Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Lenshi

The Lenshi

What the histories tell us

Before the Dawn:
The Riders move from the steppe into the Oslir Valley, but the bold Lenshis go still further, defeating the bull-riders and the Kitargos tribe.
The Targosites factionalise, some adopting cannibalism, some enslaving reindeer herders.
The Hurfor Tribe free many reindeer from the Targosites, and domesticate the dog.
The Sankenite revolt cast the Riders out of the Valley, and brought a far greater human population onto the steppe. 

The First Age
The Lenshi eviction was only partial, as many are permitted to settle in Karasal.  These become known as Karasali, rather than Pentans or Riders, although elements of their culture remain strongly linked to their ancestors.
The Riders adopted their new lifestyle readily, although many of the refugees died in the early years.
They settle in a broad sweep across the Western and Central steppes.

The Second Age
~500       The nation of Velthil arises, a land with joint Pentan and Rinliddin heritage.
~570       Kastok, leads an army of Karasali horsemen onto the steppe to discourage the nomads from
                raiding westwards.  The Pentans summoned a demigod, Ruthanzant, to face him, but 
                instead Kastok seized his lance.
~700       The south-western clans are in contact with Jarst and the Votanki, the north-western with
                Althil.
717/8     Redlanders move through Elder Wilds & Balazar to raid into Dragon Pass.  Ambushed on
                their return.
~750       The Korer gain their independence when Althil is reabsorbed into Dara Happa.  Velthil 
               begins significant expansion.  
               Karasal becomes independent with the collapse of the Spolites.
~830       The Korer begin  expansion into Karasal.  Velthil expands along the White Sea coast.
~900       The south-western clans are in contact with Zarkos and the Votanki, the north-western with
                Althil, Velthil and the Rinliddi. 
1051       Senbar spills demons, ghouls, and the Huan To onto the steppe.
~1070    Dara Happa conquers the Korer & the western province of Velthil.  Velthil is split into two, 
              with a more pro-Dara Happan regime in Althil. 
1122       Althil applies for membership of the Empire.  Northern clans skirmish with the Blue Moon 
               Digijelm. 
1127       The Empire conquers Velthil


The Third Age
~1210    Velthil struggle against the Empire’s Carmanian overlords.
~1220    The clans on the borders are dominated by Velthil in the north, the Char-Un in the south.
1228       Duke Nandelus hires the Char-Un and their allies to fight the growing Lunar power.  The 
               Lunars win and force the Char-Un to service.
1250       The Lunar Empire is established, with two of the major cities and provinces having distinct 
               Pentan influence – ‘Dinzizzi, ruling Velthil, blessed by the Child of Kuranits’ and ‘Jillaro,
               ruling Saird, blessed by Vuranostum.’ 
1352       Agartu Say, a follower of Zho Lath Ey (or Jolaty in Pentan script), achieves Illumination.
               He adopts the name Sheng Seleris.
1355       Sheng achieves leadership at a new Great Contest.
1356-1460            Seleran Empire
1461-4   Pentans driven out of Lunar lands.
1470s/80s            Hon-Eel’s magical contests with the northern Redlanders.
1503       Pentans returned to Oraya
1506       Nights of Horror.  The Redlands are abandoned to the Lunars. 


What we can know from these histories and our other sources

The Lenshi clans on the steppes are only a small remnant of their true strength.  The majority form the Karasali, and there is a great deal of traffic between them.  They have had the greatest continuing contact with Dara Happa, and possibly the greatest contact with the Lunar Empire, of all the peoples besides the Char-Un.
They have a long history and mythology of hostility towards the Targosites, and despise them as dependent upon slaves and cannibal feasts. 

IlkhanidHorseArcher.jpg
Lenshi suitor gathering trophies for his intended's father
Their Culture
Visitors to the Lenshi are often surprised at what they find – a people whose myths and culture are remarkably similar to some of those of Naveria and Karasal.  Their songs have elements of Naverian and Dikorian styling.
Lenshi homes take the form of leather tents built around  a central hearth under a frame of support poles. These tents can house up to a dozen with ease, a score with some discomfort. 
They are undecorated on the outside, but usually painted with mythological scenes within.
Lenshi clothing can be  quite distinctive, since the northern tribes import sealskin from Karasal.  This provides hardy cloak-material.  They use imported cloth, and a wide variety of hides and furs, but seldom employ felt.  Both genders wear tunics, trousers and jackets, the latter usually heavily embroidered.  Cloaks are ankle-length, loose in the south and belted in the north.
Both genders wear leather caps to which are attached cloth scarves in personal colours.
Males wear reed sandles in summer and heavy knee-length hide boots at other times.
Females wear brightly decorated cloth slippers in summer and ankle-length boots otherwise.

