Make RPGs Weird Again!

The south is weird – WC #8

Traditions are differnt in every land. Some are a bit more… eccentric, than others. Part eight of my 2021 Worldbuilding Challenge inspired by this reddit post from a person named Faranesque:

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Hans Rudolf, talking about his experience as chief seculant in the guild of the bone engineers, in 826 RM, while besieged by savage bone servants.

You never know when a bone automatron gains enough sentience back to understand that it is dead and enslaved. And trust me, you don’t want to be around when it eventually happens.
Most of the time it is a very gruesome affair. For some reasons the dead don’t want to be working our fields and mines like brainless ants without rest and pause. We don’t let the dead sleep and they are not too happy about it.

To prevent this sort of thing, even though the end results are often questionable, the guild of bone engineers have various rituals and ancient practices that they use to quench the thirst of vengeance in the once dead. While coating the remains in metal and wood, fixing joints and adding fake ligaments they speak endless litanies and prayers. They burn incense and strange herbs over blue flame to smoke out the consciousness of the corpse. Apparently, we still don’t know exactly what helps the most, so they try out everything and all, just to be sure.
So far it at least helps to keep incidents to a minimum.

And still, even if this is pretty bizarre in its own, it is not as weird as some of the stuff that they practice in the Southern Lands. Sorry, if I digress from the topic, but it just has to be said once for all. These people are their own kind of crazy. The royals as well as the common folk seem to be very stern about keeping social culture exactly as it is. I would go so far and call it an almost concerning obsession over traditions.

I mean, their legislation is literally based on heroic deeds. Oh, you stole some gold from a treasury. Well, go kill a bear in the woods and your absolved. Absolute bonkers. And the worst thing is, it seems to work. They have one of the lowest crime rates of all countries. Their folk are almost all goodhearted and friendly to foreigners. And if someone steps out of line you can guarantee that there will be some royal bloke who undertakes an epic quest of huge proportions to quench all evil that arises. Just because some old text said that they had to. To uphold the traditions.

In the same range, there are almost no uprisings or revolutions. No rebellion, no nothing. Most of the people like their rulers and most aristocrats treat their subjects good and fairly. And all that without killing someone to set a warning example. It just can’t get into my head. But what can you expect from a land where animals can speak. And with all that magical frippery on top, it’s a miracle, that this system of theirs worked so well for all those Eons.

Ok, ok, I get back to talking about the automatrons and how to fend them off in a minute, don’t rush me. I know their banging on the door, but they probably won’t break trough for at least another hour.
So let me give you a short list of the most zany of their so important traditions, ok? You will love them, I swear.

  • There are royal animals. Like, literally kings and queens boars and fish and stuff. And get this, they are as valid as all the human ones. They have to let them eat at their royal round tables. Imagine that. A giant bear, eating little parfaits.
  • You rescue a child and you are immediately recognized as the official godmother. And no, you can’t back out of it. It is a binding contract.
  • A Duel is a legitimate way of determining the victor of an argument. But you can’t kill your opponent. If you do that, guess what. You have to do another of those damn quests to absolve yourself
  • You are literally allowed to steal food if you are hungry. I’m not sure how that doesn’t completely destroy the local economy.
  • If a witch attends to the birth of your child, you aren’t allowed to burn her immediately on a stake. Instead you have to try to talk her into giving some sort of magical present to your kid.
  • If you command an undead to go away, most of the time it does. How does that even work? I mean, it… what? Yeah, of course you can try, but I don’t think it will help much with these ones.
  • They hold cats as normal pets. How weird, right? I mean, it is obvious, all of catkind are of royal blood, duh. Otherwise how could they hold the dead of? Ok, I know that is not a tradition, but still…
  • Swearing an oath counts as legally binding, whatever you swore. If you can’t comply you will be outlawed and banished.


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