The Forgotten Tribe
“You can’t choose your childhood, it’s just what happens to you. But after that you choose.”
“But childhood isn’t just those years. It’s also the opinions you form about them afterward. That’s why our childhoods are so long.”1
Your childhoods were harsh and unforgiving. That you even survived is an indicator of strength. 600 years is a long time to hibernate indoors for winter.
As soon as you were born the priest cut your umbilical cord and placed you into the Physarum Chamber to be cleansed. The elders claim that the holy Physarum consumes weakness and fears strength. Scarring demonstrates exceptional might. Those who survive the webbed scarification have had all weakness ridden from their souls and are treated with particular respect. They are also those of whom much is expected.
Until the age of 12 you had a somewhat peaceful childhood studying language, history and the arts. You tended to fields lit by bioluminescent lichen, growing things the storybooks say once littered the surface thousands of years ago. They say that long ago apples grew to the size of your head and that beanstalks could pierce the clouds. Now they are smaller than a child’s fist.
After your 10th year you were taken deep into the ground. Far away from safety. There you learned of violence and death. Vile creatures still lurk in the caverns below the city you call home. Beasts that you could barely see in the darkness would raid the outposts you were trained at. By 15 you were expected to stand beside each other and prevent them from getting through. Not all survive the years of training, but now battlehardened few die afterwards.
Pick your personality and create a backstory of how you survived. I don’t care about alignment, just be somewhat consistent. A generally good character who’s a serious coward might be willing to stab a friend in the back, but they’ll feel bad about it later. Your characters don’t need to have been friends, it’s a somewhat large society. They don’t need to have been trained in the same outpost.
1 Robinson, K. S. (1995). Green mars.