Saturday 19 August 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #217: Homesteads at the Targatan Fringe

Five hexes southwest, four northwest of Alakran.


Perhaps the same quirks of climate or Earth-spirit that ensure the greenness of Zigmunus also make the provice of Targatana more fertile than the surrounding wastes. From this ridge of hills overgrown with grass and low shrubs, southward for twenty-five miles or so, is a relatively well-watered land. The Targatan people who dwell therein are almost a separate nation to the Wahatti, with their straw hats like flattened cones, apparel with bright dyed stripes at the hem, and punitively-spiced cuisine of which it is said "one dish stings and the next one stinks."

But along these low hills are four homesteads, each with its extended family of 15-30 souls as well as farmhands from further south paying off various debts. Milch gnus, long-haired wool goats, and egg-laying emus are some of the unusual husbandry they practice, and their gardens produce peppers and asafoetida for the cook pot.

The funny thing is, despite their habits of dress and speech, these folk are not seen in the south as true Targatans, because of their habit of going to corrupting, Wahatti, Gesshed. They and other northern villagers are referred to as the "fraying fringe." It is said of them, for instance, that they frighten more camels than they coax emus, that their sandals have more dust than crushed grass on them, and that they see more salt than mud (there is a famous mudflat to the west in Targatana.) It is also undeniable that they do business with, well, the Wahatti Army -- the Spearpoints of Dawn are right nearby.

The Band of Bronze never went to Targatana, and we won't either, but among the rumored adventures there are a shuttered and haunted mine; a strange society of people who wear taller straw hats than normal and gather in the evening on the southern ridge; and a cult of Khilan lizard-folk in the western badlands who worship some kind of worm.

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