Eir Glanfath

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Eir Glanfath
Eir Glanfath coa.png
Tribal confederation
Nomadic people
  • 65% Resident
  • 35% Transient
  • 0% Urban (no communities over 10.000)
  • 100% Rural
  • Gal glas
  • Timber
  • Glanfathan deer hide
  • Adra shell
  • Gold
  • Rare fungi
Temple ruins in Eir Glanfath

Eir Glanfath is a region in the "Eastern Reach", that cover the entire forest southeast of the Bael River. It was once part of the territory of an ancient kingdom by the same name, populated by the Engwithan, now both dead or gone for two millennia. The region is currently settled by Glanfathan semi-nomadic tribes.[1]

In the past Glanfathan have come into conflict with the Dyrwood and Aedyr Empire, though relations have since thawed with the former.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

The foundation of Eir Glanfath is intimately tied to the Engwithans and the great migration that is estimated to have occurred around 1350 AI. The tribes that would become known as the Glanfathans migrated south as a cohesive whole, in a largely unprecedented pilgrimage to Teir Evron and the remnants of Engwithan cities that surrounded it. The precise reason is not known, but it was likely deliberately engineered by the Engwithans - or Builders, as the Glanfathans came to know them. The semi-nomadic tribes revered them as messengers of the gods and accepted the mandate to protect Engwithan ruins in return for the right to settle the area that would become known as the Twin Elms. Although they would never rise to the level of architectural sophistication of the Engwithans, the Glanfathans would guard them with religious zeal, protecting against looters. Glanfathan tradition holds that the Keepers of the Stone were the first of the six great tribes to make contact with the Builders and accept their mandate.[3]

For westerners, the history of Eir Glanfath begins with Aedyran explorers in 2602 AI. Even then, it is poorly documented and oral accounts often conflict and most are not aware of their history and ties to the Engwithans. The Glanfathans were not used to encounters with outsiders before and viewed the intrusion on their land as something of a test. The ruins that covered their land were considered sacred and these strangers, despite warnings, plundered them, taking artifacts. Glanfathans that resisted were captured and forced into slavery, becoming property of the new colonists. Their people, heritage, and land at stake, the Glanfathans struck back, hoping to drive them out of their lands permanently. Despite their best efforts, more Aedyran invaders appeared. By 2623 AI, the Aedyrans had established towns, pushing the Glanfathans out of some areas and enslaving any who refused to leave. They tried to live in peace, keeping an eye on the Aedyrans, and with the exception of a few isolated incidents, it seemed to work. This tentative peace came to a bloody end in 2626 AI.[4]

Colonization wars[edit | edit source]

A group of farmers, clearing a potential crop field in the middle of an area dotted with many sacred ruins, knocked down one of the ancient menhirs. Whether this was intentional or accidental is not known, but this incident started what came to be known as the Broken Stone War. It was short, lasting less than a year, but it was bloody and brutal. Several thousand Aedyran colonists died as well as hundreds of Glanfathans.[4]

Though the war ended, the attacks on the Aedyrans didn't stop. An orlan named Regd was chosen as galven of the Glanfathans. He vowed to make every outsider pay for the injustices done on his people's land. He organized the Glanfathan Fangs and orchestrated a series of attacks over the course of the next two years. It seemed Regd's tactics would eventually work and drive the Aedyrans from Eir Glanfath, but then they started fighting back. They became far more organized and their tactics less predictable. Fewer and fewer of Regd's attacks succeeded. He discovered a new gréf , Edrang Hadret, had been appointed - someone whose tactics and battle savvy were more evenly matched with his. Eventually both leaders came to a stalemate, neither able to gain the upper hand on the other.[4]

