The Drung are the fierce, savage folk of the Plain of Akaides. A warlike people, the Drung have long battled the natural scarcity of the rocky plains, and long ago their culture has learned to make do with little (thus their nickname, the Tribe of Starvation). As the merchant caravans of the civilized Cities began to traverse the Plain, the Drung learned that they could derive sustenance, wealth, and glory by preying upon the weak, fat civilized folk. The City-folk have since learned to fear the howling Drung raiders and their scythe-like axes.

The first recorded description of the Drung dates back to the days of the early pre-Imperial conquest, when Naijjan the Sage recounted the tales of 'howling painted brigands' who 'fell upon travelers with sharp axes'. He also recounted the name which the semi-civilized Ainagal herdfolk had for these people- 'kethakrang'- men who are like beasts.

Drung again came to prominence in the days of the Imperial occupation as unrelenting savage enemies of the Imperial forces. The most stunning example of the Tribe of Starvation's ferocity was the so-called Rruqtaiti Massacre, when an Imperial cohort was ambushed on the plains by Drung warriors and herded into a canyon, where they were slaughtered like dogs over a course of several hours by the cruel, casual savages.

There are many tribes of Drung, all devoted to one of the Sacred Spirits of the animistic Drung spirituality. The tribes frequently war amongst each other; they have never been united. Most have identical customs, but are set apart by their totemic animals and spirits, and by unique additions to the Drung spirit-rituals.
Something that all Drung tribes share is a deep contempt and an incredible xenophobic hatred for all non-Drung.

The average Drung is whipcord thin, with a look of weathered muscularity which brings to mind a lithe panther or weasel. They commonly have gaunt, foxish faces and pointed, sharp noses; their eyes are strongly slanted and narrow. Drung have long, spidery fingers and big palms, and broad, flat feet; in accordance with ancient tradition, Drung men bind the four smaller toes of their feet together with cord.
The average dress for a man of the Drung tribes is a simple breechlout and loincloth, and cord sandals. When the Drung men go to war, they add to this their sacred ghost-vest, and bind their biceps and calves with sections of baked cord. All Drung men shave their heads but for mohawks; in battle-time, the warriors spike these mohawks up with ash and animal fat. Most Drung men pierce their ears and noses with rings of bone and bronze. Drung men often sport large tattooes, typically of the animal which is totemic to their tribe.
Drung women always go veiled and robed in heavy aluwat robes, and shave their heads. On festival days and when their men go to war, Drung women paint their bodies with orange dye in offering to the spirits.
Drung look upon those who bear extra weight, and especially upon the obese, with disgust. They consider it a sign of disease and divine disfavor to possess such sorts of extra padding, an opinion which does little to decrease their contempt of settled folk.

Jjrir Jjishii, the famous Jjekki mercenary (and leader of one of the only successful Imperial attacks against the Drung), once remarked that 'short of a Jjekki brave, there is no finer warrior in the world than a Drung warrior'. Drung warriors are fanatical, and totally without fear. Their courageousness goes beyond normal human bounds. Their terrifying war-shrieks ring out from souls of berzerker frenzy. Drung warriors are cold, cruel, and incredibly efficient, despite an overwhelming bloodlust. With their scythe-bladed axes, they strike fast and hard, supported by volleys of arrows from above, and prefer to leap down upon their enemies from cliffs and canyonsides. The key word of a Drung warrior is 'speed'; though not heavily armored like a civilized warrior, or bolstered by amazing strength like a Jjekki brave, a Drung warrior can cause amazing damage with his whirlwind ferocity.

The Drung have an unfocused animistic respect for spirits. Generally, a Drung tribe will recognize only their totemic Sacred Spirit as a deity, though warriors usually offer respect to the universal spirits of blood and good luck on the eve of a fight.

Drung are famous for their long grudges and vendettas. It is not uncommon to see Drung families slaughtered for a slight offered by an ancestor a century ago. Thus, the painted-leather tents of the Drung camps tend to be places of exaggerated courtesy and polite tension; volatile Drung tempers are liable to flare at any moment.

THe language of the Drung is called Mauhugli; it is a harsh, hissing tongue which is generally unpleasant to the ear. One art that it suits, however, is tribal festival-lays, in which the Drung recount the epic tales of the mystical past, when heroes, spirits, and sorcerors fought earth-shaking wars over supremacy for the earth.

Drung are a nomadic raider culture. They have little to offer to outsiders. The exception is the prized Drung axe, a long, scythe-like hatchet of hammered iron, a fast and razor-sharp killing tool.

Login or Register to Award CaptainPenguin XP if you enjoyed the submission!
? CaptainPenguin's Awards and Badges
Organizations Guild Apprentice Golden Creator 5 Hall of Heros 10 Systems Guild Apprentice Plot Guild Apprentice Society Guild Apprentice NPC Guild Apprentice Locations Guild Apprentice Lifeforms Guild Journeyman Item Guild Journeyman Missing-In-Action-Swallowed-by-Cthulhu Award 2010