By Bill Browne, Ryan St, Dave Younce, Stephanie Lauren and Mike Holmes.

A small ethnic group with a glorious history, the Hurad have been reduced to raiders and skirmishers whose attacks are easily repulsed by the villages that once served them and trembled as the Hurad rode past.

One hundred years ago, the Huradim was a large kingdom autonomous of the city-states. Hurad aristocrats served as knights, historians, priests and bureaucrats (from which the word 'Hurad' is derived), ruling over serfs and great, wide rice paddies. Their king, the Huraddar, even kept an eyrie of gryphons for his most loyal vassals to ride. The word of a Hurad was law, and it was only their military discipline that kept the Hurad from succumbing to decadence.

The rule of the Hurad was harsh and the commoners identified with the landed farmers of Tohan. Together with assistance from the shepherd-princes of that city, the serfs rose up against their Hurad masters and slaughtered them where they slept. An ethnic purge forced the Hurad to retreat into the mountains and forests, where they seized remote forts and held them during a bloody two-week-long seige. The Huradim lost its best and brightest and the Huraddar's slave-boy protected his unconscious master until Hurad reinforcements slaughtered the boy for his impure blood.

The Hurad's serfs integrated seamlessly with Tohan's citizens, but the Hurad themselves stayed separate. With the loss of artisans, merchants and farmers, the Hurad had no way of providing for themselves. Too proud to fight as mercenaries, they raided the villages they had once ruled, using five hundred year old ancestral halberds to cut down farmers armed with sickles and mattocks.

Even to this day, the Hurad maintain their old culture. They pray to their ancestors, keep immaculate shrines, obey their warrior code to the letter and practice honourable single combat. But their new life is harsh and brutal. The forges lie cold, and if an ancestral blade is lost no effort is spared to recover it. The Hurad show no mercy to outsiders that carry Hurad steel.