Into the Ashlands
A Brief History
Trog was born into a small tribe of Varri made up of his Dragonborn relatives. As with other tribes they did not stay in one place for long and roam a large territory spanning the far eastern coast of Praetoria, Septima, and the southernmost area of the Yehuan territories. Bloodthirsty as any of the Varri they will often raid farms and villages for food and other supplies but they do not destroy what they attack otherwise they would not be able to come back years later for raiding. They supplement the rest of their stores by hunting, fishing, and gathering from wild grown plants and flora that they come upon during their journeys.
Trog’s childhood has been spent training how to fight, how to hunt, and how to lead the tribe. Unfortunately Trog was not gifted with much in the way of brains so he has had difficulties making smart decisions when growing up. He much prefers to smash things when they become frustrating to him and he relishes a good fight. Physically it seems he was almost born to fight as he is very large compared to most of his fellow tribesmen. He has green scales over which he adorns himself with hides, leathers, teeth, horns, feathers and skulls from past hunts and conquests. Interspersed throughout the leather straps encircling his arms are sharpened spines of bone that Trog can use as a weapon if he finds himself disarmed. Typically Trog wields his large handcrafted axe that is topped by the jagged skull of some unidentifiable predator with wicked teeth. Blessed by the mystics to be deadly in battle it is as durable as any weapon of metal and a great deal more unnerving to face.
Called the Wampyrii the tribe is made up of between 70 and 80 dragonborn of varying ages and genders. The tribe is composed of four different family lines with varying degrees of social influence. Trog’s family is called Cree’nok and are the mapmakers and record keepers for the tribe. Their maps hold the locations of previously seen farms & settlements, overlarge cities to avoid, areas of good natural food to be found, migration paths of animal herds, and many other useful things. They also keep a written history of events in the tribe so that the records can be examined to see what past leaders did in difficult situations and so they can be sure that their migrations over time to do overharvest certain areas. All family members are taught how to write and draw maps at a young age so that they can all contribute equally.
The leader of the tribe comes from this family. He is tasked with leading the Wampyrii, deciding how to distribute food and supplies, determining where the tribe will migrate to over the seasons and many other decisions related to leadership similar to a monarchy rule in other more civilized cultures.
The Vesturga family is slightly larger than the other families and holds the majority of the hunters and warriors for the tribe. Leading raids on settlements & farms, planning defenses for the tribe, and hunting wildlife are their fields of expertise. The Kee-lim family holds the craftsmen and women who mend weapons & clothing, build snares for catching game or ambushing villages, and maintain the tents and other travelling equipment that the nomadic tribe needs during their constant migrations. The final family is the smallest of the four and it holds the mystics and spellweavers of the tribe. The Jujinkai use crude magic to heal wounds, embue weapons with power, and to give advice on varying numbers of topics by communicating with spirits and envoys of the gods.
Trog’s father Brakar is the current patriarch of the entire Wampyrii tribe. Typically a firstborn male is chosen as the leader from within the current ruling family. Power within the tribe can shift from family to family depending on their past leadership. Poor choices leading to famine or needless casualties in battle can force a family to give up leadership to another. Members of the Vesturga have been maneuvering to take leadership from the Cree’nok in the past several years. Brakar is getting old and will have to step down in the next 5 to 10 years.
There are four young adult tribesmen who have been vying for the patriarchy: Brakar’s son Trog, Wilme a brutish warrior who is a child of the Vesturga, Lejes a slightly younger (and smarter) cousin of Wilme, and Tarim another child of a different set of parents from the Cree’nok. The patriarch is chosen based on their strength in battle, their ability to lead the tribe down safe and fruitful paths as they constantly move, and how intelligent they are in giving council on many different matters of Wampyrii society.
Despite proving himself a formidable warrior and hunter Trog is far short of the wits required to be a proper leader. Brakar recognized this years ago but could not dissuade his son from pursuing the patriarchy anyway. Consulting with one of the old tribal mystics he hatched a plan to send Trog off on a useless quest in the world disguised as a rite of passage. The mystic pretended to divine a message from the spirits telling Trog that he must travel out into the world to gain knowledge of battle and leadership. He must not return until, “The gods open a crack in the ground at your feet and try to swallow you up.” Brakar was satisfied that this would probably never come to pass and Trog would be forever gone from the tribe and leadership could pass on to a more suitable youth.
Trog bid farewell to his friends and family and struck out into the world. He took supplies, weapons, and bark and charcoal to record notable events of bravery and leadership during his travels. He feels confident that he will prove himself worthy to the gods and they will try to swallow him up into the earth in a few years and then he can return to lead his tribe to glory.