Chondathans were one of the more common human ethnicities, found in great number throughout the Western and Eastern Heartlands. They were a hardy, risk-taking folk who were apt to travel or take on new endeavors to better their lives and those of their loved ones.Their prominence throughout the Realms was due in large part to the extensive trade routes they established, rather than military conquest.
The Chondathans of Faerûn were known for their affinity for the mercantile life. They were skilled and cunning traders, who judged the people they met in their many travels based the wealth and influence they had acquired. Despite their proclivity for commerce, they were a people of their word, if only for their reputation's sake rather than any moral reasoning.
They were a slender, tawny or fair-skinned people with brown hair that ranged from a light, almost-blond hue to a darker color that could be mistaken for black. Chondathans were often somewhat taller than other humans, though not in all instances, and often had green or brown eyes. Those living north and west of the Inner Sea tended to resemble the lighter-skinned Illuskans while those who inhabited the lands south of the body of water had the darker skin that was common of the Netherese-descended ethnic groups.
Because of their widespread distribution across the Realms, Chondathan society varied greatly from between nations, and even between cities. As a people however, they had a shared emphasis on trade, exploration and freedom as opposed to the draconian structure that often accompanied a life of religious or arcane devotion. Considering the diverse lands in which they had settled, the Chondathan people were not over proud of their ethnic heritage and often identified themselves by the nation or kingdom in which they lived. Their most commonly shared cultural value was their focus on garnering wealth, power and prestige for their own.
The Chondathan people were fiercely competitive, and extremely self-reliant. They looked upon acts of altruism and selflessness with bemusement and surprise. Those Chondathans who took on the life of adventure were attracted by the potential riches and fame they could claim for their own.
Felines were widely viewed as good luck among the Chondathan people, preferred personal pets and wilderness companions, particularly lynxes and tressyms. Horses were important to daily life and dogs were kept for their ability to aid with personal security, herding and hunting.
The widest-recognized trade language of Faerûn, common, was a sign of the widespread Chondathan culture. In addition they spoke the closely-related Chondathan dialect, which shared usage of the Thorass alphabet with the common language.
Literacy and knowledge were highly valued in Chondathan societies, and children were educated whenever possible. Most children began serving as apprentices by the age of 12, expected to learn a trade and hold their own within the family and society as a whole. Literacy was much more prevalent among Chondathan-dominant lands.
Unlike the human ethnic groups that were derived from the ancient Netherese, Chondathans had no strong bloodlines that had sorcerous ancestry, nor did they have significant traditions related to the arcane arts. They tended to favor magical items which granted them a certain level of comfort and security, allowing them to protect their accumulated wealth and personal beings, especially from elves. There were few magical items unique to the Chondathan culture, save for the catseye brooch, a charm that was symbolic of their affection for cats.
Chondathans revered all the deities of the Faerûnian pantheon, and none of the deities were particularly favored over others. Due to the high value placed on education in Chondathan society, many literate people especially venerated the god Deneir, whose faith was spread across Faerûn along with the Thorass languages, via traveling Chondathan traders.
Thanks to their mutual proclivity for trade, the Chondathan nations maintained good relations with the dwarves, gnomes, and halflings of the Realms. They were well regarded and got along with other humans, especially societies of the Calishite, Damaran, Shaaran, Tethyrian, and Turami people. Chondathan culture had a major influence on Damaran, Vaasan, and Tethyrian heritage.
With the exception of the peoples from the Dales and Cormyr, few Chondathans had good relationships with the elves or half-elves of Faerûn, and were cold and distant towards the Mulan of the east and Illuskans of the North. They were highly suspicious of planetouched and outright prejudiced against half-orcs.
The Chondathan people were descendants of ancient Jhaamdath, an ancient kingdom of latter-day Vilhon Reach that dated back over 5,000 years before the erecting of the Standing Stone in the Dalelands. In −255 DR, the Twelve Cities of Swords were demolished by a colossal tidal wave that was conjured by the elves of Nikerymath in response to the aggressive conquests of the Jhaamdathan people. The survivors of this catastrophic event settled the lands of north and northeast of the Moonsea.
Around the year 1 DR, a great number of Jhaamdath-descended Chondathans migrated west from Impiltur. A portion of them settled in the valleys near the great forest of Cormanthor, which came to be known as the Dalelands, while a second group established roots in the region north of the Dragonmere and went on to found the Forest Country in 26 DR under the leadership of House Obarskyr. A third group left their ancient lands some time around 380 DR and settled the south-eastern shores of the Sea of Fallen Stars and established a collection of colonies known as Chancelgaunt. In the next few centuries, settlers from these heartlands continued further west and began to colonize the Savage Frontier in northwest Faerûn.
Chondathans made up the bulk of the population of Altumbel, Chondath, Cormyr, the Southern Dalelands, the Dragon Coast, the Great Dale, Hlondeth, the northern shore of the Vilhon Reach, the Pirate Isles of the Sea of Fallen Stars, Sembia, and Sespech.
- Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 85. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 86. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 87. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
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