The Northern Mountains


The ancient homeland of the Third Children, the Northern Mountains rise like a towering stony wall across much of the Northlands, their lofty peaks brushing the very stars at night. Cleft deep between their summits, gorges wind like pathways of the ancient gods. The dark pine forests of the north march to the knees of the mountains and farther, between the snow-mantled bastions. During the short summer months, rivers flow fast and cold from the heights down through the forests, seeking the sea to the west. During the long winter, the waters are frozen, the high mountain lakes armored in unbreakable ice, and the daylight fleeting.

For centuries, since the Coming of the Third Children, the Daedanai'shi, or Those-Who-Remained, have hunted and herded in the mountains and forests of the North. The Daedanai'shi are those of Nevron's people who decided to stay in the mountains rather than joining Vasae'an society many centuries ago. The schism occurred out of a loyalty to the original homeland, as well as political differences. Not all of the Deadanai'shi are friendly to the Vasae'ans. There have been minor conflicts between certain factions of the Daedanai'shi and the Vasae'ans over the centuries, though the two peoples have never made united assaults against each other. Additionally, the Daedanai'shi are not strict allies of the Vasae'ans. If one of their factions makes war against the Vasae'ans, the other factions will not intervene on principle. That said, many of the Daedanai'shi have common interests with the Vasae'ans, both political and economic. While the Dadaenai'shi people as a whole do not negotiate deals with outsiders, individual factions may decide to ally themselves to Vasae'an interests. For example, several factions routinely do business with and act as pathfinders and hunters for the Trade Guild. Though the ties between the Guild and the factions are not binding, the Daedanai'shi in question would not risk the economic benefits alliance with the Guild provides by attacking Vasae'ans or standing idly by while another party attacks; equally, the Guild, and the nearby Vasae'ans would not risk the lumber, fur, labor, and the commodities markets in the north in an extended conflict with the Daedanai'shi.

Both peoples, however, often unite, setting aside the shifting tapestry of politics between them, against a common enemy: the Ulatothai, or the remnants of the forces once commanded by Donshinu the Betrayer. After the Betrayer’s defeat at the hands of the Vasae'ans, many of his captains fled back to the north. There they clashed with the Daedanai'shi, as they had many times before the Betrayer’s war. Even today, they are still a threat to both the Daedanai'shi and the Vasae'ans in the northlands, enough to ensure a strong presence of the Red Company. It is not unusual for the Daedanai'shi and the Red Company to fight alongside each other to defend against the frequent raids of the Ulatothai.

Technically, the Daedanai'shi of the mountains are only one part of a larger group. Daedanai'shi is a term that covers a wide range of peoples, including the mariners of the northern isles, the fisher-folk on the cold northern shores, and the elusive hunters of the White Forests - even the People of the Desert could be called Daedanai'shi; however, it is the Daedanai'shi of the mountains that carry the name, because they remained in the ancient homeland of all the Third Children.

The Daedanai'shi are a proud people, tall and broad-shouldered, light of hair and skin. They at once respect the Vasae'ans (who brought them fire) and hold them in contempt for being separated from the wilderness and the hunter-gatherer way of life, which they see as the way of the strong. The Vasae'ans both disdain the Daedanai'shi as lawless and uncivilized and greatly respect them for their strength, abilities, and knowledge of the forests and mountains.