H is for Herders


H is for Herders: In our tour of the world of Gossamer Steel the herders are descended from the nomads of Eurasia and the Sámi, the indigenous people of The Country. They have common roots and to them the land and its spirits are sacred, and they revere the world that has always been called Sapmi.

For centuries herders have practised Nomadic Pastoralism, moving their livestock to fresh pastures on which to graze. The herded livestock include cattle, yaks, sheep, goats, reindeer, horses, donkeys or camels, or a mix of species. Nomadic pastoralism is commonly practised in regions with little arable land, with the herders seeking out the grazing wherever available. Historically this lifestyle has, in some instances, led to warrior-based cultures that have made them fearsome enemies of settled people, notably in the case of the Mongols and Magyars.

Of the estimated 30–40 million nomadic pastoralists worldwide, most are found in central Asia and the Sahel region of West Africa. Other areas include the Arabian Peninsula inhabited by Bedouins, as well as Northeast Africa inhabited by Somalis.

In areas of harsh climate, the nomadic pastoralists have traditional grazing grounds that they move their herds between. These herders, found in Northern Europe and Russia, include the indigenous Sami, Nenets, Tsaatans, and Chukchis. These are the basis for the Herders in Gossamer Steel, with their lifestyles revolving around reindeer herding.

Dhuka herder moving his reindeer ~ Image: Uluc Kecik

Dhuka herder moving his reindeer ~ Image: Uluc Kecik

H is also for HAV – Hybrid Air Vehicles, which are modified airships designed for freight or surveillance. With the rising cost of fuel, HAV are becoming one way forward in aviation, especially when attempting to access remote areas with heavy loads. In the 21st century many of the drawbacks with conventional airships are being resolved, and this is a growth area. In a world without oil, this technology will become crucial to a new world.

In our tour of the world of Gossamer Steel, H is also for antagonist Hubert Green, and for the Hearthalls, centre of learning and of pilgrimage in The Country.


A is for Array ~ B is for the Blood-Marked ~ C is for Corylus Avellana ~ D is for Duskweald ~ E is for Energy ~ F is for Feeniks ~ G is for Garuda


The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behaviour.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 3 is “C,” and so on. Please visit other challenge writers.

My theme is ‘The World of Gossamer Steel, the SF-fantasy setting for a series of short stories and novellas that portray the tales behind the MMORPG that is central to my crime novel ‘Wyrm Bait’.

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2014] (1)