The Arshaum were a race of nomads who lived in Shaumkil, west of the Shaum River in the Pardrayan steppe. They invaded the western part of the steppes, pushing the Khamorth east of the Shaum river. The Khamorth view them as near-supernatural figures of dread. The Arshaum are divided into many clans and kindreds, led by khagans in a manner similar to the Khamorth.

The Arshaum are fierce warriors and have physical characteristics that include flat faces, little facial hair and slanted eyes. They have a shamanistic religion that involves worship of the various spirits, notably the wind spirits. 

The Arshaum draw up for battle in units of ten, fighting as horsed archers but with greater discipline and precision than the Khamorth. One tactic in which they specialize is the feigned retreat, inducing the enemy to break ranks and overextend, at which point they turn and attack their foes. Their war drums give orders in battle.

The Arshaum have the custom of treating hunts as an almost military exercise, cordoning off a large area of land with horsemen and working their way inwards, to capture and slaughter enormous quantities of game. 

Literary Comment[]

The Arshaum are based on the Mongols; their system of units of ten and use of drum signals on the battlefield is taken from the Mongol tactics in real-life history.