Hastrix is a Kingdom located at the north-western point of the continent of Senithax, consisting of one of the Horns, the surrounding islands, and former holdings of the Astorina Imperium. The early history is one of warring tribes on the coasts and islands, as well as those that carved a living from the ancient pine forests. When the Astorina imperium came, they began a campaign to conquer the various tribes, who were fractured and held long standing grudges against each other. However, the Astorini were unprepared for the ferocity with which the tribes of Hastrix would defend themselves. As much as the Hastrix hated each other, they hated the Astorini more.
It took 36 years, but the Astorini were finally able to conquer the Hastrix tribes, putting their King, Brynjor, to the sword, and parading his shamed and naked body through the empire. The Hastrix never forgot this insult, and had actually managed to hide his youngest son, Balvar, from the Imperium, keeping the bloodline of their Kings alive.
When he reached maturity, Balvar began a campaign to reunite the fractured clans, and within a decade, had managed to drive the Astorini from the peninsula and reclaim his throne. In the final battle, he captured the crown prince of the empire. As vengeance for his father, he decapitated the Emperor's son, sending his head back to him in a box with a message, explaining how the rest of the body had been torn apart, each section buried and hidden.
This act of vengeance so enraged the Astorini, that a few decades later, they brought the full force of their military against the Clans again, slaughtering them until they surrendered. But once again, after a short time, a new King arose, to throw off the shackles of Astorini rule. This cycle continued for centuries, with neither side holding the peninsula for more than a few decades.
When the Breaking struck, the Imperium, already weakened by war, was further ravaged by the Rotting. Hastrix, which was freshly independent again, gathered their strength and swept down from the cold pine forests, razing the north-western corner of the Imperium, claiming new territories for the first time in centuries. To this day, the Hastrix clans hold these lands, fortified and watchful of any attack from the imperium.
In previous centuries, the Clans warred against each other for any reasons: Resources, honour, glory, vengeance. However, once the Astorini conquered them, they set aside their previous rivalries and differences. Though each Clan is still distinct with their own Jarlaird, they operate as a united force behind their current King, Hjelmir the Unbroken.
The Hastrix admire physical prowess and fighting skill, but do no treat those with different skills with contempt. An untested warrior does not hold a higher place to a psion of great skill, or to a craftsman who makes items of unmatched quality. The Hastrix generally pick a single path to take, and pursue it with a single minded ferocity, attacking each task like an enemy to be conquered. Men are traditionally expected to take the lead in conflicts, but women are not forbidden from any particular path they choose for themselves, though the pressure to marry and bear children is obvious.
A noticeable part of the Hastrix culture to foreigners is their mistrust and contempt for the Astorini. In some ways, parts of their culture are a direct reaction to the customs and ways of the Astorini. One such example is that the Hastrix leave large sections of skin bare, and readily touch one another, as the Rotting is rare in the colder climate.
Language and Names
Due to the history of conquest, Imperial is a known language for the Inhabitants of Hastrix. However, it is rarely spoken unless in trade negotiations. Hastrixan is a gruff and blunt language, but not without it's particular lyrical qualities at times.
Hastrixans have a first name, and a clan name. Names follow along the male line.
Male Names: Auden, Branjer, Endride, Halder, Hjelmir, Jorle, Kaldr, Olson, Ovur, Ringvildr, Stigr, Tjornbaal, Troelstev, Vadiir, Welhelch.
Female Names: Alfhilda, Bergilda, Eira, Gydea, Hella, Jorunna, Magnhilda, Rhagnilda, Rovanha, Runja, Sigradha, Torhilda, Ylvia.
Great Clan Names: Ahlmach, Engmaerl, Hilmjoor, Landvhir, Naesmir, Stendohl.
Lesser Clan name prefixes and Suffixes: Bllar-, Dal-, Fjir-, Mor-, Rjel-, Urkh-, -ach, -farn, -geln, -llaren, -wulst.