Hillfolk - Briarwoods

Discussion of the cultural side of Arad.
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Hillfolk - Briarwoods

Postby sona » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:07 am

Noticed mention about the Briarwoods rearing exceptional horses amongst the Hillfolk, what sort of horses would we equate these to today? Is there an equivalent? I thought it'd be neat to have a horse that came from the culture, no mechanical bonuses, of course, but since you can't start with a horse, might it be possible to buy one somewhat soon after starting? And if not, I'm curious to hear what the horses are like anyways.

Unrelated to horses, I'm also curious of the sorts of stuff they'd do as a group in the Fey Forest.

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Re: Hillfolk - Briarwoods

Postby Rias » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:30 am

They're horses unique to CLOK, so they don't necessarily have a real-world equivalent. As to their physical description or a particular name for this breed of horse, I haven't gotten around to coming up with those details.

Unfortunately, as the article states:
The Briarwoods don't often sell their horses

So they're not likely to be obtainable by any common or easy means. They're also probably all down in Karnath, not in the Lost Lands. I've considered having a shady merchant come by to sell a horse that he claims to be Briarwood stock, but it'd be massively expensive and one of a kind (or maybe he'd sell a few of them), and they'd likely have some minor mechanical advantages over common horses.

What do those Briarwoods get up to in the Fey Forest? Again quoting the article:
[Briarwoods are] rumored to occasionally travel into the forest itself for reasons others can only guess at.

So, whatever they're doing in there, there's no common consensus. Some may go in to look for unique plants or animals, others to try and commune with the fey spirits, others to hunt or forage, others to just enjoy the atmosphere, others to fish in the reputedly enchanted streams and lakes ... who knows? Individuals differ, and nothing says they all go in as one big group for specific large-scale activities or rituals or anything. It's just a notable thing because the Fey Forest is famous for being incredibly dangerous, and people who go in tend to never come back out. According to rumor, the Briarwoods, who live along the edges of the forest, are either brave or somehow privileged in that they're willing to go in, and apparently able to get back out alive. It's a safe bet to say that this is at least somewhat attributed to their admittedly not going very far into the forest.
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Re: Hillfolk - Briarwoods

Postby sona » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:39 am

Yeah, not sure if it's common for even Briarwoods to have such a horse, I was just wondering if a Briarwood came to the Lost Lands, would they be likely to take the horse with them? This sounds awesome, just trying to get some ideas as I may be taking a bit of a break from Sona to engage in some different stuff, perhaps even as a Briarwood.

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Re: Hillfolk - Briarwoods

Postby Rias » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:45 am

Considering how special the horses are supposed to be (both roleplay-wise and "mechanics"-wise), I'm not sure that'd be a realistic expectation. It'd be kind of like making a Viali character and asking for them to be able to start out with their family's ancestral celestium sword, or something.
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Re: Hillfolk - Briarwoods

Postby sona » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:47 am

That's cool, I can understand that. It puts into perspective, maybe these family units maybe only had 1 horse between them, Maybe not all briarwoods had special horses they were super proud of. So they're not just being possessive (understandable), they're still pretty uncommon even amongst Briarwoods?

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Re: Hillfolk - Briarwoods

Postby Rias » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:57 am

Yeah, it's not like every Briarwood owns a special horse. They just have some horse breeders among them that have bred this extraordinary type of horse. They're very protective of them and those horses are probably only allowed to the very wealthy or otherwise very prestigious of Briarwood family members, or, rarely, other Hillfolk. I imagine they'd do their best to keep the horses exclusively inside the extended Hillfolk family, so to speak. It's a pretty big matter of pride for them as a people. Kind of like the Viali metalsmiths not being keen on sharing the process of making the sunsteel alloy (or the metal itself), Giganti Runskjaere not sharing the secrets of crafting their special runes or artifacts inscribed with such, Nuum not sharing their specialized magical expertise, Huec not sharing their most powerful and potent alchemical mixtures, and so on.
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Re: Hillfolk - Briarwoods

Postby sona » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:07 am

thanks for the explanation, it's helped give me a better perspective of this group of hillfolk. At first I thought almost every member of the group would be likely to have their own horse, for bonding, travel, farm work, hauling lumber, and just another anything else that a Briarwood would need a horse for, with a bond similar to that of a family well known for breeding prized working dogs with pure lineages and exceptional characteristics.

The Fey Woods thing sounds more like a "we do it because we can/are blessed by the woods/for hillfolk cred/etc" which is cool. I was wondering what insider knowledge they might have, if it was organized family stuff, similar to druid rites, prayers to certain immortals, etc.

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Re: Hillfolk - Briarwoods

Postby Sneaky » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:12 am

It's a unicorn!
[FROM Liani (OOC)]: It's an ice cream conehead
You also notice a bronze crossbow bolt (x8) and the corpse of a slender pale white cave drakolin.

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Re: Hillfolk - Briarwoods

Postby sona » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:13 am

Sneaky wrote:It's a unicorn!


We got unicorns!? The horn does lance damage during a charge, right?

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Re: Hillfolk - Briarwoods

Postby Rias » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:21 am

Most of them (Hillfolk in general, not just the Briarwoods) give recognition and respect to a sort of vague entity that dwells in or has influence over the Fey Forest, as it's a big part of their cultural history (specifically the miraculous safe exodus through the entirety of the forest when fleeing the murderous tyranny of Gudleifr in Aetgard, while Gudleifr's pursuing army was never heard from again). Most are probably content to leave it vague as the Hillfolk aren't particularly religious, or at least are not overly concerned with the fiddly details like which name should be used for this or that Immortal. Some may attribute it specifically to widely-acknowledged Immortals like the Gaea, Atros, Naia, the Animal Spirits, and/or maybe even Bogvaskr. Others may consider it a separate entity, but yeah, most of them likely don't think it's worth arguing to give it an accurate, specific, universally-accepted name or identity. Those who think it's Naia and those who think it's the Gaea (for example) can get along just fine, knowing they're both talking about the same thing, even if using a different name/attribution.

I think most probably just call it "the Fey" to keep things simple, and treat it with both respect and fear. Yes, the Fey allowed their ancestors through the forest, but it's still a wild, feral, unpredictable thing (or things). Hillfolk - even Briarwoods - who venture significantly into the forest are never heard from again these days, just like anyone else. It was just that one specific moment (the exodus from Aetgard) where they were able to travel through safely.

Hillfolk as a people in general are very fond of horses. They love them. They love riding them, they love working with them, they love taking care of them and grooming them and breeding them and everything about them. It's very much a cultural thing, and I imagine it's the odd family that doesn't have at least one horse. It's just the Briarwood special breed that's rare.
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