Humans live and die by the strength of their tribes, and have little patience for those who do not pull their own weight. The Nine Tribes are as far-flung and varied from each other as the lands they call home, but within each human lies the fire of adventure, the soul of a hero. Woe to any and all who seek to prove them wrong.
The home of the Humans is a wild and untamed place. It spans from the frozen tundra to lush and fertile grasslands, and from windswept desert to ocean-sprayed mountains. Settlements are few and far between, and travelers must always be on the lookout for wild animals, magical beasts and outlaws who vanish into the wilderness as quickly as they appear. Even the God of Many Aspects walks the lands of Hilbanjord, ready to face mortal challengers and award those who prove themselves.
"Speak in the tongues of your allies, to be a stranger to defeat. / Speak in the tongues of your enemies, and in doing so see yourself.” - Excerpt from ancient Human poem
Although there have been many tribes throughout history to call Hilbanjord home, the Nine Tribes are the most powerful in this day and age. Only recently, and with encouragement from Chief Pac’ku of the Drosh, have the tribes begun to associate with each other more and more. Each tribe is almost a nation unto itself. They have their own history and values independent of each other, but when push comes to shove they will gladly rally together to defeat a common foe. The Drosh are still honored above all for their service to Humanity as a whole, but they aren’t the leaders of the Humans by any means.
"Magn kur!" – popular swear word; literally "gutless beast"
In addition to the Drosh, the remaining eight tribes contribute their strength and skills to the betterment of the Human nation. The ancient Machnid are as silent as their snowy home. The Ferdosk are masters of the desert from the backs of their mounts. The Is’rakap slay monsters, and fear nothing on the frozen seas. The Rorsa are the greatest Human smiths, and guard their secrets well. The Grynas’ta serve the greater good as farmers and engineers. The Havrobar are belligerent, undefeated sailors. The intellectual Rogeverg seek knowledge of all things. The Takn are the exiles, shunned by many and accepted by few.
The capitol of the Human nation and home of the Drosh tribe. It started as a rebel base, using the mountainous terrain and the blessings of the Aspects to remain hidden from the Elves. It has since grown into a cosmopolitan haven, and is today a city of winding streets and steps by the thousands, with buildings clustered together next to the steep slopes of the mountainside. The citizens of Zahntolm are fascinated with the cultures of other races, and strive to be the bridge between Humans and the rest of the world.
Zahntolm is home to both the High Temple of the Aspects and the Council House, where representatives of the tribes (except the controversial Takn) meet regularly for discussion. It is closed off to the public, although this doesn’t prevent citizens from gathering outside the Council House during a crisis. The High Temple, on the other hand, is open to all. Sages are more than willing to tell the many stories that make up Human history, provided they aren’t busy with that day’s school lesson.
"Pick an animal – any animal – from around here and I assure you I have cooked and eaten than thing before." - Fernnor of the Red Hunt
At the behest of Chief Pac’ku, the Drosh were the Humans first to reach out to the other races of the world as well as to the other tribes. They laid the foundation for the Human nation’s political structure, allowing the tribes to deal with each other on even terms and present a (somewhat) unified front to the other races. For this, as well as being a descendent of Gos’rath the Godslayer, Pac’ku was given the unique title of High Chief.
To ensure impartiality and fair treatment, each tribe has a group of representatives in Zahntolm, who together form the Tribal Council. The councils themselves can only be attended by three representatives per tribe, and three elected scribes who record the proceedings. All others must be invited by the Tribal Council, and must swear to silence while the council is underway. Even High Chief Pac’ku must receive an invitation in order to attend, though to not extend an invitation to him would be highly suspicious.
Humans worship a nameless god known as the God of Many Aspects. Their god changes between myriad forms, genders and domains, such as the Aspect of Strength, the Aspect of the Hearth, and the Aspect of Death. There are 18 Aspects in total, and to the uninitiated the God will seem like separate gods. Humans honor the Aspects by exemplifying certain virtues in their everyday life, to the point where it is impossible to separate daily life from their beliefs.
Eftirheim is a continent of eternal spring, nestled in the middle of the lake that is the sky. According to Human folklore, the dead must complete an arduous journey to reach Eftirheim – travelling first to the peak of Mt. Valspit and then sailing the stormy waters of the sky. The dead are helped or hindered by the circumstances of their death and the prayers of their loved ones, and those who don’t complete the journey become ghosts.
The lands of Eftirheim closely resemble Hilbanjord, but are more of a “mythical” Hilbanjord where every day is full of adventure. All 18 Aspects roam Eftirheim and set challenges for their faithful to complete: the Aspect of Battle takes on any and all opponents while the Aspect of Wilderness invites them to scale mountains or dive to the ocean floor. Those who fall are simply resurrected by dawn of the next day.
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