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Not all humans live under the feudalistic or parliamentary institutions of the great nations. A good number of them belong to tight-knit family and tribal groups that occupy the countryside, roaming around Avlis' diverse terrain in migratory fashion. The sheer number of tribes and groups that roam the lands are even more diversified than the lands themselves. However, the myriad of units and mobile nations can be grouped into three general categories: Romini, Jechrani, and Tyeduans.
Owing allegance to no nation or people, the Romini are the oldest and supposed favorite mortal creation of the god Mikon. The first humans to appear on Avlis were the ancestors of the Romini, created directly by Mikon. When created, Mikon commanded them to spread over the planet and bring balance to the world. They were told to be free, yet fair, and to call no one place their home, but rather many places.
All three tribal peoples have basic personality traits that belie their rural upbringing and codes. Superstition is a mainstay of their cultures, and all of them have rich oral traditions dealing with daily life events and how a person meets and participates in life's joy and pain. This proximity with the primal forces of existence gives them an inner peace and happiness, even at the same time that it toughens them to the elements and the cruelty that life can sometimes pose.
Mikon's greatest gift to the Romini was the freedom to choose their life paths on an individual basis. He did not restrict them to the ways of good or evil, nor law or chaos. He simply told them to be. He told them that they must do what the moment requires and not to worry about past or future, but rather to exist as needed for the immediate time period. Much to Mikon's pride, his creation took his words to heart and did exactly as he bade them. The Romini spread throughout Avlis and adopted whatever personalities suited their cause. In addition to possessing the inner joy that nomad people often have, the Romini are crafty and cunning. No matter what their philosophy in life, they refuse to be oppressed and will strike back at oppression with eerie effectiveness, grace, and subversiveness.
Although they are often berated for being loyal to no one, Romini are actually intensely loyal to each other. A Romini will not kill or harm another Romini unless it is totally necessary, and even then they will seriously consider not doing it. Whenever a Romini finds another of their kind in trouble, they will always find the best way to aid them when possible. Though they are diverse and scattered throughout the world, they have a tremendous sense of their own unity and culture. Even a Romini born in Tyedu who meets a Romini from M'Chek will converse as if they were brothers who have known each other their whole lives. It is this closeness that has allowed them to survive as a people and not become so scattered that they are forgotten. If one is Romini, they are part of the overall Romini identity... one of them. If one is not, they are georgio, the most commonly used term for a non-Romini. (See Language, below).
For tribal humans, physical features are largely dependent on region. Romini tend to occupy the middle ranges between 5 1/2 and 6 1/2 feet for males, and 5 to 5 1/2 feet for females.
Skin and eye color also vary with region. The Romini tend to have olive, even black, complexions and brown eyes.
It is said that Romini stock is the purest form of tribal human that has undergone the least amount of interbreeding, and possesse the features closest to what Mikon created.
Variations in dress are too numerous to describe here. Not only do they vary with major tribal category, but they also vary with individual tribes. Romini folk often make clothing out of homespun material.
Nearly all human tribes are viewed with suspicion by their more civilized counterparts. The feeling is mutual, for tribal societies tend to be very superstitious and slow to trust an outsider. For the most part, tribal humans do not concern themselves much with non-human affairs. Tribes will often war amongst themselves, or with neighboring groups of nationalized humans over land rights and natural resources, but rarely do they get involved with the affairs of the wider world.
The Romini as a people are on tolerable terms with all races and nations, though on a societal level they are seen as thieves and troublemakers whenever they roll into town. City-folk often have stories about being cheated or kidnapped by the Romini.
Tribal humans have no particular majority when it comes to following morals or ethics. Their philosophies on law and chaos as well as good and evil vary by tribe and by individual. Among all the races, they deviate from their creator's alignment the most often.
After creation by Mikon, tribal humans collected in the areas all over the continent of Negaria. Some went northward and formed the Romini tribes that eventually became the Kurathene Empire and the clans of Tyedu. The largest and most populous group stayed in the area of M'Chek, which was supposedly the site of Mikon's prison when he was kept by the Negerai during the early days of creation.
