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races

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RACES

A race is a way to tell a difference between multiple species. Etherna is inhabited by many different species of sentient beings, with humans and erdians being the most prolific and widespread races across the known world.

Humans

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Some of the well-known human nations include:

Avenorian

Children of the former inhabitants of the first human kingdom - Avenor, which rose at the dawn of history. They were the creators of first human nation, which shone as a bright light of the civilized world amongst the sea of barbarism and darkness. All known human families descend from avenorians.

Although the pure bloodline is now considered long lost and there's nothing but a trace left of their former glory, avenorian descendants make up the majority of people living on the main continent and countries such as Antioch, Sejunne or Huss all had their beginnings with them spreading far and wide across the world. FIXME

Kazac

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Avari

The native folk of the southern continent, Avari originally descend from the tropical rainforests, which made their homelands for thousands of years. Likewise for avenorian, Avari had been living between the ancestral remains for countless generations - a culture far older than any of the northern civilizations, tending to their ancient customs regardless of times. They are spiritual and proud at heart, living in close contact with the nature and taking utmost care in preservation of their traditional lifestyles. As such, they mostly reject the new technological achievements northern nations are so proud of. Although hospitable, they hardly tolerate any signs of violence and were always ready to defend their homelands and beliefs from greedy northlings. Many of those conflicts - which often steemed from various misinterpretations and plain lack of understanding for their kind - often ended in bloodsheed. Avari bravely defended their traditions until only a while ago, when they finally had to subdue to northern might and their kingdom swore fealthy as one of the Antiochian colonies.

Somewhat exotic to this day, avari - like most of the southern inhabitants - all share a natural, olive tanned skin color and mostly dark hair. Due to their sophisticated beauty, they were often the target of slave hunters and even to this day, avari women - including quall - are very much sought after, especially by the doll houses and various eccentrics, who'd pay a handful just to lie their hands on the daughters of Telakhi; illegal human trafficking is very common.

Erdians

Erdians (“erde” - earth, ground; “those who walk the face of earth”) are anthropomorphic humanoids, forming a colourful mixture of many distinct species and nations scattered throughout the world of Etherna. Their lineage is much older than human civilization and had seen better days - a huge amount of ancient ruins littering the landscape are the remains of once legendary erdian cities. When humans became the dominant race in the world, many erdians lost touch with their history, being successfully pushed out of their original habitats. Most of them ended up living alongside them, even though both races share a very turbulent past. Many erdians abandoned their own traditions for the sake of integration with humans, or brought them among their circles, enriching it with new elements, while some groups managed to effectively oppose cultural impoverishment and retained their own ethnic and cultural independence, although not without a price. Erdians are usually bright, intelligent and multi-talented. From a physical standpoint, most of them remain weaker than the average human, but make up for it with their extraordinary skills.

Erdian families include:

Kannaites

Erdian family with distinct canine characteristics. Average kannaite has a lively tail and nimble legs, their heads usually end with snouts, while their bodies are covered with fur in many different shades and patterns. Kannaites themselves are divided into a variety of groups, each of which differs slightly in origin and appearance; yori are mostly slender, finer and once inhabited forests, stocky kumi come from the far north, while sunu remain a mixture of many different breeds, closest to humans and live alongside them in cities. Most kannaites have an above-average sense of smell and exceptional hearing. They are usually very fit, well tolerate prolonged physical exertion, remain primarily sociable and open to teamwork.

Felidians

Erdians with a distinctively feline appearance. Their bodies are typically lithe and lean with slender limbs. They have long tails, perky ears and colourful eyes with narrow pupils, which usually glow in the dark. Most of them are equipped with very sharp claws they are able to retract depending on the needs. Soft pads on their feet enable them to move quietly. Felidians can jump from high altitudes without getting injured, they see very well in the dark and have reflexes high above humans and other erdians. Although felidians are mostly diurnal beings, their lifestyles remain relaxed; average felidian spends a lot of time on sleeping and leisures, avoiding excessive physical exertion. This is also considered the reason why their lifespans tend to be a lot longer than most of other sentient species, including the human race, whilst some of the records tell about healthy felidians as old as 115 years and above.

