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Here's the Jennite Hollow World Reference. It got rather long so I chopped it into two slightly shorter sections. Anyways, any comments/criticism are greatly appreciated.
Jennite Horsemen Hollow World Referenceby Mischa Gelman and Cecil Cosman
utilising ideas by James Mishler and Paul Dooley as well
Magic (inc. New Magical Items/Spells/Tattooist subsections)
How others view them
Jennite history traces its days all the way back to Blackmoorian times. With the revolt and rise of the Blackmoorians to important status, the Thonian Empire started to wane. Becoming more and more reliant on slaves to do the work of maintaining a semblance of its former status, the slavers started looking further and further away. So it was that the Oltecs, far to the east, came in large numbers under the rule of the Thonians. The Thonians did not strike at the Oltec civilisation's heart, but rather at the numerous colonisation groups that kept coming within range of the slavers' reach. When the Blackmoorian cataclysm and near-destruction of the Thonians occurred, the damaged landscape of the former Empire now belonged to the slaves, who had been in the majority numerically in the Thonians' last days of glory. Oltecs by this point were predominant, but Skandharians and Afridhi, Blackmoorians, Tanagoroans and Azcans all were part of the remnants of the past that remained. Banding together in these bleak days, they eventually formed one culture eventually, that of the Jennites. This culture was also heavily influenced by the Horsemen of Peshwah, then dying out as well from the effects of the cataclysmic events. From the Horsemen, the Oltecs and other former slaves learned the mastery of the horse as well as some of the magic and language of the Peshwah. By the time things had stabilised around 2700 BC, no trace of the original cultures had remained and the Jennite culture had formed. This culture, though, was divided in two - some Oltec colonisers had landed on the continent at the times after the Blackmoorian cataclysm, fleeing their own lands, while the Jennite herders held the interior that had become theirs since the destruction of the Thonian Empire. These cultures intermingled to some extent but there were great tensions and the coastlanders became nothing of a concern at all to the dominant Jennite hordes, even as they were picking up Jennite cultural tendencies somewhat. Instrumental to teaching the coastlanders Jennite culture fully was a former horseland priestess named Tarastia who had fled her own tribe after finding it unjust. She helped save the coastlanders to a large extent, bringing them a code of justice to adhere to and leading them against her former peoples. If not for her, the coastlanders would likely have been totally obliterated. In 2449 BC, she vanished from the coast, then on her path to immortality, unknown at the time to the coastland Jennites. Tarastia, upon achieving immortality, made herself known to the inland Jennites and coastland Jennites, both of whom took up the worship (ironically the inland Jennites that she had fled became more loyal). The inland Jennites were strengthened by her clerical gifts to their priests and by her sense of justice. By 1900 BC, the inland Jennites had grown strong, become a true horse-based culture and become a major force with which to be reckoned, coming to dominate almost all of Skothar, coming to contain the descendants of their former slavelord Thonians into small sections of land. As the culture grew and became powerful though, it had divided. Having split apart into various 'tribal' groups after their becoming a horse-culture, these groups had themselves divided in philosophy and religion. One group, those who worshipped Tarastia, who had made them strong, had female warriors and still obeyed her strict rules of morality and justice. Others had strayed from the path, taking up the worship of Rathanos, who taught that women were inferior and should be kept isolated, not allowed to leave the confines of the tent unless every inch of skin was covered, including a veil over the face. This group had become less nomadic and more stationary, only mounting their horses when entering combat. They also had adopted polygamy, the use of incense and something called a 'blood brotherhood' which the authors of this tome do not deem appropriate to discuss. Naturally, these two cultures started to conflict, with the stronger Tarastian culture eventually vanquishing the other in 1600 BC. The Tarastian culture though had suffered grievous losses and could not maintain its level of existence, especially with the slow rise again of the Thonians. Tarastia left the coastlanders, now fully Jennite, as well as some remnants of the tribes loyal to her, but moved the majority of them into the Hollow World to maintain their civilisation.
There is not gender equality among the Jennites, but nor is there domination by either gender. Men lead each tribe, but if they fall and no male descendant is old enough to take power the tribe is then led by the queen instead. If the king and queen are both gone and there is no old enough male descendant, a female descendant will be made queen (for more on the leadership, see Domestic Relations below). Women fight alongside the men and as capably as the male warriors of the tribes, though many men still look upon them as worse combatants. Female warriors tend to be more focused on archery skills and are probably the finest archers in the Hollow World, better than the males, but the men are generally better at melee due to their greater weight and strength. While all Jennite warriors are expected to be in good physical shape in terms of strength, very few are overweight, as they rely on agility for their archery and horseback tactics and as such need to be fairly light. Some tribes, especially those who stay near the three borders, have laws that state no female may marry until she has slain a foe in combat. If she never does, she can never be wed. No gender is barred from any of the few trades practised by the Jennites.
