Whitefalcon Chieftain Picture

Although considered by most scholars on tribal life to be siblings through their similar mythologies, the Whitefalcon tribe of Gongaga has long been settled in a far different environment than the northern Blackwings. The western peninsula, separated from the Ancient Forest by the wide Gongaga River, is a dense and humid jungle that few mainlanders have ever entered beyond a mile into the edges. Whitefalcons appear to have no fear of the dangerous and poisonous wildlife reported to have been seen in their native habitats, and are content in daytime heat that can knock a first-time visitor off of their feet.

Central to Whitefalcon society is their chieftain, whom, unlike other tribes' head authorities, also assumes the role of shaman. Clothing is appropriately minimal in the Gongaga heat throughout the tribe, as well as easily removable for diving in the coastal and river waters, and the simplistic style surprisingly extends to the highest among them. Aside of the present chieftain's imposing stature and visible strength, there is little to indicate his position as above or even different from that of the tribe he rules.

Every Whitefalcon wears a reverently folded headband of cloth, dyed from various plants in the jungle. Color appears to bear little meaning to rank, and more suggests what grows around a family's home. In the band's center, above the forehead, a white feather is worn upright between the cloth and skin in homage to the tribe's namesake spiritual guardian. The chieftain is the only Whitefalcon to wear three feathers, which represent remembrance of the tribe members who were there yesterday, prosperity to those there today, and trust that there will always be a tribe tomorrow.

The chieftain is also the only of his people to include what appear to be gemstones washed smooth by the ocean waves among the common thick necklaces made from dried local tree nuts. A staff with a similar gem stone, held in place almost miraculously through the tension of remarkable craftsmanship, is a symbol largely reserved for formal rites and greeting outsiders that the tribe considers to be honored guests.

Having little use for wearable trappings and trinkets, the Whitefalcons save the spectacle and regalia for their chieftain's throne. The throne, itself, is a massive piece of indigenous stone. Indeed, the throne's site is precisely where the stone was found; it was carved in place when it was determined, to the tribe's approval, to be too heavy to be moved. Whitefalcons view this as a symbol of their devotion to the land they tend. Narrow channels carved into the throne's back serve as vases of a sort for massive leaves of the Gongaga palm, found nowhere else on Gaia. The leaves are watered by the morning rains and replaced on the dawn of what the tribe calls the "first sun", a span of a week to the mainland. A long-standing legend states that on the day when there are no more leaves to adorn the throne, the white falcon will leave the presumably barren jungle and the tribe will cease to exist. Because of this legend, the trees that bear the purely decorative leaves are tended as carefully as the edible crops. Only palms that meet a natural demise may be cut, making their wood a sacred material, even when carved into the most humble daily utensils.

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