Dammids

Dammid's appearance is similar to a deer or antelope. Their bodies are slender with smooth, mostly fair-skinned hair, long legs with hooves and tasselled tails. Their necks tend to be much longer than those of humans, while their heads are crowned with various types of different antlers. Some representatives of this breed can achieve particularly high growth - individuals of average height above two meters aren't uncommon. Most dammids - especially smaller ones - have outstanding intellect and share big passion towards art and culture.

Tauri

Distant dammid relatives. Most tauri are huge creatures with massive body stature, small heads crowned with horns and well-muscled legs and arms. They are fine strongmen, born with virtually unlimited energy reserves and although intelligent, brightness isn't their main trait and they easily fall into anger. Famous for their superhuman strength, tauri are one of the strongest beings that ever walked the face of this world.

Agni

Cheerful and joyful members of the dammid family. Agni are typically beings of small stature. Like sheep or goats - their arms, legs and significant part of their bodies remain covered in fluffy, curly fur with shades from white to grey, beige and black. They have short tails, ungulate legs with hooves and their heads are crowned with antlers. Most agni are hard-working and have deft hands but their attention spans are one of the shortest of all; once they change their mind, it's really hard to chase them back to work. Despite that, their temper and positive attitude towards life makes them perfect public service workers, scientists and technicians. Since summers in most of temperate zones are usually very warm, agni shear themselves ahead of time to avoid various complications. This peculiar custom turned into a very popular festival, which attracts nations from around the world.

Migal

Swarthy erdians, coming from the south. Representatives of this group, although average in body structure, are characterized by slim bodies (overweight in their case is a thing mostly unprecedented, probably thanks to their amazing metabolism), very long and droopy ears, tufted tails and extremely resilient legs, which resemble them slightly to felidians. Their ruffled fur comes in shades of brown to beige and grey growing on different parts of the body while their skin has a similar pigmentation and can be relatively freckled. Their irises often take the most unusual colours - ruby, emerald, purple and most often, orange. Migal have unique physical fitness and agility. Friendly and spontaneous although temperamental, they are a social race at heart, often striving for peaceful resolution of problems. Their ancestors mostly inhabited warm, sub-equatorial and sub-tropical forests, where they formed loose, clan-based family clusters. Even nowadays, they aren't a common sight in the northern states and remain somewhat exotic.

Stel

They represent a large family of lizard-like beings with the manifold appearance and characteristics. Most of them belong to the family of the most widely encountered argonites - beings with a slim body structure, very long tails, reptilian heads and scaly skin, shimmering with many shades from iridescent green to turquoise. Others include baal - thickset, powerful crocodile relatives from far south and sulu - thin and delicate argonites whose skin, instead being covered with scales remains soft with swimming membranes between their toes and more rarely, limbs; argonites and sulu are excellent swimmers, while baal abandoned their aquatic lifestyles, whilst nature rewarded them with a very thick, extremely durable skin. Baal and majority of argonites are exceptional soldiers, while sulu shun violence, devoting themselves passionately to culture and science. It's also worth mentioning that all argonites breed by laying down eggs; the only exception being sulu, who remain viviparous, just like humans. Although similar to anumarians in a lot of aspects, those two races have barely anything in common except for some of the similarities in their physical appearance.

Kael

Sharp-eyed, ethereal beings with bodies covered in feathers and wings, capable of flying. Since even not so long ago they weren't a common sight, most of the civilizations - including those of humans and erdians - often considered them angels. Kael seem to be the only remaining descendants of the now extinct, legendary eols - a “noble, ancient race, that supposedly once had a kingdom within the skies”. Whatever happened to them remains unknown to this day and remains a topic of numerous scientific and archaeological debates.

Kael's most distinct features, aside from their appearance and ability to fly are their soft and melodious voices, though some of the representatives remain mute and supposedly communicate with other beings via telepathy. From a physical standpoint, Kael are typically very lightweight and as such, remain a lot weaker than most other races, including humans; they lack arms, while their legs are well muscled and their feet end with talons, indicating their ancestors had to be birds of prey. Their heads tend to be slightly smaller and end with beaks. Their species present a huge diversity in terms of indigenous physical appearance - from smaller representatives that seem to have more common with their ancestors to almost human-like descendants, which shows how much they meld with the human race.

