Like many that hail from the desert city-states, you learned to read the language of the Lotus and Tamasheq Trails before you could even read the simplest Nurian scroll. Before you knew how to lace your own sandals, you knew the flicker of a camel’s ear that told of approaching riders and which of the desert falcon’s cries warned of impending sandstorms and which meant water or game was nearby. To this day, you can spot gnoll sign, sense a sinkhole, or smell a Kushite ambush even before the pack animals do.
You were born to the desert and to caravan life, whether as a camel-borne outrider or astride the deck of a hissing, sandship in convoy. The quasi-nomadic existence of constant vigilance, travel, and change is all you have known. Although your ties and allegiances (if any) might belong to your current employer or to the Makurian city-state, your soul will always belong to the restless desert and the endless road.
Skill Proficiencies: Perception and choose one of the following: Survival (desert), Nature (desert), Animal Handling (draft) or Acrobatics.
Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set and one vehicle (horse/camel or Makurian sand-ship).
Equipment: The black and gold desert robes of a Makurian Caravan Guard, a gaming set of your choice, traveler’s clothes and a camel-hair belt pouch containing 5 gp.
Feature: Born in the Sutra
You were raised and trained since youth to be the watchful protector of the desert caravan and a master of both the saddle and the sutra (camel saddle). You are “naturally adapted” to hot climates, and you receive a +3 proficiency bonus to all Perception and Survival related skill checks while in a desert or arid environment.
While using the Makurian longbow, you ignore attack roll penalties involving mounted combat. Additionally, when using the mount or dismount action, you ignore any speed related penalties and expenditures (beginning your turn with a speed of 0 negates this action option). You never (unwillingly) fall prone when forced from your mount.
A sharp-eyed restlessness seems to radiate from all desert caravaners, but the Makurian guards seem sharper still. Acute observers trained from youth in the ways and secrets of the desert and the protection of her caravan routes. They are a quiet, clannish lot known as much for their love of wagering (on almost anything) as they are for detecting desert hazards or wielding their dreaded Makurian longbows.
d8 Personality Trait
- I have little tolerance for any who do not contribute their full measure to the group or cause.
- The desert teaches frugality. I never replace what can be repaired, never buy what can be manufactured.
- Like many of my Makurian sisters and brothers, I am a private person of few words, particularly when among foreigners.
- I become uncomfortable when indoors or when in a crowded or clamorous situation for too long.
- Cities (and civilization in general), make me nervous. Wanderlust compels me to stay in a single place only as long as necessary.
- I am confident in my abilities and appear icily calm as if nothing fazes or excites me.
- I have known many people in my travels, from mercenaries to merchant princes, and I still prefer the company of the animals.
- I am known to be reliable by all who have met me. One learns early on that teamwork equals survival in the deep desert.
- I take the legacy of my heritage seriously. I will lay down my life in defense of those under my protection. (Good)
- I always keep my word, keep my wits, and keep to the caravan master’s contract. (Lawful)
- Like the red hawk riding the restless wind, I will not be restrained. I value personal freedom above all else. (Chaotic)
- I create bonds and commitments with those I can rely on, not with their ideals, beliefs, or philosophies. (Neutral)
- I am always awaiting my chance, when the opportunity arises I do what I need to get what I want before disappearing among moon-lit dunes. (Evil)
- I get the job, I do the job, I stay alive, I get paid, and I go home. (Any)
- I am deeply in debt to one of the powerful businessmen who organize a traveling caravan of casinos. I am hastening to pay off the marker.
- I value, trust, and care for my mount, far more than any sentient I’ve yet encountered.
- I will do whatever is required to ensure not only the safety but the success of my (current) caravan.
- I am Makurian. I do not take lightly to slander or aggression against the city-state of my birth.
- Those who fight beside me (and live) earn my respect almost immediately.
- I was once rescued from an unspeakable fate while deep in the Crescent Desert. I have since vowed to leave no one behind (or get lost) again.
- I am an avid gambler, willing to wager on almost everything from mundane occurrences to bizarre contests of skill or luck.
- I find that violence often works nicely if my plans begin to go awry.
- I am horribly claustrophobic.
- I tend to scorn, mistrust, and disregard those who are not desert folk.
- While in town, I tend to use intoxicants and other “luxuries” overly much.
- I resent the luxurious furs, shiny baubles, and fine perfumes worn by the water-rich city folk of the northern river valleys. I am not above acquiring “samples and souvenirs” on occasion.