|Glossy sunlight, stinking camel
dung, noisy and wild gesticulating dealers, black-bearded people with heavily
bend noses and wide, flowing garments, some veiled dark-eyed beauties,
two old and wise men with their white beards, who are sitting in the shade
of palmtrees playing the game of white and red camels, drinking their tea,
a slave trader, naked top, a Khunchomer in his hand a dagger beneath the
sash, offering his human good in a flowery speech, heavy, sweet smells
of smoke and ecstatic herbs, waving from a nearby window, the sound of
drums and noseflute the naked feet of a Sharisad (a danceress) - this is
how the average Arkanian inhabitant imagines the streets of Rashdul or
Mherwed, this is how he imagines a Novadi.
BackgroundAs Mohas and Niveses, the Novadi are counted as the original inhabitants of the continent Arkania; they belong to the folk of the Tulamides, who usually believe in the Twelve Gods. The Novadi, however, believe in the one god Rastullah, who, following the ancient legends appeared about 250 years ago in the oasis Keft to send the Beni Novad (Sons of Novad) on the biggest mission the world had seen so far. And they still are. About half of the 20000 Novadi live in cities, the other are living as nomads beneath the drying sun of the desert Khom and the bordering steppe in the south of the continent. The tribes drag their horses and their cattle on ancient routes through this barren land, from one drain hole to the next. The animals are the biggest values they posess and the horse has a very special meaning to them. It is more than just an animal for riding or carrying goods. For the Novadi, the the horse is companion in a battle, his pride and his rank. A good herd of Shadif counts much more than a beautiful harem. The Novadi are the only real folk of riders of Arkania, their artistry and their fast riding manoeuvres world reknown and feared. Everybody who ever experienced a Novadi festival will not believe that the Novadi did not the horse before the first People from the golden land arrived on the west coast.
The Novadi society is one of the very few bad examples
of equality in Arkania, unmarried girls have a certain amount of rights
that make them nearly equal to men, but a married woman is the possession
of the man as his horses. A Novadi can only obtain glory, freedom or power
as an Achmad'sunni, a revenger and fighter for her family, or as a Sharisad,
a dancing women who may enchant her guests by her movements as if Rastullah
assigned her to do so, or last but not least as a princess like Shanja
The Novadi think of themselves as the "chosen ones", since Rastullah himself, the one and only god, spoke to them and gave them 99 rules as a gift. This is the main source of the very sensitive pride. 99 rules are a lot because they require something of a believer in every situation of life and some of these rules do not even fit each other: rule 36: "The god pleasing one applies himself to gentleness on each of the nine days of all the moons of the gods throughout the run of the sun of Rastullah." rule 41: "The god pleasing one does not hide his fury, whenever his pride is hurt, poisoned or made doubtful."
The role of the NovadiThere are many reasons for a Novadi to leave home. Maybe his father send him to strife the shores of Arkania as an adventurer and learner, his curiosity might have come through or the oasis came to be a little to narrow, maybe he even was captured in the last war against the dark Tar Honak and dragged to Al'Anfa. A Novadi woman who is not one of the fighters or revengers as said before might leave home because she wants to escape inequality, avoid a marriage or for similar reasons.
Whatever the gender of your hero, she will never loose four distinct features even when he left home years ago: a flowery speech, riding art in perfection, a hardly controllable temper and unbroken pride. A Novadi may be a reliable part of an adventurers' group, but hurt him in his pride and you got problems. This may happen when somebody insults his horse or only a wondering stare of a citizen, which he may recognize as a provocation and you will see how fast a Novadi takes a blade into his hand.
Additionally, each Novadi is very religious and he tries to pursue all 99 rules, which is a hard task (very complicated are the eating rules and those could easily evolve as a problem in any tavern outside the south of the continent). A discussion about faith may well end up as a fight.
Quotes"By the curly hair of Rastullah..."
"You, grandchild of brazenness - the Lord give me the gift of forbearance and you the gift of an early and painful death..."
"I have sinned and I ask for salvation."
"Your lips are more tender than the nostrils of my Shadif, you, flower of the Wadi Djenna, and whiter ere they than fresh cheese and your body is softer than a ripe fig..."