MigratioNES: The Grandest Tale Ever Told

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Lord_Iggy, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. Terrance888

    Terrance888 Discord Reigns

    Jul 22, 2007
    Workwork Workshop
    The Zyuzaru, the Vekwela, and the Zyrak’taho Ritual Complex

    Where goes the antelope and the wagon? When call the moon mounds and the star songs? Gifts taken and none given. The sky darkens, but not for night. They come. And we shall stay.

    The Cacophony of refugees is not unknown in the cultural memory of the Vekwela and the Vamalo. With death and desperation come hopes and dreams. First came the wise, who knew what the whispers foretold. Then came the wealthy, who could afford the gifts required by tradition and the heavens. Then came everyone, seeking a new life beyond the plains.

    And they did their best, their great Ahbal’tahos growing from ceremonial/ritual sites of exchange to camps at once permanent yet constantly moving. Seldom do the refugees stay longer than necessary to survive the dry season, before they move onwards. And the structures they carved into the very sod and mound remained. And each time they left, the Vekwela breathe a sigh of relief, for the plains were built not for the ravenous mouths of city folk, but the antelope and the traveler.

    They taught the Zyuzaru what they could - and many of the Zyuzaru had participated in the ways of the Fumo. But the ways of the Vama’taho shift on the long trek north, and to survive the Zyuzaru needed to learn how to acclaim the moon and name the stars. The Zyruzaru still brought their own beliefs from home. They began creating engraved and painted clay bricks, a mockery perhaps of the Ikzil Vale idols they once called home. However, as these bricks were left behind, as their dwellings grew deeper and firmer as as the flow grew ever larger, they began to build the foundation and evolution of the Zyurak’taho Ritual Complex

    Unsurprising for this part of the world, change was sparked once more by conflict. For those living then, it as but more whispers from another direction, a vague danger over the horizon, towards the sunset. But some Great Caravans were missed at the Ahbal’taho rituals, or emerge scattered and diminished. And then wreck and ruin were found along the sacred routes, smaller family-scaled wagon trains destroyed. And then the Ahbal’tahos began to be despoiled, the innocent taking shelter there rounded up and taken deep into the unknown respites in the desert. The Ixji have come.

    By this time, the conquest of the Hakhak have not gone poorly. Even the barest hint of technological competence did them little good, but it did serve the Hakhak when they sailed downriver to test their luck against the Hwetka and the Gevera. Growing Zyuzaru cities along the Zyruzaru River helped fund and fuel the growing stream of refugees. And in memory of the Ahbal’taho and Fumo’taho of their ancestry, by built the first Zyrak’taho along the Zyruzaru River. These are different than the ancient mounts and chambers. These are part-religious center, part-bazaar, part-caravansai, part-barracks, and part-fortress. The ancient earthen mounds now grow upon deep foundations of brick, and rise ramparts. New well techniques draw water into tree-shaded pools, and tall towers assist in naming the stars and in watching for danger. And a new caste of watchers grow, those who remain instead of move, watching over the ever shifting populations.

    This finalized format of the Zyrak’taho ritual-urbanization center quickly spread southward among the Vakwela, who appreciated the protection it offered. They stubbornly dug in, even as the Ixji swarmed the countryside. Their caravans grew ever larger, swollen with refugees, food, and craftsmen. As well as soldiers to protect them. Whist the watcher caste of the Zyruzaru River remained a servant or attendant caste, those of the Vama’taho became influential in their own right. Animal spirits drawn from the stars started being adopted, strengthening sight and cunning in the dance against the swifter, Ixji.

    Ahbal'taho are the Vekwela ritual centers. The Fumo'taho are the ritual centers originally built to trade with the Tyrumu. The Zyrak'taho ritual centers are significantly different because they have continuous habitation, structures, agriculture, and fortifications. However, their populations remain mostly transient.
    Thlayli and thomas.berubeg like this.
  2. ork75

    ork75 Prince

    Mar 13, 2012
    The Yo Cho spread, the ever-churning circles of the Poa pushing them out and beyond the jungles. They climb the rocky sides of the mountains, navigating between trees, ravines, and cliffs, always seeking those glistening white peaks high above the jungles of eastern Epua.

