Shadon Zhut

The Shadon Zhut (Thanonshad: "Man of Water") are a race of socially-adept fishing folk. They primarily inhabit coastal areas and riverbanks, where their reliance on fishing over hunting enables them to create relatively long-term settlements despite their lack of the agricultural technology which would normally be required. While the Shadon Zhut leaders are almost exclusively female, a strong warrior tradition, open to both men and women, has reccently arisen.

Physical Characteristics

Frame Value: 6, Variation Average
Height Value: 6 (5'5"), Variation Average
Slightly Light to Slightly Dark Complexion; Dark Brown to Sandy hair, straight to wavy; Brown to Green or Gray eyes
Good tolerance of moisture and heat, lower tolerance for cold. Usually tough and/or strong.
Lifespan: 22-27
Background Development: 7 years
Gender Ratio: 45% Male

Background Aspects

Inherent Aspects:
Recommended Aspects:
Creditor, Extensive Resources, Good Credit Reputation, Sense of Direction, Contacts
Unique Abilities:
All penalties for action in water or damp conditions reduced by 1.

Expertises and Abilities

Inherent Expertises:
Language (Thanonshad) 5, Language (Gebgengin) 2, Language (Otter) 1, Language (Ousaav) 1, Language (Krand) 1
Recommended Expertises:
Social Adaptation, Craft (Fishing), Intrigue
Profile Restrictions:
Minimum Attributes:
Presence 5
Environmental Adaptation:
Prefer warm to cool temperatures and are adapted to withstand colder weather for short periods of time.

Culture and Social Interaction

Based on contacts and status within surrounding society.
Heritage Orientation:
Ethnocentric (Conviction: We must elighten others to our superior ways)
The Shadon Zhut are the matriarchal ruling element of Lashad and frequently retain high status in any other cultures they enter. Though the seafolk of Lashad have not yet developed any but the most rudimentary boatbuilding capacity, they generally live on or near bodies of water. The most common form of labor among the Shadon Zhut men is fishing, while the women frequently engage themselves in the affairs of state or in trading.
While the Shadon Zhut will live with any of their relatives, it is far more common for them to live with the maternal line than the paternal line. As the mother's family is given precedence for determination of lineage, all Illegitimate children are considered to be Acknowledged and eligible to Inherit.
Symbols and Creative Arts:
The most common symbols among the Shadon Zhut are wavy lines, reminiscent of water. The number of lines and the number of waves in each line vary with the significance of the sign, with a simple arc indicating a subject of minimal importance, while something urgent may be marked with 5 lines bent into 5 waves each. Circles are used as symbols only by women, while a straight line is occasionally used to indicate men. A double circle is sometimes used as a symbol of completion, representing the tidal cycle within the daily cycle; in this representation, the circles are noticably not-quite-concentric and/or the inner circle will be slightly deformed.
Clothing and Decoration:
To differentiate themselves from the other members of society, the Shadon Zhut wear skins with the fur on the inside. In warm weather, the skins are shaven to reduce heat buildup. The skins are tied off with strips of leather at the ends of the sleeves and legs as well as at the waist, also holding in place a skirt of varied length based on the requirements of nature and modesty. The outside of the skins are often painted in quasi-heraldic patterns to indicate the wearer's occupation, ancestry, or accomplishments.
Religious and Magical Considerations:
The major gods of the Shadon Zhut are Teshestul, godess of curiousity, and Thalasadonushaz, god of protection. Roughly half of the populace worships one or both of these gods, though they have no true power as yet. Magic is relatively well-developed in certain small groups, despite nearly universal public disapproval, as the seafolk consider the practical pursuits of pure art or pure knowledge to be superior to the rather inexact study of magic. Most work in art and study is conducted by traditionally prescribed means to avoid giving the impression that one might be pursuing magic instead.
The Shadon Zhut were initially a loose collection of clans living along the southern and eastern coast of the areas which are now the Lashad and Artoran nations. They believed that fishing was an easier lifestyle than hunting and developed accordingly, spreading along the coastline and any other bodies of water which presented themselves. Eventually, contact with another, radically different culture was inevitable; after the Artorans left them, the Oufusav discovered and attempted to annex the Shadon Zhut. When the attempt failed, it prompted many of the Shadon Zhut to turn away from the sea and take up hunting. While this led to immense territorial gains as the nascent Lashad nation expanded inland, it also resulted in much friction within the society due to the differing needs and philosphies inherent in hunting and fishing societies. The problems were most severe with the Woodlanders, many of whom had become subjects of the Shadon Zhut and were (sometimes brutally) repressed by the Shadon Zhut and those of the Geng In Gep who also served them. Many of the Woodlanders banded together and seceded with the southwestern territories where the Shadon Zhut grip was the loosest, forming the Krand nation.
Elsewhere, the developed trade practices and relatively sedentary society of the Shadon Zhut placed them in good stead to aquire wealth and influence wherever they chose to live, thus establishing them as a significant force in the area's early economic development.

Last updated 8 June 1995 by Dave Sherohman
Dave Sherohman is