Beyond greenfields and emeralds is the region called the Outwall by the Haslanti. At least, those Haslanti who are primarily sedentary and agricultural call it the Outwall.

Pastoralists who herd reindeer on the steppes and tundra know enough to divide it a little more carefully.

To town-dwellers, the Outwall seems an inhospitable and uninhabited place. Beyond an emerald or greenfield’s tight confines, few trees grow taller than 10 feet. Instead, thick brambles and hardy grass are the norm, stunted by wind and short growing seasons. And what’s soft, muddy ground in summer becomes hard and frozen in winter.

To the herdfolk who move with the reindeer and elk herds, the Outwall is alive with possibility. Sedge grass is very nearly the perfect food for their herds, and the wilder mammoths do not eat it. Predators have a hard time stalking on the treeless tundra, and, therefore, the herdfolk’s falcons and hawks have an easier time hunting small game.

Muddy ground is easy on their animals’ feet, and the herdfolk believe strong wind to be purifying.

Some wonder why the Hundred Tribes joined the League. Dwelling in no fixed place but moving with their herds, they live in round tents of reindeer bone and hides called aghar. Herdfolk seem as unlike their town-dwelling kin as possible. Yet, without an alliance between greenfielders, emerald-dwellers and herdfolk, the Haslanti League would wither. If the sedentary Haslanti are the nation’s body, then the roving herdfolk are its blood.

Simple economics dictate union. The sheep, goats and cattle of the greenfields, combined with the fish and whale from the White Sea, do not provide enough protein to feed everyone. Outwall herds make up the difference: they provide another source of milk, cheese and butter essential to the good health of the Haslanti. Thus, the reindeer is a universal symbol of prosperity. Herdfolk also act as the League’s transport network, moving bulk goods, which cannot be easily moved by air boat or iceship, back and forth between the emeralds and the greenfields.

Moreover, herdfolk serve as a barrier against the other Northern barbarians. Roaming in both winter and summer looking for food for their animals, the Hundred Tribes are the League’s early warning system and first line of defense.

In return for the food that herdfolk put on Haslanti tables, greenfielders provide them with iron tools, weapons, fish, whale oil, ivory, honey, bread, wool and linen.

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