Khoors

Khoor.png Introduction

Telle une nuée de sauterelles, les tribus nomades arpentent les grandes steppes du sud et de l'est de l'Empire Wulpic. De temps en temps, ils envahissent le royaume des Gottlungs, apportant mort et destruction, et imprimant la peur dans le cœur des artisans et paysans.Cependant, quand les grandes steppes se calment, les féroces Khoors deviennent de paisibles bergers dont les troupeaux paissent tranquillement aux quatre coins des immenses terres. Lors de ces périodes, les nomades rendent visites à leurs voisins, non plus en tant que pilleurs brutaux, mais en tant que marchands vendeurs de cuir, de laine, de viandes et de précieux étalons en échange de pain et de babioles. Les nomades sont indissociables de leurs montures qu'ils apprennent à chevaucher dès le plus jeune âge. Les autres races les considèrent même comme une seule âme. Les Khoors, quand ils posent le pied par terre, font d'excellents archers, tandis qu'à cheval ils frappent comme l'éclair, armés de leurs piques et de sabres. Les techniques des fougueux cavaliers nomades consistent à encercler leur ennemi et à les harceler de continuelles attaques rapides. Ils n'hésitent pas à leurrer leurs adversaires par d'habiles manœuvres de retraite pour les balayer en les attirant dans leur cavalerie lourde et sous leurs volées de flèches.

Compétences de départ

Compétences d'artisanatCompétences de combat
Artisanat : 5Frondeur : 30
Connaissance de la nature : 10 
Chasse : 20 

Visuel

Présentation

Les Khoors sont de sauvages et cruels nomades qui vivent sur les steppes avec leurs petits chevaux à longue crinière. Ils sont plutôt petit, chevelu, et on une démarche chaloupée.

Habillement et Architecture

Les vêtements de tous les jours pour les Khoors comprennent des bottes et des gilets entrelacés de lacets et de cordes, de chapeaux gonflés et de bracelets en cuir lacé. Les Khoors ne construisent pas de temple, mais ils ont une multitudes de monticules funéraires à travers les steppes.

Les Khoors les construisent sur les lieux où se sont déroulés des batailles particulièrement sanglantes et féroces, des lieux où sont morts de nombreux guerriers. Comme il est impossible de donner un bucher funéraire décent à autant de combattants et qu'il n'y aurait, de toute manière, jamais assez de carburant pour un tels incendie, ils laissent des cadeaux à ces "guerriers fantômes" (ceux qui n'ont jamais obtenu un bucher funéraire). En autres choses, des crânes de chevaux - leur donnant ainsi des "chevaux fantômes" pour leurs voyages - et des armes, en particulier d'anciennes armes qui ont vu de nombreuses batailles et qui ne sont plus utiles aux vivants.

Les Khoors considèrent les guerriers non enterrés comme les gardiens de la Steppe. A la nuit tombée, ils errent dans les terres Khoorsians sur leurs chevaux morts, effrayant les étrangers et s'insinuant dans les rêves de leurs compatriotes pour les prévenir d'invasions imminentes. Mais ces guerriers n'ont pas le droit au repos. Ils sont prisonniers du monde des vivants, un lieu inadapté pour eux. Et les Khoors ne font pas "qu'équiper" des hommes morts en leur offrant chevaux et armes - ils les apaisent aussi.

Les feux de joie ne doivent jamais être allumés près de ces monticules car il n'est pas bon de rappeler à ces guerriers déchus qu'ils n'ont jamais reçu un véritable bûcher funéraire. Le malheureux voyageur qui fait son feu de camp sur ces sites peut attirer des mauvais esprits qui le persécuteront pour le reste de sa vie, faisant peser sur lui des cauchemars, pour exiger leurs propres funérailles. De manière générale, les Khoors considèrent que c'est une mauvaise idée de passer la nuit à proximité d'un monticule. Les morts pourraient décider d'organiser une soirée particulièrement "passionnante" pour ceux qui dorment à proximité.

Les habitations Khoors sont les moins défendues de tous les peuples. Peu d'arbres poussent sur la steppe, les rochers sont trop grands pour la construction et les peaux de betes font de très faibles rempart. Les Khoors doivent souvent passer la nuit à la belle étoile, loin de tout abri. Lorsque cela se produit, le feu est la seule façon de garder les animaux sauvages et le froid à distance. Dans ces conditions, les Khoors ont développé une sensibilité particulière à cet élément. Ils remercient continuellement ce « petit frère du soleil » pour l'aide qu'il donne aux mortels.

