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Author Topic: The Zarathians...  (Read 5260 times)
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Artemis
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« on: 27 January 2004, 15:20:00 »

Here we go then... one of the four trading tribes.

A few notes - I currently don't know/haven't decided which tribe this lot should have come from originally i.e. which one from Sarvonnia. It can't be the Avennorians however, as they already colonised Shan'Thai, and I'd quite like it to be another tribe who founded Shan'Zarathan. I don't want my entire continent to be populated by Avennorian explorers! Also, the history doesn't have dates yet, as they simply haven't been decided yet.

Overview
The Zarathians are a human tribe who inhabit the second largest port city of Aeruillin, Shan’Zarathan. They have a reputation as hard but fair traders, who live for their work. The Zarathians have helped establish good trading relations with many of the other continents. They are ruled by a leader who possesses the title of Arkh, as all four trading ports are.

Appearance
The Zarathians tend to possess a very aquiline appearance, which suits well their hard-sell natures. Often they have long, oval faces, beset by thin, shapely noses. Eyes are commonly hazel in colour, although it is not the only shade found, simply the most prevalent. Hair is often straight and black, although there are a fair few that possess flame red hair. Blondes and browns are rarely seen. Another trait amongst this tribe are long, slim necks. Their skin is a dusky brown in colour. Through these people you can see not only the Hjoria, but also traits of the Azhorhria, two tribes which have ultimately stemmed from these people.

Members of this tribe are rarely overweight. They do not allow themselves time to sit down and partake of gourmet meals, which would undoubtedly expand their waistline. They are more likely to eat the most basic of foods – often this is fish.

The Zarathians will stand for no nonsense, and are not impressed by those who waste their time. They tend to be quick witted and sharp thinkers. They are fair however, and know that a satisfied customer, who does not feel that they have been cheated, often returns. They are truly devoted to what they do. These behavioural traits have caused sayings such as -

"A Zarathian deal" - you made a bargain which is exactly what your money is actually worth, consequently a fair deal.
"Don't turn Zarathian on me!" - when someone who is usually willing to try anything shrugs off an idea as a waste of time.
"A Zarathian nose" - someone who has an uncany ability to sense foul play.

Coat of Arms

The coat of arms for this tribe of traders is circular in shape, this is supposed to represent a coin. A little way in from the outer circle is another that runs parallel to the original, creating a border. This is coloured yellow. Centrally within is one of the famous Zarathian daggers, blade down, the hilt at the top. It has intricate carvings within the blade, and whenever the coat of arms is recreated these are never the same. It is left to the artist’s personal impression. The background is light blue in colour. The Zarathian coat of arms is stamped on all boxes leaving the city.

Territory

The Zarathians inhabit the second largest port city of Aeruillin, Shan’Zarathan. It is located on the far north-west of the desert continent.

People

Their devotion to trading means that they are admired and respected throughout Aeruillin and has earned them the reputation of being the fairest and safest port to trade in. This is because no Zarathian would deal with goods of a dubious nature, or attempt to sell at extortionate prices. The Zarathians are honest, and know that engaging in fair trades will leave the customer happy, and likely to return. Traders caught cheating customers will be indentured into slavery. Matters as such are dealt with very seriously.

Members of this tribe have an uncanny natural ability to almost “sense” whether goods they have been offered have come to them by illegal means, or if stock is bad. They have learned to trust this sense, meaning that it is almost impossible to cheat a Zarathian trader. Experts say it is some sort of sixth sense, almost bordering on mind reading. However, this finely tuned ability adds to the trust there is between customer and trader throughout Shan’Zarathan.

The Zarathians are of the Aeoliran religion, although they could almost be described as lazy in their practices. Being as devoted as they are to their occupations, this tribe has little or no time for worship. It is almost as if they follow their religion out of necessity and because they should be seen to do so, and not because they fervently believe in the principles of it. They seem to hold great repsect only for Léarin, who they see as Goddess of the Fair Trade.

Slavery is acceptable in Zarathian society, although only those who have committed the gravest of crimes (such as cheating a customer) will be indentured. There are no gladitorial arenas as in Shan'Thai and Shan'Chahalynth.

Housing

The Zarathians live in houses made from stone. The majority of people live in two storey buildings. The bottom of the house is used as a trading area. This is where most of a Zarathians day is spent. Deals are confirmed, goods received, orders bartered and trades are undertaken within this area. The upper storey is the living area, it is fairly plain and sparse and it is also clean. The Zarathians see the need for this, and although little time is spent cleaning, they realise that a dirty and unkept area could result in illness, meaning that they would not be able to work.

Dotted around the city are large storage warehouses made from stone, where everyone is entitled safe space in which to store their goods. This idea was bought in by a great leader, whose title was Arkh (meaning "greatest") Parva. She was the very first to possess this position, following the progression of the original city of Zarathan to Shan'Zarathan, a trading port. The warehouses are constantly patrolled by members of the Arkh’s special guard, and to steal from them and be caught means indenture into slavery. However, this comes at a price. The storage tax is the most moaned about and protested within the city. The money goes straight to the Arkh, and in theory is used to upkeep the warehouses. However, many believe he simply uses the extortionate amount he charges to further his wealth.

