by Trotsky

Female Totems

Male Totems

Source: Bujoc write-up (Columbia Games website)

The Sha Woman Speaks

Where did the world come from?

The Sha, or eternal Cycle of Life, devolved into two aspects which are understood by mortals as the goddess Lufh, principle of birth, creation and light, and the goddess Ödi, principle of death, dissolution and darkness. These two goddesses worked together to generate the world we live in, creating many lesser beings such as the sun, moon and stars, and the waters and mountains of the world. Because all of creation comes from these goddesses, all of creation is full of life and we all contain a spark of the Sha.

Where did I come from?

The Sha is in all living things, and gives them form just as it gives them their eternal spirit. We are one manifestation of that life force, destined to carry it on to future generations. Mortals do not have as great a part of the Sha as the goddesses of old, of course, so we can only create new life by acting together as a pair, and this is why men exist, and they have their part in the world. Women have a greater share of the life force than men, for they carry the divine procreative spark and so can commune more directly with the Sha. But even men have value, even though they often embody the power of death. None the less, for this reason, it is wise to guide them and watch over them to ensure they are not misled, for they have a less instinctive understanding of the way of the world than we do.

Why am I here?

Although our bodies are mortal, and return to the earth when we die, our spirits are eternal, and have existed since the earliest times. They move from body to body to experience the world anew in each form. All beings are part of the cycles of the Sha, whether they realise it or not, and so all must live in harmony with it. That is why we sooth the spirits of all animals whom we must slay for food, and kill them swiflty and painlessly. Failure to do so condemns you to the fate of the Others, and will anger your totem spirits, so that part of you becomes shut away and manifests as evil beings, such as the Gargun.

What happens after we die?

Every spirit has a natural animal shape. While in the form of that animal, the spirit is at peace, and needs no further help to maintain that shape. But once the animal dies, the spirit will seek out a human body to be born into, in accordance with the cyclical nature of the Sha. Once in that body, the spirit needs to be able to determine its next correct animal form. When you were born the Sha Woman divined which animal form your spirit holds, and made a token to act as the focus for that form. So long as the token remains unharmed, when you die, your spirit will enter into that form, and become that animal, retaining your current gender. When that animal dies, the cycle starts anew and the spirit will enter the body of a human of the opposite sex than the one you have now. Thus, it can experience life from all angles, and know all parts of the cycle of the Sha. But if the token is lost or destroyed, then your spirit becomes lost, and falls out of the cycle, becoming a ghost or a gargun and perhaps never being able to regain its former existence. So your token must be kept close to you and guarded with your very life, for it is the physical model of your soul, and even allowing others to see it may weaken its link with your own spirit and endanger you.

The totem that is associated with you, and shown on your token, is a part of your soul. Thus, knowing it will help tell you at what things you will excel, for you will have some of the properties of that animal. Although we say that some totems are 'female' and others are 'male', this is a generalisation, and many women have supposedly male totems, and vice versa.

Who do we worship?

The Sha is all. It is the stuff of life, and its cycles are visible everywhere in the world. As night follows day, as winter follows summer, as death follows life, as new moon follows full, so the Sha turns for all of us, and for all of the world. We must understand and venerate that power, never harming it, yet we do not worship it for it simply is, and requires nothing from us except that it be allowed to continue turning.

But there are many spirits in the world which are greater parts of the Sha than we, and those are proper subjects of worship. They must be appeased and kept happy, so that they can do their part in the cycle of the Sha without distraction. That is why we perform the rites at daybreak, and the greater rites at the turning of the seasons; to celebrate the renewal of the world and to keep the spirits contended. Your own totem is especially important, and you should make sure never to harm an animal of that type, for it is unnatural and you would hurting yourself as much as your victim.

What can you tell me about magic?

All women have an instinctive understanding for the Sha, for it is there bodies which are the vessel for new life, and which show the cycles within themselves. However, some have a stronger grasp than others, and can commune directly with the flow of the life, immersing themselves in the cosmic all. These people we call Sha Women, and they, along among us, have the ability and wisdom to direct the Sha in different ways, to cause the effects we call magic. They always do this with respect, and learning to do such things without angering the spirits or damaging the world takes much experience, so that nobody should try it who has not learnt to do so properly.

What of the other gods? What can you tell me about... [1]


The followers of this spirit shut themselves away from the world behind walls of stone. Many of them are also warriors and hunters, killing many, but never saying the right prayers of contrition. For this reason, their spirits become confused when they die, and lose their place in the cycle of things, becoming Gargun and other foul monsters. Whether Larani is a malevolent or insane spirit, or whether her followers are too ignorant to understand her true message is not known to us. But we do not fight these people, for any unnessecary killing is wrong, and they must suffer the consequences of their own actions.


The followers of this spirit abuse the cycle of the Sha in a lesser way, but still they are wrong to do so, and no doubt their spirits eventually suffer for it. While they do not shut themselves away from nature, and kill only enough to feed themselves, instead they hack down the forests and till the soil, tearing it up to force seeds within and so create unnatural fields full of grasses and other plants. This abuses the Sha, disrupting the natural world and trying to make it slave to mankind's greed.


In the north-west this mighty spirit dwells, manipulating the force of the Sha to its own mysterious ends. The cycle it creates in so doing is different from that of most other living things, for the Ivashu do not give birth to cubs of their own. But none the less, they live in harmony with the world, and play their own part in the cycles of creation. Their worshippers deal with strange spirits, but that does not make them evil, and each should be treated on their own merits.

Saraen [2]

The followers of this cold spirit are violent and without mercy. While they do not shut themselves away from nature as the Others do, neither do they show any compassion for the beasts and humans that they kill, wilfully disrupting the life-force of others without any reason. These people are wicked and doomed, for their own spirits will suffer for the harm they do to others in their ignorance that all things are connected.

[1] Only a few gods are listed here. The Bujoc have little, if any, knowledge of, or contact with the majority of civilised religions. They meet Halean merchants along the Genin Trail, of course, but they don't necessarily know or care who they worship. Likewise, they are not generally aware of the influence which the church of Save K'nor has over mainland Melderyn.

[2] The deity of the Pagaelin.

To the Bujoc Sha Women page

This document was created 17th January 1999 by Jamie 'Trotsky' Revell. Comments are welcome.