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The Cutthroat Shadows

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Image:Scroll2.png They came in the dead of the night like ghosts. We never saw them coming, the Shadow People that flitted between the trees. Animals. None of us heard a thing that night. The world was nothing but blackness, and all of us felt the fear welling up in our hearts at their presence. Once it began we knew someone was haunting us. Hunting us. All I saw was the flitting of one shadow darting between the trees, moonlight grazing its back once, and then it was gone. Then I heard the screams of men as they dropped dead around me. I've never seen predators so eager to slaughter their prey. They let me go only to send a message. I'm sure they knew my mangled, ungodly appearance after I was subject to their "Myrian hospitality" would be enough to deter anymore of our colonial advancements. There are nights I still see them when I close my eyes...The flitting absence of light in the darkness.
- Unknown Male Survivor



The humble beginnings of this tribe have been lost due to lack of documentation by their ancestors. Oral recounts, however, tell of a people who lived in the comforts of the shadows like nocturnal animals of the night. Engaged just as enthusiastically in tribal wars of the Pre-Valterrian era, the Cutthroat Shadows were not excluded from the vigorous training for war and survival either. There was an added emphasis on both unarmed and armed combat, wilderness survival, tracking, and stealth. More often than not, their raids on other villages would take place upon Syna's absence, stalking through the jungles soundlessly to ambush their enemies. Pillaging, cannibalism, and looting after victory was common. Raping of women, however, was never tolerated due to their matriarchal society from the beginning. Their methodical, silent, and hostile manhunts would continue until the rise of Myri the Merciless. As the woman began to gain notoriety, the tribe began to watch her. It was not unusual for them to send their best scouts in the night to watch their clan's movements. After witnessing her countless successes on the battlefield, the Cutthroat Shadows eventually looked to eagerly align themselves with her powerful clan, all before her ultimatum could be offered. Finding reverence in their unique nocturnal advantages and battle cunning, Myri agreed and the alliance was quickly forged.

The clan was extremely active in the eradication of undesirables including the Tupahi, Ukantsu, Waorori, Jollai, Pepao, and Gwanah. Campaigns were lead to remove the Symenestra, Charboda, and the Dhani, though the latter battle is still ongoing. Members of the clan participated in the construction of Taloba itself, but ultimately the majority of the clan decided to remain outside its walls for the sake of tradition. A fissure did form between the tribe though as reverence for the Goddess Queen reached new heights. Wishing to be closer to the figure they perceived as their Mother and supreme leader, a quarter of the clan left the familiar jungle to settle in Taloba. The rest have not moved from their primitive habitat. Instead they've opted to dwell north of Taloba to occupy and defend that stretch of jungle, acting like a hostile buffer between Myrian and Dhani territory. The rest is history.


The mindset of the clan member is this: hold and protect the line to defend Taloba at all costs. To the Cutthroat Shadows, Taloba is the crown jewel of Falyndar. Not only does it stand as a symbol of their religion, but it is the home and powerhouse of their race and their deity. The tribe will readily stand until the last member falls defending it. They see themselves as Myri's shield and sword. Any lands surrounding their territory are guarded heavily and even then scouts are extended beyond, always anticipating trouble.

As faithful followers of the Goddess Queen, they uphold all her standards fiercely. They take no prisoners, refuse blasphemous forms of negotiation, and laziness of any kind is not tolerated. Likewise, they have taken it upon themselves to pursue the ancient battles with her enemies. Charboda, Nuit, Symenestra, Dhani, and any other creature deemed an abomination in the eyes of Myri, will be killed on sight. No exceptions. There is a special emphasis on the hunting of the Dhani. The snake-men are seen as demons just as wretched as their Serpent Demigoddess, Siku.

