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Char-Un



The Char-Un Nation

- by Wesley Quadros

The Char-Un are the thriving descendants of a Pentan tribe who recognized Teelo Estarra as the wife of the Sun Stallion, Kargzant. In 1228 the Char-Un were part of a raiding force ravaging the eastern frontiers of First Blessed. Teelo Estarra and her army smashed the nomadic marauders and accepted the Char-Un as willing allies and converts to the Lunar way.

The Char-Un decided that many of their elders had led them astray and had caused them to dishonour themselves before their ancestors. They recognised that Teelo Estarra was the living avatar of ma-Tamara, the Moon Mare, and that ma-Tamara was the proper wife for Kargzant.

A Char-Un PanFor the next fifty years the Char-Un loyally served the Red Mare's Son, TakenEgi. Their fervour and devotion to their new goddess gave them strength and the fanaticism to do everything that their lords demanded, usually at the forefront of war. Once Teelo Estarra had triumphed and rose to become the Moon Mare, it was time for the Char-un to settle in lands of their own.

After consulting with his kinsman, Takenegi, the Great Father, Panishi the Founder, led the People of the Char-Un into the north where ma-Tamara's son had granted them all the wide lands west of Twice Blessed and north of the Poralistor River. They found the land to be harsh and covered in forest teeming with elves, completely unsuitable to their needs. Undaunted, and seeing this as yet another test of their devotion, Panishi led the People in a two-year ritual to call the Sun Stallion down to the earth and burn the forests from the land. When the fires finished, the People rode through their new land and fought many skirmishes and a great battle against the surviving forest demons, ultimately to triumph when Panishi broke the Earth Mare to his will.

The Char-Un still maintain their nomadic lifestyle on the frigid steppes of Erigia. Their nation is composed of several tribes, each consisting of many clans, and is ruled by the ur-Pan. The clans cross and recross the steppe following their herds to new pastures. The riders live in small round tents and make seasonal migrations. All of their possessions are carried on saddle or cart. The Char-Un are a Pure Horse People; no proper Char-Un would think of herding any animal besides the horse and they drink horse blood and airag. They do hunt the many animals of the steppe, eat them and use their skins.

Scattered along the southern rivers are several trading towns, subject to the Pan. The towns are inhabited by Fallen riders who have left their people and by Foreigners come to trade with the People.

The Char-Un are fearsome in battle, riding their steppe-ponies like demons. Their skirmishers dart about the plains dancing on their saddles and raining arrows on their foes. Their heavily armoured warriors carry cruelly sharp lances and wickedly curved scimitars. They are renowned across the Empire and beyond for their speed and cunning almost as much as for their terrible cruelty for the Char-Un value stoicism in the face of hardship. They will give foes every chance to gain honour, by showing their disdain for suffering and pain, through torture and other torments. There are many warbands of the People employed by the Emperor as cavalry regiments and they see duty in every corner of his realm. Many of the Char-Un see service in the pay of the Empire's noble houses.

The Char-Un worship the spirits of the Sun Stallion, their ancestors and the Moon Mare. Their life and home are harsh and only complete adherence to their ways can keep them pure and on the proper paths in life. Many have fallen from the saddle and now live in the trading posts in the south - eating food of the mud, like grains, and drinking the foul Gin of the city-folk.

The People's religion is an animist one, led by the shamans and adhered to in every aspect of life. Men primarily follow the Path of Fire and deal with Fire spirits, women follow the Path of Earth and deal with earth spirits. Their ancestors happily help but are never integrated, they are respectfully invited to inhabit a fetish until needed.

The Char-Un were a patriarchal culture where the women did not become warriors; but with the recognition of ma-Tamara's fighting daughter, some women are now following the Path of Fire rather than that of Earth.

 


July 17, 2001

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