All Jennites in the Hollow World worship Tarastia and follow her codes of law. The worship is rather different than that done of her by the Milenians to the west. All queens and princesses are considered priestesses of Tarastia, even if they are not in possession of clerical skills (that is, they belong to other classes). Clerics may be of any gender of course. They lead the ceremonies of the tribe, wearing special robes that have been passed down along the generations, dating back to pre-Hollow World days. These robes have been magically enchanted so that they act as leather armor+2 and do not deteriorate with the effects of age. The worship itself is done by rituals that have also been passed down by one generation to the next, weekly ceremonies of thanks to Tarastia and special celebrations for festive occasions. All Jennites celebrate the same festivals, commemorating great military victories achieved with the help of Tarastia to agricultural cycle-based festivals to new moon celebrations. The religion of the Jennites is a far cry from the sacrificial rituals common in primitive tribes like the Neathar as well as from the intellectual religion of the more civilised nations like the Kogolor or Milenians. No Jennite doubts the existence of Tarastia or that they are her chosen peoples. Some souls, held to be horribly misguided, believe there are other deities (those of the Nithians and Milenians are most commonly believed in) and worship them. These who worship others are not exiled from the tribe, just thought to have something wrong with them. Perhaps they fell off a horse and smacked their head too hard or they tried to use some magic beyond their talents ... whatever the reason they are to be pitied.
Children are raised by their parents, who have total say as to discipline. Occasionally older children and other relatives look after the younger children when both parents are required elsewhere. Childhood is not a time for games but nor is it a time to be apprenticed into a trade to learn. It is simply a time of general learning of morals and culture.
The elderly are looked to for advice and decision-making sometimes, but usually those in their prime are trusted more to make key decisions. The elderly who hold the most respect are those who are still capable in their age, having not declined with the times. An elderly person no longer of caring for themselves at all will be exiled from the camp so as not to take the scant resources from those in need.
Both children and the elderly (as well as pregnant women, the injured or sick and 'soft' outsider guests) travel in very simple carts or huge wagons, that also transport heavier goods. These carts and wagons are drawn by domesticated aurochs so as not to place burden on the prized horses. All capable of riding a horse do so and the moment that a youth is trusted to ride into combat (and thus on a regular basis also) is the most prized one of the growing-up process.
Each tribe is led by a king (or less frequently as mentioned above, a queen) who makes the decisions for the tribe. They are advised by several of the more skilled warriors and more respected priests and priestesses. The king or queen can never be dethroned by the tribe as a whole, but if both king and queen are killed and there are no heirs (or if a single king or queen is killed and there are no heirs) a new king is proclaimed by a cleric of Tarastia (NOTE: Any cleric can make this proclamation. It is sometimes a genuine announcement by Tarastia, sometimes a political move, sometimes just a cleric deciding one man has the talent to lead a tribe). All kings' authority is held to derive from divine ordinance by Tarastia. Some pastures are generally associated with certain tribes and are left to those tribes for the agricultural seasons and the Jennite infighting is almost always associated with one tribe taking the pastures of another too many times. When a foreign force makes an invasion of their lands or when they seek to make war on another nation, the leaders of a number of clans (however many feel the risk/opportunity is great enough) meet and together form a strategy to deal with the oppositionary forces. Being royalty holds little privilege. Kings and queens fight alongside their tribe and are responsible for the entire welfare of the clan. Prince and princesses are trained like other Jennites, but seeing as how they could one day be leaders they are also taught how to properly lead by their parents. In times of serious trouble, all tribes unite under one great chief selected by the individual kings and queens.
There is little of a social hierarchy among the Jennites. Other than the respect for royalty, it boils down to skill - combat skill, craftsmanship, magical talent, horsemanship...if you're very good at something, you'll get more respect. There is very little looking down at those without exceptional abilities though.
As mentioned in the Hollow World boxed set, the Jennites have a very strong sense of justice. They still follow the rules Tarastia handed them in the Outer World, as well as some that have been handed on down to her clerics since the move to the Hollow one.
All Jennites have some legal knowledge and the kings and war leaders generally study all the laws and how they function. Many non-leading Jennites do the same, to better understand the will of Tarastia. It is a harsh and pragmatic system, but fair and equal.
The Pandect of Tarastia
Tarastia has bestowed upon the Jennites four cornerstones to build their lives upon. Each Jennite strives to maintain a superior level of the Pandect. The Pandect of Tarastia consists of the following four topics:
The Clerics of Tarastia have come to believe and to teach that the Pandect means:
1. Truth: Justice will eventually prevail over all evils, including the evils of falsehoods. There is no point therefore in lying as Tarastia can see through the veils of deceit. Any person caught in a falsehood has their tongue removed as well as being branded with the symbol of the Pandect on their face.
2. Loyalty: The tribe is more important then any of it's members. It is important to look towards the well being of the tribe first then oneself second. If the tribe can not depend on a person how can it be right for a person to depend on the tribe. Punishment for treason to the tribe will result in death with the head of the offender being brought before the tribal leader as a token of final loyalty.
3. Honour: Any oath given is as timeless and unyielding as the stone the Pandect is inscribed on. To break ones oath or promise or to be less then desirable to the tribe in appearance or attitude. A person who does not uphold their honour is forced to undergo various punishments of dismemberment with a final ultimate option of banishment.
4. Diligence: A follower of Tarastia must be ever diligent in their pursuit of justice. No matter how long it takes for the justice to be delivered the Jennite seeking it should not falter in that pursuit. The same attitude is carried over into the work ethic. Any work done should be done in the most efficient manner until it is completed. Failure to be diligent in a pursuit of important goal may result in loss of honour or loyalty.
Note: The Jennites do not believe that any person is unable to make amends for their lifestyle, therefore punishments of death are only reserved for acts of treason or oath breaking of oaths sworn before the tribal leader (this is a form of treason in a way). Most crimes are dealt with forms of punishment ranging from branding to dismemberment. A Jennite accused of a crime has the right to challenge the accuser to a duel that both parties must fight until someone yields although fights to the death are not uncommon. This may also be used to get out of an unsatisfactory or immoral contract. This duel is the final word on matters in the tribe and must be witnessed by the tribal leader as well as a cleric of Tarastia. Should this right be called upon between members of two different tribes it is the duty of the leader of the two tribes tribe to fight as well. Often these duels turn into skirmishes between entire tribes.
