The Saarlok Tribes - People of the Withered Roots

To many on Horai, the deepest places are found where the glowing roots grows.
Plenty of brave soul dares to approach these places, but few have the skills to avoid the ravernous creatures that call the roots their home.

Creatures that dine on the potent sap that drips from the luminous tangle are stronger and larger than any counterpart above ground, yet the energies that dwell in the lilac resin brings nothing but death to any human that imbibes it.

However, live your life among the roots and the ruins of a distant past, and the power will mark you.

Such was the case with the fourth tribe of Horai, the Saalok.
Once, they worshipped the great beasts of the great caves, but in time, predations from rival tribes forced them into the below seeking their gods.
Instead, they found the mauve roots that provided for them.

In time, the gods became mere servants of the Forgotten Spirits of the Tree That Was.
Seeking the lore of the ruins, the Tribe of Saa understood that once there had been a
tree. So it was in the songs of the forgotten spirits.
And it had been filled with unbridled amounts of pure life, which nourished the land.
Until, it all vanished, and the Tree began it's long death.

In time, the Saaloks became more.
The gift of the tree entered the new generations, marking them as it's own.
Mauve eyes, akin to the glow of the tree, allowed them to travel the darkened
caves and expand their little settlement to several towns, each under a different
clan. And in time, they forgot the surface world, as it was an enemy to them.
But their singers chanted of the Speartime, and the shaman heard the prophecies of
the distant spirits.
One day, the Saarlok would once more see the sun, and with them, they would reap
the weed from the above, to allow the tree to once more grow, born anew.

Few of the five clans believe it, as they are more concerned with centuries of
hatred and intrigues. Few mortals journey to the deep caves, beneath the roots
of the Tree That Was.
No one but a few demons know the hidden ways.

Saalok-culture is a tribal life, with a very low expectancy.
The clan-chieftains reign due to strength of arm and alliances, not due to blood.
Each settlements are solely under one clan's rule.

- Jo Clan rules the most caves. Yet their lives are often shorter due to their weakness against illness.
- Aka Clan are the strongest. They have the ironwood groves and thus weapons.
- Gronn Clan have the Deep Caves. Their beasttamers have the strongest creatures.
- Qro Clan controls the Bright Caves, the ones directly beneath the roots.
- Dena Clan are the makers, yet they are often bullied aside by stronger clans.

In the clanholds, days without hunt or work are spend singing, drinking and carnal intimacy.
Many caves are used for agricultural workings, as the blessed soil can nurish without the rays of the sun above. Thus, the diet here consists of greens, mushrooms and soups on boiled beetles.

The Shamans sing the Songs of Growth, allowing the beasts that are born in the care of the Saalok to grow as big as their wild breathren.
A shaman is the guide of his cave and his line, and every cave have a shaman.
They practice their rites with the other shamans from time to time, and many cheiftains suspect that they conspire together, leading the most common death among shamans to be having said the wrong thing to a paranoid chieftain.

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