Dhani Treament

The serpent demons are watched carefully at all times. It isn't uncommon for a Cutthroat Shadow scout to be lurking around popular Dhani stomping ground unnoticed. Few tribe members have seen their dens, but even fewer haven't felt the burning desire to lay siege to them. Dhani activity is followed and noted more than pursued. This is large in part due to the clan's recognizing of Caiyha's will. If a Dhani is found slithering about their territory or in neutral jungle ground, the tribe will fall upon the enemy with unimagined brutality.

When captured and/or defeated, the Cutthroat Shadow warriors will treat the undesirable(s) accordingly. When the hunt is complete, the warriors will proceed to beat, maim, and torture their victim. If they survive that phase, they will either be flayed alive or decapitated depending on the war party's fancy. Their mangled bodies will then be hanged from the trees marking the border between Myrian and Dhani, or the acres outside their own territory. In addition, their skins are draped carelessly over high branches in plain sight to further convey the seriousness of their warning to potential trespassers. Decapitated heads are mounted on stakes in similar vicinities. They tend to make themselves unarguably clear with overkill.

Outsider Treatment

Invading threats such as any settlement attempts by non-Myrians will be met with utmost hostility. Entire camps will be pillaged, burned, and any involved will be slaughtered. First time offenders will have one single survivor sent back to their origin. That survivor will return to their people wearing the "Necklace of Hearts" as a parting gift. It is the hearts of that survivor's comrades strung along a thick rope to be worn like a necklace during their trek home. It serves as both a tag to allow them safe passage through the remainder of Myrian lands and a rather clear message to the would be invaders. It serves as their first and only warning before a declaration of war.

Mentality in War

To the Cutthroat Shadows, every death had to be answered by another. Revenge is not a choice, but a fundamental piece of their culture. Seeking and achieving vengeance for their fallen is how they mourn and honor their dead.

Their faces are painted black (representing war), blue (standing for strength), and red (symbolizing readiness to kill or be killed).

A hatchet is buried in a tree to declare war, and is buried when the battle has ended.

General Mentality

True to their nature and the Myrian reputation, the Cutthroat Shadow clan is full of hostile, primitive, and downright unwelcoming people in the eyes of the outside world. In the jungle world, however, they are a tribe of wildly outgoing, war-like, determined survivors guarding the northern front. To their own, they will grant fellow Myrians refuge and extend hospitality accordingly. Respecting tradition, anyone brought in from the jungle is to be protected and cared for like one of the tribe. They will defend their guest to the death.

Military Views

Despite the fact they live outside the city traditionally, almost all Cutthroat Shadow members will commit to serving the military at one point or another. Usually they will hit the Training Yards as recruits as soon as they are of age. If and when they are discharged from service, they will return to their clan territory to serve their community wholeheartedly. It isn't rare to find members who stay in the military for the rest of their lives, especially if they are a member whose origin is in the city itself.

Likewise, being a tiger rider is one of the most noble, glorious goals a member can strive for. Most will aim to bond with a Myrian Tiger as soon as they are deemed worthy and pass the Tiger Trials. Any bonded tigers inside the clan lands are treated like Myrians. They are respected, cared for, and protected enthusiastically. Any disrespect aimed toward a Myrian Tiger is taken as a direct offense to the tribe itself, resulting in serious consequences for the offender. It is undoubtedly one of the most valued aspects of their culture.

Views on Nature

The Cutthroat Shadows have a special reverence toward animals. There is a common belief that in every jungle dwelling animal, a lesson can be learned. Whether that lesson is interpreted as a moral, behavioral, or skill based one is up for debate depending on the animal observed. For example, adept predators such as panthers may be watched and respected for their cunning, stealth, and camouflage in the jungle night. An Okapi, however, may be seen as a creature of grace and intelligence. The tiger a symbol of power, strength, and belligerence. In addition to that idea, the people also see animals as guides.

