323: One tribe's traditional garb includes skirts for members of both sexes, because no one in the tribe is allowed to wear pants. These strange tube garments are restrictive and they accentuate the differences between men and women, who are supposed to be equal in the eyes of the spirits. Any tribesman or woman who wears pants is publicly mocked and shamed, and then is not allowed to wear clothes for the rest of the year. The person is expected to carry out their normal duties while naked, though people who are involved in more dangerous professions like hunting and warfare are generally allowed to stay behind during their period of compulsory nudity, or if times are desperate the tribe will reluctantly relax their custom to allow the offender to wear armor until their tasks are done for the day.
323a. Recently, this custom has been taken advantage of by a particularly lazy tribesmen. He discovered he didn't care for warfare, so he got himself caught wearing pants, and then got to lounge around the village nude for a year. He repeats this yearly.
From the Tribe of the Evernight Forest
324. To ensure that only the strongest will thrive in their tribe, newborn babies are, in a seasonal ceremony called the Rite of the Hawk, brought to the top of a sacred tree by the tribal Oracle. She will lead the tribe in a series of prayers to the Gods of Strength, Valor, War, and the Hunt and the children will one by one be thrown from the seventy-foot tree to the ground below. The babies that survive are cared for and welcomed into the tribe with love. Their mothers are considered blessed, and any further children they bear are not subject to this ritual.
Those that do not survive are sacrifices taken by the Gods to ensure the tribe's future success. Their mothers are required to bear another child before a year passes. If a mother's next child does not survive the Rite of the Hawk, she is forbidden to conceive another child ever again under pain of death.
About sixty percent of the children thrown from the tree do not survive.
From the Tribe of the Endless Sun
325. To ensure only the most cunning warriors will survive in their tribe, at a certain age, males are required to track, stalk, and capture a live fox and bring it back to the tribe. They are sent out into the wild with only a sharp knife and the clothes on their back. Any who fail to return in a tenday with a live fox are castrated and forbidden to hold any sort of leadership position in the tribe.
From the Tribe of the Evenstar
326. At puberty all women get elaborate full-body tattoos.
Oooh, those last ones were deliciously brutal, I feel obligated to outdo them.
327- Suffer not other races to live, they are nothing more than dogs, and though some can be valuble at times, they are slaves and nothing more.
328- (Dragonborn only) Failure to use one's teeth or breath in battle is a dishonor to the gifts the gods have given you for war, any who do not use these gifts are to be castrated.
329- Whoever defeats the chieftan of an enemy tribe in single combat is allowed an entire day to parade the chieftain about and to humiliate him in public. Some spend the day flogging him, others have him used as a village outhouse for the day, and still others force them into sexual acts. By the time these broken men are ready to be prepared for consumption by the winner and his family, they are often in need of cleaning beforehand.
330- After a battle is won against an enemy village, all surrendered warriors of the enemy village are to be used in a contest, they are forced to kneel, are bound and then lined up. The two warriors who have been declared to have fought the most valiantly on the winning side are to see who can behead the most enemy soldiers the fastest. The time will be set for ten minutes on most occasions.
331- An enemy chieftan's heart is to be devoured by his slayer, he also gets first pick among captured women and first dibs on the people who he wishes to consume.
332- When a dishonored man wishes to atone, he is to hack off a limb and pass it around the tribe, each member must take a drink of the blood within the appendage, or a bite of the flesh. The dishonored man will be the last to do so. Afterwards, he will be ritually beheaded by the chieftan, and then burned. He will be redeemed by this.
333- Any warrior who is not considered able to fight viciously enough will be stripped of his rank in the tribe and used as cannon fodder for an invasion. He will go among the ranks of warriors designated for such a task, who fight with rocks and clubs to inflict as many casualties as they can before dying. They are used to keep the enemy troops in the same place while spearmen or archers fire at them.
