Perrenland is a nation of individuals, cantons and clans. These have come together with a long history of conflict and ancient history. Though most of these cultural icons originated from Flan humans, some hail from even further back in history, to the Ur-Flan of old. Others have been adapted by the more modern Oeridian 'newcomers'.
Traditionally, Perrenlanders are headhunters. The roots of this activity lie in the distant past, when it was believed that taking an opponent’s head also gave one the defeated opponent’s power. This tradition is still followed with the intent of trophy taking, without regard to the spiritual nature, although only the heads of worthy foes are taken. To some extremely traditional families, it is an insult if a fallen warrior’s head is not taken – as this as seen as a sign of contempt.
Some rare priests are even said to collect the heads of the fallen and commune with their spirits, utilising the knowledge and memories of the heads’ shades. In some rural areas, practice has evolved to the point that a family might petition to have the head of their hero kin returned and preserved to adorn their mantle places. On the other hand, the more ‘civilised’ folk in Schwartzenbruin typically see the head-hunting tradition as macabre and uncouth.
The Kóndkanyagn Edit
For at least two hundred years, rumours and stories have been circulating around Perrenland about the Kóndkannen- the Pots of Knowledge.
The Kóndkannen supposedly date back to the time of the Ur-Flannae, and are told to be powerful magical items. The stories tell of untold knowledge contained in the vessels, knowledge that would make the owner richer and more powerful than they could possibly imagine. Some legends indicate that the pots contain trapped demons that are forced to give aid to the pot’s owners. Others say that the Kóndkannen contain the trapped souls of powerful wizards – or worse.
The Kóndkanyagn – or the Hunt for a Pot of Knowledge – is a quest that drives many in Perrenland to head for the hills in search of these mythical artifacts. For some, the Kóndkanyagn has become an obsession, driving everything that they do. Whether the legends are true or not remains to be seen.
The Blood Feud Edit
On occasion two individuals or groups will share an enmity that is so great that they swear a formal oath that binds them to seek the death of the other party. Once this oath has been sworn, it can NOT be broken - so such feuds are not undertaken lightly. Fortunately, two clans have never entered into a formal blood feud, which could only end upon the utter destruction of one of the two clans.
Though the oath is binding it does not mean that the two parties need fight at every opportunity. The feud may be temporarily halted due to other circumstances, such as a threat from a common external enemy. Eventually, though, such feuds will eventually result in the death of one or both of the parties involved.
The Skâmtèguler (Shame Crier) Edit
Before the formation of the clans as they are known, the folk that inhabit the region now known as Perrenland were a fierce and warlike people. So fierce, in fact, that it was counted an honour to be considered the bravest warrior on the field of battle. The women of the tribe were no less fierce, and would hover at the fringe of battle, urging their men on. Over time, this habit developed into a tradition, one with a twist. The tribes would select from the women the most vehement and foul-mouthed harridan to accompany them to battle. This woman, called the Skâmtèguler - the Shame Crier - would hurl abuse ... at the men of her own family. By calling into question their manhood and bringing their deficiencies to light, she would shame them into a fiercer display of martial valour. By doing so, she would direct the battle in her own unique fashion.
Warriors would rather die than face ridicule from the Skâmtèguler and in time, the Skâmtèguler became a regular fixture at clan battles. The Skâmtèguler became sacrosanct, and it was extremely dishonourable to harm one of these women. The position of Skâmtèguler earned these women great renown and respect, which reflected also on their families. As the years rolled by and society evolved, the role of the Skâmtèguler remained.
In these more enlightened modern times, a calm head and good discipline are also required of a warrior. Individual prowess, though still highly regarded, is less important than the ability to fight well with one's fellow warriors. Yet the Skâmtèguler remains a fixture on the battlefield. They still cry abuse at unfortunate fellows who raise their ire, and they are known to bestow glowing praise upon distinguished enemies. But this serves an important purpose, for Skâmtègulers are important in directing the flow of battle. The ability to scream abuse is now joined by the necessity of a keen tactical mind, for a Skâmtèguler is one of the clan's best strategists. With her vituperations, she lets a warrior know that he is weakening his clan's attack, and her golden words of encouragement to the enemy identify dangerous threats to be countered.
The Skâmtèguler usually has none, or at best little, martial prowess of her own - for her own training is lengthy and intensive. However, it takes a clear, quick mind, steady nerves, an instinct for tactics, and years of training to become a Skâmtèguler. They number amongst a warleader's most valuable and trusted assistants and often act as adjuncts to officers of the field. Among the clans, such women live like queens, fair reward for the dangers they face. While they are safe from harm from fellow Perrenlanders, their unique role identifies them as attractive targets for foreign enemies.