The Goblynfells
The very bastion of high goblyn culture, The Goblynfells is the name given to the northern plains ruled over by the armies of dozens of mighty qadar warlords and their ruthless mamluq armies. Exalted slave warriors, untouchable seer-priests, all serve goblyns of such brutal cunning that they can carve power from this ancient and hard land. The prairies of the Goblynfells are no strangers to blood, but it is in their division and their contention that the goblyns are mightiest.

Tech Code: 7
Governments: Eleven major Military Dictatorships, and between twenty and thirty minor ones
Religions: Celestial Veneration of Bahru, Weave of Bahru, Whispered Secrets of Bahru, Fray of Bahru, assorted solitary elemental shaman.
Industries and Trades:
Major Terrain:
Primary Languages: Vashri.
Major Settlements:

Geography


Physical Geography

Lying between Battlewaite and the Inner Sea, directly north of the Mhul Pont, the Goblynfells are a harder land than those over the mountains to the north or in Camar to the east. Mostly comprised of rocky highlands, rich volcanic valleys, and dense hardwood forests, the fells offer up little freely, and demand that their inhabitants work hard to earn their bounty.

Most memorable about the fells are deep valleys dominated by hot pools, exposed stone terraces and geysers. This region, being between two mountain ranges, is highly volcanically active. And in the three wide valleys that form the lowlands are great plains of brown grass, where the air is thick with steam, bubbling mud pools sit in craggy craters and steaming geysers shoot up into the sky. These regions make the fells hot and humid despite its temperate location, and the vegetation here tends to be brown more often than green, and lie flat on the ground. Even the trees droop in the oppressive steamy heat. Few would consider the land particularly dangerous, the mud pools are warm and many believe them to be therapeutic, and the geysers are clearly marked by patches of scoured, scorched rock where the earth has been blasted away by spouts of water, but many travellers find the fells unpleasant to pass through, much less live in.

While the lands to the east are temperate and rainy, the open passes into the Battlewaite often bring harsh winds and dust storms into the fells, and the light rains characteristic to Camar and Lodel are whipped into ferocious storms when the easterly blows. Goblyns call these winds the khuriru, and they are an ill omen indeed. When the khuriru blows the qadars will not make war, and ironically when the skies are at their most wild, flooded with ragged blue-black clouds, the land below knows peace.

Political Geography

While many think of the Goblynfells as a single united realm, this is certainly not the case. The politics of the Goblynfells are complex. The land and the people are controlled by powerful qadars, or warlords, who each have extensive territories, and who can rise and fall overnight, and are usually given title by the influence they wield rather than hereditary right - although often the two are one and the same. At any given time the land usually supports roughly a dozen major qadars who control stable territories and have treaties with one another that demand peace against outside aggression, and perhaps another two or three dozen minor qadars, who have either splintered away from a major group, or else formed from outcasts, or very occasionally from large bodies of immigrating goblyn outsiders. The nobility of the fells are the sangoma, diviner-priests who are trained in great houses and who all Qadar revere unquestioningly. A qadar who does not have a good diviner at his side is one that will not live very long, and so they pay exorbitant fees to these houses, bidding for the services of the best of their number. Seven major sangoma houses exist, and members consider each other relatives and take the same name in place of that of their yhekal, though they need not be blood relatives. All the sangoma houses are at peace with one another, and thus the influence they are capable of wielding against the often fleeting qadars is considerable.

Setting Trait (2): Might Earns Right To the Fellers the strong rule by right of being strong. After all, who would not want to follow a strong ruler? Who does not benefit from the strongest ruling? If their leaders prosper, then so must they. As a result there is little question of rebellion when a land is conquered, or at bad treatment. Goblyns are loyal to the best candidate, not some sentimental favourite.

Social Geography

Many have said that the Goblynfells are the home of the goblyn race, and if this is so a more fitting home there could not be. Their presence in and dominion over these lands is certainly noted even before the scattered records of the Kelorn Federation, and their own histories date back to the Lizard Wars! One of the things that strikes an outsider first about the fells, and Vashrite goblyns in general, is their sense of propriety. Some mistake it for honour or face, but the fellers are not so much concerned with honour, as the appearance of proper conduct. One of the keys to this is the concept that certain things can never be bought or sold. Mortal beings can be owned, but never traded, allowing for the indentured servitude of the mamluqs, but never a trade in slaves. And professions where selling ones self, even temporarily, are considered as offensive as slavery. There is a fine line between selling one's self, and selling one's knowledge or skills, which is generally acceptable. Similarly, while livestock and living plants can be traded, food can never be sold - only offered as a gift, or taken by force. Both approaches are equally acceptable to the feller mind, but to profit by the selling of food, especially that taken by virtue of strength, is heinous. As a result, many settlements simply keep enough surplus to offer travelling qadars and their parties as gifts, and hope that continued gifts will cause them to prevent other qadars from taking their stores.

Strength is considered justification for many things in the fells. It is right that the strong should have what they want, for what way is there to determine social standing, and thus maintain order, if not by measure of strength? And how can strength be measured if not be demonstrating it? Thus the rulers of the people are always the strongest fighters, or best leaders, or most cunning tacticians, or those who own the most mamluqs, and they are expected to welcome tests of their strength, and defer to their betters if they are ever entirely bested. Again, many look upon this as honourable behaviour, but to a goblyn there is no distinction between slaying an enemy on the battlefield or poisoning his victory wine. Whatever the method, the victor must be the stronger, and his method and strength are to be celebrated. Only unnecessary shows of strength against clear inferiors are frowned upon. Fellers dislike bullying behaviour, and a strong feller will almost immediately challenge such an individual if only to make it clear that such bullying is clear proof of inferiority.