Équipement de combat

L'armure khoorsienne est simple et fonctionnelle. Elle est conçue pour être légère et permettre de frapper vite. Pour cette raison, elle est constituée de peaux et de cuirs.

Toutefois, certaines présentent parfois des pièces métalliques. Celles-ci incluent principalement du maillage en chaîne légère et de larges plaques métalliques fixées sur des ceintures en cuir couvrant la poitrine, les épaules et le dos. Les guerriers les plus forts et les plus agiles peuvent également ajouter une jupe de plaques de métal jointe par une maille annelée qui couvre leurs jambes jusqu'aux genoux voire même plus bas, ainsi qu'un casque forgé avec un masque de fer terrifiant.

Personnage légendaire

Tusgaal le Stormbringer, ou Tusgaal-Gar-Shoorga (un titre datant de l'époque du Premier Empire, quand "Gar-Shoorga" signifiait "La Main Gauche de la Tempête") - un grand dirigeant et conquérant de l'antiquité.

Croyances religieuses

Pour les Khoors, le monde autour d'eux est le monde des esprits. Les esprits résident dans le feu et la terre, dans l'eau et le ciel, dans le bois et le métal. Ces esprits peuvent être forts ou faibles, utiles ou nocif mais pas bon pour mauvais. La moralité des esprits dépend de leurs buts, et les Khoors pensent que les hommes et les femmes ne peuvent percevoir les objectifs des esprits.

Cependant, les objectifs d'un esprit et d'un homme peuvent coïncider ou un accord  peut être passé avec les esprits pour améliorer la force d'un homme ou sa fortune.

Des offrandes peuvent être faites aux esprits, tout comme elles sont faites aux dieux. Que ces offrandes impliquent de jeter du kumiss dans le feu ou de laisser un morceau de viande (ou même un captif lié) sur une pierre steppique dépend de la richesse de celui qui fait l'offrande et de l'importance de la demande. Les épées sont considérées comme des conteneurs spiritueux spéciaux.

Les Khoors respectent les divinités des Gottlungs et des Slavards. Adorateur de l’Épée, les Khoors vénère l’Épée des Cieux (Hootga-Tenger), qui traverse le ciel nocturne de l'Ouest vers l'Est, comme notre Voie Lactée. L’Épée leur fournit à leur besoin et les protège. L’Épée unit le ciel et la terre.

Les épées khoorsiennes imitent la forme de l’Épée des Cieux, et sont, depuis, considérées comme ses reflets (Ir-Tusgaal). Ils croient que l'univers débute avec l'Epée, et ainsi, leurs croyances coïncident avec l’Épée du Godernblodbad: Vallum Tusenrost.

To the Khoors, the world is one of spirits and their reflections. Their sabers are a reflection of Hootga-Tenger, the Sword of Heavens. The Sword of Heavens, in turn, is a reflection of the Flaming Sword, which rests in the darkness of the lower world, the world of fire in the roots of the World Tree.

Some of the Khoors are certain that the Sleeper of the Gottlungs, called Svefnii by the Slavards, is the living Ancestral Sword Gal-Hootga. It is with their swords that the Khoors commune with the spirits, heeding the calls to war and peace that come to them as they gaze in the fiery reflections running along the surface of their blades. The Khoors believe that each blade weaves the destiny of its owner, literally its "pattern song," which can only be seen and heard by the gods and the spirits.

And so the main aim in every Khoor's life is to live life so that the gods admire the intricacies and artistry of their bladesong.

The Khoors believe that the Sleeper is the incarnation of fury, the living Ancestral Sword (Gal-Hootga). When his song sounds worth, it will change the world and its people once and for all, becoming the world of Sword and Fire. Then people shall hear and see the pattern song, the Doo-zagwar, woven by their singing swords.

But there is also a new belief growing about the Khoors, in which the Sleeper is more like his depiction in Gottlung devotion. In this belief, the most worthy souls become links in the mystical fetters that bind the Slumberer. As long as brave and noble people walk the earth, the Sleeper shall not awaken, and the end of the world shall not come. This belief is more common among craftsmen and traders than among others.
The Khoorsian concept of Holza (Erthnii), however, is not the same as that of the Gottlungs or the northerners. In their understanding, Holza does not weave the threads of life into the tapestry of destiny. Instead, she listens to and evaluates the lifesong of each warrior and remembers it.

