“I am a warrior of the Pure Horse People…”

The Grazelanders
‘I am a warrior of the Pure Horse People, may the Queen be blessed.”

The Grazeland Pony Breeders (who call themselves the “Pure Horse People”) are an anachronism in a changing land. A proud and aloof tribe, they originally hailed from Prax. They were driven from their homes by the Beast Riders and harried westward into what they called the Doomed Place. Instead of the haunted horrors they expected to find, Dragon Pass was serene and nearly deserted. They settled the region to tend their herds and children in peace. As a result of the resettlement of Dragon Pass by Orlanthi, they are now confined to a small territory astride the rich trade route between the Lunar Empire and the Holy Country. They have survived due to two things: the magics invoked when the tribe first found safety in Dragon Pass and the changes wrought by the Feathered Horse Queen, including the adoption of peasant serfs called vendref.
The Pure Horse People worship their horses, and raise mighty herds of superior creatures which they sell and which carry goods across Dragon Pass. The folk themselves claim descent from the Sun God, and their culture is similar to that of Pent, though they only herd horses, never cattle; a practice which they say has polluted Pent.
The society of the Pure Horse People is rigid, with everyone in his place, which is largely determined by age and birth. Clan chiefs are elected, but few among the populace are eligible. The Feathered Horse Queen is the ruler of the Grazelands, and even the Luminous Stallion King defers to her. However, men are generally considered superior to women. Most Pure Horse People consider themselves superior to all groundsmen.
The Pure Horse People could not survive without the vendref. The vendref are descendants of Orlanthi who entered Dragon Pass over 250 years ago. They were enslaved by the Pure Horse People and put to work growing grain for their horses. They are not permitted to bear weapons or ride horses, but were allowed to keep their other customs as long as they submitted to Pure Horse People rule. The vendref make up the majority of the population in the Grazelands and many clans have distant kin in Esrolia or Sartar; as a result, the Pure Horse People are careful how they treat the farmers. Many among the vendref are merchants and are adroit at getting and using money. The Feathered Horse Queen speaks for the vendref and almost all vendref willingly serve her.
The Grazelanders have several fortified settlements where their elderly and handicapped people live alongside their lame horses, along with vendref crafters and merchants. Here peaceful trade with outlanders takes place under the protection of the Feathered Horse Queen.
Religion: The Pure Horse People worship an ancient Solar pantheon headed by Yu-Kargzant, the Sun Horse. The vendref worship Barntar and Ernalda, but are forbidden by the Pure Horse People to worship Orlanth.