Clothing

The Zarathians wear clothes that suit their busy and bustling lifestyle and also the hot climate in which they live. As with most tribes who live on the desert continent, a robe or tunic is worn, long and often in light colours. This protects them from the beating sun overhead, covering their skin to keep it from burning. A trait amongst this tribe is that there is little or no decoration upon their clothing – the Zarathians have no time to spend on elaborate embroidery. They are able to add and remove layers depending on the sun’s ferocity. In the summer months mud from the bottom of the sea is applied to the skin, and certain places upon the face, as this tribe has found that it helps cool the skin. Also, the mud has been found to have properties that keeps the skin smooth, healthy and younger looking. This has made it popular amongst women, especially those who are older, during all seasons of the year. It was this mud that allowed Shan'Zarathan to become a trading port in the first place.

There is little jewellery worn, except by the Arkh and those who serve him or her. Women do tend to pierce their ears. This means that during fiercely hot days, when clothing is worn that fully covers the person from the beating sun, the ears are left free so that easy distinction can be made between the sexes.

Zarathians will keep their clothing clean however – they recognise that dirty attire will often put the customer off, especially if food is being traded.

Food

The staple diet, like all the port towns, is fish. Easy to obtain from the nearby ocean waters, Zarathians have found many ways to prepare and serve the meat. If a traveller ever stays in a Zarathian inn, he or she will be sure of a fine fish dish for their supper, and hot fishy soup for breakfast.

Also, a crop of polent, the special desert “rice” is grown by the waters, often the poorer people of the city live on the starchy grains that are eventually harvested. Inja goats are also kept, although only a few people have herds, as most Zarathians do not possess the patience to deal with goats.

The Zarathians drink little other than water. They purify the water from the sea by boiling it, everyone possesses the equipment needed to make the water drinkable. It is a skill that they are fiercely proud of – their ability to make the water clean from the murky depths of the ocean. Alcohol is rare, every Zarathian is aware that such a drink could cloud judgement and consequently they may make a bad trade.

Weapons

The Zarathians are all deadly with the dagger. Any other sort of weapon would simply get in the way in their society, so the small blade is perfect, not only in a practical sense, but also for self defence.

At the age of eight, a child’s first dagger is given, and training starts in its use. At the age of fourteen, which in Zarathian society is considered as the time of adulthood, a dagger is crafted specifically for the person, a process which can take up to two weeks to complete. Great care is taken over this process, and elaborate engravings are often carved onto the blade, to the wielder's whims. Such devotion to something other than trading is uncommon for Zarathians, however, daggers are essential for each and every person, and all realise that the producing of this exceptional weapon is something that cannot be rushed.

Each and every dagger is unique, and kept clean. It is used for many tasks – gutting fish, cutting bundles tied with twine and slicing portions of meat are but a few examples. This dedicated dagger often is a Zarathian's lifetime companion and you may get to hear many stories about it if you ask. A good insider tip if you have business with a Zarathian: if you show honest appreciation for the weapon of your trading partner and he will treat you as a friend.

Occupations

As can be surmised, the majority of the Zarathians are traders and merchants or sorts. They live for their work, becoming so engrossed that sometimes sleep is forgotten. Their brains are sharp, and well suited for such a profession. It is this devotion that has made Shan’Zarathan the second largest trading port in Aeruillin – only Shan’Thai eclipses it in greatness and wealth, and this is only due to its age (Shan’Thai is the oldest established port, whilst Shan’Zarathan is the youngest) and actual location of the ports. However, it is likely that Shan’Zarathan will finally become the greatest as years pass by.

However, there is also need for many people to do other jobs, such as cleaning. Slaves often do this work, these people have been indentured due to crimes of a serious nature. However, there are Zarathians who do not feel the strong pull towards trading, and so consequently learn the vital trades that keep the city going, such as carpentry and bakery, some become teachers, innkeepers or priests.

There is a specialist trade in the port city however, of which it is an honour to be part of. To become a Bladesmith is a hard and gruelling task, and only the very best will succeed. The patience and artistry needed to produce the knives and daggers are not found in everyone, very few make it to the top. Traditionally men have undertaken this profession. However, through many struggles and personal sacrifices, the blades of the female Bladesmith Neia Chiél have become highly sought after as of late, and fetch high prices, her exquisite designs have given her status amongst this male-dominated area.

There are also the Windseers - people who are present in many tribes within Aeruillin, whether they are called Windseer or a different title, their job is the same. They have the ability to sense if destructive sandstorms, as can happen when living within a sand filled continent, are likely to come upon the tribe. They then warn the Zarathians of the impending disaster. Those who are also experienced enough often gain other abilities, such as power to divert sandstorms, or counteracting them somehow. One Windseer trains the next, picking an apprentice from any family - it could be the son of an Arkh, or the daughter of a beggar. In all there tend to be six to eight of these special people, they are trusted implicitly and above all bar the Arkh. Unfortunately this often means that the Windseers are arrogant and power hungry.

Government

Each of the port cities are ruled by an Arkh. The title is the same for men and women, no distinction is made, as a recognition that females can be as ruthless in trade as members of the male sex. The position of Arkh is not hereditary, it is determined by a vote in which all traders may participate. No persons are specifically nominated, so the outcome cannot be predetermined by bribes and so forth. Traders are supposed to vote for the person they believe is the best at their job, so by becoming Arkh it shows that the person is valued highly by all, and is honoured and respected. It is a lifetime position, held until death. Absolute power is given to the person chosen, he or she answers to no-one. Wealth is passed on upon the passing of one Arkh to the newly elected ruler.

