THE TER'EI'VIKH MEN ("VIKH, "BUG-PEOPLE")

APPEARANCE - COAT OF ARMS - TERRITORY - PEOPLE - BELIEFS - HOUSING - CLOTHING
DIET - WEAPONS - OCCUPATIONS - GOVERNMENT - PRODUCTION/TRADE
 
NATURAL RESOURCES -
FESTIVALS  - LANGUAGE - HISTORY

The Ter'ei'Vikh, often shortened to "Vikh (note the for Tharian speakers rather unusual single quotation mark), are a reclusive tribe of humans, making their home exclusively in the Drifting Woods of northwestern Nybelmar. They are considered to be quite difficult to deal with and rarely allow outsiders into their ancestral woods, their hunters patrolling its borders to ensure no-one strays in. They are often called "Bug-People" by their neighbors, the Morcini, for their build, which is remarkably sinewy and agile. Ter'ei'Vikh are a very devout people, dedicating their lives to the sacred woods they dwell in, worshipping their Moon Spirit, Vikthi, in many ways throughout their lives. As a result they live simple lives, and are considered by the Morchini to be barbarians.

The Ter'ei'Vik Men

View picture in full size  Picture description. A typical Ter'ei'Vikh hunter, poised to use his matan on an unsuspecting prey. Image by Quellion.

Appearance. Amazingly, and in deep contrast to their dark, almost adlemirene brown skin, nearly all Ter'ei'Vikh have white hair from birth. As a "Vikh nears maturity, a dark mark appears in his hair. This is named the "Mark of Vikthi", and has various strong similarities with the Krean mark known as the Eye of Aniss. An interesting fact is that the Mark was never found on their ancestors, the Vikhari, but came into existence after the tribe merged with the Krean refugees to form the Ter'ei'Vikh. At old age, the white of the Ter'ei'Vikh hair seems to "wear down", and acquires a silver sheen. "Vikh hair is usually straight or slightly wavy, whereas curly hair is rare and highly appreciated.

Eye colour is, however, much more variable than hair colour. With hues ranging from deep green to dark brown and grayish, only truly blue eyes are unheard of in the Drifting Woods. Most individuals have various specks of a second colour in one or both eyes, and in some cases the secondary colour is different for each eye.

Their nickname "Bug-People" is explained when you look at the physical features of the average Ter'ei'Vikh. With next to no fat reserves under their skin, they look extremely wiry and thin. Their relatively long arms and legs, compared to their torso, further stress the bony impression. The joints of their shoulders, elbows, knees and hips are much more flexible than that of other tribes, giving their movement a strange, flowing motion which adds to the impression of a tense, yet relaxed awareness of their surroundings. Their face is elongated, with a prominent chin and cheekbones and a high forehead. Unlike most other tribes in the area both males and females of this tribe are quite slender in build. As a result, a cloaked "Vikh's gender is not revealed by broad shoulders, or a certain pose, which might have added to the aura of mystery that has surrounded these people for a long time, as quick sightings by someone unfamiliar with the "Vikh might give him or her the impression there is just one of them, on various places at the same time, or that they are a shady kind of evil entity that stalks the woods. (For more information on Morchini folklore connected to the Ter'ei'Vikh appearance, consult the book "The Hour of the Tree, and Other Tales of the Night", a collection of local ghost stories and legends.)
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Coat of Arms/Sign. The Mark of Vikthi, visible in the hair of every adult Ter'ei'Vikh, is one of the defining signs of the Ter'ei'Vikh. It resembles the moon, resting upon a small wave as it rises from the ocean. However, this resemblance might actually be coincidental, as the Mark appears to be identical to the Eye of Aniss. This latter symbol is worn by the most senior Lillivear, and is considered to be of great importance amongst them. The Drifting Woods, which the Ter'ei'Vikh inhabit, therefore has a crest resembling a stylised tree, with the Mark embraced in its twisting branches.
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Territory. The Ter'ei'Vikh live and thrive in the Drifting Woods in northwestern Nybelmar, known to them as Sar'Estvokar (the "True Land"). They are most successful in dealing with the often odd or downright dangerous area, into which they rarely allow outsiders passage. They have 'tamed' large portions of the canopy by constructing an extensive web of rope bridges and small platforms, allowing for fairly safe and fast travel between the most important settlements. They are most reluctant to leave the woods, and never venture beyond the outmost trees. They loathe the idea of leaving their forest for any length of time, and as such a "Vikh outside of the Drifting Woods is a rare sight indeed. If one does meet such an individual, it can safely be assumed that he or she is a "Tehuriden", an outcast group that in more recent times has taken up the position of emissaries, translators, and diplomats.
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People. The most important fact one needs to know about the Ter'ei'Vikh is that their faith surpasses everything. As they consider their very exsistence to be tied to the machinations of the spirits as their legends claim, they see it as their life's goal to serve these beings in whatever way required. As a result, they try to minimise their effect on the wild nature of the Drifting Woods, and live simple lives. They have chosen not to follow the example of the surrounding tribes and their highly 'developed' cultures, claiming the "Earth children", as they call other humans, to have lost their connection to the truths of the spirit world.

