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Author Topic: Clan Engu of the Western Shores  (Read 15820 times)
Lost Egg
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« on: May 04, 2011, 05:42:35 pm »

Clan Engu of the Western Shores


The Landscape
To the north-west of the Central Empire lies the lands of Clan Engu. A cold, coastal region of dramatic scenery; here the Western Ocean washes against a rugged coastline of imposing cliffs. The coastline itself is rocky but with many beaches that quickly sweep up into peaceful, damp valleys, these in turn give way to the bitterly cold Setir Mountains. The far northern reaches of these lands are open with scrubby terrain and small, scattered woods of spiky evergreen trees while towards the south the grassy valleys flow into the lush Naralon Forest. A number of lakes are dotted about the region, fed by the rivers flowing down from the mountains; they provide a suitable home to a pesky insect known as a Mish. These bothersome pests are a constant distraction to travellers in the region and more than one have left the idyllic looking region with curses on their beaks.

The Clan city of Tonueil has grown on a dramatic cliff, which rises above the shores of the western ocean, providing it's inhabitants with a spectacular view over the water. Winds are a constant friend to the Fubarnii of the region yet foe to any travellers in this distant realm. The burrows of Tonueil provide shelter from the biting wind and protection from wandering packs of Devanu that stray north of the Naralon Forest. Leaving Tonueil and riding south over the Jana Estuary till the forest of Naralon comes in site, the caravans turn east and follow the old road, passing through the lands of Clan Galin. Here they pass through to the city of Posan, gateway to the Central Empire. Occasionally, the traders along these routes see dark clad travellers in the distance but few have ever seen them up close.

On rare occasions the mountains of this region have spew forth molten rock as if they were some great beast awoken in an angry rage. This is not the only natural danger, for on occasion the ground shakes as if from a distant tragedy to the west and great waves wash over the land. The Engu have worked hard to adapt their dwelling to these rare dangers with mixed success. Luckily these tragedy's happen only once or twice in ten or more generations.

The lands of the Engu change dramatically through the seasons. The year starts with the first snows of winter that seal up the lands from any travellers; the valleys are closed due to heavy drifts. In the spring the white landscape thaws, renewing the land, which soon bursts forth new life; the regions flora having lain dormant. Summers are cool and sunny with occasional showers that leave the valleys glistening and lush. The Seed Festival marks the start of autumn when the fertilised balloons of the Gerilon tree are released and blown out over the Western Ocean; legend says they even reach as far as Enar. Should the balloons be blown east the local Fubarnii consider it an ill omen of a dark winter to come.

Across the water from Tonueil is the island of Gethal. The clan of this large island shares strong ties with the Engu Fubarnii, for many of the islands inhabitants can trace their ancestors to Tonueil; many Fubarnii risked the dangerous sea journey to mine the volcanic hills. The fact that such a large population of Fubarnii now live their is testament to the value of the rare ore found in the hills of Gethal. Such a rare commodity is highly sought after and the traders of Clan Engu bare it far and wide.



Dwellings
Within the lands of Clan Engu most of the settlements are comprised of a collection of domed buildings on the surface and complex, natural tunnel systems under ground. The surface buildings are often low level to minimise the effects of the harsh environment. The domed shape is made by laying stones on top each other slowly arranging them so they get closer and closer till the cap stone is lowered in place. The rocks are collected from the base of cliffs, along the coast, and amongst the base of the mountains. The whole structure is then coated in a mix of clay, straw and the muck of local beasts; Enuk, Belan and Baruk. The unusual style of dwelling is impervious to the harsh winds and resists the heavy snowfall that would collapse a weaker roof.


Outside Tonueil, most settlements are scattered through valleys, with each dwelling and tunnel system centered high enough to avoid flooding in the big thaw that comes every spring. Towards the mountains, most families do not even bother with the outer coating; instead they encourage grasses to grow amongst the rocks helping to bind the structure together. Chimneys poke out of the roof allowing a hazy cloud to spread slowly along the valley.


