The Omarin are the native inhabitants of the Desolation of Shidar. This race is a human offshoot and still greatly resembles humans. They tend to have curly blonde hair, have slight builds and are about 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall. They have a genetic resistance to the mutagenic effects of the Shidaran virus which usually infects people in this region and turns them into Shidaran zombies.
The Omarin are a reclusive people that live deep in the Desolation and never venture south of the Old Wall. There are only a handful of people in the world who know they exist. The Chaddamar Church government dismisses the Omarin as myth and rumor. In actuality, the Chaddamar church/government knows about the Omarin and will do anything to prevent the citizens from learning about it. The very existence of these people threatens Chaddamar religious doctrine
The Omarin have adapted to the harsh nature of the Desolation. The Omarin are tenacious fighters and survivors with an indomitable spirit. They have remarkably acute vision, hearing and smell. Such defenses are needed to survive in this region of the world which is stalked by all manner of monsters. The Omarin have developed a number of unique and creative ways to stay alive - even during Horde season.
These people are easily recognized by their curved blades, short stature, blonde hair, strider steeds and deep red cloaks. (The Horde Creatures have trouble seeing red). The Omarin obtain their red dye from an abundant local plant. Their red cloaks make them invisible to the Horde creatures.
However, the red cloaks are only partially effective. The Horde creatures rely heavily on smell and identify themselves and prey by scent. Therefore, the Omarin must make themselves smell like a Horde creature. Early in Horde season, before the Horde creatures become too numerous, Omarin warriors work together to slay as many as possible. A specific gland is then extracted from the Horde creature and the fluids from this gland can be used to coat the skin and disguise a human as a Horde creature. When wearing this "chemical" disguise, a human can walk through a hundred Horde creatures unharmed.
The Omarin are divided up into at least 30 different tribes. Different tribes have different ways of evading or protecting themselves from the horde. The Kasashi tribe hide in caves in the mountains. The Hebara tribe dwell in underground chambers beneath ruins. The Nosar tribe stay highly mobile on fast steeds. They wrap themselves and their steeds in red and coat themselves in the blood of dead hordelings. These and other tricks allow them to evade or outrun the horde. The Demura tribe has a fascinating method. They dwell in small villages of well made, but unusually designed, wooden long houses. These buildings are vaguely ship shaped. When horde season comes, enormous balloons are attached to the long houses and their houses, whole villages in fact, take to the air. This design was copied from a "balloon insect" which dwells in the Desolation. There is also a balloo plant which detaches from its roots and stays airborne to wait out the horde season. The Demura tribe hunts both the insects and flying plants as a food source using arrows attached to twine to "fish" for them from the sky.
The origins of these people are shrouded in legend. It is likely that they are the descendants of those who stayed behind when the people of the Shidaran Peninsula fled.
The Omarin shun the ruins of Shidar. Omarin legends, paused down orally through the generations, state that the Desolation and the Horde were created by "cursed magic" from the "old ones". Ironically, this is not far from the truth. Because of their superstitions, the Omarin will not willingly enter the ruins. The only exception to this is an old omarin tradition. Omarin children, when they reach the age of 16, venture into the ruins of Shidar alone and retrieve an artifact - typically a coin or dagger or piece of pottery. This is a rite of passage. Typically, one in seven omarin youths will not return.
Every omarin carries their "token" - the artifact recovered from the ruins - with them on their person for the rest of their life.
This page last updated Wednesday, December 24, 2008. Copyright 1990-2009 David M. Roomes.