To some, animals may serve as either an individual spirit to guide them or perhaps an agent of Caiyha's will. Alternatively, an animal may also serve as an omen. In any case the creature is respected and taken seriously. The nature of its appearance and behavior is analyzed deeply. It is believed that the creature is special and symbolizes a person or situation, and that the animal will seek the Myrian out. It isn't uncommon for creatures like the tiger or the panther to be more popular in their culture. Just as the tiger is a powerful symbol for the Myrian race as a whole, the panther is a motif for the tribe as well. With an uncanny ability to blend into the night, hunting prowess, ferocity, and cunning it is almost a direct translation of the working of the Cutthroat Shadows themselves.


Dreams hold a superstitious place, too. Though understood to be natural happenings, the Cutthroat Shadows believe they are also signs and hints, perhaps even from a deity. It's common for their animal halves to appear as well. Being logical, the people know not to act rashly on the working of the subconscious. Rather, they see it as a foreboding. Just an encouragement to be aware of something specific or general in their lives. All is taken into deep consideration.


In all honesty, the religion of this tribe is fairly unorthodox. Just like their counterparts they recognize and celebrate Myri, Caiyha, Makutsi, Syna, Leth, Navre, Dira, and Kihala. They participate in all season festivals and days of reverence to the listed deities, and pray to each as they see fit.


Undoubtedly, Myri is the top tier of the Cutthroat Shadows' religious pyramid. The Goddess Queen is beloved, worshiped, and deeply revered as the Mother of Myrians in their culture. The members of this clan will live and die for her as she wills it without question. They would rather die than disappoint her. Before each battle and challenge it's expected a prayer is said in her honor. Sacrifice is a major aspect of their worship for her. Any blood spilled, injury inflicted, or slain enemy is considered a gift for their Mother alone. They do take pride in their battle achievements, but ultimately they always recognize Myri as the one who willed their victories. Thus, the kills are payments of gratitude. All her laws, opinions, and decisions are backed heavily by the clan as a whole undivided.


Overlooking his family ties and rumored romantic relationship with their Queen, Navre is easily another close follow up to Myri the Merciless. He is respected for his intelligence, loyalty to the Goddess Queen, his gifts of the Myrian Tigers, and his hunting prowess. He is seen as a close ally in the Jungle and a primary deity though he is only a demigod. The Cutthroat Shadows will go out of their way to celebrate him even outside the annual festival. His tigers practically litter their territory.


The tribe respects the Goddess of Nature greatly, recognizing her as the mother of their jungle abode. Though they are unwilling to relinquish their grasp on their violent culture, they do revere her by wasting nothing. All parts of the animals they capture are used. When in doubt, they'll fashion bones into weapons and decoration. They understand it is her that allows them to live at all and take resources to thrive off of.


The Goddess of Death is easily one of the most tangible beliefs in their culture. With the amount of creatures they hunt and the amount of souls the Myrians free from bodies, it's clear Dira has a special place in their society. Understanding the pact made with Myri, they respect Dira. They understand the cycle and like to think they have a special part in keeping it all in motion.


This once wild and dark entity purified by Syna has taken to be a common symbol of the night. Likewise, the Moon God has become a sort of companion for the tribe. Although his light sometimes compromises their cover when it glistens across their bronze skin, they see the man in the god. A brutal servant of Dira and a passionate guardian over his beloved. Strangely they find qualities worth honoring in him. The moon also serves as way to keep time.


Her passion, enthusiasm, determination, and radiance is something to behold. The light of the Sun Goddess has the power to both illuminate and burn as it sees fit. Beautiful, life giving, and wrathful if attacked. For a people of shadow, it's a wonder they thrive in the day. It's important to note that their whole lives don't take place in the night. Crops need to grow too!


The Goddess of Rain is another source of life to the Myrians. Her rain brings water to hydrate the warriors, water crops, and restore moisture to the world. Free-spirited, independent, and a force to be reckoned with when provoked, Makutsi is another prime example of desired qualities. Her appearance in their festivals renewed faith as well.


Oddly enough, there is one final religious figure secretly worshiped among the ranks of Cutthroat Shadows. According to legend, the mother of the Cutthroat Shadow clan was visited in the darkness by a mysterious goddess.

