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Curgan
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« on: 01 November 2004, 16:59:00 »

THE ICE TRIBES

Overview
The Ice Tribes is a collection of human tribes living a hard life in the north western edge of the Sarvonian continent. They usually lead a nomadic life and live in a state of constant warfare. They have not developed a sense of solidarity for each other, although the ice tribes have a vestigial sense of their “national” identity. The natural boundaries that separated have left the field open for many local variations in their ethics and way of life.

Appearance
The Ice Tribes are usually dark in hair, complexion and eyes. However, there are met among them blonde and red haired people and grey or green eyes. Their height is average (1,8 peds) for the male, while the female are about 0,15 peds shorter. Their skin is weatherworn from the cold winds and the fight for food and survival in this unforgiving region.
Hairstyle and facial hair are important for the Ice Tribesmen in order to reveal their social status. The High Tribal Leader is free to choose any hairstyle and facial hair he wishes. The warlords (minor tribal leaders) have their face shaved. The senior officers grow a moustache while the junior officers grow a moustache and a small goatee. The distinguished warriors grow a beard but they shave their moustache shaved as a sign of honour. The rest of the warriors grow both beards and moustaches. The young men have their facial hair unshaved until the day they acquire civil rights by killing an enemy in the field of battle. Then and as a part of their warrior inauguration ritual shave themselves and let their hair grow in order to become warriors when their hair grows again. Those who fled from battle are not allowed to have any hair in their heads.
Further social discrimination is possible by the hairstyle. The use of one braid being the most significant followed by two braids and a ponytail. Those who had no rank let their long hair loose.
As for women they have their hair in pigtails when they are not married and after their marriage they are allowed to choose their hairstyle.

Coat of Arms
Each Ice Tribe has its own Coat of Arms. No common Coat of Arms is developed.  The Ice Tribes use their facial painting as CoA. Each tribe has its own colour and pattern in order for warriors to distinguish friend and foe in battle. The Ice Tribes have adopted the additional custom to wear talismans unique for each one, because many times during the battle warriors are so much covered in blood that their painting is not recognisable.

Territory
The Ice Tribes live in the Icelands, located in the North Western part of the Sarvonian continent. Their territory stretches around the bay of Calinth, ie the peninsula of Iol and the Icelands Coast. The Gathorn Mountains and the Wastes of Despair are the landmarks that determine their only land boundary to the south. The rest of their territory is doused by the Ice Sea.
The climate in the Icelands is cold and harsh. Snow covers their homeland all the year. That is why most of them lead a nomadic life following animal herds.
The Ice Tribes are the following
Remusians: The most developed Ice Tribe with Kanapan connections. They are in the area north of the Galthorn Mountains.
Tokarians: The land around Hargath.
Sarmanians: The main village is Saeroth, they also have Abergath
Eanians: Eanin.
Tarkyns: Main village is Tehring they also have Cordel. (this is Vindel renamed since we already have the Vindel mountains to the far south and only the Remusians have a Kanapan connection).
Inlerin: Only village Inlear.
Faerons: Two villages Faein and Aelhrong.
Sanartrim: Main village Sanctum, other villages Naroy and Trilhoth.
Vertans: Vertico as the main village and Sirnil.
Filmainrim: Finlmainh only.
Aeidin: Aeidin
HImiko: the islands around the Three Islands‘ Bay which are known under the names Wicker Islands, Napthos Island and Bower Island

- I think that we should put one more village between Eanin and Sanctum, which would belong to the Eanian tribe.

- Let us not forget to lower the Remusian Tech Level (Timeras)


People
The Icemen are mainly renowned for their ability as warriors. They live in a constant warfare among each other, the giants that live in their land and the elements of nature. They are considered fearless and with excellent endurance, although warriors from the civilized world consider them to be barbaric berserkers without a fighting technique. Their social ranking is determined by their gallantry in battle. Magic in general is abhorred by them as most of the advances of civilization. Although mages are not generally welcome, several groups have been spared. However, magic is punished with capital punishment.
The ice tribesmen are warlike people that live more on instinct than logic. They hardly express their emotions and usually they are hard and unforgiving in their everyday lives. They seldom feel compassion or mercy for anyone, which is considered as a sign of weakness, and they are offended if anyone feels that way for them. There is no providence for the weak or disabled who are left to die or slaughtered if they can’t kill themselves with honour. Old people who have no living relatives are left to die, unless they lost their families in war. Sterile males are condemned, because they produce no warriors for the tribe, while sterile females are forced to become prostitutes. The Ice tribes recognize no human rights for those who can’t bear weapons. Women and children are considered living things and are in the absolute disposal of their Master (usually the father or husband).
The Ice Tribes are also notorious for the hardness of their lives. They can suffer the worst tortures without complain just like they can mercilessly give pain to others. Slavery is a usual state of existence for the ones that can’t bare arms and defend themselves or for the defeated in battle.
A sound exception in the Ice Tribes is the Himiko tribe, who occupy the islands around the Three Islands‘Bay. In contrary to the majority of the other ice tribes on the mainland, they have not only a slightly other appearance, but a very different lifestyle as well. They are friendly and use a form of magic in their everyday life. This is the reason why the rest Ice Tribes hate the Himiko. Their hatred is revitalized by the fact that from time to time Himiko raiding parties steal their females, granting them freedom in their islands.

