Victorian British adventurers Davey & Carnagan came a cropper in their efforts to found a kingdom north of the Himalayas – fleeing from angry tribesmen they rushed to a cave. As they kept the warriors back with accurate martini henry fire they uncovered a strange metal archway with a mirrored sheen. Outnumbered and running low on ammunition they took one last punt and hurled themselves into the gate.
They found themselves in a strange land – the Black Alps having transversed light-eons across space & time and come out of the opposing gate on the planet Mud. The Black Alps proved a more fertile territory for their adventures and as joint kings founded a small, growing Empire of Phelk marshalling warring tribes.
Two hundred years passed and their descendants grew plump & decadent. When the expanding Dragonwealth erupted upon their lands there tribal levies were ill-equipped to repel them. The only serious resistance came from the women of the Palace’s seragilo who took a heavy toll on the invaders in indoors close combat. So impressed was the Dragon commanding the invasion that he allowed the surviving women and their offspring to flee into exile.
A bleak exile it was – with Dragonwealth expansion the valleys and peaks were teeming with sundry refugees scrambling and fighting for resources. A body of harem women & offspring could have fallen but under the inspiring leader of a matronly Queen Mother Bezzie Bradrock they fought & survived. Eventually finding a niche as a mercenary tribe hiring itself out to more settled kingdom. The continued expansion of the Dragonwealth means they are always moving and finding new employers one step ahead of the flying columns.
The Phelkish Twerka is an elected monarchy the Queen Mother being elected by family matriarchs. Outside political office the tribe operates sexual equality – every adult being part of the warrior base though pregnant women, nursing mothers and certain key occupations (blacksmiths etc) are only called up in the most dire circumstances. The tribe wears lower face masks – reminiscent of the scolds bridles of the seraglio that were worn amongst strangers. These are both armour & a reminder to hold ones tongue around foreigners. Turbans are common – a piece if dress Davey & Carnagan brought from Earth’s India. Buff leather jerkins, boots & gloves are usual dress and hand-to-habd weaponry a simple heavy sword. The Phelkish Twerka ride hardy hill ponies & use composite bows – the combination of mobility, firepower & mountaineering skills making them popular hirelings for warring nations in the hard terrain of the Black Alps.