334- A legend from a dragonborn tribe tells of a tribe's village ravaged by a vastly larger force of Tieflings from Bael Turath. The chieftan sold his soul to Tiamat so that his tribe would fight off the invaders. Tiamat, true to her word, but cruel nevertheless, did not empower the men as the chieftan had wanted. These valiant soldiers were cut down by tiefling soldiers. The women and children, empowered by the bargain that had been made, slew great numbers of the tiefling host before the Turathi retreated, fearing what appeared to be children who looked like they could barely hold a blade. Over time, these women and children were greatly corrupted by dark power. Babies born to the women walked seconds after birth, and wielded swords minutes after. Their scales grew white as ash, almost as if in sickness. They grew to unnatural size, with a four year-old child towering over an average human. Adults could no longer ride horses, being a few times their size. This cursed tribe's rampage across Bael Turath was only prevented by a tiefling lich who made a deal of his own with Orcus, caring for Bael Turath, his soldiers rose endlessly and vanquished the dragonborn, who, despite fearsome strength and size, could not fight the undying legions forever. Orcus called the bargain's price quite soon, and as the sorcerer died, a great wave of necromantic power swept across the land, slaying cursed dragonborn and undead warrior alike. Now this plain is worse than useless, stained by horrendous evil, it is the holy site to an Orcus cult, who gather as a village and eat crops grown from this foul earth.
335 - Losing a weapon results in the warrior killing a family member and using his/her's limb as a temporary weapon until a new one can be forged. Failure to do so will result in his/her's insurance company rate's going up.
336. The sick and the dying should be saved, but if it cannot be managed they should be placed in the cave of the ancestors so that their flesh and blood may nourish our honored relatives.
No, "barbarians" can still have codes of honor and respect, it's just that they're likely extremely different from what constitutes honor in more civilized realms.
I agree. Barbarians, especially in 4e, don't have to be RAAAAH! BARBARIAN SMASH! ME LIKE TO RAPE, KILL, DISMEMBER AND PLUNDER!!!
Now, to get this back on track:
337. This tribe considers the stones of their territory sacred, and has an old legend of how the stones themselves rose up to stop an invasion of orcs coming down from the mountains. The story is somewhat true. When the orcs sought to invade, they ran afoul of a confederacy of goliath tribes that called the mountains home, and were utterly crushed, leaving the barbarians unharmed. The barbarians did not realize that the goliaths were people, and thought that spirits had risen out of the rock and taken humanoid shape. Out of reverence for what they believe the sacred power of the "stone gods" or "stone spirits" the tribe never actually visits the mountains, believing they are unworthy of treading on such ground.
338. Only acts of deceit are done under the new moon. Any oaths or deals made during the new moon can be broken without retribution.
339. Acts of glory outside of combat should be done during days or nights during the full moon, so that the glory can be seen by all.
340. before any duel both combatants must be cleansed and their spirits purified, lest the outcome of the fight be influenced by bad spirits.
341. calling a fellow tribe member a jackal (or other carrion eater) is highly insulting, since you insinuate that he or she is weak and cannot even provide her own food.
343. In times when food is scarce, the elderly and the sick are allowed to partake in a rite to take their own life in hopes of bring good times to the tribe, so that they may serve the tribe instead of taking up valuable resources.
People who undergo this sacred rite are remembered, insinuating or asking that a person undergo this rite against her will is highly disgraceful and will only make things worse.
Perfectly understandable, I suppose. But what happenes when the guy runs out of fingers?
344. All children in the Feather Hill tribe are called Sparrow from birth, until they come of age, at which point they are given a new bird name depending on the tribe's analysis of them. A fierce scout might be named Hawk, while a shamaness who officiates funerals may be Mourning Dove. Weaklings or cowards are called Chicken Chaser.
