Tartarus: Wrath of the Titans
From across the dry desert floor the sound of distant thunder rolls. A faint dust cloud appears on the horizon, steadily wafting closer. Soon the thunder becomes the roar of ten thousand hooves, fueled by the holler of countless voices. An army descends, weapons gleaming and arrows flying. The Persians have arrived.
SONS OF THE DESERT
The Persians are an amalgam of a dozen tribes, kingdoms and cultures. Over the centuries a certain uniformity has emerged, forging a massive and ever-expanding empire. The people themselves reflect the uniformity, with medium-brown skin and black hair being standard features. Their builds vary greatly, from short and portly to tall and muscular. Much like their heritage, Persian clothing is often an assemblage of bold fabrics, jewelry and accessories accumulated over the years. While at fist glance Persians have many similarities, each is as unique as any culture.
THE GREAT DIVIDE
The expansionist Persians have run afoul of other cultures over the centuries, but their greatest enemies remain themselves. The polytheistic Assyrians and monotheistic Semites have been at odds since their inception. As such, foreigners have vastly different relations among the subcultures. Many consider the Assyrians to be violent imperialists, when in fact their rapid expansion has principally been the result of shrewd negotiations and diplomacy. Assyrians possess a sharp tongue and quick wit, supported by unquestioned military might. Conversely the pacifistic Semites are content with their lands along the Mediterranean shore. Those who trade with them or pass through their lands find them hospitable and devout hosts.
LEAP OF FAITH
Assyrians who travel to foreign lands are often met with fear, anger or skepticism. Yet many do so precisely to change this image. They may be mercenaries, traders of even emissaries seeking peaceful relations with their neighbors. Semites often travel as part of a religious pilgrimage, though fishermen and craftsmen also venture forth to promote their goods. Warrior Semites are relatively rare, but not unheard of.
OPEN HANDS, TIGHT FISTS
Persians may viewed in polar extremes by other cultures, but their outlook on their neighbors is often in agreement.
- Africans. “They seem to be simple folk, from what few I have seen. They wage no wars nor do they cause strife. They are loyal, and show no reason they should be mistrusted.”
- Carpathians. “The mountain riders are strong as individuals, but scattered as a nation. They are mighty, and crafty. Find one with a solid goal in his life, and you find the deadliest of warrior.”
- Egyptians. “Egyptians make slaves of men and queens of their women. Blasphemy. Foolishness. They will burn in their own heretical fires.”
- Greeks. “Greeks seem to have little sense of self, but their minds are strong. They are warrior poets, the likes of which are rarely seen.”
- Phoenicians. “They are as likely to swindle you as they are to give their life for you. Trustworthy? No. But they make very entertaining companions.”
Persians are generally identified by a single name and the city of their birth. Abraham of Nazareth and Arash Al-Parseh are examples.
- Male Names: Abraham, Arash, Arman, Babak, Bahram, Cyrus, Darius, Farzin, Gazsi, Ishmael, Jahan, Jasper, Joseph, Kaveh, Kohinoor, Navid, Omar, Paym, Rahim, Shahih, Xerxes
- Female Names: Anahita, Azar, Banu, Elaheh, Ester, Firuzeh, Hettie, Jasmine, Laleh, Mahin, Mari, Nousha, Parisa, Roksana, Sanaz, Shideh, Vashti, Zhaleh
- City Names: Al-Hirah, Ardit, Arman, Babylon, Crephan, Damascus, Dara, Derbiel, Garmakan, Goyman, Hatta, Hulwan, Jerusalem, Kapakli, Nazareth, Parseh, Petra, Spahan, Tipitila, Ur
Persians have an eclectiv set of skills, owing to their rich heritage.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity Score increases by 2.
Alignment. Persians run the gamut of alignment, though they lean slightly toward Chaotic. Their individual ideals and while often supersede local laws.
Size. Persians vary widely in height and build, from barely 5 feet to well over 6 feet tall.
Languages. You can speak , read and write Greek and Persian. Persian dialects have hard sounds and rolling consonants, which often carry over when they speak other languages.
Weapon Proficiencies. You are proficient with javelins, short swords and spears.
Subculture. The two most prominent Persian subcultures are the Assyrians and Semites. Choose one of these subcultures.
As an Assyrian, you are accustomed to a life of conflict and military expansion. Though you may not be a soldier yourself, you have learned to defend yourself and be ready for anything.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Assyrian Proficiencies. You are proficient with scimitars and longbows, as well as light armor.
As a Semite, you are accustomed to a life of religious devotion and relative pacifism. Your people are nomadic, moving from place to place in search of sanctuary.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Zealot. You gain proficiency in Religion, and receive an advantage on Religion skill checks regarding the Persian pantheon.