|Common Nicknames||Brown-Skins, Book-Priests, Machine-Men|
|Naming Customs||similar to Arabic and Urdu names found on Earth|
|Distinctions||Dark-skinned desert nomads known for their advanced machinery|
|Maximum Age||110 years|
|Height||5’2 - 6’2|
|Weight||100 - 200 lbs|
|Eye Colors||Dark brown|
|Hair Colors||Pure black, almost always curly|
|Skin Tones||A deep brown tan|
The Qadir hail from the desert continent of Farah'deen, home of storming sands and the scorching heat. The Qadir are a relatively unseen force in Farah'deen politics due to the dominance of the Songaskia, though large numbers of Qadir still live in their homeland, mostly staying away from the urbanized Songaskian cities. In many ways, the Qadir are a people of habit and tradition, though many outsiders simply see them as stagnant and lacking in ambition. This assumption often ignores their rich and deep history that suddenly crashed down around them at their zenith, which caused them to turn inwards and to focus on their traditions. They are a people with exceptional skill in crafts, unrivaled goldsmithing skills, gem cutting precision and an unending thirst for knowledge and machine crafts. Taking the forefront in precision crafts such as glasses and clockworks, the world is starting to take more note of the Qadir as of late, largely due to the newer generations venturing out into the world to remind the other Races of their skills and history. The Regalian Empire has been glad to count them as allies in the past and such an arrangement is likely to continue into the future.
The Qadir look very similar to Ailor in terms of having the same average framework, however some of their physical characteristics jump out more, or are much more uniform across all members of this Race. Their hair, for example, is universally black, often slightly curly or at least wavey; it is almost impossible to find a Qadir with straight hair. Their noses tend to be larger than an Ailor’s, and their jawlines are more square. The men in particular have more aggressive and faster body and facial hair growth than Ailor, and their eyes are always a dark brown color. Their skin is often mistaken for Daendroque, though it is told apart by being much browner than the Daendroque olive or tanned colored skin. It is often said that Qadir have mysterious eyes, owing largely to their dark eye lashes, giving even men an intense look as if wearing eyeliner.
What sets the Qadir apart from their distant Ailor cousins is their meticulous precision skills. Qadir have unrivaled steadiness in their hands and sharp sight that seems to be far better than that of any other Race, even at a distance. Their often ambidextrous hands are capable of crafting the richly and most finely decorated items with extreme precision. It comes to no surprise that the Qadir are the ones who brought clockwork into the world, as well as adjustable lens goggles, glasses, various clocks, and finely crafted silverware with intricate patterns. It is often said that the Qadir have such sharp eyesight that they can see the pulp fibers on paper and reverse-engineer a clock simply by looking at its cogs. It comes to no surprise that many Qadir are hired in various nations to establish authenticity of documents, artworks and tell the difference between forged signatures and wax seals alongside their more technology-based work.
The Qadir are a very overprotective and suspicious Race, developing these traits after the destruction caused by the Great Storm and their dealings with the Songaskia ever since. They are fiercely protective of their skills and treasures of the past, posting up in their Hadrityas (fortress libraries). Since the fall of the Sariyd Empire, there has been a growing sense they no longer have a proper homeland as the Songaskia remain dominant, though the splinter Cultures of Khaneh and Ardualnaar Qadir do not share this view. The Qadir are surprisingly pragmatic and innovative in the fields of scholarly pursuit and new ideas. Their concept of religion is both simple and versatile, leading other Races to consider them liberal but very shut off from the world. The Qadir are capable of great charity and compassion for one another, but tend to turn their back on foreigners unless they have proven themselves in service for many years. The Qadir have a natural aversion to Magic, it being relatively disallowed in their religion save those abilities which involve Soul Essence. They also have a severe distaste for fire, owing largely to their fear of Desert Dragons and now the Songaskia who are their children. This aversion likely led to the production of clockwork technologies and other electrical mechanisms in their early history as a way to avoid the use of an element used by several species of Desert Dragon.
