|Grasslands of the Pell|
|Ruler|| King Draken Everstar III;
Goti & Kholani chiefs
|Languages||Inner Sea, Goti, Elven|
|Religion||Pell pantheon, animism|
The Grasslands of the Pell, a small portion of a greater lowland region west of the Evinal Sea, is predominantly a land of rolling hills and tall grass. It is home to clans of the Kholani (centaurs) in the east, numerous tribes of free-ranging Goti, feudal Pellmen knights, and the far wandering wagons of the Rundaine.
The great grass sea that stretches for hundreds of miles south of the Evinel Sea has been home to the herds of E’n since time unrecorded. Kase, a god as wild and untamed as the grasslands, came upon the grass sea in his wanderings. His immediate love for the endless horizon and the fierce joy of thundering hooves led him to take the form of a great charger and roam the grasslands among the herds.
It is said that Kase sired several bloodlines during these idyllic times including the ancient and wild tribes of the Kholani, a race that appears as a melding of man and horse known in Common as the centaur. The Kholani became the protectors of the lands and beasts that roamed the soon to be Pell-lands, although their numbers proved too small for such a great task.
The free-spirited Kase stood outside the division of gods but with the Kholani and the great herds and his love for the grasslands he now had something to lose. During the Years of Darkness he fought fiercely for his people and lands alongside the Kholani against the beasts and dark tribes that ravaged E’n. Though it cost many lives Kase succeeded in preserving the grasslands during those dark years.
Early History: Birth of the PellEdit
After the Pact, as the sorcerer-clans of Rhat’matanis were consolidating their power into the Empire of Rhat’matanis, a prophet by the name of Evinel Ser rose up with a vision of freedom from the strictures of the sorcerer-clans. Collecting defeated clans and the Goti, the Unseen, a caste of undesirables under her banner Evinel Ser led her followers to the site of a natural gate and, guided by the divine hand of Yelola, opened a way to the grasslands they called the Pell, a word meaning ‘green’ in the Goti tongue.
Kase, allowing their exodus to end within his lands, sent the Kholani, both wise and wild, to instruct them in the ways of the great grass sea, the dreaming, and the pairing, the formation of strong bonds with the horses of the grass. The Goti eagerly accepted the Great Stallion, Kase, Yelola, Opener of Ways, and the myriad local Tal, minor gods and nature spirits revered by the Kholani. But the shunning of their old religion was not something the gods could easily forgive. Thus VaSharn the Everburning was sent forth to destroy all in retribution (see Legends).
Those clans under Evinel’s banner not of the Goti who lost more were less willing to take on new ways. They took Kase and Yelola as their patrons in the new land but clung to the old, settled styles of living from their former homelands. But they came to find that this land was not only strange in color but also in the ways of farming, the seasons, and war. Before long they became a people of small poor villages with little to no protection from the Rorn or Harran.
If not for the timely arrival of men from the Landadel Baronies (themselves refugees) the clans might have perished into myth. The Landadel men looking for a purpose started to teach the clans about the seasons and how to save food from a harvest. They helped build keeps and defend the clans against beasts and war parties. After a few generations of intermarriage it became impossible to tell a clansmen from a Landadel man, so as a people the became simply Pellmen.
With the help of the Goti trading horses the Pellmen have also grown into competent horsemen and boast a substantial cavalry. Training in horsemanship is something every young man starts learning at a very young age.
Recent History and PoliticsEdit
The nomadic bands of Goti roaming the Pell are numerous and range from small family units to large clans. Though similar culturally there are significant differences between bands over governing style, clothing, traditions and totemic gods.
The more settled Pellmen tend to make their homes along the borders of the great grass sea: along rivers tributary to the Evinal Sea, the foothills of the Seithr and in the gap of the Seithr that leads to Martna. Hammerhall is the greatest of the Pellmen strongholds and the seat of their king Draken Everstar III.
A new faction has arisen in past decades, purportedly in response to increasing isolation of the Kholani and clashes with the Harran and Rorn. The Rundaine, followers of Rasuim, the Gatherer, espouse freedom, trade, and acceptance. Like their god, they gather all manner of people and beliefs to their wagons crossing cultural lines and adopting like-minded individuals from every place they pass through into their bands. These bands have begun traveling beyond the Pell and have been found far into Rhat’matanis and the Landadel Baronies.
The Horsemen of the Pell and Rorn have always clashed in numerous skirmishes and incidents of low-level warfare. Within recent centuries, however, the Rorn have made an effort to co-opt several Goti tribes as auxiliary units in the Rornish war-machine and push their borders across a large swathe of the southern Pell to the Evinel Sea. Although these new Rornian borders effectively cut the Pell in half the Goti have little use for boundaries. They follow the horse herds wherever they go.
And while the Rorn have increased pressure from the south, the Harran have pushed at the Pell’s northern boundaries. At least one tribe of Kholani have thrown in their lot with the Harran and directly caused a loss of territory along the coast of the Evinel. These recent troubles have King Draken searching for allies in his kins former homeland the Landadel Baronies. Pellman riders can be found throughout the land petitioning rulers for support.
