- "My tribe is my only true family; by the blood and by the soil."
Formed in 2145 via the conglomeration of around five to six large groups of Water Tribals, the River Men earned their name due to their habit of staying close to the various post-war riverways dotting Vermillion Bay; both for reasons of comfort and convenience, the latter owing to the surprising amount of post-war creatures that congregated near these water-ways; be they simple, mutated fish or the deadly Anglers. These River Men earned a reputation amongst other Water Tribals as a tribe of strength; other Water Tribal groups that stood in the way of this large tribe were swallowed up, usually by force, and further expanded the swelling ranks of this tribe. The positives were obvious; together, the Water Tribals stood as an even more imposing force to be reckoned with, able to strong-arm their way across the coast. But of course, this positive also had a negative aspect; as their group grew, their tribe struggled to move at a pace that was not only desirable but necessary for survival in post-war Louisiana's harsh wilderness. Growingly increasingly desperate, this tribe's ever-expanding ranks began to splinter; in the end, around 2147, some of the more territorial and determined of the tribe left and formed a tribe that they referred to as the Silver Fins, on account of identifying silver paint marks on their skin. This tribe broke away and attacked their former friends and family, maintaining a close distance to their former kinsmen and watching them from afar; these dejected tribals would go on to form the River Men's bitter arch-foes, the former stalking the latter across the Louisiana wastes in it's increasingly slow progress across the Vermillion Bay Area. The River Men, now over-burdened by their large populace, could no longer stay on the move; they need to settle. Most areas that could already be settled, however, were already so - usually by well-equipped and well-prepared settlers armed to the teeth, or wild animals that would likely take more than a few well-placed arrows to down. So, when the River Men discovered a long-abandoned stretch of land, almost immediately on the coast, that was barely populated by either outsiders or creatures, they were very much overjoyed; though then again, so were their long-time adversaries. In 2150, the tribe settled the barren town and drove what remained of its residents out of the town and onto the farthest flung outskirts before taking over an open stretch of land and setting up a camp that would later become their main encampment; the Silver Fins, unfortunately for the River Men, did the same on an opposite stretch of land, albeit on a smaller scale. In the next few years, both groups would grow; not just from the newly arrived Water Tribals arriving frequently, but also through wide-scale reproduction; now especially popular given the rather boring, static lifestyle of most tribesmen and tribeswomen. Throughout this time, through watching the remaining settlers in Laramie Point, both Human and Ghoul, many in the tribe began to foster a sincere belief that they were a superior race of creatures to the rather pathetic smattering of other species on display in Laramie Point; these rather meek outsiders also encouraged further expansion, which was somewhat hampered only by the existence of their violent enemies just across the ruined town.
Throughout the 2150s and up to the start of the 2220s the tribe enjoyed a steady growth, both in terms of population and land under their control, and even began to experiment with different ways of acquiring resources; though tribal taboos in place meant that many were both afraid of and forbidden to enter decaying pre-war structures, certain pieces were salvaged and studied - metal bats, piping, brooms; all manner of things that were gathered and copied, albeit poorly in the form of sturdy clubs and poorly-crafted machetes. Advanced, working technology, a la radios, televisions, and terminals, were ignored or smashed to pieces by tribal scouting parties. Rudimentary agriculture was even started; but, thanks to a lack of knowledge on the topic and the long-standing tradition of hunter-gathering embedded in the tribe, these first attempts at farming were ultimately failures; what little crop was grown barely even nourished the farmers themselves. The Silver Fins, on the other hand, avoided attempts at farming and scavenging and instead relied on the old, then still effective given the tribe's size, methods of hunting for meat and hide. Despite the continuing animosity between the two tribes, large-scale skirmishes began to peter out; minor incidents became quite normal as the two tribes, the River Men especially, began to enter a prolonged stalemate, glowering at each other from across the town, waiting for one another to make the first attempts at an attack. In 2245, increasingly eager pseudo-aristocrats from Ewing Bay, Laramie Point's closest neighboring town and smuggling den, began to consider forays into the town; initially, a few smugglers arrived to test the waters; literally and figuratively. River Men hunters and scouts learned to avoid these smugglers, unwilling and unable to deal with these well-equipped smugglers. Despite these incursions, initial alarm was tepid; these well-armed outsiders were hardly a sizeable force and didn't seem to have anything in the way of hostile intentions, at least at the time. Thus, the River Men's then-warchief decreed that no action would be taken against them. It was not until 2275, a full two decades and a half after the initial forays had begun, that the smugglers arrived in sufficient enough numbers to alarm the River Men; hunting parties and scouting parties were attacked, with tribal outposts being wiped out and repurposed by these cock-sure smugglers; Silver Fin and River Men tribals alike were brutalised whenever they encountered these smugglers. Both tribes soon found themselves, as a result, in an unofficial peace; looking to expel these murderous outsiders, River Men warriors found themselves avoiding their long-time enemies, even when presented with an advantage over their arch-enemies, and instead concentrating solely on the smugglers of Ewing Bay. Despite River Men efforts, it was largely the Silver Fins, specifically their most-revered champion Pyr-Anrah, who were ultimately responsible for driving out the smugglers later in the year, not that the River Men would admit to such a thing. The peace that had survived the length of that year fell apart by the end of it; 2076 saw an almost immediate return to sporadic violence; yet it was not until the River Men's own attempts to expand beyond their main encampment, seizing more land in the process, that the violence of the late-2100s began once again.
