Capital: Dancing Rock
National Alignment: Neutral Good
Size: 1.2 million square miles
Government: Decentralized, Local Chiefs
Ruler: Elder of the Council of Chiefs
Law: Tribal Law, Balanced
Franar designates a high desert region in the northwestern corner of Northern Galanath, as well as the people associated with that desert. The Franar people are microfarmers that live in adobe abodes or stone-cut cliffsides. Relitively isolated from the rest of civilization, they have little trade with the outside world, preferring instead to learn more about the spiritual world. They are some of the best pigment makers in the world, and very gifted gold and silver smiths. Their pantheon takes into account all of the older gods. The nearby Moorn Mountains are highly volcanic, rich in sulfurs and obsidian, as well as silver, gold, and iron in the older parts of the mountains.
The Franar people have lived in their high deserts for many thousands of years. Their elders tell of an ancient story, how the Franar were among the first men the gods brought to Gaeleth, before the weather and the water were harnessed by the mages. The elder stories remembered the Father, who strode like a giant across the sky and fed the powers of the Great Ones.
In the intervening millennia, the Franar culture changed, and the elder stories capture in poignant detail a people that went from being powerful scholars to war-loving savages, and then retreated and returned to their ancestral lands. Some of the oldest histories do record incursions from beyond the Moorn Mountains and the establishment of powerful empires in the time before the Shaping Wars. For the last seven millennia, the Franar have carefully kept to themselves, using strong connections with the land the eldest gods to keep their land free of outsider interference.
The Franar wear desert-colored robes to insulate them from the brutal temperatures of the high desert. All Franar wear veils or masks against the elements, hiding their true faces against strangers and revealing themselves only to people they know or respect. The masks of the Franar can sometimes take on fantastic appearances, many of them with patterns reflected by whole clans or villages. Even the veils tend to be sewn in so heavily with patterned beads as to make visages somewhat frightening.
They are a gruff and seemingly unfriendly culture when dealing with outsiders. Their language is unique, and few speak the Common tongue. Those outsiders willing to learn the Franar tongue are considered marginally human and worthy of discussion before disgust and disappointment.
The insides of Franar homes tend to be well-lit gardens, with microfarming taking up such a place in their lives that the number and variety of plants one owns can determine one's wealth in the community. Young men that can grow difficult plants can earn the love of young women, and couples often intertwine two plants to signal their committment to harmony with one another.
Metals are rare among the Franar, for their smiths must use volcanic sources of heat to work iron, gold, and silver. Because of this, their metals are highly prized, often stronger or more enduring than others – or more unique in art, design, and execution.
The Mother of Memory and her lover, the Lightning Lord, form the heart of the Franar pantheon. Other gods include the Hearth Lord, the Hunt's Lord, the Song Lady, the Green Lord, the Gathering Lord, the Sea Lady, the Shadow Lady, and the elemental lovers. All aspects of the gods are worshipped in a loving light, showing the gods as 'tough love parents' who look out for their worshippers, but do not give blessings lightly.
Priests among the Franar tend to be heavily scarred individuals. Nearly every prayer from their lore requires hard work or sacrifice, feats of mental or physical endurance, and sometimes the loss of the most prescious of waters – blood.