Nomadic people originally from the White Waste of Pesh
The Arghad Tribes invading Redstone
Excerpt from “The Nomads of Midsea: The Arghad, the Turmir, the Clarah and the Death Riders of the White Waste”
Lagermer the Limping Sage
Chapter 10 The Famine Flight of the Arghad
The Arghad Tribes have one of the most tragic stories in all of Midsea. A nomadic people who lived in Pesh, the lands west of the Firefall Mountains, they came to Midsea fleeing someone called the “White Duchess” three centuries ago.
Since the Arghad people do not have a written language they carry their history in a series of songs known as “The Life Chants”. Each generation has an official Bard who creates a lifelong chant about the tribe they serve, creating one seven line stanza a year. The Bard then teaches this chant to an apprentice along with his teacher’s chant.
These chants started when the Arghad Tribes left the waste of the White Duchess. There are currently six “Life Chants” for the seven tribes. The first one chronicles how half their people died fleeing the White Duchess and are the most similar. After that each tribe’s chant branches off, although they may share some stanzas since the Bards meet every ten years for the Truce Time.
I came upon this chant by meeting with an old Arghad tradesman, who lived in the Port of Redstone. He no longer rode with his tribe since he had a leg injury much like mine. I was gathering material for my book on Redstone when I came across Ghark in a restaurant. After too many cups of fermented mare’s milk, he sang what he could remember of the First Chant in his language and then we worked to translate it into the Merchant’s Tradespeak.
From what I could gather, four hundred years ago, there was a large meteor shower west of the Firefall Mountains on the Plains of Pesh. The Ash River Sage confirms this and the many disturbances that followed.
One of the tribes, known as the Arghad, came upon a crater from this meteor storm that held a large red rock in the center. The Tribe camped around it, curious at how it glowed at night and would produce a column of smoke during the day.
On the third day of the Starfall a woman, of obvious royalty, rode into the Arghad camp with five mages. They quickly made a bargain with the Tribal Chief and then set to taking some of the meteor’s iron and making an Axe. This is how the Axe of the Arghad was forged and enchanted.
The woman, whose name I could not interpret, had pale, paper thin skin and seemed sick. She told the Chief that only the meteor could save her life.
On the thirteenth day the woman took the axe and cut into the rock itself. The rock then opened like a flower. The woman stepped inside, and then the rock closed around her. The mages she was with cast many spells at the rock but none could open it.
The next night the stone began to glow so bright it blinded all who stared at it too long, and then a hole opened in the side and the woman stepped out. She had been transformed from a pale sick woman into an alabaster skinned being with black eyes and powers that I could not translate.
This being, now called the White Duchess by the First Chant, enslaved the Arghad and used them as her personal army. She made them build a castle for her so she wage war and practice her cosmic spells. Then one day a warrior stole the axe and attacked her. It wounded her and the tribe fled along with one of her mages called Hồ Xuân.
They went through Grey Snow Pass in the Firefall Mountains. The cold killed half their number and they left so many skeletons travelers still find bones buried just under the snow. They arrived in Midsea and started to thrive in the verdant northern plains. They grew so much they formed rival clans that still meet every ten years for the Truce Time where they celebrate their flight from the White Duchess, and the Waste she formed with her frightening magic.
Until the arrival of the Hegemon it was not unusual for different clans to fight each other in foreign wars. The City of Redstone, the Firefall Gnomes and the Barony of Durcan have used certain of them as mercenary light cavalry.
This was how Sara Redhand, running from those trying to assassinate her and her younger brother Marcus, ended up joining the Arghad Lahara Clan. She saved an Arghad Chief in a battle and was given tribal membership with the Lahara Clan. She later received the Axe of the Arghad, but that is a different story