It is customary for the looser of any duel in the Jennite Holdings to loose his left hand should he loose a one on one duel. If, for example, a Jennite warrior must be saved from one on one combat by another Jennite they must immediately take it upon themselves to cut off their left hand. The Jennite in this battle must call upon the aid of another for this to be forced upon him. No Jennite will enter interrupt a single melee without a call for aid under penalty of loosing their right hand.
The Jennites war with all three of their neighbours and also trade with both empires. The relationship with the Milenians is even more love-hate than the one with the Nithians. The Milenians greatly respect Jennite craftsmanship and consider their works of art unparalleled. Similarly, they have great disdain for 'barbaric' habits like women fighting in combat or execution of prisoners. The Jennites likewise view the Milenians in a mixed light. They greatly respect the fact that the Milenians are their only neighbours who have seen the wisdom of Tarastia and worship her but they find the Milenian polytheism and living in one location always to be totally wrong-headed. The Milenian use of captured Jennites as slaves angers the Jennites to no small extent as does the Jennite practice of executing Milenian prisoners. While their styles of worship differ greatly, there is often close contact between the Milenian church of Tarastia and the Jennites. The church often defends Jennites in political debates in Milenia and with the emergence of the church as the leading body of Phos the Jennites have gotten more defenders in the Milenian lands. Jennite trade is usually conducted by barter rather than direct buying and selling, whether dealing with the Milenians or Nithians. Jennites usually get gold and silver and other goods not in their lands or that they have the skill to make (weapons are common too) while often sending art objects and occasionally agricultural products over to the Milenians in return.
Living off the land is the way the Jennites get their food. They eat the meat from their auroch-herds, the wheat and barley from their fields and often hunt small game such as rabbits. They are no fans of the fancy meals served in the Milenian and Nithian cities, seeing food as sustenance and little else.
The Jennite society is not one dominated by magic but nor are they fearful of magic the way the Antalians are. The Jennites have no term for wizard - their word best translates into 'sooth-sayer' in most other languages. This is due to their main use of magic - to tell the future. The sooth-sayer employs a bundle of twigs (all reputedly magical, though some are just wood) for this purpose. Many sooth-sayers come from the families in which such powers supposedly run. The ancestors of such families were supposedly inflicted with a curse that took them out of the natural scheme of things when they tried to plunder a shrine of Tarastia centuries ago. The members of these families who are deemed to be sooth-sayers speak in high-pitched voices as part of their unnaturalness and wear the kind of symbol-covered robes one associates with wizards of the arcane. False sooth-sayers can expect no mercy from their tribesmen and if their predictions lead to disaster are executed by the tribe. A wrong prediction without terrible consequences can still lead to exile from a tribe. Other 'typical' magic-users are also found among the Jennites of course as can other types of not so typical mages. No great respect is given to any wielder of magic unless they are very skilled, certainly less respect than similarly powered priests would get. (NOTE: The Sooth-sayers were capable of divination spells in the Outer World but due to the Spell of Preservation lost these spells. Now it's all guesswork, much like an astrologer in our world)
Apart from the typical spells and magical items common to all nations and civilisations, there are some that are only found among the Jennites. Crafting of magical items is not irregular among the Jennite tribes.
NEW MAGICAL ITEMS
Antlered Mask - this is a variety of horse-armour, a mask worn over the head of some Jennite steed. Different types of masks are found, but the most common type is one mounted with antlers like those found on a stag. If these masks are properly blessed/enchanted, they provide the horse with the additional speed of a stag, enabling them to move much more rapidly when need be. The horse still tires just as quickly though and the power only activates itself in times of danger (though no limit on number of times per day).
Horseshoes of flight - (NOTE: All magical shoes that exist for humanoids can be found in horse varieties among the Jennites) Very rare even among the Jennites, horseshoes of flight are considered a great treasure to possess. They allow a horse to fly at half its normal walking rate for one turn per level of the item's creator (typically 25 turns). Owners of such items are typically employed as scouts or to counter the flying mounts of the Milenians.
Arrows of infection - Arrows of infection operate similar to most arrows, but cause a minor disease to settle in over the wound inflected preventing the wounds from healing naturally. Only mystical means can be used to cure this infection (NOTE: The mystic class's ability to heal self is included as are Cure Disease spells).
Arrows of sharpness - Arrows so enchanted that they inflict much more damage than possible normally. Roll a d4+1 and multiply this by what the arrow's damage should be to calculate the actual harm done. If the DM includes critical wounds or crippling blows, such arrows have double the normal chance to inflict such wounds.
Erilag's bow - A blessing and a curse combined in one, this is a unique and very odd item. If a remove curse is cast on this item, the curse is removed alongside the attached blessing. The bow gives an added +2 to hit and damage but subtracts 20/30/40 from the range of the archer. When an arrow is fired from a bow of Erilag, roll d10. On a 1-3, the damage done is doubled (if the shot hits). On a 4-5, the arrow automatically hits but does minimal damage (the +2 from the bow is included). On a 6, the arrow transforms into a Rock Python snake in mid-flight (if a hit is scored, the python's damage is applied and the snake will continue to hinder the target). On a 7-10, conduct the shot normally.
