The United Clans of Essalanea: A factbook

Discussion in 'National Information' started by North Timistania, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. North Timistania

    North Timistania Registered

    Messages:
    126
    'I can't even begin to explain these people! they cannot be ruled!'

    -A foreign official on the Essalanean's following the empires failed attempt at invasion

    Beginnings

    The Alemann arrival in Craviter was the beginning of many new nations, most chose the path of civility and began to erect permanent settlements but the Clans of the great Gotic Hero Essalan chose a different path. moving into the great southern plains they discovered horses and mountains and began to establish the culture that has endured to this day.

    Essalan ruled the Clans for nineteen years before dying after falling from his horse, in the wake of his death none of his successors could match his charisma and control of the clans. It had been argued that Essalan's death ended any chance of the clans evolving into a more centralised nation, to this day the tribes elect a High Chief from their ranks but it is a rank devoid of power beyond what the chosen ruler is able to bring to the office. Weak High Chieftains are little more than glorified figureheads ruling in Vosgotis.

    Largely independent of control both from without and within the Essalanean's have remained neutral throughout the centuries, only rarely unifying under great leaders to begin feared invasions as one all-conquering horde. Invasions from great empires are frequent throughout the history of Essalanea but no nation has ever been able to conquer the infamously unruly Clans. Each time an invading army entered the plains they would find themselves harassed by horse tribes who would vanish into the endless steppe before any response could be made. The fight and flight tactics of the tribes made a mockery of any concept of a pitched battle and invading armies would soon find themselves worn away by attrition and strained lines of supply and communication. To this day no empire has ever subjugated the Essalanean peoples.


    The Conclaves

    Essalan founded the permanent tribal city of Vosgotis, Essalan ruled as the first high chief and established the system of conclaves which would come to define Essalanean culture. Conclaves are collections of independent skilled persons who travel between the tribes and share their knowledge and services with the peoples of all the various clans of Essalanea.

    The Conclaves are caste-based and open only to the skilled, their safety is guaranteed by all the chieftains of the great clans. While there are many different conclaves the primary ones are as follows:

    The Conclave Of Healers: Medical care

    The Conclave of Makers: Inventors and civilian technologies

    The Conclave of Iron: Weaponsmiths including firearms

    The Conclave of law: Adjudication

    The Conclave of Joy: Entertainers and Prostitution

    The Conclave of Song: Records and Music

    All conclaves maintain a presence in Vosgotis in order to advise the High Chieftain and to better coordinate their activities.

    Each Conclave provides vital services and maintains relative neutrality between the tribal factions creating oddly unique situations

    Language


    Essalaneans never adopted more modern forms of Gotic language and still speak what is essentially Old Ninhundish from the time of the Alemann arrival in Craviter.

    Technology

    'Roads? Ha! I need no such comfort Auslander! the entire steppe is mine to traverse!'

    -A Essalanean response to a tourists complaints about infrastructure

    'They killed one another over cell reception!?'

    -A confused diplomat

    largely nomadic with few permanent settlements the Essalanean clans value three things above all else, their automatic rifles, motorcycles and their mobile phones. The mobile phone has become a staple of Essalanean life replacing the older forms of messenger and raven, the conclaves maintain simple signal towers across the steppe...these sites are frequent sources of tribal disputes and it is not uncommon for Essalanean clans to engage in brutal wars over cell reception.

    Most technology is sturdy, portable and easy to repair on the steppe with minimal resources needed, the capital of Vosgotis retains more modern technology with televisions and permanent structures present but its population is ever fluctuating and the city exists largely as a ceremonial site.

    Most dramatic technological changes in Essalanea have occurred as a result of outside influences slowly trickling into the steppe. Machine guns brought back from raids were soon being utilised as replacements for ageing bolt action rifles, the motorbike was introduced in the 1900s following a foreign diplomatic visit, Cell phones were introduced by Essalanean expats seeking greater contact with the steppe etc. In all cases the clan culture has adopted pre-existing technological models from the outside world and utilised them in vastly different ways.

    Arguably the most advanced and precious resource amongst the clans is bio-fuel extracted from rare arable areas on the steppe that will support the growth of wheat. This modern innovation has allowed the clans to utilise motorcycles as their primary mode of transport rather than the horse. Horses are still retained in clan territories in order to act as reserves if invaders cut access to fuel sources but they are now largely obsolete.

    Culture


    'To ride until weary in the saddle, to rest beneath great Ziu's shadow, to fight until the dying day and live each breath free, That is the way of Essalan!'

    -Chieftain Alaric, 1456

    The Essalanean culture is one defined by the nomadic patterns of the steppe, the Clans drive their herds to between the various seasonal grazing lands and live largely as they have for millennia. Permanent settlements are usually a rare feature, though most clans retain ancient fortified holdings where they gather in times of trouble.

    Hunting is a favoured pastime both for sport and practical survival, it trains young men in the ways of warfare and teaches them the skills necessary to survive the unforgiving steppe.

    Music is also popular during gatherings, songs are sung in praise of the ancestors and tales of myth or history recounted around firelit crowds. Alcohol, Meat and feats of physical strength define gatherings with both men and women taking part in wrestling, weightlifting and racing of horses( and more recently motorcycles)

    Raiding has always been another aspect of Essalanean life, typically against other tribes but also against neighbouring nations. usually, raids are shortlived and involve theft of livestock, women/men or resources not available on the steppe...only when great high chieftains arise do these raids become some altogether more terrifying, true hordes.

    The endless southern steppe is littered with monuments to the ancestors, great clans erect stone stele to commemorate their forebears and altars dedicated to Ziu the Alemann god dot the hills of Essalanea. Once per year, the clans gather in Vosgotis to engage in ancient rituals, share spoils and trade information before dispersing back into the steppes.

    In recent decades foreign embassies have been allowed to join the yearly festivities in Vosgotis as guests but only during this time, for the rest of the year, the city is free of any foreign influence with the exception of those rare honoured few the high chief decides to retain.

    Social obligations bind clan members to one another in an economy of services, a man who can claim many favours is considered a man of power and status. Chieftains are those men who have provided great services to their bondsmen and thus gathered a loyal faction of indebted followers around them. In Essalanea only those who can truly provide for the clan are considered fit to rule and a title is meaningless without respect to support it.


    Religion

    'Ziu, this offering I place at your feet, oh great lord of our fathers guide us to glory neath your endless gaze!'

    -Traditional shaman's prayer

    A shamanistic people the clans worship the ancient Alemann god Ziu in the manner their ancestors did when they first arrived from Gotis. offerings of blood and incense are commonly made by clan shamans at ancient stone altars locating in clan territories across the steppe. Oaths are always made in the sight of a priest of Ziu and it is a death sentence to break a promise made in the great alemann god's sight.

    Government

    while the high chief is the nominal ruler of the clans the true power of the land rests with numerous clan chieftains controlling vast stretches of steppe territory and forever feuding over both land and resources. The city of Visgotis is the closest thing the nation has to a seat of government but is largely ceremonial, in practice most decisions are made by chieftains and only concerning their own people.

    Occasionally great high chieftains are able to unify the entire steppe under their rule through both cunning and sheer force of will...these periods are usually short-lived but are celebrated endlessly in clan lore as glorious episodes in history.

    In practice, any edict can only be enforced if the one issuing such a command can actually back his demand by force. Only the strongest chieftains can expect to exert much control over the politics of the steppe. A rare exception is the conclave of Law, these neutral adjudicators have sacred and binding powers and can compel clan chieftains to take actions they would normally refuse to.

    Shaman's also possessed great social power as they are seen to speak for Ziu himself, they seldom involve themselves in clan affairs, but their word carries immense weight in Essalanean society.



