Macji'Ozara (Mac-Gee O-Za-Ra)
The Macji'Ozara are one of the original inhabitants of the Just Desert. Their settlements are composed of two sub-species of Numo Folk. The Numouni: Bipedal snake-humanoid hybrids and the Numobumay: snake-hunanoid hybrids whose lower half is a snake tail. The Macji'Ozara are known for the high value they place on knowledge and the extremes they will go to protect it.
HistoryThe Macji'Ozara was originally a network of wandering tribes found in the desert region. Rather than exchanging goods, they would often exchange knowledge of customs and talents of other Folk they encountered. Over time, they began to settle in an oasis with the express purpose of building a library to house all the knowledge they had acquired. This oasis grew into the city of Macji'Ozara and in the center of the city was the Asimati Athenaeum. Known throughout the lands as the greatest library in the world, the Asimati Athenaeum holds Adazuri's greatest secrets and magnificent artifacts that reveal untold knowledge and power. During the Devils' Storm, the Macji'Ozara folk came under attack. As purveyors of knowledge, the majority wished to stay out of the Devils' Storm. However, their people were targeted by fiends and fallen folk in the desert. Some wished to destroy all the knowledge they held. Others wanted to use it to gain power. Large swarths of Macji'Ozara defected, taking with them great knowledge in exchange for powerful positions. They became the Shari'Ozara. Others fled north. Many of them eventually settled in the Cicadas Swamp. Some, however, stayed behind to protect the Asimati Athenaeum. Those that stayed behind used their vast knowledge of the arcane to hide the city. A mixture of dangerous traps, mythical beast guards, and confusion and illusion spells made it impossible for any Folk the Macji'Ozara did not deem worthy to find. Today, the city is known as the Shrouded Sanctuary. A place for good Folk to be invited if they find themselves lost in the Just Desert. And if a person is lucky, they may even receive a guided tour of the Asimati Athenaeum.
Worthy of KnowledgeThe Macji'Ozara will often use money when trading with other Folk. However, with their own kind, their preferred method of currency is knowledge. Although the Macji'Ozara collectively have vast stores of knowledge, it is not freely given to their people. Rather, they must earn everything they learn. At a young age, this may be through riddles and puzzles. If they show potential in a particular field, a Scholar may choose to make them their student. As their knowledge grows, they must travel to discover new ways of thinking or ancient artifacts of lore. Seekers self-select into either Specialists or Generalists. Specialists will focus on a single subject, such as a type of arcane magic or a particular kind of artifact. Generalists will cover a great swarth of information and focus on the connections that can be made between different subjects. As Seekers increase in knowledge, many become Scholars. However, only the greatest of Scholars will eventually be known as Sages. Sages are held in the highest esteem for the Macji'Ozara Folk. One must reach this level to hold leadership positions within the society.
|Must uncover as much information about a particular subject. Finding new lore or artifacts will move your position into a Scholar.
|Must make connections between different subjects. Discovering an unthought of way to combine two schools of thought.
|Able to teach others. Must create a new form of knowledge or artifact in your field of study.
|Able to teach others. Must find a way to connect two subjects to create a new ability.
|Specialists Sages are rare. Those that reach this height have developed a new knowledge that is beyond wondrous. It would take a lifetime to reach this level.
|Generalist Sages even rarer so. It is from this select group that Sage Queens and Sage Kings are elected for life. They possess wondrous knowledge of the Folk psyche.
Sacred MountsThe Macji'Ozara hold the Serpopard to be their most sacred beast. The Serpopard has the body of a leopard with the long-necked face of a serpent. Macji'Ozara Folk create bonds with them and the bi-pedal Numouni use them as mounts during journeys across the desert. The fallen Shari’ozara also have Serpopards, but they are used as little more than beasts of burden. The Macji'Ozara find this highly offensive and when given the chance, they steal Serpopard cubs from their wicked cousins and raise them as their own.
Wandering Seekers and ScholarsDespite living in dangerous territory, the Macji'Ozara have never left their wandering ways. When traveling through the desert, they have the power to draw water from the sand. Many travel with hunter nimrods, who kill beasts for them to eat. More dangerous is the Folk that they encounter. Seeking to avoid conflict whenever possible, the Macji'Ozara will often disguise themselves as Shari'Ozara. Every wandering seeker or scholar also possess a copper coin which allows them to identify friends in their travels.
The Macji'Ozara are warm-blooded. Their skin varies in texture between smooth reptilian scales and soft flesh. Their appearance is fearsome to many with vertical slitted pupils and large irises in shades of green, gold, and brown. However, their mannerisms belay their intimidating image. Common shades of Macji'Ozara include green, red, brown, yellow, or a combination thereof. Although the Macji'Ozara have some natural resistance to the sun, they typically wear loose clothing and scarves to protect themselves from the oppressive heat of the midday desert. Whether light or dark, clothing is typically muted. Any jewelry or accessories they wear will often have some practical means --usually holding some type of magic that will be useful on their journey. As a general rule, the Macji'Ozara are not prone to vanity of appearance. Showing off their intelligence, however, is a different matter.