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Atruaghin Clans Revised

by John Walter Biles

Here is a revised map of the area.

Having long been annoyed by the Atruaghin Clans Gazeteer, I've decided to start making an altered version of the place so it will please me more.

Here's the first chunks.


2800 BC: A branch of the Azcans has survived the fall of Blackmoor and now huddles in caves inside the plateau which stands on what will eventually become the Atruaghin Clan lands.

2000 BC: The explosion of the Kikianu Caldera hammers the future Atruaghin Clan coast with tidal waves and rains down ash on the land.

1750 BC: The collapse of the Plateau drives the Azcans out into the ruined land to either be nomads or farmers.

1675 BC: Tahkati Stormtamer unites the Atruaghin Clans ancestors and domesticates the horse, creating a powerful force of cavalry. He sacked the city of Chalcatzengo as his first great victory. His forces drive the farmers before them, westward, creating the Sindhi when they fuse with the Urduks to the west.

1494 BC: Atruatzin, emperor of the Azcans, is overthrown during a plague in the Azcan civilization in the Hollow World.

1484 BC: Quauhnahuac, last stronghold of Atruatzin, is sacked, but he and his inner circle escape.

1400 BC: Atruatzin unites the future Atruaghin Clans. He takes on the name Atruaghin.

1263 BC: Wogar's humanoid followers arrive in Atruaghin Clan lands.

1260 BC: Atruaghin leaves the clans to explore the world.

1259 BC: Thkati Stormtamer gets suckered by Atzanteotl

1257 BC: The Red Orcs (Wogar worshippers) invade Sind and the Atruaghin Clans.

1254 BC: Red Orcs schism; some head north, others east to the Five Shires.

1253 BC: Karimari aid helps to defeat the Red Orcs.

1250 BC: Using Elephants, Sind reaches its current eastern frontier.

1000 BC: Nithians reach the coast of the clans. They find the Red Orcs too dangerous to mess with. Pressured by invaders, the Red Orcs push west.

900 BC: Atruaghin creates his Mystic Conveyor

800 BC: Sindh has calcified; Elves create Alfheim. Atruaghin returns and leads his people in a revolt.

795 BC: Sind and Atruaghin defeat the Red Orcs. He creates the modern Plateau. Atruaghin becomes an Immortal.

678=5 BC: General Mathanos of Nithia attempts to colonize the Atruaghin Clans. The Clans defeat him and drive him out.

650 BC: Sind is in ecological decline and the Urduk nomads are increasingly in decline.

632-15 BC: Desperate due to desertification, the Sindhi invade the Atruaghin Clans lands. The war is brutal to both sides and a failure though many die. The Jaguar, Elk, and Turtle Clans take the brunt of the casualties. In the aftermath, the three clans try to build cities for self-defense in the future. Trade with Nithia leads to advances but also corruption. This leads to clashes with the Children of the Horse.

500 BC: The destruction of Nithia creates a social crisis among the Atruaghin Clans, who now can't figure out how they learned to do various things and their trade network with Nithia suddenly vanishes. The Children of the Horse decide that the coastal clans have become corrupt and a war erupts, with the Children of the Bear aiding them. The chaos and confusion on the coast enables them to conquer.

500 BC – 138 BC: The Empire of the Horse; the Children of the Horse and the Children of the Bear rule over the clans, enforcing their own vision of things and attempting further expansion in the face of population pressure. The cities of the southern region are sacked and laid waste at first, but as population rises, new cities are built all over and large scale agriculture ensues; the Atruaghin Clans seem well on their way to become a typical tyrannical kingdom.

421 BC: Dwarves arrive and are granted permission to mine deeper into the plateau.

421-409 BC: Dwarves craft the Summer Palace at Culcan for the 'War King' of the Children of the Horse; it will become the center of the Summer Capital of the Empire of the Horse.

405 BC: A disastrous invasion of Sind is thwarted by shapeshifters infiltrating the leadership of the Empire of the Horse and murdering its best leaders. From this point on, the Empire becomes increasingly decadent.