The Ter'ei'Vikh use a strange, yet very effective type of magic called the "Spirit Song". Empowered by their faith, they can raise their voices in song, chanting in a wordless language that display magical powers over both living and dead beings and materials. While one voice will cause no more than the mildest of effects, the spell-songs power can be enhanced tremendously as more "Vikh join in on the chorus. By some strange, semi-trance like state all singers will know the song, even though no two songs are the same. There seems to be no limit to the amount of voices that can be added to the choir, although usually a dozen or so is enough for most applications. Common applications in this respect include the arts of healing, as well as construction of houses and various objects by altering the natural shapes of the flora of the Drifting Woods.

The Ter'ei'Vikh claim that the very essence, or spirit of anything that is or has been alive, can be compared to a song. By tuning in on these songs, they can alter it in any way they desire as the natural melody of the subject of their song will keep on harmonising with that of the "Vikh singers. They rank the size of a group of singers in quantities of five. One singer is a Voice, five are a Harmony, twenty-five is a Chorus, and a group of one-hundred and twenty-five singers is called a Choir. There is nothing in their day-to-day life that requires more than a Choir to be done, but war-stories dating from the great war between the ancestral Vikhari and the Morchini of the plains speak of even greater units that were used to defend the last strongholds of the tribe during these dark times.

Another story, in this case most likely no more than a myth speaks of the cold that followed the Breaking (a period better known as the Year of Darkness in Santharia), and claims that at one time, every Vikhari soul joined into the greatest song ever created, to raise the sphere that would contain the surviving Vikhari until the sun returned. More information on this specific story can be found in the Mossmound entry. Noteworthy is the fact that the Tehuriden outcasts for unknown reasons are not able to join in on these songs, although they can use the Spirit Song as solo voices.

The Ter'ei'Vikh are known for their excellent woodcrafting skills. While their magic ensured a craftsman of having just the pieces he needs, the lack of stone or metals in their territory has forced the "Vikh to hone their artistic skills to near-perfection. They favour the most durable materials such as te'an, marsh-oak and waterfruit for their creations, as the humid atmosphere in the Drifting Woods tends to accelerate the decay of "lesser" kinds of wood. The products of the woodcrafters can be found everywhere in Ter'ei'Vikh life, from artistic decorations in their homes, to the most basic of tools and weaponry. After the opening of the Gates of M'aghin, and the start of their trading relations with the Faen merchants, the availability of new tools has only improved their work, while their products were greatly appreciated by the merchants, making exclusive Ter'ei'Vikh tableware and decorative weaponry an import product among the most wealthy of people all along the Faen area of operations. Their rarity however, makes them both very expensive as highly sought after as owning some of these pieces is one of the best ways to show off your wealth for many of the non-Ter'ei'Vikh customers of the Faen.

