Varisian Gypsies

Varisian Gypsies

First of all, this is not required reading. I like the Varisian people as they have been detailed, even if the wiki is a little thin on their official page. If you follow links you can find a lot of stuff. In essence, they are gypsies.

I just want a place to jot down some thoughts. Unless something strongly contradicts me in the wiki, this is how they will be in my game. This is really just me messing around so read it if you feel interested.

Varisians in the World

The Varisian's are gypsies. It's pretty clear what real world influences they are drawn from.

They are nomadic with few permanent settlements but they maintain some sort of presence in nearly every city, town, village, or collection of ten or more permanent buildings. Each settlement in Varisia has what is usually called The Varisian Camp.

Here's how it works. Say for some reason there are no Varaisian's in town. Then a cart pulls in and sets down stakes for a time. This family might be coppersmiths, trading and repairing cookware and cheap jewelry. A few days later another family with two carts might arrive, entertainers and story tellers. Next week a larger family group arrives, three carts and a small herd of ponies to trade. The coppersmiths, feeling a bit crowded and having done all the business they can in this small market, move on. Within a week a family of carpenters might replace them while the dancers move on to greener pastures.

In this fashion pretty much even the smallest village in the region is very likely to have one or two Varisian carts with families in residence at any given time.

In some places, the Varasians have founded semi-permanent towns. Made up nearly entirely of cart families, with possibly one or two stone structures to house a smithy or provide shelter if a bad storm surprises them, these settlements rarely have names but might last for as long as five years before what ever drew the gypsies to settle is over. One week it may seem that they are about to build a school and town hall, the next they might be gone.

For the most part, if a Varisian wishes to really settle in a house, they buy one in an already established town. Usually this is an elderly couple who have tired of travel or a family with a real need to have a permanent building of some sort, like a blacksmith.

Family Units

The typical Varisian family unit is headed up by a Poppa. Poppa is the eldest male of the line, his sons and their wives and children (and often their wives and children) all follow where The Poppa leads. His cart is the finest, and his voice is the one that speaks for the family. Depending on family size and Poppa's lifespan, a family of Varisian's traveling together might be as small as ten or so adults to as large as thirty. Add to this the possible number of children and you might have more than sixty people traveling together at a time; although such large families are very rare.

When a Varisian male marries, it is expected that his wife will join his family. When a Varisian woman marries she most often will go join with her husband's family. In this way the Varisian's create a complex web of family ties and relationships which ensures cooperation between units as they travel the countryside. And while this exchange of women is traditional, it is not something which is enforced. There have been times when some necessity required a daughter to remain with her family and her husband would then join with her. In dangerous times, two smaller family units might join up and intermarry to the point where when the dangers are passed they remain together.

When a Poppa dies, his eldest son inherits the title of Poppa, and the best cart. He also inherits Momma, which is sometimes called the Curse of the Eldest Son. (Having to now listen to both wife and mother) The other sons will then take their own families off on different paths and become Poppa in their own right.

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