Thursday, June 24, 2010
The rising tide of barbarism in Auracrux is one of the major differences between life before and after the Great War. In talk amongst civilized folk, the same names are still traded about--Porre, Norbury, Abar, Diurgontruili--but the power wielded by these nations is not what it once was. In fact, though they were once kingdoms crisscrossed by patrolled roads and populated with un-walled towns, these political powers are now little more than city states.
In the space where countless peasant farmers once swore fealty to distant crowns, now live the barbarian hordes. If a comprehensive census of the known world were possible and desirable, it would certainly show that most sentient beings live among these tribes, with a lesser number living in the agricultural areas surrounding the major city states, and the smallest number being the actual inhabitants of the far flung bastions of civilization.
It would be a mistake to paint the many barbaric tribes with any broad brush. Religiously, they are quite diverse. Primalism, for example, is not practiced exclusively by barbarians, nor are barbarians its sole practitioners. Many of the white-skinned plains barbarians of Porresia follow local variations of Aurism. Conversely, many peasants in the arid agricultural land near Norbury follow a primal folk-religion, producing Druids and Shaman of great power.
The more remarkable barbarian stocks include the following:
The plains barbarians of Porresia: These folk are descendants of peasants cut off from Porre during its fall in the Great War. Their independence was imposed upon them by the situation, and as such their culture is much different from that of the Norburgers. The barbarians possess many cultural traditions handed down from their Imperial past, but twisted by generations with little outside contact and no access to literacy. Religious practice among these tribes includes Orthodox Aurism with unique local twists, and Primalism.
The Half-Drow barbarians of the Charred Mountains: When the city of Porre was reclaimed by the forces of Gerald Xavier during the Great War, most of the Drow occupiers were executed or escaped into the earth. However, many Drow commoners were cut off from the capital and fled into the mountains. Having foreseen the decline of their nation, they elected to live in the Charred Mountains of East Porresia. They intermingled with local humans and humanoids, creating a unique racial stock. These barbarians still practice Infernalism.
The Dwarven barbarians of the Kharad Mountains: At the beginning of the Great War, the Kharad Dwarves were utterly devastated and their holds demolished. Many of the survivors made an exodus with Ula and Firyn Gray after the Great War to live amongst the Khalid Dwarves. Those that remained make their living mostly on the faces of the mountains or in shallow caves. These Dwarves practice Primalism.
The Quayar barbarians of East Chenti: The wood elves continue to live barbarically in the sylvan forests of East Chenti, though their past hostility against the high elves of Vailan seem to be much less in this time. The Quayar are the original followers of Primalism.
The Half-Orc barbarians of Central Chenti: With the waning power of divine and arcane magic, the Orcs of Central Chenti found raiding the villages of the Northlanders much easier. One particular spoil was so often taken, that the tribes began to lose their identity as Orcs, their bloodlines so diluted as to make them all unidentifiable as either Orc or Human. Various tribes have different belief systems, including Primalism, Infernalism, and Reconciliation.
The desert nomads of Abar: An incredibly hardy group of people has managed take advantage of the sparse living to be made in the Abarian desert. The desert nomads might not even be classified as barbaric, as their life features a great deal of trade with the city states of Abar. Often, the nomads will bring exotic hard to find resources from the desert into the cities for trade. These nomads practice Primalism or Orthodox Aurism, often mixing the two.
The drake-riders of Amerisawa: These barbarians are copper skinned humans living in the Amerisawan wastes across the mountains from Abar. They have been known to ride their drakes in raids across the mountains, attacking Azhirah, Dazhibad, and Thalind. Infernalism is the most common religion amongst the Amerisawans.
The seafarers of Kalifra: Dark skinned human barbarians of Kalifra have developed a nautical culture and have been known to attack the western shores of Chenti and Porresia. Mixed Kalifran heritage is somewhat common in both Zheng and Fellemonte. Kalifrans practice a Primal belief system.