Atop the Shoulders of Giants
The Plokar tribe is one of the Traenish-langauge tribes of the lands between Golir and Sef. The Plokar tribe is large, powerful, and notoriously xenophobic, even when it comes to its sibling tribes. In fact, the Plokar claims to be the largest, most powerful, and oldest tribe of the entire region. According to the Plokar, their lineage can be traced back to before the first War of the Wraith King, and thus they demand the utmost respect of their neighbors. Given that, like most of the tribes, the Plokar have only recently transitioned from oral to written traditions, they find it difficult to produce much more than tribal legends in support of this claim.
Never-the-less, the Plokar have long held that they are the greatest of the tribes, and hold first right above other tribes. Thus they tend to be incredibly territorial and have been known to attack even some of the most unassuming travelers found within their lands.
Perhaps further contribution to the Plokar’s war-like nature is its long-standing conflict with the Nada’Athi empire. Centuries have passed since the Nada’Athi laid claim to the entire region of the Traenish language tribes, and even since the lands of Sef – on the western borders of that region – were annexed by the empire. However, the Plokar have been the most persistent and successful opponents to Nada’Athi encroachment sheerly through their acts of warfare. Over the centuries the Nada’Athi have attempted to invade tribal lands in six distinct campaigns. Four of those campaigns were either defeated or stagnated by the Plokar. Of the other two one was stagnated by the intervention of the Khalram, and one turned into a mercantile mission when it became evident that trading with the local Boreen tribe would be more immediately lucrative than a full-scale invasion.
In matters of Warfare the Plokar are known as a force to be reckoned with, though perhaps an old-fashioned one. Not unlike the members of the Confederation, the Plokar prefer to uphold the old tribal ways, and refuse to implement certain sorts of battlefield tactics and tend to have few – if any – magic users at their disposal. That being said, the Plokar warriors – even those with the most ‘basic’ training by Plokar standards – are exceptionally skilled and ferocious, known to be the equal of two or even three enemy soldiers at times.
Religiously, the Plokar venerate the Boar as their tribal totem animal. Like the boar they make swift decisions about friend and foe, and meet conflicts head-on with brute force. Plokar rarely leave any situation to chance, and are more likely to eliminate the variables in a tricky situation rather than try to turn those variable in their favor – even if the variables are people.
Unlike most other nations where dueling with true weapons has become illegal, among the Plokar duels to the death are considered a tradition of the utmost honor and dignity. Generally a member of the Plokar will only challenge someone whom they wish to kill to a duel if they believe that person is deserving of respect, or if the matter of disagreement is a matter of public honor (for example, a dispute over slander). Duels are – by tradition and law – never allowed to take place the same day they are issued, and must take place before at least four unallied witnesses and one allied witness for each member of the duel.
The precise rules of dueling are very complex and nuanced, and tend to seem incredibly arbitrary to outsiders, even members of other tribes. Of the more well-known and controversial rules (especially from the perspective of those from more “civilized” societies) is the rule that there may never be a substitute under any circumstances. Challenges are considered incredibly personal, and if they are issued to an individual, it is considered dishonorable to appoint or accept anyone other than that individual to meet the challenge. However, there are cases where entire families are challenged by a single individual, and the family chooses its strongest warrior to meet the challenge.
Plokar lands exetend along almost the entire eastern boarder of Sef, abutting the dense forests in the north, and running along the western border of the Confederate lands. The precise southern “border” of Plokar lands is a matter of contest between the Plokar and the Nada’Athi Empire. The empire holds a couple of small cities and war garrisons along the coast line, and off-and-on manages to capture in-land villages of some note, but despite repeated attempts at invasion and on-going conflicts with the Plokar, the empire has never managed to hold on to much of the land. According to the Nada’Athi everything is Nada’Athi land and the Plokar have been in revolt for hundreds of years. According to the Plokar, the Nada’Athi are honorless interlopers who are best put down like the ailing serpents they are.