The Yo’Tan are a strong and hardy warrior race that are found in the swamps and mountains of Valys. When the humans first landed on Valys they encountered the Yo’Tan. First thinking them to be servants of the Demon Lords there was a mighty war, however after many years of bloodshed, they found that the black skinned creatures were a proud and honourable warrior race who respect strength above all else. They have no like of demons or the Risen. Yo’Tan can live to over 40 years, but it is rare if they do. They reach maturity by the age of ten and normally fall in battle within the next ten years.
The origins of the Yo’Tan are shrouded in the mystery of the past. They are born with a link to the realm of Vitae and seem to gain strength from that realm. The Yo’Tan have not been on the lands of Valys as long as they Fae have, however, they were well established by the time that the humans came to the land. In their past they had a long running war with the Fae about the guardianship of the land, as the Yo’Tan tribes were divided the strength of the Fae courts was easily able to divide and conquer. Some of the tribes were lost completely, however in this, the war of expansion, the Yo’Tan were able to seize and hold their land that they still hold today.
The primary virtues of the Yo’Tan are Strength, Bravery and Cunning. The tribes of the Yo’Tan respect Strength and consider it the prime virtue, whether physical strength or strength of will. Fear is a sign of weakness and shall not be tolerated, those who run in battle are normally cut down by their own side rather than to dishonour the tribe, or at the very least are exiled from their tribe. Cunning is also rated highly and those that can outthink their foes tend to lead to great survival and victory for their whole tribe.
The Tribes of the Yo’Tan are not united and commonly war against each other Although this is not always the case, the Yo’Tan have been united in the past many times and it was the Warlord Cargath the Unifier led the Yo’Tan to their greatest victory over the Fae during the war of expansion. The Yo’tan occasionally hold tribal moots where the warlords sit in council and the warriors compete/challenge each other to prove their strength. It is also a place for trade and exchange of knowledge.
Rather than fighting for ownership of territory, Yo’Tan believe that no mortal can own the land (humans who think different are clearly delusional). instead mortals are actually owned by the land that birthed them ... it offers up food, water, shelter, etc and in return it is the duty of the tribe to protect the land the provides for them. Being appointed guardian of something (a valley, a lake or even a notable tree) is a great honour and warriors may well list what they are guardian of as part of their introduction (the more stuff, the more impressive). To allow something to happen to whatever you're guardian of is a terrible disgrace. A warrior (or tribe) who is disgraced in this manner is expected to fight to the last breath to regain the relevant land and cleanse it.
Each tribe is nomadic within its own lands; building no permanent settlements but instead moving to different sites with the seasons and to follow game.
No tribe would raid the lands of another purely for conquest; that's a human notion. If a tribe grows too large or food becomes scarce, however then they have no qualms about going wherever there actually is food (the territorial claims of other tribes are as irrelevant to them as those of humans). once they have taken food from a new area of land, then obviously they then owe a debt to that land too and it becomes their duty to protect it (from the people who lived there previously if necessary).
When walking through land occupied by another tribe wrap the heads of their spears and axes in cloth. This is traditionally accepted by other tribes as a sign that the stranger means no harm ... and in times of peace free passage would normally be given without question. To ask another warrior to actually part with his weapons would be to imply that you believe him capable of treachery and a grave insult. Being asked to wrap weapons for a parlay, tribal gathering or meeting with other races is not unexpected or unacceptable though.
The Yo’Tan have no gods, instead they worships spirits. Commonly these are spirits of places or animals. Many believe that is these spirits who showed the Yo’Tan how to harness the gifts of vitality. They have Shaman who perform the rites and ceremonies that keep the culture and beliefs of their tribe strong.
Yo’Tan have dark black or brown skin with a raised forehead and deep set eyes. They often have tribal tattoos and scars which mark out their tribe, their rank and any achievements that they have earnt.
They tend to wear chain and leather, in blacks, greys and browns. Their clothing is hard wearing and practical and they have little time for flamboyance. Most of their clothing is patched up and handed down or scavenged from their fallen comrades.
Yo’Tan often wear totems of animal skulls, tails or feet that mark them out and give them protection from their guardian spirits.