Everfull Gorytus (combination bow-case/quiver described in Combat section) - As the name implies, this is a gorytus which always has an arrow or bow ready for use. Any magical or poisoned or blessed arrow placed in this quiver becomes a plain old arrow though any bow placed in retains charms. If it used to produce bows, they too come out as a standard non-magical Jennite bow.
Tokens of Luck. Being a very superstitious people the Jennites have developed a form of magic to help them deal with the supernatural. These items often take the form of jewellery (pins, rings, brooches, pendants, etc.) These items usually have bestowed upon them a slight magical energy that grants a single boon of some sort. Possibly single events may include, +1 to a die roll, +1 to AC for one attack or A second chance at a saving throw. Once the token has been used once it looses it's magical nature.
Tokens of Fate. These items possibly controlled or created by the soothsayers of the Jennites also take the form of jewellery. The wearers of these tokens are smiled upon by Tarastia and usually end up in the right place at the right time. If a wearer of this item is forced to choose from a group of random outcomes the most beneficial will be chosen. These items have 1d4 charges on them. Once the charges are used the item is no longer magical.
Tokens of Sight. These magical items take the form of necklaces made of various precious metals. The wearer of these rare items do not undergo any penalty for long range missile attacks.
NOTE: Many other types of enchanted arrows and jewellery are also found among the Jennites, too many to list here
NEW PRIEST SPELLS
Guardian of the Dead
Range: 1 burial mound
Duration:2 years per level of caster
- As the Jennites give the dead great honour and they fear ransacking of burial mounds (See the Burial section later) they often put up mystical defences to protect the dead and their possessions. This spell is only castable after a long ritual that takes 5 hours. The entire burial mound is infused with the defensive magics of Tarastia, creating a number of effects for the duration of the spell. Firstly, the tomb can not be detected normally except by family members or clerics of Tarastia - otherwise magic must be employed. Secondly, any coming to the area with evil intents is attacked by two spectres or eight topis (see X8 or DMR2). Third, anyone trying to defile the bodies or thieve an item causes an electric field to form in the mound causing d4 damage per round to all present for 10 rounds. The second and third effects only activate themselves once the entire duration of the casting - if they have been set off once, they will not come out again..
Duration:1 round per level of caster
- The clerical version of a lie detector. If the target of this spell knows themselves to be lying, the cleric will know. There is no saving throw. If the target of the spell has been misled themselves and believes themselves to be honest though this information will not come out nor can the priest get by a Mind Barrier spell (if the target had somehow been able to learn this spell in the Hollow World and had cast it). If a cleric casting it does run into a Mind Barrier, they will perceive ALL answers of the target to be true.
NEW SPECIALTY MAGE
- Jennites often tattoo themselves (see Clothing/Appearance section). Little do outsiders know that such tattoos can often be magical! A variety of effects can be enplaced by a speciality mage known as a Tattooist, who is described here.
Benefits: Tattooist only require a 13 INT, as opposed to the 16 usually required for a Hollow World spellcaster. Tattooists have access to a variety of magical tattooing spells described at the end of this HWR. Tattooists use the Saving Throw tables of a priest.
Problems: No non-Tattooist can have more than 2 magical tattoos at one time and no effect can be placed twice on any one being. No Tattooist may have more than 5 magical tattoos at any one time. Tattooists can cast standard magic-user spells, but learn them at much slower rates.
Spell Chart (Tattoos castable daily listed first, mage spells second)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 - - - - - - - - 2 2/1 - - - - - - - - 3 2/1 1 - - - - - - - 4 2/2 1 - - - - - - - 5 2/2 2 - - - - - - - 6 3/2 2 1 - - - - - - 7 3/2 2 2 - - - - - - 8 3/2 2/1 2 1 - - - - - 9 3/2 2/1 2 2 - - - - - 10 3/2 2/2 2/1 2 1 - - - - 11 3/3 3/2 2/1 2 2 - - - - 12 3/3 3/2 2/1 2 2 1 - - - 13 3/3 3/2 3/2 2 2 1 - - - 14 4/3 3/2 3/2 2/1 2 2 - - - 15 4/3 3/2 3/2 2/1 2 2 1 - - 16 4/3 4/2 3/2 2/2 2 2 2 - - 17 4/3 4/3 3/2 3/2 2 2 2 1 - 18 4/3 4/3 3/2 3/2 2/1 2 2 1 - 19 4/3 4/3 4/2 3/2 2/1 2 2 2 - 20 4/4 4/3 4/3 3/2 2/1 2 2 2 1 21 4/4 4/3 4/3 3/2 2/2 2/1 2 2 1 22 4/4 4/4 4/3 4/2 3/2 2/1 2 2 1 23 4/4 4/4 4/3 4/2 4/2 2/2 2 2 2 24 5/4 4/4 4/3 4/3 4/2 3/2 2 2 2 25 5/4 4/4 4/3 4/3 4/3 4/2 3 2 2 26 5/4 4/4 4/4 4/3 4/3 4/2 3/1 2 2 27 5/4 5/4 4/4 4/3 4/3 4/2 4/1 3 2 28 5/4 5/4 5/4 4/4 4/3 4/3 4/2 3 3 29 5/4 5/4 5/4 4/4 4/3 4/3 4/2 3/1 3 30 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 4/3 4/3 4/2 4/1 3 31 6/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/3 4/3 4/3 4/1 4 32 6/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/3 4/3 4/2 4/1 33 6/4 6/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/3 4/2 4/1 34 7/5 6/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/2 5/1 35 7/5 6/5 6/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/3 5/1 36 7/5 6/5 6/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/4 5/2
Customs: Tattooists often cover themselves with all sorts of tattoos of all sorts of colours and styles and are very distinguishable from other Jennites, even those who are frequent objects of their work. The Tattooists have a set of phrases they use to communicate with one another that few other Jennites can understand and no non-Jennites can comprehend. Cultural Weapons: Axe/hand, dagger, bow/long (special) Cultural Armour: Leather armour
No fancy-schmancy operettas for the Jennites. Instead, they love to wrestle, drink and hunt for enjoyment. Contests are also common, whether weapon-skill or riding ones (many equestrian type contests occur obviously). The Jennites occasionally play music, favouring the flute or lyrical pieces. Also simple percussion instruments made of stretched auroch-hide are used. The most 'intellectual' of Jennite entertainments is a fancy board-game they play. The boards are simple wood, but covered with a variety of designs and drawings each of which is integral to the game and which are in a series of interlaying squares, designed as such (excuse my poor artwork:)
The figures differ from board to board but the outmost square is always stags, the second square ('B') is diamonds and each 'C' would be a horseman. Boards differ in size, the larger ones home to more complex and longer games.