The city of Tonueil is unlike the rest of Clan Engu's settlements, fore the city rises up a cliff over-looking the Western Ocean. Some of the buildings are domed but most bare only a domed roof, allowing them to connect more easily to those around them. Like most Fubarnii cities the tunnels extend far below the surface where large caves support the clan's herds over-winter. The great cliff, which Tonueil sits upon has not been spared the building of Engu and the face of the cliff is studded with openings and balconies; these vantage points are sealed in the winter and left unopened till summer, providing the best view of the Seed Festival. The great cliff is protected by a smaller cliff-face against which the waves of the Western Ocean break harmlessly.

The first Fubarnii that erected their dwellings discovered natural tunnel systems below much of the region, which they have made use of. The tunnels were created long ago by the floodwater that washes down the hills from the spring thaw. When constructing dwellings the builders ensure their homes make use of these natural features, for the Fubarnii of the clan appreciate the soft curves of the water-worn rock. Some settlements make use of large caverns for the growing of fungi, storerooms and to house their herds over-winter. Such caverns are dotted with great hanging rocks that drip constantly and provide a rich source of minerals.

The knights stationed in and around the territory of Clan Engu use a style of building much more like that of the Central Empire. The Knights of Naralon have quarters established along the forests boarders, each no more than a few days ride distant. The Grey Order, stationed amongst the mountains to the east also use a standard design but instead have made their roofs stronger with a steeper pitch, preventing the roof collapsing under the weight of snow. It has not escaped notice that such roofs are similar to those used by the Delgon.


The Clan
Engu are one of the Setir Clans, so called due to their close proximity to the mountains. Dwelling in a cold land they have adapted by growing larger than most Fubarnii. They are a hardy, practical clan for there is little room for decadence in their life; those who do not work hard may freeze in the winter months. Independent of spirit, as many settlements are cut off from each other during the winter, they still share a great sense of community and are fiercely loyal to the Empire, taking their ancestors oaths very seriously.

With many knights retiring in the area for many years the Fubarnii of the clan are quite militarily minded, where some in the Empire reluctantly hand over their young the families of the clan are proud to know that their offspring train to be knights. Clan Engu appreciates a stalwart line of defence and with the mines of Gethal so close the militia and local knights are armed with metal weapons and some of the oldest and most experienced knights even wear metal armour.

The Devanu are not the only problem the Engu face for the Dhogu raid from the north. These diminutive Fubarnii consider the towering Engu as brutish. The Engu spare no compliments either for their neighbours to the north, considering them wiesely thieves and backstabbers. However, such animosity does not prevent a rather strange agreement to exist; in the harsh winter it is considered a great honour by both peoples to help those in need who arrive at ones door. Some have theorised that the reason such an arrangement exists is due to the harsh weather they encounter and there are those on both sides who tell tales of how their lives have been saved when stranded alone in the cold. Such an arrangement does not exist during the warmer months where either would gladly chase off the other.

To the far north of Tonueil the landscape grows increasingly unhospitable, this is the lands of the clan's Yirnak herders. A semi-nomadic branch of the clan they travel the tundra following the Yirnak herds, living in great circular tents covered in the thick furs of this hardy beast. Of all the Fubarnii of the clan they suffer the most from Dhogu raids. It is not unknown for them to encounter Delgon patrols from the city of Nera. Sometimes these encounters end in blood but most of the time these two groups simply give each other a wide berth.

The herds of Engu are much smaller than those of most clans, consisting primarily of Baruk and Belan for these great beasts bare their loads well in trader caravans. However, some also keep Enuk as well though they are far fewer in number. During the harsh winter, those of the herd that are not away from their home are herded under ground where they ride out the winter in large caverns, grazing on moss and drinking from rock pools.

There are many of the clan who live within sight of Naralon Forest and though they make their living from the trees they always treat the area with a healthy respect. Devanu and worse dwell amongst the boughs and it is a witless Fubarnii indeed who strays from the path.

"If you go down to the woods today, you'll be sure of a nasty surprise."
Common Engu saying.