312 BC: Huacan is built

200 BC: Many die when the creation of Honor Island batters the coast with a giant tidal wve.

162 BC: Atzanteotl contacts Daneel Jaguarfang, leader of a group of frustrated Children of the Jaguar who want to overthrow the empire and regain their freedom. He offers them help if they worship him.

148-38 BC: Daneel Jaguarfang leads an uprising, long planned, which overcomes the decadent rulers of the empire. He now institutes the worship of himself and Atzanteotl and takes control of the entire southern region, enslaving the Children of the Elk. The Children of the Turtle flee to the islands and manage to hold him off, led by Ahmanni Turtlerider. The Children of the Bear and the Children of the Horse reform themselves and return to the old ways, tearing down the cities which had been built on top of the steppe.

138 BC-205 AC: The Empire of the Jaguar: The Children of the Jaguar now dominate the south but cannot seize the plateau. The Children of the Elk become slaves; the Children of the Turtle barely survive at sea. Portions of Eastern Sind fall into the hands of the Empire of the Jaguar.

34 BC – 67 AC: Orcs living around Lake Amsorak constantly assail the northern clans; the dwarves have to constantly fight to keep them out of the caves inside the plateau; some find new homes there anyway.

67 AC: The Eastwind Kings of Darokin defeat the Amsorak Orcs, driving them west.

124-128 AC: Corwin II of Darokin of the Attleson Dynasty, attempts to seize the Plateau but is defeated. The Children of the Jaguar are corrupt and torn by internal problems, unable to exploit this.

180-186 AC: The Pratikuta dynasty in Sind attempts to conquer the western cities of the Empire of the Jaguar, but the death of Rajah Viljay leads to civil war and the collapse of his kingdom. Mahmatti Running Elk comes of age and is guided by the spirits to begin striking to end the Empire of the Jaguar.

205 AC: Mahmatti Running Elk returns with a weather controlling artifact. He leads a revolt and nature itself turns on the Children of the Jaguar, ruining their cities and agriculture. They collapse to a primitive state and the Children of the Elk move west, controlling the southwestern lands; they ally with the other clans against the Children of the Jaguar.

293 AC: The defeat of the orcs of Darokin ends the pressures which have held the Children of the Bear and Horse's population in check for centuries. They begin growing in numbers.

425-35 AC: Guided by the spirits, the Children of the Elk and the Horse prevent the spread of Sindhi lycanthropy into Atruaghin lands.

438-450 AC: Many of the Children of the Horse sweep west and conquer large amounts of Sind, settle down, get assimilated or get replaced by Shapeshifters. By this point, the Children of the Jaguar begin building cities again.

451 AC: Shifters are purged in Sind; the new Atruaghin rulers of many places accept the claims of the Sindhi mages to a high-born caste status.

500-25 AC: Outraged by the news the Red Orcs yet live and are besieging Corunglain, a large band of Atruaghin Clansmen led by Halmanni Swift-Speaker ride to the aid of Darokin and several times provide assistance against Sitting Drool until he is brought down.

526-683 AC: The release of Sitting Drool prompts decades of Darokin vs. Atruaghin clans hostilities. The disastrous defeat of Darokin in the 550s makes it easy to raid into Darokin; many clansmen develop a taste for plunder.

595-8 AC: A Thyatian expedition under General Bronicus Galbanus attempts to conquer the Children of the Jaguar but is bloodily repulsed. A mysterious storm turns back a probe against the Children of the Turtle.

600-2 AC: Ierendi becomes independent.

683 AC: Darokinian forces deal a crushing blow near Akorros to a massive Atruaghin Clan raid; the clan raids on Darokin die down.

695-714 AC: Sind is united by the ul Nervi dynasty.

715-7 AC: A probe by the new kingdom against the Clans fails.

721-768 AC: The Empire of Hansel: A Flaemish wizard seeking immortality forces the Children of the Horse and the Bear to kneel to him and the other groups to pay tribute. He builds the city of Xochipala to rule his empire. Eventually, he is murdered by his Jaguar Clan concubine, Tamala. His empire immediately collapses and his city is sacked.

805 AC: Dwarves fleeing Glantri join their kin among the Children of the Bear. Others found a city the Clans call Tuapantec and try to hold to their traditional ways; the Children of the Horse trade them meat and hides and timber for metal goods and both groups flourish.