When the 2280s opened with change looking far from ready to rear its head, it was very surprising to almost all parties involved that change did come; namely in the form of a plucky young River Men tribal by the name of Barra-Kooda making contact with the still-present settlers of Laramie Point in 2286, now residing in an outlying shanty town. Kooda himself had not only gone out of his way to engage with and befriend the settlers but had also encouraged his fellow scouts and hunters to take the time to engage with these outsiders. The River Men's leading tribesmen watched with interest in these rather desperate settlers and saw an opportunity; access to better farming techniques and a surplus of food, thus paving the way for the River Men's dominance in the region. Whilst Kooda naively saw only friendship, the River Men's warchief saw an opportunity. Initial discussions began in the middle of that year, slowly moving forward due to the very prevalent language and the lack of any other interpreters with as good a grasp on the English language as Kooda, and saw relative progress; though both sides were reluctant to agree to anything or to provide any physical items in a gesture of good-will. It was this dragging-out of talks that led to the Silver Fins catching wind of the talks and investigating them; rumours spread of the River Men seeking advanced weapons from the settlers and, with the insistence of the Silver Fins' champion, the Silver Fins leaders thus decided to act on this perceived threat; namely, in that they descended upon the shanty-town and utterly destroyed it on January the 16th 2287. The River Men, at first disappointed, were ultimately uninterested in the loss; it was a setback, but not a permanent one. Individual tribals, especially Kooda, took personal umbrage, in Kooda's case especially so, but the tribe as a whole was not interested in the fate of a single group of settlers. For now, the tribe has moved on from this situation with relative disinterest - the tribe has far loftier goals, relating to complete domination of the town, to care about a few upsets in its path. Total domination and supremacy, via any means, is the ultimate goal.
For the River Men, a culture of expansionist, race-supremacy is at the heart of the tribe and serves as its core ideology. For some in the tribe, it is malevolent; a sincere belief that they are the chosen people destined to rule not just Laramie Point but all the land they survey; whilst for others it is benevolent; viewing themselves as a superior species required to rule over others in the area for their own good. Armed with this perceived superiority, not to mention a sizeable force of warriors, the tribe has sought a relatively active expansion across the ruins of the town, hampered though they are by their far more aggressive neighbors. The tribe, despite this seemingly hostile attitude to outsiders, is surprisingly open to the idea of conversing with said outsiders; again, with divided reasons for doing so, with some doing so out of genuine friendliness and others doing so out of a cynical, practical search for technology and knowledge to further the tribe.
- Longbow: Usually well-crafted, though this naturally varies depending on the skill of the individual crafting it, the Longbow is a formidable weapon often seen in the hands of the tribe's scouts, hunters, and warriors. Crafted personally by those who use it, these bows are very deadly in capable hands; some especially skilled archers in the tribe have been seen piercing boiled leather armour in certain eyewitness accounts.
- Club: Clubs are a common weapon, seen in the hands of many of the tribe's warriors; be they made of bone, rock, wood or even metal, these crude but effective weapons can easily batter enemies to a bloody pulp, provided they're in the right hands. Although entirely dependent on the strength of the user in terms of ability, these weapons are more-often-than-not the most common weapon one can come across in the hands of River Men.
- Spear: Another crude weapon, usually nothing more than a sharpened piece of flint on the end of a particularly sturdy stick, the Spear is a very common weapon amongst the scouts and hunters of the River Men; due to the usual fragile nature of these weapons, of course, they are usually used as throwing rather than melee weapons.
- Axe: Axes, be they crafted by hand or pulled out of aging storage sheds, are a rather are weapon; most hunters and scouts prefer the spear and bow's allowances in terms of distance, whilst Warriors prefer the sheer blunt-force of a club; nevertheless, Axes can be seen in the hands of particularly "refined" tribals, more-often-than-not being used to lop off the limbs of hapless foes.
- Warchief: The leader of the tribe, a role currently filled by Warchief Sha-arc, the Warchief title is surprisingly deceptive; the Warchief remains at camp, only occasionally venturing out in particularly large raiding parties.
- Shaman: The resident mystics and wizards, rumored to have all manner of knowledge in arcane arts and thought to partake in obscure rituals, the Shamans of the River Men also serve as healers and priests.
- Warrior: The defenders of the tribe, Warriors serve as the main fighting force of the tribe. Capable of fighting on both land and sea, these tribesmen and women are particularly ruthless and dedicated to protecting the tribe; no matter what.
- Scout: The Scouts are the tribe's most useful asset; nimble, perceptive individuals capable of mentally-mapping terrain and watching hostiles, be they man or monster, from afar or up close, all the while employing particularly useful tactics, such as partly submerging themselves in muddied water next to enemy camps, learned by other Scouts and passed down through the generations.
- Hunter: The most common occupation in the tribe, Hunters are lowly but valuable; due to the lack of successful sustenance farming attempts, not to mention a self-reliance and refusal to trade, the meat and hide brought back by Hunters is an invaluable source of resources that could not be readily sacrificed by the tribe.
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