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Crafting Motif 48: Ashlander Style

Sannemmu Khamishi

By Sannemmu Khamishi, Wise Woman of the Erabenimsun Tribe

So, Clanfriend, you are curious about our clothing? You wonder how such simple, nomadic barbarians can come to have such elaborate and sophisticated garments and tools? Then learn this: for the Ashlander, simplicity is a choice, not a necessity. We follow the precepts of the Good Daedra, and our practices and preferences are in accord with their teachings. We have other, deeper secrets which I will not reveal now, but the making of our apparel and arms are not among them.


The crescent moon is an ancient and holy symbol for us, used sparingly but with significance. Our axe blades are edged crescents, though incomplete at top; our tales say that, should certain prophesied events occur, the crescents shall be full once more, and our axes will be wielded in a time of hardship and glory. It may yet be so.


Our belts are always several, fashioned of strong leather and crossing each other on the diagonal, the better to support our tools, arms, and tassets of chitin. The buckles are ornamental rather than symbolic, decorated at the wearer's choice, and may be of chitin, carapace, or even metal, if one leans to the ostentatious.


Our boots are of supple leather, usually guar, but with chitin knobs and plates to protect the toe, instep, and shin. This chitin is affixed to the leather beneath with a powerful and permanent adhesive we derive by boiling kwama cuttle and (when we can get them) horse's hooves. The rest of the horse goes into the stew pot.


Our composite bows are constructed of limbs of ash willow and trama trunk laminated together with cuttle glue, and faced with chitin or claws from mudcrabs or, if possible, dreugh. Our arrows are fletched with gristlewing or racer plumes.


Ashlanders armor their torsos with layers or bands of guar leather, augmented with chitin, carapace, horn, bone, or even vvardvark shell. The bands are sewn together with twisted thread made of kresh or roobrush fibers, often waxed with desiccated scrib jelly or dreugh wax. Colorful enamels may be applied to display tribal or cult affiliation.


The sacred crescent appears again in the wavy blade of the Ashlander kris. For us the kris is both a stabbing weapon and a handy tool, with a strong point for prying and thick-backed edges for scraping. The hilt is of heartwood from trama or fungus trunk.


Our gloves are thick, of several layers of hide, for we live in a volcanic land and must protect our hands from burning stone and boiling liquid. On war gauntlets, the forearms are protected by chitin plates, affixed to the gloves' leather by cuttle glue. These plates may have spikes or flanges.


Our hoods and helms cover the entire head, for safety in the harsh environment of the Ashlands, particularly when Red Mountain's mood is ugly. A mask or filtered visor keeps ash from nose and mouth, and goggles protect the eyes from soot, embers, and fume. The skull is protected by overlapping bands of rigid chitin, sometimes knobbed or crested.


Like our cuirasses, Ashlander greaves are made of bands of guar leather sewn together with waxed and twisted thread made of kresh or roobrush fibers. Chitin or carapace poleyns may be attached at the knees. In this way our legs are protected not just from weapons, but also from thorns, scathecraw, and jagged volcanic rocks.


We tip our maces with heavy heads flanked by dual edged crescents, creating weapons that can both cut and crush. The long trama-trunk hafts are wrapped diagonally with leather strips to provide a sure grip. The base of the haft ends in a pointed ferrule of metal or bone.


An Ashlander shield is made of several large pieces of light but rigid carapace cuttle-glued into a single unit, and studded with spikes of chitin. The edge is lined around the back with a metal rim that prevents chopping blows from splitting the shield.


We Ashlanders make our shoulder cops from half-cones of thick guar leather boiled for stiffness. In the heavier weights of armor, small or even large plates of chitin may be affixed to the leather with cuttle glue. Such plates may sport sharp knobs or spikes.


An Ashlander spell staff is not only a magical weapon, but a ceremonial crosier, and thus its decoration is fraught with symbolism—at least for us. Each staff is tipped with one, two, or even three symbols of the Good Daedra, surrounded by a double crescent of chitin and bone. The haft ends in a pointed ferrule like that of the mace.


Our swords have sinuous blades, with edges that curve and snake like crescent serpents or razor-edged frozen flame. There is a full crescent on each side of the crossguard, and the tang is seated in a hilt of heartwood from trama or fungus trunk. Baring a blade is a significant act, and an Ashlander will rarely return a sword to its sheath without using it first.


Ashlander Tribes and Customs

Ulran Releth

By Ulran Releth of House Redoran

The Dunmeri nomads known as the Ashlanders wander Morrowind's wildness, going where they will and doing what they please. Free of the strictures that both provide structure and a high degree of rigidity for the Great Houses, they organize in loose tribes and harken back to an earlier time in Dark Elf history. They subsist as herder-hunters and find simple pleasures in a more natural lifestyle.

