The Nomads of El Yermo, Barlanian nomads or Yermenios were a large group of western Kanov nomadic peoples from the central Aels, particularly the Barlans, who often appear in history as invaders of the Five Kingdoms of the Northwest, Dumia and Purpurian.
The generic title encompasses the varied ethnic groups who have at times inhabited the steppes of Central Aels, and while primarily referring to Kanov nomads, sometimes non-Kanov groups were as well grouped with the Kanov Yermenios, existing as well mixed tribes of Kanov and non-Kanov.
The tribes were divided between three groups: Horse, Warg and Kazaak breeders, and while some groups raised all three of them, normally one was emphasised over the others, being broadly more popular the horse.
Their economy and culture emphasised their mount breeding, mount riding and nomadic pastoralism; this usually involved trading with settled peoples around the edges of El Yermo.
During its history, sometimes the tribes of El Yermo were united in tribal federations, normally attacking on a larger scale their sedentary neighbours (or repelling attempts for their homelands to be annexed by them), and sometimes nomadic empires were established, establishing a capital city inside a conquered sedentary state, and then by exploiting the existing bureaucrats and commercial resources of that non-nomadic society, happening this with the Vakkusta Empire, the Andaï, Nepper and Gorbegea. As the pattern was repeated, the originally nomadic dynasty became culturally assimilated to the culture of the occupied nation before it was ultimately overthrown.
A long time enemy of the Vakkusta Empire first, and then the Dumian Empire, and later the Northern Dumian Empire, these tribes came under the influence of the Dark Legion of Demons, and for long, under the guidance of Demonic Cults, they were a menace to the successors of Dume and the Weseringian Empire and of the later Five Kingdoms of the Northwest.
During the First War of the Power, the demons helped a Great Kanov form the Kanov Horde of the Barlans, but after the defeat of the Dark Legion, this horde collapsed and was dispersed. The defeat of their gods led to a religious crisis, with many tribes of the western Barlans converting to Vakkism, while humans and elven settlements began to cross the Osorio and the Barlans river boundaries, founding settlements and pushing their borders
However, with the return of the demons and the beginning of the Second Dark Age, once more the tribes rose to prominence in a new Kanov Confederation of the Barlans: however, this new confederation in the end will be the downfall of the historical preponderance of the Yermenios in central Aels, as the sedentary Kanov realms of the Kanov Confederation began to gain an increasingly leading role, pushing the tribes to the sidelines:
By the end of the Second War of the Power at the 2536, the age of nomadic invasions from the Barlans was over: the tribes will continue to raid, but wouldn't rise again to be a challenge to the states at the edges of El Yermo.