Chiron's Forge

The Hidden Steading of the Centaurs

The companions were guided to Chiron's forge by a group of centaur scouts. They had been investigating the strange mound that Sky Fury had seen Abatu standing beside when they encountered the centaurs, the horse-men that the Guardians of the Gatehouse had suggested that they sought out.

Population & Politics

The tribe of Centaurs known as the Clan of Chiron’s Forge comprises about two dozen adult males, almost twice as many adult females and just over two dozen young centaur foals.

They are ruled by the "Council of Harmony"; the head of the group of twelve centaurs is a centaur male named Rufus Firetail. However, the centaurs respect the tribe’s sage more highly than the leader of the council. The current sage is a blind, albino female by the name of Quiet Dukvaur Bonemane.

Law

Herd law is an unwritten code that varies from herd to herd. Justice is usually administered by the matriarch and is executed by the herd war chief. As the rules are unwritten, a discussion of them can only be general at best.

In a few herds, it is a crime to insult frequently any individual herd member. If a centaur is convicted of this, the maximum
sentence is tail shearing. Cropped tails are often much in evidence after council meetings, unless this rule has been temporarily
suspended.

The drawing of a weapon against a herd member by an outsider, except in self-defence, is a crime punished by expulsion from the herd environs. Use of a weapon by one herd member against another carries a maximum sentence of permanent expulsion
from the herd environs, unless the offense was premeditated (which they rarely are).

Attempted murder of a herd member is punishable by a maximum sentence of sterilization. Murder of either a herd member or an invited guest of the herd is punishable by death. Although centaurs do not lie, they find nothing wrong in not telling the whole
truth. Such editing allows a centaur to avoid situations that could be dangerous to life or limb and is quite acceptable as long
as the guilty party is not caught. This, of course, applies only to normal situations; in a court of herd law, the telling of a partial
truth is serious indeed and is usually punished by the shearing of the offender’s tail. A centaur would never, except in dire situations, avoid the full truth when talking to a friend unless that truth would cause needless emotional harm.

The Steading of Chiron's Forge

Centaur villages, whether temporary or permanent, are haphazard affairs. Houses and tents are placed at the whim of their owners, and new buildings erected without reference to an overall plan. Centaurs of the forest usually build permanent structures, with heavy logs or planks set solidly on stone foundations.
These buildings are long and rambling, with high ceilings, wide doorways and large rooms. They are well ventilated (draughty is the term most humans would use) and have hard clay or wooden floors, strewn with sand or straw. Storehouses, forges, smokehouses, and barns are separate structures, usually of similar design.

There is little furniture even in permanent centaur homes; usually, only a few high tables (centaurs eat standing up) and a few
straw mats for comfortable resting are present. Any other possessions are kept clear of the floor, hanging on the wall or
resting on high shelves or in cabinets. Centaurs will go to considerable trouble to decorate their abodes; tapestries are not
uncommon, and any member of a household might decide to carve a post or paint a wall of the dwelling during leisure hours. Decorative floor coverings are unknown since these would be soiled with mud and dust in short order.

Sylvan centaurs are fewer but more civilized than those of the plains, as their contacts are more with elves than men. They depend on hunting, but they also grow crops and keep livestock. Their fields are small but very well kept, usually pastures or hayfields for their herd animals or small plots of oats or vegetables. Their livestock they keep well hidden, for what little they have they can ill afford to lose. Visitors, seeing the lush and carefully managed fields close at hand, may be forgiven for mistakenly concluding that the rich grasses in them are intended for the centaurs themselves.

Centaurs keep few domestic animals other than cattle, sheep, or sometimes goats. They are often uneasy in the presence of horses and regard them in much the same way humans regard monkeys, though with less interest.

Notable Personages

Rufus Firetail
Current Herdmaster and leader of the Council of Harmony
Council of Harmony
The governing body of Chiron's Forge. All important decisions are taken by the Council but the advice of the Seer is always taken into account.
Quiet Dukvaur Bonemane
The current Seet of Chiron's Forge. She is a blind, albino centaur with a quiet kind demeanour. She and the current Herdmaster do not always get along but they respect and trust each other.
Featherlock
The current War Cheif of the steading and a former member of the Council of Harmony.
Stormhoof
Young, headstrong member of Featherlock's group of scouts.
Silvertail
Featherlock's wife.
Smokeworth
Distiller of fine and not so fine spirits. He never reveals his recipies!

Much of the background information is taken from Dragon Magazine #103

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