In the aftermath of Narfell's fall, scattered groups of Mars, Rashemi, and Sossirms struggled to survive as a wave of Chondathan emigrants settled in the lands of the Easting Reach. In time, these four populations gradually coalesced into a relatively new ethnic group known as Damarrans, so named for the first human realm to be founded by this integrated population. After centuries spent battling the horrors unleashed by the ancient magics of Narfell and Raumathar, Damarrans are proud and stubborn folk who refuse to buckle in the face of unspeakable evils and whose worldview leans toward moral absolutes.
Although Damaran folklore derives from the ancient traditions of Nar, Rashemi, and Sossrim tribal groups, Damaran culture evolved under the civilizing influences of Chondathan immigrants and dwarven traders, and primarily reflects the mores of both these influences. After centuries of ever-expanding settlement, Damarans now make up the primary racial stock of Damara, Impiltur, Thesk, and the Vast. Damaran settlers have tamed one land after another and form a significant fraction of the human population in Aglarond, Altumbel, the Great Dale, the Moonsea region, and Narfell. Most Damarans make their living as farmers, loggers, or miners in a harsh and unforgiving land. They make indomitable foes when angered.
Damarans are of moderate height and build, with skin hues ranging from tawny to fair. Hair is usually straight brown or black, although sandy blond is not unknown. Eye color varies widely, with brown being most common. Damarans who dwell south of the Earthfast mountains more closely resemble their Chondathan cousins, while those who inhabit Vaasa have a significant Sossrim heritage. Along the eastern shores of the Easting Reach, Rashemi heritage predominates, except in Aglarond proper, where builds are slighter thanks to a significant amount of wood-elven heritage.
Damarans see life as a series of unending challenges to be overcome, many of them legacies of the hubris of long-fallen empires. For a typical Damaran, there can be no compromise with the forces of evil, even to serve a greater good. Trust must be earned, and only those deserving of trust are to be respected. Even those who inherit titles of nobility must prove themselves worthy of their inheritance. History is not something to be cherished or exalted, but rather it is an object lesson as to the folly of unchecked power.
Damarans respect those who demonstrate heroism and self-sacrifice and stand unflinching in the face of evil. Damaran society is intolerant of weakness or selfishness, viewing deeds in stark black or white. The moralistic nature of their society strongly shapes Damaran youth. Most youngsters follow in the path of their parents, subscribing to their strong moral fervor. Others rebel against the strictures of Damaran society and flee its constraints. The latter path accounts for the neverending tide of settlers emigrating to the borders of human settlement, the large numbers of Damarans who have made their way west into Chondathan-held territories, and the small number of Damarans who turn to the worship of demons.
Damarans have a long adventuring tradition, reflecting the generations-long battle to reclaim the lands of the Easting Reach from the demonic legacy of Narfell. Many youths, particularly those of noble blood, take up adventuring for a few years in order to prove themselves worthy of their titles. Those not in line to inherit great estates also do so in hopes of winning new lands an wealth for themselves, or in response to the crusading zeal of Damaran society. The good-aligned churches of the Easting Reach have a long tradition of funding expeditions into the mountains or the depth of the great forests to smite some ancient evil or another.
Damarans typically make strong paladins and monks, for the discipline and self-sacrifice required for both professions resonate strongly with Damaran morals. Many Damarans find their calling as clerics or, to a lesser extent, druids or rangers, for the appeal of serving a divine-entity is strong. Fighters and rogues are less common in Damaran culture than elsewhere, for there is neither a strong mercenary tradition nor a strong mercantile presence along the Easting Reach. Notable exceptions do exist, including the city of Teflamm, where a strong thieves guild holds sway, and the Galena Mountains, where a secretive brotherhood of assassins is said to have a hidden stronghold. Arcane spellcaster of all sorts are rare in Damaran society, reflecting a long-held suspicions of magic powers that are not bestowed by a deity. While wizards are generally accepted, sorcerers are looked one with suspicion, for the sorcerous arts are thought to be a legacy of demonic heritage.
