Wayfarers

 

The people currently known as Wayfarers once lived in the rich agriculture lands surrounding the

city currently known as Fairlock. They were displaced from their lands due to Imperial

expansion well over 400 years ago. Wayfarers are known to tell stories and sing songs of their

old home land, even though they have been a nomadic people ever since.

The Wayfarers have always had an uneasy relationship with the Imperial communities they

traveled though. Across the continent there is an unspoken agreement among the towns along a

Wayfarer family’s wagon route that Wayfarers will respect a community if they are respected in

turn. Although they follow their own laws, they do not go out of their way to make trouble. The

towns benefit from contact with the Wayfarers in the form of trading goods, news, and services.

The reason for uneasiness among the Imperial communities lies in the strictness of following

Imperial law. This is only a problem where Imperial soldiers are stationed.

The toll of the Plague on the Wayfarers was high. Because of the nomadic nature of their lives,

many towns blamed them for bringing the Plague to their communities. Many perfectly healthy

Wayfarers were killed by scared townsfolk. Add to that the loss of their own peoples and horses

to the Plague; the strike to their way of life was hard felt. Prejudice is usually felt from the

elderly.

However, the Families survived and their traditions continued. The Wayfarers have replaced

their traditional horses with oxen to pull their wagons. They can still be found traveling

throughout the Empire, Frontier, and Confederate lands.

Major Families

The Luna Family

Luna’s are the trained assassins among the Families. They are also known for their seers,

dancers, and their knowledge of poisons. Their dances tell an interpretive story of how certain

poisons work through one’s body. They will often share recipes with the Stelle Family for a

deeper understanding of the stars and astrology.

Weapon of choice: Throwing weapons and Poisons

Wagon Flag: A full yellow moon on a black background

Symbol: moon

The Stelle Family

Like all Wayfarer Families, Stelle’s travel a great deal, but when they stop to camp, they will

stay at that particular spot for several days to study the movements of the stars. Stelle are known

for their deep passion for astrology, medicine, and storytelling. They try to live a peaceful life,

but they will defend themselves if attacked.

Weapon of choice: Staff

Wagon flag: A white star on a dark blue background

Symbol: A star

The Flacara Family

Flacara are known for their warrior poets. They are very capable fighters who are easily

provoked, and are likely to have smithing tools to repair their weapons and armour. They are

excellent trackers and hunters, with a vast knowledge of the forest and animals that inhabit them.

They do not dabble in poisons as much as Luna and Stelle, but will use them from time to time.

They are known to be overly protective of their Family and other Families when in danger.

The elite warriors of this family are called the Blue Flame. Rumours about the Blue Flame’s

relationship with wolves vary from hunting with them to transforming into them.

Weapon of choice: Sword, Bow and Arrows.

Wagon Flag: A yellow flame above a blue dish on a black background

Symbol: A flame

The Soare Family

Soare is known to all the other Families as the singing pacifists. But do not underestimate them.

Even though they refuse to fight, they are highly trained in the art of slight-of- hand and thievery.

They are known for their tracking abilities and quite possibly taught Flacara how to track. This

Family has a great deal of knowledge and passion for herbs and healing. They have been known

to create very powerful talismans to help protect the other Families from harm and evil.

Weapon of choice: Mortar and Pestle, and speed

Wagon Flag: A yellow sun on a light blue background

Symbol: The sun

The Eponnia Family

Eponnia are thought by many to be simply legend, as they have not been seen since before the

Plague. They mastered painting and the training of horses, dogs, and falcons. Although not as

quick to fight as Flacara, they still did not back down from a fight, and defended themselves to

the death. Some Eponnia were also smiths, and made fine iron shoes for their horses. The

Eponnia often took the animals stolen by the Soare and retrained them. Maybe Eponnia died out

during the plague with their horses, maybe not, but for over fifty years, no one has ever seen

them.

Weapon of choice: Spear, polearm

Wagon Flag: A black horseshoe on a white background

Symbol: A horseshoe

Other Families

There are other smaller Families but all are branches of one or more of the major Families.

Every family has 2-5 caravans. Sometimes caravans will travel together to reach a common goal,

or band together in times of trouble. Otherwise they tend to remain spread out, as multiple

smaller caravans are harder to find and target than one large caravan. Should one caravan be

attacked and wiped out, it is not the end of the family line. Wayfarers are mostly self governing

within the individual caravans and families. However, following the plague, a council of elders

was created to collect and preserve Wayfarer lore and knowledge, as well as govern the families

and keep the peace between them. Their goal is to prevent losses, assist in relations between

families, and do all they can to grow Wayfarer numbers. They have more than a small hand in

weddings, and serve as judge and jury for larger transgressions done by Wayfarers.

Birth and Childhood

After the birth, an elder will paint the symbol of the family on the child’s forehead using their

fingertips and their own blood to acknowledge and welcome the new child into their family. The

child’s parent(s) must present a cloth to wrap the child in at the time of the birth. Before the cloth

can be wrapped around the newly born child, three drops of blood from the mother must stain the

cloth in a symbol of bonding the child to the world. The child must have an item placed near or

in the crib to help ward off evil spirits that might wish to take their soul.

