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Zahla

A group of Zahala. Artist: Magdalena Partyka - http://werdandi.deviantart.com/

The Zahala people are another ethnic division within the Human race. Associated with real world Romani culture, the Zahala are a diverse and interesting people. During the beginning of the Fourth Age the great city of Zahalaren was destroyed my marauding bands of goblins led by a mysterious force (c. 2178 TA). This army laid the city to waste, and the Zahala people were forced to scatter and flee to survive. The Zahala people travel in clans that follow a somewhat matriarchal structure. These clans have travelled far and wide across the many continents and countries of Sidereus, making their way as alchemists, merchants, craftsmen and performers. The Zahala are typically extroverted and have an intense love of independence and individuality. The Zahala people typically wear colorful clothing, and enjoy dance, revelry and song. It is the belief of the Zahala that any misfortune should be endured with a confident resolve and a celebration of the things that are worth being thankful for.

In general the Zahala people are nomadic – each clan traveling in large caravans to grant them strength in numbers and a sense of community while they wander the world. As an individual raised in a Zahala clan your character would learn a great deal about Zahala communities and the hazards of the road, as well as picking up a few useful morsels of information about a trade or other way of making a living. The Zahala believe that family comes first in the world, but to a true Zahala family includes every other Zahala. It is considered a grave error to harm another Zahala by any means, but people who are outside of the community are fair game.

Cultural Advantages: Worldly. Travelers of the world as a whole, the Zahala culture has evolved over the centuries to become one of global awareness and mutability. Zahala are especially skilled at absorbing new information from their travels and incorporating it into their culture seamlessly. As such, most Zahala are welcoming to outsiders – at least at first – though rudeness and cruelty are not tolerated. Zahala are often cautious around Mokoshan people, as a good deal of enmity exists between the two cultures. Mokoshan people view the Zahala as vagrants, and the Zahala hold a long-standing oral tradition that the Mokoshan people were involved in the fall of Zahalaren.

Cultural Disadvantages: Migrant. The Zahala are a people without a homeland. The city of Zahalaren was less of a city and more of a country. Destroyed by the forces of Shadow in centuries past, the Zahala have been left without a place to call their own. To some, this has left them without purpose – and to other races this unfortunate circumstance often paints them as vagrants or miscreants.

Common Traits: Many Zahala have developed the Wyld Walker Trait as a result of their expansive travels. The Charisma Trait is very common among Zahala – to the point where many simply assume every Zahala man and woman is a charismatic individual. Possibly due to this assumption, the Bastard Scion Trait is also particularly common.

Common Skills: While it does fit – rather unfortunately – into the negative stereotype held for the Zahala by many cultures, many Zahala are skilled in a variety of talents from the Rogue tree. As dancing and artistry are extremely important to Zahala culture, Artist, Jeweler and Performer are also extremely common Skills.

Heroes: Among the Zahala, an individual blessed with a Heroic Birthright is seen as a great boon – able to lead their clan to greatness and possibly even redeem the Zahala in the eyes of many of the cultures who view them negatively. Zahala Heroes commonly leave their clan for a time to explore the world and learn more about other cultures – and themselves.

Dwells largely in various areas throughout Ursya and Ageos, though smaller cells can be found nearly anywhere in the world.

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