Yuraw, Bolivia

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Statistics & Foundation

Primary Map

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  • Mel (owner, creator)
  • Location: La Paz, Bolivia
  • Status: CLOSED
  • Languages Spoken: Aymara, Spanish
  • Archetype (Group): Gangsters, farmers, artisans, mountaineers, traders
  • Foundation: ~1995
  • Species: Dogs, Dog Hybrids
  • Luperci: Highly Luperci
  • Population: ~300; numbers fluxuate regularly
  • Faction Leaders:
    • Umaki: Markel Estévez
    • Sullkachaña: Cruz Salazar

Table of Contents (hide)

  1.   1.  Description
  2.   2.  Geography
  3.   3.  Culture
  4.   4.  Factions
    1.   4.1  Families
  5.   5.  History
  6.   6.  Connections to 'Souls

1.  Description

Yuraw, Bolivia

Though a great deal of the land is urban sprawl, much of this has been reclaimed one way or another. There are fields and young parks butting up against old buildings. Many of the wooden homes have been destroyed or removed entirely, with residents favoring the vast selection of stone structures throughout the city. Roads, especially those larger highway systems, are still used by Luperci to travel across the expansive area. The primary prey located in the wilds is vicuña.

  • Palacio Quemado: "The Burnt Palace" has long been the center of government within the city. It is the only truly neutral area of Yuraw; all violence is forbidden within its walls. This makes it a popular place for many to frequent, and hosts a variety of "conferences" between disagreeable parties.
  • El Mercado de las Brujas: "The Witches' Market" is exactly what it sounds like; a place to trade for spell supplies, amulents, and whatever sort of magical aid one might need.

2.  Geography

Yuraw spans a great expanse of the region including and surrounding the former human city of La Paz. A valley within the Andes, the area is relatively cool, with rainy summers and dry winters. Mudslides are frequent within the summer. Due to its elevation, Yuraw is relatively "dark" -- most days are cloudy, and only average between five to eight hours of sunshine.

3.  Culture

A world unto itself, Yuraw's location has provided its residents with the right atmosphere to develop its own set of behaviors. With a hearty history of supersticion and lore, festivals and holidays are celebrated with reverence. Localized behaviors and beliefs are more prominent than anything else, providing societial divides between groups.

  • Morals and Ethics

The general consensus of Yuraw is that things come back -- a bad host can expect bad manners from their guest, a good parent will raise a good child, and so on. There are varying views as to what right and wrong are defined as, however, and this complicates matters between individuals of different backgrounds. Yuraw's culture encourages learning, and youth and adolesencts are expected to make mistakes and failures. Elders are given respect and assistance regardless of affiliation, though one is not obligated to risk their own life to do so.

  • Spirituality

Spirituality plays a part in many Yuraw's citizens' lives, though how much varies from individual to individual. Large festivals are held annually to honor the protector-spirits of ancestors and indigenous Andes gods. Many citizens practice some form of "witchcraft".

  • Bias and Prejudices

Each Faction within Yuraw tends to influence negative opinions about the other. Men are considered more expendable than women.

  • Laws and Crimes

There is no universal justice system within Yuraw. Matters are largely handled interally, and through the Factions which control certain territories. It is expected that anyone committing a crime is aware of the consequence; retaliation is regularly carried out by the victim's relatives or affiliates.

Healers, known as Kallawaya, are granted immunity when it comes to where they go and what they do. Considered especially powerful for both their physical and spiritual abilities. Kallawaya's are "untouchables" -- in the aspect that anyone who harms or otherwise threatens a Kallawaya does so at the risk of both their body and spirit.

  • Species

Dogs are the most common species, with only a smaller spattering of hybrids within their number. There is no breed of exceptional note -- nor has their been for generations. Certain families and bloodlines will carry shared traits, such as coat-length and color, but generally most everyone is similar in build and height.

  • Language

Most everyone is fluent in Aymara, the native language of Bolivia. Spanish is the second most-common language, most often used with traders or travelers. Highly educated or traveled members of society would have more exposure to foreign languages.

