The Tribes of the Wylderkin Locations Found: Wyndael, Wild Lands, Cloud Empire, Newhome, Stormedge Islands Year of Reckoning: Imperial System of Government: Imperial / Maritime Law Overview: Wylderkin can be found almost anywhere within the Maelstrom, from craggy mountainsides to Imperial Cities, Newhome - the city of the Hoblings, the elven forest, the wild lands, and even the Pirate Islands in the Ostenwasser Sea., of all the peoples of the world, the Wylderkin are best capable of living off untamed lands as their beast-like nature suggests. Versatile and adaptable, as well as quick learning, they are able to master many “civilized” crafts such as farming, smithing, carpentry, alchemy, and even warfare. They have difficulty with the concept of non-intrinsic value and thus tend to generally value only those things that have a useful function, the value of money is difficult to grasp as is ornamentation, a piece of cheap red glass would be just as valuable as a ruby to most Wylderkin. Up until very recent history, approximately twenty years, all Wylderkin were considered a slave race - with limited rights and freedoms in the Cloud Empire. The Cloud Empire officially called their race Oshen, and knowing no better, many called themselves this as well for generations. After the coming of the Sarr with the Hoblings, the Wylderkin discovered that Oshen is understood generally as “beast of burden.” Most Wylderkin very much resent this word, and is now considered a grave insult. Wylderkin slavery ended on Gehen BeFreit, the moment of freedom, when Emperor Ernst declared that Wylderkin were to be granted the protection of citizenship, thus they could no longer be held as slaves. Many Kin left the Empire. Some traveled to the Stormedge Islands. A large number of recently freed Wylderkin traveled to unclaimed “wild” land to the northeast to stake a claim in an old abandoned keep known as Stormbreak. Here they would create an independent city-state called Wyndael.. Most of the Garr’ak tribe left Newhome with all of their wealth and skills, to join the effort. This drew Wylderkin from all over the Maelstrom who joined in the dream to have a place that was their own. The Tribes: The Eidesche Tribe, called Betrugen by the other tribes. The Eidesche Tribe is comprised mainly of Lizardkin, hunting-fishkin, and hunting-insect/arachnidKin. Generally detached, even from their own immediate family, these Wylderkin tend to view other kin as inferior creatures, and food. They have the a very lax view on cannibalism when it is a target who has been hunted and killed with honor. As slaves to the Cloud Empire, they were used for work forepersons, keeping the other kin “in line” through threats and intimidation. Many stayed in the Empire when freed taking jobs doing enforcement, guarding, or hunting and low-level police work. The Garr’ak Tribe was established by the Great Hunting Cat Wylderkin (lions, etc.), called Sarr or Gorbe in their native lands, who had been brought by the Hoblings. The Hoblings had come to a deal with the Empire that those of the Sarr race would be granted citizenship and not be considered slaves, as the Wylderkin were. The Leadership among the Sarr felt a kinship to the slaves, sensing in them, their own wild nobility. Using the inherent racism of the “beast races” which was rampant in the Empire, they sowed the idea that many of the Wylderkin were similar enough to themselves to be part of their tribe, and therefore free. By confusing the Empire over who was and who was not a slave, they were able to gain freedom for many Wylderkin over the years. This was especially common among the other “noble hunters” such as wolf and bear kin, and many of them would be included directly into the tribal hierarchy. The Garr’ak tend to instinctively view non-predator Wylderkin as having less value, though many are aware of this and are attempting to correct the belief among their fellows. Many of the other Wylderkin, who were too different to be included with this effort, strongly resented the Garr’ak and still do. The Garr’ak have the richest history, the most structured and developed culture, and the greatest understanding, as well as access to wealth. They serve in Newhome as guards, merchants, and mercenary trackers. The tribe is led by Eight Elders whose positions are appointed for life. Each of the elders represents a facet of the Garr’ak tribe, and is replaced upon permanent death by a series of contests of skills that demonstrate cleverness, wisdom, and the aspect that they will rule over. The Facets of Savagery are speed, combat, hunting, earthen sorcery, celestial sorcery, business, honor, and sailing. (Example: If the the Elder of speed passed away, their would be qualifying trials of cleverness and wisdom, and then a grand race.) It has been explicitly stated that if the tribe were ever to go to war, that the eight would choose either from among themselves or from outside of themselves a Warlord who would hold full power and authority. The Survivors (called the Scavengers by the other Wylderkin) are a mixed tribe of many different sorts of Kin, in general hyena, dog, raccoon, piranha, fly, etc. They are welcoming of anyone and will trade food with, and help out any of their Wylderkin relations. They have a prevailing motto in the tribe, “anything to survive,” which translates into their tribal law. If a Wylderkin can prove that what they did was the only course of action to allow for their own immediate or short term survival, then there is no punishment by the tribe for any action. It is incumbent upon the accused to provide proof or convincing testimony, and a