The history of the Qadir has no clear starting point, though many surviving records of the Sariyd Empire indicate the Qadir are at least 1000 years old. During this time, the Qadir were at the mercy of the Desert Dragons, retreating away from them toward the coastline or setting themselves up in small communities which eventually rose into large cities. Some of these cities then united and became the Sariyd Empire, stretching inland with multiple member cities and several colonies in the south of nearby Essalonia. Unknown to most, however, was the fact there were a plethora of free and independent Qadir city states which existed alongside this great body, many being allied but remaining separate from the Sariyd Empire. Contact with the Altalar of the Allorn Empire was known to occur, sometimes peacefully on trade missions but also not; sometimes, whole villages of Qadir were swept right off the coastline and into Altalar slaving ships. However, they were always careful to target just the minor city states and never hit the Sariyd Empire. This continued for years, though contact with the Altalar faded as their Empire began to decline, and the Sariyd Empire remained powerful on Farah’deen. When the Cataclysm hit, their land was minimally impacted though they lost contact with their Essalonian colonies and coastal travel became very difficult. From this came more insular trade across the deserts of the region, which brought the Qadir into more direct contact with their continent’s many dangers. The greatest of all these were the Desert Dragons.
Varying in size and power, these animals had always been a nuisance but sensing the opportunity of the Cataclysm which resulted in uncertainty for the Sariyd Empire and the Qadir people as a whole, these scaled creatures began to interact more directly with the dark-skinned Race. Eventually, the most aggressive members of the species forced the hand of the Empire and they inflicted the Red Hunt onto what were seen as dangerous creatures. Thus, many Qadir cheered as reports came of the last Dragons fleeing away from their few remaining stomping grounds. These celebrations, however, were the death knell of the old Qadir. Within weeks, the Great Storm was raging across their land and untold hundreds of thousands were killed or died in the aftermath. When the remaining Qadir emerged, they were met with the tips of spears in the hands of a new power: The Songaskians. They blazed a path of conquest across Farah’deen, taking many of the formerly populated areas under their rule and enslaving many Qadir to their will. However, they failed in capturing all of the formerly powerful Race, with enclaves fleeing out into the deserts and away from the failing, crumbled cities. This led to a dark time in Qadir history as they fled to the distant edges of the new Songaskian Masaya. Ultimately, all hope seemed lost at a rebirth for their people.
Then, there came a beacon of light. The Qadir City of Mooriye along with several of the southern pearl cities had survived the Great Storm and then beat back the Songaskian Masaya, helping to guard what was developing into the homeland of Qadir culture in nearby Al-Alus. From this great bastion of Qadir knowledge, individuals traveled out into the world and helped corral the people together into settlements known today as Hadrityas which were often built on top of ruined structures from the age of the Sariyd Empire. Qadir art, purpose, and religion were reborn in the following years much to the displeasure of the Songaskians. However, they were quick to learn the Qadir had value due to their unique skills in clockwork design and engineering. Massya Djibril Koné the First formally ended the Qadir persecution after a traveling caravan of the Race had come to Korbamakora and aided in constructing its water distribution system. On the other hand, the Qadir say he essentially enslaved this caravan but details are murky. Regardless, most Songaskians stopped seeking out the Qadir and thus the Race began their new lives, either on the road serving in trade and supply caravans for their home Hadritya or in these vast citadels, innovating and categologing new and ancient knowledge. This way of life has rarely been interrupted, even by the many wars fought on their continent as the Qadir have long been neutral. Now however, they favor the Regalian Empire, remaining friendly with the Ailor in many cases after their key role in helping the world defend from the Bone Horrors spawned by the Bone Horror Crisis. The Qadir have also spread out across the world, building Hadrityas as far west as Ithania in an attempt to ensure their legacy and Race is never extinguished by a freak event like what almost occurred in the Great Storm.
