The Wöden, descendants of the minority human tribes that existed originally on the continent of Tekralh alongside the orcs and goblins, are now a transient people, found in small communities and brightly-coloured caravans, across Tekralh and other neighbouring continents (such as Sevled).
They are masters of the horse and caravan. Hardened survivors, they relish life and are renowned for their wild dancing and drinking as their martial cunning and sly wits.
It is not unknown for Wöden caravans to be welcomed into isolated, cold, southern towns in exchange for displays of salacious dancing and magic tricks.
However, their exotic nature also makes them prey for unscrupulous slavers and so the Wöden are often as suspicious of civilized folks as they are of the Wöden.
In more romantic cultures they are called: “The People of The Wheel”, because they are always on the move and have no permanent homes – except their caravans – or cities.
However, according to Elyntian lore the Wöden refused to convert to the Mnoren faith when the invaders from Sevled conquered their lands, instead opting to celebrate the carnal ways of The Great God T'Ao. For this Jen Mnoren and Mother Issus cursed them never to have a homeland again and so they began their long journey to redemption.
More level-headed scholars suspect that this legend was created to demonise The Wöden, who are known to worship strange gods - unfamiliar to the Mnoren Pantheon - and practice fortune telling and prophesy outside of the confines of "normal" religion.
Because they are always on the move, the Wöden are also a good source of news, folklore and stories from across the enormous region they traverse (whether this is reliable or not is another matter and probably depends on how much you paid for the information).
Some Wöden have even banded together and purchased small, hardy ships. With a crew consisting almost entirely of a single tribe, these vessels then become either merchant ships or pirate ships - the Wöden excel in both nautical fields!
While most Wöden Clans act quite independently of the whole, they all tend to gather every three or four years for a large festival (often in the small, mountainous region known as Wöda, in north-eastern Elyntia), where the Ducja ('Leader of All Clans') sits in judgement over any disputes. The current Ducja is called Alba, and he has held that title for 12 years.
"Always watch your purse when trading with a Wöden"
– old Elyntian proverb.
WöDEN AS PLAYER-CHARACTERS
At creation, Wöden characters gain +1 DX, -1ST but are otherwise created like any other human characters.
Other nationalities instinctively don't trust them - no non-Wöden will take orders from a Wöden.
Their hair colour is predominantly black.
Most Wöden have, at least, a basic understanding of animal husbandry, horse-riding and cold weather survival. Many are also proficient in matters of business (e.g. haggling, accounting etc) or entertainment (playing musical instruments, storytelling, singing and/or dancing).