Being currently at about bronze age technology, the people are left to make their way with tools made from pottery, thatch, and wood. Life is simple, agricultural, and rural, with the largest settlements being mere towns most of the time. Most of their economy is barter, and although people have domesticated horses, trade between towns is somewhat limited. People have strong ties to the lands where they were born.
This even applies after death. When a person dies, their body is buried according to local customs, and as it mixes with the soil, so too does their spirit. Either as individual leaders or community gestalts, these ancestral spirits infuse the earthen and plant matter of their land, causing it to possess a supernatural, if dormant, animating force.
To protect against rival war-like communities and to serve the living, craftsmen and shamans work together to make robotic guardians out of wood. Because it is grown from the soil infused with the spirits of those who died and were buried there, it makes the humanoid-shaped constructs into animated beings, who willingly defend their descendants.
While all ancestral robots, unable to depart from their home territory, make for great defenders of their realms, totem guardians stand above the rest. Formed only from the trunks of the largest trees and the gestalt of thousands of ancestors, most communities have (and need) only one. While usually serving as identifying towers of community territorial rights, they can spring to life and defend their homeland and their people as giant invader-smiting soldiers of ancestral fury. It is for this reason that any community whose totem guardian is destroyed is considered very vulnerable.
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