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(May 5th, 2012)
Meet the Tribes of Tanglebrook: The Lutani!
      by Callista Skip

The Lutani otters say they "came in on the tide," and leave it at that. No tribe in Tanglebrook has known a time when there weren't otters maintaining the waterways, and the Lutani have never cared to set the record. The most peaceful and harmonious of the tribes, the Lutani serve everyone and no one. The dragons, it is said, were so taken with the playful way that the otters conducted themselves that they bade them never to leave, but instead to try and shine some light on the dark corners of the jungle. And so the otters did.



Art by Tsampikos


Maintaining camps by the waterways, the otters have only one permanent town, and many smaller semi-permanent camps, over which one or more elders rule. One becomes an elder merely by growing old and wishing to partake in the system. This is a simple arrangement that requires no messy elections, like the Haidar, or special abilities, like the Alphus. The Lutani are content to say "yes" or "no" as a tribe when the elders ask questions, and arguments are rare when sit-down discussions are encouraged. They have no hang-ups on how successful their tribe is "supposed" to be, since their measure of success is if all members of the tribe are healthy and provided for.

It is in this vein of reasoning that the Lutani derive their work ethic; every member of their tribe holds a job. Beyond the sense in which all members of a tribe must work together to help maintain the success of that tribe, the Lutani take their job assignments very seriously, and it is only with age, ailment, or disability that a job class is rescinded.

The general Workers maintain campgrounds and are used as gofers for any number of tasks. They are under the direction of the Camp Overseer, one or two individuals who run the day-to-day life of a camp, assuring reliability and proficiency. The Waykeepers maintain the health of the waterways, clearing debris after storms and building dams when needed, among other things. The River Guides use the information of the best paths to their benefit, as they steer rafts full of goods down the river, either from camp to camp, or for trade with other tribes. The Trailblazers have one of the more physically demanding jobs, one that requires on-land maintenance of watering holes, ensuring that paths are clear and the surrounding area is tidy. The Hunters use the Waykeepers' and Trailblazers' information to find the best schools of fish, lush nut trees, and berry bushes to harvest, helping to feed their camp.

The Lutani bleach specific job markings on their backs, and elsewhere, in order to identify them to anyone who might pass by. Their bleach is made from a special concoction of mud and plant life. These markings can be traded for others as time goes by and interest fades from their current job.



Art by Houkuko


Due to the necessity of their duties, the Lutani is the only tribe to freely come and go from any territory in Tanglebrook. Indeed, they are revered for how they provide certain pleasures to anyone that may walk along. They construct riverhouses in which many could come and spend an afternoon out of the sun, in the cool shade of the water; their River Guide service is generously provided to travelers or roving camps that need to send supplies in the same direction that the otters are traveling -- among so many other generous acts that cause a little kindness to be passed from one person to another.



Art by A_Blue_Deer


No one thinks of taking advantage of the Lutani -- even the Murodians would be shocked at the idea. Their ability to pass into every part of the land that the river touches makes them a valuable ally regardless of the political climate of the jungle. But it is also for that very reason that they hold the most power in Tanglebrook, whether they want it or not.

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