Riders of Destiny
Government: Monarchy (sheikdom)
Societal Structure: Tribal
Cultural Qualities: Living in the deep desert resources are scarce at best and the Udru rely heavily on trade, with themselves and others, to make ends meet. They have all become very adept at getting their money’s worth as well. Each Udru receives a +2 bonus to their appraise skill.
Specialized Equipment: Bedouin Robes – Due to the extreme temperature fluctuations between night and day in the deep dessert the Udru have developed clothing that works to protect the wearer from both extreme hot and cold temperatures. These clothes are functionally masterwork traveler’s outfits but give the wearer a +5 to Fortitude saves to avoid the effects of exposure in both hot and cold climates.
Favored Horse Breed: Udrubian
South of the rolling grassy plains of the Paynims lies a vast and inhospitable sandy dessert. Deep at its heart lies lake Udrukankar from which the Udru derive their name. The days are blistering hot and the nights can drop below freezing and despite this the Udru pride themselves on their civility and hospitality. The Udru are split socially into two groups. Those that dwell along the river and lake and lead a sedentary and agriculturally based life, and those that make the deep desert their home mounted on camels and the Udrubian horses.
These Bedouins prize honor and tradition as they travel the deep desserts. Knowledge of how to survive in a land seemingly devoid of life is a secret passed down from generation to generation. The dessert is broken into informal but universally recognized territories. For the sedentary peoples these resemble fiefdoms like anywhere else, for the Bedouin it is the area one group travels in their yearly circuit. Each of these territories is ruled over by a Sheik. The Sheik’s word is law in his territory. For the Bedouin the sheik usually presides over several families who all travel together and work in mutual support of each other, in the cities the sheik is a more traditional ruler.
Since life can be so harsh the Udru choose to counter it by embracing all that life offers. They have a tremendous lust for enjoyment which can cause conflict if one’s lust runs contrary to another’s. Quick to forgive and quick to temper the Udru have come up with a fairly elaborate system of customs to smooth things out. Practiced more rigidly by the Bedouin the most important customs involve hospitality.
The Udru believe in fate as the driving force in the world, as such it would be a poor choice to tempt fate by being rude and inhospitable. When a person in need arrives at your door it is custom that they be invited to stay. Since this can be quite a burden on the host, especially in the dessert, where resources are scarce, it is also custom that if one seeks aid and shelter they bring a gift. The actual value of the gift is relative to the wealth of the person seeking aid. The shoes of a poor man can have more meaning than ten camels from a rich man. Additionally it is custom that the host will see to the needs of the guest until the guest chooses to leave. This could be a real problem but again fate steps in. One does not want fate to think they are lazy or fate will surely teach such a person a painful lesson. As such tradition dictates that one stay for only three days and nights at most unless specifically invited to stay longer by the host. If such an invitation has been extended then one must not disappoint such a generous host by leaving. There are additional subtleties though, The bond of salt is a tradition that dictates that when two people share salt, a very precious commodity, than they have agreed to do no harm to each other for a period of three days and nights. If no salt is shared no assurances are offered. This is a two way bond so it protects both guests, and hosts. Usually upon the offer of shelter the first order of business is a meal.
Lastly, with such a focus on hospitality, the greatest offence is theft. It betrays the courtesy of the host, even if they don’t know they are the host and flies in the face of the Udru’s most important tradition. Most other crimes can be reduced to some form of theft and are often treated as such so the maximum punishment can be dealt. That said, most Udru secretly admire anyone for tempting fate as much as a thief.
The greatest sport and pastime for the Udru is racing and their races tend to be overly elaborate long distance races that can last days and even weeks. Udru have blue-black hair and skin that ranges from light olive to dark brown. They dress in layered silk clothing that can be used to cover or reveal as much as they choose. The udru traditionally use the scimitar and short bow, and because of the heat usually wear light armor if any.