Steppe Culture

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Creation Myth

Bos Turokh
Bos Turokh is a bull deity known as the 'World Bull', and the central figure in Steppe culture. He created the universe after consuming Suok, the personification of evil. He encompasses everything. His earthly manifestation is known as Bos Primigenius, which is the Latin name for the extinct species of cattle, the aurochs (described as a half-human, half-bull hybrid in the world of Pathologic). There are said to be very few auroch left in existence.[1]
Bos (from Latin bōs: cow, ox) is the name of the genus of all types of cattle, and in Latin primigenius means firstborn.[2] [3] Tur (тур) is the Russian word for an aurochs.[4]
See Bos Turokh.
Suok
"She made a body for herself out of bones and clay. She drank a soul for herself from the dark waters. She left her handprints on the walls. She filled the air with her spittle. She fed the spoilt blood to the earth."

from The Song of Suok's Consolation

Pathologic Board Game[5]
Suok is a void of consuming darkness which Bos Turokh devoured, smothering Suok's progression with his body. It now resides within the World Bull, and is said to be the source all evil things. Unlike Boddho and Bos Turokh, it is never personified, and instead remains a concept of pure evil. Blood is sacrificed in the Circle of Blood to appease Suok.
The real-world etymological basis of this word is unclear; it could be derived from the Russian word sukhoy (сухой), 'dry'.[6]

The Kin

The Kin
The Kin are your people. The children of Boddho, the steppe people that work here day and night. It is from their flesh and blood, as well as from the bones and skins of the bulls, that the town is being built—for several generations now. The houses grow from their bones and the trees are fed with their sweat.
The Kin is an organization of Steppe natives and a cult that worships Bos Turokh. They believe bulls to be sacred. Once, they were a nomadic people that lived on the Steppe, but now most live in the Termitary and work for Big Vlad.
They are the working class of the town, each caste performing their traditionally-given roles. Their labor supports the town economically.
Menkhu
The menkhu—"Those Who Know The Lines"—are a special caste who are allowed to open bodies. While menkhu are notable in-game for their ability to dissect human bodies, their main purpose seems to be the dissection of bulls.
The right to open bodies is passed down through family inheritance. Isidor Burakh is an esteemed menkhu, and he passes this knowledge to his son, Artemy.
Herb Brides
See Herb Brides.
Worms
See Worms.
Butchers
See Butchers.

Boddho and the Earth

Boddho
A female personification of the Earth, styled as a mother. She is similar to Bos Turokh (as the progenitor of existence) and there is in-game debate over the creation myth. The land is her body and thus cannot be excavated or dug into.
Boddho is said to have created all life and considers them all as her children.
The origin of Boddho's name is unclear, but it may have been taken from 'cattle' in several steppe languages in the real world (bod in Mongolian), or from bod (бод), which means 'sting' or 'needle' in several Slavic languages.[7] [8]
Children of Boddho
While Boddho created all life, only Steppe natives and the "spirits conjured by the earth" are formally considered to be "Children of Boddho."
They sacrifice blood to the ground to help Boddho thrive and grow, and believe in the preservation of the laws of nature. Herb brides too dance, letting their bare feet touch mother Boddho in an almost loving caress. This dancing prompts growth of twyre.
The process of sacrificing blood to Boddho is a mutual transaction, as it too prompts growth of blades of twyre.
Shabnak-Adyr
An evil, feminine spirit said to be made of clay and bone. She devours people and spreads the Sand Plague. She is infamous among the townsfolk.
Prior to the start of the game, Isidor Burakh is said to have seen her shortly before dying, and thus his and Simon Kain's deaths are initially blamed on her.
The origin of the name Shabnak-adyr may be in shab (šab, шаб), which means 'night' in Persian and related languages, and ad (ад), which is Mongolian for 'demon' and Russian for 'hell'.[9]
Albino
See Albino.

Morality

Customs
Neither the Earth nor the human body was made to be cut into. The Earth is sacred, so excavation too deep into the "earth's flesh" is a severe crime. As such, wells and organized digging are prohibited except by butchers.
Only butchers may cut into cattle, and cutting into the body of a human is both a capital offense and a powerful taboo. While the menkhu are traditionally able to open human bodies, they are still regarded with some distaste.
The Law
The natural "law" of the Earth. The Law is considered to be the will of Boddho herself; Steppe spirits are said to be created in order to fulfill it. The Changeling and her Bound all share a common goal in the preservation of the Law.
Since the Polyhedron had to be planted so deeply in the ground, it is considered to defy the Earth and the will of Boddho, and the most prominent example of "the breaking of the Law."
Industrialization
Although the Kin participates heavily in the meat industry of the Town, when the railroad was first built it was treated with great suspicion. Sometimes the rails were even sabotaged during their construction, or trains would just disappear. The Olgimskys and other leaders of the Town made no real attempt to do anything about this. Those from the Capital consider the rail that leads to the Town-on-Gorkhon to be cursed.[10]

Language

→ See Steppe Language

Twyrine & Herbs

→ See Twyrine
→ See Herbs

Gallery

Notes

  • While largely fictionalized, the in-game language of the Kin seems to be built around real-world languages, including Russian and German, as well as Mongolic and Turkic languages.

References