Notes on the Ashlanders
and the Nerevarine Cult
by Hassour Zainsubani
The Ashlanders are the direct descendants of the Aldmeri peoples who followed the Prophet Veloth into the lands we now call Morrowind. The Ashlanders retain the modest nomadic life and simple ancestor worship of their forebears, and despise the soft lives and decadent worships of the settled Great House Dunmer cultures. The Wastes are harsh and unforgiving, and we are a hard people. But there is a beauty and honor in our simple lives, and the snobs of the Temple and Great Houses are fools to dismiss us as crude savages.
Ashlanders and foreigners
Most Ashlanders wish all foreigners and their false gods could be driven from Morrowind. At very least, Ashlanders wish the foreign devils would leave them in peace. Ashlanders think it shameful to attack unarmed persons, but they will kill without hesitation an armed person who offends them or their clan laws. No Ashlander is fool enough to make war against the Empire. However, if such a war might be won, many Ashlanders might cheerfully give their lives to win such a war.
Ashlanders may challenge a stranger who enters a yurt without invitation. Customs differ with different tribes, but leave when requested, and you may be forgiven. Be particularly careful about ashkhans -- tribal chiefs -- and wise women -- tribal seers and counselors. Some are welcoming, some are hostile. Be courteous, and leave if requested. If offended, they may attack.
When challenged for sport, it is acceptable to decline. When challenged for honor, it is shameful to decline. Honor challenges come from offense given in speech or action, or may represent customary formal challenges of status or ritual.
All Ashlanders in a tribe, young and small, are born into the Ancestor cult of their clan. The Nerevarine cult is different, though; it is a very small cult, with only a few wise women with the gift of prophecy, and a few holy warrior-heroes who guard and protect the seers. Sul-Matuul, Ashkhan of the Urshilaku, is the Warrior-Protector of the cult, and Nibani Maesa, also of the Urshilaku, is the Oracle-Seer of the cult.
They worship the Great Ashkhan and Hortator, Nerevar Moon-and-Star, who in ages past destroyed the evil, godless dwarves and banished the treacherous Dagoth Ur and his foul hosts beneath Red Mountain. The cult is of small consequence in Ashlander worship, and only among the Urshilaku do its followers have any influence. Others Ashlanders tribes share the sentiments of the cult, but regard the Nerevarine prophecies with suspicion and skepticism.
It is said that prophecies foretell the return of a reincarnated Nerevar, who shall drive the foreigners from the Ashlands and who shall cast down the false gods of the Temple, and restore the true worships of the Ancestors. It is a dream that would appeal to every Ashlander, but many Ashlanders think it is a silly ancient legend, and little more.
The Urshilaku Ashlanders
The Urshilaku are the Ashlanders of the northern Ashlands and the West Gash, in the northwest of Vvardenfell. Ashkhan Sul-Matuul is their chief, a brave and respected war leader, and Warrior-Protector of the Nerevarine cult. Nibani Maesa is their wise woman, a deep and shrewd counselor, and seer of the Nerevarine cult. The Urshilaku camp moves with the herds, but usually lies close to the Sea of Ghosts, north of the village of Maar Gan, on the northern coast of the northern Ashlands.