Ashlanders revere their ancestors and worship Daedra, refusing to acknowledge the divinity of the Living Gods of the Tribunal. They occasionally trade with other tribes and even with the Great Houses, exchanging guar hides and shalk resin for news of the wider world and goods they can't easily acquire in the wild. Within their nomadic society, the Ashlanders are courteous, proper, and polite. When dealing with outsiders, though, they can become easily offended. Tribal leaders, called ashkhans, serve as the "warrior-protector" of the community they lead. Second in command is the gulakhan, who serves as the voice of the tribe in matters of trade and negotiations. Outsiders will do well to approach the gulakhan first, before attempting to seek an audience with the ashkhan. Each tribe also has a wise-woman, a farseer who keeps the songs, lore, and prophecy of the tribe. She is the spiritual leader of the tribe. The rest of the tribe stands as equals, sharing responsibilities as the hunt, herd, forage, and otherwise support each other.

The nomads are organized into four primary tribes.

The Ahemmusa tribe resides in the southern coastal regions and swamplands of Vvardenfell. In years past, they traveled from coast to coast fishing and hunting, but more recently have largely been pushed out into the Bitter Coast region as Telvanni and Redoran settlements spring up around their former grounds. The Ahemmusa are among the most peaceful of Ashlander tribes and the weakest in terms of amassing any sort of warband. They wear light clothing, often adorned with small shells, scales and even netting. Their weapons are more like tools, simple knives and spears they can use to work as well as defend themselves if need be. They prefer to keep to themselves and be left alone, living out their lives hunting, herding, and especially fishing. They have a small, semi-permanent settlement currently along the Bitter Coast where they live off the fish and other local wildlife in the swamplands.

The Erabenimsun tribe resides in the Molag Amur region of Vvardenfell, and are as dour and dangerous as the volcanic ashlands they hail from. The Erabenimsun are quite war-loving. They are seen as greedy and cruel by their fellow Ashlanders and are believed to not have respect for many Ashlander customs. They care little about prophecy, history, and lore, so the Wise Woman has little power in this tribe. Erabenimsun are also typically the most heavily armed and armored. They are warriors first and foremost, valuing strength above all else.

The Urshilaku tribe is the most highly respected tribe and the second most populous. They reside in the West Gash region and the northern Ashlands, which, like the Grazelands, is considered prime hunting and foraging land. But more than its many hunters, warriors, and herders, Urshilaku is famed for its lore-keepers. It is the only tribe that currently has multiple Farseers, and the Wise-Woman of Urshilaku is widely renowned. Urshilaku has been key in ushering in a temporary age of peace among the Ashlander tribes, for all are listening when the oracles speak of an age of coming strife that the tribes must prepare for. In particular, it is the Urshilaku tribe that keeps faith that Nerevar Incarnate will return soon to unite the people. Urshilaku are some of the only Ashlanders to occasionally use magic. More common than actual spell-weaving is enchanting and alchemy, at which they are highly skilled. They are also the tribe most interested in ancient relics, scrolls, and other items one might find in the ruins dotting Vvardenfell. Bringing them such things is one way to gain favor with this tribe.

The most populous tribe, the proud and confident Zainab resides in the fertile Grazelands region of northeast Vvardenfell. Like the Ahemmusa, they are surprisingly peaceable and friendly even to outlanders, although they are somewhat greedy and arrogant as well. Zainab is, in a way, the oddest of the tribes in that they follow the old ways, but they are extremely interested in the change that has overtaken Vvardenfell. They freely trade with the Great Houses, and some have even sought to forge more firm business deals with houses like Hlaalu. All in all, one gets the impression that Zainab is the most willing to adapt, even if they will not entirely leave their Ashlander lifestyle behind. Zainab possesses the most diverse collection of goods, including their arms and armor. They typically trade for goods instead of crafting them, and they are well known for harvesting, foraging, and mining in the rich Grazelands, which has led to their unrivaled prosperity.

Meeting with Chodala

Scribe Dakin

Notes on the meeting with Chodala, Nerevarine and Wielder of Sunna'rah.
Compiled by Scribe Dakin.

Kund-Ud greeted Ashkhan Chodala as Gulakhan Yus-Zashten and Nibapor the Firebreather looked on. Chodala displayed no fear and showed Kund-Ud a level of respect rarely given to tribal outcasts. We had lent him the use of a small warband of Red Exiles, but now he was here to negotiate a more permanent arrangement.

Chodala began the meeting by explaining his plans for tribal unification, stressing that there was a place for the Red Exiles in his unified vision.

