Tribes of the Sun People (3.5e Race)
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The Tribes of the Sun People
The sun people are the denizens of Etarask, they who have mastered horses and brought down the metal of the gods to carve out their kingdoms. This divine golden metal is a secret alloy called nebu, a word that refers to both gold and the flesh of the gods, and is of a composition known only to Etaraskan priest-smiths. Though the sun people call it nebu, other peoples know the metal as bronze. The sun people live in permanent cities and villages and sow fields with grains, these fields worked by teams of slave farmers while other teams of slave laborers construct great stone monuments to their god-kings. Their kingdoms are patrolled by warriors drawn in chariots over the extensive roads built to maintain the empire, though those roads see more use in internecine warfare between rival god-kings than in defending against outside threats.
The sun people have a well-deserved reputation for haughtiness and arrogance. They see themselves as the pinnacle of creation, second only to the gods themselves. Even the slave caste of the sun people see themselves as superior to foreigners. Sun people have a very stratified worldview, tending to see interactions between people in terms of superiors and inferiors.
Olive-skinned, the sun people have dark hair and eyes. They are shorter than the wise people but taller than the cave people, standing an average of 5'5" tall and weighing an average of 145 pounds for men. Women are significantly shorter and slimmer than men, standing an average of 5'1 and weighing around 100 pounds.
The sun people dress in clothing of woven fibers, the quality and style of which depends on their caste and gender. Most of their clothing is made from cotton and linen, though leather is used for protective wear. Peasant women wear simple cloth kirtles or wrapped skirts with halter tops, while peasant men wear cloth tunics and leggings or simple cloth wraps secured around their waists. Noblemen wear knee-length robes over their tunics and folded cloth headdresses, while noblewomen wear gowns of a finer make and cut than their peasant counterparts, as well as scarves wrapped around their heads and gauzy veils over their faces to keep others from seeing their bare skin. Sun people typically wear sandals or leather mocassins, and they are fond of jewelry made of gold, copper, bronze, and precious stones.
Few races are over-fond of the sun people, as their expansionist kingdoms have launched slaving raids against their neighbors to provide slave laborers and soldiers.
The sun people tend towards lawfulness, but any alignment may be found among them.
The sun people dwell in Etarask, a fertile land on the coast of the Midland Sea. It is well-suited for their agricultural lifestyle, with a warm climate divided up into a wet and dry season. The Desret Wastes are to the south of Etarask, and the Obis-Djewd mountains are south of the wastes.
Etarask is stratified into a rigid caste system with the 'nameless' foreigners and slaves at the bottom, free peasants in the middle, a hereditary ruling class, and the male-only warrior caste and the female-only priestess caste. Warriors come only from the impressed children of foreigners and slaves, indoctrinated into the cult of Ha-Rask and trained to fanatic loyalty to the god-kings, while priestesses come from the ranks of the nobility. Noble-born girls are typically trained into the cults of Rask, Ha-Rask, or one of the three goddesses, and remain in the divine service until they marry. Children born out of wedlock and to unknown fathers have no surnames and are classed as nameless and slaves, regardless of their mother's caste and social status. There is no movement from one caste to another in life, only through death and rebirth.
The sun people are polygamists, with men taking on as many wives as they can afford to support, though traditionally no more than three, and it is a mark of prestige for at least one of the wives to be an exotic foreigner. Theirs is a male-dominated culture and heavily patriarchal, with children regarded as the property of their fathers and wives the property of their husbands. The only exceptions are first-born girls, who are named and raised as pseudo-males with all of the responsibilities and privileges of males.
The sun people have domesticated cats, dogs, elephants, sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, mules, and cattle. They use donkeys, mules, and oxen to pull carts, and the Etaraskans maintain a network of roads at the decree of the god-kings in order to better transport goods and react to invasion. They use horses to pull chariots, while officers and royalty ride on elephant-back in howdahs. The Etaraskans do not often ride horses, considering it barbaric. Etaraskan farmers, almost all members of the slave caste, grow crops of wheat, barley, and other grains, industriul crops such as flax and papyrus, and aromatic herbs for seasoning and religious rites. They also grow crops of dates, figs, beans, onions, garlic, and radishes, and the wealthy often maintain elaborate gardens and orchards. The sun people also maintain ponds stocked with fish, and carp are often the only meat slaves ever taste. Golden-scaled carp are highly prized, and some god-kings maintain ponds of them for their dinner tables.