876 AD: A would-be Glantrian conqueror, Franchesca d'Ville, is defeated and sacrificed by the Children of the Jaguar.

927 AC: The Great Merger: Darokin unites.

938-40 AC: Due to overcrowding, the Clans attempt to invade Darokin, led by Rillan Lightning Master, but are defeated by the new Legions of Darokin; counter-attacks lead to heavy losses for the clans.

942 AC: An Alphatian wizard, Uill Gamal, tries to seize control of the clans; more death ensues; he is slain but Tuapantec is laid waste and overrun by monsters.

985-995 AD: The Children of the Jaguar unite under Calal Five Axes; they defeat the Children of the Elk and the Turtle, enslaving them, though many flee to the plateau or the islands. They are unable to break into the upper lands.

1000 AD: Right Now.

The Children of the Horse

In Brief: The Children of the Horse are intelligent, adaptable nomads and farmers; they proudly hold to their traditional way of life—men hunt on the plains and women farm in the forest, living apart in summer and coming together in winter. They are divided into Ithan, societies which fulfill the major social functions; upon coming of age you join one; upon becoming an elder, you move to a higher one. They combine the technologies of the cultures around them with their own traditions to enhance them. They speak three languages: the common language of the Atruaghin, the secret language of their Ithan, and a hand code used for silent communication in war. They see themselves as the rightful leaders of the Children of Atruaghin but their leadership has not always been very WISE.

Lifestyle: The Children of the Horse mix slash-and-burn agriculture with nomadic hunting of the bison who dwell on the plateau. Men spend the summer season out on the plains, hunting the bison and preserving the meat with the aid of the spirits and by smoking and drying it and salting it. Meanwhile the women and children burn a chunk of the forest and use the ashes as fertilizer and grow crops—corn, beans, and squash for themselves, oats and barley to feed their horses in the winter. In winter, the groups live together in the villages in the forest. These villages copy the methods of the Children of the Elk, using hides and stick frames to make longhouses. Every few years, the village moves when the land gives out and then the land is allowed to regrow.

An important part of the work of the women is appeasing the forest spirits so they won't strike out when chunks of the forest is burned; female shamani deal with forest spirits, men with those of the herds and the plains. The Children of the Horse see women as better attuned to the spirits than men.

The Children of the Horse use metal but can't really make it; they trade timber, art, hides, meat, and crops for metal tools and other useful things with the Darokinians and Sindhi. (And with the Children of the Bear.) They normally don't wear metal armor because it is too hot, but most tribes have some for raids off the plateau. They are, however, somewhat adept with wood and very adept at turning animal bits into useful things. (Their tents are made of animal hide with a wooden or bone frame.)

Ithan: Once a child turns 14, he or she joins a Mepet Ithan, an Ithan for the young adults. Ithan perform specific social functions – taking care of the longhouses, weaving, growing food, scouting, trade, flushing out game, etc. Each has its own language, not a full blown one but a set of special words and phrases used for recognition and private basic communication. Each also has its own religious rites. Those who reach the age of 42 join a Manoc Ithan, who perform leadership functions, governing the community. Men's Manoc Ithan lead the hunting and war; Women's Manoc Ithan govern the villages and forest activities. Everyone marries someone from another Ithan; you cannot join the same Ithan as either of your parents. When members of different tribes meet, they are housed by members of the same Ithan they belong to.

The Children of the Horse believe that Tahkati Stormtamer himself created this system to ensure ties of unity between the tribes of the Children of the Horse.

Love, Marriage, and Gender: The Children of the Horse have arranged marriages; you must marry someone from a different Ithan than your own AND a different one than either of your parents. The four parents of the two kids arrange the marriage; once you are 21, you can be wed. You then make your own small longhouse in the village. Unmarried adults stay in their Ithan's longhouse in the village.

Half the year, the men leave and go hunting; spouses live together during the winter. Kids stay with their mother to age 7; boys then start doing short, then longer hunting trips with their fathers.