Sometimes, children with darker hair are born, possibly the result of the old Krean (Lillivear) bloodlines showing. Although these usually fade to white during their first years, some children remain dark-haired and do not receive the Mark at maturity, their skin tone slowly shifting to a complexion much lighter than that of their family. An interesting fact is that only one in five of these children is female. As a result of their physical differences, these individuals are considered not "pure" enough to be allowed permanent residence in the sacred Drifting Woods, and are cast out from the ''Vikh society, forced to either live a harsh and poor life sustaining themselves from what they can find in the jungle, or to leave the woods and risk entering the Earthlands beyond. All research seems to lead to the conclusion these ''Vikh can be considered to be fully Krean in most aspects, although it is unknown if any of their offspring may be Ter'ei'Vikh after all. They all bear the Tehuriden family name, which means "Outcast" or "Not-Person" in archaic Ter'maes.

In more recent times, the Tehuriden have begun to function as diplomats, envoys, and interpreters for the Faen merchants that visit the Gates of M'aghin. As a result, a small settlement of about twenty to thirty Tehuriden has formed on the shores of the Metherinin, on the edge of the woods with only a handful of "wanderers" holding on to their vagabond's life in the jungle.
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Belief and Worldview. The Ter'ei'Vikh see the world as a complex system of cycles, constantly moving, but aways returning to its starting point in the end. This might be heavily influenced by the fact that their main deity is the Moon Spirit Vikthi, who is held responsible for the cycle of death and rebirth the "Vikh have observed in their woods, where each death leads to new life. This belief in the cyclic nature of the world is illustrated for instance, by the tides, and the waxing and waning of the moon itself. The Ter'ei'Vikh have a complex system of spirits that represent most objects in the physical world, and have based their own kind of magic on this idea. More information on these Spirits can be found in the entry on Ter'ei'Vikh Mythology.

The "Vikh see the Spirits of the Earth as hostile beings, an idea reinforced by the age-old sense of hostility between their neighbours, the Morchini tribe, that lives on the Kaerathi plains, and the fact that solid ground is a rare commodity in the Drifting Woods. Most of their daily lives and opinions are based on the underlying currents of the Spirit world, where the neverending 'political' interactions between the spirits cause allies and enemies to be found everywhere. As such, they see it as their most sacred duty to protect the Drifting Woods against any intruder or invading force, and have in the past fought to the bitter end to fulfill their duty during the war against the invading Morchini.
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Housing. Generally speaking, each and every dwelling, storage shack, or construction in the Drifting Woods is located above ground level. Mainly due to the lack of solid ground in the first place, this habit does not only provide the Ter’ei’Vikh with many times more room for building than ground-bound houses would, but also protects them against many of the dangers that roam the forest floor and water surfaces. There are only two exceptions to this practice.

The first of these are the well-known Gates of M’aghin, a giant structure that blocks the only natural path into the Drifting Woods, the Metherinin River, a few hundred peds after it enters the woods. Not so much a real gate as a floating dam, this is the site of nearly all interaction between Ter’ei’Vikh and outsider traders. Apart from the main wall of the Gates there are piers to moor the flatbottoms used for trading with the forest people available, and a large shelter for the tradesmen and their staff, all on the sandy riverbanks.

The second exception to the rule are the Tehuriden dwellings close by, at the point where the river enters the woods. Without the large trees to support their structures, or the magical abilities of the true Ter'ei'Vikh, the outcasts have made fairly normal looking homes on the ground instead, not that different from for instance Sarvonian hunting cabins, where they are easily accessible for those who want to avail themselves of their services.

