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ON DISCORD
    The Sud Graufult: The Harashim
    Posted on Sun, August 26, 2001 by Toran
    Taras writes "Over much of the Flanaess, the people who gave it their name, the Flan, were exterminated, absorbed, conquered, and had their cultural identity eradicated in the face of the stronger Suel and Oerids. In some areas, however, the Flan remained strong and kept their cultural identy. One such group is the Harashim, who live among the lands of Ahlissa and the Iron Leage.

    Author: Taras Guarhoth (montand@canonfire.com)



    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.


    The Harashim

    Racial Origins

    The Harashim are a subgrouping of the Flan, originally descended from those who dwelt in Ahlissa and the southern regions of Aerdy proper (which tends to be the area they still dwell in, although some have moved as far north as North Province over the centuries of Aerdi rule). Over the centuries of Aerdi control of their homelands, the Harashim have managed to retain some degree of racial purity, due more to religious prohibitions about marrying outside the faith than to any feeling of racial superiority. As a Flan grouping, they tend to share the traits common to other Flan peoples. Skin color tends towards the coppery end of the spectrum, rarely getting very dark, while eyes tend to be shades of brown, although occasionally, green-brown hazel eyes do show up. Hair color shows the greatest variance, and tends to run from black through brown to blonde (although the lighter shades are less common, with a medium to dark brown being most common), and is the only evidence of intermarriage with the dominant Oerids groups. Males tend to average out around 5 and a half feet in height, with women being slightly shorter.

    Language

    Generally, all Harashim know Aerdi, and use it extensively, as befits people living in the midst of the cities of Aerdy. In addition, almost all Harashim know at least a smattering of Harashim (a Flan language), with those who are better educated (or very pious) knowing more of it. An exceedingly common practice among the Harashim (and one that outsiders find quite aggravating at times) is the use of both languages, freely mixing in Harashim phrases and words into their speech, although they still use the grammar rules of Aerdi, which takes a while to get used to. In writing, the Aerdi script is used in daily life, again following the grammar rules for that language (yet still containing Flan words and phrases freely mixed in), while for religious, magical, and alchemical texts, pure Flan is typically used.

    Political and Social Structure

    As they live in Aerdi dominated areas, the Harashim have adapted to their feudalistic government, although very few live outside of the cities or reach the nobility (except in isolated areas). The Harashim are an almost exclusively urban people. They have long since abandoned the agrarian lifestyle of their ancestors in favor of living within the Aerdi cities, often in their own enclaves or ghettos. Within these cities, they tend to gravitate towards certain economic activities, generally becoming traders, working with precious metals and gemstones, or becoming scholars or alchemists, although they can be found performing almost any occupation. True poverty is almost virtually unknown amongst them, except in cases where the local nobility sets out to deliberately destroy them, as wealth is shared among the members of a family when there is a need (although this does not mean that they will squander their hard-earned money on relatives who refuse to actually earn a living...they just won’t let them starve or go without a home, and will constantly encourage their wayward relations to take up a trade at every possible opportunity).

    In their social lives, they have retained their ages-old traditions, which do resemble those of the Aerdi. The Harashim are largely patriarchal, with the head of a household being male (although on rare occasions, a female will become the head of a household, if she is widowed and her late husband has no surviving brothers). Families tend to be large, and include uncles, grandparents, and cousins in addition to more immediate relatives. Often, these families grow too large to be housed under one roof, and will extend to take over nearby buildings, to such an extent that an entire neighborhood may only contain a handful of different families. Within these neighborhoods, often, everyone will know each other, and outsiders (even Harashim from other neighborhoods) will be instantly noticed by the residents. Marriage among the Harashim is strictly monogamous, although in the past, polygamy was common but eventually fell from favor with the coming of the Oerids and the adoption of some of their customs. Children are primarily raised by their parents, but it is quite common for the rest of the extended family to help care for them, with elder members often being responsible for teaching them.

