The Sand Seas and the Vault of the Sky
Pronunciation: Fal-conn Bah-soo
Term for People: Falcons, Bedu, Basu
Names for Groups: Madu or The Many, Bedu
Masks: Headscarves, Veils, Headdresses
Most Popular Event: The Great Game of Ur
The sand-sea, Basutamtu (Ba-su-taam-tu) and its rocky outcrops produce numerous difficulties for its populace – not only is it home to vast shifting deserts of mirage heat, arid flatlands and scrubland. It is hemmed in by parched mountains to the north and hot bogs to the south, but the creatures that live here are vast sand-swimmers or sky fiends, some capable of eating men whole. The Falcons have learned to thrive by hunting these giants, primarily for their Ichor – a resource that can be used as sustenance, as fuel for fires, sacrifices pleasing to the gods, as trading items, and as a heat repellent. It is said that some have even used the Ichor to revive Golems that lay dormant under mountains and beneath dunes. Between irregular farming and hunting, Basu people are adept at using every shred of their gains to maximum effect. Teams herd great quarries into traps, crafters work together to produce large hunting instruments and tents. Ritualists purify corrupted areas to allow safe passage and good eating.
The Gods of the Basutamtu are the vaults of the sky – the stars that guide The Many and solidify the senses of direction and time. Constellations are regularly assigned as guardian deities and decorate clothing, tents and weapons. Keeping favour with the Gods ensures that groups will not be led astray whilst travelling, and that their current settlement will remain fertile. Customs are practical and polite, with Warriors and Hunters always eating first in case they are needed to defend or depart quickly, ritual purification observed before meals and after hunts, and the pursuit of useful hobbies and team games. Disparate Bedu groups may meet to pursue larger quarries, for marriages, for Full Moon feasts, and for the Great Game of Ur – a board game played on a vast scale, meant to test the luck and skill of the participants.