Over the years we’ve grown into a fan of having distinct human nationalities in fantasy literature. David Eddings first captured our imagination back in the 80s with a brilliantly cultured Elfless/Dwarfless fantasy world. However, during Covent’s early inception we were unwilling to let go of the more fantastical races, given the range of abilities and story-telling possibilities these races created. Granted, pointy-eared, beastly and darker races will always have a place in our world, but we began to realize the importance of pulling humans away from the plain normal vanilla formulas of blacks, whites, blondes, brunettes and so forth. Let me tell you a bit more about what I mean.
I really respected the cultural, skin tone and hair color differences in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. In Middle Earth a long blonde haired man is probably a Rider of Rohan or a dark-haired man is a soldier of Gondor fighting on the frontlines of Mordor. I would argue that Tolkien’s decision to embellish the histories of the human clans, gave each human nationality as much character as any of his more fantastical creatures such as Elves, Dwarves, Orcs or Ents. I believe Tolkien realized the importance of culture from the uniqueness of human nationalities and histories in the real world, which is what makes people so fascinating.
It was this kind of deep envisioning that inspired us to think as hard about humans as we did about any of our more fantastical races. This proved to only enhance our original vision of the size, scope and grandeur of mighty Doljinaar. Doljinaar is the united kingdom of men, its power unrivaled during the Age of Crowns. It is very much a Rome of our world and a melting pot for the light-skinned nations. Therefore, we often described the encountering of humans by other races as looking into a racial palette sprinkled with humans of every imaginable size, color and skin tone.
As result, Doljinaar has grown into a monstrously deep nation with as much politics and racial tensions as to be worthy of its comparison to the iconic Roman Empire. This is the first entry in a massive three part blog covering the Tribes of Men. I will cover only the Tribes of Men whom we have introduced in Shade One or will be introduced in Shade Two later this year. I will be showcasing artwork, not just from our illustrator Thom Scott, but some concept work made by other artists who are working on additional Chronicles of Covent projects.
And so without further ado Part One of the Tribes of Men:
1) Braznians [broz-nee-in]
Braznians, “Red Bloods” or “Bloodriders” as they were once feared all over the Plains of Terramoth were one a race of bloodthirsty raiders. Braznians are natural redheads with fiery thrill-seeking personalities. They have a reputation for laughing in the face of danger and for their reckless “Red Blood” behavior. Braznians thrived on pillaging cities in the early histories.
Their city state, Brazelhorn, eventually fell at the hands of Doljinaar. Although this defeat stung their pride, they quickly settled under Doljinaarian rule. They flocked to new battlefields and fresh hotbeds of danger where they continue to live short, reckless but adventure-filled lives. Their exodus from Brazelhorn was so complete that their city was abandoned to ruin.
2) Brigorians [bri-gore-e-an]
Brigorians are a rebellious clan of dark-haired, bearded and hairy barbarians. Brigorians dominated
Karus Forest for most of early human history. Primeval Brigorians emerged from the vast forest to raid towns and slip back into their home forest. They were feared for their brutality, for the razing and complete massacring of settlements and in many cases cannibalism. Doljinaar was forced to nearly wipe them out, putting down Brigorian women and children to what they thought was the last child, but Karus Forest proved too large. Small pockets of Brigorians survived.
Doljinaarian histories are stained with Brigorian uprisings, but as night mortals began to infiltrate Karus Forest over the centuries, Brigorians were forced to defend their own forests. Small waning tribes still inhabit Karus Forest, but increasing numbers of Brigorians have wandered out and become scoundrels in Doljinaar seeing at long last night mortals as the true enemy of mankind.
3) Derve [derve]
The Derves once ruled the great kingdom of Durjezstan, which now lies buried in the Great Waste. It is said that the city and its vast riches still lay lost under the ever blowing sands. Derves are light-brown skinned, similar to Arabs and are very noble and hardworking. They mourn the loss of their lost kingdom and live displaced lives as refugees in northern Doljinaar.
Most Derves have been forced into servitude due to their current low economic status, but some sects have built small societies who live in caves off the Great Waste. They find employment as scouts and treasure hunters in the Great Waste, but many Derves have given up all hope of ever returning to their ancestral homeland and have been forced to begrudgingly accept Doljinaarian life.
4) Doljinn [dole-jin] (mixed blood)
A mixed blood Doljinn is a fairly loose term in Doljinaar. It can be used to describe any human born of mixed nationality. A mixed blood does not have to be related to the original Doljinn tribe to be called Doljinn. Their skin, hair and eye color varies and even their size can range from tribe to tribe. In fact, mixed bloods are becoming so common a sight in Doljinaar that people have started to call them Doljinns. Other races believe that humans interbreed like horses.
Gordwin, the gruff war veteran owner of The Dragon’s Den Inn & Tavern in Jile is a mixed blood. If you asked him about his ancestry he would probably tell you he’s a cross between an Eldorian, a Grull and maybe a really drunk Durnishman because “ale is a lot thicker than blood” as he likes to say.
5) Doljinn [dole-jin] (pure blood)
Pureblooded Doljinns, or Purebloods for short, are becoming a rare sight in Doljinaar. The original dark-haired blue-eyed clan of men that united the human tribes is slowly being bred out of existence, though their dreams of a free world remain. High King Doljinn’s dream of a united kingdom of men spread from his clan to all men of the West and forged the glorious empire of Doljinaar.
The Doljinaarian bloodlines have grown so intermixed that merely being a Pureblood places them in the higher classes. Purebloods usually dedicate themselves to politics or military service. They comprise the most powerful class in Capital Doljinaar, second only to the line of kings and at times the rich and meddlesome Shamites.
6) Doljinn [dole-jin] (thane)
The blood of Doljinaar’s royal line is considered the blood of the purist kind. It was believed that High King Doljinn was born a god incarnate due to the ethereal glowing white eyes which has become the mark of the royal line. Doljinn was given the name of his tribe, the Doljinns, at birth when they recognized he was no ordinary child. High King Doljinn went on to live an extraordinary life leading his people to a dream of a united world of men that put an end to the wars among the human tribes and forged the glorious empire of mighty Doljinaar.
People have come to call Doljinn’s line the Thanes. The Thanes also live up to a thousand years and are believed to ascend into godhood when they die. The Thanes have for the most part maintained their rule in Doljinaar for over several millennia. Thanedom has only been threatened one or two times by usurpers, but few non-Thanes ever sat on Doljinaar’s throne for long. The noteworthy kings and at times queens are worshiped as gods and goddesses and great monuments and temples have been erected in their honor. King Magnus is a Thane and the current reigning king of Doljinaar.
Get a preview of more human tribes and fantastic races here:
New races will be revealed with every new book! Shade 2: Kingsblood updates coming soon!!!