Their Religious Traditions


Path of Fire Tradition  [Fire, Horse]
Mythos and History
Hurfor the Kargzant is the One True Sun, and this was revealed in the Darkness when he rode high whilst other contenders for the title were obscured or diminished.  He made the Starlight Ancestors and is thereby lead stallion for both the Great Herd in the sky, the Horse Herd in Glorantha, and the Human Herd, or Riders.  His struggles against the peoples of Targos, the Blue Demons of the West, and his commitment to freeing captives largely defined the Darkness, and his love of freedom largely defines our present. 

 Nature of the Cult
The primary male Lenshi way of being.
Depiction
None needed.  He is the sun.
Particular Likes and Dislikes
Favours the other spirits followed byLenshi, and dislikes Targosites.
Cult Organization and Holy Places
The cult is based around power, with shamans acknowledging the status of their fellows, and each being the centre of a small band of followers and apprentices.
The Holy Places are those acknowledged by all solar Pentans.
Holy Days
Clan, Tribe and Arrow dependent.

The Hurfor the Kargzant Spirit Society (Sun, Horse)
The Spirits of the Society are not to be lightly used, since they are of the Sky Herd closest to Hurfor himself.  Leaders usually leave them untouched if other powers may accomplish the task.
Imperial Sun Spirits (Sun) – These spirits can blaze with the brightness of the noonday sun, can start a fire with a glance and can be released to drive off lesser solar powers.  They are the sign of the true Khan.
The taboo is Never Refuse A Challenge

Freedom Spirits (Sun) – These spirits can be used to find a path out of captivity, to expose a trap or an ambush, or to lose the bonds of slavery over a captive.  They may be released to fight any Underworld or Underwater spirit.
The taboo is Never Submit To A Slaver

Stallion Spirits (Horse) – These spirits can strengthen a mount in every physical way, can defend it against magic, and can enable it to leap to the horizon, run on a sunbeam, or ride down a Targosite.
The taboo is Always Care For Your Mount’s Needs Before Your Own

Path of Fire Tradition
To join the Tradition, you must first have a Fire Rune.
For game purposes, any hero with a Fire Rune can join the Tradition at the same rating as their Fire Rune. Simply add Path of Fire Tradition (Fire, Horse) keyword after the Fire Rune.
When joining the Tradition, you receive a number of charms, as described in the HeroQuest core rules (page 112). Charms of the Tradition are chosen from amongst the spirits of the clan’s Spirit Societies.

Sun Stallions –Path of Fire Shamans
After decades of experience, a worshipper with Tradition rating of 11W or higher can become a Sun Stallion, a shaman of the Path of Fire
The Seeker’s Test is a re-enactment of Hurfor’s struggle with Kuroskus.   If the Sun Stallion-to-be succeeds, then he discovers his Denbitos-self.

 The Fetch
The Denbitos-self manifests as a silhouette of starlight around the Sun Stallion.  
The Sun Stallion performs all the functions of a fetch (cf. HeroQuest pg. 114)
Sun Stallions have access to the other spirit societies of the Tradition, but no special spirits.

Spirits of Reprisal
MongolCavalrymen.jpg
Lenshi chasing Korer
The apostate will appear fringed with black to any form of spirit vision.  Reprisal belongs to the clan.

Tradition Spirits
                                                                Lenshi Names
Imperial Sun                                          Hurfor the Kargzant
Elder                                                      Lendarsh
Warrior                                                  Insibiso
Hunter                                                   Keternung
Founder                                                 Lenshis
Hawk                                                     Karesk
Dog                                                        Dog

While Dog and Hawk can each be followed on their own, they are frequently combined, or followed alongside another from the Path, dependent upon local custom.


Path of Earth Tradition  [Earth, Horse]

Mythos and History
La-Unguriant is the daughter of the productive earth, firstwife of Hurfor the Kargzant, and patron of all women who form part of the True Human Herd.  She is the one who used her mother’s ancient powers of life-giving to rebuild the herds when they were stolen, eaten and lost in the Darkness.

