Forgotten Realms: Birthright
To folk from other parts of Faerûn, the Shaar seems to be a vast expanse of nothingness that presents an unfortunate obstacle to trade among other lands. The fierce barbaric nomads and dangerous beasts that roam its grassy plains appear to spend all their time attacking caravans and fighting over precious water. Indeed, many feel that everyone would be better off if the Shaar just disappeared.
But this immense sea of gently rolling hills is far more diversified and wondrous than most people understand. The Shaar is a land of hardship and fierce people, certainly, but it also, offers a bounty of unusual cultures, varied resources, and trade opportunities found nowhere else.
The people native to the Shaar share one very prominent feature – an indomitable spirit that lets them survive against unfavorable odds. Though the various races and cultures of the grasslands differ in dress, traditions, and outlook toward one another, they have all learned to overcome the harshest weather, terrain, and enemies that Faerûn has to offer, and to persevere in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Of all the regions of the Shining South, the Shaar is perhaps the most complex in terms of its great variety of races and cultures. Some races – such as the gold dwarves, of the Great Rift, the sedentary humans in the trading centers, or the reclusive wild elves and halflings of the various forests – are firmly entrenched in their ancestral homes. Many others – including humans, wemics, centaurs, and others – roam the grasslands as nomadic tribes, coexisting in a never-ending cycle of hunting and gathering. Still other races visit the Shaar only occasionally, yet their presence impacts every native creature’s way of life in profound ways. Few outsiders fully understand the delicate balance that maintains the Shaar, but the grassy sea has been the same for many centuries, and all who are part of it accept it as an intrinsic element of their very existences.
The inhabitants of the Shaar share several characteristics. Most notably, they have adapted to the harsh terrain and climate, established many centuries’ worth of traditions, and developed a mutual – if sometimes grudging – respect for one another based on their shared experiences. In other ways, however, they are quite dissimilar. Tradition might be an important aspect of life for all who live in the endless grasslands, but specific traditions differ greatly from group to group, tribe to tribe, and race to race.
Weapons: Javelin, Spear, Sling
Armour: Studded Leather, Medium Shield
Weapon & Shield Fighting Style; Mounted Fighting Style; Natural Weapons Fighting Style
Akadi, Mask, Shar, Tempus, Halfling Pantheon