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Author Topic: Clan Galin of the Black Peaks  (Read 7990 times)
Lost Egg
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« on: May 20, 2011, 01:52:13 pm »

Hi all, I'm at it again. Mike asked me to have a bash at expanding on the Galin, who live right next door to my clan the Engu, so here goes...

Clan Galin of the Black Peaks

     

The Landscape
If you travel north west of the Central Empire, beyond the city of Posan and pass through the Black Peaks, the landscape opens into a great plain of frozen tundra. This is the territory of the Galin clan. It is a harsh landscape with a climate to match, for Galin territory is nestled amongst the lower reaches of the Setir Mountains. The land itself is covered in a carpet of open grasslands, rolling from the northern boarder of the Naralon Forest in the south, to the base of the surrounding mountains. A solitary river flows down from the mountains, across the plains and on to disappear beneath the boughs of the forest; it freezes in the harsh winters and swells in the spring when the snow thaws, flooding the surrounding plains. The hills north of the grasslands lie in the shadow of the mountains and are the home of many beasts that dwell amongst the scattered Reeda forests.

Across the chain of mountains to the west lies the coast and the lands of Clan Engu, there the city of Tonueil rises up to gaze over the Western Ocean. To the east are the Black Peaks, a series of mountains so called due to the dark nature of the local rock. Here, an ancient pass leads between the peaks to the city of Posan and the warmer lands of the Central Empire. In the south of Galin territory the grassy plains give way to scrubby terrain with scattered trees before merging with the forest of Naralon. The southerly border of the clan’s territory lies a short distance within the forest and is marked by a series of carved stones, erected many generations ago. According to clan law, no Fubarnii may cross the border though little discouragement is needed, for all know the dangers of the forest's Devanu. The local Jenta dare each other to stand at the border, with their back to the forests interior, but few can stand for long.

The capital of the Galin clan is the city of Galim, an impressive sight, built into the very rock of the Black Peaks. The mountains themselves erupt suddenly from the plains of Galin, thrusting skywards as a shear, imposing face. Over many generations the Galin have been carving out their city, gradually extending upon a network of natural caverns and tunnels, working upwards to provide an unparalleled view of their lands, and beyond to the lush Naralon Forest. The rock face is studded with an untold number of balconies and dwellings, the only hint of the warren within the mountain. It is even said on a good day that from the balconies of Galim, one can see the glistening waves of the Western Ocean.

Amongst the mountains to the north there are ancient passes long since blocked or abandoned that lead to the lands of the Delgon and the city of Gan. Few Galin travel this far north, except the nomadic Yirnak herders, for this is a barren, frozen land. Neither the Galin nor the Delgon of Gan know of these long forgotten passes, they are the realm of the Dhogu, a curious Fubarnii clan of nomadic herders and raiders.


Dwellings
Much of the Galin population dwells along the border of the Naralon Forest, living in communities of foresters and farmers. The settlements are often built over the entrance to natural cave systems, their towers reaching skywards and often end in the domed roofs common to the mountain region. Unlike the Engu to the west, the Galin’s homes are taller for they do not need to keep out the persistent winds that are blocked by the mountains to the west. Dwellings are often clustered together and situated some distance from the forests edge, ever watchful for the threat of Devanu attacks. Standing out on the frozen tundra the settlements provide a welcome sight for returning traders from across the Empire.


When the Fubarnii first spread west into these lands they soon fell victim to the Devanu but those few who escaped their slavery headed for the mountains and found a large network of caverns and tunnels beneath the Black Peaks. Here they settled, slowly exploring the cave system further and further over the generations, though always cautious to avoid attracting the attentions of their former masters. Once the Devanu were over thrown, the Galin established Galim as the clan’s capital and extended their city to the surface, studding the shear cliff face with balconies and dwellings, the only clue to the city within. Even to this day the expansion continues deeper into the mountains but such work is dangerous for the caves are home to fearsome beasts taking refuge from the cold. Before the engineers can carry out their work, teams of militia patrol the tunnels, flushing out any lurking creatures with the fury of their experimental Gushraks.

Not all the Galin live along the forests borders or in the city of Galim; amongst the hills of the far north there are a small number of settlements though these are squatter than those built in the south. A number of nomadic Yirnak herders cross the tundra setting up camps of rounded tents, protected from the cold by the thick furs of their charges. Some herders have established more permanent settlements, using them as a base for trade and as hosts to seasonal festivals that help bring lightness to the hearts of the dwellers in this harsh land.

