Broken Lodge elder council
Background[edit | edit source]
In 2047, in the landmark case of Arapaho Nation v. Montezuma, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in an 8-1 decision that the Arapaho Basin and the ski area built upon it originally rested on Arapaho tribal land, the treaties signed hundred of years prior were illegitimate and the Arapaho were entitled to a reservation in the basin. Because of the attention garnered by media coverage of the case, the Arapaho Basin Indian Reservation remained in a national spotlight and received comparative more federal aid for social, political and economic issues than other Native American reservations.
Because of this federal aid, the Arapaho Basin Indian Reservation had air raid sirens installed as tensions increased between the United States and China. During the Great War, these sirens alerted the Arapaho people in the reservation to seek shelter in caves that were renovated into fallout shelters. 60 miles away, the city of Denver took 17 direct hits and neighboring suburbs were collectively struck by nine more. The collective shock waves traveled into the Rocky Mountains and shattered the lodges in which the Arapaho had been living. The Arapaho fallout shelter's instruments gave the all clear in 2086 and the occupants emerged to find their pre-War lodges were wrecked. They continued living within the shelter as they rebuilt their home in The Basin, but the lodges remained broken as a constant reminder of man's destructive capabilities.
In the autumn of 2278, Caesar's Legion took control of Denver (a.k.a. Dog City) and integrated the Hangdog tribe. Investigating rumors of the Broken Lodges to the west, Caesar sent scouts. Interactions between the frumentarii and Broken Lodge hunting party were less than amicable and Caesar ordered Broken Lodge extermination, thus sparking the Broken Lodges War. Caesar's Legion was ultimately victorious and the Arapaho culture was largely destroyed. Only one Broken Lodge remains alive, a shaman named Hiitheti' Tho'wa'unochu.
Culture[edit | edit source]
The Tah'wotih' were an egalitarian hunter-gatherer society, placing importance on an individual's ability to provide food and protection to the greater tribe. The tribe excelled at war and became the dominant tribe in the Colorado Basin because of their experience waging war during the winter months, exploiting diminishing food supplies and mobilization difficulties of other tribes, including the Cimmaron and Plattes. A Tah'wotih' warrior's signature weapon was the tomahawk, a small hatchet made of sharpened bone or stone.
Spiritualism was a major facet of Broken Lodge life and multiple shamans were in charge of interpreting the word of ancestral spirits. Communication with these spirits was normally done in sweat lodges with the smoking of alpine entheogens through a ceremonial calumet, but sometimes spirits would present their wisdom through a shaman's dreams.
Shamans also presided over funerals proceedings. Funerals were within one day of death and only the shaman and the dead's immediate family handled the body. The body was dressed in a ceremonial robe, taken to the peak of a mountain and entombed underneath stones by the family while the shaman sung an incantation. The Tah'wotih' believed the spirit of the dead would remain on the material plane for four days before going to hiyei'in ("our home").
Organization[edit | edit source]
The Tah'wotih' controlled over 750 square miles of alpine mountains in and around the Colorado Basin before their extermination. Watchtowers were erected on several mountain peaks surrounding the basin to watch over Broken Lodge territory in the valleys below.
At the time of their extermination, the Tah'wotih' had approximately 3,000 members, 80% of which were hunters, warriors, and scouts, 15% were children and the remaining 5% were wise elders, shamans and chieftains. Chieftains were selected from general consensus about one's martial ability and leadership qualities; shamans are selected by ancestral spirits that either presented themselves to a prospective shaman or a current shaman that took the individual on as a pupil. While they did not hold any official position, elders who could no longer hunt and go to war were still respected for their wisdom. Whenever important issues had to be handled, a council comprised of chieftains, shamans and elders would retire to the fallout shelter where they survived the Great War and discuss options to deal with the issue.
Technology[edit | edit source]
Much of the Old World technology the Arapaho had was lost in the Great and to time, so they have regressed to traditional and primitive technology. A few small arms survived, but a vast majority of hunters avoided them for being too loud, favoring bows and tomahawks instead. Every Tah'wotih' warrior forged his own ceremonial tomahawk from stone, bone or scrap metal. Clothing was made primarily of bighorner leather; winter clothing was a double layer of bighorner leather stuffed with the animals fur.
Dwellings were varied within the tribe, ranging from traditional animal skin wickiups and wooden lodges to hillside and valley dugouts. After medical supplies from their fallout shelter ran out, the tribe turned to herbal medicines, taking barks, roots, leaves and other organic materials to create medicine.