From the Tribe of Eternity
345. All people of the same rank are considered to be one individual. For instance, the ruling class of the tribe may be twenty people, but the tribe considers them to all be one and the same. The shamans and oracles are one person. The rest of the tribe are all one person. Everyone of similar class shares sleeping quarters, possessions, and each other's bodies as if they were one being. There is no jealousy, there is no infighting, there is no rape, there are no names (because there CAN be none of these things when you are one person). They are one person. Only if you do something outstanding to get yourself promoted to the ruling council are you ever acknowledged as an individual (and even then only for the duration of the ceremony to promote you), or if you do something so terrible as to get yourself removed from the tribe are you given an individual and unflattering name.
From the Tribe of the Snake-Tongue King
346. When a warrior has killed one hundred men, he must put himself to death by his blade to appease the gods for the lives he has taken. Retirement from battle is considered a crime punishable by death, and so most warriors of this tribe are either killed in war or by their own hand.
347. When a fallen comrade is laid to rest in a Seridian tribe, a full water-skin is poured onto the grave site, and a drop of blood is shed onto it by each of the fallen's closest friends. The water is to nourish them in their soul's trek through the desert that Seridians believe stands between a spirit and paradise. The blood is an oath on the behalf of the deceased's friends to stay true to their memory and to honor them in word and deed.
From the Tribe of the Halfturn Moon
348. Women are tribal property and have no rights.
From the Tribe of the Blinded Sun
349. Men are tribal property and have no rights.
[Shameless theft of ideas without quoting source material]
350. When leaving on a journey, you must not leave in groups of three, or it is bad luck. Three people needing to go the same way will wait and go one at a time
351.To have one eye colored differently from the other is a sign that an evil spirit lurks within the eye. All such individuals have an eye put out.
352. Never use one's best/favorite weapon to fight demons or other unholy creatures. Their blood will taint it.
[/Shameless theft of ideas without quoting source material]
353. From the Worgheart tribe
Each child is paired with a worg puppy at birth. The two are to be constant companions for the entirety of the worg's life, over which time the child is expected to learn much from it. When the worg dies(usually of natural causes) the pelt is taken, tanned, and worn for the rest of the person's life.
354. If your companion worg is slain, you must personally kill the one responsible, and desecrate his body. Failure either to do so, or to die trying is grounds for expulsion from the tribe.
355. Intelligence is a form of strength, to trick one's enemy into making a fatal flaw only shows that you were stronger than he.
356) Age is counted not from birth, but from the time you passed whatever rite marks your ascension to adulthood. So a 23-year-old adventurer who passed his or her rites at age 15 would be considered to be 8 years old.
357. From the Bloodspear tribe(of orcs)
Any grievance may be settled with a fist fight, so long as you start the fight as soon as the grievance is made. The winner of such a brawl is in the right. To keep your anger inside only lets it rot and turn ugly, better to express it straight away.
358. In the Bloodspear, furniture is usually plain, even for the chief and shamans, and breakables are not counted as having much value, because you never know when you're gonna get into a fight, but you do know that chair is only going to last you until you break it over someone's back.
359. More From the Worgheart tribe
Werewolves are the souls of worgs reborn into a human shape, therefore they are to be respected.
From the Giantbane Tribe
360. Trickery is the refuge of the weak. If you cannot defeat your enemy openly, on the even field of battle, with all advantages equal, then you can not defeat your enemy.
From the Tribe of the Axe
361. You must never allow a fire to burn itself out. By extinguishing the flame before it has consumed all it can, you preserve some of the life that wood contained. Much in the way our tribe destroys the lives of the evil before they can consume all they can, must so we do with fire.
From the Tribe of the Twicefold Path
361. You must never allow a fire to be put out prematurely. By extinguishing a fire before it has consumed all it can, you will surely anger the spirit of the flame, inviting his burning torment upon all you call friend.
362. To wear the skin of an animal is a great privilege. To earn this you must kill that animal without aid from another. The skin you wear determines your rank in the tribe.
From the Deathquilt Tribe
363. Every creature you slay, you must cut a patch of skin. Save that skin and you shall stitch the pieces into your Deathquilt. Some men have Deathquilts that can cover a whole village.
From the Vonol Wolf Tribes*
364. Do not take the scalps of the cowards, women, children, or slaves you might kill. Only the brave should be honored by having their hair hang from your belt.