    And then, one day, they crest the ridge. The slope goes down, not up: below them, to the east, stretches a green sea to the horizon, at its far edges lost in cloud.

    And they find themselves in someplace new, someplace different, a place unlike any other the Poa system has touched.

    The high plateau of Ojo, as it comes to be called, is a geographically unique place for the continent of Epua. Although equatorial, it is ringed by high mountains. These peaks, the highest on Epua [correct me if I'm wrong], are in fact tall enough to support glaciers and snow, even in summertime. The plateau they surround is cold, dry, and isolated. It is alien to those who have spent their lives in the jungle. But yet more alien are its denizens: here, kept apart from those roaming bands of hunters who form the Poa which dominate the lowland jungles, are the last remaining megafauna on Epua. A variety of large marsupial herbivores, long gone from all but the most ancient oral traditions of the jungles, still roam the highlands.

    To lowlanders who have never seen anything so large, anything so strange, they may as well be the manifestation of the holy. The Yo Cho venerate the beasts when they find them, associating them with the Eagle of the Dreamway, these strange wanderers of Dream made real. They protect the beasts, begin to care for them (such as these animals may accept), may try to dress them with cloths and colors, and paint them. Perhaps, in some cases, groups embark on the long road towards domestication. Regardless, these animals are protected and cared for.

    Even so, the Ojo plateau suits itself to the development of Poa, in one form or another. Localized gathering, and even some cultivation, allow groups to thrive (at least as much as a dry, high plateau allows). In a pattern which is replicated to the southwest (detailed in a little bit!), fields and areas of cultivation are demarcated, and different groups cultivate different crops in them based on year and season. In this way, crops are informally rotated (since different peoples have different crop growing specializations), and the soil is kept relatively well preserved. These patterns are still relatively low intensity, though, and populations do not rise to any significant highs.

    Although the developments on the Ojo Plateau are relatively insignificant in terms of population impact, they are the heart of a cultural shift which spreads throughout the Poa system during this period. Several tropes characterize this shift, explained here.

    Proximity and contact with the northern Yoho (whose development is detailed in the next section) is partially responsible for certain changes and developments in Yo Cho material culture, but also introduces new cultural memes: namely, the Akhaba practices of mountainside carvings, mummifications, and stone buildings. To the Yo Cho, the Yoho cliff tombs and mummies seem to invoke the Dreamway in ways that they could never have dreamed of in the lowlands. As a result, stone tombs and mummies crop up across the Yo Cho lands, and acutely accentuate the reputation of the Ojo Plateau as a place of true holiness. They also leave a fairly rich architectural and archaeological record for future generations.

    However, these Akhaba-originated traditions are melded with the existing cultural background of the Poa cultures. Graves and mummies are associated with the junctions of the Dreamway, and are often situated on interesting features of terrain near to the storage centers (as an important aside, the Powayaba system and the storage lords are relatively weak on the Plateau: food production, and material production, are simply too low for the institution to take a strong hold. However, the stationary "religious" class situated around the storage sites ends up relatively strong, as it complements the "holiness" associated with the Ojo Plateau as an environment). Stone buildings, rare at best on the lowlands, markedly change the landscape. Those who have passed to dream, i.e. died and been mummified, watch over these sites and the strange beasts of the highlands. Above all of this rise the great white-capped peaks: these take on a role as the waking elements of dream. Freezing cold, rare across the equatorial Epuan jungles, becomes associated with the heights of dream.

    While this culture would be a fascinating microcosm of its own merit, the nature of the connected Dreamways of the Poa means that its memes can actually spread, somewhat. A handful of Poa groups in the upper highlands talk to those lower down, and those lower down spread the message further east. Legends of the holy place, the high plateau of giants and dryness and dream made real, with the dessicated dreamers of generations past nestled among monuments to Dreamways unknown elsewhere on the continent, are infectious. During this period, the changes are not too dramatic, but the Powayaba system allows for at least some mobility of a portion of the population. A culture of Dreamway "pilgrimage" arises, with some mobile members (and even some small groups) heading to the Ojo Plateau in search of spiritual fulfillment.