The Ter’ei’Vikh homes are generally built in between the strongest branches of the giant tropical trees that are common in the deeper reaches of the jungles, such as marsh-oaks and te’an trees. They are often partially alive, with both living vines and trees as more standard boards and beams fused together magically, usually combining a home and a garden in one single structure. Architecture appears to be an unknown form of art in the Drifting Woods. Homes are usually more or less spherical, with more bulbous "growths" added as a family grows, and additional room is required. The ancestral home of an old family of "Vikh can look like a Brownie experiment in life-magic gone terribly wrong, with strange growths, small terraces and ponds dotting the exterior, and often various plants growing in places they should not be able to grow at all.
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Clothing. The typical clothing of the Ter'ei'Vikh can be summarised quite effectively with the term "natural". With either raw plant fibers, or animal skins used as the primary materials, and dyes, although widely available, used only sparsely, the typical "Vikh is clad in rough-textured, crude looking clothes. This image is deceitful though, for the fabrics used are, in general, incredibly durable and effective. Favoured materials are those magically woven from living plants, such as grasses or certain vines, with the actual choice of source depending on the kind of clothing desired. Grasses for instance, are used for light, breathing fabrics, that easily absorb dyes and can be decorated without much trouble, while the strangling vine, a notorious tool of the Ter'ei'Vikh yields a much tougher, yet quite flexible material used for clothes that need to resist a great deal of wear. Skilled weaver-mages can even combine several types, to make the right kind of fabric for any occasion, and will even weave in patterns and symbols by carefully controlling the weave in progress. It goes without saying that these craftsmen dominate the field. Or, more precisely, craftswomen are prevalent, as is the case with many artistic occupations among the Ter'ei'Vikh.

Animal skins of various types are more commonly used during the storm season, often with the fur left intact partially to provide additional comfort on those occasions a wandering "Vikh must endure a storm in the cold upper canopy. Fish and reptilian hides are also used, often for decorative means, with the scales still attached, but in some cases, like the hide of the phaerth lizards, whose tough leather can be made into valuable protective wear like aprons and gloves, although it is hard to come by.

Although the precise styles may differ from place to place, the Ter'ei'Vikh clothing habits seems to prefer functionality and simplicity above all, with a tunic-like piece being the most commonly known shape, no matter the material. It is most often a simple, sleeveless long shirt, with a leather, or woven-vine sash around the waist, often supporting various pouches, bundles, and tools. A simple loincloth is usually worn underneath all further garments. Another common form of clothing, again radiating simplicity, despite the fact it has probably been perfected for thousands of years, is the "Turei", a single piece of cloth a little over a fore wide, wrapped three times around the waist and secured by the ubiquitous sash. It is worn by men and women alike despite the ridicule of Outsiders at the Gates of M'aghin, who have taken on the habit of speaking of the men wearing a turei as 'she' and 'her', probably due to the skirt-like appearance. For women, the turei is accompanied by a similar, yet smaller wrapping around the chest, although many younger woman prefer to forgo on it, and remain bare-chested like their male counterparts. The "Vikh rarely use any kind of leg- or feetwear, claiming that they can walk along the canopy branches better when unhindered by such items.

No matter what their preferences in clothing, most Ter'ei'Vikh wear a hooded cloak at all times that keeps them dry in the dense mists that often fill their woods. There are dozens of different materials and colours in use, and many "Vikh own several different of these cloaks for different occasions. Over the last few years, original Ter'ei'Vikh cloaks, especially the more colourful ones, have become increasingly popular amongst young women of wealth all along the Northern Bay coastline.
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Diet. The Ter'ei'Vikh are excellent hunters and gatherers, and live from what the woods provide easily. Their diet is mainly composed of all sorts of fish and birds, two of the most common types of animals available to them, but they also make use of the large amount of shellfish crowding the riverbanks and even eat various kinds of insects. Other creatures regularly hunted for their meat are the giant and starwell phaert, the michiloy, a small herbivorous relative of the oloy, and during the summer season the large eiqui'ris bats the "Vikh call "Dusk Dancers". They breed chorakee, both for the eggs as their flesh, in urn-shaped holding pens, usually a few trees away from their homes as not to lead the dangerous challachoy too close.

They favour all kinds of filled pastry, of which they produce an amazing variety, from tiny pouches of marsh-oak dough filled with strong flavoured spices and fruits, to large pies with chorakee or fish. As each cook and family has their own small variations on the recipes the number of different meals one could possibly enjoy in the Drifting Woods is immeasurable.
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Weapons. The Ter'ei'Vikh prefer ranged weaponry above all else. As nearly all of their weapons are modified hunting tools, and with no metal or stone to work with, many of their weapons are non-lethal in nature although their knowledge of the jungle's venoms and poisons can make even the most innocent looking object a possible death sentence. Their arsenal consists of a wide variety of bows, blowpipes, weighted nets, throwing spears, slingshots and matans, a set of heavy wooden spheres connected by strong cords that tangle around the target, immobilising it if used properly.

