Outcasts... untouchables... the banished... for a tribesman of the plains there can be no greater honour than losing the support of not only one's family and one's band, but also of your tribe. Many would rather face death than banishment, as the life of a pariah is one that is fraught with danger, uncertainty and dishonesty.
A pariah is someone who has been banished from their tribe and had their identity revoked as punishment for committing a serious crime. It is a practice common to all tribes amongst the plains, but each has a peculiar set of crimes punishable by banishment, and each deals with the pariah in different ways. In almost all cases banishment is accompanied by some kind of ritual scarring, tattooing or maiming that marks the individual as a pariah for the rest of their loves. Theis ritual is ordianarily conducted by a shaman or in some cases an adept.
Crimes of the PariahEdit
The following crimes are commonly punished by banishment amongst all tribes:
- Murder- this is usually defined as dishonourable killing and covers poisoning, unprovoked assault leading to death or the slaying of a child or someone otherwise physically inferior to the killer.
- Rape- most tribes exercise gender equality, so no man has the right to force himself on a woman- nor another man, for that matter.
- Theft- most property is held in common by tribes of the plains apart from personal effects. Petty crimes such as the theft of such items is NOT a banishable offence; the taking of something that causes someone's life to be endangered (theft of a weapon before battle, taking of food from a starving person etc.) would all result in banishment.
- Worship of forbidden deities- deities forbidden vary from tribe to tribe. All except the Raven would forbid worship of Ursh; only the Moray accept worship of Salena.
- Black Magic or Witchcraft- a sensitive issue, especially amongst the Hulun who were nearly torn apart following the Night of Flames. Witchcraft has no proper defintion, but anyone using sorcery maliciously or selfishly might be tarnished with the brand of witchcraft and banished as a pariah.
As with minor crimes, crimes worthy of banishment are tried by the band's elders in front of the whole camp. During times of war the most senior warrior may elect to pass judgement without the elders support, though it is likely they would opt to execute rather than banish the perpetrator.