tribunal of neutral parties will decide if the proof is sufficient. As such, many unsavory actions such as murder, cannibalism, necromancy, and thievery, can be acceptable actions depending on the circumstances - though those found guilty of antisocial behavior for personal gain or other non-survival reasons are branded (literally as well as figuratively) and shunned. Anything that a Survivor does not have an immediate need for they give freely to any other member of their tribe. They live in small communities and are almost exclusively nomadic. The Herdlings are a mixed tribe of many sorts of Kin. In general, they are made up of kin that stem from animals that graze, and herd together. Antelope, cow, some fish, and deer kin are examples of those that are within the tribe. The Tribe is very community focused, family units are large, and are led by an elder and the elder’s mate. These Kin are master farmers, cultivating food in difficult to grow in areas, thus keeping their food sources tucked out of the way. The Hive (including fish that school) is comprised of antkin, schooling fishkin, and beekin. They each have chosen to give their independent goals, dreams, and ambitions to the Hive. The Hive is a socialist monarchy ruled by the Queen and her Consorts, chosen breeding partners who care for the Queen’s every whim, advise her on matters of state, and act as her voice to the people. The Queen can be of any gender, and is chosen by the current Queen from among any of the children made with any of the breeding partners. Society is very structured within the Hive by hundreds of castes, each responsible for a different segment of society. Occasionally, members of the Hive leave home to gather information for the Hive’s historians, or choose to leave to make it in the world on their own. They are allowed to go freely and welcomed back when they return - when leaving they give up all possessions to the Hive and if they return to live, they must give anything that they’ve gained in the outside world to the Hive and start with nothing in the Hive. The Cloud Empire used the general trait of conscious abandonment of will that many Hive-type Kin have in order to breed them and use them for manual labor and farming all over the Cloud Empire. The Queen was a concept developed by the Empire, when she was freed, she took her people and established the Hive. Wylderkin unwilling to pledge their lives to the Queen and the good of the Hive are not permitted within the Hive. The Hive is located in the Southern Wild Lands. Food: Most Wylderkin cultures are very focused on food. When Wylderkin meet in peace there is always food brought to share, the “host” is only expected to provide a good amount to ensure no guest starves, while “guests” are expected to bring enough to share. Two Wylderkin who have never met before, or have not seen each other in a long while, will often exchange food, and thus most generally carry a few pieces of food for this polite greeting. No Wylderkin will ever let another Wylderkin go hungry, also, not being forthcoming about how much food one has (and getting caught) is considered extremely rude, while asking “how much food have you got?” Is as common as “how are you?”is among other races. Cannibalism/Death Rites: Given the savage nature of the Wylderkin it is not a rare occurrence that one would eat another. In fact, many Wylderkin give their permission to have their bodies devoured by the tribe upon their permanent death. If no permission is given, then the next of kin will make the decision, either consumption by the living, or consumption by flame. Adornment: Most Wylderkin wear simple garments and uncomplicated and unrefined armor pieces, but there is a strong propensity within the culture to wear bright and shiny (almost gaudy) gem-laden rings, bracelets, arm bands, necklaces, and circlets. Often made from shoddy or ingenuine materials, these pieces of jewelry are cheap but treasured by the Wylderkn. Marriage: Wylderkin were not allowed to married under the Empire. Once freed they follow what can be seen as a fairly traditional form of handfasting, where two Wylderkin and two witnesses conduct a ceremony to bind two individuals for one year and one day. Many renew their vows year after year. Wyndael: Wyndael was founded by the Garr’ak tribe. As word spread of the Wylderkin free nation many other Kin made their way to Stormbreak Keep. When the tribes arrived they were invited to join the governing process and chosen elders from each tribe were assembled into a ruling council, magistrates were appointed by the council for fairness and even temperedness. Many did not wish to include the Survivors and the Betrugen, but it was hard to turn down any member of their species. Many of the Betrugen stayed in the Empire, those few who did come to Wyndael took jobs that others did not want. The Survivors never truly joined, though they did live on the outskirts. The Council left a seat open for the elder of the Survivors but as there was no such person and they did not wish to join the government process, this seat was left in absentia. Over a few short years, the Kin fell into more stratified tribes and self governances. They built up several communities within short travel to the Keep, and the Keep itself was used as their capital. The government became a sort of council led socialist state where the good of the people was of paramount importance. Council meetings were held in open forum and would hear grievances. Many of the Wylderkin were uncomfortable with the idea of the council and they wanted just one voice to be the loudest, one word to be the strongest. Long