Some BackgroundIf you enjoyed the Princess Ark series by Bruce Heard that appeared in Dragon Magazine you likely remember the Wallara as a sort of Aboriginal Australian culture located over toward the arm of the Immortals and it had some superficial resemblances you probably get in a magazine article. Basically they were not even a human D&D culture. A broader understanding would have provided the setting with something better.
A Better Sense of HistoryExamining the indigenous dictionary and names we find three major phonetic subgroups. This is important because it describes migratory Groups that become our indigenous people.
Weapons: Club, Hammer (Stone)
Tools: Bark/Leather Basket
Food: Snake, Worms, Caterpillars, Maggots
No Fire or cooking/raw foods only
What Wallara Say: The Wulgaru are considered Giant Cave dwelling people. The greatest of whom is guardian of the underworld. They are Known to abduct law breakers, They keep human remains in their caves.
In game terms these are Neanderthals (2HD to start). Their ideal class is Barbarian.
Tools: Net (From the NG) Basket, Cooked Food
Food: Honey (From the NG), Seed, Grain, Cats, Elephants
Spiritualism: Tattoos, Concept of Evil, Drug (Non Medicinal), Champion/Hero
What Wallara Say: The Podj-Podj are as small as young children. They know Bush Tucker and are friendly. They live Behind magic Doors of bark in Trees. Time is different with the Podj-Podj - a long time with them is a short time here.
In game terms these are Halflings (or an abnormally short human subgroup). Their ideal class is Druid.
Weapons: Bow, Spear
Tools: Basket, Net
Food: Fish, Honey Comb, Shrimp, Meat
Spiritualism: Drum (Musical Instrument), Gods
In game terms these are humans. Their ideal class is Bard.
As you can see these are different human migration subgroups converging over thousands of years. In terms of a D&D culture the Wallara are more than all their parts.
Migratory Subgroup Tags: Ul, Ng, DjThese serve as markers to indicate the origin of the name. The Wulgaru, The Podj Podj...
Ngulwun: Ulwun (Alvin)
Wulgaru: Ulga (Olga)
Bulya: Ulya (Ilya)
Bulla: Ulla (Ella)
Tulu: Tula (Tula)
Oral HistoryIt is tradition of the Wallara to describe pivotal historical events in the form of short stories that can be passed down through the generations.
How Djarapa made Wulgaru'First time everybody in our tribe were happy; happy until an old fool called Djarapa tried to make magic songs over wood, stone and red ocre paint.'
Tula went on to explain how old Djarapa cut a piece of wood from a green tree and this he trimmed to look like the body of a human being. Next he made the legs and arms from pieces of wood and for knee and arm joints he used rounded stones that he had gathered up in a riverbed. After putting them together with red-ochred string he painted ears, nose and eyes in the thing and as he painted he chanted a very magic song that had been taught to him by a now dead tribal medicine man.
'Good song-man.' said Tula, and when I asked did he know the chant he looked horrified and explained that it was, 'proper danger song...suppose wrong man get that song then straight-away him kill everybody, one time...all-a-same lightning.
All day and night Djarapa chanted, and beat his tap-sticks over the lifeless sbits of wood and stone. he chanted till his throat became dry and hoarse, and at last, in despair, he gathered up his hunting weapons and went his way.
And as he walked along Djarapa heard a loud clanking sound with the crashing of many trees behind him, and looking around he beheld the terrible monster of wood and stone shambling along on his trail. Its arms twisted and beat the air and he noticed that these flailing arms were the things that beat down the trees as it moved along. The creaking noises he heard ame from the creatures knees and arm joints, and every now and then the monster opened its mouth and snapped its jaws togwther that the white cockatoos that followed overhead screeched a warning to the other animals and birds of the bush. When this happened the newly created thing opened its eyes so that they all blazed, 'all-a-same stars'.
'Djarapa dead-fright now when that devil-devil big-eye been come close up alonga his track,' Tula explained, 'but when Djarapa stop then that Wulgaru thing stop too and when him run that devil-devil run too. Djarapa can't lose it.'
Trembling with fear Djarapa noticed that the thing of his creation was only following him by sight, so he leapt behind dark-green bush, then doubling back on his trail, he stood behind a large salmon-gum tree as the shuffling monster went on, finally to enter a big lagoon. Watching that spot in amazement the terrified creator of monsters beheld it emerge from the opposite bank and move off into the jungle beyond.
'Proper fool that Djarapa. Man make Devil-Devil...now he can’t kill it...make trouble for everybody,' bitterly commented Tula.
Source: 'Tales from the Aborigines' by Bill Harney
For the DM: This tale is about the perils of enchanting Automatons
The Story of the Red CloudA long time ago, a hunter called Inetina was spearing fish on this large reef beside which we now fished, and as he walked between the deep coral pools he heard an angry voice call his name.
Turning quickly, in an attitude of defense, he beheld a large open clam shell, and within its depths was the angry face of a human being. As Inetina looked upon it in amazement the thing spoke angrily.
'I am the head-man of your tribe, yet you stabbed at my shell with your spear as you went by...you are a fool to act as only a woman would do.'
At that terrible insult of being classed as a woman, Inetina picked up a large stone and hurling it with all his might he drove it into the creature's mouth, and and as it died a great red cloud came out of the sea and closed in upon the land.
'Everywhere sickness,' explained my narrator. 'Everybody died in their camps and on the hunt; their bones lay white over the land as does the dried coral on the reefs of the shores...
'And when drifted away only two people were alive of all the tribe...a young man and his sister...By law they cannot marry, but a spirit came to the pair in the night and told them for the tribe they must have a family...so that brother and sister became man and wife and their children formed our present Udwadja tribe.'
Source: 'Tales from the Aborigines' by Bill Harney
For the DM: This tale is about a cataclysmic cloud that decimated all the lands
Names of the Wallara
Build your own Wallara NameShared prefix