Similar to stel, kael breed by laying down eggs. A female rarely lays more than one egg and their fertility is low, which would explain why the race is in constant decline since the last couple decades. It's important to note kael remain the only species partially capable to crossbreed with humans; only kael females can become pregnant and children born from such relationships are born as harpies, which remain female-only.

Kael love music and attach great importance to art, culture and spirit.

Sigur

A widely spread erdian family, whose members are characterized by rodent-like qualities. Usually of much smaller stature than most other erdians, Sigur are intelligent, witty, bright and hyperactive. Their appearances vary greatly - some of them have large, bushy tails that remain often far bigger than their whole bodies or have them very long and hairless; their hair is mostly smooth and silky. Some of them are very slim, but in general - they're usually much shorter and meeker, than other species. The easiest way to recognize a Sigur is by their front incisor teeth, which are usually far larger than of other races.

Similar to many smaller species, Sigur are extremely sociable and cheerful, but also hard-working and generally tend to create caring and tightly-knit families with faithful partners in long-lasting relationships. Majority of Sigur comes from the far, south-eastern planes, where they once used to inhabit forests.

Pochi

A distinct Sigur breed; their members are characterized by relatively small size and childlike frames, which are often deceiving, adorable faces, large and protruding ears and thick, bushy tails. Compared to other representatives of their species, Pochi live relatively shortly, with lifespans over 45 years considered to be far above average. They grow up and mature very fast and usually have their first children around 12-14. Some say Pochi breed like rabbits, which isn't entirely true. An average family has usually 2-3 children at most; it's true their fertility is much higher than other races, but remains necessary to alleviate for their short lifespans and ensure their species' continuity. Since Pochi are small and a lot weaker than most beings they typically live around with, they can't pursue certain jobs and careers, but are exceptional at those, where such small stature remains an advantage. Despite their short lifespans, they also remain very industrious and capable, but since most of them die of old age very early compared to other races, they aren't able to truly use it to their species' advantage.

Kalmuk

Inhabitants of the far northern planes and grassland steppes from the mainland, stretching as far as to subarctic regions of the world. For ages, Kalmuk were considered a part of the sigur family, albeit this is far from truth, since they barely have much in common outside of their appearance, which is as exotic as unusual.

Average in terms of body structure, Kalmuk are slim with strong, lively legs, rather flat, fur-covered tails and long, protruding ears that grow upwards. Their bodies are covered with short, differently shaded fur and their hands and feet are clawed. Despite their animal-like features, Kalmuk have considerably pretty faces with subtle features, colourful eyes with horizontally slit pupils, long whiskers and sharp fangs. Omnivorous by nature, they are neither low, nor high on the food chain, making them as much predators, as prey to much rarer but far more dangerous, wild creatures that roam the vast, open fields of their homelands.

Kalmuk were always nomads. They rarely settle in one place for longer and most of their lives are dictated through shifting seasons - from mild springs, short but unbearably hot summers to rainy autumns and long, frigid cold winters, when they gather to rest around the warmth of their natal bonfires. They sustain themselves mainly through hunting and husbandry, with latter choice of life being more prevalent nowadays. Kalmuk domesticated benevolent lamuks and sharp-eyed ikuaras, the first being their main source of food - milk, meat, pelts and fleece, while Ikuaras are used as defensive animals and - sometimes - mounts. Since steppes can't offer much and wood is very sparse, Kalmuk established trade routes with southern and eastern nations, trading popular lamuk fleece, diary products made from their milk and strong bones for wood and other necessary commodities not available within their land. From all of those, wood is especially precious, since it is used as a base construction material for their folding homes and furniture, considered both a luxury and oftentimes a family heirloom.

Most Kalmuks are both proud of their heritage and receptive at heart. They value family bonds and friendship very highly and won't tolerate any signs of abuse, nor neglect their customs. Albeit friendly and welcoming, late contacts with southern, civilized world - how different from one nurtured by their own kind - made them wary of the dangers that lurk within and more reluctant towards travellers.

Their beliefs are both shamanistic in nature, with ancestral souls playing a vital role in their everyday lives. Kalmuk also believe in the White Dream, which could be best described as the “state of the world”. Kalmuk believe the world as they and others know is but a dream, created by powerful spirits known as the Creators, who felt asleep at the beginning of time. Creators dreamed of guardian spirits made in their likeness, so they could protect the dream and fight against the malevolent evil spirits, threatening to awake the Creators. It is believed that when that happens - and it surely will, as even the guardian spirits aren't eternal - the Creators will finally wake up and this world will cease to exist.