    Economy

    '800 custom made Essalanean rifles, purchased in exchange for ivory and jade, evidently, these primitives want it for one of their profane altars...whatever the case...these guns are magnificent, it amazes me such barbarians could know their way around a firearm so well'

    -Foreign trader's report on weapon sales in Essalanea

    Essalanea is largely a self-sufficient land, the few things it does trade are seldom given away for money as the clans have no use for currency. Bio-Fuel from wheat is a closely guarded resource amongst the clans and seldom leaves the neutral agrarian territories which are defended by all clan chiefs. Weapons, on the other hand, might occasionally be sold to outsiders for resources that cannot be acquired in the steppe such as wood or exotic goods. Essalanean gunsmiths are famous/infamous for their magnificent custom works and their pieces are highly sought as collector's items by foreigners.

    When the clans do deign to trade with outsiders they do so as a united front with the high chief and his court distributing spoils equally following the successful conclusion of business. The Conclaves maintain several secretive settlements scattered across the steppe, rumor has it these are the source of most homemade tech in the steppes and the primary source of exports. whatever the case the Essalanean economy could scarcely be called a capitalist venture.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  2. North Timistania

    North Timistania Registered

    Messages:
    126
    An Overview of the Clans

    Essalanea is a fractious and deeply independent land, anyone with charisma and renown can found a clan given the right support, this has meant that new Clans spring up and fall as frequently as the changing of the seasons. Some Clans, however, are as old and enduring as the steppe itself, a privileged few amongst Essalan's folk can count their clans as the greatest on the steppe. While by no means exhaustive the following are perhaps the most powerful factions in Essalanea.

    Volkmann
    Perhaps the closest thing Essalanea has to a royal family, the Volkmann have produced no less than three High Chieftains including the current one Gaiseric Volkmann. In many ways the Volkmann is perhaps the most progressive and non-traditional of the clans, they study foreign cultures, adopt foreign technologies and have the largest population of urban citizens in Essalanea. This progressive attitude stems from their proximity to neighbouring countries, the Volkmann have more contact with outsiders than any other clan and this has influenced their views immensely.

    Volkmann dealings with outsiders have caused many technologies to enter steppe life, it was the Volkmann who first acquired the automatic rifle and the motorcycle through dealings with outsiders. They have a virtual monopoly on foreign trade and this has made them both invaluable allies and feared enemies. The court of Clan Volkmann has the highest number of permanent staff from the Conclave of Makers and their constant acquisition of new technologies has cemented this alliance with the conclave specialists and provided the clan with technological superiority.

    The Volkmann believe that in order to preserve Essalanean freedom, the nation must modernise and open itself to the world, they have seen first hand the wealth and technology of the outsider and they fear that if it is not harnessed it will be used against the steppe one day soon.

    It was the Volkmann who convinced the clans to allow foreign diplomats and traders to enter Vosgotis during the annual Moot and it is the Volkmann clan that drives the current push towards the opening of borders for trade and contact with the outside world. This progressive stance has won them many supporters and caused the clan to acquire many enemies, one thing, however, is clear, the Volkmann intend to change the steppe forever.

    Karg


    The northernmost clan in essalanea the karg are a warlike and unruly people even by clan standards, The karg are also the oldest of the clans and can trace their lineage back to the first days of Essalanea. In many ways it is the karg who typify foreign stereotypes regarding the clans, they are the poorest of the clans in terms of resources and so they are constantly raiding other clans and foreign lands for survival. firm believers in the old ways the Karg do not trade, farm or deal with foreign peoples, instead, they are almost entirely devoted to war.

    Despite this warmongering reputation the Karg also have many admirable traits, they honour their words always and they are loyal to the death to those who they consider worthy of friendship. Karg warriors practice a strict code of honour, fleeing enemies are never cut down and Karg consider backstabbing utterly taboo, the karg also place great value on family life and prioritise the raising of children and mutual respect between partners as vital to the clan way of life.

    The Karg have been slow to adopt new technologies, they retain large numbers of horse troops instead of more modern motorcycles and their firearms are seldom modern. The karg are the most religious and orthodox of the clans and take their worship of Ziu to fanatical levels, even still practising human sacrifice. Despite poor and barren lands and a lack of new technology the Karg's are both feared and respected amongst the more conservative clans. They are often looked to for moral leadership during times of upheaval and the Karg form a vital balance to the more progressive Volkmann.

    The recent death of Ulli Karg has left the Karg's reeling in the face of new reforms by High Chief Volkmann, it remains to be seen how these tradition-bound warriors will adapt to the changes facing the Steppe, one thing is clear, The Karg will never shrink from a challenge.

    Kimbri

    The Kimbri occupy the western steppe, a hill strewn and overgrown land known for its unusually green terrain and its long coast, mischievous by nature the Kimbri are the youngest of the great clans and care little for old traditions. The kimbri have many strange practices that set them apart from other clans, for one thing, they occupy permanent walled settlements for half of the year. The Kimbri are also fond of adopting outsiders into their clan and of gathering as much knowledge as they can about the world beyond the steppe. This progressive behaviour is due in part to their coastal territory, close to several major nations and their shipping lanes, Kimbri are even beginning to tinker with the concepts of sailing.

    The Kimbri emerged as the dominant western tribe following their first chieftain Saskia's slaying of the previous ruling clan leader in single combat, she promptly began to unite the west under her formidable rule. The kimbri value intellect, cunning and information more then any other clan and are partial to both intrigue and guerilla warfare. It has been said that trying to make a kimbri do anything in a straightforward manner is akin to herding cats. The Kimbri seldom fight openly and will usually attack at night or using assassins, this style has not endeared them to the Kargs but it has brought them victory.

    The kimbri have the largest ratio of women to men of any clan in Essalanea and positions of power and influence generally are held by women because of their overwhelming presence in Kimbri society, Men are not stigmatised, however, they are few in number. No one has ever been able to explain the Kimbri's disproportionate numbers of female births with some attributing it to Ziu's eternal will and others claiming genetics.

    In many ways, the kimbri are the most suited to the new realities of the modern steppe and it is for this reason that the current Chieftain Annegret has thrown her lot in with the Volkmann.

    Rugen

    The Rugen are essalanea's judges and executioners, they are infamous for executing any who violate the law of Essalan without mercy or exception. Located in the most barren and inhospitable regions of the steppe the Rugen are a grim people not easily given to Mirth or softness, Rugen adjudicators are a common sight in Essalanea and they provide large numbers of able men to the conclave of law.

    The Rugen obsession with law and punishment stems from their ancestor Ruug's position as essalan's greatest enforcer, he was said to have killed his own son when he violated clan law, Ruug chose the barren eastern steppe in the belief that asceticism would keep his people pure and free from temptation or softness. The Rugen are fanatical ascetics and refuse all modern conveniences or comforts.

    Ultra-orthodox even compared with the karg, the Rugen are masterful carvers and produce beautiful stone monuments and altars, the Rugen also maintain great oral records of every notable event and clan in the steppe. The Rugen are the law and the soul that protects Essalanea's history. Typically neutral in clan affairs the Rugen only enter politics when Essalan's law has been violated or the stability of the steppe is threatened. They famously sided against Ulli kargs rebellion ( somewhat ironic given his traditionalist leanings) when he was found to have drawn a weapon in the sacred city of Vosgotis.

    The Rugen are the judges of Essalanea and any who violate Essalan's law can expect their verdict to be swift and without mercy.
     
    mcmasterdonia likes this.
  3. North Timistania

    North Timistania Registered

    Messages:
    126
    Clan Leader Profile: Gaiseric Volkmann

    'Have you ever smelt the air after a bombing? Heat, Smoke and burnt flesh are the most horrific bouquet imaginable, I will not see the sons of Essalan sacrificed to modernities flames! We Shall, We MUST! harness the power of that flame, it is time we joined the world!'

