There are those in the wastelands of the Shadowmark that do not adhere to common decency. Their solution to the scarcity of the wastelands it to rob and steal from those who cannot protect themselves. These raider tribes are made up of strong-willed, powerful warriors and have little respect for the weak.
OriginWith The Cataclysm wiping out most living species of flora, fauna and Kykr alike there was little to consume for the few fortunate, or perhaps unfortunate, survivors. They had to quickly adapt to their new surroundings and the dangers of the wastelands, find new and inventive ways to cultivate what little flora and fauna was left. While some struggled to make the dead lands flourish, others resorted to violence, theft and death. These "raiders", as they became known, splintered into several tribes, each led by a knuckle-headed, strong-willed leader. Over time, these raiders became less desperate and morally questionable thieves and more warrior-like tribes. They created their own customs, rituals and rites of passage. They still kept one thing in common, however: whatever they couldn't make, they stole from others.
Language and dialectsMost people in the Shadowmark speak the common language of K'jat, but with the isolation and small societies of the wastelands, each settlement grows its own dialect over time. Some of these dialects have become partially mutually unintelligible.
Customary codes & shared valuesWith a culture so focused on prowess in battle, strength and cunning are important traits among the raiders. They value a resourceful individual who can make the most out of limited resources and that you can count on in battle. Physical exercise, combat drills and brutal rites of passage have become commonplace among the raiders of the wastelands.
Major tribesWhile raiding certainly provides what the tribe needs, it does not provide enough to support large populations. This has led to internal strife within the tribes, triggered by scarcity of resources. Usually these strifes lead to a splinter, where one group of people follow another leader that goes off to found a new settlement and find other prey to stalk.
SandstalkersThe Sandstalkers are peculiar among the raiders. Instead of fighting outright battles and attacking settlements, these raiders have specialised in attacking convoys and traders traveling between settlements. They hide in the sand under pieces of tarp, covered with sand and appear seemingly out of nowhere to ambush convoys. They operate with skilled scouts, communicating with ancient radio technology, reporting on the locations of convoys and move to ambush them. To prevent overheating in the scorching days, they usually ambush at night when the temperatures are colder.
Eaters of the DeadThe most feared and brutal of all the raider tribes, the Eaters of the Dead are cannibals. They hunt people to kidnap and use them for food. It is usually far prefered to be killed by one's own hand than be captured by the Eaters. Since they see people as little more than food and toys, they treat their prisoners accordingly. It is not uncommon with torture, mutilation and even rape among the Eaters.
Common etiquetteRaiders commonly do not hunt in another tribe's territory, unless they are desperate or wishing to challenge the tribe for their territory. It's a silent agreement among the tribes. War between tribes is certainly possible, but in general the tribes will avoid to fight one another. Resources are scarce as they are and even a tribe that scores a victory is weakened by the war and may lose important members, equipment and food. Even worse, they could become prey to another tribe that exploits their now weakened state.
TaboosThe tribe look out for one another and you are closer than family; Treat them accordingly. Tribesmen do not steal from one another. It is punishable by death to steal even a single grain from a fellow tribesman. If you do not have the resources you need, ask the tribe and they will find what you need among the people of the wastelands. Those who are found to break the unwritten code of the tribe are either killed outright or exiled and left to fend for themselves in the desert.
The wastelands outside the cities. A toxin-ridden desert, populated only by the exiled, monsters and mutants.
The Cataclysm was a world-ending event that occured around a hundred years ago due to overuse of shadow energy. It lead to the collapse of the Shadow Realm, a neighboring dimension. The force of the collapse destroyed most of the world.