From Sovereign Stone: People of the Sword and Stars
(Sovereign Press, 2003)
Echnea Province

Capital: Echnea ‘Ti
Colors: Brown and red
Symbol: A snow-capped mountain peak against a clear blue sky

Before Dunkar called his people together, the people of Dunkarga wandered the land. And while other tuul settled inside walls and cities, one tuul continues to wander the mountains of western Dunkarga, rarely watching two sunsets from the same place. These are the nomads of Tuul Echnea.

Unlike other provinces, nearly all Dunkargans in Echnea Province belong to a single tuul—Tuul Echnea. More than fifty thousand Dunkargans belong to Tuul Echnea, but they are widely dispersed, traveling in bands of no less than twenty and no more than a hundred in a never-ending journey through the Kal’tem Mountains. Despite their encyclopedia knowledge of the land they wander, it is difficult for the Echnea to give directions to outsiders, as each band gives places and landmarks unique names. Sometimes this even occurs on a personal basis, with parents naming a mountain after their child born on its slopes, or children naming a path after a parent who died while traveling it.

Births and deaths are both causes for celebration among the Echnea. When a child is born, each member of the band brings an object from the area to a welcoming ceremony and holds it behind their back. The mother selects one of the band, and the object they are holding becomes both the child’s name and a portent of their future. When a member of a band dies, whether of accident or old age, Tuul Echnea tradition says that they have finally arrived at the destination decided for them by Dunkar—the Long Rest at the end of their lifelong journey--and they should be buried where they fell. Travel is immediately set aside for the preparation of a feast where the body of the fallen member is burned while their life is celebrated, and their ashes scattered on the precise place of their death.

Though nomadic, the Echnea are far from primitive. Most bands have several members skilled in spellcasting who use their affinity for Earth magic to protect the tribe, heal the sick, and erect any earthen structures required by the tribe. They also can also call upon Fire and Water magic to provide those aspects when needed.

Yet the Echnea don’t depend solely on magic; beginning in infancy, bands train their children in the ways of the wild, from woodcraft and foraging to hunting and herbal medicine. When a child feels sufficiently trained—and when the rest of the band determines they are ready—they begin to take solitary treks of increasing duration into the wilderness. When a child can go into the wild and survive on their own for a full cycle of the moon, they become adults with the right to sire children and marry into other bands.

The Echnea take pride in leaving no trace of their passing, no matter how long their residence in a given location. But there are a few places in Echnea Province that have become permanent landmarks for the tuul. Chief among these is Echnea ‘szo. When the leaders of Tuul Echnea were required to meet leaders of other tuul for official business they would gather this, what they called their capital, an empty clearing which the Tuul takes pride in keeping as empty as possible save for a long stone table and benches near a large open firepit.

Two other locations of note are on the shores of the Western Sea in the far reaches of the province. The first is the city of Nejo ‘Nyo , home of the infamous Tuul Nejo. One of the most disreputable tuul in all of Dunkarga, Tuul Nejo welcomes the outcasts of other tuul with open arms. It is only the distant and isolated location of Nejo ‘Nyo that prevents the Dunkargan Council from outvoting the few supporters of Tuul Nejo’s Councillor and sending an expedition by the Dunkargan Army to destroy both town and tuul.

The other place of note was considered nothing more than a fable told by Tuul Echnea until the Temple of the Magi sent an expedition to the Black Coast, the hook-shaped chain of islands in western Echnea Province named for its black sand beaches. There they found ruined stone structures suggesting a large city had been located on the site centuries before. The Echnea believe the city to be the home of an evil people destroyed by Dunkar himself, and are loath to visit the place or do more than whisper its name: Gra ‘Len.

In recent years bands of Echnea have begun to do the unthinkable and leave Echnea Province, claiming that the evil of Gra ‘Len has returned. Though some bands have begun to wander across all of Loerem, others have asked for sanctuary in Mordyn Province and have been given a new home on the northern coast where they have founded the growing fishing village of Echnea ‘Ti.