The ‘Free States’
Although the area that encompasses the land to the south of the Eira-Gwyn Mountains, and the north of the Sonsuz Desert is collectively referred to as the ‘Free States’ by the other nations of Turoza, the area is not a coherent political unit, but Is instead the largest expanse of truly tribal land left in Turoza. Whilst this or that kingdom that emerged at the beginning of the Settlement Era claimed the rest of Turoza, the area of the Deytet Savannah remained unclaimed, mostly because the Union of Mishtoon and the Sultanate of Fashaddon used the geographical boundaries of the mountains and desert to define their respective borders. The Deytet Savannah became an area of refuge for those tribes that did not want to become part of a nation state, and the area has remained ungoverned by a single entity ever since. The Union of Mishtoon, the old Kingdom of Castar and the Sultanate of Fashaddon have all attempted to subjugate parts of the ‘Free States’ in a bid to extend their own border, but the intense and unpredictable guerrilla campaigns that the tribes launch at any invading forces make bringing stability to any subjugated regions nigh on impossible. The various tribes that inhabit the area of the Deytet Savannah are self-governing though their own individual systems and many of them remain nomadic, following the herds of animals that drift across the landscape in search of food and water. Some of the tribes have settled in almost permanent settlements, but none of them has come close to looking as if they wish to form a larger political entity. Overall, the tribes that inhabit the ‘Free States’ tend to try to avoid one another, partly to minimise the risk of conflict, and partly because they wish to keep themselves to themselves. Conflicts that arise between the tribes are usually over access to resources, and the conflict will end when one tribe has managed to drive the other from the area in question. Occasionally one tribe will attempt to dominate another, but the poorly organised conglomerate tribes that emerge rarely last for long, as the tribal divides run too deep. One feature more than any divides the tribes of the ‘Free States’ more than any, and that is the Tarcan Roadway that runs between the Union of Mishtoon and the Sultanate of Fashaddon. This road, which was painfully constructed in a joint effort by Mishtoon and Fashaddon over more than twenty years, in an effort to create a safer, more efficient land trading route between the north and the south of Turoza. The Roadway was designed and named after the Fashaddonite engineer, Melis Tarcan, who designed and constructed the famous aqueduct system in the Sultanate. During the construction, the tribes of the ‘Free States’ almost continuously launched attacks against the work gangs in an attempt to stop what they believed was an effort to conquer their tribal lands, and both the Union and the Sultanate lost a large amount of soldiers and workers to the hit and run attacks of the tribes. With the completion of the road project in 331S.E., the attitude of the tribes changed, partly because the military presence of their two neighbours mostly disappeared with the construction of the project, and partly because the roadway brought a regular flow of trade traffic to the region. This not only gave the tribes the opportunity to trade more frequently with the other nations of Turoza, but also gave them a regular, predictable route upon which to ambush the trading caravans. As a result, even though the Tarcan Roadway is protected by guard towers every five miles along its route, manned by troops from the Union of Mishtoon or the Sultanate of Fashaddon, the trading caravans that pass along the route tend to be incredibly heavily guarded. The tribes of the ‘Free States’ often clash with one another over the best ambush spots along the Tarcan Roadway, as many tribes think it is worth the risk to get their hands on valuable trade goods.
There is no formalised structure in the ‘Free States’ as it is inhabited by a wide range of tribes, all of which govern themselves in different ways. A large proportion of them use a patriarchal or matriarchal system to run their own affairs.
Given the nomadic nature of many of the tribes of the ‘Free States’ there is little manufacturing that goes on in the area, nor is there widespread cultivation of crops. Most tribes will have some livestock that they herd with them, but not in significant enough numbers to provide regular trading income from them. The area of the Deytet Savannah is home to numerous wild animals, that often move across the landscape in large herds, and numerous predators that follow the herds. This means that many tribes will use the exotic pelts of animals that they have killed, as trade commodities with the caravans that move down the Tarcan Roadway. Equally, a tribe that is able to kill a dangerous or exotic predator will often sell on its body parts or the whole corpse to the trading caravans, which in turn sell it on to countries such as Zhisbon, where such animals would fetch a high price as their body parts can be incorporated into the creation of magic items.
Demography and Population
Representatives from every sapient species can be found in the ‘Free States’, though they tend not to mix, with most of the tribes being made up of a single body of people from the same species. This division of species is mostly a hangover from the Nomadic Era, when the tribes first moved to the area, were the tribes tended to be comprised of individuals from a single sapient species. Because of its lack of any form of administration or military presence, the ‘Free States’ are often used as a staging ground for war parties of Orcs, Goblins and Gnolls, who often use the relative safety of the ‘Free States’ to rest and resupply before launching raids into the neighbouring kingdoms.
The Savage Lands