Balanced Chaos: An introduction to the Ocebur
Like the Neapraco, the Ocebur are descended from the Ebutru. They were one of the tribes that survived the Warp Event that nearly destroyed that ancient culture. Unlike their Neapraco cousins, the Ocebur have suffered Warp effects caused by that chaotic pulse. The Ocebur fled to the south of lake Vuihayt where they settled and developed a culture of smiths and craftsmen. They called their new land Vuihyann (Ocedra: “Safe-Land”).
The Ocebur traded their wares with the people of Fasthaabur and became renown for their craftsmanship and the artistic beauty of their products. When the city of Fasthaabur fell, many refugees from the city took shelter in Vuihyann, founding their own villages and cities in the region. In the time after Mapesad was founded, many Ocebur clans began to settle in the city as it began to flourish as the regional trade hub.
Philosophy and Culture
Philosophically, the Ocebur might be an unique culture in Warp World. They believe that the forces of balance and chaos are equally important. Because of this, they do not view the Warp Effects their people suffer as something evil or impure. Instead, they view Warp Effects as having beneficial properties that can be harnessed to improve the lives of everyone. Because of this, the Ocebur celebrate the unique qualities they possess that are due to the Warp.
The Ocebur worship a dual faced god they call Vulavy. He is the god of balance and chaos. His priests wear two-faced masks forged from steel and decorated with intricate patterns. They perform their rituals at the threshold times of the day: dawn and dusk. The Ocebur believe that these threshold times occur at a crossroads when the forces of balance (light) and chaos (dark) meet.
Ocebur form contract marriages between a male and a female. A marriage contract binds two Ocebur into a relationship for a set amount of time. The length of the contract is decided upon by mutual agreement of the betrothed. When the contract is complete, the couple has the option to renew it or go looking for a new partner. All children are raised by the clan, often by the elders. It is because of this that most Ocebur become passionately loyal to their clan in a similar way we are loyal to our own families.
Similar to the Neapraco, the Ocebur in Mapesad elect one representative from amongst the clans to sit on the Mapesad Assembly. Generally clan chiefs are elected or revered elders. However, a few representatives have not been chiefs or elders, but this is very rare. Ocebur also marry into Mapatinsh Periphs. Though Ocebur traditionally marry for a specific time period, they do understand that joining a Periph is a lifelong commitment. Joining a Periph is often done for political, business or social reasons. Though some rebellious young Ocebur marry into a Periph simply to escape the strict clan system of their culture.
Each Ocebur clan has their own square shaped flag. Flags are often found in the following colours: silver, bronze, dark greens, dark blues, greys and black. Some clan flags depict animal emblems or emblems representing tools. But not all clan flags have emblems. The Ocebur have a cultural flag that represents their entire race. The flag is made up of four diagonal stripes in light silver, light bronze and dark silver. Their emblem consists of a wolf with a star on either side. The emblem stands for their perseverance, their honour and their ingenuity. Generally, flags are flown on small masts extending from the homes and businesses owned by Ocebur.
Physiology and Clothing
Amongst the human population of Mapesad, the Ocebur are truly unique. The effects of the Warp have given them distinct physical features that immediately identify them as Ocebur. All Ocebur have metallic bronze coloured skin with silver hair and blue or sapphire coloured eyes. They are of average build and are generally taller than their Neapraco cousins – being closer in height to the Mapatinsh. Every individual Ocebur also suffers an unique Warp Effect that they happily embrace as a gift from Vulavy.
Ocebur wear linen or wool tunics. The men wear trousers while women wear long dresses. Leather boots, shoes or sandals cover their feet. All of their clothing is rich and expertly made. Like the other goods created by this talented race, their clothing is decorated with ornate patterns. These patterns are sown into the fabric using silver or bronze thread that makes their clothing glitter in the sunlight. Favoured clothing colours are silver, bronze, dark greens, dark blues, greys and black. In times of war, they will don ornate chain mail armour with the typical pentagon shaped Mapesad shields. If they wear helms they will be sallets similar to those of their Neapraco cousins. However, their helms will be more ornately decorated. Broadswords, axes, spears and crossbows are their favoured weapons.
There are a number of characters in the Warp World stories who are Ocebur. Ronnaw Pusheb, the Xishevi agent stalking Gusair Onothabawor and the crew of the Æabeto is one of the most prominent.
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