Nature of the Cult
The primary female way of being amongst Lenshi
Depiction
A majestic black mare, usually made from jet
Particular Likes and Dislikes
Favours the other spirits followed by the Lenshi .  Dislikes predator spirits.
Cult Organization and Holy Places
The cult is based around the female gatherings, with shamans acknowledging the status of their fellows, and each being the centre of a small band of followers and apprentices.  They meet in
non-competitive conclave to decide on clan policies.
The Holy Places are announced by the Shamans for each year at Sacred Time.
Holy Days
Clan, Tribe and Arrow dependent.

The la-Unguriant Spirit Society (Horse, Earth)
These spirits are the great and powerful herd mothers of the past, empowered still further after death by Gamara herself.

Mare Spirits (Horse) – These spirits can enhance the beauty and power – including fertility – of a mare.  The taboo is Defend The Herd

Black Spirits (Earth) – These spirits can enhance the fertility of a mating, bring the foal swiftly to term, and bring the mare to readiness within a season rather than a year.
The taboo is Defend The Defenceless

Path of Earth Tradition
To join the Tradition, you must first have an Horse Rune.
For game purposes, any hero with a Horse Rune can join the Tradition at the same rating as their Horse Rune. Simply add Path of Earth Tradition (Earth, Horse) keyword after the Horse Rune.
When joining the Tradition, you receive a number of charms, as described in the HeroQuest core rules (page 112). Charms of the Path of Earth Tradition are chosen from amongst the spirits of the Clan’s Spirit Societies.

Horse Wives –Path of Earth Shamans
After decades of experience, a worshipper with a Tradition rating of 11W or higher can become an Horse-Wife, a shaman of the Path of Earth.
The Seeker’s Test is a re-enactment of la-Unguriant’s quest to gain her mother’s powers in the Darkness.   If the Horse-Wife-to-be succeeds, then she discovers her Dark Mare.

The Fetch
The Dark Mare manifests as a Spirit Mare of breath-taking beauty.   She performs all the functions of a fetch (cf. HeroQuest pg. 114)

Horse Wives have access to the Ancestors of the Clan and of the Herd.

Spirits of Reprisal
The apostate will be thrown by any horse they try to mount

Tradition Spirits
                                                                Lenshi Names
First Wife                                            La-Unguriant
Earth Mother                                      Orest
Great Mare                                         Lereen
Spring Horse                                      Charai
Teacher                                               Tamara



The Dawn & Dusk Tradition  [Runes of the Spirit Society the character intends to join]

Nature of the Cult
A collection of various spirit cults bringing purpose and life to those who cannot, or will not, follow the major paths.
Depiction
Varies with the Spirit Society & the clan.
Particular Likes and Dislikes
Favours Pentans, especially those of the clan.  Otherwise neutral.
Cult Organization and Holy Places
There is a distinct lack of organisation within the cult, with local and wandering shamans leading rites when called upon, or at their whim.  Holy Places vary with Spirit Society & clan.
Holy Days
Dependent upon the individual shaman.

Path of Dawn & Dusk Tradition
To join the Tradition, you must first have a Rune connected to one of the Spirit Societies.
For game purposes, any hero with a such a Rune can join the Tradition at the same rating as that  Rune. Simply add Path of Dawn & Dusk Tradition (chosen Rune) keyword after the Rune.
When joining the Tradition, you receive a number of charms, as described in the HeroQuest core rules (page 112). Charms of the From Dark Tradition are chosen from those of the chosen Spirit Moons Society.

Half-Lights –Dawn & Dusk Shamans

After decades of experience, a worshipper with a Tradition rating of 11W or higher can become an Half-Light , a shaman of the Path of Dawn & Dusk.
The Seeker’s Test is a voluntary exposure to a life-threatening disease.   If the Half-Light-to-be succeeds, then they discover their Other Half.

The Fetch
The Other Half manifests as a visual ‘negative’ of the Half-Light.   The Other Half performs all the functions of a fetch (cf. HeroQuest pg. 114)

Half-Lights have access to the Spirits of other spirit societies of the Path of Dawn & Dusk Tradition.

