"The women of the Plateau are even more disagreeable than the Kushanese. No matter how thoroughly they strip, there's always another layer of fur in the way." - Traveling Armored Rider
The people of the Stargazer Plateau have evolved to survive the harsh cold. They have thick frames and heavy body hair. In general, they are attractive to look at, because they stay well-groomed for hygienic reasons. Their clothes are made of furs, sometimes accessorized with bone trinkets.
The Sky Searcher tribes, also known as People of the Night, are tribes that openly worship The Stargazer and practice the Stargazer religion. They study mathematics and physics in order to understand the stars and become closer to an abstract, intrinsic reality in which all is true.
A number of Mamutok reasoned that if the clues to the future lie in the stars, then the clues to the past must lie in the dirt. They are known as Soil Dwellers, or People of the Day. They are a large community of archaeologists and geologists, who set up long-term dig sites in the summer to find and catalogue rocks and fossils. They are the Mamutok's largest contributors to the deductive sciences.
Tribe of the Axis: The tribe at the city of Axis, at the Geographic South Pole. Being a place of pilgrimage, this location acts more as a tourist hub than a regular tribe. They get most of their food and supplies from visitors in exchange for shelter from the harsh cold. Most of their best research is done in the winter, but the weather often forces them to move north in order to survive.
Tribe of the Spinning Lodestone: Rather than turning itself into a tourist trap, the people of the Magnetic South Pole in the city of Polaris instead use it for essential research purposes, using it as the closest thing to a full university in the Stargazer Plateau. An eternally spinning arrow sits on the pole itself, and the Soil Dwellers work closely with the Circle to eventually turn this into a source of perpetual motion. They migrate north in the winter.
"They say this will power the world, but they don't have to dig it out of the snow drifts every morning." -Phil the Janitor
Tribe of the Wall: A large tribe settled right up against the Great Kushani Wall. The Wall shields against winds from the north, and trade resources with the Kushan, making this a lucrative tribe. They are prosperous enough in that spot to not need to migrate.
Tribe of the North: The northernmost tribe is also the warmest, and is therefore very populous. They are non-migratory and enjoy frequent trades with other nations.
Tribe of the Stargazer: The tribe in which The Stargazer chose to spend much of her time. This tribe is responsible for some of the most important discoveries and inventions in the Mammoth Tribes. They are constantly moving to find new things.
The Tribes are not a singular nation, but most of them operate similarly to each other. There is usually a small counsel of "elders" (who may or may not actually be elderly), elected on a yearly basis. The tribes differ in the amount of power these elders hold. Some tribes give them supreme decision-making power, while others give more freedom to the citizens. The people of the Stargazer Plateau rarely debate which is a better system, because they recognize that trying to survive the deadly antarctic is a different situation than governing a more northern tribe who are more concerned with trade economics.
"The net change of a smooth and continuous quantity, such as a distance traveled, over a given time interval (i.e. the difference in the values of the quantity at the end points of the time interval) is equal to the integral of the rate of change of that quantity, i.e. the integral of the velocity." -Calculus 3:16
The Stargazer people revere the stars and study their movements. They believe that astronomy and mathematics are the language of the gods, and hold the keys to infinite knowledge of the universe. The devout study the ancient texts and are encouraged to discover their own truths through study and invention.
Theory: This book covers all areas of pure mathematics. It is written in the purest and most objective sense, presenting the formulae in terms of variables. There are no examples and most people find this a very hard read. It is recommended that scholars study this book in conjunction with the others.
Demonstration: This book contains solved examples of the concepts presented in Theory.
Practice: A collection of unsolved problems, the chapters also corresponding to the subjects of the first two books.
Solution: The solutions to the problems introduced in Practice.
Application: This book outlines mathematics as it pertains to subjects such as astronomy, physics, statistics, and other real-world applications.
"The people of the distant future will ride great iron beasts who breathe fire. These beasts will bring humans to the moon and our neighbor planets to usher forth a new age of exploration."
"A network of invisible wires will connect all people for instant communication."
"There will come a day when all people are immortal, and everyone is equal under the sun and moon. There will be no gods, no kings, only man."
The ocean: Most Mamutok have never seen the ocean and those who do fear they will drown or be eaten by a monster of the deep.
Meteorites: It is nearly impossible with current technology to calculate a meteorite's size and trajectory. Therefore, all of them are considered bringers of death and destruction.
The "Black Ichor": A black substance that gushes from the ground in some dig sites, considered by some to be the Blood of Soi. It would have been ignored entirely, but the Stargazer stated that this will one day be a valuable resource and it should remain a secret hidden from outsiders.
Axis: Geographic South Pole, the place of pilgrimage for the Sky Searchers. This is the spot which sits on Soi's axis of rotation. The sun only rises and sets once per year on this spot.
Polaris: Magnetic South Pole, the place of pilgrimage for the Soil Dwellers. This is the place where geomagnetic field lines are directed vertically upwards.
Shovel-Mammoth Temple: The only bio temple in the Stargazer Plateau. This is a Platybelodon breeding facility created by the Stargazer.
