Introduction Unbeknown to most, the New World has evolved from a land with tribes of primitive human hunter-gathers (in WFRP) to a land of desolation where the Dark Elves of Naggaroth battle the Elves in Arnheim (WFB4). From my point of view, WFB4 removed an environment rich in role-play potential. Thus, the world I describe is more compatible with WFRP.
In writing this project, I am using what little I've learned on the various Native American societies with some subtle changes. First, the humans of the WFRP New World were not devastated by diseases from the Old Worlders. Slann engineering techniques ensured that those of the Human stock carried the same resistence to the various diseases. Second, the limited trading relationships (directly or indirectly) with the High and Sea Elves of Arnheim over hundreds of years better prepared the native tribes to deal with Old Worlders than what was the case in our world. Third, the struggle against the Dark Elves culled out the smaller, weaker tribes and forced the others into confederations in order to survive. Finally, through increase interaction with High Elves just prior to the arrival of Old Worlders, the native tribes of the Buffalo Lands and the Skyreach Mountains were far better poised to accept the horse into their culture.
One last comment: this project is not intended to fully describe the Dark Elves of Naggaroth nor the High/Sea Elves of Arnheim. Those will be probably covered in a Hogshead publication sometime in the far future (at least beyond 1996). Should anyone wish to add something regarding the Elves to this project, I am willing to serious consider the addition.
NEW WORLD When the High Elves first arrived in the New World, they found a land populated with primitive human tribes of hunter-gathers. These people were nomadic by nature and roamed about the land, establishing campsites where the climate was most favorable and game plentiful in any given season. Impressed with how attune the humans were to the earth's cycles and rhythms, the Elves referred to them collectively as "Ik-adion-thiadril-aisha" (loosely translated "Children of the Beloved Earth") or "Ikadians" for short.
Adventurers from the Old World will find cultures unlike any they have experienced previously. The land is still wild by their definition as are the native human inhabitants. Adventurers venturing too far north on the eastern coast will most likely encounter Dark Elves. To a lesser degree, they may run into the tribes of Orcs and Goblins that have escaped enslavement by the Dark Elves and living on the frontiers of Naggaroth. In the southeastern portion of the continent lies the High Elf colony of Arnheim. A place where allies can be found to assist any weary adventurer...or so one assumes...
1 History While epic wars and conquests highlight the history of the Old World, the New World has been a land of relative peace with few exceptions.
The first of these is referred in Ikadian lore as "Years of Sorrow," known to Old World historians as "The Coming of Chaos." Scattered Ikadian tribes in the far north were overwhelmed by the contamination that erupted from the collapsed Warpgates and the emergence of the Chaos Wastes. Unlike the powerful Dwarf and Elven civilizations of the Old World and Ulthuan, respectively, there was no power in the New World, save the Old Slann, to oppose the emerging monstrosities. Old World scholars believe that the Elves and Dwarves were alone responsible for defending the world from the ravages of Chaos. Few realize that one of Chaos' primary purposes was to destroy the Old Slann as they were the one race who have demonstrated (in the past) the power to hold back the entities of the Warp. At the cost of their civilization, the Old Slann threw back the invaders from most of the New World and Lustria and isolated them to the polar regions. The Ikadian tribes played a relatively insignificant role in the war other than being one of its victims.
The next unsettling time for the Ikadians resulted from the Civil War that raged in the Elven island of Ulthuan. The losing faction, the Dark Elves, settled in the northeast corner of the continent and destroyed the Ikadian tribes living there. Dark Elf slaving parties roamed the neighboring areas in their quest for slaves for their mines and sacrifices for their bloody gods. Many tribes began to merge for self-protection while smaller ones fell victim. The "Time of Bloodshed" is recited in Ikadian lore as a time of near extinction for the many tribes that survived. It was luck that the Dark Elves were so consumed with their hatred of the High Elves and desire for vengeance that they perceived the Ikadian tribes as little more than animals and unworthy of any effort (outside of enslavement).
In time, several Ikadian tribes began to settle down to a more sedentary existence. Whether they were influenced by the remaining Slann Empire or the High Elf colony (or both to varying degrees) is unknown. Most of these cultures were based in one of two regions: the Xicotl Jungle and Mixtoca Highlands (which seemed to be more Slann influenced) and the Southeast woodlands near the Alhio, Misipi, and lower Misori Rivers (more Elven influenced). A third region, in the Skyreach Mountains between the Mojan Desert and Buffalo Lands, saw a couple of civilizations rise that seemingly owed little to the Slann and Elf influence (even though they trade through intermediaries with the civilizations to the south and east).