The Romini are true wanderers, not settling anywhere for very long, and ranging very widely up and down the continent throughout their lifetimes.
The Romini people have a great love of Mikon and his ideals of balance and choice. They are not the lawful adherents to faith like the humans found living in Mikona, nor are they zealots of balance in its aspects of give and take. Romini live by the flow of the water in the rivers, and the smell of the air in the breeze. They do what is needed, when it is needed, and never any other time.
Main article: Romini language
The language formally known as the Common Tongue was given to the first humans when Mikon created them. Since then, the language has remained largely unchanged, and it has been adopted as the universal language of Negaria by all races. Nevertheless, dialects of this language exist. Romini speak a dialect called "Flare." This language has become a way for all Romini to be able to converse with one another, and to keep their unique culture alive.
Most tribal humans have a common tradition of being able to change one's name during their lifetime due to some great (or infamous) deed that they committed. Romini often take first names that are popular in the area where they live. Their last name depicts who their father was, and they may have a clan designation after that.
Dimitri, Nicholai, Pieter
Demetria, Josalina, Vera
Johnsking, Trenson, Rikonovich, Lowara, Aurari, Usari, Sinti, Kaldervich, Nawari, Domari
Tribal humans value their home lives tremendously. After coming of age, they will rarely wander away from the tribe they are dutifully bound to protect and serve. However, many tribes have tests that require young tribal members to take long journeys of self-discovery by themselves. These can often lead to many new and interesting experiences. Other causes for leaving may include playing on their strong sense of duty and collectivism.
History and Culture
The Romini are the oldest and supposed favorite mortal creation of the god Mikon, owing allegance to no nation or people. They have a great love of Mikon and his ideals of balance and choice. They are not the lawful adherents to faith like the humans found living in Mikona, nor are they zealots of balance in its aspects of give and take. Romini live by the flow of the water in the rivers, and the smell of the air in the breeze. They do what is needed, when it is needed, and never any other time.
When it is time to wander, a Romini will go. When it is time to settle, a Romini will stay. But they form no attachments to what they do. If a camp is needed they will camp. Some of those camps can become semi-permanent places of settlement, although the inhabitants that live there are seldom the same from one year to the next. Romini are fond of moving around the world and experiencing their freedom. They can be found in every nation making their camps, some temporary, some not.
No nation in the world will refuse the Romini entry either. They never participate in the affairs of the nations. They only exist to exist, and thus are considered harmless by their hosts. They do not partake of wars or national struggles, even if it concerns their patron god Mikon. They choose not to.
Romini will make their living any way they can. Some are accomplished craftsmen who sell their wares. Others are singers or entertainers, and some even make their livings at others' expense. Romini can range the whole gamut of the spectrum between pleasant and downright nasty. Nations will not refuse them, but individuals will often be wary of them for their diversity in world views on making a living.
Although they are often berated for being loyal to no one, Romini are actually intensely loyal to each other. A Romini will not kill or harm another Romini unless it is totally necessary, and even then they will seriously consider not doing it. Whenever a Romini finds another of their kind in trouble, they will always find the best way to aide them when possible. Though they are diverse and scattered throughout the world, they have a tremendous sense of their own unity and culture. Even a Romini from Tyedu who meets a Romini from M'Chek will converse as if they were brothers who have known each other their whole lives. It is this closeness that has allowed them to survive as a people and not become so scattered that they are forgotten. If you are Romini, you are Romini... one of them. If you are not, you are georgio, the term for a non-romini.
Because the Romini don't make their own cities, they do not have any use for governments. All of their society is one big extended family. The father is the head of the immediate family, and his brothers are the uncles and their children are cousins, etc. If a number of related families wind up travelling togethor a lot, a single man will often be chosen as the leader of the troop, sometimes it may even be a wise old woman. Whomever it is, the leader will make the decisions on where the group goes, though no one is obligated to follow. They are free to decide for themselves. However, the group often does as the leader asks.
