The Hugond are patchwork of differing tribal groups each slightly different from the next but overall having a similar cultural and religious background. As nomads their society has been based around the horse and their flocks which vary from tribe to tribe. Some Hugond will herd goats while others sheep or cattle, while in the south even reindeer are herded.
Before the coming of the ‘Men from the West’ the Hugond wore leather armour and fought with spear and javelin from horseback. Since the establishment of the Crimson Coast they have adapted and now wear heavier armour, when available, and have keenly adopted the bow.
They are skilled horsemen that learn to ride from the earliest of age. A Hugond that cannot ride is not, after all, a true Hugond in their culture. Many Hugond see those that cannot ride as children and can be patronising to them however the fact that twice the Blood Isler shield walls have twice defeated them tinges this as well.
Each tribe is ruled by a ‘Kayakam’ chieftain who is appointed based on ability and popularity amongst his or her followers. They will then rule until they either step aside, usually due to old age or failure to lead, or die. The Kayakam is expected to be brave, wise, caring and capable. Along with the Kayakam is the ‘Yasip’ druid-shaman who is the wisest member of the tribe and leads it in matters spiritual including the important rituals of birth and death. The sun rises and the sun sets, the two moons dance across the heavens, and the seasons pass. Since the earliest days, the Hugond Shamans have watched the Eternal Circle of Nature. They know the ways of nature and the mysteries of the land, but they are not its master. Instead, they are servants of nature and tend to the needs of the land and its creatures. They call on her power to lessen the cold of winter and to bring warm winds and weather. When the Crimson Coasters sacked the holy site of Kruan the rituals to keep the cold spirits away was not completed and the Crimson Coat froze till it finally was.
It is common for the Kayakam and Yasip to be of differing genders for the enactment of some of the life rituals but it is not compulsory.
The Hugond have a few permanent settlements around centres of worship like Kruan and settlements for metal working, agriculture and trade. At the various villages and rare towns Kayakams might meet to settle disputes or trade.
Hugond are skilled riders and, unsurprisingly, have barbarians, rangers and druids as their heroes.
Though most speak Common, from long association with outsiders, manywill also speak the ancestral tongue of Gond which has no written form.
Illustration by Pino44io- please do not use without permission