As a result of the stalemate, the hostilities between the two groups dwindled as there was never a significant result for either side. This led to treaties, developed and signed by both, to eliminate the violence and tension. Regd stepped down as galven and returned to his life. Hadret set a decree - looting the ruins of Eir Glanfath is an arrestable offense. As a sign of goodwill, Hadret also tried to outlaw slavery, but this act was struck down by the other erls and the fercönyng of Aedyr. Because of this, some incidents of rural violence still cropped up. Hadret's treaties resulted in 20 years of relative peace for the Glanfathans, still wary and distrustful of the Aedyrans, but willing to accept their presence if they had to.[4]

Independence and coexistence[edit | edit source]

In 2652, everything started to deteriorate. It was uncovered that a number of ruin sites had been looted and all signs pointed to the Aedyrans breaking the treaty. Glanfathans held off judgment for as long as they could, but when the evidence became overwhelming, they retaliated with all the strength they could muster. Regd once again took up the mantle of leadership and led his people against the Aedyrans. Instead of facing Edrang Hadret again, this time Regd crossed swords with Admeth Hadret, Edrang's son. Admeth proved to be just as, if not more, capable than his father and used a tactic no Glanfathan expected. In order to clear out the battlefield and ensure there would be no place for troops to hide, Admeth set the entire forest on fire near the Isce Uar River, and blocked all retreating forces with his army. While some escaped the slaughter, most of the Glanfathan troops died. Regd was captured in the mayhem and transferred to New Heomar for holding. While many more battles occurred - some of which resulted in Admeth using the same tactic - the Glanfathan forces were now disorganized and had lost their resolve. They were easily routed and by the end of that same year, the War of Black Trees (as it is now known) was over.[5]

In order to again repair relations between the two groups, Admeth introduced new laws restricting the taking of new slaves from Eir Glanfath. The laws also gave Glanfathans the opportunity to buy their fellows out of bondage. While not entirely happy with the prospect of having to buy their countrymen - who had already been free - the Glanfathans took this gesture as the good will it was and ceased their hostilities again. Seven years pass with the Dyrwood under Admeth's rule. The Glanfathans felt, for the first time, that true peace could return to their land. This peace lead to what is likely the biggest treaty negotiation between Eir Glanfath and the Dyrwood in its history. Admeth set into place the "Ten Years" Treaties (so named because it had been ten years since the War of Black Trees). A timeline was set, and at the end of it all Glanfathan slaves had to be released. The citizens of Eir Glanfath watched the Dyrwood with a cautious hope. With the extended peace between the two peoples and these new treaties, they truly hoped conflict was a thing of the past.[5]

In 2665, Galven Medhra, an elven woman who had taken over for Regd, brought news to Admeth. Some Dyrwoodan people were found taking artifacts from one of the tombs. Initial investigation uncovered several more that had already been plundered. As they seemed to be isolated incidents and it had been stopped early, Medhra did not want a war to start again after so long being at peace. Admeth was grateful for this courtesy and wasted no time tracking down who was responsible. Medhra gave Admeth use of her brishalgwin ‘mind hunters’ and with their help found evidence pointing directly back to the fercönyng. Admeth and Medhra, now jointly allied against the Aedyran fercönyng, used everything at their disposal to prevent the fercönyng's agents from getting into the ruins.[5]

In 2668 AI, when Admeth declared independence from Aedyr to create the Free Palatinate of Dyrwood, the Glanfathans stood behind him, offering their support and troops. While the war didn't affect the Glanfathan people directly, there were casualties. In the end, the Dyrwoodan people became free and the bond between the two people was strengthened through their shared suffering. Admeth became the beloved as ruler of the Dyrwood - known and respected by Dyrwoodans and Glanfathans alike.[5]

After the revolution, the Dyrwood officially stopped the Aedyr Empire's practice of exploring and plundering Eir Glanfath's sacred ruins. In the years that followed, the tribal princes of Eir Glanfath allowed Dyrwoodan animancers to speak with some of their brîshalgwin ("mind hunters"), the elite warriors that had terrorized Aedyrans and Dyrwoodans in past wars.[6] However, Waidwen's Legacy has strained relations with the Free Palatinate, as refugees continue to flow into Eir Glanfath, seeking solace. The Glanfathans seems to have remained outside the Legacy's reach.

