The Dawn of a New Age
The Manio are a warlike race and one of the most fierce of all the savage races. Every aspect of their life is dominated by an awareness of their lush environment. Every rite, ceremony and superstition emphasizes a respect for their environment. Their art expresses this connection with nature, portraying the plants, animals and people in their region and usually focusing on their tribe’s chosen totem animal. They paint distinctive designs on their faces and bodies that identify their tribe and their purpose – hunting or war. The Manio have developed a method of communicating over long distances using drums. Called talking drums, these instruments echo for miles, raising fear in the hearts of those who hear them. The Manio usually live in small tribes and hunt in their game-rich woodlands wilderness, tracking with exceptional skill. Tribal identity is deep-seated and complete. It is very rare that a Manio will leave their tribe for another one. Each tribe lives in its own distinct region with individualistic traditions and rituals. These tribes do some trading amongst each other but also are known to war with one another, blood feuds are common, generation-spanning wars against enemy tribes.. To the Manio, family and kinship is key to the stability of the tribe, defining the individual Manio’s rights and obligations toward others. Those few foreigners who come to their villages for any length of time find themselves ‘adopted,’ given the name of ‘brother’ or even ‘cousin’ so the Manio know their social positions and how to act toward them. Different clans emphasize different skills, although each tribe tends to master most of the useful hunting skills as best they can.
The land is vitally important to the Manio, essential to their identity. The Manio deal with the realities of their woodland realm every moment. No matter where or when, the Manio are aware of their environment. They can mimic animal calls to attract prey within the range of their weapons. They can make use of natural lighting and foliage to hide within mere feet of prey. The environment provides the materials each of them uses to live – homes, weapons, clothing and food. Reputation plays an important part in Manioan society. Without the complicated and artificial societal segregation enforced by civilized societies, the Manio tend to pay more attention to the reputation of a speaker. Those with great reputations will become chiefs and leaders simply by virtue of there noble deeds and actions. Boasting is one thing, but reputation speaks truth in the minds of the Manio, a high level of skill and make one useful to the clan or tribe, but a strong reputation is absolutely necessary if a Manio wants to command the attention and actions of others.
The different tribes are mostly led by the chiefs, with speakers and a council. Chiefs are generally chosen for their age and wisdom, govern the village by administering justice, organizing celebrations, and serving diplomatic functions. Then hereditary chiefs are those whose titles are passed down to them from maternal lines, they have no voting power, though they are given a small measure of additional respect due to their heritage. Speakers are chosen for their intelligence and diplomatic skill by chiefs to speak for them and make announcements of their decisions. The speakers, along with the chiefs and the village elders, who also have a voice in the government by virtue of their age, form a council to make important decisions. This council is responsible for local policies and decisions. Although the chiefs and councils make most decisions, many decisions have been handed down for centuries as traditions. One such tradition is the male coming of age ritual which is simple but bloodthirsty rituals inexplicable to civilized beings. Dancing and feasting precedes the rigorous and potentially deadly initiation rite for the boys. The women morn for the boys as the men take them into the wilds, were for the next few months, the boys are subjected to horrific ordeals to test their endurance and ability at hunting. Afterward, the surviving boys are returned to their village and their families rejoice at their resurrection with another feast and more orgiastic dancing. The Manio have a strongly defined role for both sexes men are expected to be hunters, warriors, builders, governors and diplomats, the forest is their domain. Women are expected to do the drudge work, growing crops and raising children. Save for governing, the village and the surrounding fields are the domain of the women.
Men strive to become renowned huntsmen and becoming a skilled hunter is a prestigious roll among the Manio, already a race of accomplished woodsmen. Going into the woods to hunt is dangerous and the Manio respect bravery. Regardless of the kills, the Manio show the utmost respect for the animals they hunt. The Manio revere war above all other forces in their lives. The Manio declare war with loud and thumping ceremonies, but carry them out in grim silence. They sing their hideous war songs in their dark villages with the beat of frightening drums, but once they move out to actually wage war, they are composed and ghostlike in their movements and sounds. War is such an intrinsic part of a Manio’s life the they cannot imagine living without it. They rarely fight for the utter annihilation of their enemies, striking them without causing irreparable harm. The Manio’s weapons include the bow and arrow, the club and the primitive hatchets. Manio usually begin their fights from a distance by firing their bows to wound foes, then, after they exhaust their ammunition, close in to fight with their melee weapons. The Manio are also skilled at hurling their weapons with pin-point accuracy and some attain unbelievable distance with such thrown weapons. The Manio method of fighting is one of guerilla tactics. Scouts are sent out first to discover the location, numbers and capabilities of their enemies. These scouts repot to the war party, which then meets in council to determine its next step. Trophies taken in war are important to the Manio. Trophies are anything that proves a deed of bravery and valor. These include scalps, but are by no means limited to that grisly proof of valor in combat.