Damaran society is lawful, except in Aglarond, where a strong elven influence plays a role, and the Vast, which is much more in line with Chondathan mores. Religion plays a central role in Damaran live, yet there is by no means a university of belief. Although religious fervor is admired, individuals are judged by how they conduct themselves and the strength of their personal moral code. Class divisions as less noticeable than elsewhere in Faerun, but those who have been judged morally unfit are strongly shunned by their peers.
Damaran city-dwellers are usually educated in church-run schools, while itinerant priests minister to those who dwell in wilderness regions. Many Damarans learn their trade during an apprenticeship at a church-run school before setting out into life, while others join a religious order, directly pledging themselves to the service of the church. As they grow old, Damarans often return to the church of their youth, tithing much of their wealth to its coffers and living out their last years in service to their patron deity.
Damarans retain strong cultural ties to their Chondathan forebears and easily integrate themselves into Chondathan lands. These has been little Damaran migration elsewhere in Faerun, but those Damarans who do stray from from their homelands associate themselves with a local church of their faith.
Damarans honor the deities of the Faerunian pantheon. They favor lawful and good deities, except for cultists who turn to the worship of chaotic evil demon princes. Along the Dragon Reach, commonly venerated deities include Chauntea, Eldath, Mystra, Tempus, Torm, Tymora, Umberless, and Waukeen. To the east in Impiltur, favored deities include Ilmater, Selune, Tymora, Valkur, and Waukeen. In addition to the church of Chauntea, Thesk's reliance on trade along the Golden Way has brought the churches of Shaundakul and Waukeen to prominence. Likewise, the church of Mask has grown strong in Teflamm preying on that same caravan traffic.
In Aglarond, Chauntea is venerated by farmers, while fisher-folk venerate Valkur and Selune. Although Umberlee is acknowledged, she is widely held in disdain. Aglarondans also pay homage to the Seldarine, particularly in their guise as the gods of the Yuirwood elves. The Great Dale has long been home to followers of Silvanus the Oakfather, locked in bitter conflict with the disciples of Talona. The church of Ilmater dominates Damara, while Vaasa has long been home to the cult of Orcus. Tempus is venerated by barbarians dwelling along the edge of the Great Glacier and among the tribes of Narfell.
Of all the deities, Ilmater represents the enduring spirit of all Damarans and occupies a central place in Damaran culture. Ilmater's church is effectively the state church of both Impiltur and Damara, with paladins of Ilmater proving to be regular occupants of both thrones. Most Damarans along the Easting Reach pay at least token obeisance to the Crying God or one of his many saints on a daily basis. Most churches of Ilmater are dedicated to at least one of his saints, with the followers of Saint Sollars the Twice-Martyred being the most prominent in Damara.
Relations with Other RacesEdit
Damarans have long and abiding ties with shield dwarves and are favorably inclined toward the Stout Folk (with the notable exception of duergar). Halflings are are in Damaran lands outside Impiltur, but are viewed quite favorably by most Damaran communities. Gnomes are regarded similarly to dwarves, although they are almost unknown outside Aglarond and the Grey Forest, and are regarded with some amount of suspicion. Dark elves are not unknown in the Galena Mountains and have earned the enmity of those native to the region. Half-orcs are regarded with a great deal of suspicion, alouthg their numbers make them a tolerated minority in Vaasa.
Damarans have long struggled with the evils unleashed by Narfell's sorcerers, leaving them quite hostile to the progeny of demons such as tieflings. Fire genasi have long been associated with the Red Wizards of Thay and are thus equally disliked. Other plantouched are are in Damaran lands, and hence viewed as object of wonder.
Among human cultures, Damarans get along best with Chondathans and Turami thanks to extensive trading contracts. Nars and northern Rashemi are tolerated, if looked down upon to some extent, with Mulan and Thayan Rashemi are viewed with a great deal of suspicion. Lingering memories of the Horde prevent the establishment of good relations with the Tuigans. Finally, due to the notorious Bloodstone Wars of a few decades back, most Vaasans are regarded as demon-worshiping reavers, even those who happen to be of Damaran racial stock rather than Vaasans.