It is not often that these votes are rigged in favour of a particular person, as all traders know that whoever is elected will be giving orders for however many years they have left in them. The longest reigning Arkh was Arkh Shaéra, who was a prolific trader, and was elected when she was only five and twenty years old, and only passed on in her ninetieth year. It is written that she was a fair woman, and is credited by many for making Shan’Zarathan the place it is today. She was also the Arkh to have converted the people to the Aeoliran religion.

Of course, power can turn good kindly people to evil ways. Arkh Gláréd the Second was a loyal family man when he was elected. However, the wealth and status went to his head, and his extortionate taxes almost bought the city to its knees. He took women as he wished, and exiled a large group of people to the desert to die, who we now know survived, and became the Hjoria. He was eventually assassinated after twelve years of tyranny. His assassin was caught, and under the strict laws, he should have been killed. However, he mysteriously vanished from his cell, and no attempt was made to catch him.  

Production/Trade

Shan'Zarathan first started to trade following the discovery that mud from the bottom of the ocean had positive effects upon skin. It is still in great demand today, bringing in much revenue.

What Shan’Zarathan is famous for its trade in the delicacy jakécha. This fish is famous throughout the continent, above all others that can be caught within the waters of Aeruillin. Jakécha is not only known for its divine taste, but it is also famous due to the fact that it hightens the senses for a short while. Not only that, but a small amount will fill the person as if they had eaten a whole meal. It is truly a remarkable and consequently expensive dish. The Cholians, who reside in Jhomcholas, actually catch the fish in the north-east area of The Bright Sea, the only place it is found, and transport stocks twice a year to the port. It often arrives in a salted “packet form”, this way it can last for even up to two years before finally deteriorating.

There is also a thriving trade in small weapons – the Zarathians excel in the forging of daggers and knives, their careful and exquisite designs are sought after by many. Often many somewhat dubious characters – thieves and assassins to name a few, purchase the blades for their work. Attracting this sort of crowd does not mean that crime is high in the city – the Zarathians are respected, and there is honour among the thieves – that is to say, the sinister characters go elsewhere to engage in their dirty work in general. It does not profit them to cheat the source of the weapons of their trade!

Also, there is an annual horsefair, where delegates of the Azhorhrian tribe bring ten of their steeds for trade. This attracts a lot of attention, as the horses of the tribe are legendary in their speed and resilience to extremes. They fetch high prices, and are the highlight of the fair. Often rich merchants from as far as Nybelmar will come to attempt to purchase one of these magnificent beasts, engaging in an intense bidding war with many others who wish to obtain one also.

Also, Shan'Zarathan trades with Strata and Thalambath for their "burning stones". These magical rocks provide them with the fuel they need to make fire, the lack of wood upon Aeruillin has meant that this alternative is somewhat heavily relied upon. A special effort is made so relations between the Zarathians and these cities are kept good and stable.

Aside from these main items, there is of course general trading of everyday items – food, clothing (although Zarathian clothing is far from pretty – only attire from overseas is worth looking at and often such items will go to Shan’Furrionis or Shan’Chahalynth), livestock (again, little is traded here), building materials and so forth.

Natural Resources

There little in the way of resources, save for what can be found in the sea. What is found however, is essential for living. Firstly, it provides the Zarathians with essential water, which they have learnt to purify so that it is safe to drink. Secondly, the large stones that line the ocean floor provide the materials for housing. There is little wood in western Aeruillin, most comes from overseas and generally goes to Shan’Thai, few shipments end up in Shan’Zarathan. Wood that is brought to the port is for essential items that cannot be made from other materials, and is far too valuable to be wasted on housing. Also stone houses tend to last far longer than their wooden counterparts.

There is, obviously, plenty of sand around, which does have its uses. Bags of sand are used as weights, and filled buckets are kept in order to put out fires.

Holidays, Festivals and Observances

The Zarathians observe the Festivals devoted to each God within the Aeoliran religion. However, they see them as a hindrance, and a good waste of time that could be used organising and overseeing trades. They are not particularly strict in their beliefs. They do however, revere Léarin, as the wisdom she grants is essential when undertaking trades. Her Festival of Reflection is special to the Zarathians, and definitely not considered a waste of time. She has an alternative title for the people of Shan'Zarathan, as Goddess of the Fair Trade.

The annual horsefair is a holiday for all, in a sense. It attracts many people from different cities and continents, due to the rare Azhorhrian horses on offer. It is a time where all congregate at the docks, and watch the sale. Much income is generated for the tribe during this time, mainly through the inns.

Important Achievements

The Zarathians invented the water purification system which is in place throughout all Aeruillin. Before this method was discovered, many people died each year from illnesses attributed from drinking unclean water.

The Zarathians have also helped improve the reputation of Aeruillin ports in general, and stabilised relations with their trading partners of other continents such as Sarvonia and Nybelmar.

History

*Zarathan is founded by a group of travellers from a tribe north of Aeruillin.

*The Zarathians discover that they can be protected from the glaring sun by applying mud from the sea upon their skin. This proves to be a great discovery.

*The merchant Parva has a great vision for the city of Zarathan in which she lives, seeing it thriving and large, and is overcome by it. She tells all who she sees, and her enthusiasm is infectious. The people are at loss for what unique items they can trade, until Parva realises the mud to protect their skin is something only they know of. Not only does it keep the skin from harm, but it makes it firm, smooth and healthy looking. So, Zarathan establishes itself as a trading port, and it renamed Shan'Zarathan (Shan meaning port). It is the fourth on the desert continent, after Shan’Thai, Shan’Furrionis and Shan’Chahalynth.

