The Sayune (say-YOO-nee) are a nomadic folk who wander the civilized lands in caravans. Each caravan consists of a single extended family, including cousins, aunts, brothers and great grand children. Such a caravan is a known as a Wandering and may contain as many as 100 people. The Sayune are of short stature and dark, curly hair. They are a displaced grumman clan from the Falkir Hills region, though they are no longer grum. Centuries of mixed breeding have produced a mixed heritage and a people that share traits of grum, human, elven and other races. The oldest and most central sayune families are called "pure blood" and are the closest to the original grumman line.
The Sayune Clan was banished from the Falkir Clans in 2320. The exact reasons are shrouded in myth and fable, much of which conflicts. According to the most widely accepted legend, the Sayune took to the worship of a demi-god (some say demon) from the nether realms in 2310 CY. This entity was known as Jyroga (pronounced Je-ROW-ga) and that he taught them the ways of dark magic. This Jyroga assumed mortal form and walked among them. The other grumman clans opposed this religious movement and the mysteries it taught, some of which involved the sacrifice of animals, communing with spirits and sinister spells. Jyroga proved that he was very influential and held much control over his believers.
When diplomacy failed, the clans went to war in 2317 CY. Three years of feuding ravaged the Falkir Hills until Jyroga himself was slain. The Sayune were banished - the entire clan driven out of Falkir Hills. The remaining clans razed the shrines of Jyroga, toppled his statues and burned his trappings. It is said that Jyroga appeared in spirit form and cursed the Sayune for failing him. To remind them of the beautiful Falkir Hills which they lost, Jyroga cursed them such that they would never know the land again. Any land the Sayune settle on will wither and die within a month. The Sayune have wandered all the realms ever since.
Today, the Sayune are a persecuted people. Because of the legendary curse (which may or may not true, though most peasants believe it to be), the Sayune are usually unwelcome in most lands and sometimes literally walked off a plot of land at sword point. This treatment has embittered the Sayune over the generations and they have degenerated into a poverty-stricken culture of panhandling and thievery. Many realms consider them nothing but beggars and charlatans, the children of evildoers who deserve their fate, a minor annoyance to be tolerated as they pass through. The Sayune still practice their dark witchcraft and consort with spirits. Most of the magic is conducted by the women. The older, more experienced women practice a special type of sorcery, concocting elixirs and fashioning charms.
The Sayune are a strong willed people who refuse to allow past misfortune to destroy them. Their camps are filled with dancing, singing, wine and laughter. Young women of the Sayune practice a unique art form called sword dancing which is quite beautiful. Sword dancing is graceful and fluid. The dancer wields a long, curved scimitar and literally dances with the blade. A good sword dancer can mesmerize her audience.
A sayune wandering will travel for a week, camp for a week, travel for a week and so on. They are a matriarchal culture and each group is lead by the eldest female. There are about 50 sayune groups in the world and these are scattered across the continent.
The sayune travel the world in wagons. However, sayune wagons are huge things. A typical sayune wagon is 6 meters wide, 12 meters long and three stories tall. This massive things roll along on eight immense wagon wheels and are pulled by teams of oxen. They are fashioned of steel and iron wood and oak which makes them very strong and durable. Typically 20 to 40 people will live in a single sayune wagon. Sayune wagons have living quarters including kitchens and dining rooms. They are heated by fireplaces and belch smoke through chimneys. Some even have hidden rooms. Great rolling houses they are, crowded, cluttered and full of life. Sayune wagons are very decorative and colorfully painted. Because of their huge size, sayune wagons would have great difficulty in navigating even the largest city streets. For this reason, they are never taken into cities or towns and usually will make camp outside a city's walls or a town's gate.
Sayune Dark Magic
The legends surrounded the Falkir Clan War are true as are the accusations of demon worship. A few of the pureblood sayune still practice the dark arts taught to them centuries ago by Jyroga. The secret rites and spells are kept closely guarded within the ranks of the pureblood families and, even then, only select few are initiated into this inner circle. Sayune wizards who practice these dark arts are called Shadowbinders. They have powerful magic including invoking spirits, communing with elder demons, summoning evil entities, brewing potions and calling forth curses upon their enemies. Shadowbinders sometimes teach some of this dark magic to those who serve them - bodyguards, warriors, assassins, etc. These individuals combine stealth and steel with poison and magic. They are known as Darkwalkers.
This website was last updated August 30, 2018. Copyright 1990-2018 David M. Roomes.