Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Character Background #2

Abduhādi Mem- Kabur

Quote: “We will find water over this next dune, if the gods will it.”

Description: You are a tall, wiry man in his early twenties, with grey-black skin, blue eyes and very fine features. Your hair is wavy and black and you keep it cropped short for comfort. There is no doubt that like most of the Sha’ir you have some elven blood. As befits a man of the Sha’ir you wear a long blue cotton shesh (robe) over white cotton pants and shirt. Like all Sha’ir men, you wrap a long cloth called an alasho around your head, throat, and face. It is considered bad luck to reveal one’s face to strangers, and thus you are covered by a veil-like edge of the alasho most of the time. A consummate warrior as well as a guide, you carry a scimitar, ajaba dagger, buckler, and compound bow where ever you go. Always accompanying you is your horse Baqu,.

Story: You were born amongst the Mem-Kabur tribe of the Sha’ir, a desert people who roam the lands from the Caliphate to Far Shonga. Your family is one that has for generations guided caravans across the Great Erg, and as soon as you were old enough you began accompanying your father on the long ride south from the Oasis of Mem-Kabur and back. The ways of the shifting sands and open wastes are well known to you, and you feel more at home in the deep deserts than in the oasis with your mother, sisters, daughters, and three wives. Sometimes it is so good to be away.
The Mem-Kabur tribe owns the oasis named after them as well as the rights to use the western route across the Great Erg (and also all the lesser oases and waterholes along it). This brings great wealth to the tribe, as all caravans crossing the sands must use either your tribe’s route or that of your rivals, the Mem-Habib. It is your duty to not only guide caravans, but to keep the route free of bandits and other dangers. Also, you are to drive off any and all interlopers who seek to poach the route from your tribe, especially those rogues the Mem-Habib.
Like many Sha’ir you have turned away from the old religion and follow that of the Prophet of the gods, Ibrahim. The Prophet teaches that all gods are one, and that it is the duty of all life to worship and obey them. As such, you do not fall prey to the petty superstitions of the city folk, but instead adhere to a pure way of fasting, prayer, and charity.
You have been hired as a guide for a caravan out of the capital, Buhtan, that is heading to Far Shonga carrying a load of glass, wine, olive oil, and other goods of the city. The caravan is owned by the ibn Bārí family, a wealthy merchant house that has dealt with your tribe for generations. You have been in the saddle for twelve days and are making good time. This morning you were saying your morning prayers when a scout rode into camp to report that a city was uncovered in the sands near the western route. Since it is only a few hours journey to the next water hole and the caravan is well guarded, perhaps this city needs to be checked out.

About the Setting:
The Caliphate is a vast empire stretching from the Great Escarpment in the north to the Great Erg in the south. It is the center of trade for the continent of Alateff. The empire is rules by a hereditary monarch, currently Kahfir XI, of the house of Amara. The climate is warm with cool nights and little rain. Social structure is based around class, and the various classes (slave, freedman, freeman, noble) are forbidden to marry. Most citizens are human, though the D’Kala (lizardmen) and Sha’ir (Halflings) are often found in their own quarters of the cities. Outside the cities, the terrain ranges from tropical savanna in the north to arid plains and hills in the south. Tribes of nomads wander these areas, most notably the Hatari (wild elves).
Magic is rare and usually used for evil, thus most people fear any who use it. That said, most nobles employ a wizard or two for various purposes. People are also wary of any non-humans, especially hatari. Magic rarely can be bought or sold, but alchemy is very common, for the right price.

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