    -Gaiseric Volkmann, Address to the Clans

    [​IMG]

    The current High Chieftain of the United Clans, Gaiseric Volkmann exemplifies all the traits that have seen Clan Volkmann rise to pre-eminence amongst the peoples of the steppe. Cunning, Ruthless and possessed of a keen understanding of how to command the often unruly Clan's, Gaiseric is determined to make his vision of a modern and strong Essalanea a reality.

    The eldest son of Hunneric Volkmann, Gaiseric's training began as soon as he learned to walk, educated in governance, law, economics and the brutal traditions of the steppe Gaiseric soon proved himself a prodigy. The Volkmann's historic contact with outsiders exposed Gaiseric to foreign knowledge and he soon had his father's foreign-born slaves teaching him everything from writing to mathematics.

    However, it was to be clan Volkmann's greatest defeat that would provide the most enduring lesson for the young Gaiseric. His father, true to the old ways of Essalan, had raided numerous villages and towns across the length of Essalanea's border with other nations but eventually, the aging chief angered the foreigners enough to provoke retaliation.

    Gaiseric bore witness to the full horror of modern warfare as foreign troops supported by tanks, artillery and air support tore his father's clan companies to pieces, the final humiliation being his father's death at the hands of a stray shell from a distant field gun, a shameful death for a clan warrior. The gruesomely one-sided spectacle changed Gaiseric forever. He knew from that moment on that the clans must either change or die.

    Gaiseric took the reigns of power over what remained of Clan Volkmann and over a decade, he rebuilt the clan into the most powerful force in the steppe. Allying with the Kimbri Gaiseric armed his people with automatic weapons, modern vehicles and a new ideology of modernization. Determined to drag the steppe into the modern era, Gaiseric used his cunning, wealth and power to claim the title of High Chieftain of the steppe.

    Announcing his plans to modernize made him many enemies amongst the traditionalist clans, culminating in Ulli Karg's abortive rebellion against Volkmann leadership. Against all these enemies Gaiseric prevailed his political acumen and embracing of modern technology proving a potent weapon. The Volkmann crushed all opposition to their High Chief's vision.

    Proclaiming openness with the rest of Eras in 2019, Gaiseric quickly made an alliance with Norsia, the Luscova pact, offering them Essalanean mineral wealth in exchange for aid in modernizing Essalanea's society and military. Deals with others followed soon after and set the pace for rapid change on the steppe. Gaiseric has centralized much of his power with the creation of a grand moot, a government centered around the high chief's authority and supported by a Norsian trained clan army loyal only to him. Now with Essalanea poised to join the modern world, the autocratic ruler of the clans intends to steer the great steed with reins held tightly in his grip.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    mcmasterdonia likes this.
  4. North Timistania

    North Timistania Registered

    Messages:
    126
    Clan Leader Profile: Anegrette Kimbri

    'The Honorable thing to do is protect your people, an honorable loser still dies'

    -Kimbri Saying

    [​IMG]

    Chief of the youngest and most unusual clan in Essalanea, Anegrette is the Daughter-Heir of Saskia 'The Red Adder' one of the greatest chieftains in steppe history. Saskia slew the previous chieftain of the western clans in a brutal honor duel, claiming the mantle of the paramount chief of the western steppe. Her Kimbri bondsmen rallied around Saskia's banner and she led them in 50 years of building and victories. It was at Saskia's feet that the young Anegrette would learn the traits of a great leader. trained in the deadly kimbri arts of subterfuge and assassination, Anegrette slew her first Mark on her 15th birthday. In addition to this, her interactions with foreigners have made her fluent in other languages and in dealing with outsiders.

    When Saskia died Anegrette claimed the title by unanimous election, primarily because all the other challengers were dead or absent from the moot. her mother had built an unconventional clan based around the principals of information, deception, and improvision. Anegrette used her new position to build a network of informers across the steppe, if a pin drops in Vosgotis Anegrette will hear it or so the saying goes, this network has been vital in keeping the Kimbri a step ahead of the other clans. Kimbri spies have also been instrumental in protecting the High Chief from plots and would be challengers, Gaiseric might be the High Chief but Anegrette is the one keeping him on the throne.

    Anegrette typifies the Kimbri attitudes of if something works do it. Her people actively trade with smugglers, foreign merchants and everyone besides and even adopt willing outsiders into the clan, believing knowledge makes a strong clan. Anegrette has supported the Volkmann ideology of modernity and her powerful and well-armed bondsmen are a vital pillar in Gaiseric's new Essalanea. Kimbri have taken to sniper rifles and improvised explosives with equal enthusiasm thanks to Anegrette's dealings with foreign arms merchants.

    Fluent in both diplomacy and warfare, Anegrette is arguably the most powerful chief in Essalanea after Gaiseric, a point she proved ruthlessly when her clan companies routed the northern tribes during the recent Karg War. Anegrette is a forward-thinking leader, caring little for old traditions and modes of thought, she has broken with the old nomadic ways largely, ordering her bondsmen to settle the coasts permanently and to begin erecting harbors and trading posts, the daughter of the red adder intends to make the Kimbri rich on foreign trade.

    Rumors that Anegrette is romantically involved with Gaiseric have thus far never been proven, but that hasn't stopped the other steppe chiefs talking in hushed tones about a possible new Kimbri-Volkmann dynasty forming. Her clan's loyalty during the war has been greatly rewarded, she is now Demi-Chief of the steppe, a position subordinate only to the High chief himself and her role as Gaiseric's right hand and foreign minister has seen her bring the Kimbri's innovation to diplomatic affairs across Craviter.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  5. North Timistania

    North Timistania Registered

    Messages:
    126
    Essalanean Society: A Primer for Foreigners

    The 2019 declaration of openness has ushered in a new era of foreign interaction with Essalanea, the influx of workers, advisors and military personnel from other lands represents both an opportunity and a potential social issue. This primer exists to educate foreigners in the ways of Essalan that they might be spared from potentially hazardous social engagement.

    Language

    Gotic speakers may find the archaic speech patterns of the clans difficult at first but should adapt well if given sufficient time, non-gotic speakers are advised to utilize an interpreter when possible.

    It is strongly advised that foreign speakers avoid the use of foul language, metaphors, and foreign slang, Clan Bondsmen exist in an honor-based society where a person's word is their bond and will typically take a very literal interpretation of anything you say. It is important to note that failure to adhere to this advice can be potentially lethal, offended clan bondsmen are likely to call a blood duel if their honor is offended. Choose your words carefully!

    On Law

    Clan law is typically straight forward, brutal and swift in its administration, lesser offenses such as theft, disorderly behavior and slander will usually be punished by a savage beating( imprisonment is highly frowned upon amongst the clans) or a public humiliation. More serious offenses such as murder, rape or arson are likely to be punished by a death sentence via the time-honored method of beheading (cowardly acts are notably punished by being dragged to death by horses or motorbikes....). it should be noted that bondsmen can appeal for trial by combat if they are accused of such crimes, foreigners should not expect the same right unless they have earned it through honorable dealings with Essalan's people.

    Sexual relations

    Most clans do not possess particularly strong opinions on sexual relations, sexual relations are regarded as normal and healthy parts of life and there is no stigma attached to promiscuity or same-sex relations. Of note, Sexual health is important however, a person found to spread disease amongst the populace via unsafe sex can expect to meet a severe punishment. Foreign visitors are advised to practice safe sex, both to avoid venereal diseases and unwanted pregnancies, men found to have fathered a son via a clan born mother are likely to be challenged to a duel if they refuse to acknowledge and take responsibility of their progeny. Foreign women should also be careful when interacting with clan males as any son sired will be considered a potential clan bondsman, the father's family will typically demand that the child be raised in a traditional Essalanean fashion.

