THE SIKAYANOI
People of the Northern Tundra
In lost ages of antiquity, it is said that the Elemental Lords and their minions fought off an invasion of unearthly and unnameable beings that “…came from Beyond the stars by way of the Sea…”- but little remains but fragmented records of vast, rubbery monsters and hordes of chanting, pale minions. Pacts made with the Lords unified the humanoids of Porphyra, and drove the cyclopean leaders of the invasion off, leaving only the tattered remnants of their own, apparently human or human-like minions behind. Some measure of mercy must have stayed the hands of the victorious fledgling Elementalists, for these defeated refugees were allowed to stay and settle- and survive if they could. They stayed near the sea, which many Porphyrans dislike, and seemed to like the cold places of the planet, which even more Porphyrans avoid, and so they found a niche, and supplied the southern Porphyrans with goods they did not care to produce themselves. The people of the Boroughs of Dunmark, the Barony of Tuthon, much of Hesteria (called the Wall of Sleep) and the Northlands are inhabited by these people’s descendants, and in places where they are not too admixed with Porphyran blood, name themselves of the Kayan race. In the corrupted Aklo dialect that they speak ‘Kayan’ is said to mean ‘Servant’ perhaps as a precaution for the return of their departed leaders, to let them know they are ready to serve again…

Kayans are pale where Porphyrans are dark, flat-faced, with tilted eyes, heavy shoulders and light-colored hair; albinism is common among them, which hearkens to possible mating with the sinister erkunae of the southern seas. The most ‘pure’ Kayan people are those that inhabit the great Tundra that separates the Dry Peninsula from the vast Northlands of Porphyra- the Sikayanoi, simply “The People that Will Always Serve”. The barbarian tradition among them is a matter of course- sudden
savage ferocity is the best way to conserve precious energy in a land of few resources and harsh environment. The location and mobility of the Sikayanoi, with their wind-sleighs, reindeer blades and umakti has helped them against incursions of elementalists (and southerners in general) and their ‘civilized’ kin of the Northlands; the former in would-be invasions, the latter for slave labor and recruits for the Red King’s armies. The greatest concentration of their people is Khap Warlu- Cape Ivory in the Common Tongue. The best fishing and whaling is there, and the mountains provide some few minerals for their use. The Sikayanoi traditionally avoid other peoples and races; they do not raid, invade, assassinate or take slaves. This tradition has served them well, preserving them from epidemics that have swept the land, wars of sides (such as The NewGod conflict) and other perilous activities of people of civilized lands- whom the Sikayanoi call ‘luhppo’- The Lost. Sikayanoi hunt, to be sure, they fight amongst themselves for the same reasons
as any other people (bride-fights are especially brutal), and they swiftly remove permanent settlements in their territory- much more quietly than other peoples with barbaric traditions. Inroads for missionaries have been made among them, more with the Sjokaya, the Sea People, who seem to take to the teachings of Ithreia. Inland Sikayanoi, the Fjelkaya, practice shamanism with their
rune-drums, and possess runecasters and runereapers in their number, a startling revelation to orcs and elves who believed it was their tradition alone. Cycles of fishing, whaling, reindeer herding, tunnel-building (Sikayanoi typically dwell underground in winter, in hide-tents in the brief warm months) and a trickle of trading (mostly at sea) encapsule the Sikayanoi life, a people that dislike borders and division even when the rare youth travels to the outside world- their fear of Porphyrite borders is a matter of record. Away from the Northlands and the Dry Peninsula Sikayanoi are called ‘Frost-men’, and often have to put up with people touching their faces, which bear a down of white hair, -even among women! Few enough leave their homeland, making those ‘Frostmen’ that do so seem like giants out of legend.

Barbaric Human Offshoot
A Sikayanoi character uses human racial characteristics, with the following alternative racial characteristics.

Heart of the Tundra: Residents of the Sikayan Tundra learn the hard way that only the strong survive. They gain a racial bonus equal to half their character level on Survival checks. They also gain a +5 racial bonus on Constitution checks to stabilize when dying and add half their character level to their Constitution score when determining the negative hit point total necessary to kill them. This racial trait replaces skilled.

Snowchild: The luhppo that doesn’t see you—or the musk ox- need not know, nor ever know, that one was ever there… Whenever a member of the Sikayanoi race has concealment or total concealment, the miss chance of attacks against her increases by 5%.

Languages: Sikayanoi characters start play speaking Common and their own particular dialect of the Kayan peoples’ tongue, which they call ‘Saampi’. It is a mixture of the Aklo and Aquan tongues, an Aklo base using Aquan verbs, understandable to that degree by those who speak those languages. Sikayanoi with high intelligence (and contact with the appropriate race) can choose bonus languages from the following: Draconic, Giant, Samsaran, Tengu, Terran and Whalesong.

Purple Duck Note: As noted in Heroes of the Fenian Triarchy, races tend to be built for 10-12 race points. So if you are playing a barbaric human offshoot in a Porphyra campaign you would not lose skilled by gaining heart of the tundra.


Sikayanoi Barbarian Warriors
The strongest Sikiyanoi, whom the rune-drums (or the Ithreian priests) have indicated has inherited the power of the ancients serve as the protective arm of the tribes, and the leaders of the hunt. Their rage is the rage of protectiveness, not of personal aggression, and is seen as a type of possession by ancestral spirits - -or the spirit of Ithreia, as the case may be. Some friction has been known to take place between barabarian warriors of the two main tribes upon their meeting, which is usually defused by a knife-fight to three cuts, after which the factions cooperate peacefully.

Sea barbarians and Mountain barbarians: The two basic factions of Sikayanoi are both accomplished, and at home, upon the tundra that bears their tribal name, and apply their racial skills as listed above while there. For the warmer months, however, the two tribes, the Sea Sikayans (Sjokaya) and Mountain Sikayans (Fjelkaya) engage in pursuits upon their chosen terrains, meeting in the fall at the first double-moon after the first snowfall at the Great Stone Man to trade the excess of their gained goods.

Sjokaya: The Sjokaya Sikayanoi use the Sea Reaver archetype and apply all characteristics
of that archetype. Elemental-kin and Hurlers are also present, if less prevalent.

Fjelkaya: The Sikayans who migrate to the Vitska Mountains of Cape Ivory are not inclined to worship the New Gods, and disdain the Elementalists as if by old, old memory. They make the transition from the tundra to the highlands with ease, and very much keep themselves to themselves. They are the builders of the inukaq, the “stone men” used as direction-markers on the featureless tundra- and which are said to possess the spirits of ancient Fjelkaya, ready to defend the people
and the land if necessary… The rune-drums beat with the heartbeat of the Fjelkaya, echoing through the cold mountains, the tundra-tunnels, and the mines of stone where the Fjelkaya find iron- and perhaps secrets they do not even tell their sea-kin about.

Other common archetypes: In general, the Polar Berserker archetype is always appropriate for Sikayanoi barbarians. Some clans who do not leave the tundra embody the Mounted Fury archetype, riding the largest of reindeer. Those who seldom meet with other cultures would definitely have the Superstitious and Totem Warrior archetypes. Those of the Sjokaya that shy away from worship of Ithreia often turn to the shadowy people of the elements themselves, applying the Elemental-kin archetype; crossbreeds such as undines or aquatic sorcerers among the Sjokaya are always cause for controversy among the Sea Sikayans. All sea-clans also have a Hurler amongst them, the designated keeper of the clan’s best harpoon, for use against whales that the clan locates.