Kalmuk live in clans and most of them are hierarchical in structure. A typical clan consists of many close-knit and interrelated families, which might also be blood-related to a bigger or lesser extent. They are patriarchal, patrilineal and patrilocal, where hierarchy is strictly divided through age. They bring wives for their sons from afar, while their daughters are married off to other, neighbouring families or clans to minimize potential inbreeding. Clan's status depends not only on size of their herds and wealth of it's families, but also whether they take in or marry off their daughters to other clans. Since a clan needs to be considerably big to marry off their daughters to others, this puts them above the wife-taking clans, which are considered to be “younger” and thus of lower social position. When the leader of a family decides to withdraw, each of his sons inherits a part of their family's herd and land is split between them accordingly to their age, with eldest son receiving more than the younger ones; the eldest sons received camping lands and pastures further away, while the younger sons were given fields nearer. The youngest son always remains with parents, taking care of them and property until their death, after which he becomes the successor and inherits parental tent along with the rest of the herd. Families often remain close and support each other, although it is inevitable for extended families to finally break up after a couple generations.

Kalmuk allow polygamous relationships and even though many remain in a single one throughout their life, it is not uncommon - especially for influential or wealthy men - to actually have more than one wife. Kalmuk women share their responsibilities as wives and mothers - taking care of home, all household related duties and children - as well as bed. When their children grow up, they inherit status after their mothers. For men being householders of such large families, it is often not only a matter of prestige - as being able to take care of many wives signifies farsighted stability - but problems as well, since they are expected to treat all their women equally and kalmuk females are known to be clingy at times. It's no surprise even they tend to have enough after their second or third marriage and anything above, as according to an old proverb - signifies not one's prosperity but foolishness.

Kalmuk are probably one of the few last nations with both spoken and written transmissions, that go as far as to thousands of years ago. Since their culture is old and remained - more or less - unchanged for millenia, it is quite possible their ancestors were the ones, who stood united with people of the ancient Anumarian kingdom. Up to this day, Kalmuk live between the remains of anumarian civilization and tend to many traditions and customs - many of which are considered to be borrowed and retained after the kingdom's fall. As such, people from the south consider them the last living anumarian descendants and hope they are the missing key to many of their mysteries.

Chimerae

Beings, who are partially human - at least in terms of looks, but do not share the same genealogy. Their beginnings date to times far older than the human race and their artistic depictions in caves and on various excavated objects seem to prove that humans were aware of it since ancient times and in fact, often came into contact with each other.

Fayreen

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(pron. feirin) Are a mythical race of chimerae. Their appearance resembles that of a legendary half-human, half-horse.

Although their ancestors were skilled hunters, due to the shift in their lifestyle from nomadic to settled, Fayreen nowadays are mainly herbivores; they still eat meat, but treat it more as a delicacy, while vegetables, fruits and various types of wheat, as well as diary products remain their main source of food. They have a large apetite and drink a lot, but don't need to eat as often as other races and can sustain themselves without food for far longer than any of them.

Fayreen have two hearts - one in their upper chests, and the larger one within their bottom part of the body. It's said that's where their incredible stamina comes from; fayreen seem to be a lot more durable than most live beings and can withstand wounds, that would instantly kill any average human. FIXME

Fayreen families:

