Curse of the Crimson Throne
The seven quahs (clans) of the Shoanti roam the harshest environments of Varisia, from the Cinderlands to the Calphiak Mountains and from the Curchain Hills to the Storval Plateau. Known for their warlike nature and proud traditions, the Shoanti claim all of Varisia as their own, although they have been forced to cede its southern lands to waves of Chelish conquest. A disparate people, bound together by honor and tradition, the Shoanti share a history steeped in conflict, from their brutally heroic legends to the defeats of the recent past and the harshness of their modern lives. Shaped by strife, the Shoanti are stalwart, tenacious, and suspicious people, oath-sworn to regain all that was once theirs and honor-bound to avenge themselves against all schemers who would dare call them barbarians.
The essence of “Shoanti” is more of a set of warrior traditions than it is a true racial group. While by and large most Shoanti are humans, some quahs have adopted foreigners and exiles from other races. Among individual, open-minded tribes, those who demonstrate that they share Shoanti ideals and face the trials of their adoptive quah find themselves welcomed after a measure of persistence. As such, a small number of dwarves, halfelves, and non-native humans on occasion live among the Shoanti. Indeed, in many ways, demihumans have a much easier time overcoming the Shoanti’s ingrained mistrust of outsiders than Chelaxians.
Shoanti possess widely varying skin tones, reflecting the broad diversity of their ancestry from the time of the Azghat, the cruel gods their lore claims carried them to the Storval region in the time before time. Regardless of pigmentation, almost all Shoanti are vigorous, with powerful builds. Most adult males are more than 6 feet in height and adult females are only slightly shorter. Hair is considered a dangerous weakness in hand-to-hand combat, and both men and women typically shave their heads, save for shamans or the elderly. This practice is more pronounced among the eastern tribes, who are typically born with straight hair, and less so amongst the westernmost Shadde-Quah. Some young Shoanti men and women forgo this practice as a sign that they are not bound to another and seek a companion.
Their culture besieged, their world changing, the Shoanti fiercely struggle to hold onto the traditions of their people and fight against a world seemingly intent on their destruction. Yet, having survived against the giants of the Kodar Mountains, the predators of the wastes, drought, starvation, and lands that burn for centuries, the people of the Storval Plateau alone will decide when their time is at an end—and that time is not now.