They say they were born fully formed from the ground of the vast plains of the Dreaming West. Dubbed "Leonin" by the men of Hakeshar, with whom they primarily deal with, the Anharr provide trading links with the far-off people of the west.
The Anharr are a race of men resembling the lions of the plains. They stand between 5 and a half and 6 and a half feet, with a layer of golden fur covering their lithe, muscled bodies. They have rounded ears and feline faces, with sharp feline eyes. Males sport long manes, which are often patterned into elaborate braids. Anharr wear robes of cloth and grass or the furs of their fallen brethren, and most cover themselves in red ochre or warpaint. They live in nomadic tribes called "prides" that roam the western plains of the Shining South and the vast plains of the West, serving as a trade route to carrying the wealth of the two regions between each other. Small prides thus often become populated by merchants and guards that roam between the cities, sharing their wares in the bazaars of the cities and with the tribes of distant lands.
Despite the important role they play in trade, the Anharr are viewed suspiciously by the other races because of their differences in faith. Called "godless" by the men of the South, the Anharr do not have a god they call their own. They do not believe that the gods of the South deserve their worship, for, in their words "there is more power in the storms of the open plains than in your stone temples". The Anharr revere the spirits of the land and of their ancestors, all of whom they believe are joined together in a massive spiritual consciousness that makes up all things. Everything, even the gods of the South, are simply part of this larger being. Although most find their beliefs strange and nihilistic, some have come to follow the Anharr faith.
Nomadic life on the plains is harsh, but the Anharr have adapted. Powerful by nature, the Anharr can outlast most humans on the plains. Walking and running on flat land comes easy to them, and they can survive on small amounts of water for short periods of time if need be. They are also strong enough to take down some of the larger animals of the plains if they work together. The Anharr survival strategy relies heavily on teamwork; prides use stealth and cooperation to stalk and hunt down their prey. Anharr with more cooperative natures are thus more valuable during hunts. Using bows, spears, clubs, swords, and their teeth and claws, Anharr hunt down their prey and drag the kills back to the pride, where it is dressed and prepared before it is doled out to the whole clan.
The typical Anharr pride roams the grasslands and deserts, journeying from location to location to settle for a couple of weeks before leaving again. Anharr patterns of migration do not vary much, barring war, storms, or other disruptive phenomena, and previous migrations often leave valuable resources behind, like dried food caches or wells. Anharr will enter an area, hunt and forage for a while, then leave again, never taking more than what is necessary to allow the area to rebuild. In this way, the Anharr move from location to location, taking with them good that can be sold when they make their way through the land, selling furs, gems, and whatever other items they may have for more valuable objects such as wood, metal, and linens. Every few years, the tribes in an area will all converge on one spot, such as an oasis or a cave system, and stay for a longer time. The 25- to 60-individual prides will come together into a gathering a hundred Anharr strong. The Anharr trade extensively during this time, and marriages are often conducted as well.
A typical Anharr camp is made of a series of small, light tents made of light wood and fur, staked primarily to provide some shade during the day. Camps tend to empty out quite a bit when the pride is hunting, but at all other times, it is full of Anharr eating, working, or taking their leisure. During their free time, Anharr practice trades. Wood- and metalworking are popular, as are song, dance, and storytelling. The Anharr have a rich cultural tradition because of this, as every member contributes to the tribe's overall cultural achievements.
Anharr culture is preserved by the Tongue, the scholar of each pride, who records that pride's ritual practices, great deeds, and history, keeping an oral record that has been passed down from each master Tongue to his apprentice for many generations. The Anharr do not have a written language, and so history is preserved through the Tongue's oral tradition and through other methods. Stories are told in the form of poems or epics, but are also preserved through paintings or stitched patterns on hides and decorations on pottery and other items.
Prides are led by their Mane, usually the strongest male in the group, although the words of the Tongue and the strongest females are usually valued as well. Distinguished by his ornately braided and decorated mane of fur, the Mane leads the pride as it travels and usually acts as its official voice. While Anharr of the distant plains usually choose the most experienced male to be Mane, the tribes that roam between the cities usually pick one who can deal well with humans.
Other social positions besides that of the Mane and Tongue exist in the Anharr pride. Although all members of the tribe participate in hunts and combat when able, some are more naturally suited to certain jobs. Nearly all prides have one or more Eyes, who function as scouts, searching the area around the main body of the migrating pride for potential threats and keeping the main informed of anything of note in the area. During times of war, the pride's Claws, their most experienced fighters, serve as shock troops, charging through the enemy lines and cutting down everything in the way. The pride also may have a Tail, who moves behind the main body to look for threats and search for anything that might have been dropped or missed, which helps the pride keep items of value in their possession. For prides in civilized areas, the Mouths speak to outsiders, serving as diplomats and traders who help maintain the tribe's reputation and get good trades for their wares. In this way, the tribe functions like one body, different workers doing different jobs in a harmonious whole.
Typical Male Names: Ezra, Jahan, Judah, Sajo, Solomon, Yajan
Typical Female Names: Aja, Esther, Kanur, Nalu, Rahel, Tamar