The Harkon's skin is dark, their coloring harsh and intense. Harkon skin tones vary from blood red to crimson to jet black, with hair running the gamut from pale white to gold to deep ebony. Harkon loathe tattoos and refuse to deliberately mar their skin, though they proudly wear any scars gained in a duel or battle. Harkon faces are harsh and stern, for they rarely smile.
Life in the empty desert has left its mark on the manner of the Harkon as well. Used to having an uninterrupted view of the horizon, they grow nervous in enclosed spaces. The Harkon find forests unsettling, and large bodies of water are terrifying to them. The heat of the desert has taught the Harkon to conserve their energy and strength: all Devil Men act with a utility of movement, wasting little motion. When action is required, Harkon move with an uncanny speed, directness, and intensity. Even when at rest, Harkon project an aura of menace, of furious action restrained by intense concentration. When dealing with tir'khanim (literally "rain bleeder," a derogatory term for any being weak enough to waste water through sweat), Harkon seems stoic and tend to brood and scowl. Among their kind, however, Harkon are capable of laughter and frenzied revelry.
The Harkon are nomads by nature, roving from oasis to oasis and ruin to ruin. Every Harkon is a member of a Virakt, a tribe composed of several allied clans and family groups. The bond between Harkon tribemates is the strongest in their culture - no Harkon would ever willingly harm or betray the others of his Virakt. Most tribes (the Harkon plural is Virakt'al) have only a few dozen members, although the largest tribes number in the thousands. Every Virakt has its allies and blood enemies among the others, although the patterns of trade, marriage alliance, friendship, and vendetta shift constantly, like the ripples on a dune. Every Virakt also makes a living through raiding, taking goods and captives from anyone weaker than themselves. The goods are consumed, and the captives forced to serve as Jov'uus, or slaves. Only Moun'dall (Lesser Races) are kept as slaves - any true Harkon would rather die than be a thrall. Harkon build great buildings of sandstone, intricately carved with runes and decorative designs. Around these structures stretch vast awnings of canvas or silk, and Harkon of lower castes live in great tents. Ancient ruins, remnants of the lost civilizations, rise out of the desert sands here and there and are held as sacred by the Harkon, forming the nucleus of every Devilman city.
The peoples of the plains lands believe that the Harkon are all wanton, barbaric savages that eat the flesh of their enemies and drink blood. While most of these stories are exaggerations (if not outright lies), the truth of the matter is that the Harkon have a highly advanced culture, rich in history, folklore, and art. True equality exists between Harkon men and women, for any who can prove themselves under the harsh sun are worthy of respect and power. Poetry, storytelling, and music come quickly to the Harkon, and their festivals are wondrous to behold. Among the Harkon rigid protocols and elaborate systems of etiquette govern everything, from greeting to eating to declaring war. All Harkon have a highly developed sense of honor, which they see as a product of their khar'ika. To break with custom or violate tradition is to declare oneself too weak to live by the ways of the Harkon, a fate all Devil Men regard as unthinkable. Of course, it goes without saying that the Moun'dall (Lesser Races) are unworthy of courtesy of any kind. Any ruse, deception, or brutality is perfectly acceptable if used against rain-bleeders: indeed, deceit and cruelty are considered the honorable means of dealing with weak beings.
War is the only time the constraints of honor break down between Harkon. Khan'jallakar, or Blood War, is one of the Harkon's most ancient traditions. Wars are not to be confused with duels: in Harkon cities fatal fights between warriors are frequent and governed by strict traditions. Dire insults or crimes against a Virakt can, under certain conditions (which are, again, rigidly defined by tradition) lead to Khan'jallakar. There are precise rituals for declaring a Blood War, but once declared there are no rules, and the conflict turns as bloody as any raid of the plains lands, if not more so. Entire Virakt'al have vanished because of Blood Wars, yet they must not always end cruelly. Usually, within a few months of the Blood War's end, the two tribes are neutral towards each other again, resuming trade and possibly even becoming allies. To the Harkon, war is a passionate diversion, like wine or song, meant to be savored to the fullest, then set aside before it distracts them from the business of survival. Since the Godfall, Blood Wars have decreased in their ferocity, while the number of Blood Wars called against Moun'dall (Lesser Races) has increased drastically.
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