The Empty Waste
The Nomadic Tribes of Falak
The deserts in Falak are full of nomadic tribes known as the Badawi (Desert Dwellers). There are primarily 14 different tribes that roam the desert regions. They are unique in that they view themselves as independent tribes, but still pay slight homage to the governing body of Falak. The nomadic tribes are ruled by Sheiks and these are the true rulers of the tribe. The nomadic tribes accept the Emir as a primary leader, but not their primary leader.
The nomadic tribes are territorial and have well defined boundaries. They travel from water source to water source as their fathers did before them. The secret locations of these water sources are sacred to the different tribes and it is anathema to provide their locations to other tribes.
There are occasional conflicts between the tribes and this is resolved by diplomacy or warfare, just like any true nation. The central government of Falak does not get involved in these conflicts and generally leaves them alone.
The 14 tribes are detailed below:
Banu Salama, Sons of Salama aka The Judges: These are a proud people who see themselves as the Justice of the desert. They will work to bring justice to any who break the Code of Hashim. The other tribes acknowledge the Sons of Salama in this role and they are the only sort of authority that exists between the different tribes. Only the Banu Salid, The Banu Malik, and the Shurif refuse to acknowledge this authority.
Banu Sai’di, Sons of Sai’di: These people are distinguished by their copper colored hair in an otherwise sea of black and dark brown. Their skin also has a dark copper color. They tend to be peacemakers and have very few enemies.
Banu Khalid, White Riders: These people wear white clothes and are known as excellent horsemen. They are predominately good, seeking to aid anyone in need.
Hakami, Lords of the Wasteland: These people are the only Badawi tribe who regularly travel into the Grey Waste, a land truly devoid of life. They are fearsome people who grow to be quite large.
Banu Salid, The Skulls: These people paint a skull on their face and file their teeth to sharp points. They are cannibals and are predominately evil.
Qazzam, Elves: This is the only non-human Badawi tribe. It is made up of elves and half-elves. They are considered to be a wise people as their long age is revered in Badawi culture.
Banu Malik, Sons of the King: These people trace their ancestors to the ancient kings of Southern Alyssia. They are a very prideful people and see themselves as the proper ruler of Falak and the entire southern continent. Each member has royal blood, according to the Banu Malik.
Bariq, Painted Ones: These people dye themselves a dark blue color and paint colorful patterns upon their skin. It originally started as a protection against the elements and developed into an art form.
Banu Hashim, Sons of Hashim, aka First Ones: The Sons of Hashim claim that Hashim was the first Badawi. This is a great source of pride, although some tribes dispute this fact. However, all tribes acknowledge that the laws of the Badawi are called The Code of Hashim.
Qhatan, Holy Ones: They are extremely religious, worshipping an ancient god known as Molach, the god of the sun. They have extremely strange customs, even for the Badawi. They also believe all other gods are false. There is only Molach and A' Thasin, the embodiment of evil. Even those who worship Belin (who many think is Molach by it’s modern name) are seen by the Qhatan as fools who are tricked into worshipping A' Thasin.
Tah-neen, Souls of the Dragon, aka The Dragon: The Tah-neen worship the Great Wyrm Khoth, who manifests himself as a wise ancient brass dragon who makes his home in the Desert of Falak. The Tah-neen have been around for thousands of years, so it is doubtful that Khoth has manifested himself as the same dragon that existed so many years ago, but it is possible this is an offspring. Over the last several hundred years, Khoth has not revealed himself in dragon form, leading many to believe he no longer cares about this plane or has even ceased to exist. As a result, the Tah-neen have dropped significantly in numbers and is the smallest tribe.
Batu Amira, Daughters of Amira: This is the only matriarchal society in Falak. The Daughters of Amira are descendants of the great female warrior and the women work hard to emulate her lifestyle.
Shurif, Storm Riders: A very chaotic group that tends towards evil. While every other tribe travels an annual pilgrimage from water source to water source, the Shurif randomly seek out water. As a result, they are very skilled at locating water sources and are said to be diviners of the source.
Mutar, Magpies: Mutar, for whom this tribe was named, is only known by his nickname which means Magpie. Tradition says he was called a magpie for a couple of reasons: 1) the magpie is known to be one of the most intelligent animals in the land and Mutar was no different; and 2) Magpies are known to hoard items of value and Mutar did the same. The descendants who make up this tribe are just like the original Mutar. They are prone to be intelligent and tend towards hoarding items of value.