The Koalkoaq of Eskele🔗
The Koalkoaq Clan resides in the town of Eskele which is built on cliffs by the coast. These cliffs are rich in minerals such as steel, iron and bronze and the waters off the coast are hotspots for sea creatures such as whales to pass through on their annual migrations. The combination of these things allows the Clan to acquire the materials needed to make superior weapons and armor. As a coastal and militant town, Eskele is known for its shipbuilders and weaponsmiths.
At age 8, boys and girls are assessed on their aptitude for qualities such as bloodthirst, strength, speed and leadership. These factors are judged and the elders decide which ones are fit to go on to become warriors and which ones aren’t. Those who fail have jobs such as miners, healers, hunters, caregivers and shipbuilders.
Those who are deemed fit to become warriors complete a rite of passage to earn their Koaqi Warrior title. They are pit against each other in a dueling ritual, during which the young ones dress in traditional armour and use a spear with a dull blade. The only way to become a Koaqi warrior is by winning the duel which ends in either death or submission. Those who submit do not go on to become warriors and instead have non warrior jobs within the clan. The survivor or winner of the duel becomes a Koalkoaq/Koaqi Cub and completes 6 years of warrior training before becoming a fully fledged Koaqi Warrior at age 14. At this stage they get their first tattoos.
When a new Chieftain is to be chosen, all those who would like to try and become Chieftain gather on the cliffs on what is known as Challenging Day. Challenging Day occurs on the eve of the Blue Moon, this event is known as Kanik (About once every 2 years). The challengers each approach the Chieftain 1 on 1 and a series of battles occur. Each battle ends by death or submission. Participants who submit are respected for their bravery and efforts and remain in the clan. The last Koalkoaqi standing is crowned Chieftain. As Chieftain, they are not only the leader of the warriors but also leader of the clan.
Any member of the clan can approach the Chieftain on challenging day however it is rare for non warriors to do so and so the Chieftain usually ends up being a warrior rather than someone with a non warrior job. The more experienced a warrior is the more chance they have at winning the duel and so the older warriors with years of training usually become Chieftain.
To run for Chieftain of the Koaqi you must;
- Meet the requirements outlined here.
- Be a member of the clan, either by birth or through the Ikaik.
- Live in Eskele (you do not have to physically own a house in Eskele on the server but irp you must live there)
The Koalkoaq clan has a Challenging Day IRP every 2 years. If someone wants to challenge the current Chieftain at this event an ooc vote will be held and then the event will be roleplayed and the winner of the ooc vote will win the duel. However you do not have to wait for Challenging Day in order to challenge the Koaqi Chieftain, the 4 month system still applies (as outlined on the Clan Election post) however Challenging Day will occur IRP regardless.
Example scenario: After the 4 month term a contender calls for an ooc vote, however the next Challenging Day isn’t for another 4 months (1 IRP year). The vote will still happen and if the current Chieftain loses then an IRP reason will be made as to why there is a new Chieftain (see above and below spoiler), however that reason will not be Challenging Day as they are at set times.
4 months later it is Challenging Day. The event must still be roleplayed whether or not an ooc vote is called. The current Chieftain could fight an NPC or throwaway if no one has challenged them ooc or an actual contender irp.
- Koaqi Warrior
- The most valued and respected members of the clan. These warriors are aged between 14 - 60 and are tasked with enforcing the clan’s rules and protecting the clan’s land, people and property. The Koaqi warriors consist of benders and non benders but most often a warrior is well versed in both. A fully trained and experienced Koaqi Warrior is able to use their weapon in conjunction with their bending as well as each separately.
- Elders & former Chieftains
- Elders include retired warriors and members of other professions, as well as former Chieftains. They are looked to for their knowledge and experience and look after the clan.
- Shipbuilders are experts in their craft. They build, maintain and repair Eskele’s fleet of ships.
- Smiths work to craft weapons, armour, tools and other items from the metal gathered by the miners.
- Miners work to extract natural resources such as metal from the cliffs and rocks of Eskele. These are then refined and used to make weapons, armour and tools.
- While most Koaqi Warriors make capable hunters, there are specialists. These are responsible for hunting animals around Eskele. The hunters kill, clean and separate the parts of the animal to be used for food, pelts, decoration and jewellery.
- Eskele is known for its healing springs and boasts a number of expert healers. The Koaqi have their own healers which use the springs but can only heal members of the clan.
- Eskele's fishermen are experts at hunting the fish and animals found off the coast. Eskele's primary food sources all come from the sea and so their fishermen are very important.
The most common greeting is a forearm shake or headbutt which are used for all situations, both formal and informal. With close friends, partners, or those they trust, a Koaqi may greet another by holding the back of the person's head and pressing their foreheads against each other. Koaqi warriors sometimes form blood pacts with those in their ‘platoons’ to solidify their bond.
The Warriors usually wear a pseudo-armor when not in battle, usually along with spoils of past battles won. This manifests as jewelry, forearm gauntlets and in some cases necklaces made from bones and body parts.
The Koaqi are all trained to sail and use it as their main method of transport as they can transport heavy goods and they know the southern waters well. They also use sleds with a combination of wolves and bending for land transport, usually only when sledding would make the journey quicker than sailing.