    This culturally/"religiously" motivated mobility brings some of the tropes of the highlands, such as rituals surrounding the burial of the dead, more lasting structures, and Poa-based agriculture, as well as the holiness of the large animal, to the lowlands. Additionally, it creates new links between groups, since these journeys to Ojo and back require long Dreamway navigations.


    While the cultural shadow of the Yo Cho development is castly mostly to the north and east, it also falls to the west and south. The Yoho, similar to the Yo Cho, inhabit an environment quite distinct from the other biomes of Epua. While there are no large beasts, and, generally, less of a fantasy feeling to the area (especially given that there are higher population densities, and that people have been living there for longer), the Yoho take influences from the Poa cultures and the Akhaba sphere and weave it into a compelling and novel cultural center which exerts influence beyond their language continuum.

    The Yoho River valley is quite a rich landscape. The temperate climate allows for some crops, including food crops, to thrive in ways that they would not at lower altitudes. In some cases, at the areas where the dry air thwarts trees but encourages some nutritious grasses and other domesticable plants to expand. The hungry (and ever more numerous) Yoho are all too happy to spread these crops up and down the river.

    As a result of the Poa-based agricultural practices, detailed above as spread to the Yo Cho, the Yoho experience a massive population boom. This occurs contemporaneously with the Yo Cho cultural renaissance, and the Yoho valley becomes a key conduit for the Yo Cho culture.

    However, certain novel innovations arise as a result of greater food wealth and greater populations.

    A major trend is the development of the idea of the Great Dream of the Land, the idea that the Dreamway can be physically manifested, and that all ought do their part to make it real. This material connection between the concept of the Dreamway does spread, although mostly to the Oypo further west, and (perhaps) through them to the Kabwa. The Yo Cho don't really take it up, though.

    Building on the shared goal of the physical reflection of the Dreamway, and the tradition of the Powayaba, storage lords and the associated inhabitants of the storage sites begin employing excess population as builders. Stone buildings, adapted from Akhaba memes, begin to spring up: less "holy" than those of the plateau, but more functional, and significantly more numerous. Perhaps there are some cases of towns and "urban" centers developing, perhaps not. These builders are also sometimes sent out to the Yo Cho plateau as a way to complement the Dreamway project. While the Yo Cho don't really understand, the architecture that these Yohos bring with them is pretty cool stuff, and if they mumble about some wild stuff while they're doing free work (and if they bring some food with them), no harm really done.

    Meanwhile, these builders also create numerous irrigation projects and other improvements which allow the Yoho population to further climb. These improvements, combined with Poa-based agricultural rotation and the spread of different foodstuffs via the common-utility storage sites, allow the Yoho to develop one of the closest calls to "proper civilization" on Epua. Additionally, advances in ceramics among the Yoho allow for improved food storage and, overall, a more developed material culture.

    Some elements of this material culture might spread to eastern Epua: most likely, these travel through contacts among the Yo Cho. Crop cultivation patterns and pottery are the most likely memes to travel over the mountains, and the most likely to produce noteworthy effects in the east.

    A final note on the Yoho is that they are some of the first Poa peoples to encounter and utilize the Kannaka, the large terror birds first domesticated far to the south. While these are mostly present in the jungles on the south side of the Yoho River, where hunting is still a relatively important element of food production and culture, they are known and kept among the upper reaches of the river. They take their place alongside the Ojo megafauna in the Yo Cho articulation of the Dreamway, although they do not move up to the Plateau or to eastern Epua quite yet.

    Spoiler draft one, please disregard for purposes of evaluating orders :
    During this time period, Epuan cultures can be divided into several distinct regional blocks. In many cases, these exert cultural influence on one another, and are linked by practice, ritual, and material culture.

    Broadly, the narrative of the period is one of the continuation of the Poa cultures, the divergence of certain remote Poa systems, and the development of a massive cultural Sprachbund-style codevelopment across the Epuan equatorial band. Cultural developments are here summarized by region.