The Okwaho live in the dense evergreen forests among the Allegheny and Smokey mountains. The area is plentiful with game, fish and plant life. The Okwaho unlike many of the Manio tribes live in villages made of wooden poles covered with woven mats along the banks of rivers and streams. Typically the houses surround a round, community Council House used for social and religious ceremonies. The women farm vegetables and gather wild fruit and greens which they preserve for use year-round, and round out the diet of game and fish supplied by the men. The Okwaho rely heavily on oral tradition, with their history passed from one generation to the next by stories and songs. The Okwaho have made alliances with the Awohali tribe to engage in raids against Senetian settlements, due to their displacement from their ancestral lands by the rapidly expanding Senetian population.
The Ahawis are a Manio tribe from the southeastern side of the Smokey mountains. The Ahawis are famous for their extreme generosity, due to the fact that many years early they were facing severe depopulation, and they fled westward, where they combined with the Plaquemine and a group of Chakoi who had just migrated into the area. When precisely this occurred is not entirely clear, but in the space of several generations, a new culture had been born albeit with both a strong Manoi and Chakoi background. Their housing included portable tents and earthen dug-out lodges.
The Wahya are not a single tribe but a group of Manioin tribes. The Wahya live in an area of Vastoina on the extreme north along the coast. These tribes banded together with the arrival of the Senetions. Once they ceased their infighting, they rapidly became one of the strongest Manio tribes. The Wahya have engaged in a series of wars against the Wahuhi. As well as put great pressure on the Tsisgwa peoples of the Northern coast and not infrequently fight against the Senetion colonies as well. Wahya tradition allows for the dead to be symbolically replaced through what they refer to as the “Mourning War”, which are raids intended to seize captives to replace lost compatriots and take vengeance on non-members.
The Inada are a Manio tribe living in the area around the Upper Klaamath Lake and the Kaalmath, Williamson, and Sprague rivers. They subsisted primarily on fish and gathered roots and seeds. The Inada are known to raid neighboring tribes, and are one of the only Manio tribes that take prisoners as slaves thou they still trade with the other Manio tribes. It is reported that they can shoot an arrows through a horse.
The Yansa are a Manio tribe who original inhabited the area now on the Senetion border. Conflict with the Awohali, Wahuhi and Okwaho pushed them south and westward. The Yansa now inhabit the border of the great basin and adopted the Chakois horse culture and are one of the only Manio tribes, who practice a migratory life style and travel with the seasons, according to where the most abundant food is to be found at a given time of year. Unlike many Chakoi tribes this migration follows a predictable pattern from permanent winter villages through several temporary camps, nearly always returning to the same locations year after year.
The Awohali are a Manio tribe who live around Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Awohali tribes have two sets of chiefs that exist in parallel and are in some sense rivals. One chief is the hereditary nominated by clan matriarchs in the traditional fashion, of most Manio tribes; the other is an elected chief with whom other tribes must deal with exclusively. The Awohalis, were a hair style in which all their hair would be cut off except for a narrow strip down the middle of the scalp. This style was only used by warriors going to war, but since most people only see these warriors they associate the style with the entire tribe.
The Wahuhi are a Manio Tribe from the central area of the Manio homelands. The Wahuhi have been in conflict with both the Wahya to the northeast, and Okwaho to the southeast. The Wahuhi live in villages spanning from one to ten acres, which are fortified in defense against Wahya attack. They practice agriculture and live in long houses similar to other Manio tribes. A unique feature of Wahuhi tribes is that their villages are abandoned every few decades as the nearby forest grew thin and the soil became less fertile. The Wahuhi are comparatively wealthy, and engage in extensive trades with neighboring friendly tribes, and even with Chakoi tribes.
The Tsisgwa are a small tribe on the Northwest coast of the Vastonia. The tribe has never been organized hierarchically (under “chiefs”) but individual families affiliated with one another in small villages and seasonal camps located near food sources. The houses of the Tsisgwa, like the other Manio Tribes, are largely longhouses made of planks. The size of a home depended on the wealth of the owner, with the larger houses furnishing living quarters for up to 100 people. Within each house, a particular family had a separate cubicle separated by woven mats that were approximately the size of a stall in a barn. The lifestyle of the Tsisgwa, mainly involves fishing and collecting of shellfish.