WARNING! The following page contains spoilers for the lore and story of Worlds Adrift
(A tentative translation from the original Gallish by Archdean Cambrina)
It's an accepted fact that the Pekoe, in spite of their arcane lifestyle, deserve respect. One can't help but think that this is because they are so useful to us, thanks to the success of the great hospital at Capulca (though even if the hospital weren't there, the Pekoe would carry on just the same). Yet the prevailing assumption is that the Pekoe are the only people of Koinos we should care about. In reality there are hundreds of tribes deeper in the jungle, all with a comparable level of knowledge and connection to nature. Lately many of these tribes have been lost, giving up their own values and culture and moving within the comforting bounds of Capulca.
Koinos remains, even after two-hundred years of sky travel, an underexplored land. The lack of open spaces for landings, and the fearsome Twy-ni-Banda snake are a challenge for even the most intrepid skyfarer. Long may it remain so - lest we disturb the symbiosis these tribes share with their surroundings.
The Tamoe for instance, who are often mistaken for the Pekoe, are progenitors of many of the ideas used by their better-known neighbours. Their language and lifestyle however, is entirely different. They revere and learn from the small mammals of Koinos, that have adapted to outwit the snakes.
It doesn't end there. Gaining an understanding of the snake-men of far west Koinos has enabled us to discover previously unknown uses for Twy-ni-Banda venom. The snake-men attempt in all ways to align with the snakes, and much of their adolescence is spent emulating the behaviour of snakes, in order that both human and reptile can coexist within their communities. The venom is used at Capulca hospital for all kinds of treatments.
Such ingenuity is ubiquitous. The lntucki tribe of south Koinos or instance, have over the course of many generations, learned the art of constructing sand fortresses along the southern coast. Water is anathema to the snakes, and so the lntucki use fire to bait them out to the sand, before snaring them and cooking them over an open fire. If it weren't for the snakes, an inhabitant of a bustling Metropolis like Fasio, Kubo or Ten-Rui might think this simple life bliss.
Finally, the Shamoe tribe of north Koinos are as fascinating as any. We know they live deep inland, but all other information on them is based on the stories told by the Pekoe and others. This is because no northerner has ever actually seen them, and it is this expert camouflage that has kept them safe from the Twy-ni-Banda.
All this makes recent developments all the more troubling. The amount of money arriving in Capulca could change the Pekoe. Though the amenities are basic and in many cases token (quaint shops, and nods to the Gallish pantheic calendar for example) there is no doubt they are at the sweet spot between traditional and modern living. Their proximity to the coast, in an area relatively thin with jungle fauna and numbers of Twy-ni-banda, means they are a safe bet for medicinal tourists. But how long will it be before they themselves start to lose touch with their own traditions?
I asked their leader Ah-Nut what he thought.
"The hospital is very important to us. We are grateful for it, but we hope this is where it ends. We have a lot of clean rooms now to help our patients feel comfortable and safe, but all our medicine begins and ends out there, in the forest."
Those too, are my observations. For now, the Pekoe have the balance right. Let us hope that is how they continue