Thursday, April 15, 2010

Peoples of Arn: the Hazandi

The itinerant and enigmatic Hazandi can be found throughout the known world, but their numbers are larger in Arn than anywhere save the petty kingdoms of Erida's Bandit Lands. An ancient and fiercely independent folk, Hazandi wander in caravans, travelling wherever they will. This tendency, abetted by their insular nature, no doubt forms the basis of the distrust with which they are sometimes viewed. The Hazandi hold their way of life as part an ancient agreement struck between them and the two gods (a male principle and a female principle) which they believe rule the universe. They assert that the twin deities will provide for any Hazandi--so long as he or she is wise enough to make use of their divine generosity. Usually this means living off the land's bounty, but it can also be applied to exploiting the needs or gullibility of outsiders. Their caravans visit the towns and villages of settled folk to trade items acquired in their wanderings, earn coin by entertaining, fortune-telling or hawking folk remedies—and on occasion outright theft from the unwary.

Hazandi have their own form of mysticism, which likely has its origins in the vast lands of Urda, east of the Eridan continent. They commune with their twin gods, consult ancestral spirits, and treat with lesser spirits of nature, through the use hallucinogenic substances, and ecstatic rituals. Hazandi women in particular, are held both within their culture and without, to be born with the second-sight, and ability to perceive invisible spirits. The Hazandi spiritual system is strongly aniconic, but they often scandalize other cultures with their frequent use of erotic representations, particularly of generative organs in various degrees of stylization.

Hazandi bands are often made up of a few extended families. Bands are led by a headman, but all adult members of the tribe are allowed to speak at councils. Women are usually the spiritual leaders, and magical ability is thought to pass through maternal lines. Hazandi of both sexes join secret societies whose membership reaches across bands. Each society has its role in Hazandi culture, and its own closely guarded rituals.

Hazandi typically have tanned to olive skin tones. Their hair color ranges from auburn to black and is often worn long by both men and women. Tattooing is not uncommon among the women of the Arnian Hazandi, who favor geometric patterns on their arms and hands, or sometimes cheeks. Hazandi dress is colorful compared to the other folk of Arn, and when entertaining, often revealing.

MANY HAZANDI (Roll d20, 3 times):
1. Can play a musical instrument.
2. Don't reveal their real name to outsiders.
3. Swear "by the holy tryst!"
4. Believe in the evil eye.
5. Wear rings on multiple fingers.
6. Can do card tricks.
7. Sing bawdy songs.
8. Will sale a nostrum remedium to anyone with any ailment.
9. Like to party with elves.
10. Seem to be related to every other Hazandi they meet.
11. Know someone who can sell you what you're looking for.
12. Speak Common with an accent.
13. Claim that talk of Hazandi thievery is a slander.
14. Have a "grandmother" with the second-sight.
15. Challenges others to knife throwing contests.
16. Has tattoos.
17. Has pierced ears and a pierced nose.
18. Can walk a coin across their knuckles.
19. Thinks Llysans are prudes.
20. Will remind Kael of their cultural blood-pact, if necessary.

SOME HAZANDI (d10, once)
1. Have the power to lay a curse upon dying.
2. Are on a secret mission for the society of which they're a member.
3. Are outcasts under a mark of death.
4. Have the second-sight (or think they do).
5. Are of another race, but were raised Hazandi.
6. Have a portentous birthmark.
7. Are running an elaborate confidence game.
8. Have taken a non-Hazandi name.
9. Always draw attention with their manner of dress.
10. Have a twin with whom they share a psychic connection (or so they say).


Daddy Grognard said...

This is great. I'm playing a gypsy character in a Mystara campaign soon and your write-up is a hell of a lot better than the Darine on the Pandius site. I might suggest that my DM read this.

Trey said...

Thanks! Sure, feel free to make use of it. If you're DM reads it and likes it, tell him to let me know. Always appreciate the feedback. :)