Colorful foils to the straight-laced Aamanians.
Personality: A complex and colorful people, the Zandir are given to mercurial (some say manic) extremes of mood and emotion. Outspoken, opinionated, uninhibited, lecherous, and extroverted are only a few of the adjectives applied to this people.
Physical Description: Zandir stand 5 ½ to 6 feet tall and weigh 120 to 190 pounds. They have topaz skin, black hair, and green eyes. Zandir dress in every conceivable style and color. Fashion trends tend to come and go, sometimes within the space of a few hours. Affluent Zandir change clothes as often as a dozen times a day. Face painting, richly brocaded blouses, exotic cosmetics, hip-high boots, silken pantaloons, flamboyant capes, feathered turbans, gold and silver rings, and curl-toed slippers may all be seen on the streets.
Relations: Outsiders tend to regard Zandir with scorn, seeing them as little better than thieves, liars, and lechers. The Aamanians see them as the One True Enemy who must be destroyed. Sarista and Zandir get along like crazy and tend to magnify the worst traits in each other. Zandir swordsmen, however, are respected across the land for their skill, and the professional sword-mage duelists, known as Certaments, are feared as well.
Alignment: Chaotics of all types
Zandir Lands: Zandu is adjacent to and north of Aaman in Western Talislanta.
Religion: Whereas the Aamanians rely on the rigid disciplines of Orthodoxy to guide them, the Zandir seek refuge in the gentler teachings of Paradoxism which state that, since no one truly knows the answers to life’s myriad questions, it is wrong to give precedence to any viewpoint. Paradoxism teaches that tolerance is the ultimate expression of individuality. All views are accepted in Zandu – every faith, political faction, and philosophy imaginable, so long as they do not interfere with the practice of other beliefs. The sole exception is Orthodoxy, the followers of which are punished by death. Zandir feel that by increasing the variety in life, they are promoting Paradoxism, for, as they say, “Without variety, we might as well be Aamanians!” The principles of Paradoxism are summed up in the Book of Mysteries which contains 10,000 questions – and no answers.
Paradoxism embraces no single pantheon or deity, instead deferring to a vast collection of saints, heroes and deities collectively known as the Ten Thousand (though the exact number constantly changes). The Ten Thousand are not worshipped, but their images are found everywhere as statues, medallions, and paintings. Dealings with devils and demons are not prohibited by Pardoxism, but most Zandir frown upon the practice.
Language: Low Talislan
Adventurers: Zandir can be any class but clerics. Multiclass characters are particularly common. Zandir swordsmen are favored mercenaries and Zandir of any type can be found just about anywhere doing just about anything.
Roleplaying Notes: life is a paradox, a mystery beyond understanding. Existence is governed by the random presence of the Omniverse. To be truly happy, you must not only accept these paradoxes, but revel in them, celebrating the varied and subtle experiences of life.
As a devoted Paradoxist, you value freedom above all else. You wish to chose your own destiny, living as you desire – so long as you do not interfere with the freedom of others. Belligerent behavior or actions which endanger another Paradoxist are not tolerated, but virtually anything else is allowed, so long as you are discreet. As the saying goes, “What no one sees, no one knows.”
By being flamboyant and sometimes frivolous, you show your devotion to Paradoxism. You are passionate and assertive, and individualism demands that you have an opinion on every subject. All the same, you respect the opinions of others, not insisting that your view is the only correct one. You have difficulty working as part of a team since your respect for the differing opinions of others makes it difficult for you to conceive of a consensus.
You resist authority, believing that your free will is more important than the desires of a state or organization. Orders from a superior are to be followed only at your discretion. You have a healthy larcenous streak and a roguish sense of justice. While you may not be an outright thief, the idea of tricking or deceiving others appeals to you.
You tolerate all other faiths, cultures, and beliefs – except for your age-old enemies, the Orthodoxists of Aaman. You believe that these so-called Faithful have turned their backs on all that is truly good and beautiful in life, seeking solace in a solemn, intolerant faith. You endeavor in all ways to be the perfect opposite of our Orthodoxist foes. Where they are prudish, you are libertine. Where they are distant, you are friendly. Where they are restrained, you are outgoing.