The Skuld Edit
The Skuld are the pirates of Vothiel. They roam the seas. They can be found on the Southwestern islands of the mainland - namely, Ormere, Griffinmoore, and Northgate islands. They are highly respectful and worship fertility, children, and child-bearing mothers. All of them are extremely handy with the seas.
The Skuld are the trade-bringers of the world. Back and forth, they transport cargo and supplies from one group of people to the other. They run a monopoly on all the channels, and thus try to maintain peace and allies with the other countries of people. To not be allowed to pass through the Freyla Horse Pass, for example, would mean that they can't bring trade to the Hectalle, losing a large portion of their trade.
The Skuld's all vary physically, but share similar mindsets mentally. All of the Skuld love women, it seems, and children. They all highly respect fertility and make preparations all year for the Spring Celebrations. They respect all life, including animals, and do not kill needlessly or for sport. (The meat of a meal is always served first, and consumed rapidly to show respect and that the animal did not die for nothing.) They all take pride of their families, and it is always blood over mind.
The Skuld are known for their skills at sea, their maintenance of trade routes, and the fact that they seem to walk around with everything uncovered. Their ships are elaborate, beautifully constructed, and respected among the mainland - a group of the Skuld is often feared, considering they are families who fight dirty. The Skuld are known for their tense attitudes with the Freyla, as well as their Spring Celebration - one with the most partying ever seen, the sounds of their music, talking, and laughter heard on the mainland, lights seen for days at a time, and magic felt from the islands as they all party; it is the one time a year when grudges are put aside, and the Skuld throw the best parties.
- The Skuld, once a year during the spring, have a week to month long celebration. This is when they celebrate fertility, childbirth, and marriages: this is the time when families are married and tied together, when birthdays are celebrated, and when the Skuld receive their "tattoos."
- a. These tattoos are magical, move around on their skin. All are placed around the belly button for both male and female, placed by the magic-bringers of the world.
- b. In marriage, they do not take one or the other name: they combine them together and join families. (For example, someone with the last name Smith and someone with the last name Doe might combine their name to be Dith, Smoeth, Doth, Sodith, etc.)
- 2. Upon a marriage, the new couple are given a boat and required to consummate the marriage before the boat sets sail. The ship shares the surname of the new family, the couple is required to fill it with their own crew (usually youth) and the prow features carvings of fertility - babies, or women.
- 3. Children are respected as much as women - children born out of marriage are just as celebrated as others. Children are children, they continue the family line and are loved for it. To abandon a child is an executable offense; if you are lucky, you will be sent to live on the mainland. To abuse a child is an executable offense, usually slowly and painfully. Children often work on their parents ship and are taught the ways of a ship as soon as they can walk about it. No kid doesn't earn his sea legs. The more children, the better; it celebrates a man and woman's fertility, and despite marriage, men and women may still have children with others to get more crew members and children in their family.
- a. A woman who has a child on her ship - whether with her husband or not - keeps the child.
- b. There is a "pyramid" among the children. Children born of the husband and wife are first priority, while children born of the wife and another man are just below them. This determines who gets served first at supper and who's birthday is celebrated first.
- 4. "Breasts" are not considered exotic. A woman's midriff will always stay covered, except in front of her husband, as that is where she shelters a child. The same can be said for male genitalia.
- 5. Deaths and Burials: A Skuld who dies is stripped naked and very respectfully shown to their friends and family, who bind a raft for them. That dead member is put on the raft and respectfully sent to sea at dawn or dusk, with candles and a ceremony tailored to their own personal life.
- 6. Weddings are a big deal within the Skuld culture, as they represent the furthering of a family. They only happen during the Spring Celebration. There are many customs involved with this.
- The man and woman in question will dress in elaborate clothing, covering everything but the hands, feet, and face; these are in the colours of their family, representing the binding of two powers, and very beautiful. However, they are very flowing and easy-moving.
- The woman will tie her hair up, leaving it all pulled back on top of her head. At the end of the night, when the marriage is required to have proof of consummation, the woman will let her hair down - usually the man will pull it out of its bindings and let it fly free.
- All newly wed couples are given a new ship.
Skuld ships are very beautiful, with different types of ships depending on what is requested by the newly married couple. The crews all start as children that belong to the couple or orphans that are adopted onto the ships. The crew grows with the ship until they get married themselves; a couple who can no longer bear children can no longer run a ship and are returned home.
- All ships bear carvings on the head of the ship. These carvings can be:
- Water dragons
- Air dragons
- Trade boats are heavy, awkward, often slow moving ships.
- They have massive cargo-holds and four main sails to keep the boat moving, even with a heavy load.
- War ships are lightweight but solidly built ships, and often move the most quickly.
- They have three sails and often skim the water quite quickly.
- Commonly, war ships have dragons as their carvings.
- War ships have three crows' nests - one at the front, one at the middle, one at the back, sometimes even more. These are for magic-bearing individuals to unleash attacks.
- Their below-deck bunkers are filled with beds for large crews.
- Raid boats are impressive boats, similar to war boats but with smaller, more personal crews and crew space.
- Reconnaissance boats are usually solo-mission boats, and have small crews.
- They are painted in colours of blue to help with stealthy movement.
- They have four sails to help with speed and easy navigational control.
The Skuld do not govern themselves. It's sort of a manpower ruling. The bigger the family, the more power that that family holds. It all comes down to numbers; it is part of the reason why children are so important.
The Skuld choose to worship the Water dragon and Wind dragon; the Water dragon for the seas, the Wind dragon for the weather.
The Spring CelebrationEdit
The Spring Celebration is a week-long event every summer. This is when all differences are put aside so that the Skuld may come together and discuss matters while celebrating life in peace. The Skuld are known for their wild parties, on ship or off; and this land party is one that is talked about and looked forward to year round.
- This is where the Skuld will recieve their tattoos. The Skuld are known for their skin being covered while still showing off everything, thanks to these tattoos. All of these tattoos are magic tattoos. Placed by a bearer - there are known tattoo artists throughout the world that come to make a living at these parties - these tattoos can move, change colors, and even shift. It requires special training to be a tattoo bearer, as well as a special artistic talent; a bad tattoo job by an artist is a punishable offense, often leading to death. These tattoos are found throughout the body except for the face, and most often on the stomach.
- This is where birthdays are celebrated. Throughout the year, children look forward to this; it's like a combination of Christmas and birthdays, where "bad children do not get their presents."
- This is where marriages happen.