Hillfolk

From World of Charun

(Redirected from Hill Folk)

"Three skinny kids beat one fat braggart."
- Old Hillfolk saying

Enlarge


Contents

Description

The Hillfolk, or Asoari as they are refered to at times, inhabit the nation A' Soar that claims the southwestern parts of the Old Land. They have succumbed back to their traditional ways, abandoning the thought of a nation with a centralised government, becoming openly rebellious to all attempts to unify the region, only owing allegiance to their own personal leaders.

The lifestyle of the Asoari differ little from the life led by their ancestors in the Wild Hills. Each of the 11 clans claim a patch of land that they refer to as ancestral land, claimed by the same right as their forefathers claimed land in the Wild Hills - through conquest. These lands may not be tremendously valuable, nor might they be extensive, but they represent their independent spirit. "Let the kings and queens rule elsewhere", one chief has said, "These lands are ours".

Four of the most prominent clans have even established villages to support their growing population. The majority live by herding sheep and cattle as well as farming the land. Those wanting trade travel with their goods to the capitol Cadbaile, where merchants buy whatever the Hillfolk have produced and selling it with profit elsewhere.

Hillfolk dwell in permanent wooden houses and live by herding sheep and cattle as well as farming the land. Some occupy themsevels with hunting, or hiring their services as guides or mercenaries to merchants. Their wooden houses are cold, damp, and dark. Sometimes it is warmer and lighter outside the home than within its walls. For security purposes, windows, when they are present, are very small openings with wooden shutters that are closed at night or in bad weather. The small size of the windows allows those inside to see out, but keep outsiders from looking in. Hillfolk families eat, sleep, and spend time together in very small quarters, rarely more than one or two rooms.

More about: A' Soar | Hillfolk Clans


Life expectancy and Fertility Rate

Adulthood: 15 years
Life expectancy: 55 years
Maximum lifespan: 120 years
Total fertility rate: The average number of children born to a female over her lifetime is 3-5.


Etymology

When the Cataclysm struck Charun, the people were scattered when they were fleeing for their lives. One large group in the Old Land sought refuge amongst the Wild Hills along the Fierce Sea coast. They became known as the Hillfolk a few decades later. Asoari on the other hand means "the free".


History and Origins

The Old Land has always been a cradle of civilisation. The Mórail were the lords of the land during the Second Age, until mankind claimed it and founded the great nation of Elmwood. The realm stood nearly a millennium, finally falling to a mixture of political corruption and the rebelliousness found within the population. A few years before the end of the Third Age Elmwood dissolved into several small city states, some noble attempts at rebuilding what had been lost, and others mere land grabs by those powerful enough. When greater kingdoms met their fate in the end of the Third Age, so did the smaller ones. The people in the region were scattered when they were fleeing for their lives. The largest group sought refuge amongst the hills along the Fierce Sea coast. They became known as the Hillfolk a few decades later.

The clans were united into one nation, Fearann, by Cadman son of Brian in 364 IV, during the Old Land Stand war. As the war raged on, the future of the young nation was at first uncertain, but Fearann finally won its independence, but at a horrifying cost. Large amounts of the population were dead and most of the farmland burnt.

Fearann was approached in 367 IV by the vampires of Narghal with an ultimatum that came to divide the nation. The Hillfolk were offered either destruction in battle or taxation in blood. The Comhairle (ruling council) chose to accept the latter through signing the Treaty of Ancestors. The development led to 11 clans under the leadership of Cadman breaking free from Fearann in 367 IV, because they found the terms unacceptable. They formed the new realm of A' Soar, meaning "The Free" the same year.

While the people of Fearann, the Fearanni, have today fallen astray from their traditions under their dark masters, the Asoari have done the opposite by reverting back to old Hillfolk customs.

More about: Hillfolk Clans


Appearence

Hillfolk are a stout, broad-shouldered people. They are fair-skinned with blue or grey eyes and brown or red hair. Dark brown, almost black hair does occur in rare cases. Tattoos on arms and sometimes legs are not uncommon, a practice adapted from the Woodsmen inhabiting the Stormy Cliffs.


Language

The Asoari speak Hill Talk. It was developed from Southern Narghalan during the first centuries of the Fourth Age, that in turn orginated from Ancient Narghalan. It bears very little Narghalan elements today, more closely resembling Islean that is the common tongue.