365. Care for your wolf before yourself. Such is the teachings of Vonolupeh.
366. Be wary of the big people, for they have snakes for tongues. Be wary of the soft ones, for they have fallen under the spells of the big people.
* A tribe of wolf-riding halfling barbarians who live in an environment akin to Canada's Yukon territory. The "big people" are all non-halflings, and the "soft ones" are all non-Vonol halflings.
From the Tribe of the Claw
367. Care for yourself before all others. To sacrifice is to shun the gifts the Gods have seen fit to give. The Gods give gifts sparingly, and should the Gods choose to give to you, passing their gifts on to one not deemed worthy of their generosity invites their terrible wrath.
From the Tribe of the Hand
368. Care for others before yourself. To put one's own needs before the needs of others is to put oneself above others. The Gods guard their status jealously, and will punish you harshly.
368.From the Long River Tribe
When the Elder of the tribe dies, the remaining shamans anchor his spirit to the great spirit totem tree. This tree is filled with the spirits of many great Elders, who can give advice to the tribe if one touches the tree. Many among the tribe visit the tree daily, to learn of the tribe's history, or simply to give their respects to the departed elders.
368a. If the Spirit Totem Tree should ever be destroyed, the Gods will surely annihilate the tribe as punishment for allowing such a loss of knowledge from the World. If the Spirit Totem Tree is ever threatened, any member of the tribe will gladly give his life to defend the Tree.
But i got one:
369. To spit on someone, or the ground before them is considered one of the greatest acts of trust and bonding friendship. This comes from a tribe of desert people, where water is considered the most precious thing above all.
(borrowed from the Fremen of Dune)
371: Can't Cross....
Your people believe if you cross a streams, if you do something bad will happen. Like the world becoming inverted or the dead rising from their graves. If dealing with demons, devils or avatars of dark gods however, crossing streams might prevent the forces of darkness from winning.
Guess where this came from...
372. From the Ironblade tribe, a rare barbarian tribe of dwarves
It is expressly forbidden to use a hammer or an axe as a weapon. These items exist as tools of peace and building, and to use them as instruments of destruction perverts their purpose and ruins their ability to create. The tribe uses swords as their weapon of choice, since swords were created as weapons and serve no other purpose. If a hammer or axe is used as a weapon, the offending tribesman is pelted with stones and exiled from the tribe, while the hammer or axe is ritually burned to try and purify the spirit of the tool, now tainted having tasted blood.
Conversely, you could have them be required to only use wepons that can double as tools because only such items have a "balanced" spirit of creation and destruction.
I've got some customs, sayings, and culture in the backstory for the barbarian in the campaign I'm working on. Instead of a line or two, I'll just post the whole. Isn't too long.
That is a nice piece of dwarf fluff. However, I still hold Zousha's entry to be a pretty good one.
Exactly! Besides, how awesome would it be to roleplay either that type of dwarf, or the normal type, with the opposite in the party?
I smell a sitcom!
374 (counting "no swords" as 373):
If you must EVER choose between suicide and [horrible act,etc.], you must INSTANTLY kill yourself.
Paper and parchment are to be avoided at all costs; the treatment used to turn nature into paper defiles the nature that was once in the paper.
To be fair, Zousha's post about not using axes or hammers as weapons is basically the inverse of an earlier post about how you must use axes and hammers so the tribe does not have to carry tools and weapons. It was a smart entry. That's a big part of this thread. Someone posts something that makes you think of a related thing or the opposite thing and you think "how would that shape a tribe?" or "why would they believe this?"
It's good stuff.
If you don't particularly like the idea, don't use it for your game, and PLEASE post an even better idea. Keep the thread alive.
376. You must eat everything which you kill. This leads outsiders to label the tribe as cannibals when they eat the hearts of their enemies, but they are only following their custom.
377. Always feed a scrap of meat to your dog before taking a meal from someone else. If the dog gets sick, you will know your host is an enemy who has tried to poison you.
