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Sarista
Gypsy performers who wander the continent.

Personality:  Sarista are the most wildly flamboyant folk in Talislanta. Their caravans are a common sight in the West – even in Aaman (where they put on miracle plays taken directly from the Omnival). They make their living by folk-healing, trading greymanes, fortune telling, and various performance arts. A little thievery, of course, is also in their line of work. They are divided into tribes, each named after a wildflower or insect. The sides of their wagons depict their namesake twined with or sitting on meadowbright, the emblem of the Sarista people, in addition to the specialties of the wagon’s occupant.

Physical Description: Sarista stand 5 to 6 feet tall and weigh 110 to 180 pounds. They have topaz skin, dark eyes, and jet-black hair. They are partial to ear bangles, facial tattooing, and all types of gaudy raiment. The men wear their beards neatly trimmed and waxed, usually clipped short. Their hair is long, interwoven with ribbons and rings and ornamented with baubles and gemstones. Sarista have a custom of “wearing one’s wealth in one’s hair” as pockets are easily picked, but items tied into the hair are more difficult to steal. Bejeweled tresses are often coiled under a beret as an added safeguard. Women wear their hair in the same manner as the men, only longer and without the beret. They favor full layered skirts and most have beautifying tattoos – small accent marks on the cheek, wrist, or other areas designed to draw attention to the charms of the wearer. Clothes tend to be the scavengings of last year’s fashions, cut, slashed, and retailored in the unique Sarista style. They prefer fine materials and bright colors.

Relations: Sarista are “renowned” for their thieving talents and their arrival anywhere is viewed with trepidation. On the other hand, they put on the most marvelous performances and often provide the only real entertainment available to many remote settlements.

Alignment:  Chaotic Good almost exclusively.

Sarista Lands: Sarista hail from the woodlands of Silvanus but may be encountered almost anywhere throughout the continent.

Religion: The Sarista revere Fortuna, though they would never offend her with “worship” or call her a goddess. Fortuna, the Sarista say, is a free spirit, and they often talk to her. Death, in turn, is the butt of most Sarista jokes, depicted as a doddering old grandfather. As they say, “When Fortuna is with you, Death is not.”

Language: Sarisa is their native tongue and is never taught to outsiders. All speak Low Talislan as well at a minimum.

 Adventurers: Sarista are almost entirely a race of rogues, with a few bards thrown in here and there. Others now and then might have a level or two of sorcerer.  They wander where Fortuna takes them seeking adventure and excitement.

Roleplaying Notes: you are the favorite of Fortuna, and have complete confidence in your good luck. When hard times come, you know they cannot last – bad luck cannot cling to a Sarista for long. Likewise, you love to take risks and chase after the unlikely, for you believe that your fortune is better blessed than all others’.

Stealing is second nature to you, but you follow three simple rules at all times: 1) never steal from anyone poorer than yourself; 2) never take bread from anyone hungry, nor a blanket from anyone cold; and 3) never, ever take anything if its loss will harm another person.

If your actions cause an evil outcome, you must repair the damage or risk angering Fortuna. Nevertheless, you must sometimes take an action in spite of its consequences.

Just as Fortuna is always traveling, so are you. When something bad happens, it is a sign that your luck in that place has run out – time to move on. You don’t understand how anyone could want to live in the same place all their life. You are most comfortable knowing that there’s a wagon or steed ready to take you wherever you wish to go.

You appreciate money as much as the next person, but great wealth – more than you need for clothing and necessities – has few attractions. If you ever get a large fortune, you would probably divide it among your friends and relatives. You are free with what you have, giving food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, and helping children whenever possible.

Others think you superstitious, but you know that your goddess speaks to you through riddles and mysteries of everyday life. Any chance occurrence might hold a message, if only ou can perceive it properly.

Above all, life is to be enjoyed. Postpone heartache until tomorrow when you can, and trust in your luck ti avoid the calamities which befall others.