Ronso Culture

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"The mighty Ronso claim that they first came into existence shortly after the Great Northern Crater was caused almost a millenia ago. By their tales they walked out of the upswell of Lifestream along with the first Viera, Yeti and Nu Mou, and while the others went forth to explore the world, they remained close by the point of their 'creation', watching it, and never leaving the northern continent. It is rare to see a Ronso outside this harsh and forbidding place." - Lieutenant Seamus Croft, Imperial Engineers Corp.

Contents

General Overview of Ronso Culture

Ronso are courageous, powerful, warrior giants of the north, who's exotic looks and beastly behavior often could make them mistaken for monsters. Nothing could be further from the truth. While outwardly they seem like violencee barely restrained, this comes from a world where their society put strict controls on them, determining their rank and station from birth almost to the point of death.

When entering a Ronso enclave, or even a Ronso village, the first thing you will notice is the center of their culture is a circle, often marked with rock or wood poles, or even simply drawn in the hard earth. The circle is the center of the Ronso way of life. It is where challenges are given, where celebrations are settled, and where important decisions are made. The circle varies in size depending on if it's merely a travelling group of Ronso, or a large and established village, but it is always present and honored in any place Ronso call home.

Just around this center will be three houses. Whether tents, temporary, or full Lodges, these are the three castes that help define Ronso existence. All Ronso are warriors, from the youngest kits just coming to their horns, to the broken-horn old warriors who spend their days herding young and teaching the ready.

-Hunter's Lodge: The most skilled hunters are here, along with the tools to skin, butcher, smoke, prepare, and store meats and other foods for the tribe. Hunters are usually also the most skilled warriors of the group. The Elder of the Lodge will always be known by having the best-crafted weapon the Ronso have available, and a beaded necklace with a white gem hanging from it.

-Shaman's Lodge: Home of the Gaimen, Geomancers, Summoners, and Feralis of the tribe, this is where they craft fetishes, work their craft in safety and security, and train those who will eventually replace them. The Elder of this Lodge will be known by his ritual staff, which is often adorned with crystals, teeth, and beads of great value, and a beaded necklace with a blue gem hanging from it.

-Crafter's Lodge: This is where the tribe's goods are prepared, where food is often made for all, and also where healing can be given that is not magical in nature. The Elder of the Crafter's Lodge is often the one doing the most work, as they lead by example. Their beaded necklace has a green gem.

The reason for three is because of their fierce pride. When decisions must be made within the enclave or tribe of Ronso, the three Elders will meet in the Circle, and from there, they will speak until all three have decided, each representing the interests of their Lodge. Ronso are unanimous in their decision, or no decision is made, and the Elders will leave the Circle and return at the next appointed meeting time to continue their talks.

Each Elder is responsible for all the Ronso in his Lodge, for their behavior, for their training, and for any choices they will make that affect the tribe or enclave. As Ronso children mature, they are singled out based on either inherent skill or special circumstance to join a Lodge and begin training. This does not take them away from their families, but it means that while the parents are busy with their tasks, the young male or female Ronso is in training with their Lodge to take their place among their people

Individual Ronso have a right to choose many things on their own, so long as they weigh their decision against the good of the tribe. If a Ronso wishes to make their own choice in things, they will often go to the Circle and announce why there. Typically, they will wait to see if anyone enters to challenge their reasoning, and if no one comes, they will depart.

When a Ronso is challenged in the Circle, they are given three choices. Challenge by combat, challenge by skill, or challenge by words. Each is apparent in it's own sense, but often it is the elder of the Lodge for whom has stepped into the Circle who will offer the terms of the challenge, in fairness against one of his own. If the challenged wins, their choice stands and they are allowed to go, with no hard feelings. If the challenger wins, then they are denied their choice, and as before no hard feelings among Ronso.

Ronso Life

See Racial Attributes: Ronso

Because they are Northern natives, like many other tribes, Ronso value their children more than anything, but they also value where their children go for training. The longer a Ronso's family can claim to have been with a single Lodge, and if any of the family have ever been Elders, the more prestige they garner with other Ronso. This does not mean that it is unfavorable for a Ronso child to be chosen for another Lodge, but is does mean that a family new to a Lodge will have to learn how that Lodge works and the needs it will have for their son or daughter.

