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 Post subject: The Shaeni
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:34 pm 
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Shaeni

The Shaeni are a small, but fierce warrior folk of far northern Etaria, who live in the region bordering the Frozen North. Naming the land they claim Bwyn Shaer (Boon Share), they defend it fiercely against incursions of any kind, though peaceful travellers, especially merchants, are always welcomed. The Shaeni are organised along clan lines, the smallest numbering no more than a few hundred, the largest (Esslyn or Wolf in the Shaeni tongue), somewhat more than a thousand. Each clan is ruled by a thane and the position is hereditary, passing to the eldest surviving child of either gender. The exact population of Bwyn Shaer is unknown even to the Shaeni, due to a history of internecine warfare (though even warring clans will put their hostility aside in the face of external threats), but they are estimated to number somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000. With a culture that prizes clan honour above all else, few Shaeni ever leave their land. Almost all who do are renegades who have committed crimes beyond redemption; exile is considered a worse punishment even than death in Bwyn Shaer.

The Shaeni are renowned for their bladesmithing and are especially noted for the massive, two-handed swords that are their most common weapon of war. With techniques handed down for generations, they craft blades of incredible strength and keenness, yet it is the often magical ancestral blades of their families and clans that the prize most. Long and short bows, long daggers and spears are the most commonly used weapons outside of battle, as they are the tools most suited to hunting, a very important facet of Shaeni life. Heavy armour is uncommon, as the encumbrance can prove fatal in the harsh land. Few Shaeni ever wear more that leather armour of some kind during peacetime, or chain mail during battle. Many Shaeni dye their hair with naturally occurring pigments, the most common being blue. The colour white is reserved for renegades and is made permanent through magic. All Shaeni are tattooed, in patterns indicative of their clan, family and personal accomplishments. As with the dyes, blue is the most common pigment, while white is never used. Purple is reserved for the thanes and their immediate families in both hair dyes and tattoos. Thus, the relationships of a clan's ruling family can easily be determined by sight. Again, as punishment, the tattoos of any renegade are seared from their flesh. No care is taken, save to avoid threatening the renegade's life - the scars are intended as a visible mark of shame.

A Shaeni reveres three things above all else: his honour - clan, familial or personal; his ancestors (as embodied in the ancestral blades and sometimes other tokens handed down over the generations); and the land of those ancestors. All interclan warfare can be traced to disputes over land, but a Shaeni is just as, if not more stubborn, as a dwarf in such matters - one clan will only surrender territory to another if it is exterminated. Such an occurrence is beyond rare - in all recorded Shaeni history, this has only happened twice. Both times, the clans involved had been mortal enemies for generations. A somewhat more common event is the absorption of one clan into another, but this is also rare. The process takes generations and always begins with the marriage of one clan's thane (or heir) or another's. Only such a strong tie of blood can bring two clans close enough for them to merge. Equally, clans can split for any number of reasons, and this happens just as rarely. Such an event is most common in those clans that have absorbed other clans in the past. Clans such as Laelen (Eagle) and Esslyn that have always (at least as far as their people are concerned) existed as they are rarely split. These activities can all be traced back to the fact that all Shaeni were once a single people. Disputes over policy and tradition caused the original clan to fragment over time, giving rise to the situation as known today. Thus, many clans can lay historical claim to the same land, which is where the rivalry over territory originates.

The Shaeni do not travel beyond the borders of Bwyn Shaer lightly. Almost without exception, only renegades banished from the land leave permanently. As a people, the Shaeni are as individual as any other race, but their sense of honour and tradition is inculcated from birth, and their ties to the land are as strong as any other race's. (For this reason it is theoretically possible that an invading force of sufficient strength could exterminate the Shaeni forever, as they would refuse to abandon their lands. Being hunters as well as warriors, though, it is more likely such a force would find themselves bogged down in a grinding guerrilla war - most likely a losing proposition for any invader). Some few Shaeni travel as merchants, primarily selling new-forged weapons, while the majority of non-renegades encountered would be questing, or on a diplomatic mission, or something similar. These people represent a merest fraction of the Shaeni population, however, and all who can will return to Bwyn Shaer once their business is done.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:08 pm 
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More reading about the Frozen North


Arctic Dwarves
Clan Blackfang
The Frozen North
The Legend of the Frozen Soul
The Shaeni
The Sinar
The Tempest Clans
The Zendal Tribe

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:10 pm
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GSID: Waterjules
Name of Main PC: Laurel Dy'ness
Human Clans and Tribes:


The Betherak
Clan Blackfang
The Darkwater Pirates
The Ikeena
People of the Sand
The Shaeni
Tribes of the Frozen North
Wikkitikataka Sun - (Biography)
Wikkitikataka Sun - The Gypsy Troupe of Etaria
The Zendal Tribe

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