4.  Factions

  • Umaki (Aymara: "small moon, low light")
    • Led by Markel Estévez

Even before the humans went extinct, some dogs lived without ever knowing collar or chain. They roamed the wild places at the edge of the city, and deeper sometimes into the mountains and valleys along the river. They lived free and they did whatever they needed to survive. If they could not hunt, they stole. As long as one lived to see the next day, the means could be justified.

This group is expansive, and many of its members come in from surrounding lands. Some people (especially members of Sullkachaña) consider them savage and unpredictable. Given their affinity for violence this doesn't seem like an exceptionally far stretch of the truth. They are more feral than the Luperci who live within the central part of the city, and less likely to sport clothing or make use of human remains. Some members will sport more obvious signs of their affiliation. Their simple sigil may sometimes be scarred or branded on members to show their dedication to the Faction, something especially true of newcomers or outsiders. The Umaki consider white to be their signature color, and go to great lengths to display it when they can -- suggestive of their connection to the ever-present snow on nearby Illimani.

Most members of the Umaki value independence and autonomy. It is common for smaller groups to exist within the umbrella title of Umaki. Smaller groups may band together to work towards a common goal, but rarely stay together for long. It is only recently that a majority of these groups have identified a singular "head" and begun uniting under his leadership for what have become organized raids.

  • Sullkachaña (Aymara: "treat the larger and the smaller")
    • Led by Cruz Salazar

Our ancestors lived here and shared the land with the humans. All of these streets and trees, all of the structures and secret hiding places, they were sniffed out and marked and claimed many generations ago. All of the things left behind belong to them; all of the knowledge and materials, all of the stories and old faith. It is for this reason we claim our rights, and defend the places rightfully earned.

The descendents of domesticated animals, the members of Sullkachaña consist of several bloodlines which trace themselves back to the days of man. Uppity and selfish (according to the Umaki), these Luperci live in what was once the most desired and wealthy areas of the old city. They often reside in human buildings and collect artifacts, with some members fond of clothing and nearly all known to wear jewerly. Perhaps owing to their access to relics like books, they are slightly more scientifically advanced than their rival Faction. Tattooing is a common sign between members -- a simple codex used to communicate identity -- but they are also known to wear dyed or intricately woven garments.

Centralized and organized, Sullkachaña maintain good relationships within their collective and with partners in trade. They raise llama and alpacas and often make use of their wool for trade, of which they actively participate in. They are more selective about who they allow to join their numbers, which remain smaller than those of their rivals.

4.1  Families

The Estévez ("son of that which surrounds or encompasses") family are one of the few large ones within Umaki, and many of them become leaders within their smaller groups. This has led to the current psuedo-unification of the Umaki, though the ambitious members of this family seem likely to squabble over such a title. They are largely mongrels, and owing to their rough lifestyle have developed hardy (if lean) builds and shaggy coats. Most of these dogs are brindled or darkly colored.

The Salazar ("dweller in the old hall") family has led Sullkachaña for as long as anyone can remember. They are known for being level-headed and large in stature. Owing to their lifestyle, it is not uncommon for there to be mixed breeding within their lines -- members can range in color, coat-length, and size quite dramatically. Well-defined markings are more common in their bloodline.

5.  History

Yuraw (Aymara: "Homeland") was once called La Paz, and the third-largest city and government capital of Bolivia. The rapid spread of the virus destroyed the human population -- an event which their evolving dogs, and those feral ones who were growing bolder by the day, watched with mixed emotions. Initially, the city became putrid and suffered from scavengers and diseases brought on from the vast amount of human waste left behind. There is little record of what actually happened in these early years, but many stories share themes and events. Most notably, and perhaps most long-enduring, is that of the conflict between the domestic and wild dogs has been ongoing forever.

These two groups stayed fiercely divided, and over time and several generations disagreements in philosophies and land-rights have kept this divide. Tensions have continued to brew between now organized factions, and eruptions of violent occur with relative frequency. Supplies and territory of are special importance, especially as sections of the city are destroyed by time or with intention. Scarce prey within the city-proper caused the use of livestock to become more popular, which only further increased a need for space.

6.  Connections to 'Souls

Category: Mel