The World of Darken
The Nomad Steppes
The Nomad Steppes are not so much a nation, as a region where the Nomad peoples run their horses. This area has been the home of the greatest breed of horses ever known to Darken, since before The Chaos. The people who have dedicated themselves to the care of these horses became known as Nomads because they never stay in one place for very long, always following the herds across the landscape. These people eventually developed a culture based around the horses. Ultimately they even came to develop a rough form of government, determining how to handle the horses, what to do when dealing with other races, and how best to protect the horses from abuse from those other races. This government recognizes the supremacy of the elected leader of each tribe/caravan. But these leaders also recognize a higher lord who decides the laws and regulations regarding all horses and the Nomad peoples as a whole. This lord is called Avon (if male), or Avar (if female). Most often there are two, a married couple who rule jointly. They are always within the Great Caravan, the tribe/caravan that they have always been a part of. They are selected by the leaders of all the tribe/caravans in council. They serve for life, if one of the two dies, the other serves alone until their own death, never remarrying. Then the leaders meet again and elect a new couple to serve. Whichever leaders are selected, their tribe/caravan becomes the new Great Caravan. There is no announcement of this leadership change to the rest of the world, so many people never know when it happens. This system has worked for the Nomads for several thousand years according to their own account. So they could be said to be the first form of government after the advent of The Chaos, but they don’t care to make the claim. They are content to allow Eiredore the claim to the founding of the New Order.
Nomad characters get a +2 to all checks involving horses. They also start out with a riding horse for no charge. Any classes that gain an animal companion have the choice of a horse as that companion.