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NEATHAR (Thousand Tribes of the)

Location: Northern hemisphere of the continent of Iciria, north of the World Spine Mountains, south of the Icevale Mountains, between the Krugel Horde and the Azcan Empire. HW

Area: 712,219 sq. mi. (1,844,645 sq. km.).

Population: 3,000,000 in about three thousand tribes averaging 1,000 members each.

Languages: Neathar.

Coinage: None; barter only.

Taxes: None really (ad hoc tribal levies based on need).

Government Type: Autonomous tribes governed by chiefs with monarchical authority.

Industries: Hunting and gathering.

Important Figures: Zorok (Toralai Chieftain).

Flora and Fauna: As a predominantly jungle region, the Neathar lands see an abundance of conventional native plant and animal life. Without a consolidated government to provide security, hostile creatures are also in abundance. Cave bears, giant insects, boars, great cats, giant lizards, dinosaurs, crocodiles, leopards, tigers, smilodons, giant leeches, lizard men, snakes, giant spiders, troglodytes, wolves, and humanoids can be readily found.

Further Reading: Hollow World boxed set, previous almanacs.

Description by Theukidikies the Historian of Corisa.

The Neathar consist of thousands of small tribal bands living as rustics in the woodlands and glades of northern Iciria, in a wide band between the Azcans in the west and the Krugel Horde in the east.

The Land

The lands inhabited by the Neathar tribes are the broadest of lands, larger than the Azcan, Nithian, or even Milenian Empires in size. But the tribes are fragmented and disunited, forming not one nation but many hundreds or even thousands of independent tribes. These tribes live in all types of terrains, except coastal lands and deserts. Most of it is jungle lands, but there are large areas of plains, mountain valleys, and hill country within this band of territory. Several noteworthy rivers run through these lands as well, from a branch of the Great Mud River in the east to the Nogai River in the west. These are well-watered lands, thick with vegetation even in the plains. These lands are also among the thickest with dinosaurs and other monstrosities as well, which hunt and are hunted by the Neathar.

The People

The Neathar are savages, living in tribes of a few hundred to a few thousand members. They do not build large settlements, and live instead in small villages of thatch huts. The Neathar are a tan people, with blond, red, or brown hair and usually with brown eyes. The men cut their hair short and usually go bearded, though some wear moustaches; the women wear their hair long. The Neathar dress in rough garments fashioned out of animal skin, the men dressing in loincloths and the women in skirts and vests. Married women wear earrings, while single women do not.

The Neathar live as hunters and gatherers, little more advanced than the Brute-Men. Each Neathar tribe has its territory, where it dwells and hunts, and fights neighbouring tribes for access to prime hunting or lush gathering lands. The Neathar are a warrior people, venerating the hunter and fighter, and, like the Azcans, a boy is not considered a man until he has scored a victory over an enemy. Indeed, one such means is also used to gain a spouse, as the custom of kidnapping a mate from a nearby tribe is found among all the Neathar, and is considered a particularly great achievement. The Neathar do not value scholarship much, and have no written language. Like the Neathar people, their language, shared among all the tribes, is simple and easy to learn. Possibly because of this, their language is widely used throughout the continent for communications between people of different nations.

The Neathar tribes are governed by chiefs, who are almost always men, though there are some exotic tribes where the women rule, and still others where leadership is shared by a married couple. Each village also has tribal priests, and the Neathar venerate many Immortals. The ones most commonly worshipped seem to be the same ones found among the Antalians, however, which I guess is appropriate considering the two peoples share many of the same warrior outlooks on life.