Kund-Ud demanded to know why the Red Exiles should even consider returning to the tribes that banished them. Chodala appeared thoughtful before he replied. "Because you are Ashlanders, and our blood calls one to another."

Then Chodala demonstrated the power of the staff our warband helped him acquire. He called the staff Sunna'rah. "Sunna'rah grants me the strength of a god," Chodala said, striking a stone with the tip of his staff so that the stone cracked like the shell of an egg.

Kund-Ud ordered his champion, Gulakhan Yus-Zashten, to put the blasphemous Ashkhan in his place. But no matter how many times her sword lashed out, it never once touched or pierced Chodala's flesh.

"What kind of creature are you?" Kund-Ud demanded.

"I am the Nerevarine," Chodala proclaimed, and Kund-Ud, Gulakhan Yus-Zashten, and Nibapor prostrated themselves before him.

"The Red Exiles shall be my enforcers and Yus-Zashten shall be my champion," Chodala declared. "Prepare yourselves for my return. I have much work for you to do."

"Where are you going, Nerevarine?"" Kund-Ud asked.

"I need time to meditate upon our next course of action," Chodala said. "Then I have a meeting with the Wise Woman Dovrosi to ratify my claim as the Nerevarine."

Chodala departed and Gulakhan Yus-Zashten went with him, thus ending the meeting.

The Grave of Skar

Anrunn Frozen-Cove

Skar's hollow eyes gaze upon the camps, webs clotting his vision as firelight dances across his withered face. His open maw now stands as an entryway, open only to the worthiest among the Ashlanders. They walk before this towering beast, the fallen foe of their ancestors. There is no music or drink, but rather solemn contemplation and prayer. I only hear their murmured voices and the cackle of the flames.

The Ashlanders say little to an outlander such as myself. They hold no love for any outside of their tribe, and a burning hatred for Dark Elves who follow the Tribunal. I feel turmoil growing, sunken into the ashen soil, fixed deeper than the legs of the fallen Skar. I feel there would be little hesitation among the Vvardenfell Dark Elves, should an opportunity arise for war.

I try to understand their ways, their customs. Their history with the horrid beast, the house of their council, a shrine of their past. How was Skar defeated? Why is his corpse used as their meeting grounds? My questions are met with silence by most. Those willing to speak do so for the promise of food or gold, and even they have little to say.

What I do know is that their ancestors defeated Skar in battle, though I'm not sure how. Some speak of a spear, but not of who wielded it. Who was this mysterious warrior? I would expect him to be well revered, honored among the Ashlanders. Why do none know his name? The oral traditions passed, those shared among the campfires I'm allowed to attend, they hold extraordinary details. Why does this name escape their memory?

The morbid grounds where the Ashlanders meet hold great importance as well. It reminds me of thanes that mount their kills above their thrones, a show of power and triumph. As the Ashlanders think upon their past victories, they also gain hope for future glory. They were the Mer who felled this beast, the mighty Skar. What can they not accomplish, should the day come?

I look upon Skar's carcass, a shudder running through me. It fills me with dread, yet for these Ashlanders I believe he is a sign of hope, of strength. My gaze runs along their campfires and I wonder. What will come of that strength, of that pride? What future is in store for these tribes? Perhaps another Skar will rise and they will be the ones to defeat him. Or perhaps they will be the ones who are defeated. Only the passage of time will reveal that truth.

Ritual of Appeasement


Do not tempt the Daedra Lords with restlessness. Give to them freely as our ancestors did so that their dire gazes do not fall upon our tribe. It is best to offer the Princes their rightful due when the seasons show us their brief favor, lest they call upon us in the lean times. You will know the portents by the fatness of the guar, you will know it by the stench of the sea on the inland, and you will know it by the wanderings of the lost peoples along their false gods' paths.

Lead the tribe to great Almurbalarammi, for that is where the ancestors made their pact and so it will be there that the pact is renewed. Upon arrival, alight a pyre of grain. It must be fed until the ritual has concluded. There will be no full bellies until the Princes have had their fill.

Each day, as the sun crests the distant waves, gather the living sacrifice at our ancient altar in Almurbalarammi. Split their throats over the stone with the black glass blade and invoke the Daedra Lords while the blood is still fresh. Spurn not one, or our suffering will be assured and terrible.

Spread the sacrificial entrails to the far corners of the altar before the sun reaches its true height and leave the offering to the Princes' mercy. When the host of Namira and touch of Peryite have befouled the corpse, you will know the day's feast is concluded.

