Mox are tall muscular humanoids. Coarse hair covers most of their bodies and is almost always white. A Mox has a barrel chest with short, thick necks and wide, flat heads with sloping brows. Their shoulders are broad and their arms are long and powerful as they have thick bones and dense muscle which both contribute to their broad structures, but they have short and thick legs. Mox hands and feet are quite large have thick bones, dense muscle which both contribute to their broad structures. Both their teeth and claws are very sharp and strong and can be used as weapons. Multiple redundant physical defenses against the cold are present in the Mox body: thick layers of fat, thick hair, long eyelashes An adult Mox stands about six feet tall and weighs about 330 pounds.
Many mox wear little clothing. Most clothing is only worn for a use or purpose. A typical Mox will wear a belt or sash to hold and possessions it needs to carry. A female mox cleric will almost always be found in robes. Mages, administrators and the like also wear robes.
Mox in general are not very clean. Mox do little to groom themselves. Except for hunters, who keep clean so they don't have great scent.
Mox are brutal and barbaric.
The Mox life is very harsh, but perseverance against opposition and obstacles is the central belief in their culture. Mox believe in survival of the fittest. Mox love battle, feasting, pillaging and fellowship. In a like manner, Mox never complain and never show that any hardship bothers them. They are ever cheerful, no matter how bad a situation is or how much pain their may be.
Food comes from hunting and gathering. Mox typically hunt fish, seal, snow rabbit, polar bear, elk and moose. Horses are occasionally slaughtered if times are tough. Plants are scare and are gathered when come upon. Select groups of Green Gatherers are sent out to look for and gather plants. They are taught by the Hatraddi in the ways of herbalism. They are as highly regarded as the warriors due to the importance of their job. Food is sometimes claimed in raids. Food is distributed and stored on a family basis with other families contributing to another if necessary. Meat is usually dried except for the meal after the food was killed or appropriated. Mox will eat those of other races, but mox never eat other mox.
Arts and LifeEdit
Mox have a strong heritage and are proud of it. All Mox history is passed on orally resulting in hundreds of songs, histories, poems and legends. Other art forms include wood and bone carvings and ice sculpturing. Mox art consists of carvings (bone, ivory, wood and stone) and weaving.
Mox have a strong sense of honor. Or at least they try to publicly. Mox try to have great honor in all things, but in the end will do any act to gain that honor. As long as the mox is not caught publicly, it is fine. Often mox 'don't ask and don't tell' about affairs of honor, and all mox are assumed to have honor unless there is proof they do not.
Mox architecture is simpler than the southern realms. Architecture consists mainly of Battas, circular houses made of wood built about a central chamber which contains the fireplace. Mox are not known for their metal working skill. The crude iron weapons that they do produce are inferior to the fine steel weapons produced in more civilized lands. A typical Mox warrior will carry a large axe, a large spear and a dagger. However, hatraddi shamans are able to create magical weapons of solid ice. These are often wielded by the greatest warriors. Armor is commonly various forms of leather and fur. The greatest of warriors wear a thick stiff leather armor made from the skin of polar worms. Shields are either wooden and leather or a larger variety made from the polar worm hide. Mox do not wear metal armor. This is mostly an issue of physical comfort. Metal armor tends to be uncomfortably cold and joints will often freeze. Mox women all typically wear a charm box on a necklace around their neck and a dagger on their belt. The materials that the box is made out of determines the wealth of her husband. Most transportation is on foot or sled. Communication is no faster than travel. Limited communication is possible between villages by great horns. Winders, as they are known, are huge men of tremendous lung power with six foot horns (taken from slain Polar Worms) set up on high. An agreed upon system of long and short blasts can signal a variety of a messages. Several of the clans utilize huge sleds which enormous sails on them. These wind sleds move across frozen lakes and up and down frozen rivers. Large frozen plains and ice fields are the best places for wind sledding, where the wind is strong. Heavy cargos can be quickly transported in this way. The northern most tribes even sail their wind sleds out onto the frozen northern ocean when the sea freezes solid in wintertime. Windsled races are a favored winter sport among the Mox. Many mox warriors ride horses and the greatest warriors ride massive wontos.
Arcane Magic is non-existent in this society except for Hatraddi, specialist mage/priest spell casters who concentrate on herbalism and "cold magic." Hatraddi are able to shape ice with their bare hands as easily as a normal man would shape snow. They can forge weapons and tools of ice that will not melt, even if placed in a roaring fire. Hatraddi also wield great control of plant and animal life, calming beasts, causing plants to grow, curing venomous bites and more. These Hatraddi are rare and they enjoy great respect. There is never more than one per village and many villages are without. This equates to roughly one in 1000, approximately equivalent to the human norm. Mox dislike and fear all other magic and will attack sorcerers of other cultures with little provocation. Divine magic is uncommon and every settlement has at least one temple. Mox generally don't use healing magic. They believe that a man must recover from sickness or wounds by his own strength. This is especially true for disease. The diseased are typically put in a tent with food and water, effectively isolated from the rest of the community. If the victim recovers, they walk out of the tent under their own power and rejoin the community. If they die, so be it.