If a leader comes into control of a particularly large group of extended family, they will sometimes be dubbed as a Romini King. Kings are really just older men who are recognized by a lot of families as being pretty good at deciding where to go and how to run daily affairs. At any time, there are tens of Romini Kings on the continent, each presiding over an independent large group of travelling or camped Romini. The title is more of an affectionate designation given by the members of the bunch as a sign of respect and trust. It is not passed down through heredity or any other means. It can only be earned by wise deeds.
As mentioned, smaller groups of Romini do not need these types of elders because the father of the bunch is enough to run everything. The size of the band is what determines how it is run.
Romini refer to non-Romini as "georgio". It is a somewhat derogatory term, depending on how you put it in context. In any context, it is generally not incredibly nice.
Never greet another Romini before washing in the morning.
Women are Marhime (unclean) from the waist down except to their husband or intended husband. This is in part to prevent rapes, in part to prevent adultery. A woman can scare away evil spirits by waving one of her skirts in the air. She can also touch a male she is extremely displeased by with them. This way they are Marhime and NO male can talk to them until they have been cleansed by the Krisatora (a gathering of 'judges' from different gypsy tribes).
Note: The Krisatora is not called specifically for this purpose, it is called to settle disagreements between the Romini in general.
A child is only Romini if the father is.
There is a bride price and marriage occurs between age 12-16.
Physical appearance is least important in selecting a bride. The prospective brides are judged on their merits, such as health, stamina, strength, dispositions, manners, and domestic skills. The character of the girl's family, as well as their prestige in the community, is also taken into account.
There are many superstitious omens of death, the most common of which is the cry of the owl at night.
There must be no danger of a lingering hidden envy or secret resentment on the part of those who are about to begin a journey to the world of the dead.
The dying Romini must never be left alone. This is not only out of compassion for his condition, but also for fear of possible anger.
He or she must not die in his or her habitual place.
When death finally comes, the lamentation increases. From that time until the burial, certain traditional customs are observed. Above all, there is total absorption in the mourning, with no distractions or activities. There is no washing or shaving or combing of the hair. No food is prepared. Only the drinking of coffee, brandy, or other liquors is permitted. Mirrors might be covered and vessels containing water emptied.
Some tribes may plug the nostrils of the deceased with beeswax or pearls to prevent evil spirits from entering the body.
An important step is the gathering together of those things that will be useful to the deceased during the journey from life to be placed in the coffin. These can include almost anything, such as clothing, tools, eating utensils, jewelry, and money.
The color worn by mourners at Romini funerals, until recent times, has traditionally been white or red.
The Romini believe that the soul of the dead might be reincarnated in another man or animal.
The posessions of the deceased may be sold, buried or burned but never kept.
There are fortune tellers, spirit healers (advising) and people able to bestow curses.
Good luck charms, amulets, and talismans are common and carried to prevent misfortune or illness. Some carry bread in their pockets.
It is easier to milk a cow that stands still.
Bury me standing. I've been on my knees all my life.
With the ears, and not with the eyes. (Often said when looking for a wife)
Beauty cannot be eaten with a spoon. Divan na pe xaljo peska jehk koutak.
One madman makes many madmen and many madmen makes madness.
There are lies more beleivable than the truth.
This song was offered as a gift to worthy men.
In the village without dogs the farmers walk without sticks.
The law is a rule to a fool, but a guide to the wise.
A bird does not sing because it has an answer - it sings because it has a song. Jehk desteredre pe kerel na gilyavel omiral pe isnan jehk dook - pe gilyavel omiral pe isnan jehk gili.
Of course one has to go out on a limb - after all, that is where the fruit is.
A life with love will have some thorns, but a life without love will have no roses. Jehk zuvindi peska jubisarel peisido kanro niste, per jehk zuvindi na peska jubisarel peisido na rusjija.
A thousand roads mean a thousand new ways to follow the wind. Jekh milya drom, jehk milya dromoi nevi denedìnav o braval.
A man is not where he lives, but where he loves.