The mandalar are a fierce and proud warrior race that dwell in much of the forests and remote wilderness regions of Qeshir. The largest concentration of mandalar live between the Padashan Empire and the Kingdom of Anquar. For this reason, that region is known as the Border Clans. There are also several mandalar clans scattered around Qeshir that are not affiliated with the Border Clans region. Individual mandalar are occasionally encountered in lands far from Qeshir, though this is not common.
Mandalar are bestial humanoids with broad shoulders and thick muscles. They are stronger and faster than humans with excellent senses and a high pain threshold. Their bodies are covered entirely in short fur which varies in color. The most common fur color is black mixed with some grey or brown. They have a mane of long hair, sometimes worn in dreadlocks. A mandalar's head is crowned with two great curved horns, making them recognizable at a distance.
Once, long ago, the mandalar were a slave race that served the Kithdari, a powerful magical race of ages past. When that empire fell and the Kithdari vanished, the mandalar fled into the wilds of Qeshir. Now, thousands of years later, the mandalar rever the Kithdari as their gods. The region is their ancestral home and the mandalar believe that they are the "chosen race" of the ancient Kithdari.
They are warriors, rogues and renegades at heart. Mandalar are a fiercely proud race who take their bravery and honor quite seriously. Even the suggestion of cowardice or dishonor is likely to evoke a violent reaction from a mandalar. As a race, mandalar can appear somewhat haughty as they consider themselves superior to most other races. When allied with other races, they will often lord over other races, bullying those smaller and weaker than themselves. Even when working with hurkytes and vothen, mandalar tend to take charge.
Mandalar technology is quite primitive. They have no metal craft, but excel at woodwork, leatherworking, pottery and other basic craft skills. Armor is typically leather or fur. They occasionally wear chain or plate that they have taken from a defeated opponent. They use almost any weapon. The mandalars themselves make crude hammers, spears, bows and clubs. Any metal weapons or armor that they may happen to have is likely to taken from a slain opponent.
Mandalar are divided up into a number of great clans. These clans are linked by families and led by the strongest male warrior. This leader is clan chief and he rules only so long as he can defeat any challenger. Mandalar villages consist of many small huts, great long halls fashioned from timber and stone and huge stone-ringed central fire pits. A single clan often consists of several villages that sit in close proximity to each other.
Throughout their history, mandalar clans were fiercely territorial and battled each other for land, hunting grounds and other resources. Under exceptional circumstances, one or more clans would unite under a very strong leader and form a small mandalar nation, though this was rare. Recent events in the Border Clans region have united all of the border clans under a single leader, an unprecedented event. These united clans now wage war against any intruders into their land (primarily soldiers from Anquar or Padashan).
The mandalar have been known to take prisoners and do sometimes practice slavery. Mandalar clans are always seeking to expand their territory. Although they are currently united into a loose confederation of clans, tension and interclan warfare still occurs. Mandalar are excellent hunters and trackers. They typically hunt wolves, bears and elk.
The mandalar are inherently non-magical. They have no magic ability at all and can never learn to cast spells. Mandalar also tend to be superstitious. They have many taboos and most are afraid of magic, having no sorcerers or shamans of their own. However, mandalar are highly resistant to direct magic. This is, in fact, a trait that was bred into them many centuries ago by the Kithdari.
Despite their general distrust of magic, mandalar can, and sometimes do, make use of enchanted objects. They no longer have a fear of Kithdari magic that they once did (although they still consider all foreign magic to be taboo). Mandalar clans have uncovered a few Kithdari weapons and bits of armor from the ruins and these are usually quite powerful.
The mandalar have a unique religious relationship with the Kithdari magic. They consider these magical artifacts gifts from the ancients. If someone takes a piece of Kithdari magic (either by raiding a celestial tomb or taking a Kithdari weapon from a slain mandalar warrior) the mandalar consider this an offense against their gods. They will stop at nothing to get the item back.
Mandalar horns are not just decorative. These horns are sensitive to magic. They allow mandalar to detect magic. The horns also absorb and neutralize magical energy. It is known that a mandalar who has his horns severed looses his magic resistance. Mandalar horns can be ground up and used in a variety of alchemical potions and magic items – particularly those items that involve the detection or analysis of magic.
Mandalar have a number of elaborate ceremonies in which elder mandalar dress in colorful masks and robes and mandalar engage in frenzied dances around great fire pits. The mandalar decorate their horns as well for these events.
The pinnacle of mandalar art is the ublyak (OO-blee-uk) which is a carved obelisk of limestone. These enormous things stand 10 meters tall and are carved with complex and elaborate images depicting the history of the clan. These ublyaks are often stolen during clan wars.
Some mandalar roam the lands in small groups that prey on whatever they encounter. A few dwell on the borders of civilization, either as hermits, outcasts or members of human villages. Rarely does a mandalar ever set foot in a civilized city.
The term "mandalar" is both single and plural. The adjectival form is "mandalarian".
The mandalar have a very complicated language. It is a blend of several ancient Qeshir humanoid dialects mixed with Kithdari. It is totally linquistically unique and is very different from any other Khoras language. After the Kithdari vanished, the mandalar slave race fled into the wilderness where their language continued to develop for thousands of years. Mandalar is the final language.
This website was last updated March 31, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.