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Uigan

Article written by Uziel


The Uigan are a nation of horse-riding clans that dwell in the Tamire, and were the largest human tribe in the region, dwarfing the other human tribes of the Alan-Atu, Kazar, Purgi and Puresk by thousands. In the Age of Despair, the Uigan numbered in the vicinity of 60,000 to 70,000 people, and were divided into 130 different clans. The Godless Night saw the elven clans of the Tamire choose to begin a war against the humans of the Tamire. Led by Krogan Boyla, the Uigan managed to drive the elves back northwards. However the tribes were decimated and only ninety-three clans survived the Godless Night.

Under the guidance of Chovuk Boyla in 424 AC, the Uigan allied with the Wretched Ones in a fight against the Kazar. Following the slaughter of the Kazar, the Uigan then turned their eyes towards the cities of the Imperial League.

The Battle of the Run saw the destruction of almost the entire Uigan horde, when a great wave of the Tiderun Strait crashed down and killed thousands of warriors. A few survivors managed to escape, however the Uigan are now a broken people.

The People

The Uigan folk are short of stature and relatively slender, by and large. They are normally deeply tanned from riding throughout the plains, and have either black or dark red hair. The Uigan are usually garbed in leathers or in animal furs.

All Uigan males shave their heads, except for one long braid that goes down their backs, and is bound with a silver clasp. Priests of the Uigan shave their heads completely. The few wizards of the tribes do not shave their heads at all, normally keep their long hair tied back in a braid, and the slaves of the Uigan are not allowed to bind their hair in any manner at all. Males also bear blue-black tattoos on their cheeks and foreheads, which are different depending on which clan they hail from. Sometimes the number of tattoos on one's face denotes the rank or prowess in battle of a warrior.

Uigan females grow their hair long and have it drawn on top of their heads and then covered with a small cap. A white cap denotes a woman who is unmarried, whilst a red or blue cap is generally used for a married woman.

As a people, the Uigan are nomadic and wander the lengths of the Tamire over the course of a year. They have few fixed dwellings, instead living in tents that they call yurts. The Uigan have large herds of animals, which they rely on for both food and clothing. The herds are often left with the women, children and the elderly, whilst the men go out in raiding parties or to fight against some of the rival tribes in the region, such as their old foe, the Kazar.

All Uigan people are skilled in horse riding and most males are skilled in the use of the bow, particularly from a mounted position, as well as in the use of the sword. Children are instructed very early in how to ride a horse, and are also taught that it is best to remain silent if one has nothing of use to say.

In every clan, all Uigan have their place. Whilst a Tegin rules a clan, the First Wife, who is the favored wife of the Tegin, normally manages the herds as well as manages the females and children. The elderly and widowed females of a clan also have their own task, which is handling the dead and preparing them for funerary rites. No one other than the elderly or a widowed female may ever touch the dead.

The Tegins lead the various clans of the Uigan, and they in turn are led by the Boyla, who is chosen from amongst the Tegins of the four "royal clans" (those clans that can trace their ancestry back to the first Boyla: Ajal). Of those vying for the role of Boyla, they are allowed to use threats, bribery, murder or duels against their rivals. In the case where none of the above tactics are used, the Tegins of the Uigan must move their yurts closest to the warrior they wish to become the new Boyla.

Uigan Society

The Uigan have several levels of rank throughout the clans, which denote the level of authority. At the bottom of their society are the bondservants and slaves, who are either prisoners of war, or tribesmen who are working off debts or obligations of their family. Further up the social structure are the regular tribesmen who comprise the vast majority of the Uigan people.

The priests and priestesses of the Uigan are considered more important than regular tribesmen, with several major priesthoods existing amongst the nomadic people. The strongest priesthood is that of Jijin, whilst there are minor priesthoods who favour Qu'uan and also Mislaxa. The priests and priestesses of the Uigan do not belong to any particular tribe. They wander across the Tamire and live off the charity of the riders whose camp they enter. The priests and priestesses often also serve in the capacity of advisors, negotiators and ambassadors for the Tegins.

Elevated above the servants of the gods are the Tenachs, who are the personal bodyguards of the Tegins. The regular Tegins themselves are next in the Uigan structure, with the four "royal" Tegins elevated above the regular ones. The Boyla sits at the top of the whole structure, as the ruler of all the Uigan.

Outside of this structure are the wizards of the Uigan, who all practice Sorcery and are generally isolated from the other Uigan. The average Uigan fears sorcery and magic of any kind, but they provide food and shelter for wizards in return for spells and advice from them.

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This article has been viewed 3,645 times. It was added on December 8, 2007, and was last modified on January 2, 2010.

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