Attendants may remove the offering and wash the altar with the oils of anointment. On the day of longest dusk, Azura signals that our offerings are satisfactory to the Daedra Lords. Only then may we break our fast and cease our supplication. Do not tarry in Almurbalarammi, for it is their place.

The Mabrigash Trial


Dearest Fari,

I know you are curious about the different people and places I see on my travels. I met a strange Dark Elf after I left Mournhold. His general demeanor was less aloof than others of his kind, though he still had that somewhat mistrustful air about him. I offered him some wine and bread at my campsite, and he seemed grateful enough for a little company.

He claimed to be a "Mabrigash," which I took to be some sort of Ashlander clan off-shoot, though I was unaware that any clan had traveled this far south from Vvardenfell. I asked him about his journey, and he said he was going nowhere and anywhere. He said he couldn't return to the Vale.

When I asked, he told me the Vale was his home. He claimed his clan protected snakes and ghosts in this mysterious place. In turn, a "Ghost Snake" watched over the clan. Now, he was getting a bit drunk by this time, as we shared more than a bottle or two, but he assured me there was indeed a Ghost Snake. I asked why he left. He was silent for a long while. Finally, he mumbled that he had failed his trial. I asked what he meant and he said that he had not walked the path, that his courage had failed him and he had fled. "Now I can never return," he told me. "I have shamed my family and dishonored my clan."

He started to weep softly, so I pretended to busy myself with my packs, and a minute later he was snoring. Poor fellow. Obviously some primitive ritual or tribal rite had gone awry. I was determined to encourage him to return home when we broke camp in the morning. However, when I awoke at dawn, he was gone.

I miss you as always. I will write again in a few days.

— Thorgo

The Coiled Path


Ghost Snake blesses the worthy.

Ghost Snake devours the unworthy.

Ghost Snake lives upon the Coiled Path. Once, the river that ran beside the Coiled Path was straight and long, but Ghost Snake did not like that. He commanded the beasts to dig. He commanded the People to carve the ground. He commanded the rocks and water to move. Now path and river together coil like a waiting snake.

The Coiled Path is not an easy path to walk, for Ghost Snake does not wish it to be. Ghost Snake hunts the path for prey, and his victims rise as spirits. These spirits forever walk the path's twists and turns, never to escape, until Ghost Snake devours their essence as he consumed their weak flesh.

The Coiled Path is more than a road or a river. It is a path to wisdom, to cunning, to insight. Ghost Snake's servants do not see the straight and narrow path. Instead, Ghost Snake grants his blessings so his servants may overcome treachery and hardship. Ghost Snake hisses his wisdom so that his servants may navigate the perils of life.

The Coiled Path is not for the weak. Ghost Snake must feed, and if his servants cannot secure prey, Ghost Snake will rightfully devour those who serve them.

Ghost Snake is the father of a thousand-thousand serpents. Wherever the spirits of Ghost Snake's victims gather, his serpentine children thrive.

We who serve Ghost Snake have learned our lessons well. Do not take the easy path. Do not forget what lies underfoot, waiting to betray you. Do not forget that unseen forces watch and wait for you. Do not forget the hidden daggers of your foes. And always listen for slithering whispers on the wind.

I write these words to receive Ghost Snake's righteous blessing. Life contains no justice. Life offers no mercy. Life is not easy. The only truth lies along the deceptive shores of the Coiled Path, and it is whispered by Ghost Snake.

Know this or flee. Flee, and we will find you.

When Ghost Snake finds you, he will bless you. Or you will die.

A Pamphlet on Ashlanders


To the honorable Grand Council of Vvardenfell District and Duke Vedam Dren of Ebonheart,

Enclosed in this package is the pamphlet on the Ashlander peoples which I was employed to put together at your request. I believe it should serve well your purpose of learning the seemingly barbaric ways of these peoples and make your negotiations with them run much smoother. I trust that your replying messenger will deliver the payment you promised in return for this favor.

Ashlanders: Anachronism of Morrowind


The past months and years I have dwelled with the groups of the nomadic Dunmer known as Ashlanders, learning their ways, their customs, their beliefs and their views. Though hesitant at first, they soon welcomed me into their yurts (the tent-like dwellings used by them) and allowed me to learn from them. Hopefully what has been learned will be of benifit to those others outside their tribes that wish to learn more or interact with them.


As is commonly known to all Dunmer, during the First Age of Tamriel, the Prophet Veloth led the group of Altmer from the Summerset Isles who would become the Chimer under the guidance of the Daedra Lords Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala. This group settled in the land which we now know as Morrowind. Over time, the group became divided and scattered and the high culture of the Velothi vanished, resulting in the formation of various tribes. In these early divided times, the tribes came to be under the harassment of the Nordic people, to cope with this issue, many of the divided tribes consolidated.