*Following a rough time, Arkh Shaéra is elected and starts to turn the fortunes of the city around. She also converts her people to the Aeoliran religion, following her personal conversion by a missionary from the devout Shan’Thai.

*The Zarathians discover how to purify the seawater, a technique that spreads throughout Aeruillin.

*The tyrant Arkh Gláréd the Second casts out five thousand Zarathians to the desert, for rebelling against his tyrannous regime. They survive the trek across the Ysthalinth Desert, and become the Hjoria. The Hjorians eventually cast out a group of people themselves, who become the Azhorhria. This means that the Zarathians have also ultimately founded two other tribes.

*The Zarathians establish trading relations with the Cholians, a poor tribe of fishers who inhabit Jhomcholas, who have developed the skills and techniques to catch the delicacy Jakécha, a fish which resides exclusively within the north-west waters of The Bright Sea. This firmly cements Shan’Zarathan’s reputation, and the city grows vastly in size, to become the second largest trading port of all Aeruillin.

*The Arkh of Shan’Thai, Arkh Barchaé the Third demands rights to trade Jakécha, telling her people that a dream from Nakashi promised great things if they did. This is despite the fact that they are three times the distance from Jhomcholas than from Shan’Zarathan. Arkh Jairn refuses, being that the Thairans have previously poached trade from them, and does not wish to give the port yet more wealth and prosperity. Not only that, but the trade of Jakécha keeps the city running, the income generated is contributes greatly to the total. This results in the Thairans besieging Jhomcholas. The Zarathians rescue the poor Cholians by capturing Arkh Barchaé who foolishly stayed behind in the vastly depopulated Shan’Thai, with little protection. She orders her people from Jhomcholas. A treaty is signed that Shan’Zarathan has the sole right to trade the Jakécha.

:D        :D        :D        

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Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 2/21/04 16:06
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #1 on: 31 January 2004, 03:45:00 »

Not much to add or correct here - as usual!

Quote:
The upper storey is the living area, and often it is unkempt and dirty. As can be guessed, the Zarathians have little time for general housework!


That doesn‘t fit to your tribe somehow.(my feeling) I would say, they have no time to decorate it and it is all kept plain and simple. Dirt may cause illness which could distract them from their work.Maybe just add, that they are not overdoing it with cleaning and polishing, just what is necessary to maintain their living area.

Quote:
They purify the water from the sea by boiling it, everyone possesses the equipment needed to make the water drinkable.


Should it be desalinate it, or distillate it?


Quote:
Wood that is bought to the port is used as fuel, and far too valuable to be wasted on housing


Normally it is the other way round, I think you need some coal or a new burnable stuff somewhere in Aeruillin to have burning material.

History:

I have no argument for this, but thought somehow it would fit better:

I would like to see your  great lady Arkh Shaéra closer to recent times, to explain the immense growth of lately , due to her wise regiment and skill in doing treaties(overtaking Shan‘thai soon)

Maybe invent a couple of good people for the first time...

I would put your distilling apparatus in a later time. It is something which needs an established society, somehow.

Maybe you invent some good people bringing the town forward in the beginning, but it is a hard time. Then the distillation thingy is invented, and this is the reason for a new thriving. Maybe even some irrigating is now possible to grow more food and your numbers can increase therefore.you sell the device for high prices (maybe you establish a service for repairs as well ;)  )

If you have defined your dates, we could talk about when you started trade with Strata, they could use the distillation device as well at times when water gets scarce..

good work!

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« Reply #2 on: 01 February 2004, 10:37:00 »

Thankyou Talia!

I'll take your suggestions and amend accordingly. :)  .

EDIT - I've changed the housing section as you suggested. I'm thinking about my history alterations as you also suggested. I didn't put the word distilled as I didn't know if it sounded too modern and technical!!!

With regards to the wood - well, I can't think of what else could be burnt. Coal would be no good, as it ultimately comes from wood anyway. I can't think of what could be used. That'd why I used wood, since they have stone for houses, I thought they would see wood would be better used as fuel and not for building. Any suggestions?

:D   :D   :D  

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Edited by: Artemis at: 1/31/04 17:57
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« Reply #3 on: 06 February 2004, 15:25:00 »

OK - I really need help with which tribe this lot came from originally. Unless I read the entire of the tribes section and learn all the history, I'm a bit stuck.

Anyone with suggestions?

:D  :D  :D

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« Reply #4 on: 06 February 2004, 14:41:00 »

I will try to check the entry in detail next week after the update, Artemis, and then will see if I can make suggestions in this respect...

Very good to see you working systematically here:)   Maybe an entry on the city of Shan'Zarathan would be a good idea to have next after the Zarathians are done to get deeper into Zarathian things? Well, I still need to read the entry in detail for now, but I'm looking already forward to it!


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Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 2/5/04 21:41
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« Reply #5 on: 06 February 2004, 15:28:00 »

I can't help you with the tribe‘s ancestors. I'm not knowing from where the Shendar came originally either ;)   But I think when the timeline comes to this point, there will be changed anything a lot and we might know then more. Why don't you leave it open for now, just saying "from the north?"? Or do you need it for appearance?

