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(May 4th, 2012)
Meet the Tribes of Tanglebrook: The Haidar!
      by Callista Skip

The Haidar storytellers tell of how the lions first made their way to Tanglebrook, travel-worn and desperate to find a new home. Managing to scale the gently sloping Western mountains, they found themselves in the lush fields of a valley bordering the dark jungle. A massive dragon, dark red with a bright gold mane rushed over them, flying low over the land, roaring his approval at their appearance.

A Skaema appeared moments later, and sat with the elders of the pride. The Skaema had no mouth, and instead projected pictures into the minds of the Haidar, showing them how nimble antelope and other game lived in the field; how there was fresh water flowing from the river that rushed through the jungle; and that there was space for them there to live and prosper.

Art by Chickenteeth

The pride fell to their knees in thanks, and have tried to pay the dragons' kindness back ever since.

The Haidar are most invested in maintaining the peace throughout Tanglebrook, regardless of who else might have a say. This focus on judgement and record-keeping rubs their less interested neighbors the wrong way, though in many cases it actually succeeds in letting the accused off, and in finding the truth in muddy matters.

While the Alphus sends packs of soldiers to walk their boundaries, the Haidar send armed judges and bailiffs. These small groups never hope to find trouble, but instead just make themselves available to various towns and camps. They spend as much time as needed to make a case, sometimes even several days conducting interviews and pulling together conflicting stories until they manage to find the truth.

Behind this service is a group of elders ruled over by two elected figureheads who convey the will of the people. It is this group that makes the final decisions on who to assign to the role of judge or bailiff, among other important choices that sway the political tension over Tanglebrook.

Art by Maim

The Haidar are not ignorant of the potential threat the Alphus' hubris poses, and consider their own modest army to be an extension of their desire to maintain peace and order in Tanglebrook. Their commanders rely on the territorial information brought back by the Haidar Scouts, the political assessments provided by the roving judges, and the expectations of the elders and figureheads, and therefore the tribe as a whole.

The strife they had escaped in coming to Tanglebrook was a distant memory in the mind of the current generation of the tribe. The stories passed down have created an undercurrent of relief, though, whenever a commander walks into town, a freshly rolled map under hir arm, or a set of troops line up for practice on the edge of camp. The Haidar storytellers are quick to remind them that things were once different, not that long ago.

Art by FsMaverick

The Haidar territory covers the foothills of the Western mountains, then comes East and South over the vast rolling plains, to the very edge of the jungle, along the borders of the Alphus and Murodian territories. Though it is an uneasy relationship at times, none of the tribes could imagine life without the other three.

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