Dushum: Culture

race-dushumA reclusive and territorial society, Dushum (Dragon Riders) keep hidden in the Drakespine Mountains of central Tekuachi. Living in an elaborate system of caverns and remote mountain villages, most only encounter Rider merchants at trade ports, or the occasional adventurer venturing out of his homeland.

Their lives revolve around their sacred duty to the gods and dragons; it is unlikely to find an unfaithful Dushuma. Steeped in ritual and duty, Dushuma are proud of their role in the world and even peasants are well versed in their history and legends. Though the upper castes are literate, important lore is painted and carved in elaborate tapestries upon their cavern walls, so even the illiterate can comprehend their tales. They follow the same deities and pantheon as the Kalvres, but place special importance on the Apsumaat.

Dushum are not merely kin with the cave dragons, but sacred guardians of a holy lake and its equally sanctified sacrosanct ancient dragon. Even those outside of the priest caste play an important role in protecting their holy mountain ranges from outsiders. While the common castes – particularly the merchants – keep in regular touch with the outside world for trade and news, foreigners are rarely allowed within the elaborate cavern cities of the Dushumi. Trade posts are kept on the outskirts of their territory, keeping non Dushum at bay. The exception to this are the Kalvaren, who share a common culture and religion. It is not unusual for Kalvaren pilgrims to visit the sacred sites of the Riders, but even they are restricted from complete free movement from the territory.