Society

Governmental Form

The Hillfolk are divided into 11 clans consisting out of 3.000 - 7.000 members. Each clan is led by an chieftain or elder known as a 'Triath'.

The nation is governed according to old Hillfolk traditions with a council of elders known as the Comhairle that consists out of the Triath clan-leaders. However, there has mainly due to economical problems and a general unwillingness to abandon old traditions been a decentralisation of governmental power, leading to a situation where each clan more or less behaves as a separate state, sharing a common interest of preserving the nation.

More about: Hillfolk Clans


Social Stratification

Hillfolk clan structures vary, but elders and chieftains generally have a core of advisors and closely-aligned warriors who exercise authority within the clan. While in theory the majority of Hillfolk are socially equal, positions of leadership within the clan are generally respected and taken seriously.


Economy

Economy is mainly based on livestock and agriculture, as well as hunting to some degree. The surplus is transported to Cadbaile, whence it is exported to Sanctia or Atalheim. The focus on preserving traditions, rather than on adapting their lifestyle to a more progressive one, has led to a rather poor nation filled with simple and conservative inhabitants. The state treasury is even poorer, since the freedom from taxation found in the nation's constitution has led to few sources of income, which in turn has been a part of the decentralised government where power lies with each clan, who are expected to support their own warriors and provide for their own members.


Army

The constitution states that each clan must make two hundred warriors available for garrison duty, a practice that was already abandoned by the end of the 4th century. Each clan is responsible for defending its own territory today, and is organised in various manners depending on the clan in question. In times of war, all men and women of ages 16 and above are expected to take up arms and defend the nation. The gathering of the Hillfolk host is known as the Sluagh and it would number more than 30,000 warriors.


Technology

Hillfolk technology is generally unimpressive. Its architecture is second-rate (some travellers have noted that even the violent and barbaric Clandur build better homes), and most home-grown goods are oriented directly towards farming. Smiths provide basic gear but primarily work to refurbish and maintain older equipment that has come down to the A'Soar or has been obtained in trade. There is a notable air of backwardness about the vast majority of the A'Soar -- and its inhabitants seem to prefer it that way.


Culture

Diet

The Hillfolk diet consists of breads, vegetables from their own gardens, dairy products from their own sheep, goats, and cows, and pork from their own livestock. Often the true taste of their meat, salted and used throughout the year, is masked by the addition of herbs, leftover breads, and vegetables. Some vegetables, such as cabbages, leeks, and onions are known as "pot-herbs." This pottage is a staple of the Hillfolk diet.


Customs

Hospitality between Hillfolk is important, and failing to provide a fellow Hillman arriving to one's farm with food and shelter is considered a great disgrace. This hospitality is what has helped them survive over the centuries in a hostile region filled with many dangers, since a journeying kinsman can always find sanctuary when night falls and the hills grow even more perilous. Foreigners, however, seldom enjoy this luxury.

This crucial solidarity with one's kin is displayed in times of trouble as well. Whenever a threat arises, the Hillfolk are quick to muster their forces and leave home to side with their brethren in battle. This have happened on a number of occasions, such as when unusually large Urman hordes arrive from Talewood to cause havoc.

Defending one's home is a principle a Hillfolk won't stray from. The vast majority choose death upon their land rather than flight. This unbudging attitude, along with their combat skills, often leaves their farms untouched by both bandits and smaller bands of Cavers - even though the average number of Hillfolk populating a patch of land isn't very large.


Marriage

Marriages are conducted without any religious elements. The ceremony holds a great feast at the bride's father's home, attended by the groom and his family. When morning comes and the feast is over, the bride simply leaves home along with her husband.


Clothing

The Hillfolk dress in practical clothes. Their elderly women spin wool into the threads that are woven into the cloth for their garments. Men wear wool tunics and wool trousers, tucked into a pair of sturdy leather boots that are covered with wooden patens to keep the feet dry. These outer clothes are almost never laundered, but the linen underwear are regularly washed. The smell of wood smoke that permeates the clothing seems to act as a deodorant. When weather permits it, or labour demands it, the men go bare-chested with only a vest covering their upper body. Heavy wool cloaks are part of every Hillfolk's equipment. They are used to protect the wearer from the elements both during travel and sleep in the wild. All the men’s clothes have earth-tone colours.