    Dress

    The women of the Harashim tend to dress in long, flowing skirts and loose blouses. Males tend to dress in robes, although they will wear breeches and a shirt when engaged in their trade if such would be more convenient. Garments are typically made of cotton or linen during the warm months, while wool is used by those who live far enough north to actually experience a real winter. They tend to favor solid colors, although these are generally of darker hues, with browns, dark blues, and blacks predominating. Although a number of Harashim have become skilled jewelers, they tend to frown upon wearing large amounts of flashy jewels, favoring instead simple rings and chains. When a gemstone is used, it is either of a darker stone (such as garnet) or a pearl (which they seem to have an inordinate fondness for). Pierced ears are found only among the women, and generally only one piercing per ear.

    Architecture

    The quarters of cities that the Harashim have taken over tend to be quite distinct from those of the dominant Oerids. Streets narrow and twist in an almost maze-like fashion between the homes and shops of the Harashim, almost like miniature canyons winding about and crossing each other’s paths unpredictably. At the center of this warren will generally be found the main temple of the Harashim of the city, a squat building with a dome atop it, usually standing in the middle of a square, and often lower than the surrounding buildings. Other, smaller temples and shrines will be found scattered about the quarter if the population is of sufficient size to warrant them, although these generally are indistinguishable from the surrounding buildings.

    The other buildings of the Harashim tend to be plain constructions, often built of stone naturally found throughout the area. Such buildings are often unadorned, except perhaps with a sign if a business is to be found within. The homes of the Harashim are often 3-4 stories tall, and bear a flat roof surrounded by a low wall, in contrast to their Oerid neighbors who generally have peaked roofs. Rarely, an entire block will have their roofs leveled off, and the walls separating them removed, although this is generally only done if the entire block is used by the same extended family. The roofs will almost always contain some kind of rooftop garden, usually local herbs or vegetables, with the occasional potted fruit tree, and are used to supplement the family’s diet and/or income. In the center of most blocks will be found an open courtyard, accessible only through the buildings touching it, containing a fountain or well. These courtyards (and the rooftops) serve as the primary social gathering spots of the Harashim, with even meals taken outside in warm, good weather.

    Diet

    Harashim tend to drink wine, disdaining beer and ale, favoring sweet red wines over dry and white wines. For meat, they usually eat pork or game birds (although, oddly, they dislike chicken and most Harashim refuse to cook it or serve it in their establishments), generally cooked with bitter herbs or honey. A good portion of their diet consists of vegetables and grains, with various beans and lintels being staples of their diet. Fresh or dried fruits are sometimes taken with a meal, citrus fruits being favored, although in the more northerly areas they will substitute whatever grows locally. Cooking among the Harashim is typically a family-wide affair, and they generally have large kitchens, with the eldest ladies in the family ruling over them, constantly poking their noses into everything being prepared and offering their advice on how to improve it. Spices tend to not see much use, with herbs or natural sweets (such as fruits or honey) doing most of the seasoning.

    Religion

    Religion and culture are almost one in the same to the Harashim. Their beliefs are central to their customs, and they guard both jealously, clinging to them in the face of Aerdi dominance of their lands. To outsiders, it is impossible to tell what has religious significance to the Harashim and what doesn’t, given that over the centuries, various celebrations and activities which were once purely secular have either been reinterpreted as religious or had older religious elements mixed with them. As such, the vast majority of Harashim are religious, and take their beliefs seriously. They generally center about the worship of Pelor and Zodal, often worshipped together. Various other Flan (and Oerid) gods are recognized, and called upon when needed, although only in the case of rare individuals do these other gods eclipse the importance of Pelor and Zodal. The temples and shrines of the Harashim tend to be pantheonic, with niches or side altars to gods other than the main two, and these vary from temple to temple, based on which other gods are important to the people around. In addition, most homes have a small shrine set up to Pelor, Zodal, and whatever other gods they follow, generally to be found in or just off of the main room of the house. Priests of the Harashim are exclusively male, and are highly respected by the Harashim, although they do tend to look down on non-Harashim priests.