    Marriage

    Marriage like sex is considered a practical and healthy part of a normal life on the steppe, people typically marry via family arranged unions....however Essalanea is a land of strong-willed men and women, marriages based upon shared passion and love are not uncommon. Essalanean marriages are usually events with little pomp or ceremony, oaths are sworn, blessings are given, songs sung and the marriage is consummated. A chieftain's wedding, however, is an event for the ages, expect horse racing, ceremonial duels, excessive drinking and theatrics not normally seen outside of a midnight saga.

    Foreigners should be very careful, marriage between clan bondsmen and the unhorsed( clan slang for foreign-born) is a complex social issue, Liberal clans such as the Kimbri and Volkmann are likely to be receptive if the foreign spouse proves of good character, Conservative clans such as the Karg and Hureg will likely demand the marriage be prevented via honor challenge or exiling of the Clan spouse.

    Business Matters

    Clan economics is an evolving process, within more modern settlements and the City of Neuanfang currency can be used much like anywhere in Eras, on the steppe where Essalan's traditions flourish expect barter economy to be a norm. Essalanean's value honesty and person to person dealings, always greet the potential buyer or seller with a firm handclasp and do not attempt to haggle as this will be seen as dishonorable. The basic concept on the steppe you should remember is 'Something for Something' the clans will trade an item for another of equal value. in cities, this norm is less likely to be a problem, exchange rates follow a similar pattern to the rest of Eras and transactions using Essalanean Geld are straightforward.

    Tipping is highly discouraged, it implies the receiver is poor and in need of alms, expect an honor challenge if you offer a tip to the wrong person. As previously mentioned face to face dealings are common, this includes business proposals between clan representatives and foreign corporates. Failing to appear in person may be considered a sign of cowardice and disrespect...an honor challenge may occur if this is done. It is permissible for high ranking leaders such as kings and CEOs to send a representative, however, it is a tradition on the steppe to show ones authority and rank by sending an emissary.


    Dining

    An honored guest will receive the seat facing the wall as a sign of the host's good intentions since no one can sneak up on you. Eating with one's hands is permissible and belching and laughter is considered normal and a sign of an enjoyable meal. Drinking is common, be careful not to overindulge as brawls and drunken words leading to offense and challenges are common issues at feasts. Never sit before the host has first done so, this is a sign of their rank and should always be observed, and remember also not to begin eating until the host has taken the first bite. Toasts are expected, the traditional toast to the guest's health should be followed by a toast from the guest to the health of the host.

    Essalanean's are fond of singing at the table, do not be alarmed if your clan hosts suddenly begin singing warrior ballads and mythological cycles in unison. Arm Wrestling, boasts, and toasting are all spontaneous and common occurrences, take them in good spirit and you will likely enjoy the experience. Be careful when making claims at the dinner table, clan diners love demonstrations of strength and cunning and may expect you to follow any boast with proof.

    When in a modern restaurant such as the growing number that exists in Neuanfang some rules still apply, Never attempt to split or pay for the bill, the host is expected to always pay. Be careful when dealing with waiters, a bondsman always has the right to declare a duel regardless of occupation so be respectful.

    Gift Giving

    Be careful when choosing a gift for Essalanean hosts as the clan culture is full of context and symbolism with regards to most objects, the following list includes core dos and dont's for gift giving

    Do give:

    *A sheathed blade is a traditional symbol of peace and enduring friendship
    *Horses(or motorcycles) are a symbol of power and prosperity
    *Gold Ziu carvings are considered omen of good fortune and health
    *Red is a traditional symbol of purity and the gift of red clothing or flowers will be universally well received

    Don't give

    *White Flowers and Clothing are funerary colors and represent death
    *An unsheathed blade is a declaration of the givers intent to wage war upon the receiver
    *Avoid candles, these are lit at funerals and imply the receiver will soon die
    *Coinage or paper notes imply charity to the poor and are to be avoided

    Social context is important when giving a gift, Always give the gifts with both hands if they are carried to the head of the household. Men and Women are typically equal in most clans, the head of the household will typically sit at the head of the table and speak when dealings are done so be observant of this. When giving a gift ensure it is given to the households head, giving it to the husband/Wife of the household's breadwinner implies both that you consider the head unworthy and can also mean you wish to purchase the receivers wife/Husband.

    When giving gifts to a chieftain or person of rank always announce the gift and hand it to the bondsman the chieftain instructs to collect the gift, NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES HAND A GIFT TO THE CHIEF DIRECTLY!!! this is a sign you do not recognize the rank and worth of the ruler and can be punished by death or a duel.

    Health

    Conclave Healers are traditional practitioners of steppe medicine and will usually only treat those considered to have a social rank within clan society, foreign visitors are encouraged to utilize services within the more modern city of Neuanfang or to have their own medicine or physicians on hand. Sick individuals should stay indoors until visibly recovered as the spreading of illness is a taboo on the steppe.

    Getting Around

    The Modern city of Neuanfang possesses numerous options for a traveler to Essalanea, buses, Motorcycle taxis, and conventional cars are present and available for a nominal fee. On the Steppe, the traveler is advised to utilize their own transport be that Horse, Car or Motorcycle. Mining towns along the growing state road networks possess gas stations and limited amenities, traveling deeper into Essalanea is likely to lead to limitations on available supplies. Caution is advised.

    Religion

    Religion is a part of daily life for most Essalanean's, families usually keep a shrine to Ziu within their home, sacred sites are maintained across the steppe by the shamanistic priests of Ziu. A foreigner should never take the name of Ziu in vain as it is considered blasphemous and an ill omen, be respectful of any priest you encounter and ensure you do not trespass upon a sacred site without an accompanying priest or sanctioned bondsman present.

    Attempting to evangelize or convert members of the clans is not advised as the typical reaction at best will be anger and at worst violence, the clans are tolerant of foreign religions as long as they are conducted in private and not openly preached, as long as Ziu and his adherents receive basic respect they will return it.

    Entertainment

    Essalanea is a diverse land with a storied history, a foreign tourist can expect plenty of opportunity for entertainment if they follow basic rules and etiquette

    Brothels: Neuanfang is home to many brothels, Sex workers on the steppe are members of the Conclave of Joy and have both rights and social rank...mistreating them carries a death sentence from all clans due to their conclave status. Male and Female sex workers are usually available, the price is worked out with the worker in person.

    Bars: in the city of Neauanfang foreign and traditional bars are spreading like wildfire, expect alcohol, singing and lively company. On the steppe, each tribe will gather most nights around the fire to drink and share stories.

    Wrestling: Amongst the most popular of all clan sports, wrestling is prized both for entertainment and physical conditioning. Neuanfang possesses several fledgling wrestling halls where audiences can bet and watch matches. On the Steppe, games are often held during festivals.

    Archery: Another clan favorite, Archery is prized for its martial uses, Archery ranges are present both in Neuanfang and across the steppe, competitions are commonplace and prizes can be won if the entrant is sufficiently skilled.

    Horse and Motorcycle racing: Speed is the king of the steppe, In Neuanfang newly built arenas cater to immense motorcycle tournaments, on the steppe clan bondsmen frequently engage in tests of speed and control with injury and chaos being constants.

    Sacred Sites: Visits to sacred sites are at the sole discretion of the priests of Ziu, however, should you receive sanction expect an amazing experience. The standing stones and shrines of Ziu are typically located in beautiful locations that have remained undisturbed for millennia, equally the Monastery of the great plains is considered a work of art. Its roof pure gold and its construction utilizing ancient stones carved by the clan Rugen.
     
  6. North Timistania

    North Timistania Registered

    Messages:
    126
    Clan Lexicon

    Ehrenseele: Literally 'Path of the Honor Soul' A traditional clan code of honor, its interpretation varies from clan to clan but the basic tenents revolve around clean and quick kills and the avoidance of cruelty in order to maintain a pure soul.

