Knowledge is the only measure of a man.
- Saridian saying
Saridians are tall, thin gangly humanoids with pale green skin, high cheekbones, small mouths and elongated skulls which have the form of a fin-shaped cranial crest. Their have long necks, which when extended to their full height, bring the average saridian to almost 2.5 meters tall (including the cranial crest). Saridians typically live to be 200 years old. They have a high metabolism and voracious appetites.
The most unique characteristic of this race is their brains. The saridian brain is divided into two separate hemispheres, each of which is a complete and functioning mind. It has its own personality, memories and even its own blood supply. In effect, all saridians have dual personalities, only one of which is active at any one time. When one is in control, the other is usually solving problems mentally or sleeping. A very rare few (1 in a 1000) have a second split and they have four personalities. They are considered "gifted". Sometimes different personalities will have different specialties. In common conversation. these two personalities are referred to the "selves". A saridian might say "my other self is an engineer".
Saridians can initiate a deep sleep where in both minds are sharing information. Outwardly, the saridian appears to be sleeping. Inwardly, both minds are in a hyper active state of information sharing, deep problem solving and healing. This process takes 8-12 hours and both minds emerge fully refreshed.
Saridians are intelligent, energetic creatures, constantly tinkering with machines, spells, intellectual problems and puzzles. They have a tendency to be absent-minded and leap before they look. Many saridians experiment and create haphazardly with little forethought to possible consequences. They are intensely curious, always touching things, pushing buttons to see what they will do and things of that nature. They love nothing more than to solve problems. Usually, saridians tend toward technical or mechanical things. They often collect maps and make excellent scribes and cartographers. They are extremely detailed oriented. They are often students of nature and history. They make exceptional sages, scholars, mages and craftsmen. These characteristics are generally true for both personalities, although each personality will typically pursue different crafts and areas of study. Some saridians journey simply to explore. The saridians are social creatures, live communally and love to discuss their projects with each other. They are also very competitive and this is woven into the culture.
Knowledge is very important to the Saridians. They base their concept of self-worth on their knowledge and skills. Knowledge is the one true asset - the only thing that can never be damaged or stolen or lost. Ultimately, knowledge is the only thing of worth to a saridian.
Saridians have a unique approach to religion. For them, religion is the pursuit of the truth behind the mysteries and wonder of the universe. They pursue religions and embrace schools of thought with great passion. While following a certain faith or philosophy they will embrace it whole-heartedly allowing themselves to be seduced by the tenets of a philosophy with reckless abandon. But inevitably, they become bored with a religion and other religious ideas will catch their eye. Other races consider the saridians flighty with regards to spirituality and sometimes this analytic "trial and error" approach to faith offends other races. To further complicate this matter, each personality may adopt radically different religious interests at the same time, leading to unusual circumstances. In the end, religion is of little concern to saridians. The names and rules may change as they drift from one faith to the next, but the pursuit for intellectual satisfaction remains.
Saridians love magic. It is endlessly complex, involves arcane formulae and has infinite variations and applications. Many saridians dabble in the art of magic and fully one in twenty saridians will have studied magic at some point in their lives. However, saridians lack patience (a very necessary ingredient for learning magic) and very few saridians become truly proficient in it. This is due to a lack of focus more than anything else. Saridian mages often waste a great deal of time tinkering with endless variations on a spell and will often become sidetracked with tangent areas of research. Saridian mages typically study a dozen different areas of magical research while never really mastering any of them. Very few saridians actually have the patience to become true masters of the craft.
The saridian homeland is Sarid, a tropical grasslands region in southeast Aggradar. It is bordered on the east and south by the sea. Weather is hot, humid and muggy in the summertime. Winters are warm, rainy and brief. The terrain consists of grasslands, low rolling hills, coastal cliffs and lush rain forests. A seasonal monsoon occurs every spring in Sarid which brings with it torrential rains and severe storms, including something the saridians call funnel storms.
Saridians are a social breed and congregate in cities and towns of respectable size, but few villages. These communities exhibit a mix of architectural styles but usually blend together to form a beautiful whole. Most buildings are permanent structures of stone and wood. Towers, balconies and are quite common.
The saridian language is very complex with endless variations of grammar, punctuation, rhythm, compound vowel structures, phonemes and more. Other races find saridian very difficult to learn. This may be one reason why the saridians are such good linguists. All other languages are easy by comparison.
Saridians love poetry. It's another game to them, a puzzle with words. Saridian poetry always rhymes and tends to be fairly sophisticated (although perhaps not that deep or meaningful). Saridian poetry has a certain light-hearted playfulness.
Saridian music is fast-paced, lively and chaotic. It is mostly pipes and strings. Saridian performances are usually punctuated with powerful drums, stomping, clapping and lots of audience participation. Musicians will have impromptu "battles" where they adapt and modify melodies as they play. The most common saridian musical instrument is the flutter pipe - a small, high pitched wooden wind instrument.
The saridians are on friendly terms with just about every race they meet. They view interaction with other races as an opportunity to explore and learn about the world around them. Trade and alliances with foreign lands are welcomed.
The saridians are vegetarians and find the concept of eating meat abhorrent. This is more cultural than physiological. They combine irrigated farming and forest gathering with efficient systems of food storage. Each town distributes and stores its own food reserves. Hunger is not a problem.