A very peculiar weapon is the so-called "Vine Jar", which consists of a container with a strangling vine seedling, and a pouch of a rare fungus that grows underneath the Drifting Woods. When the two are combined, the vine will start growing at an amazing speed, and entangle everything nearby. These Vine Jars are used as a defensive weapon, as well as a charge for various traps. Particulary effective against humans due to the frightening effect, this weapon was one of the reasons the Morchini never launched a serious assault against the Ter'ei'Vikh after the great war in ca. 1800 b. S.
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Occupations. Contrary to what might be expected of a highly religious people, there are no priests or the like among the Ter'ei'Vikh. Instead, occupations focus on the production of all manners of food from the jungle, and the creation of other wares from the materials the hunters, fishers, and gatherers may find. Although craftsmen such as wood- or boneworkers and weavers are common, traders are rare, and consist of those very few that give up their homes to trek through the Drifting Woods in a semi-repetitive pattern. Of course, the lack of currency limits the amount of wares they can carry significantly. Another kind of traders can be found in more permanent locations near the Gates of M'aghin, where some "Vikh have specialised in trading with the Faen and Morchini outsiders, through the intermediation of the Tehuriden translators.
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Government. Guided by their respect for the Spirit World rather than laws, most Ter'ei'Vikh live their lives without encountering much in the form of governmental influence. In most of their settlements the residents are autonomous in their dealings, with the exception of the capital, Mūn'ti, and the Gates of M'aghin. For official matters that effect the Ter'ei'Vikh as a whole, there is a Council of Elders, located in the center of Mūn'ti, where the Elders may gather to discuss whatever may be of relevance. However, the title of "Elder" may be given to individuals of any age, and merely represent someone who is considered (one of) the best in his or her trade, or someone who has above average knowledge of certain subjects. For the last few decades, an unofficial Tehuriden Elder has also been known to take part in the Council meetings when required, possibly because they are best informed when it comes to matters pertaining the Earthlands. New Elders are usually chosen by the council itself, or may apply at any Elder themselves, although the latter rarely occurs.
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Production/Trade. Among the Ter'ei'Vikh, no currency has ever been developed, and trade, as a result is limited to the actual exchange of items. This poses several problems for those merchants from outside the Drifting Woods that do business with the "Vikh. This problem is even greater as the mere inconvenience of having to work outside the common idea of coins, as it means hauling large amounts of items across the plains to ensure being able to trade, a problem even greater for the Faen merchants, who do not only outnumber the few Morchini traders willing to make business with the "Spider-People" ten to one, but have to travel through dangerous and carefully hidden mountain paths through the Germon Doilth in order to reach the Gates of M'aghin. Trades of this kind often involve exotic spices, hides, and the exquisite handywork of the Ter'ei'Vikh woodcrafters on the "Vikh's side, and metal tools, cooking gear, and various other products of the civilised plains on the side of the Faen and Morchini.

Although not all is known for sure on the matter, the Ter'ei'Vikh claim to have another trading partner, in the form of the Soéliveche, or "Deep Mer", a kind of merfolk that roams beneath the woods. In various locations throughout the area, usually in a starwell (a large sinkhole connecting the water surface to the deeps below the forest inhabited by a multitude of glowing animals and plants) not occupied by large phaert, the mer and "Vikh will meet at moonrise to offer whatever it might be that they wish to trade. Both sides have benefited greatly throughout history from this arrangement, not in the least due to one of the more important clauses of the Root Pact made between the two tribes. This states that at all nights, at least one group of five Ter'ei'Vikh songmages, known as a Harmony, will be available at the starwell beneath Mūn'ti, and a few other locations, to offer healing to any mer who needs it. In return, the mer bring the "Vikh one of the more important products of the Drifting Woods; a special mold which - when added to the local soil - causes explosive growth in many kinds of plants. It is invaluable in Ter'ei'Vikh magical construction, and only the Deep Mer can reach the underwater cavities where it grows.
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Natural Resources. The Drifting Woods are blessed with an abundance of natural resources. Filled with wood of all sorts, from the common marsh-oak to the beautiful waterfruit and the rare pillar tree, wood is available in large amounts for many purposes such as the construction of houses, furniture, and various tools and trinkets. There is a multitude of fruits, herbs, and spices to be harvested, and combined with an nigh-endless amount of fish and many useful or edible creatures, maintaining a food supply is rarely, if ever a problem.

