The average Flinthill Clansmen is around 5 and one-half feet tall, burly, bull-necked, and bow-legged. Men have enormous, tree-trunk-like arms and legs, while women tend to be what might be described as 'sturdy' and wide-hipped. Clansmen have heavy, low brow-ridges, lantern-jaws, thick lips, and deeply sunken eyes (which are generally brown). They have very flat, spade-shaped noses, with slit-like nostrils, like the noses of monkeys. All of these qualities, put together, give them a rather gorilla-like countenance, and 'apelike' and 'subhuman' are qualities often stated of the Flinthill Clan.
Flinthill Clansmen have a dull, dust-grey skin color. They tend to be very hairy, and have wiry, oily hair which has the consistency nearly of spines.
The typical dress for members of the Flinthill Clan is a loose, open vest and baggy pantaloons, with leather mocassins or cord sandals. Women usually don a skirt of furs. They generally adorn themselves with bracelets and chains of huge, heavy, clay prayer beads, and tatoo their bodies with images of fierce beasts. In the cold weather of the Highlands, the Flinthillers often wear heavy cloaks of crudely-tanned hides and furs. Men grow their hair and beards long, and sometimes braid them in elaborate braid-knots, while it is common for Clanswomen to keep their hair shorn close to the scalp (this practice comes from the time before the Clan's uniting, when marriage required a man to successfully kidnap a usually-unwilling woman from her father's home, often entailing a great deal of hair-pulling).
Clansmen have guttural, scratchy voices, even the women. Their children sound something like squealing pigs. Their language is called Orghut, meaning something like 'the way people talk' or possibly 'chatter' (many sages think this points to the Flinthill Clan once having a different, higher language).
The Flinthill Clan is spread out in small communities of clay-and-tusk huts over most of the Highlands, and rules those regions which aren't contested by the Rock Thrower Clan (their rivals, and bitter enemies in the constant battle over food and land in the meagre territory of the Highlands). They are a settled people, but carry out little agriculture- mostly squash and hardy grains. Much of their sustenance comes from the mean and wiry sheep that they herd. Each year in the autumn, when the mammoth herds migrate through the Highlands, huge hunting parties are staged- the kill of one or two mammoth is generally an amazing victory for a community of Clansmen.
However, the main occupation of most Flinthill men, and the major source of the Clan's wealth, is raiding. On their frequent raids, the men of the Flinthill Clan put on fearsome, horned helmets of hammered iron and take up their huge curved swords, and then, saddling up their vicious riding wolves, they wage war against the settled peoples of the southern Highlands, the White Towns east of that meagre territory, the Stone Thrower Clan, and even other Flinthill villages. The Flinthill Clan is feared throughout the lands around the Highlands for their ululating battle roars and the quick and brutal methods in which they shred apart communities they raid, taking all available valuables and food.
The Flinthill Clan is also known for the Flinthill Weaponmasters, a wise and ancient order of warrior monks who exist within the clan. The white-bearded Weaponmasters, with their enormous red tattooes, huge curved swords, and top-knots, are the trainers of all Flinthill warriors. The most promising warrior out of a group of men will be chosen to carry on the secrets of the Weaponmasters.
The current chief of the Clan (termed the Teoghuz) is called Flathead. He came to power after strangling his brother, Muonghuk; though originally distrusted because of his wizened and hideous appearance and his sly, treacherous ways, the Clan has come to respect Flathead more than any previous leader because of the victories he has led them to through use of unusual tactics and methods which the Clan has never before used.
The Flinthill Clan follows a semi-shamanistic religion called Shubbur ('offerings'); their primary deity is Ounghiz, the Sky Personified, of which, Shubburists say, all the world is merely a part. The Sun (Kongh) is the primary tool of Ounghiz, his Eye and Messenger in the world of mortals. A very large part of the Flinthill life is centered on the showing of faith, especially through the wearing of enormous prayer 'beads' (actually clay balls varnished by shaman with holy lacquer collected from the Highlands' rare baizhugh-trees), huge necklaces and bracelets of them. However, only the shaman of a community is allowed to actually voice prayers.
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? Responses (8)-8
Done with this.
Are they human or not? YOU MAKE THE CALL!
An interesting lot. A couple of questions come to mind, though:
These appear to be a warrior people. What do they value in a warrior? Following that, What makes a man admired by his peers, a woman by hers, and man and woman each other?
They are a small clan of raiders and pirates - If they're all that successful, why hasn't an expedition been mounted by a more civilized nation to squash them?
Do any warriors not of their tribe come to their weaponmasters seeking training? If I was planning to lead a rebellion/uprising I would want to learn a bit from these folks, they apartently have the stripping down of anything valuable down to an art, if you switched it from willages to maybe weapon caches/barracks you could get supplies for your army and get away before the reinforcements got there.
And if they've become an even greater threat recently why haven't the authorities done something about them? Even a small token resistence, capture a couple, use them as an example of what happens when you get caught raiding one of the moce 'civilized' peoples.
When their shaman gets ready to pray would probably be a big thing then, everyone wants to be saved, and being around the guy praying means that you're going to be in the sight of your god, right? So is it a daily, weekly, or special occasion type of thing?
On the question of why they haven't been quashed yet-
There simply aren't any major civilized powers nearby. The Highlands are a remote region of weak clans and barbarian tribes. The White Towns to their northeast are cowardly and weak, and barely 'civilized' as we see it. North of the Highlands are Rujien mountains, home to the Aukstatians, who are equally barbaric. The Rock Throwers are not strong enough yet to stop them.
All these comment and all these views, and nobody thought to vote on this piece?
I am not sure if they are 100% human. They could be an actual subspecies, a variation of Human. They may or may not be interfertile with Humans. These are more variant than Lyrans or Dokoren are, but they are still 'human'.
It is an interesting piece. You covered most of the bases on this. It could go into the Minor Species Codex. Yet, it could just be another slightly different human species.
An interesting bunch of barbarian riders: They remind me of the Warg-riding orcs of The Two Towers. I like the numerous details that were presented, their prayer beads, the warrior-monks, and the other quirks.
They occupy the same 'cultural niche' that orcs would fill in many setings.
Heh, that captures them for me Cheka.
These folks are cool and I like that they seem to be a species of human.