Saridian technology is well developed and Sarid is classified as Pre-Industrial (approximately equivalent to 14th century Europe). The saridians have developed the galleon, high quality telescopes, advanced mathematics, steel, glass and are beginning to experiment with cannons and gunpowder. However, due to their relentless experimentation and curiosity, they tend to develop a dozen variations on every idea and never move on to the next logical step until they have fully explored every tangent and satisfied their curiosity. This tends to be counterproductive at times and slows progress.
Saridian architecture tends toward something like a honey-comb structure. Buildings will have many small rooms with specific functions. Because of the seasonal storms that hit each spring, saridian architecture is often built to either withstand such storms or be easily repaired afterwards.
As strict vegetarians, the saridians do not view any animal or animal product as a food source. The saridians use caberhooves as mounts and beasts of burden.
Saridians use "tower wagons" for transporting heavy loads. Saridian tower wagons are tall multi-story things on wheels which look and are somewhat precarious. Tower wagons are a common sight in the cities as they go rattling by, with tools dangling from a hundred pegs on the outside. Tower wagons are often overloaded and sometimes tip over.
For communication, they use use hill top towers with signal fires that are covered and uncovered in a complex code to send messages.
Ownership among the saridians is done by household. All objects and possessions belong not to individual members, but to the household. All items are equally shared and exchanged within the members of the household. Household members create crafts and purchase supplies for the good of the household. Therefore, there is no inheritance. Saridians use a complex system of trade and barter which involves trade leagues and third party mediators. Money, in any form, is simply one more thing to barter with. Many currencies pass through sarid and all are accepted.
Saridian culture is notably fair in its treatment of both sexes. Work, rights and responsibilities are equal divided between men and women.
The saridians have a unique view of marriage. For a saridian, two personalities are wedding two personalities. The saridian wedding ritual is a long complex affair laden with traditions and variations. The saridians like it that way.
The concept of the "household" is important in saridian culture. Most saridians are members of a household. They are proud of their family and the stronger the household, the more prestige it carries. Large households are well known by name. A household consists of a nuclear family, but may also include cousins, uncles, close friends, servants, pets, steeds and guests all forming a close knit group. The household is the center of most social interaction.
When a saridian child is born, a long ritual called the christening is held in which both personalities are named and welcomed into the community.
Children are raised by all parents in the household and encouraged to explore their interests. Learning and discovery are emphasized.
Saridian Mind Death – Sometimes, a severe injury to the skull will kill one of the brain’s hemispheres, but the other will recover. Although exceedingly rare, it has happened. This effectively kills off one of the saridian’s personalities. A saridian who suffers such "mind death" will not survive long. It affects each saridian differently. One saridian became insane and babbled nonsensically. Another wept uncontrollably for days before flinging himself off a high balcony. Another simply left society and amidst his madness to live a hermit’s life. Thankfully, this only happens once or twice in a decade. Usually, what ever kills one brain will kill the other.
The saridian burn their dead. The saridian death custom involves all the friends and family of the deceased gathering and holding a great feast. The ashes of the deceased are buried and everyone gathered tells a story and says a prayer. Usually each person will tell a story about each personality.
Each saridian has a four part name. The first part refers to them as a physical whole. The middle two names refer to their two personalities. And the final name is the name of the household (the family name). The full part name is the "formal" name. However, when referring to a saridian in the third person, such as in historical or legal documents, only the first and last name are used when referring to the entire saridian. In direct conversation, one of the two middle names is used depending on to whom you are talking.
There is very little social stratification in saridian society. There are no castes or classes or other such groups. Generally speaking, all saridians are equal. Saridians gain recognition and status through hard work, study and being a productive member of the community. Those with a double split (four personalities) are considered gifted.
Senate of Thought – Hundreds of councilors argue feverishly over the smallest detail of government, society, law and culture.
The saridians are not a war like people and this is evident in their military. No standing army exists and only a token militia is present in any town or village. The capital city maintains a single garrison where in a force of some 4,000 guards operate, patrol the city and keep the city safe. Due to its location and the fact that it is bordered by allies, sarid has little need for an army.
Hapraxi - Saridian Logic Game
Hapraxi is a fast-paced game of tactics, logic and mathematical skill. It is played with a set of 128 plaques. Each plaque has a glyph on each side for a total of 256 glyphs. These glyphs are unique to the game and are all mathematical in nature. Hapraxi plaques are usually made of wood or metal, but decorative ones may be of marble, ivory, gold or other precious materials. Players take turns drawing playing and rearranging the plaques between them in dizzying puzzles of math which constitute a war of logic. The two opponents play plaques off each other and score points based on the equations and formulae they are able to assemble. Numerical assaults, parries, blocks and defenses and deployed and sacrificed in ever complex patterns. Because of the frantic pace of the play, it is a spectator sport and betting often takes place at these social events. It is possible for more than two players to play, but the complexity level of the game increases exponentially as more people join in. Realistically, the limit is six players. Any more than six and the game becomes too complex, even for saridians. Also, too many players tends to slow down the pace and saridians like a fast paced game of Hapraxi. Hapraxi has one true form, but there are dozens of variations of the game and oft times "house rules" are discussed before a match.
This website was last updated March 31, 2019. Copyright 1990-2019 David M. Roomes.