Setting Trait (1): Honoured Slaves The mamluqs of the Fells are slaves - they belong to their qadars, and as such they have less freedom than the free goblyns who work the land, but the fellers do not put great stead in freedom. To belong to a powerful qadar is a great honour, and the more powerful the owner, the greater the reward for loyal service. To free a mamluq may almost be seen as an insult - unless he wishes to become a qadar himself.

Goblyns respect the strong, and they respect those who know their place, and do things the right way. And of outsiders choose to misinterpret their clear and pragmatic way of life as some moralizing code of honour, then so be it. But foreigners who take this position are usually shocked when they are proven wrong, leading many in the ancient world to label goblyns as evil and deceitful - a myth that still haunts the imaginations of landsmen in the lands to the south, where goblynkin are scarcer.

Amongst the folk of the fells, most are workers, who feed the armies of the qadars, make their weapons and armour, and generally support the ongoing struggle of the upper classes. Next there are the mamluqs, who belong to a qadar. Though they are slaves, owned warriors, their strength makes them more highly regarded than free workers, and a powerful qadar is expected to treat his mamluqs like princes, for they are the source of his power. Next come the qadars themselves - mighty warlords who clash against one another in an effort to establish that they are the greatest. A particularly successful qadar, who has proven himself the better of all of his contemporaries, will usually seek to prove himself against strong outsiders. Presumably a successful enough qadar would simply embark on a campaign of world conquest until someone beat him. Finally there are the priests - individuals of such power, wealth, and influence that they are able to dominate feller culture without wielding any tangible power of their own. The sangoma are the servants of the divh, and the divh are more powerful than the qadars, so while a qadar understands himself to be more powerful than a priest, he knows that the priest is in the employ of one more powerful than himself. Thus the qadar is the higher social class, but he still treats the priest with profound respect and deference.

Faith and Worship

The fellers are firm believers in predestiny, and each qadar believes he is the one destined to be greater than his fellows. Thus of all of the divh the goblyns recognize, Bahru the keeper of prophecy is easily the most popular, and the only one the have an organized religion devoted to him. And what a religion. There are no less than seven great sangoma houses in the Goblynfells, and all of them are devoted to one specific perception of Bahru, and each differs very slightly in their understanding of canon scriptures, and their religious practices. Perhaps there was once a central faith of Bahru and these sangoma houses are merely schisms, or perhaps there have always been divisions - history is unclear on this point - but of all the houses the two that follow the Celestial Veneration of Bahru (the houses of Damaskar and Kalaikar) are easily the most respected, influential, and in-demand at present. And have been for recent generations. Two other houses devote themselves to the Weave of Bahru, a further two to the Whispered Secrets of Bahru, and the house of Sama'ir devotes itself to the Fray of Bahru. All share the majority of their scripture and practices, and differ only philosophically, and in their acceptance of denouncement of certain less canon scriptures.

Setting Trait (3): The Weight of Predestiny The qadars of the fells place enormous stead in knowing their own destinies in order to find the best course, and in having the best diviner tell them their destinies. They believe that because destiny is pre-written, and this writing can be read, that they can avoid disaster by anticipating its coming. Of course, not all sangoma are as literate as others, so any qadar will have the best sangoma he can afford, to leverage the best advantage of foresight.

The sole purpose of the sects of Bahru are to divine the pattern of destiny, and each of the faiths does this in a different manner, from the casting of stones, bones, straws or sticks, to the examination of entrails, the consulting of the stars, cloud formations, or even consuming powerful narcotics and going into vision-trances in the case of the Sama'iri sangoma. Whatever their method, it is this skill which the Qadars prize, and the house that proves most able to promise its sangoma victory (generally those that are in the employ of the most powerful Qadars) are those in the greatest demand.

Other than Bahru, many individuals serve a more shamanistic tradition, serving the various elementals that rule the fells. The land here is active, changing, dangerous, and boiling geysers, sink-holes, and marshes are common, so many goblyns are happy to go to a priest who has knowledge of how to placate the divhi of the land they live in or travel through. Many Qadar consider themselves mightier than the land, because they seek to rule it, but much as a warrior is mightier than the sword he wields, he is still respectful of the smith who forges it, for he is a necessary part of his own strength. In the same way, goblyn qadars, warriors, and even sangoma are respectful of the services of shaman who quiet the land for them. Because Bahru is also considered divhi of the skies, no shaman worship forces associated with weather or the sky, leaving this to the sagoma. And no while sangoma would ask Bahru to change destiny for their benefit as a shaman would an elemental, they can warn against the worst perils he sends.

History


Timeline

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People


Races and Nationalities

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Flora and Fauna

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Notable Individuals

Hukam Sahib, Qadar of the Sahab-Ra
Amongst the most powerful and stable of the qadars of the fells is Hukam Sahib.

Rapujit Mughal,
tba

Rava Damaskar, Master of House Damaskar
The recently chosen head of the sangoma house of Damaskar is the young, but experienced Rava.

Culture


A Day in the Life of a Feller

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Religion and Philosophy

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Political


Political System

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Legal System and Enforcement

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Military

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Technology


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Daily Living

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Today In The Fells…


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The Domains of the Inner Sea Basin
The Taurvann, Cal Manar, Amir, Bakkar, Kel Wacuite, Kord, Taal, Lodel, The Inner Sea, Kel Saratose, The Mhul Pont, The Goblynfells, Camar, The Crooked Plains
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