The Gods of the Karui Nomads
|Achimi||The Goat||Freedom, Choices, Trials|
|Yani||The Ant||Wisdom, Guidance, Death|
|Morafkai||The Tortoise||Knowledge, Secrets, Patience|
Achimi the goat lived a long and happy life until he encountered the first humans, and was confused and afraid. He met an ant, Yani, who gave him advice and told him the way of the world. He told Achimi that he could live with the humans; he would have many children and a comfortable life, but he would have to live with and serve humans. If he wanted a long and free life, he could live wild but would always be hungry. Achimi thought carefully about it and decided he would rather live free.
Many years later when Achimi was old, the herd was thirsty and suffering. He remembered the advice of the ant and realised it would be better to have a short and comfortable life among the humans. He brought the herd to them and they were welcomed; from then on, mankind kept goats. But he could not bring himself to follow through with it. While the herd entered human hands, Achimi stumbled out into the desert and succumbed to the cold. As he began to freeze, he realised what the ant had been telling him: neither life is better or worse than the other. It is the choice that matters. Realising this, he chose not to be cold and bounded into the sky.
The nomadic followers of Achimi believe in the importance of choices, especially the choice between wildness and civilisation. They choose to follow the path of Achimi - the choice of freedom - but they do not begrudge those who choose a safer and more restrictive path. Indeed, depriving them of the choice would be counter to the teachings of Achimi. Nonetheless, they believe that it is only by being free that they can truly understand what Achimi learned: that it is the choice that matters, and everything is a choice.
Achimi’s worshipers also believe in the importance of genuine choices. A genuine choice is one made from the heart, and they oppose anyone who attempts to coerce the choices of others. As long as you follow the voice of your heart, it will lead you to the place you are destined to be, they say. Achimi is one of the most important gods for the Karui Nomads, for he represents their deep-felt belief that only beneath the blazing sun and blue sky of the desert can they truly be free and fulfil their destiny.
Professional Edge: Way of the Goat
Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (Miracles), Priest of Achimi, Faith d6+
When Achimi realised that the choice is all that matters, he chose not to be cold and bounded into the sky. Those who understand him well can, like him, be free of the difficulties and obstructions that would hamper their freedom. A priest of Achimi who takes this Edge ignores Difficult Ground, and receives a +2 bonus to all rolls related to escape - such as breaking free from a grapple, resisting the Entangle power, or slipping loose from bonds.
In the story of Achimi, Yani is the name of the little ant who tells Achimi how the world is. The story of Yani is as follows: when the world was young, many new creatures were coming into existence. Yani was made by a powerful ghost who saw how easy it was to make creatures and decided to make some himself. To practice, he made something very small: an ant. When he made it, however, it brought him such joy that he made another one. He made another, and another, and another. Eventually he made so many ants that he died of exhaustion, surrounded by his thousands of children.
The ants were so grateful to him that they scurried into the earth to give him a decent burial - something they have done ever since. As they were cutting him into pieces and taking him below the earth, it is said that the old ghost’s spirit went into each of them. Yani came into being: the “clever ant” is not a single being, but something that exists in all ants. Most of the time he stays quiet, but sometimes Yani will appear in an ant, and it will speak and give good advice to someone who needs it.
Yani is often depicted as a capricious god. He appears in various Karui tales whenever he feels like and imparts his advice, whether it is wanted or not. It always turns out to be true in the end, but often leads those who follow it through painful trials before they reach their true understanding. His followers believe that Yani represents the hard truths of the desert; they are not pleasant, but they must be understood - and understood well - if you are to have any hope of survival. Those who worship Yani are taught to help others by guiding them, even if it brings them to hardship in the short term.
Morafkai is a desert tortoise, a slow and ponderous creature who embodies the Karui ideals of patience. The desert is an unpredictable place: it can change from placid dunes to howling sandstorms in the space of a minute. In order to survive it you must be patient and observant, and nothing represents these ideals better than the burrowing desert tortoise.
Morafkai, it is said, always emerges from his burrow in the same way. First he feels the ground. If he feels nothing, he listens. If he hears nothing, he pokes his nose out of the ground and sniffs. Finally, he raises his head and looks. Because he is so careful, his enemies never find him - no matter how angry he makes them.
It is said that, when Morafkai hides underground in this way, he hears many things he was not supposed to. He has learned many magic spells, and they are painted all across his shell to protect him from harm. He also often hears things that his enemies would rather he did not know. The more he hears, the more enemies he makes - but he knows so many things that he always manages to talk his way out a situation, eventually. There are many Karui folk tales about the exploits of Morafkai, who tricks and befuddles all he comes across despite his slow and helpless appearance.
Those who look up to Morafkai commonly pay him respect by telling stories of his exploits. The shamans of the Karui pay great respect to the desert tortoises, as well: the strange symbols that adorn their shells are considered to be heirlooms passed down from Morafkai himself, and it is from the shells of tortoises that they learn these magic sigils. To possess a tortoise shell is to own a protective talisman of great power, but it is a powerful curse if the tortoise was slain to get it.
To please Morafkai, you should tell secrets into a tortoise shell; he will hear them and be glad. Those who use their minds or their words to solve their problems are highly esteemed by Morafkai, and many of his worshipers are the “troublemakers” that aren’t so well respected by the tribe. Morafkai, however, understands their importance.