The Uktena are a collection of close-nit tribes that make their homes in the deep wilderness. They are extremely close to nature and especially the elements, and many aspects of their cultur have ties to shamanisim.
The Uktena claim that they are descendents of one of the great nations that thrived during the Age of Prosperity. Whether this is true or not depends largely on what people want to believe. Not many people have penetrated the Uktena’s culture in order to find out, and those that have either have not returned, or stay quite about it. To the rest of the world, the Uktena are little more than savages, living off the land and avoiding proper cities. It is a common insult to call someone a “dirty, tree-hugging Uktena.” Although they do avoid villages and cities, they are not savages by any means and have a fairly advanced society. Generations of living in the wilderness have taught them how to not only live off it, but to use it to their advantage without despoiling it. Stories abound of whole Uktena war parties ‘disappearing’ into the forests, or coming out of nowhere to strike. It is said that they can call forth walls of stone from the earth, create shelter were there was none before, or meld with the earth to avoid detection. The Uktena make their homes within the hearts of the wilderness, and they are usually well isolated and easily defended places. They are ferocious fighters, using the land around them to their advantage. All attempts to drive the Uktena off their land have always met in defeat for the invading army. Though they are commonly confused with Druid’s, their powers lie more with the elements rather than the plants and animals around them.
The Uktena are unique in that they are not all one race, but are made up of several races. The Uktena are primarily human, but also have large populations of Gnolls, Kobolds, the Goblinoid races (With Bugbears usually acting as chiefs and elders) and sometimes Ogres. These creatures are usually quite civilized compared to their wilder cousins, and they get along fine with their human counterparts with little or no trouble. Scholars point to this as proof that the Uktena have held on to a time when the above races worked together rather than against one another. They say that this also adds credibility to the Uktena’s origins. Whatever is the case, these races follow the same guidelines as human Uktena, and as far as they are concerned are brothers and sisters. Dwarves and Elves do not typically belong to the Uktena, although they may associate with them, especially Wood Elves.
Uktena have a strong belief system, and one could almost call it religion. However, to them it is more of a philosophy rather than a set of established dogmas. Their main deity is Ukuran, and they refer to him as the Great Father. They value Laura’lel as the Great Mother, and they consider Laur’an and Sha’iam Dar to be rolemodels on on how people should act. When going to war, they often have a saying they give to each other; “May the Great Mother protect you, may the Great Father give you strength, may the Brother of Stones give you honor and courage, and may the Sister of Blades guide your weapon.”