Just like the other clans of the region, the Galin are protected along their borders by the Knights of Naralon, in the south, and the Grey Order, in the north. The building style of the knights is very similar to their kin of the Central Empire but they soon learnt to adapt their designs lest their roofs keep collapsing under the weight of frozen snow in the harsh winters. The dwellings of the knights are usually set apart from those of the clan, reflecting a sometimes, uneasy relationship between these culturally different Fubarnii.


The Clan
In the far north of the Empire are the Setir Mountains, an imposing range that extends from the city of Tonueil in the west to the waters of the Eastern Ocean before plunging south to the cities of Galim and Donreh. The Fubarnii of the Empire that dwell in this region are known as the Setir Clans; the Galin are one such clan. Like many of the Fubarnii of the northwestern Empire they are a large, hardy breed that towers over their cousins of the Central Empire. This seems to be a common adaptation of the area for many local creatures have grown broader and taller to better survive the harsh winters.

In the north-west there are two Setir clans, the Engu and the Galim. The territory of the Engu is slightly warmer than that of the Galin as they receive the blessing of warm westerly winds that take the edge off the chill, though travellers to the region curse the ever-present winds. The Galin are denied these warming winds due to their territory being sheltered by the Setir Mountains and so feel the full force of this cold environment. The lands of the Galin are closer to the Central Empire and so they exert some measure of control over the trade that enters the region, especially the caravan route through the Black Pass. In past times the clan’s leaders have sought to heavily tax their Engu neighbours, which led to a bitter disagreement and was only finally resolved after the Emperor withdrew his knights from Galin territory. Since these days of mistrust and greed the relationship between these clans has improved tenfold, especially in recent generations as the leaders of both clans have sought to cement their friendship, lest they repeat the mistakes of the past.

The large, solid Fubarnii of the clan are not the only inhabitants of the region for there are also the nomadic Yirnak herders; much similar in stature to the Dhogu, it is supposed these groups share a common heritage. Unlike the raiding Dhogu, the nomadic Yirnak herders of the plains are firm supporters of the clan and can trace their existence in these lands back to before the days of the Devanu’s enslavement of their southern kin. There is no love lost between them and where a Galin patrol would be glad to just chase off Dhogu raiders, the nomads of the plains fight bitterly against their lost-kin. The wandering priests of the Delgon had originally sought to ally themselves with the nomads but are consistently chased off as allies to the hated Dhogu. The nomadic septs, sub-clans of Galin, wander a large range from the edges of Naralon Forest in the south across the plains and north to the foothills and passes amongst the mountains, though as they travel farther north they are ever watchful for raiders.

Most of the nomadic population dwell in temporary camps for it is better to live amongst their herds. The ribs of these tents are made from reeda beams and covered with pelts of Yirnak fur to keep out the cold. This simple construction allows a sept to break camp quickly and move out; once their destination is reached they are once again raised swiftly lest the group is frozen by the sudden onset of a snowstorm.

Scattered over the plains are a few permanent settlements for the nomads, established for the most part as trading posts. These settlements lack the underground networks of tunnels and caverns common with those of the Empire, for less than a hands depth below the soil the ground is frozen all year round. As a result, these settlements are clusters of buildings with walled enclosures to protect the herds at market from surprise Dhogu raids. Despite the increasingly available comforts of these permanent settlements, much of the population still dwells in camps, for the nomads desire the freedom of the open plains above all else.

The Fubarnii who dwell along the border of the forest are ever watchful for Devanu attacks. It is rare that settlements themselves are attacked and only in the bleakest of winters when the local packs grow desperate. The common targets of the Devanu are groups of foresters going about their daily work amongst the trees; they never enter the forest without militia or at least a number of armed foresters as guards. The local Fubarnii are aware of the dangers but they accept it as a risk of the forest, payment for the death they deal to the trees. In an effort to appease the spirits of each tree they cut down the foresters carve symbols of appeasement on the remaining stumps.

At the start of every autumn the settlements that border the forest hold great celebrations, they carry wooden carvings of Enarii and local spirits around the settlement. It is considered good luck to be a part of the heaving throng that carries the carvings. Once they have been carried around the settlement the carvings are born to the temples until next years celebrations.

