Selmaski

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Table of Contents (hide)

  1.   1.  Geography
    1.   1.1  Whisker River (St. Louis River)
  2.   2.  Culture
    1.   2.1  Birds
    2.   2.2  Tribe Structure
    3.   2.3  Beliefs and Laws
  3.   3.  Significant Members
    1.   3.1  Inara Naira
  4.   4.  History
    1.   4.1  Winter 2016
  5.   5.  Notes

Located within a stretch of land in what was once Jay Cooke State Park, Selmaski is home to a tribe of coydogs whose survival, lifestyle, and spirituality is intricately connected to the St. Louis River and the surrounding forest that it lies within.

A simple people, Selmaskians are hunter-gatherers and rely solely on the land for food, materials, and weapons. Though individuals may occasionally have contact with outsiders, Selmaski as a whole is largely private and fairly xenophobic. They rarely accept new members into the tribe.

Selmaski

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  • Location: Carlton, Minnesota
  • Demonym: Selmaskian
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Archetype (Group): Industrious, hunter-gatherers, reticent, naturalists
  • Archetypes (Individuals): Healers, crafters, sages, trappers, caregivers
  • Foundation: ~2000
  • Population: ~32 (100% Luperci)
  • Species: Dog, coyote

1.  Geography

Credit: -Deb- @ Flikr

Consisting of a temperate broadleaf and mixed forest biome, the region that Selmaski's expansive territory resides within is heavily wooded, with a diverse herbaceous layer at ground level scaling upwards to a tall canopy of mature broadleaf and coniferous trees. Many narrow, root-lined trails can be found both within and without the territory. These are used frequently enough by both Selmaskians and prey animals that the trails are kept well-worn and free from overgrowth.

Along the St. Louis River, the tree-growth becomes sparse and outcrops of slanted, uneven bedrock erupt up from the ground and border the length of the tributary.

This area has a humid continental climate, providing Selmaskians with warm, occasionally humid, summers ranging from about late-May to mid-September and cold, snowy winters. Winters here can be exceptionally brutal, with many consecutive days of subzero temperatures or several feet of snowfall within a short span of time.

Once part of a state park in the time of man, Selmaski's territory still retains distant memories of humanity's prowess in architecture. Though many of these structures and buildings have long since been reclaimed by nature, some cabins and lodges remain standing. The most prominent among those is the River Inn, which Selmaski uses as their communal denning site.

  • Flora: The area within which Selmaski resides is a broadleaf and mixed forest biome. Not all of these plants can be found within Selmaski's territory, but each of these should be detectable within the surrounding forest.
Grasses: mountain rice grass, bluejoint, sedges (long-stocked sedge and drooping wood sedge), false melic grass
  • Fauna: Depending on the territory, feeding habits, and other behaviors of certain species, many of these birds and mammals will not reliably be found within Selmaski's borders. However, these are the kinds of fauna that reside in and around the forest.

1.1  Whisker River (St. Louis River)

Running along a generous stretch of Selmaski's border is the St. Louis River. Spanning nearly 200 miles, the river cuts through the forests that the tribe's territory is situated within and ends in a freshwater estuary at the nose of Lake Superior.

An important resource for Selmaskians, the St. Louis River provides the tribe with food, fresh water, transportation, and safety. As young tribesmen grow, learning the ways of the river is one of the first lessons that they're taught; they are quick to learn to respect the river or suffer grave consequences. These lessons stick firmly in the minds of Selmaskians, and, with many years of careful practice, older members tend to navigate the river and the treacherous bedrock surrounding it with relative ease.

Though traditionally known as the St. Louis River, Selmaskians refer to this tributary as Whisker River, so named because of its connection to Lake Superior, which has long been thought of to resemble the head of a wolf.

