Hyrkanian Nomad


Madhedai’s mother was the last survivor of the vanquished Bandarin tribe. She raised her son alone, as a nomad on the steppe. Together, they herded horses, and he learned the skills of a Hyrkanian warrior: how to ride, care for, and commune with horses; and how to shoot accurately from a saddle.

After his mother’s death, Madhedai led their herd to the Kusan horse markets one last time. All but one trotted off in the hands of livestock merchants. The proceeds allowed him to fill the saddle bags of his favorite steed with Kusan trinkets.

He then rode North into the grasslands East of the Vilayet sea. From one Hyrkanian camp to another camp he traveled. At each stop he offered an item from his store to the tribal elder. Over many months, Madhedai gave many gifts and his stock depleted to nothing, but in the end none of his race would welcome the tall, solemn stranger into their midst.

However, the tribesmen would question him for news of the other Hyrkanians he had encountered. This he shared willingly. Afterward, each time he took his leave, some would charge him with messages to distant relatives. Even after he had emptied his saddle bags, when Madhedai understood that no tribe would adopt him, he continued to criss-cross the plains. He carried news of births, deaths, debts, other matters. At his destination, in exchange for his words, he would receive compensation in the form of spices, arrowheads, clothes, and other necessities.

The pursuit of one tribe took Madhedai to the Eastern edge of the steppe. This time, his obligation discharged, the young horseman turned his back on the plains, and rode further into the mountains. He had seen Hyrkania. He knew its people. He had found no future there.

For some years he wandered the lands of Khitai. Madhedai beheld its sights, met its folk, and bore their news from town to town, as he had done from tribe to tribe on the steppe. There too, he searched for a place to settle. The only welcome he found, however, was the kind afforded to strangers offering coin or messengers bearing news.

His wanderings took him from Khitai to Vendya. From there he continued to Kosala, Iranistan, and Drujistan. He bore whatever people gave him to carry, usually messages, occasionally an object. Several times he was asked to lead livestock, and twice to escort individuals. He met merchants, farmers, soldiers, and nobles. His very isolation and his habitual, stoic silence reassured those who confided in him. He spoke rarely and never betrayed the secrets entrusted to his care.

Eventually, over the course of two decades, his feet touched every kingdom of the Hyborian age. He rode through the Black Kingdoms and skied over the frozen tundra of Nordheim. He had seen, or at least so he came to believe, every corner of the world, and had nowhere found a home. Instead, the endless journey itself had taken over his life.


Savage Worlds Conan: Tower of the Ape this_is_Dan