Windwalker Confederacy

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Unlike most other signatory nations to the Federated Nations compact, the Windwalker Confederacy isn't really a nation at all. Instead, it's a collective name for the entire collection of goblinoid tribes living north of the Blood-thirst Wildlands and outside the zones of control of the of the other nations. The vast majority of these tribes have little or no contact with outsiders. Instead, the Windwalker tribe acts as a proxy and guarantees safe passage of merchant caravans and other travellers throughout the territory as long as those travellers obey certain regulations (see below). Independent "off-road" expeditions are not guaranteed, and any such expeditions are at the risk of those participating.

No current census or enumeration of tribes exists, and it's unlikely that any such would be permitted. The few reports that have reached the other nations indicate that the density of inhabitants in the area is quite low and that each tribe has a significant amount of space to wander around in. Most of the tribes are pastoral herders or hunter-gatherers.

Traveler Regulations

The Windwalker tribe (centered at Fort Hope) has made deals with the tribes that claim territory along the trade routes. These deals allow for safe (from the goblinoids anyway) passage for caravans and travellers under the following conditions.

  1. All travelers must obtain a trade banner from a Windwalker representative. This banner must be visible at all times during the travels. Failure to show the banner negates any protections. Each banner is unique and the patterns are only known to the Windwalker tribe (and their contracting parties among the local tribes).
  2. Travelers must group themselves into caravans matching one of the following sizes and pay a toll corresponding to the size.
    1. Small caravans: Up to 10 people, with no more than 4 draft or pack animals. One wagon or cart. Toll: 2 gp per person, plus 1 gp per animal. Must maintain a distance of 10 miles from the nearest caravan. Lowest priority on use of watering holes or rest stations, and must pay full price at those establishments. No limit on number per route per season, must provide own guides and guards.
    2. Medium caravans: Up to 50 people, with no more than 10 wagons. No limit on pack animals. 20 gp per wagon plus 1 gp per person. Priority use of watering holes. Flat-fee rates for rest station use. Can hire guides at flat rate of 20 gp, but must provide own guards. Limited to 10 per route per season (5 in each direction).
    3. Large caravans: Up to 100 people or 20 wagons. 50 gp per wagon or four pack animals. Priority use of watering holes and rest stations. Integrated guide and guard complement. Nominal fees for rest station use. Limited to 2 per route per season, one in each direction (6 per route per year). Restricted to registered trading companies. Individuals must purchase passage from one of these companies.
  3. Travelers must follow designated routes. Departure from these routes invalidates protections.
  4. Travelers in medium or large caravans must camp only at designated spots along the routes. Small caravans can camp wherever as long as they're within 100 yards of the trail at all times and follow standard precautions for fire safety and disposal of waste.
  5. Foraging off-road is strictly prohibited.
  6. Travelers wishing to engage in trade with local tribes must purchase an additional sub-banner and display it in their camps when they wish to trade. Trade must be done in barter only (local tribes will not accept coin) and is strictly at the traveler's risk. Caveat Emptor.

Traveler Cautions

  1. While watering holes are available along the routes, they are not common. Travelers (especially on lesser-traveled routes) should plan on bringing their own supplies.
  2. Repair facilities and inns are generally not available. Some rest stations might have blacksmiths or wagon-repair specialists, but don't count on it.
  3. While a trade banner does provide a measure of safety from the local goblinoid tribes (backed by Windwalker military force), it cannot protect against any of the following conditions, so private guards are strongly advised unless traveling with a large caravan.
    1. Raiding parties from wild tribes who are not part of the Confederacy. This is most common along the southernmost stretches of the routes. Complaints are allowed (from survivors) and Windwalker patrols try to keep the area safe, but can't be everywhere.
    2. Wild beasts or savage species such as (but not limited to) giant-kin, wolves, land-sharks, harpies, and burrow-worms.
    3. Weather events (including dust storms or flash floods)
    4. Re-appearance of pre-Cataclysm ruins, structures, places, or other such occurrences. Travelers who witness such phenomena are encouraged to report it to the Windwalker representative at their next rest area and may be rewarded for accurate and detailed reports.