|Naming Customs||similar to Arabic and Urdu names found on Earth|
|Distinctions||Dark to fair-skinned fortified city dwellers who are known for their technological prowess.|
|Maximum Age||110 years|
|Height||5’4 - 6’4|
|Hair Colors||Ranging from Black to dark brown, but also creamy beige, mahogany, and even crimson red, curly or straight.|
Technicians, engineers, scholars and intellectuals, if ever the world had a people that could be described as the world’s most technically gifted intelligentsia, it would be the Qadir. Qadir are a fairly small numbered Race of humanoids hailing from the desert continent of Farah’deen, a continent they share with their arch-nemeses the Songaskia, and where the ruins of their Sariyd Empire are still littered in the deserts, sending echoes of past technological glories to anyone brave enough to venture deep into the drought. The Qadir are generally considered the most studious Race, with the highest rate of literacy, and a society with a strong emphasis on discovery, progress, inventions, and the development of the craft they became famous for, Clockwork technology. Across the world so called Hadrityas exist often in the middle of other nations, small walled forts built out of the distinct Qadir-Blue brickwork that store the libraries and trinkets of the Qadir, fiercely guarded from prying eyes, and passionately defended to preserve what little remains of the once powerful Sariyd Empire. Qadir also roam the land, exploring deep caverns and abandoned crypts, venturing into high mountains and deep valleys in the hopes of finding new resources or ancient references to technology lost to time, with the hopes of reviving it. Mysterious with their intentions, but always predictably invested in technology, they remain a much desired presence for anyone wishing to rely on technology to fight the encroachment of Magic, and are clever enough to use whatever commitments they get into, to benefit their own long term goals of technological revival. The Qadir are not a people beset with wants of conquest and subjugation, but of progress and fame.
Physical & Mental Characteristics
The Qadir look practically identical to the Ailor in many ways, but set themselves apart in some. This has led to theories that the Qadir are actually a more specialized cousin Race of the Ailor, but this is not true, as the Sariyd existed many hundreds of years before the first Ailor were discovered on Ceardia, the Qadir covering the deserts in their great pearl cities while the Ailor still lived in mud huts. Qadir are notably different from the Ailor, in that primarily, they have a far less varied skin tone range and physical appearance. While the Ailor Race has a wide representation, the Qadir only have skintones of those from Northern Africa to the Middle East and Central Asia in the real world, with facial features of these regions also. Qadir have a variety of hair colors, ranging from black to dark brown, but also creamy beige, mahogany, and even crimson red. A unique trait that the Qadir have in comparison to other Races is that their irises are sandstone colored, reminiscent of the sandy dunes of Farah’deen and the sand-blasted ruins that still stick out of the hills, a fading memory of ages past. Secondly, the Qadir have a curious skin-pigmentation that they are born with that grows as they age.
When born, Qadir have a mandala-like white symbol-shaped pigmentation on the back of their hands. These mandalas are read by male midwives that deliver Qadir children, and are believed to allow the Qadir to predict the personality or growing-up of a child to best tailor their education to their traits. As the Qadir age, these mandalas grow lines and shapes along their arms, higher up for every year, and expand in complexity based on how the life or personality of the Qadir progresses. These lines are always symmetrical and grow on the outsides of the arm, on skin facing away from the torso, but can also circle around the arm on occasion when a hard-change is imposed on the Qadir’s life. When Qadir go through traumatic experiences, the lines become thin and the shapes jagged, and if a Qadir has a happy period in their life, the shapes become floral and decorative and wider. These lines create a lasting readable carpet of lines and shapes that some Qadir develop a speciality for reading. By the time a Qadir dies, these lines will have reached their shoulders where they taper off when the person passes away. The colors of these lines, that some have likened to henna tattoos except actual skin pigmentation, can also change color. When Qadir are born, and have a neutral or balanced personality, these lines are always white. As Qadir age however, these lines can change colors, a gradual process that takes years, but can cause wild color changes. When a person is of a particularly happy and good-ly personality, the lines are yellow or pink, when a Qadir is of a particularly greedy or prideful disposition, the lines are purple or red. When a Qadir is of a particular scholarly or reserved disposition, the lines tend to be green or blue, and if a Qadir has a vibrant, wild, and passionate personality, they tend to be orange or magenta. Whatever color, the lines are always uniformly one color, and do not change after they grow on the skin. These lines the Qadir call their Soul-skin, believing it represents a visible representation of what their soul looks like to those who can read it. Half-Qadir are less fortunate however. While the mandalas do grow on the backs of Half-Qadir hands, the lines quickly taper off after the wrist and form a skin condition called Vitiligo that affects the rest of their body.
Qadir are an overprotective and suspicious Race, fiercely defensive and mystical over the secrets they harbor. It is rare to make a Qadir one’s true friend, as Qadir usually have reserved ulterior motives with friendship, and it is hard to tell whether they actually care as much about a person as they say they do, because Qadir are also masters of hiding body language and even have some mental protection against control imparted by the minds of others. Qadir are capable of a level of hyper-focus not often seen in other Races, having an inquisitive mind that sees any mystery or impossibility as a challenge to overcome. Most Qadir have a burning hatred for the Songaskians who not only killed most of their people in history, but also stole the pride of the Sariyd Empire, the Qadir pearl cities, and buried most centers of learning in the deserts under oceans of sand, or so it is said. Qadir are negatively disposed to Magic, unless they specifically grow up around it. This is largely owed to the fact that the Qadir consider Magic a vulgar way to affect the world around them, a shortcut that requires no intellect and merely one’s hand wave, where-as actually inventing things to automate progress is proclaimed as the true pursuit of the better self. Qadir are also always looking for ways to improve themselves, not necessarily always for their society, causing many of them to be prideful and self-absorbed, but obviously not without reason, as their insight is unrivaled among Races.
