The Rabiah Nomads
At a time nobody knows and from a place nobody knows either, a wandering tribe of short, humanoid nomads appeared in northern Cisterra. Seeming to have come out of the woods, this group of Halflings have traveled back and forth across the continent for hundreds of years. Capable of surviving the dreaded heat of The Wahiba Desert, the dangerous flora and fauna of The Nomamo Jungle, and the shrouded mysteries of The Mistwood, these nomads have made a mobile life by setting up tents and camps, staying in one place for perhaps a week, then packing up and leaving again. Due to their transient nature, the Halflings have no land associated with them, and are usually difficult to track.
To understand Rabiah government, one must understand Rabiah spirituality, and to understand Rabiah spirituality, one must understand Halfling psychology. The Rabiah Halflings seem to be either incapable or non-desirous of long-term memory. These small folk seem to give no heed to history, disregarding the past and living in the present looking to the future. Rabiah Oracles lead their people through time in the same way they lead through Cisterra; the Rabiah will stay someplace only until it no longer benefits them, then they leave, following their Oracles to new sources of food and wealth. As such, the governmental structure in Rabiah culture is simple: Oracles are respected and followed above all, and that’s that.
The cultural practices of the Rabiah are a strange amalgam of the cultures they visit, mixed with excessive drinking, and stewed in a lifetime of vigorous travel and diplomacy. These Halflings are more savage than other Cisterrans, only less bestial than the Orcs of The Sarai Wastes. Though savage, the Rabiah are avid traders, and act as caravan merchants throughout Cisterra, transporting goods between Chusei, Lindel, Arcaro, Kaldheim, and all other reaches of the continent. Interested in almost anything, and able to sell almost anything to almost anybody, they are naturally shrewd businessmen and their savage nature only aids them in this regard.
Religiously, the Rabiah have a very strange world-view. They care not about where they have been, what they have done, or what has happened before they arrived. They look only forward, seeking wealth for themselves and their progeny, safety for those they care for, and fun for everyone they meet. As such, Rabiah Halflings are fantastic party-folk, and are always willing to listen to any interesting story told to them (though they will not remember a lick of it the next day). The Rabiah Oracles harness a strange power-though cursed physically, they each have been blessed with some sort of divine guidance, which the rest of the Rabiah look to as direction in life. The whimsy of the Oracles is legendary, yet it always seems to keep the Rabiah out of imminent danger. Many a time has an entire Rabiah camp been packed up overnight, only to leave just before an Orcish raid strikes their host town after their departure.
Though small, fun-loving and forgetful, the Rabiah are in no way weak. They pick up practices from cultures they visit, and their most notorious theft has been the practice of Barbarism from the Orcs. Crazed Halflings of the Rabiah Berserkers have proven just as powerful as their Orcish models. Other Halflings practice the Druidic arts, finding unnatural ways to help their tribe blend in to their environment. Rabiah Oracles are particularly dangerous-the curse they accept hides the immense power they are gifted with in return. The most dangerous Halflings, though, are those who mix Barbaric practices with the Oracle curse. These hideously savage warmongers are known only as Rage Prophets, and are usually so violent they are left behind by the Rabiah; these prophets wander seemingly aimlessly throughout the world, pursuing destruction until they themselves meet their goal.