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Ghatazi Runaway: A Background

Ghatazi Runaway: A Background

file000814617135Ghatazi: a word synonymous with misery in every spoken language of the Southlands.

The Ghatazi salt pits lie sizzling in the bleached wastelands of the Crescent Desert’s northern rim. Enclosed on all sides by thousands of miles of blistering rock and searing white sand, it is a hostile, unforgiving place plagued by swarms of biting flies, bone-scouring salt storms, and a diabolic malevolence that seems to permeate the region. At the desolate terminus of the Tamasheq trail, this infamous hellpit boasts salt, supplies, and slaves. There is never a shortage of schemes or tears to be found.

Ghatazi Runaways

It is not quite as uncommon as they would have you outsiders believe. Under the right circumstances, escape from the salt pits is not entirely impossible for those rare and resourceful few. And despite the risks, daring and/or stupid individuals can always be “persuaded” to assist in escapes, smuggle contraband, or overlook a sandship stowaway.

As everyone knows, a small amount of Ghatazi salt buys much. Few can resist its allure.

Skill Proficiencies: Choose 2 from Persuasion, Deception, Survival, and Athletics

Tool Proficiencies: Lockpicks, mason’s or miner’s tools, one gaming set of your choice

Languages: Southlands Trade Tongue and either Tamasheq or Gnoll

Equipment: Tattered clothing, sandals and kufeya (turban-like, head/face-wrap), a “shank” (handmade dagger), and a small ingot (350 gp) of pink Ghatazi salt

Feature: Salt of the Earth

You have endured untold hardship and witnessed horrors of mind, body, and soul that have laid lesser beings to waste. Though your body may show signs of deprivation and abuse, you are a being of superlative fortitude, willpower, and resourcefulness.

You gain advantage against being frightened by non-magical means and when resisting the effects of mental or physical torture. Also, you accumulate exhaustion levels at 1/2 the rate specified by a given (non-magical) effect and are naturally adapted to hot climates.

Suggested Characteristics

From trustees and top-men to handlers and drovers, from salt slaves in the fields to pit slaves in the mines, there are many levels of service at Ghatazi. Your status and experiences, your physical and mental scars, are yours alone, for Ghatazi is your dark secret. Some would call you hyper-vigilant, reclusive, and over-cautious, but they do not—cannot—know what you know, and even if you would tell them, there could be no true words for it.

d8   Personality Traits

  1. I keep a close eye on anyone and everyone who tries to get “close” to me.
  2. I am oblivious to my personal appearance and can be lax about hygiene.
  3. I hoard food. My pockets always seem to be filled with table-scraps, cast-off rations, or the local goodwife’s prized peaches.
  4. I am never without a “shank” or some other homemade defense tool, secreted somewhere on my person.
  5. I am considered overly vigilant, constantly on the move, always peering over my shoulder, covering my tracks.
  6. I rarely speak, but I am always attentive, always glancing, always listening… listening, yes always.
  7. I will not suffer tyrants, bullies, or anyone who would dominate another.
  8. I am a survivor of the physical, mental, and spiritual wasteland that some call the Ghatazi salt pits. There is little left in this world that can shock, awe, or intimidate me.

d6 Ideal

  1. I have suffered and toiled for others, now others shall suffer and toil for me. (Evil)
  2. I balk at authority figures; unfettered individuality is my only path now. (Chaotic)
  3. By surviving, I have a responsibility to reinforce others: optimism, fortitude, self-assurance all the time, every day. Go team! (Good)
  4. Head down, jaw set, one foot in front of the other. There is little that common sense and determination cannot overcome. (Lawful)
  5. I help those who help me. Teamwork is the key. (Any)
  6. Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable. (Chaotic)

 d6 Bond

  1. I owe my life and freedom to another slave who taught me how to survive Ghatazi and helped me to escape.
  2. No one must ever know the horrors I have witnessed, endured.
  3. I fight for those who cannot defend themselves.
  4. I shall return someday, leading an army if necessary, for I have vowed to see that place eradicated from the land.
  5. I must return soon. There are friends and family I must either free or confirm dead
  6. If my identity or past comes to light, it will bring ruin to all around me.

d6 Flaw

  1.  I trust no one; everyone is either a threat or prey.
  2. I still suffer from feverish, Ghatazi nightmares and frequently wake myself (and others) with random screams throughout the night.
  3. I am a kleptomaniac.
  4. If the odds are bad, I will run.
  5. Rather than accept an open challenge (or fair fight), I am more inclined to bow out, to wait and perhaps club the person to death in their sleep later that night.
  6. I despise all forms of weakness: physical, emotional, or mental.

For more on the Crescent Desert and the Ghatazi salt pits, check out Southlands Campaign Setting and Southlands Heroes.


12 thoughts on “Ghatazi Runaway: A Background”

  1. To James’ point: any chance the remainder of the Southlands source materials will make their way to 5e? It’s only Heroes available now, correct — not the Southlands sourcebook or the bestiary?

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