    Unhorsed: Derogatory term used to describe clan bondsmen unable to afford horse or motorbike, also used as a pejorative term for foreigners.

    Path of Glory: Religious blessing typically applied to friends and allies, Ziu is considered to guide the worthy to glory. 'Walk the path of Glory always' is considered a traditional blessing amongst friends

    Sheathed Sword: The sheathed blade is a traditional symbol of peace and friendship on the steppe, a person acting with a sheathed sword is a person whose dealings are peaceful in intention.

    Clanless: One who has been exiled from their clan for a terrible crime, considered a fate worse than death.

    Unmarked: Someone who lacks the traditional clan tattoos associated with rank and age. This can refer to someone seen to be inexperienced or also generally refers to children who have not yet undergone the rites of adulthood or foreign-born individuals.

    Ink-Skin- An Essalanean seen to hold a high social rank, usually someone bearing many honor tattoos. Ink-Skin also refers to those who are seen to be social elite within steppe society.

    First Sword: The Champion of the United Clans is known as the first sword and acts as both bodyguard and herald to the high chief.

    Scourge: A clan executioner tasked with punishing the guilty, the Scourge of Essalanea is an archaic rank associated with Essalan's companion Ruug, who acted as the right hand and executioner of the first high chief.

    Derny: Pejorative slang used to describe Essalanean's who support the modernization of the country. Typically used by Conservative clans to describe the more progressive Volkmann, Kimbri and Hureg clans.

    Duster: A Pejorative term used to describe Essalanean's seen to support the preservation of the old ways, a duster is literally one who worships the dust of ages past and implies the individual is a fool blinded by it. Typically used by Progressive Clans such as Kimbri and Volkmann to describe less modern clans such as the Karg and Rugen.

    Heldenpfad-Literally 'Hero's Path' this represents the greatest glory and the ultimate sacrifice in clan culture. A warrior seen to die in battle is venerated above all others in clan culture, the final stand of the death-bound hero is a common theme in Essalanean myth. Considered by many to be the greatest fulfillment of Ehrenseele, the Heldenpfad is a moment dreamt of by generations of bondsmen.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  7. North Timistania

    North Timistania Registered

    Messages:
    126
    Permanent Settlements In Essalanea: A Primer

    Introduction


    The idea of a permanent settlement in Essalanea might seem like a fantasy to most people in Eras, with less than a million urban people in a population of some 8.5 Million people it certainly does not paint an encouraging picture of the Clans as city dwellers. However, the variance in social practices amongst the different clans must be considered before assigning judgments, the urban experiments that progressive clans such as the Volkmann and Kimbri have engaged in over the last century are proof that the clans are indeed capable of sedentary life. In this Primer, we provide the reader with an analysis of the three most prominent settlements on the steppe, those being Vosgotis, Kimbria and Neuanfang.

    Vosgotis

    [​IMG]

    'Essalan , Voll, Ruug, Thurderic, Saskia...they all walked these streets at one time, every stone in this place is imbued with history, the very air you breath has been sanctified by millennia of clan history'

    -Hunneric Karg to his young Son Alric on his first visit to Vosgotis

    'Ziu is our God, Essalan is our father, Essalanea our Mother and Vosgotis the womb from which our land was birthed'

    -Old clan saying

    The oldest and most sacred site in all Essalanea, Vosgotis was constructed by the legendary Aleman warlord Essalan to serve as his personal seat of power from which he would rule the clans of the steppe. Largely unchanged since its construction millennia ago the fortress is less of a city and more of a fortified palace for the High Chief to hold court in. Its population fluctuates immensely, growing to hundreds of thousands during the brief seasonal moots before dropping back to barely 20,000 people for the rest of the year. Tall, ancient and built to a scale never repeated on the steppe the city has been maintained by a dedicated Caste of worker-residents whose sole purpose is to keep the city intact.

    Considered the holiest of all sites on the steppe Vosgotis is neutral territory, drawing weapons within the walls of the city or raiding its surrounding lands carries a death sentence for any clan foolish enough to attempt such sacrilege. Thus the city has never experienced the violence or harsh existence that defines life for most clans on the steppe, instead supported by rich grazelands and bountiful herds the city has prospered for generations. The small permanent population have developed a very narrow view of steppe life, spared the harsher realities of life in the rest of the nation.

    Vosgotis remains the ceremonial capital of Essalanea and the seat of the High Chief, however, it has never grown beyond a well-fortified palace, this has spurred more progressive clans to attempt larger scale settlement elsewhere.

    Kimbria


    [​IMG]

    'This running around on the steppe chasing herds and shooting each other worked for our forefathers, but their dead and we are alive, I'm tired of us fighting over scraps...the unhorsed left some nice stone houses on the coast, I say we move in, and if any of you bastards have other ideas, well say so now, I'm not washing twice today'

    -Saskia declaring the settlement of Kimbria

    'Coffee, Whores, Guns, Drugs, a beer, and a patchy tv signal to watch the sports on, Kimbria has everything you could ever want...just don't piss off the locals, the skins hanging in the market square should be warning enough that these Kimbri ladies don't fuck about'

    -Paul Krugman, Journalist, hedonist and life long resident of Kimbria

    'God I love this place! All the Guns are on Special!!!'

    -An amazed smuggler on his first visit to the port market

    'The biggest sore on the face of Eras!'

    -A foreign naval officer regarding Kimbria

    The western coast of Essalanea has a long and violent history, repeatedly settled by pre-imperial states from the Syrixian home islands the west has changed hands many times over the ages. The original a native inhabitants of the western coast were victimized repeatedly first by the Kamarupi slave empire which established slave ports up and down the coast and then by the Essalanean's following their seizure of the region in the mid 500's. The western clans brutally massacred large numbers of kamarupi citizens during their invasion and left the now empty cities to crumble. The region would again see invasion from across the strait when the states Amana, Sena, Yadava, and Angad returned to re-establish several of the old Kamrupi port cities. This period ended a generation later with a massacre so brutal it has become ingrained in Essalanean racial memory, the so-called 'Abwerfen' or in Mercanti 'throwing off' ended with the clans wading through blood in streets of the port cities, so total was the genocidal rage of the Essalanean's that no living person was spared.

    The Abwerfen ended any outside interference on Essalanea's coast, the cities were once again left empty while the clans remained nomadic. However, the influence of the outsiders had rubbed off on the clans of the west who maintained several unusual quirks they had learned from the Syrixian's such as trading with passing vessels. In 1969 the western clans endured a massive upheaval as the ruling K├╝stenherrn clan was displaced by the rise of the Kimbri. Saskia, the so-called 'Red Adder' slew Hors K├╝stenherrn and claimed his mantle as chief paramount of the western tribes.

    Saskia declared that the time for backward nomadic ways had ended and that the Kimbri would settle the ports, largely still usable due to the excellence of Syrixian architecture. No one challenged her, the blood of her rival still covering her, the most intact port was re-settled and the Essalaneans made what repairs they could to the aging ruins, the Kimbri population grew in size as they grew wealthy from outside trade and a stable source of food in the form of fishing. By the time of Saskia's death, the city and its surrounding countryside boasted nearly 300,000 inhabitants. Angrette, Saskia's daughter heir ensured that growth continued thanks to a robust network of traders, smugglers, and pirates who utilized Kimbria as a place of trade and respite.

    Modern conveniences such as generators, radios, and bars soon began to spring up thanks to foreign trade, making the kimbri second only to the Volkmann in terms of wealth. Pirates and legitimate traders alike all like to keep up with current events between business appointments and so the city is dotted with primitive signal towers, tv aerials, and stolen internet access towers. There's even the occasional foreign run net cafe if you have the means to pay for it.