Akajia, Goddess of Shadows and Mistress of the Night, appeared to their ancestor in her time of need when no light touched the world. Blind in the darkness, it is said the woman was gifted with sight and a unique ability to speak to night itself. Given the clan's reputation sans legend, it only seems fit the deity would seek them out at one point or another. It is in her honor they continue to perfect their stealth, camouflage, and other night abilities. She is held just below Myri, Navre, and almost equal with Dira as they believe their methods with night and death go hand in hand. Since the Mistress is not a normally recognized Myrian goddess, the clan pays reverence to her in secrecy. It is very rare an outsider to the tribe would be aware of the connection.

Blind Rock

There is an untold legend of a sacrificial stone in Cutthroat Shadow Culture. Never spoken of to outsiders, it is a place of worship, torture, sacrifice, fire, and triumph. All of their pride in their clan, race, and Goddess Queen is manifested in a single place: Blind Rock. Its purpose is rather straight forward. Enemies, trespassers, and outsiders are brought to the stone to be ritually sacrificed in the name of Myri. It has become a place of belligerent celebration. Tribe members are painted in a wide array of war-like designs, quickly resembling the demon shadows of the night. It as a clan-wide celebration in which each community has their members present. The original sacrificial stone resides in their central command zone. It is primarily used for the most notorious of their enemies. Communities outside this zone have easily improvised to continue the ritual themselves.

Captives are lead through a ruthless gauntlet, a double line for the prisoners to pass through, of angry Myrians toward the stone. Along their way, they are beaten brutally without discrimination. Upon arriving at Blind Rock, they will find a fire already crackling with life. Once force onto the rock itself, the crowd forms a close circle around the edges of the stone. Obscenities are shouted at the prisoner in the circle's middle while the Shadow Demons dance about and lead the ritual. They represent agony, infidelity, weakness, fire, cruelty, and death while they harass their catch. Meanwhile, the raging fire gives the prisoner an ultimatum. Either they may remain closer to the center and be subject to the heat and burn of its flames, or they may retreat toward the circle to be beaten mercilessly. There is no middle ground.

As soon as the prisoner inches in close enough, the crowd will begin its assault again, proceeding until the captive is either dead or weakened. Axes, daggers, clubs, swords, and other weapons may be used to hack and beat at the flesh. From there they may move on to more painful methods. Finger and toe nails may be torn off, fingers burned or bitten off, and potentially other body parts may be removed. Wounds will be purposely tainted with salt and whatever other substances they might find. The most respected warriors are free to move in and make their own personal mark on the enemy with or without their weapon. Maiming is absolutely certain to occur.

If the victim manages to survive the brutality of the clan, the torture will become more creative until the body is rendered essentially useless. In either case, the eyeballs are torn from the skull and tossed into the burning embers (hence Blind Rock). When the Myrians have had their fun, they will toss the body, dead or alive, onto the pyre to be cremated. All in the name of the Goddess Queen. They give no quarter.

Tribal Structure

As expected, women hold the highest titles in their society. More often then not it is a woman leading, planning, and organizing daily clan life while the men follow orders. Considering they are outside the city, it's fair to say that men are allowed to live in a less restricted fashion contrary to Myrian culture. A man who proves himself to his tribe through vigorous training, demonstrating survival abilities, and displaying battle prowess, will likely earn a position to fit his skills. These positions include leading hunting and war parties and sitting in on small council meetings. Their opinions do not carry as much weight as a woman of higher rank regardless.

Small Council

Each section of the tribe has a Small Council. Sitting there are chosen representatives from each matrilineage within the clans (male or female). There they will discuss local issues and present ideas, tactics, and solve problems effecting their area. These meetings are both public and private, though almost all are open to be witnessed by residential members. No decisions or topics brought into their knowledge is hidden from the community.

Grand Council

The Grand Council is encompassed by the territory as a whole. Small Councils will send two representatives each to speak for their own community. All meetings are public and its location changes constantly. They will meet each season or as often as necessary. Here is where the most severe of crimes are tried, and if any doubt is observed, they will then send the case to Taloba. The most dire of issues regarding enemy activity, threats, and dire situations of any kind are discussed.


