The Gypsy!The world has always been fascinated by the shadowy ambiguity of the Gypsy people, or Rom, as they call themselves. An ancient nomadic race, their origins shrouded in mystery, they have traveled the world perpetuating many myths about themselves for many reasons. Whether to gain sympathy, by saying they were of a certain following, or to further the mystery about them to enhance their qualifications for fortune telling.
Nobody is really sure at this time where Gypsies originated. Today Gypsies are everywhere on Tyrra and their close knit society and strange customs alternately fascinate and irritate the gaje, or non-Gypsy.
Local people usually regard Gypsies with curiosity and suspicion. Gypsies are notoriously reticent about sharing their secrets and love to cast nets of intrigue and cause confusion. Their very lifestyle depends upon such skills.
History has seen the Gypsies persecuted for many reasons. Their roaming lifestyle causes them to always be the outsiders, belonging to no country, as well as vagabonds roaming the countryside to make a quick buck. Additionally their close knit, secretive aspect causes fear and confusion in those not of the Gypsies. Generations of Gypsies have endured persecution by the gaje (not of the Rom/Gypsies) as a result of their aura of strangeness. Political leaders have historically branded Gypsies as undesirables, making them scapegoats of gaje problems. In the past it was common place for anyone who gave them refuge to be punished, anyone who killed a Gypsy could keep his property, any local authority who did not arrest the Gypsies in his area would have to pay for any damage they did. This was the treatment in the past. Local people still believe in Gypsies as thieves and untrustworthy, although this is not always the case.
Gypsies are normally dark skinned with bold flashing eyes. However it is not unusual to find golden or crimson haired Gypsies. A proud and independent, life loving, and passionate people. Gypsies are best noted for their occult skills, healing arts, and storytelling abilities.
Gypsies are noteworthy for the Gypsy code, which governs their lives, and their unique ability to cast the Gypsy curse.
Gypsies are wanderers similar to groups like the Barbarians and Wild Elves. Never staying too long in one place, normally there is only one major Gypsy tribe in a given area for the world is wide and there are many things to see (also there are only so many gaje in a given area). Some large tribes may have several branches in a wide area like a Duchy, but unless they have a common place where they gather frequently, each will have its own governing body. In any case, all Gypsies are considered part of one great family. If several separate clans should get together they will decide among themselves how they will organize and conduct their affairs (usually well out of sight of the local constabulary.)
When a Gypsy moves into a community and establishes contact with the local Gypsy population, he is first of all questioned as to his family background. In fact such a newcomer upon first meeting is asked not sar san (how are you) but kasko san (whose are you) and kas zhanes (who do you know). Members of the community will then send messengers around the country to verify the identity of the new person, and to ascertain that he/she is not in trouble, or being excluded (marhime').
From time to time, the Gypsies will permit an outsider -a gaje as non-Gypsies are called- to be adopted into their clan. Before the adoption can take place, however, the chosen person must first partake of a ceremony involving drinking a special potion from the magical Gypsy cup. Those who fail to pass the test die a painful death; anyone who succeeds has their blood changed to Gypsy blood and may enjoy the benefits of clan membership.
Magic and WAr