Strikespring Raiders

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The Strikespring Raiders are a tribe of humans that roams between the communities of the Western Deserts. They threaten others with the ultimatum of surrendering whatever the tribe wants or being attacked and pillaged. This nomadic and aggressive lifestyle compliments their belief that combat reinvigorates the spirits.

Contents

Convictions

  1. We fight when resisted.
  2. We reciprocate when supported.
  3. We earn our desires.
  4. We desire our survival.
  5. We shall not annihilate.
  6. We consecrate our humanity.
  7. We live as Strikespring.
  8. We die as Strikespring.

These convictions were literally set in stone by the first Strikespring tribespeople, said to be defectors from a monster-hunting guild. That stone tablet with the tribespeople's emblems carved into it was cracked into five pieces during a battle long ago. But the pieces were kept treasured, their words have been transcribed onto new tablets, and the convictions thrive in the hearts and minds of the tribe.

The fact that the word "we" is specifically included in each of the convictions is interpreted to mean that they refer to the tribe as a whole, rather than each individual in it. As such, Strikespring tribespeople feel a great deal of communal responsibility and avoid solely blaming individuals within the tribe.

The first five convictions are said to be rebukes of the conduct of the guild left by the first tribespeople. The guild is said to have generally treated monsters with utter disgust and mercilessness, abruptly taking anything from them and obliterating all else of theirs. The Strikespring tribe condemns such an attitude toward battle and pillaging, as shown in those convictions.

The sixth conviction is surely rooted in a sentiment of human superiority, but the original intent behind it is forgotten. It is now justified by tribespeople with the belief that the human soul can reinvigorate spirits, but this belief came generations into the tribe's existence. The original intent may have been to exalt the tribe as one of the highest examples of the most superior race. It may have been an appeal for the tribe to avoid acting inhumanely. Many tribespeople claim that the sixth conviction, along with the others, was influenced by the spirits themselves, who knew or hoped that spiritual knowledge would come later.

The seventh and eighth convictions emphasize the Strikespring tribespeople's association with the tribe. They also have been used as vague guidelines on accepting new members and dealing with problematic members. There have been times when the tribe has only accepted members through birth and parentage, sometimes only birth. Although excommunication has been the highest punishment for the majority of the tribe's history, a unique era ended not many generations ago in which problematic members were punished with death instead.

Spirituality

Strikespring tribespeople believe that a human's soul can empower the spirits. They assume the duty of using their souls to empower the spirits that sustain their survival. They do so through having spirits inhabit their weapons, shields, and armor. Different types of combat equipment give imbued spirits different abilities.

The motion of striking with a weapon summons a spirit into the weapon. The soul of a human that performs a weapon strike energizes the spirit that is summoned. At the end of the strike, the spirit leaves the weapon; if the strike hits, the weaponized spirit enters what was struck and feeds off its energy. The type of weapon and strike affect the weaponized spirit's ability and the spirit is referred to by color to reflect its combat abilities, such as the green spirit that does not enter armor but can circumvent it if empowered by a two-handed strike. After the strike, the spirit leaves and resumes its normal duties.

While a shield or armor is equipped by a human, a spirit inhabiting the item is continually energized by the human soul. The item becomes a spiritual habitat, and it is practically guaranteed that a defending spirit will be residing inside the item at any possible time. If a weaponized spirit strikes the item, the defending spirit will try to protect the item's integrity and fend off the weaponized spirit. However, in shields the spiritual habitat can be neutralized so that defensive spirits can't be energized within them; a shield's habitat can withstand the destruction of one red spirit but be destroyed by the next red spirit.

The first generations of Strikespring tribespeople were unaware of the spirits' connection with combat. When this connection was realized, however, the tribe's convictions of reciprocating support, earning desires, and desiring survival resulted in their devotion to revivifying the spirits. The spirits, through maintaining a survivable world and inhabiting the tribe's equipment in combat, allow the tribe to survive. This is support that the tribe desires, feels they must earn, and must reciprocate. The tribe's conviction of fighting when resisted happens to align with their duty to the spirits, as it prompts humans to use combat equipment for spirits to inhabit and also lets spirits gain power through successful weapon strikes by any race of combatant.

Garb

All Strikespring tribespeople have a particular set of beige- to tan-colored garb. The full Strikespring garb set consists of the following:

  • a long-sleeved, hooded, partly-mesh shirt
  • wide-cuffed pants with sewn-in kneepads
  • undergarments
  • armor
  • a belt
  • a tabard that completely tapers towards the bottom edges, with belt loops or belt sleeves on the inside, worn above all previous items
  • footwraps or ankle socks
  • moccasins
  • a band or chain
  • two emblematic accessories, such as pendants or belt flags
  • bags, pouches, and other containers

Those living and fighting as part of the tribe must wear nothing more than such sets of clothing, though they are permitted to wear less than the full set. Those who have chosen to leave or have been excommunicated from the tribe traditionally keep their Strikespring garb and wear parts of it with other clothing and accessories at least occasionally.

Membership

All members of the Strikespring tribe must agree with and swear to the tribe's convictions. They must also acquire tribal garb and either a weapon, a shield, or armor, then equip and fight with these items. Even children born into the tribe are not treated as members until they have been provided with garb and have performed their first strike with their own weapon.

Excommunication

Once one is Strikespring, they are always Strikespring. The tribe takes responsibility for all members that it admits. However, when the presence of a tribesperson contradicts the values of the tribe, that person may be excommunicated. This is less of a banishment or disassociation and more of a demotion into a lower caste that all should be ashamed of.

Excommunicated tribespeople must not act in a way that suggests that they are still Strikespring Raiders, but are expected to remember and be reminded that they once were. They cannot be alongside the tribe, during peace or during battle, are forbidden from wearing Strikespring garb without any other visible pieces of clothing, and may be killed for ignoring these demands. However, interactions between individual Strikespring Raiders and those who've been excommunicated are not discouraged.

Excommunication is officially upheld by collective tribal memory. If ever the tribe forgets or is willing to forget an individual's excommunication, then their status as a Strikespring Raider is considered to be restored. Keeping a physical record of an excommunication is considered to be greatly disrespectful toward the person who was excommunicated; keeping a physical record of the identities of excommunicated individuals, though, is acceptable.

List of Excommunicated Tribespeople

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