To the wood: Well, we could think about a wetter period long ago with more plant life in Aeruillin? But that would need discussion with Art.
Or a common fuel is the dried dung of animals..I just think the wood is too precious...........*thinking very hard*............why not invent a burnable substance, out of the nowhere...a mineral of some kind, excrement of the lightworm f.e., very small pieces are burning extremely long (please sell them to me ;)  ), they have to be collected in the sands, maybe you trade with the Tiralhon elves . A stone with magical properties, small, and gives heat for a long time as well as soon as you have hit it....maybe we have to ask the mages if this would function...anything! Think!


********

Just posted in the magic forum a question about the magic stones - maybe I sell them to you in exchange for your goods?

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Edited by: Talia Sturmwind  at: 2/5/04 22:38
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« Reply #6 on: 09 February 2004, 06:14:00 »

OK Talia... sell me those stones!!! I will make you very good trades!!!

:D  :D  :D  

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« Reply #7 on: 11 February 2004, 15:43:00 »

Ok, Artemis, finally some detailed comments from my side:

orange ... comments
yellow ... corrections
gray ... unlcear passages

Overview
The Zarathians are a human tribe who inhabit the second largest port city of Aeruillin, Shan’Zarathan. (Well, second largest port city in Aeruillin doesn't seem correct if you look at the map: Dion has 3 houses and Thylascurán with 5 seems to be the largest, and I think this is also a port. Also you seem to say here that the Zarathian live exclusively in this city. Suggest: Maybe they live to a great degree in the city, but also in the surrounding area, e.g. also in Rhual and Jhomcholas? At least the desrt is vast...) They have a reputation as hard but fair traders, who live for their work. They are followers of the Aeoliran religion, however, they are not devoted, neither are they strict in their practice. It would seem to an outsider that they find the necessity of a religion somewhat of a nuisance, getting in the way of their trading. (Well, this seems a bit strange that you mention this here in the overview. Cause if it's not that important for them, I think it doesn't need to be that stressed in the overview, know what I mean? Better focus on what they are famous for here...)

Appearance
The Zarathians tend to possess a very aquiline appearance, which suits well their hard-sell natures. Often they have long, oval faces, beset by thin, shapely noses. Eyes are commonly hazel in colour, although it is not the only shade found, simply the most prevalent. Hair is often straight and black, although there are a fair few that possess flame red hair. Blondes and browns are rarely seen. Another trait amongst this tribe are long, slim necks. Their skin is a dusky brown in colour. Through these people you can see not only the Hjoria, but also traits of the Azhorhria, two tribes which have ultimately stemmed from these people. (A portrait here would be interesting... Good to have this variety here in Aeruillin! Oh, and BTW, a bit off-topic here, but I thought I should mention it in the Aeruillin context: We have a picture of Faugar here of a desert warrior, which could be from a tribe down there, see the first one at the People Resources.  Maybe you have a use for that one somewhere, Artemis?)

Members of this tribe are rarely overweight. They do not allow themselves time to sit down and partake of gourmet meals, which would undoubtedly expand their waistline. They are more likely to eat the most basic of foods – often this is fish.

The Zarathians will stand for no nonsense, and are not impressed by those who waste their time. They tend to be quick witted and sharp thinkers. They are fair however, and know that a satisfied customer, who does not feel that they have been cheated, often returns. They are truly devoted to what they do. (Seem a bit Spock-ish to me. Business and logical first. Guess some proverbs and sayings could be constructed here perhaps: "A Zarathian deal" could mean: you made a bargain which is exactly what your money is actually worth, a fair deal. People could be called "Zarathians" if they get straight to the point and say what they what without much ado, like e.g. "Stoics" here are people who react pretty calm. Or: "Proving a Zarathian nose" could mean: sensing that there is something foul in this trade... -  Well, these are just a few ideas.:)

Coat of Arms
The coat of arms for this tribe of traders is circular in shape, this is supposed to represent a coin. A little way in from the outer circle is another that runs parallel to the original, creating a border. This is coloured yellow. Centrally within is one of the famous Zarathian daggers, blade down, the hilt at the top. It has intricate carvings within the blade, and whenever the coat of arms is recreated these are never the same. It is left to the artist’s personal impression. The background is light blue in colour. The Zarathian coat of arms is stamped on all boxes leaving the city.

Territory
The Zarathians inhabit the second largest port city of Aeruillin, Shan’Zarathan (see above). It is located on the far north-west of the desert continent.

People
The Zarathians are of the Aeoliran religion, although they could almost be described as lazy in their practices. Being as devoted as they are to their occupations, this tribe has little or no time for worship. It is almost as if they follow their religion out of necessity and because they should be seen to do so, and not because they fervently believe in the principles of it. (As stated above: Would put that at the end of the People section, cause obviously religion is not the most important thing for the tribe.)

Their devotion to trading means that they are admired and respected throughout Aeruillin and has earned them the reputation of being the fairest and safest port to trade in. This is because no Zarathian would deal with goods of a dubious nature, or attempt to sell at extortionate (and again Arti has learned a new word today! ;) ) prices. The Zarathians are honest, and know that engaging in fair trades will leave the customer happy, and likely to return. Traders caught cheating customers will be indentured into slavery. Matters as such are dealt with very seriously.

Members of this tribe have an uncanny natural ability to almost “sense” whether goods they have been offered have come to them by illegal means, or if stock is bad. They have learned to trust this sense, meaning that it is almost impossible to cheat a Zarathian trader. Experts say it is some sort of sixth sense, almost bordering on mind reading. However, this finely tuned ability adds to the trust there is between customer and trader throughout Shan’Zarathan.