The Children of the Horse tend to think marriage should lead to love, though some fall in love anyway. Sex outside of marriage is theoretically forbidden but often happens anyway; it is discreetely ignored unless it leads to pregnancy, which can get messy. (In theory, you get married. In practice, this may not be possible due to issues of Ithan membership...)

Gender roles are pretty strictly defined; it is possible but rare to declare yourself a member of the opposite gender at adulthood and take up the other gender's duties, etc. This is allowed but rare and many see it as rather weird; it is an uphill fight.

Hunting and War: Metal armor is heavy and hot and the Children of the Horse don't enter melee combat with their prey if they can help it, so they only wear it if fighting foes who will have it; most tribes have a supply of it, kept in the village. They rely on speed, mobility, horsebows, and tactics to deal with their prey, though they train with spear and knife. They also wear hide armor during hunts.

In wartime, the members of all the male Manoc Ithans elect warleaders, known today as Red Hides for the red tinted hide armor they wear. The five warleaders (one for each tribe) chose one of their number to serve as the War King for the duration of the war. A majority vote of the five can depose him any time outside actual battle but this isn't common.

In war, those with armor act as melee cavalry, mounting lance charges, while the more lightly armored support them with their horsebows. They generally prefer to fight from a distance, luring foes deep into the plains and ambushing them and destroying supplies. When working with the other tribes, they also tend to handle scouting.

Agriculture and the Harvest Chief: Women control agriculture. Crops are grown collectively, then distributed among everyone. The women's Manoc Ithans ensure everyone works and choose a Harvest Chief each year who oversees the growing of crops and their distribution. The women and children burn a chunk of the forest and use the ashes as fertilizer and grow crops—corn, beans, and squash for themselves, oats and barley to feed their horses in the winter. They also do some fishing as well.

Trade: The Children of the Horse trade hides, timber, fish, bison meat, and crafts to other groups to get spices, metals, high quality blankets and clothing, and alcohol. Some traders become literate to ensure they aren't ripped off. They prefer bartering for goods to money.

Crafts: Bone and hide are the two things they are most adept with, though these days they tend to use metal tools they buy rather than making their own bone tools. Sacred statuettes are made from bone still. They can do basic woodworking but nothing too hugely fancy. They like to decorate hides with dyes and charcoal drawings.

Religion: The Children of the Horse worship Tahkati Storm-Tamer first and foremost, Atruaghin second, and Djaea, Diulanna, and Terra third. Tahkati is the patron of their clan, Atruaghin of their nation, Diulanna rewards their determination, and Djaea and Terra rule over the nature and spirits they bargain with for power. Hunters / men appease Djaea, farmers / women appease Terra. Druids and Shamans are the main religious figures among the Children of the Horse; Clerics and other Divine power users are rare. The primal principle is that whatever you take from the Earth, you must pay for, by sacrifice and service. The animals you slay must be honored as payment, the forest you burn must be appeased with new growth and a share of your crop and so on. In return, the world sustains you.

Attitudes: Children of the Horse tend to be aggressive go-getters, who know what they want and pursue it eagerly. This often leads to conflict, settled usually by wrestling or contests of skill. They are proud that their founder actually first united the future Atruaghin Clans and they tend to think that they deserve to lead the clans. At times, this has meant relieving population pressure by conquering the other clans or by going out to conquer outside lands. Such conquerors don't always return.

Children of the Horse are confrontational and blunt; they expect you to do the same. They will bargain and haggle but they tend to stake out a strong claim to start with and expect you to stand up to them; if you don't, they will look down on you. Generally, if you stand up to one of them, he will back off a little, enough for you both to feel (in his eyes) that honor is satisfied without the need for violence. Though he probably wouldn't mind the violence.

They are also very pragmatic, adopting the best of other cultures to enhance their traditional lifestyle. They are dedicated to maintaining their society's basic practices but are flexible about means. Those who weren't pragmatic got killed off long ago. There is continuing conflict on how far to go, however; some would modernize more, others try to cling to the old ways tightly. At times, the Children of the Horse have turned into a conquering army, at other times they've nearly totally rejected the outside world. Neither extreme tends to end well, however, so they usually swing back to a balance with time.