378. A true warrior must eat the heart of a wolf or bear, to gain its ferocity and might in battle.
379. Whenever you kill a living creature, you must bury it beneath the earth and place a seed in it's eye socket. This is so that when the creature's soul departs from it's body, it will be trapped inside the young sapling and so will not reincarnate and seek out vengeance against you. (In cases such as a mass battle where there are countless dead, it is acceptable to dig a mass grave and place a number of seeds equal to the number of the slain in a circle around the buried bodies). The wood from such saplings is considered extremely efficacious for the purposes of magic, as they are considered to possess all the power of the enemy warrior.
From the Tribe of the One-Eye King
380. When a new King is chosen, he has an eye put out by the High Priest in a ritual to honor the tribe's first King, Argontus. He had lost the eye in a battle with a rival tribe, and afterwards was able to predict and either better prepare for or outright avert future dangers. The removal of the new King's eye is hoped to replicate his power, but so far has not been succesful in acheiving that goal.
From the Tribe of the Open Eye
381. Before a battle, a warrior must seek to clear his mind of all distracting thoughts and allow his body and weapon to become one with the energy of the universe. This is why all members of the tribe carry with them at all times a pouch of a particular type of fungus that, when eaten, allows the warrior to elevate his conscious mind to a clear and focused point that is as sharp as his blade. The warrior can see the soul of his enemy, appearing as a swirling aura of color surrounding his foe, that he may more easily free it from its corporal shell.
I like eyes today.
382. From the Children of the Shifting Sands
All warriors honor those they have slain by embroidering the names of the fallen into their clothing with hair from the slain that has been soaked in their blood mixed with the blood of the warrior. When the name of the slain is unknown they are remembered by their race.
383. The nomadic halflings who roam the wildlands have a specific custom that comes from their willingness to interact with most anyone who can get them the materials they need (such as iron). When you first meet a foe, offer him a meal. If he declines, politely offer him a dagger in his stomach.
384. Cloths such as silk, cotton and linen are precious, because the tribe does not have the resources to make much more than wool, and most just wear the skins of animals they have killed.
From the Tribe of the Rocky Vale
385. Clothes such as silk, cotton and linen are evil. The Gods provide the Tribe with wool and hides, and so wool and hides are the chosen vestments of the Gods. All other manner of fabric is at best frivolous and at worst blasphemy.
Just kidding. Of course I've seen Ghostbusters.Bump! Show
Here's one in honor of my dear friend:
386. From the Horned Gnomes
Green is a sacred color to these people, and emeralds are their totem stone. It is ill-advised to carry emeralds when dealing with members of this tribe, unless you plan to part with them. The tribe's people covet emeralds so much that they will experience an emotional breakdown when separated from them.
From the Trollkillers of the Mourning Bog
392. It is vital for a warrior to carry a burning flame upon his person at all times. Should your fire go out, you must relight it immediately, lest the Gods think you have abandoned them.
Most popular ways for tribesmen to carry their flame:
393. A child should know his father's and his mother's clans. The spirits will know the truth, and will be angry with both parents if the child does not know the truth.
394. If a couple year-pledge to lay only with each other, the tribe and the spirits stand witness to that pledge and will be angry with anyone involved in breaking it.
395. The spirits turn their back on such a pledge for any term other than a year, or a pledge sworn while a prior pledge remains unexpired.
396. The person who acts as if another's property is his own, without the consent of the true owner, must return that property twice over.
396a. The rapist, having used the victim's body as if it were his own property, gives over his own body to be the victim's property - with no more rights than a scrap of hide.
One will not sit on a chair or use a table. By using such things you elivate yourself above where the gods have placed you. Those who do use tables and chairs are seen as disrespecting the gods and those guilty are asked to leave least their stain ruin the food and drink. If in an outsiders town, if one enters an area where this practice takes place, they must leave.