Society[edit | edit source]

See also: Glanfathan language

Glanfathan society consist of mostly elves, Orlans and some dwarves. It is divided into tribes which are further divided into clans. Each tribe is united by a particular history or way of life, and clans are communities of families that live together. There are six major Glanfathan tribes, organized into a confederation and governed by the galven. Although there are more than six tribes, the six largest have traditionally led the others, enjoying a seat in the Passage of the Six, where the leaders of the tribes discuss matters of common interest. [7]

Each Glanfathan tribe is ruled by an anamfath ("soul prince") and advised by a council of riow ("wise ones"). Anamfatha are elected by ciphers who gauge the soul essence of candidates to determine the best candidate. The confederation is highly decentralized, with no central authority and coordination established by periodic meetings of anamfatha to discuss problems that affect the entirety of Eir Glanfath.[7]

The economy of Eir Glanfath revolves around the production and exportation of gal glas timber, deer hides, gold, adra shell, and rare fungi. Glanfathan medicine is also highly prized in foreign markets.[7]

Customs[edit | edit source]

Glanfathans have an extremely strong sense of community between their tribes and think of the entire forest of Eir Glanfath as being their responsibility to protect.[8] Glanfathan customs stem from a deep and rich culture and all tie in to their history. Including an abundance of traveling customs, being a semi-nomadic people, they have and practice customs to ensure their safety while on the move.

  • Glanfathan virtues: cleverness, subterfuge, frugality, communality, mathematic aptitude.
  • Glanfathan vices: selfishness, cowardice, vanity, social intoxication, token gestures (as opposed to meaningful action).[9]

Virtues[edit | edit source]

Glanfathans admire and revere clever people. This doesn’t mean intelligent people, broadly, but quick-witted individuals or those who are capable of devising and executing complex plans—especially if they involve tricking others. Given two ways of doing something, Glanfathans will often favor the one that is more complex or intriguing.[7]
In Glanfathan culture, being able to conceal one’s intentions or misdirect attention is considered skillful and worthy of respect. In line with their high regard for cleverness, Glanfathans most appreciate subterfuge when it is artful. A well-told bald-faced lie has its place, but is considered a bit pedestrian.[7]
Glanfathans live relatively austere lives, and pride themselves on needing little to survive and thrive. The accumulation of property and wealth is not unheard of, but it’s typically the miserly, hoarding kind. If someone loses a great deal of property or wealth, the “proper” response is to shrug it off as insignificant.[7]
Communality is very important to Glanfathans, not just in the sense of a specific community, but in the sense of a shared welfare between all Glanfathans. Tribalism is widely discouraged, not just through social shaming but through rituals and traditions such as “trading” family members or jobs for significant periods of time. The entire concept of Dyrwoodan feuds is abhorrent to them.[7]
Mathematic Aptitude
Glanfathans love mathematics and insist on ensuring all Glanfathans are proficient in elementary mathematics like arithmetic, geometric logic, and algebra. Additionally, many Glanfathans have proficiency in calculus—often to the embarrassment of Dyrwoodans and Vailians, who previously believed they were pioneers in the field. This passion for mathematics rarely manifests in any sort of civic project or invention, but is used to explain how the world works (or doesn’t). Due to their practical mindset, Glanfathan mathematics is always rooted in observable real-world phenomena. Based on comparisons of contemporary Glanfathan equations and markings at Engwithan ruins, theorists speculate that the ancient Engwithans had a well-developed understanding of calculus and this likely contributed to their architectural capabilities.[7]

Vices[edit | edit source]