Besides the skin-pigment vitiligo, Half-Qadir have no other visual or mental differences. Half-Qadir also get exactly the same racial Abilities as full-blood Qadir, and are also fully part of Qadir society without any outsider status. Qadir society remains split between the Scripters, Nationals, and Finders, though the populations are roughly equal, dividing Qadir society three ways. There is no physical differences between the three factions, it merely comes down to political and ideological beliefs explained further below. Eiher way, all Half-Qadir and Qadir must be a member of one of these Factions.
Racial Abilities & Specials
Racial Abilities are generally a set of unique powers and effects that all peoples of that race all innately have, while Specials are more passive, aesthetic focused capabilities. Specials are defined per-page, while Abilities can be searched on the Ability List page to determine their generic function. Qadir have only Specials, but this is because Specials have wide ranging effects for them. Half-Qadir also get access to all Abilities and Specials that normal Qadir would.
This Special does not grant any functions in and of itself, but grants additional functions and changes depending on what Engineering Point Buy Packs the Qadir has Point Bought. Each Pack has an upgraded version for the Qadir, listed below:
- Advanced Engineered Automata Pack: A Qadir's Macro Golem can be activated from anywhere by the Qadir, not just in their Rental Region/Clandestine Base/Noble Estate. Qadir can also use Macro Golems in Progressions, though should be prepared that they will frequently be destroyed when attempting to enter dangerous locations, and the 72 hour repair cooldown persists into roleplay after the Progression is posted.
- Advanced Engineered Biotics Pack: A Qadir's own Biotics do not need any maintenance. Any Qadir Biotics installed on their own body also have the durability of chainmail armor as opposed to skin, but do still feel pain and become injured. This Special upgrade relies on reasonableness. If a Character's entire body, or too much of the body, is replaced with Biotics, this effect no longer applies by Lore Staff evaluation.
- Advanced Engineered Control Pack: The Qadir can also install a copy of their personality in their Macro Golem, thus making it sentient and capable of autonomous actions. Regular familiar rules apply, meaning it cannot engage in combat or hostile actions, but can speak and act independently of the Qadir in Emote Distance (it may also be played by a different Player, or played with a different account by the owner).
- Advanced Engineered Machina Pack: Qadir can produce a third Frequency Redstone Oscillator for the pair this Pack allows them to make, thus allowing them to give one to a third person. The same rules for a standard Oscillator applies, and all three people who have one cannot control who is speaking or hearing. If one person speaks, all other Oscillators always sound out their message.
- Advanced Engineered Weapons Pack: Qadir are capable of switching melee summoned weapons to ranged and vice versa, and switching the type of weapon. However, this switch does take at least 30 seconds to complete and cannot be done mid-combat roleplay Emote. Ammunition for Ranged weapons is instead replaced with Soul Essence shots, which are white ghostly dust clouds.
- Advanced Engineered Movement Pack: Qadir can enhance their boots or hand-held levitators, preventing them from reaching terminal velocity, thus always gently floating down when falling. This can both be used in Regalia to gently float down high falls, but also in Progressions to prevent a Qadir from taking damage should their air-borne vessel be shot down.
- Advanced Engineered Medica Pack: Qadir when in need of Medica for themselves, can create much smaller portable devices that compensate for genetic faults and illnesses without maintenance or manual control needed, for example an automatic system that detects blood sugar levels and has automatic insulin injections for a Qadir with diabetes.
- Advanced Engineered Familiar Pack: Qadir can produce two familiars instead of one. All standard rules regarding familiars still apply for both. There is however one functional difference: If one of the Engineered familiars is hacked or hijacked in any way, the other is automatically also hacked or hijacked by the same person.
- Advanced Engineered Hacking Pack: If at least two Qadir are engaged in a Dragon Site Hack, they can double the Site's normal functions. For example, the Codex will provide for 6 questions to the group, instead of 3. This Special does not apply if the Qadir has an Affliction (ex. Vampirism, Cratos, etc).
- Engineered Chassis Pack: The Qadir do not have an advanced version of the Chassis Pack. Chassis, or more so the act of replacing flesh with machine, is considered taboo among the Qadir, as is extending one's natural life span. A Qadir would not willingly replace their own organs with Chassis.
Qadir mastery of Engineering is unrivaled among the other Races. Careful study (and theft) of other Engineering Branches has made the Qadir able to work with them, even if other Engineers must always stick with a single Engineering Branch. Qadir are hard-locked to using Clockwork as their main Branch for themselves, but can also produce items in the branches listed below for others. A Qadir who has joined the Cratos Machina becomes what the Qadir call a "Fallen Qadir", which are sometimes also found as Rishiq in the Farah'deen Deserts. If a Qadir is a Machinist worshiper, they are hard-locked to using Necrotech as their main branch for themselves, but may still create items in the Branches listed below (though not Clockwork anymore).
When Qadir are born (or later in life) they have so-called Membanks installed in their heads that record memories passively and store them on so-caled Memkeys, which are temporary recording devices. At any given time, Qadir can remove their Memkey from their Membank, and hand it to another Qadir to insert into their Membank, allowing them to replay the last 24 hours that the first Qadir witnessed in visual detail and with sound. Additionally, a Qadir can record specific days and save them on more permanent Memsaves. Memsaves cannot store data that is specifically used in a competitive context (for example, witnessing a crime, and then reporting it a month later with a Memsave). However, they can used to bring life to a Qadir's backstory by writing a Forum/Google Doc lore story, and then selling Memsaves to other Characters, handing them a piece of reading for when they play back this Memsave. While Memkeys cannot be viewed by non-Qadir, Memsaves can be viewed with Clockwork viewing helmets specifically made for them. While viewing a Memsave through a helmet, the viewer has a full-body experience re-enacting all the feelings and thoughts and actions stored on the Memsave.