The warriors have a long tradition of tattooing themselves. The process is long and painful and even letting out a gasp during the process is considered a sign of weakness. The more battles you’ve won and the higher your rank within the tribe, the more tattoos you are allowed to have. Elders of the clan can be seen with almost 80% of their body tattooed.
Before going into battle, they perform rituals where they paint their faces as an intimidation tactic.
The Koaqi bending style is not like traditional rhythmic and flowing waterbending, it is rather rigid and often resembles earthbending in terms of aggression, power and stance. The Koaqi are fond of using more brute force such as ice spikes and sharp ‘whip’ like techniques. This serves their ruthless nature better as when fighting, it is usually to kill or severely subdue the opponent.
Koalkoaqis who are healers may only heal other Koalkoaqis and members of the clan may only receive healing from Koalkoaqi healers. Healers who aren’t part of the clan can heal anyone else.
Relationships in the clan🔗
While the Koaqi reside in Eskele there are also non clan members who live there. Being a Koalkoaqi is taken very seriously and they are at the top of the social hierarchy. They live in the best homes and are given preferential treatment. It is seen as taboo for warriors to marry and have children with non-warriors. It is seen as taboo for a Koalkoaqi to marry and have children with the underclass, those who are not part of the clan. It could result in both being banished from the Clan and having their title as a Koalkoaqi taken away.
When a baby is born within the clan everyone gathers for a ritual where the baby is painted in warrior colours and dipped in a bath of water from the sea. This is said to make the baby strong in hopes that they will become a Koaqi warrior. The elders and parents help to decide on a name for the child after this ritual.
When a member of the clan dies their body is burned and sent to the spirits. When a high ranking member of the clan dies, they are placed on a decorated ship surrounded by gifts in the form of weapons, armour and kills from the clanspeople. The ship is set on fire and sent out to sea. Normal members of the clan are placed on decorated wood piles on the highest cliffs of eskele and burned. The Koaqi celebrate the clan member with days of chants, feasts, duels and hunts in their honour.
Children are highly valued in the clan as they have the potential to become Koaqi Warriors so it is rare that they would be given up by their parents. If a child’s parent(s) die then the elders of the clan will take on the role of raising them. They will still be assessed at age 8 and trained by the other warriors in the clan if they pass.
How outsiders become Koalkoaq🔗
The Koalkoaqi believe in the Koalkoaqi Spirit and recognize that people born outside of the Clan can be born with it. If an outsider wishes to prove themselves deserving of the title, they must journey to Eskele and pass the Ikaik. In order to be considered, outsiders must be deemed worthy by the Chieftain and by the Elders to prove that they have the Koalkoaq spirit. If deemed worthy they will be accepted into the clan and assigned a master/mentor to train them and help them prepare for the Ikaik, a long and challenging series of trials. Koalkoaqis who lose a loved one/one of their pupils in a trial don’t hold a grudge against the victor, they are respected as the winner as it is part of Koaqi tradition.
Those who pass the Ikaik are considered fully fledged Koalkoaqis and are treated no differently from those born in Eskele. Outsiders may be matched with either a Koalkoaq born or another outsider seeking to pass the Ikaik in their trial by combat. A Koaqi who is facing punishment of banishment or death may be subject to duel the outsider in their Ikaik in a bid to keep their life and position in the clan.
The Ikaik Trial🔗
- The initiates begin the Ikaik with minimal clothing, often shirtless with only light trousers, footwear, their weapon of choice and spikes to climb the cliffs
- The first part of the trial is the clan’s version of ice dodging through the rough rocks and waters around Eskele
- After completing the ice dodging course the initiate must swim from the ship to the base of the cliffs
- The initiate must climb to the top of one of the cliffs (each initiate’s mentor stands at the top of the cliff waiting to oversee the remainder of the challenge should their student make it up)
- Those who make it to the top have until nightfall to hunt for food and pelts
- They are then buried in snow by their mentor and left for 24 hours
- The next night, the initiate can dig themselves out of the snow and they have until dawn to thaw, hunt, eat, gather pelts, make a fire and mentally prepare for the final challenge the following day. They may not return to the village during this time.
- On the third day all surviving initiates return to the village and are paired up for the final duel. Koalkoaqis who lose a loved one/one of their pupils in this duel don’t hold a grudge against the victor, they are respected as the winner.
- Those who win their duel become fully fledged Koaqi warriors
- When a new group of Koaqi warriors are welcomed into the tribe, the celebrations can last for up to a week, this includes the day after the duel where the new warriors receive their first Koaqi tattoos.
Found in Eskele’s lands and waters:
|Otter penguin||Penguin with four flippers used for sledding|
|Whale-walrus||Creature whose blubber is used to make lamp oil|
|Arctic seal||Swimming mammal native to the South Pole|
|Polar orca||Hunted for its meat in the Southern waters|
|Cuttlefish||Used to make paint that is applied for ceremonial markings|
|Fish||Various species are typically relied on for food in the Water Tribe|
|Wolf||Canine that inhabits the polar regions of the Earth, including the North and South Poles|
Written by Lego/Taio & Oren/Maniitok