Bala-Hage

Also known as the Cragfolk of the Razorwind mountains, are tightly organized insular people. Long ago they came to the inhospitable craigs and caves of the Razorwind mountains. They make their homes in the caves that dot the mountains, extending them as needed with tunnels and even going so far as building simple timber structures inside the enlarged caves. They leave the openings and for a few feet in natural to help camouflage their dwellings.

Give the harsh winds and little flat space agriculture is pretty much non-existent, they do cultivate mushrooms in their cave dwellings an farm allege in their deep cisterns. They herd the wild mountain goats but such work is as hard and dangerous as it is rewarding.

The Bala-Hage have broad foreheads and keep their hair short to show the whole of it at any time, they engage in ritualistic scaring of the forehead to indicate age. Given the harshness of the mountains age is a mark of great pride.

Physical Features: Short and stocky with broad facial features and pale hair and skin. Their pupils fill nearly there entire eye allowing them to better see in the dim light of their underground homes, spending nearly their entire lives underground has lead them to developing a sunlight sensitivity, manifesting in both a difficulty in seeing in the bright light of the sun, as well as easily developing sun burns. Their broad facial features lead some to speculate they might be distantly related to the The Tunganee people

Social Structure: The Bala-Hage are a matriarchal Gerontocracy, forming an insular state. The oldes women in any gathering is the Crone a title of respect and honor. Women mark their foreheads with ritual scarification to denote age, men are treated equitably, but their role is to herd and fight where as the women take care of the home, doing the majority of construction and excavation of the cave systems.

Warfare: Given their isolated nature, they don’t frequently come into conflict with others, they have trade relations with The Tunganee people, and Syvencha Misto. When they do come to conflict, they engage in hit and run tactics using their knowledge of the area and extensive system of tunnels and caves to harase the foe. Often striking at the height of a Razorwind Storm and leaving before the winds die down.

Arts and Crafts: Cave paintings are the primary form of visual arts with pigments made from mineral and goat fat. The Bala-Hage practice a form of throat singing coupled with sharp whistles that can carry for miles in the underground tunnels, allowing vast numbers of the people to engage in singing, this is a frequent part of religious events.

Religion: The Bala-Hage do not worship any diety instead they revere the earth, stone and Iron Wood tree, and fear the wind offering it scraps of meat and their dead as offerings to appease it’s wrath. religious ceremonies start with the people gathering in large central caves and signings and as the song travels the tunnels it merges with the song of other families and forms a chorus at the height of this the consumption of hallucinogenic mushroom tea is preformed with a ritualistic reverence.

Clothing: Clothing is made from goat skin, boiled with salt to harden, renforced with the bark of the Iron Wood tree and metal.

Food: Food is simple roasted meat with salt and stwewed mushrooms and allgee. When game is scares they substitute baked or grilled cave fish.

Drinks: Lacking grains, oand fruits and with goats milk to rare to spare alchol is rare, and a socialy frowned upon indulgence. Goats milk and water are the primary drinks, augmented with a thick tea of mushrooms and algee. A special tea made from hallucinogenic mushrooms is saved for special ocassions and religous cerimonies.

Spices: Rock Salt

Plants/Grains: Mushrooms and Algee

Protein: Blind Cave Rat, Goat, Cave Fish, Crawfish, oysters,

Architecture: As an underground dwelling people, most of their architecture is expanding the natural caves and building tunnles, and is thus constrained to the stability of the rock and soil. Simple timber structures are built in the deeper caverns.

Calender. The Bala-Hage calender is based off of the direction of the winds and is broken into three seasons, the north, the west and the east.

Trade Iron, other metals and minierals, on rare ocasions they will trade the wood of the sacred Iron Wood tree for items of great value.