The Tribes of Uchar
The Three Tribes of Uchar
The tribes of Uchar or Ban Uchar should not be mistaken for the similar leonine tribe that exists in the air sphere in a universe far away. The tribe here numbers roughly around 3,000 strong currently and are scattered across four villages. Though officially they have three distinct tribes, members that serve on Bastille Wall are considered ‘tribeless’ for all intents and purposes.
The society is a primitive one, with the Ishkar tribe being the most advanced at pre-industrial stages. However their lack of technology is made up for by their advanced mastery of the arcane arts. Though some of their more powerful magic is drawn from the crimson court, by and large they are self-sufficient magical beasts in their own rights, capable of wielding the mana of the world into powerful spells and significant passive effects.
History (Mittens Era)
After making the deal with the Court of the Crimson Sun, Mittens gathered the initial uplifted population of the tribe – nearly a thousand lions and lionesses from all around the world – and staked claim as leader. Though most of the tribe at this point still had a feral build with only a few bipedal individuals, they managed to create an initial defensive settlement called Bastille Wall, which was enough to hold off the demons for the time period.
As the population grew through aggressive recruitment via the court (an issue which would create a sore point between Vandella and Mittens later), the prowess and power of the Ucharan tribes grew along with it, till finally they were close to 1,200 strong at the end of Mittens’ life. During his rule he established a merit-based society that initially was based on a powerful monarchy structure, but which towards the end of his life ended up becoming more feudal as lions and lionesses vied for positions of power within their respective prides.
Furthermore, despite his attempts to induce rationality, science and other modern concepts into the tribe, the use of magic combined with the promises made to the Fey court meant that the society as a whole remained not only fairly primitive in tech, but also in thought as they were steeped in a deep religion around the idol worship of the ‘great lion’ and to an extent the Queen of the Crimson Court. Though a cosmology did not emerge, it was still enough that traditions took hold – traditions of sacrifice, astrology and tests of strength which hold true till even today.
The tribes remained unified right up until Mitten’s ‘death’ – the time when his physical body finally gave way. Though mentally he and Marie remained together in the Ghost Rider module, they were cut off from the rest of the world except through radio – of which there was unfortunately little. It was after this that the Queen became a major central figure in his place and fractures began to form.
During his rule, Mitten’s presence was a unifying force to the tribes as he led them in constant war and struggle against the demons. His life was long, but it was not without controversy and moments of weakness. In the three decades where he had gone to re-negotiate the contracts with the Queen, fractures and divisions had formed amongst his generals and commanders. Different ideologies and doctrines took hold amongst the populace and when he returned he emerged into a tribe that was close to civil war.
His intereference and rule only served to delay the inevitable though and after his death, the tribes of Ban Uchar went to war with each other. Lion turned upon lion as rivals vied to take over the position of the Pride Leader. In the fight hundreds were injured, while dozens died. The conflict was only resolved once the queen interfered, invoking her promises with their clauses and causing the fighting to stop.
The organization of the tribes were changed up and it was split up into three: the Ishkar, the Ashoka and the Raja tribes. Each had their own ideology and way of operating.
The Iskhar were followers of what they called as ‘Marie’s way’, pushing the envelope of how far they could advance academically and constantly challenging the promise of the Fae – even if they did not cross it. Their thirst for knowledge put them at great odds with the Ashoka Tribe, whom find their lack of focus on the wall to be particularly contentious.
The Ashoka meanwhile were a far more militaristic tribe, following Mitten’s example of honor, integrity and above all loyalty. They remain the most loyal tribe to the Queen, but greatly value individual strength and prowess over actual adherence to duty or their ancestor’s memory. Amongst all three, it is the Ashoka that will throw themselves upon the duty of maintaining the wall with the greatest of zeal, while their strength is little matched on the battlefield or off.
The final tribe is the oldest of the three and is one steeped in tradition. To them, the only person they must serve is Mittens and Marie – whose decisions are more important than that of the queen. Though they have tried to carry on his wishes and society, time has resulted them in merely practicing idol worship of the shrine where Mitten’s remains are encased. Though they are loyal to the queen, this is only a tangential affair given Mitten’s own love for her. They act as custodians for his remains, Marie’s transcripted memories and the equipment he had forged for himself. It is also from this tribe that the Emmisaries are sent out to roam the land and recruit for the defense of the wall.
With the split up, a tenuous peace returned to the land as the distance between each tribe offered some solace and room to grow.
Above all though, the Queen ensured that their duty remained in the form of appointing a direct successor to Mittens herself; a figure known as the Champion of Bastille Wall. The greatest warrior amongst the Ucharans, whom would lead their military forces against the Demons. The Champion would be the leading figure for the three tribes – and to whom they would pledge allegiance and send their tribe members in order to shore up the defenses.
Though there were many murmurs of disagreement, the tribes went along with the deal. Though conflicts have flared up over the years, they have been relatively minor and easily quelled. Peace has held amongst the lands for over a millennia while the demons remain at bay across the wall.
It is to be noted that although the Lions and Lionesses of Ban Uchar are usually bipedal, the actual forms that they take can vary significantly across tribe and gender. The largest forms are actually quadrepedal, being giant versions of their regular leonine selves but with horns and wings capable of great feats of flight. An image of this variant can be seen here: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/5c/a4/73/5ca47340896d14d39872377d13743b7b.jpg
The average Ban Ucharan however is more than liable to be an anthropomorphic lion that stands between 6 feet (females) and 8 feet (males) and weigh easily over a 100 kilos for females and 120 for males. They are usually not only well built in terms of muscle mass with sharp teeth and claws but also are magically enhanced and resilient; capable of significantly more strength than their size may indicate.
Magical mutations may occur at random, which include various features such as horns, extra tails, extra arms, leathering wings, feathery wings, changes to sight, sound and other senses amongst smaller mutation variants. Mutations are fortunately not common – but they are not uncommon enough to not be known either.