|Proper Name||The Secambru Tribes|
|Demographics||Secambru 94%, Other 6%|
|Languages||Secambru 94%, Other 6%|
|National Colors||No formal colors or standards.|
|Year Founded||No formal founding.|
|Currency||Trade and barter.|
|Natural Resources||Various fauna and flora, iron ore, granite, horses|
|Manufactured Goods and Major Export||Animal pelts and furs, horses, bone and wood carvings|
|Government Type||Provincial (Tribal)|
|Government Stability||Very Unstable|
|Enemies||Padashan Empire, Aswanar Wildlands|
|Primary Religion||Ancestor worship/shamanism|
|Climate||Subtropical to temperate|
|Approximate Land Area||2,570,000 square kilometers|
|Terrain||Hills, grasslands, jungle|
Secambru is a wild region peopled by primitive tribes whose ways are considered barbaric and uncivilized based on the few tales brought back by ship captains from this land. The Secambru are a nomadic primitive race of giants that live as nomadic hunter/gatherers. They live close to nature, feeding off the land and following the herds that they hunt.
The Secambru are a powerful, muscular breed of giants. A typical secambru male stands about 11-13 feet tall and weighs close to 1,500 pounds. Their enormous strength makes them very dangerous in close combat. However, the secambru are dim witted and wield only stone age technology.
Secambru (as the area is typically called) boasts a variety of landscapes - from dry windy regions on the south coast, to vast grasslands in the central plains to rolling foothills in the north. As one increases elevation into the Rahjan mountains, there are mountian forests and alpine meadows. The Mud Boar River forms the northeast border and the Secambru rarely venture into the Darijun Jungle beyond it. The south coastline borders the Henari Sea. There is a site of giant-sized ruins on the south coast at the mouth of the Mud Board River, the remains of Jaruska, the first and only secambru town. These crumbling stone remnants hint at the strength and glory of the secambru race ages ago. A single group of secambru giants, known as the Iron tribe, now live there and are slowly rebuilding it.
In the center of the territory is the ruin of a city which the Secambru call the City of the Dead. There are some secambru tales that speak of a great light from the sky destroying the city which makes some scholars believe it was destroyed in just the past few centuries. However, to date, no archeological research has been done on this ruin. It's history and what secrets and treasures might lie beneath the broken stones are unknown.
Secambru is a large region that supports a wide spectrum of fauna and flora. Packs of wolves and brown bears hunt in the northern forested highlands. Black elk, mule deer, craghorn and wild horses roam the interior grasslands, sometimes in great herds. The grasslands are also home to a species of large rabbit which often reaches twenty pounds and the dangerous wind banshee. Wild boars, river oxen and hippos are common in the eastern swamps and wetlands that border the Uras River. Wild goats and hillstalkers are common in the hilly regions.
Centuries ago, the Kytohan Empire created a race of giants to obliterate the barbarian hordes of western Aggradar. This giant race were designed to be immensely powerful engines of destruction capable of tearing down the strongholds of barbarian chieftains, smash through walls and scale mountains. They wielded weapons the size of trees and rode the ocean in ships that dwarfed all other seagoing vessels. The secambru waged dozens of successful campaigns against the enemies of the Kytohan Empire. The secambru were treated brutally by the Kytohan military. There were slaves, property, and nothing more to the generals that commanded them.
When the Sundering rocked the world, the Kytohan Empire was devastated. Taking advantage of the military's weakened state, the secambru rose up against the masters in a slave uprising. A massive revolt began and in the weeks following the Sundering, the renegade secambru slew thousands of Kytohan citizens. This became known as the Giant Slayer War. Led by a charismatic leader named Kurnoth, the renegades stole a dozen of the huge giant sized war galleys and fled the Kytohan Empire, heading for deep sea.
During the trek, a great storm hit and two of the ships were lost. One sank and the other was thrown against the rocks and stranded. Months later the surviving ships landed in south eastern Qeshir.