The main effort of the Incursion of Chaos in 2302 I.C. was directed towards the great powers of the Old World and Ulthuan as they were the major impediments to world-wide domination of Chaos. In this war, the Dark Elves joined with the forces of Chaos and attacked Ulthuan and the colony of Arnheim. In the latter threater of war, the Ikadian allies of the High Elves came into their own. The Dark Elf army from Naggaroth was continously ambushed by Ikadian tribes as they marched through the forested Land of Spirits Song. So draining were the Ikadian hit-and-run attacks, that the Dark Elf army that reached the undermanned Arnheim colony was a shadow of its former self. What could have been a major battle was reduced to a mere skirmish in which the High Elves easily emerged as victorious.
Nearly a hundred years ago, a new challenge came to the Ikadian tribes. Namely, the arrival of the Old Worlders as traders, colonists, and would be conquerors. Naturally, the introduction of the horse and its rapid incorporation into the lives of the Ikadian tribes of the Buffalo Lands and Skyreach Mountains has strengthened those tribes in ways unintended by the Old Worlders.
Because the two continents are so intertwined, the following timeline represents some major events in the history of the New World and Lustria.
The Old Slann appear from some other world.
The end of the Ice Age.
The Old Slann alter the planet's orbit, causing a general increase in temperatures, rise in sea levels and withdrawl of the ice sheets to the extreme polar regions.
The Old Slann transplant the emerging race of Elves onto the island later known as the Ulthuan.
The Old Slann transplant tribes of Humans throughout the New World and Lustria.
The emergence of Amazons.
The coming of Chaos as the polar Warp Gates collapse.
In their airships, the Old Slann speed to both poles to battle the intruders.
Most of the Old Slann perish in battle, but they succeed in checking the advance of Chaos in the northern New World and southern Lustria.
Fall of the Old Slann, their civilizations collapses almost overnight.
The remaining Slann retrogress into a strange, barbaric people. They forget most of Old Technology and powerful magic.
The Amazonian Sisterhood is founded.
The Amazons war continually on the new Slann Empire.
-4164 The foundation of the first High Elf colonies on the east coast.
-2723 Dark Elves establish themselves in the cold land of Naggaroth, with its capital of Naggarond.
Native tribes of Ikadians in the area are scattered and destroyed.
Almeca civilization rises in the south as Slann Empire recedes into Lustria.
Miyan civilization rises to the east of the Almeca.
Almeca civilization disappears suddenly.
753 Dark Elf slave-ships begin to roam the globe and begin to bring entire tribes to Naggaroth in chains.
Rise of the Alomas, first of the Mound Builders, in the Alhio River basin of the eastern woodlands.
Aloma culture vanishes after 180 years.
Chevan civilization rises in the mountainous west.
Tulen civilization rises in the plateaus west of the Miyan jungle realms.
Rise of the Holamkis, second of the Mound Builders, in the Misipia and Alhio River basins of the eastern woodlands.
Chuano civilization begins to rise north of the Chevan people.
Holamki and Tulan civilizations vanish.
Chevan civilization declines.
The Anatuzi culture declines as the Molgolan civilization rises just to the south.
Miyan civilization declines.
Rise of the Misipians, third and greatest of the Mound Builders, in the Misipia, Alhio, and lower Misori River basins of the eastern woodlands.
Founding of the mound-dominated city of Cahoken.
Rise of the Nazcas in the western mountains and highlands. Trade commences with the declining Slann.
2223 Orcs and goblins escape their Dark Elf masters and establish themselves along the southern frontier of Naggaroth. Clashes with native Ikadian tribes begins.
2261 Rise of the Aztlaños in the plateaus where the Tulan civilization once stood.
2302 Chaos incursion across Naggaroth and northern New World.
2305 Six nations of the Eraquati in the northeastern forests free themselves from the Dark Elf domination. Continuous war between those native Humans and Dark Elves begins in that area.
2352 Nazca Empire grows as Chuano civilization subjugated.
2402 Discovery of Lustria by Old Worlders.
2410 Colonization begins along the Amoco and Cadiz Rivers.
2412 First encounter with ancient, degenerated civilization of the Slann.
2429 Discovery of New World by Old Worlders.
2433 Revolt of subject Ikadian tribes led by Estalian conquistadors crushed by Aztlaños led by Emperor Mixcoutlan II.
2436 Estalian outpost near the delta of the Great River abandoned after continuous raids by the natives strip the Old Worlders' supplies and horses.
