“Did you know the Mystmountains never eat meat? Their whole diet consists of horsemilk cheese and coarse bread. Figure they leave the meat for Vejovis."
IntroductionThe Mystmountain Raiders are a group of clans that are most concentrated in northern mountains of The Kingdom of Ravenstern, although they can be found throughout that kingdom.
Of all the minor factions, the Mystmountain Raiders are probably the least dangerous, although they are still a cut above mere bandits. As their homeland cannot support powerful horses and have few mines, their armor and horses are piecemeal at best. Their foot unit, aptly named the Mystmountain Raider, is poorly equipped but often numerous. Mystmountain Warriors and Mystmountain Shamans are more dangerous, being mounted, but still have poor equipment and can easily be defeated by an equal force. All of these units can be recruited.
Bearclaw Berserkers are their toughest unit, fighting on foot with decent armor and strong two-handed axes. They can wallop you if you let them, but their lack of shields means they can be taken down rather easily by projectiles.
Their faction color is Light Orange.
|1st||Mystmountain Raider||Mystmountain Shaman |
Both common troops and Shamans can be captured and recruited from prisoner stacks. Bearclay Berserkers can be obtained through the Red Brotherhood Agents (5% chance, 660 denars each, they always will sell you either 3 or 4). Adonja also recruits some if she is made vassal, to see numbers go to her page.
Note: Since 3.9, Bearclaw Berserkers (as well as Mystmountain Shamans and Warriors) can be obtained through Adonja, both when sending her for Right to rule and when asking her to recruit troops, as well as other Mystmountain troops (check her page to see).
They are a faction heavily influenced on melee combat, with some of them using very weak bows (Hunting and Short bows) and their armor being mostly made of furs (to help them against the freezing cold they suffer in the northern mountains). The shaman is different from them, they do have thrown axes and their only close combat weapon is a mace, and they do always ride horses.
The mystmountain raiders initially belonged to the Outlaws, as they lacked any good leader and they had to pillage and kill in order to survive, so they grouped in small parties to do these.
However, with the arrival of Wolfbode the Slayer, tribes started uniting and forming bigger parties, even armies, all under the rule of Wolfbode. However, there are often disputes for targets (villages & caravans mainly) between the ones that joined Wolfbode and the ones that kept on raiding on their own, so its not strange to see the outlaw mystmountains fighting the ones that united under Wolfbode's command.
Here will only be listed the ones belonging to Wolfbode's (the other can be seen on Outlaws page), this faction is named "Mystmountain Tribes" (orange-ish color), and they have 3 type of spawns. The most common is the patrol, that can almost be considered a warband as the game progresses:
- 0-3 Bearclaw Berserker
- 1-4 Mystmountain Shaman
- 4-21 Mystmountain Warrior
- 4-32 Mystmountain Raider
- 0-3 Refugee
Sometimes they will have one Ravenstern Lady in waiting as prisoner instead.
Then there is the army, that is quite numerous, however, once the player gets through the first wave of elite troops, the remainder is much easier to deal with:
- 10-15 Hero Adventurer
- 20-50 Bearclaw Berserker
- 4-20 Mystmountain Shaman
- 200-600 Mystmountain Warrior
- 200-300 Mystmountain Raider
- 60-200 Bandit
And finally, there's Wolfbode's army, which holds a decent number (60-100) of his unique Wolfbode Honor Guard with other mystmountain troops. He does spawn small patrols nearby patrols leaded by some of his Honor Guards. He is considered a Unique Spawn and can be captured. To see his numbers and more info about him, go to his page.
They start with -20 relations with the player. The player can't make them be at more than 10 positive relation with him/her.
Adonja belonged to the Catsclaw clan, one of the many clans that composed the Mystmountains Tribes. This relation with them still allows her to keep contact with the tribes.
Upon sending her to gather Right to rule, she will bring Mystmountain troops. Also, when the player asks her for troops (player can ask once a week to a companion), she will bring in Mystmountain troops. To know more about this, check here. Adonja has the same troops for both features, these being Bearclaw Berserkers, Mystmountain Shamans, and Mystmountain Warriors.
The term Mystmountain as a description of the ethnic group of northern raiders is a misnomer given to them by the Pendorian settlers of Ravenstern, who perceived them to have lived within the Cloudmist mountains. In fact, the cloudmist mountains are as strange to the Mystmountains as they are to the Pendorians. The lands north of the Cloudmist mountains are inhospitable and empty, unfit for raising crops and far too barren for even large scale pastoralism as was possible for the D'Shar. As such, the cultural development of the ethnic group referred to in Pendor as the Mystmountains was heavily stunted by environmental factors. Prior to the travels of Stagfoot the Pathfinder, Mystmountain society was defined by the 64-year Mooncycle, a term used by Mystmountain Shamans to term the ebb and flow of the Mystmountain population. Overpopulation during the Full Moon would lead to the inability of what little arable land and herds that remained to sustain the mystmountain population, leading to famine and wars that would dramatically reduce the population until the horse and elk herds had replenished and returned to its pre-overpopulated state, at which the population would rise again and the cycle would repeat--as it had for countless centuries, more than most shaman would care to count.