From the Tribe of the Beholder
398. All glory to the Beholder. His might is the might of the righteous, for he is a God on Earth. Beware those who would stand against our Lord. His will is true, his every desire right. All glory to the Beholder. He is the Light, the Way, the Path. All glory to the Beholder. His crown of eyes see all. All glory to the Beholder. His central eye reveals all falsehood, cancels all illusion, removes all lies. All glory to the Beholder. He is our King, our God, our Love, our Friend, our Master. All glory to the Beholder.
From the Tribe of the Midnight Sun
399. Theft is not evil. If you can take the posession of another from them and make it your own, it was never really theirs at all.
400. Murder is not evil. If you can succeed in killing someone for an infraction, real or imagined, then the Gods desired their death, or they would have stopped you. Killing the weak makes us stronger.
From the Tribe of the Silver Monkey
401. Before sleeping, you must lay a ring of salt around your bed. Evil spirits must ask permission to cross an unbroken line of salt.
Tribe of Dancing Tiger
402. If you meet a woman in battle, she is to be captured and put to work as one of the tribes slave and concubine, the women of your own tribe however are on equal footing with men, because your tribes women is better than other women.
403. like the one above, but with men.
Tribe of Metal Gorilla
404. Technology is holy and sacred, it is to be revered and worshiped, the more advanced it is, the more blessed it is.
405. to wear fur is to disrespect nature and your fellow animals, be smart and wear metal, it is holy.
406. do not use clubs, axes, or other such primitive things in battle, only for mundane tasks. instead use only swords and guns for battle, they are blessed.
407. speaking roughly without good grammar or speech plagues the air, speak clearly like a gentlemen.
Tribe of Laughing Bear
408. If you are ever in another tribe, all their customs are to be broken to show them the folly of their ways.
EDIT: wrong post, wrong place, wrong time. Sorry.
I've got a couple, didn't see them earlier, some might be mods though.
409: Trust No man, not even your brother, with hair of one shade, and beard of another.
410: Use every piece of an enemy (including humanoids) defeated,bones to teeth to hide. It is the only way to respect that they were valiant enough to stand against you.
411: Step not one foot outside of your house without your spear (or axe, or what have you).
412: Listen more than talk, a fool will reveal what he knows absentmindedly, while a wise man will know what not to say.
413: Carry extra provisions and clothes on your person. If you can feed and clothe a person in need, then you will be given a benefit later.
414: If you give a man a weapon, and they accept, you are of higher status than them.
I have a barbarian in play right now using some of these, and some others that was already mentioned. (The DM was shocked when I asked how many Kobold bodies there were, so I could make paper from their bones and kobold skin boots, belts, vests (all for children)...)
From the Tribe of the Breathing Forest
415. Meet a man with eyes as blue as sky, trust him not, my son, for his Word is always lie.
416. Meet a woman with hair yellow as straw, love her not, my son, for she shall do you wrong.
417. Meet a baby child bearing teeth from birth, draw your dagger's-blade, my son, spill that babe's blood to the earth.
418. Meet an old man whose back buckles from age, listen close to him, my son, for his advice is sage.
419. Meet an old woman whose face is wrinked and cracked, protect and keep her safe, my son, and the Gods shall pay you back.
420. Meet a fine companion along your chosen path, smoke this Purple Haze, my son, and enjoy a hearty laugh.
From the Tribe of the Red Rocks
421. Kill a man, his children become your children.
422. Kill a man, his wife becomes your wife.
From the Tribe of the Great Salt Plain
423. Kill a man, you must also kill his children, to prevent their revenge.
424. Kill a man, you must also kill his wife, to prevent her revenge.
From the Kulutu Tribe
425. Kill a child, his/her parents become your parents (even if they're the same age as you or younger).
426. Kill a woman, her husband becomes your husband (even if you are a man).
From the Tribe of the Blackdeep Lake
429. The reason the grass is wet in the morning, even when it did not rain, is because it is the sweat of the World.
430. Each member of the tribe names himself/herself. The first name is chosen when they begin to learn how to talk - their name is the first audible sound they make (ie: 'Dada', 'Bebe', and 'Fttpp'). Their second name is decided after they have passed a ritual that deems them to be adults.
