Wednesday 1 April 2015

Leaf On The Wind

The name of two groups who've inhabited Alyeska, the Ancient Terrans and more recently the Commonwealth, have been stated. Though there is, of a sorts, a third group that inhabits Alyeska.

The Windryders.

These nomadic hunter-gatherers can be found all over the continent, having called these frigid lands home seemingly since the world began. They are an ancient people whose traditions and customs have survived through the centuries, they also recall the rise and fall of the Ancient Terrans in some of their oldest tales. All of their knowledge and history is oral, kept alive by telling and retelling through the generations, though vital edicts of their culture was carved onto stone ages ago on what many dub 'Ryder Stones'.

What makes the Windryders particularly noteworthy and has helped spread the word of their existence throughout the wider world is the mounts they choose to ride; Dragonhawks.

Dragonhawks are gigantic birds, rivalling most medium aircraft in size and have the appearance of effectively a feathered dragon hence their name. These birds and their riders have a very close bond, some even suggest some form of connection between the minds of both of them but thus far this is only an unproven theory. Certainly the Dragonhawks are hostile to outsiders attempting to claim them as a mount, even going far as attacking those who try to capture it. Also the Windryders will make very effort in finding a lost Dragonhawk, the worse weather conditions only delay them temporarily.

Of the Windryders themselves not much is really known, they very rarely have contact with outsiders for trade with those who've earned their trust by learning their customs. They are grouped into tribes known as kindreds, but outsiders only ever to see one or two Windryders. But it is known that kindreds use Ancient Terran ruins as refuges and waystations, but they seem rather picky by only maintaining some whilst shunning others which has led many to believe that they know more about the Ancient Terrans than they let on. They certainly do speak of the Ancient Terrans as though they were an cursed people, even going far as to warn others away from certain ruins and sites.

Some numbers of Windryders have embraced the modern world, swapping bows for rifles and some even going far as hiring themselves out as scouts to expeditions and the Aerial Corps. They still have their Dragonhawk companions and are almost as standoffish as their more isolationist cousins, but some have have parted knowledge about their people to those they trust.

But many questions still remain about the Windryders, chief amongst them is whether or not they are actually human? Many also wonder whether there is any connection between the Windryders and the land based tribals known as the Genchi whose lands have been sized by the Coalition in its endless drive for expansion. And lastly, what do they know about the terrible fate that befell the Ancient Terrans?

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