The Bal'sani believe their mountains are sacred. They, blessed above all men, were chosen by the gods to serve as their guardians. They war on anyone who defiles the mountains. Over the years they have often fought the Cerulean Empire. They despise the Col'ka (a Bal'sani tribe) because they have chosen to ally with the Ceruleans. To the other tribes, this is unforgivable cowardice and heresy.
The Bal'sani tribes are the Chal'ki (17,000), the Bal'boni (16,000), the Ar'sani (13,000) and the Col'ka (10,000). The Col'ka field 2,000 warriors. The other tribes have a total population of 46,000 and can field 9,000 warriors.
A barter system operates everywhere. The Col'ka use barter but also accept money. (The Ceruleans sometimes refuse to sell them valued goods unless they pay in coin). The items that are most valued by the Bal'sani are weapons and armor. The Col'ka like exotic spices and fine liquor as well.
The Bal'sani worship Elder forces of the earth and the elements, as personified by their mountains. Their major god is Domiel. They are animistic. The Col'ka are the same as the others in this, although some of their more "civilized" members have begun to worship the Cerulean gods as well.
The Bal'sani are an unpredictable people with a reputation as vicious hill fighters. In battle, they seek the total destruction of their enemy at the lowest possible cost. They never take prisoners and often kill severely wounded men as an act of mercy. They are talented bandits, night fighters and masters of the ambush who "could track a fly" in the hills and mountains of their homeland.
Each Bal'sani family has its own land within the territory of its tribe. Only during major invasions will one family aid another (in defense against a common enemy only). At all other times, tradition demands that each family see to justice for itself. If they are too weak to do so, no one else will do it for them. Only in exceptional cases (very serious crimes) will larger social units operate to punish a felon.
The Col'ka vary from the organization above. The tribal land is controlled by the clans. Each clan assigns its member families land for their use. Land is owned in common by the clan. All other factors are the same. Among the Col'ka, it is more likely that families will help each other when a clan member is victimized.
The Bal'sani like the people of No'mal. They despise all other foreigners. The Col'ka are allies of the Cerulean Empire. They allow the Ceruleans to use their road in exchange for goods and money.
The Bal'sani despise Ceruleans, Dechans and the Rogizini. They have a blood feud with the Col'ka because of their Cerulean alliance. The Col'ka allow Ceruleans free passage on the road. They kill Rogizini and Dechans who are not in the company of Ceruleans and any foreigner that they find off the road in their mountains. They defend themselves against the other Bal'sani tribes, but do not seek conflict with them.
The Bal'sani tribes kill anyone who violates one of their sacred places. These are specific mountain tops, caves and ravines. They are of great importance to the Bal'sani faith.
|The language set in parentheses is used by the Col'ka.|
Bow, Spear and Sword
The Riffs of Algeria and Morocco
The Bal'sani use scalemail as a common item of apparel. They dislike shields and helmets. They favor strategies that allow them to hit enemies without risking damage themselves.
It is the year 6319 as the Bal'sani reckon time. Their calendar dates from the creation of the first men by the gods (they say). These men were, of course, Bal'sani. As time passed their numbers grew until they were more than the rocks of the mountains. Finally, at the order of their gods, the royal clans drove lesser men out of the sacred lands so that the homes of the gods would be left in peace. Since this time (the year 1000 on their calendar) the Bal'sani have been dedicated to a single cause-making sure that lesser men never return to the land of the gods.