Founded in the year 207 AH, Thrain
was set in the middle of greenfield meadows. These fertile plains allowed
for easy hunting and mild, if occasionally warm, weather all year around,
with only the rare storm to disturb the gathering tribesman as they formed
their small hovel of huts, first made of straw. As time progressed, straw
gave way to locally gathered clay and adobe.
As the architecture advanced, so
did the culture, and the city was built in honor of the four directions, and
the four basic concepts that rule barbarian life. To the north was the
ephemeral, the quarter of medicine, where religion, magic, and other facets
of life that had no physical root took place. To the south the raw and
visceral quarter of the claw, where warriors, blacksmiths, and other
artisans plied physical arts. To the west is the vibrant but estranged
foreign quarter, a place for new things that don't have a home yet. Lastly,
to the east, the quarter of the dead, a place for things whose time has
past, home to libraries, grave yards, and homes for the aging.
The city fell to imperial hands
once in 805 AH, but liberated itself thirty years after. The city still
welcomes imperials, on an individual basis, and with caution, but has
nothing but hatred for their country. They have fallen in line in 1013 AH
along with the other major barbarian cities to follow the child-king, and
are a member of the new Barbarian Nation.
Barbarian youths consider it a
great honor to serve time as a warrior, to protect their lands from foreign
invaders, and their people from monsters that have taken leave of their
senses. Occasionally, such warriors must also work as police, capturing
offenders to stand trial before the elders. Warriors are almost never
permitted to slay an alleged criminal before he or she can face judgment of
The average Barbarian finds the
idea of worshipping a god or gods to be a strange idea. Spirits are all
around, they will tell you, and all should be acknowledged and respected.
Rooted deeply in animism, Barbarian religion is very detailed in how it
deals with various spirits of the land, sea, and air. Its elders are
univerally spirit speakers and shamans who bring the blessings of the spirit
world to the physical.
Marriage in Barbarian society is a
different beast than Imperial. There are two basic types, partnership, and
harem. Powerful warriors are known to return from war and scoop up two to as
much as five mates, almost as reward for their virtues and sacrifice. Elders
say that such people have felt the cold brush of death for too long, and
require a suffusion of life, and thus this is permitted for them. Such
people are prone to producing large families, and their respect in the
community is often enough to support them.
Most weddings, however, are
between two. The two fiances will hold hands, or lean against one another,
while an elder calls the spirits of the field to bless their union. It is
expected that the female will surrender herself to the male in times of
season, but aside from that, Fidelity is a private matter between the two.
Homosexual relations are acceptable in Barbarian society, but marriage is
not, as they see marriage as a vehicle of blessing a fertile couple. In
this, they are not that different from Imperials.
What is a Mtezeko? They are
quadraped felines with a flame at the end of their tail. Some of them learn
from a young age how to walk on two legs and are difficult to discern from
other two legged animal kin, aside the flame, but there is a strange refusal
to use standard two legged equipment that runs strong even in those who use
their forelimbs as hands.
Mtezeko are known, to Barbarians,
as the most connected to gaia of the varied races, and the best shamans and
warriors. It is easy to see then, why Mtezeko form the majority of Barbarian
government. Alpha warriors, elders, and other positions often fall to
Mtezeko hand. The fact that they are also long lived insures that they often
do have the wisdom to follow through with their duties.
Most curiously, the new child-king
is not a Mtezeko, but a mere animal kin, but most Mtezeko have accepted
this. An aged and proportedly wise mtezeko serves quietly as advisor to the
child-king, and this is good enough to keep most content.
The Child King
The barbarians have suffered years
of defeat at the hands of the imperials, losing land steadily over over a
century of conflict slowly but steadily. The fractured clans were on the
same side, but rarely fought together on the field of battle, and stood
largely helpless before the unified and organized force of the empire.
The last emperor, Cid Highwind,
had pressed the barbarians to a corner, and was to strike at their most holy
of places. By Barbarian law, if he took the place and assumed king position
there, they would have to bow to him, or be outlawed by their own tradition.
It seemed a flawless plan.
In the seige in 1013 AH, the
empire showed up with greater numbers and organization, as is their style,
but the god-emperor Highwind was struck down in the middle of the conflict.
The one to deal the killing blow was a small child, the Child King, a
leopard barbarian that had only learned how to use a bow a week earlier. It
was only by the dying magic of a mtezeko shaman that the child was whisked
away in the wings of the spirits to safety.
After the battle, the empire
withdrew, and then fell to civil war with their beloved leader dead. During
this time, the Child King became a symbol of hope and unity for the
barbarian clans, who have united under his rule, despite his youth. The
Child King has several mtezeko advisors to assist in his decision making,
and seems blessed by the spirits, but only time will tell if he will truly
usher in an age when the barbarian's land will be free of imperial