Friday, July 18, 2014

Tribal Confederations of Khorlhossa

a Drynnthi warrior woman demonstates
her skills.
There are numerous thriving tribes roaming the wastes of Khorlhossa, most of them keeping to the vast, lichen-thick plains that were once the beds of ancient seas and to the redstone ruins that surround these long-dead seas.  Each of these tribes is composed of hundreds of individuals led by a single warlord, baron, duke, tsar, bogatyr, hierophant or other self-styled ruler and their entourage.  Each of these warlords and their followers pays fealty to a greater warlord and is bound by ties of blood and culture to other vassals of these greater warlords, forming three great tribal confederations, each consisting of tens of thousands of warriors that span the wastes.

The most wide-ranging are the tribes of the Qemji (pronounced "khem-gee") Confederation.  Skilled riders and talented breeders of sammeks and tzagunds, these nomads live in the saddle, sometimes traveling dozens of miles a day following the herds of rylback or patrolling isolated territory claimed by the Confederation.  Among the non-Qemji, it's a common belief that the Qemji have a supernatural bond to their mounts; how else can one explain why their sammeks never rebel, never try to kill and eat their riders? It's positively uncanny how well-behaved the Qemji riding lizards are.

Less-mobile but no less reliable in a fight are the warriors of the Drynnthi (drin-thee) tribes.  While archery and bowyery are widely-known on Khorlhossa, the Drynnthi have elevated the act of placing an arrow in a target to an art form, one bordering, for the Drynnthi, on being a religious act.  Drynnthi are trained nearly from birth to draw back a bow, and their warriors closely guard the secret of the construction of the Drynnthi longbow -- an incredibly powerful recurved bow, as tall as a man, capable of burying a yard-long arrow to the fletching in a target 200 paces away.  Only the Drynnthi know how to craft these powerful weapons, and only the Drynnthi have the training to use these bows effectively.

Most frightening and brutal are the Togaro (to-gah-row) tribesmen.  While all Khorlhossans practice endo-cannibalism and consume the flesh of their honored dead and fallen loved ones, only the Togaro feast on their slain enemies, as well as collecting grisly trophies from every kill to hang from their jorongos.  Any given Togaro warrior is festooned with severed and decaying hands, necklaces of ears or genitals, or elaborately painted and carved human bones.  The Togaro carve their masks to leave an opening around their mouths, allowing them to bite at their foes with filed teeth without exposing their whole face to counterattack.  The Togaro welcome Calibans among their breed, and are far more inclined overall to turn from the worship of the Grey and Silent Lord to the savage, carnal rites of Demon-worship.

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