|Deity:||The Mother (Tarrea)|
|Homeland:||Mythos Continent: Seven|
The Bento are a race of large, bipedal, wolf-like people, native to the continent of Mythos. Most notable for their strength, along with their unwavering religious faith, they are outright the most powerful race on Aesira. The males stand at 7'10"-8'9" feet, and women only half a foot shorter on average, and weight can vary between roughly 600-670lbs depending on lifestyle and training. Their arms, back and hips are built in a way that, when they wish, lets them walk hunched over on all fours just as comfortably as they can on two legs; in fact, they are faster when running like this. Other, small variations in their general appearance tend to depend on the tribe.
As well as being physically great, the Bento also carry divine blood in their veins. At their earliest days they lived for several centuries, but time has weakened their divinity and left them living not much longer than one. And as well as affecting their lifespan, their unique bloodline gives them abilities that can be described as Herculean; they heal so fast that cuts and gashes mean nothing, closing over within a day with no scars, and they're stronger than even their large frames would normally allow.
Second only to the highly reclusive Sa'ern, the Bento are one of the oldest races on Aesira, with the most unique origins of any of them: During the Age of Gods, not long after the creation of the Grand Oak, the gods Ralthos and Xiovi bore their many children, swelling their ranks against those of Aureus and Tarrea. The she-wolf goddess, wanting to respond to this act in like, asked that she and Aureus have a child together. However, Aureus refused her, stating that the time wasn't yet right for them to have children, a decision that did not go down well with Tarrea. Though a being who would never otherwise disobey the will of her husband, she believed that it would be for the greater good that they should bolster their own numbers, and so from her own power and without union with Aureus, Tarrea became pregnant. And even at the very moment the child was conceived, Tarrea realized her folly... it was incomplete, a half without its other to make it whole. The child was mortal.
At the foot of the Grand Oak, Tarrea hid herself away from prying eyes. There, she did what she could to give her mortal child a chance, imparting to it great portions of her wisdom prior to its birth; it would be born with all a mortal mind could possibly comprehend, but be denied a single thread of knowledge - the Divine Truth, something known only to the gods, and something too great for even the wisest mortal to understand. And as the final days approached, Tarrea made herself mortal, and finally gave birth to a son under the Grand Oak.
Several decades passed, and Tarrea raised her son in secrecy. She gave him a name, Bento, and he in turn came to call her Mother. He grew into a young man, and then into a strong adult. He was mortal, of that there was no question, but he had in him the divine spark. He was the son of a god.
The Bento are not aware of their origins, but their own creation myth holds many similarities. They believe that their goddess, the Mother, came down to the mortal world and gave birth to the First, their "Adam"; no accident, but a planned, divine event. Their stories then tell that the First was commanded by the Mother to fell the Grand Oak, and from it carve himself a wife. Once it was done, he slept, and when he awoke she was alive and sleeping beside him. The two of them became the parents of their race, to be named the Bento. Over the pair's several hundred year lifespan, they bore many children, who over time scattered to all corners of the land. Each of them was unique, not true siblings by blood, and so they soon paired and continued the race. Family groups formed, soon small tribes, and eventually they became the Seven Bento Tribes.
The Bento are divided into seven main tribes: the Blackmarks, Bluntclaws, Earthmasons, Greatlanders, Highpeaks, Seastriders, and Swiftbows; any Bento not a member of one of these tribes is typically a nomad who wanders across Mythos in a family group.
The Blackmark Islanders Edit
Blackmarks inhabit a large, tropical island just off of the Mythos coast, accessable via a single sandbank (unless you want to swim there, of course). They are named for their tradition of marking their bodies with tattoos. Due to the Bento's natural healing rate and thick fur, a genuine tattoo is impossible, so instead they impregnate an area of skin with a special blend of black dye, based in volcanic soot. The area is then shaved, and when the fur regrows it is as black as the dye it grew in.
The Blackmark tribe is noted for being the most lax in its laws and traditions; anybody who wants to join can do so - in fact, the Blackmarks have members whose family roots span back to any of the other six tribes. They can do as they please, live as they please, with no real system of law and order, but all this comes at a cost. Anybody who "rocks the boat" and is seen to be ruining things for everyone else is quietly removed by the only truly native family line of the tribe: specialist assassins who grow their index and middle claws out long and straight, specially treating them to make them as hard as stone. Bento are hard to kill, but these assassins know the best way to do it. Stab for the jugular or spine.
Current Chief: n/a
The Bluntclaw Tribe Edit
Current Chief: Mooneye
The Earthmasons Edit
Current Chief(s): The Elders; Highpeak, Obsidian
The Greatland TribesEdit
The Greatlanders are the youngest of the seven tribes, though are by no means actually young. The original six tribes had already claimed the best of the land on Mythos, and any nomads who entered that land would usually be driven out fast. Eventually, a few dozen nomad groups gathered, and found the best place they could in the open planes to build a new tribe - as far from the other six as possible while still being able to maintain contact when needed.
It was a slow, hard process to make the land livable, something they were only able to achieve by learning how to trap, tame, and partially domesticate Barox herds. With such a skill, they no longer had any need to hunt, now having all the fur, weapons, meat, and milk they could need. Over time more and more nomad groups joined, making the tribe's population swell. By both sheer numbers and size of controlled territory, the Greatlanders are the LARGEST of the seven tribes.
Despite this, that they are a collection of nomads and outcasts means they are fragmented: individual groups still exist within the whole, and there is no unified leader. With each family having its own Barox, whether a few or a herd, there are obvious targets for theft as a result of conflict and in-fighting, which can span generations.
With the Bento of this tribe having been nomads and outsiders, many years of interbreeding have also diminished the individual tribe's traits, making the Greatlanders closer to a "normalized" Bento than the members of any other tribe.
Current Chief(s): n/a
The Highpeak Tribe Edit
Current Chief: Snowstrider
The Seastrider Tribe Edit
Current Chief: Madshark
The Swiftbow Tribe Edit
Current Chief: Manymarked