Bugbears

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Bugbear Group Shot, Spring War 2006

Contents

Lore

In the beginning of things, there was only Chaos; From Chaos Marjack awoke himself and created Order. Marjack then created the other gods, to act as his children. After a time, the gods came together and decided to create a world; Together they planned it and crafted the world upon which we live. The gods celebrated their creation with drink and feast until all of them, even Marjack, grew weary and took to slumber.

Marjack, greatest of the Gods, awoke first and looked out upon the world. He decided it needed beings to live upon it and know its splendor; So he took a bit of the spark he'd granted each god and then mixed it with his own essence to make his chosen children, the Bugbear.

The other gods saw the Bugbear upon the world when they awoke, and each grew jealous of the feat, so they stole away each in turn and attempted to duplicate their perfection; But each god used only their own power, and could create only lesser forms. And so it came to be that other races inhabited the world, each an imperfect reflection of the Bugbear. All the races now existed upon the face of the world, but as they had no place to call their own they began to fight and make war for what could have been many years or only many days as time is weird for gods, and though each race fought with vigor and brutality the Bugbear proved strongest and most ferocious of them all.

The other gods feared for their beloved creations and came to Marjack and pleaded that there needed to be defined homelands, if only to stop the wars, and so that every race would have a place they always belonged. So Marjack in his wisdom decided there would be a contest among the gods themselves: They would throw stones upon the world, and where their stone landed, their creatures would hold dominion. The gods rejoiced and the night before the contest they had another celebration to rival that of the night the world was made, but as the other gods drank and sang and ate Marjack stood outside and threw stones, to practice. He practiced until he could hit exactly what he aimed at, every time, and then he slept.

When the morning came the gods drew lots to determine the order in which they would go, then the competition began. The Dwarven gods struck the mountains of stone, while the crafty Human gods crushed their stone and cast it out over the whole earth, so their children might live where they please. The contest continued so forth until there remained only the god of Elves and Marjack himself. Only two homelands remained, the lush forests and the barren deserts. Marjack had drawn before the Elven god, and so made his way to cast his stone with confidence.

The elven god knew their creation had been made frail, the desert would surely break them, and so they concocted a scheme to ensure their pale creations survival. In the moment before Marjack loosed his stone, the god of Elves cast a glamour over his eyes, so that he saw the Desert where the forest had once been and the Forest where the Desert should be. Having practiced all that time, Marjack hit his mark expertly.

As the stone landed, the glamour broke, and Marjack saw where he had thrown his stone. So great was his rage that the heavens themselves shook, and so great was his bond with the Bugbear that they were forever touched by his fury. Marjack declared then that ever would there be a hatred of elves in the hearts of the Bugbear, and as a lesson for his treachery Marjack grabbed the Elven god and carved his ears into knives so that all might forever know the pointed hearts of elves.
--
Since the moment the stone fell, through ages beyond count, Bugbears have strode the face of the world bringing war to the pointed hearts of Elves and the fallow hearts of Man. Upon their birth every Bugbear is attended by Marjack, he sets his hand upon their arm and marks them as one of the chosen; The Bugbear regard this mark and the arm possessing it as holy and not belonging to the Bugbear upon which it is attached and instead belonging to only Marjack.

It is the right that Marjack has bestowed upon the Bugbear that they shall straddle the world and stand with one foot on the world of mortals and the other in the realms of spirit, for only Bugbear may truly see what lies beyond Marjack's veil.

Hearken here and be told of Tribes, and the children of the father of all things.

Social Structure in Detail

As shown above bugbears have a very militaristic culture, with a leveled structure that all of Marjack's children honor without question. This is that structure broken down:

Atan-Ashi "Highest Warrior"

This is the leader of the bugbear race. All listen to Atan-Ashi, and all bow to no other creature, for only Bugbear is fit to rule Bugbear. The Atan-Ashi leads tradesman, warrior, child, and orphan alike. This leader is centralized within the Syrian Desert during times of peace, and leads the entire army in times of war. The Atan-Ashi never leaves his people, and has thus far always been an Ashi. Because of this the realms of Belegarth have yet to see an Atan-Ashi. To see the Atan-Ashi is to meet the full force of the Bugbear army, and you don't want that.

Ashi "Warrior"

All able Bugbears are warriors, but not all are held in the same esteem the Atan-Ashi are. This is the adult bugbear, raised in the art of both trade and slaughter. The Ashi stay with their tribe, providing their trade or their steel as the Atan-Ashi commands. Without Ashi, the tribe would die, like a cancerous tree, or be without art, as the Human tribes are. Like the Atan-Ashi, the Ashi have yet to be seen in the realms of Belegarth.

