Lands of Iafeth

Tundras, woodlands and plains populated by light-skinned peoples, some in thrall to a distant empire and others maintaining control of their own destiny in a war-prone and troubled time.

By Chris Sakkas.

Gamar: Warring barbarian tribes closely attached to their horses, with a shamanistic tradition and no fear of bloodshed. Though their names strike fear in civilised folk, their culture is stagnant and in danger of collapse.

Mayars: Peoples with a multiplicity of religions that typically settle in small, wooded valleys and reject any attempts at unification. Towns and villages are typically extended families connected with other settlements in a complex network of feuds and pacts. The kingdoms of the Mayars are called Maya, Hunyar and Yassir.

Madai: Darker-skinned city-dwellers who have preserved much knowledge that would otherwise be lost, but who have turned away from the dominate faith of Iafeth (Mitraism). The Madai romanticise their past, when they were feared raiders, but for the most part enjoy their new lives of luxury and welcome the influx of migrants (mainly freed slaves) who build their cities’ mighty buildings. The empire of the Madai is called Madas.

Javians: The people of a network of city-states, more likely to war amongst themselves than with intruders, whose government fortify themselves in impenetrable citadels while the common folk – peasants – are left to fend for themselves. Javians have a proud philosophical tradition as well as a military one, but are disagreeable and arrogant. The Javian peninsula has no overarching government.

Tubals: The citizens of the dominant but slowly collapsing Tubali Empire, whose governors and legionnaires terrified and exploited the other races. Though their culture and building projects once marked the rest of the world, and they celebrate their proud tradition, they face renewed opposition from resistance groups, petty kings and barbarian tribes.

Mesheki: The ambitious people of a mountainous, warm nation, the Mesheki worship the Great Mother or Mother Mountain, whose throne is flanked by her two loyal lions. No king rules without the loyalty of the priestly classes, who demand finery, land and slaves for their extensive pantheon of gods. Some kings live and rule as gods themselves, while others simply declare their ancestry from such divine beings. Meshek is the kingdom of the Mesheki, though Shekkar and Eshe are smaller break-away states.

Tirasons: The woad-covered raiders of the north and west, some of who have settled a prosperous chain of islands. Their totemism and clannish nature gives their rites a bloodthirsty and frightening air, but they are skilled trackers and fighters. Many are of extraordinary height and build, but their druids and smiths are often wizened and shrunken by abuse of sorcerous powers. Tyr (or Tyrland, as it is called by others) is the island home of some Tirasons, but most live on the continent itself – namely the kingdom of Tirak.