Verktuth Village is a mobile village centered around the Behemoth, Jafki, the Cobra. Some of the village is built upon the back of Jafki, and the rest moves when the Jafki moves. While Jafki is moving, the population stays mobile, sleeping in their saddles and the like until the Behemoth comes to a stop, usually near to a nest of cobras or other serpents. Typically when Jafki stops, its for around a two months, before moving on again. The village is small, the population sitting around 500 people.
Geography, Layout, Architecture
The only fixed layout of Verktuth Village are the pavilions established upon Jafki’s back. These homes are reserved for the Envoys, who all serve as part of the Council. All others live in pavilions and tents that they build when Jafki stops to rest. These are built within Jafki’s spectral range, which is roughly a kilometer in all directions. This range can be seen by those able to see spirits and ghosts, for serpent spirits and ancestor ghosts are constantly swirling around the great Behemoth. The tents and pavilions are built entirely of snake skin leather and bones.
Governance and Laws
Verktuth Village is governed by the Council, which is exclusive to Envoys of Jafki. They practice a theological government, with Jafki deemed as the supreme authority. The primary purpose of the followers of Jafki is to ensure that a balance is achieved of the dependents of Jafki, which are defined as cobras, other serpents to a lesser degree, races that have been Spawn around Jafki, and the Envoys themselves. The Council discusses issues amongst themselves and creates their laws.
1. None may be harmed within the village, as defined by Jafki’s spectral range. This includes outsiders, visitors, spirits, ghosts, and all manner of creatures. Punishment is death or banishment, as chosen by the victim. If the victim is unable to choose, then death is chosen.
2. Those with magic are forbidden from entering the village unless personally accompanied by an Envoy of Jafki at all times. One warning will be given, with death being given after that. If an Envoy abandons a charge they are accompanying within the village, the Envoy will be put to death as well.
3. All Envoys of Jafki are automatically placed onto the Council and will come to a council meeting when summoned. Envoys serve on the council for life.
4. One can only become a Verktuthian by either 1) Being a dependent of Jafki 2) Becoming an Envoy of Jafki 3) Marrying a Verktuthian through the Verktuthian customs.
5. All disputes within the village must be settled with an Envoy present as mediator. Their word is law in each individual situation.
6. Harming any Envoy or bringing harm or destruction to any snake nest, regardless of proximity to Verktuth Village, without permission granted by another Envoy, marks one for death as a poacher.
Verktuthians worship Jafki, and to a lesser extent, all Behemoths in the pantheon. They worship the natural elements of the world, and know that Envoys of all types are holy people. They know exactly what it means to die, and most will choose to either be reborn among Jafki’s dependents or to serve Jafki as a spirit.
Marriage in Verktuth Village is a celebratory affair. Polygamy is not simply accepted, but expected. There are no qualms about gender, sex, or racial pairings. Married couples that wish to have children are blessed, but couples are not pressured into it either.
A marriage ritual is conducted only at a nest. Envoys conduct and prepare the wedding, calling down ancestors of those being married, if they are available as ghosts. Typically the marriage is a collection of memories and tales told by those who know those getting married, often speaking about what they saw between the two. Following the wedding, there is a week long feast and celebration, which each night ends in an orgy, with the married couple being the center piece.
Technology, Magicraft, and Magic
Compared to the Oasis and the Outlying Territories, Verktuth Village is primitive. They largely use tools made from bone, clothes made from hide. The majority of their art and tools come from the creatures they kill. They waste nothing.
Magicraft does not exist in terms of production in Verktuth Village. Such items are usually distrusted and typically gotten rid of as quickly as possible, though they are not forbidden by law.
Magic is widely distrusted. Mages and use of magic are only allowed with the permission and accompaniment of an Envoy. There has never been an Envoy of Jafki in all of history that also took magic.
The majority of food is meat that has been hunted by the Verktuthians. They do not farm for meat, ever. They do eat some fruits and vegetables, but only that which is conveniently found while hunting or those that grow upon the back of Jafki. Most food is eaten raw and fresh.
Children in Verktuth are raised by all members of the village. Before they are old enough to hunt, they are taught the stories and cultural practices of their people. When they are old enough to hunt, typically at the start of maturity, they set out on their own.
All education practices are performed verbally in Verktuth Village. There is no formal style of education, simply elders passing stories and lessons down as they feel they are needed.
Herbalism is widely practiced by the Verktuthians for treating most things. If a major injury or disease is sustained, an Envoy will be petitioned to take people on a Venturing in order to better heal them.
Finances and Economy
Verktuthians only practice in bartering. While they are self-sustaining, many of them like to import arts, handcrafts, weapons, and tools they don’t typically have access to. Major exports include Verktuthian Silver, a dye made from the fallen scales of Jafki; Snake moss, a plant that grows on Jafki; snake skin and leather; hand made bonecrafts.
Military and Defense
The majority of Verktuthians are both hunters and part of the local military. They all have serpentine mounts of some sort, are trained in hunting and ambush tactics. So long as quarry is outside of Jafki’s spectral range, and not in any other disputed territory, the quarry is fair game, be they a person or animal.
Envoys and the spirits are the primary defenses around Jafki itself. Very few people or creatures are bold, or powerful, enough to attempt to attack the Behemoth, but those that do must go through an army of spirits and ghosts, as well as the Envoys that command them.