A City State in the Realm of the Border Princes

Barrow is the easternmost southern city located within the area of land known as the Border Princes. The first human settlers of this region were the invaders from Araby, who were at that time, bent upon religious crusade. Their first permenent settlement on the plot of ground which is now Barrow, was a small farming town called Nekhibet. This town stayed much the same as when it was first settled until some 700 years ago when the town was almost destroyed during an incursion of chaos from the southeast, across the Worlds Edge Mountians. The hard living farmers of the region managed to hold out against the cruel monsters until they rallied under the leadership of a Trollslayer from the near dwarven kingdom of Caraz-A-Carak. The town rebuilt itself from its own ashes and its legecy of finding strength from within in its own darkest nerve was born. The town renamed itself Barrow in honor of the dwarven hero, Thingrim Barrow.

In the time just before the first fall of what is now Barrow, then Nekhibet, light skinned men from the northen parts of the loose confederacy of Princedoms known as the Border Princes had made their first attempst at settlement of the southern wild lands of the region. Barrow had began its first cycle of growth. The northern men had came with items of splendor and wonder unseen in the little out of the way farming town. The natives of the town, who were by this point only tied to their Arabian brothers in memory alone, welcomed the strangers into their town. It was after the first fall, that the Nekhibetians decided to seek closer ties with the northerners and allowed them to set up observation posts within their land.

Much time passed and Barrow became more and more diverse. As people seeking a new life for whatever reason ventured into the Border Princes, some of them found their way to the small town of Barrow. The town was now at full potential growth cycle, and the city flourished. The diversity of the town made for an interesting visit. Many gods who are now long forgotten gained followers from every walk of life. The town grew and became a city of tolerance and culture. All races were represented here, granted these representitives could not scrounge a chamberpot to piss in in their home lands, but none the less, they were here in the now, and only a bright horizion was ahead for the small town.

It was sometime during the peak of Barrow culture that the second coming of the hoards of chaos came. The town was nearly destroyed and only the tenacity of the Barrowmans spirit saved the city. The city was heavily damaged and the rebuilding of the town was delayed due to a particularly harsh winter. Many Barrowmen died and desiese was rampant throughout the shanty town refugee camps that was their safty. Once spring came and kissed the land with its redeeming lips, the town started to regroup. This particular spring was extra special in the whole of things, as it marked the arrival of the Tellirani, a group of nomadic gypsie type fortune tellers and seers who decided to put down roots in the struggling communiy.

Barrow never fully recovered from this devistation, and the city has bounced around under control of many different Princdoms. They conqure and they fall, but the constant of Barrow remains. In recent years Barrow has taken on the reputation of being a city of thieves. The agriculturial resources have almost been spent now, and the city releys on the current governing body, the Ichan Empire for substance. The population has declined to a shadow of its former self and much of the city is abandoned ruines from the second fall. The city rebuilt upon itself, so there are many winding and twisting streets, forming literal mazes. Many of the old gods are still worshiped and the city tolerates most behaviours that would constitute punishable death sentences. Necromancy and Demenology are practices not smiled upon but are ignored by the cities officials. There has been a jump in the number of mages within the city in recent years, and this is a direct reflection of Barrows lack of regard for morality.

The Wat River runs through the center of town and provides perfect access to the Black Gulf. This commodity is one of the Ichan Empires few worthwhile claims. The current govenour of Barrow, Prince Katiticus, nicknamed Prince Kitty Kat, is a newly arrived resident of the city. He has been sent here by his father to get him out of the way, and the young noble is very eager and ambitious. He has declared a whole slew of new laws that has Barrow reeling in disbelief. He has vowed to clean up the area known as the Maze from crime, and to stop the flow of illegal drugs from the Swamps of Sorrow. He has enforced his policies with the help of his highly visable contingent of personal guards known affectionatly to all within the city as the Hellhounds. Bets are being placed in every reputible tavern as to how long till the Kat gets "displaced".

The sights and sounds of Barrow are quite awlsome. The wagons of the Tellirani and their mysterious promise of arcane knowldege to all, the packs of wild street urchins ready to steal from any one feeble enough to be taken down, the drunks and vegrants on every street and of course the Maze are all within the section of town north of the Wat River known as Upcruster town. Below the river is the smaller area of town where the wealthy and the powerful reside. The cities section devoted to the numerous gods of the people is also located here and is filled with many magnificant temples, many of which one would likely find the likes of in a large city within the Empire. Two stonework bridges span the river, the east and west bridges respectivly.

Within the city walls of Barrow there lives the greatest men on the earth. Or so at least the Barrowmen think. This group of men and women are the living representation of grit and perserverence. The life of a Barrowman is not an easy thing. Crime and Murder are more prevelent here per capita than in any other city in the whole of the world. It seems that as soon as a person is born unto Barrow, life starts its neverending job of working against you. There is never a break and nothing is easy. There is something unique and almost supernatural though within this city. The will of never giving up. Whenever things look its darkest, thats when a Barrowman is at his or her best.