History of the Clan
In times past the Fubarnii of these lands were few in number and only those who dwelt close to the forest were enslaved, the Devanu reluctant to journey into the colder north. Under the rulership of the Devanu their numbers slowly grew but they suffered harshly as the Devanu cared little for the warmth of their slaves and many froze.  Some Fubarnii escaped to the north, most freezing to death while a few others encountered their free cousins and were welcomed to the fireside. Even with the free slaves, the smaller northern settlements grew slower than those near the forest, though this did at least prevent them from needing to spread south and risk encountering the Devanu.

When word of the rebellion finally reached the forest, the warriors of the northern settlements came south to free their kin. Their first attempt was a bloody defeat with many never returning home, their bones licked clean by the oppressors. But, soon they returned with new found allies, the knights of the Empire. After successfully banishing the Devanu and freeing their kin the ancestors of Engu swore an oath to the Empire, binding the honour of their clan with that of their eastern cousins.

Now a part of the Empire, trade routes were established and knights were stationed to protect the caravans and their wealth of resources. The settlements grew and the city of Tonueil sprung up, though at that time it was no larger than a town of the Central Empire. The leader of the Engu at this time was Frakaan, a stubborn Kopa but with a eye on the future. Seeing potential in the knights of the Empire he encouraged many to stay after their retirement. Such powerful characters trained the local militia rigorously and went on to start new families and settlements. With new settlements established around strong-willed Kopas the power of the clan grew and now many knights settle these lands upon retirement, where they are appreciated and respected by all. As the clan's power grew the number of knights lessened, fore the Engu militia were strong enough to repel most Devanu attacks.

Since before the coming of the Devanu, the Fubarnii of the clan have been the target of Dhogu raids. Such raids are always small in scale and are easily seen off. Though frequent, such raids are considered a nuisance by the clan. Recently these raids seem to be becoming more frequent and now the traders have began spotting dark clad retinues traveling the mountains. The clan Elders sense something is brewing but can only look to protecting their clan.


Economics & Trade
For Clan Engu there are three major sources of trade, fish, timber and metal ore. The Western Ocean is teeming with life as strong currents sweep up the coastline providing food for many species of fish, from the tiny sand worm to the immense Do'ru and the terrible Kleos. Shoals of Klipa fish swim up the coast, flitting through the shallows. The locals use an a large complicated looking arranged to lowers large nets into the shallows catching all that stray into their path. When the frames are raised the fish are killed, gutted and there fillets smoked close to the shore before being packed with ice ready for trading caravans to distribute them to the western half of the Empire. In the Jana estuary some Fubarnii use another style of fishing; when at high tide they stroll the shallows with a long beam across their shoulders. From each arm of the beam a pair of nets hang, looking almost like two great wings, often catching the bottom feeding Kwish, a flat fish that walks along the bed of the estuary on a number of tiny spikes.

The Naralon Forest has always been used by the Fubarnii of the region as a source of timber for building and trade. The forest has a large variety of flora but it is the slow growing Reeda that provides most of the lumber. From a number of settlements along the Naralon's border groups of foresters enter the trees ever watchful for attacks from Devanu and other predators. Recently attacks from Devanu have become more common so foresters are often accompanied by groups of militia. The forest is a source of wealth for the locals but also a source of fear; many have lost their lives straying from the path. A number of knightly outpost are scattered across the forests border, often riding out to keep predators numbers in check. The logged timber is seasoned and cut into more manageable planks in local sawmills.

In the mines of the Gethal the local clan dig for ore, a rare resource in Anyaral. Shipped across to the mainland and smelted in the smithies of Tonueil, the heavy ingots are packed for caravans to take them on their slow journey to the Central Empire. Some ingots are instead sent to the weapon smiths, renown around the region for producing quality arms; many are sold on but the Engu elders always make sure their militia and the local knightly orders are always well equipped.

The Engu traders set out after the Seed Festival, their long caravans slowly winding through the mountains, often joining caravans from Galin and Posan, heading deeper into the Empire. Unable to return until the valleys of their homeland have cleared after the great thaw, they travel the Empire selling their wares in the great markets of Enipolis to Gar Loren. With the arrival of spring the traders return to much celebration, their Baruk and Belan laden with exotic goods from across the Empire. Some caravans never return, the traders and their guards torn to shred by packs of Devanu or slain by raiders. Many traders are accompanied by clan militia, though expensive it's cheaper than the cost of many lives.