A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B A A B C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C B A A B C D D D D D D D D D D D D D C B A A B C D E E E E E E E E E E E D C B A A B C D E F F F F F F F F F E D C B A A B C D E F G G G G G G G F E D C B A A B C D E F G H H H H H G F E D C B A A B C D E F G H I J J I G F E D C B A A B C D E F G H H H H H G F E D C B A A B C D E F G G G G G G G F E D C B A A B C D E F F F F F F F F F E D C B A A B C D E E E E E E E E E E E D C B A A B C D D D D D D D D D D D D D C B A A B C C C C C C C C C C C C C C C B A A B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B B A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A
These boards are often liked by outsiders for their design, not understanding the complex game played on them.
The Jennites take pride in their work, but mostly do it because it is necessary for the survival of their tribe - they work for communal reasons rather than personal. Often a Jennite tribesperson skilled in a trade will not work mostly in that field because the tribe does not need it - rather, they will go into some work the tribe does need at which they may not be as adept. The concept of being paid to do work is utterly foreign to the Jennites. Even when they trade, it is for other goods rather than for coin.
HOW OTHERS VIEW THEM
Andrieus, a Milenian sculptor: "These Jennite savages create some impressive works despite their utter lack of civilisation. It is startling that a people so barbaric, that can't even build a house, can produce such fine works that normally only us artistes should be able to make. If I were to hazard a guess, it would be their close interaction with the natural elements that allows them to make such exquisite portrayals of various animals. I am sure that should they come to accept civilisation, hardly likely of course, that such works would soon be history. A little bit of culture would ruin the lovely designs of the primitive mind I believe."
Grintinos, a Milenian cleric of Tarastia and Lighthouse scholar: "One must admire the commitment to honesty and justice found in the Jennites. I wish my countrymen could learn from their example in this matter. Imagine it! A place where bribes are not only not commonplace, but do not exist at all. A place where justice is given the respect she is due. We had some Jennite priestesses and priests here ... oh, the heads of their religion are *royalty*, a sign they have true respect for Tarastia...where was I? Oh yes, we had some of their clerical figures here a few months ago and they were absolutely wonderful. Suffering from a bit of culture shock obviously, but kind and outgoing. One should not judge them harshly, as my countrymen are prone to do, simply because their habits differ in many ways. They might be able to learn some things from us, but there are things we can learn from them.
Al-Kilab, a Nithian foot soldier: "Bloody savages. Even those Milenian dogs realise the Jennites are such. They bombard you with arrows, scared to fight you one-on-one. I laugh when I see one off his horse in a fight ... they just look so stupid ... they obviously haven't been trained the slightest in REAL combat rather than their wimpy arrow-and-horse stuff. They even let their women fight! Talk about wimpiness! Men should protect their women, not rely upon them for help! I am confident we could wipe them out should they ever adopt real combat tactics. Unfortunately, the scum won't let us fight them the real way. Wimps!"
Note: They of course see themselves as superior to other cultures, enforced by the Spell of Preservation as well as typical ethnocentrism
Burials are a major affair among the Jennites, as they see the departed off to the "heavenly pasture". Jennites are buried under large mounds, with a tunnel dug out into the tomb itself. Larger tombs are made for great warriors, priests or leaders. The deceased is buried along with all their earthly possessions, ranging from weaponry to jewellery and art objects to horses (which are killed if still alive when their owner passes away). As the nomads are sometimes not likely to pass by the mound again, they occasionally set up defences of it because the Milenians, Nithians and Tanagoroans all have targeted burial mounds for theft. Also, due to the nomadic nature, wife and husband are rarely buried together, though the slain of a major battle are often buried in one tomb.
The tools made and used by the Jennites are rather simple inventions. Ploughs, stone files, nails, mallets, poorly assembled ladders and the like are produced by the Jennites. The one thing they do manufacture well are cauldrons - huge, flawless ones at that. Foreigners believe these huge cauldrons, carried around in the wagons, are magical and used for bizarre rituals.
The physical appearance of Jennite tribespeople can be found in the Hollow World boxed set. As mentioned before, they often decorate themselves with tattoos, sometimes random patterns, sometimes animal and monster designs. Both men and women wear a wide assortment of jewellery (sometimes magical, with usual enchantments or supposed enchantments including Protection from Undead or 'good luck' charms), including (but not limited to) diadems, necklaces, belts, bracelets, amulets, pendants, earrings, torques and rings. The more costly the better.
