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(May 6th, 2012)
Meet the Tribes of Tanglebrook: The Murodians!
      by Callista Skip

To acknowledge that the Murodian rats may be useful is unthinkable to most members of Tanglebrook. But even a prickly tribe may have its place in the off-set way most scapegoats are necessary in every community, how strife begets innovation, or how with predators come carrion.

Living in abandoned buildings and adopting customs from every other tribe, the Murodians sometimes marry two cultures that would otherwise never come together -- the Alphus necklaces around necks dyed Haidar red. They bring life back to cold coals and food back to empty coffers. The most permanent of their towns served as the area where the Skaema visited every three years, an old Haidar village long deserted when the Murodians made some of their first claims.

Art by FishyBoner

The Murodian take pride in their ability to stalk silently through even dry fields, lift heavy items off of unassuming guards, and identify by a glance whether or not a target is worth the effort. They claim that their abilities come straight down from the wild dragons of old who cared little for weak or unprepared adversaries.

The Haidar were most resilient and accepting of the Murodians, given the Haidar's penchant for wanting to be accepting and find justice in all cases. The Alphus, on the other hand, have made every attempt to run the Murodian out of their territory, strikes that have created great tension between the two tribes. The Alphus especially take issue with the way the Haidar "spoil" the Murodian, giving them more confidence and attitude, and therefore creating a more crafty enemy. This leads to further dispute between the lion and wolves, with the rats happily looking on from the sidelines.

It is for honor that the Murodian steal from the Alphus, for the respect they earn by wearing one of the "magical necklaces." Murodian standing within their tribe is all but bought by the spoils of their advances -- their elders are the ones most wealthy with ill-begotten goods, and the leaders that are looked up to are the ones with the most nimble feet and fingers.

Art by Spackered

Regardless of their more easy relationship with the Haidar, or even the Lutani, the Murodians are capable of going to great lengths to impress their tribe. Even small feats of irritation go a long way toward making a reputation for a young Murodian, and add to the personal legacy that will have stories told if that rat continues to rise through the ranks in its tribe.

Though most of the Murodians work on their own, the tribe as a whole works together to thrive. The rats are very successful farmers and hunters when they need to be, and during times of drought or famine they share with other tribes as need be. Though the stories are not as often told, there are a few that exist among the other tribes telling of the Murodians' great generosity when the other tribes had hard seasons.

Art by Mosa

Tanglebrook's tribes currently are enjoying a time of peace and accord with one another -- a sure sign that trouble must be on the horizon.

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