Breaking The Chains
Baklunish Culture and Personality
Spread across the eastern expanse of the region known as the Baklunish Basin, the Bakluni cultures are diverse and the varying personalities are shaped by the environments in which they dwell. Despite these differences the Baklunish people do have common threads which link them together as a race. The Bakluni are, in general, a contemplative people, carefully thinking matters through before acting. Even the most brazen chieftain of the Tiger Nomads, or Ullish Warlord, thinks upon any impending action, for to court failure is to stain one’s honor.
Following the precepts known as the “ Four Feet of the Dragon,” people of Baklunish descent follow these maxims: Honor, Family, Generosity and Piety. While the other races of the Flanaess have an understanding of these concepts, the Bakluni people give them a much deeper meaning.
To the Bakluni, honor determines how a man carries out the activities of his day. It entails keeping one’s word, not acting cowardly, comporting oneself as due his station in life. These are the acts of an honorable man.
Even a bandit can act honorably and yet still be a bandit. Honor is the first — and for some — the most important foot of the dragon and for this very reason. A man might be impious, or a miser and might even treat his family poorly and yet still be seen as a man. But if a man acts without honor, then he is a cur to be beaten and killed, as one would kill any vermin.
An honorable man seeks the deep roots that only family can provide. He honors his parents and grandparents by marrying a woman of mutual standing who has conducted herself honorably, who has a family that is also honorable. Children bring wealth to a man and his wife that is beyond the measure of coin. An Honorable man magnifies his grace and standing by taking care of his family and seeing to their needs. He sees his children get good educations, his daughters married to honorable men from good families, his sons taught the ways of honor and family, so they may stand as men worthy of their father’s name. A Bakluni man takes care of his parents, his brothers and sisters, his aunts and uncles, if they are, by fate’s hand or by age, unable to do so themselves. Family can be a broad term which can also means the employees of a merchant, warriors in a mercenary company, even the followers of a bandit lord. In these cases, the leader will often treat his men in the same fashion he’d treat his children; He’d see they were properly wed, given a nest egg to start out in married life, etc…
While wealth does not always find those that spend a lifetime in hard work, generosity is not limited to the coin in ones pouch. An honorable man is generous with his time, helping his neighbors and friends, giving advice to those that seek it, allowing them to profit from the wisdom Istus has shown to him and he does not shirk from giving what food he can to those in need. Hoarding food, or coin, is frowned upon and often is the first step to ruination in the folktales retold by the bards of the region. The generous man, it is said, sees that which he gives returned tenfold when his time of need arises.
Piety, while the last of the dragon’s feet, plays an important role in the lives of the Bakluni people. An honorable man pays homage to the gods that stand in judgment of his life: Istus, the Spinner of Fate, Al’ Akbar, the Restorer of Righteousness, Xan Yae, the Lady of Perfection, Zuoken, the Lady’s Hand, Geshtai the Lady of the Living Waters.
While one god, or goddess, may have a higher standing in the eye of any given person, it is a fool that cuts off his nose to spite of his face. Only the Mullahs of a given deity can focus all of their devotion to a single god. The average Bakluni offers prayers to all of the gods, in order to ensure that no slight, or insult, is given to any and to guard against the fickle hand of fate turning against them. Even during times of both drought and an abundance of water, pious Bakluni make offerings to Sevelkhar, the Waster, so as to keep him at bay. An old Bakluni saying says it all; “Trust in Istus, but tie up your camel.”
Culturally turbans and keffiyehs are the common head wear for men, with Hijabs being the choice of women. Loose fitting pants and shirts are the style, with robes (light in deserts/ plains regions and thicker in the more northern/mountainous regions) worn over them.
Most Baklunish warriors favor lighter armor than the heavy plate armor of the east. Preferred weaponry consists of spears, lances and composite bows, with personal weaponry being all manner of curved swords, such as Scimitars, Tulwars, Saifs, Shamshirs and Kilij. Even those who are not well trained carry a Jambiya, which is little more than a curved dagger.