(A few more non-trade related stuff would be good to have here. Otherwise the tribe seems a bit too much reduced to trading for my taste. For example you mention this slavery thing, this could fit in here as well.)

Housing
The Zarathians live in houses made from stone. The majority of people live in two storey buildings. The bottom of the house is used as a trading area. This is where most of a Zarathians day is spent. Deals are confirmed, goods received, orders bartered and trades are undertaken within this area. The upper storey is the living area, it is fairly plain and sparce (Ha! Got ya! This word doesn't exist according to my favourite online dictionary... Well, you rarely make any misspellings, Artemis - see my corrections above, so here we have such a rare occasion:b ) and it is also clean. The Zarathians see the need for this, and although little time is spent cleaning, they realise that a dirty and unkept area could result in illness, meaning that they would not be able to work.

Dotted around the city are large storage warehouses made from stone, where everyone is entitled safe space in which to store their goods. They are constantly patrolled by members of the Arkh’s special guard (first mentioning of the Arkh, and no proper explanation here - maybe add that explanation to the overview as well), and to steal from them and be caught means indenture into slavery. However, this comes at a price. The storage tax (lowercase here) is the most moaned about and protested within the city. The money goes straight to the Arkh, and in theory is used to upkeep the warehouses. However, many believe he simply uses the extortionate amount he charges to further his wealth.

Clothing
The Zarathians wear clothes that suit their busy and bustling lifestyle and also the hot climate in which they live. As with most tribes who live on the desert continent, a robe or tunic is worn, long and often in light colours. This protects them from the beating sun overhead, covering their skin to keep it from burning. A trait amongst this tribe is that there is little or no decoration upon their clothing – the Zarathians have no time to spend on elaborate embroidery. They are able to add and remove layers depending on the sun’s ferocity. In the summer months mud from the bottom of the sea is applied to the skin, and certain places upon the face, as this tribe has found that it helps cool the skin. (Hmmm... Maybe they combine mudding around with other usages as well, e.g. certain kinds of mud for health purposes - or beauty at the women, just like here on earth... They could even make money with that idea perhaps...;) )

There is little jewellery worn, except by the Arkh and those who serve him or her. Women do tend to pierce their ears. This means that during fiercely hot days, when clothing is worn that fully covers the person from the beating sun, the ears are left free so that easy distinction can be made between the sexes.

Zarathians will keep their clothing clean however – they recognise that dirty attire will often put the customer off, especially if food is being traded.

---

Ok, that's how far I got for now... More to come... - Good work so far, Artemis!!! :broadgrin  


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« Reply #8 on: 12 February 2004, 13:18:00 »

Comments on your comments before I start to change some things (also a list for me!)-

1.When I first started this tribe the there was going to be a lot of emphasis on the whole religion thing, then they went in a different direction when I wrote them. I totally forgot to change the overview and people section, so will sort that out.

2.With regards to the second largest port "thing"... well, the four cities beginning with "Shan" are the four cities that live for trade on Aeruillin. Thylacuran, although the biggest city obtains it's money through an entirely different way. Which I won't detail here. It doesn't trade much, most of it's resources actually come from Aeruillin or Shan'Furrionis. Dion is not a centre of trade.

Ermmm... I'll be back. Got to go and feed small children food.

:D  :D  :D  

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« Reply #9 on: 12 February 2004, 16:49:00 »

Okeydokey, Artemis, you're the boss here of course;)  Good to see that you have plans for everything already:D

So let's continue here:

Food

The staple diet, like all the port towns, is fish. Easy to obtain from the nearby ocean waters, Zarathians have found many ways to prepare and serve the meat. If a traveller ever stays in a Zarathian inn, he or she will be sure of a fine fish dish for their supper, and hot fishy soup for breakfast.

Also, a crop of polent, the special desert “rice” (called Rizjo here, there exists already an entry on "rice";) is grown by the waters, often the poorer people of the city live on the starchy grains that are eventually harvested. Inja goats (whenever possible add the animal name to the species, that makes it easier to identify if people are not that common with the Santharian bestiary) are also kept, although only a few people have herds, as most Zarathians do not possess the patience to deal with goats.

The Zarathians drink little other than water. They purify the water from the sea by boiling it, everyone possesses the equipment needed to make the water drinkable. It is a skill that they are fiercely proud of – their ability to make the water clean from the murky depths of the ocean. Alcohol is rare, every Zarathian is aware that such a drink could cloud judgement and consequently they may make a bad trade.

Weapons

The Zarathians are all deadly with the dagger. Any other sort of weapon would simply get in the way in their society, so the small blade is perfect, practical, and commonly used for self defence.

At the age of eight, a child’s first dagger is given, and training starts in its use. At the age of fourteen, which in Zarathian society is considered as the time of adulthood, a dagger is crafted specifically for the person, a process which can take up to two weeks to complete. Great care is taken over this process, and elaborate engravings are often carved onto the blade, to the wielder's whims. Such devotion to something other than trading is uncommon for Zarathians, however, daggers are essential for each and every person, and all realise that the producing of this exceptional weapon must not be rushed.

Each and every dagger is unique, and kept clean. It is used for many tasks – gutting fish, cutting bundles tied with twine and slicing portions of meat are but a few examples. This dedicated dagger often is a Zarathiuan's lifetime companion and you might get to hear many stories about it if you just ask. This is a good insider tip as well by the way if you have some business with a Zarathian: if you show honest appreciation for the weapon of your trading partner and he will treat you as a friend. (Thought this might fit here, elaborating this idea a bit.)