Even the youngest and most inexperienced of Qadir have some grasp of Engineering and can produce small machines and objects to make their lives easier. All Qadir automatically gain Engineering Point Buy Pack Engineered Automata Pack without any Point Buy Investment.
Qadir can produce and use specialized Mechanic gloves that grant them telekinesis over Engineering devices and their constituent parts, for example disassembling or assembling something in mid-air, or fetching items from across the room to put together. All of these actions can only take place in a non-combat environment, and cannot be used to steal Engineering items from other Characters.
Much of Qadir history was lost when the Great Storm swallowed their civilization and killed most of their people, however intrepid explorers have recently been starting to piece fragments back together into a cohesive story. Supposedly, the Qadir Race properly unified around 1000 BC, meaning their Race probably entered some semblance of sentience at around the same time as the Altalar, though took longer to unify and collectivize, probably because of the desert-like conditions they lived in which made agriculture very hard. Unlike the Altalar which are to some degree different from the early Allorn people, the Qadir have remained exactly the same since those first Qadir founded the Sariyd Empire. Because of this, whenever anyone refers to pre-modern Qadir as Sariyd, they are referring to the Qadir who lived in the Sariyd Empire, not some ancestor Race that was distinct from their modern variant. The Sariyd Empire was also not strictly speaking an Empire, but rather a technocracy. Interpretation demands it be seen as an Empire, as the political structure of the Sariyd Empire was more akin to smaller states, each headed by a council of technocrats that made up a larger Empire bound together by a common goal of progress. Information was shared and new discoveries were brought to the public at yearly traveling science fairs that rotated between the 14 great cities of Farah’deen, occasionally visiting smaller towns, Hadrityas and places of learning in between. Farah’deen was an inhospitable landmass, however the Qadir managed to build a wide and far spanning thin web of cities and towns and outposts that allowed them to cover most of the desert with great efficiency.
It is often claimed by the Regalians that the Regalian Empire has the world’s first true bureaucracy but this is not strictly speaking true. In fact, many Qadir claim that the Regalians got the idea of their bureaucracy based on the Qadir Iqth, a complex system of wealth tax and state data registration. The Qadir claim that this bureaucratic system of their own was once so complex that every birth was registered in a matter of minutes, and that long distance communication was made possible through tall Clockwork signal towers. It is in fact even claimed that the Qadir had an immensely complex network of flying cities called Haatzaar, which chiefly were responsible for ferrying large quantities of raw resources between the pearl cities, massive city-states named after the pearl-white bastion walls that rose like mountains out of the desert sand, with the azure and dark-blue domes and spires reaching out far above like an oasis. Trouble for the Sariyd Empire began around 600 BC, when the Black Desert Dragons started getting more involved with their progress. It is not entirely clear how or why, but it is said that around that period, the Black Desert Dragons made “the Haatzaar unsafe, grounding them all one by one until the skies were no longer lit up with the reflections of Brass and Copper.” Over the decades following, it was claimed that more and more liberties that the Qadir had made through technological progress were limited or removed, either out of fear of Dragon attacks, or by outright Dragon attacks.
At first, the Qadir did not truly have a military. The Qadir Race was alone on Farah’deen and the Altalar had never shown interest to go that far east for slave expeditions. While some slavery occured on the coastline, explaining some Qadir people in Daendroc to this day, by far and large the Qadir in the pearl cities never knew there even was such a thing as an Altalar. The oceans were wildly disinteresting to the Qadir, as oceans were considered (ironically) vast empty deserts with nothing interesting in them, while even the desert sands hid quarries and underground treasures waiting to be found. Due to their lack of military and largely focus on spiritual and technological progress with an educational angle, the Qadir were unable to resist the demands of the Dragons each time they acted out, and these acts became more and more violent. Eventually, Qadir society split into three distinct factions, factions which last to this day and provide a clear ideological rift between the Qadir people in terms of how to interact with the world at large. One group, the Bila’Anjila, could best be described as the ultra-nationalists who believed that the time of pacifism and non-militarism was over, and that the Qadir should redirect their immense technological prowess into making machines of war, ostentatiously not to wage war, but to defend themselves from the oppression of the Dragons. The second group was the Alqurra’, who believed in perpetual balance with the world through submission. Their ideology proclaimed that the world was damaged by millennia of conflict and magical invasion (it is thus assumed that the Sariyd had a more complex understanding of Void Invasions). In order to spare the world further damage, they believed that the Qadir had merely to observe and obey anyone coming to tell them to correct course in the physical, and as long as it did not involve complete destruction or annihilation, that they should relent and focus on their educational pursuits, as the body and world could be limited, but the mind was limitless. The final faction was the La’ahad, who believed neither in open warfare with the Dragons, nor completely ignoring and submitting to them, but wildly developing new technologies and exploring further and wider to find out more about the world, so that the Qadir could speak to the Dragons on equal footing. Because of this belief, it is also often assumed that the Sariyd had a greater understanding of the role of Dragons in the world, and did not simply see them as dumb animals like the Altalar did.