The women wear long gowns with sleeveless, wool tunics. When the gown gets in the way, they are known for wrapping it around their ankles and shins with leather cord, creating a pair of loose-fitting trousers.


Arts

The Hillfolk have artistic traditions, most of which revolve around the use of intricate geometric patterns. While visually striking, they are usually dependent on simple arithmetic ratios, and are relatively easy to learn. Hillfolk pottery and crafts are for the most part unremarkable, being neither especially primitive, nor of exceptional value.

What the Hillfolk lack in material culture, they tend to make up for in musical traditions, having a large repertoire of ballads and sung poems collected down the ages. These are a source of folk education and amusement both. They also have a fairly strong tradition of social dance which is common at clan gatherings, where men and women dance together, particularly in search of suitors for marriage.


Games

The Hillfolk have a wide variety of games played by farm children, and generally have picked up those games which are generally popular in the Old Lands, gambling at dicing or cards.


Weapons and Armour

Smiths amongst the Hillfolk are skilled in ironwork. Since the availability of iron ore is scarce, they have become masters at recovering and remaking old, worn items, such as armour, tools and weapons. Their equipment varies greatly from individual to individual. When heading to battle they usually wear piecemeal armour to protect vital spots or the sword arm over their everyday clothing. Some of them own a mail shirt or mail hauberk, or perhaps a breastplate that they wear in battle. Their weaponsmiths are renowned for the iron blades found on the Hillfolk Lochaber axe and their customised greatsword. Their most famed weapon, however, is the Shillelagh – a brutal wooden cudgel which is sometimes filled in with lead to provide greater impact.


Religion

Quite a few different deities have gained a foothold among the Hillfolk, with the difference that the level of devotion compared to some other locations in Charun is less enthusiastic. It seems that the Hillfolk pray when it suits them and their agendas. The most prominent objects of worship found there are Lir'diaadh, Bhaaru, various ancestral sprits and even the nature itself. Most Hill Folk have a "chosen" deity, a patron god of sorts, but this seldom hinders them from saying a prayer to just about any god they are familiar with - if the situation calls for it.

Even though the constitution bans the faiths of Garagor, Glurak and the God-Lich, it's an entry more or less ignored today. It is considered irrelevant and based on a situation of faiths that no longer exists.


Statistics

Location in Charun: A' Soar

Population: 52.000, each of the 11 clans have 3-7.000 members

Settlements: Cadbaile (6.500), Slacraich (5.000), Cliathach (2.000), Gramail (1.500)

Army: The Sluagh

Government form: Decentralised Gerontocracy , leaning towards Tribalism.


Player Characters

Hillfolk names for your character: Hillfolk Names


Faction

The Hillfolk are part of the Civilized Faction, along with other human cultures and the Mórail.


Genetic Modifiers

The Narghali are naturally influential, generally projecting unusual confidence, along with great communication skills. However, they are generally poor at book learning since their culture has evolved more around pursuing virtues than knowledge.

The Narghali heritage has the following ingame effects:

Ability Modifiers:
+1 CHA, -1 INT


Cultural Modifiers

Urman Slayers:
Having long shared their ancestral lands with great numbers of Urman tribes, the Hillfolk have become experts in fighting against their ever-present foe. Hillfolk characters gain a +2 Attack Bonus vs Urmen.


Classes

The Hillfolk have the following cultural classes, which they can choose from during character creation. Following levels may be taken in the general classes (rogue, mystic, warrior) or in the cultural class chosen during character creation.


Languages

Native Tongue: Islean
You can always speak your native tongue as long as your INT is above 0, but you will not have any "language slots" at INT 7 or lower.
If your INT is 7 or lower you will not be able to understand languages other than your native tongue, regardless of whether you know them or not.

Faction Common Tongue: Islean
At INT 8 you will be given your first language slot, which if starting with INT 8 or higher will always be used for your faction's common tongue. If the native tongue is the same as the faction tongue, the slot can be used for a secondary language.

Secondary Languages: Urman, Caver
At INT 10 and each 2 INT after that you will be given another language slot, which can be used upon entering the game for the first time to pick a language from the secondary languages list. Language slots may also be used later to learn new languages.


Back to: Races | Human | Human Ethnic Groups | Narghali

Views