Dungeons and Darkness
Cultural Customs - Aasimar & Beastfolk
What would a fantasy world be without some exotic habits and foreign customs to tweak our curiosity and really make us feel like we have stepped into another world? Fianyarr is a world of many races so to help make them feel distinct and assist players with generating culturally sound characters, I give you a few quirks and customs from the Aasimar and the Beastfolk.
The Aasimar are so diverse in local culture that they have developed a few traveller’s customs to help them on their way when they happen across another of their kind. After all, fully Aasimar settlements are rare due to the nature of their births.
• Aasimar stretch out their wings upon greeting each other, folding their hands into a vaguely ball-shaped figure and bowing to show their respect. Naturally this stretching of the wings takes the local surrounds into account. What might be a full unfurling on the open plains turns into little more than a slight shift and twitch in a crowded corridor.
• Aasimar prefer stools or backless sofas that give their wings room to stretch and look kindly on those who have furniture available in keeping with their needs.
• Aasimar tend to avoid explicitly saying ‘No’, and have a variety of other gentle ways of excusing themselves from the obligation, such as “Mm?” or “I suppose that might be doable,” and get annoyed when others don’t take the hint.
• Aasimar tend to use less eye contact, smile without showing their teeth and cover their mouths when they laugh, though this does vary depending on the surrounding culture.
• Aasimar pay special attention to birthdays and it is considered a terrible thing indeed to forget a birthday, presuming you have access to a calendar. Without access to a calendar, birthdays must be celebrated around the time of the year that the child was born (i.e. when the snows thaw).
The Beastfolk tend to splinter off from larger community in families or packs of friends and settling together so where one Beastfolk is found there are normally a dozen or so others who can help them maintain their traditions and sense of community.
• Beastfolk believe that children should be unfettered and free, unless life or limb are at risk. This means that their children tend to run wild in small groups, collecting the kids of other races as they go, and are rarely disciplined or punished unless they are behaving nastily to each other or others.
• Beastfolk will let people say what they like, within reason, but they aren’t above shunning those who are overly rude or mean-spirited. You can say what you like about their Queen without getting hit but good luck getting served at the Beastfolk pub afterwards.
• Beastfolk take gestures very seriously. Make an insulting gesture while mocking the Queen and you’ll find yourself smacked down. They prefer their violence quick and dirty so don’t expect to be invited outside first.
• Beastfolk have ceremonies to mark each major change of the moon with prayers to changing fortunes on the waxing (attract good fortune) and waning (dispel bad fortune) and simple celebrations on the dark and full moons.
• Beastfolk don’t like being compared to animals and feel that the superficial characteristics that mark their appearance doesn’t reflect their true nature. On the other hand, if they refer to someone of another race as being similar to the animal which the Beastfolk themselves look like … that is a compliment.