The majority of the giants settled in the grasslands of the southwest where they had landed. The group burned the great ships that had carried them there and vowed never to return to the slavery and suffering they had endured in distant Aggradar. There, on the coast, they built a town which they named Jaruska which means "free home" in Kytai. Here, they built great stone halls, arched gates, high walls and even a few aquaducts. These constructions were a marvel to behold.
Despite their freedom, there were seeds of discord from the very beginning. Many believed that to live as they had before only prolonged their slavery. These giants believe that they should abandon metalworking, stonecraft and other practices that they had been forced to perform as slaves. For them, these were the tasks of slaves. They were now free and they wished to live free, free of the reminders of the past, free of the tasks that they had performed under the whip. A cultural shift quickly swept through the secambru. Many believed that they should embrace nature and live by hunting and gathering, living off what the land provided naturally.
Disagreement led to conflict and then open warfare. Those giants favoring a primitive existance greatly outnumbered those who wish to use their skills. Amidst much bloodshed, the group splintered into several subgroups. One group, who favored stone work and metal craft, traveled north into the Rahjan mountains where they could build in peace. They eventually became the Jarkune Giants of the north. A second group traveled east toward the great volcano known as Mount Durrodis. Their fate remains a mystery.
The vast majority of giants, those who wished to embrace Nature, were still loyal to Kurnoth. They tore down the stone halls and high gates. They abandoned Jaruska, leaving the town in ruins. Never again would they set foot on to the ruins of that town.
They migrated west into the vast open grasslands of southern Qeshir. They embraced nature and chose to live off what the land provided naturally. To this day, they continue to live as primitive nomadic hunter/gatherers.
As slaves to the Kytohan Empire, reading and writing was forbidden them. As a result, almost no secambru giants can read and write. Only the shamans have maintained any form of written language. Hence, almost all history and knowledge is passed down orally. Stories of the "great ones", the first few generations of secambru, have been passed down. Such tales form the backbone of their oral tradition. The secambru worship the spirits of the "old ones". Those few shamans who do know how to read and write using a script based on ancient Kytai and use it to record stories, recipes, folk magic, rituals and so forth.
The secambru are a dying race. With each generation, they grow smaller and weaker as the magic that created them slowly decays. The first generation of secambru were 60 feet tall and god-like in strength and stature. Over the centuries, they have de-evolved. Most secambru alive today are 10th to 13th generation. Twelfth generation are the most common and they are 11-13 feet tall and 1,500 pounds. The intellect of these great giants is also lessened with each generation.
In a few hundred years, they will be the size of mortal men and, one day perhaps, will fade from the world. As they grow weaker, they have fallen to preying on each other. The central population of secambru has fragmented into hundreds of rival tribes over the centuries and much bloodshed and war flares up between these tribes. Much of the last 500 years has been marred by bloody tribal warfare. With each passing decade, their culture becomes more barbaric and primitive. There has been no development here in terms of culture, language or scientific development. On the contrary, they have reverted to a primitive stone age society.
Secambru has no central government. The realm is home to tribes and chieftains. Government here only extends as far as a weapon's reach. The right to rule belongs to the strongest warrior. Typically, a chieftain will be at least one generation more "advanced" than those he rules. For instance, a typical secambru tribe will be mostly 11th through 13th generation giants. The chieftain that rules over them may be a 9th generation giant and rules because of his greater size, strength and intellect. He may have a number of subchieftains or lieutenants who are 10th generation. It is a clear hierarchy or pecking order based solely on strength. And here, strength is based on generation. This hierarchical structure is somewhat stable because the older "generations" are not only stronger, they also have longer life spans as well.
