The people of the Qushu league, inhabiting the Xiaosha Sands and the surrounding lands
DescriptionOne of the most ethnically diverse people in all of Zheng-Kitar, the Qushani people are incredibly varied in their appearances, cultures, backgrounds, and even origins - united solely in their new home in the lands of Qushu, and their shared yearning for freedom and an existence free of the autocracies, monarchs, and imperialistic fervor of the lands of central and eastern Zheng-Kitar. As the people who call the lands of the Qushu League along the western edge of Zheng-Kitar their home, they trace their roots to the ancient and native Qushani Tribes who called the lands of modern-day Qushu their home for centuries untold, operating as wandering nomads until an influx of refugees fleeing west came to Qushu seeking refuge from the tyranny of central and eastern rulers - merging with the existing tribespeople to form the ethnically diverse Qushani people. Born of a half dozen different ethnic groups that have since blended together to become one culturally diverse whole, the Qushani are some of the most culturally varied and diverse peoples in all the world - their unique perspectives on the world, broad cultural horizons and familiarity with a large amount of different peoples and their ways of life has given them a reputation for kindness, acceptance, and outspokenness that is known far beyond their homeland.
AppearanceThe Qushani people appear frighteningly diverse - as a people who have come together from countless separate cultures and ways of life, their appearances are many and manifold: their skin colors range from dark obsidian to a light tan(Though they trend towards darker skin tones), and their styles of dress can also be quite different. However, most traditionally is the garb of the native Qushani tribes that has since been adopted by the Qushani people as a whole - dressing in loose and lightly colored clothing to ward off the extreme heat of the desert sun, with the Litham serving as an iconic piece of headwear that has given the Qushani people their nickname of "Blue People" thanks to the indigo pigment in the cloth of their traditional robes and headdresses stained their skin dark blue after extended use. This Litham headdress is a combined Turban and Veil worn by the Qushani people - though only Qushani men traditionally wear the veil to mask their faces, as doing so is believed to ward off evil spirits and the harsh desert winds. They tend to wear amulets containing sacred objects and scripture verses they hold close to their heart, as well as a large amount of jewelry they often make themselves - for men, adorning themselves with the veil is a rite of passage into manhood, often undertaken when reaching maturity. However, in recent years this style of dress has merged together with the cultures of the peoples who fled into their lands fleeing eastern tyranny - however, in the face of increasing influence from outside cultures, the ways of the native Qushani people have thrived rather than been lost: the styles of their new neighbors have been seamlessly incorporated into their appearances, such that each Qushani is often a multicolor patchwork of cultures, ethnicities, and ways of life that is as visible on their skin and personality as it is in the folds of their beautiful clothing, often taking on beautiful but lighter toned colors.
HistoryThe history of the Qushani people is one intertwined with the Imperialism that was rampant across Zheng-Kitar several centuries prior to the modern day - though the native Qushani tribes existed in the lands of modern-day Qushu for centuries, the merging of the native tribes and the foreign refugees from eastern lands became the event that would mark the founding of the Qushani people as a whole. Fleeing oppression from the large empires of the time during the Age of Imperialism, refugees from these great empires and their neighboring small kingdoms fled west in the hopes of making better lives for themselves in lands untainted by autocracies, greedy monarchs, and vain rulers as their homelands had been - and during this flight west across Zheng-Kitar, these refugees would soon find a home in the sandy lands of Qushu as the native tribespeople opened their arms wide to accept these people in need. In truth, this merging could have been a much bloodier history than it was - the first years of this merging between the native tribes and the refugees from central and eastern Zheng-Kitar was plagued with racial tensions, violence, and discrimination, and it was only thanks to a handful of cooler headed leaders on both sides that the refugees were welcomed with open arms and integrated into the existing tribes of the native Qushani people(Then simply known as the 'Quseg' people), bringing their knowledge of advanced mathematics, governments, and civilization as a whole to the simple tribespeople of the Quseg people. This merger led to the now united Quseg and Refugee populations unifying into a single people - the "Qushani", born from the Quseg people and a word from the language of the refugees meaning "Gypsy", Veshani, to create the Qushani people that have spread across the lands of Qushu to claim their lands as their own, eventually founding The Qushu League as a country to formalize the founding of their new united peoples, that they might have a single, united home.
CultureQushani culture as a whole is very outspoken and simple, while at the same time remaining open and kind - though the ways of the ancient Quseg nomads are dying out in favor of gathering into larger population centers or converting in wandering merchant caravans, they have not completely vanished and remain a staple of Qushani Culture to this day: much like the Narixian people, their culture both as tribal nomads and refugees fleeing autocratic oppression in their homelands has ingrained a deep sense of "living within ones' means" into the Qushani mindset. Even when settling down within larger population centers, Qushani even still frequently live well within their means, having a well-developed sense of what they can afford to have and what they cannot - they are a simple people who often still burn with the spirit of the wandering caravans of their ancestors, so much so that it is somewhat common for Qushani to have at least two places of residence even when settling down, allowing for migration in different seasons. The Qushani people place extreme faith in the power of curses and spoken wrath - they do not believe in wishing harm on others in any way but in their heads, as they have a deep-seated belief that curses are not only very real, but gain their power when spoken and imbued with wrath and vitriol. As such, while they insult others at thier own leisure, invoking a spoken curse on another even in jest in such a way as to wish harm upon them is one of the most taboo things in their culture - very much akin to invoking power far beyond one's comprehension. Oftentimes, Qushani shamans or elders are notoriously studied on the curses and phrases used to invoke them - and act as living repositories for such knowledge. On the whole, Qushani tend to be tight-knit and place great value on blood-relations and friendships gained over time both - they see the value in both, seeing their blood relatives as important and vital links to their past, while also treasuring and recognizing friends and acquaintances as vital parts of one's life earned over time. Perhaps moreso than any other culture do they hold family in an extremely high regard - though rather specifically one's grandparents, sometimes even moreso than actual parents such that many Qushani end up closer to their grandparents than they do their parents, who often leave and wander either to prove for their children in migrating seasonal jobs, or even simply to go out and see the world one last time before their child reaches maturity. Qushani rarely see an issue with this - it is normal to them to know one's parents more as one becomes an adult while knowing one's grandparents as more parental figures, as Qushani children are often raised communally, thus seeing their "family" as separate from their parents and blood-relatives. Qushani also tend to have a very communal sense of belongings and possessions - aside from one's place of rest(Which is considered extremely private), most all things and places are considered communal to the Qushani, such that they can and are often misunderstood as thieves and gypsies and miscreants when in reality they simply take things to use and return them when they are done(or leaving repayment for such a thing afterwards). Gift-giving is a large part of their culture(Often standing in stark contrast to their "hand to mouth" lifestyles), as is always giving things of equal value for gifts one receives wherever possible - Qushani often believe in helping those in need as simple matters of course, seeing such things as the "natural thing to do", and are incredibly quick to stand by or stand up for anyone or anything they believe in or see struggling for a cause they themselves agree with, making them incredibly outspoken and vocal in many communities and notorious advocates against oppression and injustice. As a culture who has so many roots in so many different ethnic backgrounds, they are often incredibly multilingual and tolerant of other people, as well as incredibly curious - they often ask questions about and are deeply fascinated with other cultures, such that they are often somewhat accurately labeled as "The Tourists of the World" for what many perceive as an offensive, surface-level interest in other cultures that many Qushani think they should be allowed to visit and see as a matter of course(Since they often have trouble grasping the concept of personal space, or off-limit areas).