Protectorate of Nevereach
Spellscarred Halflings of the Smited Plains
The priests looked up at the Halflings gathered around him, some on small straight spiraled horned deer like creatures, but most were on foot. The one standing in front of him seemed to be the leader. He wore supple leather pants and shirt dyed in colors that looked like it would blend well with the grasses and shrubs that would grow on the plains. What stood out most were the tattoos around his eyes and on his hands. The spirals around his eyes seem to glow with an inner blue light and his stare seem to look into the soul of the priest. He had never felt such a stare, not even the one time he had meet the High priest when he was give the mission to come to this heathen land to spread the word of the god. The red and green flames tattooed on his hands look of the same style, but did not have the same inner glow that his eye tattoos did.
“So priest,” the Halfling said with such disdain, “you survived the ship wreck. That is too bad for you. Let me be the first and last to welcome you to this god cursed lands. I see you thought to bring word of your god to this land.” The priest knew somehow this was true, could he read his mind or did those eyes truly read his soul? “The gods gave up on us long ago so we have no need of your god.” The Halfling raised his hand and the tattoos started to glow with a red/green inner light. Raising his hands towards the priest palms out, a burst of red/green flames inundating the priest. Burning him alive before he could even let out a scream. The Halfling lowered his hands nodding to himself satisfied and turned to mount his Gerenuks and then as one they rode off.
The Spellscarred Halflings once prayed to the gods and goddess to save them from the Yuan-ti. How did they answer their prayers? They smote the rolling hills, yes killing the Yuan-ti, but also killing many of the Halflings and flatting the rolling country side into the plains that it was today. It also, some say cursed, others say blessed, them with the spellscarrs. The last few decades have seen a rise of devil worship and patronage of powers of the Fae Wild.
Organizations: Sept’s, Holds and the Gerenuk:
Bands of Spellscarred Halflings roam the Smited Plains on the backs of Gerenuk clashing with other Septs and raiding their holds while hunting. If they stumble upon any outsiders other than the Halflings of the Stoneheld Wood, they will kill them on sight. Deep in the plains hidden from outsiders are the Holds. Villages dug into the few hills or mesas, or even fewer valleys that survived or were formed by the smiting.
There are nine major Septs with holds: Black Cliffs, Black Water, Salt Flat, Green Salts, Red Water, Stones River, Four Stones, Iron Mountain, & Jagged Spire. Each of the major Septs have claimed the all plateaus on the savanna. There are a few small Septs that roam the lands. Most of them do not have permanent holds.
Gerenuks have a relatively small head for their body, but their eyes and ears are proportionately large. Only the males have horns and they also have a more muscular neck than females. Both sexes have ruddy brown coats with a paler underbelly . They have short, black tipped tails. The gerenuk is easily recognizable from its distinctive long and skinny neck which can be elongated further if need be for activities like feeding off the taller brambles and undergrowth of the Smited Plains. It also has remarkably long slender legs which are another great advantage as they can gallop away into the distance at very high speeds from any form of predator trying to attack.
The Spellscarred Halflings do little trade with outsiders. They deal mostly with the Halflings of the Stoneheld and a few Barbarians of the Stoneheld Wood that live near the edge of the wood. Dealing in animal skins, plans of the plains and some raw metals they mine. They trade for wood, skins of woodland beast and plants of the Stoneheld they have no access too.