Though descended from the giant races of TERA's lore, Baraka are more peaceful and contemplative than their forbears. But that doesn't mean this formidable race won't fight fiercely when put to it! Learn more about the Baraka in this latest dev diary from En Masse Entertainment, featuring exclusive TERA screenshots you won't see anywhere else!
Meet the Baraka
The baraka weaponsmith grabs a sword from the rack and gives it a few experimental swings in the air over your head. “Note the flanges in the middle of the blade. Originally a devan innovation about a century ago—they call it the kevellik…” He puts the blade back. “Those flanges bring the weapon’s weight outward, so there’s a modicum of extra force. You pay for that force, though, because it parries poorly and the flanges prevent a long, clean cut.” He grabs another sword. “Now take this sword—the ruthenn, it’s called. Originally designed for ceremonial sword-twirling exercises—military parade stuff—it has a grip almost twice as long as an ordinary human sword. When your hands are as large as mine, that extra room is most welcome.”
The baraka pauses. “I’ve killed two dozen with this sword, so I have more than just an academic interest in its history.”
Every baraka reveres knowledge, but many find their studies take them out of the ivory towers and into earthier—and more dangerous—fields of study. Other races use words like “serene” and “contemplative” to describe the baraka, and there’s an element of truth to that assessment. But it’s more accurate to say that other races simply don’t pick up on the uniquely baraka facial and vocal cues that indicate anger, fear, joy, or sorrow. Baraka feel as keenly as everyone else; they just don’t express their feelings in ways that are obvious to other races.
Some baraka are clever enough to realize that the rest of the world sees them as placid—the proverbial “gentle giants.” They take advantage of that misconception, playing their role as serene philosophers to the hilt or ignoring the emotions of the non-baraka around them. On the inside, though, those baraka are just as emotional as anyone. (And anyone who’s seen a baraka berserker knows how angry these “gentle” souls can get.)
Telling the story of the baraka means telling the story of the giants, for the baraka were once members of that now-extinct race. In the ancient language of the giants, the word baraka means “librarian,” and those ancient baraka were indeed a caste of librarians, sages, and scribes, serving the ruling and war-making castes across the vastness of the giant’s empire.
Over time, however, the empire of the giants turned its eyes toward conquest and away from the advancement of knowledge. The baraka dwindled in numbers, and they rarely left the cities and temples of the giants. Magic and divine intervention caused the giants to grow even larger and more fearsome, but the baraka remained at their eight- to nine-foot height. The giants still valued baraka knowledge, but the baraka increasingly kept to themselves, becoming little more than caged songbirds in the palaces of the giants.
The separation between the baraka and the rest of giant society saved the baraka people. The ambition of the giant’s empire eventually drew the wrath of the gods, who bombarded the cities of the giants from the sky on the Day of Flame. Oriyn, goddess of knowledge, interceded on behalf of the baraka people, pointing out that the baraka didn’t share the arrogance or ambition of the other giants. On the Day of Flame, the giants perished, but the baraka survived.
Since the destruction of the giants, the baraka have scattered across the continents of Arun and Shara, sharing the knowledge they were able to protect during the Day of Flame and its aftermath. Many are still librarians, sages, and scribes, but others are determined to be more than just academics. They relish the opportunity to learn from the other races by living among them, and many communities across the Valkyon Federation rely on baraka to teach their children, heal their wounds, and advise their leaders.
The baraka are also keen to demonstrate that they are not like their giant progenitors. Baraka leaders generally counsel patience and caution, not the aggression that the giants were known for. Many baraka are particularly careful to treat the amani well, because the empire of the giants enslaved the amani for centuries. The baraka rarely used amani slaves and were little more than servants themselves, but they still feel some guilt when amani are around.
Want to know more about the Baraka? Check out our Baraka Race Reveal Q&A with TERA Writer / Designer Bridget McKenna.
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