There are currently ten known tribes, each numbering more than 10,000 individual secambru giants. Each of these tribes is broken up into dozens of bands which each hunt and live separate from other bands.
|Black Elk Tribe||Kaladath||The Black Elk tribe is the largest of all the Secambru tribes numbering more than 20,000. Individual groups are ruled by various chieftains, but the Black Elk great chieftain is one of the oldest, a 7th generation secambru named Kaladath, who has ruled the tribe for more than a century. This tribe holds most of the central grasslands and takes its name from the vast herds of black elk native to the region which is their totem animal and their primary food source. The tribe migrates seasonally with the black elk herds. The tribe is easily identified at a distance as their clothing and tents tend to be black and dark brown (all are made for the black hides of the elks).|
|Running Horse Tribe||Ardoth||The second largest tribe is the Running Horse tribe that lives in the northern grasslands. Bands of this tribe travel with dozens of horses. The horses are used as beasts of burden. Young secambru children ride the horses until they are too big to do so. The members of the tribe regularly drink mare's milk and occasionally slaughter a horse for meat to supplement their hunting. The Running Horse tribe has very few shamans. Their chieftain, Ardoth, is an 8th generation secambru.|
|Hillstalker Tribe||Taynar||The southwestern hills are home to the Hillstalker tribe who take its name from the feline like predator that stalks those hills. Hillstalkers are their totem animal and are often kept as pets and also hunt with them. Hillstalker warriors are excellent trackers and scouts. The Hillstalker tribe is often in conflict with the Black Elk tribe and confrontations between these two tribes are common.|
|Kalek||The Craghorn tribe is named after their totem animal, the craghorn, which they use as beasts of burden and occasionally as steeds. Their best warriors have been known to ride craghorns into battle. This tribe is known to have a great affinity with animals. They also use birds as scouts and spies. Their shamans are said to be able to charm beasts to do their bidding. The craghorn is very important to the tribe... they use it as a source of milk, hoomba, meat, leather and as a beast of burden.|
|Red Wolf Tribe||Magdra||The Red Wolf tribe is the most primitive of the tribes, even by secambru standards. These giants wear no armor, only pelts. They adorn themselves with the bones of their slain enemies, paint themselves in blood before battle and have been known to eat the dead. The Red Wolf tribe is the most aggressive of all the tribes and have a reputation for ferocity in battle. They hold the western grasslands and clash frequently with the mytharians there, but the Red Wolf tribe often attacks and preys on other secambru tribes. They are little more than animals. The Red Wolf tribe takes its name from the packs of red wolves that live and hunt with them. Many warriors in this tribe will have a specific red wolf that they treat as a pet and fighting partner. The two are inseparable. The Red Wolf tribe has no shamans. The great chieftain of this tribe is Magdra, a heavily scarred 9th generation secambru.|
|Mud Boar Tribe||Soolsa||The Mud Boar tribe lives along the Uras River, in the swamp land that borders the Darijun Jungle. Their totem animal is the mud boar, an animal that is plentiful in the swamps.|
|Fire Eagle Tribe||Chunda||The Fire Eagle tribe is known for decorating themselves in the brilliant yellow, orange and red plumage of the fire eagle. While all members of the clan where at least a few “fire feathers”, the chieftain, shaman and warriors decorate themselves in elaborate plumage including head dresses of various styles, sashes and cloaks. The fire eagle is a sacred animal to this tribe. They believe that only they are allowed to hunt the majestic eagle. When a fire eagle is slain, every part of the animal is used. Nothing is wasted.|
|Dragon Eel Tribe||Vangar||The Dragon Eel tribe takes it name from a rare, but dangerous coastal predator. They live along the coast and are the only tribe to fish extensively. They fashion crude boats to fish further out at sea. They are also known to hunt and eat the mighty dragon eel.|
|Moon Raven Tribe||Folmorda||The Moon Raven tribe is one of the smaller and more mysterious of the secambru tribes. They have more magic about them and every moon raven tribe, even the smaller ones, typically have several shamans. Some of the larger tribes have a dozen. They paint their skin in charcoal and white clay, giving them three vertical white stripes over their black faces. They also adorn themselves in black raven feathers.|
|Iron Tribe||Kranog||Also known as the Lost Tribe and the False Tribe. In the past hundred years or so, a few secambru have rejected the ways of the secambru and given in to an urge to take up the old crafts. These renegades are exiled from their bands. Sometimes they simple leave on their own. Most of them have found their way back to the ancient town of Jaruska. In the past century, they have slowly rebuilt a part of Jaruska. It still has a long way to go before it will attain it's former glory. In its current state, most of it is still rubble and ruin. Those secambru who have come here to rebuild and make a home are misfits and renegades. Not a true tribe in the traditional meaning, but they still have a strong sense of community. This "Iron Tribe" is named thus because these secambru giants have returned to take up crafts, most notably the forging of iron. They weave cloth, plant crops, cut stone and work metal. They live in buildings of timber and stone. This town of Jaruksa is the only piece of civilization in an otherwise barbaric land. The chieftain of this tribe, a 7th generation giant named Kranog, is the brother of Kaladeth, the chieftain of the Black Elk tribe. There is a bitter dispute between these two brothers as they have taken very different paths.|
Justice belongs to the strong. In any given tribe, brutality and raw physical power decide everything. Any dispute may result in a challenge and contest of strength or even duel to the death. In most cases, the strongest males get the most females and the spoils of war.
