Khalkha
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Taking up most of the Eastern Steppes, Khalkha is a large, flat, cold, and dry place. While not nearly as unforgiving as its neighbor to the west (the Frozen Wastes), survival isn't a guarantee either. The eye can see for miles across the land, and dust clouds are sent up for all to see when groups travel, meaning that hiding one's presence while travelling through the region is extremely difficult. The cold weather and general lack of water currently make the land of Khalkha inhospitable for any sort of city or permanent settlement, but the land is ideal for a group of nomadic people. The Magog tribes are these people, a people skilled in riding and hunting across the plains, following the large herds of bouffalant that serve as one of their main food sources. The Magog people are also rather infamous for invading their neighbors, and a tribe will have no qualms about invading other ethnic group's land if there is something in the settlement that they need or want. Generally, Khalkha isn't visited by outsiders often unless its to send a contingent of troops, which has left the region to the competent hands of the tribes.

Regional History:
Khalkha has an interesting history. The nomadic people of the steppes, the Magog tribes, have been roaming the lands of Khalkha for as long as anybody can remember, and its unclear how long ago the people was formed. It is clear that they are not part of the indigenous people of Carthak, Silvastre, or Reilia, all of whom share common ancestors. It is even unclear whether they were a nomadic tribe when the Vardamir Empire conquered the continent, for they did rule this area of land. Despite their disputed origins, the Khalkhan people have only truly had impact on a world scale once: in the year 116 when a man called Ghendi became a Messiah of the god Zekrom. Ghendi lead the Magog tribes in a military expedition that led to the rule of the Magog over 2/3 of Iussus, although this nation dissolved only 12 years later when the Magog were defeated. While the Magog tribes commonly send skirmishing parties across borders, they have never again attempted a war on that scale. When faced with an army sent in retaliation, the Magog instead choose to melt into the landscape riding zebstrika like only they can. They can travel far more quickly than the larger and bulkier forces sent to capture them.

Culture:
Khalkhan culture is viewed as rough or crude by many parts of the world, but many who claim so have never lived among one of the tribes. The tribes, each about 250 people large, travel in portable cities with leather hide tents that they can collapse on a moments notice. They usually follow the herds of Khalkha on an annual circuit of the plains, but they know the land well enough to find sustenance if they lose the herds. All men and women are expected to be able to cook and to fight, and those who are unable to contribute end up dying on the plains from dehydration or predators. However, many who live into old age become valued spiritual mediums for their people. Additionally, hospitality is of vital importance to the Magog people. A guest is never turned away, and is always welcome to stay the night. Those who turn away strangers are ostracized. Seek too much from others however, and it is seen as a sign of weakness. The Magog quickly master the social skill of knowing exactly how much to visit on others, a process which is often confounding to those who do visit the tribes.

The people of the Magog tribes value strength and cunning in their individual members. The men and women who earn the largest kills in hunts are quick to find spouses from other tribes, but those who fail to prove themselves are only sought after by the homeliest individuals. Often, a young warrior in search of a life partner will venture off on their own to take out a particularly dangerous pokemon in order to prove their worth to a potential husband or wife.

Geography:
The geography of Khalkha is for the most part uniform. The steppes dominate almost all portions of Khalkha, and the flat plains lack almost any rivers. The grass is either extremely stubby or quite tall (almost 5 feet in some areas) with little in between the two extremes. Trees are rare here, and most large vegetation comes in the form of small shrubs. This landscape has lead to the Magog's nomadic way of life, as forming a city without rivers or potential farmland would be a death sentence. This sparse environment is characterized by mild summers and frigid winters, making warm clothing a necessity for any seeking to live here. Only the strong survive the plains, which demands a life of constant travel with few breaks in the rigorous routines of daily life.

The only real anomaly of this landscape is the Doima river. This large river bisects the area that is traditionally associated Khalkhan lands, and is home to a much more fertile river valley, although still not enough to support a city. The largest Magog clan - the Doimar - survives off the Doima river. They travel up and down it in rafts, fishing and gathering for a living instead of following the herds. Generally a neutral party that doesn't engage in raids against neighboring countries, the Magog are a bit more subdued than their brethren. They will carry the other tribes across the river when requested … for a price.

Demographics
The Magog tribes are all one people, and are recognized as such. However, individual clans have their own herds that they track, and infringement upon these herds almost always means war between the two tribes involved. Otherwise the tribes refuse to fight against each other. Oftentimes two tribes will meet at arranged times throughout the year, having a 2-3 day festival of hunting and contests of strength, allowing individuals to woo those in other tribes - which prevents the Magog from inbreeding. While each tribe has its own identity, there is still much that is shared between them. When faced against a common danger, the tribes will unite in a war effort. Otherwise however, the tribes remain solitary for most of the year.

