Monday, April 22, 2013

Races of Desylinn (Part 1)

Races of Desylinn:  
Each group which makes up one of the races of Desylinn has found a unique place in the world. The races struggle to get along, even 600 years after the collapse of the first great tyranny of the world. The vacuum left from the overthrow of Empire of Mariea remains unfilled. The strongest of the races are mired in tradition and taboo, while the weakest are greatly isolated from the rest of the world.  From the dwarves in the mighty Dragon Mountains to the Humans in the island chains to the south, only Eartlinn and Hub have become diverse and they are set to replace the tyranny of the elves with the meritocracy of the Kindred. Below are the races of Desylinn. 

Created by goddess Tiala and the god Bahu to be companions to the Dragons, the dwarves are the oldest of the mortal races of Desylinn. Originally carving the females from stone and forging the males from ore, the dwarves are resolute with strong traditions which have lasted for generations. Due to their unique creation, Dwarves have social taboos surrounding metal and stone: men may only work with metal, women only with stone. This results in two distinct gender roles: Dwarven men are artisans, particularly blacksmiths, and warriors. Dwarven women keep hearth and home but are also merchants, though they keep a male on staff to handle any metal. This separation of material has led to many items in dwarven society being made of fine ceramics or wood, in order to avoid the social stratification. The Dwarves are divided into ten "clans", one for each type of dragon they honor, and are further divided along class lines. The priests are at the top and act as liaisons with the ancient dragons, which advise or rule each clan. Next the clan leaders and bureaucrats who guide the people in day to day affairs, and then artisans, merchants and the noble warrior class all hold different forms of honor in the society at large. Finally come the peasants, who make up a bulk of the dwarven race and who’s labors form the backbone of the society.  Initially unwilling allies to the Elves during the Empire, the dwarves have become a powerful yet troubled people since the Empire’s downfall. 

The children of the god Maries, the long lived elves, were one of the most powerful races in the world of Desylinn. Having conquered a majority of the continent during the Empire of Mariea the tall, haughty Elves were brought low six centuries ago by armies of escaped slaves and their allies. Now the elves are a petty reflection of their cruel grandeur, all bearing the mark of Kadie's "kiss" on their cheek. Many of the Elves who live in Eartlinn, or the other lands of Desylinn mar this brand of their races shame in order to interact with others in the world. This is not always true of those remaining in Mariea. Elves generally consider men and women equal, either sex able to serve in any position. The only strong taboo in Elven culture is mixing their divine blood with lesser races. As such, Half-Elves are generally rejected and reared by the non-Elf parent. The Elves are once again finding their place in this new world. The older generation was alive during the War of the Five and the downfall of their nation. The younger generation feels the divine call of their forbearers and while most attempt to find a place in the Kindred, the Dwarven lands, Hub or even the Cities of the Lost, some desire to recreate what the Elves once had, even at the cost of their relationship with other races. 

Created from the tears of the grieving Ishari and the blood of the Nameless One, the Geato Abira, or lizard folk, are reclusive. Judging each merchant, explorer, or envoy individually the lizard folk extend their trust warily. The exception is those who bear the marks of the Kindred, as they are allowed to pass freely through Abiran lands. The lizard folk have five genders, the most numerous being the Sal, or females, and the Taro, or males. The females are larger and strong than the males and have much higher status, becoming warriors and esteemed citizens. The males are a sub-class in their culture, with few rights and less power. The firm leaders of the Geato Abira are the seers or Sala-ma, females with an extra pupil giving them the power of seership.  Some males are born with this pupil and are also able to become seers known as Taresal, and while granted more respect than normal males, they still have little power. The fifth gender is the Sal-Talon, females which grow to be immense, far beyond normal size. These become honored warriors and have garnered much respect in Geato Abiran society. Many lizard folk are found outside their traditional territory, as the youth of the race are encouraged to venture into the world to understand how the other races live before coming home to take their place in society.

Created by the Wild Ones in mockery of the elves, the gren are a chaotic, nomadic people who value joyous celebration over politics and power. The Seven Great Families of Gren wander across the lands in large wagons pulled by massive hounds called chulla. The men and women of the Gren have clear gender roles, with men hunting, fishing, chulla training, and acting as warriors on the rare occasion a threat emerges. The gren women keep and maintain the large wagons, which have come into use since the fall of the Empire of Mariea. Women also serve as the primary clan leaders, and serve as diplomats and ambassadors. The Gren are naturally magical, as the power of the three gods who created them instilled innate abilities in each sex. The males have Rage, which makes them fearsome and bloody warriors, while the females have the calming power of the Soothing, which keeps the Rage in check and makes Gren males docile and playful. The Gren have a strong sence of vendetta, seeking to right perceived wrongs. Though not typically lethal, these acts of vengeance go beyond their otherwise playful attitude. Gren are eager to explore the world and seek the “new” wherever they go. Most still reside in the Fertile Lands, but it is common to see a clan of Gren traversing rocky Dwarven highways or digging out of the mire in the Geato Marsh, as the Gren see all of Desylinn as their home.

While Elves can breed with several races in Desylinn, the most common half-breed is  between Elves and Humans. During the Empire of Mariea, Humans were common house slaves to the Elves, being less temperamental than Gren and more civilized than the Kindred. It was not uncommon for Humans to be enticed into coupling with their owners. The resulting offspring were typically raised by their Human parent, or the staff of the house if the Human slave was executed as punishment for the child, a common practice. The adult Half-Elf would be granted limited freedom in Elven society, usually working "slave" jobs for little pay. They had the ability to wander, but were treated with serious disdain and hatred. Orc and Elf pairings occasionally resulted in a child as well, but unlike half-human children they were put to death when discovered. Called “Bad-bloods” because of their in ability to breed, during the time of the Empire there was no place for these mixed-blood people.  Human-Elf half breeds are still common today and unlike their Half-Orc/Half-Elf counterparts they either breed true human or true elf offspring. In Hub and the surrounding Eartlinn they have found a firm place in each of the Guilds, and many Half-Elves take Kindred Marks. Since the collapse of the Empire, Half-Elves have gained a certain legitimacy which they never had before.

(Part 2 Here)