Berari Ethnicity in 13 | World Anvil


The Berari are halfling wanderers and nomads who roam the rivers and seas. They are easily recognizable wherever they go, even out of the water, thanks to their inseparable companions, tide hardback, otters, and dire otters.
by David Revoy

Social organization

  Berari culture is organized into clans and families. Family groups of the same clan often travel together, forming superfamilies. Clan membership determines which territories can be traversed and when. This way, Beraris can travel through the seas and rivers all across Friac'seoue and beyond without having to battle for the right to stay in an area when they encounter another group. That is exactly what used to happen before territories were established and it is still the main way of earning new territories.  

Family Relationships

While Talaraks have a polyandrous society, Beraris are a lot more flexible, with both kinds of polygamy allowed. Polyamoury is not common, but when present, is usually within a relationship group. Polyamoury that spans different relationship groups is discouraged, as family groups are expected to be independent, capable of setting off on their own when the resources of an area are not enough to keep the whole clan sustained. Similarly discouraged are relationship groups that acquire too many members. Most relationships usually do not incorporate more than 5 people.

Interspecies relationships

Long-lasting relationships are often formed during hardships or moments of great luck at sea, regardless of the species that partakes on them. As such, Beraris have a relatively open society in regards to accepting other species. The Berari are still mostly a halfling culture, often due to the difficulties or impossibilities of conceiving for interspecies relationships. However, most Berari tribes have other humanoid species (usually one or two) within their clans. These are either descendants of the people who originally joined the clan, new members of a clan, or a mixture of the two.

Renowned animal tamers

Many people here tell me we have a natural knack for taming and training animals. But... I'm not sure if that is true.   I think... when so much of your livelihood and existence depends on your animal companions, you naturally spend a lot of time with them. Since you are little. I remember being tasked with taking care of the new otter litter when I was five!   So, I think, people here in the cities must spend a lot of time in their houses and gardens. Since they are little they learn how to clean them, and fix them... I wouldn't know where to start. So you see, we are not so different. At least, that's what I've been thinking lately.
— A Berari who has been living in a coastal city life after getting stranded
by David Revoy
Beraris are known for their passion and dedication to their animals. Their clans and families are not just composed of people, but rather, their otters, dire otters, and tide hardbacks are considered part of the clan. To bother a Berari's animal companions is to ask for trouble; to kill one is to ask for death.
Beraris even have a tradition that separates one generation of teenagers every couple of decades, closely linked to tide hardback's reproductive cycle. These teenagers join the hardbacks, teenagers themselves, and follow and protect them for the next couple of decades while they mature. Once the hardbacks have matured, those Berari who have survived through the process are ready to rejoin society. These Berari are officially known as custodians, colloquially called the ebb. The honoured title of custodian will guarantee them a high status in Berari society for their rest of their lives.

Cover image: by Magda


Author's Notes

The original version of this article was created as an entry for World Anvil's flagship Summer Camp 2021 event, specifically for prompt #5:
"Somewhere in your setting,
describe an ethnicity whose cultural exports are highly sought after.
      You can view my other entries from the competition here.   All images are sourced from pixabay, pexels, or unsplash unless credited otherwise.

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6 Jul, 2021 12:00

These people sound so cool. I love that the teenagers go out and must prove themselves ready to join the society by protecting the turtles. Wonderful job :)

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
18 Jul, 2021 16:39

Thanks! To clarify, not all of them do it, just once a generation. So, for example, every twenty years, every halfling born on the 20th year are selected. Not quite sure how to express it better.

12 Jul, 2021 21:55

I love these people. The polyamory is a nice touch, though I like that some things are frowned upon because of practical reasons. I also really love that quote - they have a good point.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
18 Jul, 2021 16:44

Thanks! I wanted to have a quote to demonstrate that for them, taking care of the animals is nothing special. It's just what you do on your day-to-day.