As the winter snow swirls on the wind, the tribes of the north begin their annual migrations to slightly warmer climes. Nomadic tribes roam the lands looking to purchase, sell or trade their wares. Some tribes bypass the niceties and raid the civilized lands for new treasures. All seek to learn news and stories of what has been happening in the world so they may later sit round their fires and retell the stories to their tribes. The one story they all learn is of the defeat of Balfurous and the end of the demon wars. The demons and demon-possessed who once haunted the land have died away and new life springs among all.
As these peoples move south, one rarely-seen tribe has unexpectedly arrived from the far west corner of the Wastelands. These quiet people, who have rarely ever interacted with any civilization, are deeply in touch with the earth and the spirits of the ancient world. Their history is not well known and only a few phrases, buried in the studies of other tribes, mention this particular people. What is recorded is that they are a proud and self-sustaining people. While they are quite spiritual, they do not worship any one god over the others. The texts elude that this tribe, the Cheveyo, perform a sacred duty that is in direct opposition to the hated Venier; but the text do not detail what that task may be.
But what has brought them south? What has made them emerge from their homeland?
* * * * *
Dohat'e whistles softly through his cupped hands letting the wind carry it back to the small band of his fellow tribesmen. His signal lets them know to pause and conceal themselves in this sparse forest so that he may take a moment to assess what lies ahead. With the recent death of their chief he supposes he is now their leader as well as their shaman, but concerns of the tribe must wait. All that matters now is their sacred duty. For the first time in the tribe's history, as told from one generation to the next, they are in jeopardy of failing in their responsibility. Many days they have traveled, and are now the farthest from their homelands as any of them has ever been. Many people they have seen, some with whom they consulted but most they avoided. Now their pursuit has led them here, to a town of heroes - or so they are told. It matters not, they have finally caught up with the enemy, which means their task is urgent. Dohat'e looks through the trees ahead and spots many lights. There are many buildings in this place and he resigns himself that he and the tribe Seer, Honovi, may have to spend time inside the structures in order to speak with the local chieftains. Again, it matters not. All that matters is that they do not fail.
* * * * *
With all nomadic trade comes raiders. This particular season is especially dreaded among the barbarians as the warlike Venier have become more aggressive in their mad lust to serve their dark goddess. In the name of his father, the great Warchief Ulffr, Vark of the Bloody Skull launched a great hunt. Vark has gathered most of the dark tribes to the hunt with the intention of finding the legendary source of great spiritual power. His people have been searching for the source for decades and should Vark succeed where so many have failed he will follow in his father's footsteps and become a great Warchief. He secretly desires that his word-fame will outgrow his father's and make Vark the most formidable Chief in Venier history. The spirit totem of any tribe is said to bring untold power to those who take its essence and his Raven Goddess will surely bestow her great and terrible gifts upon him and his house once he completes the sacrifice. This hunt has led them far south of where they usually raid to a land rich in gold and skilled peoples who would make valuable slaves. With Her blessings, Vark can return to the North wealthier and more powerful than any who have come before - and he can cut a swath of destruction worthy of his Goddess from this wealthy land all the way to his home.
* * * * *
As the cold descends upon Travance, as the snow threatens and the chill winds whip through the small towns and forests, many huddle by the fire for warmth and safety. What they have yet to realize is whether they be willing or not, the hunt is on...