The Baradradi owe their existence to the callous exile their ancestors faced after the Plague of Undeath subsided. The original settlers of Baradrad were given two simple choice, leave for the desert or remain and be branded criminals. Those that chose the former became the Baradradi.
As Baradrad's people took ownership of their blighted homeland they cast off most of the traditions they knew before and adopted a way of life all their own. One that reflected their ideals and allowed them to openly pursue that which they had previously confined to the shadows of society. In the desert they found the true origins of necromancy and the dusty ruins of the people who invented it. This rich and ancient culture revered the dead, cherished life and used necromancy for the same altruistic goals that they did. They felt a kinship toward this long-dead people and brought them back to life by adopting their culture.
Today, those of Baradradi heritage form tight-knit communities within cities like Ghal Pelor and Tengu Town while mingling freely in their home city of Baradrad. They host elaborate holidays noted for brightly colored dress, festivities and a focus on the spirits of the departed. Some conservative types such as the Dwarves deeply distrust this muddled and dubious approach to venerating the dead. While others such as The Ghal Pelorians see their activities and somewhat macabre and delightfully exotic.
The family name is of utmost important to a Baradradi. Family names connect the individual to one of the early founders of Baradrad and in most cases to the city those founders originally came from. This is because Baradrad and its people originated from the exile magicians blamed for the Plague of Undeath.
Odred, House Silthair, House Auloro, House Fein, House Blackthorn, House Addler and House Crane are the most well-known and prominent of the existing original bloodlines that settled Baradrad. There are only thirty remaining bloodlines from those early days. The vast majority of other families are either of mixed heritage or younger bloodlines from newer migrants.
The closer one can trace their lineage back to the founders, the better. It is a matter of pride as well as social standing.
Names among the Baradradi take one of two forms. Either the parents are pulling from more traditional names from the original homeland/race they hail from (Elven, Balmoran ect ect) or they are pulling from the known names that belonged to the inhabitants of the previous civilizations that populated the Scorch. These include names associated with Skyrir, Limdrak and Orabad. Most of the original bloodlines choose names with origins tied to the Scorch. It is a matter of defiance and independence from the nations that cast out their ancestors.
Major language groups and dialects
Baradradi is the major language spoke among them. It is a mixture of Elven and Balmoran that has evolved into a unique language of its own. Those familiar with Elven or The Common Tongue may be able to pick up on a few words and phrases though.
Culture and cultural heritage
The Baradradi have cast off most of the traditions that originated with the races and cities their ancestors came from. Baradradi culture is mostly their own peppered with aspects of the civilizations that inhabited the Scorch before them.
Average technological level
Baradradi are seen as mysterious, aloof and often distrusted because of their knowledge of death energies and how to tap into them to fuel Necromancy without Manacite. This is a secret that is rarely taught to anyone outside of the Baradradi and only the magically inclined among them are learned enough to do this.
Common Etiquette rules
Baradradi are always very grateful and respectful when dealing with elders of any race. They also treat the head of any household with deep, genuine, respect. Even when it comes to enemies they will still treat those of senior-level age justly.
Gift-giving is a common practice among their people. Especially bringing gifts back from foreign trips. Gifts are also given to the family and head-of-household to those that aid them or that they are seeking aid from. Baradradi suitors will often lavish gifts upon the parents of those they seek to court.
Common Dress code
Baradradi pride themselves on looking their best whenever the opportunity presents itself. Rarely will they be comfortable with the idea of "rolling out of bed" as is. They are frequent bathers and often patronize merchants who sell perfumes, scented oils and treatments for their skin and hair.
Clothing of the best possibly quality is preferred over cheap alternatives. They enjoy noticeable colors such as deep reds, purples, pure whites and vibrant oranges.
Common Customs, traditions and rituals
Honoring the dead is the focus of almost all Baradradi customs, traditions and events. Honoring living family is done as a way of thanking that family's ancestors for the struggles they've endured.
