Not terribly far beyond the proper reaches of human kings and elven high-ladies lay the cold march lands of Masas-Wilgate, so named for the treaty that established the swathe of land, without the permission of its inhabitants, as a buffer between the dark dwarves of Mount Masas and the humans of the prosperous city state of Wilgate-Bywater. The war for the mountains had waged for only a short time, both the Masanian duergar and the Wilgatian humans vying for the same resources that the veins of the rocks might offer. There were great treasures in the mountains, and also great dangers. Masas-Wilgate Masas Duergar Settlement Wilgate-Bywater The war parties avoided a certain part of the mountains, not wanting to bring a third and most ravenous party into the conflict. That party was the gnolls of the city of Sah. It was a rather large city, spanning in front of a large cavern which branched further into the mountains. The lower classes of folk tended to live outside of the caverns, making their homes in the sides of the rocky mount or in small yurt homes, while the more fortunately born and bred lived within elaborate homes hewn and smoothed from the very rock of the mountains. The homes of the lesser folk were built of stone and wood, some reclaimed from raided frontier settlements and unwary traveling merchants looking to sell their wares in the typically small, peaceful settlements about the cold, evergreen-strewn plains between the mountain ranges of Masas and Gnoll-Horn. Lower Class Sah-Gnoll Dwellings Upper Class Sah-Gnoll Dwellings One of the more fortunate folk, a son of House Dun'Ririmgashba by the name of Meryg (Mare-EEK), grew restless with his martial training. His weapon, a hand axe of sturdy design, caught the sword of his elder brother, Udokas (OO-doh-kahs). Meryg tossed his brother's weapon to the side with a grunt and brought his off handed short sword about underneath his brother's chin. He smirked, though he had not won. Udokas brought a foot underneath Mergy's own legs, sending the younger gnoll splayed upon his back. Meryg growled and struck the ground. “Again!” he yelled, demanded. “Steel!” Udokas chuckled. “You're better use as a training dummy than a soldier, Brother.” The young gnoll growled and tossed his weapons upon the ground before charging his brother and meeting him head-on in a grapple. The two of them laughed and tousled with one another until a voice broke their echoes. “Udokas! Your father needs you. And you,” the older female said, eying Meryg with a great measure of disgust, “you're not a fit sword for this house. Go tend to whatever it is you tend to.” Meryg frowned as Udokas patted him upon the shoulder and departed with his mother in tow It wasn't true, Meryg told himself as he picked up his weapons and dusted himself off, he could be just as good of a blade as anyone else. Still, Meryg was a bastard. He was not even properly of the house of Dun'Ririmgashba. Rather that his surname was the surname given to all bastards of his father's house. His surname was Khalye. There was no prefix to his name to denote his place as a proper nobleman's son. He was simply Meryg Khalye, and that surname, along with the way in which his scars were upon his face, denoted his place clearly to any who might see him or learn his name. Warrior, priest and noble class gnolls were scarred upon their faces at birth, a clear denotation of their station at a glance. Some others were scarred as well, though scarring the common folk was not nearly as common place as it once had been. Still, some folk kept up tradition. [OoC: I did that to give you a choice about whether or not you wanted her to have scarification. I love the stuff for caste purposes, but she doesn't have to have it by any means. Common folk could just be left blank, everyone in the pariah having certain ones and then everyone above the common folk having them, skipping the biggest caste group for ease or something.] Bastards did not, as his father's most favored wife out of his four had said, tend to much. His days were filled with martial training, some studies and, where all else failed, wandering about the safe caverns of the realm of Sah. Today, he thought, he would see the low-folk market outside of the cavern. He had not been in the open daylight in some time, so the thought of the sun's warmth against his fur, even in this cold land, gave him some measure of excitement. He put his weapons upon his belt and donned the cloak bearing the sigil of his father's house before he set out for his day among the lesser folk of the outside.