Urban Beirhamin Ethnicity in Spirit of the Age | World Anvil

Urban Beirhamin

Can't fit in half the bars, boss looks like a child, and my street stinks. Stinks worse than fresh horse manure back in the old country.
— Unnamed dockworker in Shalayn.
As the decades have passed, the balance of power in the Runberi coast and the adjoining steppe has shifted firmly towards the city folk, the Runberi halflings. It is said that even the steppe is less nourishing, and the pastures of the old days were richer and could support greater flocks. Whether that is the truth or not, none can deny that Beirhamin have increasingly flowed into the cities and towns of the Runberi. As the steppes have shrunk and the marginal tribes have been pushed out, no longer viable, the human press has found itself where there is at least the promise of food and shelter from the elements.   Generally finding work as manual laborers on farms or at docks, the urbanized Beirhamin are able to eke out a living on the margins of cities not designed for them. The native Runberi appreciate that they are twice as big, stronger, and can carry much more than the halflings. This puts them somewhere between a person and a mule in most of these cities. While afforded the same rights as any non-citizen inhabitant on paper, most cities view the Beirhamin as something to be policed, a necessary evil that should not be allowed to get out of hand.


Culture and cultural heritage

"Sabir is spinning in his tomb."
— Unnamed laborer.
The Beirhamin in the cities tend to come from a mishmash of tribes, sometimes tribes that were historical enemies. Nevertheless, many end up sticking together with their fellow former nomads even beyond what their shared existence in the big people ghettos enforces. Some keep to their old faith and adopt an almost defiant posture, daring the Runberi to tell them that their old ways are wrong. Others attempt to live like the Runberi, and convert to the worship of Nuwa. Conversion often brings at least limited acceptance from the city at large, but also risks alienating fellow Beirhamin.

Art & Architecture

The irony of the Runberi city for a human is that public places and the dwellings of the rich and powerful are large enough to accommodate them, but the dwellings of the regular folk are not. Thus, the usually impoverished Beirhamin coming into these cities make due with whatever they've got. Many towns have districts on the outskirts that have risen up to meet the needs of these large foreign workers. The Beirhamin being a people that is used to picking up their dwellings and moving them with them to the next pasture have built some fairly distinctive structures in these ghettoes. In some cases entire groups have arrived with a disassembled yurt and simply plopped it down. In other cases, the Beirhamin have sought to imitate these classic designs with slightly more permanent materials. A few have turned to crudely upscaling Runberi designs. Some have even sought to replicate the construction of old tombs, as those were some of the only Beirhamin structures intended to last for a long time without being moved.

Parent ethnicities


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13 Aug, 2021 22:36

I love that you've chosen a city dwelling people for this prompt. I can't imagine what it's like living in a place not built for people of my size. Must be hard.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet