((Thanks to Moo for the Jungles))
--Recovered from a journal found partially submerged in a creek near the edge of the jungle--
We have set up camp at the edge of the Great Jungle of Maktatui, awaiting the arrival of our guide. Along with my fellow researchers, of various academic persuasion, we have brought along a small contingent of mercenaries to provide protection. I believe that they'll be more than enough to handle anything in there, despite the rumors. Perhaps I should take a moment to elaborate on our destination.
The jungle of Maktatui is a large, mostly unexplored region of harsh terrain, populated by savage tribes that roam the jungles. The tribes often trade with the civilized world, though not always with each other, based on regional and racial lines. Those that have nothing to trade often resort to violence against intruders. My colleagues and I hope to study the strange peoples and places, maybe discovery new civilizations deep in the jungles.
Our guide has arrived, a squat dark skinned little human of the Maktatui tribe named Taka. Despite my urging he will not admit to being of a sub tribe, insisting on the general Maktatui designation. He explained that he plans to lead us inwards to a Braman village deeper in the interior of the jungle before moving onwards to the river city of Atk'Kamar. The men seemed to be quite excited by this, for reasons I'm not entirely sure of, just giving me lecherous smiles when I questioned them.
Our journey through the jungle goes well, I'm not entirely sure of why anyone would expect this land to be harsh. Despite the constant buzz of insects the flora does not seem to be providing much of a hindrance. We are making good time, and I expect we'll have made it to the Braman village of Mo'mamak before dusk.
The Braman greeted our arrival with a great festivity, throwing a celebration and feast in our honor. The tribe seems more than eager to receive us, the mean seem equally pleased to be here. The Braman, or minotaurs as the civilized culture may see them, dress in loin clothes and carved armor of bone or wood, many wearing fetishes about their body, hollowed gourds or bits of bone.
They are uniformly fit and strong, standing taller than most men, their bodies honed to near perfection. The village is a cleared space of land in the midst of a wall of trees, quaint huts surrounding a large wooden totem int he center. I understand that the Braman take it as a matter of honor to treat us with hospitality. I for one am glad to have the opportunity to question them on their culture.
It seems the Braman, not only as a tribe but as a race, are a semi warrior culture, basing their system of honor on the tenants of ferocity, fertility and food, which does explain why the men were so eager to arrive.
I'm afraid our language may not properly express these tenants in words..allow me to explain. Ferocity represents a Braman's strength not only a warriors prowess in battle but also any physical trial a tribesman overcomes. This could be a journey through the jungle or just as equally the building of something useful for the tribe, such as a hut or bridge. Many of the young members seek to gain honor through friendly games and duels, not only amongst themselves but with the men we've brought to them.
Fertility as it turns out, is the reason many of the men were eager to arrive.
The idea of fertility to the tribe seems not only to be the ability to bear children, but their desirability to ah..perform the act of making children. They dress in revealing clothing to show off their..aah..attributes, the females showing off their hips and chests, the males displaying great slabs of muscles.
Honor is judged by how many mates a tribesman manages to coax to bed, thereby showing how desirable they are. The Braman seem to be less than picky in their conquests, quite eager to seduced the men, the male members as well as females, the exotic nature of outsiders seeming to only encourage their advances. The men seem only too eager to offer themselves up.
Food represents a Bramans ability to provide for the tribe, either as hunters gatherers or as simple farmers. A member who clears an area for farming or who brings in large amounts of food from the jungle gains great honor among the tribe. This explains why the Braman are one of the most eager races when it comes to trading, many seeking seeds and spices to bring back to their tribe.
A small group of Braman have agreed to accompany us on our journey, we sent out anew come the dawn.
The jungle gets thicker with every passing mile. The men have to spend more and more time hacking through, not that the Braman seem to mind this part, seeing it as competitive as anything they do. I approached one, a rather large male, about the weapon he was carrying, a foot long dagger that looks to be carved of bone or ivory maybe. He claims its the tooth of some kind of tribal frog race, whose shaman evolve their warriors in frightening ways. This of course is ridiculous superstition.
The Braman do not seem to..like our guide Taka. They don't treat him badly as such, but more like he's some kind of second rate creature, much like a dog, regarding him with a sort of apathetic disdain. They refuse to answer my questions about it, mostly just huffing at me, sometimes laughing.
