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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: Water Matters  (Read 1201 times)


Offline Saiph al-Kaid

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Water Matters
« on: Apr 09, 12, 05:04:33 PM »

Water is rare in Pruul--even for a desert, it’s unusually arid.  Because of this, several traditions and subcultures have sprung up that would not be feasible or accepted elsewhere. By and large, this is attributed to a phenomenon known only to Pruulians called the “sandworm”, which are massive worms about the size of two or three horses that live exclusively in the deep desert where there is no water at all. When killed (which is tremendously difficult, due to their armored plating and truly ridiculous resistance to Craft) they exhale a great quantity of water, lending credence to the theory that they are why Pruul is much drier than Raej--but it is generally poisoned, and the bigger the worm the stronger the poison. Sometimes, Black Widows are taught to cleanse the liquid exhalation into drinkable water, but since killing a sandworm is major bad luck, only the desperate try. It’s certainly never been managed by a single person alone.

The traditions and subcultures caused by this water lack are covered in detail below.

Soaks, Sip-Wells, and Catchbasins
Nomadic tribes know much about finding water where none previously was--they’re the ones you want for guides, since they know where to find soaks (where water seeps slowly to the surface and must be cleansed with Craft or a cheese-cloth) and sip-wells (small, isolated places where water may be drawn out of the ground with a straw). In the mountains and in any rocky place, you can usually find catchbasins, which are complex systems of spells that draw moisture from the air and collect it in a cavern or a well. Catchbasins are communal property, and any man or woman caught stealing more than their allotted share of water is treated as a water thief.

Water Thievery
The absolute worst thing any Pruulian can do is steal or poison water. Punishment for interfering with a water source is worse than punishment for rape, murder, torture, or shattering someone’s Jewels. Stealing earns you a sentence in the salt mines, while poisoning a water source will cost you at the very least all of your Craft before being condemned to the salt mines forever. Water thieves are despised and lower than dirt.

Funerary Practices
“The soul belongs to its owner, but the body belongs to the tribe” could roughly describe the approach to funerary practices in Pruul.

Nomadic Tribes
Every nomadic tribe has at least one Priestess. It is the duty of this Priestess to drain the body of its water. To ensure that no living nor demon-dead is drained in this way, they are left in the tent in which they died for one day; if they have not moved, it is assumed they are truly dead, and the water is added to the tribal stores.

See above; however, instead of going to tribal stores, water counters are given to the family of the deceased. Their loved one’s water will be added to the catchbasin stores, and the family will be able to receive an amount in water roughly equal to the amount of water drawn from the body.

Funeral Pyres
Traitors’ water is never to be added to tribal stores, lest their shade haunt the tribe. Their bodies may be burned with witchfire, or if they were especially terrible, they will be drained and their body’s water poured onto the sand. A hero, however, may be granted a funeral pyre--not of witchfire, but of wood, as wood is so rare and expensive.

Battle Injured
Those who die in battle become the properties of the winning tribe. Injured members of the losing tribe will be killed if healing them would detract from the healing of their own. Members who are healed become members of the new tribe, and are usually enslaved.

The Water Burden
Water is the essence of life, and so a life debt is referred to as a “water burden”. Matters of defending life or honoring promises are “water matters”; members of a Court promise their water to their Queen’s water. By incurring a water burden--which can only be done by saving a life or promising to defend one--you essentially buy that person’s willing assistance in any matter. They may grumble and question, but in the end, they owe you their life and above all else, a Pruulian despises being in debt. A common question asked of a person seeking another is “Is your water promised to their water,” as a Pruulian will generally seek to assist if it is a matter of water simply upon water principle.

Water Fat
You could be so thin your ribs show clearly and still be “water fat”. It is a derisive term used for those who have never learned water discipline in Pruul, or those who are so rich they have no need to concern themselves with it, and describes the soft, smooth quality of their skin.

Water Rings
These are rings of differing metals which indicate how much water a warrior or family has brought to their tribe. City-dwelling Pruulians associate them with a death in the family, to be handed in and redeemed. The warriors of nomadic tribes, however, associate them with honor; the more water rings you have, the larger your number of enemies slain for your Queen. When someone wishes to stake a claim or make a dalliance official, they give their object of interest their water rings. Women braid the rings of their men into their hair. Women warriors wear them laced on a ribbon, which functions to keep them quiet while they’re on active duty.
measuring out water counters:
1 gallon = 4 quarts = 8 pints = 16 cups
Rings go from about wedding-ring sized to about shoe-grommet size.
The average human is between 50% and 75% water. Assume 50% if your corpse is native to Pruul.
Pruulians don’t count less than a pint of water.
1 pint = 1 small bronze ring
2p/1q = 1 small silver ring
4p/2q = 1 medium silver ring
1 gallon = 1 small gold ring
5 gallons = 1 medium gold ring
10 gallons = 1 large gold ring