2438 Cathanese commence trading with Ikadian tribes from the northwest.
2449 Colonization begins along the eastern coast north of the Elven colony of Arnheim and near the Great River delta.
2487 The Comalero tribe sweeps out of the Skyreach Mountains and overruns the southern area of the Buffalo Lands. This horse-bore culture becomes the dominant tribe in that region.
2497 The seven tribes of the Sakotan nation and their allies, the Cheyans, decimate a large Dark Elf slaver band in the Battle of the Shorthorn River.
2498 Dark Elf army fails to locate any Sakotan villages near the Black Hills. Hit-and-run tactics on horseback by Sakotan warriors takes its toll on the Dark Elves. The Dark Elf rearguard is destroyed at Towering Butte.
Incursions of Chaos are growing increasingly active.
2. Old World Colonies In the New World Skogheim
Old World Pirates
3 Land and People With few exceptions, the land upon which they inhabit has shaped the manner in which the various Ikadian tribes live. From the nomadic hunters in the Buffalo Lands to the farmers in the southern Skyreach Mountains, the lifestyles are more varied than in any other place in the world. The only things that bind these tribes are their closeness to the natural world, their understanding of their immediate environment, their belief in the spirit world, and their belief that all things of the earth are related to one another.
The only Ikadian cultures that are less influenced by the land in which they live are known collectively as the Pyramid Civilizations. These cultures have a stratified class structure (similar in some ways to those in the ancient Old World) where only the peasant class are close to the land. Though somewhat different, the Pyramid Civilizations are only found in the mountains and jungles of the southern New World and the forests near the Elven colony of Arnheim.
3.1 Naggaroth (including the Spirit's Scorn Mountains) A dark and forboding land, Naggaroth is an ideal land for the cold, murderous race of Dark Elves. Before the coming of Chaos, this land was peopled by ancient tribes of Ikadian hunter-gatherers. The collapse of the Warpgates killed the majority of these people and ensnared a few of the stronger. These were the first Chaos Warriors that came from the human stock. War between Chaos and the Old Slann ravaged the land, reducing it to a cold and hostile land. The weather in these parts are bitter cold, at best, with frequent cold blasts coming from the Chaos Wastes.
Dark Elves Bitter and angry, the Dark Elves settled in the land following the ill-fated attempt of Malekith to seize power in Ulthuan. A hateful and spiteful people, the Dark Elves lashed out at the relatively helpless Ikadian tribes living nearby. The only thing that saved the rest of the continent was the intense hatred the Dark Elves focussed upon their sundered kindred across the sea.
In time, the Dark Elves found the native humans too fragil to make suitable slaves (though they still made good sacrifices). They took to the seas in their Black Arks seeking slaves more disposed to the torturous work the Dark Elves required. Among those taken were Orc and Goblin tribes from the Dark Lands. For hundreds of years, the Orcs and Goblins toiled for their masters. Those who faltered were given to the Witch Elves and sacrificed. As the Dark Elves became lesser in number, some of the greenskins were able to escape. This delighted the Dark Elves as it gave them additional "game" to hunt in the wilderness.
Since the last Chaos Incursion, the number of Dark Elves have been greatly reduced. Their obsession with the High Elves keeps them focused on Ulthuan with little time for elsewhere. Only slaving and hunting parties roam the countryside looking for prey.
Orcs and Goblins What possessed the Dark Elves to believe that Orcs and Goblins would make adequate slaves is anyone's guess. Cooperation between the unruly greenskins is virtually non-existent. Moreover, it was a matter of time before some of them escaped the clutches of the vile Dark Elves.
The Orcs and Goblins were able to carve out a home in the Dark Mountains and southern frontier of Naggaroth. Further expansion was prevented by the various Ikadian tribes south and southwest of Naggaroth. War between the native humans and foreign greenskins were bloody. Continued Dark Elf forays against the Orcs and Goblins for sacrifices and blood sport also kept the number of greenskins in check. The Orcs and Goblins tried to find solace in the depths of the Dark Mountains, but they were pursued even there by the Dark Elves. Moreover, the Lizardmen and their ilk were not too inclined to share their dark underground homes with the invading Orcs and Goblins. Thus, the number and spread of these Goblinoids were limited.
