The Ibex People
The Ibex People are named for the beasts they ride, giant Ibexes, or mountain goats. Because of the nature of the beasts, the Ibex people range around hills or mountains far more than other beast nomads. The Giant Ibexes are not quite as big as a Sable or High Llama but are formidable mounts, given their massive horns. It is common, as with other nomads, for particularly impressive horns to be preserved as helmet ornaments or used as the basis for magical enchantments.
The Ibex People are (or were) divided into two clans: the Great Ibex and the Lesser Ibex. The Great Ibex live in the Great Wastes, primarily around the Tunneled Hills and Plateau of Statues, although occasionally they range as far as the Iron Forts. Because of the nature of their range, the males of the Ibex People venerate Storm Bull especially. The Lesser Ibex inhabited the Eiritha Hills, and the Ginmuz Mountains especially. It is not clear from the myths whether the Lesser Ibex were an offshoot of the Great Ibex or vice versa. Each chieftain possesses a “Godhorn” that summons the Founder, who is reticent on the issue (it rarely comes up in conversation).
Ibex People tend to be shorter than other nomads, partly because of their slightly smaller mounts, and so roll for SIZ on 2d6+4, but make up for this in other ways, for they are hardy and have +1 CON. They are also natural climbers, for there are times they need to leave even their nimble mounts behind, and so have a beginning climb skill of 50 (and in detailed experience tables, gain an extra x1 each year to the skill). They are also used to looking from heights and gain +10 to Scan when looking from a hill, tower or other elevated site (which makes them sought-after guards). Farsee is taught by all Ibex cult magicians and shamans and most Ibex people know the spell. Ibex People are paler than most nomads, probably because they live in higher, cooler elevations, and are normally brown or dark auburn haired. Like other nomads, they often braid their hair. Again, because of the cooler nature of their range, they dress more fully than other nomads, in soft leather tunics and high boots, although they keep their legs bare for best control of their beasts in precarious situations.
Ibex People are generally monogamous, although most males have slave concubines as well. There is less division of labor on gender lines than usual in a Praxian society, with women fighting, herding and hunting just as often as men. Slavery tends to be restricted to “useful” occupations as slaves have a tendency to fall down cliffs and break their necks. A typical Ibex camp will be set up in the foothills of a higher range, with herders venturing up and down mountains every day. The average size of a camp is quite small, but several camps can exist within easy ride of each other, allowing for significant social interaction between camps and strong clan links. Attacking or otherwise offending a camp usually results in the swift construction of a warband and retaliation. Ibex People are notoriously quick to anger, which, combined with a high percentage of Storm Bulls, leads to a reputation for touchiness. If bested, Ibex People always know they can quickly retreat up hills and mountainsides, so tend to stick close to them, and if followed can normally turn the tables. Favored weapons are composite bows (made from the strong horns of their beasts) and short spears, deployed overhand, for mounted or foot fighting. The Ibexes themselves possess a formidable butt attack.
The Lesser Ibexes were recently (1616) destroyed at the culmination of a long feud with the High Moon Sable People. The origins of the feud go back generations, long before the Lunars came to Prax, and the Lesser Ibexes normally had the better of their conflicts. However, Targitad Redlance, Khan of the High Moon Sables, was clever enough to lure the entire Lesser Ibex clan down below the Ginmuz foothills by making them think his tribe was heavily outnumbered. On the banks of the Bitter Stream, however, it became clear that there was Lunar trickery involved, with Illusion Magic and other Sorcery deployed to great effect. The Lunar Magic blew away the Ibex magic, and the entire tribe was surrounded and massacred, with the High Khan Yesugai Greathorn falling and his treasures taken by Targitad. The noncombatants who had come to watch the fight were unable to reach the foothills quickly enough to get away, and those who were not killed resisting capture were mostly taken as slaves. There are rumors that Khan Yesugai’s daughter escaped, but these have not been confirmed.
It is not known what the reaction of the Great Ibex people has been to the destruction of their cousins. There are doubtless many Lesser Ibex Storm Bulls currently living within the Great Ibex people, practicing their chaos-fighting skills against the denizens of the Tunneled Hills. The involvement of chaos-loving Lunars will probably draw their ire at some point, if a leader can draw them together.