The Gallennic tribes, commonly called ‘Barbarians’ fall into two general groups. The Coastal Clans or ‘Sea Lords’ (as they style themselves.) The Mountain or ‘Upland’ Clans. And the Nomadic ‘Rovers’ of the Wastelands.
Technically speaking, most of the Independent Kingdoms and a large portion of the population of southeastern Solista is Gallennic in origin, language, religion and culture, But no one thinks of them as, or calls them, ‘Barbarians’!
The Mountain Clans
There are hundreds of clans, only the Gallenic Bards can begin to keep track of all of them and their relationship to each other.
The primary, or Greater Clans, have alliances with the Lesser Clans. The Greater Clans are affiliated with one or more Hill Forts or ‘Ban.’ these ‘Strong Places’ are not only tactically and strategically important, they are prestige emblems and how large, important and numerous the Bans are that a Clan holds is a reflection of its position in Upland society. Along with the number of ‘warrior cousins’ or ‘Chegga’ the Clan can field and the number of ‘Lehgra’ or unrelated clan allies that will turn out for the clan chiefs.
Most of these Upland Clans are poor. The areas they occupy are barren, rocky and desolate. Armor is usually leather or hides. Weapons are often of wood and stone. Metal weapons are usually generations old, being in some cases of bronze or iron. Good steel weapons are hard to come by. The tradition of burying the dead with weapons and armor is often ignored in the poorer clans. Only the wealthy ones can afford to bury a great warrior or chief with his favorite sword or axe. Most Upland Clans have evolved the practice of substituting a carefully carved and crafted wooden copy of the dead warriors weapons and armor to see them through the afterlife. So prevalent is this practice that the term, ‘Taking (drawing) the wood’ (wooden sword/blade)’ has become synonymous with death/burial throughout Gallenna.
The Nomadic Clans ‘Rovers’
Despite the apparent emptiness of that part of western Gallenna know as the Wastelands. it supports numerous clans of Barbarians that are close cousins to the Upland and Coastal clans.
They are in fact only semi nomadic, moving with the migrating herds and occupying existing hill forts and settlements of stone and timber that are located along the clan’s route. These are centuries old and the exclusive property of the clan.
The Rovers primary food source is the great herds of caribou and woolly musk that can be found on the tundra. They also hunt the woolly Rhino and the Mammoth herds, as well as domesticating the Mammoth as a beasts of burden, war mounts and even a source of milk.
The hereditary enemy of the Rovers is the great Buge Goblins, or ‘Bug Bears.’ Tribes of which are found scattered across the area. They are the only real competition the Rovers have for the limited resources of the Wasteland. It is these Rovers, in conjunction with the Upland Clans, that fuel the great migrations every few decades. The areas in which hey dwell can only support so many, and when the populations grow too large, it results in the migration southward, placing pressure on their distant cousins, the people of the Independent Kingdoms to either hold the hordes back, and wait for help from the south. Or let them through and risk being sacked by the Barbarians.
The Coastal Clans ‘Sea Lords‘
Residing along the rocky east coast of Solista in a land where the glacial ice meets the sea, the Sea Lords thrive.
Although they do some farming and animal husbandry, the lives of most of these Barbarians revolves around the sea. Fishing fleets depart and return constantly. Some spending the day fishing the local waters, others venturing out for days and even weeks to fish distant areas. Smoked fish, salted fish, dried fish, pickled fish… This forms the base of the diet and the wealth of the Sea Lords.
Fish not only feeds the people, but the preserved fish forms the foundation of a vast sea born trading system. Sea Lord ships travel all across the seas of Titan, visiting ports all along eastern, southern and western Solista, along with trips to Palador and as far away as Ilshar. The Sea Lords start with ships full of preserved herring and other fish, They sell it at some southern port, taking on other cargo to sell elsewhere, or bring home.
However, fishing and trade is not all the Sea Lords do with their ships.
The practice of raiding coastal towns and villages is well established, as is attacking ships at sea. (A Sea Lord raiding ship will never attack another Sea Lord ship AT SEA, even if it is from a different clan and the two clans are hostile to each other.) Such is the reputation of the Sea Lord Raiders that larger coastal towns maintain bodies of troops to defend themselves with, while the smaller towns and villages maintain a ‘Peace Fund.’ A supply of cash and treasure used to pay off an attacking Sea Lord raid in order to spare the population the depredations of the raid.