With this consolidation these new tribes where able to drive back the Nordic invaders. Eventually, these consolidated tribes gave up on their nomadic ways as well as their tradition of ancestor worship. These tribes began settling down in cities and creating more defined territories as well as taking up the worship of the Tribunal. These tribes over time evolved into the theocratic Great House culture which we see dominating Morrowind today.

But not all the tribes had consolidated and settled down, many tribes refused to give up their nomadic ways and their traditions of ancestor worship. These tribes would come to be known as the Ashlanders, an anachronistic survival of the ancestor-worshipping tribal culture.

Section 1, Ashlander Culture and Customs:

The Ashlander’s culture is one that is heavily influenced by is tribal nature. The Ashlanders prefer the impoverished physical culture and continually existing economy of the Ashland nomadic herder-hunter. They make their living through the herding of guar and shalk and the hunting of wild guar and other natural wildlife. They find pleasure in simpler things, and accept that they will not become rich by the standards of the Great Houses. Almost all of their belongings are derived from the environment. Their weapons, armors, and even clothes are all organic and of simple design. A pure pleasure is found in hunting, in taking thier time, sneaking up on their prey and surprising it with a swift, silent arrow. This reflects much on what is taught to them by the daedra which they follow (as they view the daedra as their ancestors) with Boethiah teaching them to be quiet and patient and cunning. Though they are able to find all they desire in hunting and herding, the Ashlanders will often involve themselves in trading with travellers and the Great Houses, usually in simple items such as guar hides and shalk resins but sometimes times even trading such things as ebony.

In their relations with other tribes, by tradition Ashlanders claim the right to raid other Ashlander tribes, and non-Ashlander settlements, for booty and slaves. This raiding is generally done to prove strength, as well as to gain goods and respect. Even though they claim this right, the Ashlanders will not usually attack such folk as traveling traders, caravans and goods shipments unless they feel that the persons involved had wronged them in some way. When feuds between tribes arise, they may be settled by the champions of the tribes, however wars sometimes do occur. They have strong militaristic and authoritarian traditions founded in their ancestor worship and when war erupts almost all members of the tribe, not just the champions and warriors, participate in the fighting. Usual weapons for Ashlanders are made of chitin, these being basic bows, spears, swords, daggers and the like. The Ashlanders are also excellent fighters while in their own territory, even outmatching the Empires legions. Wars are typically avoided for the most part, mainly due to the fact that the Ashlanders are very few and the lives of their people are too dear to waste, however they are extremely brave once in battle. This notion is fortified by the second stanze of one of the Ashlander verses entitled "The Five Far Stars": "Yet never shall you have your rule over me./Never shall I tremble or flinch from your power./Never shall I yield my home and hearth./And from my tears shall spring forth/The flowers of grassland springs."

Among clan and kin, Ashlander courtesy is very proper and polite, though they quite easily take offense from outsiders. Outsiders are expected to be courteous, and leave if requested, though travellers are often welcomed so long as they share news of the outside world to pay for the tribes hospitality. If offended, the Ashlanders may attack. As a sign of courtesy, outsiders may provide gifts to the Ashlanders, sometimes the Ashlanders will even do outsiders the favor of naming a gift that they would desire. Among Ashlanders, a gift is a token of courtesy among strangers, and affection among friends. When strangers first enter the camp, a thoughtful gift is a sign that you are cautious, considerate, and aware of the other's wants and needs. Such is particularly useful for traders and travelers. Among friends, gifts are a private thing, presented subtly with great risks, for the gift is judged in how well it is tailored to the receiver. They are not offended by gifts of money and take them as tokens of deference and respect. Apart from the subtle gifts which are given within Ashlander cultures, some tribes also have traditions of passing on heirlooms, usually passed on by Askhans and Gulakhans. Such tokens are marks of power and distinction.

Ashlanders may challenge a stranger who enters a yurt without invitation, however forgiveness may be granted if the stranger leaves when asked. It is particularly inconsiderate to enter the yurt of an Ashkhan or Wise Woman without permission and it is seen as inconsiderate to enter a yurt unclean. Ashlander challenges are very solemn and serious things and not made lightly, however, challenges are sometimes made for sport. In this case it is acceptable to decline though when challenged for honor, it is shameful to decline. Honor challenges come from offense given in speech or action, or may represent customary formal challenges of status or ritual.

