Otigo Trappings

as always, playing with things to see what i like and what i don’t. in real life people wouldn’t dress like they do in the fire nation (“we all have to wear red!”), but it definitely helps the reader. you have to be a little heavy handed sometimes to drive a point home.

these are some ideas i have for the Otigo people. at this point they will not be the main focus but will impact other nations in the area through their actions and culture. they are a loose group of many disparate tribes and i was dabbling with how to make the body shapes and outfits distinct but not too different (they are all part of one people group). at this point i’m leaning towards reducing the diversity even though I like most of the outfits in a vacuum. ideally i want the reader to be able to fairly easily recognize any of these characters as from the otigo area. for that purpose they’re not there yet. how close should they be to each other? that is the question.

Tattoos: part 2

Body markings mainly serve an out-of-universe purpose of helping the audience to more easily tell non-human characters apart, but also have justified reasons in the world. Tattoos are extremely common for Arkan characters and are basically coat of arms for the family. The color, position, and design of the tattoos vary widely between cultures and even families, but similar styles obviously exist within close areas. The designs are designed primarily with the men in mind, as they are the ones whom the family line is passed down. Women generally receive father marks, which is about half of their family’s mark – they will later receive the other half of the mark of their husband to symbolize a unity of the two families. It is seen in poor taste for the father mark to be unnecessarily large compared to the husband’s or not leaving enough space for the wife’s other half, though this tends to happens more often than it would seem. Some families, especially wealthy ones, tend to make it almost a competition who can have the largest markings. For the reader this may not be shown in full as it will distract from body language.

Some powerful women that are unmarried may have the entire father mark. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to remove tattoos. They tend to be in areas easily viewable with clothing such as the face, arms and tail (though again for reader clarity this may not be accurately represented). Non-permanent body paint is also used in some circles, often for war or events.

The high Renes view the practice as barbaric. Note that they also treat their ridges in ways that the Arkans think of likewise. Other Arkans also may not tattoo as heavily, like the Otigos. 

Designs can change somewhat over generations, and some add in major family events on the tapestry for instance (e.g. grampa killed a bear so we’ll show him killing a bear in the design from now on). They also change if they find their design is at odds with the popular trends, and can also ‘suddenly’ change to just coincidentally mirror those in power or royalty. Royalty and nobles hate this and will charge commoners if they find their mark to be infringed and the line is often extremely blurred.

A Song from the Otigos

A song from the Ogitos, translated. To be played with accompanying instruments, preferably lyre, shong, and drum.

“Turn your ears and eyes to the heavens!
Turn your ears and eyes to the heavens! Praise.

Tigan was the first.
We are the children of Tigan. No equal has existed before or since.
He is the father of our nation, [and led our people away from] the demons of the desert. Praise.

Miress was the son of Tigan,
and Miratan the son of Miress.
Sidrak was the son of Miratan,
and Akkadir the son of Sidrak.
Akkadir the vanguard, the caretaker, he called forth a flood to destroy the wicked Khan of Dumessi.
What good are your boats now, river people? Praise.

Evek was the son of Akkadir,
and Kugavev the son of Evek.
Afkist was the son of Kugavev,
and Devukkah the son of Afkist.
Devukkah the singer, the poet, the savior of the decade of famine.
The rains came for us but no others, rainmaker! Praise.

Zugavek was the son of Devukkah,
and Eigek the son of Zugavek.
Kevel-Ek was the son of Eigek,
and Keval-Ol the son of Kevel-Ek.
Keval-Ol, the [rider-turned-leader], innovator, creator of the [true bow]. (note: the tivek)
A dozen armies felled by our arrows, pillar of the west! Praise.

Four more sons have since passed.
The time is upon us, though none know the day or the man.
We wait for the next. The one who will destroy our enemies and make them a mat beneath our feet once again! Praise and praise forever.”

Scribed and translated by resident journeyman Ione Boreg during his 3-year stay with the Keval clan of the Lan Otigos. The untranslated rhyme and meter is superior in Lan Otigo tongue.

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