Ways of the Seven
The Utaybat are a nation of desert-dwelling humans native to the Gorzai Desert. They are known for their fanatical worship of the god Pelor, deity of the sun, and their warlike nature. The Utaybat have warred with Valua repeatedly throughout Valuan history, with neither side achieving decisive victory over the other. This is due in part to the divisive nature of the Tannis Mountains, which separate Valua from the Gorzai Desert, and the noncommittal nature of Utaybat tactics. Utaybat are masters of ambush, flanking attacks, and tactical retreat. Though they are often outnumbered by Valuan forces, Utaybat combatants strike hard and fast, dispersing into the landscape when gravely threatened.
The Utaybat are shorter in stature than the average Valuan human and have darker skin, adaptations gained after generations of dwelling in the desert. Males and females wear loose-fitting shawls and hoods to protect themselves from the desert heat. The main beast of burden among the Utaybat is the camel, a humpbacked quadruped known for its ability to survive in the harsh desert.
Utaybat worship the god Pelor above all other gods, going so far as to claim that Pelor is the only true deity and that all other gods, including the gods of Valua, are false and evil. As the god of the sun, Pelor commands the fear, awe, and respect of the Utaybat, for whom the sun is a figure of both nurturing warmth and scorching judgment. Mandatory prayer to Pelor occurs at dawn, midday, and sundown, in which Utaybat worshipers supplicate themselves before the disc of the sun, sing psalms and liturgies, and repeatedly raise their hands to the skies.
The Utaybat have a strained relationship with the Bediyat, the nomadic desert population from which they are derived. Most Utaybat view the Bediyat as unenlightened, pathetic cousins, a benighted people whose refusal to acknowledge the absolute supremacy of Pelor renders them impure, and who continue to live as primitive savages in the desert wastes.
The largest Utaybat city, Umm Halani, is located in the central Gorzai at the center of several ancient trade routes. The city is jointly ruled by a sheikh descended from the aristocracy, and by a council of clerics known as the muftiat. The sheikh governs the secular proceedings of the state, and the muftiat leads the worship of Pelor and act as the keeper of religious law.