Within the Pell itself politics and the government that spurs it is conflicted between the feudal style government of the Pellmen who believe the Goti are somehow less significant and the Goti who make up scores or more independent tribes that adhere only to their own rule and the horse herds that they follow. The Goti seem to ignore any tax collectors and other officials while the Pellman ignore the fact they are being ignored.
Pellmen- Feudal; Ruled by King Draken Everstar III who holds court at Hammerhall, the largest castle in the realm. Legend has it that the Everstar line is descended from the Goti shaman, Shera, and a knight of the Landadel Baronies. It is customary for the King to marry a Goti priestess as was first done long ago; as of yet Draken is unmarried.
Goti- Tribal; Each tribe must have a ka'tasis or shaman to be considered independent and is nomadic, following the herds across the great grass sea and sometimes into the lands of Rorn and the border of the Zeire and the jungle of Heth. Only once a year at a festival held near Hammerhall do all the tribes forgo feuds and blood-debt to trade and compete .
- Kase, the Great Stallion (Wanderer) – Sun, the Pell, the Kholani
- Yelola, Opener of Ways (Counselor) – Magic, Moon, Wisdom
- The War Host (Consort) – War, Protection; sort of like the Sword Saints of Rorn, but of the deities brought with the knights when they came from the Landadel.
- Fumon, the Changewind, Breath of the Seithr (Storm)
- Bekelle, Walker in the Grass (Stranger) - Malice, Ill-intent; since their horse culture is built around groups & necessary to survival, a solitary walker would seem alien and dangerous.
- VaSharn, the Devourer, the Ever-Burning (Destroyer) – Grass fires, Death
- Rasuim, the Gatherer (Ruler) – the Rundaine, Trade & other peaceful pursuits of civilization.
Numerous Tal spirits and minor gods of all archetypes including:
- Perria of the Waters – Healing, Water (Springs and Rivers)
- Rianna, the White Mare – Fertility, Peace
- Abyrtan, the East Wind – Air, Weather
- Brandis Grassfoot – Youth, Grass
- Maga, Queen of Crows – Crows, Death
- Tarimon, the Envious - Envy, Undead (the dead envy the living)
- Spite, the Dark Sprite - Pranks, Mischievous Fey
Myth and LegendEdit
The Bearded Knight: The love story of Shera and the knight from the Landadel Baronies that she came to marry and rule with is told as a lesson to never judge someone by appearance. Although it has lost a little of it's factual content in the years since it's first telling it has not lost the message that one should judge by deeds and not only by what they see.
Tale of Burning Grass: When the Rhat'matanis god Sabok learned of the exodus of those whom used to be held under his rule, his fury was great. Sending his daughter VaSharn to the Pell lands he ordered her to destroy it and everything that lived there. It was only through the deeds of a few nameless heroes that came at the behest of an older Evinel Ser that stopped The Devourer.
People and SitesEdit
Stokennor is a small Pellman village in the north of the Pell that subsists off their hunting of nearby herds of bison, small fields and livestock, and trade.
A small clan whose range is in the north of the Pell and who have recently had political dealings with both the Pellmen of Stokennor and the Lantern Bearers. Their chieftan, Ganil Susack, is young but well-loved by most of his tribe. There is a dark undercurrent: the Taraw feel their honor is befouled by the horrible murder of the chieftan's daughter by the the tribe's Second, Juhelos Taraw (now dead).
The Lantern BearersEdit
A cult of Helerion in the northern Pell whose members espouse a simple, self-sufficient life under the light of their god, founded by the oracle Lucia of Thunderfalls. The Lantern-Bearers are guided by visions received by Lucia. Her latest vision showed a glowing city of goodness and light on a sea of green grass and she is convinced it is Helerion’s will that the Lantern-Bearers found the city in the Pell. Their settlement (founded 1313) is in the northernmost reaches of the Pell near Stokennor and the corridor to Martna and the Landadel Baronies.
Pellmen - Men are typical tall and broad of shoulder averaging 6' or taller, while women seem to be only slightly shorter averaging a height of 5'-10". All Pellmen have light complexes and hair and eye color that varies with light brown, blonde, and auburn being the most dominant of hair colors. Men go bearded more often than not and dress in rough wools and dyed liens.
Goti - Men are typical 5'-10" tall and women are shorter at about 5'-6" being the average. All Goti are dark of hair and eye though a rare few with Pellmen blood in them come out with lighter hair. The have a natural tan color to their skin and the men never where beards though they could grow them. Beards were worn when the people where slaves and to this day no freeman will where a beard. Goti get their clothing from a rare plant fibers they collect and weave as they follow the herds. They trade bolts of this cloth to the Pellmen at The Great Fair, but never in great quantities making it a rare and precious thing.
A major difference between the Goti and the Pellmen is in the horses they like and they way they use them, both domestic and in war. The Pellmen like big destriers and coursers, while the Goti prefer palfrey and light horses.
The Pellmen will charge forward using their mass and strength to win the day, while the Goti would keep their distance with bow and spell and make an enemy chase them.