People of Occupied Hallow
The People of Occupied Hallow
After seventy years of occupation the people of Hallow are lumped into two major castes. The first caste is the ruling caste and is made up almost entirely of powerful Descendant warlords. Because of the loose structure of government that exists within Hallow, the members of this caste tend to have larger standing warbands and holdings within the city proper. There is only one hard and fast law within the chaotic Descendant society, might makes right. Upward mobility is earned with blade and blood, and lesser warbands are constantly be joined to or conquered by stronger ones. If the Lich Lord Vol feels one way or another about this amorphous social strata he has not made it known, although the War-lich has not been seen leaving Sepulcher in some time.
The warlords and warbands that make up Occupied Hallow’s leadership are predominantly human. Many of them may even descend from Hallow’s people before the city fell to the Descendants, but it is impossible to tell. The Descendants favor heavy tattooing, ritual scarification, large gauge piercing of their flesh, and bold and prominent body painting. In short, it is often impossible to guess at ancestry underneath their savage and monstrous adornment.
In the last decade or so, some of the most powerful Descendant warlords have been seen in what can only be called a cruel mockery of the cosmopolitan styles common in Jing. The garments, while sharing the same material as courtly regalia, are often cut asymmetrically and tend to bare far more flesh than would be considered appropriate in any other court. Despite the fine clothes, these “nobles” still favor the tribal markings, scars, tattoos, and piercings of their traditional garb.
The other caste, which makes up the majority of the people living in Occupied Hallow, are called “Lamuk”, a Descendant word that either means “sheep” or “whore” dependant on who you ask. All Lamuk are technically slaves, as they are owned by someone from the higher caste. However that ownership is seldom established or even documented. Moreover, often Lamuk are captured and taken from one area to another by a warlord who has the strength to do it. The life of the Lamuk is one fear and brutalization. Regardless of owner, the Lamuk are the Descendants’ playthings. These twisted people use the unfortunates to sate all manner of depraved lusts, often with little or no warning. The evenings are the worst in the life of the Lamuk. Nights in Occupied Hallow are filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of rape, torture, and bloodshed.
In one instance I did see a Lamuk woman fend off her Descendant attacker, stabbing him multiple times before he lumbered off for easier prey. I asked the others if she would be punished and was told that,” It doesn’t work like that.”
“She may be stronger than that one, “One weary man told me, “But the next one will be bigger, and if she fights the next one will like it, or they won’t, either way they will make it hurt more.”
The Lamuk caste is almost entirely made up of humans. Some Descendants favor more exotic slaves such as elves, dwarves, and even the occasional gnome. There are even monstrous humanoids such as orcs and gnolls amidst the Lamuk, but very few, as these creatures tend to be instinctually brutal and prove to be poor servants. Most end up being killed when their novelty wears off.
Despite my most earnest attempts, I was never permitted into Highlake so I have no idea about the people dwelling there. Many among the Lamuk whisper of it being a free and perfect society. After all, it must be if there are no Descendants there.
-Excerpt from Into Madness. A Scholar’s Study and Death Defying Journey Into Occupied Hallow by Varger Slenim.