact that he keeps absolutely no secrets. Not only because he’s bad at it, but because he doesn’t understand when things are inappropriate to say.
- Zasheir Basha “Littlest One” – The son of Zasheida Rein and Aseir Basha, he helps his mother run the lodging house and showing hospitality to guests staying with the tribe. His job is also, in part, to ensure that outsiders don’t mean the tribe harm. His name comes from the fact that he was always the smallest boy among his peers.
- Sudeiman Khalid “Bright As A Full Moon” – Known for being particularly clever, but dark of disposition, Sudeiman is something of a loner. He is known to go off into the wilderness to camp and explore. Because of this, he usually knows what’s going on around and outside of the tribal lands than most, and his view of the future of the tribe is quite dim.
- Seipora Mostana “Overflowing Spring” – Always beaming and happy, Seipora is the daughter of Jasmal. They share a last name, rare in the tribe, because Seipora’s father is an unknown outsider from the tribe. Given her mother’s disposition, she is exactly the opposite in every way. Because of her outsider heritage, her skin is much darker than most Harrape, and her hair is yellow. She runs the trading post and surplus warehouse stores, ensuring the tribe’s good remain safe and trading goods for goods. The Harrape have little use for coins.
Here are some suggestions for nicknames:
Fell From Tree (for someone that fell from a tree)
Flies Like A Bird (for someone that is good at jumping, or likes to climb trees.)
Teeth Like A Wolf (for someone with oddly shaped teeth, or someone that tends to be ruthless in arguments)
Eternal Blossom (for someone that has a baby-face or is always happy)
Burning Fire (someone with a short temper, or has red hair)
Waves Crashing Against Rock (for someone that is very stubborn or tends to have a one-track mind)
Grazing Bull (for a larger than average person that eats a lot, or a gentle giant)
Turtle Dove (for someone that is a good singer, or is very gentle)
Bright Smile (someone with a good smile)
Rippling Water (someone that like to stir the pot, or never seems to sit still)
Blossoms Like A Flower (someone who was an ugly kid but grew into themselves)
Speaks With Dogs (someone that really, really likes dogs)
Loves To Bathe (someone that likes to be clean)
Dark As A Forest (someone with a brooding personality)
Marked Like A Leopard (someone with freckles)
Ears Of A Fox (someone with good hearing)
Sweet As Fruit (someone who is very kind and nice)
First To Walk (someone that learned to walk before their peers)
Friend Of Snakes (someone that likes snakes or someone that is devious)
Strong Guardian (someone that stands up for other people)
Roars As A Bear (someone that yells, or is very intimidating when they want to be)
Has Good Fortune (someone that got lucky once, or tends to be lucky)
Marked By War (someone that sustained a wound in battle)
Best Friend (someone that tends to be friends with everyone)
Loves Shiny Things (someone that likes shiny things)
Has Many Secrets (someone that tends to be private, elusive, or cunning)
Little Pebble (someone that is small of stature, but has a tough personality)