The average magrakian stands over 2 meters tall (7 ft) and weighs in at 180 kilograms (400 pounds). They have thick meaty limbs, huge bellies, broad shoulders and large feet. Because of their broad and stocky build, a magrakian is easily identified at a distant.
Magrakians have large, floppy ears, short snouts and vaguely pig-like facial features. Two yellowish tusks sprout from behind fat lips. Magrakians have tough, coarse hair which covers about 20% of their bodies. The rest of their thick leathery hide, which is reddish gray, is relatively hairless. Magrakians bear a somewhat distant likeness to orcs.
The thick bones, thick skin and dense muscle tissue of the magrakian physiology grants them their tremendous strength and surprising fortitude. The magrakians are a hardy race able to endure physical punishment that would kill half a dozen humans. Magrakians have an extremely high pain threshold. They shrug off pain and damage easily and may not even notice minor wounds.
Magrakians are a very friendly and sociable people. They are loyal, honest, good natured and hard working. They love nothing more than to tell stories and jokes around a roaring fire with friends and plenty of ale. Although magrakians are excellent warriors, they usually prefer to go to the local tavern and get drunk. A magrakian would much rather drink an enemy under the table rather than have to go to the trouble of bashing his skull in.
While good hearted, magrakians are not very bright. They are likeable, but you often have to explain things to them. They like simple, direct things and are blessed with an utter lack of imagination. They enjoy games (as long as the rules are simple) and competition, especially physical games and sports (which require little thinking).
The typical magrakian has the patience of a glacier and a stubborn tenacity to match. They are very good at following orders (and most magrakians prefer to follow orders than to give them). If you order a magrakian to guard a door, he will guard it... forever. He will happily stand there, staring at the door, until he or it turns to dust. (And don't be surprised if the magrakian actually outlasts the door).
Magrakians tend to be extremely literal and will follow rules to the letter. They do not get irony, sarcasm or metaphors. You often have to explain jokes to them.
All of these magrakian traits can be summed up in one of their most common sayings…"Be like stone". Only when you get to know the magrakians do you begin to appreciate just how apt that saying is.
The chief deity of the Magrakians is the god Bromat. Bromat is depicted as a powerful male magrakian. He is the epitome of all things magrakian - strong and powerful, honest, forthright, hard working, enduring. Bromat temples are large stone structures with a central courtyard which is open to the sky. Within this central courtyard stands a statue of Bromat. All ceremonies are conducted here in this courtyard before the statue. The size of the temple will vary with the size of the community it serves. The temple at Okslad is truly tremendous with a 50 foot statue carved of marble.
While Bromat is their greatest god, the magrakians welcome other gods into the land. Shrines to Vazul, Hemryk, Buletrad and many others can be found in the cities and towns of Magrakor. These foreign gods always are second to Bromat though. Philosophies, such as the various vaullian pursuits and the Vejadic Doctrines can also be found here. (Although complex philosophies are often too deep for the average magrakian to grasp).
Generally speaking, magrakians are not skilled at magic and very few magrakians every master any form of spell craft. About 1 in 5000 magrakians choose to pursue magic (compared to the human norm of 1 in 2500), but few of them stick with it and achieve any significant skill. All told, about 1 in 250,000 magrakians become true wizards. Those few who do learn magic are greatly respected. Because magic is relatively rare in Magrakor, there are few laws governing the use of magic in the realm.
Magrakians will use magic items, but tend to dislike those items which are complex or unpredictable. They much prefer simple items that produce immediate consistent results.
Magrakians have a surprising resistance to magic. There is something inherently "unmagical" in the magrakian makeup. This might explain why they resist certain spells (mind affecting spells, charms, possession, etc) so often. It may also explain why the average magrakian is so bad at magic.
The homeland of the magrakians is Magrakor, a coastal region in western Aggradar. The nation is based around a central bay and consists of broad grasslands and some foothills in its eastern regions. The weather of Magrakor is temperate and mild due to the influence of warm ocean currents into the bay.
Magrakians travel a great deal and conduct trade with most of their neighbors. Magrakians can be found in large numbers throughout western Aggradar. There numbers are fewer in eastern Aggradar and Qeshir.
Magrakians tend to congregate in cities and towns. Magrakian architecture is predominantly stone and timber, though most buildings are over engineered. Such communities are solid, stable and permanent. The magrakian people like to settle down in one place and stay there.
There are no racial subdivisions within the magrakian race.
The language of this people is known as magrak. Each province has its own regional dialect, but these are quite similar. All dialects share the same alphabet (22 letters). Magrakian poetry is often garish and vulgar. Magrakians favor sculpture as an art form. Music, with excessive drums, is very popular as well.
Bound books have not been widely developed yet and the vast majority of literature is contained in large scrolls.