These factions more commonly referred to as the Nationals, the Scripters, and the Finders respectively in modern times, started dividing Sariyd society. Most of the pearl cities supported the Nationals and started re-arranging their Clockwork industries to produce war machines, massive Clockwork spiders and centipedes that could quickly traverse the deserts and use terrifying weapons of so called “death lances” to fire at the Dragons and injure them. Most of the coastal settlements and the oasis towns supported the Finders, resulting in a number of Qadir vessels leaving Farah’deen over the following centuries that would end up founding Hadrityas in far away states. In the modern era, Hadrityas that have been around for nearly 500 years not only exist in far flung lands such as Fendarfelle, but also in cold lands like Ellador and Essalonia, and even within the landmasses currently owned by the Altalar. The Qadir turned out to be shrewd negotiators that would lease properties of land to build their Hadrityas on in exchange for technological contributions to local life, while fiercely hoarding everything else they could find, usually Meraic Crystaltech, away from the eyes of the locals. This allowed Hadrityas to exist in a pseudo-legal state where they did indeed exist within the sovereign boundaries of an Elven Principality, but were not part of that Principality and thus not beholden to its laws or customs, a microstate effectively locked inside another state. Most of the inland Hadrityas, libraries and centers of learning back in Farah’deen, however, obviously supported the Scripters. The Scripters were first to fall to the power plots of the Nationals and the Dragons alike. Over the centuries, many of their homes simply went dark, answering daily and then one day just stopping, with anyone sent to find out what happened to them never returning. Centers of learning faded one by one as the Dragons claimed more and more land. The Finders equally dwindled in number as more and more of them sailed away from the homeland never to return, leaving only the Nationals in control of the vast majority of the Sariyd population. As such, in around 300 BC, the Nationals announced the Red Hunt, in which they started a massive campaign against the Dragons, a campaign of annihilation. It is highly likely that the Qadir called the Red Hunt by this name because Altalar ambassadors had shown up on Faraddi shores, bringing with them tales of the success of the Green Hunt back in Daen, that was approaching its final 40 years by this time. For two hundred years, the Sariyd fought the Desert Dragons, never quite killing any of them, but certainly pushing them back further and further. The Dragons retaliated by summoning massive sandstorms that swallowed whole towns in the desert but could not hurt the massive bastion pearl cities besides coloring them in a sickly red hue with each storm. The destruction of these small oasis towns caused even more of the Sariyd to join with the Nationals, creating the Great Gear Armada, a massive fleet of automaton giants built to assault Kouriyasui, the last stronghold of the Black Desert Dragons.
It is said that the assault was both a sight of splendor and horror as massive machines whirred, venting towers-tall plumes of steam, grinding metal and dust blowing as the thuds of thousands of pincers and feet barreling through the sand filled the valley, using Death Lances to fire projectiles at Kouriyasui Mountains, to finally rid the Sariyd of the Black Dragons. The Dragons, resorting to Magic to make their final last stand, cast one spell so massive that the sun was blotted out by the sands rising higher than they had ever been. It was as if the very desert itself had decided to become the air. With one mighty shockwave, the entire Great Gear Armada collapsed, their operators and power supplies killed and drained instantly, collapsing on top of each other or simply falling apart, their remnants still littering the sands around Kouriyasui to this day, massive wrecks larger than the grandest Unionist temples. The shockwave continued, wiping out whole communities, centers of learning, and every living thing in such a wide area around Kouriyasui that eventually only the southernmost last two Pearl Cities remained, every other Pearl City having been wiped clean of all life as plant and people alike choked from the sand in the air. To make matters worse, from this Great Storm came the Songaskians, who proclaimed themselves the children of the Black Dragons, invading the cities and taking them for themselves, and immediately declaring war on the Sariyd that had just lost their Empire, and an estimated 94% of their population within Farah’deen.
The news was received with shock and horror in the Hadrityas out in the wider world, however the situation cemented their independence from the homeland, believing even more now in the principles of the Finders, that they should lock down to prevent the loss of the last remnants of Qadiriq society. The last two remaining pearl cities loosely organized themselves into what is now the Confederated Hadrityas in modern times, attempting to brace the impact of the Songaskian armies slowly moving south and conquering everything in their way. Eventually, the Qadir were able to hold the Songaskians back, but were too weak to begin a war of conquest of their own with a counter-offensive. To this day, the Qadir-Songaskian border is one of the most hotly contested regions in the world with frequent battles between Magic and machine, though with no progress being made with blood spilled on dry sand. Even when the Songaskians were in civil war and being invaded by the Ailor, the Qadir were unable to push back to reclaim the thousands of lost intellectual sites, libraries, palaces, workshops and quarries that now lie buried in the sands, their locations closely guarded secrets of the few homebound Hadrityas remaining. Qadir society also returned back to an equilibrium of balance. After the complete destruction of the Gear Armada, it was believed that the Nationals pushed the matter of offensive-war strategy too far, and that Qadir society should act more balanced and with more defensive intentions. The Nationals as such did not abandon their demand for more military development, but chose to limit their military pursuits to just defensive as opposed to playing conqueror in protracted wars abroad. Some Finders returned, while Scripters rose again from the ranks of the intellectuals, until eventually Qadir society was equally divided between the three factions that continue to loosely dictate Qadir politics to this day, as each Technocrat Council also has an equal division of 3 members of each faction.
In modern times, the Qadir have developed policies such as “No soul left behind” and “Communal autonomy” to loosely connect all Qadir states and Hadrityas together with technological communication, while also preserving the souls of the dead and preventing them from properly passing into a dead-state so as to not diminish their numbers. Unlike for example the Dwarves or the Maraya who have to compensate for small population numbers after calamity, the Qadir have become extremely comfortable with the small foot-print of their Race on the world. They have adapted all their societal structures and planning to include the idea that the Qadir will probably never acquire Sariyd-like population numbers, and to be adequately satisfied with that situation. Their Race never had the intention to conquer or subject anyone, never engaged in slavery, and largely lost religion as a result of the Great Storm. As such, the Qadir nowadays are mostly content just living the life they want to live in pursuit of happiness, intellectualism, and personal fame, while equally being far too disinterested in geo-politics to get involved beyond their peripheral attempts to secure rare resources or technological blueprints when they are discovered.
