The Inkallim

An elite amongst the followers of the Black Road, the Inkallim are trained to excellence from their early years. Freed of any duties or responsibilities to the Blood of their birth, they are organised into three Inkalls, each of which is led by a ‘First’. The Inkalls exist to serve the creed as a whole, and to reinforce the order and will of all the Bloods of the Black Road. Even the Thane of Thanes exercises only limited authority over them. The term ‘Inkall’ is derived from ‘Kall’, the name the faithful give to the foretold day when the Gods will return to unmake and remake the world.

The Lore Inkall is the custodian of the creed, defining orthodoxy, advocating adherence. It is the senior Inkall. In the 1,102nd year of the Third Age, its First is Theor.

The Battle Inkall, by far the most numerous of the three (though still numbering only a few thousand), is composed of warriors. Relentlessly trained, inured to hardship, its Inkallim constitute the most feared fighting force throughout the Bloods of the Black Road, and beyond. The warriors of the Battle are sometimes known as ravens, after the avian companions of the departed God of death. Some of them bear raven tattoos upon their backs. All of them dye their hair black. Its First is Nyve.

The Hunt Inkall is the smallest and most secretive of the three. Its members serve as trackers, spies, assassins and executioners. They are the eyes, ears and silent blades of the creed. Its First is Avenn.

Collectively, the Inkallim often call themselves the Children of the Hundred, in honour of Tegric and his hundred men who died defending the Vale of Stones during the Black Road’s original flight into exile. Tegric’s example inspired the formation of the Inkalls during the early years of the Black Road’s sojourn in the north (though the roots of the Lore in particular go further back, to the Travellers who first spread the creed beyond its birthplace of Kilvale). The Lore and Battle Inkalls were established in the 945th year of the Third Age, the Hunt in the 959th.

Individuals enter the Inkalls as young children. Some are bought from their impoverished parents; others are handed over to the Inkallim willingly, as a demonstration of devotion to the creed. Years of often punishing training follow, during which the children are known as candidates. In the case of the Battle, many do not survive their candidacy. As is common amongst the Bloods of the Black Road, men and women are assumed to be equally capable of filling any role: a third of the warriors of the Battle Inkall, for example, are women.

The three Inkalls maintain strongholds on the slopes above Kan Dredar, the capital of the Bloods of the Black Road.

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