The magrakians trade with most of their neighbors and strive to have good relations with other races. However, there are two notable exceptions:
The Sybren Imperium is currently waging a war against all of its neighbors including Magrakor. The magrakians have retaliated against repeated incursions by the Sybrenar. The magrakians like the eshtari and have taken it upon themselves to prevent the Sybrenar from attacking that nation.
There is also a conflict with the Trossoli Dominion. Although the Trossoli are not actively waging war against any nation, relations with the Dominion are strained. Some persistent magrakians have made repeated attempts at peaceful diplomatic trade. The Trossoli Overlords do not seem interested in peaceful trade and interaction with anyone.
Magrakians are a people that take their culinary traditions seriously. Meals are a hugely important activity for the magrakians and cooking is a pastime that many magrakians specialize in. Of course, magrakian physiology and mindset allow them to eat just about anything. They have no compunctions about consuming entrails, rotten meat, moldy bread and bizarre concoctions. Suffice to say that the magrakian stomach can handle just about anything and it shows in their culinary choices. Even leaves and bark have been used as ingredients in magrakian dishes. Other races find magrakian cooking... less than palatable.
The magrakians build their meals around meat. Meat is the foundation of every good meal and it is often served in a variety of ways: hearty beef stews, thick slabs of steak and salted beef jerky. The magrakians also love hearty wheat bread and strong cheeses. The most popular magrakian cheese is Red Bursk, a stiff cheese with a dark orange, almost reddish, color and a pungent aroma.
Magrakians eat four meals a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper. Dinner is taken in the late afternoon and is a lighter meal. Supper is taken in the evening and is often a huge meal taken with family and friends.
Generally speaking, magrakians are messy eaters. They eat most of their foods with their hands and will drink stews and soups right from the bowl. Indeed, most dishes are served in bowls. Magrakians use no utensils other than a sharp knife for cutting. Magrakians often mix different kinds of food into a single bowl. Some magrakians even share their meal with their dog, eating from the same bowl. The aukarians find magrakian eating habits extremely offensive. It is only by a great effort that these two races have managed to come together in peace. Whenever magrakians and aukarians sit down at the same table, the magrakians must make a conscious effort to be "civilized" and the aukarians do their best not to be shocked.
The most popular alcoholic beverage throughout the nation of Magrakor is something called baklath (BOK-loth). This foul concoction is made from fermented fish guts. Various kinds of fish guts are used, but true baklath is made from the guts of silver tarns, the long, bright silver fish common in the Murky River. Magrakians love baklath, but most other races are barely able to tolerate the stench. It is typically served in bowls. A ladle is used to fill the bowls because baklath often has chunks of fish meat in it. Many magrakians like to drink their baklath warm.
As a rule, magrakians have a very poor sense of taste and smell which goes a long way to explaining their culinary habits.
Magrakians are slow to adopt new technological advances. They are generally poor at mathematics and their science is limited. Because of this, magrakian technology is lacking behind that of the Sybren Imperium and other Aggradar nations, the magrakians make up for it in other ways. For instance, magrakian steel is generally inferior, but their armor is typically twice as thick as that of other races. Quantity to make up for quality.
The magrakians favor a weapon that they call a spade sword. It is a heavy, two edged blade which is wide toward the tip than at the handle. Spade swords come in a variety of styles and sizes, but all have generally the same shape. Some flare out quite dramatically. Magrakian spade swords require great strength but little dexterity to wield. It is, essentially, a hacking weapon.
The magrakian oxen is a short legged, heavy set bovine with thick black fur and enormous horns. These animals are used for both food and labor. The beasts are so common in Magrakor that they are practically the national mascot. The magrakians also favor large horses.
The magrakians have not developed any form of long distance communication. Horsed rider and caravan, though slow, suffice. Most transportation is by foot. For those who can afford it, wagon, ox or horse is used.
The magrakians are good sailors and ply the waters of their bay and the Briny Sea in huge, fat ships. The typical magrakian ship has two square sails with simple rigging and a large tiller. Magrakian mariners navigate by the stars and landmarks. The magnetic compass has not yet been developed.
Both men and women may own property and conduct business in this culture. Most laws governing ownership and inheritance follow the human norm with wealth passing to the family.
Magrakian currency is based upon the silver hundari (hoon-DAR-ee) and the copper crum. 1 Silver Hundari = 40 Copper Crum. The silver hunedari (the term is both singular and plural) is a large sturdy coin of solid silver which bears the imprint of the Arch-Praelet's noble seal. The copper crum is a small square coin. Magrakor is blessed with large deposits of silver and copper, but virtually no gold. Therefore, their currency is based on silver and copper.
