The Confederation of Shanda
Prior to the colonization of Xan and Musira (306SA) the Shandans warred on themselves more than they warred on others. With the Fomorian threat, the Shanda, Perda and Sherlani united to fight the invaders. Later, after this first coalition showed its value, the Sherlani allied with the Gholani to fight the A'chalani and the Fomorians. Both coalitions ended by the year 400 when it was clear that the invaders could not be destroyed.
In the year 408SA the tribes convened a council of chiefs to discuss trade. This council became a yearly event. In the year 0SH [639SA], Shenab (war chief of the Sherlani) welded it into a government. During his reign (0 - 29SH [639-668SA]) the Shandans conquered the A'chalani (1 - 5SH [640-644SA]), sacked Fort Inan and Musira (7SH [646SA]), and repeatedly invaded Gom (12 - 29SH [651-668SA]). In the year 29SH [668SA], Shenab was drawn into a full scale battle at Ja'xon and lost. As a result, his host was broken and he was captured. His execution in Gom ended the Empire and fragmented the tribes.
For more than two hundred years (30 - 268SH [669-907SA]) the tribes were split. Gom, with Fomorian aid, raided them whenever they tried to reunite. In the year 268SH [907SA], mercenaries from Donara, Marentia and Bhamotin founded the city of Roghara with Gom's blessing. The Perdans attacked immediately. After six years of fighting, the Perdans were defeated in the battle of Sky Pass and the mercenaries held their new city.
Over time the Rogharans became the friends of the Perda and the Shanda (281 - 289SH [920-928SA]). In the year 308SH [947SA] Roghara allied with Ja'xon. Roghara was a stable island in a hostile sea, as the Climans caused turmoil in Gom, the southern tribes looted Fort Inan (285SH [924SA]) and inter-tribal warfare was the rule in Shanda.
In the year 316SH [955SA], a Great Shaman rose among the Shanda (a descendant of Shenab through the children of his fourteenth wife). From 316 - 324SH [955-963SA] he welded the tribes into a coalition which included the Rogharans. This coalition ended the raids on Fort Inan (against the wishes of the Sherlani) to avoid a major war. Since doing so, they have begun to civilize the land and train their army. Shanda's future holds great potential of they remain united.
NOTE - The Great Shaman is 72 years old. He will die in the year 468SH [1107SA]. Unless something changes his death will cause a civil war to choose the Confederation's new leader.
Including the city of Roghara (10,000) the civilized population of the Confederation is 44,000. The five tribes of Shanda are the Sherlani (32,000), the Shanda (28,000), the Perda (20,000), the A'chalani (18,000) and the Gholani (17,000). The total population of the nation is 159,000.
The Sherlani can field 7,000 warriors (every man and mature boy). The other tribes field 13,000 warriors. The Rogharan army consists of 1,600 elite footmen and 400 elite cavalry. In addition 4,000 warriors serve in Roghara (800 from each tribe), learning civilized ways of and protecting their chiefs. The total army of the Confederation is 6,000 men. It can levy 16,000 warriors for war. Roghara's fleet is based in the Sea of Tears. It consists of 10 warships and 10 merchant ships outfitted for carrying troops and raiding. The Shandan barbarians do not enjoy sea travel.
The city's economy is based on road tariffs, mercenary service and trade. The tribes gain wealth from trade with Roghara, hunting and mining. The nation depends on trade as a means to continue its progress toward civilization.
The religion of Roghara is like Donara's. The barbarians are shamanistic. Each tribe has a fanatical reverence for its tribal totem or spirit animal. They have killed people for injuring a spirit animal without due cause.
NOTE - The totems of each tribe are:
|the Shanda||Hawk||the Gholani||Wolf|
|the Perda||Eagle||the Sherlani||Lion|
|the A'chalani||Desert Lion|
For a member of the tribes to kill his spirit animal requires a pressing need and placation rituals. They never hurt them if it is avoidable.
Civilized citizens view themselves as an elite responsible for bringing enlightenment into the hills. They are patient, suave, cunning and pragmatic in dealing with others, especially Shandans. They have a mercenary attitude toward loyalty, except where personal honor is involved.
The Shandans are killers only recently removed from total savagery. They have quick tempers, moody and violent natures and a deep-seated love of combat. They treat outsiders as enemies until they prove themselves to be friends. Enemies are at best distrusted. At worst, they are killed. Friends, relatives and men of the same tribe are trusted, treated with respect and accorded full rights in tribal society.
Shanda is governed by a Council of Chiefs that sits in Roghara. Each tribe is represented by two chiefs. Roghara is represented by its Duke and its army commander. Decisions agreed to by a majority vote of the council are binding on all members. Other than these edicts, each area enforces its own customs and laws as it will.
Roghara's justice system merges the best of the Donaran system with Bhamotin's system. All prisoners are innocent until proven guilty and are treated well while in custody. When necessary, light tortures are used on them. When the suspect is a Shandan the only penalty for any crime is a weregild. In other cases, the standard penalties are as specified for Bhamotin.
NOTE - Roghara's treatment of Shandans evolved out of a need to minimize the number of Shandan warriors who came out of the hills to avenge abused relatives.
Under tribal law, minor offenses (that reach trial) are resolved with trial by combat to the death. The loser is guilty or a liar. All major crimes that reach trial are resolved through trial by fire. If the suspect is burned when he walks the coals, he is guilty. The guilty are always impaled. The place of the Shamans in this system is to serve as impartial mediators and, where possible, resolve disputes without a trial. They also insure that evil warriors, who do wrong repeatedly and earn freedom with their blade, are punished for their actions. They have been known to curse such people.
NOTE - Major crimes among the tribes are violating an oath or trust, stealing from or failing to attempt to avenge a friend or relative, and killing an enemy without giving him a chance to defend himself. (Honor demands that enemies be allowed to face death as men, unless the enemy has proven himself to be without honor at some time in the past.)
The Confederation has treaties with Ja'xon and Fomoria. The tribes see the Fomorian treaty as a truce.
The tribes detest the A'ha'kacili. They have an ancient hatred of Gom for their "murder" of Shenab, a chief who was in no way dishonorable. Especially in Sherlani lands, a citizen of Gom takes his life in his hands when he travels in Shandan lands. If discovered to be Gomese he can be killed out of hand.
The percentages in parentheses are used by the A'chalani.
Swords, Maces, Bows
Civilized Shandans mix Donaran with Bhamoti, Gomese, La'Cedi, Fomorian and Shandar. Though dark hair and average features dominate, there is considerable variation.
Battle Axe, Broad Sword and Spear
Most are Basque, some are Berber, many are a mixture of the two.
Except for the A'chalani (who outfit themselves like the A'ha'kacili) the Shandar dislike helmets and shields. They wear leather armor and rarely use missile weapons in battle. Many of them feel that a victory is more honorable if they fight an enemy face to face.
The Shandan calendar dates from the foundation of the Empire of Shenab. It is the year 461 by this calendar.