Welcome to the Jungle Isle
“In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.”
Magic Types: Poison and Earth
Typical Build: Lean, Balanced, or Sturdy
Typical Coat Color: Dark coats with lots of markings tend to be seen as desirable. Watermarked, kudu, and rosette are seen as especially beautiful and practical, as they help phae blend in with the shadows of the deep jungle. Pale or vibrant coats aren’t as popular and phae with these coats are often encouraged to pursue safer paths, and may be seen with a measure of disappointment.
Typical Horn Type: Singular or small tines facing backwards, as these are less likely to be caught in the dense jungle foliage. Fangs are also favored, especially among healers.
Typical Traits: Resourceful, suspicious, united, proud, environmentalists, spiritual
What was once a territory filled with scattered and conflicted tribes has more recently become a rich and unified culture. Five tribes now make up the larger whole of Vinelocke, each with their own unique contributions. While the tribes maintain a unique name and role, phae of Vinelocke are encouraged to seek out their destiny within any of the tribes. It is not uncommon to see phae switching tribes depending on their passions and goals.
The first tribe is Blood. They are the hunters responsible for tracking and taking down dangerous predators to safeguard the main areas of the herd. They must ensure the safety of the young, the weak, and the elderly by managing the populations of predators.
The second tribe is Life. They are the gatherers responsible for keeping a safe supply of food for the herd, ensuring good grazing quality and removal of dangerous flora so no phae may accidentally eat it. They are also pathmakers and explorers, responsible for maintaining roads and paths around the island.
The third tribe is Horn. They are the weapons and strength of Vinelocke. These phae frequently work alongside Blood and Hoof to protect the herd, but their focus is mainly in preparedness and physical prowess. Nearly two and half centuries ago, the phae of the Jungle Isle were caught unawares by the invasion of Mirroweld. It is Horn’s job to ensure that no raiding forces come close to the heart of the herd again.
The fourth tribe is Hoof. They are the guardians of Vinelocke. Their primary goal is defense and defensive action. Similar to Hoof, much of this tribe’s preparedness comes from Mirroweld’s invasion. Needless to say, Hoof keeps a very close eye on the phae from the Shattered Isles.
The fifth tribe is Soul. They are the heart and soul of the jungle tribes. They are the spiritual leaders, the healers, and the caregivers of Vinelocke. They are perhaps the most respected tribe due to their spirituality and dedication to the gods.
The hearts of all Vinelocke have a strong connection to the land around them and a healthy respect for the fragility of life. They are a deeply spiritual people and they cherish their island and all of its inhabitants. However, they tend to be wary of outsiders, which they view as healthy caution considering their history with Mirroweld.
Location, Territory, and Climate
Located to the far east of the Archipelago, the thickly jungled isle is a large, single island without too much variation in geography. There are some higher climbs and some small mountains that boast spectacular cloud forests, but the vast majority of the island remains at around the same elevation. There are some smaller islets bordering it to the west, one of which holds a stony mountain surrounded by dense, bioluminescent foliage. With a climate similar to the Amazon, it is hot and humid year round, with seasonal heavy rainfall and dryer spells towards Frosthold and Sunhigh, respectively.
The jungle is filled to the brim with tropical plants, insects, birds, amphibians, and other flora and fauna, both benevolent and hostile. With jaguars, anacondas, harpy eagles, giant anteaters, maned wolves, and caimans, there is no shortage of danger. That also says nothing of the dangerous plants and poisonous snakes and amphibians that inhabit the island as well. It can be lethal to the uninitiated, but thankfully, the locals are fairly adept at dealing with the threats of their homeland.
They share a border with [the mountain herd] to the north, with whom they are largely on good terms with, and with [the desert herd] to the south, who they don’t mind especially, but would prefer to do brief dealings with. They are especially distrusting of distant Mirroweld, and have been exchanging espionage and subterfuge with since the beginning of the Dark Age.
Cephi, deity of nature, fauna, change, cycles, motherhood, and the wilderness.
Cephi is one of the most ancient deities in existence. She was present at creation of Thaeria, and is regarded across the archipelago as the one who created phae. Some herds believe stronger than others, but none more than Vinelocke. She is the mother of Kiora and Nishay.