  • Feres - Most common and widespread, Feres had their ancestors within the hunter tribes that used to inhabit the far-eastern pastures and steppes. Feres are generally hardy and strong with slim, athletic bodies. They are considered one of the most durable runners and well tolerate hard physical work. They are known to be both proud and loyal to those, they serve. Nowadays, most of Feres live alongside humans within the cities, although certain native tribes still exist and continue to lead their traditional, half-nomadic lives on the far-eastern plains.
  • Eadir - Also called as Folk of The Woods or wild feyreen, are a western and south-eastern subspiecies, descending from the forests. Mainly recognized as much smaller from their more common brethren, they are characterized by young, slender figures and long thin legs, which brings to mind does; in fact, their population consists mostly of females within a 3/1 ratio. Eadir always lived close with the nature and in the past, were often considered guardians of the woods, hence the name given them by humans. They tend to be a lot more timid and bashful, avoiding contacts with outsiders. Even nowadays, Eadir can't really endure living in the cities and are more often seen living in their own peaceful settlements, far away from highly populated areas.
  • Yasir - Considered the most foolhardy of all fayreen, they descend from the bitter cold mountain ranges of north. Compared to their southern brethren, yasir are more bulky in terms of physical appearance with bodies of steel, well-accustomed to harsh enviroments of Northern Etherna. Despite their fearful, ram-like looks and almost stoic characters, Yasir are generally timid and kind-hearted. They are well known for their high mastery in metallurgy, engineering and construction, remaining one of the few nations as old, as to remember the times, where nations like Antioch didn't yet even exist.

Selekhs

A mysterious race of aquatic beings, dwelling in most of the southern and south-eastern oceans. Not much is known about them, albeit their appearances were noted throughout the pages of history. Since the times of dawn, Selekh were often called spirits of water and each race gave them different names - Sylphaeans, Nixe, Selks… while humans called them Melusines. The so called stories of mermaids, bewitching the fearless sailors of the southern seas were their tales of unrequited love, sang by the bards and glorified by decadent poets of the new age.

Selekhs seem to age differently, retaining their youthful looks for almost entire lives, which they spend mostly underwater. They appear on the surface world rarely. When they do, one can only be mesmerised by their unearthly beauty - slender limbs, smooth and delicate skin, softly shaped faces with those iridescent red eyes, that seem to swallow your soul. Their heads are adorned with various growths, that seem to resemble underwater plants, while bodies have different pigmentation - from shades of grey, through blues, yellows and greens - often covered in different patterns. It is said every single one of them is as unique as lines on the palm of every human.

They seem to be attracted to the civilization above. Sometimes, they appear within port cities around the world, bearing no ill intentions. Since they're somehow able to communicate in the surface languages, they often remained between humans for a while longer. Some of them did it for far longer, forming peculiar relationships with surface dwellers. Yet, as human-like they might look, one also can not unsee their inhuman side - swimming membranes between their toes, sharp claws, finned backs, tails and lack of hair; Chests adorned with gills, which help them breathe underwater. Their mouths hide two rows of sharp teeth and there's no denying they are, without a doubt, predatory creatures.

They are best described as exotic flowers of the seas; Their graceful swimming - colours glittering through the warm waters, their ravishing look as they leap through the waves and extend their arms - as if to welcome, beckoning you. As you step to throw yourself off into the cold embrace of the sea, you realize it is only as poisonous, as the beauty of flowers growing within the tropical forests of the west, revealing their ugly, carnivorous nature.

Selekhs have longed to be with humans for a very long time, but those two races share two entirely different worlds, not meant to ever become one. Whether it's mere curiosity, escapism or something more, remains completely unknown. Their numbers are short between few and as trustful they remain towards humanity, they tend to avoid talking about themselves or their origins, retaining a safe distance, merely observing. Curious, but not lacking common sense. Their homelands seem to be as far away as the most distant outposts of the known world, hidden between the mists, down below the crushing waves, somewhere within the impenetrable darkness. Legends speak of a once glorious kingdom - a gem shining within the seas, now sunken and devoid of it's past glory; traces of olden times and secrets of the past, buried to never resurface again. An ancient civilization, so advanced it finally lead itself to it's own downfall. Are the Selekhs remnants of a bygone age, sole survivors, or perhaps the last children of that shimmering ghost of the past?

It might not be of importance to them any more. We see those nimble beings, now living their lives in perfect harmony with the sea, unconcerned with the fancies of human civilization, clothing nor glitter and sparkle of temporal goods. The sea embraces them - like a mother's womb and within that womb, they nourish, rest and love. It is only deep within their eyes, you'll sometimes see that strange grief of what seems to be aeons of sadness in solicitude. Then you'll understand the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Drakains