3.2 Eastern Woodlands
3.2a Northern Land of Spirits' Song and the northern Black Elk Mountains Outside the influence of Naggaroth, this area is lush with pine forests in the mountains and more deciduous forests in the lowlands. Many rivers and creeks are found throughout the region and game is plentiful. Orcs and Goblins tend to forage near the frontier with Naggaroth, but few wander any deeper in the forests. The weather tends to be temperate with winters cold and snowy and summers hot and (at times) humid. Precipitation occurs throughout the year although in varying amounts.
Six tribes of the Eraquati Confederation In the late 23rd century, the legendary chief Hayawentha of the Ondogonta tribe had a vision where a wolf, bear, deer, beaver, turtle, and hawk were fleeing from a monstous dark beast who had emerged from the north. At the shore of the lake, the six stopped and emerged into a mighty warrior. The warrior turned to face the dark beast breaking through the trees. With a mighty cry, the warrior shattered the beast's head with his warclub. Recognizing the six creatures as totems of his and the neighboring five tribes, Hayawentha realized that by joining together the Eraquati tribes would be able to stand against the Evil Ones of the North. Within two years, the Monhak, Senuca, Orenta, Hauren, and Cadonta tribes joined into a mutual alliance with the Ondogontas.
The bulk of the Dark Elf army invaded Ulthuan while a contingent marched towards Arnheim. The Eraquati Confederation jumped at the opportunity to strike at their ancient enemies. Through ambushes and hit-and-run attacks, the Eraquati avenged hundreds of years of Dark Elf predations. The Dark Elf force that reached Arnheim was much diminished and was further reduced on the trip back to Naggaroth.
The Eraquati Confederation live in the area near the southern Naggaroth frontier (except near the coast). They live in structures called longhouses, several of which are clustered together to form villages. These longhouses are constructed in dimensions that can reach 18 feet in width and height and 120 feet in length. Up to 10-12 families live in the largest longhouses. All members of a longhouse belong to one of the clans that make up an Eraquati tribe. The most common clans (found in all tribes) are represented by one of the following animal totems: wolf, bear, deer, beaver, turtle, and hawk. Other, less common clans (like the snake and raven clans) are only found in one of the six Eraquati tribes.
In Eraquati society, it is the women who are the power of the tribe as they run the household; tend the clan's crops of maize, beans, squash, and tabac; raise the children; make the baskets and blankets; recite oral traditions; ensure the observation of rituals (like the Green Corn dance at the spring planting); prepare hides; collect firewood; forage; and tend to other clan needs. Eraquatis trace their clan affiliation through their maternal lineage. The men's role are limited to clearing new fields for cultivation, building canoes, makind weapons and tools, hunting, and warfare. Like most Ikadian tribes, warfare tends to be limited to raids and ambushes.
The Eraquati Confederation is a functional democracy. The decision as to who partakes in its Council involves most of the adult population. First, the women of a clan of one of the tribes select one among their number as Clan Mother. She is the one who decides which of the men will represent the clan as its chief, usually older men whose wisdom and knowledge are respected by the clan. The chiefs of all the tribe's clans then select one of their number to be the Elder Father of the tribe. All chiefs attend Council whenever it is called (usually by one of the Elder Fathers). Council is usually held in a sacred longhouse constructed in the land of the Ondogonta tribe (in honor of Hayawentha). There, all are free to speak and any issue facing one or more tribes is presented by the Elder Father of the impacted tribe(s). When the voting commences, the chiefs of a tribe must first reach a consensus before the Elder Fathers can put forth their tribe's position. Only if the Elder Fathers agree (again by consensus) on a course of action will one be taken. The influence of a chief is dependent wholly upon the respect of his people. Thus, chiefs can only cajole their people to follow them. Any attempt to demand compliance is a definite means of ensuring their removal by the Clan Mother.
Like other Ikadian tribes, Eraquatis create a separate Council to matters of war. War chiefs are selected by Clan Mothers from the most proven of clan warriors. Tribal war chiefs select one of their number to be First Warrior and meet in a similar fashion to the normal Council. The main difference is that the War Council is secret and meets in some secluded place in the forest (as opposed to the sacred longhouse). Eraquati warriors are fearsome in battle, especially against the hated Dark Elves. Eraquatis show little mercy to invading bands of Orcs, Goblins, and Beastmen as well. Years of living under the predations of those from Naggaroth have made the Eraquatis particularly bloodthirsty. While some war captives are adopted into Eraquati clans, most can expected to be slowly tortured to death. In ritualistic fashion, the Eraquati warriors will eat the heart of any captives who has bravely endure their torturous deaths (and thus impressed the Eraquati). Those who dishonor themselves and invite the Eraquatis' derision have their corpses ritually mutilated (GMs may use the full extent of their imagination when describing the scene). The favorite weapons of the Eraquati are bows, iron knives (indirectly from the Elves of Arnheim through centuries of trade), and warclubs. Only recently have arquebuses from the Old World (acquired in trade) been used by Eraquatis.
