Wildfolk (the "Nolar")
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The Wildfolk; also known as the "Nolar," or "Stone Barbarians," are part of the race of Vaas who did not assimilate into the civilized cultures of Derianor and Erindar.


The Wildfolk have Vaasi coloring and speech, but very different customs and societal values. Most are not overly aggressive and keep to themselves, but can be deadly if they feel their territory is threatened. Today, most Wildfolk tribes live east of Derianor, in a region of Corwyn known as the Wildlands.

A few of these fierce barbarians can also be found east of the Dwarf-realm of Orrek, in the rolling plaines of the Vast. The Wildfolk of the Vast long ago befriended the dwarves of the north and, today, trade with them frequently.

Some bands of Wildfolk also dwell in outlying, rural areas of northern Erindar, but those groups do not consider themselves subjects of either the Erindari court in Chelstad or the Theocrats in Elsareth.

CULTURE


The people who dwell in the Wildlands are known to the more civilized peoples of Western Corwyn as "Wildfolk". These barbarian peoples are made up of ten distinct, loosely organized tribes. Several of the Nolar tribes live south of the Swordpoint Mountains and one; the notorious Melkor tribe, dwellls north of the Kor's Twins Mountain range. Culturally, the ten Nolar tribes differentiate themselves by what totem animal they honor.

The ten Nolar tribes each revere one of the following animals: badger, condor, eagle, elk, lynx, mountain lion, owl, ram, serpent, wolf, and the wolverine.

Ethnically, the Wildfolk people have Vaas bloodlines, although they have been periodically infused with the blood of conquered peoples or refugees. The Wildfolk have never been culturally 'civilized;' they have resisted any attempt at civilization with violence, although they have readily adapted the more practical cultural features of the peoples with whom they have had contact.

In many areas, the Nolar are remarkably civilized, and from a certain point of view, advanced. But in many areas they are truly barbaric. Reading and writing are virtually unknown among the Wildfolk. Therefore, all Nolar songs, poems, and histories are passed down with a strict oral tradition.

Moreover, the Nolar are extremely warlike, much more so than most other humans; this alone often sets them back in terms of civilization. Their history is primarily one of war between their own competing tribes and against the hated orcs, goblins, ogres, and other evil creatures of the Highlands. Between war and survival in the harsh and rugged mountainous lands they have little time to be civilized.

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Ornamentation is another major part of the Wildfolk culture. Their ornamentation is usually present on every thing they own, from their tools to their homes to their weapons to their clothes. Ornamentation plays a very significant role in the lives of the Nolar peoples. Wildfolk men and women all dress somewhat similarly: they will usually wear a long shirt made of wool and long cloth trousers. On top of this is worn a sleeved jerkin or a thigh length coat with a leather belt. On their feet, they wear wool socks and soft leather shoes or boots. In battle, warriors wear an iron helmet and studded leather armor; otherwise the favored protection is hide armor. Heavier metal armors are virtually unknown to the Nolar, for while the Wildfolk do smelt steel, they do not have the technology to produce armor such as chainmail. If they once did, it is since forgotten.

COMBAT


The Wildfolk are fierce warriors; indeed they are known throughout the West for their prowess in battle. In fact, a barbarian army of Ravagers led by the legendary warlord Garthold once destroyed the ancient kingdom of Harloch after defeating its army.

In general, however, the Wildfolk are not quite organized enough to put together an organized campaign army that is capable of crossing long distances. They lack the supply lines and the motivation to do so. Thus their raids have generally been directed towards other Wildfolk tribes or toward outlying settlements in Derianor and Elyria. Unlike the northern Variags, the Wildfolk are not mariners (not having access to any large bodies of water) and thus are not really wanders or explorers.

Wildfolk are also known for their berserk fighting styles. Indeed, the term "berserker" is a term unique to the Nolar. Wildfolk berserkers often lash them selves into a rage, throw away their shields, singing, shouting, and even injuring themselves, before hurling themselves into battle clad in only light armor.

These frenzied, raging warriors will continue to fght until either they are slain or all their enemies are dead. Berserkers can be deadly enemies against individuals or small groups, but are far less effective against organized units of trained soldiers. As an example, berserking Wildfolk often tend to impale themselves on the weapons of enemy pikemen.

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HISTORICAL ORIGINS


The Highlands have a long and storied past. In the Third Age, many of these diverse migratory tribes of ethnic Vaas began to populate the region, who were divided into nine distinct Clans:

But the most storied of these clans was the "Nolar;" the so-called "Ten-tribes" of the northern mountains, famously led by their first Chieftain: Kor the Magnificent.

Over the centuries, most of these tribal peoples kept to themselves, occasionally fighting with each other over territory or herds of livestock. Most Wildfolk tribes were fiercely independant.

WILDFOLK TRIBES TODAY


Today, the "Ten-Tribes" of Wildfolk are as follows:

  • the Abernath
  • the Allards
  • the Blackadder
  • the Dalziel
  • the Gladstons
  • the Haldanes
  • the Melkor (the Ravagers)
  • the Ruthaven
  • the Sarshem
  • the Umbar