There is no other race in Lugubria for whom cutthroat dealing comes as naturally as to the Mau. Originally raiders and petty traders from the western coast of Goru-Goru Gidea, an offshoot tribe established themselves in Marmothoa in the wake of Padamose declaring himself Emperor. There they prospered immensely at the expense of the natives, amassing tremendous wealth with their financial acumen and commercial cunning. When the Mau were no longer welcome in Marmothoa, they smelted their considerable belongings and forged a golden caravan to embark on their Great Pilgrimage. Part-exodus, part-crusade, the Great Pilgrimage led the Mau to pillage and swindle their way across the continent. Excepting a false stop in Kittendrool, they didn’t halt until they reached the other side, at a settlement that would later become known as Clockman.
Rooted deep in the Mau culture is a reverence for the powers of law, finance and the dead. A contract is a magical pact, money has arcane properties, and ancestors demand their due. Mau ghosts are particularly notorious for being restless spirits, who will only leave the living in peace after receiving offerings of wealth and praise. In fact, many aspects of Malaproprean Mau culture stems from the tradition of lawyer-shamans of the feral Mau of Goru Goru Gidea, whose original duties were appeasing the ancestor spirits of each tribe and enforcing contracts with magically-empowered clauses.
In recent times, Mau in Clockman and their banking cartels are held in check by several factors: their history in Marduun and their status as a racial minority puts them in a vulnerable position. In addition to this, they are heavily dependent on the services of skilled workers, and increasingly knowledgeable workers, as well as the resource-producing political powers in Lugubria. For these reasons, they must rely on careful politicking and image management, as well as the deliberate creation of a moneyed middle class in Clockman. The Clockman Mau also go to pains to appear to be working under separate organizations, but many believe them to be secretly conspiring to manipulate every aspect of life in the city.
From the perspective of humans, Mau are inclined towards a kind of calculating heartlessness that can seem almost alien. While the Mau are not entirely without sympathy, they cooperate only when there is a clear benefit and what passes for their sense of loyalty is bounded by the terms of contract or indebtedness. Humans, in particular, are often seen as a kind of prey animal to the Mau. Most often, this is limited to fleecing people for all their financial worth, but it can go beyond that. Eating human babies has been proscribed by nearly all the governments in Clockman, but embarrassing and inflammatory evidence occasionally surfaces to ruin the career of one politician or another.
Mau carry family names, but do not have families in the sense that most humans would be familiar with. Unlike people, the Mau go into estrus twice per year. The banking district is closed and all business grinds to a halt as Uptown Terrace and the King's Fields are overrun by a feral orgy. The noise alone is horrific. The resulting children are only briefly nursed by their mothers, before being turned over to the nurseries, grammar schools and academies sponsored by the wealthiest of Mau patrons. The wards of these institutions will typically adopt the family name of the patron. As one might imagine, tracing a Mau's familial ancestry is a hopeless affair. Inheritance, as a result, is not determined by bloodline, but by contract.