The Old Ways
The tribal natives of Hibernia believe that every living thing has a spirit and when we die we are reborn as beasts. The greater the man, the greater the animal he is reborn as. They have a respect for animals, and look down on those who mistreat them. Though the Bergmen hunt and eat animals, they do so out of necessity.
There is usually a shaman amongst each tribe who acts as the holy man. Though the chieftain’s word is of the highest authority, shamans are very influential in the chieftain’s decision, and a particularly charismatic shaman can sway the tribe more than anyone else. They claim to be able to communicate between the beasts and the land itself. Most are experts at reading signs of nature and interpreting the stars, as well as having a fundamental knowledge of medicine. Rarely, a shaman will arise that actually is able to wield some magic; the Guild believes them to be spellflares, but their spells are very much linked to nature and have a primal feel to them.
Other than the Bergmen of the Frozen Lands, some people in Galway still follow the old ways, though the First Order declared it heresy. Normally, people caught practicing the old ways are flogged and made to publicly reject the spirit beasts. If they do not repent, then they are hung; the First Order believes the spirit beasts to be an extension of Felled, and consider the followers to be little better than Cimmerians.
Galwyns are more tolerant than other nations when it comes to the old ways. The old ways are more cultural than religious to them, and it isn’t uncommon for people to worship both sides. Members of the Hand that are of Galwyn descent tend to turn a blind eye to the common practices of the old ways.
There are five major tribes and a handful of lesser tribes, all of which are named after beasts, some real some legendary.
The Ghost Stag, The Spear Whale, The White Bear, The Elk Lord, The Horned Boar