There are a number of other trades members of the clan work at though most supply only what local settlements need. Jenta of the clan scramble amongst the rocks of the coast at high tide, searching for small winka, a local delicacy that is boiled with spices to make a succulent dish. A large part of the Engu diet is also made up of plant matter harvested from the sea and estuary; clawed lines are cast out each night then reeled up in the morning covered in Plokis, a type of feathered bush that floats near the waters surface. Frugin farms are a common sight in many settlements, though normally down wind to avoid population suffering their foul odour. Some enterprising Fubarnii near the Naralon Forest, breed Sgru'bu; from the bristles they make writing quills, amongst other uses, and their secretions make excellent preservatives for any excess catch. Hunters are common among the settlements, broadening the clans diet with foraged herbs, spices and small critters, which they trap amongst the trees and glades.

Part 2 in Post 3
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 07:11:13 pm by Hairy Norseman » Logged
Beastlord
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2011, 10:22:35 pm »

Sounds like an athmospheric place! I'd rather like to visit! I guess clashes with the Delgon are likely up there in the current political climate...
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2011, 07:36:00 am »

Clan Engu Part 2

Military Organisation
The Fubarnii of the clan have always had to defend their lands and populace from Devanu attacks and Dhogu raids. Every member of the clan, expect Jenta, can potentially be called upon to defend their homes. Once a Fubarnii of the clan leaves the Jenta life-stage they must spend at least a year in the militia, making them all the better to defend their kith and kin. Many believe this arrangement was agreed soon after the uprising so that the clan can always ensure they live in peace.

Ever since Frakaan began encouraging locally stationed knights to retire to the region, the clan has always had a wealth of military experience and manpower. When the clan’s traders set out on their long journey to the cities of the empire they are well protected by their militia, who escort them till they return after the great thaw. Groups of younger militia are backed up by the Gath’ra; older, larger Fubarnii who tower over their eastern cousins. The huge stature of these hardened warriors allows them to wield great axes and javelins and each member has served in the militia for many years.

The armour of the clan’s militia is a reddy-brown, darker than that used by many militia in the Empire. This rich colour originated in the local herbs used to treat raw animal hides to make them stiff and resistant to damage. The armour of the Gath’ra is often inlaid with metal detailing and support, reflecting their veteran status. Some commanders may even have metal armour, which turns all but the most powerful of blows.

The militia and Gath’ra are not all that protect the clan in times of need; within the lands of Clan Engu two orders of knights are ever vigilant, the Grey Order and the Knights of Naralon, though neither is restricted solely to these lands. The knights of the Grey Order are stationed along the base of the Setir Mountains, patrolling against the fearsome beasts that stray down from the peaks. Their armour is grey, reflecting their status as protectors of the light of the Empire. They often ride on long patrols, carrying all that they need should the weather turn and they be stranded in a snowstorm. The Knights of Naralon patrol the borders of the forest, protecting the populace from Devanu attacks. Their armour is the colour of lush canopy, a rich green, and the white of the Bren flowers. They not only patrol the boarders of the forest but also lead small excursions into the forests, always on the look out for Devanu and other forest predators.


Like many knightly orders both the Grey Order and the Knights of Naralon have an inner circle of veteran warriors. These normally comprise those warriors who have decided to dedicate their lives to the defence of the Empire’s citizens. Some of these great warriors have been gifted with Akarii mounts, these powerful beasts are captured on the island of Gethal. Their crushing jaws split open into four sections and are capable of crushing the skull of a Devanu Kopa. These knights are often banded together to form an elite heavy cavalry.

In the past year the patrols of the Grey Order have grown fewer in number and many within the clan believe that the order’s knights are being summoned off away. This drop in the patrols has allowed some of the beasts of the mountains to stray into Engu territory causing much destruction. Though ever supportive of the Emperor and his knights, recent events have strained the relationship.


