Introducing the Modgud from the world of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE and THE IGNORED PROPHECY.
The Modgud are slightly shorter than the Dardani, but their build and coloring is very similar. Like the Dardani, both men and women wear functional tunic and trousers—although theirs are almost always made of wool. Fabric is always left the natural color of the fiber. But the Modgud weavers will use the natural variation in color to create subtle patterns.
The Modgud share many beliefs and customs with the Dardani. Five hundred years ago, they were actually the seventh Clan. But they were a little different from the others already in some of their ways. They never united with the other Clans which formed the Dardani.
The Modgud live on a high plateau between the plains and the Great Forest. The plateau is drier than the plains and the vegetation tends to be more shrubby, rather than grassy. The Modgud mainly raise sheep and lead a very simple life. They also make use of the Forest, which the Dardani fear. They hunt and gather wild fruits and nuts in the Forest as well as firewood. It is also a source of water for them, since the Forest has plentiful springs and streams. Before Arcas’ coming, they traded wool, tin, and pauver fruits with the Dardani in exchange for cured hides and also for copper and iron goods (which the Dardani got from Caere). Arcas expanded the trade to include the gold nuggets which are found lying around the plateau where the Modgud live. This mystifies the Modgud, who consider the yellow metal useless because it is too soft to do anything with.
The Modgud live in hide huts—almost like tepees—with a hole in the center to allow the smoke to escape. There is a fire at the center of every Modgud hut for warmth and cooking.
The Modgud are the smallest group—fewest in number—living on the plains. Perhaps in part because of this, the Modgud do not like to make enemies. They much prefer to be on peaceful, even friendly terms with all of their neighbors. The Modgud are led by a headman, who makes decisions for the group. However, the actual power, including the power to appoint—or oust—the headman, rests with a group of older women called the Matriarchs. The Matriarchs are comprised of the oldest and wisest woman from each of the seven extended families that make up the Modgud.
Marriages are agreed to between the man and woman. They are exclusive relationships, but can be somewhat fluid, especially when the parties are young. The Modgud are not very numerous. The whole group tends to take a hand in the raising of children, which are considered the group’s most precious assets.
The Modgud have a belief in Spirits, similar to the Dardani, except that the Modgud also believe in a second, unrelated group of Spirits—the Spirits of one’s ancestors—who are to be welcomed. The ancestor Spirits bring good fortune and guidance in difficult times. They also have one or more shamans, whose job it is to keep the non-ancestor Spirits away from the people and welcome the ancestor Spirits. A shaman has to be able to tell the difference. The Modgud do not observe a day of rest. The Modgud do not swear, no matter how pressed.