Tharged Hordes

Warriors from the great pale, the Tharged came into Darejh with a vengeance. They are so different in size and visage that may believed them to be unholy demons.

Government and Politics

A loose confederation of militant hordes, the Tharged have no real central authority. Each of the hordes is governed by a warlord known as the Junraj. Wielding absolute authority, he is nominally advised by an Imadi, who reads auguries and provides spiritual guidance. The Imadi is invariably female as a male would be considered a challenge to the authority of the Junraj. The ability of a Junraj to govern is based on power. Generally this translates into physical power and the Junraj of a given horde is often simply the strongest; however, there are a few rare hordes in which the Junraj wields spiritual clout or economic power. Dynasties are rare and the death of a Junraj often results in a period of turmoil until the most powerful candidate emerges as the victor. Sometimes, this may be the son of a former Junraj and if such a series of successions lasts for a few generations, a dynasty emerges. The ruling Junraj selects his Imadi upon ascending to power, and may often marry her as his first wife. Such a marriage is never consummated and is more a means of displaying unity than anything else.

Since the arrival of the hordes in Dharej, as number of them have begun to unite under the banner of the Raj e Junraj (Lord of Warlords). Still too weak to assert his authority over all the Tharged, many who follow him believe it is only a matter of time. His Imadi has also proclaimed that the portents speak of a Tharged empire that he will forge.

Crime and Punishment

The Tharged are a strongly honor bound people who follow a strict, unwritten code of conduct. Crime is relatively rare as it is considered dishonorable; however, when crimes do occur they are punished swiftly and harshly. Any crime in which another is intentionally harmed often result in equal harm being caused to the offender by the aggrieved party under the authority of the Junraj. For example, if a Tharged kills another, the victim's family has the right to slay him. Lesser crimes, such as theft, entail the offender being banished toward the harsh north with neither clothing nor gear of any kind
Given that women are relegated to a secondary status in Tharged society and perceived as little more than property, crimes against them are interpreted uniquely. If a woman is raped, it is not considered a crime against her, but against her male kin (i.e., father or husband). Thus, the punishment is meted out by the father or husband based on their view of the circumstances. If they feel the woman brought it upon herself and dishonored the family, it is equally possible that she will be the one punished. This is a serious problem for an unmarried woman with no male family, because no crime can be committed against her. Such women, unless they have some strength to defend themselves, often quickly find themselves married or giving themselves as concubines or wives to the more powerful warriors of the tribe.


Just as there is no centralized authority, there is no centralized economic system. The Tharged use a simply form of barter amongst themselves. There is no coinage, and the only currency is measured in weighed gold often melted from the jewelry gained from raids.

The Tharged are self sufficient nomads and trade occurs only rarely between the hordes. Recently, some Sheinari merchants have begun venturing into the eastern borders of the great pale to establish trade relations with the Tharged. Initially, many were killed in these forays, until the merchants began to bring them weapons and slaves.

Society and Culture

The Tharged are of a homogenous racial and ethnic stock. This homogeneity is also reflected in cultural similarities. All hordes are strongly patriarchal in nature, with women relegated to a low status i which they are treated like property. Women are bartered and traded for political reasons; men often keep multiple wives and concubines, with the more powerful having the largest harems. The size of one's harem becomes a sign of power and prestige. Ethnic homogeneity, however, does not prevent the Tharged from warring amongst themselves. Although their invasion into Darejh has become limited to occasional raids against undefended villages, they attack each other with ferocity and frequency.

The Tharged also share a common language amongst themselves. Although there are a few dialectical variations, it is a guttural, hard tongue that sounds to be full of clipped, short phrases to foreign ears. They have no written language, though rune craft is commonly used to ward off evil forces.

Slavery is common, with raids against each other and against others focused partly on capturing slaves.

Art and Academics

Tharged art manifests in jewelry and carvings. Most art depicts military battles and heroic figures; however, some also carve religious icons. Songs are a common past time among men and women; however, neither sing together nor listen to each other's songs. To others, even the love songs of the Tharged bards seem to be filled with violence and a brooding air of discontent.
Formal education is incomprehensible to the Tharged and any learning occurs through the lessons of life taught to a son by his father, and a daughter by her mother.


Very little is known of Tharged religion, except that they appear to venerate their ancestors. They have no divine gods, but believe that their ancestors watch over them and intercede on their behalf if they are pleased or hinder and harm them if they are not. Each Tharged clan and tribe has its own pantheon of ancestors, and the ancestors of the Junraj are often venerated by the entire tribe, elevated to a state of near godhood. At those times when a Raj Junraj is chosen, the most notable of his ancestors may actually come to be worshiped as Gods.

The shamanic Imadi server as a priesthood for the Tharged, often reading portents and signs sent by an ancestor. A superstitious people, the Tharged engage in ritualistic behaviors as a daily part of life.


The Tharged are suspicious of magic and those who can cast spells are often relegated to a status similar to women. Referred to as Murdi, they practice the art of bloodrune, in which divine power is channeled through the ritual scarification and carving of runes in flesh, either their own or that of others. Although the Murdi are frequently used in warfare, they are relegated to servitude themselves as they are considered tainted by their ability to bloodrune. They live in their own enclaves among the Tharged, surrounded by their retinues and bloodbound slaves.

With the recent contacts made with other cultures, some Murdi have come recognize the irony of being relegated to second class citizens while wielding such power. Considered traitors, they have left the hordes to make their way into the world. Hated by their kin and feared and avoided by the other races, these Murdi survive by tenacity and strength of will.

In game terms, a Murdi may either be a runepriest who makes runes in flesh, or an arcane caster in which the implement is a sacred dagger that must be used to make a cut on their flesh.


As a militant culture, there is no distinction between civilians and soldiers in Tharged society. Every man is trained in the art of warfare since childhood. Rather, when the Junraj deems that a battle is impending, a military force is culled from the male population as needed. The size of the force varies in relation to the perceived threat, regardless of whether the battle is offensive or defensive.
The Tharged are well equipped, though their weapons are relatively primitive in comparison to the modern forces of the empire; however, the Tharged easily compensate for this through their zeal, ferocity, and size. Many early opponents made the mistake of thinking the Tharged stupid because of their appearance. Most paid with their lives.

The Tharged have a unique fighting style that incorporates cavalry archers mounted on fast moving horned lizards, and heavy infantry. Their archers wield short composite bows, known as Goadbows made of red wood, bone, and sinew. Couple with the brute strength of a Tharged, these bows easily tear through the thickest of imperial armor. Goadars, as the cavalry archers are called, use hit-and-run tactics to frustrate their opponents. Most, having taken enough punishment, will attack only to find themselves facing the might of the horde’s infantry.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License