Much like their Engu neighbours, the Galin are protected by the knights of the Grey Order, amongst the Setir Mountains, and the Knights of Naralon to the south, along the forests border. The Grey Order mainly patrols the northern foothills to drive predators away from the scattered settlements and nomadic septs. In times past they aided the clearing of the tunnels and caverns of Galim but recently their numbers and patrols seem to have dwindled. The Knights of Naralon regularly patrol the forest, following up any sightings by the local foresters who grudgingly appreciate their presence. Relations between the local Fubarnii and the knights have been strained for many generations but slowly they are bridging the gap.


History of the Clan
In times past, before their enslavement by the Devanu, the Fubarnii of this region lived in two main groups, the Yirnak herders, on the plains and up into the Setir Mountains, and those along the forests borders. The nomads of the plains comprised a few septs, or extended family groups, and crossed a large range, right up into the mountain passes and beyond, to what is now Delgon lands. Those living near the Naralon Forest also dwelt in septs, united by trade and marriage.

When the Devanu rose up to enslave the Fubarnii, such events were unprecedented and the local septs were slow to react, this would prove to be a mistake. In a single generation the Devanu of the forest struck out to claim settlement after settlement; unprepared for such attacks they fell easily. With each new settlement claimed, the Devanu grew bolder; their slaves forced to create better arms and armour for their new masters. Some Fubarnii managed to escape and they brought news of the Devanu slavers to the Yirnak nomads who quickly broke camp and took their herds north, though some were soon rounded up and brought back south or slain outright.

Suffering under their new masters, the local Fubarnii were forced to build increasingly greater towers as the Devanu Kopa competed with each other. Forced into labour camps the Fubarnii became a broken race; the old settlements were looted and burnt, to the jeers of their new masters. They suffered greatly yet some never gave up hope and escaped to the mountains, though many were hunted down and brutally torn apart by Grishak or Eru Kosoks. The few that did make it to the mountains discovered a large network of natural tunnels and caverns; settling in these secluded caves. Though hidden from the eyes of the Devanu, they were far from free of danger for the caves were homes to fearsome beasts of the cold mountains, such as the terrible Ga’nuk; a rounded biped with stubby, quilled fore limbs and a crushing bite from their large beak. These dangers helped to harden the Fubarnii who quickly built weapons and fortified their caverns, steeling them against what was to come.

With the settlement of the Black Peaks expanding, as the Fubarnii established themselves, more slaves fled north. Hearing of the rebellion to the east they decided that the time was right and, united with the nomads of the north, they struck. Co-ordinating attacks with slave uprisings, now it was the turn of the Devanu to find themselves unprepared. The towers fell one after the other and the broken Devanu fled back into the forest; here they squabbled bitterly to establish dominance amongst each other and the feral packs, with many deaths on all sides. The Fubarnii of the region consolidated their victory by pulling down the Devanu towers and building new settlements, much more resilient than those of their ancestors. The settlement of the Black Peaks was extended and established as the region's capital of Galim. Galin the merciless, the leader of the rebellion, was honoured when the local Fubarnii took his name for their clan, modelled after the clan systems to the east. Now with freedom gained, the Galin looked to their neighbours to the west, the Engu. Having suffered one great defeat already the Engu were reluctant to risk more bloodshed…until the Galin militia arrived with many arms and armour. Together they struck a devastating blow to the Devanu, using the new eastern explosives to destroy the largest tower of the region; they swiftly dealt with those Devanu who didn’t flee to the forest. Finally, with a loss of many Fubarnii, the Setir clans were free.

Renewed, and with great excitement the Galin took their place in the Empire. Trade routes, once hardly used became flows of activity as new goods and riches flooded both into the Central Empire and out to the Setir clans. The pass through the Black Peaks quickly became a hub of activity and it was not long before plans were made for it to be expanded and guard towers erected to watch out for wandering beasts of the mountains. To pay for such grand schemes the Galin began to tax the caravans passing through and at first the traders were willing to part with some coin to pay for secure passage; slowly the Clan’s leaders grew fat on the high taxes they extorted from the merchants. As the peaks became regularly swept clear of beasts by the newly formed Grey Order the traders began to mumble and complain about the rising taxes for the Black Pass. This finally erupted when the Galin closed the pass to all who would not pay, effectively cutting off the region from the Central Empire; conflict was inevitable. The Galin and the Engu, once united against the Devanu, now took up arms against each other. The Emperor was eager to prevent open warfare between these powerful clans and so recalled all knights from the west.

