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* Plot Information for Pruul

Seven children are destined to save Pruul and shake the traditions of the territory to their very core. In response, factions have broken the peace of a previously unified territory and violence has erupted across the dessert. It is a battle between the past and the future, the young and the old, and blood won’t stop seeping into the sand.
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Author Topic: The Mineborn  (Read 917 times)


Offline Lucky al-Izar

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The Mineborn
« on: Mar 13, 16, 04:45:36 PM »
The Mineborn

A Birth in the Darkness

There were nearly 5,000 prisoners interred in the Central Salt Mines of Pruul when the Mineborn first came screaming into the world. Out of this staggering number, only 10-15% (500-750) were actually innocent of their crimes. This means that the parents of the saviors of Pruul were most likely thieves, murderers, debtors, or traitors. Prisoners, male and female, were kept together and this naturally produced pregnancies. When this occurred, an Overseer or a member of the Geiba would force the witch to terminate her pregnancy or kill the child as soon as it was born. This was not seen as an evil act. It was a mercy killing, because any child born in the mines would have no future. The Geiba did not want to take on the extra water burden of a slave’s child and it would cost too much to transport them to the slave markets of Raej.

This was the custom that had ruled the Central Salt Mines for centuries, but then something changes. The Geiba Black Widow’s began to see fragments of children in their Webs and babies’ screams haunted them as they walked through the depths of the Mines. Baffled, the Geiba began to delve each new pregnancy that occurred in the mines. If the delving produced a thread that delicately connected to the visions they had begun to see about the future of Pruul, the child was spared because their destiny was too great to snuff out.

This was an incredibly rare occurrence though. A child’s cast or potential jewel strength was not a determining factor of whether they lived or died either. Even a naturally casted Priestess Queen could be aborted if her destiny was not seen to thread in with the mysterious visions the Black Widow’s had been seeing in their Webs. Out of 100 pregnancies, perhaps one or two children were left alive. Since this process was started nearly 20 years ago, only 15-20 children have been allowed to live in the Mines and of those, only 7 managed to survive their imprisonment. One of each Caste.

The Half-Life of the Mines

The mothers of the Mineborn often died during childbirth, the Geiba offering no care to the women, as their children were the only important thing to them. The early life care (ages 0-4) of the Mineborn was overseen by Geiba Black Widow heretics, but soon after they were able to walk the children were simply handed over to an Overseer or a slave who wished to receive slightly better food rations. Still to young to work, the children would often be assigned small tasks to keep the Mines functioning and to keep them out of the way. One could often find the Mineborn carrying water back and forth, entertaining the guards, weaving bandages, helping the cook, or sifting out faulty rocks and stones that had fallen into the pure barrels of sand.

The normal birthright for children is between 6-8, but the Mineborn had theirs exceptionally late, around 11-13 years old. The delaying of their Birthright ceremony was only made possible because they were actively being poisoned by the Black Widows within the Geiba Tribe through their food. This poison, called Gomar, was created by the leader of the Sabbah heretics. Its function was to slow the body's attempts to build the structures that make receiving a Birthright Jewel necessary. It is tasteless and its intent was to minimize the Mineborn’s Jewel strength.

The Mineborn were collared and their Jewels were taken away as soon as they made their Birthrights. Additionally, they were forced to begin the physically exhausting labor of mining salt. The children were not allowed to make their Offering and they were not educated in anything other than basic Craft or that which they learned to survive. Since the Central Salt Mines were so expansive, the seven children were extremely isolated as well, some Mineborn living their entire childhood never seeing another child in the darkness. Despite this fact though, the seven children could feel something other than themselves in the Mines. They didn’t understand it then, but the children were feeling the connection of the Mineborn. Such a connection is similar to how a Master can feel their slave’s emotions through the Ring of Obedience. It was Mother Night’s blessing and the Darkness’ curse, because it allows the children to feel when one of them was in pain, but they neither understood whom this connection was with in the mines nor what they were supposed to do with it.

Two Years in the Sun

There was uproar when a guard discovered that the Geiba were illegally keeping innocent Blood within the mines, but there was horror at the prospect of children being raised in them. Such outrage allowed the children enough leniency to take the few adults they had bonded with out of the mines, even if they still had years of servitude on their terms. All of the children had to be gradually introduced to the sun, the light tearing into their fragile eyes, so they were blindfolded from the Central Mines to the Little Citadel. Saiph al-Kaid, the Territory Queen of Pruul, blessed the Mineborn with their own tribe name while she figured out what to do with the Geiba: al-Izar. Meaning “From Darkness”.

While the Overlands (the name the Mineborn have given to anything above the Mines) provided many opportunities for the seven children to grow, it also had a constricting set of rules that chaffed for some of the Mineborn’s. None of them were allowed to have their Offering, because they were untrained in Protocol, Craft, and weaponry. Although many of the Mineborn believe that growing up in the Mines has already forged them into adults, Pruul’s customs dictate that they must undergo their Coming of Age rituals before they have true autonomy and can make their Offering.

The first year of freedom for the Mineborn was spent trying to fit in with the Overlanders, but when it was discovered that this just could not happen, the Sayyadina began to separate the seven children over the second year. It was thought that distance could break the Mineborn’s connection and although it might have weakened their physical disposition towards each other, the Mineborn bond was always, maddeningly, present. If one of them screamed, they all did. If one of them laughed, a smile could be found inexplicably on each of their faces. Clearly, if the Mines couldn’t sever the bond between them and if the Sayya couldn’t sever the bond between them, than nothing can.

-Credit given to Reid for the overview of the Mineborn