Qadir society is fairly flat, but strongly dominated by their seemingly conflicting nomadic culture and sedentary intellectual centers, worship of all things technological and their hatred for the Songaskia. The Qadir are always very distrusting of outsiders, but extremely calculative and pragmatic as well. If assisting an outsider stands to benefit them, they would certainly extract as much favor from the situation as they could. Their mainline culture is split though into two groups, caused by the ideas of the Time of Tajul and the Time of Tasil. During the Time of Tajul, Qadir families and individuals are called to serve the Hadritya they live in as traders, travelers and suppliers out in the wider world. Each Hadritya has a different system for selection, sometimes by lot, sometimes by simple rotation while in a few rare cases, one group of families is always in the Time of Tajul. The Time of Tasil, on the other hand, is the sedentary, studying and working life at a Hadritya. Here, everyone works and spends time together performing regular tasks to upkeep their shared home as well as creating and learning everything they can involving mechanics, clockworks and machines. The two Times function on a cycle of three years each though it is likely a Qadir will have multiple Times of Tasil over maybe one or two Times of Tajul. All ultimately do return to the Hadritya, at least for a short time.
Mainline Qadir politics are shaped by Hadritya elders leading their societies. Clockwork experts in these councils of six or more are often held in high esteem among the Qadir, thus filling the role of leader, elder, and so forth; however, the technical law giving power to the Qadir are the so called Almuttaq. The Almuttaq are artefacts of great power and mystery, clockwork engines in the shape of metre long and meter wide cubes that can seemingly come to life and speak to those who operate them. Very few Almuttaq’s actually exist in the world, intensely guarded by the Hadritya’s inner sanctums. These devices seem aware of the world around them and grant cryptic advice to their operators: the clockwork masters and engineers. For outsiders, the Almuttaq seem heretical and obsolete. The reality however is that whenever a clockwork elder dies, their soul is transported from their dying body to an Almuttaq, adding to the internal collective that is somehow sustained inside the device. As such, every Almuttaq could be considered an elder council in of itself, which speaks with one voice to guide their people from centuries past. Whatever the exact nature of the devices, they were revered to godhood by the Qadir and their word is often law. As for the Khaneh and Ardualnaar Qadir, they have their own unique forms of leadership.
The Qadir, while a practical people, are hardly a society of base and simplistic existence. The Qadir value, seemingly above all else, innovation and invention, shun the simpler skin of outside knowledge while delving into the intricate mysteries of their world. It is this sort of innate drive of the Qadir that built their given identity, a kind of self-perception of greater purpose to learn and indulge in knowledge to be found. No mystery or hidden knowledge is too daunting for them, no tome too old to translate or machine too difficult to construct. Qadir have given Aloria some of the most fascinating technological and innovative advances largely unseen or unthought of before. Likewise, their ways of art, fashion, food, and language tend to model this seemingly desperate climb for greater achievement. In the likeliness of artistic gifts, the Qadir tend to value productivity, efficiency, and innovative use; Qadir art tends to not be art because it is beautiful, but because it is so intricately made, modeled, and researched that it creates its own beauty. Qadir carvings often resemble complex patterns of cog works, symmetrical and geometric shapes, granting a much more machine-like appearance to their art as opposed to for example the flowing organic styles of the Altalar, or the crude squares of the Dwarves. Qadir fashion is also not a movement of adornment and useless decoration, but of glamorous function and perhaps sometimes outrageous invention. Bracelets always have some sort of tool function hidden in them, earrings can be keys, and even the lining of a shirt can be used as a makeshift copper coil wire. As for the cloth parts of their outfits, it varies but can generally be summed up as desert-colored and made to breathe, with turbans, head coverings, and sandals being the most obvious features of their style. Food for the Qadir is perhaps more base in this, as it is usually basic grains grown in small, clockwork supported gardens with the rarity of spices and exotic items like fruit coming out only for special occasions. Qadir language, however, is eloquent and perhaps even elegant, each word or phrase calculated for intellectual or perhaps more meaningful prose and elaboration.
