During the times of Darkness, the Mala lived in bloody war with the Cave People, the Trolls. It was terrible- not one village or clan could survive without every and all people trained to run and fight, at any moment – the Trolls would come up out of the ground at any time, full of hunger and ready to eat any living thing.
It was in this time of terror, that the people turned away from falsehood and found their heritage – the One God. By divine vision, the people each learned part of a written language, and all the 12 nations came together sharing their language- it was the lesson that by working as one, they could survive and prosper. The written language allowed them to develop Science, and teach across long distances and generations, and they found ways to coordinate their defenses against the Trolls.
And they found the Science of Prayer, and brought Light back into the world, driving out the Trolls back down to the depths.
Since then, the Mala have formed a vast empire built on trade and Science. Masters of Math, Astronomy, History, Engineering, Medicine, there is much they have learned and use to bring truth to the world of troubles.
When the Red Empire arose and smashed the Huangfan, no one expected it. Though the hazardous desert serves as a barrier between the two empires, the Mala have been ever aware that they might be attacked next.
Though they keep their eyes to the east, the troubles are, in fact, down below. The Trolls still fight for gold and ore, but what has become a real threat is that the Trolls have taken to destroying or stealing salt. And now a shortage is starting and the 12 nations are starting to feel pressed. Secret prayers and plans are being made, factions are forming.
The Mala have remained strong through unity… but can it last?
Educated in Words and Numbers 17
Politically Astute 13
Science of (choose one: Math, Writing, Maps, Stars, Medicine, Architecture, History, Song, Jewelry, Strategy, Alchemy, Husbandry, Agriculture, Religion, Trade)
Family and Clan: 17
Faith in the One God 13
Fear of Trolls 13
Distrustful of Lunars 13
The Mala are a wealthy trading empire, so choose 3 items as traits at 13. These can be local or exotic objects.
The primary magic in the Mala Empire is the worship of the One God- people gather in Temples and make prayers and read the lessons from the Scroll of First Language and various other scrolls or books of sciences and laws.
Some Temples have symbolic pits representing the holes from which the Trolls once emerged to carry away and eat the people, which alternately serve as places to pray for protection, curses upon enemies, make divinations to foretell of danger, or to practice fighting arts. It is also believed that people who practice forbidden magic would use these pits as well.
Finding such a pit outside of a Temple would be an ill omen, a place of evil and bad magic. The cries of terror and the crunching of bone are sometimes said to be audible from such places. It is rumored that before the First Language, a few of the people allied with the Trolls and worshipped the same dark god, and happily sold their own people as sacrifices in trade.
The second type of worship is mysticism, by the Order of the Sufficient Ones, alternately known as the Seekers of Sufficiency, or the Worthy Ones. Their philosophy is that all things in the world are limited, and therefore, in want or need of something, which can only be fulfilled by the One. Their path of worship is to overcome the limitations and dissolve all unworthy traits until being “sufficient” of the Giver of Sufficiency.
They do not form larger groups, and mostly have small cells of teachers and students. They may also make prayers at Temples and participate, though it is said they have alternate, inner readings of all of the Scrolls and books.
There are regular rituals of protection and prayer, and annual rituals acknowledging Salvation from the Dark Times- both the struggles of knowledge, the struggles of war, and the bringing of peace and unity.
Individuals are often encouraged to seek deeper and learn more by communing and heroquesting to learn from the First Teachers throughout history.
As it stands now, the salt is running out, and people will start getting sick and dying without it- many have begun either heroquesting to divine for locations to find more, or perhaps, to destroy the Trolls who have started taking it.
As times get harder, small vendettas and feuds have started coming up, and people have begun doing small quests against each other… This is forbidden by the law, but anyone can find a rationalization if they want to…
The One God has led the Mala from the Darkness, but will they learn to lead themselves?