    Kimbria today is a city in flux, old and rickety streets play host to bustling markets, noisy bars, and arms stalls, blackouts from failing generators, murders over cell reception and occasional shootouts between rival smugglers and pirates make it a lively, and lethal, place to live. The Kimbri keep nominal order, the sword maidens patrolling the streets and keeping the violence to acceptable levels. A sea of conclave brothels, drug dens, the occasional fight club, As long as you don't interrupt business and can pay for any damages anything goes in Kimbria, that said the traditional punishment for breaking the rules is being skinned alive and having said hide strung up in the market for all to see.

    but Anegrette intends to go further. possessing a large population and poised to take advantage massive influx of foreign investment and expertise thanks to the Volkmann opening of the country, Anegrette intends to renovate the city with modern buildings and infrastructure, stable power sources and above all advanced harbors that will make Kimbria Essalanea's great gateway to the world of Eras, the wild days of Kimbria are not over yet but going legitimate is on the horizon, and there is every indication that she is capable of doing this.


    Neuanfang


    [​IMG]


    'Don't let the place fool you, Neuanfang might look like a collection of shacks and yurts and smell like goats and two millennia of unwashed barbarians, but under the surface, there's something profound going on here, the clans are putting down roots, inviting outsiders like us in to help them build and they are doing it at breakneck pace, mark my words kiddo this city might be worthy of that title sooner then you think'

    -A Foreign Surveyor explaining the city of Neuanfang to his apprentice

    Inspired by contact with foreigners along their border region, the Volkmann began experimenting with semi-permanent settlements as early as the 1900s. The city that would eventually boast 500,000 inhabitants was initially a collection of Yurts scattered across the Volkmann foothills, the chieftains of the clan realized that foreign trade was easier when trading posts were static and so began erecting numerous outposts in order to facilitate easier trade with outsiders. By the 1980s the Volkmann clan under then chieftain Hunneric Volkmann was importing wood, guns and even electric generators, the population remained around 200,000 for much of the 1980s and 90s.

    Following Hunnerics brutal death during a foreign retaliation for his clan's raids, Gaiseric Volkmann emerged as the new Chieftain in the mid-1990s, deeply affected by his father's death Gaiseric developed a near-religious vision for modernization. Neuanfang, at this point still a collection of loosely connected camps, began to grow at a rapid pace as the new chieftain strengthened his clan.

    Gaiseric used wood purchased from foreigners to build many new permanent structures in the foothills and the discovery of coal and other resources vindicated the investment. When Gaiseric was elected High Chief of Essalanea he used this new position to continue to push his vision of a new modern nation. He encouraged poorer bondsmen to settle within the region of Neuanfang whilst the wealthy retained their traditional lifestyle on the steppe.

    The defining moment for Neuanfang came when Gaiseric declared the nation's intention to open itself to foreign investment and assistance, he wasted little time declaring Neuangang the new administrative capital, its position along the border with Cimmeria making it an invaluable location to coordinate foreign activities. Thousands of bondsmen from across Essalanea moved to the city, promises of freedom from raids and subsistence drawing them to the Volkmann capital.

    The capital is now growing at a rapid pace, outsiders are a common sight and they are bringing their expertise and industry with them, the close proximity to various large resource deposits has meant that the city has benefited from the most infrastructure development, the roads and refineries being the first foreign-built conveniences to arrive. Neuanfang still has a long way to go, its sprawl of shacks and yurts now slowly being broken up by Stone buildings and concrete prefabs as modernity advances.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  8. North Timistania

    North Timistania Registered

    Messages:
    126
    Parenting: Raising a child of the Clan

    'It takes a Clan to raise a child'

    -Ancient Clan saying

    Essalanea is a land which so often evokes equal parts fascination and confusion with its unique and often frightening customs, the raising of children has typically been depicted by foreign sources in one of two ways, either a sort of noble savage stereotype idolizes the clans as pure and without modern corruption or the clans are depicted as barbaric, cruel and monstrous beings who raise their children more like wolves then human beings. Neither analysis can be considered to present the clans in a fair or accurate manner and it is this primer's hope that the following information will shed new light on this most unusual of nations.

    The Role of Mother and Father

    'My Mother was more like a friend than a parent in many ways, that's often the way it is on the steppe, she loved me and taught me many things but was by no means the only carer in my young existence, a vast clan of uncles, aunties, grandparents and fathers (my mother married over 30 times) all acted as my guides in early life'

    -Chief Anegrette Kimbri on the role of her mother Saskia

    Unlike in many parts of Eras roles are less determined by gender and more by social rank, for example, duties often associated with a mother might instead be assigned to the father if he is seen to possess a lowe social rank. It is not uncommon for women to have multiple husbands, be the dominant partner in a clan household or to see father's remaining at home to care for children. Given this unusual quirk of clan society, it is perhaps easy to see why Mother and Father are typically not considered as having concrete traits to the extent they do in the rest of Eras. A mother can teach a son to kill, a father can teach a daughter to weave, all depends on rank.

    Parents are revered on the steppe as guides and protectors of the young, however, they are less important than in other societies, the child ultimately belongs to the entire clan and not just his birth parents. Another factor diminishing the importance of parenthood on the steppe is the basic fact that clan bondsmen do not inherit things in the manner they do in other nations. Upon death bondsman's possessions are typically blessed by a priest and returned to the shared common pool of the clan. This practice shows no signs of dying out with the emergence of modern life.

    Despite this lack of inheritance and the presence of collective care for children, parental relations are typically warm and perhaps because of the lack of material concerns, closer than more individualistic nations. A parent does not have any say over their child's profession and also a child cannot demand items from the parent, thus their relationship is based upon mutual love and familial ties, it has been observed by anthropologists in the rare instances they are allowed to spend time on the steppe that parents are typically very warm and relaxed towards their children.

    The Role of Elders

    'My Grandfather was a man of both wisdom and unusually sharp humour, taught me about Essalan, Ziu, how to approach the pretty clan women, the best foods to stave off a hangover and also how to strip and re-assemble an automatic rifle, he was fun'

    -Gaiseric Volkmann on his grandfather Theoderic


    Elders are considered a rare and revered group upon the steppe, life is harsh and often short and being able to reach old age is a sign of Ziu's favour and of the immense ability of the individual in question. Elders are usually retained as bearers of knowledge and as advisors to the chieftains, it is the elders who teach the children of myth, history and of their obligations to the clan. Old warriors who have not died in battle will typically take the role of honoured mentors to the young, an old warrior is seen to still possess the Ehrenseele as long as they are contributing to the propagation of honourable warriors for the clans future, as such many old warriors will pass on their skills and knowledge to the very young.

    Elders do not work the commons as the young do, instead they are holders of information and tradition, elders initiate the young into the ways of Essalan and Ziu and control the trials of maturity, it is the elders who instruct the young child in the nature of their last trials and prepare them mentally and physically for the harsh struggle that follows the onset of the trials. A clan will guard its elders with the same savage tenacity that it does its children.

    Modernity may yet cause some aspects of the elderly life to change, but with collective capitalism still in its fledgeling years the role of elder is still revered and a position that commands utmost respect among the sons of Essalan.

    The Role of the Clan

    'Child Labour...this is reprehensible!!!'

    'Unhorsed you look but you do not see! children do not enter the mines or work the assembly lines! Look! each is given simple tasks, cleaning their trainer's equipment and gear, learning from industrial primers, running water to men on their breaks, What you call labour we call an education!'

    -An exchange between a foreign observer and a clan miner

    The Clan is the ultimate guide and family unit of every child born on the steppe, while parents may sire and birth the child it is the clan that clothes, protects, teaches and develops the child into a fully fledged bondsman. The clan typically raises children in a collective setting, Essalanean children are taught and raised in large combined groups by the clan elders and veterans. Being raised in such a group also undermines the power of blood parents, a father and a mother have nurturing roles but are only one component of a larger group effort.

