Rhennee

Rhennee is generally used in reference to the Rhennee people, a race of nomadic humans living in the Flanaess, though the term may also refer to the culture of said people. They speak a unique language called Rhopan that borrows heavily from both other languages and the cant of thieves' guilds but they have no written language and no recorded history. Their history is passed through oral tradition, and therefore it is assumed the Rhennee themselves don’t know the story of their origin.

Contents

Description

The skin tones of the Rhennee range form olive to tan, their hair is usually curly and brown or black, with grey, blue, hazel and sometimes green eyes. The Rhennee are short and wiry but strong, men averaging 5 feet 6 inches and women shorter.

Society

The Rhennee are not natives of Oerth, but rather immigrants from a land called Rhop on another world or plane of existence. Believed to have first arrived on Oerth in the Adri Forest in approximately 140 CY, they were driven out by its hostile inhabitants and now inhabit the rivers and lakes of the Flanaess. They live nearly exclusively in a seaborne culture upon barges that hold individual families. Though the vast majority of Rhennee families are waterbound nomads, a select few travel by land in wagon trains, much like the Rhennee's real-world counterpart, the Roma (or Gypsies). These are known as the "Attloi" and are greatly looked down on by their kin, though they see themselves as the "true people" because they never left their landborne culture.

Rhennee are often distrusted by many people and are thought of as thieves and worse. But there are a few, rare communities and cities that welcome them. Among these are both Veluna and The County of Urnst. They can also be commonly found in Dyvers, Perrenland and in the Wharf and River Quarters of the Free City of Greyhawk. Because of stereotypes and prejudice, the Rhennee are exploited and harassed, i.e., stopped to pay extra taxes, prohibited from trading areas, jailed for lacking fishing permits, but are driven away by illegal fishermen, etc. This is especially true in the Duchy of Urnst, where the Rhennee are persecuted by the highly militant elite cavalry of the Duke, the Bar Rampant. Because of this, and their cultural differences, they are insular and keep to themselves. They have social taboos that are perceived as virtually unbreakable that prohibit such things as marrying outside of their own culture, or teaching their language to non-Rhennee. They also have cultural standards that allow them to treat non-Rhennee differently from their own people. They can lie, cheat, steal, and deceive outsiders but these actions can end up with them being banished from Rhennee culture if they are done to others of their own families.

Bibliography

  • Fichera, Richard. "The Gypsy Train." Dragon #93. Lake Geneva, WI: 1985.
  • Rogan, A.D. "Gypsies: A curse or a blessing - or both!" Dragon #59. Lake Geneva, WI: 1982.

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