The lands are ever changing; mountains will rise and fall, forests will burn and grow back again, the rivers will carve their way through the landscape. But in all this change there is but one true constant. The Wanderers will make every new place their home.
Wherever you go in Tosormi you can be sure of the fact that sooner or later you will meet a caravan of Wanderers. These the oldest people of the lands are more adaptable than any who have come later and have managed to spread to every corner of the continent, no matter how harsh. And here they live almost in the same way as they have done for generations.
No one knows when the Wanderers came to Tosormi. Some say they have always been here, and that might be true. They do not consider the land theirs, but rather they belong to it and are a part of it.When The Rooted came to Tosormi some 400 years ago it didn't take long for them to discover the new continent weren't so empty of people as they thought, but it also stood clear very fast that neither the Rooted or the Wanderers were aggressive people. The Rooted simply wanted land to build their villages, sow their crops and feed their animals, and since that was not something the Wanderers were very interested in, although they found the idea quite unnatural, they soon settled into their new roles as neighbours. The arrival of the Rooted did change the Wanderers however. Even if they had always done some trading among each other and between the different group of Wanderers, they now also gained to role as traders and messengers between the different Rooted villages. In more densely populated places this is now the main livelihood of a lot of Wanderer groups, but for the most part the trading comes second to the hunting and herding that have supported the people for centuries.
Different kind of Wanderers
Although generally seen as one single group of people both by outsiders and among themselves, there are certain bigger differences between groups of Wanderers in different places. However, the biggest difference between groups is how they make their livelihood.
The XuisPerhaps the most characteristic of the Wanderers are the beastmasters Xuis, named after their huge beasts that carry their whole lives. These enourmous herbivores are fitted with platforms on their back where the people build simple huts (known as Briri (ʙiri)) where they live and store their property. Their animals are sturdy and can travel for a long time without rest, eating from trees and bushes as they pass them. It is not unusual for the caravans to travel throughout the night. Xuis tribes are those who most of all have turned to trading, crossing huge distances with their caravans. They trade both between their own nomadic clans and the settlements all over Tosormi, and work as a messenger system across the land. However they still rely heavily on hunting and gathering during their travels. Individuals and smaller groups usually go out with smaller, faster mounts so they can easily get back to the caravan even if it is on the move. Thanks to their function as messengers they are usually welcome everywhere.
The HerdersAcross the huge fields in the southern-central parts of Tosormi, herds of grazing animals make their home. And where these animals go, the Herders will follow. Even though the animals are mostly still wild, they are being protected by the group of herders walking with them. They live in a symbiotic relationship where the Herders take care of injured animals and protect them from other predators, while taking older animals to feed themself and as a resource for almost everything in their lives. The life of the Herders largely follow the animals. During the drier months in the summer and autumn, the animals come together in huge groups along the rivers and lakes where water is more secure, and thus the people come together as well. During this time they form bigger, more permanent settlements and usually spend a lot more time together, having large feasts to create stronger bonds between groups. As the rain comes back and fills up smaller water sources out in the fields the animals split up and head out, and their people follows.
The Mountain peopleWhen they say the Wanderers have managed to spread all of Tosormi, they mean all over. Even in the mountain range in the central parts of Tosormi, people make their home. These people rely heavily on the seasons. During the warmer months they go high up in the mountains, hunting and gathering the sparce resources that do exist here. When the weather starts getting colder and the threat of snow storms get too real, they wander down to lower lands, and just like the Herders during the dry season they here form bigger settlements with other families.
Other groupsOf course there are a lot of families, groups, and tribes that don't clearly fall into any of these categories. These are Wanderers all over Tosormi who live their lives as hunters and gatherers, just trying to survive as best as they can.
DiplomacyWanderers as a whole are very peaceful. The get along well with the farming outlanders and tend to be more open than suspicious to strangers. What fighting do occur is usually between family groups, when someone feel mistreated or insulted. Especially when gathered in larger settlements for extended periods of times there tend to be trouble just because there is a lot of people in the same place. Apart from the groups up in the northern arid areas, who have something resembling a justice system, fights and arguments are usually solved by asking the elder of a group that isn't involved in the fight to mediate the conflict.
Wanderers and Nature Most Wanderers live simple lives, spending most of their time gathering food and making crafts. They are dependent on nature for everything and revere it, something that is evident in every part of their culture. Their religion, even if it varies a bit from place to place as religions do, focuses heavily on the nature and animals around them, featuring a lot of spirits and higher beings that have abilites to control the world. However, Wanderers place a great bit of responsibility on themselves for taking care of nature as well, and taking more than you need of anything is seen as a great sin.
Leaving Home Since Wanderers mostly live in small family groups, finding a partner withing the group is both impractical and taboo. Instead, it is custom that when a man comes of age (which in reality often mean when he and his parents agree that it is time), he leaves for another group, often during times when lots of groups settle down in an area together for a while. A young man can sometimes switch between different groups several times during his youth, but just until he fathers a child. When a child is made the man is seen as belonging to that family now and will stay with the group. The only exception to this is if the man loses his children and partner/-s; he is then allowed to leave the group as part of his mourning, although it is not something he has to do.
Children Most Wanderer groups are not very strict on monogamy, although this varies, and both men and women are allowed to have multiple partners within the group. A childs parents are expected to have the ultimate responsibility for the child, but in reality all children in a group are raised communily. This is mostly of convenience, so able adults aren't tied up with caring for children when they could be out getting food for everyone. The groups elders generally stay in camp with children, with breastfeeding women help each other out to feed their young while still being able to go out of camp for a little bit. Outsiders often think of Wanderer groups as very messy and disorganized, but in fact groups tend to keep excellent spoken record of exactly who is related to who, how old they are etc. It helps that most Wanderer women only have three to four children on average.