Gazetteer of the Speaking Lands: Rotaller

Can you have Arabian Steeds in your setting if it doesn’t also have an Arabia?  People may get a little giggle out of this, and a few internet characters might call it sloppy worldbuilding.  Those same people won’t even notice if you have Rotaller Steeds in your setting without having a Rott valley.

..oh, but now I’ve let the cat out of the bag.  Or the horse out of the… very large bag?  I dunno.  Rotaller, everybody!


This sturdy and versatile horse breed is the signature steed of the Norsteppes, but has been exported widely across Ipeiros. Smaller than a destrier but taller and hardier than most work horses, the rotaller has a nimble step and a lasting endurance. It is the horse of choice for couriers, long-distance traders, irregular cavalry, and adventurers.

The name’s origin are obscured. A popular folk etymology is that the breed can be “rotated” through many services: riding, pulling a plow, or hitched to a wagon. Alternately, it may be derived from the Uroth Pass, through which the breed was traded into Wildermarch.

The breed is the result of interbreeding between the slight and sturdy horses of the Toriel Highlands and the sleek and lanky bloodlines prized by the Lorathan elves. It is uncertain if the breed was established through intentional crossbreeding or the result of horse raids mixing stock. Once established, however, breeders throughout the Norsteppes began bolstering and reinforcing the bloodline, keeping careful records of sires and dams.

While the best specimens are always retained for the breeder’s personal use, rotaller are a prime export of the Norsteppes. A young stallion can command a significant price: a grape-sized diamond, a drum of pure verdigris, or a noble hand in marriage. The beasts can be found all across Ipeiros, even as far as the Webiga River: the charioteers of the Ivory Queendom prize these imports above all other breeds. As with any esteemed bloodline, the name is often used less than legitimately, and horse traders are likely to suggest any potential sale might have “some rotaller blood in them.”

The Order of Rotaller is a religious organization of vine witches whose apprentices travel to study under different witches. This travel is almost always by horseback, which earned the witches the name. The bond between the witches and their horses has only deepened with time; some witches are also breeders, moving the horses around to stud as much as moving apprentices to train.

Now that you’ve read up on rotaller horses, what shall we read up on next week?

The adventurers who ride them?

The Uroth Pass where they may have got their name?

Loratha Forest, who breed their competing bloodlines?

Or verdigris, that might get smuggled past a customs clerk in a rotaller’s saddlebags?

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