Some of the men were injured, after being attacked by a swarm of large ants, the size of human hands. No one was seriously hurt, though we've had to adjust our path.
The Braman say we're nearing the river, arriving maybe in a day or two, if our speed holds.
We've arrived on the rivers edge, deciding to settle down for the night, continuing on to Atk'Kamar in the morning. A few of my colleagues have decided to try the river for new specimens, under the watchful eyes of Braman guardians. They refuse to tell me why they do that too.
We've arrived at the trade city of Atk'Kamar, a sprawling walled mess of huts and tents squatting on the river's edge. The city is the major trading point for many of the jungle tribes, as well as any merchantmen travelling the river. It is a great boiling pot of cultures and people, filled with coming and goin groups.
Braman tribes ranging from all around, small black men squatting in clouds of smoke from their long pipes, strange staring men with skeletal paints on their face and bodies. The tribes seem to regard the area as neutral ground, setting aside grudges in favor of trade.
Most of these tribesmen seek metal weapons and tools, trading spices and fruit or hiring themselves out in return for such prized goods.
The Braman have taken to wrestling, amongst other things, with the other Braman tribes in the city, giving me and my colleagues time to research what we can of the peoples moving through. Strangely enough most seem to regard Taka much as the Braman do, some nearly acting violently towards him.
We've been joined by a group of adventurers seeking treasure in the jungle. They don't look like much, a patchwork scraggly bunch of disreputable wanderers, but their talents should be a great help should we run into any problems in the uncharted lands.
We have headed out into the jungle once again, moving along a trade path before we cut our way southward into the brush again. Our ranks have been renewed in numbers as well as morale, hopes seeming quite high as we set off again.
We've had to adjust our route to take us around a swampy area, supposedly the territory of the feared Frog race. Some of the Braman wanted to go into it, presumably in hopes of battle, but we've decided to just skirt the outskirts. The trees and ground are spongy here, the air filled with drifting fog and strange scents.
The jungle is thick and overgrown now, our progress is slow. One of my colleagues, a botanist, has discovered a strange black flower, petals dark as shadow. The Braman greatly disapprove of him taking it, though they wont speak of it further.
The overgrowth has grown..darker somehow, the sun barely shining down into the trees. The trunks are twisted and overgrown with dark green vines, the ground covered with plants so dark they're nearly black. More of the strange black flowers are appearing here and there, along with dark blue varieties.
Something has..attacked us in the night, though we didn't discover it until this morning. Several of the men have gone missing without a trace. The Braman have become quite riled about it, insisting we turn back, the adventures insist we keep going.
More men have gone missing, just vanishing into the night. The jungle has become so thick we make very little headway. Strange noises echo around us in the shadows. The Braman have stopped cutting our path, instead taking up guardian positions at all times. The adventuring parties zealot has become..stressed over something, babbling nearly incoherent at times.
We've been attacked repeatedly, in day or night, the attackers always fleeing before we can engage them fully. The plants in the area have suddenly become hostile, stabbing..biting at men as they pass, spraying out gout's of acids. The strange sounds echo around us more frequently now.
We've no choice but to withdraw, hoping for safer territory in an area we've passed by previously.
The attacks are all but constant, we flee with all speed, making for the the safely of a human village the Braman say is to the south. Men are being lost, left behind almost constantly, we can do nothing to hinder whatever is out there. The zealot went quite mad, screaming in strange tongues. He was soon separated from our group, though we hear the occasional scream now as we stumble through the jungle.
The adventuring mage with has has made a last stand, saying he has had enough running. He stopped in a small clearing, refusing to go on as he faced whatever follows us. We keep going, though now the smell of burning jungle fills the air.
They come. They come. My god the drums, hounding us in the night. The landscape itself lives, hissing venom at us wherever we go. We have lost the Braman. Only myself and the warrior remains. We think we can see the settlement we are aiming for, just a mile away. If we can only m
The Braman are the most well known race of jungle inhabitants, hardy and strong and always welcoming of strangers. They have a great enjoyment of exploration and can be found moving through almost any city or town.
Braman Racial Package
Charistic Maxima: Str 25, Climbing, Deduction, Area Knowledge: Home region, Idiomatic Language Braash, Navigation, PS: One of choice, Stealth, Survival: Jungles.
One level Growth, Always On
Disadvantages: 15 Distinctive features: Minotaur, not concealable, minor reaction
Total package cost: 25