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  • A very old race of serpent-like, half-human half-snake beings
  • Supposedly come from the southern rain forests, where they built great cities both over and underground
  • revered by avari ancestors, who used to worship them as guardians and descendants of the goddess Telakhi
  • can couple with humans and erdians alike
  • they breed by laying down eggs, just like kael and stel
  • very intelligent, they are capable of speeding up and slowing down their own metabolism depending on their needs; they can live much longer than humans and erdians
  • nowadays, they live together amongst humans and avari, civilization made by their ancestors came into decline and many of their old cities now lie in ruins

Anumarians

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  • An ancient race of powerful beings, considered to be one of the few last descendants of Ea
  • Also known as dragons within the human languages
  • they can supposedly live up to hundreds, if not thousands of years
  • divided into two kinds - the lower and higher kind
  • the lower kind is considered legendary beasts, human ancestors often fought with in the past; they inhabit many different places, ranging from vast open fields, to deepest forests of the south, highest peaks of bitter cold mountains, ends of the sky and bottoms of the seas all around the world; they may look different, but they will always be what people consider large, hulking creatures, although it's not entirely true. Feral anumarians are usually large, four-legged creatures with a long tail and equally long neck that carries their heads, but they can also take many other shapes - from large, serpent-like beasts living in the waters to feather-winged creatures floating high above. They are not only strong because of their sheer size, but many of them share talents and abilities akin to magic; they can often control the elements, read minds or even subdue other, weaker creatures - both animals and humans alike - to do their bidding. They stand atop of the food chain and there's not a single other being - except for others of their kind and humans themselves, who can pose them any threat.
  • the higher kind is basically almost indistinguishable from humans aside from certain physical features, which bear similarity to stel; divided into many different families, which often varied in terms of physiognomy and characteristics
  • Very little is known about them nowadays; they are often considered more as thing of legends and myths and there are no actual known records of living anumarians, at least officially. Some people say they actually do live amongst humans and since they look like humans, it is nearly impossible to distinguish them, not to mention they avoid revealing their true form, unless completely necessary. Historians often point, certain past records tell that - judging from what's left of past human generations - the once legendary kingdom of Avenor might have been founded not only because of Tegmond's strength and cleverness, but his adviser's wisdom; as such, many do believe Damira was actually an anumarian, that came to help humans form their first foothold within the savage world.
  • One of the legends mentions that dragons share such a close relationship with humanity, because they are not only tied with them historically - through ages of both servitude and support, often to almost conspiracy-like theories, but also because their whole existence depends on them. Supposedly, anumarians can only breed with humans, as children born from innate relationships become feral anumarians - the so called lower kind - which could threaten the existence of both races and even the world itself. As such, when a male anumarian takes a female human, it leads to birth of extraordinary people with dragon blood flowing in their veins; the so called dragon children, who often receive a portion of their parent's power, superhuman strength and instincts; it is noted many human kings, lords and heroes of the past might have been the children of dragons.
  • Only a female anumarian can give birth to a new representative of their species, but since their fertility is extremely low, it often takes many years for them to become pregnant and their pregnancy can last for years. They will lay a single large egg, which will then harden and take decades, supporting the child inside, before it hatches; a period of time, which often lasts far longer any normal human could live. It is one of the reasons why it is so hard for them to prolong their species, as hundreds of years spent between humans causes them to become emotionally attached to their lifelong partners; since they easily outlive whole human generations, they are forced to watch as their beloved ones pass away, often leaving them behind both in grief and sorrow.
  • Despite their long lives, even they finally lose their memories after hundreds of years. Their intellects supposedly remain powerful - far wiser and stronger any human could ever become - but they are bound by the same physical limitations and so are their brains. Past records tell it takes about thirty standard years for an anumarian to age in the exact same manner most other live beings - including humans - age within a year of time; even this might not tell the whole truth, as the scarlett kind supposedly remains the most short-lived anumarian family, which can't really compare to white dragons - the most noble and longest living anumarians. They look upon the world in an entirely different way and so do they perceive the flow of time. Watching as their human peers - their friends outgrow them, form families and have children, age and finally pass away; leaving them behind, almost unchanged. What might be just a small portion of their lives, will become the lives of entire human generations. Cities changing their shapes, time moving on, things becoming different… with only them remaining almost at a standstill, in those eternally youthful-looking bodies. One might wonder, whether it's a miracle, or a curse.