They are physical, solving problems by physical means, though their pragmatism means they do it intelligently. They would rather do sports, hunt, fish, explore, and so on, than spend time reading, studying, praying, and so forth.

The Tribes: The current five tribes are named after the five sacred tools of the hunter: saddle, spear, knife, bow, and hide armor. Each tribe specializes in that tool – the Thunwanna (Saddle) are master horsemen, the Wichasa (Hide) are experts at the use of everything that comes from bison and other game (hides, bone tools, etc), the Lakosha (Bow) are master archers, the Thithun (Spear) are masters of spear and lance and most likely to don armor and fight heavy cavalry style, and the Isanthi (Knife) are experts of unarmed and close combat.

The Ruins: Several ruins dot the lands of the Children of the Horse. They are often used for tests of manhood and adventurers both from these lands and others explore them, though the surface areas were picked clean long ago. Sometimes monsters from below come up into them and have to be wiped out.

Chalcatzengo is incredibly ancient; it was built before the plateau even existed and sacked by Tahkati Storm-Tamer in his first great victory back in the 1600s BC. It is very small, once home only to a few thousand, but every war leader comes here to study with the spirits. The architecture is vaguely Azcan in style but only vaguely.

Culcan was built by Dwarven emigrants for the War King of the Children of the Horse during the Empire of the Horse. It began with the Summer Palace, built 421-409 BC. It gradually grew into the first of many cities. It was built on artifical mounds in case of flooding and this would become the practice in all the cities of this period. At its height, it was home to nearly 60,000 people until it was dismantled deliberately after the revolt of Daneel Jaguarfang; only the palace remains as a memory of the folly of that period. It is surrounded by an ocean of now mostly overgrown rock. All elders, male and female, must visit this place and spend time here exploring and communing with the spirits here who teach why it had to be destroyed, in order to join a Manoc Ithan. Centuries ago, an earthquake swallowed part of it and now caves lead down into the interior of the plateau here and part of it is flooded.

Huacan was built on artificial mounds on the shores of a lake; some of it stands on artifical islands. It was built around 312 BC, and it oversaw the forested area of the plateau. At its height, 40,000 Clansmen of various Clans dwelt here. The larger the mound, the more important its inhabitants. It is now thoroughly overgrown, but several buildings are still obviously themselves despite the overgrowth. Much of the local ruler's palace still stands with underground levels that connect to the natural cave network. Young men of the Kakosha tribe must enter the ruins and bring back a monster's head or some interesting object to show their adulthood; they usually enter in groups. Some never return. Those who know where to look can find a trade embassy from the Eastwind dynasty of Darokin; the symbol of the dynasty is still carved into stone here, buried under vines of a crumbling four story building.

Tlatlco began as a dwarven mining community; they built a Winter Palace for the War King of the Children of the Horse in the late 400s and a city grew up around it; it mixes Dwarven, Empire-era, and Children of the Bear style architecture. The ruins, destroyed during the fall of the Empire of the Horse, are a mixture of above ground and below ground architecture. Part of it is flooded and has strange lake monsters in it, due to damage done by past adventurers. The treasure of the Winter Palace is said to still be intact but very deadly somewhere in the ruins.

Tuapantec was founded by Dwarves fleeing Glantri in 805 AC. They tried to hold to their traditional ways but allied with the Children of the Horse, supplying them with metal goods and alcohol in return for meat, hides, and timber. Both sides flourished for over a decade. In 942 AC, the Alphatian wizard, Uill Gamal, tried to seize control of the clans; more death ensued; he wa slain but Tuapantec is laid waste and overrun by monsters. It is a traditional Dwarven hold in style.

Xochipala is an eerie ruins of basalt and obsidian and red stones squatting at the intersection of two rivers, built for the brief lived Empire of Hansel (721-768 AC). Hansel was a Flaemish wizard seeking immortality who forced the Children of the Horse and the Bear to kneel to him and the other groups to pay tribute. He built the city of Xochipala to rule his empire with the help of fire and earth elementals. Eventually, he was murdered by his Jaguar Clan concubine, Tamala. His empire immediately collapsed and his city was sacked. His laboratory is hidden somewhere in the underground complex he built to defend it and may still hold his secrets.