The Hordelands

Often considered a completely barren region, the Hordelands features sparse vegetation, rare oases, and the quarreling tribes of the Tuigan. These horse-riding nomads are best known for their invasion of Faerûn more than four decades ago. Fierce riders expert with their composite shortbows, the nomads are divided among at least ten tribes, living in tents and surviving on meat and milk. Their few permanent settlements center around oases, for water is their most precious commodity.

The superstitious local people are distrustful of strangers, especially after their defeat by the western armies. It will be at least a generation before the Tuigan again pose a significant threat to Faerûn. Dismissed as an inconsequential for years, the Hordelands now see increased trade activity between Faerûn and the Kara-Turan empire of Shou Lung far to the east. Traders carry exotic goods to and from each locale, making many rich along the way.

Life in the Hordelands is harsh, with cold winters, hot summers, poor soil unsuitable for farming, and frequent violent storms. The nomads are forced to wander to survive, letting their tough steppe ponies forage on the sparse vegetation. and feeding themselves on livestock, horse milk, and the creatures of the Endless Waste (only part of the vast Hordelands). The Tuigan culture is egalitarian, with children of both sexes trained to ride and use the bow, although men are expected to become warriors while women assume a powerful role in the household. Small dwarven settlements dot the slopes of the Sunrise Mountains, but the two races avoid each other due to language and cultural barriers.

The great feature of the Hordelands is really a lack of features at all. The Endless Waste and the regions beyond are flat steppelands, shading toward tundra on the northern flank and cold, rocky desert to the south. The land is scoured by fiercely cold winds blowing off the Great Ice Sea in the wintertime, and blasted by dry furnace heat and billowing duststorms in the summer. The great herds of grazing animals represent the wealth of the land, a resource of food, clothing, and shelter that the Tuigan follow from one end of the land to the other in a perpetual migration, season after season.

North of the Endless Waste lies the Great Ice Sea, known to the Tuigan as Yal Tengri. This body of water is frigid and icebound in the winter, inhabited by cold-loving creatures and a wealth of fish and marine life. Though it clears of ice in the summer, in springtime icebergs dot its surface, some of them moving about contrary to winds and currents.

BENEFITS:

Languages:

Tuigan, Rashemi, Orc.

Equipment:

Weapons: Composite Short Bow, Shortsword, Spear, Battle Axe
Armour: Studded Leather
Mounts: Horse

Spells:

Mount
Release Weapon

Fighting Styles:

Mounted Fighting Style

Favoured Deities:

Akadi, Grumbar, Selune, Malar, Orc Pantheon.

The Hordelands

Forgotten Realms: Birthright Avanpallandt