Ultimately all major judicial decisions are left up the the authorities in Taloba. Smaller matters, however, are dealt right in their own longhouses. Minor disturbances are usually well taken care of by parents and close relatives. Crimes with more weight will be seen by the Small Council or more notably the Grand Council. A trial will be conducted with witnesses and accounts from either side. Representatives and close associates will be brought forth to support and destabilize any and all claims, as well as provide a sense of reputation of the accused. It will be concluded by discussion between council members. All decisions must be made without presence of any doubt of guilt. Crimes worthy of serious punishment or death will be brought to Taloba and retried before the Goddess Queen herself.

Clan Standing

Each member is given their own role according to skills and overall ability. Women are given leadership responsibilities by default which include organizing war parties, hunting parties, rituals, and etc. Men are expected to follow the orders and meet expectations in the jobs leading women place them in. If given a more prominent role, they are held to the same standards as women holding the same rank. Adolescents receive jobs of their own and are expected to continue to hone and build upon skills. Children are known to complete education and pursue prowess in battle, night activities, and prayer to lay the foundation of their success. Their responsibilities are less difficult compared to the rest of the group. All learn to speak Myrian, Animal Calls, and Common. There is no observed reason for them to learn Dhani considering they've made a pact to never negotiate. "Take no prisoners" prevails.

Organized Groups

Hunting parties may appear between 3 and 10 members per squad. Most in the group will be skilled with spears, bows, tracking, trapping, and stealth. They are always prepared to meet adversaries outside their quarry and are competent enough to do so.

War parties are usually between 7 and 25 warriors per squad. Each member will have an individual discipline to bring to the battlefield. There will always be a healthy number of archers in the ranks to provide support and eliminate the enemy's advantage of distance. In addition, spear handlers, swordsmen, and etc. are always on hand to engage in war.

Scouting squads will hold between 3 and 5 members usually. It isn't uncommon for a very adept scout to go alone when a larger group would be a disadvantage. These members pride themselves on invisibility within the jungle and thrive in the night. They are a staple of Cutthroat Shadow defense and intelligence.


The Cutthroat Shadows encompass one of the largest areas of clan space outside of Taloba. They defend the northern set of jungle from enemy invasion in a wide swathe arcing around the city and several days into the jungle in each direction. Considering just how massive the area is to cover, they have set up a more realistic area to serve as central command. Directly ahead of the city about a day and a half's journey from the gates is in the center of their territory and is where the tribe longhouses can be found.

Consequently, the clan has broken off into three or four communities that move back and forth individually across the clan lands. By controlling intervals along the way, they reason it is in this manner they can maintain control over the significant front. Holes in their defense are eliminated by frequent scouting parties. If one party does not return safely in the allotted time, a search/war party will be deployed immediately. These communities are extremely challenging to find due to their constant movement. It is in this manner they avoid detection by their enemies. If a family inside the community has reached a significant size, they may branch off that community to form an outreach. Essentially, the family will provide additional numbers and support in another close area occupied by the community. If it reaches enough numbers it may become another community entirely. The Grand Council meetings hold the tribe together as a whole while ensuring Taloba's protection.

As stated before, there are a group of Cutthroat Shadow members living within Taloba's walls. These clansmen are extremely military oriented and rarely leave the city. They are welcomed to the central command area and any other community if they can find it. They have no territory other than their longhouse within in the city. This group provides a direct connection between the tribe as a whole, Myri, and the military. Thus, military intervention is an easily accessed resource when needed.

Additional Information

The Cutthroat Shadows were originally called the People of the Shadow before given a formal name. Their new title is actually what they were described as when spoken of. It comes from the scene in the night where all the victims could see were flitting shadows now and then in the dark. That of course was right before they were ambushed.

Player Characters
heightKaieFrom Taloba, Falyndar.