The impalas ridden and herded by the Impala Tribe are larger than their wild brethren, but are still far smaller than any of the other riding animals of Prax. Their Riders, therefore, are small to match their steeds. Any child born to the Tribe who grows too large is banished.Impalas graze in huge herds. Each of the males claim a patch of ground which they guard for use by their females and young. Bachelors are left to fend for themselves and tend to group together in skittish groups which surround the main herd and graze in unclaimed, poorer ground. The riders perform likewise, for they do not form a single huge camp like the bison riders. Instead the Impala people have many smaller camps surrounding their herds. Bachelors are not rejected by the tribe, but formed into warrior bands which earn their keep by herding and hunting and look forward to the day when they will be allowed to choose a wife.
Still the Impala Tribe are ready to band together for war. Their preferred weapon is the recurved bow, and they are master skirmishers. They have turn their small size and inability to carry armor (because of the comparatively small strength of their beasts) into an asset, for it forces them to concentrate on missile attacks. They are generally considered to be useless in a melee.
Despite their small size and lack of hand-to-hand prowess, the daring Impala Riders are some of the bravest individual warriors on the Plains. They devised the system of counting honors against a living foe by striking him and getting away unscathed. This practice is followed by young warriors of the other tribes, but the Impala people have practiced the methods until they are unparalleled.
This system of proving bravery has also gotten into their tribal politics, so that a great leader is one who can “touch” an opponent and humiliate them without taking a “wound” themself. This often makes clan squabbles entertaining for bystanders – and frustrating for slow-witten participants.Their concentration on hunting prowess and missile weapons has made the Impala people one of the largest groups of worshipers of Yelmalio, which rivals the traditional Waha cult. Orlanth Adventurous is also popular among the warriors, and many bachelor societies are led by a Wind Lord instead of a khan.
Like Bison Riders, the Impala were leaders of the defence of Prax against the Lunar Empire. Though their sure-footed beasts did not fall victim to caltrops, their arrows did little against the Lunar heavy infantry, and when the Lunar cavalry charged, the Impalas could not hold their ground. They were forced to flee and scattered when their heavy support was doomed, and were exiled beyond Vulture Country. Neither tribe is happy with the other, since each feels betrayed by the other in the battle. Like the Bison Tribe, the Impalas returned to Prax in 1624, but unlike the Bison Riders the tribe is divided about the role of the White Bull.
Mokwaha Hearthand, Tribal Khan
Born 1585, more commonly known as “that fierce pygmy”, Mokwaha was blinded by a Sartarite war party many years ago, but has replaced his human eyes with one from a mouse and one from a bear. He hates all non-Praxians and will not suffer them to live in his presence. Mokwaha fled to Vulture Country in 1621, but returned leading numerous Impala Riders to attack settlements throughout the River of Cradles. Although Mokwaha acknowledges Jaldon Goldentooth’s primacy, he is not a member of the White Bull Society and pointedly follows Jaldon and not Argrath.
Varata, Eiritha Prophet
Varata is a shaman and initiate of Eiritha. An early recruit to the White Bull Society, experienced a spirit visitation from Mother Impala, in which she was instructed to achieve unity between the five tribes, starting with the Bisons. A teeming group of Impala Riders follows her wherever she goes, proclaiming her a prophet of peace who will one day eclipse Argrath.
N’Krun, Impala Waha Khan
N’krun has wholeheartedly embraced the White Bull movement. All his life he has led his people with caution, always one bad moment from disaster. By crushing the oppressive Lunars, White Bull will usher in a new era of unity and freedom. Though N’krun still acts judiciously in his everyday life, he looks forward to the great new day promised by the Eiritha shaman Varata, who has shared with him a convincing tale of a revelation from Eiritha in the spirit realm. Argrath gave the New Pavis Temple of Eiritha and Waha to N’Krun and his wife Lalaira Horndaughter.
Lalira Horndaughter, Eiritha Herd Mother
The wife of N’Krun, Lalira has been given the New Pavis Temple to Eiritha and Waha by Argrath. Lalira’s new position forces an uncomfortable reconsideration of the attitudes she has always lived by. She used to believe that all Praxians should come together through the blessings of Eiritha, and that no other culture warrants trust or admiration. Now she finds herself in a dizzying era of cooperation between nomad and Sartarite, required to live in a settlement, under the command of a so-called Praxian who vies for an Orlanthi throne.
She loves her husband N’krun unreservedly but fears the trust he has placed in White Bull. Unusually tall for an Impala Rider, she has a long, willowy frame, high cheekbones, and a pointed chin.
Yellow-Face, Impala Light Captain
Yellow-Face (born 1594) is the martial leader of the Yelmalio cult for the Impala Nation. He maintains stiffly formal relationships with the Yelmalio cult leaders in Pavis and Sun County, holding them in private disdain. Famed for his skill at striking a foe and getting away unscathed, Yellow-Face carries a staff marked with a hawk feather for each success. Yellow-Face spends each Truth Week purifying himself, appearing publicly only to fight and lead his followers in war. He pointedly refuses to follow White Bull captains, demanding to be an equal to any other war leader present.Yellow-Face wears a golden mask in battle that can shine like the sun.
Ilina Lightning Thief, Impala Wind Lord
Born 1600, Ilina’s parents, both Impala warriors, died at the First Battle of Moonbroth and she ended up an orphan in the Badside of New Pavis, becoming a leader of the Blood Knives. She was brought back into the Impala Nation by a fellow exile, and joined the Orlanth Adventurous cult. She was an early recruit into the White Bull Society and has pledged her loyalty to Argrath White Bull. She is the marital leader of the Orlanth Adventurous cult for the Impala Nation.Ilina is open minded and adventurous, and more than a little reckless.
Jovanka the Tall, Impala Seven Mothers priestess
Born 1595, Jovanka was banished from her clan for being too tall to ride an Impala. She was embraced by the Seven Mothers cult of New Pavis, and received an oversized Impala from Sor-eel the Short. She returned to her tribe as a Lunar missionary – through her efforts she now leads one of the largest Praxian Seven Mothers temples outside of the Sable Nation. She kept her temple officially neutral when the White Bull attacked New Pavis, although she provided shelter for many Lunar refugees.