Apart from the animals identified in the Hollow World books, there are several rarer monsters and animals present. Lions, wild boars, hippogriffs and even blue dragons are known to exist in the Jennite plains. Two of the more important critters are the cheval and the werehorse. The chevalls (described in B10) live among the horses of the Jennites, ensuring that they are protected from dangers or the EXTREMELY rare Jennite who mistreats their steed. They consider the Jennites by far the most civilised peoples and fight alongside them. Their actual presence isn't known to most Jennites but they exist in many stories and myths of the tribes. Their biggest worry are the werehorses, who also exist in many Jennite tribes (there is even one tribe of 'Jennites' that consists solely of them!). The werehorse was created by Rathanos to avenge his loss to Tarastia during the war of the Outer World tribes. They seek to undermine and damage the Jennites in any way possible but have had a limited impact.
Armour Class:6(9 if in human form)
Hit Dice: 5+1*
No. Appearing: Varies
Save as: Fighter 5
Treasure Type: C
Alignment: Chaotic (wholly devoted to Rathanos)
XP Value: 400
Notes: Treat lycanthropy the same as with all other wereanimals.
Exception: Werehorses cannot summon Jennite horses who have been trained so well they resist the charm effects. They still can summon horses that have not yet been trained or that are native to other lands.
Jennites bombard the opposition with a storm of arrows to start any encounter. These arrows may be blessed, magically enchanted (arrows that cause darkness, enchanted by clerics, cause great havoc to Hollow Worlders who rarely are exposed to dark), thorned, 'screaming', poisoned (from adders caught for such a purpose) or otherwise unusual but most of the arrows are standard. Once the opponents close or the arrow storm ends, they switch to melee approaches. They are not blood-thirsty and will retreat if out-numbered or out-classed (the exception is if they are defending an important burial mound, at which point they will fight to defend their ancestors). They do not give up - if the enemy seeks to follow them, they will adopt hit-and-run tactics, not meeting a superior enemy directly, relying on their excellent archery and horsemanship for success. Jennite troops are highly disciplined and obey the orders of their commanders. The nearby Nithians and Milenians both fear Jennite tribesfolk in combat and worry about their borders despite the fact the Jennites don't raid all that frequently. The one aspect of their combat tactics which is most barbaric is their tendency to scalp slain enemies.
Their combat equipment is summarised in the Hollow World boxed set with a few exceptions. There is the gorytus, a combination bow-case/quiver. It is larger than a standard quiver and wider due to the bow-storage and is worn from the belt. Most Jennites wear two, one on each side, giving them a large supply of arrows (as opposed to the one mentioned in the HW players' book). A flap seals the gorytus when riding.
Some weapons used only occasionally by their neighbours are seen more frequently among the Jennites - flails (treat as maces), lassoes (used to capture horses, treat as a whip with half the damage but with the 'special effects' of a net) and special daggers. These include ones with inward-curving blades (treat as normal daggers) and the akinae, a short double-sided dagger attached to the sheath on the left leg in place of the normal daggers when used. A wielder of an akinae gets -1 to hit, due to the extra caution required, but is 5% more likely to inflict double damage. Magical versions of all these are available in Jennite lands. Finally if you are playing AD&D the amazons of the Jennites do not get the bonuses in the complete priest/fighter handbooks because their reputation is well-known in nearby lands.
Most of the Jennite art is small and of a decorative nature. It is not art for art's sake but rather trying to make practical objects look nice. Many outsiders enjoy their art though, especially the Milenians. The one type of art at which they are a total failure is their pottery. Many of these objects are also made to please the spirits of the ancestors who watch over the Jennites from their viewpoint in the heavenly pasture. Animal and monster motifs are very common among Jennite artwork - goats,eagles,dragons,horses,boars,lions,swans,beavers,griffins,stags (most common motif),leopards and many creatures that exist only in myth. Many outsiders of course may assume these imaginary creatures exist in Jennite lands when they see them alongside normal animals. Floral patterns are also common.
Much of their weaponry and horsewear (harnesses, saddlecloths, reins, bridles) is designed fancifully ... their horses tend to be VERY colourfully decorated, offending the austere tastes of the Nithian and Milenian military. Fighting animals are often depicted on saddles, as this is thought to make the horse more fierce and effective in battle.
SAMPLE MAGICAL TATTOOS
- DMs and Jennite Tattooist PCs are free to devise their own additions - these are just to serve as a guideline - if two tattoos exist in the same location neither has any effect
Level 1:Ignore Cold
Duration:1 turn per level of caster
Design: Flame, any size
Effect: Makes the affected being ignore temperatures down to 0 degree Fahrenheit. Treat lower temperatures as if they were 40 degrees higher ... people would function as well at -20 as they normally would at 20 over. Also reduces damage from magical cold attacks by half.
Time To Inscribe:1 round
Placement to Have Effect: Anywhere on body
Level 1:Nonmagical Tattoo
Effect: Places a non-magical tattoo on the target's skin. No save if unwanted. The tattoo may take up 4 inches per level of the caster. Very intricate designs may be made with this spell.
Time to Inscribe:5 rounds
Duration:1 day per level of caster
Design: Rainbow Trout, 3" long
Effect: Allows a non-swimmer to become a good (but not great) swimmer for the duration of the tattoo. Also removes all fear of water.