    Magic & Mysticism

    When a Harashim learns some kind of magical art, it tends towards the non-flashy. Generally, this means they specialize in Divination or Enchantments, although some do become Abjurers. Traditional Necromancers are not found among the Harashim, as such tends to go completely against everything the Harashim believe in, although some who practice Necromancy are grudgingly tolerated, if they focus upon the healing aspects of it, rather than the undeath aspects of it. Invokers and Transmuters are only found exceedingly rarely, and generally in the service of the Oerids around them. Illusionists among the Harashim tend to specialize in the deception and concealing aspects of their specialties. Generalist mages tend to focus in the same areas that specialists do, mostly in Divination and Enchantments, with Abjuration and a handful of Illusion spells thrown in.

    Astrology was a favored pastime of wealthy Harashim, and many dabbled in it. The meteor of 198 CY caused quite a stir, and led to many of the more practical minded to renounce the practice after it led to a number of riots from various predictions of doom. Since then, some have again taken up the practice, although few specialize in it, most who do dabble in it mixing it with alchemy or divination magic (or both). Alchemists, on the other hand, are exceedingly well respected among the Harashim, and almost all enclaves of them have at least one. They are well thought of for their learning, and more importantly, for the non-magical medicines and elixirs they produce, as well as the occasional true magic potion, although few like to actually live near an alchemist’s shop, given the sometimes hazardous nature of their work.

    Views of Others and Viewed by Others

    The Harashim tend to have little to do with most demi-humans and humanoids, given that the two dwell in separate areas. In general, they find most demi-humans and humanoids to be near-savages, insisting on dwelling in barbaric conditions not fit for a human. In general, humanoids and demi-humans tend to feel the same way about the Harashim and their maze-like warrens. With the exception of dwarves. Dwarves tend to get along well with the Harashim, often feeling a vague sense of kinship with them. Both tend to be practical, clutch their cultures and families to their hearts, and take pride in their metalworking abilities, so they actually do have a bit in common. As such, the Harashim will generally get along well with and think well of the practical minded dwarves. Even if they do have this tendency to drink the most disgusting alcoholic beverages available.

    The Oerids around them are a different story. The Harashim try to get along with them, out of necessity at the very least, with mixed degrees of success. The two have different cultures that share some common elements, which often only serves to highlight the differences between them, which often aren’t well understood by each other. For example, the Oerids see there really aren’t any destitute Harashim and immediately assume that the Harashim are wealthy, and sometimes draw the conclusion that they are cheated whenever they go to Harashim merchants (who, on average, charge the same as Oerid merchants for similar quality goods), and tend to resent them for it. The attitude the Harashim display to Oerid priests tends to further alienate the Oerids, and increase resentment, making the Harashim good scapegoats whenever one is needed. As a result, the Harashim don’t exactly get along well with their Oerid neighbors, and sometimes suffer when a noble decides to increase his coffers and raise taxes on them, or even institute pogroms against them, driving them from his lands. While pogroms aren’t exactly commonplace, more subtle forms of discrimination are common, such as increased taxes or excluding the Harashim from certain guilds or sections of town.

    Harashim Names

     

    Male

     

    Female
    Adar Jeconiah   Abigal Milcah
    Amaziah Kaimis   Abihail Naamah
    Anah Kedar   Achisa Rechal
    Azariah Malachi   Adah Salma
    Azubah Nahor   Baara Sari
    Baaseiah Nebadiah   Bathshua Shaapha
    Caleb Pedaiah   Hushil Shelomith
    Eliashib Sethar   Maachah Sherah
    Hadoram Sharar   Masara Tamara
    Hashub Sihon   Matrea Tassalia
    Havilah Tahath   Mehetabel Zillah
    Heliz Uzziah      
    Hezir Yeshal      
    Ibhar Yeshua      
    Ilshar Zadok      
    Jashub Zophal      

    Family Names

    Most Harashim lack a family name, instead prefixing the name of an ancestor (generally their father) with ben. The exception to this being the rare nobility, who have mostly adapted the name of the seat of their house as a surname, or acquired the surname of another noble family through marriage.



    Note: Flan, Humans, Races"
     
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