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The Kei'uptik Tribe, or the Keepers of the Pines, are from the rural areas surrounding the realm of Stygia. Classified under The People of the Vale because of culture and custom, Kei'uptiks bring their own brand of high country, heavily forested malice to the battlefield.

Local Conditions and Training

A harsh and relatively untamed region, Stygia is host to many horrid creatures that Kei'uptiks face all their lives. In a land teeming with bears, catamounts, and evil spirits, the Kei'uptik work out a tentative and hard existence. The disease of Lycanthropy runs rampant through the northern reaches of the Rocky Mountains, infecting many tribe members and driving them mad. A great deal of Kei'uptik Rites involve blessings against Lycanthropy and the wretched creatures infected. Vampires seeking refuge from hunters in larger cities occasionally set up enclaves, but the teachings of the Dread Gods dictate that these creatures are unnatural and to be hunted to extinction. This is why some of the world's best Werewolf and Vampire Hunters come from the Kei'uptik Tribe.

The weather of the Northern Rockies is likewise harsh and unpredictable. Being a arid and alpine country, water is a scarce and violently protected commodity. Forest fires that ravage thousands of miles are a common summer occurrence, so the need for a stable water source often comes into conflict with the need to be nomadic to avoid the fires. Thusly, the Kei'uptiks are a hardy and outdoors-savvy tribe, competing with even the most desolate desert tribes for overall water efficiency.

With a massive abundance of wood, the Kei'uptiks mainly build and have mastered simple weapons such as rocks, spears, archery, and clubs. The few tribe members who are proficient with steel or iron weapons steal their equipment from a large mining and smelting settlement to the south of Stygia. Most of their armor is simple leather made from the spoils of several hunts. Leather stretched over wooden planks makes for a common shield during times of war, but are rarely used during The Great Hunt.

Schools of Combat

Two very different styles of combat have taken root in the Kei'uptiks. From the confrontations with other realms, conventional tactics have slowly bled into war teachings. While not very good at organized and group combat, the individual fighters of the Kei'uptik who fight conventionally (Todo, Mutton, Maulthus, Zuloo) are a terrible force to be reckoned with individually, as they have mastered single combat and have great skill taking on larger groups by themselves.

The other style natural to Kei'uptiks is that of Stealth. Garnering their specialized talents from hunting bears and catamounts, the patience and lethal ability of Kei'uptik and Stygian assassins is rarely matched. The Champion of the Chaos Wars XIII Assassin Tournament was indeed a young fighter named Nii from the Kei'uptik who used his ingrained hunting instinct to rise above weaker and less determined fighters from large population centers. There are a sizable number of Kei'uptiks who use their hunting prowess with ranged weaponry, exceedingly superior in guerilla hit-and-run tactics, close combat rock-throwing, and long-range sniping, such as Malark and Valas Hune.

Members of the Kei'uptik

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