Occupations

As can be surmised, the majority of the Zarathians are traders and merchants or sorts. They live for their work, becoming so engrossed that sometimes sleep is forgotten. Their brains are sharp, and well suited for such a profession. It is this devotion that has made Shan’Zarathan the second largest trading port in Aeruillin – only Shan’Thai eclipses it in greatness and wealth, and this is only due to its age (Shan’Thai is the oldest established port, whilst Shan’Zarathan is the youngest) and actual location of the ports. However, it is likely that Shan’Zarathan will finally become the greatest as years pass by.

However, there is also need for many people to do other jobs, such as cleaning. (Maybe mention here irregular sandstorms, which strike the town every now and then, just like major earthquakes elsewhere. They could have some sort of specialised people like scouts to warn of approaching winds, and other who coordinate evacuation if storms hit. Well, this is just a new idea which popped into my head, but I don't know what climate you plan here.) Slaves often do this work, these people have been indentured due to crimes of a serious nature. However, there are Zarathians who do not feel the strong pull towards trading, and so consequently learn the vital trades that keep the city going, such as carpentry and bakery, some become teachers, innkeepers or priests.

There is a specialist trade in the port city however, of which it is an honour to be part of. To become a Bladesmith is a hard and gruelling task, and only the very best will succeed. The patience and artistry needed to produce the knives and daggers are not found in everyone, very few make it to the top. Traditionally men have undertaken this profession. However, through many struggles and personal sacrifices, the blades of the female Bladesmith Neia Chiél have become highly sought after lately, and fetch high prices, her exquisite designs have given her status amongst this male-dominated area.

Production/Trade

What Shan’Zarathan is famous for is its trade in the delicacy jakécha (lowercase here, uppercase only if it's the Jakécha entry itself). This fish is famous throughout the continent, like many others which can be caught around Shan’Zarathan. Jakécha is not only known for its divine taste, but it is also famous due to the fact that it hightens the senses for a short while. Also, only a small amount will fill the person as if they had eaten a whole meal. It is truly a remarkable and consequently expensive dish. The Cholians, who reside in Jhomcholas, actually catch the fish in the north-east area of The Bright Sea, the only place it is found, and transport stocks twice a year to the port. It often arrives in a salted “packet form”,  this way it can last for even up to two years before finally deteriorating.

There is also a thriving trade in small weapons – the Zarathians excel in the forging of daggers and knives, their careful and exquisite designs are sought after by many. Often many somewhat dubious characters – thieves and assassins to name a few, purchase the blades for their work. Attracting this sort of crowd does not mean that crime is high in the city – the Zarathians are respected, and there is honour among the thieves – that is to say, the sinister characters go elsewhere to engage in their dirty work in general. It does not profit them to cheat the source of the weapons of their trade!

Also, there is an annual horsefair, where delegates of the Azhorhrian tribe bring ten of their steeds for trade. This attracts a lot of attention, as the horses of the tribe are legendary in their speed and resilience to extremes. They fetch high prices, and are the highlight of the fair. (You could mention here e.g. that even rich merchants from Sarvonia or Nybelmar come to this horsefair to handpick magnificent Azhorhian steeds for their own use.)

Aside from these main items, there is of course general trading of everyday items – food, clothing (although Zarathian clothing is far from pretty – only attire from overseas is worth looking at and often such items will go to Shan’Furrionis or Shan’Chahalynth), livestock (again, little is traded here), building materials and so forth.

---

Ok, next part done, as usual, you're very good in this, Artemis! Me likes:D  


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« Reply #10 on: 12 February 2004, 17:15:00 »

Thankyou so much Arti for your check... I will make the changes as soon as possible...

Just to let you know, you have spotted a spelling mistake of mine! You can be duly proud - it should be sparse, not sparce!

:D  :D  :D  

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« Reply #11 on: 14 February 2004, 13:38:00 »

And here we go with the last part:

Natural Resources
There little in the way of resources, save for what can be found in the sea. What is found however, is essential for living. Firstly, it provides the Zarathians with essential water, which they have learnt to purify so that it is safe to drink. Secondly, the large stones that line the ocean floor provide the materials for housing. There is little wood in western Aeruillin, most comes from overseas and generally goes to Shan’Thai, few shipments end up in Shan’Zarathan. Wood that is brought to the port is used as fuel (I see you're discussing this already with Talia and building trading realtions, so that's good to see), and is far too valuable to be wasted on housing. Also stone houses tend to last far longer than their wooden counterparts.

There is, obviously, plenty of sand around, which does have its uses. Bags of sand are used as weights, and filled buckets are kept in order to put out fires.

Holidays, Festivals and Observances
The Zarathians observe the Festivals devoted to each God within the Aeoliran religion. However, they see them as a hindrance, and a good waste of time that could be used organising and overseeing trades. They are not particularly strict in their beliefs. They do however, revere Léarin, as the wisdom she grants is essential when undertaking trades. Her Festival of Reflection is special to the Zarathians, and definitely not considered a waste of time like other religious matters. Léarin has an alternative title for the people of Shan’Zarathan: Goddess of the Fair Trade.

The annual horsefair is a holiday for all, in a sense. It attracts many people from different cities and continents, due to the rare Azhorhrian horses on offer. It is a time where all congregate at the docks, and watch the sale. Much income is generated for the tribe during this time, mainly through the inns.

