The Order of the Lantern
Before the rise of the Ancients the Anhtwald covered most of Nathemar, hunting and gathering. As civilization grew they were pushed further and further into the wilds, to places so remote that even the legions, armed with the might of the ancients’ magic, feared to chase them. It was ultimately their isolation that saved them from the cataclysm and in its aftermath they began to return to the lands they had formerly occupied. As the chaos subsided and the cities began to grow again the civilized peoples of Nathemar once again began to encounter the Anhtwald. The wild folk have long memories and still recall the destruction wrought upon nature by the cataclysm. They are determined not to be pushed back again to the edges of the world and resist fiercely against those who encroach upon their territory. There have been reports of Anhtwald forming alliances with the Savages, combining their powerful magic with the Savages’ brute strength and numbers to stem the tide of civilization.
Anhtwald society is tribal, with large extended kin groups claiming their own territory. Each tribe is ruled by a Duna, or chief who is advised by the Kidwyr, a council of elders. The chief rules until death or he is deposed by a unanimous vote by the Kidwyr. In theory anyone can become chief but in practice the succession is often hereditary. Each tribe operates more or less independently of the others and feuds break out from time to time between them. The only semblance of unity among the Anhtwald comes from the Edildred, the council of druids. All druids are female; those males found to be born with the gift are killed or driven away. The Edildred bow to no Duna and the council has at least one representative in every tribe. As soon as a young girl shows the talent to become a druid she is taken from her family and raised among the Edildred. Although grown Edildre often return to their home tribe as representatives their first loyalty is to their sister druids.