Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links


by Simone Neri

In my demography and ethnography projects, I used Zölaströya as the name of a Vandar realm located in southern Ethengar. Basically, the story goes this way:

A number of Vantalian tribes (M-Slavs) migrated to Norwold around BC 2200, settling in south-central parts of inland Norwold. They're the ancestors of the Vanatics (see OldDawg's GAZF9) and Vatski (Slav-speaking peoples of central Norwold - basically a number of Vanatic tribes who settled down in Ransarn River's valley [south of Wyrmsteeth Range] in the 6th-7th century AC), and perhaps also of Denagothians.

Those Vantalian tribes retreated inland within the mountains or escaped Norwold altogether when King Loark invaded the region around BC 1720. One of the tribes who fled were the Vandars, which took shelter in the southern part of the Mengul Range first, then (around BC 1500) in the Suthwold region (modern Heldann), and finally (around BC 1200) in the Northern Reaches area, among other Northman tribes. When the Nithians invaded from the south (some time before BC 1000), the Vandars fled again alongside a number of Northman tribes collectively known as the Durran. They moved north-westward to the Ethengar Steppes.

At that time the Ethengar Steppes were divided: a part was ruled by humanoid overlords, a part by Ethengar tribesmen, a part (the southern one) inhabited by the settled Jutungi, a Dunharian (M-Celtic) descended people living there since BC 2000. During the time the Vandars and Durrans came, the Jutungis were already hard-pressed by humanoid and Ethengar attacks - these nomad peoples despised the Jutungis' settled way of life.

The Vandars' and Durrans' arrival temporarily turned the tide of the war in favour of the Jutungis. The newly-arrived tribes, in fact, allied against with them against the humanoids and the Ethengars. Under the powerful barbarian warlords of the Vandar people, who commanded the fearsome "Golden Hosts" ("Zölaströya" in Vandar language), the loose alliance managed to fight back its opponents.
Then, the allied tribes struck a deal and decided to leave within the same area of southern Ethengar. Their confederated realm was called "Zölaströya" to honour the Vandar warriors who had fought the humanoids and the Ethengars, allowing the Jutungis and Durrans to keep their freedom.

Unfortunately, after the death of the leaders who had fought together, the alliance crumbled as later tribal chieftains began to quarrel among themselves. Fight ensued between Vandars on one side, and Jutungis and Durrans on the other. Around BC 950, the Vandar tribes were cast off Zölaströya, and migrated south. In the following years, after passing through Darokin and taking part in the wars for the control of Hindon, they ended up in the Traldar lands (around BC 930).

By the way, intermarriage between Durrans and Jutungi would have given birth to an united people, the Durrankin. They kept the old Vandar name of their realm, in remembrance of the old days of glory. Centuries later, the conflict between the Durrankins of Zölaströya and the Ethengars forced the former to migrate southward into modern Darokin (around BC 780). There they settled, becoming the ancestor of modern Darokinian people.

That's my take on the "Zölaströya" issue. I suppose it could be explained better if I released my revised ethnography project, but it's not still completely done - I'm working on it, and I hope it'll see light within this year.