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Rastvorn

Rast Vorn the Black Cape

  • Political organization: tribal chiefdoms.
  • Rulers: The Sherl, oracle; Maelglym, chief and shaman.
  • Administrative organization: entirely tribe-based, with elders, chiefs, and holy men wielding various degrees of authority; communal property within village.
  • Population: 600 Daen Fiadach and Mebden.
  • Military: 120 Hunters and Scouts.
  • Products: no exports.
  • Symbol: none.

Protected by the legends of terror that surround the Rast Vorn (S.: Dark Cape), a small population of Drughu tried to survive the threats of the local environment and of corruption from the outside. The cape of Rast Vorn and the thick forest (Eryn Vorn) that covered it was one of the most dangerous patches of terrain in Middle-earth. Treacherous swamps held Mewlips, assangar, and poisonous snakes, while the forested interior was plagued by the black spirits of the twisted trees that grew there. Amidst these hazards, the Beffraen scratched out a meager existence. They knew the perils of their home intimately, avoiding extinction through woodland cunning and superstitious taboos.

The Beffraen had adopted a primitive form of agriculture within the walls of their crude villages. Most of their sustenance, however, came from hunting in the forest and gathering what wholesome plants could be found there. They lived in a dozen or so small settlements, with huts and walls built of stone pilfered from the ruins of Númenorean outposts. Within each village, there was a strong network of kinship, each clan sharing a distinctive pattern of face-painting and tattoos.

Religion played a dominant role in Beffraen life. Tribal elders ruled their villages by reading the intentions of their animistic gods in various rituals. Once every few centuries, an individual would be born with the power to directly channel the voice of one of the gods. These oracles were held in highest esteem. The normally disparate villages would unite under the authority of such a leader, and a period of cooperative labor ensued when great tombs and shrines were built. A few scholars categorized the ritual practices of the Beffraen as a variant of the Dark Religion, but as far as any observers could tell, no outside power, good or evil, influenced them.

The xenophobic Beffraen suspicion of foreigners prevented any close scrutiny of their culture. Travellers who survived the perils of the Rast Vorn often found death by way of poisoned Beffraen darts. A Beffraen ambush was nearly impossible to detect, for like all of the Drúedain, the Beffraen could sit absolutely motionless for hours or even days at a time. Needless to say, no trade occurred between the Beffraen and their neighbors. The Cardolandrim who lived in the area viewed the region with fear and superstition. Few outsiders had even seen a Drûg, and those that had commonly mistook them for the undead that haunted the region.

Regions and Rivers

Baranduin Bein Com Eryn Vorn Fferid Moors Mora Hal Oyer Wild Moats Worthy Hills

Settlements and places of note

Artgualchar Bore-Lled Caer Gurgust Caragond Carn Gasadaer Darras-ola-Ras Fogu Maellin Hermit's Cottage lost grottos Meur Tol Minas Thonfalon Nansret Ramradas The Cabden Traith Chefudoc Wedegog's lair


References

  • ICE MERP #2005: Arnor
  • ICE MERP #8107: Woses of the Black Wood
  • ICE MERP #8108: Raiders of Cardolan
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