    Another aspect of the Clan is in the shared kinship between all members, a child will typically be taught to refer to anyone from his Chief down to the oldest man or woman as 'Brother' 'Uncle' or 'Grandfather' in a large extended family. This strengthens the bonds between children and their adult peers, the adult receives respect from the child and in turn has a familial role in the child's upbringing. An Essalanean child never wants for tutors or caregivers, all men and women in the clan will look out for and provide guidance to the young. Children are the future of any clan and thus are treated as a community investment and project, the high mortality rate of young on the steppe also means that only a precious few will reach adulthood, Children are the most precious resource each clan possesses.

    From a very early age, children will begin working amongst bondsmen in the clan commons. in ancient times this took the form of hunting, herding or crafting, now in modernity clan, children are often used as apprentices in a variety of roles such as in industrial complexes, military bases and even factories. It is important to note that children do not take part in dangerous physical labour until they reach maturity, usually, a child's work experience will be relegated to safer roles such as weapon cleaning, work in communal kitchens or even being taught how to use tools or sow by experienced bondsmen. In this way, a child is given the opportunity to serve their clan from an early age.

    The clan is also the source of adult rank and recognition when a child reaches the proper age they are blessed by the priests of Ziu and allowed to undertake the final trial to become a fully fledged adult. Trials of maturity vary from clan to clan, Volkmann children are sent to foreign border towns and expected to work their way home using negotiation and resourcefulness, Karg children are abandoned on the steppe and told to fight their way home or die, Kimbri are assigned a mark to kill silently and Hureg are expected to bring something of value back to the clan merchants. In all cases the risk is a calculated one, a child will either pass or die in most circumstance, this breeds out weakness but it also thins population numbers.

    Should a child return home safely and satisfying the clan's requirements they will be granted their first honour mark, a tattoo bearing the clan totem animal, and granted a home, a horse, weapons and the right to speak and partake in clan moots and clan gatherings as well as the legal status to issue challenges and defend their honour via a duel. Some of these rights are vanishing as modernity advances, duelling is increasingly looked upon as archaic by the ruling elites but regardless each bondsman has reached the most important milestone in their journey from child to adult.

    Playtime

    'When I was a boy I worked 3 hours amongst the clan bondsmen most days, but after that, I was a being of curiosity and liberty, I rode my pony from one side of our territory to the other, I hunted, explored and was entirely free, the steppe unhorsed was my childhood playground'

    -Chieftain Magnar Hureg when asked to explain why children were left unsupervised

    Children are given a surprising amount of freedom on the steppe, whilst they will work from early ages they will by large be given much free time between jobs. Children in a clan tend to be unrestrained and free to roam in ways that would shock and appal more modern nations, children learnt to ride from early ages and often roam the clan commons unsupervised by adults. The freedom that each child possesses is a reflection of the Essalanean values of independence and liberty, however, modernity is changing the nature of childhood to some degree. Mining towns and permanent settlements are emerging in larger numbers and life within these areas are more chaotic and time orientated, it is likely that children raised in modern settings will be raised in a more regimented and restrictive manner due to the time constraints and inherent dangers that are common in modern settlements.

    War

    'Children are our lifeblood, the enemy will try to seize them in order to sustain their dying corpse of a clan, I say we give them only their own blood!'

    -Clan Elder during a child raid

    Children are prized assets to any clan and it is sadly not uncommon for children to be taken in raids by rival clans, as such each clan will fiercely defend its young and usually the most senior of the veteran warriors will be tasked with their defence during raids or attacks from outsiders, to lost one's children is to lose ones future. increased centralization and the rise of modern policing and law has done much to reduce the risk to children on the steppe but it has also led to new fostering initiatives that potentially may lead to more peaceful relations between clans. A recent fostering agreement between the Volkmann and Kimbri resulted in several children being exchanged and taught for multiple years before being returned home. This exchange system has led to hybridized bondsmen with values from both clans and Gaiseric Volkmann is likely to extend this idea across the steppe to end internecine violence between clans.

    Conclusion

    Life in the clans is a life lived in a collective society, there are dangers and there are benefits in equal measure. The steppe life is a hard one but each child born to the clan has a great source of protection and guidance in the form of both blood parents and the wider kinship the entire clan offers, the children who survive to maturity are some of the most hard-working and resilient citizens present in any nation on Eras.

    The rise of modernity is challenged the old ways for both better and worse, some changes such as the phasing out of duels, improvements in medicine and the end of raiding present a very positive picture of modern life in Essalanea, however, this is tempered by the inherent risks that accompany modern existence. Modernity is making the role of the elder and the clan more complicated as foreign schools and foreign methods of child rearing enter the country and the arrival of modern settlements and modern industry are also likely to alter clan life in countless unexpected ways.

    However, the clans have always done things on their own terms and the fact that they now advance towards modernity by choice and without damaging histories of colonialism or occupation bodes well for their ability to adapt and integrate their time honoured ways into the new modern reality.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  9. North Timistania

    North Timistania Registered

    Messages:
    126
    Clan Profile: The Hureg 'Essalanea's other Great Clan'

    [​IMG]

    The southern portion of Essalanea is a strange place by the standards of the steppe, home to the only real forests in the land it is a place shrouded in green. The Hureg are the dominant ruling clan in the south, their ancestors had conquered the land in Essalan's name as the mighty warlord's people moved across what is now Essalanea. The Hureg are an unusual mix of Gotic and indigenous blood, their very heritage telling a tale of violence and assimilation.

    When the Gotic invasion of the steppe began in the mid 550s Essalan sent one of his trusted lieutenants, Hurg, to the southern lands in order to pacify it in the name of the clans. The south was occupied by indigenous tribes who resisted Hurg's warriors fiercely using guerilla tactics and the local forests to their advantage. The campaign cost Hurg dearly, eventually, however Gotic savagery and numbers proved overwhelming.

    Hurg was faced with a dilemma, wipe out the native peoples and forever stain the land with genocide? or Assimilate their people into his own clan? in the end, pragmatism won out over any revanchism. The Gots had lost too many in the war to indulge in bloodshed, instead, they inter-married with the local tribes over time becoming one people. Hurg's clan grew strong from this mixed union, the Gots bringing metallurgy and warlike skill and the indigenous people sharing their knowledge of forestry and survival. For his part Hurg married an indigenous princess known only in clan lore as Amalwara, together their bloodlines intermingled to create the modern clan Hureg.


    The Hureg developed a society based around the tenents of adaptability, commerce and brutal raiding, their camps in the wooded south proving the perfect staging grounds for both seasonal raiding and trading with the kingdoms bordering the southern steppe. over time a primitive city known as Heimstatte or 'Homestead' rose in the south with seasonal inhabitants from the entire clan erecting wooden shacks and larders in order to wait out the long winters.

    The
    Hureg
    totem, the mighty bear, is indicative of their mentality, like the bear the Hureg are careful and patient but also utterly brutal when provoked, and like the
    bear
    , the Hureg protect their own to the death if threatened. The
    Hureg
    are
    a tightly knit mass of extended families and communities, they hunt and wander the southern lands at will, rarely gathering in full at Heimstatte for moots and festivals.
    Hureg
    Bondsmen are taught to survive the brutal conditions of the south by working together, everyone is expected to provide whether through violent or commercial actions.

    Over time the Hureg would fragment into thousands of sub-clans and kin groups, forming the so-called 'Hureg Confederacy', arguably a nation within a nation, this loose social structure was aided by their relative isolation from their northern clan kin and the vast amount of free land present in the south. The Hureg are often viewed as unusual by other Essalanean's strange features and different customs marking them as distinct amongst the primarily Gotic clans of the north, however, the Hureg are proud sons of Essalan and will happily fight anyone foolish enough to say otherwise.

