Tauror

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[edit] General

The word "Tauror" actually refers to a racially diverse group of semi-nomadic tribes that inhabit the northern forests and tundra. Meaning "Great People" in their own tongue, the Tauror tribes are dominated by two racial groups, the mana'tau (minotaurs) and the grindasi (gnolls).

[edit] Culture

Culturally, Tauror (especially minotaurs and gnolls) have been shaped by their herd or pack mentality and history of persecution by the Katarious. Survival of one's group, or takk, always takes precedence over individual welfare. They believe their culture to be divinely inspired and so judge the worth of all others by their own example. Tauror are proud, quarrelsome, democratic, violent and xenophobic. A more detailed analysis of Tauror culture can be found in the works of the scholar, Kynan Vandree of Sar Scath.

[edit] Religion

The religion of the Tauror is dominated by the lone figure of The Stormbull, the sky-god who led his people across the Great Sorrow to escape the Katarious pogroms. The living embodiment of Stormbull can be seen in the flesh in the form of the the il-Khan, the supreme leader of the Tauror tribes. Religion is a very personal, very informal affair, involving veneration of one's ancestors as well as paying homage to the Stormbull.

[edit] Government of the Tauror Tribes

Tauror enjoy a decentralized governmental structure based on semi-nomadic bands led by Khans. A particularly influential Khan might be elevated to the status of ur-Khan. Tauror society is a strict democratic meritocracy; leadership positions are earned solely on individual performance and the consent of the ruled. Personal freedom is considered a sacred gift of the Stormbull, so persuasive and oratorical skills are vital to any successful Tauror leader.

[edit] History

2337? - First contact with Katarious

2381 - Declared to be "animals" by the Emperor, a nexus portal is opened onto minotaur lands and the area is declared a "hunting preserve"

2559? - Tsavish Mogh is born.

2576 - After his an takk (band) is slaughtered by a Katarious hunting party, Tsavish begins receiving "visions" from a being he claims is a God. He is branded insane and cast out, after which he wanders in the wilderness alone for 3 years. First contact with the Plateau Dwarves.

2579 - 2599 Tsavish returns to his people, confronting their leaders at a secret Mogh tribal encampment. Through reason, debate and the winning of many honor-challenges, he is declared sane and reinstated as a member of the Tauror people. To satisfy Tauror law, "Tsavish Mogh" is declared dead; a new war-Khan rises and takes the name Stormbull. He mobilizes the camp's warriors into a force that performs several small, but promising raids, on local Katarious allies. His reputation as a war-Khan grows as he begins to display magical abilities quite different from the normal, Tauror Druidic traditions.

2600 - The Emperor decides to actively subjugate the Tauror to bolster the ranks of his private military, as rumors of rebellion in the outlying provinces surface. Stormbull is declared il-Khan of the Tauror, and reveals the next phase of his "vision". The Tauror were to migrate to the north and east where they would find lands free of the spiders. Stormbull forms his own tribal strike force from volunteers to cover the retreat of the migrants. For the next 266 years, the Stormbull tribe acts as rearguard for the Tauror, fending off assaults from the 13th and 15th Katarious legions and absorbing other nomadic tribes that are found worthy.

2623 - First contact with Sis'Ralar. Driven by xenophobia, prophecy and fierce desire for a protected homeland after 23 years of wandering, the Tauror invade the Sis'Ralar lands. The few initial attempts at diplomacy failed miserably. The two cultures were too different, and the reptilian nature of the Sis struck a wrong chord with certain aspects of Tauror mythology. With the continuing press of the Migration, invasion was inevitable.

2624 - Battle of Spirits. Lulled by the seeming weakness of the Sis, the Tauror war-Khans of the initial bands attacked An'thru without sufficient numbers or support. In a painfully learned lesson, the Khans realized that the tactics used on the grasslands and in the hills were woefully inadequate to defeat the Sis'Ralar. A stalemate ensues.

2640 - The death of Tsavish Stormbull il-Khan. To honor him, it is decided that all future il-Khans of the Tauror would take the name Stormbull.

2643 - The new Stormbull il-Khan decrees that selected bands of Tauror warriors will hire themselves out of mercenary companies in the hopes that contact with the other oppressed races will bring fresh ideas, tactics and allies to the Tauror cause. These bands of "za'gan" - or "money warriors" - would be the sole source of information on other races/cultures for the next 257 years. At first, being selected as a "za'gan" is seen as a great honor, but, as several za'gan companies defect or go outlaw over the years - such as the Manu Tauror, Tauror xenophobia rears its head again. Za'gan warriors come to be viewed with suspicion.

2940 - The current il-Khan orders the formation of the Za'ror an takk, a hand-picked group of warriors, shamans and diplomats that are deemed above typical za'gan suspicions. He orders them to travel the Outlands in order to determine the true state of affairs and how the Tauror might fit in with them.