Time To Inscribe:3 rounds
Placement to Have Effect: Upper Arm (either). Does not work if this part of the body is covered.
Design: Feather on top of sandal, 1' long
Effect: Wearer of this tattoo defies gravity to a limited extent. They may hover up to 20' above the ground as long as this tattoo is in effect. Spell-casters may not use magic while under the effects of this tattoo
Time to Inscribe: Instantaneous
Placement to Have Effect: anywhere
Level 3:Eagle Eye
Design: Eagle eye, roughly 2" from top to bottom and from side to side
Effect: Improves the wearer's vision to that of an eagle. Does not work on the blind.
Time to Inscribe:1 turn
Placement to Have Effect: Forehead. No effect if helmet worn over forehead.
Design: Crossed swords, any size
Effect: Instils up to two recipients with a berserker rage (+3 AC, +4 damage, double damage on 20, inflict wound on self on 1). The recipient(s) may remove the effects whenever desired.
Time to Inscribe: 1 round
Placement to Have Effect: Chest
Level 3:Shadow Guard
Duration:1 round per level of caster
Design: Small dark splotch
Effect: The wearer of this tattoo becomes blurry and shadowy, making them harder to hit. -2 to AC and +15% to Hide in Shadows.
Time to Inscribe:1 round
Placement to Have Effect: Centre of Right Hand. Does not work if metal gauntlets are being worn
Level 4:Electric Aura
Design: Lightning bolt, 7" long
Effect: Surrounds the tattooist with an invisible electric field. Anyone coming within 2' of the caster takes d6 damage per round. Any blow to the caster not done with a wooden weapon causes d10 damage to the attacker as well if they hit.
Range: Tattooist only
Time to Inscribe: Instantaneous
Placement to Have Effect: Anywhere on body.
Level 5:Ignore Elements
Duration:1 hour per level of tattooist
Design: Whirlpool surrounded by flame surrounded by rock. Takes up whole hand
Effect: The wearer of this tattoo totally ignores fire, cold, lightning or rockfall. Note: indirect damage still applies - you can suffocate if you get drowned, your clothes still can burn up and if you're buried under a mountain you ain't gonna live long. Magical effects do half damage, save for a quarter. Elementals and Fundamentals do 1/3 damage, save for one-sixth.
Time to Inscribe:4 rounds
Placement to Have Effect: Either hand. Cannot work if anything is worn on the hands.
Level 6:Double Vision
Design: Small eye inside a larger one. Size of a human eye.
Effect: Allows the caster to see behind him with a second, magical pair of eyes, of 20/20 vision. Prevents backstabbing and surprise and is just darn handy overall. Does work on the blind.
Time to Inscribe:2 rounds
Placement to Have Effect: Forehead
Level 7:Multiple Tattoo I
Effect: Allows the caster to place twice as many tattoos as normally allowed by the particular spell in the same amount of time normally taken to inscribe the standard allowed by that spell.
Level 8:Fleet Feet
Design: Horse-foot. Size of a horse's foot.
Effect: Doubles the movement speed of the target. The recipient ages 5 years in the one year this effect is in place.
Time to Inscribe: 1 turn
Placement to have Effect: Stomach. Does not work if stomach covered.
Duration, effect, size of design needed all tripled on any other tattoo. Takes one additional round to inscribe.
OTHER HORSE NOTES
As has been pointed out directly and indirectly numerous times, the Jennites are a horse-oriented peoples. Several topics not discussed before are thus worth mentioning here. There are no special horse-trainers among the Jennites, each tribesperson being counted on to train horses well. From youth after all their lives revolve around the equine. They are trained in all aspects as children - avoiding obstacles, shooting from horseback, mounting and dismounting moving horses without problems. These are the 'games' of the Jennite youth, as are numerous other, similar horseback experiences. Two other notes of minor concern - firstly, the more valuable and prized horses have their ears branded to signify this worth and secondly the horses' manes are trimmed so as not to interfere with the archers' line of sight.
The Jennites celebrate a number of festivals during their year. One week a year is reserved for the Great Trials when all the tribes gather in the central plains. The festivals includes horse races, horseback archery and other contests pitting the greatest Jennite warriors and horsefolk against one another. Grand prizes are often given to the winners of the Great Trials. The Jennites have one another national festival - the Day of Oaths. On this solemn day Jennites enter into long term contracts of any sort. During a ceremony before their tribal leader's fire, a Jennite gives his promise to follow a set contract for a set amount of time. To break this oath is unheard of as it means death for the offender. A man that breaks his oath can not be trusted and is therefore a liability to the tribe and is banished from it. Most of the festivals though take place in individual tribes. Celebrations for births, weddings or skirmish victories are held and annual ceremonies of various types, including the 'founding' dates for each tribe.
History: Triodian was born 44 cycles ago in a tribe that traditionally has roamed the northern border=0of the Plains. As a result, they often skirmished with the Tanagoroan peoples living north of them. Triodian's mother died in one of these battles and he has sworn to avenge her death. This need for revenge and the conflict with the Tanagoroans has consumed most of his time. He has not married and has little time for other activities.
Personality: A very hateful warrior, Triodian's lone kindness is to his father and his siblings. He is a family man and a Jennite nationalist but does not do a good job of applying the law of Tarastia universally, not following it when it comes to dealing with foreigners. He can easily come across as cold, distracted or simply a man obsessed, which he is. Does not back down in combat even when it would be wise to do so.
