The Magyars are a nomadic people who are primarily found in the Flatlands. They make their homes from brightly coloured wagons, and in these they travel across the land, going from one village to another where they put on entertaining shows in exchange for supplies. Frequently they feel they were not recompensed sufficiently for their efforts and will resort to stealing from the villages they perform in.
Most days Magyars are travelling between villages. The day begins with a bit of practice, be it juggling, tumbling, or fighting. After breaking their fast, the Magyars board their wagons and start out for a long day of travel across the Steppe. While they are travelling, the male adults drive the wagons and keep watch for horsemen or others who might assault them. The children, the women, and the elderly remain inside the wagons. Seamstresses would mend torn garments or fashion new ones, etc…
Later in the afternoon the Magyars bring the wagons to a stop, preferably near a river or other water source. If there are trees, some of the men will chop one down to replenish their wood supply. Afterwards they prepare several fires, their number depending on the season. Meals are cooked, and the community gathers to practice their pageant, which is the main attraction for their performances. Often this is an epic story of far away lands and strange magic.
The villages of the Flatlands know what to expect when the Magyars come to visit. Arrangements are made for payment, and the Magyars always put on a good show. Dancing, singing, juggling, acrobatics, storytelling; all of these are the staple of a Magyar's life. Rare is the audience that is not enthralled by the show they put on.
A modern equivalent would be a travelling circus, minus the exotic animals.
The Magyars are a loosely organized band. Generally there is a charismatic leader whom the others allow to guide them. Men are expected to know how to fight and steal, and women are expected to learn a trade such as seamstress, shoemaker, cook, or animal husbandry.
Men and women are not forced to marry except by choice, but it is always a grand celebration when there is a wedding. It is on these days when Magyars perform their best songs and dances.
Because of their nomadic lifestyle, infant mortality is high amongst the Magyars. Only one in four children survive to adulthood. Because of this, the Magyars induct others into their lifestyle from time to time. Almost any pretext is sufficient. They may dazzle children with their flashy colours and clever tricks, enough to make one or two run off to join them. Having your life saved by a Magyar on the Steppe is pretty much a guarantee that you will become a Magyar too! Rarely do they resort to outright kidnapping, but it has bee known to occur.
Magyars are very proud of who and what they are, and they work very hard to instill this same ethic in all those who are not born as Magyars. Life before one became a Magyar is considered irrelevant and not to be talked about. All who become Magyars are given new names, and will only ever be addressed by that name.
Magyars rely on my magical devices to aid them in their lives. Trinkets keep the inside of their wagons pleasantly warm all year round. Some even can be used to hide their tracks in the snow. Even so, it is not often for a Magyar to be a true mage. When one of them shows such a talent they are expected to dedicate themselves to building it and putting it to use for their fellow Magyars.
There is always a seer in a Magyar band. The seer helps the leader make decisions on where they should go and how long they should stay in a village. The seer has minor magical ability beyond their ability to glimpse the future. Generally the seer has some focus that they use to understand the future, be it beads or cards or bones. All Magyar seers are women, and no Magyar seer can wed a man unless that man is also a mage.
Most Magyars are nominally Lothanasi. They take a very casual attitude towards religion, preferring instead that they are not noticed by the gods for good or ill.
Generally they are very superstitious. They tread very lightly in holy places or magical places, preferring not to get too close lest the magic transform them into a tree, as was done to the greatest Magyar of legend, Shapurji.
The Magyars speak the common tongue of Galendor as it is spoken in the Steppe. Their dialect is also interspersed with words from an even older language that was used in the Vysehrad Mountains. Some of these include:
- Ja - "Go do what I just asked", or "Go away"
- Hanlo - City
- Bavol-engro - Mysterious Spirits
- Birk - Woman's Breast