Traditional Xaela presence in Eorzea and how you can justify it
So as many might’ve seen from the lore book, despite what many of us had assumed to be true about the Xaela (that is, that they also were under heavy attack and that many tribes had been left in shambles), and has left many of the more traditional, tribal roleplayers hanging.
The Garleans are not all that interested in the Steppe, and the 51 canonical tribes are as of now not at war with Ilsabard that we know of (officially, anyway, skirmishes most probably did and do happen).
The lore book states that the Garleans set their eye on Doma and Dalmasca, and through their fall came to pretty much dominate Far Eastern civilization. From what we see in the book (never flat out stated, but heavily implied), for the most part Xaela life continues to be as it was, with the documented 51 tribes still living the traditional lifestyle, in their cycle of keeping and nurturing their herds, killing each other, thriving or dying out.
Note how the book reports that the main reason there would be for tribes to disappear is that they split up, merge with others, or die off “naturally”, implying that the greatest enemy of the Xaela are other Xaela still.
This of course still makes it possible for Garlean scouting parties or small units to have been sent to gather information on any potentially valuable resources (looking for Ceruleum comes to mind).
This presents a problem: why would a traditional, tribal Xaela, whose life has not visibly changed in any way that wasn’t expected in his lifestyle choose to travel the world to settle in a new culture with a radically different worldview? Let’s explore together some possibilities that allow us to stay true to the characters we want to play, while still feeling at ease playing them in a land that doesn’t seem like many would come to anyway. Follow me below the break!
Note: This, of course, isn’t a problem for Xaela who simply decide that their characters are struck by wanderlust and leave to explore, willingly and knowingly abandoning their nomadic roots. These should in theory be rare, exceptional cases, but RP is full of the exceptional!
But if the natives are already agriculturalists, then why not simply incorporate their productivity into the colonial economy? At this point, we begin to get closer to the question of just who it is (or, more to the point, who they are) that settler colonialism strives to eliminate—and, accordingly, closer to an understanding of the relationship between settler colonialism and genocide. To stay with the Cherokee removal: when it came to it, the factor that most antagonized the Georgia state government (with the at-least-tacit support of Andrew Jackson’s federal administration) was not actually the recalcitrant savagery of which Indians were routinely accused, but the Cherokee’s unmistakable aptitude for civilization. Indeed, they and their Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole neighbours, who were also targeted for removal, figured revealingly as the “Five Civilized Tribes” in Euroamerican parlance. In the Cherokee’s case, two dimensions of their civility were particularly salient. They had become successful agriculturalists on the White model, with a number of them owning substantial holdings of Black slaves, and they had introduced a written national constitution that bore more than a passing resemblance to the US one. Why should genteel Georgians wish to rid themselves of such cultivated neighbours? The reason why the Cherokee’s constitution and their agricultural prowess stood out as such singular provocations to the officials and legislators of the state of Georgia—and this is attested over and over again in their public statements and correspondence—is that the Cherokee’s farms, plantations, slaves and written constitution all signified permanence. The first thing the rabble did, let us remember, was burn their houses. Brutal and murderous though the removals of the Five Civilized Tribes generally were, they did not affect each member equally. This was not simply a matter of wealth or status. Principal Cherokee chief John Ross, for example, lost not only his plantation after setting off on the Trail of Tears. On that trail, one deathly cold Little Rock, Arkansas day in February 1839, he also lost his wife, Qatie, who died after giving her blanket to a freezing child. Ross’s fortunes differed sharply from those of the principal Choctaw chief Greenwood LeFlore, who, unlike Ross, signed a removal treaty on behalf of his people, only to stay behind himself, accept US citizenship, and go on to a distinguished career in Mississippi politics. But it was not just his chiefly rank that enabled LeFlore to stay behind. Indeed, he was by no means the only one to do so. As Ronald Satz has commented, Andrew Jackson was taken by surprise when “thousands of Choctaws decided to take advantage of the allotment provisions [in the treaty LeFlore had signed] and become homesteaders and American citizens in Mississippi.” In addition to being principal chiefs, Ross and LeFlore both had White fathers and light skin. Both were wealthy, educated and well connected in Euroamerican society. Many of the thousands of compatriots who stayed behind with LeFlore lacked any of these qualifications. There was nothing special about the Choctaw to make them particularly congenial to White society—most of them got removed like Ross and the Cherokee. The reason that the remaining Choctaw were acceptable had nothing to do with their being Choctaw. On the contrary, it had to do with their not (or, at least, no longer) being Choctaw. They had become “homesteaders and American citizens.” In a word, they had become individuals. What distinguished Ross and the removing Choctaw from those who stayed behind was collectivity. Tribal land was tribally owned—tribes and private property did not mix. Indians were the original communist menace. As homesteaders, by contrast, the Choctaw who stayed became individual proprietors, each to his own, of separately allotted fragments of what had previously been the tribal estate, theirs to sell to White people if they chose to. Without the tribe, though, for all practical purposes they were no longer Indians (this is the citizenship part). Here, in essence, is assimilation’s Faustian bargain— have our settler world, but lose your Indigenous soul. Beyond any doubt, this is a kind of death. Assimilationists recognized this very clearly. On the face of it, one might not expect there to be much in common between Captain Richard Pratt, founder of the Carlisle boarding school for Indian youth and leading light of the philanthropic “Friends of the Indian” group, and General Phil Sheridan, scourge of the Plains and author of the deathless maxim, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” Given the training in individualism that Pratt provided at his school, however, the tribe could disappear while its members stayed behind, a metaphysical variant on the Choctaw scenario. This would offer a solution to reformers’ disquiet over the national discredit attaching to the Vanishing Indian. In a paper for the 1892 Charities and Correction Conference held in Denver, Pratt explicitly endorsed Sheridan’s maxim, “but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him and save the man.”