Prayers, speeches, greetings and any other formal interaction will often begin with the veneration of someone's ancestor.
Funerary and Memorial customs
Baradradi believe in importance properly preparing the dead and honoring the spirit of the deceased. Baradradi who do not possess the knowledge of Necromancy or are too far from Baradrad generally dispose of their dead by fire. They have rituals that take place over several days during which the body is treated, prayed over and cleaned. On the last day the body is either interred in a safe place or cremated.
Baradradi with knowledge of necromancy or access to the necromancers in Baradrad will honor their dead with the ritual known as The Veiling. It a process of fitting the prepared corpse with a mask that conceals its identity. It then becomes a servant to the family or is gifted to the community. In this way the deceased is honored by being allowed to serve their people further. The mask is to take away the identity of the corpse so as not to cause those they serve any discomfort.
The creation of sentient undead, the use of spells that harm a life force, betraying one's family or bloodline and allowing one's self to endure treatment that is undeserving.
Common Myths and Legends
The tales from the civilization that ruled the region before the Scorch even existed are a source of speculation and wonder. All Baradradi crave information about that time.
Elesh Odrad is considered the leader among the founders during the early days and as such he is a figure of considerable fame. Zharkaddos, the Lich-King of Skyrir, is a figure of infamy and hatred but equally as well known.
Baradradi view solitary and enduring places and deeply beautiful. Places like desert canyons, mountains, quiet lakes and still forests. Among each other they certainly appreciate physical beauty just as any race would but other things can factor into attraction for them. Knowledge of necromancy, history and arcane lore are attractive traits as is one's connection to the ruling noble houses. Baradradi take their history very seriously and that figures into what they consider beautiful. Someone will rarely be seen as more than an object of lust if they do not possess some of these other precious qualities.
Baradradi have no predefined gender roles. Having been outcasts and forced to survive on their own every citizen was required to pull their weight in the early history days.
Baradradi always have a taste for the finer things a region has to offer. Those who know Baradrad well know that it has a great many luxuries to offer at rather affordable costs (generally due to undead labor and House connections). Those of Baradradi ethnicity not living in the homeland still expect to be treated with care. They recognize things come at cost and that quality can vary from region to region but they're often said to be experts at spotting when "corners are being cut". That includes in courtship. If they have a reason to believe a potential suitor is offering less than they deserve they will be vocal about that.
Non-Baradradi often say that Baradradi are difficult to date and describe them as being a close-knit and family-driven people who are materialistic, judgmental, intimidating and just very "picky". Baradradi would see it differently. They are simply very vigilant about making sure that their potential mate is valuing them to the best of their ability. They have very little concern about discussing their assessments with their family as well. A suitor who made a poor impression on one hopeful mate will very quickly find the entire local Baradradi community turned against them.
Appreciation. Baradradi are extremely concerned with living up to their own expectations and being the best possible version of themselves that they can. They want someone who sees and recognizes that effort, who isn't afraid to point out flaws and who is willing to help their mate overcome them.
Family is deeply important to Baradradi so there is an expectation of furthering the family bloodline. Any relationship meant to last longer than a season or so should be producing children.
The Noble Houses of Baradrad- These are rulers of desert and the undisputed masters of the city. Each of the noble houses has deep roots in the community and command influence in their city comparable to that of the noble houses of Melanthris.
The Death Cults- There are some among the Baradradi that still believe the message of the Lich-King of Skyrir, that undeath is the path to eternity. The advocate for the use of forbidden magic and the conversion into sentient undeath. The most prominent figures in this movement were House Auloro. It was discovered recently that the matriarch and most of her family were involved with these criminal studies. The head of the household was murdered for standing against those in his ranks that wanted to explore death magic fully. The remaining members have vanished and have sizable bounties on their heads. Only Jafar Auloro, eldest sone of the patriarch, has been pardoned