Kiora, deity of clarity, light, luminescence, vision, and strength of mind.
Associated with the steady moon, Tavebu. Kiora and Tavebu are used interchangeably to refer to this goddess in Vinelocke. The other herds typically only use the moon’s name to describe them.
Kiora oversees the domain of bioluminescence, and all things that glow within the jungle are seen as sacred to her. She resides over clarity in all things, but especially mentally and communicatively. The ability to see both into the past and into the future, to predict how one’s actions have impacted and may impact further is encouraged, especially among those who follow her closely. She is seen as the strong mental front, and is frequently worshiped more intensely by those who are less physically inclined or capable– what they lack in physicality, they can more than make up for in magical and mental ability.
Nishay, deity of obscurity, darkness, shadow, subterfuge, and wit.
Associated with the dancing moon, Mdima. Nishay and Mdima are used interchangeably to refer to this goddess in Vinelocke. The other herds typically only use the moon’s name to describe them.
Where her sister oversees the constant brilliance of the static moon, Nishay evasively dances in and out of reach. Her will is much harder to discern than her sister’s, and she is sometimes harkened as a trickster. She’s more wily and clever than her counterpart, and is looked up to by those who use more subtle professions; spies especially often have her as their patron, as she guides them stealthily through the shadows and the night.
Hadhan, deity of the jungle, growth, and personal development.
He is seen as a young and indecisive deity, due to his disloyalty and disrespect to his mate. However, his persistence is his most respectable trait as he has ever sought to gain back his place in the hearts of the people. He may never have his mate back, but he can strive to better himself.
Hadhan is usually likened mostly to the sturdiness of the massive trees that grow all throughout the jungle. They have been around, most of them, since time immemorial, and so their persistence and his are united as one. He is frequently called upon for determination and perseverance for the more physically inclined among the phae that live here, asking for borrowed strength or blessings.
Emnos, deity of disease, infection, pestilence, and decay.
One of the pantheon of old gods, the parent of Vronne and sibling to Kaea, Emnos is seen as a cunning and insidious deity. They are said to thrive on the energy sapped from dying phae. As charming as they are sadistic, they hold a festering hate for Cephi, and have been known to masquerade as other beings to trick her beloved phae into tragedy.
The leaders of Vinelocke are primarily does (or trans-does), as they are seen as more level headed and less likely to be influenced by the seasons as are stags. However, they also believe in the wisdom of two voices, so if a doe and a stag are bonded, stags may hold a position of power alongside them. Stags may singularly hold positions of power in the tribes of Horn and Hoof, as they are more militaristic.
Ceremonies and Rituals
When young phae come of age, they pick a desired path they want to pursue as adults and go on a specific Proving with other similarly aged phae to complete a predetermined task. Guided by older, more seasoned phae of the same rank, they work together to ensure no one gets hurt, and most every Proving succeeds.
In the instances of special ceremonies, the phae of Vinelocke anoint themselves with special paint which, when activated by a certified user of earth or poison magic, springs to life in a phosphorescent glow. These paints are sacred, crafted by the highest ranking among the spiritual leaders, and are only worn for such occasions in very specific patterns. At the end of a phae’s life, they are once again anointed with these paints in symbols pertaining to their journey through life, and it is said that when the paint fades and the last of the glow dissipates, their spirit truly leaves their body to embark on the journey to the afterlife.
The tribes of Vinelocke are a deeply spiritual, religious people. They believe in strengthening one’s individual abilities, but working together as one united force, like a colony of ants or the roots of a great tree to work towards success and happiness. If one of their tribes cannot succeed, then none of them can. While they tend to lead different lifestyles in their separate tribes, they all still belong to the same general herd and each tribe answers to their united leader.
Chieftain – Divya (NPC)
Head of Soul – High Priestess Rajani (NPC)
Head of Blood – Jaguar’s Fang Tvesa (NPC)
Head of Life – Abundant Ena (NPC)
Head of Horn – General Raakan (NPC)
Second – Khama (NPC, sister to Raakan)
Head of Hoof – Commander Polos (NPC)
Second – Hina (NPC, partner to Polos)
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