An important aspect of Magrakian culture is that of gift giving. The giving of gifts is a part of every celebration and social event. It is customary to exchange gifts when meeting someone for the first time. Many Magrakians carry small trinkets for just such occasions and for unanticipated gift giving situations. It is customary that when one gifts another, the story of the gift (it's origin and significance to the owner) is told along with the gift.
The magrakians treat both genders well and rights and responsibilities are generally divided evenly. In Magrakor, women may own property, conduct business and expect all the same treatment as a man.
Magrakian marriages are between a single man and woman. Multiple spouses are not acceptable. It is their belief that a loving husband and wife are the foundation of a strong and happy family and any variation to that norm is detrimental to the family.
Large families are the norm. A typical magrakian family may have as many as ten children. Families will often have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, pets, oxen and more all living under one roof.
The magrakian gestation period is 13 months. The mother is typically tended to by sisters and aunts and has the child at home. Upon birth, the child is immediately taken to the nearest temple or shrine to Bromat where the child is blessed. This tradition is very important and the priest will be woken at any hour to conduct the ceremony. Many a magrakian child has been blessed beneath a starry sky before the altar of Bromat.
Children are raised by both parents. Father teach their boys to fight, to hunt, to farm and to craft their wares. Mothers teach their daughters the duty of the home - cooking, sewing, gathering, planting and so on.
The magrakians believe that Bromat gathers up the souls of those who have departed and carries them away to the sky. The stars are the souls of those who have passed on. The dead are burned on huge pyres so that their souls may ride the wind skyward. The ashes of the body are then gathered, sealed in a clay jar and buried, along with other clay jars, in small stone vaults. These vaults usually sit just outside of town, but may be found far out in the country.
Magrakians have only two names. A personal name and a family name. Personal names tend to be short and simple with only one or two syllables.
There is remarkably little social stratification. All magrakians are seen as equal. Everyone is important. Wealth is the only real differentiating factor and even this is limited as greed is greatly frowned upon. As the magrakians often ask, What is wealth compared to the love of friends?
Magrakor, the homeland, is a strict monarchy of sorts. The ruler of this nation holds the title of Arch-Praelet. The Arch-Praelet is a hereditary position much like a King. The Arch-Praelet rules from the capital city of Okslad with input from representatives of the seven provinces. Arch Praelet Ofedor is aided by a council of advisors and scholars. These provincial representatives and advisors together make up the Grand Council of Okslad. They hold court once a month with the Arch-Praelet in attendance.
The realm of Magrakor is divided up into seven provinces. Each province is ruled by a Praelet (similar to a duke or baron who also serves as head town official). Each province is ruled by its largest town which protects and taxes all the villages of its region. Each Praelet answers directly to the Arch-Praelet. The largest province, Goloti, is headed by Okslad itself. The Praelet of Goloti is the Speaker of the Grand Council.
Magrakor has a very strong military. It consists mostly of heavy foot soldiers equipped with heavy plate armor and broad headed iron war hammers. There is little variation in the ranks. Magrakians overrun their enemies with sheer numbers and weight. Even the rank structure of the military is quite simple. There are three levels: Field Trooper, Fielder Commander and Field Marshall.
Magrakians are slow moving, but their hardy fortitude, naturally tough skin and fast healing makes them hard to kill. They can carry heavy loads over long distances with little food or water and without complaining. All of these traits make them excellent soldiers. Because of their patient and deliberate nature, they make the best guards in the world. Magrakian sentinels are highly prized.
Magrakian mercenaries and bounty hunters are greatly respected in much of Aggradar. While it may be easy enough to outrun the slow moving magrakian, he is still a force to be feared. For there is nothing in this world more persistent than a magrakian bounty hunter and the magrakian's infinite patience usually wins out. When their quarry least expects it, the magrakian will seize them... and then usually proceed to beat them into soft, gooey paste.
Gambling is popular among the magrakians and a variety of games can be found in most taverns. The most popular form of gambling is a board game called malja which is a fast paced card game with lots of betting.
Sports are very common in Magrakian and gambling often centers around sporting events. One popular sport in Magrakor is board wrestling. Board wrestling involves two combatants who face off in a circular fighting ring. They are stripped of armor and clothing from the waist up. Their arms are tied with large, flat pieces of boards so that their elbows cannot bend and their hands cannot grasp. The wooden boards usually have small metal studs. The two combatants then pummel each other to unconsciousness. This is a very bloody sport which is extremely popular with magrakians. Board wrestling competitions and the betting that surrounds them are fast and fierce.
Festivals are frequent and popular throughout the land. The largest festival is the Okslad Summer Games, a week long celebration centered around wrestling, races, tests of strength and endurance and an array of cooking and brewing contests.
This website was last updated September 20, 2014. Copyright 1990-2014 David M. Roomes.