The Bard's Tale IV Post-funding Update #27: Production Update, the Fichti

The latest post-funding Kickstarter update for The Bard's Tale IV brings us a quick update on inXile's new New Orleans office, the state of (pre-)production, a new screenshot, and a write-up on the Fichti, one of the fictional game cultures, from Nathan Long. Here's an excerpt:

Culture of the Fichti

The Fichti are a tribe of nature worshiping humans who see themselves as the guardians of the deep forests of northwest Caith. They are a small, wiry, dark-haired people, known for painting themselves in woad and wearing clothes made from skins and pelts. They live in small villages protected by wooden palisades and survive primarily by hunting and gathering, though they also sell furs, antlers, honey, and game meat to their Dael neighbors to the south.

Though the Fichti are a matriarchal society, both men and women lead. Each village has both a Mother and a Father, as well as a Grandmother. The Mother and Father are often married, but don't need to be - they don't even necessarily need to be the same sex as their title - although the Grandmother is always a woman.

Village Mothers are the leaders in all things pertaining to organization and justice in the tribe. It is they who settle disputes among villagers and who negotiate with other villages. They are the lawmakers and peacekeepers. The village Fathers - regardless of sex - are the leaders in all things pertaining to defense. They maintain the village's fighting cohort and investigate all threats. They do not have the power to make war on their own, but once the Mother orders that war be fought, the Father is the one who leads the fight.

The village Grandmother is a priestess of Mother Hazel and Father Oak, tending to all matters spiritual and ceremonial, making sacrifices, consulting auguries, presiding over rituals, healing both the body and the mind of her flock, and seeing to the burial of the dead.

Religion of the Fichti

Unlike the other peoples of Caith, the Fichti worship actual entities, not abstractions or totems. Grandmother River is a major river that runs through their lands. Mother Hazel and Father Oak are actual and particular hazel and oak trees, giants of their kind. Likewise, the animal gods who are the children of Hazel and Oak are actual and particular animals who live in the Fichti's forests - nigh-immortal animals of unusual size and supernatural powers - but animals none the less, that live and sleep and hunt and can be seen in the real world.

This makes the Fichti especially protective of their lands and secret places, because their gods can be destroyed, and if their gods are destroyed their culture dies - and if their culture dies, they believe they will die as well.

The Fichti's religious leaders are all women, known as Sisters of the Sacred Grove, which is the grove where the two massive trees, Mother Hazel and Father Oak, face each other across a bend in Grandmother River in which is reflected Grandfather Sky. Thus all four of the prime gods are present in the glade, making it the holiest of holy places. This is where the leadership of the Sisterhood live and train young women to become priestesses, and since many of the mysteries there are not to be seen by men, the guardians of the grove are Spear Daughters, young women of a martial nature who are also trained there.