Economy: Khalkha does not have an economy in the traditional sense. There is no currency, and the bartering system really only exists for the Doimar tribe to trade with other tribes, as they need leather goods and will often serve as an intermediary between the goods of different tribes. In a tribe, each tribe member is expected to contribute whatever they can to the good of the tribe. For many this is hunting, for others it is leatherworking, clothesmaking, cooking, pokemon dismemberment, tent creation, and a host of other tasks that need to be done. So long as a clan member is contributing to the good of the clan, they may partake in the goods of the tribe. This communal nature is one large reason why individual talent in battle is so highly regarded. A skilled huntsman can provide not only for themself and their family, but also for the entire tribe.

Politics and Government: The Magog tribes have a clan style government. Each clan, or tribe, is led by a Khan. The Khan title is usually earned when a man challenges the current Khan to single combat, or to a great hunt. If a Khan dies in battle, or from natural causes, he is replaced by the decree of the tribe's chief shaman, though this rarely happens. In the rare occurrence that multiple tribes unite for some reason, the Khans elect a Khanna - or Great Khan - to lead the alliance. The tribe shaman is the second in command. While shaman is a term that can refer to any magician, it is more specifically used in reference to those with the ability to communicate and bond with pokemon using Seele magic. A tribe's chief shaman is responsible for the spiritual guidance of the entire tribe, and is said to be able to influence the migrations of the herds, thus providing food for the clan. The title of chief shaman goes to the oldest Seele magic practitioner in the tribe.

About once every ten years, a Khan will call together the Bandar. The Bandar is a meeting of all the clans at the mystical site known as the BanKa'ar. Here, all the Khans meet to discuss issues, reallocate hunting grounds, and praise any particularly noble and deserving warriors of the clan in war games. However, the most important part of the Bandar is the Trial of the Prophet, in which one shaman summons the spirit of a legendary pokemon to possess him. If he survives the process, he becomes an instrument of divine power, the prophetic leader of his people. This has only ever occurred once in the past, and that prophet led the Khalkhan empire to cover more than half of Aatos.

Pokemon: Pokemon are fairly common throughout the steppes, as they are generally better adapted to surviving in harsh environments than most humans. Bouffalant roam the steppes in vast herds that the Magog people track. Spearow and fearow haunt the sky, and the Magog particularly admire those who tame and ride these avian birds. The shinx and patrat lines are also quite common, as are herds of zebrastrike, which serve as the Magog's main mounts. When hunting, the Magog clans use all parts of the animal: bone, meat, sinew, gut, even the tongue. Each part of the body has a use, and everything is used and reused as much as possible to make life on the plains as easy as possible.

Recently, the northernmost portions of Iussus have seen an unusually large number of bug pokemon roaming the steppes, and the sun hasn't shone past the clouds for over a year. Nobody is sure what the problem is, but many are considering calling a Bandar in an attempt to solve the problem, as the insects have been killing off the buoffalant population. Several tribes have been affected and, if the insects begin to move south, it could spell disaster for the carefully kept balance that the Magog tribes have worked so hard to create in order to survive on the steppes.

Important People:
Telelame Khan: The Khan of the Svellan Clan, Telelame has ambitions. He has launched several successful raids into Gavent, and has gained a reputation for being ruthless, cunning, and an expert in battle tactics and psychological warfare. He also seems to have developed a gift for connecting with pokemon in a similar manner to the shamans. In fact, some say that he has the potential to become the next divine instrument, and a prophet who is also a Khan would be a very powerful opponent. He has been fostering these rumors, and it seems as though his intention is to try and channel the power of Reshiram, the balancing force of Zekrom which the last prophet channeled.

Important Areas:
BanKa'ar: The BanKa'ar looks far from natural. Comprised of many giant stones (some weighing over 50 tons) arranged roughly in three concentric circles, this monument was erected long, long ago. This is a holy location to the Magog tribes, a place where their gods reside. Hunting is not allowed within a mile of this location, and it is considered a neutral ground for all tribes. This is also the location where the Bandar is held, and a place where all the Magog can gather. The stone table at the center of the circle of stone archways is where the Trial of the Prophet takes place, and it is touched only by those who are participating in the trial.

Khalkha in Your Campaign:
Khalkha can serve a variety of roles in your campaign. It is best served in one of two roles. Either the games players are part of the tribes (with all of its tribulations, internal politics, hunting, and other jobs necessary to eek out a living), or the Magog tribes represent an opposing force that the players are battling against. The latter is most likely an issue in Gavent, where the Magog clans strike most often. However, it is also possible that Telelame Kahn succeeds in channeling Reshiram and that they launch a campaign against all of Iussus, once again threatening to rule the continent. This time however, they'll have the nations of the Achaemian Empire and Elba in their way, and Elba has a score to settle from the last time the Magog came so far west.

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