The Forsaken Vanguard
History and Beliefs
Light of the Soul
Everyone has a light in their soul which is the truth and goodness of the universe. Because the world requires struggle and work, people forget. The light of the soul is shown by respecting others. You respect yourself, the Jungle, nature, plants, gods, beasts, water, and each other.
Respect is the doorway to kinship, and kinship is how we are all connected. When I treat you with respect and you treat me with respect, we come to know each other. With time, friendship, and with that, family. We share food, for we are together in this world.
Some people forget this, and they do the opposite. By taking from others, taking away respect, taking away love, taking away food, taking away life, they block the light, and bring themselves down. It is like strangling the soul, and a dead soul rots as much as a dead body. And that’s how the War of Darkness began.
War of Darkness
For the longest time, the people of Bulu had lived peacefully. But the world around them changed and changed- more and more predators, monsters, bad spirits and bad weather. Across the world many had come to troubles and war, because they could not take care of each other and share.
Eventually the wars came to Bulu. Demons, gods, beasts, anything and everything was at war, and the people of Bulu would drive away the violent and dangerous and care for all refugees, regardless of their origins.
One was a fierce goddess who admired the compassion and bravery of the people, and she was Nana Amara.
The world was falling into darkness, for the fighting and the hate had overwhelmed all that was good- and everyone was slowly forgetting the Light of their souls. The people of Bulu were among the last who remembered their souls, and so Nana came up with a plan.
Nana Amara transformed herself into a jungle to confuse all the combatants, and slow down the fighting long enough for the heroes of Bulu to travel around and help many people remember their Light, how to care for each other.
The world restored, though it never was as peaceful as before. There would always be conflict and violence, but there would also be the Light of the soul- there would always be a way to find happiness in this world, for those who remembered and looked for it.
Nana Amara continued as the jungle, which encompasses both the war and the peace- the dangers of the beasts and plants, and the bounty of food and resources. The Jungle both provides and takes away.
Near each turn of the seasons, ritual celebrations and thanks are given the Nana Amara, including funeral rites if anyone disappeared in the jungle that year, so she can know their names and take good care of them.
Once a year, at the winter solstice, the Song of Lights ceremony is enacted, and the village renews it’s place by sending messengers in the spirit world to remind the world of the Light of the Soul.
Staff of Amara
There is one ritual object in the village which is more holy than any other- the Staff of Amara. It was wielded by the goddess to protect the village during the War of Darkness, and is kept in safe keeping for the day when she no longer has to be the jungle and can pick it up again.
It is used less than once a generation, and only in the event that the entire village is threatened with complete destruction. The last time it was used was four generations ago when a flood of tree scorpions overran the village. Using it opens the possibility of altering the agreement between Bulu and Amara’s protection, so it is only used in the most desperate of situations.
How dangerous is the Jungle? Well, closer to Bulu village, it’s about as dangerous as walking through a rough part of town- probably nothing will happen, but you’ll want to pay attention, and it’s better if you go as a group. Further away? It’s more like a warzone- with a lot of nasty, poisonous things, and it really takes a sharp hunter to go out there alone and come back alive.
Most inhabitants have a good feel where the safe/unsafe part of the jungle is, though sometimes folks do get lost, especially if they’re going far out and end up stuck at nighttime, being chased by a tiger, or similar events. The Village will work as a whole, sending out most able bodied adults as a search party, armed with spears (youth will go as well, usually armed with slings) in the appropriate direction.
Usually the search party will spend one day, and perhaps rest overnight and do a little searching in the morning before coming back. If you can’t be found by the next day, there’s not much hope for you.
Fashion, Tools, Architecture, Weapons
People wear loose shirts or cloth wraps, sometimes with headwraps. Typical work wear is naturally colored, while decorative is brightly colored clothing. Bamboo is a common building material, though hardwoods are used for some furniture, housing, and tools that are intended to last. Metal is comparatively uncommon, though there is a blacksmith or two who does steel working.
Of weapons, the spear, short bow, and sling are common as hunting tools or to drive off predators. Most spears are simply sharpened bamboo, though a few have metal tips and crossbars to prevent predators from simply running up the spear and killing the wielder. Knives, daggers, rice cutting sickles, and machetes are also common, though mostly as tools. Bulu Village might have a sword or two kept by the Royals, but that’s about it.