Housing
The Nomads

The majority of the Ice Tribes leads a nomadic life. They have a variety of non permanent residencies. They carve small ice homes in the snow, called Ruhmir, when they are about to stay in an area for more that a couple of days. These Ruhmir have just the necessary space to house the family and sometimes the animals. Sometimes they find caves where the whole tribe shares the room. When the weather is mild they don’t hesitate to lay tents for them. Some other times there are large permanent structures from wood that house for a winter the tribe that found them. These structures are later on abandoned just to be inhabited the next winter usually not without a fight with another tribe that claims the same privilege.

Permanent Residents
The vast majority of Icemen homes are made of stone or wood. The common house is a small three room building made of wood or stone with a narrow, fur-covered, wooden roof which is weighted with stones to prevent the strong winds to blow away the shingles. For the same reasons only few houses have more than one floor and no building has more than two. For storage most buildings however have a cellar carved into the ground which often freezes over the long winter and is perfectly suited to keep the vast supplies for that long period considerably fresh. The houses have often only one big oven which is used for cooking as well as heating. The room with the oven is usually kitchen and bedroom in one. In more advanced homes the oven is arranged in the middle of the house into the wall to heat several rooms at a time. Most houses of the peasants house several generations at once.

Clothing
The poorer citizens prefer dark fur coats and wool jerkins. The richer Icemen prefer clothes of soft leather or wool. White fur is reserved for their shamans only and when an Iceman used white fur he ensures that the colour is altered with dye or dirt. They wear thick blouses and trousers and, above, a coat with a hood. On their feet they wear leather boots and they use fur or leather caskets to protect their heads. However, fabrics are not underestimated; on the contrary their use is considered a sign of prosperity.
The warriors wear usually armour made of soft or studded leather. The richer Icemen wear chain mail, if they can afford it or loot it in battle. However, only the greatest of the nobles can afford bronze or steel plate armour. Fur coats are standard clothing as well but they vary from class to class. Peasant women normally dress similar to the men, with the difference that their dress is longer. The noblewomen however, would look very similar to a noblewoman of a southern tribe and would probably own multiple, premium quality dresses and coats.

Food
The climate in the Icelands is especially harsh. The severe winter lasts for half a year. Three months is the duration of a milder winter and another three lasts their “summer”, when the ice melts. This “summer” allows them to cultivate their land with local plants in order to enrich their supplies for the winter. During the winter, they can just dig in the snow and find a kind of grass, called Hrugchuck, that lives beneath and which they eat just like the algae from the sea. The Icelands are blessed also with many hot water springs that provide them with warm water that through a channel network can allow a limited space to be suitable for cultivation.
However, the Ice Tribes do not live in a favourable environment. This is the reason that most of their agricultural food is obtained through trade with humans from the south, seeking furs, slaves and cheap minerals in exchange of food.
As for hunting: Meat is enjoyed by the Ice Tribe and their diet includes the cuncu sheep, the woolly boar, seals, penguins, sea elephants, polar bears, snow foxes, ice rabbits and Monh Rum, a large amphibious creature that comes out of the oceans in the short Icelands summer lie in the sun in order to gather heat and energy from it’s weak rays.
Another source of food are the giants who roam the Icelands springing from the Stone Fields of Peat. Both men and giants prey on each other and roast giant is considered a delicacy for the Icemen (just like the Icemen are the favourite dish for the giants).
Finally, another very important food source for the Ice Tribes is fishing. They break the ice and fish underneath or carry their boats to the end of the ice in order to fish in the deep seas. Whaling is also practiced by the braver sailors.

Weapons
The Ice tribes use every weapon possible, from heavy branches to expensive steel swords they bought, stolen or looted. Their most used weapon is a heavy axe they call headcutter and resembles a combination of axe and sword. The headcutter axe comes in two types. The first one has two sides while the second has a cutting blade on its back side. The Ice Tribes use throwing axes and javelins instead of bows since, because of the weather conditions, bows can not be used effectively.

Occupations
The Ice Tribesmen are occupied as hunters, farmers, fishermen and weapon smiths. All their other needs are fulfilled within the family or tribe.
The icemen have a collective form of economy. Everybody offers their services to the Tribe and are rewarded according their efficiency through a complex distribution system run by the tribal leader.
The tasks are appointed primarily according to age and gender. Men till the age of 15 are prepared for battle and perform several chores helping the adult males, men from 15-30 are used as the main warrior force, men from 30-45 are crafters, farmers, hunters, fishermen and auxiliary troops, men from the age of 45 and above either continue offering their services as long as they are found fit for it or they become tutors for the young, the rest simply try to survive. Females till the age of 12 help in the house and are trained for their future lives. Women from 12-30 rear families, take care of the house, prepare clothes and other items, from 30-45 they cultivate the land, gather whatever is edible and continue with the family,  women older than 45 try to survive or are sacrificed if their husband is no longer needed by the community and their children cannot feed them.

