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To the average city folk, the Between in its entirety is uniformly hostile and dangerous. Unwritten, Unsent dead and ordinary bandits roam the unprotected lands, and the well-worn roads that connect one city to another are the only part of the Between that is marginally safe. To those that live in the Between, though, these lands are full of variation and nuance, with some places being as safe as any city and others being far more dangerous than any city dweller can imagine.

While the majority of Insul’s population exists under the protection of the cities’ governance, there is a large and varied population of people who – by choice or circumstance – live beyond the borders of any city. Commonly just called “Betweeners”, there are many different groups that fall under this name.


For most city residents, Ramblers are the most common Betweener they will encounter day-to-day. Rambler Caravans move from city to city, town to town in an ever-changing path across the continent. When a person needs to safely travel between cities, the cheapest method is catching a ride with a Rambler Caravan passing by: song, sustenance or strength are all they require as payment. Traveling merchants not prolific or wealthy enough to have their own personal guarded caravan will also temporarily join a Rambler Caravan.

A Rambler Caravan is led by a Head Wagon, which at its simplest can be seen as the current travel guide. The Head Wagon of the same group of Ramblers often changes over time: sometimes it’s to let another person with better knowledge of the current area lead, or to give the current Head Wagon a break from the responsibility of leading. If two groups within a Caravan wish to be Head Wagon, it’s not uncommon for the Caravan to split, usually amicably. 

Commonly held Rambler attitudes:

  • The Head Wagon has the final say on the next destination
  • Anyone can join as they want, or leave as they please
  • A Caravan does not separate while in the Between
  • Nothing is free but no one shall pay more than they are able


Riverboats travel up and down the two main rivers that split the continent; slow travels from the mountains to the sea and back, again and again. They carry many of the same customs and attitudes as Ramblers, just modified to their life on the river.


It’s easy to sum up those who sail the oceans that surround Insul with a single word: pirates. They lead a life that’s hard to survive without attacking and stealing from small merchant ships. Space, fresh food, and news from the mainland are scarcities on a pirate ship, and they’re willing to take whatever they can get to make up for it. Only two convenient ports exist on Insul’s coastlines, and even the largest ships do not last long against the monsters of the deeper waters, so their travel areas are somewhat limited.


While some outsiders consider the Kindred Desert to be an extension of Tespajet, life there is very different from citylife. Desertfolk roam the colored sands, often choosing a single group to travel with and wearing their colors even if they leave the sands behind later on. Many people choose to spend only a few years in the desert, but the culture there carries its own beliefs and norms.


Not all Betweeners are nomadic, and those that live in small protected villages are most often referred to as Townfolk. Commonly, a few towns within close proximity will come together to protect enough nearby land to sustain the region.