I do not fear them, as they are simple merchants. I do, however, fear their dreams. I am almost certain that demons visit them during the night. I have heard their screams upon waking. I have seen one kill another over a slight she had suffered in a dream. They believe their nighttime visions to be real!

And yet… I have spoken to a Del Harun woman who knew things of me she could not possibly know. She claimed to have seen them in a dream. I am not one to be given to superstition, but what else am I to think? My stomach tightens as I remember her words and I forever await the assassins knife she foretold. Yes, I value their trade, but truly, their nocturnal journeys make it hard for me to sleep.

Selid Quazar, Patriarch of house Quazar in Zan Zan Turina.

Del Harun claim to have ancient dragon blood in their veins. While there are none who can prove or disprove this, it is obvious to those who travel with them for any amount of time that they are not mere humans. These desert nomads ride their horses across the burning sands of Qua’Lorn, resting each night to dream. They carry what they see at night into the day.

Riders of the Sands, Riders of the Dahlen

To the Del Harun, dreaming life is just as important as waking life. They call the dream realm The Dahlen, and consider their experiences there every bit as real as their waking ones. Although every Del Harun takes their dreams very seriously, they know better than to blindly follow the lessons learned in the Dahlen.

According to the Wise People of the Del Harun, the demons of Samsarras live in the Dahlen. There, they propagate nightmares and false dreams, meant to harm and confuse. This is why the nomads can not believe just any dream they have. If a Del harun has a particularly troublesome dream and wishes to know the validity of it, they go to one of their shamans to have the vision interpreted as to its truth and meaning.

Blood of the First Dragon

While most cultures see Luln as an evil demon, the Del Harun see things differently. According to them, Luln was the first dragon and he created the Dahlen, as well as the part of it that would be known as Samsarras. His loneliness led to him creating the rest of demon kind, though he would soon find that was a mistake. His progeny were evil and forever hounded the first dragon. Luln took human form and created a horse, endlessly fleeing before the demons.

Creating the demons did not solve Luln’s loneliness, however. Slicing his torso with the curved blade of his Khopesh, he used his blood droplets to create the Del Harun. Together they rode across the sands of the world he created, battling the demons and finding companionship in each other.  The Del Harun loved Luln and wanted nothing more than to be closer to him. Ironically, this would lead to their separation.

The Del Harun watched Luln shape reality and they desired the same. They wanted to be like their draconic father. Luln offered them a choice: they could continue to ride by his side for an eternity and live forever, or he would give them what they wanted.  If he allowed them to create as he did without restraint, they would be as powerful as their lord. They would be able to shape the Dahlen in their dreams.

There would be a price, however. If they would wield those forces,  he would make them mortal so that one day they might die even as he lived on. The Del Harun accepted the offer, throwing away immortality so that they may be visitors and architects in the Dahlen. They believe this is why Elves do not die of old age as they do, for they do not truly slumber. They never accepted Luln’s deal.

Home is in the Saddle

The Del Harun construct no villages and never stay in one place for too long. Their nomadic lifestyle often puts them in the role of merchants in eastern Qua’Lorn, trading goods from one city to the next for supplies and wealth. They must carry whatever they own, however, so they do not acquire material possessions just for the sake of ownership.

Horses are an important source of pride in their culture, and many can trace the lineage of their animals better than they can trace their own. It is an honor to own a horse from the bloodline of a mythic beast of times past. Such things are often used as rewards for service to the tribe. It is one of the highest honors to receive a foal from the Chief’s own horse.

Their ability to ride their horses is known throughout Samsarras. There is no other group that may claim a greater proficiency. The best among them have performed incredible stunts for the nobles of Qua’Lorn, earning some amount of gold in the process. It is a rare individual who would call the horsemanship of the Del Harun into question.

Del Harun Names and Conventions

The Del Harun claim to be descended from bronze dragons, and point to their golden brown skin and green eyes as proof of this. Their hair ranges from dark brown to blonde. The nomadic lifestyle of the Del harun often leads them to have weathered looks, as the desert sun, wind, and sand toughen the skin.

The majority of Del Harun tribes are patriarchal, with the position of Chief being passed down to the eldest son along blood lines. Each tribe also has a War Chief who is expected to take over in times of physical strife. Traditionally, the Chief verbally hands over control to the War Chief, who then returns the tribe to the Chief after the tribe is safe. This is not always the way of things, however.

Aside from the Chief and War Chief, each tribe also has a shaman who is well versed in the Dahlen. It is left to them to interpret the important dreams of the tribe, as well as administer healing and herbs to aid in sleeping and dreaming. Some few have even possessed magical abilities, though that is the exception and not the norm. The shaman will generally train their successor, taking on an apprentice when they recognize someone has the aptitude. While the shamans are mostly women, it is not a gendered position in any official capacity.     

The Raven’s Claw tribe has inverted the usual structure of Del Harun tribes, with women taking on all of the leadership roles. Because of this, women from other tribes of Del Harun have been known to leave their people to join the Raven’s Claw. The men of the tribe ride, fight, and live alongside the women. While recognized and celebrated for their contributions, they are never given positions of prominence.  

Most tribes see heterosexual monogamy as a default, though all orientations are accepted. The exception again is The Raven’s Claw, where homosexual polyamory is the norm, especially among those of the tribe that identify as women. None of these cultural norms are law, however.

Stats for Del Harun here!

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Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality; it’s a way of understanding it.

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