The Immortal who founded the mammoth tribes known as the Stargazer. She prefers riding the ancient species Platybelodon, which they call "shovel-mammoths". During the Immortal War, she buried herself in the ground to sleep until the war was over. She awoke in 1990 and currently retains her role as goddess of the Mamutok tribes. She heavily shaped the culture during its early formation, but has had much less interference recently. She has own personal guard, established after her awakening and the looming threat of the Faceless Emperor. She employs people who are loyal to her cause of peace, but will be willing to question her orders should they find them unethical. She has been doing her best to take counter-measures against her own mental unbalance, which affects all Immortals eventually.
The Mamutok are a peaceful people that do not interfere with the outside world, preferring the peace and quiet of the Stargazer Plateau.
Attempts to conquer the tribes and their territory have been attempted multiple times by Tallet and Goran forces, all ending in failure as the tribes simply retreated deeper into their territory while the invaders became lost and starved or froze to death in the unforgiving land. The longest occupation of Mamutok land was by a Tallet legion that refused to leave after building a fortress and inhabited it for 30 years before a violent wind storm destroyed their fortifications. They left, becoming lost and dying along the way. The land their fortress was on was soon smoothed over as if it was never there.
Their mastery of cartography and orienteering has led them to be hired by trade caravans as navigators in exchange for them bringing exotic goods and manufactured tools to the tribes.
Encircled architects and engineers prize Mamutok mathematicians and astronomers for their skill and pay generously for their religious formula scrolls and time, and actively encourage them to travel to Kallipolis to enroll in the University. The Encircled often pay them with machined telescopes, and have built several joint-research outposts, complete with massive telescopes to study outer space in the high-altitude, low-pollution areas of the plateau.
Though they are a peaceful people, legend has it that a vengeful mammoth rider will strike out of the plateau at settlements, cities, and fortresses at the edge of Stargazer Plateau territory and disappear as quickly as it arrived.
Mamutok are nomadic peoples that live in wandering tribes. They are peaceful with other civilizations unless threatened.
They grow edible crops on the backs of their mammoths and make their clothing, tools out of every part of the mammoth, unless they trade with the occasional caravan for other foreign trade goods, as mammoth parts fetch a high price in the open market.
They speak Common and write in the Mamutok Written Language.
It is rare for Mamutok to be married or exclusive, because they mostly participate in open relationships with multiple partners. While everyone does have a slight preference over their specific type of partner, it is the norm to be bisexual or pansexual.
Children are raised primarily by their mother, but the village does play a heavy part in upbringing and education. It is common to not know the biological father of a child, but potential fathers are encouraged to take an active role in providing for it.
People of the Mamutok tribes are educated from birth and never stop learning. The Stargazer priests are responsible for preaching the holy texts. Both children and adults are divided based on skill level rather than age, and attend "class" daily, multiple hours for full-time students, but sometimes as little as a half hour class each day for people with other responsibilities.
Each tribe has its own Constitution upholding basic human rights. They have separate documents outlining the laws of the tribes. Amendments are proposed each annual voting cycle, and are put into effect if approved by a 3/4 majority. Originally, the Stargazer had supreme veto power, but retracted that rule after seeing how immortality affected the sanity of others. If a person is accused of a crime, they are held to a fair trial by a jury of their peers, who ultimately must agree on the appropriate conviction and justice. It is a common cultural belief that people always behave out of line for a reason, and not simply because they are bad people. Therefore, the system almost always favors rehabilitation over punishment.
The Mamutok rely primarily on the barter system, but they do have their own currency known as Life Coins. They will sometimes carry and use the currency of other nations if they are a tribe that trades frequently or if there is a caravan in town.
Elderly and Disabled
If a person is deemed physically or mentally unable to survive a tribe's specific location or nomadic lifestyle, the tribe pools its resources to pay for that person's residence in a safer tribe or even another nation. Tribal elders work closely with this person as well as their close friends and family members to determine their potential disability status to prevent abuse of the system.
"It is such a waste to burn or bury your deceased, when the human body can still be so useful. Bones become tools, skin becomes leather, and, most importantly, anatomy becomes knowledge." -Mamutok Tribe Doctor
Mammoth Tribes use as much as they can of dead bodies. They see it as an honor to continue to be of use to the tribe even after death. It is, however, forbidden to eat the flesh of a human body, except in the most dire emergency. Any part that remains unused is left out for the birds to eat.
Exceptions are made when the body is diseased and presents a health hazard, in which case it is buried instead of utilized.
Reactions to Other Nations
The Mamutok used to have good relations with the Ashed, but after the Great Immortal War, they view them as untrustworthy and avoid trading with Ashed merchants.
The tribes express annoyance at the attempts to conquer the Plateau. Armed Tallet riders are not met with hostility, but are warned of the dangers of the antarctic and told they should probably adapt sometime soon. Very few invaders survive the harsh climate. After the Great Immortal War, they view the Tallet with disdain for causing so much bloodshed.
From what they know, they see the Goran as uncivilized, but they'll attempt to interact nicely given the chance.
Mamutok call the Kushan the "lovely mystery". They love the culture and the aesthetics, and they wish they could see more from behind the wall. They trade for Kushan products when they can.
The Mamutok and Encircled are allies and often work closely together on projects. There are several Circle research stations located on the Plateau.
The original symbol for the Broken Kingdom in the Mamutok Written Language contains three consecutive lines, which eventually evolved into the slang for "fuck". This has lead to the misunderstanding that the two are related. Aside from this, they try to have a healthy relationship with the Broken Kingdom and its people. They have a mutually beneficial trade alliance in which the Mamutok receive things such as spices and paper in exchange for mammoths.