Ulutiun Shaman - Seer of Uppa-Sappa Village
Piape is a diminutive and young Ulutiun woman. She has dark brown eyes and sun-kissed skin that seem to compliment her incredibly long black hair. Often in braids, her hair can reach down past her waist and it, alongside the bulky furs that Piape wears, seem to drown out her rather small stature. Her pack is simple leather with various designs and runes sewn into it using all different colors of thread. Piape carries a tall quarterstaff — adorned with a ring of wood shavings — and a hide shield with a totemic bear face painted over it in red. When not fully covered up, Piape’s bright vermilion tattoos can be seen along her cheeks, neck, and collarbone.
As a shaman, Piape’s world is full of omens and portents. The spirits offer her visions and signs to guide her through her days and meaning-filled dreams to fill her nights. Perhaps she has been chosen by some greater force to be a bridge between the spirit and physical world? Among her people, Piape serves as a carrier of traditions, a conduit of archaic wisdom, and an oracular prophet. Sometimes she finds these visions and interactions with the spirit world draining and tiresome. Regardless of their affect on her, she see things others don’t and it has shaped her life. She will often speak out of turn or break away from conversation if a nearby spirit has requested her aid. Piape is known to be a bit of a naive pushover but she has a big heart and shows compassion towards others.
The Ulutiun village of Uppa-Sappa sits along the coast between the Reghed Glacier and the Sea of Moving Ice. Nestled in the crux of the Tangessan Flow, the village was blessed with an abundance of sea life for hunting and food. The people of this village lived in peace and survived the harsh winters among the tundra for centuries. An event known only as “The Night of Fire Rain” brought a meteor shower down around the village nearly a two decades ago. With catastrophic force and brilliant flame, the meteors destroyed vast swathes of ice and melted layers of snow. One even buried itself so deep within the earth that it produced a small pool of magma from the earth. Despite all of this destruction, the shamanic elders of the village predicted that everyone would be saved if they came to the village hall and assisted in the birth of a child of prophecy. Not a single life was claimed on that day, and the villagers all witnessed the birth of the “fire seed”, Piape.
The elders recognized from her birth that Piape was gifted in ways beyond their shamanic lore. Perhaps this was a boon from the Reindeer Mother or the Owl Sage? Regardless, the elders sought to train Piape in the shamanic rights of Uppa-Sappa. They began to notice a high amount of clairvoyance during her younger years. She began communing with various nature spirits at six. She had her first spirit dream at eight. While her studies progressed rapidly, she grew distant from her family and friends. Her work and the spirits began to consume her time and effort. When Piape was twelve, she had a terrifying nightmare that a great evil would attempt to rend the barrier separating the physical and spiritual realms. Her vision was cryptic but an ancestral spirit told her that some dark force of ambition and strife sought to wake and kill the Spirit King sleeping within the Heart of Ice.
Disturbed by her vision, the elders advised Piape to journey closer to the glacier and meet with a nearby druid circle that could guide her on her path. The “Night of Fire Rain” destroyed much of the ice and snow surrounding the village and near the Reghed Glacier, but it also managed to create a series of hot springs where the druids have grown their forest and made their home. Piape journeyed for two days beyond the Tangessan Flow and into the Grove of the Boiling Spring.
The forest was young, and sparse but teeming with spiritual energy and elemental magic. The druids of the forest had a small settlement that they shared with religious adherents to some foreign nature deity. They tended to the animals and plants of the forest but their primary goal was to monitor the well of raw spiritual power flowing from the springs. It was here that Piape trained to control her powers. Recently, the Circle of the Boiling Springs sensed a disturbing shift in the spirits and requested the young shamaness to investigate a glacier to the west. They had heard accounts of large men filled with ambition and strife, seeking a sleeping spirit. Piape has found herself drawn closer to a fateful event that she continues to have murky dreams about.