The Vudrani (pronounced voo-DRAW-nee) are a human ethnicity originally from the nation of Vudra in far-away Casmaron, known collectively as the Impossible Kingdoms. In the Inner Sea region they are most-commonly found on the island state of Jalmeray, as well as around the south-eastern portion of the Inner Sea and Obari Ocean, notably in Absalom, Nex, Osirion, and Katapesh.
Vudrani tend to be of darker complexion, and have dark hair and eyes. Men often wear long and complicated beards. Vudrani apparel is often brightly colored and loosely fitted. Silks and other fine fabrics from Tian Xia are prized. Saris and head-scarves are common among Vudrani women, who also decorate their foreheads with spots of brightly colored paint or jewels. Only the highest caste men (see Caste System below) wear anything but functional, albeit bright clothing: kilts, pants, and simple shirts. The male rulers of Vudra are known for their extravagant jewels and golden ornaments. Both genders are fond of piercings and colorful make-up to enhance their natural beauty.
Vudra claims a history of 50,000 years, which is seen as a massive exaggeration by other peoples. Vudran influence and contact with the Inner Sea region has lasted two millennia.
The Vudrani believe in personal betterment and enlightenment within the strict confinement of their culture, but also have a reputation for being consummate exaggerators and embellishers; a trait that would make them unbearable were it not for their frequent good cheer and charisma. Even though they come from a rich and vibrant culture, Vudrani have a love of exploration, be it for trade, conquest, or simple curiosity, and they have spread to nearly every continent on Golarion. They appreciated eloquent speech and movement and a Vudrani can be equally entranced by a graceful dancer or a gifted speaker.
Vudrani society is structured via the caste system, in which an individual is assigned a profession at birth that defines his or her role in society and reflects good or bad deeds from past lives. Higher castes are believed to have attained their position through attaining a purity in previous lives that has brought them closer to Nirvana, while people of the lowest castes are believed to have just earned the right to be born as a human. Most Vudrani think it improper to work in a profession outside of one's caste, an attitude that relaxes somewhat after a few generation living outside of Vudra or Jalmeray. Some of the castes most seen in the Inner Sea region include the padaprajnas (warrior), kezavazresthins (merchant), and atanaprattas (explorers). Two higher castes are the rajah and bhuridhana castes. Lower castes, including farmers, also exist and are confined to separate districts in Vudrani settlements because of their impurity. Caste is often linked to skin tone, with lighter tanned skin color being associated with high caste and darker with lower caste, though very light skinned persons are seen as uglier than very dark people.
The Vudrani are a devout people and in their homeland worshipthea bewildering array of gods of the Vudran pantheon. Those who live in the Inner Sea region have no trouble adopting the local gods (including Irori, who originally came from Vudra), or else continuing to worship their own diverse pantheon. Most see very little reason to proselytize.
The Azvadeva Pujila is the most important text for understanding the complex Vudrani faith, along with the Mizravrtta Brahmodya, a world history as told by the sage Balazastrin, an avatar of the goddess Likha, the Teller. The Vigrahin Patitraka is a collection of questions and answers designed to direct the reader to make life choices that lead him or her toward Nirvana.
Vudrani cuisine is incredibly diverse and predominately vegetarian (especially among those who worship Irori) with meat being mainly in the form of fish and other creatures of the sea. The meat of mammals and birds is almost universally avoided by Vudrani. It is extensively spiced, and contains large amounts of greens and milk products. Despite the lack of meat, Vudrani cuisine shows significant differences across the subcontinent. Local beverages include Thandi.
Hospitality is an important part of Vudrani culture. Visitors are always offered refreshment: failure to do so shames the host; refusing such hospitality is considered to be extremely insulting.
Inspired by their best-known deity, Irori, many Vudrani hone their body and spirit through the practice of martial arts. Even though martial arts are said to have been born in Tian Xia, the Vudrani believe that they perfected them. This opinion is reinforced by the fact that Tian martial arts masters sometimes travel to Vudra to learn from teachers there. The center of this practice in the Inner Sea region can be found on the island of Jalmeray. There it is taught in three schools known as the Houses of Perfection, which are incredibly hard to enter. Even those who pass the rigorous entrance tests often find that they lack the physical and mental discipline to study there.
While viewed as a united whole by outsiders Vudrani ethnicities are numerous, and though subtle to outsiders, they are clearly recognized by other Vudrani. Three ethnicities dominate in numbers :
Mountaineering Parbatkay live hard lives in walled mountain settlements or remote pagodas in Vudra's northern mountains.
Items of Vudrani origin
For additional resources, see the Meta page.
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