The realm of Camarath is an island kingdom ruled by a series of Queens. Its people call themselves the Camari. The Camari are a lean, hardy race of seafarers. They tend to have dark hair, light eyes, and pale skin tanned and weathered by the elements. Their settlements cling to the rocky shores of their islands and they survive by fishing, whaling, and aquaculture.
Born along the rocky coast of the Isle of Cathas, the Kingdom of Camarath has expanded to include settlements on several other islands despite many dangers.
Camarath has long been ruled by a Monarch, a Queen drawn from a succession of daughters of the Camar dynasty. This family has held the throne of Camarath since its foundation. The firstborn of the Camar dynasty has always been a girl. The current Queen, Seren Camar, has twin daughters – Gwyn and Eira – who are nearing their majority. She rules her small demesne with help from her Consort, King Gild. While the Queen assumes direct control over her central holdings on the isle of Camarath, the other islands are governed by her vassals.
The Camari have written historical records going back 300 years. These records do not extend back to their founding, rather they only begin once the Camar became established. The Camari History is kept in the capital by the Lorebinders.
Their legend says the Camari once fled a great city of pearl during the Great End before the Lost Age. They were saved by the great hero Camar, a servant of the the Twin Goddesses who brought forth islands from the mist for the people to shelter upon.
The Camari are a matriarchal, spiritual people. Their lives are governed by their dependence on the sea for survival, their religion, and their belief in natural spirits that must sometime be appeased. They lack a strong agricultural tradition.
The Camari as a whole are a very spiritual people. They Tbelieve that their hero Camar was a holy agent of the Twins: Saerun and Anelena.
Saerun is the Mother Goddess who brings all life into this world. While also being the visage of wild, sometimes deadly nature.
Anelena is the Hearth Goddess whose protective aspects guide and ward the Camari faithful from danger as the fire wards the black beasts of the night.
Priests of the Twins are always identical, female twins. Each takes on the aspect of one of the Goddesses, speaking for their aspect with authority. While some are gifted with magical powers, all of the Twins’ priestesses are among the most highly educated people in the realm. They learn herb-lore and weather-lore as well as history, medicine, and spellcraft. Many of the priestesses who represent Anelena are also battle-trained. The priestesses lead the Camari in prayers within standing stones, along sea cliffs, and other areas of natural power. They
In opposition of their Twin Goddesses the Camari believe in an entity called the Bael-Gorm – the Bringer of Sorrow. He is also called the Crawling Destruction, the Plague-Dark, and the Father of Nightmares. He stands in opposition to all of creation and the natural cycle. He is bringer of plague and terror and a being of destruction and entropy, battle and war. His words whisper to the weak and undermine hope and righteousness.
Twins are exceptionally prevalent on these islands and are regarded as a blessing of Saerun.
Death and the After Life
Camari who die are bathed and dressed by family and their remains brought to the sea cliffs just outside town. There they are put on a pyre and burned and their ashes are allowed to blow into the sea.
The Camari believe that all things have two souls: life force and personal spirit. Upon death the life force vanishes but the personal spirit can linger before being called into the Great Sea by the Herald of Saerun. There, their spirits swim in peace until reformed anew by their goddess.
The Sea and Camari Diet
As Camari life depends upon the sea, they venerate the creatures within and the tempestuous moods of nature. The annual whale migrations of spring and fall are the most important times of the Camari year. They are so important that the Camari begin and end their years with their occurrence and treat the dark, cold months between as “dead” and not truly part of the yearly cycle.
Whales are held in awe and great respect by the Camari and many of their stories tell of a white whale of monstrous proportion called the Herald of Saerun. Some who see her claim she is as big as an island with flukes and fins larger than sailing ships. She is viewed with a reverent awe when she is seen.
The Camari diet is based around fish, seaweed, and whale meat. A traditional wedding desert is jellied jelly fish sweetened with berry juice and served cold.
The Camari depend on the bounty of the sea to survive. Their islands are rocky and windswept and they lack a strong agricultural tradition. Because of this, the interior of their islands is relatively untraveled. However, they are experts at aquaculture and depend on that, fishing, and whaling for much of their dietary needs. Hunting is also not uncommon but the seas are bountiful.
The Camari utilize nature to manufacture most of their goods and equipment. Metals are rare on the islands and few people know how to extract and work them. Whale bones and ivory are the most commonly used materials in weapons and tools. While bronze is not uncommon, only a handful of working mines extract it on Cathas and only a few know the secrets of smelting. Mining is difficult, heavy labor and the sea-focused Camari usually prefer plying the waters for their survival. Additionally, what little iron there is among the Camari is most often meteoric in origin. This sky iron can be turned into tools by the few skilled smiths on the islands.
The Camari are born seafarers and many grow up fishing and harvesting the sea from dinghies and fishing boats. Camari ships are built to be swift and light to evade danger. Because of that, ships equipped with armaments are rare. Those warships that exist are maintained primarily by the Sea Guard.
The vast majority of Camari ships are long, narrow and close to the water. They rely on outriggers for stability but their sails catch the wind and allow them to soar across the sea at astounding speeds.
The Grey Men of Svaln: Terrible raiders from the north. The Grey Men sweep down from the north of the Aether Sea striking in fierce and terrible raids. They never make a sound and if captured cut their own throats or pull their tongues out. Their language is a mystery and they are known only as gray-skinned ghouls and marauders who sweep down and cull villages like sheep before returning to wherever they are from.
The Riss: The native people of the forested western islands.
The Traders: A mysterious group of dusky foreigners that have only recently appeared. They dock at Camari ports and trade, always for goods – never coin – and speak the Camari tongue perfectly. They never have spoken of their own race and almost nothing is known about them.