The Nahrahm are a Near Human race who have established a thriving colony on Valentine's World called Tier City. They are known as a physically attractive race and for being generally taller and more slender of build than humans, with dark hair and eyes and fair skin. The length and condition of an individual's hair is equated with the length and quality of life; only warriors cut their hair to signify their passage from child to warrior and to acknowledge the potentially short life of a warrior and the dangers they face. The only other time a Nahrahm's hair may be shorn is as a form of social protest.
Their culture is matrilineal, and they have an expanded view of family; men are adopted into the wife's family and considered virtually blood kin. They live communally in "family towns" which are made up of the living quarters and buildings occupied by several generations of family members. Typically there is a central building with general living quarters connected via tunnels or hallways to satellite buildings known as dens for privacy and sleeping for adults and couples. If the domicile is in the countryside, there is likely a large mansion flanked by a dozen outbuildings for additional family, while in urban areas they will inhabit tall buildings honeycombed with linked apartments. In some populations, there are fishing families who make their living as well as their home upon the sea via boats connected by ropes.
Individual Nahrahm will feel out of touch when away from family, and may form deep bonds and attachments with friends and comrades in their place. It is common for Nahrahm families to take in "strays" and care for orphaned or otherwise separated individuals.
All possessions are communal in the Nahrahm family, except for personal items or keepsakes. They count their blessings as how much they are able to share with family, and strive for the happiness of all. They are considered therefore to be a trustworthy and easygoing people. Nahrahm are the best of friends and will form their own "family" when surrounded by strangers. When betrayed, however, they can be as unpredictable and nasty as their human counterparts, and in war they are fierce combatants who will fight hard to avoid the grief their death would cause to family.
The Nahrahm are a predominantly female species, with females making up nearly 65% of the population. Approximately 700 years ago it was not uncommon for conflicts to erupt between tribal sects of the Nahrahm over breeding rights with males. During this time, a group of Elders who have become known as the Seers convened and established the practice of family circles, where instead of relationships of pairings groupings would form. A Primis would be decided, a head female who would then bring other females into the family circle of the selected male in order to allow the species to continue to propagate. In order to facilitate this practice, concessions had to be made and over the generations those who practice this family structure abandon concepts of personal jealousy and possessiveness of individuals. Although the polyamorous relationships may exist outside of the family circle, it is generally frowned upon not out of a sense of jealousy but rather necessity as the focus of the male is to make sure his immediate circle is taken care of and all females within the circle desiring a child are provided ample opportunity for one. This practice has seen a decrease in recent generations with an influx of offworld visitation to Valentine's, however a discovery made within the past several decades has changed that. Inter-species breeding, while possible, has shown a significant likelihood of sterility in the offspring. A male non-Nahrahm and female Nahrahm are substantially more likely to have non reproductive offspring, thus a return to the family circle structure has begun anew out of a fear of the population dying away.
Traditions of Markings
The Nahrahm have a traditional process of gifting tattoos to themselves and loved ones as mementos of times. While often times tangible objects such as trinkets are exchanged, significant moments are usually indicated with tattoos. The most common types of tattoos occur when a male or female comes of age, when an individual is brought into a family circle or upon the death of member of a family circle. These ceremonies are often conducted within the circles. There are some who believe in ancient traditions that claim some tattoos have power attached to them and that these markings, when done correctly, can have a significant impact on the behavior or temperament of the individual who receives them. The legends about these markings stem from 'Life Energy' tales centralized in some of the forest areas of Valentine's that are rumored to be strong in Life Energy (The Force).
The Mark of the Body
This mark translates from ancient Narahlm to "This Body connects to ___". It is used to signify that an individual desires to continue a physical relationship with another on a more consistent basis. In the open society of the Nahrahm, i tis not uncommon for individuals to have multiple partners, so the mark of the body was utilized to show an increased level of affection towards one of these. The Mark of the Body is often given to women upon coming of age and taking their first lover as an outward indication of maturity.
The Mark of the Mind
This mark translates from ancient Narahlm to "My Mind connects to ___". It is used as a common practice much like other societies may take an oath. It is an indicator that between these two individuals they will strive to always be open and honest no matter how difficult the situation. It is not uncommon to see this marking between the parents of a child, business partners, or even good friends. It is considered an important step of development in maturity.
The Mark of the Soul
This mark translates from ancient Narahlm to "My Soul connects to ___". This is the only mark that is inscribed upon two individuals and is not used in practice very often. In many other societies it would be akin to a marriage vow between two people which is generally frowned up within the culture due to the open circle family structure. Individuals who take the Mark of the Soul are legally able to speak for one another in all affairs and are considered legally to be the same person. It was more common in ancient times when pairings occurred more often. In the modern era, Nahrahm who wish to be monogamous generally have adopted the concept of marriage from outsiders and the Mark of Soul has fallen substantially into disuse.
The Esse Walkers are the Force Using tradition found on Valentine's World. Although not exclusively Nahrahm, the upper leaders are of the species. Since the world was settled, the Esse Walkers have been a quiet presence that has provided support for the people and settled disputes when they arise. Very few off world know of the existence of the Esse Walkers.
The Esse Walkers believe that the Life Flow (Life Energy), their name for the Force, is a presence that binds all together. To harm another is to harm oneself thus those who are violent are often doing it out of self loathing. The Esse Walkers do not intervene in major political movements or with the Proxy Council, rather they serve as advisors when called upon for their insight. Esse do not place themselves above others but rather view themselves as a servant to the society, and through this servitude others reflect in kind.
The Esse are broken into three groups of guidance. Learners, referred to as Seers, serve among the population more readily. Many physicians, counselors, mediators and law enforcement have served as Seers at some point in their lives. Many Seers are not particularly strong in the Life Flow but have had training in recognizing it in others and in protecting themselves from the energy's impact. Alongside the Seers are the group known as the Rangers. Rangers are martially trained Esse and provide an underlying presence of security from external threats. Very seldom throughout the history of Valentine's have Rangers been called upon. Their primary method of training involves unarmed combat enhanced with the Life Flow and this training is offered to others in the society, an art that is called Naga Shii. Above both groups reside the Elders. The Elders are individuals of the Esse who are particularly strong in the Life Flow, or aged, and have dedicated their lives to meditation in the forests and mountains of Valentine's. While any could be called upon, or request a meeting with an Elder, it is not done often unless out of necessity as these individuals prefer to be a soothing presence on the periphery of society.