The Qadir uniformly believe in the divinity of the Esrah Alwattah, the belief the world’s gods are long dead and mankind should construct its own divine being to protect it. The Qadir once had a complex polytheistic religion in the times of the Sariyd Empire, counting over 2,400 gods and goddesses, however with the collapse of their Empire, the Qadir blamed the gods, or more specifically claimed the gods had died and failed. With that thought in mind, notable Qadir prophesied that, with their technical skills, they would construct a new god, the Esrah Alwattah. Some claim they already have and the machine-deity is hidden in the temple complex of the City of Mooriye. But if this is true, the suspicious locals have yet to even tell their own brethren of their success. Regardless, the faithful built the Almuttaqs over a hundred years ago (based on even older religious technology). These devices were originally early prototypes for the development of their machine god which ultimately never developed further and now continue to guide the Qadir. All innovations and inventions made by the Qadir can through one way or another be related back to the Esrah Alwattah and their wish to give life to a massive clockwork giant, powered by the soul energies of thousands of their best and brightest. The Qadir have always had a long aversion to Magic, believing it was something belonging to the gods in the ancient times and mankind should not have the hubris to meddle with the powers of the gods. With the fall of the Sariyd Empire, it was deemed only Magic involved in Soul Essence was acceptable for the Qadir. It allowed the Qadir to take control over their own souls, and use it to fuel the creation of the Esrah Alwattah and the continued functioning of the Almuttaqs. Most Qadir families or individuals have some form of small clockwork shrine, often disguised as a clock, on which they have incense and bring small coin offerings. Despite all of this, the religion of the Qadir is largely very disorganized and personal. There are no temples or priests, nor any sort of communal worship in a large part of their society, most Qadir engaging in private faith and devoting themselves to technological progress for the benefit of the Esrah Alwattah.
Combat and Warfare
The Qadir don’t often engage in war as they have long held ideals that promote diplomacy and compromise. The Sariyd Empire was not a military Empire but an economic and diplomatically linked political entity. Despite this, Qadir Hadrityas are perhaps the most well guarded fortresses on Farah’deen, with multiple clockwork and Soul Essence weapons on the walls and within the halls. Most local Songaskian rulers tend to ignore these fortresses as conquering a Hadritya has no real advantage, as most of the technology within does not work in the hands of those without the skill to operate them, and Qadir have been known to use explosives to destroy anything of value if their home was at risk. As for personal weapons, most Qadir make use of devices they themselves developed, like switchblades and gear powered crossbows with fold-able parts. Qadir weapons have never been particularly strong or made for war, rather they were made to be compact and easily transportable. Reassembly is one of the strong suits of the Qadir soldiers, especially when it is considered that their weapons cannot effectively be captured by others as they would not possess the knowledge to assemble the weapons into functional condition. The Qadir often favor a very defensive stance, using ranged weapons over close combat. When in close combat however, Qadir fight with ferocity, usually by a driven to protect those they keep close to them and to maintain their soul does not leave their bodies before it is proper.
Economy and Technology
Qadir trade is surprisingly dependent on major foreign nations, especially Regalia. The Qadir have a bit of a unique relation with the Regalians in that they provide Regalia with engineers and mechanics as well as basic prototypes and inventions for war, while Regalia provides them with expensive or rare materials to craft intricate or experimental parts the Qadir need for their machines. It could be said that the Qadir are even fully dependent on Regalia to continue their technological pursuit, though they would often deny this. Inversely, it could be said that Regalia is assisting the cause of heresy by working with the Qadir to build their Esrah Alwattah, however the Regalians are reportedly extremely interested in the war-time applications of clockwork machines powered by the souls of fallen soldiers. As such, the Qadir economy can largely be described as an uneasy cooperation between the Qadir and the Regalians. There is another angle to their economy though, and it is their dependance on the Songaskians. As much as many Qadir would loathe to admit this truth as well, the Songaskia help the Qadir to survive, their large cities providing materials for those Hadrityas too far from the pearl cities and other settlements of the coastline. Those in the Time of Tajul often travel to these settlements in order to conduct their trade, giving their technology away for raw materials and small comforts. What little is left of the independent Qadir economy is mostly being geared towards agriculture and husbandry in order to support their often isolated Hadrityas.
- An Almuttaq once went “insane”. When activated, the cogs started whirring and the entire machine started emitting high pitched shrieking noises until it finally ruptured an important hydraulic valve and the entire thing shut down. Later it was discovered Void Essence had somehow seeped into the machine and infested the Soul Essence within.
- Qadir society makes use of the Bakhshuna Jamal for their Times of Tajul, traveling across the desert on the odd creatures. Songaskians rarely use them because they consider them too ugly and ill-mannered.