Qadir society is complex to understand for outsiders, as to regard the entirety of Qadir society is to also consider the disparate populations far away from the homeland in Farah’deen, many of which exist further away from the unofficial Qadir capital of Al-Alus than even the longest distance between Regalia and its most far-flung territories. It is a testament to the technological prowess of the Qadir that they remain able to connect, communicate and exchange services and goods over massive distances in relative short amounts of time, something that sustains their asymmetrical federation, where constituent parts of their federation have more local autonomy the further away they are from Farah’deen. There are also the Rashiq, or the Hardened Qadir, Qadir who have left behind their cities and centers of learning for the deep deserts of Farah'deen from which they strike out at Songaskian targets as warriors of shadow, vanishing as fast as they appear and cause havoc. In conclusion, Qadir society is not just those found in the cities of the Confederated Hadrityas, just one of the many Qadir cities still left in Farah’deen, nor just the far-flung Hadrityas that exist as enclaves in many other states and even Empires, like the Regalian and the Allorn Empire, but also in the deep sands of their harsh homeland.
Qadir politics is driven by their self-named Algocratic Government, which may sometimes also be referred to as a Cyberocracy. What this means is that the Qadir do not have any living hierarchy of rulers, rather, their society is ruled by a network of massive Clockwork machine-minds which contain the collective of inserted souls of all dying and expiring individuals the Qadir could get their hands on. Except in extraneous circumstances (such as a dangerous criminal, or a person who does not want to join the collective), all Qadir that die in the homeland or are near death in the homeland, have their souls removed from their body and inserted into the machine-minds where they join a collective of semi-independent hive-minds, thus denying the soul of the dying person from properly passing on and entering a state of immortality, for as long as the machine runs.
These machine-minds are called Alat-Alhakim, powered by Qatil batteries and capable of speech. The souls inside the machine-minds reach consensus through internal debate and a form of interconnected soul democracy. It is not true to state that when a soul is inserted into the machine, it loses its own independent personality or being, but to call a soul completely independent is not correct either. An inserted soul’s personal considerations and angles to questions and requests remain intact, but their knowledge and memories are shared with all other souls, so that the machine may make the most educated and well-considered decision. Each Qadir Hadritya has one such Alat-Alhakim, and in the homeland numerous Alat-Alhakim exist in the cities. These machine-minds are all loosely connected with each other through a network of so called Burj-Alnuwr or Burja, sometimes also referred to as Towers of Light. These tall Clockwork spires use a sequence of flickering lights and shutters to produce a morse-code like language that can be seen from far away, and allow the machine-minds to communicate long distances. It is actually a little known fact that the major artery of Qadir communication occurs from such Towers of Light built on the coastlines of Sendras, as the sea distance between Farah’deen and other lands is too large, and building these spires on hostile Songaskian land is considered futile.
On a local level, elders and administrators execute the will of the machine-minds in a collaborative and consultative process. The administrators and elders take smaller paperwork decisions such as filing new documents and arranging the transfer of resources between the Hadrityas. When it concerns larger political decisions however, such as where to attack the Songaskians, how much foreign resources to buy, whether to let a foreigner into the Hadrityas, or what to do about an impending drought, the Alat make the decisions. Indeed, the Alat-Alhakim aren’t only just decision machines for politics, they are also brilliant inventor minds in and of themselves and can communicate complex Clockwork designs to the living Qadir for construction. As such, many Alat-Alhakim are also considered living libraries in and of themselves, and some particular Alat-Alhakim are known to produce specifically useful blueprints for Qadir tech. Some of the notable named Alats are:
- The Alat-Alhakim of Hadr Qizmukh, which is known to produce the most elegant and well-designed Clockwork-powered seafaring ships that are small and have little in the way of armaments, but can outrun any other non-magic powered sea vessel.
- The Alat-Alhakim of Hadr Al-Alus, which is known to have the most complex understanding of bureaucratic efficiency, and is also a single bureaucratic department in itself, as it was upgraded with a thousand arms capable of writing and flipping pages of documents, producing thousands of documents a day in Qasr script, which is a form of punctured paper that can be read by certain Clockwork machines.
- The Alat-Alhakim of Hadr Shdh Jazira, which is known to produce the most complex and fearsome warmachines of Clockwork, defending the border against the Songaskians. The infamous Walker-Almashi or the walking terror, a bipedal Clockwork giant with wrist-mounted cannons is their most widely known creation.
- The Alat-Alhakim of Hadr Al’Aradi Altya Faqaduha, which is known to actually be its own bipedal walking Alar-Alhakim. Where-as most Alat-Alhakim are vast interconnected machines that take up entire rooms and hallways, the Qadir of Al’Aradi have managed to compress the Clockwork machinery inside the Alat into tiny parts, thus giving it a fully functional and humanoid appearing body that is able to speak and move around.
- The Alat-Alhakim of Hadr Maas-Darrah situated in the heartland of the Avanth Rokhaal (modern day Allorn Empire), which is known to have hoarded thousands of years of Allorn technology and even some Dewamenet technology taken from archeological dig sites.
- The Alat-Alhakim of Mokraq situated in the heartland of the Dread Empire, which is known to conduct live-experiments on slaves from the Dread Empire given by the Kathar. This Alat-Alhakim is considered unstable and dangerous to other Qadir because the local Hadritya has permitted more unstable minds to join the collective for their brilliance. This Alat-Alhakim is also known to produce the most effective torture methods and interrogation tactics.
- The Alat-Alhakim of Shufbaq situated somewhere in the north of Ithania (now lost), which is known to have gone “insane.” The Alat had to be shut down (thus “killing” all souls within) after it started trying to systematically kill everyone living in the Hadriya by flooding poisonous gasses through the piping systems for air conditioning. It was discovered that Void Essence had somehow seeped into the machine and corrupted the souls within, which in modern times was believed to have been a Demon Lord. The Hadritya was abandoned shortly after, as the loss of an Alat-Alhakim usually means a Hadritya no longer has a functional government, forcing the Qadir to leave for another Hadriya. The population was well received by the nearby Hadritya of Tolroq’ql in Nordskag.