Coastal Agoloni tribes Similar in social structure and related by language, the Nassaquats, Mohegans, Lenopans, and Patawens are distinct tribes that live in the coastal regions of the Land of Spirits' Song from the frontiers of Naggaroth in the north to the northern bank of the Alhio River in the south. They live in structures called wigwams, a number of which are clustered together to form villages. In turn, the villages are surrounded by a wooden palisade to protect them from other Ikadian tribes (especially the Eraquatis) and raiding parties of Dark Elves, Orcs, and Goblins (which more commonly attack the northernmost Nassaquat tribe.
Wigwams are usually constructed as an arched framework of poles or saplings covered with animal hides, bark, or mats made from tufted marsh plants. Usually one family lives in a wigwam, though some are constructed to house two to three families. All members of a tribe belong to one of the clans that comprise the tribe. These clans are represented by animal totems such as wolf, bear, deer, beaver, otter, turtle, snake, raven, and hawk.
In Coastal Agoloni society, the women of the tribe run the household; tend the clan's crops of maize, beans, squash, and gourds (e.g., pumpkins); raise the children; make the baskets and blankets; recite oral traditions; prepare hides; collect firewood; forage; and tend to other clan needs. Unlike the Eraquatis, Agolonis trace their clan affiliation through their paternal lineage. The men's role are limited to clearing new fields for cultivation, growing the sacred tabac, building canoes, selectively burning portions of the forest to create meadows (and thereby fostering growth in the deer population), making weapons and tools, hunting, fishing, and warfare. Like most Ikadian tribes, warfare tends to be limited to raids and ambushes.
Due to the number of rivers, estuaries, and coastal waters in their lands, Coastal Agolonis excel at water travel. Their canoes are superior to the light river craft of the Old World in terms of ease of handling, sturdiness, and portage. Coastal Agoloni are so knowledgeable of the rivers and other waterways that they are often sought out by Old World traders as guides. This could lead to some interesting situaions should the trader wish to deal with the Eraquatis as these tribes are more often than not at odds with the Coastal Agolonis.
Each Agoloni village has a chief called the sachem. There is also a sachem that represents the entire tribe. Council of sachems meet whenever the need arises and will usually discuss matters until a concensus is reached regarding the appropriate action. If a concensus is not reached, the sachems may elect to adjourn momentarily so they can talk to the people of their respective villages so more. If the need is urgent, the sachem of the tribe may intercede his wishes if the council is evenly split. The nature of the council is such that it is very rare that the tribal sachem would need to overrule half the sachems. Although answerable to their people, sachems inherit their positions from their fathers. In most tribes, sachem families are not considered any different than other families. The sole exception is the Patawen tribe near the Alhio River. Perhaps influenced by the Misipian civilization across the river, the Patawen sachem families form a nobility class with privileges that separate them from commoners (the rest of the tribe).
Like other Ikadian tribes, Coastal Agolonis create a separate Council to matters of war. War chiefs are selected by the village sachems from the most proven warriors, while tribal sachems select one of their number to be tribal warchief. Warchiefs meet in a similar fashion to the normal Council. The main difference is that the War Council is secret and meets in some secluded place in the forest. Coastal Agoloni warriors are formidable in battle, especially against the hated Eraquatis and Dark Elves. Like the Eraquati, Coastal Agoloni war captives may be adopted into their clans to replace others lost in battle. Most captives, however, can expected to be slowly tortured to death. In ritualistic fashion, Coastal Agoloni warriors will eat the heart of any captives who has bravely endure their torturous deaths (and thus impressed them). Those who dishonor themselves invite the Coastal Agolonis' derision have their corpses ritually mutilated (GMs may use the full extent of their imagination when describing the scene). The favorite weapons of the Coastal Agolonis are bows, iron knives (directly from the Elves of Arnheim through centuries of trade), and warclubs. Only recently have arquebuses from the Old World (acquired in trade) been used by the Coastal Agolonis.