Typical Igrexian appearance:
Igrex tend to be tall, thin, almost willowy and have very goblinoid features (eyes and ears) with little stumpy horns and yellowish skin. The Irgex are far more peace-loving than their appearance might suggest. Their wart and horn covered skin suggest they came from arid areas such as the Dechfuur Valleys or from the continent of Ihsizar far to the south, however, their history is a mystery.
The Irgex are primarily organized in small village and tribal groups. They tend to live in rugged and inhospitable places that others do not desire. They tend to favor the southern part of the continent of Durnia and are almost unheard of in the far north. Communities are autonomous although there is considerable cooperation between nearby groups. The Irgex have a bilineal descent pattern. They draw their names from the names of their father’s line and mother’s line. The two names are combined, with no preference for name order. An Irgex would respond to “Agud Gimosh” (his mother’s uncle’s name and his father’s brother’s name) just as readily as “Gimosh Agud”. This is a source of endless confusion to the other races. That suits the Irgex just fine.
Marriage is organized around astrological charts. These charts indicate whether a match is fortuitous or ill advised. Because the chart is calculated with the reference point of when the couple began to “court”, arranged marriages can not be pre-planned as there are a myriad of seemingly random factors that are calculated into the charts. Because of this system of marriage there is considerable “dating” early in a Irgex’s life. Because sharing a name is thought to signify relation (whether real, imagined, close or distant) one cannot marry anyone with a name that someone in the family has. For example, a Irgex woman meets a Irgex man from a settlement very far away. She cannot become romantic with him however because one of his names is the same of an uncle of hers.
Wealth is passed down in equal measure to surviving spouses and/or children. Leadership is based on a “big man” model where the leader has to continually earn his or her position as local leader. Competing “Uh’guh’naks” are the number one source of strife within the community, but also one that is often very entertaining. Such contests in which each Uh’guh’nak ridicule each other is the highlight of village life, particularly due in part to the otherwise Irgexian stoic, stayed, and polite manner that most outsiders are familiar with.
Irgexian Language and Culture:
The language of the Irgex is unlike any other found on the continent. Efforts to link it to goblin dialects have failed completely. Additionally, the language is exceedingly difficult to learn, let alone master. Fluent non-native speakers are virtually unknown. The grammar seems to be tied to the phases of the moon, and how an Igrex converses with another Igrex can sound radically different depending on when a statement is uttered. Additionally, the language has a series of spatial grammatical artifacts. For example, directionality of the speaker (i.e. the direction the speaker faces on the compass).
Irgexians are essentially animists. They feel that the universe is filled with spirits. Every star, tree, rock or river has a spirit or spirits associated with it. The Irgex lack a true pantheon, instead, they petition local spirits instead. There is no formalized priesthood, only gifted individuals who can communicate with the spirits. The specialists, called “Aguk” can never be “Uh’guh’naks”. There is usually at least one Aguk in each community, but his or her skill will vary.
Irgexian astrology is a mystery to historians. Many believe that this suggests that the Irgex are the remnants of some former great civilization. Others consider the myriad references to (seemingly) non-existent locales as indicating they come from someplace far from Durnia. Irgexian astrologers (“Ehnuk”) are a subset of Aguk that practice divination as well as general religious duties of the Aguk. They often keep ancient handwritten tomes describing various astrological phenomena. There is some variation in the systems of differing Ehnuks. Ehnuks tend to travel a lot, providing their services to many Irgexian communities. They also seem to enjoy documenting new potentially influential spirits that may impact, no matter how subtly, the fates of the Irgex.
Irgex Racial Relations:
Humans: Igrex have long been distrusted by humans, in part because of their alleged goblinoid heritage. To make things worse, Igrex tried to avoid conflict with goblins and this is often used to illustrate their dubious heritage. However, Igrex often provide invaluable services to nearby human communities who both enjoy and demonize Igrex at the same time. Igrex attitudes toward humans are varied but are often conciliatory.
Halflings: Igrex and Halfling relations are rather harmonious. Both see kindred interests in agriculture and rural, rustic life. Since there are no Igrex communities near Halfling lands though, there is little “cross-pollination” between these two societies.
Elves: Elvin society has carried on cool relations with the Igrex. There is considerable distrust involved even though they have so much in common. There is very little interest in how the Igrex live or what they do as long as they do not threaten Elvin ways. Igrex have a legend of the consummate “Iago” figure who betrays an important cultural hero, Vees Ahdoh. This figure is usually portrayed as an elf. This certainly colors elves in the eyes of the Grix
Dwarves are very suspicious of the Igrex. They are in many ways all too “goblinoid” for Dwarves. While the Igrex deny that such ancestry exists, Dwarves are not swayed by their protestations. Igrex on the other hand find Dwarven willingness to block themselves from the night sky as disturbing. Long before the “Scourge’s Kiss” AKA “Gray Shakes”, the Igrex had long used a term for Dwarves: “K’sha’larg” which translates to “he who blinds himself with earth”…perhaps their divinations predicted the “Grey Shakes”?
Igrex are a generally peaceful group and try to avoid conflict, especially one where they are woefully outnumbered, as is the case for whenever they have had dealings with the goblin tribes. Goblins are very open to dealing with Igrex because they think that Igrex are “goblinkin”.
Igrex find Gnomish pessimism to be distasteful but Igrex have had no real issues with Gnomish immigration in the past 60 years. Gnomes tended to go to the urban centers of the continent, areas where the Igrex are under-represented.