|Barbarians of the Fhaard (overview)
|The Barbarians of the Fhaard - General Overview
As described earlier, the barbarians of the Fhaard, or the Ulu’taar (as they were once called), are a group of ten barbarian clans. An eleventh clan, Clan Firestrike has since turned to the path of evil as espoused by their new patron deity, ur’Suras (LE ancient Cyradian Aspect of Gorgauth). The Ulu’taar (the “Blades-That-Strike-With-Sight-And-Honor” in the Old Tongue) view themselves as the chosen people of the War Father who they view as one of their patron deities. However, the Ulu’taar are no more, as there has not been a Kha-han among the clans for over three centuries ever since the passing of Azad Stormshadow, otherwise known as the White Kha-han. A member of Clan Moontalon, Azad was the first shaman ever to triumph against the tests posed by the Sword of Honor. As a result, those khans who did not support his ascension were forced to acknowledge him as Kha-han. Although he was a mage of coldly calculating ambition who was often ruthless when the moment required him to be, Azad is credited with single-handedly welding the barbarian tribes of the Fhaard into a fearsome entity that was one of the elements which was principally responsible for the gradual withdrawal of Imperial forces from the lands of southwestern Telluria.
In the centuries since the reign of the White Kha-han, all those who have come forward and presented themselves to the elders of the War Father and attempted to grasp the Sword have failed the tests posed by the Sword and paid for their audacity with their lives. The sudden loss of the Sword of Kings from the Palace of Honor (temple to the War Father in the summer capital of the adra city of Rhovas, located in the western Fhaard; an “adra” is a form of a portable yurt, constructed from buffalo and plainshorse hides) has done nothing but add to the generational demoralization of the Plains barbarians. Many suspect the involvement of the Kernin, especially since Rhovas is located near the border of the Grand Duchy, but no proof has been forthcoming. Much chaos occurred in the years of the Great Plague, and wild speculation is rampant as to the true culprit or culprits. Fortunately for those for whom magic is an unnatural force, fell sorcery is not suspected since Rhovas sits in a valley located deep within a dead-magic zone that extends for a few miles in all directions.
The ten barbarian clans, their patron deities and their totems are as follows:
|Moontalon||Basht (1)||Witch drake (A)|
|Swiftblade||the War Father (2)||Plainshorse|
|Firestrike||ur'Suras (3)||Spirit panther|
|Rainfeather||il'Las (4)||Silver couatl|
|<span class="gensmall>Fhaard antelope|
|Smokeweaver||Crom (7)||Spotted owl|
|Starcloak||Ophiras (9)||Gazerling (B)|
|Riverwalker||Lamran (10)||Moon satyr (C)|
|Songspinner||Zamora (11)||Silver centaur|
1. N Ulu’taari Aspect of Hurishta.
2. CG Ulu’taari Aspect of Martreus.
3. LE ancient Cyradian Aspect of Gorgauth.
4. CG Ulu’taari Aspect of Tevesh.
5. N Ulu’taari Aspect of Elantra.
6. N Ulu’taari Aspect of Tharnak. Note the absence of a totem for this clan.
7. LN Ulu’taari Aspect of Oneiros
8. NG Ulu’taari Aspect of Solnor
9. CN Ulu’taari Aspect of Llyndeiras
10. CG Ulu’taari Aspect of Almaril
11. N Ulu’taari Aspect of Tammara
A. Faerie dragon
B. A type of beholder. Gazers are different from beholders in that they have less eyestalks and are smaller in total body mass. They’re just as powerful as their larger cousins. Their eyestalk powers vary from gazer to gazer. Gazerlings cannot become undead or liches. If a warrior can best a gazerling in single combat, that warrior is honored for the rest of his life by the Clan.
C. A type of satyr known for their songs which can seduce or enthrall listeners.
Clan Moontalon is a fraction of its former size since so much of the clan was decimated by the Great Plague, some thirty winters ago. (Before the plague mutated and turned onto the general population, many of its first victims were wizards, arcanists and other arcane casters.) Each of the other clans has since absorbed a few shamans, but the Clan is in the process of rejuvenating itself. Candidates who pass the vash’tauren (the “Silent Harrowing”) are fully accepted into the Clan as if they were born by right of blood or brought into the fold through marriage or adoption. The vash’tauren has been recognized by the Circle of Sorcery as a full equivalent of the Test meted out at any given Citadel.
Each of the clans is headed by a khan or khan-a, who is in turn advised by a council of advisers. The council almost always includes the clan shaman, the clan elder, an elder of the War Father (for although each clan follows a patron deity, it is the War Father who - with the possible exception of Clan Firestrike - who the Plains barbarians follow first and foremost in their hearts), the First-born and Second-born of the khan’s family, and any war leaders or prominent warriors among the clan. In the case of Clan Moontalon, the council consists of the clan shaman, the clan elder, an elder of the War Father, and a shaman of each school of specialization. In the case of Clan Smokeweaver, the council is composed of the clan shaman, the clan elder, an elder of the War Father and an oracle of Crom. The khan or khan-a is expected to seek the counsel of the councilors in all matters pertaining to leadership of the clan. Although the word of the council is not binding upon a khan or khan-a, their advice is almost always heeded by all but the most strong-willed of leaders.