The Owsla

The origins of the Owsla is shrouded in their own legends. They claim their tribe originated with a pair of children raised by hrairoo deep within the Oleander Forest. One thing is for sure for them, members of the tribe have always called the region home.

Now only one member of the ancient tribe exists, Thalayli Thunnanang, the last survivor after a slaughter of the remaining members of his tribe at the hands of beastmen, years after their exodus from their ancestral home in the woods.

About 200 years or more previous to their extermination they were rangers and protectors of the deep woods of the Oleander. For generations their beast riders hunting in packs to bring down terrible beasts from the Wyld that had ventured too close to civilizations. The often worked with the people of Sazaro and Temesne helping the Scouts and other organization navigate dangerous parts of the forest as well working together to bring down roving bands of Wyld tainted barbarians and worse. The effectiveness or perhaps the audacity of the beast riders did not go unnoticed by the descendants of Tyrant Dust and other nefarious groups within the Oleander.

The tribes home was located deep enough in the Oleander that when the War of the Petals began there was little they could do to defend themselves from the armies from the Wyld. They struck with such force that only a handful of the tribe escaped the wrath of the creatures they had hunted for so long. During the war the beast riders acted as cavalry, message riders, trackers and scouts for the forces led by Klaven and his brotherhood. After the battle, Klaven himself offered them a home near his new kingdom. A place as closer to the wood than any other displaced group. Hazel-Rah known among the tribe as Wounded Heart accepted the fact that the Wyld had claimed their former homeland and agreed to live on the outskirts of the duchy. His people would live on the edge of the forest, bringing warnings to The Scouts or the Dukes forces if there was any encroachments. Of course, the Hrairoo riders would still venture deep into the wood, culling beastmen packs or wyld tainted creatures over the next few decades.

Over the generations born while living on the dukes land, Wounded Heart would not allow chosen Hrairoo riders to mate with the children of the Klaven Dynasty. Not as an insult to the dynasty but due to not wanting to prevent future terrestrial children to bond with their life-mate mounts. This of course may have to change if the last survivor of the tribe wishes to reclaim the ancestral home of his people…But then again another hrairoo besides the regal Big Wig has not been seen since Thalayli returned from Grey Falls.

The only form of religion the Owsla know is a ancestor cult in which they believe they are to pay respect to all the former leaders of their tribe as well as the mounts their leaders rode. From Wounded Heart to Dark Sky all are given prayer and reverence before or after a hunt. Usually in a form of remembrance of how one defeated a foe or hunted the unhuntable. Most tribe members believe that prayer to terrestrial gods is necessary and insulting to ignore. The Immaculate Faith was unknown to them until a bit over 50 years ago when a group from Grey Falls came to recruit a “lost egg” to come be educated in their city. The lessons that Big Wig and Thalayli returned with were that the Realm is full of foolish children all wanting to be better than each other but lack the skill to do so.

Cannibalism, much like many of the other forest tribes is ritualistically practiced. Often when a Owsla duels an opponent or battles an especially worthy foe they will consume where that persons power comes from. An especially mighty foes heart, a keen eyed huntresses eyes or the brain of a wise and powerful leader of mean…sometimes his tongue as well. The ritual for the Owsla is not barbaric but seen by them as a way to honor such a great foe. Of course, some civilized people may look down their nose at this practice, but the tribe cared little of what others think.

Hrairoo are considered sacred creatures to the Owsla. As are wolves, dogs and other canines they see as descendants of their sacred mounts. They also revere the hawk like strix as a spirit of death called “El’efrarah” who’s portents meant that a great hunt would soon be taken up. Should one insult the Hrairoo of a rider it is akin to insulting that riders closest family and a swift (often physical) retort can be expected even from the most mild mannered members.

Views on Anathema and other exalts. The Owsla have always cared little about the Celestial exalted. To them the Solar’s have always been ghost stories about power corrupting and the children of Luna are the masters of the beasts of the Wyld. Aside from Tyrant Dust, they have never had others to compare to. Terrestrial Exalted that the tribe has encountered are always viewed as cousins and often after several hunts brothers/sisters to the tribe (even though a Hrairoo has never bonded with any non-tribe member).

Sorcery/Thaumaturgy/Necromancy. Aside from small rituals by savants within their tribe, no form of magic has ever really been seen by the tribe aside from those who have ventured far from the forest. Like most things alien to them they would view any form as either a disadvantage their enemy has chosen or an advantage they must overcome.

Honor and Loyalty are both very important to the Owsla. They would often rather die than break a sworn oath or even to lie to someone (even an enemy). Though they engage in guerrilla warfare and ambush their prey, other forms of deceit are frowned upon. When challenged they prefer to make sure that whomever has made the challenge can stand on somewhat equal ground. More often than not, an Owsla will accept the taunts and jibes of a challenger they see beneath them, knowing that there is no honor in defeating fools and idiots. This of course does not extend to those who insult their mates, the most vile of insults have resulted in the death of several who sought to take advantage of the patience of the tribe.

The Owsla

Dragons of the East Kennygfairchild