Most of the sun people's residences and buildings are built from mud brick, though their temples, palaces, fortifications, and other important structures are built from carved stone. Teams of slaves supervised by noble families of skilled stonecarvers construct many of the tombs and monuments that dot the Etaraskan countryside and the temples in their cities. Many of these laborers are also farmers, working during the winter season and farming during the growing seasons. Similarly, farmers often work during the winter season alongside teams of miners under the supervision of noble mining families. The stonecarvers and miners both make use of elephants for the heavy labor of moving rock and debris. Because the priestesses of Rask maintain control over the elephants and the daughters of the mining families enter into the priesthood, the god-kings maintain a tight control over Etarask's metals through their positions as the head priests of Rask.
Etaraskans worship the sun god Rask, his son, the warrior god of the forge Ha-Rask, and his three wives, the fertility goddess Kaia, the sea goddess Aistera, and the moon goddess Aluna. The calendar year has many holidays and festivals for their pantheon, and many cities have more for their local deities as well. They believe in karmic reincarnation, that good deeds in this life bring about a better life in the next.
The sun people speak their own language, a unified tongue the same throughout their kingdoms. It is called Etaraskan, and unlike almost every other language it has a written form. Etaraskan is written with a series of inscribed hieroglyphs for important religious and governmental functions, or painted on papyrus or linen sheets in a cursive script for mundane secular functions.
Sun people are named at birth, and boys inherit their surnames from their fathers by prefixing his name with ur' to signify their parentage. Bastards have no surnames, are considered slaves, and are the property of their mother's father to dispose of as he pleases. Most girls also have no surnames. If the first-born child is a girl, she is named a feminized version of a male name derived by adding the feminine 'a' or 'ai' sound to the end and is raised as a male.
For example, Sethista ur'Nekhen is the first-born child and daughter of Nekhen. Her younger brother could be Ausir ur'Nekhen, while her kid sister might be Isystra.
Male Names: Anax, Ammaun, Ausir, Horakthy, Nekhen, O-Seirios, Rahs, Sethist, Talaon, Zelos.
Female Names: Aneitha, Arkea, Bastai, Isystra, Hathrodita, Kaira, Melia, Nefirlai, Rah'ai, Se-Aluna.
Those sun people who take up a life of adventuring often do so in an effort at escaping their stifling society. They are commonly ex-soldiers or retired veterans, disgraced priests, or outlaws, but sometimes they are magi seeking the secrets of the world beyond Etarask, explorers, or evangelists. Sun people priests select domains from those offered by their deities. Rask offers the Law and Sun domains, Ha-Rask offers the Fire and War domains, Kaia offers the Air, Animal, and Plant domains, Aistera offers the Healing, Storm, and Water domains, while Aluna offers the Earth, Fire, and Destruction domains.
Sun People Racial Traits
- -2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma. The sun people have a monotonous diet that leaves them small and malnourished, but their large and learned societies ensure their intellectual and social development.
- Humanoid (Human): The sun people are members of Homo sapiens sapiens
- Medium. As Medium creatures, the sun people have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.
- Sun people base land speed is 30 feet.
- Wealthy: Sun people roll d8s rather than d4s to determine their starting gold.
- Sun people do not treat bronze weapons as exotic weapons as other races do. Sun people with an Intelligence score of 12 or higher are also literate.
- Bonus Feat: Sun people receive a bonus feat at 1st level. This may be any bonus feat for which they meet the prerequisites.
- Bonus Skills: Sun people receive 4 extra skill points at 1st level and 1 extra skill point at every level thereafter.
- Automatic Languages: Etaraskan. Bonus Languages: Any, other than secret languages such as Druidic.
- Favored Class: Any.
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|35 years||53 years||70 years||+2d10 years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||4' 6"||+2d10||90 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|
|Female||4' 4"||+2d8||60 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|