The Ashiali Tribe
The Ashiali clan is a group of vishkanya that call the Masoud Desert home. They live in the region of Lothorn, a place where the weather is harsh and resources are scarce. These humanoids have serpertine eyes, forked tongues, and their dark skin is mottled in earth-toned scales. The Ashiali are skilled hunters that are assisted by bearded vultures that serve as their long-time companions. While most who travel through Lothorn have no intention of setting down roots, the Ashiali have lived here for many centuries and as such, their bodies have evolved to handle the brutal climate. While they were once full-blooded humans, their ancestors were cursed for raiding the tomb of the Oracle of Bones. Each adventurer that made the mistake of joining an exhibition into her tomb was attacked by horned vipers, resulting in magical mutations that left them horribly disfigured. Such a fate led to these people being shunned from society and so they took to the desert in search of a new life. While their ancestors were hostile due to mistrust towards outsiders, the Ashiali have fallen far from that tree. They're known for their beauty and willingness to aid travelers that are lost and injured within their territory. They keep their distance from the cities after being on the receiving end of violence. Legends have painted their kind as malicious tricksters who often led to a traveler's demise, so people feel justified in mistreating them. The Ashiali spent many years building an underground settlement. While they enjoy life on the surface, they don't want to risk a near constant exposure to the elements in Lothorn. They've managed to build a life out in what others may call the "Badlands", but it doesn't mean that they're entirely immune to its fury.
The Ashiali have no gendered names. Their names generally put emphasis on a single vowel. Examples: Yileli, Seshal, Oksah, Nehli, Teshu.
Major language groups and dialects
They speak Aeyano, an old desert tongue that has been lost to time. Some of them are capable of speaking and understanding common, but it's a skill that's fading as the older generations die.
Shared customary codes and values
Everything must be done for the good of the tribe. No individual is more important than another and as such, selfishness and arrogance is frowned upon. Because of this, no one is allowed to put themselves before anyone else if it means the tribe will suffer for it. It's a circle of compassion as everything comes back around. Resources are shared as equally as possible. Those that end up with more than what they need are advised to pass it along to neighbors who need it more.
Common Dress code
They dress in thin, loose fabrics. Most of their clothes is fashioned into robes, such as a chiton or peplos. Hunting gear is made of tanned hides, crafted to be lightweight. While jewelry is worn, it's only done so inside of the settlement to avoid painting themselves as targets for would-be bandits.
Funerary and Memorial customs
The Ashiali burn their dead. It wasn't a tradition among their ancestors as much as it was a necessity. Burning the bodies allegedly prevented their curse from spreading through the land. Housing or burying the departed was risky as they fearedwould crawl from her tomb to raise them for her fearsome army. With each generation, they've carried this on for the sake of their ancestors so that their spirits can rest peacefully knowing that the curse is contained.
Among the Ashiali, everyone has a role to play within the tribe and these roles aren't dictated by gender. As such, a majority of the tribe presents as androgynous and doesn't use gendered language.
They don't put emphasis on romance in their lives. They build strong attachments with their community as a whole and when two members do get together, it's merely to produce children and nothing more. While it's not entirely impossible for these vishkanya to settle into a domestic pattern similar to that of other cultures, it's considered a taboo.