Quall

(Pron. kual) An unusual halfbreed offspring, born from interracial relationships, mainly between humans and erdians. Although they do not seem to stand out from the average people at first glance, they are widely recognized as being “inferior” because of their “otherness” - the fact that they are neither men nor erdian pure bred. Since most of them are born without the wide range of abilities as erdians, kinsmen often contempt them and humans are just afraid, mostly because of their appearance of secondary features, such as animal ears and tails, fur or long hair growing on certain parts of the body, different teeth - most often in form of fangs, glowing in the dark, shining eyes with narrow pupils, different body structure or even feathers and wings. Quall remain outcasts of society and due to that, often face many problems. Although most of the states, including Antioch and Sejunne leveled rights of citizens irrespectively of nationality, origin and religion, many quall still suffer from racism and human wickedness. Some nations don't agree on their common treatment, and in many places they are still regarded as something worse, generally humiliated and brought to the role of servants, sometimes even enslaved. Their past is full of many conflicts, especially with human race, often considered the least tolerant of all the races; many of such conflicts often ended in tragedy. It took almost two centuries until the last of bloody revolts, before humans began to approach them with more respect. FIXME

Some distinct, well known quall subspecies include:

Harpies

Children born from relationships between human males and female kael. In contrast to their pure blood brethren, harpies have more common with humans in terms of physical appearance - their bodies are human-like and rarely grow feathers, but their legs are most often bird-like. Harpies lack arms, which grow as actual wings. This poses a lot of issues in their daily lives, as thumbs and metacarpi aren't enough to allow them precise object manipulation; as such, harpies have huge difficulties to even hold something like a spoon and their table manners are, to say the least, terrible.

From reasons yet unknown to science, all harpies are always born as females and there is not a single documented case of them bearing a male child, either. Just as kael, harpies lay eggs and clutch always consists of a single egg. Because of their almost childlike frames, laying is incredibly painful and as such, they are often devoted towards things like love and family. Harpies are good mothers with incredibly strong maternal instinct; they take utmost care in hatching and upbringing their children and will do anything to protect them.

Compared to average human females, most harpies look like teens, but their appearance can be deceiving; harpies reach maturity a lot faster than humans, while their body structure is inherited from kael. Nevertheless, it's a never ending source of misunderstandings, mainly between humans, who often mistake harpies for children. Thanks to their wings, majority of harpies are able to fly and do so even better than kael, but rare cases of flightless harpies exist as well; it's considered mostly a genetic defect, where their muscles remain a lot similar to human and not strong enough for flying.

Harpies typically present a mix between a human child and kael when it comes to their personalities; they are extremely lively, cheerful and curious but also very insecure and generally not the brightest, when it comes to common sense. Coupled with their petite looks, innocence and naivety, it makes them prone to abuse from other races. Harpies have an irresistible habit to gather various trinkets and are well known to be avid collectors.

Mer

A very rare subspecies born from relationships between sulu and humans. Mer are born without legs; instead, their lower part of the body - usually down from the waist - ends with a long, finned tail. This is considered a genetic defect, since typically, children of such mixed families are born as either human, or sulu. Contrary to legends about mermaids, being born a civilized mer means two things - either being forever bound to a wheelchair and unable to truly enjoy the warmth of sun, or becoming a complete outcast of society. Mer's skin - aside from being similar to sulu's - seems to be incredibly sensitive to sunlight, almost to the point of severe allergy. As such, mer have to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and keep their bodies moist, otherwise risking serious burns that tend to heal with huge difficulty. Even so, it's all merely the beginning of a painful life, full of hardships and little respite, although mer have a natural affinity towards the water. Similar to Sulu - mer can breathe underwater for extended periods of time and feel best in damp environments. They turn into entirely different beings, as they slip into the waters - from helpless into graceful, moving swiftly and with ease; as if they always belonged to that world of eternal blue. As such, many of them chooses port towns, or partially submerged cities located near rivers or lakes, where they can - at least partially - sacrifice a part of their humanity to lead a better life. Sadly, most are never even given a chance to choose. Their disfigurement is often treated as a taboo - something, they should feel eternally ashamed of; the higher their social status, the more repercussions it brings. In the end, there's not much of a choice - one is destined to lead a life of loneliness, being either forever bound to a world that isn't theirs, or pitied by everyone else as prisoners within a golden cage - hidden away from common sight by their own, overprotective families. Yet, even that won't stop them, when waters beckon, murmuring softly to abandon their previous lives. It is only there, when every single mer truly discovers their own place in the world. FIXME

Kamal

TODO

Humans born with feathery wings and tails. Not much is known as to why it happens, but scientists came to call the kamal affliction “accursed blood”; They believe it to be tied with human ancestors, albeit one can only ponder, whether it's a result of uncontrolled interracial breeding, defect or something beyond mere understanding. Scholars long seeked the truth within the ancient messages and - whilst unlikely - there are reasons to believe Kamal might actually have their ancestors not only within humans, but eols as well… and eols were supposedly the direct descendants of Ea - and likewise - considered celestial messengers. Is there a grain of truth hidden within the origin of kamal, or is it all a mere human fantasy?

Truth is, Kamal remain not any different from normal humans, but it was always the wings, that attracted attention of all sorts. Some believe kamal are celestial beings - heavenly messengers and children of the goddess Aluriene. As such, each birth was always revered as a miracle, while priests seek to find truth and revelations through their existence; kamal were sheltered from the outside world - the impure - within the shrines and wards, as to protect them from corruption and ensure their safety. Within those little worlds, filled with rituals and life of chastity, they served for the spiritual benefit of mankind. Their opinions did matter very little. Others called them a curse - an ill omen, that foreshadowed tragedies to come. As such, kamal could rarely live in peace, their lives bound to either religious servitude or persecution. After all, if their mere existence provided a reason for humans to reconcile, weren't they also a problem to others? Their gifts were a source of either envy or malevolence, their lives a precious commodity. People remained unaware of their problems, calling them “trials” and believing it's better to pretend they do not exist at all. In the end, it wasn't a life any better than those of convicted - a mere vegetation, subject to whatever whims of religious castes and devoid of any ulterior purpose, besides blind faith in miracles. Many kamal became convinced with time, it might actually be better to just die at the hands of their persecutors, rather than continue a life without any meaning. Only wise of this world knew, kamal didn't want to have anything to do with either and while the origin of their affliction remains a mystery, they wanted to be - and after all - were only humans.

Kamal aren't common. One is born every few hundred children. They come with both wings and a tail covered with down, which grow as they get older. When they reach their puberty, wings strengthen, moult and start growing actual feathers. Although moulting occurs differently on case by case basis, a typical period lasts for about two to three weeks, when quills pierce through the skin and symptoms may include complete debility, high fever, bleeding and severe skin rash within the affected areas. For most, it's an incredibly painful process - both physically and psychologically; it usually marks the end of their childhood, often weakening them to the point of falling seriously ill, while cases of children not surviving the whole process aren't uncommon. It's important to support them and take care of their fever. A common, simple method includes placing clean cloth soaked with cold water over a back and tail to cool the body and soothe the pain.

After moulting ends, it usually takes young feathers two to three more months before they grow up. Although milky white feathers occur the most often, some kamal are born with different shades - from beige, brown to grayish and patterns tend to differ. Kamal with black wings appear very rarely, but up until not so long ago, certain communities considered such occurences an ill omen, while kids born with such wings were either abandoned, imprisoned or even killed out of fear.

Sadly, their wings - a symbol of freedom and holiness to many, an unrealisable dream of mankind - won't be able to ever take them away from their sadness. That's because kamal are flightless. Their wings - as real as they can look, are merely a distortion of their bodies. They are still too small and not strong enough to actually create a current capable to lift them up into the air, even though they are lighter than most humans. It's not hard to spot they remain deformed - one would expect them to appear on the back, but they actually sprout slightly from above the waist. This is why a lot of kamal consider their wings more of a burden they can't leave behind and would do everything to actually get rid of them, yet aren't strong willed enough to ask for their removal.

It's obvious Kamal face many hardships in their lives, mainly tied with human fear for things unknown and abnormal, as well as plain anxiety in regards to their kind. Although not a case with everyone, most kamal chose to live as outcasts of society, because it makes their lives reasonably easier; there's very little places around the world, that treat kamal as something completely ordinary. Their presence raises either astonishment, bewilderment, fright or even hostility. FIXME

races.txt · Last modified: 2019/05/31 15:37 by narcosis