Spirits of Reprisal
Over the course of a season one side of the apostate’s body will turn ashen grey.  Only return to the fold will reverse this change.
A Tamar shaman's hunting companion,
the rare Pentan wolverine

Tradition Spirits
                                                                Lenshi Names
Lord of Wild Beasts                          Tamar
Lady of the Wild                               Tara
Outsider                                              Folarene
Throat Singer                                     Duyadoya
Hammerer                                          Badask




The Path of Hell Tradition  [Hell]
Nature of the Cult
A collection of various spirit cults which are regarded with fear and trepidation by most Lenshi
Depiction
Varies with the Spirit Society & the clan.
Particular Likes and Dislikes
Favours Pentans, especially those of the clan.  Otherwise neutral.
Cult Organization and Holy Places
There is a distinct lack of organisation within the cult, with local and wandering shamans leading rites when called upon, or at their whim. 
Holy Places vary with Spirit Society & clan.
Holy Days
Dependent upon the individual shaman.

Path of Hell Tradition
To join the Tradition, you must first have an Underworld Rune.
 For game purposes, any hero with an Underworld Rune can join the Tradition at the same rating as that  Rune. Simply add Path of Hell Tradition (Underworld) keyword after the Rune.
When joining the Tradition, you receive a number of charms, as described in the HeroQuest core rules (page 112). Charms of the Path of Hell Tradition are chosen from those of the chosen Spirit Society.

Hellions –Path of Hell Shamans
After decades of experience, a worshipper with a Tradition rating of 11W or higher can become an Hellion , a shaman of the Path ofHell.
The Seeker’s Test is a voluntary journey to Hell, led, but not assisted by, their sponsor.   If the Hellion-to-be succeeds, then they discover their Eidolon.

The Fetch
The Eidolon manifests as a shadowy version of the Hellion.   The Eidolon performs all the functions of a fetch (cf. HeroQuest pg. 114)

Hellions have access to the Spirits of other spirit societies of the Path of Hell Tradition.

Spirits of Reprisal
Spirit Society members will hunt the apostate down and sacrifice them, being rewarded with half the spirit of the sacrifice as a magical defence. 

Tradition Spirits
                                                                Lenshi Names
Shadow Rider                                        Argoom
Wrath                                                     She of Wrath
Night Huntress                                      Yara
Outsider                                                 Bijip

Bijip has obvious similarities to Bijiif, and the normal style of followers is to paint themselves ash-grey from head to toe.  They are the cremators of the dead.




Lenshi Deities
Eater of the Dead                              Mother of Soul Eater
Underworld                                       3 Guardians and the Vile Demons
Vengeance                                        Gorgorma
Eater of Horses                                 Devkuroski

Initiates of Devkuroski are bound to the clan chief in a manner similar to Eurmal amongst Heortlings.
They paint themselves blue, to indicate their aquatic links, and must eat horse daily.

Lenshi Names

Being geographically more coherent, fewer regional variations have occurred than have with the other major ‘western’ Riders. Males and females tend to a similar syllabic ratio, of 4:2:1 for two, three and four syllabic names.  Peoples and places have an even division between two and three syllables.   The Lenshis appear to have acquired many elements from their stay in Pelanda.


Male Initial Syllables
Len-, Bi-, Ur-, Hur-, Kur-, Kar-, Dev-, Darn-, Kal-, Ov-, Arc-, Vakk-, Hest-, Ket-, Kent-, Ras-, Rev-, In-, Tam-

Male Middle Syllables
-an-, -at-, -ar-, -and-,-een-, -er-, -ik-, is-, -on-, -or-, -osk-, -sib-, -kur-, -sten-, -dan-

Male Terminal Syllables
-ar, -e, -er, -esk, -i,-its,  -o, -lo, -os, -us, -um, -jip, -shis, -darsh, -for, -nung 

Female Initial Syllables
Ta-, Un-, Or-, Ler-, Char-, Ka-

Female Middle Syllables
-ma-, -de-, -na-, -gur-

Female Terminal Syllables
-ai, -een, -est, -iant, -ra

Other Initial Syllables
An-, Am-, Or-, Ur-, Un-, Kal-, Thuk-, Zur-

Other Middle Syllables
-ar-, -er-, -stev-, -dark-, -sard-

Other Terminal Syllables
-i, -an, -in, -on, -os, -us, -rius


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