discussions on appointing a monarch occurred but this never came to fruition. Newhome: Many Wylderkin left Newhome, those few landowners of the Garr’ak sold their property and relinquishing position to join their kin in Wyndael. A few of the Garr’ak remained, and several handfuls of other types of Wylderkin arrived when freed from Imperial bondage. They are welcomed as citizens of Newhome but compared to even the poorest of Hobling families, they do terribly financially and have difficulty purchasing property. Many are “encouraged” to live in a less expensive area of Newhome which is dilapidated and crime ridden. The Stormedge Islands: Many Wylderkin have escaped over the years from the Empire to join one of the pirate clans, and when they were freed, hundreds fled to the Stormedge Islands. The pirates were not prepared to accept such a large influx, and though happy to have more people to work the ship, unskilled labor was not in high demand. As such, many Wylderkin found themselves indentured for debts to various Pirate captains and currently live a hard life. Many say it is worth it because they are free, and they get to attack the Empire. The Quyah'scenthaal Forest A small number of Wylderkin are allowed, by the elves to live in the Western Wood portion of the nation of Quyah'scenthaal. They are well treated by the elves, but there are limitations on where they can travel within the forest, because of this some view it as just another form of oppression from the other races in the world. Others are simply happy to have a nice place to live in relative freedom. Recent History: Recent years have seen massive upheaval for the wylderkin and the nation of Wyndael. It was only 20 years ago that the kin were freed from captivity within the Empire, and a mere five years later that Wyndael was founded. Wylderkin from all over flocked to the new nation. House Heinlein had sent supplies and offered further support. Despite how instrumental they were in achieving freedom for the kin, they were still of the Empire and thus rebuffed. The kin were, at long last, governing themselves and had even begun trade with Newhome and opened diplomatic ties with the Elves of Quyah'scenthaal. The same year that talks with the Elves were initiated the Empire sent an envoy to Wyndael, stating that Stormbreak Keep and the surrounding land had been claimed by the Empire long ago, even though they had not yet settled there. The Council pointed out that the land and keep were long abandoned and thus they had every right to settle there. The Empire threatened to enforce their rights by military means, but acknowledged they were open to negotiation. The ultimate result was that Empire accepted Wyndael’s rights to the land and keep and Wyndael reluctantly agreed to allow Imperial Troops to be stationed within Wyndael to assist (at Wyndael expense) with increasing troll attacks in the area. Within two years the Empire’s activities within Wyndael were causing significant upheaval. They had enacted many security measures and a curfew “for the security” of Wyndael. They also placed House Giefer, the Imperial house that had been in charge of slaves, to oversee the of security in Wyndael. The citizens cried out that the Empire was trying to enslave them in all but name and the Council officially protested to the Empire, but were constantly delayed and rebuffed with diplomatic stalling tactics. Meanwhile the enraged populace began to commit acts of sabotage on the Imperial troops, and former slaveholding members of House Giefer were murdered. Prompting Imperial leadership to intensify security even more. Just one year ago the troops stationed in Wyndael had received orders to march east to Newhome to help defend against a rumored Stormborn attack. The Empire assured the Council that the trolls were unlikely to attack in the short time the troops would be away. This prediction, sadly, proved completely wrong. While the Imperial troops were east, the trolls swept out of the Frostbite Mountains in massive numbers, overwhelming the Wyndael militia almost immediately. Within the week Stormbreak keep had fallen to the trolls. The Empire offered to eliminate the trolls for the Council, but only if Wyndael would agree to be absorbed into the Empire officially. Enraged that the Empire had continued to oppress them and failed to protect them, the Council refused outright denouncing the Empire entirely. The Council has not been seen since. The Empire, now declaring the territory abandoned, invaded, capturing Stormbreak Keep and large portions of Wyndael from the trolls in record time. Many Kin fled the area, but many others stayed in Wyndael, either because they were determined to forge their new life there or because they had devoted their life savings to the effort and could go nowhere else. The Empire has installed a Governor-General to rule Stormbreak Keep and their troops and houses immediately moved in and began dictating policy. Some Kin commit acts of sabotage and refuse to ever give up fighting the Empire for their freedom, others are simply trying to get by. Timeline: 20 years ago: Wylderkin granted the status of “citizen race” and therefore unable to be kept as slaves, thus officially outlawing slavery after years and years of lobbying and efforts by House Heinlein. Many Kin leave the Empire, some travel to the Stormedge Islands though a large number of recently freed Wilderkin travel to unclaimed “wild” land to the northeast to stake a claim. House Geifer (whose main business was slavery) is financially devastated. The official reasons given is that House Geifer was selling able bodied combat capable slaves to the pirates and wildland tribes. The Empire declared this was short sighted and giving weapons (soldiers) to the enemy. The Emperor also claimed to be moved by the persuasive arguments of House Heinlen over the years. 