Hillwalker Golenti are a surface-dwelling race who, as their name suggests, make their home among the hills of Haladra and other hilly areas outside of the Dunmaerik plateau. Their cities are typically made of stone and incorporate the terrain of their homeland in their design, broken into districts by elevation. Unlike the Stonedelve, the Hillwalker tend toward a more communal sense of government and society.
A typical Hillwalker is darker-skinned than the Stonedelve, with lighter hair and eye coloration. Like their mountainous cousins, Hillwalker Golenti are quite capable underground and share the same racial traits and abilities.
Hillwalker Golenti are a boisterous, jovial people, especially compared to their Stonedelve cousins. By and large, they are an optimistic group who revel in community. Their settlements flow with the hills of their homelands, with a large communal hall, in which the ruling council, mayor, or lord takes up residence.
Hillwalkers are consummate warriors, having perfected the art of battle defending their homes from marauding monster hordes, land-hungry humans, and threats from below. They prefer legion-based tactics.
Art and Leisure Edit
The Hillwalker Golenti have produced some of the greatest sculptors and stonemasons in the history of Omath. Even those who do not work stone for art purposes find ways to include runic shapes, and carefully-worked flair into their crafting, down to the simplest tools.
Hillwalkers find cause for many festivals and celebrations throughout the year. While each settlement may vary, there are four key festivals:
- Winterhold - A grand festival held on Winter's Slumber, characterized by large bonfires and a grand feast. Craftsmen from around the region flock to the nearest large settlement to display their latest wares.
- Foretelling - A grand festival held on Seeding, characterized with bonfires, dancing, and marriages. Many families begin or grow on the night of Foretelling.
- Hearthlight - A more subdued festival compared to the more traditional celebrations, Hearthlight is held at the end of the ninth month. During Hearthlight, the Hillwalker travel to the Communal Hall, light torches from the hearth there, and return to their homes to light the hearth fires that will burn through the winter. Once all the hearths of the settlement are lit, the Golenti return to the Communal Hall to bestow gifts to one another.
- Stonefall - Held on the darkest, longest night of the year, Stonefall is a rememberance of the lives come before. It is a time of merriment and revelry, where the Golenti come together a the Communal Hall to dance, feast, and drink in memory of their ancestors.
Magic and Religion Edit
Hillwalkers have embraced magic more so than any Golenti, excepting the Blackmind. Of the Golenti, they produce the most spellcasters and runecasters and utilize the most magical arms and armor.
Divine spellcasters are common among the Hillwalker temples and shrines. While they are fervent in their worship, the Hillwalker priests are less concerned with proselytizing than they are the protection of hearth and home. To the Hillwalker, faith is simply something you are a part of or not. Surprisingly, there is little prejudice among the Hillwalkers for non-worshipers or those Golenti who pursue deities common to other races.
The Hillwalker Golenti are more open to other civilizations when compared to their Stonedelve cousins, but not as open as the Riverhand Golenti. They have a begrudging respect for the industrious humans (except the Ezirandi, whom they loathe), and look fondly on the diminutive Fiore. They prefer not to deal with the mischievous Djenati, and resent the Nuia for abandoning the world in the Haphrises War. The Hillwalkers tend to be suspicious of the Plane-touched, though the stoneblood are quick to earn their trust.
The monstrous races have a much lower place in the Hillwalkers opinion. Generations of conflict with orc and hobgoblin tribes have brought a great deal of animosity toward those races (and any half-blood members of those races).
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The Hillwalker Clan were a large group of Golenti who lived in the shallow depths of the Golen Steppe. They were responsible for farming and ranching to provide for their brethren who delved deeper into the mountains. They were the first to witness the rise of the horselords of Haladra, cautiously engaging them in diplomacy and trade.
As the Stonedelve began to reach further into the mountains, the Hillwalker Clan expanded their holdings in the foothills, setting up a defensive perimeter against the Haladran horde. Their fortifications became cities, and farms grew alongside. They continued to expand slowly, negotiating land exchange with the Haladran tribal councils.
The Hillwalker have largely kept to the Haladra province of Dunmaerik, but a small percentage belong to the expansionist faction known as the Cadre of the Horizon have sent clans throughout Omath and beyond to settle in enclaves.