Because the generational hierarchy is absolute, it is almost a foregone conclusion that generational superiority decides everything. A 10th generation secambru always wins out over an 11th generation. In many cases, there will not even be a contest. A weaker generation will automatically give way to a greater generation.
No formal military exists. Each tribe fights its own battles. Every man, woman and child may be called upon to fight during a tribal conflict. Whole tribes are sometimes wiped out. Because of their limited craft skills, secambru weapons and armor are very primitive. Weapons are fashioned from wood, stone, bone and antler. These are crude crushing weapons. The secambru have no bows, but they do use a variety of thrown weapons including spears, javelins, nets and simple rocks. The secambru do not employ any armor. They wear simple garments of animal hides - deer, wolf and bear.
Do not doubt the strength of the secambru though. Outlanders have come on occasion to raid and plunder. Despite having superior weapons and armor, the secambru are often able to defeat them through sheer strength. They can hurl rocks and spears tremendous distances with great accuracy. Their massive clubs can kill a man with one blow.
The concept of money is beyond the mental grasp of the secambru giants. Trade and barter is the limit of their understanding. Trade is thus limited by what the locals can make and how far they can travel with it. Having not developed agriculture, not even grain serves as a viable form of currency. Most trade and barter involves roots and berries, furs and pelts, twine, rope, bone, wood and simple crafted objects such as boots, belts, cloaks and so forth. Trade occurs at informal social gatherings whenever two or more tribes meet. Such gatherings involve singing, feasting and dancing around a great central bonfire.
The secambru are as primitive as can be. Due to their cultural taboos which have formed due to their history, they have abandoned all technology. All craft skills are taboo. Metal working, stone craft, pottery, agriculture, ship building, mining and harvesting of trees for lumber have all been abandoned. Writing, literature and mathematics are virtually unknown to them (a few of the shaman do read and write their own ancient derivative form of Kytai, which garners great respect from their people). The secambru are simply hunter/gatherers living off the land. If it can not be gathered in the forest or taken from a slain animal, then the secambru do not have it.
There are a number of caves that are used regularly by the tribes. As the tribes move from region to region following the herds, they move from cave to cave. When between caves, the tribes use primitive shelters made from branches and animal pelts.
They have abandoned the use of the bow. They are limited to animal pelts for armor. Their weapons are typically knives made from antlers, stone head clubs and bone-tipped wooden spears. Their craft skills are limited to bone carvings, wood carvings, sewing with crude twine and beadwork.
On the south coast at the mouth of the Mud Board River is the ancient ruin of the town of the Jaruska. Most of the town is in ruins... crumbling walls, broken towers and so forth, choked with weeds and vegetation. A small section of the town has been cleared and rebuilt by one of the tribes, known as the Iron tribe. This small group of exiled secambru giants have returned to the old ways and taken up crafts again. Most of the secambru consider this ruin to be forbidden ground and do not go there. The Iron Tribe is an exception. The survivors of a magrakian ship wreck and few others have chosen to join the Iron Tribe giants in rebuilding the ruin.