19 years ago: House Goldpipe secedes from the Empire based on clause in their contract that brought them into the Empire stating their allegiance would last until the end of the next age. The Garr’ak Tribe leaves Newhome to investigate Stormbreak Keep. Since they were brought in as citizens under the Hobling contract, which was fulfilled when Emperor Ernst ended the Fifth age, they were now free to leave the Empire. House Goldpipe, meanwhile has opened trade talks with the possibility of an alliance with Quyah'scenthaal, making the Empire reluctant to invade lest it spark another war with the elves. 15 years ago: Wylderkin from all over the Maelstrom have settled into Stormbreak Keep, an abandoned but well made fortress they found. They use the region as their capital and form a nation called Wyndael where former slaves can settle and be free. Wylderkin from the Empire, Newhome, as well as some from the Stormedge Islands flock to the new nation to at last have a nation of their own. Official open trade agreements with Newhome begin. 14 years ago: House Heinlien sends a diplomatic mission to Stormbreak Keep but is turned away. They leave several wagons of Imperial finished goods and some raw materials behind. 14 years ago: Celestial Change takes place. Biata begin re-growing feathers and sometimes claws. Mental powers return and their lifespan returns to normal. “Gryphon Touched” and “Highblood” humans proved to be the Getragen of ancient lore. Some think this is somehow related to the Wildness being released inside the Empire, but many sages ignore this as foolish. 12 years ago: Wyndael and Quyah'scenthaal initiate diplomatic ties, Empire makes claim on Wyndael’s land stating it had annexed it previously when Edgeport was founded. Ultimate agreement is that the Kin allow the Empire to station troops in Wyndael to defend them from Ice troll attacks (which have been on the rise) for a limited period of time in return for coin payment from Wyndael. 10 years ago: The Empire has slowly enacted more rules and regulations “for the security” of Wyndael and places House Geifer in charge of the security of the region. Wyndael citizens are deeply unhappy at the Empire’s presence, especially under the rule of their old slave masters. Long time slavers are murdered, and attacks and acts of revenge crop up against Imperial troops. 1 year ago: Imperial troops in Wyndael are temporarily reassigned in Newhome to aid in repelling sudden attack from Stormborn, leaving Wyndael temporarily defenseless. The Ice Trolls take advantage and launch massive invasion from the Frostbite Mountains, attacking in overwhelming numbers. Stormbreak Keep, the capital of the new nation, falls to the trolls. The Empire offers to help the leaders of Wyndael take back their land and keep, but only on the condition that Wyndael agrees to join the Empire as a new provence. The ruling council of Wyndael reject the offer and depart the area. Many Wylderkin follow suit and flee the area though many others remain in their new home. Imperial Troops engage trolls in former nation of Wyndael, capturing Stormbreak Keep as well as vast swaths of the former Wyndael lands. 0 Years ago: Empire officially annexes Wyndael naming it a protectorate and offers to allow House Heinlein and House Sterne to temporarily co-rule the area under the supervision of a Governor-General. The house that does the best job (according to the judgement of the Emperor based on the reports of the Governor-General) will be granted the area and all its holdings and resources. Attitudes towards other races: Mystic Wood Elves/Storm’Ren - They have always helped us, and they have not forgotten us even now that we are free. They give us jobs, teach us skills, and help out whenever they can. We feel that this is done out of pity, though, and so it hurts our pride to keep getting help from them. We do what we can to help them to alleviate our guilt. Elves - Elves are kind, and helpful, but they will not let us settle in their forest. We can see why the Storm’Ren dislike them so. Dark Elves - some of our underground capable kin, such as bats, rats, and moles, have joined one of their savage tribes. We are kept apart from them but they tolerate us, as such we find them amenable. Hoblings - We know that they have helped us in the past, but now that we are free they do not seem to want us. We think that they were angered by the Garr’ak Tribe leaving them and they hold some bitterness towards us. They are also obsessed with things. Arieanis - beautiful creatures with lovely trade, free spirited and glorious. We generally like these travelling bands. Oathsworn - Many of our people find their ways seductive but they are violent and they treat us poorly. High Orcs - much as Oathsworn, but they are too savage even for us. Biata - DIEDIEDIEDIEDIE. The Biata rule the hated Empire and have done nothing but oppress us throughout our entire history. Humans - Weak will, we see no difference between them and our former enslavers. Dwarves - honorable craft folk, but their loyalty to the Empire makes them generally distrusted. High Ogers - we like them, they are savage like us, and wise as we hope to be some day. Stone Elves - useless creatures that we find to be generally annoying. They seem to want to administer the Empire when they should want to destroy it. Pirates are good because they hate the Empire, the Empire is terrible.