If the outsider shows the proper courtesy and gains the trust of the tribe, it may be possible for them to be adopted into the tribe as a Clanfriend. To be adopted into the tribe, the outsider must undergo a harrowing. In a harrowing, the outsider is judged by the spirits and ancestors of the Ashlanders to see if they are worthy, if they pass the test, then they are accepted into the tribe. Once accepted as a Clanfriend of an Ashlander tribe, the accepted member may rest in any bed of that tribe. This position may be lost however if the accepted member harms or steals from another tribe member.

Ashlanders which are born into the tribe may also be cast out or choose to leave the tribe. Ashlanders which willingly leave the tribe are known by the House Dunmer as the Velothi. They are those of Ashlander stock who have abandoned nomadic life and settled among the native Dunmer. The Velothi are despised by their Ashlander cousins as weak and soft, while the House Dunmer look down upon the Velothi as an insignificant underclass. This use of the term 'Velothi' however should not be confused with the Ashlanders usage which refers to all Dunmer as the Velothi. Those that are cast out may form their own rogue camp, or sometimes become mabrigash, renegade witch-warrior women who practice dark magics. The mabrigash steal the vital essence of men in order to give themselves power and live in all women camps, save for the few men who are unlucky enough to be captured by them.   

Section 2, Ashlander Society:

The Ashlander society is comprised of nomadic camps which have portable huts of hides stretched on chitin frames which can be quickly dismantled and packed atop a guar when moving to new hunting grounds and grazing grounds for their guar and shalk. The ashkhan of the tribe has a much larger yurt, though the khan's hut is simply a larger, more elaborate version of a family hut. Some particular qualities exclusive to these Ashlander camps include reed windchimes, seemingly organic lanterns of varoius colors as well as decorative bug bowls.

Leaders in Ashlander society are known as ‘khans’, the chief khan being the Ashkhan. The Ashkhan is the greatest champion of the Ashlanders and serves as the chief and war leader of the tribe, as well as being the Warrior-Protector of the tribe's Ancestor cult. The position of Ashkhan is disignated by a primitive crown designed out of organic substance such as what appears to be chitin, dyed feathers and the like. It is also fairly common for higher ranking members such as khans to wear enchanted clothing or armor or use enchanted weapons, however it is quite uncommon for non-khans to use enchantments. Some Ashkhans choose to have adivsors apart from their Gulakhans and Wise Women such as wizards, though this seldom occurs in recent times.

Below the Ashkhan of the tribe is the Farseer. The Farseer is the wise woman or shaman of the tribe who gives counsel to the Ashkhan through arcane wisdom and prophecy; the wise woman or shaman is also known as the Oracle-Seer of the tribe’s Ancestor cult. During times when there is no Ashkhan and no Gulakhan there to become Ashkhan, a strong Farseer may take the position of Ashkhan for themself and take on the leadership of the tribe. They also serve as the memory of the tribe, most notably on such subjects as stories and prophecy, and serve to pass on the tribes legacies to its successors. Some wise woman have been known to have witch-warriors in their service.

Below the Farseers in Ashlander society are the Gulakhans. The Gulakhans serve as the chief warriors and champions of the tribe, protecting the honor of the tribe in peace and war. Apart from this they also give counsel to the Ashkhan in tribal affairs, and represent the tribe to guests and intruders. During troubling times when there is no Ashkhan and no Gulakhan to rise to the rank, lower members of the tribe such as Brothers, Initiates, etc may rise to the rank of Gulakhan while the Wise Woman leads the tribe. Below the Gulakhan is the Champion of the tribe, who has much of the same role as the Gulakhan. The ranks after the Champion follow as Guide, Clanholder, Initiate, Brother, Hearthfriend, and Clanfriend. Sometimes outlanders can be adopted into the tribe as a Clanfriend, but the trust of the tribe must first be won.

The majority of Ashlanders serve the tribe as scouts, herders or hunters, with each tribe also having a healer. As the Ashlanders are nomadic, the herds must be looked after and food must be hunted, but the herders and hunters are also charged with guarding the treasures of the land that nourish the Ashlanders and make them strong. The herders are responsible watching over the tribe's herds of guar and shalk as well as butchering them for their meat to feed the tribe. The herders will also tan the guar hides, render the shalk resins, and season the shalk shells. The craftsmen of the tribe will take these things and make the things the tribe needs as well as what they will sell to traders and other tribes; they will use the shalk resin to bind their chitin into weapons and armor.The herders and hunters will also serve as warriors beside the Ashkhans and Champions when war arises between tribes.

