The Pathcutter are an ethnoreligious group of people who originally hail from the mountainous regions of southern Oakridge. A combination of war, famine, and plague drove them from their ancestral homeland and scattered most of them across central and southern Torata, before a great many resettled in the hills of Stoneroot. While their culture is more diasporic than nomadic, the Dissident sect of Narsham their culture formed around allows them to remain united, despite being spread across great distances.
While Pathcutter people generally speak whatever language is common to their homeland, their practice of Pathcutter Orthodox Narsham is the thread that unites them all.
While most Pathcutter cuisine is based on that of their homeland, a few traditional staples persist across most communities. Mustard is traditionally kept in every Pathcutter home, as the sharing of mustard is involved in an important hospitality ritual that dates back to before the Great Scattering. Pistachios and pomegranates are perennial favorites, though much more recent ones associated with the rise of the state of Stoneroot and the Pathcutter Reunification Movement. Plums and olives grow in most of the regions settled by the Pathcutter, and recent archaeological evidence from ancient Oakridgi ruins shows evidence that their relationship with the fruits likely predates their development of the Narshamic faith during the Pathcutter Exile. A type of leavened milk bread fried in safflower oil is the base for a number of other dishes, both sweet and savory.
While most Pathcutter tend to dress in the fashions of their homelands, traditional designs usually incorporate geometric patterns and sun motifs. A combination of intense red, marigold, and sky blue over a base of black or tan is popular among Unification Movement followers. Married women wear an iron bracelet on their right wrist in some of the more fundamentalist groups, though many younger women, and in some cases men, have taken to tattooing their right wrist instead. Indeed, tattoos are quite common among the Pathcutter, though their style and placement vary from region to region.
There is no single type of architecture shared by the disparate groups of Pathcutter, save for the construction of Narshamic temples, which are all nearly identical thanks to a passage in the “The Book”, the Narshamic holy text, which gives exhaustive details on temple construction.
Apart from the influence of Narshamic hymns and temple zither, Pathcutter music tends to be diverse, drawing from the regions in which it originates.
Few customs are truly universal among the scattered communities of Pathcutter, but the Rites of Hospitality are paramount. According to the Rites, anyone - even total strangers or nonbelievers - must be given three days of shelter, food, and conversation if they request it. In return, the guest must refrain from violence, theft, or rudeness. The three days begins and ends with the sharing of mustard, usually on a cracker or small piece of cheese. This reliable network of hosts is one of the factors that allowed the Pathcutter to remain so connected over such large distances for such a long time. The core practice has been adopted by many other cultures in Torata, albeit with different variations in the details of the ritual.
The handful of Pathcutter who stayed near their ancestral homeland generally have brown eyes, tan skin, and straight, dark hair. However, most disparate communities have intermarried with the peoples of their homelands over the centuries. In particular, many indigenous Stonerootians who converted to Pathcutter Orthodox Narsham contributed their dark wavy hair, green eyes, and pale skin to the local Pathcutter phenotype.