Government
An Ice Tribe is comprised by many minor clans called Lannes. Most of the Ice Tribes are governed by a High Tribal Leader called Lanrul that rules all of the minor clans of the main Tribe. The minor clans are governed by warlords. The Lanrul holds all the judicial, administrative and legislative authority, while the warlords have executive and judicial duties within their Lannes’ limits. The Lanrul is elected for life by the gathering of the warriors who select him among the warlords. The warlords are elected by the Lannes warrior gathering. The only criterion for the election is the gallantry in battle.

Production/Trade
The Icelands have only fish and furs to export. It is believed that there are valuable minerals in the area but since there is no significant and organised mining it is impossible to determine the quantity and quality of the minerals. However, many Icemen have obtained valuable armours and weapons in exchange of large pieces of gold that are easily found in their region.

Natural Resources
The Icelands is an area rich in fish and livestock. The hardy breeds of the north manage to survive with the short summer and the grass that grows beneath the winter snow. There is also rumoured that the area is rich in minerals but the Icemen do not have the means of mining nor do they let anyone else dig in their lands since they are hostile to strangers.

Religion/Belief
The Icemen worship the forces of nature. They think that the world is ruled by 15 gods, who actually have the form of the element they represent, and are in a constant fight with each other allying occasionally for the needs of their war. The supreme gods are Phoblit (the male Day god) and Nechya (the female Night goddess), Brender (thunder), Asterlin (lightning), Chelinor (snow), Weabor (wind), Reanor (rain), Peierojon (fire), Pargis (ice), Heterniz (water), Zundefor (the land animal spirit, in the form of the great white bear), Aleshnir (the sea animal spirit in the form of a white whale), Necteref (death), Asendin (sea)  and Ertemmir (the earth). These gods -according to Icemen mythology- are the breed of Afrasnyr the hermaphrodite chaos god, who –being alone for eternity- decided to fight with his own self and, during the struggle, he split himself to the 15 gods living inside them. The Icemen believe that Zundefor and Aleshnir mated with the other gods and with each other giving birth to mortal life. The humans according to their beliefs are the children of Phoblit and Nechya mating one time before they begin their eternal warfare.
The Icemen do not build temples or practice ceremonies for the major gods other than appeal rituals, when they seem menacing (during a storm for example). The Icemen carve totem poles in ice representing the animal that symbolizes their individual tribe and is tattooed upon them. This way the totems establish a connection between them and the land itself. Their yearly renewal during the summer defines not only the change in seasons, but also the change in everyday life.


Holidays, Festivals and Observances
The Icemen have many holidays that are connected with the change of seasons. Their main holidays are the following:
- The Parginlnag (Icebreaking), when the Ice totem melts. This is a celebration for the coming of summer that allows fishing, farming and intenseified warfare.
- The Chelarrin (Icecoming) when the winter comes. It is an appeal to Chelinor, the Snow god to be merciful upon them.
- The Warrior Chant, in the middle of winter, when boys become warriors.
- The Langral meeting. The Icemen Lanruls once in 12 Parginlnags meet in Langral, a sacred place between Aelhrong and Eanin in order to beg the gods for their benevolence and discuss matters of common interest. During the meeting a cease fire is established among every tribe. The only Ice Tribe that does not participate (but yet respects the cease fire) are the Himiko.

Well, since I am not that good in cosmology I keep an open ear in suggestions or any proposal here

History
12700 bS Elven explorers from Fá'áv'cál'âr record the existence of minor human presence in the Icelands.
11850 bS During the Great Sundering that followed the fall of Fá'áv'cál'âr some humans settle the Stone Fields of Peat, while some enter the Icelands and introduce the locals to fishing and the basics of metallurgy. However, during their isolationism and their conservationism they fail to introduce the Icefolk to civilization.
9700 bS The humans in the Stone Fields of Peat and the Icelands come in contact with magic for the first time.
9450 bS The humans in the Stone Fields of Peat and the Icelands enter the war of the chosen as mercenaries for the sorcerers. They are used in battles and magic experiments as expendable material and they prove to be hardy yet undisciplined warriors.
ca 9023 bS After the battle of the winds and the severe casualties that suffered the Icefolk, magic is abolished and most mages are slaughtered in their territory. This conflict almost eliminated the population of the Icefolk.
In their attempt to save themselves from the war and the giants that invaded their area the humans of the Stone Fields of Peat moved further north to the Icelands enslaving the local population and intermixing with them.
ca 6000 bS The population of the Icelands is divided into Ice Tribes, in the form that survive today. They expend themselves into constant warfare among each other. Many tribes are exterminated during the millennia to come and many new are to emerge
ca 2500 bS The family of a defeated clanlord leaves the Icelands guided by his widow. They head south and eventually, after a long and arduous journey his only living descendant will end up uniting the Centoraurians as King Carbug I.

Edited by: Curgann  at: 11/1/04 0:17
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