Immortals’ Wake: The Trial
What follows is a continuation of the first vignette of Immortals' Wake here. What would…
On the great plains west of No Man’s Land lies an ocean of grass punctuated only by the forgotten places of the once great Kingdom of Bede. Where communities once bloomed, nature has reclaimed wood and stone. Ruins dot the landscape, explored only by herds of grazing beasts, the occasional predator, and the wandering tribes of the nomads of Phaedrus. Though some adventurous souls have sought their fortune among the ruins, they are among the minority in these wide-open spaces.
Many tribes of nomads range this wide-open territory, some crossing thousands of miles over their lifetimes on horseback or foot. The most numerous among them belong to three main groups.
The Takinak are the most warlike of the bunch, worshiping the children of Fenrir, Skoll and Hati; wolves destined to devour the sun and moon at the end of the world. Though thought of as barbarians, the Takinak aim to thin the herds of men by removing the old, sick, and weak to prepare mankind’s armies for fighting the final battle. It is rumored that the tribe has moved beyond the wild and have begun seeking their prey among the cities.
The Ekine are the least violent among the wandering peoples, choosing to roam from area to area farming for a time in the open spaces. Often sought for their knowledge of herbalism, they can be found all across the world. If you could see the great plains from the air, you would find many islands of well-groomed terraces left behind during their travels as they seek greener lands so as not to spoil the earth.
Lastly, the Waktok are wandering scholars. Before Bede fell, the people who became Waktok were the sages of the kingdom, holding deep knowledge to questions of philosophy, science, and history. When the kingdom fell, that knowledge was lost in the chaos and the scholars started their journeys to collect it all again. Known as the seekers of riddles, these travelers will go miles and miles after the smallest rumor of lost scraps of learning. They are unafraid to enter towns and cities in search of their quarry.
There are rumors of a group of rangers watching the border of No Man’s Land, but few have ventured far enough or dared get close to the Land of the Dead to confirm those rumors. Should the dead arise, Phaedrus should hope such an organization exists to warn them of the impending war.