Selfishness is a terrible vice among Glanfathans. Possessing great wealth (in any form) is fine, but monetary, spiritual, or emotional greed is bad. Glanfathans are expected to share with their communities without prompting or complaint.[7]
Glanfathans of all ages and stations of life are expected to be brave—not in the sense of showing bravado, but in the sense that they should never show or give in to fear. Bravery is the standard expected of Glanfathans, which isn’t to say that bravery is celebrated and cowardice is denounced. Glanfathans do not expect each other to be foolhardy or suicidally valiant, but they do expect that when the time comes to act, there will be little or no hesitation from others in their community.[7]
Glanfathans put only a modicum of effort into their personal appearance. That isn’t to say that Glanfathans are unkempt beasts, but they view time-consuming grooming and primping rituals as foolish. People who clearly put a great deal of time into their personal appearance are not taken seriously by Glanfathans.[7]
Social Intoxication
Glanfathans believe there are times and places to be intoxicated, but “out in public” is not one of them. Glanfathans who visit Dyrwoodan communities are often dismayed by taverns or public celebrations involving alcohol or other drugs. Reactions to intoxicated individuals range from pity to disgust, though hostility is uncommon.[7]
Token Gestures
In Glanfathan communities, an action is only worth what it accomplishes. Deeds are measured by their results. Apologies must contain remedy; words alone are meaningless. Symbolic gestures, empty talk, and hollow courtesy are exceptionally insulting to Glanfathans.[7]

Festivals[edit | edit source]

The Festival of the Ancients (Spring Dawn) The Festival of the Ancients takes place during Spring Dawn and is a time to celebrate the Glanfathans settling in Eir Glanfath. It is a simple, three-day ceremony that is mostly centered on feasts. These feasts are set up around the ruins scattered through Eir Glanfath. Wreaths made from tree branches and flowers are placed at the ruins and prayers are said to the gods, thanking them for health and prosperity.
The Cleansing (New Year and Mid Year)

The Cleansing started as a protest, recreating the hardships wrought upon the Glanfathans by the Aedyran colonists when they started settling the Dyrwood. It has morphed over the years and is now used more as a game mixed with a teaching tool to inform your Glanfathans about the history of their people. The Cleansing takes place on New Year and Mid Year and now acts as a metaphor for real events instead of a recreation of the events themselves. Xaurip effigies are placed throughout the forest, hollow clay shells filled with sweets and gifts. The children then search the woods for the effigies and destroy them, "cleansing" the forest so they Glanfathans can move in and occupy the areas. After the area has been cleared, they gather for a celebration and feast where the elders tell the young members the true story of their people's history.

Holiday of the Black Tree (2nd day of Autumn Falling)

A combination of a day of remembrance and celebratory feast, the Holiday of the Black Tree is held on the second day of Autumn Falling when the trees are still colorful but losing their leaves and the land is becoming cold and dark. Glanfathans use the day to tell the story of the War of Black Trees and remember those who were lost. During the morning, the adults hang elaborate garlands from the tree branches. The garlands are made from red, orange, and yellow flowers and represent the flames that swept through the forests of Eir Glanfath, destroying everything in their paths. After a morning of fasting and reflection, the children are set to run through the trees, tearing down the garlands and bring them back to the feast, decorating the tables with wildflowers, turning the horror of war into something beautiful. Then they eat, cheering the peace they now have with the Dyrwoodan people and toast to many more years of peace to come.

Technology[edit | edit source]

Glanfathan technology incorporates wood and stone in ambitious ways. Most of their structures are wooden and thatch roofed, with stone tiles or cedar shingles reserved for buildings of importance. Warriors dedicate no lack of attention to maintaining weapons of old, which is why many of them still carry March or even Battery steel. Such resources were originally acquired through trade with White March when the dwarves still resided there (though many Dyrwoodans accuse them of having looted the dwarven ruins).[7]

Notable locations[edit | edit source]

  • Twin Elms: Capital of Eir Glanfath.
  • Solace Vale

Notable characters[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

The ancient Engwithan language (used by the previous residents of Eir Glanfath) is based on Cornish. Glanfathan (used by the current Glanfathan tribes) is based on Old Irish and contemporary Irish. [10]

References[edit source]

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