When it comes to dealing, a Barrowman can't be beat. It is said that a Barrowman could sell fire to a troll, and the troll would be sure and tell all of his friends. Of course with a Barrowmans luck, what is told is usually quite bad for the Barrowman.

Weather you grew up in Upcruster town or across the river, all Barrowmen are very streetwise and urban in their tastes. No matter how much a Barroman may despise his lot in life, their is a strong sense of community amoungst the Barrowmen. All the various people of Barrow take great pride in this and tis often said that the city and fellow Barrowmen are the only thing a Barrowman truely gives his love or loyality too.

The Peoples of Barrow

While the Barrowmen are racially well mixed, a majority of the humans retain their cultural identity and many of their native customs, the vast majority are proud and loyal Barrowmen who may good naturerly tease one another about their cutural dress or "foreign" customs, will quickly come to the aid of a fellow Barrowman even if that means fighting their own cultural "kinsmen."

In addition to the humans, there are large numbers of dwarves, halflings, and even a few elves and half-elf Barrowmen. A few orcs, ogres, trolls and natives from any number of foreign places may be found, especially near the docks. The Barrowmen are more tolerant than most and as long as a person obays the laws and customs of Barrow they are tolerated and free to conduct whatever peaceful persuits they may wish.

The Nekhibetians

The Nekhibetians have been in the Barrow area the longest, and many retain their old culture and traditions (or at least what has been passed down and they believe to have been Arabian customs and traditions...). Racially, most have mixed with Tellirani and northern bloodlines to the point that many would not be considered as typical Arabians. Many Nekhibetians are trying to get in touch with their Arabian roots, but generally feel no personal loyality to Araby. The vest majority were, are and will remain loyal Barrowmen. It has become the custom for the the Nekhibetians to dress, attempt to act like and use the weapons of Araby. Some Nekhibetians pose as Arabian merchants or even as envoys to spy both in Araby itself and in neboring realms, including the other Border Princes, Bretonia, The Empire, Kislev, etc.

The Northmen

A large number of Barrowmen have Adarian, Bretonian or even Norse blood. Most are loyal Barrowmen with the usual Barrowmen outlook. Tough, streetwise, always soldiering on grimly.

The Tellirani The Tellirani were a typicial tribe of nomadic gypsies who did what is considered a very unusal thing for gypies. At Barrow weakest, with the Chaos Hordes landing and with the chance to abandon Barrow and its people to the tender mercies of chaos, the Tellirani joined in the defence of the city, fighting on grimly, their women using their magic.

It was a very near thing, but Barrow survived, in large part due to the heroics of the Tellirani. The city elders offered the Tellirani citenship and allowed them to claim the abandoned land of the slain if they would homestead it. Some objected to allowing the Tellirani to stay, afraid of the taint of having Tellirani blood in Barrow (many disliked the gypy race, believing them inferior), the enlightened city elders proclaimed that Barrow and Tellirani blood had been shed and had mixed on the ramparts and on the battlefields in honorable combat in defence of Barrow and that it would be an honor to have the Tellirani as fellow Barrowmen. Any who disapproved were free to leave. While many at the time grumbled, mainly because they wanted the land the Tellirani claimed, there was more than enough abandoned land to go around, as both the Barrowmen and the Tellirani had lost huge numbers of their adults.

So the Tellirani settled long ago in the town of Barrow and while they adapted themselves and in time have been accepted into Barrow society. They have retained their culture, their colorful and distinctive gypsy dress and their traditions. They also retain their gypsy restlessness. Many Tellirani youth develop wanderlust and leave Barrow to seek adventure. Other Tellirani become long distance merchants, travelling widely. Others server as messangers or envoys for the prince of Barrow. Some Tellirani travel in gyspy caravans and only return to winter in Barrow.

As with most gyspt tribes, Folk Magic is very common, and the Tellirani wise woman are important figures within Tellirani society as they are the gender which possess the "gift" most strongly. Their abilities to read palms and/or a Terot deck and many see the future with remarkable accuracy.

As in most gyspy tribes, the majority of Tellirani woman has some form of the gift, a few of which have great magicial skill. However, a large minority of Tellirani woman are quite simply con artists. All Tellirani of both sexes are taught thief skills. Their code of honor is to not lie or cheat fellow gyspies (and while not all, but most Tellirani consider their fellow Barrowmen as fellow "gypies." and will not practice their con and thief skills on them).

The minority of Tellirani women who do possess the "True Gift" of foretelling, are highly respected within Barrow and thier reputation of being honest seers has spread far and wide. All Tellirani characters are considered to be from Barrow and if one is encountered outside of Barrow.

Tellirani woman perfer simple tunics, often white or a solid color, brightly colored head scarves, headbands, long skirts. Gold jewelry of many sorts. Tellirani men often wear vests. Tellirani generally favor light weapons which they prefer to keep hidden but within easy reach. Most men will learn knife, throwing knife and or crossbow skill.

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