The World Of Khoras - The Cultured Races - Humans

Life Style in the Steppes

The Mytharians are nomadic people who fight and hunt from horseback. They are trained in horse riding from the earliest age and fight with short bow from horses, giving them long range weapons and great mobility. The mytharians are a passionate people - bearded men with dark, deep set eyes with long, wind-snarled hair. These horsed riders were trousers and chest plates of beaten bronze plates and pliable boots with heels. Hunters and warriors adorn themselves with tattoos.

The mytharians are native to Qeshir and can be found scattered throughout the Broadlands, the Wind Plains, the Fekwar Mountains and the eastern lands claimed by the Secambru Tribes. They are most populous in the Wind Plains. Qeshir is home to about 175 separate mytharian clans. Most mytharian clans live in yurts, herd goats and move their communities to follow migratory prey.

The mytharians are famous for their berserker rage and bloodlust in battle. Warriors decapitate the heads of slain enemies and fashion leather-bound drinking cups from their enemies' skulls. They line these grisly trophies with gold and proudly displayed them to impress foreigners and guests.

The mytharians are a polygamous and male-dominated society. A high ranking mytharian warlord will often take a half dozen wives, and upon his death a brother or uncle would assume them as his own. Women have little power in mytharian society. Mytharian women care for the children, cook and tend camp, but do not engage in war or the hunt. Mytharians also practice slavery and will often capture prisoners during raids and enslave them. Slaves do a variety of work, from cooking and cleaning to tending horses and so forth. Slaves have no rights, but are generally treated well. Slaves are a commodity and are sometimes traded along with horses, iron weapons and treasure.

The lands of the mytharians are abundant with fish and game. Their diet consisted of a mix of fruits, vegetables and grains which can be gathered as the tribe moves and various meats obtained from the hunt. Other common foods include fermented goat's milk, cheeses, onions, garlic and beans. Hunting is an important part of their society and meat forms the basis of every meal. Simple unleavened breads are fashioned by pounding gathered grains, mixing with goat's milk or water, pressing and cooking over an open fire. Some mytharian clans herd goats and yaks. These clans center their culture around the herds. Upon being born, a child is blessed by it's first drink of goat's milk. Mytharians often have orgy feasts to welcome visitors.

Mytharians do not bathe. The women used a paste of pounded cypress, cedar and dithwon blossoms that they applied to the face and body. A sweet odor is thereby imparted to them, and when they take off the plaster off, their skin is clean and glossy.

The mytharians play a violent, bloody game called mahjak wherein horsed riders beat each other with wooden clubs and attempt to unhorse each other. This game prepares them for combat and hunting. Beyond mahjak, the mytharians enjoy wrestling, strong drink and games of chance.

Mytharians take oaths frequently. Oath taking is serious business for the mytharians. The strongest oath is a blood oath wherein the oathtaker cuts himself and swears by his own blood. Mytharians would sooner die than break a blood oath. They likewise judge other races based on their honor. To break a promise or an oath is the greatest crime one can commit in the eyes of a mytharian.

The mytharian civilization has a rigid sense of honor and vendetta that does not allow them to forgive an insult or injury until they extract revenge. If the revenge is deserved and honorable then the offense is considered forgotten and neither party is allowed to pursue the matter any further. However, zealous vengeance has led to more than one clan feud.

Religion

The mytharians practice a totem based shamanism devoted to various animal spirits. Mytharian shamans use magic that invokes the spirits of ancestors to do battle with enemies. They also wield magic to influence the elements, the winds and weather. Some mytharian magic allows them to control animals. Mytharian shamans are usually found as advisors to chieftains. The mytharians are a superstitious people and greatly fear the magic of outsiders, trusting only in their own shamans. Most mytharian men wear an amulet to ward against evil. 

Rites of Death

Upon the death of a mytharian male, he is buried in a cairn of stones along with all of his possessions. His favorite wife, his best horse, and his personal slave are killed and buried with him. It is believed in mytharian society that those buried with him will be with him forever in the next life. In the case of a great chieftain, all of his wives, horses, pets, servants, slaves and such would be buried with him along with a vast treasure horde of gold. On occasion, fanatical faithful would also ask to be buried with him. Friends and male blood relatives of the deceased will crop their hair and cut the arms in mourning. This is the only time mytharian males cut their hair.

Gatherings

Throughout the year, there are numerous gatherings. Between 5 and 15 clans will unite for a typical gathering where they share food and fellowship. This social function serves as a mixing of the tribes. Men choose wives. Young clan members switch to different clans as they leave their families. Shamans choose apprentices, etc. It is the social highlight of the year.  

This page last updated Wednesday, December 24, 2008. Copyright 1990-2009 David M. Roomes.

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