Verdant | Races

Gabelin Nomads

Race Profile

These nomadic folk traverse where they please, though the desert wildlands are where they can most often be found. The Gabelin people are respected artisans and crafters of fine textiles, dyes, and embroidery, though the real secret to their success is the highly coveted machit, a rich and delectable wine who’s recipe is kept a closely guarded secret. Then again, much about the Gabelins is kept secret. They prefer the company of their own, though they welcome trade and commerce in all forms. They are so relied upon by all peoples to bring new goods through all manner of territory that the Gabelins can travel almost unharassed save by truly desperate bandits and the occasional bold predator.

Art & Depictions

Rules & Government

Though they live well within the nation of Verdant and obey most of its laws, the Gabelin people do not recognize the sovereignty of any Queen or authority outside their own. Since the clans operate independently of one another, it is unknown if they have a joint leadership or if a formal, singular ruler exists. Their nomadic clans are comprised of six to ten family groups, ranging from about sixty to a hundred Gabelins each. The head of the clan is called the Tan’maam, or the grandmother. She decides where the families will travel, what they will trade from season to season, and when they will rest for the cycle. Her approval must be gained before any marriages take place, and children are brought to her for approval or rejection from the group. Whether or not she is actually the grandmother of the clan is unclear, though many think that the clans are all interrelated to some degree, even if distantly. The clans change members from year to year, switching families between other nomadic caravans to help keep bloodlines fresh.

Allies & Enemies

The Gabelins avoid wars, infighting, and other such entanglements, and as such have a certain amount of immunity granted to them. They cling to their traditions that have stood the test of time, wary of becoming too influenced by other cultures. This is not without reason, as much of their home and culture was lost to them during the Cataclysm thousands of years ago. With no homeland or walled city to protect them, the Gabelins can ill afford to make enemies of others. They have no interest in being in the city, but the reasoning is more complicated than one may think. An old code states that Verdant laws apply to all those who live within its walls. This was written back when Verdant was only one city, the Proper. But it still applies. By remaining outside of city walls, the Gabelins can keep their own law and their own way without worry. Since they have no interest in provoking others, many folks rely upon their caravans to trade. They don’t discuss it openly out of professional courtesy, but the Gabelins will occasionally have Orc goods and even things from Telicor and Velhein.

Religion & Belief

Gabelins are sometimes known as the ‘People of a Thousand Gods’. While some may be given more clout, such as gods of trade, travel, wine, cleverness, and family, others are nonetheless valued for their dominion over little things like honey, fabric weaving, starlight, and hangovers. They can be called upon merely by mentioning their name, no grand holy rites required, almost as if the Gabelin were simply asking an old friend for a favor. They do have some rituals such as marriage and funeral rites, as well as ceremonies to bless a new caravan. But these are very private affairs and intruders are highly unwelcome.

Some of their more recognizable gods include:

Patia: God of Trade
Though to look over honest merchants. Symbolized by a set of perfectly balanced scales.

Namii: God of Travel
Watches over caravans and keeps them safe on the road. Symbolized by a wagon wheel.

Hecturn: God of Wine
Oversees the making of machit and ensures the batch is rich. Symbolized by a cluster of berries.

Torie: Goddess of Cleverness
Inspires the Gabelins with wit and verve, enabling them to survive. Symbolized by a snail shell.

Minne: Goddess of Family
Ensures good marriages and that Gabelin wives have many children. Symbolized by a tied head kerchief.

Artisans, Traders, & Gourmets

The Gabelins treasure two things above all others; freedom and family. As nomads, their lives are centered around their ability to pick up and move with ease. Everything they own comes with them, packed away on their wagons and driven from place to place on the strength of the domesticated Bristleboars who travel with them. The taming of these creates in and of itself is a testament to the patience and cleverness of the Gabelin folk, as the Bristleboars are well known for their violent and territorial behavior. This makes them vital to the safety of the caravan, as there are precious few, beast or bandit, that would dare tackle one of these pigs head-on. No one knows how they accomplished such a thing, but the Bristleboars are strangely protective over them down to the smallest Gabelin baby.

These nomadic folk hold their honest and reliability in very high regard. Because of this, they have terrible little patience for dishonesty or cheating in others. If a Gabelin discovers that they are being conned in a trade deal, they will refuse to do business with that person ever again. This stretches so far as to inform the other caravans of the trickery, and a cheating merchant may quickly find themselves snubbed by the entire extended Gabelin community. They do not forgive easily, and they never forget a slight, so one would be wise not to be caught weighing the scales or shorting them cargo.

Gabelin’s take great pride in their artistry, creating dyes of master level quality and embroidery of such detail that it takes a magnifying glass to fully appreciate the effect. This has led to their fabrics being in high demand from the wealthy in Verdant, and Gabelin textiles pull for a very high price. They are noted woodcarvers, having constructed their wagons themselves to glide easily across the desert terrain. Guild Masters are known to commission them on the construction of entire caravan fleets for their merchants.

Their cuisine is also renowned for its complex flavors and rich spices, which are well complemented by the machit they brew. Briarboars are wonderfully savory, even more so when cursed with spice mixtures and allowed to age or be smoked over a fire. While they won’t part with the recipes for this, they willingly sell the blends and meat to those who can afford it. Last but far from least, the clans produce a pickling mixture which they use to preserve fruit. Every clan has its own beehive, and they use a generous mixture of honey and potato alcohol to cover sliced fruits for long-term storage. When the fruit is removed, they strain the mixture, producing a powerful drink they call machit. Nothing humans make is anywhere near as strong. A potent brew, one small sip is enough to make even a minotaur woozy. Yet gabelins handle it with ease.

Family & Marriage

Each Tan’maam may have between ten to twenty families in their caravan, though twelve is the average. Each family is headed by the fathers who handle the campground side of things behind the scenes. They work ensuring the camp flows smoothly, and that everyone sticks to their duties instead of going off exploring or into the cities. They set up the tents, repairing and maintaining their equipment, taming the boars and doing the butchering, and working on whatever else needs doing. It is the duty of the mothers and daughters to maintain the households, see to the children, and the daily chores. They also maintain the storefronts when the clan settles into a location outside of town, and often know more about the price of things than their husbands.

Marriage is arranged entirely by the clans, with bargaining and discussions sometimes taking years before final approval from the Tan’maam is sought. Marriage ceremonies are thought to occur during the ‘off’ season, when travel is unwise thanks to the increase of sandstorms. It is forbidden for Gabelins to marry inside their original clan, though many caravans have members from the same bloodlines. Husbands are expected to care for their wives and children, and to raise their sons well. Wives are expected to obey their husbands and tend to the children, teaching their daughters how to prepare for family life. Children are kept mostly inside the wagons under the watchful eyes of their family until they are old enough to participate in the business and chores.