    This post will focus primarily on those regions or culture groups which drew from primarily Epuan influences, excluding the cultural complex which developed around the Hunt'wapa lake. As such, Apalan-influenced akps, namely the Htckt and the Otkt, are not discussed here.

    Apalan-influenced Wabahas (Pueko, Chepko, Tsebueh)
    These peoples continue to practice a far-reduced form of Poa, having been thoroughly "Apalized" by the akp migration in earlier millenia. This generally takes the form of limited repetition in regional migration patterns, although the system lacks definition and meaning compared to the central Epuan Poa system. Also, on the whole, it lacks the stationary settlements and storages characteristic of the Ka'Pue'Ne Poa cultures.

    One interesting development is the eastward migration of some Pueko groups. These, casting off from the shores, find themselves in the Apalan equatorial rainforests. Some make it there and then come back, taking advantage of the strong south-flowing current. Perhaps some introduce local-level (and highly diluted) Poa systems on Apala, or perhaps they are shredded by local akps.

    The Poa Complex (Yo Cho; Kabwa, Yoho, Yoyepuo; Yopuo; Ka'Pua'Ne; Tkt; Hebet)
    Major cultural demarcations are separated by commas, the sublists (separated by semicolons) are culturally similar subunits.

    The most important development on Epua in this time period is the arrival of the Yo Cho to the high and dry plateau in the western mountains. This ultimately

    Spoiler framing outline :
    Hktkttkktkt folks, hybrid epuan/khthktkhtkthk, Poa Epuan (now including Yo Cho), Northern River system, Huntwapa complex, Coastal mountain complex, Northern mountain complex

    there are the apalan-influenced wabahas (Pueko/Chepko/Tsebueh), the apalan-influenced akps (Htckt, Otkt), the Ka'Pua'Ne poa system (tkt, hebet, ka'pua'ne, oypuao, yopuo, kabwa, yo cho, hoyo, oypo)
    20:58 Iggy the northern system, yoytua and heben
    20:59 Iggy and then however you wish to split up the far southwest

    Will expand when some of my work is done
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2020
  3. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer canonically ambiguous

    Nov 27, 2002
    Portsmouth, England, UK
    Through warfare and diplomatic marriage, a branch of the Wayha mixes with Hoppa villages on the upper Hoppa river to form a new group, the Hanawarhi.

    The Hanawarhi are largely nomadic, with a growing collection of domesticated mammals, increasingly used as pack-animals (donkeys?) as well as mobile food (cattle?) and helpers (dogs?). Initially heading eastwards towards the Oh sea, they may also see some mixing with the Oh peoples, before perhaps adventuring to the arid plains of the south, or further east still.

    Like their Wayha in their hayday, the Hanawarhi will see shifting alliances and temporary feudal-like structures, with a hierarchy of travelling groups. There will however be several innovations. First is in the diversification of their vocabulary, with more complex words and grammar being used, partly as a result of the growing mixture of their ethnic makeup. This vocabulary lends itself to further development of music and song, with new musical instruments (I imagine primitive guitar-like forms) - being illiterate, music and song hold even greater importance.

    This in turn feeds into another development. Hanawarhi strong-men will see prestige and reputation as their main currency. Bards and poets will become highly-prised specialists, as ones who can transmit the memory of heroic ancestors and the worthy deeds of the living. A strict code of honour develops, including giving aid and shelter to travellers, and giving aid to those in distress. The only equal to bards will be those who know the magic of turning rocks into metal (copper and/or bronze working), likely used for decorative objects as much as practical tools and weapons.

    Rather than conquest and raiding, Hanawarhi strong-men may also seek to set themselves up as protectors of a region, receiving a token tribute in exchange for defence against outside threats. In this way Hanawarhi culture may diffuse itself across a wider area...
  4. ork75

    ork75 Prince

    Mar 13, 2012
    I want to note that my orders for the Yo Cho and Yoho are now in their ~final form~~, and can be found in my post above.

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