    [​IMG]
    [A Hureg Bondsman, Note that like most Hureg his features bear evidence of assimilation of Indigenous peoples into the clan]

    Under Chief Magnar Hureg the clan began to undergo reforms similar to those that the Volkmann and Kimbri would later commence in the north and west respectively. Magnar was born amongst the trading expeditions and gatherings of the south and grew used to foreigners at an early age, eventually mastering several languages other then Essalanean Sudengots. Magnar was one of the rare few chieftains to journey abroad and during his time in foreign capitals, he studied the knowledge and economic theories of the Unhorsed in great detail, eventually returning to attempt an implementation of capitalist ideas in the south.

    Magnar's reforms were met with mixed success, on the one hand, the Hureg had always been mercantile and now began to engage in commercial enterprise at even greater rates of expansion, however, the clans were simply not interesting in abandoning their collective culture. Magnar realized capitalism in its outside form would never work in Essalanea, therefore he set to work theorizing an interpretation that would work for the clans. His solution was the theory of Collective Capitalism, free market trading with clan-based investment, he knew however he would need disciples to spread his new idea.

    coincidentally around the time that Magnar was developing collective capitalism, the northern clan of Volkmann was recovering from near extinction under the reign of a powerful new chieftain, Gaiseric, Magnar would later journey north and share his vision with this leader. Gaiseric, already eager to save his people from destruction at the hands of more advanced neighbors was all too eager to embrace Magnars ideas. From this tutelage, many of the modern facets of Gaiseric's program of reform would grow.

    Ironically the passing of the torch of capitalism to Gaiseric also left the Hureg a distant third wheel in the clans rising modernization plan, Heimstatte due to both isolation and tradition remains tiny compared with other clan cities and the Hureg have yet to fully embrace modern ways to the same extent as the other clans. However, the Bear is a cautious being by nature and it is likely that when the Hureg do fully accept modernity they will take to it with unstoppable enthusiasm.
     
  10. North Timistania

    North Timistania Registered

    Messages:
    126
    The Modern Clan Army: Composition of Essalanea's Fledgling Military

    Introduction

    Essalanea is a nation in transition, the brutal Karg war ended with the ascent of a Kimbri/Volkmann alliance that has dominated clan politics ever since. This new reality has been difficult for many to accept, as the surging forces of modernity enter the steppe it is perhaps curious that more clans have not openly resisted.

    The answers are myriad, Kimbri assassins removing potential rivals, vast incentives to join the modernization, Gaiseric's immense charisma and acumen as a political leader. All of these are valid answers but it is the monopoly on modern military technology by the High Chief and his Grand Moot that has allowed this dominance.

    The National Clan Army is a growing formation, armed with modern weapons and equipment and trained by veteran soldiers from lands as close as Norsia and as far-flung as Predice and Arirang, and it is solely loyal to the new order. The national army is a threat that keeps the clans in line.

    Leadership

    The clan army is led by high general Alric Volkmann the brother of the high chief, under his leadership, a growing core of officers and specialists has gathered ready to build a new army. Beneath Alric are three war chiefs who are responsible for the organization of regional arms of the nations 30,000 strong war conclave, the most prominent of these is Helbrandt Karg.

    A corps of loyal and ambitious officers has risen within the new army, hailing from countless clans across the steppe and seeking fame, glory, and rewards they have been drawn to the new army by the High Chief's promises of a new and magnificent future for the steppe.

    Composition: Units of the Clan Military

    Volkmann Mechanized Light Infantry

    'When I first laid eyes upon that iron beast I knew I had seen the future, the Norsian's told us she was a rusting old hand-me-down with no armor and limited use, we saw speed and movement incarnate, and with their training, we mastered that power'

    -Bondsman at arms Lufgt Haas

    [​IMG]
    [Clan soldiers disembarking an APC, note the mix of foreign gear and Norsian second-hand apc]

    The most modern clan in Essalanea, the Volkmann have always utilized vehicles in some form. During the Norsian backed Modernisation large numbers of Volkmann bondsmen joined the Clan army, they quickly demonstrated a skill for mechanized operations and soon were organized into mechanized divisions within the clan Army. While bondsmen from other clans have joined these formations as well, the Volkmann are the dominant majority in mechanized units.

    Volkmann infantry specialize in rapid deployments, covering vast distances in short order and securing objectives under a withering hail of fire from their armoured carriers.

    Kimbri Snipers

    'One Woman did this!'

    -Karg War Era Separatist observing the carnage following a Kimbri ambush

    [​IMG]
    [A kimbri Sniper poses in a rare photo]

    A clan defined by mastery of stealth, guerilla warfare, and assassination, the Kimbri have added this lethal skill set to the roster of the clan army. Overwhelmingly female in composition the Kimbri snipers are trained from birth to decimate enemy ranks with precise shooting and deadly accuracy, Each sniper is trained to work alone or as part of a larger group and their presence alone can bog down enemy units and cripple advancing formations.

    Hureg Rangers

    'They move through ice, snow, and forest like unrelenting ghosts'

    -An observer regarding Hureg Rangers

    [​IMG]
    [A Hureg Ranger keeps watch over the frozen steppe during a savage winter]

    Southern Essalanea is a cold and unforgiving landmarked by long winters and dark forests, the Hureg Clan has adapted to this harsh environment and become one of the hardiest peoples on the face of eras in the process.

    Hureg rangers are highly skilled trackers, able to move undetected through forest and tundra alike, they are also excellent ambushers and ruthless close combatants, favoring the time-honored clan ax for personal engagements. Utilizing a mix of bolt action and automatic weapons the Hureg are light troops best utilized in rapid engagements and guerilla warfare.

    During times of peace the Rangers utilize their skill set to hunt criminals, dangerous animals and rescue those lost in the dark of the southern steppe. In war, they utilize the same skillset to make life for those dwelling in the cold miserable and short.

    Karg Heavy Infantry Formations

    'Ramming Speed! All Units Advance!!!'

    -Overenthusiastic Karg commander during a combat exercise

    [​IMG]
    [Karg formations making use of Norsian donated Iron king MK 1's]

    The Karg are infamous and famous in equal measure for their direct and brutal approach to warfare, Karg favor heavy weapons and armor in order to close with the enemy and destroy them. Nearly wiped out at the end of the Karg war, the clan was spared on condition of their loyalty to the new order, today Karg soldiers serve with pride in the new clan army.

    The Clan's bondsmen quickly became enamored with the armored vehicles that began to appear in large numbers on the steppe, eagerly taking on the role of tankers and support infantry.

    Karg infantry formations are best utilized as heavy assault units, their preference for tanks and massed infantry advances making them excellent shock troops. Karg units are best deployed when there is no chance of surprise and the battle is to be decided through bloody and drawn out fighting, their savagery working best in such situations.

    Outriders

    'They were like a swarm of hornets! Hard to hit and utterly infuriating!'

    -Foreign Soldier commenting on a training exercise against Clan outriders

    [​IMG]
    [Clan Outrider utilizing a new Predicean sourced motorcycle]

    The martial clan traditions of mounted combat remain as strong today as they did a millennia ago, Clan bondsman still live in the saddle and often die in it. As such the motorcycle or 'Iron Horse' as it is known in Essalanea has become a key component in the national army.

    The Outrider Corps serves as a fast assault and reconnaissance force within the clan army, outriders excel at harassing and ambushing enemy troops as well as scouting and resupply. These units are typically divided into squadrons and distributed across the various formations in the army. Clan outriders can be utilized as independent units or as support units for larger formations when combined with infantry and armored assets they are a nightmare for enemy troops.

    Unsurprisingly the clans in their entirety have enthusiastically filled the ranks of this formation, it now boasts riders from across the steppe and has become a great unifying force in an army where different units are not always heavily mixed.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019