Tuesday, January 7, 2014

the Masadhi

The Masadhi are a secretive race, whose homeland is as much of a mystery as their innate powers of prophecy. They often sell their services predicting the weather, the gender or birthday of a child still in its mother's womb, or even how a market will fluctuate in price, but tend to avoid dispensing prophesies about deaths or the manner of those deaths. Most do not like using their ability to prophesy since many non-Masadhi want to know things that cannot be predicted, they ritualistically insist to non-Masadhi that they would be better off if the future was not known. The Masadhi cannot predict wars, murder, theft, or other crimes (or they simply refuse to), but they can see the natural causes of death like aging, illness, and disease. Their prophesies are mutable and with the proper knowledge can sometimes be prevented or changed. Masadhi insist that their powers are not magical or divine and they "simply see the world as it is." They are also extremely intelligent, and are often sought out by powerful rulers and wealthy merchants as consultants and advisors.

They have short, misshapen bodies which they conceal under heavy cloaks that resemble heaps of scrap cloth stitched together. It is thought that their skin is pale, almost white, but some claim they possibly dye or tattoo their skin and that it is actually black as pitch. Masadhi consider it offensive for a non-Masadhi to view their skin and those non-Masadhi who seek the view are regarded as vile. Their reflective yellow eyes are noticeably distinct, and often this is the only part of their bodies that others can see. If Masadhi regard having their naked skin seen by non-Masadhi as disgusting then being touched by a non-Masadhi is ten times worse. Masadhi will justify killing someone who touches them, or tries to uncover their skin. Many a foolish drunk has tried to rip the robe off of a lone Masad passing by on the street only to have been knifed for his attempt.

They live as nomads and do not enjoy staying in one locale for too long. Masadhi are known to complain about most everything, and some say that they are so disagreeable because they simply do not feel safe. They rarely travel alone, most commonly traveling with one other Masadhi or sometimes with three, five, or seven others. Masadhi always refer to their kinsmen as their family. Nobody knows how long a Masad lives for, but some of them claim to remember things from over a century passed. It is rumored that the only way a Masad can reproduce is with the help of six other Masadhi, but the only certain fact about them is that nobody has ever seen Masadhi children.

Occasionally a lone Masad will travel with trusted non-Masadhi, but only if it suits their need to avoid living in one place. Some Masadhi settle in towns or cities, but never for more than a year or two. They are renowned for building their own temples and shrines, despite the fact that they don't worship any deities. Their temples and shrines act as symbols of refuge for other traveling Masadhi, and it is unheard of for Masadhi to sleep elsewhere if one of their shrines is vacant. Masadhi do not refer to these buildings in a spiritual or religious manner, but accept that others do and enjoy the respect that is afforded to their dwellings.