Yezid
Yezid Tribe
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Plural Yezid
Modifiers +2 Wisdom
Special Abilities Chosen of Ahriman, Exiles
Disadvantage Weak-Willed
Homeland The Forgotten Lands
Language Yezid Names

The Yezid are the outcast tribe of Ahriman, scattered when the empire of Acheron was destroyed during the War of Omens. They are universally swarthy and have dark hair and eyes. Yezid men typically wear their hair short and favor facial hair, seeing it as a sign of manliness, while women tend to wear their hair long and in elaborately-decorated braids. Due to the lands they inhabit, the Yezid favor layered clothing that can serve as wraps against the wind, bedding during the cold months, or wraps to bundle up belongings or newborns for travel. Yezid males are forbidden by their faith from ornamenting themselves, but women are heavily decorated, as it is a sign of manliness to be able to provide for wives and unmarried daughters.

Culture: In the ancient language of Acheron, "Yezid" means "crushed" or "broken to pieces". The tribe adopted that name after the fall of their empire, and since that time they have lived a semi-nomadic life in the mountains and deserts of the Forgotten Lands. The Yezid are a deeply religious people - their culture and religion are so closely intertwined that it is impossible to study them independently. They are followers of Yezidism, a cult that has blended the beliefs of several others together, with elements from the cults of Mithras, Asur, and The Unnamed God. Additionally, they believe that the Magi were divine messengers of the Unnamed God.

Yezid society is hierarchical. There are three castes - the Nobility, the Priesthood, and the Peasants. The nobility and the priesthood technically share power over the peasantry, each one having very specific duties that they have been commanded by their faith to oversee. The secular leader is a hereditary Prince, whereas a High Priest, elected from among their peers, heads the religious hierarchy.

Yezidism equates physical purity with spiritual purity, and intermarriage is thought to corrupt the souls of not only the married couple, but of all the children produced. Members of the three castes marry only within their group, and marriage outside the tribe is considered even more sacrilegious. Marriage outside the caste or tribe is considered a sin punishable by death to restore lost honor.

The Yezid constantly war against the Faithful. They claim that the truth of the Unnamed God was revealed by Ahriman decades before Kayyam went into the desert. They further claim that Kayyam has perverted the truth of The Unnamed God for his own purposes, and that all those who follow his teaching are spiritually corrupted.

Religion: Yezidism is a complex combination of belief systems and practices of the surrounding cults and cultures. These local beliefs had a profound influence on the Yezid, and caused them to deviate from the beliefs of the Faithful's norms after the attempted assassination of Kayyam and his settlement in the Valley of Lalish. Before that time, both tribes coexisted, largely due to the Yedzi's belief that Kayyam was building on the teachings of Ahriman. When the prophet retreated to the Temple of the Swords, he abandoned the Yezid, claiming that their beliefs were anathema to the Unnamed God.

Core Yezid cosmology shows their origins as the chosen people of Ahriman - he is considered the true prophet of The Unnamed God, who fell from grace and was killed by Nikodemus as punishment for his sins. The Yezid believe that they share the sins of Ahriman, and that when he returns , they will be absolved along with him. Until that time, they are forbidden from establishing their own cities or kingdoms. They are to live as outcasts to learn the humility that they and their master lacked.

The Yezid concern with religious purity, and their reluctance to mix elements perceived to be incompatible, is shown in not only their caste system, but also various taboos affecting everyday life. The purity of the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) is protected by a number of taboos, such as spitting on earth or fire. It is also forbidden to pour hot water on the ground because the spirits or souls that may be present would be harmed or offended by such actions if they happen to be hit by the discarded liquid.

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