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The Savage Lands
The Savage Lands is a mystical land under the control of the High Shaman Watching-Owl. The gateway to this hidden realm is said to be part of the Henge that sits atop the Sacred Mount Tar Edroul that nestles in a loop of The Alg. The Savage Lands, or as it is now known, the Land of the Owl, are those restored lands that were hidden or drifted away and brought back into Primus by Watching-Owl. The Savage Lands are part of Primus though hidden to some degree by the power of the Sway Shaman who made upon them. Though not unlimited in size they are hard to actually explore, impossible to map as the valley, woodlands, forests, lakes and swamps may often be wandered for days but the starting point returned to in a matter of hours.
Unstructured and wild, the Savage Lands developed as the will of the Sway either pushed back the regions or came to perceive more of what lies within it – the distinction is both a fine one and an uncertain one. Further removed and yet more connected to the waking world the Savage Land is a place of dualities for here there is no one way, one truth – such bonds and chains do not lie easy in a place given to distance from gaols of the soul.
Watching-Owl sought to bring peace to the land and to banish those aspects of the tribes ferocious and fierce – as seen by the Geld. Those that dwell in the Savage Lands are kept by accord with the Geld, assuming such is kept by the scar that is civilisation and accepted by the wider tribes that look to Tar Edroul. The Lands here are difficult to enforce by the will of the shaman alone and were grown as the result of an extended dream quest where Owl was put to the test by ancient spirits.
Now those travellers welcomed by the Sway may walk up Tar Edroul and then descend the other side to enter the mist that seems to proliferate there. Where The Alg in the waking world is a wide and furious river, here there is a lengthy ford where a man might wade to the knee and cross. The far bank rises into the savage lands where the seasons turn only at the will of the Sway that tends to this mysterious and spreading demesne.
Ever mindful of the fates of those of the Tribes not gifted with vitae but who would fight and die in his name Watching-Owl pondered the fate of their spirits. In doing so he followed the dangerous path other powerful Shaman had done before him most famous of which being Ikhala. So as Ikhala had created The Hordehost, that Afterlife for those who died fighting his battles Owl took the tests that threatened his own existence but in succeeding in his trial created The Savage Lands.
Within the Savage Lands there is a Long House where the spirits of the Tribal Dead “live on” to feast and drink, and there’s always almost enough before the fighting starts. And if they “die” once more in this place they merely wake up again at the next morn, no worse the wear, to once more drink and feast and fight.
Recent Events in The Savage Lands
Januar: At the Final Dawn marking the end of IM 1011 and the birth of IM 1012 Aided by the power of a number of the great Tribal Treasures, leant to him by Ikhala, Watching-Owl elevated The Savage Lands to became The Land of the Owl. A place both at one and yet separate to the Primal Spirit dominant in the lands that form the Empire. The summit of a shamanic Kingdom, the Land is one with the Shaman and none may enter save at his will. Those that gather to his ragged staff and accept his power and glory can ever come to this place and those tribesmen that followed Owl’s ragged staff in time of war and died in battle for such Glory awaken in this place. They cannot thereafter leave, but for they share the benefits of plenty and eternal reward in this afterlife that he has created for them. Thus did it became Paradise for the dead of his tribe and a place of sanctuary for the living tribes of Alguz who wished to escape Myron's scouring of the Rural Lands and enslavement by the Black Lead. Enacting a mighty ritual to summon the Fire Wyrm as a beacon Watching-Owl crossed the lands of Alguz to lead those who followed to Tar Edroul and into his hidden vale.
Noveas: Those who died desperately fighting against the Pine Warrior armies that sought to take the world Tree of Trovil awoke in this blessed realm of feasting and fighting to dwell forevermore in their own paradise, although somewhat oddly not the paradise Owl had envisioned making...
A Final Dawn Journey into The Savage Land
On this hill summer flowers spotted a rising field of gold. He was not alone. Naked but for mud and ashes Owl had not eaten for thirteen days, had drank only dew for three, had spoken not at all for one. It came then perhaps to this. Here and importantly to him both within what was Alguz and apart from it. The city was a fortress, an insurmountable rock in its wild sea. It was how they did things and in truth the enemy had done him some service, had blurred the boundaries so that he had not had to. That would have saddened him. It was the ledge he walked, of the tribes and especially so here, yet loyal through those bonds of companionship to an Empire made truly by that stretching web of similar experience. What he did would not then touch on that Empire, against which he had... no real bone to fuss at.
