A vicious horde of dogmatic animal-worshipers, the Fung Nikan believe that all the land in the world is rightfully theirs, given to them to protect by the great goddess Ni Kuan. Unyielding in battle and conquest, the mounted archers of the Fung Nikan are a force to be feared. But despite their horror-invoking appearance and mission, the people of this land are peaceful at heart. The Fung Nikan believe that all of the world was created by two beings; Ni Kuan, the mother of the animals, and Kal Bo, the father of the land. Kal Bo was betrayed by his brother, fittingly the God of Lies. Without its father, the land began to wither. To prevent the oft-prophesied “End”, Ni Kuan gave the land to the Fung Nikan, the most worthy of men, to cherish and guard it from the wicked exploitation of Lesser Men (everyone else!). She then gave her own life to the animals, who carry her fractured soul as their own burden in life.
As such, the Fung Nikan are strict vegetarians (aside from fish, whose soul-carrying capacity is always under debate), and faithful to a fault. It is said that upon waking, a Fung Nikan will pray to the first animal he sees. This is most likely true. It is also said that they believe the land calls for them, and that they will stop at nothing to see it under their lurid protection. This is unquestionable.
Among the titles of the Lilchak Kong are King of Kings, Protector of the Royal Lands, and Messenger of Gods. But perhaps the most important title is Lord of the Mines. The Lilchaks inhabit the area of Til closest to the Spiran border, and were fortunate enough to be blessed with a seemingly infinite supply of gold beneath their feat. A natural treasure trove equaled only by the Great Quarry in Escandria. The Lilchaks believe that Gold is the remnants of giant metal folk, who roamed the world far before anyone could remember. One of many tales, the beasts are said to have enslaved all who were smaller than them, certainly meaning everything. Fortunately, the first men to appear destroyed their oppressors, with ingenuity rather than size. Using boiling water to crack the Gold-Folk, riding horses to outrun them, and swinging heated warhammers to smash them, their reign of terror was brought to an end with a shower of gold. The gold fell from so high that it sunk through the ground and into the bowels of the nether, a last trick by the Giants to keep the Men from ever having their power. But the men won with their own tricks once more, using mines and pulleys to bring the gold back up from where it fell.
The Lilchaks were among the first of the Spirese Collaborators at the time of the Empire’s Conquest of Til. They were led to believe that the Spirese were the legendary Khaki Men, who were the Land Army of the Gods. Even after the deceit was discovered, the Lilchaks remained loyal to the Empire. For they admired their clever deception. The Lilchaks are in almost constant war with their southern neighbors, the Fung Nikan, who aim to return all of their gold back into the ground “where it belongs”. The Fung Nikan must have their own gold still untouched. And the Lilchaks are now free from the Spirese constraints. Perhaps a greater war is in order?
The Cheems are some of the least powerful of the Tilaks, although their history is the most impressive. The story of the Cheems goes back a millennia, and speaks of science, culture, and power over the other tribes that waxed and waned with the years. Over time, the Cheems have forgotten most of their advancements for reasons that even they do not know. This left them weak at the most dangerous time, the Spirese conquests. The Spirese claimed the land of “llakmeh” (Rackmond) with the construction of a mighty fort, in the center of what was the Cheems’ territory. A series of civil wars within the leading powers led to instability, and the worst of omens were seen by the head priests. The Great Temple was struck by lightning. Another temple burned down! Strange visions of men with metal hats were seen in the darkness. And a mysterious creaking sound was heard across the plains. These things predicted only disaster and invasion. The Cheems needed to mobilize. Following what was a plainly offensive action, the Cheems were then plunged into a three-way war, with the Traitorous Lilchaks, the Strange Spirese, and the Fanatical Fung Nikan.
Despite their use of archaic weapons and tactics, the Cheems managed the claim Fort Rackmond from the Spirese Empire, at the cost of most of their land. They still have control over the Fort, which they use as a base for their long journeys patrollling trade roads and guarding merchants from bandits. But do they truly deserve to be guarded?