Mineral resources however, are frighteningly scarce. With ore and coal deposits non-existent, and virtually no source of stone, the Ter'ei'Vikh are always prepared to exchange exotic spices, feathers, and products from their woodcraftsmen for items like steel knives, tin plates, and metal or stone basins that can hold a fire without burning down the tree. Although the merfolk have access to the rocks and pebbles found on the seabed, quality materials are rare and as a result there is no industry of this kind available in the area.
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Holidays, Festivals and Observances. Not surprising, the Ter'ei'Vikh have a great number of days that are considered to be of religious importance. Customs and habits involved in the celebration of these days range from simple habits such as setting a lantern outside your door on a new moon night, to great gatherings such as the First Moon night, which usually occurs somewhere during the first half of Melting Ice, when they celebrate the anniversary of the first moonlit night.

Other important dates include the Walking of the Path, on the fifth day of the seventh moon, when runners travel from each community to its nearest neighbour, bringing a symbolic copy of the Prophecies of the Path. Once they arrive, they are the guests of honour in that night's communal meal. Being chosen as a runner is a great honour, and proof of your skills, and as such young "Vikh always try to outperform their friends in every possible way, in the hopes of being chosen.

Not religious in nature, but of great importance nonetheless, is the ten-day long festival of the Great Market, held every other year in Mūn'ti. Not only is it the greatest gathering of traders in the Drifting Woods, but many craftsmen travel to the capital for this occasion, selling their wares and participating in the contests held during this period. Many Ter'ei'Vikh of other professions come to shop, partake in tests of skill and wisdom, and meet new and old friends.
A last date worth mentioning is the night the wild chorakee mate. Although the exact day differs slightly each time the "Vikh know the signs that indicate the birds are ready to perform their "Dance to the Moon". Many superstitions surround this night, most of which pertain to good fortune for those who declare their love during the dance and the like, making it a popular night among both the older, settled couples, as adolescent singles.
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Language. Some of the most used terms in Ter'maes, the Ter'ei'Vikh language, are collected below for reference (in alphabetical order):

Avra Animal, of any kind
-arķ(ąh) Possesive ending. (ah) is added when the object is owned by multiple individuals.
Eire To belong. See also; -arķ
Estvokari The one-and-only, highest, best of it's kind
Evo Male
Evoma Man of high status
Hudri Mark, especially the Mark of Vikthi
Inheran to seek
Imri Plant, of any kind (weeds, trees, algae, etc.)
Isena Woman of high status
Isi Female
Kai Earth
Lima Master, leader
Limeri To control or lead
Maes Voice (Ter'maes: Voice of the People, the native language of the "Vikh)
Mah Self (always to be used with thierin: Thier'mah translates literary to "person-me")
 
Mair Any body of water, such as a pond, sea, etc.
Masįr Inside
Nair Any kind of stream, river, or canal
Saren Place, usually used for abstract ideas of location, such as sections of the forest or nations
Siver Spirit, used in conjunction with other terms as -Siv'-
Tehuriden Outcast, Un-Marked person
Tuvelaģs Home, burrow, nest, hiding place etc.
Turei A sarung, worn by both men and women.
Thierin People. In composed words used as -Ter'- when indicating groups, and -Thier'- when used to indicate an individual
"Vikh  further conjunction of the term "Thierin eire Vikthi", the full version of "Ter'ei'Vikh" Return to the top

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THE ERA OF WAR AKA THE AGE OF BELLIGERENT III KRATH
(YEARS 3.170 B.S. - 2.970 B.S.)
ca. 3000 b.S. Vikhari enter the Drifting Woods
The first Vikhari enter the woods. Although it is uncertain from where they have come, it is thought they are a fraction of an ancient tribe that fled the east after Menemron's downfall. Over time, they learn how to survive without outside help.

