Shombe (Zyanya Supplement)

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The Shombe are a cattle-herding people who place a great deal of emphasis on courage and physical prowess. They are said to be some of the best warriors in the world. Legend has it that the Shombe invented the heavy spear for use in coming-of-age ceremonies, so that young warriors could hunt more dangerous prey and still have a chance of winning.

Shombe, not surprisingly, tend to honor powerful warriors of the past.

The Shombe do not produce much durable art, but have a great love of body decoration, specifically ritual scarring. These scar patterns are made by slicing into the skin with a razor, and then rubbing ash into the wound so that it leaves a permanent, dark scar when it finally heals. Shombe warriors will sometimes give themselves new scar patterns to commemorate a great victory, so heavily scarred Shombe should be given a wide berth.

Since Shombe society revolves around warriors, most Shombe rituals naturally involve combat. The passage to adulthood is the most revered of rituals amongst the Shombe, and involves the hunting, slaying, and skinning of a beast or magical beast. Parts of the beast are then fashioned into a magical charm that the victor keeps as a memento of the victory. To prevent killing off the supply of monsters in the region, these hunts are only held every three years. Furthermore, it is not unusual for young Shombe to be slain in these expeditions, so in recent years, participants have been encouraged to hunt in groups.

Shombe typically dress in the boubou common to northern Orisha, though they prefer to dye theirs in bright colors such as red, yellow, or orange. The shombe sense of beauty considers hair unsightly. Shombe men usually shave themselves bald and remove all facial hair. Shombe women usually braid their hair, color it with red ochre, and remove all of their body hair.

The Shombe exist on a diet of milk and meat. Since cattle are valuable in their society, they only eat beef on special occasions, but frequently eat goats, chickens, and sheep

The Shombe prefer the heavy spear over all other weapons. They avoid missile weapons, considering them cowardly, and rarely use shields for much the same reason.

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The Shombe are organized into numerous tribes, each ruled by a chieftain. Each chieftain is supervised by a separate council of elders with the authority to replace her with another ablebodied warrior. Such an event is rare, and only happens if a chieftain has seriously failed in her duties.

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