Great differences between the rights and responsibilities of males and females exist. Women in the Mox culture have no rights whatsoever. They are little more than property. The men of this culture do the hunting and defending, crafting of tools and weapons, instruction of the male children and building the houses. The women do the cooking, cleaning, gathering of plants and the instruction of the female children. Pregnancies are highly desired due to the high mortality rate in any given community. Women are expected to produce many children.
A Mox male selects any woman he wants and need only obtain her father’s permission. In general, a Mox man will take a wife, but partner swapping is not uncommon among them. The husband of the family is the head of the household. The mother of the children ranks about equal to male children. All children are prized, but sons especially so. Animals, especially drift horses, are cared for almost as family members with the best possible feed and stables.
A Mox female has a gestation period of 8 months. A birth is a great time for celebration as are birthdays until the Coming of Age. To survive childhood in the harsh environment deserves celebration. Parties are large usually involving the extended family. The gifts acquired at birthdays are the base for the possessions a child will have as adult.
From birth, children are trained to become a productive member of the tribe. Obedience is expected. Discipline is harsh. They are taught menial duties and are put to sleep during major celebrations. Male children apprentice in their chosen profession by age six. The child himself chooses. The training lasts about ten years. Child play in large groups with each other (stick fighting, wrestling, snow fights, etc.).
Aging and DeathEdit
Aging is natural to a Mox. They look up to their elders.
A dead Mox body has no value, as it is an empty shell. A dead Mox is removed from the general area, but no care or thought is given to disposing of it. No ceremony surrounds the phenomenon of death. When a Mox dies, the body is stripped and left to the mercy of the cold winds. It needs the aid of the community no longer. It is only a shell. The true essence of a Mox is his soul, his spirit, his strength of will has been claimed by the Cold and will spend eternity in a realm of endless cold.
Society and CultureEdit
A roaring fire, story telling and contests of strength and skill mark social events. Mox are a social culture and tend to do everything in groups. Loners are rare. In this same manner, Mox share everything. Food, drinking water, bathing water, clothes and more are often exchanged, traded or used by many.
Prominent Community CeremoniesEdit
- Coming of Age
At the end of apprenticeship, a Mox male rides out to his first combat or raid. He must kill an enemy and bear a scar upon his return to mark the day. After his first day of battle, he has his choice of the women in the village. If he chooses a married one, he must challenge her husband to single combat. Such combat is to the death. Any Mox who refuses such a challenge is banished. Once he chooses, he cannot change his mind. The next day after losing his virginity, a celebration is held in his honor by the community. In it, he will eat the heart of his first kill. No coming of age ceremony exists for the females. However, it is tradition that a father wait until his daughter has seen sixteen winters before he marry her off.
- The Reckoning
In the event of an irresolvable quarrel, the chieftain may decide upon the Reckoning. In the Reckoning, the chieftain will present the opponents with a challenge. Such a challenge is always a monumental feat which may take the two contenders days to achieve and far from the village. (i.e. slaying a powerful beast, bringing back some distant object or finding some rare herb). The first to achieve the Reckoning is the winner in the dispute. The most legendary Reckoning was fought between two heroes who both wanted the same woman. The challenge was to slay a snow dragon.
- The Rebirth
A community wide feast and orgy celebrating the end of winter and the survival of the village through the harsh season.
A typical settlement is lead by a lord chief. He is simply the most powerful Mox in the area.
A chief can publicly challenge another chief to a duel for his clan. This is done before as much as both clans as possible, along with several observers from other clans.
A Mox who is not a chief can challenge a chief if they show dishonor.
If two mox can not agree, they can call for a duel. A duel is always between only two mox. A duel must be public, with as many mox watching as possible. Often a cleric, agent of a lord or the local lord himself will officiate a duel. A duel is always to the death and the two in the duel may not get any outside help once the duel starts. A mox is only forced into a duel by someone of equal clan status, otherwise the one with greater status can refuse a duel. A clan member of lesser status can not refuse a duel. Hatraddi may not duel, officially.
The Vessertti are the wise old women mox. They weld great political power. Mostly the Vessertti are made up of widow mox. The group is semi secret, they they reveal themselves when needed. All lords and all mox listen to the advice and words of the Vessertti. The Vessertti make all the laws and rules of mox society, enforced by the lords.
A mox family is made up a group of related individuals. A family is often around a dozen or so individuals of all ages. At least five families make a clan, though many clans are made up of around twenty families. Each clan is lead by a lord, and a great lord is one who rules over several clans.
Each clan makes alliances and enemies from day to day, mox communities can change quickly. At least three clans make up the average mox town and cities can have ten or more. A typical mox clan battle will kill off about two thirds of the loosing clan. Any survivor of value, such as a craftsman or warrior, can be taken in by a larger more powerful clan, but for the most part all surviving clan members, now clanless, are exiled.