Section 3, Ashlander Religion:

The Ashlander people have no set religion, but rather practice shamanistic and primitive ancestor worship. This ancestor worship not only reveres forefathers, but the daedra as well, primarily Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala. In this ancestor worship there are various Ancestor cults, each Ashlander being born into the Ancestor cult of their clan. These cults are fairly simplistic in structure. The cults are led by their ashkhan war chiefs and are guided by an Oracle-Seer, a wise woman with the gift of prophecy who is protected by a group of holy warrior-heroes, the chief being the Warrior-Protector of the cult (generally synonymous with the Ashkhan of the tribe). The wise women are seen as the guardians of secret knowledge, spirit guides and seers into the world unseen who act as counselors to the tribe and its leaders. The dream visions and prophecies of the wise women are a respected tradition in Ashlander culture, the wise women and shamans take careful note of dreams and visions, passing on the tribe's legacies of vision and prophecy to their successors.

In their ancestor worship, the Ashlanders honor their dead. Extensive burial caverns are constructed by the Ashlanders in which to place the dead. These burial caverns are then guarded and looked over by the ancestor spirits of the Ashlanders. The Ashlanders claim that because of the dead they use to guard their caverns that they have been accused of necromancy, though they deny this on the grounds that it is their ancestors guarding their caverns and that there is a sacred honor in the ancestors faithfully protecting their living kin. As the Ashlanders worship their ancestors, they believe that there is no greater evil than necromancy, which they view as profaning the bones or spirits of their fathers.

The Ashlanders do not dwell on things which they have lost, but rather look foward with hope on what the future will bring from these losses. This idea is made apparent in the last line of the Ashlander verse "Words of the Wind" which state "I will not pray for that which I've lost/When my heart springs forth/From your soil, like a seed,/And blossoms anew beneath tomorrow's sun."

Also of note in Ashlander worship is the Nerevarine Cult. This is/was a rather small cult with only a few wise women with the gift of prophecy and a few holy warrior-heroes who guarded and protected the seers, however due to the motives of this particular cult it has been outlawed by both the Temple and the Empire. These laws and persecution of the cult are one of the reasons for the clandestine nature of the cult, a nature which makes it difficult to tell just how widespread the cult actually is. Even with these laws the cult persists among Ashlanders. This cult believes that the ancient Dunmer hero Nerevar will come once again and unite the Dunmer, restoring Morrowind to the Dunmer and the former greatness of the Velothi people along with the pure traditional life and faith of the nomads. Of reference to this are the monographs "Nerevar Moon-and-Star" (as well as various other documents which I have sent along as well). Only the future will tell if the Nerevarine will hold true to this prophecy of the Ashlanders.

Of further interesting note concerning Nerevar, the Wise Women tell tales of one Alandro Sul, a shield-companion of Nerevar. Apparently this Alandro Sul came to live with the Ashlanders after the death of Nerevar, eventually coming to leave behind a set of Wraithmail. This artifact has apparently been lost, but it is said that whoever wears the Wriathmail, or perhaps even uses just one Ringlet, will be endowed with the spirit of Alandro Sul and thus be possessed by him.

Section 4, Non-Ashlander Relations:


Ashlanders tend to dislike all foreigners as well as their fellow Dunmer which have given up the Ashlander ways. The Ashlanders wish for the foreigners to leave Morrowind, or at the very least to leave them in peace. Even though they harbor a harsh dislike for the Empire, no Ashlander is fool enough to make war against them, though if such a war might be won, many Ashlanders would most likely cheerfully give their lives to the cause.

In their dislike for foreigners, Ashlanders harbor particular biases against certain races. They believe the Altmer soft and foolish, having abandoned their ancestors and put their faith in buildings and sorcery. They view the Argonians as useless and the Khajiit as ignorant, superstitious and untrustworthy, both races being ones that their ancestors kept as slaves. The Ashlanders most dislike is reserved for the Nords and the Imperials, the Nords for stealing the lands of the Ashlanders in times past and the Imperials for forcing the Ashlanders to be their subjects. The Ashlanders do little in retaliation against the Imperials, deciding follow the ways taught to them by Boethiah, to be quiet, patient and cunning.

Of course the Ashlanders also dislike their fellow settled Dunmer as well as any Ashlander that gives up their ways to settle down. The Ashlanders believe themselves to be the only ones that have remained true to the sacred rites and customs of their forefathers. The House Dunmer have presumably become soft and abandoned traditional ancestor worship and the pure teachings of Veloth for the 'false' gods of the Tribunal as well as embraced the comforts of civilization that corrupted their High Elven ancestors; Ashlanders which have settled are also viewed in this way. The Ashlanders accuse almost all Dunmer Great Houses of stealing their lands and scorn the Great House Dunmer for giving into the Empire. They also withhold personal biases against them as well. They view the Telvanni as being ruled by old, evil wizards who are Daedra worshippers and necromancers. They view House Hlaalu as a pack of lying thieves. They say that Hlaalu sends their traders to try to trick them out of their treasure, and if the Hlaalu cannot trick them, that they send soldiers to drive them away from their lands. They have less resentment for the Redoran, as they believe some Redoran to be honorable, though they also believe some of the less honorable wish to steal their lands.

