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These people, called the Ebrou, are uniquely adapted to fishing in underground aquifers because they do not need to breathe. They can take in ambient magical energy instead of oxygen, so they've been relegated to the deepest reaches of this underground civilization.

The Ebrou now have a culture of bullying aggression and character-building stoicism. They bait and tease each other, sometimes violently, to provoke a reaction, in turn leading them to act aloof and thick-skinned (literally and figuratively) when interacting with each other. They make up about 16% of the population, but the vast majority of them live in the lowest levels, tending the underground seas and producing the larger portion of meat that the civilization consumes. In general terms, they tend to be suspicious of outsiders and aggressive in taking what they want.

Of all the races in the setting, they're the least fleshed out at the moment, and I'm looking for interesting hobbies, games, sports, or entertainment ideas for them.

Additional information:

  • There is very little racial segregation in this world (even the seas that the Ebrou fish are populated with up to 60% other races)
  • There is a fair amount of racial tension between certain races, including the Ebrou
    • Other races unfairly consider them cruel, unsophisticated, and violent
  • The underground seas often border regions of elemental power, such boiling-hot stone, or massive agglomerations of metal
  • They preserve a cultural/racial memory of spacetravel that they're not consciously aware of, forming a bias on their art and architecture. Dark, broad, open spaces (which are very few and far between in the world) put them deeply at ease.
  • If it helps imagine them at all, the Ebrou have thick, rubbery skin, sort of like dolphins, and are adapted to nearly any kind of habitable environment, hence their ability to "hold" their breath.

I'd also be interested in any other cultural ideas that come up.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like baiting and teasing the younger generations would be pretty entertaining. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh Mar 2 '15 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ That's absolutely true, but they're also not quite as vicious and cruel as the other races believe they are; there's got to be some entertainment they could hassle each other over. $\endgroup$ – Arcandio Mar 2 '15 at 17:08
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Based on:

a culture of bullying aggression and character-building stoicism. They bait and tease each other, sometimes violently, to provoke a reaction

And:

The underground seas often border regions of elemental power, such boiling-hot stone

I could see them playing a version of Chicken...

Basically one player would taunt another into racing toward the boiling stone, the first to stop or turn away would loose and be deemed a chicken or coward.


Schoolyard games like Bloody Knuckles also come to mind. I can remember playing several versions, but any game that requires the exchange of physical pain until one player yields may work.

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    $\begingroup$ That's a good point, I could also extrapolate this towards "dares" in general, which would make a decent foundation for many parts of their culture. $\endgroup$ – Arcandio Mar 2 '15 at 17:05
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Cruel...unsophisticated...violent...sounds like football to me! As you describe them, 'sport is everything' sounds like a state of mind these Eboru can hold.

An under water 'ball' sport either played with a 'floating' ball that simply suspends itself around the same height in the water (no sink or float) sounds very likely for something like this. Could have a variety of rules, but grab the ball and swim it into the other teams endzone before getting 'tackled' is the most simplistic. Modifying the game to include nets, little sticks, and a ball/puck that travels around on the ocean floor would work as well.

I can also see 'rodeo' style sports except geared around an aquatic premise being quite likely. Speed contests to spear/harpoon a fish, sharkback riding...harness in a few tuna and make underwater racing chariots. etc...

Above water sport can also come up...water polo anyone?

If you want to go a bit further...aquatic martial arts or direct combat could become a hobby as well.

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For a stoic, I'm sure it would be entertaining to watch/participate in contests of stoicism. Perhaps you have a guy stand on top of a deep-sea vent for as long as possible before the intense heat and pressure make him flinch. Or, really, any long-term show of strength and control would be interesting. The emphasis should be not on an external struggle, but an internal one; you shouldn't say "wow, that looks tough", but instead "wow, he makes that look easy".

In their free time, I'd imagine many Ebrou practice some skill. They need something to show off, some way to prove to others (and themselves) that they have worth in the world. An Ebrou that is not good at anything will not be respected and thus eventually be teased to death, so any living Ebrou must have spent a lot of time making sure they had something to show off.

Actual competitive sports would be rare, as far as I can tell, because I would imagine the Ebrou to be absolutely terrified of losing (after a childhood of constant abuse). When two Ebrou did go after one another, though, it would be a sight to see, as I'm sure there'd be no holds barred.

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