Su-Ashi "Tamed Warrior"

Beneath Ashi fall the non-warring women and children. Even these are Ashi, forged in the grip of Marjack, but called Su-Ashi because they have yet to prove themselves on the field of battle. The Su-Ashi are taken care of and taught by Elders of the tribe as well as by their families. Female bugbears are uncommon in Belegarth, but if they are to be found, it is with the ranks of the Horde, who train them as their families would've had they any.

Gojun-Ashi "Lowest Warrior"

These are the orphans of the Bugbear nation. They have no home, save the one provided for them. Neither do they have family to teach them a trade. Because of this they are provided for by the tribe, and in return they learn war. In the Dance of Marjack, or battle, Gojun-Ashi are the first to bring war down, and the first to drive Human and Elves into the ground. Gojun-Ashi boots are the first to crush the fragile bones beneath hard heel, and Gojun-Ashi hands wield the weapons that draw first blood. Gojun-Ashi are also first to die, souls screaming to Marjack's torturing grasp if the Gojun-Ashi has failed. Considered pawns or currency by Bugbear society, Gojun-Ashi are often sold to other monster tribes when the Bugbear army is not marching. Bugbears in the Belegarth Realms are more often than not Gojun-Ashi, traded or sold to their unit.

Hidewalker

The Hidewalker is the carrier and vessel of bugbear lore. Strong and wise, this bugbear carries and shares our culture, and maintains it's purity. The Hidewalker is also the only Bugbear permitted to gaze upon Marjack's arm, the symbol of a Bugbear's strength. Curiously, every known Hidewalker was born of the Gojun-Ashi; The first Hidewalker was Nanga Doomspear, Gojun-Ashi and Headhunter of the Horde with the title later passing down to Warmaster Hakan, Gojun-Ashi of the Lost River by claim of pain to those that would deny it.

Homeland

Central.gif


Though originally residing in the harsh climate of what humans call the Syrian desert, Bugbear are known to range as far north as Russia or even as far east as China during times of War. As a Bugbear's life IS War, this is most times. It is common to see populated War-Camps along this expanse even in times of peace.

It is known that hidden among the dunes there are vast Bugbear cities carved of marble and stone where they cultivate their art and culture, but alas, these lands & their treasures will never be seen in the realms of Belegarth.

Most commonly the Bugbear are found in two areas, the Turkic regions and the Steppe-land. Though sharing, of course, a common ancestry and reverence for their god Marjack the two tribes are distinct from one another.

Desert Bugbear

Considered by some to be the "True breed" of Bugbear, these are those that have stayed closer to their roots in the Turkic and Ottoman regions. Many Bugbear seen in the realms of Belegarth are of this tribe, including the former Hidewalker Nanga

Steppe-land Bugbear

The "Bastard Tribe" of Marjack's children. A Bugbear warband which wandered far in search of new blood and new wars, the Steppe-land has become their home; Over the years these Bugbear have adjusted to the brutal winters attributed to these lands. Unlike their Desert-born brothers, these Bugbear prefer heavy fabrics and furs to help stave against the bone chilling winds.

It is thought that angry, snow covered, Bugbear are the progenitor of the human yeti myths.

Of currently known Bugbear wondering the realms of Belegarth, Hakan claims this bastard tribe.

Spoken Language

Like most races in the realms of Belegarth, the Bugbear have all learned the common tongue; If only to inform their victims of what is coming in no uncertain terms.

Given their surroundings, many of the desert-born Bubear have learned to speak in Farsi and even use its written equivalent (called Persian when written) when interacting with the local populace or dealing with the pink-skins.

Similarly, the steppe-born Bugbear have learned to interact with their surroundings, speaking Mongolian and writing largely in Hudum Mongol bichig

Written Language

In addition to the regional language and writing systems, all Bugbear share a common written language in order to be understood despite one's up-bringing and wanderings. Many a Bugbear takes to war bedecked in the writing of this shared script, spelling out in no uncertain terms their battle rites and conquests.

The shared language of Bugbear is Phonetic Symbols; Fitting that the first race should write in sound itself.