Section 5, Ashlander Tribes:

There are seemingly four major tribes of the Ashlanders, though there may very well be many smaller tribes scattered throughout the lands. These four tribes are the Ahemmusa, Erabenimsun, Urshilaku, and the Zainab.

The Ahemmusa tribe of Ashlanders resides in the Northern Grazelands region of Vvardenfell. In times past, the Ahemmusa had greater lands, but during the times of the blight much of this land was taken from them. The blight killed many of their herds and their game, leaving them with very little. The Ahemmusa are quite weak in arms and are a mild and peace loving people, taking shelter in the daedric ruin of Ald Daedroth when needed. Also as of recently they are without a proper Ashkhan, and rather their wise woman, Sinnammu Mirpal, is performing those duties.

The Erabenimsun tribe of Ashlanders resides in the Molag Mar region of Vvardenfell. In contrast to the Ahemmusa, the Erabenimsun are quite war-loving. They are seen as greedy and cruel by their fellow Ashlanders and are believed to not have respect for many Ashlander customs. Their wise woman is known as Manirai and their Ashkhan Han-Ammu.

The Urshilaku tribe of Ashlanders reside in the Ashlands and the West Gash regions of Vvardenfell, in what other tribes would view as good land. The chief of the Urshilaku is considered one of the braver and more respected war leaders among the Ashlanders, and is also the Warrior-Protector of the Nerevarine cult. The Urshilaku camp moves with their herds, but usually lies close to the Sea of Ghosts. Their wise woman is known as Nibani Maesa and their Ashkhan Sul-Matuul.

The Zainab tribe of Ashlanders reside in the lower Grazelands region of Vvardenfell, also in what other tribes would view as good land. By other Ashlanders they are viewed as proud, arrogant, and greedy as well as being likable rogues, strong and self-assured. Recently they have began trading ebony with the Great House Hlaalu. Their wise woman is known as Sonummu Zabamat and their Ashkhan Kaushad.


The Ashlanders are a people which believe themselves to be preserving the ancient Dunmer traditions of Ancestor worship and the nomadic lifestyle of their forefathers. They are quite disdainful of outsiders, though their trust can be won, even to the point of acceptance into their tribes. They are an easily offended group that will challenge if threatened or offended and are also very exeptional warriors expecially while on their own ground. It is advised that gifts are presented when visiting as a stranger and that the proper order of conduct is followed when speaking with the tribesmen, speaking first with the Gulakhans or Champion in order to recieve permission to speak with the Ashkhan or Wise Woman.

I hope that you find this to your satisfaction and that your future dealings may run smoothly. I have taken the liberty of sending along also a few related documents that you may find useful.

Signed and sealed,
Luagar Anulam, Herald of the Triune Way

Attatched Documents:
--The Five Far Stars
--Words of the Wind
--Nerevar Moon-and-Star
--The Real Nerevar
--Saint Nerevar
--Notes from Huleeya
--Nerevarine Cult Notes
--A Short History of Morrowind
--Vivec and Mephala
--Before the Ages of Man
--Ashlands Hymns

Words of the Wind


[This is a volume of verse collected from Ashlander wise women. 'May I shrink to dust' is from the Ahemmusa Ashlanders of the Grazelands.]

May I shrink to dust
In your cold, wild Wastes,
And may my tongue speak
Its last hymn to your winds.

I pray for the herder
That whistles to his guar at play.
I pray for the hunter
That stalks the white walkers.
I pray for the wise one
That seeks under the hill,
And the wife who wishes
For one last touch of her dead child's hand.

I will not pray for that which I've lost
When my heart springs forth
From your soil, like a seed,
And blossoms anew beneath tomorrow's sun.

The Five Far Stars


[This is a volume of verse collected from wise women of the Urshilaku Ashlanders. It consists of verses composed by Ashlander warriors, champions, and ashkhans, committed to memory by the wise women and transmitted down the generations. 'May I shrink to dust' is attributed to the long-dead poet and warrior Zershishi Mus-Manul.]

Rise from darkness, Red Mountain!
Spread your dark clouds and green vapors!
Birth earthquakes, shatter stones!
Feed the winds with fire!
Flay the tents of the tribes from the land!
Feed the burned earth with our souls!

Yet never shall you have your rule over me.
Never shall I tremble or flinch from your power.
Never shall I yield my home and hearth.
And from my tears shall spring forth
The flowers of grassland springs.