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Saraa Description

The Saraa are a race of beautific beings. Their appearance is best described as angelic; fair, unmarked complexions, thick, lustrous hair of golden yellow, chestnut brown, or fiery red, their eyes sparkle and hypnotize, and among the green and blue and hazel can be found violet and gold. They move with poise and grace and it is said of them that their feet do not touch the earth. Each of them, however, have two terrible scars on their backs, running vertically with the blades of their shoulders, a double blemish on perfect beauty.

They are a creature without gender, having no reproductive organs or marks of birth. A Saraa near death undergoes a last rite, performed by its fellows. At the ritual's end the dying Saraa leaves the world in a brilliant light which forms into two children to be raised and taught by the community. Since Saraan lifespans extend into millenia, this is a rather rare occurence. The worst dishonor available to a Saraa is to die without undergoing the ritual of reproduction, a passing called by them the "True Death". Many Saraa died the True Death on their long journey from Mir to the their place in the shadow of the Annaeyana.

The origins of the Saraa are not truly known. They appeared in the Mir from the Dreamlands in 1394 numbering almost 10,000. They entered Mirabalpur through a great door that fashioned itself from nothing in the courtyard before the city's library. When the last of them entered the courtyard the doors closed and vanished, stranding the Saraa in Mirabalpur.

It is said that in the Dreamland they were creatures of great Authority as scribes and servants to a greater being whom they refer to only as "He who is One". One of them, called Samael, revolted, and led them in a heresy that was in some way tied to the Annaeyana. "He who is One" responded to their heresy by banishing them to the Unyielding Land, revoking their Authority and cutting them off forever from the Dreaming.

The tribe carried with them no provisions or goods. They carried with them only two items. One was a pallete carrying carefully bound stacks of a stranger gold coin. The coins were rectangular in shape and delicately minted. They bore strange indecipherable symbols. Their only other possesion was a wondrously decorated ark, adorned with gold and silver, intricatly carved and filigreed. Inside the ark, beneath its heavy golden lid were thick scrolls of parchment, detailing the the philosophy that had banished them to this world.

Samael headed the procession, a tall one among them, with fiery hair. When all had passed through the portal he selected five companions and with them entered the library. They stayed there with the scholars for the remainder of the day, returning to their people at sunset. This pattern continued for the next few weeks; the six would enter the library at dawn and return at the end of the day.

During the day the Saraa passed the hours in a ritualized regimen of prayer, study, and heated discussion filling the courtyard with their musical language. They ate only sparingly twice each day on a sweet manna that fell from the heavens.

In those weeks the six quickly learned the language of the Mir scholars. They questioned extensively about the geography and pored over historical tomes concerning the floating city of the Annaeyana. A detailed map of the route the Annaeyana took was created and once finished, the five left the library for the last time.

In the following weeks the Saraa used their strange mint to charter a fleet to transport them across Midsea. They departed en masse on the path of Annaeyana almost as mysteriously as they had come, answering no questions about who they were or why they had arrived.

Many months later the ragged and starving band of Saraa arrived in the shadow of the Annaeyana, almost a quarter of their number lost in the trek. Their gold had been depleted, yet they carried with them still the the wondrous ark. For several months they followed the city as it traversed its slow path through the desert. Many more died in those months until they reached a fertile oasis as the manna which fed them fell with increasing infrequency.

Thriving in the oasis was a small village of desert people. They were the remnants of a band who had fled the area in superstitious fear of the Annaeyana. These few had remained, unwilling to leave the fertile land of the oasis. Their presence caused a split in the Saraa. They were dying and would die if they continued to follow the floating city. Most of the tribe wished to remain with the villagers, and learn how to farm and herd and survive. A small minority supporting the leader of the band, demanded that it was their holy quest to follow the city. They argued vehemently amongst themselves that first day there with the great city hangning above them.

The manna did not fall that day, nor the next day, nor the day after, or ever again. On the seventh day, with the Annaeyana moving off into the horizon, the people became a mob. They burned their leader and his most ardent supporters with the scrolls from the ark, which was broken up and in the ensuing months used to buy grain and cattle from neighboring desert tribes.

The Saraa now live a primitive farming lifestyle, ekeing out an existence in the desert, learning from the desert people skills they either forgot or never knew at all. They have divided themselves into three communities in the oasis. They still pass their days in strict adherence to their religious regimen, praying supplicants to a god who does not answer. When the floating city darkens the sky, the Saraa shut themselve in their mudbrick houses, in silent memorial to their shameful actions.