The Khoors hold that the whole world sounds out, every item speaking or whispering to them – but only swords can sing the Song witnessed by both gods and spirits.

The Khoors also, like their swords, are reflections of the mighty sky, earth, water, or fire spirits that fill the higher and lower worlds, their glory and strength shining through the Khoors themselves.

The spirits of the higher worlds are the spirits of fire and sky. Those of the lower are the spirits of earth and water.

Khoorsian tribal names: Sogo-Tusgaal – reflection of a fire spirit. Tenger-Tusgaal – reflection of a sky spirit. Ys-Tusgaal – reflection of a water spirit. Delh-Tusgaal – reflection of an earth spirit.

Sample name: Yirtin Kaiarata, of Tribe Delh-Tusgaal

The Khoors do not construct temples or sanctuaries. They believe that each of the gods and spirits exists essentially everywhere and needs no special place for communion with them. The only exception to this general opposition to building sites are the roughly made, rather scary idols of some deities placed in the steppe here and there (the feeling of "here and there," random placement, is only when judging by the sensibilities of the other peoples). Those who encounter idols must leave them sacrifices or offerings.

For example, when the Khoors pray to the goddess of death, Amghooy (who at some point became identified with the Dead Maiden), beseeching her to pass over them during a battle or journey, they place a sacrifice on a flat, ordinary rock. If the sacrifice is carried off by a vulture – the bird of the Goddess of Death – then her mercy is assured. If the sacrifice lies untouched, however, or is carried off by a beast of the field, it means the plea has gone unheard. The warriors usually sprinkle the rock with wine or blood. This ensures the sacrifice will arrive at its destination. The Khoors also pay great attention to signs given them by nature.

The Sleeper – Akneh-Hootga (Akneh), Jhode – Amghooy, Holza – Erthnii, Amate – Amaty, Velent – Haranhoo, Gloom – Khoohalday

It is believed that the World Tree appeared in the Khoors' faith when they encountered the western and northern peoples.

Some of the Khoors' clans consider thunder to be a bad omen. The Khoors refer to thunder as a "shaking of the World Tree's branches," and to lightning as "cracks in the heavenly sphere." The Khoors believe that their holy land gives the World Tree new strength, so they are eager to take their place in this process and conduct rituals involving portions of "native ground" – carried around in sacks.

Social Structure

Khoorsian society can be divided into two major categories: Settled Khoors and nomadic Khoors . The settled Khoors are relatively peaceful, while the nomads are extremely aggressive and cruel. But beyond that, the Khoorsian people is divided up by their clan system. Each clan is led by a Haaz. The Haaz has two or three bodyguards. The Elder Council, the ten chief Khoors from the clan, also wields great power. The most important clan decisions are made by the Younger Council, which includes any man who has raised at least one son who is now of age – in other words, who can ride a horse and shoot a bow. The weak and elderly are not members of the councils, but if they were once in places of authority, their opinions continue to carry weight with the others.

For many centuries, looting and plundering were essential parts of the nomadic life of the whole Khoorsian people. Without the advantages of a stationary place of residence – building smithies, sowing crops, and so on – robbing others was a matter of life and death for the Khoors. For a long time after their victory over the Gottlungs, tribute replaced plundering. When the great truce was made, the Khoors found a new way to replenish their meager stores: trade.

Over time, Khoorsian trade helped them find a common language with the other peoples, despite the great differences in their cultures and worldviews. The Khoors make up for their eccentricity with their own style of generosity. In addition to being knowledgeable about rare herbs, they are skilled jewelers. Other peoples consider their adornments and figurines of stone, wood, metal, and bone to be unusual and original, so the Khoors happily trade these things, too.

Material prosperity is greatly respected by the Khoors. When a group is in conflict with Khoors, suggesting a trade relationship is often the best way to end the enmity. When Khoors travel in trade caravans, they chant caravan hymns so that any who encounter them are aware of their peaceful intentions well in advance. The Khoors particularly value tobacco, since they are heavy smokers but are unable to grow the plant in the harsh environment of the steppes.
Knowledge of herbs is also very important to the Khoors. Their herbalists spend their time picking and drying rare plants from the steppes which flower only in certain places at certain times of the year. The Khoors then make drinks, ointments, and smoking mixtures from these plants.
Many of these smoking mixtures, which the Khoors sell on their trading trips, have a spiritual effect. The Khoors claim that they can make the user bolder, more charming, more fierce, and so on. Language Haaz – an honorary suffix appended to the names of leaders and veteran warriors.
Tusgaal – at some point in Khoorsian history, this became the main title of the khan.