Language and Naming Customs
The Qadir all uniformly speak the Faraddi language (similar to real world Arabic/Urdu), with little to no dialect or accent variation, despite the long distances of isolation between Qadir communities. Whereas Ailor accents and dialects rapidly split, the strong communication and travel between the Hadriyas continues to enforce a single language interpretation that has stood the test of time and has likely barely changed since the days of the Sariyd Empire. Qadir naming principles are very similar to Ailor principles, following the first name to surname principle, though how they construct their names differ. While for example an Ailor might be called Albert Alvington, naming principles that define where a person is from, Qadir rather name their children something specific that says something about them after reading their Soul-skin. For example, if a Soul-skin reader predicts that a child will become a witty scholar, their parents may call them “Wise One”, or Hakim in Faraddi, or Hakimi as the female variant. Here follows a list of possible first names with male translation first, followed by female translation:
- Wise One = Hakim, Hakimi
- Money Maker = Sanalmal, Sanalmali
- Deep Digger = Hafaream, Hafareama
- Beautiful One = Jamil, Jamila
- Strong One = Qawiun, Qawiuna
- Commander = Amir, Amira
- Liberator = Muharar, Muhara
- Fleeting One = Aabirah, Aabiraha
- Brilliant One = Baahir, Baahira
- High Reacher = Aalih, Aaliyah
- Devoted One = Aakif, Aakifa
- Light Bringer = Zohar, Zoha
Surnames follow much the same logic, though are often more based around what the majority of the family is known for. For example, a child born from Qadir that produce Clockwork lights and maintain a network of street lamps would be Light-Bringer, so Zohar. A child that is predicted to become a commander of the Zohar family would thus be called Amir Zohar, though it is also possible for a child to be predicted to become a skilled light-crafter, and thus be called Zohar Zohar or Zoha Zohar, this is not considered strange in Qadir culture even if outsiders think that double names sound silly.
Qadir society has very strict laws, but tends to be more loose on scientific scrutiny than other nations. Whereas many acts of scientific research in Essences are tightly regulated, no such restrictions exist in Qadir society. That being said, the Qadir do have the Bayt Al’akhlaq, or the House of Ethics, where a board of members determines the societal ethics of certain research, which can sometimes come across as overly controlling to ensure ethical research. Qadir while still in primary education (which is what the Qadir call schooling up until adulthood) are rigorously taught and tested on an ethical compass for their research (with the exception of the Hadrityas in the Dread Empire which are known to skirt the rules out of pragmatism while existing in such a cruel nation state). The Qadir legal system never imprisons or kills, rather, if a criminal is deemed too dangerous for society, they are simply expelled and banished from Qadir society, their name struck from the records and entry into Hadrityas banned.
Qadir families are very similar to Ailor families in that they have a nuclear mother and father parentage, and immediate children. Grandparents usually live nearby but in different buildings, and siblings usually live across the city or Hadriya of one another. Same-sex relations are very normal in Qadir society, but polyamory is not. Marriage does not traditionally exist in Qadir society, but they do have a system for registered cohabitation or civil-union for the purposes of bureaucratic paperwork and taxation, as the Qadir do not have an income tax or tariff, but rather pay a property tax on things owned at all times, which tends to be more lenient to reproducing families. Households in Qadir society are usually considered well-off, as many of the simple household tasks are taken care of by Clocktik spiders and other Clockwork devices, and so children play a lot in their early years, while being nannied by very basic Clockwork nannies. Once reaching the age of 5, Qadir children enter primary education, which can last up to age 20, but it is also possible to leave earlier at age 16 to travel the world. Qadir education is upheld as one of the most efficient and well-thought out education systems in the world, nearly the entirety of Qadir society is literate, and capable of performing complex arithmetics, philosophy, and physics understanding. Children live at home with their parents for much longer than is usual in other cultures. Qadir children sometimes do not leave the house of their parents until the age of 30, or if they are bonded in union with another person a few years earlier. This is largely because, while still living at home, the property tax system defers to the household-leader (which can be either the mother or father) while the child gets a considerably lower tax rate. Gender roles in Qadir society are effectively nonexistent. The state is in all intents and purposes blind to gender, there is no difference in gendered tasks, occupations or expectations. Men can wear women’s clothing, and women can wear men’s clothing. Gender of a child is not registered at birth either, and truly the only gendered data that is recorded by the state is the name, which usually has a suffix when given to a woman, where-as the man simply has the straightforward translation of the words as his name.
Qadir treatises on physics and Clockwork Metallurgy are famous around the world, but the Qasr script is often forgotten about. Qasr script is a vertical line of holes and dents in paper that can be read by certain Clockwork machines. It is frequently used to make Clockwork machines read lots of information quickly, but can also be used to teach a Clockwork machine designed to imitate an orchestra or organ to play a tune. Finally, Qasr is actually also readable to blind people, and any blind Qadir is taught to read Qasr script by feeling the changes in the texture of paper, meaning that the blind among the Qadir are the only blind in the world that are able to read to some degree (only blind Qadir are allowed to be able to read Qasr, it cannot be taught to other Races). Qadir literature is very pragmatic, and very little in the way of fantasy or fiction exists. Libraries usually contain more scholarly documents than writings for pure entertainment, though this does not mean that the Qadir are devoid of linguistic leisure. In fact, many scholarly treatises often have an element of comedy, as it is very usual for Qadir scholars to try and make the endless intellectual pursuits and productions at least somewhat fun to consume, without sacrificing on the intellectual value of them.