Almost all secambru giants drink hoomba. Hoomba is an alcoholic drink made from fermented milk. It is a milky, frothy drink that is only mildly alcoholic. It is made by pouring mare's milk into huge leather bags and stirring for many hours until the utter is extracted. The concoction is stirred further and tasted until it becomes pungent. Homba is light in body. It has a unique, slightly sour flavor that tastes like almond, with a bite from the mild alcoholic content. The exact flavor varies from tribe to tribe as each has its own unique method of production and each starts with a different milk source. Some tribes use craghorn milk, some use mare's milk, etc.
When a boy reaches adulthood (a certain age which varies by tribe), he is equipped for the hunt and sent out on his "spirit quest". This is a very important ritual hunt. Such hunts may take the young man far away from his tribe. The secambru believe that Nature will provide a specific animal that the young man is fated to find and kill. This spiritually pre-destined animal is often referred to as the young man's "fate kill". The fate kill must be a worthy and dangerous animal and the young hunter must return with a trophy from the slain beast. An animal that is considered too weak or not dangerous is unworthy. To return with an unworthy trophy will only bring shame upon the young hunter and his family. Upon returning with a worthy trophy, the young hunter takes his place among the warrior hunters of his band. Many young secambru boys do not return from their spirit quest.
Magic is exceptionally rare among the secambru. Those few with a talent for magic become tribal shamans practicing a very crude form of magic which involves alchemy, simple curative spells and magic which makes use of natural elements. Secambru shamans can brew potions and magical salves. They use a corrupted derivative form of Kytai as their script for the secambru language. This they use to record their recipes and rituals on scrolls of cured hide. Their ability to read and write "words that stay" gives them great respect amongst the secambru people. Some secambru shamans have been known to enchant polished stones but that seems to be their limit for enchanted items.
The secambru practice a form of religion which combines shamanism, ancestor worship, spiritualism and nature worship.
A part of their religion reflects their disdain for technology and metal work. The secambru do not believe in working metal and want nothing to do with it. When the secambru defeat enemies, they take all the metal from their slain opponents (metals, armor, jewelry, tools, coins and so forth) and bury them in "metal cairns". These are small tombs, little more than a small mound with a single chamber within. The mound is encircled with boulders. There is only one entrance and it is blocked by a boulder. By burying the offending objects in the cairn, the secambru are "returning the metal to the ground so that the land may heal". These metal cairns are considered holy ground. The secambru will not allow outlanders to set foor near a cairn and will defend the cainrs with their lives.
The concept of "generation" is very important in this land. Every secambru giant knows what generation he or she is. Family lineage is, thus, very important. Most adult secambru today are 11th or 12th generation depending on their age. Some young are 13th generation. Most chieftains, shamans and subleaders are 10th or 9th generation.
|1-5||None.||All first through fifth generation secambru are believed to be dead.|
|6||One rumored.||There are rumors of a 6th generation secambru alive in the Darijun Jungle. A shaman and sorcerer by the name of Nahjdar the Old. If he is sixth generation, then he is indeed very, very old.|
|7||Fewer than ten, most likely.||There are very few 7th generation secambru left and they are all very old. One is a hermit named Cragroth who lives in a stone keep in the foothills of the Rahjan Mountains. Another is a hunter named Vorosar who travels and hunts alone. He claims to be 7th generation. And a third is Kaladath, the chieftain of the great Black Elk Tribe. His brother, Kranog, is leader of the Iron Tribe that dwell in the ruins of Jaruska. There may be others. For unknown reasons, most 7th generation tend to be loners.|
|8||Around 150.||Many chiefs of larger bands are 8th generation. Also, there are a few shamans and great warrior/hunters of this generation.|
|9||About one thousand.||The majority of chieftains and shamans are ninth generation.|
|10||About eight thousand.||The tenth generation of secambru include chiefs of smaller bands, bandit leaders, warriors, lesser shamans and many others.|
|11-13||More than 100,000.||Most common secambru alive today are 11th or 12th generation. Many of the young children are 13th generation.|
Most secambru are completely nomadic. As such, most of the tribes build no permanent structures or towns. They do have camp locations that are often reused from season to season.
The only exception is the town of Jaruska which is an ancient ruin at the mouth of the Mud Boar River, being slowly rebuilt by the "Iron Tribe".
This website was last updated March 31, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.