The Hinterlands is not a nation, but rather a region inhabited by several nomadic tribes and city-states. The Yhing hir occupy much of the southern and eastern portions of the region, though they travel throughout the entire region and beyond. The mighty Free City of Censure, Jewel of the Coast, is a thriving city and serves as a center of commerce and trade for many nations, though legends tell of deeper and darker things that yet fester in the sewers and caverns beneath its streets. The merchants of Sicaris, situated at the center of many caravan routes, are legendary for their bargaining savvy, and the city itself is known for their gladiatorial games. The port city of Joppa is a Skohir stronghold close to the Tir Betoqi Wall, serving as a clearing house for those enterprising people of the Pirate Isles who wish to relieve themselves of ill-gotten goods without any questions asked. Finally, the Erdukeen dwell within their volcanic city of Erduk, birthplace of the Swords of Nier and near the Dwarven Enclave of Nol Dappa.

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National Languages: Khitani

Hinterlands Personality Traits (d6)


1 I pace and move constantly, never sitting in one place for too long.
2 I care for my horse before myself. (Yhing hir)
3 Money and fine things are worthless, and I have little time for them.
4 I am more comfortable on my own, or with a few friends, than with large groups of people.
5 I don’t always understand civilized ways. I’ve used books to light fires before.
6 I am wary and fearful of anyone with any kind of magic.

Hinterlands Ideals (d6)


1 Honor: My honor and the honor of my clan must be protected.
2 Freedom: A good horse and an open plain is all that is good in life.
3 Nature: Cities and the works of builders will fall in time. Nature is eternal.
4 Respect: The elders of my clan know what is best for me.
5 Piety: Everything around us has a spirit deserving of respect.
6 Self-Sufficiency: Provide for yourself from the bounty around you, but take only what you need.

Hinterlands Bonds (d6)


1 My clan is my family and my people; they are with me everywhere I go.
2 I journey to earn the wedding-gift I need to marry my love.
3 An shaman foresaw a great doom that would befall my clan and sent me to stop it.
4 I want to see all the Known Lands before I die.
5 Members of my clan were taken and sold into slavery. I will search to the ends of the world to free them.
6 Ni’ri Hegoth, the Hyena Queen of the North is encroaching upon our lands and must be repelled before more clans fall to them.

Hinterlands Flaws (d6)


1 Anyone without a horse isn’t a person.
2 I always consult the spirits or an oracle of some kind before deciding something.
3 I respond to any insults to my clan with a drawn blade.
4 I am slow to trust anyone who is from the so-called 'civilized' lands.
5 Magic not provided by the Gods or the spirits is to be distrusted.
6 I am always ready to leap at the chance to prove my worth.

Ying Hir Names

It is believed that the Yhing hir nomads are descendants of those people who ranged from the far west to the Hinterlands region. This long migratory path ended with the creation of the impassable mountain range known as the Wall of the Gods, or simply, the Godswall. The Yhing hir naming conventions have changed greatly throughout the intervening centuries. As the land has had many conquerors, from the ancient Auxunite warlords, to the Coryani Empire, the various peoples have a wide variety of names from throughout Known Lands.

Any of the Steppe peoples of Central Asia provide excellent examples of Yhing hir names.
Male: Bataar, Batukhan, Chuluun, Suhkbataar, Surbutai
Female: Bayarmaa, Khongordzal, Narantseteg, Odval, Xiao

Appearance

The peoples of this land are mostly short of stature and swarthy of complexion, with rounded faces and dark, braided hair. The native style of dress is garish and bright, with elaborate embroidery. Sashes, turbans, and loose pants tucked into high riding boots are typical for men, while the women prefer loose, gauzy skirts with complex patterns and lots of decorative silver jewelry. Though there are a few cities and settlements, most Yhing hir still follow a nomadic way of life, dwelling in large, colored tents as they follow their seasonal migrations.

Gender Roles

Whether out of necessity or disposition, those that dwell in the Hinterlands are warlike. As is typical of such cultures, most of the prominent and powerful individuals are male.
The nomads of the Hinterlands treat their women with respect, but in matters of politics and war, a woman’s counsel is seldom heeded, at least in public. Many a great tribal leader possessed the wisdom to listen to the whispers of his wife in the privacy of their tent.
One notable organization in the region is the Pearl Maidens, a fighting order who make their home on board a large ship known as The Way of the Pearl. These beautiful maidens are an incredible sight, and are possessed of both great martial prowess and an extensive intelligence network.
Their Abbess-Captain is afforded all the respect that is due any male leader by the Yhing hir clans. The Pearl Maidens hone their ancient craft of pearl diving in the rich oyster beds of the city of Pearlspar, situated on the banks of the Pale Sea.

Nobility

The individual tribes of the Hinterlands have their various chieftains, called Tengri. Few tribes seek to control large swaths of territory, as the oases and other safe resting places are of far more value, and are few and far between in this harsh land.

There are a large number of wealthy merchants, mostly located in the trade-rich cities of Sicaris and Censure. These men and women prefer to remain in obscurity, focusing on the advancement of their personal fortunes rather than dabbling in political and military matters.

Val

While there are certainly val in the Hinterlands, they do not play the dominant role the way they do in many of the other nations of the Known Lands. The lack of any organized central government has much to do with this, as well as the fact that the human tribesmen of the Yhing hir respect no authority other than that of blood and steel.

Another reason may be due to the spirits that the Yhing hir venerate shy away from the val. Some tribes exile young val because of this, while others do not treat their fellow tribesman differently, but do keep a wary eye on them.

Since the spirits will not talk with val tribesmen, they rarely rise to the head of their tribe.

Commoners

There are few peasants in the Hinterlands, at least of the sort typically found in most nations. Farming is difficult, and staying in one place for very long is generally regarded as an invitation to be attacked. The only way one can survive is by his own strength and the strength of his tribe. From the warrior-nomads of the Yhing hir to the minor merchant houses and laborers of the cities, the people in this region learned they can rely on no one but themselves. As a result, they place little trust in kings or other earthly leaders. Apart from the major cities, there are few settlements of note. The nomadic tribes do create tent cities for short periods of time as they move across the Hinterlands, but these villages vanish as quickly as they appear.

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Religion

Most of the denizens of the Hinterlands respect little more than overpowering force and guile, although they also have a healthy reverence for gods and spirits and consider taking an oath to be sacred. The shamans in particular have a rich oral tradition, and their lengthy histories and stories speak of gods long forgotten and empires long since ground into dust.

Yhing hir shamans act as a conduit between the living land and their tribe. These spirits can be one inhabiting a watering hole, an ancient tree, or a rock formation. Others are spirits that embody certain values the Yhing hir admire, such as the courage of the warrior, or the nurturing touch of a mother.

The Pantheon of Man dominates to a much lesser extent in the Hinterlands than in many of the other regions of Known Lands, although there are certainly adherents here.

Military

Everyone who lives in the Hinterlands is a warrior in some fashion or another. Self-defense is a daily necessity in this harsh and unforgiving environment. The Yhing hir culture is essentially that of the traditional nomadic warrior, and the tribes can field surprisingly large numbers of mounted fighters and archers. No empire or nation has successfully subjugated the Yhing hir except in isolated spots, and it seems unlikely that any ever could. The history of that region is that of interbreeding and mingling of cultures rather than that of one group conquering another. Even the Canceri, in seeking to extend the Red March to the sea, were forced to negotiate rather than dictate.


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