THE CURRENT AGE
(YEARS 2.970 B.S. - 1.667 A.S.)
2500 b.S. The Sealing Off of the Drifting Woods
The Vikhari seal the woods off from the outsiders and hide. During this period, the Deep Mer either enter the woods, or choose to reveal their presence. The two groups will balance on the verge of open warfare most of the time.
  

ca. 1800 b.S. Assault on the Drifting Woods
Driven into a frenzy by a semi-religious myth declaring the Vikhari as profane creatures, the Morchini clans of the Kaerathi plains assault their territory. The Vikhari defend themselves bravely, but their lack of numbers is not outweighed by their knowledge of the woods. Slowly, they are whittled down as the Morchini forces are able to occupy parts of the Drifting Woods. The tide is turned when the Deep Mer begin to interfere, and offer the Pact of the Root to the Vikhari. Merfolk assassins and Vikhari hunters, both sides strenghtened by materials provided by the other tribe, quickly begin to sow panic amongst the invaders. Within a few years the original borders are restored.
  

1649 b.S. The Year of Vikthi
The Year of Vikthi, during which the Moon is the main source of light in the sky, has devastating results on the Drifting Woods. The Vikhari abandon their outposts and concentrate all their people in a temporary settlement around the Three, at that time the three largest Moss Mounds in the area. While the Vikhari are nonetheless decimated, under the now ice-covered surface the Merfolk lose at least half of their population. Only its exceptional geology prevents the Drifting Woods from freezing to death completely, and many a species that has been annihilated everywhere else during these difficult times manages to survive here.

Known to the rest of the world as the Breaking, or the Year of Darkness, during this period the Vikhari feel the presence of their protector even stronger than usual, as it is the only source of light in the sky. From among the gathered survivors in the House of the Three, a prophet comes forth and proclaimes the five prophecies that are collectively called the Path to Vikthi.
  

ca. 1640 b.S. Krean Exiles in the Drifting Woods
From across the Moredein Kaerath, a ragged band of Krean survivors closes in on the woods. Plagued by Moth Fever, they are forced to ask the Vikhari for help. As the first group of negotiators of the refugees is taken captive by the Vikhari border guards, the Eye of Aniss, worn by one of their prisoners is seen as the promised Sign of Vikthi. The Krean are allowed to enter the woods, and the first prophecy of the Path is fulfilled. "From the hands of Kalim, the Mark of the Moon will come into Sar'estvokar, and nothing will remain untouched."

The Exiles of Krean are allowed to take up residence within the woods. After a difficult start due to the general distrust against Outsiders the Vikhari display, the Krean influence on Vikhari society is enormous, and the overall level of civilisation increases greatly.
  

ca. 750 b.S. The First Tehuriden Exiles in the Drifting Woods
After the mixed blood of the Ter'ei'Vikh continues to occasionally produce Lilivear-like children, the first Tehuriden are exiled from the Drifting Woods around this time. Little is known about their lives, although it can be assumed that they were hard, and mostly short without access to tools, safe homes, or the aid of family and tribe.
  

ca. 700 b.S. The Ter'ei'Vikh in the Drifting Woods
The Krean exiles no longer exist as a separate group in the Drifting Woods, instead the Ter'ei'Vikh have come into existence. The pure Vikhari and Krean bloodlines are gone forever.
  

ca. 50 b.S. The Great Wave
A cataclysmic event to the northeast of the Drifting Woods sends a powerful tidal wave into the area. Both the Deep Mer as the Ter'ei'Vikh suffer great losses in both lives and homes.
The Ter'ei'Vikh trade with the Nybelmer
Open trade begins with the Nybelmer after the Great Wave in an effort to replace the lost homes and possessions. The Ter'ei'vikh second prophecy of the Path is fulfilled. "From Isema death will rise above the trees, and above and below will meet it. Yet from death springs life, and union will be our salvation."
  

ca. 75 Construction of Mūn'ti, the Drifting Woods Capital
The first parts of Mūn'ti, the current human capital of the Drifting Woods, are constructed. The capital would continue to grow, and be renovated, continuously from this point on.

