The Elirapa

The lands occupied by the Rapani are known as the Elirapa, which means The Fortress of E’lani. The Elirapa is a triangle of land, west of the Vari River, south of the Dunafolda River, and east of the Schodni and Styritsa Mountains.

The Rapani are a fierce and independent people. They are descended from Keshdumah families who embraced the Way of E’lani and fled across the Vari River to practice their beliefs.

The Rapani adhere to the Way, make use of the Taikahir, and study it in the Hospodars of Kempelani, the great university town of the L’npei. Like all adherents to the Way, they reject the technology of the Keshdumah.

Guided by the Priests of E’lani, they make common cause with the L’npei of the Banakur Forest and frequently join the L’npei in campaigns against the Keshdumah. Rapani travel freely (although cautiously) in L’npei lands, both as soldiers and as merchants.

Rapani society is organized around military organizations called Rhydes. The Rhydes are tasked with raising, equipping and training soldiers for the defense of the Marches. Each Rhyde maintains ten Battles of soldiers, raising a new one each year. In return, they control all lands outside of the free towns and assign farms to men when they complete their term of service.  Any young man who wishes a place in society devotes ten years to military service with a Rhyde.

The Elirapa is divided into five Marches, of which Usak and Artova are the oldest. Their founding epics tell of the time of M’maoulek’s Wars and seven invasions; how their ancestors burned their farms and slaughtered their livestock to deny sustenance to the invaders; and how Gaberowic of Artova led a coalition of L’npei, Gornarod and Rapani to a decisive victory on the banks of the Brissa River.

Since those days, three more Marches came into existence.  Tahir and Sivas were next. Last, but far from least is Selka. Usak and Artova are nestled in the foothills of the Styritsa Mountains, north of the Brissa River. To the east (and also north of the Brissa River) are Tahir and Sivas. Selka lies south of the Brissa, extending into the northern reaches of the Banakur Forest.

The Dumah Rangers

The Dumah Rangers are a relatively new phenomenon in the military history of the Dumah States. As a culture, the Keshdumah disdain killing, leaving that work to a low status warrior caste.  Within that caste, the hard physical work of close in fighting is relegated to the rejects and the militias they officer.

When Great Road and Banakur South began to clear and settle the forestland to their west, there became a need to protect the settlers, who lacked the skills and cultural heritage to protect themselves.

On the frontier, warrior caste rejects found work that came with status and respect. True, it was the respect of dirty settlers, living in squalid villages, far from civilization, but respect nonetheless.

At first the Rangers were nothing more than bands of local adolescents, led by retired warriors who had become bored with civilian life. In time, the adolescents grew up, learned their trade and made a living from it.

The typical Ranger company is led by a proprietor-captain and consists of several fire teams and a close combat support team. The Ranger captains compete for contracts and also band together to fill larger contracts.

In most cases, a company settles into the village or town that has hired it. The rangers patrol the nearby forest, shield the outlying farms from raiders and set the occasional ambush.

Fron time to time, a larger town or the provincial government will raise the money to launch a punitive raid. When this happens, several companies of rangers travel deep into the Bankur. They will set ambushes, attack the L’npei herds and raid L’npei settlements.

And so the unending conflict on the frontier continues, year after year, decade after decade.

Dumah – The Western Frontier

In the core of the Keshdumah lands, there are marvels of technology. But as one travels toward the periphery, the Taikahir damps down the technology, rendering it intermittent or unusable. So it is on the western border of the states of Great Road and Banakur South, whose boundries dissolve into the reaches of the Banakur Forest.

There, the Keshdumah settlements are small and, by Central Dumah standards, shockingly primitive. The electric grid flickers and fades. 150 kilometers or more from the forest’s edge the effort to supply electricity stops abruptly. Small water and wind driven generators provide the larger settlements with a limited supply of electricity, but there is no surplus for heating, cooking, lighting … or fighting off the L’npei.

The Keshdumah are not a warlike culture, historically leaving the task of killing to a low status warrior caste. These warriors do not range the forest or protect the western frontier. There are more serious threats to occupy their attention. Thus, on the frontier, ordinary citizens are unprotected, left to cope as best they can with the physical and emotional demands of local defense.

Mercenary companies have stepped in to fill the vacuum. Collectively referred to as the Dumah Rangers, the companies recruit from the warrior caste, as well as from those few locals who discover a taste for adventure, or for killing.

Companies vary in size from a few dozen individuals to several hundred. As their name suggests, they range the forest as a barrier between the settlements they have been hired to protect and the war bands of L’npei Gens Tamroti and the L’npei’s Rapani allies.

Atelon First Post

Welcome to Atelon, a world inhabited by four cultures, three races and two sentient species, where magic and technology are locked in perpetual struggle for dominance.

In one small corner of this world are the Shatterlands, a place where the Keshdumah struggle to wrest control of the Banakur Forest from its Rapani and L’npei protectors. The Keshdumah deploy such technology as they can, to counter the Taikahir that Rapani and L’npei gather for the defense of their homes.

For in Atelon’s universe, the organizing principle is that belief shapes reality.

The Keshdumah believe that the scientific method and the laws of physics allow them to understand and manipulate nature. As a consequence, in the heart of the Dumah lands, technological wonders have been invented and operate reliably.

In the lands of the Guardians, adherence to the naturalistic cult of E’lani is dominant. The Guardians teach that trained Taikahir gatherers can touch the elemental forces of the natural world and direct them.

At the margins, in places like the Banakur Forest, the two belief systems are in conflict. Technology becomes brittle and unpredictable; Taikahir flickers in and out.

The Atelon Wiki will go live in early 2019. Until then, try out our Shatterlands ™ game, introducing you to Rapani and Keshdumah as they patrol and skirmish in the Banakur Forest.