Wily Traders of the High Seas
The Maarduni are a friendly people who hail from the southeast shores and islands of Maratus, and make their livings fishing, crafting, and trading. Their naval might is unsurpassed by any other civilization, and their shipbuilding secrets are closely guarded. Of all the races, the Maarduni are likely the most widespread, making homes in lands other than their own for trading purposes. They are famous for being shrewd, cunning, and diplomatic, and are known for telling tall tales as if they were true.
As people, the Maarduni are good-tempered, sociable, and community-oriented. Their society is one in which cooperation is paramount and class isn’t defined sharply. The Maarduni are known to lavish their guests with gifts and are hospitable even to unannounced visitors. The guest exists outside of Maarduni hierarchy, and even chiefs are known to place their needs below those of a visitor. In fact, in daily work, it is not unusual for a chief to work alongside even those of the lowest rank. Education for the Maarduni is entirely different from the Isian idea of specialization for a craft; they tend to become jacks of all trades, studying astronomy, biology, history, religion, and other disciplines with equal effort devoted to each. With education comes greater social expectation, however, and rudeness is considered a sign of inferior breeding.
The Maarduni are very dark-skinned, with light hair that varies from red to light brown and eyes that vary from green to brown. Generally slim-built, they stand shorter than many races at average heights of 5’4” to 5’8” for males and 5’0” to 5’4” for females. Maarduni are regularly freckled in complexion, mostly on the cheeks and nose, but occasionally on the forearms and neck. Their facial features are mild, curved, and inoffensive. The vast majority of Maarduni are tattooed on the arms, legs, and torso, with markings that denote lineage, profession, achievements, and other noteworthy events of the wearer’s life.
The Maarduni make it their prerogative to be at least acquainted with everyone. There is no country that they do not make trade with; even the reclusive Ana-Tori allow some Maarduni caravans into their domain. The Isians trade with the Maarduni, but likely only do so until they feel that they can outdo them. For the Jia-Than, it mostly depends on which village or town is being considered; on the borderlands, it is quite common for Maarduni to set up shop in Jia-Than settlements for long periods of time, while further inward the Maarduni are not looked upon as trustingly. The Maarduni have been amicable trade partners and allies of the Makramosa for the last century; the Maarduni navy is fueled with Makran steel, and they defend the Makran coastline in return.
The Maarduni are a diverse lot, and for every conniving conman there is a decidedly virtuous person; thusly, the Maarduni tend toward no certain alignment.
The Maarduni occupy the southwestern region of Maratus, including the islands off of the continent’s coast. Sea travel is absolutely vital to their way of life; even their mainland territory is dotted with sea after sea and river after river. Their borders range from the temperate middle of the continent to near the frigid north, and from the western coast to the lakes and seas in the center of the continent.
The Maarduni are second only to the Isians in their fervent worship of The Common Pantheon. Given their relationship to the sea, Mara, goddess of water and the sea, is without a doubt the most commonly worshiped of the gods. Ventos, god of wind, receives some peripheral worship due to his relationship with Mara, and the crafty nature of the Maarduni and their general desire for wealth accounts for their worship of Diafernes, god of rogues.
The Maarduni speak a language that sounds distinctly melodic when spoken. It is not tonal, but Maarduni have a very certain pattern of emphasis in speech that is unlike any other language. This tends to carry over when Maarduni learn other languages – especially Common. In writing, Maarduni script actually provided the basis for Common; as a result, learners from other cultures who know Common to begin with find it fairly easy to learn to read Maarduni.
Aidan, Brogan, Conall, Declan, Ennis, Finnian, Gallagher, Heber, Keane, Lochlann, Murtagh, Nolan, Odhran, Quinn
Aine, Brianna, Caoimhe, Deirdre, Fiona, Kiera, Luiseach, Maureen, Norah, Rowan, Sinead, Treasa, Una
Ainsley, Bhaltair, Cairbre, Duncan, Evander, Finlay, Gawain, Heck, Irvine, Lachlan, Moira, Niall, Tearlach
Maarduni adventurers are often the children of traders who did not wish to take up their parents’ businesses, sailors out to see the world, or young adults on a journey to far-off lands as a right of passage into true adulthood. No matter what background they have, though, most Maarduni feel an urge to explore new places, and many consider that to be their purpose. Common classes for Maarduni are the Bard, Fighter, Rogue, Scout, Swashbuckler, and Wizard classes.
Maarduni Racial Traits
- Medium: As Medium creatures, Maarduni have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Maarduni base land speed is 30 feet.
- 1 extra feat at 1st level.
- 4 extra skill points at 1st level and 1 extra skill point at each additional level.
- Automatic Language: Maarduni, Common. Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Speak Language skill.
- Favored Class: Any. When determining whether a multiclass Maarduni takes an experience point penalty, his or her highest-level class does not count.
- Strong Swimmer: Swim becomes a class skill, regardless of class.