Appearance: Triodian has skin slightly darker than usual for a Jennite tribesman but is mostly normal in how he looks. He does bear quite a number of scars from various battles and is better-built than most Jennites. Nothing truly outlandish or outstanding here though.
Combat Notes: He is a 4th level fighter. AC 6 (Leather, Dexterity Bonus); hp 16; at 1;D 1d12 (skilled with sword) or d6+1 (arrow);save F4; ML 11;AL N; S 12, I 9; W 7; D 14; Co 11; Ch 8.
Languages: Neathar, Jennite.
General Skills: Riding (Horse) (D), Bravery (W+2), Storytelling (Ch)
History: Allasia was born 22 cycles ago to a small but otherwise typical Jennite tribe. She has seen her share of combat but is mostly busy learning smithing so as to take the place of the ageing and much honoured and skilled craftsman Erinithal. She is being courted by the tribe's weaver, a man named Trulodon. Right now her eyes are set at the future when her teacher will no longer be able to work his craft and she must take his place.
Personality: Allasia is generally a kind soul, willing to help out a tribesperson in trouble and fairly chatty. Of course she is much less kind towards outsiders and is as violent towards them as your typical Jennite is. She is very religious and guides her life by how she believes Tarastia would want her to act - she is continually wondering how her deity would react if Tarastia were in her boots.
Appearance: Standing 5'3" and being a bit on the thin side, Allasia is hardly imposing but is certainly capable of handling herself in a fight. She prides herself on her jewellery, all of which is her own work. If someone is critical of this work she will be highly offended. She is fairly average in appearance.
Combat Notes: She is a 2nd level fighter. AC 7 (Leather) ; hp 8; at 1; D 1d8 (sword) or d6+1 (arrow); save F2; ML 9; Al L; S 10, I 12, W 11, D 12, Co 8, Ch 10.
Languages: Neathar, Jennite.
General Skills: Riding (Horse) (D), Mysticism (W), Craftsman (Smithing) (I+1)
History: Born 58 cycles ago, Diothor started on the path to Tarastia like all Jennites. He though showed even more talent in understanding the justice systems of the lands and as a result was apprenticed to the tribal cleric, Erisica. She saw even more promise in him, thinking him a likely future priest. Her judgement proved right and Diothor was officially made a priest 22 cycles ago. He married soon after and is the proud father of four children.
Personality: Diothor is very dull to listen to. He is good with facts and logic but is hardly an inspiring orator or lecturer. He doesn't understand why some people just aren't as interested in learning as much as they possibly can. Diothor is also somewhat of a wet blanket, opposing alcohol and some other entertainments.
Appearance: Diothor stands 5'9" and is of average weight. He wears a medallion of Tarastia but otherwise dresses like all other Jennite horsefolk (with the exception of the bow at the ready). His hair is grey now and he isn't able to withstand as much physical strain as he could in his younger days.
Combat Notes: He is a 6th level cleric of Tarastia. AC 5 (Chain) ; hp 19; at 1; D 1d8 (axe); save C6; ML 10; Al L; S 9, I 14, W 17, D 11, Co 6, Ch 11.
Languages: Neathar, Jennite, Tanagoroan.
General Skills: Riding (Horse) (D), Honour Tarastia (W), Mapping (I), Knowledge (Jennite legal system) (I), Animal Empathy (Horse) (W)
History: Pinioca was introduced to this world 31 cycles ago, the daughter of an adviser to the royals of the tribe. She was very intrigued by foreign politics and when she got older she decided to join the spies of the Jennites who helped find weak spots in opposing defences. For the past five years she has served well in this duty and has earned considerable praise from this law-and-order people for her dirty work. She is single and will likely never meet anyone she finds as thrilling as her work.
Personality: Willing to accept any challenge for the good of the nation, Pinioca is a brave soul. She loves action and adventure and gets bored rather easily (though when she has work to do she is very patient and cautious). She is not evil, just less constrained by rules than other Jennites. She would never violate the laws of Tarastia but often violates the spirit of them or bends them considerably.
Appearance: Pinioca stands only 4'11" and is under 100 pounds, a wiry and scrawny woman. She dresses in concealing clothes and almost always has a Fleet Feet tattoo inscribed on herself. She is slightly attractive but might be too thin for the tastes of some Jennite men.
Combat Notes: She is a 5th level rake. AC 5 (Leather + Dexterity Bonus) ; hp 15; at 1; D 1d4+1 (akinae+2, strength penalty) or d6+1 (arrow), save T5; ML 10; Al C; S 8, I 16, W 12, D 14, Co 9, Ch 13.
Languages: Neathar, Jennite, Milenian, Nithian.
General Skills: Riding (Horse) (D), Stealth (City) (D+1), Profession (Scout) (I), Deceive (Ch) Other equipment: Ring of Safety (2), Everfull Gorytus
The authors used the following books and webpages in their research on the Scythian and Sarmatian cultures on which the Jennites are based. If you are interested in learning more about the horse-archers of ancient times, these may be a good starting place.
Scythians by Tamara Talbot Rice - a very good oversight of the Scythian peoples, their customs, their times and their culture.
World of the Scythians by Renate Rolle - this struck me as less likely to be factual than Rice's book and more prone to assumptions on the culture but does bring up some new information and topics not covered in Rice's earlier work
www.csen.org/article%20review.html - very brief discussion of the warrior-priestesses
wsrv.clas.virginia.edu/~bam4c/NOTE0227.HTM - some notes on gruesome Scythian rituals