There are two phrases which pertain to the hunters of the elder wilds, Votanki and Balazarings. The term Votank comes from the children Votank the ancestor who survived the Darkness and taught his children the ways of life.
The term Balazaring generally refers to people who dwell in the kingdoms of Balazar which was created for the humans of the Elder Wilds towards the end of the second age. Often these terms are used interchangeably but they have actually come to refer to two subtly different groups.
The foundation of the kingdom of Balazar brought change to the humans of the Elder Wilds,
- the importance of the Clan was challenged by the importance of the tribe
- domesticated animals (pigs) were brought to the area
- foreign Gods were now worshipped
- Dynastic leadership was introduced
- Metal was sought and used on a much larger scale
- Permanent dwellings were built
- A professional a warrior cast started to exists
For some hunters this was progress for others it was affront to the ways of Votank that had been passed down via the ancestors. The humans in the Elder Wilds split, those happy with Balazar and his ways who have been called Balazarings since and those who wanted to maintain the ways of Votank who kept the title of Votanki.
The Balazarings gathered around the citadels and the central areas of Balazar. The Votanki removed themselves and hunted the wilder places, the fringes and the Elder Wilds proper. Votanki Clans can be found on the Redlands borders, in woods and hills in the pent borderlands, in the less dangerous areas of the Elder Wilds and the fringes of Balazar.
Over the years the numbers of Votanki know of by the Balazarings dropped significantly some were killed by the elder races, some starved, other drifted too far away, some just retreated into their hunting grounds and never interacted with other Clans.
However since the Lunar Empires invasion of Elkoi and the arrival of Lightbringers in Balazar, a new Votanki movement has sprung up, clans have pulled away from the citadels, forgotten Votanki clans have moved back towards Balazar and Namara is leading a tradition of shamans exposing a Votanki philosophy.
A table showing some of the differences between Balazarings and Votanki
|Affiliation||Clan and Tribe||Clan Only|
|Foreign Gods||Yelmalio, Balazar, Seven Mothers, Lightbringers||None|
|Use of Metal||When Possible||No|
|Eats domestic animals||Will trade for||Will avoid|
|Clan Leadership||Council & chief||Council|
|Clan Totem||Animals, Plan, ancestor||Animal, plants, ancestor, nature spirit, elemental|
|Trade with foreigners||Yes||No|