The Council of Elders secretly contacts several Tehuriden during this time, and urges them to seek out their own kind and organize. It is possible that the Council offers tools and weapons to these hardy wanderers in return for their service as spies and scouts into the earthlands.

The Nybelmer follow the Ter'ei'Vikh example and create a similar settlement beneath sinkholes in the lake of Mūn'ti, possibly with the assistance of Ter'ei'Vikh magic.
  

ca. 80 Tehuriden Organization takes Form
The Tehuriden have started to organize into small wandering bands of three and four and are spotted raiding outlying farms of the Morchini at times. Even though their numbers remain low at an estimated 20-25 individuals, it is suspected the handful of wandering groups communicate with one another on a regular basis from this point onward.
  

ca. 850 Appearance of the Dark Councillors
In 853, Faenic records mention the presence of "a cloaked man, with a most peculiar accent, whose hood never reveals his features" at a meeting between several Faen merchant lords and Tsohamin clan leaders. Soon, rumours about dangerous mages start circulating throughout the northwest of Nybelmar. It is not known if the Tehuriden have at this point already taken up the practice of hiring themselves out as neutral negotiators and intermediaries or if this is a single individual whose example has been followed up upon in later times.
  

ca. 1.000 Emissaries speak to the Ter'ei'Vikh
Probably secretly negotiated by the Tehuriden, emissaries from the Morchini are allowed to speak with the Council. Although the Drifting Woods are still forbidden terrain to them, Outsider trespassers are no longer hunted down and killed, but forcefully removed from the woods. However, Ter'ei'Vikh humour dictates that they are usually released a few hundred strals for their homes.
Emissaries speak to the Ter'ei'Vikh
Most likely secretly negotiated by the Tehuriden, emissaries from the Morchini are allowed to speak with the Council. This is the first truly verifyable instance of the Tehuriden acting as intermediaries to the Council of Elders, although it is suspected that this has been the case for at least two hundred years, considering the strange absence of Kazai Morchin-i/Drifting Woods violence during this time.
  

ca. 1.500 Ter'ei'Vikh trade with Outsiders
The Gates of M'aghin are built, and open trade with the Morchini outsiders commences. Before long, Faen merchants hear of the strange market opened on the Metherinin shores, and within a few years, they greatly outnumber the Morchini traders visiting the Gates. The Ter'ei'Vikh flourish as they have rarely done before, and their population increases greatly.
Ter'ei'Vikh trade with Outsiders
The Gates of M'aghin are built, and open trade with the Morchini outsiders commences. Before long, Faen merchants hear of the strange market opened on the Metherinin shores, and within a few years, they greatly outnumber the Morchini traders visiting the Gates. The Ter'ei'Vikh flourish as they have rarely done before, and their population increases greatly.

This also heralds the start of what might be considered a golden age for the Tehuriden. Their settlement near the Gates is completed within a few years, raising the suspicion they knew of the Council's plans for a trading post at this location before its construction. The Tehuriden raids on Morchini lands, already in decline for several decades, now come to a complete halt, and with the exception of a handful estranged wanderers, all Tehuriden migrate to their new base of (relative) power.
  

ca. 1.661 The M'aghin Research Centre
Headed by Miraran Tehuriden, a former apprentice of the Mage-Lord Coren FrozenZephyr and at this point a full member of the Enkyclopadiė Nybelmarnica, a research centre and haven for local scholars is constructed a few strals south of the gates of M'aghin. Combining inquisitive minds from the Tehuriden, Morchini, Faen, Lilivear and Efferdita, a small side-community of traders and other services soon follows.

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 Date of last edit 24th Dead Tree 1667 a.S.

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