Enemies of the Clan
Coming soon...


Myths of the Clan
The Obsession of Gethal
Once, many winters past,a Fubarnii by the name of Gethal dwelt amongst her people in a small village south of Tonueil. Since being Jenta she sat absorbed by the passing of the balloons at the seed festival. On the confirmation of her lifestage-change to Sempa she set out to make a perilous journey. In the days before the Seed Festival she searched for as many fertilised seeds as she could and gathering them together with twine made from campa vine she jumped ascended the cliffs in front of her home and, releasing the weights around her waist, she plunged over the cliffs edge. Her family panicked and rushed to the edge but were surprised to see her carried up on winds high over the water. Preying to the Enarii her clan could only watch her disappear from sight...

Some say she made it to the island west of her clan's lands and over time, the island took her name. When her descendants finally managed the crossing to Gethal, many years later, there was no sign of her and so they named the land after her and claimed the isle, naming it in her honour. Over time they formed a new clan, built on the riches earned from the mining of metal ore.

Many believed she had drowned while others, especially the young and fanciful, say she made it all the way to Enar where she dwells to this day.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 09:06:38 am by Hairy Norseman » Logged
Megatron0
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2011, 08:23:22 am »

I like the idea! conjures up wild imagery in my mind, with foamy waves and cool summers shame about those pesky Mish Angry
On a side note where/how did you get the map? All i could find was the one on the history section and its to small Cry
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2011, 08:27:16 am »

Cheers Megatron0, I will try and put up more tonight.

I got the map from here:
http://brandlin.blogspot.com/search/label/maps

HN
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2011, 05:38:19 pm »

Right, I've expanded the landscape section naming a few more key features of the area. It's basically there now, bar any alterations so I can move on. I might expand on dwellings next or maybe trade...but then I also have a myth to type up...hmm...

HN
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2011, 09:55:05 pm »

Just been flicking through Book 2 and noticed that Galm is spelt Galim, though I suppose it could be the Delogn spelling. Also noticed Posan, a town/city before Disson, so changed it above.

Mike, I also noticed on the far left of the map in Book 2 what appears to be the name of the city I've called Argor but the word is half cut off, reading instead  something-il. I'd love to know its name if that's OK.

Cheers
HN
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2011, 09:00:46 pm »

Just tweaked the landscape a bit and added some info on economics and trade. I have even added a myth about how the island of Gethal got its name. I will probably expand the military next with the militia, the Grey Order and the Knights of Naralon.

HN
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Beastlord
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2011, 11:54:57 pm »

Good stuff - i like the myth!

One query, do fish exist in the Twilight world? As a taxonomic group? I would assume there is something similar but are they actually fish? Probably only Mike knows!
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Megatron0
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2011, 12:06:13 am »

One query, do fish exist in the Twilight world? As a taxonomic group? I would assume there is something similar but are they actually fish? Probably only Mike knows!

I would imagine so. I also hope so! as the main food source of my clan is fish! Cheesy
Great stuff HN
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2011, 04:43:22 pm »

Cheers chaps!

I assume fish do though they probably aren't called fish, I will leave Mike to correct me on that one. Wink

HN
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Beastlord
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2011, 04:49:33 pm »

I'm sure there are aquatic animals of all shapes and sizes, I was just wondering if they're scaly, gilled, finned type ones or something else entirely?
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2011, 04:52:45 pm »

I was thinking of doing some sketches and taking inspiration from more pre-historic fish so they'd be less sleak. No idea if Mike has ventured anything on this yet.

HN
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2011, 05:42:47 pm »

After reading through the Anyaral Travels ramblings I noticed Galin has its own clan...whoops.

Have just edited the above so cut Galin out as Engu territory. Hopefully I will add more tonight and also start to flesh out the local Devanu.

HN
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Carcharoth
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2011, 10:50:53 am »

The are fish like creatures. I should ramble about them at some point...
The details of clans beyond the central empire are all fairly fluid at the moment, so don't worry if you get something 'wrong'.
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