Along the spirit paths of Tar Edroul wound the Fire Wyrm. It was that now, transformed, a simple thing. He had feared opposition, interference, but Myron had its many hands full. He had planted his blackened staff. Another stood near to hand, much older and born by Fetch who unlike his master had not left this place for that grand procession. Fetch handed when asked, each thing named by Watching-Owl.
“I bring a hand, that by my will I might make change. I bring a head with eyes sewn shut that what passes here passes away, unseen and ever after. I bring this sword, that champions might know this wisdom. I bring this staff,” taking the last. Hung with totems truly ancient, “So that what was once made might be made again.”
There were so few tribes here now, and they it seemed all the of fire wyrm. There were those that had fled, those that had died, and those taken in chains and those that had settled far away, in that Armastas. Few here, less soon, and to whom he beckoned now as turning to a new gate made for now of withy sticks Watching-Owl bade the wyrm come on, and through, and perhaps for some to never return. To that place that was this place, but brighter it seemed. A savage land from which came the Sunner breaze.
From afar and that great fire wyrm wound about the mounded hill. Curling and constricting and vanishing as it perhaps entered the hill, an hour passed and only the tail remained. And there were some that saw it, a wrym, a dragon, entering its hill all covered as the tales always said, in a horde of riches.
Before it was dark, before the hill if ever it had been there before, no longer was. Of such things are legend made.
It was the first morning and Fetch waited patiently by the simple gate that had only been symbolic anyway. But symbols were important. It had passed smoothly, a going away rather than a conquest. And something about the Savage Land had changed too. It was now a place in a much wider place, for good or ill, but always and simply because. There was still room for wonder in Fetch, that he felt at times had been taken from Owl to make him, and to Owl’s disadvantage.
He felt serene where Owl was not. He was calm, he was benign, and in the manner of tribes the morning after the night before having scrubbed even his memory of paint and filth from his body, considerably cleaner than any stinking city dweller.
A Visit into The Savage Land
Fetch had ambled into the Savage Lands to find a number of familiar faces, and one that he discovered he knew even though a sling stone had caved in his head. Fetch had apologised for not recognising him immediately, but was gratified that those that were dying in Trovil were finding their way here. And oh look, there was another one. The talk amongst them had been of forests and how they should all be cut down. But here and now he feasted because he could and Owl wasn’t here to tell him not to.
Fetch was in awe of what Owl had wrought here and hoped very much that he wouldn’t be back any time soon to spoil things.
He shouted at an oaf as he crashed into the rude table sending boards and cups, birch wine and mead in a sticky rain across those nearest him. Give a tribesman drink and they would have the lot. It wasn’t that they couldn’t take their drink; just that they liked to take a lot. And they were fighting because some here were from the High North, where the proper tribes were, not these descendants of the traitors and dick lickers to the invaders.
“But why are they fighting?” Fetch didn’t pretend to understand it at all. This was paradise as far as he was concerned. Where a spirit could eat, and drink, and know true peace. It was probably that those that had come here hadn’t lived that way, and to them now paradise was... well, fighting. That was as far as he got. There were willing people of all kinds, and fluffy sheep too if that was their thing. Why couldn’t everyone just be nice to one another?
The very best bull in the savage lands was one that had been sacrificed last year by some helpful soul, a magnificent beast with a red hide and horns longer than Fetch’s arm – and they all wanted it. And if Fetch got them all a brilliant bull then they would fight to get the other bulls too – and there would always be a best bull.
And given that being killed here meant being alive here again pretty soon afterwards there would be grudges. Then feasting amongst honoured enemies, then more fighting. And there would be stealing because there wasn’t a lot worth stealing so what there was became that much more worth the theft. Which was a lot better than there being lots of stuff worth stealing because then there’d be a merchant and it would really go wrong here!
The tribes were children and that meant many things but it certainly included fighting. But better too he supposed here than grownups because then they’d do the same but with the surety that they were right, which made things twice as bad.
But they didn’t mind. They liked it here. They liked all that. And they were mostly... warriors. Warriors didn’t want to settle and raise sheep, even the lovely woolly ones with big eyes and clean fleeces. Steal them, yes. Raise them, no.
There was probably something Owl had intended to make the land peaceful, and if there was then it wasn’t working. And with a little drunken insight Fetch supposed that was a good thing. Because show a bunch of warriors a life hereafter involving being nice to one another and skipping through the daisies and you got a bad case of alternative religion.