The Durban are descended from a proud race of nomadic horse masters. For centuries they maintained their independence from the burgeoning empire through their mastery of the plains and their lightweight, adaptable lifestyle. Eventually, however, they too fell to the vastly superior military power and cultural dominance of the Tunisi and settled down to become a race of farmers, herders, and ranchers.

The Durban are famously taciturn and sullen. They speak only when they need to, often going hours without speaking even to one another and when they do speak they are blunt, direct, and honest to a fault in their communications. The expression, "spoken like a Durban", is often used as a way of indicating that something was said in a particularly honest but tactless way. The Durban are also esteemed for their tremendous tenacity and ability to endure hardship and prolonged physical strain. Even today, Durban soldiers dominate the Empire's cavalry division, fulfilling the stereotype that they are "born for the saddle".

The Durban are generally quite insular and avoid making contact with outsiders beyond the minimum required to continue day to day operations and maintain their lifestyle. In spite of the tremendous regret they feel at the loss of their proud heritage, unlike the Paretzi, the Durban do not hold the Tunisi responsible for their downfall but rather place the blame on themselves and their own weakness and inability to adapt to a more rigorous lifestyle.

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