The normal punishment for a crime is exile from the clans. Exile is considered worse then death. Most criminals that commit crimes against a clan, such as theft are exiled. Worshipers of Orcus are also exiled. Any mox who suffers a great dishonor will often exile themselves. And finaly, if the majority of a clan is killed in an clan war, the survivors will exile themselves. All mox in exile go to one place, the Cave of Exile, a large wide cave located on the southern border of mox lands in the rocky hills.
Trade is transacted on a pure barter system. Gold is only as good as the things it can provide. There are few treasure hoards. Mox are not really interested in gold and jewels and other worthless baubles. A fine fur cloak or well crafted pair of boots would catch their interest however. No form of credit exists in Mox villages. Debts are based on honor and are usually small. Placing oneself in deep debt is socially unacceptable. The punishment for not paying back a debt is a branding and banishment. Normally, possession extends only to what a Mox can take and keep. Inheritance passes to the sons only who must fight each other for their shares.
Mox have no regret and no shame. In the same manner that they share their possessions, so too do they share each other. Exchanging wives for a night is not unheard of among Mox men. In fact, the Mox openly engage in sexual intercourse in full view of others (often after dinner, right there at the table). This practice has shocked quite a few delicate southerners visiting for the first time.
Reactions to other RacesEdit
Trade with the southern realms is limited. This is mainly with former mox who have left. Alliances are easily made between tribes. Alliances are slower with the outside. They will ally with any group they trust if the expected treasure and combat makes the prospect worthwhile. In general, the Mox seem to like warriors and hunters the best and are cautious with everyone else. They feel a slight kinship to the dwarves.
Mox are not very religious, but every mox pays at least some homage to a deity. A typical mox settlement will have only one large temple, but many smaller shrines. Mox have their own pantheon, led by Hruggek. Other members of the bugbear pantheon include Grankhul and Skiggaret. Other entities worshiped by bugbears include Auril, Malar, Thrym and Meriadar often receives the worship of those mox who have forsaken evil. The bugbear gods are martial, but more diverse than those of the goblins and orcs. Local bugbear pantheons also have minor deities of fertility, earth, and death; sometimes, the bugbears treat the demigod Stalker as their darkness/death god.
Almost all mox clerics are female, male mox clerics are very rare. Often a temple or shire will refuse to even teach the clerical ways to a male, unless that male shows great divine power or promise. Sometimes a male mox will hear the divine calling and self teach themselves, but they often keep it secret or live apart from communities. Hatraddi also learn divine magic, but have thier own traditions and teachings separate from the organized temples. Many female mox, tired of the rule of the Vessertti and the religious community, have turned to the worship of Orcus. The organized religions, the Vessertti and by extension the lords see the clergy of Orcus as a threat. Worship of Orcus is forbidden publicly everywhere. A mox found worshiping Orcus is banished.
Mox priests and shamans tend to be more inventive in both their magic use and their myths than most goblinoids, as befits their chaotic nature (in the flexible/creative sense) and higher intelligence. Mox tend to be more subtle than other goblinoids, however. They are always watchful for omens from the gods, particularly in the form of lightning or violent weather changes. They seek to stay on the good side of Skiggaret, their god of fear, who sends omens in the form of sudden chills, the rising of hackles, and magical pools of darkness.
The only creation legend the Mox have has to do with Berx , the first civilized Mox, who set them on the road to civilization. Mox believe that difficulties (whether it is the day to day struggle to survive, battle, etc.) is the way to purge the world of the weak. Only the strong should survive. Mox have only a handful of gods they follow in a loosely organized group of legends and fables. Stories of adventure, treasure, heroes and villains are the true religion for this people. The sky curtain (northern lights) can be easily seen from their homelands. According to their beliefs, Brex ascended to the sky by climbing a mountain, now known as Brex's Peak. He then pushed the mountain down so that mortal men could not follow. But to show them that he had not abandoned them, he left the door to heaven open a crack and its divine light shines through at night.
In the endless Dawn Forest, of much peril and good hunting, a star fell into the cooking fire of the wisest, boldest of the Haree [note: “Haree” means “WeThePeople,” and is the bugbears’ name for themselves], and all who gazed into that fire beheld a fair and vast land of rolling hills, plains, mountains, forests, lakes beyond counting, and sea. A land that teemed with life, yet had no Haree. A land for us to roam at will, to lord over, to grow greater in. So the wise Haree followed that star when it rose from their fire. It led them into the deepest, darkest fastnesses of the forest, many Haree being lost in the jaws of lurking spiders the size of the trees themselves, and worse hunters. Long was the way, bloody the trail, and it ended in a cave, so dark that all the Haree could do was follow the twinkling light ahead. It led them to a glowing ring or doorway of light in the darkness, and vanished when it passed through that ring. Those Haree brave enough to follow fell through blue mists, to land on their feet gently in this place. These Realms. Our rightful kingdom, when one day we rise to our proper might. Which shall be when we slay the last dragon.
Mox do have their own language known as Moxxi which utilizes a simple alphabet and has a harsh pronunciation. It is a spoken tongue only. There is no written form. The Hatraddi do use a cryptic script for their spells and formula. It is called Hataradan and there are very few in the world that can read this language. It is considered improper for non Hatraddi Mox to become literate in any language.