07 December 2015

Fantasy Races: Rivalries And Alliances, part 3

Part 1
Part 2

The Boisterous Giants And The Arrogant Midgets

Descendants of the giants and kinfolk to the trolls, troldhrym are violent, loud, and reckless. They fight for the glory and the rush of battle, they insult those around for the joy of verbal spar, and they eat, drink, and mate with equal passions. Their brutality and lack of subtlety are far from intellectual pride of azan and yet, there is a certain sense of understanding between those people as both of them have their deeply ingrained pride in themselves and their culture.

Troldhrym and azan interests are rarely coming close but they are sometimes linked together because of business—troldhrym martial prowess makes them decent mercenaries in azan eyes. Their physical capabilities would make them great slaves, but azan know better than to try to enslave people so focused on individual freedom and so prone to violence at the same time. The little geniuses are not above using subtle magic, trickery, and hefty bribes to ensure troldhrym services. Interestingly, azan working with troldhrym usually adapt to the giants' insults quickly and efficiently. In fact, many of them surpass their colleagues in that field, considering developing of new insults a way of minor intellectual challenge.

Outside of buying troldhrym services, azan have little interest in the giants, and vice versa. Troldhrym culture is seen as too savage, by azan, and azan civilization is viewed by troldhrym with mild disdain as too urbanized, too pampered, and too shielded from the elements and the world. The acceptance of slavery common among azan aggravates troldhrym as well, on occasions even pushing them to raid smaller azan facilities to free the slaves, even not of their own race.

The Glorious Warriors And The Radiant Traders

Kyo, like azan, are content to let the mercenaries fight for them and troldhrym make great mercenaries. Their relation is more complex than between azan and troldhrym, though. While kyo respect honor and sense of pride, their concepts of honor and proper behavior are very different from troldhryms', in many aspects they are opposite, with troldhrym focusing on one's individuality and personal glory, while kyo assign prestige for actions benefiting the community and Radiant Empire first. They are also much less accepting of dramatic failures, though they can, to a degree, accept a failure caused by sticking to the expected forms. Unlike azan, kyo are unable to comprehend troldhrym insults, finding that custom deeply disturbing and distasteful. On the other hand both people share their deep appreciation of certain luxuries, though exact choices in food, beverages, and jewelry are quite different.

Kyo are usually more than happy to use their wealth to pay troldhrym mercenaries and use them as front line units and shock troops, but due to unruliness and recklessness they are rarely used for defensive units or honor guards. Troldhrym gladly accept kyo money, and keep a degree of respect for kyo merchants for providing them with exotic luxuries, but they are not above raiding them to acquire those riches easy way or free the slaves kept by kyo.

The Children Of Elements And The Dwellers Of Forests

Surprisingly, the courageous and boisterous troldhrym show strange caution when encountering therigens. There is a bit of superstitious wariness of fey entities mixed with lack of conviction that therigens are actual sapient beings and not only speaking animals. A few troldhrym point out to some old legends suggesting that therigens might be a creation of old troll witches to play tricks on the giantkin, other suggest that they are descendants of tricksters that instigated the quarrel that made their ancestors thralls to the troll-wife. This makes the majority of troldhrym to treat therigens with respect and distrust, with a very small minority taking time to stalk and even hunt therigens.

On their side, some therigens seems to enjoy the feeling their kin inspires in troldhrym, playing tricks and practical jokes on the giantkin. A few industrious theirgens even went so far that they played animistic totems for isolated groups of troldhrym. The rest takes the advantage of the troldhrym caution to keep them at distance, away from the manors and courts of the therigens.

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