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People of the Flanaess:

In the ancient days, two major empires ruled the land west of the Flanaess:the Baklunish and the Suloise. From the Baklunish Empire, which fell in the Invoked Devastation, emigrated to the Flanaess both the Baklunish and Oeridian races. The latter has, by far, been given more research, as they dominated and now largely inhabit much of the eastern portion of the continent Oerik. However, this work will deal with the former race as it has been in the Flanaess and it is in the land today. It should further be stated that its concentration will be on the lands whose culture is still that of the Baklunish, as opposed to the Paynims and Nomads, who live on the fringes of the fringes of civilization and are not necessarily friendly with their cousins in Ekbir, Zeif, Tusmit, and Ket (which, though it has a mixture of physical characteristics, is largely Baklunish in culture).

Appearance

The Baklunish have the second darkest skin tones of all the peoples of the Flanaess, lighter only than the Flan. Their distinctive complexions, with an almost golden quality to them, are one of the more exotic differences between the Bakluni and the other races of the Flanaess at large. Distinctively grey-green, green, or rarely grey eyes contrast with the vivid skin tones to create a unique visage for these dwellers on the edge of civilization. Most humans with green eyes have some Baklunish stock in them. Hair color is dark, which is common in the Flanaess, but incredibly fitting to Baklunish features.

The common dress of the Baklunish has been described elsewhere in fitting detail, and most of it does not need to be described here. It is worth mentioning that, in an astounding proportion, robes are the favored dress of Bakluni. Women always wear robes, while men may wear long coats over breeches in some times and places. Baklunish robes have developed to a point of exquisiteness among the upper classes, serving as many functions as the shirts and breeches of the easterners.

Religion

The Baklunish Empire was a very heavily religious land, with as many, if not more, priests than mages in its heyday. Now, though, the gods of the Baklunish are weakened considerably. Some postulate that this is a result of the Invoked Devastation, and that the gods themselves ultimately turned away from Oerth with their people's fall from greatness. This is at least as good of a guess as has been offered yet, and this work will work with that as a reference point.

Now, as the gods of the Baklunish have turned from their people, a good number of the people have turned from the gods. This is not true in Ket, where religion has been preserved as a way of keeping the Baklunish culture in tact, but in other nations, it is a fact that the people and gods are turning away from each other.

In the document regarding Ket that I have published, the god Kestal has been described. He is revered widely among merchants, and often spurned among others. Very few to no non-Baklunish worship him.

Culture

The Baklunish culture is exotic, sometimes bizarre, and very divergent from the Flanaess at large. Despite all this strangeness to outsiders, the Baklunish society is a very structured, orderly one. One is born to a certain place in life, and extenuating circumstances (such as adventuring) aside, he will die in the same position. Marriages across these lines are extraordinarily rare, though young Baklunish maidens are oft noted for their beauty, and there is ever the charming tale of a young rogue who breaks these barriers to steal the heart of one of those maidens--of course, that is a romance, and unless that rogue can defend himself, he has little to no chance of surviving the wrath of the maiden's brothers.

This section is also an appropriate place to discuss the rather unique architecture of the Baklunish. While the legends often speak of sparkling cities with curved domes of bronze and gold, the reality is a vision of the semicircular dome, which was taken by the early Oeridians, and can still be seen in places in Keoland. The buildings of the upper classes are often of granite or some other stone; they are never extravagant enough to be of marble.

Law

Law in the Baklunish lands is harsh, though often fair. In Ekbir, the laws are more concerned with the weal of the people, but through the rest of the civilized Baklunish lands, there is very little concern for this, as the laws are largely concerned with creating an ordered society. Murder, theft, and such crimes are harshly punished--often to the horror of outsiders. Also, cultural taboos such as adultery are often given severe penalties. No matter what, the Baklunish are great proponents of an ordered universe, and work toward making the western extremes of the Flanaess lands of that order.

Slavery

In the Baklunish culture, there is no specific law or taboo forbidding slavery. In Ekbir, it is frowned upon, and slaves may be freed by writ of the Caliph. In Tusmit, Zeif, and especially Ket, government officials tend to turn a blind eye to slavery as long as it is not on a massive basis.

Monks

Despite the comments under "Religion" above, one of the Baklunish gods never wants for worshippers--Xan Yae, goddess of twilight, shadows, stealth, mind over matter, et cetera. These qualities also belong to the Monk class. If there is access to the first edition AD&D Player's Handbook, the monk therein should be used, and spread through monasteries throughout the Baklunish lands. Failing that, the Monk from Player's Option:Spells & Magic should be used.

Baklunish-Suel

These two races were opposed during wars a full millenium ago. Even to this day, there are bad relations between pureblood Baklunish and Suel. It is noteworthy that the Scarlet Brotherhood in particular acquired its monastic style from the monks of Xan Yae, one thing successfully stolen after the Twin Cataclysms. No one can explain it now, but the animosity between Bakluni and Suel are strained, as if there is a cultural memory in each of the races.

Afterword

This is, of course, only an overview of the Baklunish. It is based primarily on the 1983 World of Greyhawk boxed set by E. Gary Gygax. The reader can feel free to change and add anything he wants to this description. If you get even one thing of use out of it, then it's been worth the time that I put into it.

-Wayne S. Rossi
Ashtar


To the throne room...