Zakharans tended to be shorter than those of other human groups on average. Adult males ranged between 4 ft 11 in (1.5 m) and 6 ft 5 in (2 m) tall. Females were between 4 ft 6 in (1.4 m) and 6 ft (1.8 m). Men weighed between 119 and 275 pounds (54–125 kg), while women weighed in the range of 84 to 240 pounds (38–110 kg).
A variety of robelike garments (abas, caftans, dolmans, or jellabas) were the usual clothing of Zakharans, while tunics (dishdashah) or the combination of shirt and trousers were worn by the lower classes. Most Zakharans wore some kind of headdress, a keffiyeh, a fez, or a turban for men and a shawl for women. In general, the richness of clothing reflected the status of the individual. More traditionally-minded Zakharans wore veils, though for men they were only common in the Cities of the Pantheon. There, women were often seen wearing a chador, a garment covering them from head to foot.
Heavy armor was eschewed by Zakharans, as it was almost unmanageable in the blistering heat of the Land of Fate.
The vast majority of human Zakharans shared a common "enlightened" culture with their demihuman and humanoid countrymen, based on the teachings of a semi-mythical figure called the Loregiver. Honor and family ties were held in highest esteem, sometimes resulting in blood feuds after real or perceived transgressions. Enlightened Zakharans took hospitality as well as personal purity and piety very seriously. The belief in the influence of Fate in each individual's life pervaded Zakharan society.
Zakharan society was divided between nomadic Al-Badia, who roamed the wide harsh lands of the continent with their herds in close-knit tribal groups, and the settled Al-Hadhar, who prided themselves on their cultural sophistication no matter if they lived in small villages or vast cities. Both groups were deeply skeptical of the other's lifestyle, but were united by common language, faith, and a belief in the teachings of the Loregiver.
Most Zakharans believed in one of eight Great Gods—Hajama, Hakiyah, Haku, Jisan, Kor, Najm, Selan, and Zann—or one of the many local enlightened deities worshiped only in a small region of the continent. Only a few on the fringes of society or die-hards pledged themselves to savage gods from Zakhara's unenlightened past. Every Zakharan, however, believed in the importance of Fate which was seen as a personified force rather than a deity.
The continent of Zakhara saw several empires rise and fall. The most important events for the cultural direction of its people started in the middle of the 9th century DR,[note 1] when an Al-Badia boy found scrolls containing the Law of the Loregiver. From the place that would become the city of Huzuz, he preached this law to his countrymen and gathered followers, and in time these enlightened teachings spread throughout all of Zakhara, leading to a largely unified culture. The boy became the first of the Grand Caliphs, and eventually their political influence encompassed (loosely) the whole continent.
Related Ethnic Groups
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 110. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 978-0786912377.
- Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 32. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
- Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), pp. 92–93. ISBN 978-1560763581.
- Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), pp. 18–19. ISBN 978-1560763291.
- Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), pp. 78–79. ISBN 978-1560763581.
- Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), pp. 11–18. ISBN 978-1560763581.
- Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), pp. 45–57, 108. ISBN 978-1560763291.
- Steve Kurtz (1994). Al-Qadim: Ruined Kingdoms: Campaign Guide. (TSR, Inc), pp. 5–6, 12–13. ISBN 1-56076-815-0.
- Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), pp. 104–105. ISBN 978-1560763291.
- Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara). (TSR, Inc), p. 122. ISBN 978-1560763291.
Maztica: Azuposi • Dog People • Green Folk • Metahel • Nahopaca • Nexalan • Payit (Itza)
Taan: Commani, Dalat, Fankiang, Gur, Guychiang, Igidujin, Kashghun, Khassidi, Naican, Oigur, Pazruki, Quirish, T'aghur, Tsu-tsu, Tuigan, Zamogedi
Kara-Tur & Malatra: Bavanese & Bertanese • Bawani • Han • Issacortae • Koryoan • Kozakuran • Kuong • Nubari • Pazruki • Purang • Seng • Shou • Tabotan • Tayanulchi • Wanese • Wu-haltai