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Not all men who live in Arvum kneel before the Crown or accept the writ of the Compact. Lawless tribes and savage clans of men live in the high hills or deep forests, in the places not fully under control of the five great houses and all their bannermen, descending from their hiding places to prey upon unwary travelers and sometimes even warring with the lords who control wilder domains. While the Compact oft refers to the barbarians as 'shavs', which most commoners think is derived from the savagery they inflict, but in truth the term comes from the old-tongue word 'shav'arvani' - the name of the people of Arvum from before the Reckoning. Among the shav'arvani they call themselves 'the Abandoned', named for those left behind in lands that fell to the demons during the Reckoning in a long held accusation that the Compact betrayed them and left them as prey to the foes of humanity during that conflict a thousand years ago.

In truth they make up no single monolithic group. No one, not even the Archscholar of Vellichor, claims to know just how many groups of Abandoned exist in Arvum, but it's clear that there must be hundreds of tribes and clans with vastly different cultures, styles and races of men. Some, like the traveling Ravashari, are tolerated as being godless but mostly harmless nomadic folk. Most Shav tribes are considered no better than brigands, rooted out and destroyed when they finally can be ignored no longer. And for some, the commoner tales about demon-worshippers and terrifying death cults seem all too accurate, with murderous tribes that commit foul deeds to placate darker gods.