Qadir art, which should not be surprising, is largely dominated by Brass and Copper construction, particularly statues. There exists an art called Jadar Alharaka, or the art of the Wall of Movement. In this practice, a wall-segment or lattice is built where-in a set of Clockwork wheels spin or move back and forth, against each other, creating a motion within the wall. This motion is often considered artistic, with the gears having colors or drawings on them that while in motion produce optical illusions. The art also praises the harmonious construction of such Walls of Movement, with each gear carefully placed, symmetrically or asymmetrically, each with a specific intent and meaning. Sometimes gears are meant to imitate the landscape and the movement of grass in the wind, and sometimes the rolling clouds and thunder is emulated with copper rods that spin downward each time a gear rolls them into position, before pulling it back. These Walls of Movement have sometimes also been called perpetual-paintings, in that the gears are often moved together in such a way that shapes can be made out, but in an always moving fashion on account of each part being interconnected and powered by Qatil batteries. Besides the obvious gear and brass based art, Qadir paint and also draw, though pottery and glass art is nearly nonexistent in Qadir society, as most of their Hadrityas have no windows, but simply open air holes. Despite having no windows, Hadrityas are still filled with light, powered by Clockwork devices that regulate the inside environment. While Qadir art does exist, there is no such thing as a Qadir artist. Qadir art usually comes as a byproduct of someone’s employment, for example: Walls of Movement are usually made by metallurgists who are metallurgist first, artist second. Artistic still-life drawings might be made by stencilers, who are Qadir that draw out Clockwork plans on paper, while their skill to realistically draw shapes comes in handy with art, they primarily work for the workshops. Aesthetics in Qadir society are strong, but they do always come second to pragmatic design and intent.
Qadir fashion is nearly nonexistent. While they do have a national dress-style, Qadir more often than not simply take the dress-styles of other countries and societies as their own. It is very normal to walk around in a Hadriya in Farah’deen and see Qadir wearing clothes from Regalia, the Allorn Empire, and sometimes even from the Songaskians. The Qadir do not really have their own dress-style and in fact enjoy adopting dress-codes of other nations and societies. That being said, Qadir clothing does tend to favor blue and brown/yellow tones for their fabrics, though black is also frequently seen particularly in the military. Turbans are notably Qadir in origins, likely Sariyd, and are widely worn by both men and women in the Hadrityas, but usually not used at all for Qadir living outside of the Hadrityas unless they wish to particularly honor the memory of their home. There is also a wide range of Turban fashion variants, some with a long sash on the back of the head, some with a sash wrapped around the neck and chin, some with a lattice of tassels in front of the face, some with metal plates forming a cone hat, some with varying color patterns and even some worn more like a veil.
A strong taboo in Qadir society is for a man to shave their hair, or for a woman to cut their hair short. While it is possible for women to bind up their hair into buns or up-do’s, to cut a woman’s hair short to the Qadir is to emulate the Songaskian women (who frequently are bald), which the Qadir consider uncivilized and barbaric (owing to their history with the Songaskians). Similarly, because most Songaskian men shave their facial hair off, Qadir men tend to keep theirs, and a whole industry of beard fashion has been born in the Qadir lands. Beards can be accessorized with jewelry, and sometimes even hair extensions to make beards fuller and longer with a more stylized look. Another reason why beards are important to the Qadir is likely from the Sariyd culture. While much of the actual context of religion has disappeared since the Qadir long stopped believing in the Sariyd Gods, the superstitious belief that loss of hair was considered a sign of the ill-will of the gods translated even to modern times. Indeed, male-pattern baldness is extremely rare among the Qadir, and most Qadir die of old age with a full beard and hair on their head, or just long hair when female. Some beards are artificially curled with hot tongs, with the ends capped with some sort of brass or gold cap, causing beards to have a more lock-based appearance. Personal grooming for men is very important in Qadir culture. Indeed, it is very rare to find a Qadir male that is un-groomed with a unibrow and unkempt body hair sticking out of a shirt. If any culture were to be described to have metrosexuals, it would be the Qadir.
Qadir recreation is often very passive. Many Clockwork theatre devices have puppet shows or whole orchestral compositions, which the Qadir passively listen to while consuming grapes and date wine. While many other Alorian cultures have very physical recreation, Qadir are the exact opposite, wishing to avoid physical strain or even breaking a sweat. Sweat in Qadir society is considered vulgar and embarrassing. It is, in fact, believed that the Qadir invention of the Clockwork cooling box was not meant to create technology for the keeping of food items in a colder environment, but rather a self-cooling device that could prevent transpiration. Qadir have also perfected the art of doing nothing sometimes. For a society that is hyper-productive and so fixated on efficiency, sometimes Qadir recreation just involves “people watching”, where a Qadir might recline on their porch, balcony, or just a chair next to their front door and just watch people passing by. Sometimes this forms conversations, and sometimes the Qadir simply want to sit in silence and watch passers-by. This can also become a more uninvolved form of doing nothing by simply reclining on a sofa and staring at the ceiling. Many Qadir claim this is healthy for their mind and creativity, as it allows their imagination to wander and many brilliant ideas were formed from just taking a break from the world.
Qadir cuisine is not overly complicated and mostly centered around the act of making stews. Because the Qadir take so much time out of their day to work, perform tasks, or specifically do nothing for lengths at a time; stews are the ideal food for Qadir because they often just involve throwing food items into a pot and letting it simmer for hours unattended. Lamb is a staple protein in Qadir society, though the introduction of soy-whey-based protein has also made vegetarian dishes popular in Qadir society. The Qadir are very focused on the concept of micronutrients, believing that each meal must contain a set amount of meat, grains, fruit, nuts, and legumes. Thus, a hearty Qadir stew will have lamb, Rice which is sometimes also fortified with flour, tomatoes, dates and almonds, celery, and some other leafy or squash vegetable. Qadir always eat with family or friends around a large so-called Tahine, a cone-shaped earthenware cooking pot meant for stews. Single-portion Tahines exist, but most Tahine are family-sized, and some even are jumbo-sized, requiring a large fire to keep warm as the stew simmers. Communal eating is important in Qadir society, as their busy daily lives do not allow for much socialization between family members. As such, dinner is always an important time to let work rest and simply come together to enjoy the company and the food.
