Patron: The Quiet Father (Treant)
Capital: Gevan Hold
Primary Race: Halfling
Primary Language: High Draconic
Suggested Traits: Artist, Courageous, Experienced, Handler, Hardy, Mercantile Background, Militia, Saddleback, Survivor
Regional Feat: None
The Gevan are a typical example of the sort of small groups that sprung up as more and more of the Great Beasts took to protecting a flock of humanoids. Barely numbering seven hundred individuals, it is made up mostly of halflings who live in a small valley in the Thaudrig Mountains, at the edge of the Direwild's savannah interior. They are protected by the Quiet Father, a gnarled, weather-beaten treant that spends much of its time in quiet thought. Indeed, the Father usually only wakes every twenty or thirty years, when one of the handful of Gevan shamans that wield his power dies and a replacement must be chosen.
But the Gevan only spend the chill winter months in the security of Gevan Hold. During the rest of the year, the men will take to their ostriches and travel in several large hunting parties, skirting along the edges of the savannah and seeking prey. They will hunt animals for meat, hides, teeth, and horns, all of which will be brought back to the Hold when autumn begins to sweep across the lands. Meanwhile, the women-folk will cross down through the passes in the Thaudrig Mountains and journey to the cities of the Tide Princes or else brave a voyage across the Inland Sea to the more favorable ports of the Council of Wyrms, where they will travel and trade for goods they cannot make themselves, such as metal and alchemical items. For trade, they provide exotic leathers, some of the most intricate wood carvings outside of elven lands, dried herbs from the Direwild, and ostrich products such as feathers and magnificent, gilded egg shells. Many of these products are made by the men and women alike during the months spent in Gevan Hold, or else by the Hold's only full-time occupants: the elderly and youths not yet ready to go on the hunt or trading journeys.
The Gevan are descendants of a group of halflings that managed a string of ostrich ranches along the border of the Duchy of Gillain, where they provided meat and eggs for royal banquets. When the Well was destroyed by the Traitor-Heroes and the beasts of the land began to change, they were among the first to meet the monsters that were now growing in the lands of the Direwild. Many of their number succumbed to fierce attacks, and the handful that fled did so on the backs of ostriches, relying on the birds' superior strength and speed for protection.
From that relationship grew the culture of the Gevan. They discovered the Old Father quite by accident, when they found the protected valley where Gevan Hold is located today. It was a fruitful vale, with a reliable source of fresh water, plentiful fine trees, and defensible enough that even just a few halflings could hold the entrance without reinforcements. The Gevan had settled, set up their ostrich pens, and been living there for nearly a decade when, with the dawning of a spring sun one day, the mighty tree at the valley's center awoke, terrifying the halflings to no end.
The eldest in the tribe, Bopal Jonns, finally approached the bemused tree, which introduced itself as the Quiet Father. He agreed to allow the halflings to continue living in his valley, provided they follow a few simple rules, to which they readily assented. Over the years, the Old Father guided the halflings, teaching them woodworking and suggesting that they trade for goods they could not make at home. It was some two centuries before the halflings began to develop magical power as their partnership with the Quiet Father shifted slowly to the sort of worship that typifies a patron bond.
Though they trade with both the Council of Wyrms and the Tide Princes, the Gevan are a minor culture and have no real diplomatic strength or ties with either places. Their only legitimate 'foreign relation' is with the Vern, a goblin tribe that occupies some caves several days travel from Gevan Hold. The enmity between these two groups is fierce and the Gevan are skilled hunters of goblin-kind, though the Vern return the favor whenever possible.