Patrick Wolfe, Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native
anti-Communism has been part of the European soul since before Communism was a thing
Tribe flag depicting Goddess Nhaama and her children gazing at her underneath the protection which she granted them. The similarities between the believers symbolize that they are one family and the walls at the sides of the flag symbolize the stability the tribe achieves as a believing, tight-knitted family.
It’s decorated with gemstones of various kind that the tribe mined from the mountains.
The Hydrae tribe is a small group travelling between two set locations, one camp set up in the mountains and one set up in the forest at the foot of the mountains around the southern parts of the Azim Steppe. Their numbers have been varying between as low as beneath 10 to at highest 40 individuals. It’s a fairly young tribe with founders from the Hotgo and Dhoro tribes, they prefer to stay hidden and away from the conflicts of the steppe, only venturing out in the open to trade goods with other Xaela tribes. Nearly all Hydrae have some sort of facepaint and they celebrate the different phases and phenomenons of the moon.
Everyone in the tribe view themselves as one big family and never accepts newcomers into the tribe unless they are a chosen mate to another Hydrae. There are always two or more khans within the tribe and the current ones are Ozodug (the brother’s father) and his brother.
Their skills mainly focus on crafting and gathering, their fighting is considered below average compared to the average Xaela tribe. They keep a small number of goats and horses for food and transport.
The moon, according to the Hydrae, is the eye of the Dusk Mother Nhaama watching over them and keeping them safe from dangers. The full moon is one of the most important celebrations, it’s when the tribe have the largest festive to honor Nhaama for giving them the life they have and thank for the protection she gives them.
When the moon is half waning the tribe have an offering ritual. As the moon slowly disappears the tribe view this as Nhaama going to sleep, resting from the work she put into protecting them and the offering is a rare item they have collected, could be a rare plant they taken care of all month for this one moment, a mighty beast they been lucky to slay, something found only on the steppe, etc. (The only rule is that the item is organic so that nature may claim it in some way) During the night of the new moon the tribe doesn’t travel or hunt, they stay near each other and keep wary.
“A tribe of Native Americans pitched their camp where the town site now stands because of the natural advantages: deer, bear and wild turkey abounded in the woods to the north; buffalo, antelope, and prairie grouse on the south. With only a short march to the Wapsie where fish were plentiful and in the center of a rich country, the tribe prospered. It became rich in ponies, pelts, and population. This prosperity awakened envy and jealousy. Many tribes coveted their hunting ground and several tried to take it by force.
The chief, a crafty leader, when in danger of attack would retire his band to the inaccessible cliffs around Bear Creek where he and his warriors kept in hiding until the invaders could be safely surrounded and as surely defeated.
This strategy succeeded a number of times. They were left in peace and the tribe became known as the “Boss Nation, ” but by the Native American name. When the first settlers arrived, a friendly Native American told this story of the tribe, which had migrated west. The name “Boss Nation,” in the retelling of the story because of the disappearance of the tribe, became Lost Nation and the name still lives to this day. (Reprinted from an April, 1927, newspaper article)“
I feel that Yumigami does not receive proper credit for being the deity of the moon.
Our relationship as the sun and the moon give us a bit of a friendly rivalry. In some cases the moon goes between the Earth and my light, causing a shadow to appear on the mortal lands known as the eclipse. It’s her own little prank… However, it led humans to panic a long, long time ago when the sun was shadowed for only a few… seconds.
But Yumigami was once the guardian deity to a land veiled in mystery. The tribe gave praise and offerings to the gorgeous light of the moon… But it was but one day that the tribe turned away from Yumigami and shrouded themselves on the other side of the moon.
Then all traces of that tribe disappeared.
Yumigami remains sorrowful over the day that her people turned to the shadows. Waka remains silent.