The Qadir once upon a time believed in the Sariyd Gods, a barely recorded or remembered polytheistic pantheon of gods of the desert. Belief in the Sariyd Gods has long faded, however, as the destruction of the Sariyd Empire was such a traumatic event to the proto-Qadir that there came into being a societal belief that the Gods had abandoned them, or that the Gods were simply dead. There is some evidence to suggest Sariyd Gods might have at some point or another existed and interacted with the Sariyd, but their interactions waned in the last few centuries leading up to Cataclysm. Their utter abandonment during the arrival of the Songaskians and subsequent wars meant that the Gods were simply dead. As such, many Qadir are believed to be god-less, but this is not exactly true. While it remains so that many Qadir say “The Gods are Dead”, the second half is often omitted by outsiders, being: “So we built our own God.” Indeed, the Qadir believe in a religion called the Faith of Esrah Alwattah, or just Esrah Alwattah. The core tenet of this religion is technological progress, but more-so for the sake of building a more perfect god for the Qadir people.
More recently, the massive Clockwork giant built in Hadr Noor has been dubbed “Esrah Alwattah ‘Awal Mushaya,” meaning the First walking Esrah Alwattah. The Qadir do not outwardly worship this machine but do acknowledge its artificial-divinity from the tasks it has set out for itself, which is chiefly to protect the Qadir people. This Esrah Alwattah walks the deserts of Farah’deen, pushing back against the Songaskians and wiping out armies sent forth to continue the endless war against the Qadir. Indeed, the Qadir have a very expectant relationship with their gods; they do not outwardly praise them or pray to them but simply expect to be protected and helped by their gods in exchange for their belief. Religion is highly transactional in Qadir society, where the Qadir consider the very concept of even believing in the divinity of a being as all the praise and worship needed. A Qadir will never pray or go to sermons because these are considered time-wasting trivialities. It is also possible that, while there is currently only one official Esrah Alwattah, in the future there may be more and the Qadir will then officially become a polytheistic religion again. There is almost an expectation that the current Esrah Alwattah eventually breaks down, or will need to be upgraded, so much in the ways of religious practice is about researching new ways to perfect the Esrah Alwattah, or build more, with different purposes. As such, it could best be said that the Qadir have an entirely artificial religion with artificial gods and the intention to make more of them.
Attitude to the Occult
Qadir have a very ambivalent attitude towards any Occult such as for example Mages, Silven, Vampires or Cahal. Normally speaking, the Occult are not legal within the Qadir Hadrityas. The Qadir generally believe that the Occult represent an infection risk to their highly fragile and sensitive Soul-Essence powered machinery. Many Occult, even when benign, are expelled from Hadrityas and Qadir society because of the risk of collateral damage. That being said, there are no overt negative attitudes towards them, and this precaution of banishment is only taken to protect the machines, not because the Qadir hate them. Vampires and Cahal are more universally disliked and illegal in Qadir society, but Vampires barely have a presence among them, as Hadrityas already tend to be very closed off to foreigners. Hadritya living conditions are also relatively packed with very little free space away from prying eyes, and as such, Vampires find it hard to thrive, lacking dark alleys and tunnels to perform their sanguine craft in.
There are exceptions: Some Hadrityas have developed insulated underground tunnels using a mixture of Magestone and Lapis Lazuli plated walls to house the occult in underground complexes with very little sunlight. These regions are not so much prisons, as the Occult are free to roam within, as they are more like bunkers to prevent any Essence from corrupting machinery above ground. Living conditions in these underground complexes are usually fairly good, with air conditioning and lots of light. That being said, many Occult end up being experimented upon or with, as the Qadir seek to better understand the place and functions of Soul Essence. It could perhaps be said that the Qadir have in fact funded the most research into Soul Essence and Planar Essence theory in general.
Relations with other Races
The Qadir are a monolithic state, meaning all Hadrityas are part of the same asymmetrical federation and there is no such thing as a Qadir society or community outside of this interconnected web of fortified scholar-cities. Generally speaking the Hadrityas in Farah’deen are more centralized and have less autonomy than the ones further from the unofficial capital of Al-Alus. As such, Qadir relations with other Races are usually defined through the lens of what the federation sees as good diplomacy. In the modern day, the Qadir are most closely allied to the Ailor, and many Qadir and Ailor exchange places in each other’s society. It is generally believed that nearly 5% of the Regalian Empire’s population is Qadir, while nearly 10% of Qadir society has now become Ailor, making both societies interlinked. That being said, while Qadir do live very interconnected with Ailor society, the Ailor living in Qadir society often live segregated in Ailor neighborhoods or quarters away from the more closely guarded secret archives and storages. There is always still a healthy level of distrust from the Qadir for their Ailor allies and distant Asha friends, while their hatred for the Songaskians remains strong, and their apathy to the Nelfin Races continues.
- There is no such thing as research patents and secrets in Qadir society. When a Qadir has invented something, it immediately becomes public property. The inventor is usually rewarded with a few years of tax exemption.
- That being said, funding for research is extremely lax and easy to acquire in the Hadrityas. It is even possible for foreigners to pitch a concept for research to the Alats of the Hadrityas to request funding.
- The loss of a Hadritya is considered extremely traumatizing to the Qadir, though luckily it has been over a hundred years since the last Hadritya was destroyed by an Altalar Prince who was dissatisfied with the Qadir hoarding technology behind closed walls. Indeed, many Hadrityas are not well liked by nearby living locals, as the Qadir within those walls remain closed off and secretive, while only helping outsiders with the bare minimum.