From the Tribe of the Bat
431. Sleep during the daytime and travel by night. Daytime is when the Sun God will watch over you and protect your kin. The night time is frought with danger, and the Moon God will seek to trick you, so be ever vigilant.
I'm DMing a 4e game based in Discworld, and my fiance is playing a werewolf (shifter) barbarian.
One of their beliefs is in two primal spirits, the Hunter and the Shepherd. The Hunter is a man who leads the sun from horizon to horizon, caring for it and tending it. At night he becomes the Hunter, a wolf who slays the sun and carries it from horizon to horizon in his jaws.
Both are noble aspects, each embody the most noble aspects of the werewolf.
433. When you wish to speak with other tribe, do not enter their village. Sit in a distance so you can be seen and wait for a member of the other tribe to invite you.
434. When fighting, you are not allowed to kill your opponent in any other way than piercing his heart.
I believe those are/were practiced in real life.
435. If an enemy surrenders, he is instantly welcomed into the tribe. A man's word is his law.
436. If an enemy surrenders, he is tortured for information. An enemy is never to be trusted.
437. If an enemy surrenders, he is killed for his cowardice. A warrior never surrenders.
438. If an enemy surrenders, he is bound into servitude for a year and a day, then welcomed into the tribe. His servitude is to repay the tribe for raising arms against us. Once that debt is paid, he is free to join us, or free to leave.
439. If an enemy surrenders, he is bound into servitude for a year and a day, then his right arm is removed and he is ejected from the village. His servitude is to repay the tribe for raising arms against us. Once that debt is paid, he must not be able to take up arms again and he must be banished from the tribe.
Wow, a lot of these are really good. and quite a few are not barbaric, I've put quite a few into my own game as 'civilized' customs. Here are some other ones I have used.
440. Women are given to their husbands as a reward for prowess in battle. They are no more than property until they have given their husband 5 children. Then they are free to do as they please. However, if the woman's father is alive he can give her away to another man, again as a reward for prowess.
441. A woman who kills her own father is the greatest of all evils. She is to be tied up in the center of the tribe (presumably by the fire) where any member of the tribe can torment/hurt her but cannot kill her. After she has been held there for 1 month the tribe is to move, leaving her there, still tied. They cannot camp at that spot for 2 years.
442. A man who kills a woman's father for her is to beaten by each member of the tribe once a day for 2 weeks. The woman is to be treated as if she had killed her father herself (see above custom).
443. If a person dies in a house for any reason, that house is contaminated and must be burned to the ground. ( Both the Japanese and the Apache had this custom, interestingly. Makes sense if you fear an epidemic, not so much when someone is simply wounded)
444. Murder is only illegal if you attempt to conceal it and thus avoid just vengeance from the victim's family.
445. Killing a lapdog, which is loved, is a greater offense than killing a watchdog, which is a utilitarian beast. (Both from the Vikings)
446. In order to marry, a man must present his bride's father with five crows he has personally killed, in order to prove he will be able to provide food for her. (Surprisingly, this is an old law still on the books in, IIRC, one of the Southern states of the US).
447. When a traveller comes to your tribe, he must first present an offering of salt and drink of your water before he can talk with any of you.
448. If a beast come within the tribe during the day, it must not be slain. Such a display of courage is to be respected, for the spirits surely are riding with it.
449. Of everything you take, be it gold or prey, one half will be for you to use as you see fit. The other half is to be evenly distributed amongst the member of your tribe.
450. You must never use silver as money, or allow others to do such. Doing so anger the moon because silver comes from the tears she shed and should be revered.
451. Never take any more than you need, whether that be food, clothing or weapons. If someone you meet on the road asks you for these things, help them acquire these things if you can, but do not give him your own. It is his own fault for not being prepared, and though you should help him to become strong, you should not weaken yourself for his benefit.