Family Symbol Cloth Type Item

Luna Moon Silk Rattle

Stelle Star Velvet Bell

Soare Sun Plant based fabric Feather

Flacara Flame Fur Whistle

Eponnia Horseshoe Horsehair blanket Horseshoe

 

Children are given three names.

Example: Adalla Zara Curro

Adalla: Is the “Pure-Name” or the name that only a spouse and the family would know them as.

Zara: The name given to others outside the family, and while traveling.

Curro: Mother or father’s name. This semi-surname is given within the families.

Names are very important to Wayfarers, and are carried proudly. The title of the Family comes

after their name when introducing themselves to outsiders (ex: Zara of Luna.)

Wayfarers are of the “it takes a village to raise a child” mentality. All family members are a

child’s teachers. Every family member takes it upon themselves to teach the child they ways of

their family.

Age of maturity varies from family to family, but most often 18 years of age is when they

become eligible for marriage.

The younger Wayfarers are expected to help the elderly when they travel by carrying an extra

pack, and doing a few more chores. And in return, the older ones will share their wisdom around

the campfire when they stop to rest.

Love and Marriage

Wayfarers are not considered eligible for marriage until they are 18 years of age. Due to the

decimated wayfarer numbers, there is a lot of pressure for unwed Wayfarers to marry within

Wayfarer society. Marrying outside of Wayfarer society is slightly frowned upon, but acceptable

if the spouse is willing to integrate and raise any children as Wayfarers. Any Wayfarer who

chooses a spouse who is unwilling to integrate is thought to be abandoning their family and

society. Arranged marriages are not unheard of. If a couple joins from two different Families (ex.

A member of Flacara marries a member of Luna) the couple will choose one of their families to

fully join and raise the children as. Love marriages occur often, but always with the approval of

the family.

Courting can be tricky because Wayfarers are nomadic and will often only cross the path of other

families for short periods of time. Therefore, it is not unheard of a courting to last only a couple

of days before the couple decides they like each other enough to marry. However, if the same

families’ wagon routes intersect multiple times within a year, which is often the case, the

courting can take months to years with weeks to months between meetings.

Once an engagement is agreed upon, the couple will arrange a meeting in the presence of their

families. If the family approves, the couple will tie an embroidered bracelet around their

partner’s wrist. Once this is done, wine is poured into a large cup. Everyone present will drink

from this cup to represent one family.

The time and place of the wedding ceremony will depend on the family.

Luna – under the first full moon.

Stelle – at dusk when the first star begins to show overhead.

Soare – at dawn.

Flacara – after sunset in front of a large fire.

Eponnia – late afternoon in an open pasture.

The family elder will run the ceremony; singing a song of unity. The couple then share these

gifts: Bread, blood, wine, and touch.

Bread: Sharing of sweet wedding bread is officially the first meal the couple share together.

Blood: The palm of both the bride and the groom will be cut and they will hold those hands

together for the remainder of the ceremony.

Wine: They will drink from the same goblet that the elder presents them with

Touch: Often a kiss at the end.

Once gifts are shared, the elder places a kiss on each of their foreheads. The ceremony is

complete and the families will cheer.

After the ceremony, there is a large feast and celebration. A lot of fine wine and various foods

will be cooked and served. There is often singing, dancing, and story telling.

The family will present gifts to the couple during the feast which include anything a new couple

would need, but most importantly, a new tent to symbolize the start of a new, smaller family

within the larger one.

Death and Burial

When someone dies within the family, the whole family mourns. A pyre is built and lightly

sprinkled with salt. The body of the deceased is cleaned, dressed, and dabbed with some fragrant

oils. The same symbol given to the deceased at their birth (rattle, bell, feather, whistle) will be

placed in their hands. If the object given at birth is lost, a substitute is acceptable. Everyone

present will line up and place a flower on the body.

There is to be no eating in the family for at least 24 hours. Drinking water is allowed.

Reincarnation is considered evil among the Wayfarers. It is a bad omen to see a lone wolf after

the funeral. It means that the soul was not at rest and is trapped in the wolf. The cry of a red-

winged blackbird is also a symbol of death. To hear one cry at a funeral means that the deceased

is not at peace, and is searching for someone to accompany them into the afterlife.

Crime and Punishment

Each Family has their own sets of rules they must follow, along with the core rules followed by

every Family.

1. You shall not harm or kill one of the Family,

unless the elders have judged a death to be

made. Punishment: Death.

2. Work your share. If not, the workload will

double tomorrow. Punishment: The lazy will not be fed.

3. Adultery will not be tolerated. Punishment: Stripping of all names (except the one used for

outsiders) and outcast.

4. Help a Wayfarer when they are in need. (A

common kindness instilled in each Family)

Punishment: Shamed.

 

Luna: All contracts will be notified to the Elder.

Stelle: You will not sell poisons to children.

Flacara: You will not let an animal go to waste or

hunt for games.

Soare: You will not steal from Family.

Punishments vary depending on elders’ decision.