Sensing the time was right, the Devanu of the forest poured from the trees to raid the Galin lands, for they had grown strong since the devastation of the rebellion. Suffering heavy loses the Galin tried at first to hold back the tide but with their pride bruised they called out to the Engu for aid. Recognising the chance to settle disputes and bargain for a new position of equality, Gehrill the Wise, leader of the Engu, sent his forces to the Galin lands. United once again they cut down the Devanu, dispatching the great Kopa, known only as White Claw and sent them fleeing once again to the forest. With a new trade treaty, signed by both clans and ratified by the Emperor's ambassador to the region, the knights returned once more, though the Galin have never fully accepted them. Ever since, the two clans of Galin and Engu have stood shoulder to shoulder always turning to each other for aid, before the clans of the Central Empire.

In recent years a new threat has been on the rise in the lands of the Galin, Dhogu raiders. Though an ever-present nuisance for many generations the raids have grown increasingly common. Even some trade caravans near the Black Pass have been raided as the Dhogu grow more and more confident. Unable to ride against them, because of their oath, the Grey Order have been left impotent and many in the clan question their usefulness. So far, the settlements along the forests border have been free of attacks due to their distance from the mountains but with regular attacks on the Yirnak nomads, it is only a matter of time before they spread further south.


Part 2 in Post 2
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 10:06:34 am by Hairy Norseman » Logged
Lost Egg
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2011, 01:53:00 pm »

Clan Galin Part 2

Economics & Trade
The main export of the Galin clan is timber from the Naralon Forest and most of the settlements along its border have multiple teams cutting down trees. The Reedu is a smaller, faster growing variety of the Reeda tree; straight of trunk and with spiky needle likes leaves, they thrive in this cold environment. Other, slower growing species of trees are also felled but these fetch a higher price as the more mature a tree the denser and stronger the timber. Once felled, a trunk is stripped of branches and dragged off to the sawmills by Belan; smaller trunks and larger branches are lashed together before being tied to a Baruk.

Another common export from Galin lands is the dark rock of the Black Peaks, quarried from the many mines along the base of the mountains. Rock is also quarried from beneath the city of Galim, allowing the engineers to extend the caverns and the city fathers to make a profit at the same time. The stone is usually cut down into more manageable slabs, which are then loaded onto Belan and taken out in the great trader caravans that pass out into the empire over winter. When the snows thaw in spring, the traders return and each family celebrates the return of their loved ones, or commiserates the loss of those unlucky enough to succumb to the perils of the road.

There are many smaller trades that provide everything needed by the Galin, from the cavern fungi farmers of Galim to the Brewers of Yirnak milk. Much of this produce is common across the empire or at least readily accessible, the exception being a potent local brew of fermented Yirnak milk. A cornerstone of trade, for it is considered vital to discuss all negotiations to have a small dish of Shel’uk to hand; it is an acquired taste and not often shared by visitors to the region. Traders coming to Galin lands know better than to turn down an offer of Shel’uk, for it is considered a grave dishonour and met with stern gazes of disapproval.

Trader caravans do not only leave Galin lands but also travel from Tonueil and the Central Empire. Many of these traders pass through in the warmer summers though they are always wrapped up against the ever-present chill and more than one Galin Fubarnii has sold off old, winter-thinned furs for a fair coin.

The lands of the Galin provide much of what they need; the most common import is metal ore from the mines of Gethal. Since their conflict with their western neighbours, and the resulting treaty, the Engu provide a weight of this rare ore each year and in return are allowed free passage for their traders through the Black Pass. This agreement does not extend to those traders of other clans and they are taxed for the protection offered by the Galin through the pass.

Being closer to the Central Empire than the other clans of the northwest, the Galin have access to many luxury goods that rarely pass far into the mountains. The richest Fubarnii of the clan clothe themselves in the finest fabrics of the empire, in a great range of colours and patterns. Such lavishness is unusual as being a practical people, though not as austere as the Engu, the Galin live a simple life rarely indulging in the excesses of their eastern kin.



Military Organisation
Amongst the militia of the Galin there are two main types of soldiers; the militia and the Geth’ra. The ordinary militia is armed in much the same way as all militias across the empire, rigid hide armour with spears, though many wear furs as both added protection and to keep out the cold. A local mountain flower, the wo’ad, provides the armours distinctive white-blue colouring, which has been used in the settlement of Galim since before the rebellion. The Geth’ra are larger, broader Fubarnii and often old veterans, who wield heavy spears or great axes. Instead of armour they wear thick furs jackets and trews, which combined with their natural toughness, provides all the protection they need.

