Races and Cultures: Ura
In the far north of the World of Conclave stands a vast continent, almost as large as the Inner Continent, Perfection of Concordance. It is known as Fallen Sun by the majority of its inhabitants, and as the Outer Continent by the Merchants League explorers who have recently opened up trade between the lands.
Fallen Sun is a hot land - the inner reaches are burning desert inimical to mortal life and only the coastal margins are lush and temperate. The humans of Fallen Sun are dark-skinned remnants of the once great a'Keshamite Empire but there are many strange non-human species. The fearsome dromads, desert-wandering camel centaurs; mysterious malameks, pteranodon-like scholars of esoteric lore and the tiny ura who make their way whereever they can.
The ura are typically about a foot tall, mostly human-like except for their large ears that rise like twin vanes above their heads. These ears are useful heat exchangers and they are mobile and expressive, giving clues to an ura's mood. Ura are hairless and dusky-skinned. They have three-toed feet but five-fingered hands and they dress in an eclectic mix of items cobbled together from the cast-offs of larger races. On Fallen Sun the ura were originally a desert-dwelling race who lived in the margins of the inhabitable zone, hiding in burrows by day and venturing forth at night.
Despite their small size the ura have a proud warrior culture, with ura tracing bloodlines back to legendary ura ancestors such as Djinn Slayer, Moon Raider, Midnight Hunter and Steel Maker. They are brave fighters, staunch allies and implacable foes but they are also willing to befriend enemies if redress is made, and they enjoy singing, dancing and drinking more than fighting if truth be told. They have a reputation amongst other races as thieves but this is not entirely true. They produce little themselves, it is true, preferring to scavenge left-over items from other races, which they skillfully convert into usable items. Sometimes these left-overs are not as abandoned as the ura think, hence the reputation for thievery. The ura see themselves as cunning opportunists able to outwit the bigger folk.
Since the era of trade between Fallen Sun and Perfection began, the ura have stowed away on board merchant shipping and spread to other parts of the world. They have found niches in cities such as Llaza (being garrulous and sociable folk they enjoy the crowds) and many young ura seek to make names for themselves as the ancestors of a new line of ura in this new land of plenty.
(c) 2007 The Creative Conclave.