White Mandragora

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White Mandragora - mountain lords of the cold wastes.

Far above the cities of the other Mandragora, where even the Green Mandragora venture rarely, lie the lofty castles and citadels of the White Mandragora. In the high mountains, only they can endure the freezing winds and thin atmosphere of this terrain during the Lonaraban winter. The White Mandragora possess white scales with blue shading, and have a finlike extrusion from the top of their heads. They tend to appear a little overweight upon first appearance, but this is merely an insulating layer of fat, and it is certainly not from lack of exercise. They dress in furs, heavy cloaks, and stout boots - they have little interest in fashion, as their lives are spent farming, hunting, or mining – and all wear a kerchief of gauzy silk to show allegiance to their clan. This kerchief also has a practical use, as the White Mandragora tie it across their eyes to prevent snow blindness in the snowfields of the mountains.

The Whites are accomplished climbers and skiers, and some of the more reckless young White Mandragora commonly scale sheer rock faces without any climbing gear or rope. Most of the time the Shirr’haim leaves them to their own devices and they only venture down to the cities to trade furs, iron, or precious metals. In battle, the Whites prefer to use yat’aal (hand-axes) and shields, although they make use of whatever weapons they prefer. Many have mastered the kritath (a shortbow), and it is quite a disconcerting sight to see a force of White Mandragora skiing down the side of a mountain pass firing arrows at you! However, few would dare to try to attack the Whites in their home territory, for the Lonaraban Mountains are unforgiving and the weather can change in an instant. In combat, the Whites prefer swift hit-and-run tactics that can - and do - prove remarkably successful in battle against those such as the Red Mandragora. The animosity between the Red and the White Mandragora dates from before FirstFall, the reasons long forgotten. Nevertheless, the two never pass up the opportunity to score points off one another.

The Whites have their own feudal system of government revolving around the concept of a clan, rather than a kingdom and their Queens are simply called Thanes. Clan rivalries are frequent but rarely erupt into open conflict, although a number of blood feuds exist. Contests such as sled racing or skiing are the more common forms of resolving disputes. Despite the feral nature of the Dire wolves that inhabit the tree line, the White Mandragora have domesticated many of them and use them to pull their sleds. Sled racing is a tricky business at best - the wolves can turn upon their handlers if badly treated. It is a risky undertaking at the best of times and the wolf trainers are well respected in White Mandragora society. Whites are excitable, somewhat argumentative, and possess few of the intellectual gifts of their brethren. However, they are fearless warriors, and like nothing better than the opportunity to prove it. What they lack in intelligence is more than made up for by their low cunning, and only the Red Mandragora could possibly match them hand-to-hand in the mountain passes.