2.  Culture

Credit: -Deb- @ Flikr

Though Selmaskians are a simple people, without much in the way of technology or agriculture, their culture remains colorful and varied. Hunter-gatherers, these people live off the land and nurture a very intimate relationship with the flora and fauna that make up their home. All members of the tribe are expected to know basic hunting, trapping, fishing, and foraging skills, though individuals oftentimes take on specific jobs within their denning site to keep the community happy and healthy. These specific jobs can range from cooking to healing to storytelling and beyond.

A tight-knit community, it is rare to find a Selmaskian alone and the community as a whole will help to raise and teach its children. A favorite pastime among Selmaskians is to sit on the jagged rocks along Whisker River, fishing, gathering crawfish, telling stories, and mending their tools together.

By and large, Selmaski is a peaceful community and prefers to keep to themselves, though its people can, and will, fight if it is necessary to protect the tribe.

2.1  Birds

Birds are revered by Selmaskians and it is considered a crime to hunt or intentionally cause harm to any species, be it songbirds, waterfowl, game birds, corvids, or raptors -- all are protected under this law. Feathers are frequently adorned by tribesmen, but these are expected to be gathered from already-deceased birds or otherwise found among the forest.

Occasionally, individual members may form a particularly strong bond with a type or specific bird, though it is considered unlawful to keep birds as "pets" or to hold them against their will. Birds represent pure freedom, and should only be found with individual members if it is the bird's decision to do so.

Council heads may attempt to learn the low-speech of their given owl and/or attempt to develop connections with their species of bird.

2.2  Tribe Structure

Ranks

Council

Masters

Adults

Youths

  • Strigines
  • Accipitrines
  • Falconines
  • Passerines

Selmaski is lead by a council of elders (Strigines) with each council head representing a different owl. Below the council are those respected individuals (Accipitrines) who are considered most proficient hunter-gatherers. Accipitrines are represented by different species of hawk. Regular members (Falconines) make up the largest group of ranks and are represented by falcons, followed by puppies (Passerines) of non-shifting age, who are represented by songbirds.

2.3  Beliefs and Laws

Selmaskians believe that they were descended from the First Coyote, rather than from the First Wolf (as they believe other dogs and hybrids that don't resemble their own physical structure descended from). As a result, they hold coyotes with more reverence and trust them more readily than they do wolves or wolf hybrids.

It is forbidden for any Selmaskian to have sexual relations with wolves, hybrids, or other dogs that do not appear to have been descended from the First Coyote. To preserve their pure bloodlines, individuals who break this law will be prohibited from bearing children, exiled, or possibly even executed.

Similarly, if parents are deemed unfit to raise their young or otherwise fail as parents in the eyes of the elders, the council may prohibit these individual from bearing children in the future.

3.  Significant Members

3.1  Inara Naira

Inara was born into the tribe in April of 2012. She took a search party out to find her missing sister, Lottie Gwynn, but tragedy and misfortune befell them. Unwilling to go back to Selmaski without finding her sister, Inara joined Vinátta in March of 2014 and finally found her sister's remains a couple months later. In November of that year, following the arrival of several familiar faces from Selmaski, Inara decided to leave Vinátta and return back home to her tribe.

4.  History

4.1  Winter 2016

In the winter of 2016 a troupe of traveling musicians established camp near Selmaski. Inara met a young ocarina player from Scandinavia named Tarina Skadi and told the woman about Vinátta. Her interest piqued, Tarina later joined Vinátta in March of 2016. Following Vinátta's disbandment, Tarina eventually ended up in Krokar where she presently resides.

5.  Notes

Status

  • Creator: Mandi — see Wiki page for contact information.
  • Status: SEMI-CLOSED.
    • Due to the private nature of this people, requests to create an original character in this tribe are presently closed.
    • However, you are free to have a character pass through or originate from the Jay Cooke State Park area as a whole; I do not claim to control this entire swathe of land, just the territory of Selmaski. :)
    • Feel free to use any geographical and ecological information listed within this wiki for yourself if you'd like to create a character from the Carlton or Jay Cooke State Park area!
    • You can also check out Mandi's adoptions to see if I have any available characters from Selmaski itself.

References

Category: Mandi