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Location: Continent of Iciria, Hollow World.
Area: 712,219 sq. mi. (1,844,647 sq. km.).
Population: 3,000,000 (in about 3,000 tribes).
Coinage: None (barter).
Government Type: Tribal monarchies.
Industries: Hunting, gathering, raiding.
Important Figures: Zorok (Toralai Chieftain, human, male, T13).
Flora and Fauna: As a predominantly jungle region, the Neathar Lands see an abundance of conventional native plant and animal life. Without a consolidated government to provide security, hostile creatures are also in abundance. Giant insects, boars, great cats, giant lizards, dinosaurs, crocodiles, wolves, and humanoids can be readily found.
Further Reading: Hollow World boxed set, previous almanacs.
Description by Dellebram.
Although Neathar peoples can be readily found throughout the Hollow World, it is within the expansive Neathar Lands that they can be found in unique and great numbers. Likewise, the Neathar people are composed of various different peoples, each with their own unique social attributes. It would be a travesty to lump them all together as a single group-however given a space consideration that is exactly what we will do.
Striking a prominent portion of the central regions of the continent of Iciria, the Neathar lands are mostly thick rain forests. Other terrain types are mountains, hills, swamps, forests, and plains. These lands offer refuge to numerous dangerous creatures as well as the Neathar tribesmen. The various tribes have each staked out their territories from which they hunt and gather foodstuffs and other necessities of life.
Though there is a great deal of variety within the tribes, the Neathar are of a common race. A tanned Caucasian people, they don simple clothes crafted from animal skins or crude textiles. Ornamentation is simple, usually bead necklaces, armbands, bracelets, and anklets. Earrings denote a married female. When they choose to wear them, footwear is usually a type of sandal. In combat the Neathar warriors fight as individuals, wielding stone-headed weapons and rarely wearing armour. With their poor weapons and lack of tactics, they have faired badly against more organized opponents.
The Neathar are tribal, each tribe owing fealty to a hereditary chieftain. For most tribes, the male gender holds the majority of power. Some tribes do allow female chieftains and female warriors. The Neathar prize individualism, perhaps explaining their disunity. The Neathar are hunter/gatherers, often supplementing their stores by raiding their neighbours. Intertribal skirmishes and feuds are frequent-one source of hostilities is the Neathar practice of "stealing" a mate from a neighbouring tribe.
The Neathar are descendants of one of Mystara's original races. As the surface world Neathar tribes began to succumb to the development of their fellows, the traditional Neathar way was threatened. As each tribe faced eradication or adopted agricultural edicts, portions of their tribes were transported to the Hollow World. In this way, a vast and diverse collection of Neathar peoples has accumulated in the Hollow World over an extended period.
In the Hollow World the Neathar have flourished, despite their primitive societies. Though many of their neighbours are capable of fielding superior forces, the Neathar have never been threatened with conquest. It was only with the arrival of the Heldannic Knights and Alphatians that they really began to come under fire. Though the Alphatians had to divert much attention to meeting the knights, they were able to conquer the Nogai tribe in a rather brief period. Unsurprisingly, the Neathar took a dim view of the presence of both the Alphatians and Heldannic Knights.
With the Alphatian continent's rebirth in the void above, certain aspects of the Neathar grew overtly suspicious of their intentions. Zorok, chieftain of one of the Toralai tribes, was the most vocal. Despite Empress Eriadna's proclamations of allegiance and promises of no more expansions, Zorok continued his suspicions. Zorok managed to unify other Toralai tribes in his unproclaimed war against the Alphatians, resulting in various raids and the sacking of the town of Dogrel [located in Alphatian Neatharum. Ed.]. In AY 2015 [AC 1015. Ed.] Zorok was captured in a failed assault on Haldemar [Alphatian Neatharum. Ed.]. While imprisoned, Zorok was influenced by personal matters to negotiating a peace agreement with the Alphatians.
Don't Miss/Do Miss
The Neathar boast no large communities and no common ritual sites. One will have to search the vast Neathar lands for any attractions. Given their level of civility, one can expect few creature comforts. Though peace is officially established between the Neathar and Alphatians, visitors may find themselves received with hostility.