Atop the Shoulders of Giants
The Khalram tribe is the single largest and most affluent tribe of all the Traenish-language tribes. Their excellent skills at horse breeding and riding have made them exceptionally good at traversing the lands for purposes of trade, diplomacy, and warfare alike. Their nation is closely allied with the Kingdom of Keland, dating back to the mid 1200’s when the chief Jakib Suresteed, and chief-to-be Dunmir Battlerider, allied with Keland against the antagonistic and war-like Tarket tribe, whose lands now belong to the Khalram. Through this alliance the Khalram were invited to join the formal alliance which formed The Holy States.
Religion and Culture
The official religion of the Khalram is adherence to Traenish Mythology, and the tribe’s totem animal is the horse. Like a heard of horses the tribe stays primarily mobilized throughout their vast lands, presently in both a northern and a southern group. Once per year the two groups both come to rest for a week at the city of Uldine where the leaders of the two groups – one the Chief himself, the other called “First Rider” by title – can confer over tribe business in person.
The Khalram lands are vast, however, and contain many smaller tribes, many of whom are primarily contained in one or two villages each. The Khalram allow these tribes to venerate the gods of their choice, as appropriate to any herd. Aside from other totems of Traenish Mythology, however, there are also a small number of worshipers of the One True God, and an even smaller – though still significant – number of Lansi worshipers who make their home in the Khalram lands. In general the Khalram tolerate any religion among their people, but traditional values and faith run strong among their leaders, and few – if any – members of other faiths tend to gain any real station among the Khalram tribe itself.
The influences of outside cultures have made the Khalram somewhat of a stand-out in comparison to other Traenish language tribes. Though some still maintain the old ways of respect – looking those you respect in the eyes at all times, complimenting the horse of your superiors upon every meeting, never refusing a fair gift – there is a growing sect of the society which has begun to move away from these customs to adopt more “modern” customs from Keland and Golir. Generally these more culturally “progressive” members of the Khalram are those who are likely to speak Kelandish – or in rare instances even Golirian or Nada’Athi – but much as with the religious matters these unorthodox practices rarely accompany any personal social status.
Politics and Geogrpahy
The Khalram are the only major Traenish language tribe with a traditionally male chief. Because of the migrant nature of the tribe, the Khalram have only ever had 2 female chiefs in their history, both of whom were considered very “unusual.” The position of chief is one of appointment. Every chief, upon becoming chief, appoints the person who will be their successor in the event of their death. They may change this appointment at any time during their life – including in their moments of death – but without a well-witnessed profession of a new appointment the old one will always be defaulted to. Chiefs generally rule for life, but some of the most successful have been known to retire in old age.
The Khalram have been allies of Keland for more than 400 years, and entered into alliance with The Holy States more recently. They have long had some contention with their tribal neighbors, however. To their north the Zahkram tribe lurks in the northern forests, to their south once lay the now extinct Norten tribe whose lands the Khalram conquered to keep them from Nada’Athi control, and to their west lay the lands of the Confederated Tribes of the Selkir who consider the Khalram to be traitors to their culture.
But the Khalram are all but unassailable. Their lands stretch the full latitude of Keland and Golir combined and have close to 15% more land than both nations together. They have very few major settlements, but due to their migrant nature and culture of constant readiness they are said to have over 100,000 trained warriors, all of whom ride a horse better than the best cavalry of any more formalized nation. However, what the Khalram are known to have in the area of warfare they are known to lack in equal proportion in the area of magic.
Like most Traenish tribes the Khalram are still ultimately slow to adapt to outside influences. They react well with the skills the know, but are slow to learn new things. For every wizard in Khalram lands there are 50 in Golir and just as many in the Nada’Fan, most of whom are far better educated in the arcane arts.
For these reasons, and the fact of the Khalram’s close alliance with Keland, the Nada’Athi Empire has long avoided conflict with the Khalram. When the Nada’Athi invaded the lands of the Norten tribe they only managed to proceed half way through the territory before meeting with the Khalram’s forces who had taken the opportunity to march peaceably into the Norten territory. Without conflict, the Nada’Athi retreated to the coast, keeping the coastal port cities, allowing the Khalram to annex the rest of the lands.
A famous poet among the Khalram once wrote of her tribe
“One day the earth and sun will meet again, and on that day the domain of the horse will envelop both spheres, for none will oppose the might of the herd, not a wolf, nor a blade, nor a bear, nor a bird.”