The Yirnak herders of the plains and northern foothills do not have a standing militia, instead all members of a sept are required to defend it. This philosophy has been around for many generations and stands them in good stead against the Dhogu raids from the north. Shunning much armour, they rely on their furs for protection and often wield spears and staff slings, riding their powerful Yirnak into battle. These beasts have a strong pair of horns that are usually used to help clear patches of snow-covered ground for feeding but can gut an enemy with ease. In times of need, some septs will send warriors south to aid the clan against a particularly aggressive Devanu pack but only in return for suitable compensation.

In the southern reaches of the Galin lands is the forest of Naralon, home to many packs of Devanu and other dangers. Since the rebellion against their former masters, this area has been patrolled by the Knights of Naralon, an order established to protect the Fubarnii living near the tree line and to keep the Devanu in check. Regular patrols remind any brave or stupid Devanu that there are always lances to meet them should they pass beyond the forests borders. Despite their efforts some Devanu do mount successful raids but for the most part it is the foresters who work among the trees that are in the most danger. The lush undergrowth allows the hunters to strike swiftly before disappearing back from whence they came; such tactics have earnt the Devanu an almost ghostly reputation in the area.

Just as the Knights of Naralon guard against the dangers of the forest, the Grey Order guard against the dangers of the mountains. The Black Peaks rise suddenly from the plains so there is little to guard against except in the pass through to Posan and the expansions of Galim into the mountains caves. In the north and to the west the foothills and mountains hold many dangers, kept in check by the Grey Orders patrols. Lately, the number of attacks in these regions has risen and rumours say that the patrols are less frequent. This lack of a visual deterrent has allowed for an increase in Dhogu raids, much to the annoyance of the plains nomads who have a bitter enmity with their kin to the north.



Enemies of the Clan
Coming soon(ish)...


Myths of the Clan
Coming soon(ish)...
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 04:00:41 pm by Hairy Norseman » Logged
Megatron0
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 07:28:15 pm »

It will probably be explained in your writing but I want to know the relationship between Galin and Engu Cheesy
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 10:17:44 pm »

No fear, Mike gave me some hints and I have a couple of ideas.

HN
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Megatron0
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2011, 10:40:34 pm »

Awesome! Im looking forward to it!
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2011, 06:14:35 pm »

Just added a bit about the landscape. Will probably add some more tomorrow, maybe to the dwellings section as its going to be similar to the Engu style.

HN
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2011, 06:14:28 pm »

Just added the Dwellings section. Hopefully I can move on to the clan relationships next though it might get a bit side lined as some Devanu are calling out to be bashed together...

HN
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 06:25:54 pm by Hairy Norseman » Logged
Lost Egg
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2011, 11:27:03 am »

Just added the first half of the clan section. Mike I have taken a bit of a liberty with the nomadic elements of the Galin clan, putting them as closer to Dhogu than the larger Fubarnii of the clan. I thought this would add a bit of ambiguity and complexity to the region. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

I will add more later but now I'm off to make pizza and garlic bread  Tongue

HN
« Last Edit: May 28, 2011, 11:32:07 am by Hairy Norseman » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2011, 02:53:22 pm »

Sorry for not actually replying earlier, but I have been reading, and I like how this is coming along. I've been doodling a couple of Eragu fubarnii who could be of the Engu or Galin clans and should share them at some point.

I'll have to think on the Yirnak herders. I always approve of some ambiguity and complexity...
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2011, 05:49:53 pm »

Cheers Mike.

No probs. Just spotted the new ramblings, I will have a butchers and tweak as needed.

HN
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2011, 05:56:26 pm »

The ramblings should fit in with what you've been doing, so you shouldn't have to tweak much.
Check your email as well - I've sent some additional stuff through.
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2011, 06:48:03 pm »

Just seen it thanks, good stuff. I might add in a line for both clans to make sure I've got the Setirii and Eragu mentioned.

HN
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2011, 12:07:20 pm »

Just finished off the clan section (new bits in green) bar any corrections.

HN
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2011, 10:41:28 am »

Just added the "History of the Clan Section" which is in blue. Megatron I've added a fair bit on the relations between the Engu & the Galin, hope you like.

As always any comments are greatly appreciated and let me know if I need to tweak it Mike.

Cheers.

HN
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« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2011, 12:01:18 pm »

Interesting stuff! I'll have to think about the 'ancient history', but the rest of it fits well  Smiley
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