A phonetic table has been provided below should you wish to use it in your kit BugbearScript.gif

Garb and Armour

The most important thing to remember about a Bugbear's garb is that their dominant arm must be covered at all times. You see, when a Bugbear is born, Marjack attends to the child. Marjack grips the arm the child will use forever, and in that instant, Marjack gives the child strength and might. Because the arm is holy, it belongs not to the Bugbear that carry it, but to Marjack only. As such, no one save other Bugbear, and then ONLY Hidewalker, may see holy flesh of Marjack,

Beyond this, a bugbear's garb and armor has never been strict, but here are some commonly and widely used garb styles:

Fur hide: The veteran bugbears of the realms are often seen wearing fur mantles. This is usually a wizard or scholar's style mantle with rabbit or wolf fur covering the shoulders. Depending on summer heat where you fight, this might not be a good garb choice. However it does layer well for colder weather clothing.

Welder Sleeve: This is the original sleeve used to cover the dominant arm. Made from a welder's sleeve with the non-sword arm cut off. This, like the fur mantle, is a major hindrance in the heat. This can be reduced by wearing Under-armour, or by covering with a cloth sleeve instead.

Over-tunic: A tan lightweight simple tunic has often been used in the past to bolster bugbear garb.

Canvas Pants: This is usually some type of canvas pants, tan with a thick red border from above the ankle to the bottom hem of the pants. This like the sleeve used to be a common identifier of a bugbear.

War-braids: Adding war-braids to belts and helms is not individualistic to one monster race, but a generally accepted addition to any monsters attire.

Bone: Like above, this is a widely used addition to monster garb.

For ideas outside of these veteran guidelines, I suggest looking at the homeland of the bugbears. Try armour and garb styles similar to the desert or central Asian cultures, but altered to appear more monster-ish. This opens up quite a bit of possibilities for customizing your look while maintaining a definitive bugbear appearance. I notice it helps if you purposely do not armor your shield/non-dominant arm, if nothing else but for contrast.

Turkish, Mongolian, Arabic, and possibly even Russian medieval variants could produce good results.

Warpaint

The above event picture is a good example of various bugbear face-paint styles.

The Raccoon Mask: A full face paint with a solid black bar across the eyes. The bar is then accented by linear designs in various other colors. End result covers entire face.

The Blood-mouth: A ceremonial red paint applied from the bottom of the nose to the chin. The ending result is a slightly rounded upside down triangle, resembling a bloodstain from consuming the hearts of fallen enemies.

Hand of the Gods: The mark of the Gods is something given to any monster that feels blessed by their deity. A ceremonial bowl is filled with red paint ("blood") and a monster shaman dips the hand into the bowl, then applies it to those interested. The end result looking like a hand-print. Bugbears sometimes wear this mark in honor of the strength given by Marjack.

Painting a skin tone is something that is rarely done. In the few times bugbears have painted their non dominant arm and exposed skin the color of choice has been a brownish tint.

Reproduction

"Despite being highly xenophobic, a bugbear may procreate with anything. When the mating drive comes over them they may procreate with other bugbears, goblins, elvish women (although the amount of river-water that one takes is amazing), farm implements such as scythes, tractors, or hammers, fauna (preferably trees), croplands, volcanoes, the air, etc. etc. The power of the bugbear seed is such that although there is no genetic connection between these things and the bugbear the sperm will force the object, plant, and/or sentient being to reproduce. The emotional/mental state of the bugbear and the bugbear's partner upon conception also affects the mental state of the bugbear upon birth and it will maintain that mental or emotional state once fully grown to adulthood as well. There are no known records of any Bugbear other than pure-breeds (those born of a coupling between a two bugbears) being born from anything other than anger and violence.

Unlike other races that produce half-breeds, the genetic materials of the bugbear are SO superior that it will always produce a bugbear. A few examples of this are as follows:

Vo'Kor, fathered by the coupling of a bugbear male and a dwarven steam powered locomotion machine. For the Pinkies it be called a "train".

Graavish Doomshield, birthed by the coupling of a bugbear female and a mountain.

Drago, fathered by a bugbear male and an ironwood tree that was on fire.

Ju'Dekei, born of a bugbear male and a cannabis plant.

Zi'Gor, birthed by the coupling of a bugbear female and a lumberjack.

Ty, descended from a bugbear male and a female Githyanki warrior.

Khersi, Conceived from a Male Bugbear and a Female Macaque

Hakan, born of a male bugbear and an erupting volcano


However Nanga Doomspear, the Hidewalker of the Oldest tribe, was born of a coupling between a bugbear male and female.".

Excerpt from Dr. Thomas P. Clark IV Esq. Ph.D, a renowned bugbear scholar, in his new book, Bugbears and You: "Run as fast as you can! For the love of god run before they get us": A study of the bugbear and it's culture.

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