Bedouin

A nomadic, tribal kind of people. They are never fixed in individual campsites and have found their abilities lie in combat, survival in harsh environments, and hard work being rewarded at the end of the day with songs and stories around the fire. These people are an active and hardy race.

Lifespan
Young: 10 years
Adult: 30 years
Middle Age: 60 years
Old: 90 years
Venerable: 100 years (possibly 150)

Known Language: Bedouin, Thieves' Cant

History

Bedu, the word from which the name bedouin is derived, is a simple, straightforward tag. It means "inhabitant of the desert," and refers generally to the desert-dwelling nomads of Zorostelona, Mastolynd, and Jazalane, though there are some that can be found in other variations in the arctic wastes of the more frigid lands. There is not a good deal of connection between these people and the monarchy or the governments of the countries they live in. They live independent of those governments and while they are normally held apart for their usefulness in desert areas for commerce crossed the desert, they consider themselves beholden to no one but their own blood. For most people, however, the word "bedouin" conjures up a much richer and more evocative image of lyrical epics, shifting sands, flowing robes, and the long, loping strides of camels.

For several centuries, such images were not far from the truth. In the vast, arid expanses of the Golden Plains, the Plains of Migar, and Scorched Desert, the many tribes of the bedouin journeyed by camel from oasis to oasis, following a traditional way of life and maintaining a pastoral culture of exceptional grace, honor, and beauty. Artistry in one form or another is their specialty, whether it be song, tapestry, or storytelling, as they value the ways of pious expression over the methods of greedy violence. They are hospitable in a climate that knows no use for the term, always prepared to help a wary traveler, whether out of the goodness of heart or for a trade of service. There are some customs or professions that are structured differently, one being any child that shows interest in the blade is trained in the art of the scimitar and in the dance of blades, Bedouin style of blade fighting is different from that of other cultures. If a Bedouin asks you to 'dance,' normally, unless you hear music, they're probably asking you to cross swords. The style of a Bedouin swordsman is a graceful, gliding and twirling thing and definitely displays their dexterity.
Bedouin bloodlines are strong though varied and mixed and it is common that though a man will take a wife and they bear large families of children that the mother is the strongest bonder to those children. Mothers, while not being the dictated head of the household are the constant as even within unions of a single married couple or in the case of an unwed woman, tribal gatherings will result in children of mingled blood. Only the mother remained a fixed constant. These liaisons into other tribes are acknowledged and even expected because a tribe can go for months without coming in contact with other people, or even years without spending long enough in cities for members of the tribe to find spouses in form of outsiders. To keep bloodlines, which are carefully monitored, from becoming too muddled it is common for a woman to bear the children of multiple men in her lifetime though whichever man she is wed to will consider all the children to be his own. In this way, if a tribal chief has five sons, they are all considered his sons despite what man sired them. It is perhaps considered odd to other cultures but families in Bedouin culture are paramount. It is why no family would sell any of its members into slavery, why insults to one are considered insults to the whole.

The fully nomadic bedouin tribe lives in tents and raises camels. It has no fixed, permanent camping place; its wandering and grazing area is more or less firmly established by tradition - but rival tribes have clashed throughout history over disputed wandering areas and grazing and water rights. Some bedouin tribes are known to raid trade caravans, often collecting payment for protection. Throughout history bedouin tribes raided the settled lands in the areas bordering the desert. Whenever the countries concerned were weak, politically and militarily, bedouin incursions gained control and establish their domination - often settling in the process, though such settlements are never permanent.

Tribal Groupings: The tribe of the Bedouin is much more than family, a tribe normally spans generations and not all within the tribe are blood. It is possible for the tribe to be inclusive of strangers, prisoners of combat, or foundlings that the tribe comes upon. The tribe when taking in a new person has an initiation and while normally a tribe is led by a singular male figure there is a group of elders that submits the person to questioning to try and determine who they are and what kind of life they have lived and if it would be applicable to the whole. Bedouin are against slavery to the extreme when it comes to members of their tribe though there are some that will keep slaves. If someone is found to be a merchant of Bedouin flesh however the response of the entire race is deadly and swift. They will work together despite tribal divides if it means destroying a flesh merchant.

Customs: Because of how deeply these people hold tradition there are many customs that follow them no matter what place they reside in. Bedouin tribes have a deeply ingrained policy toward guests. Someone that comes upon their camps and claims guest rights with the tribe, promising to do no harm, and knowing customary promises or dialogue to use, is treated as an honored member of the family for as long as they wish to remain with the tribe. They are fed and given shelter, defended from attacks as long as their presence doesn't threaten the family which would break the guest rights. While they remain they are put to work for the tribe in tasks that any of the family would engage in and when they choose to make their leave they are given what the tribe can afford. Bards seeking guest rights normally find that they are more than welcome among the people, they bring news and entertainment and both are of interest to the normally disconnected Bedouin.

Common used Greetings: Among desert nomads when a stranger comes upon the tribe and asks to be taken in, the leader of the tribe or one among them will offer the traveler water. The traveler should turn down the offer as water is precious and ask instead for goat's milk. While one can be taken in without this custom, it shows the tribe that the traveler is aware of how seriously they take guest rights. In the frozen areas of Omen the process may be a bit differently, the guest asking for shelter and when he or she is offered a place by the fire they should offer a gift of wood or something to add to the flames. The more precious to them that the fuel is the more sincerely the tribe will take to them. They may not take the offer depending on what it is, but the traveler should be ready to watch it burn if it is one of the more aggressive tribes.

Description
Bedouin humans are as most other humans — of the average height and build , between five feet and seven feet tall, and one hundred to three hundred pounds in weight for the adults of their number. However, they are distinguished primarily by the sun-browned color of their skin and their often rough complexions, also caused by their harsh choice of environments. Nearly all have dark, curly hair, and most possess equally dark eyes.

Their attire consists primarily of long, flowing garments that cover most of the body. For men, a thobe (single piece cotton robe) is worn beneath a loose outer robe known as a bisht or aba. Upon the head is worn a ghutra (a thin cotton square of cloth) to keep the sun from the back of the neck and sides of the face, and it is held in place by an igal, which is best described as a crown of rope, and it also serves an added purpose of keeping the bedouin's camel from running off in the night provided the igal is slipped around the creature's legs.

For women, an abaya is worn, which is a decorative outer gown, generally, of two layers: the inner layer made of cotton to trap moisture, and the outer layer made of silk or higher quality cottons with patterns stitched into it. The abaya is always worn over a rather simple, utilitarian gown known as a jilbab. Also, bedouin women tend to cover their heads with shawls known as niqabs when on longer journeys or in the presence of foreigners. Both men and women wear sandals in daily activity.

Advantages
• Hit +2% and +1 to damage when using a scimitar
• Receives a +5% bonus to starting Bard skills (Acting, Storytelling, and Musical Knowledge) when the skills are taken
• Bonus +10% to Tracking when in a desert.
• Bonus +1 to Direction Sense when in a desert
• Bonus +1 to Constitution checks regarding physical fatigue (has no other benefit)
• Gain the Bedouin Language freely, which is similar to the Thieves' Cant in its manner of treatment.

Disadvantages
• Will not use a magical item unless it is blessed or approved for use by a priest of the Bedouin's faith.

Restrictions
• May not be a barbarian or fighter.
• May not wear metal plated armor, excluding Paladins.

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