I don't know if someone's done something similar, but:
452. In Ulthar, no man may kill a cat. Woe unto any who does.
Guess which collection of short stories I've been reading
453. The right hand is the hand of war, for it is the hand that draws a bow and holds a sword. The left hand is the hand of peace. Trust not a man who welcomes you with his right hand, for he plans to betray you. Trust not a man who fights with his left hand, for his war hand is weak.
454. Don't eat chicken. It's a weak bird that lives only to die so town people can eat it and its eggs. If you want to eat birds, hunt the eagle, for it is truly a strong bird.
From the Tribe of the Wild River
455. Once a child is born, it is to be submerged in the river for one minute. If the Gods deem the child to be strong enough to join the tribe, it shall survive. If the child will bring dishonor to the tribe, it will drown.
456. Before every meal, a member of the tribe shall eat a pinch of soil, so we will never forget where we have come from and where we will go.
457. After every meal, a member of the tribe shall shed a drop of blood, as a thanks to the earth for providing.
From the Tribe of the Stalwart Mast
458. All water must be boiled before consuming. The rising steam is evil spirits escaping. Not boiling water before consumption leads to evil spirits entering your body where they will do you harm.
Not seen this or any variation so far so thought I'd add it. Liberally stolen, but I like the concept:
459. Any individual who causes a great act of Villainy (Murder, mass murder, Rape, Treachery resulting in unjust death) against the Tribe or individual is to be hunted down and slain.
Upon his death his corpse is to be immediately mutilated (Eyes, ears, tongues cut out, hands cut off) for this will mutilate his spirit before it can escape it's shell and the items cut out to be buried in the earth and dedicated to his victims. This will bind his spirit to his victims where he will act as their slave in the afterlife, where they can chose to issue him his missing spirit as reward for good service.
(Anyone who has read Gemmell will be familiar with this practice from the Nadir, who often extend the service, by issuing one body part, at the cost of one previously issued item)
460. If you end a conversation with someone without asking them a question for no other reason than curiosity, you have insulted them gravely (implies you think they have nothing interesting to say). Conversely, if you are asked a question out of curiosity, and you don't answer it, you are implying they aren't worthy to know what you know, an even graver insult.
461. If it cannot communicate with you, it isn't a person. Note that simply not sharing a language is *your* fault, not its, and you should endevor to work out a way to exchange information.
And now for something completely different (and much more macabre)...
462. When the tribe/ nation/ clan/ whichever conqures another group of people, the leaders of that people are to be ritualistically executed by being imprisoned in a small hollow under the floor of a new feast-hall built expressly for this purpose. A massive feast is to be held, and the floor is constructed such that all the dancing and merymaking above causes the floor to slowly sink, crushing the enemy cheifs under the weight of the entire tribe, their screams drowned by the sound of revels above. Alternately, the leaders are simply executed by being buried alive in the foundations of the hall, depending on the permanency of the dwelling.
From the Tribe of the Oak
463. Before sleeping, you must pour a ring of salt around yourself, to keep evil away.
From the Tribe of the Thorn
464. Murder for personal gain is simply a means to an end. A tactic like any other. It is not inherently evil, it is not inherently good. It just is. To kill a man in his bed is only different from killing him in battle in that it is easier and poses less risk for the killer.
465. If a member of the tribe is murdered, there is no investigation. He was killed because he was weak. If it is obvious who killed him, though, (i.e. bloody trail from the body to the killer, murder in plain view, etc.) then justice is meted out swiftly and harshly. But if the murder is quiet and no one sees, life simply goes on.
466. You expect all others to participate in your customs if they are your friends. you will also participate in all of their customs without question.
467 when you first draw your weapon for combat you must draw your own blood (doing so is to prevent shock when you are cut by your enemy) preferably in some graphic manner like dragging your knife across your chest, or cutting your cheek
468 when a weapon is drawn so must be blood, if you choose to be merciful and not slay your enemies you must cut yourself to satisfiy this tradition (don't draw your weapon unless you are commited to using it.)
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