Important Achievements
The Zarathians invented the water purification system which is in place throughout all Aeruillin. Before this method was discovered, many people died each year from illnesses attributed from drinking unclean water.

The Zarathians have also helped improve the reputation of Aeruillin ports in general, and stabilised relations with their trading partners of other continents like Nybelmar and Sarvonia.

History
(I see dates still need to be added here...)
*Shan’Zarathan is founded by a group of travellers from the ______ tribe.

*The Zarathians discover how to purify the seawater, a technique that spreads over Aeruillin.

*Shan’Zarathan establishes itself as a trading port, becoming the fourth on the desert continent, after Shan’Thai, Shan’Furrionis and Shan’Chahalynth.

*Following a rough time, Arkh Shaéra is elected and starts to turn the fortunes of the city around. She also converts her people to the Aeoliran religion, following her personal conversion by a missionary from the devout Shan’Thai.

*The tyrant Arkh Gláréd the Second casts out five thousand Zarathians to the desert, for rebelling against his tyrannous regime. They survive the trek across the Ysthalinth Desert, and become the Hjoria. The Hjorians eventually cast out a group of people themselves, who become the Azhorhria. This means that the Zarathians have also ultimately founded two other tribes. (Interesting story this. Especially under the aspect that the Zarathians are now obviously cooperating with the Azhorhrians selling their horses and such. It is a good idea to connect things this way, now everything gets a history and a deeper meaning!:D )

*The Zarathians establish trading relations with the Cholians, a poor tribe of fishers, who have developed the skills and techniques to catch the delicacy jakécha (Where precisely an they be found? Can't hurt to mention it here for general orientation.). This firmly cements Shan’Zarathan’s reputation, and the city grows vastly in size, to become the second largest port of whole Aeruillin.

*The Arkh of Shan’Thai, Arkh Barchaé the Third, demands rights to trade jakécha, telling her people that a dream from Nakashi promised great things if they did. This is despite the fact that they are three times the distance from Jhomcholas than from Shan’Zarathan. The Zarathian Arkh Jairn refuses to trade (a special reason perhaps?), which results in the Thairans besieging Jhomcholas. The Zarathians rescue the poor Cholians by capturing Arkh Barchaé who foolishly stayed behind in the vastly depopulated Shan’Thai, with little protection. She orders her people from Jhomcholas. A treaty is signed that Shan’Zarathan has the sole right to trade the jakécha.

---

Ok, now to thr origin of the tribe... Hmmmm... Do they really need to come from the north as Talia suggested? How about from the west, from Nybelmar?

I think about those people which we now know as the "Eyelians" in Sarvonia, who came from Nybelmar - though you'd need to consult Smith and Koldar here, cause I don't know how much they have thought of this tribe yet in general. The Eyelians are described as:

"Eyelian people are brown skinned with black or dark brown hair and black eyes. They are small in height, though not quite as small as dwarves - about 1.5 peds tall. They are mostly slim, very strong and quite intelligent. Eyelians have the uncanny ability to speak to and tame wild animals without magic. They speak to the animals in their own language and can talk to one and another in this language if they desire to speak without being understood by those who don't know the Eyelian tongue."

You don't mention the size of the people at your entry, though they probably aren't that small, but the brown skin is similar for example - and there sure are different Eyelian clans. Also if they found their way to Aeruillin they could have adopted to the climate and the new challenges of the new continent. They still could be talented with taming beasts and such, though not that much. So I think there might be some good possibilities here when looking at the Eyelians to find ancestors. Maybe the Nybelmar guys can help here a bit as well.


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« Reply #12 on: 14 February 2004, 14:09:00 »

LOL , Art, though I thought of Sarvonia,I meant just anything outside Aeruillin. They could of course come from Aeruillin, but haven't to be related to the Eyelians, but could have had common anchesters with any Nybelmarian tribe. Artemis, maybe you just ask Smith or Koldar (reading through all the Nybelmar stuff will take a while)which tribe they propose and look at their appearance and maybe even religion(if old enough) or any other typical habits and think about what you could use as well from them - only hints are left maybe(don't change your tribe, but maybe there is a trait they have in common).

Maybe Koldar knows even an event which caused their leaving of Nybelmar.

PS: Could you mention the burning stones?? :)  

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« Reply #13 on: 15 February 2004, 05:07:00 »

Hmmm... thanks for that check Arti, I'll start making amendments ASAP.

I'll have a chat to the Nybelmar group and see if we can use the Eyelians (or whoever!) as the tribe's ancestors.

And of course I will mention your stones Talia. I shall definitely not forget to!

:D  :D  :D  

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« Reply #14 on: 15 February 2004, 16:51:00 »

OK. I've practically finished the changes (subject to a few appearance and personality trait changes depending on which original tribe this lot end up coming from.)

A few notes - Rizjo is not suitable for Aeruillin as it needs somewhere which rains lots (so the entry says!) So Aeruillin doesn't quite fit that! Can Polent not be added? I've mentioned it in my Hjoria entry also. I can do the entry, it shouldn't take too long.

Also dates have not been (and cannot be) added until the founding tribe for the Zarathians is decided. I'm about to hop off and post about that in the Nybelmar forum.

Ermmm... I think that's it. I have added quite a bit here and there, thanks for all the suggestions Arti and Talia (your stones are mentioned of course!) Also, I think I know where I can use that desert warrior photo of Faugars. :D .

:D  :D  :D  

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