Tan – "warrior." Used to address warriors
Kaiarata – "hunter." Used to address hunters

Khanir – "beautiful." A respectful way to address women and girls, regardless of their outward appearance. By this, the Khoors obviously mean a beauty other than that which catches the eye.

Kht'yn – "idiot," "loser," "novice." An insulting, disdainful form of address.

Aghoor gham'yt – this phrase is so vulgar that the Khoors refuse to explain its meaning to any outsiders unaware of it.

  • If a khunkut (the Khoorsian word for outsider, foreigner – in other words, a Slavard or Gottlung) uses this expression, he is immediately accepted as one of the Khoors' own. For future reference: a character with the perks "trader," "lucky," or "educated" can resolve a conflict by cursing the Khoors this way. If the Haaz has a sense of humor, he'll answer with something like "Oho, a sharp tongue! Don't kiss him, girls, or you'll get scratched!"

Rookha'a – translated as both "old" and "wise" ("experienced," "veteran," "elder"). A respectful way to address the elderly.

Khamir – "spirit" (but not in the sense of "demon").

Example Khoorsian names: Kiar-Haaz, Yirtin, Giaschak, Diadiga, Akhzil, Kharti-Diangu.

Characteristic syllables in the Khoorsian tongue:

ia, khi, kia, dia, yir, khaa, haa, za, tan, tin, ruk, dit, chak, khun, khoor, tu, yer, kut, sa

A vowel glide ("y") is often encountered, whether written as a "y" (yer) or an "i" (dia). Khoorsian phrase building Khoors are much worse at the common tongue than their neighbors to the north and west, so they use phrases that are clumsy, even if technically grammatically correct. They often only use simple present verbs, make mistakes with subject-verb agreement ("we is," "he run"), and overuse the objective pronoun case. The worst instances are when all three collide ("him run" instead of "he's running"). They prefer very short sentences, avoiding compounds. Due to their limited mastery of the language, their statements are often ambiguous. "I don't know" : "Me not know"

"You must go another way" : "You go different road"

"We hold this place sacred" : "Here us sacred place"

"Greetings, travelers! Do you come in peace? Would you like to trade? We have things for sale!" : "Hey, traveler! You come with peace? Want trade? We have much trade!"

"An accurate hunter who never misses." : "Hunter shoot straight. Make arrow fly right to enemy's eye!"

"I will be guarding my home." : "Me guard house."

"We are weary, for we have come far, and our food is gone." : "We travel much road. No more strength. Food gone."

Few outsiders understand pure Khoorsian, since their common tongue explanations of Khoorsian expressions are usually not fluent enough to actually explain anything. They love to praise their goods, pushing their mastery of the language to the limit as they do so:

"Look at my beautiful Yagan! One swing, no head on enemy! Two swing, red river run deep! Three swing, ai checherdik yerle, Tusgaal-Gar-shoorga come down from heaven, ask what happen? Why everyone killed? One be sad!

Sometimes they tell highly improbable tales of famous characters, as people might do with Chuck Norris or Einstein:

"Legs of Akhzil-Bagatur like cedars! Arms of Akhzil-Bagatur like oak branch! Chest of Akhzil-Bagatur like Alankar's Shield! Head of Akhzil-Bagatur like huge cauldron! But mind of Akhzil-Bagatur like dung fly's shadow."

"Yirtin-Rookha'a live many years, still drink kumiss like boy. Mighty his snore. When he sleep, ground shakes, like when khunkuts march! All awake, grab sword. Haaz mad, go beat old kht'yn.

Khoorssian proverb: "Yatm kht'yn aghoor gham'yt tygkhanav!" – Unlucky camel dung kissing rune writer.

Alternate weapon names:

Khoorsian warriors use many different kinds of weapons in battle, including hunting weapons: long spears and blades, axes, lassos, combat knives, and heavy scourges.
Pchuk – a small, straight knife with a patterned blade.

Kalkan – a round shield.

Hootga — a saber. As in titles, the word "Tusgaal," reflection, may be appended to the names of bladed weapons.

Amat'i-yagan, or just Yagan – Amate's bow, the Khoors' favorite weapon. A long, curved blade, similar to a large scimitar. Killing an enemy with a weapon named after one's favorite goddess is a mark of respect for that enemy. It is a sacrifice to Amate, a kill made for her glory.