For Mooncycle after Mooncycle, the Mystmountains had seen the cloudmist mountains as an impenetrable barrier. Stagfoot the Pathfinder was the first to change that. According to mystmountain legend, Stagfoot the Pathfinder, a mere hunter, was hunting at the base of the cloudmist mountains when he caught sight of a mountain cat that led him south over the mountains. While many a shaman would argue that Stagfoot, as a non-shaman, could not see Vejovis, none could argue with the trail he had found over the mountains. The news of new, arable lands in the south coincided with the waxing of the Mooncycle, and many mystmountains fled potential war over the mountains, where their entrance coincided with the settling of Ravenstern by early Pendorians. Having hailed from warmer, more fertile climates, the cold lands of Ravenstern seemed like hell to the Pendorians, and early Ravenstern suffered from terrible famines. The Mystmountains, who had walked through hell to get to Ravenstern and knew how to extract the maximum crop yield from what they saw as Ravenstern's blessed soil, helped transmit what they knew of agriculture of the Pendorians, and the two ethnic groups coexisted in intermingled, with most Mystmountains primarily inhabiting Senderfall and most Pendorians living in Ravenstern, with a large overlapping population in Rane.
The abrupt disintegration of the Pendorian Empire could be argued to have started in part in the far north. Several years of grand harvests had steadily increased the population of both Ravenstern and north of the Cloudmyst mountains in a period the Shamans optimistically referred to as the Eternal Full Moon. Several poor harvests in the past had been ameriolated by the import of grain from the Mystmountain-Pendorian settlements in Ravenstern, and the onset of famine in the North in the year 198 (by the Pendorian reckoning) was not initially met with much alarm. However, the Red Plague which had ravaged Pendor proper had also creeped into Ravenstern the past spring, and with many fields left only to the dead, the men of Ravenstern had little to spare. For the first time in three mooncycles (180 years), the full moon had began to wane once more, and the lands north of the Cloudmyst were consumed in war. The mystmountains of the south, who had by then considered Ravenstern their home, were in no mood to jump back into the savage land they had departed. It was not long before, surrounded by bloodshed, the Mystmountains to the north of the Cloudmyst mountains looked to the lands of the south as part of the Mooncycle. Lured by rumors of hoarded grain and fertile lands in the south, the Mystmountains descended south in 199. Paralyzed by famine and disease and unrest in Pendor proper, the Knight orders of Pendor were understrength and incapable of responding. With no help incoming from the south, Earl Gregory of Rane raised his own army of Pendorian bannermen from Ravenstern and, with the help of the Mystmountain Highlanders of Senderfall and the hero Cliff McManus, routed the Mystmountains of the north, driving them back across the mountain.
Today, the term Mystmountain is no longer truly applied to the ethnic group, as the original race of men from the the Cloudmyst mountains have long since divided. In the south, the mystmountains of Senderfall have long since interbred with the Pendorians of Ravenstern, forming one nation under one king, Gregory IV. Senderfall, in particular, maintains a large mystmountain population, and the Ravenstern highlanders under Duke Alaric (of some mystmountain blood himself) and the Bearclaw Berserkers they fight were once of the same blood. Mystmountain in modern terms pertains only to those of the North, who continue to descend and raid the Southlands of Ravenstern.
Organization and Culture
Unlike the largely desperate invaders that were cast down at Rane a century past, the Mystmountain raiders of today are largely a product of careful deliberation in the Northlands. The North has changed little since the fall of Pendor, and its population is still severely limited by its limited agricultural capacity. In order to preserve peace within the Northland, the larger clans of the North systematically send the young men of smaller clans to raid the more fertile lands of the south. Second and third children of small clans are encouraged to organize raiding bands organized by a common familial bond and cross over the mountains, with those returning with great spoils often rewarded through marriage into the larger, more prosperous clans.
The average Mystmountain Raiding Clan is led by a War Chief, generally a son or daughter of the clan leader, but sometimes simply a great warrior in the clan (provisions exist where a War Chief deemed as ineffectual can be replaced by the raiding clan through a trial of arms). The War Chief is considered responsible for the lives of all the members of the clan, and is expected to pay a prohibitively large blood indemnity to their families on return following their deaths. As the Mystmountains are nowhere as well-armed as their Ravenstern enemies, these blood indemnities often accumulates into massive debts that are increasingly impossible for a War Chief with a reduced band to reasonably obtain. Because of this, many mystmountain war chiefs either eventually settle within Ravenstern for lack of a choice or turn renegade, devolving into mere bandits who live from day to day. Scattered bands of these isolated pariahs can be found in Ravenstern, largely ignored out of pity by other War Chiefs and left to terrorize the average village band or caravan.
By sending most of the manpower of the smaller (but far more numerous) clans, the larger Mystmountain bands clans down two birds with one stone, simultaneously ensuring a constant stream of spoils from the South and neutralizing the smaller clans by depriving them of most of their manpower. Because of the Blood Indemnity and the great disparity in weapons quality and organization between even a wealthy Mystmountain Warband and a Ravenstern ranger company, very few War Chiefs return to the Northland, and even fewer return with anything more than a modest profit after they have paid their blood indemnities. Through these warbands, the Mystmountain clans have kept peace within the Northland for over two Mooncycles. However, cold winds of change blow on the horizon - with the arrival of new Raiding Clans from the North comes news that the chief of one of the largest clans, Wolfbode, has slain the chiefs of all the other large clans and has now united the clans of the Northland under his banner and is now riding south, with dreams of succeeding where his ancestors had failed and establishing a new Mystmountain homeland in Ravenstern. For the men of Ravenstern, Wolfbode is a barbarian king come to devastate their (not-so) tranquil lands, but for the mystmountain, Wolfbode is a savior. For the renegade mystmountain bands, Wolfbode promises a chance at salvation, a chance to regain the honor they had once lost by taking part in the cleansing of their promised land; for the Raiding Clans, Wolfbode is their chance to take more than they had ever dreamed of taking; for the women and children who wait for their sons and fathers to return, Wolfbode is the man fighting so that they will never go hungry again; and for the Shamans, Wolfbode is the chosen warrior destined to bring the mystmountains the lands under the sun, free of the mooncycle, where clan will never have to fight clan again. Nobody is quite sure what it is to Wolfbode--but then again, nobody has really dared to ask.