Ronso are judged on merit and ability, not on sex or age, and the age of consent for mating is usually the age that the Elder deems that child ready. This is usually done post-puberty, after the most physical growth is done, and most male Ronso come to their full 8-10 feet in height, and the females up to 9 feet tall (Ronso measure their height to the horn, and not to the top of the head). Before this age is reached, most young Ronso are only referred to by their given name... the 'Ronso' is not added until they are taken to the Circle, and are declared Ronso.

When two Ronso decide that they wish to mate, they first must ask their parents, and then their Elders. Most often this occurs within the same Lodge, because these children have been in close and constant exposure and have gotten to know each other. Once the parents and Elder(s) can decide on what shall be gifted to each Ronso to begin their new home, they will be taken to the Circle, and declared to be mated. Usually there will be a build-up and time for celebration, each being provided with new furs for wearing and several other gifts from friends and extended family. Ronso marriages are rarely only denied if the Elder knows that the two are too close in family for it to be safe, or if he sees that it is not meant to be a permanent relationship. The Ronso who wish to mate at that point can challenge the decision as any decision, by entering the Circle, and declaring their choice. If the marriage is a bad one, then leaving is taken to the Elder or Elders, who will help decide who keeps what from their home, and then in the Circle will declare the two no more.

Many Ronso do not use first person pronouns such as 'I', 'Me', 'He', or 'She', instead electing to say the name. To not say a Ronso's name is considered a grave insult among them, though is forgiven to outsiders who have not grown up with this culture. To say something's name is to give it respect.

Ronso Personalities

Ronso view the world in the manner that there is no point in remaining angry at things they cannot change. Because so much is decided within the Circle, it makes it easier for them to accept choices they may not agree with. This is ingrained in even the youngest Ronso to prevent open bloodshed and irrevocable arguments occuring within the homes that surround the Three Lodges and the Circle. Since every Ronso is a warrior, their natures are competitive, and often times small scuffles will start between the younger Ronso who have not been accepted into adulthood, but these are often broken up before anything serious can happen.

There is a lot of pride that goes into which Lodge that Ronso are chosen for, and often times the Hunters, who are usually the most numerous, will talk up their Lodge and it's prowess. The other lodges are just as prideful but not as vocal on these matters, preferring to let the Hunters bluster because they expose themselves to the most danger.

Everyone contributes in some manner. In lean times, all will bend themselves to hunting, foraging, and otherwise keeping the tribe alive. The community is only as strong as the weakest and least skilled among them, and those who are Chosen as Elder are often the ones who can see this, and who can get those under their charge to work together for common goals. If a situation requires a specific Lodge to take the lead, the others will remain in support as long as needed.

Ronso do not kill other Ronso unless the need is dire. It is considered the greatest of crimes.

The Horn

A Ronso's horn is the sign of their strength and virility, and is often decorated depending on what Lodge they belong to.

Breaking the Horn:

Breaking a Ronso's horn is only done in the gravest of circumstances. Unforgivable crimes in the eyes of the Elders, breaking the Circle, and slaying another Ronso without just cause are three things that will cause one to be taken to the Circle, their horn broken, and to be cast out from the enclave or village. That Ronso's horn will be made into part of the Circle as a reminder to others of the crime. Because these are so rare, in many new or smaller tribal groups, there may never be a horn placed in the Circle's construction. In some of the older villages, they may have several spaced out, with the name of the Ronso and their crime carved into it.

Current Known Enclaves and Tribes

Enclaves tend to have no more than fifty or so Ronso, while Tribes can have up to 300 in attendance in tents and small built homes circling the Three Lodges and Circle.

-Wound Clan Enclave (Decimated. Perhaps 2-3 Ronso remaining from a group of 20-30. None of the current Elders survived.)

-Mt. Chillwind Enclave (30-40 Ronso)

-Black Nail Tribe

-Crystal Mountain Tribe

-Raging River Tribe

-Endless Night Tribe

-Thunder Tribe



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