Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Center Cannot Hold: The Ramelin

The Ramelin
The Sandfolk, from birth, embrace pain.  All Ramelin children learn the same proverb: "Life is Pain."

To signify this, newborn Ramelin are ritually scarred along their right cheeks.  Each Ramelin family
has their own particular scar-runes, passed down throughout the generations.  More scars are added with each year the child survives.  Most Ramelin scars reveal much about their lives; the wealthier, the smaller, more precise scars they have.

Ramelin believe their tribe originate from the Sacred Mesa Akilahakram, deep in the Immortal Khanates of Maliph.  The mesa once had been deep in the jungle.  Its black obsidian stones formed the bones of the first Ramelin, or so the story goes.  The Jinn made them to serve.

Chained up to them, the first Ramelin were enslaved.  Slaves, the Ramelin say they remained that way until the Jungles of Rruk turned to sand by Ith's archmagic.  The tale of how the Ramelin became freed varies among each Ramelin community.

No matter the specific origin tale, all Ramelin wear obsidian jewelry to remember how their people once served the jinn.

Naming Conventions
The Ramelin have one name.  Their personal names often are compound nouns of qualities thought to create good fortune for the child's future.  Alternatively, if parents have had lost children before, a child will be given a name based on bad qualities, in order to help drive off evil spirits.

Outsiders sometimes will misunderstand Ramelin names, thinking the second noun is a surname, especially when siblings are given similar sounding names.  Because all Ramelin names are about descriptive nouns, there isn't a tradition of female or male names.  If a Ramelin has to have some sort of identification to further identify them, they will state their parent's names, their grandparents' names and so forth, sometimes including their clan's name as well.  But in general they identify almost entirely by their singular name.

Ithic and Othebean governments often record Ramelin names using a parent's name as a surname, if only to keep their paperwork in order.

To simulate the nature of Ramelin names, I've listed Prefixes and Suffixes separately.  I've avoided
saying exactly what kind of nouns they are.  There are two groupings, positive and negative.
Prefix Names: Ahmir, Ajsan, Kabyr, Zahra, Naarin, Kazeer, Nazek, Wajh, Hadija, Qazida
Suffix Names: 'abd, Zagurah, Tahr, Layla, Qadiz, Zu'allim, 'aynun, Kalb, Basali, Samaq
Example Names: Ahmirtahr, Nazek'abd, Kazeerkalb

The Ramelin often rely on particular dress and clothes to survive the harshness of the Maliphi sands.  Their long flowing robes help keep them cool.  Their clothes are practical.

The Ramelin have a long tradition of treating guests with hospitality.  An old hunting rite, its a
ceremony wherein they will offer a guest food and means for at least one night.  Many Ramelin in urban settings have modified the rite, treating guests in cities like their roaming cousins would.

Because of their respect for strength and survival, most Ramelin have no qualms with the race of another.  Even monsters are embraced by them if they prove useful.  The only line Ramelin hesitant to cross is any act that doesn't directly further survival.

Music and stories help one pass the time, but grand artwork only wastes resources to the Ramelin mind.  Marriage serves only if it helps with procreation, if relationships fail to produce children, then they are a waste.  If anything would be a waste and not further survival, then Ramelin tradition would frown at it.

Life is pain.  And survival is what the Ramelin know best.