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Twisted Confessional | Blackmoor

Races

"Race" is used to define genetic diversity among the Homo genus - each are a separate species, but many are interfertile, making the entire population a ring species.

They include:

Human

These are humans, from Earth. They are functionally the hub of the species. They can interbreed with each of the following races.

We need some common vocabulary to talk about how human interbreeding works. Familiarity is a method of tracking how many generations removed the person is from their race - usually used as "F1" for one generation, F3 for three, et cetera. Since human is the 'default', and the Seelie cannot mix, we only need track generations from the Seelie. Thusly:

  • E1 - one generation removed from a pure Elf
  • O3 - three generations removed from a pure Orc
  • J2 - two generations removed from a pure Ettin (the J is for Jotun).

Five generations is the latest that can have some sort of reasonable effect. After that point, you effectively have a human. After almost eleven thousand years, it's figured that the entire human population shares some genetic material with each of the Seelie.

After almost eleven thousand years, it's figured that the entire human population shares some genetic material with each of the Seelie.

Seelie

and Unseelie

There are three Seelie races: Elf, Ettin and Orc.

Humans, and the Seelie, are like wolves and coyotes, or lions and tigers - two similar species that have subtly diverged from a common ancestor.

Dragons became so focused on the three "breeds" of the Seelie that any other variations were effectively bred out of existence in the larger population.

The three remaining Seelie races are so far removed from each other that they are effectively separate species. Offspring from any union of the different kinds is usually deformed and infertile. This all changed when humanity arrived.

Each Seelie race is able to breed with humans, and the offspring are often successfully fertile and known as Unseelie.

Since Seelie genes are hostile, their diluted offspring also have trouble having children. These children are either deformed and infertile, or diluted enough to count as a generation removed from either of the parents, or so diluted to simply count as a human. The odds are like this (for a combination of Fx + Gy):

  • 25% deformed/miscarriage
  • 25% F(x+1)
  • 25% G(y+1)
  • 25% Human

Elf

Elves come in many sizes and shapes. Because the elves were for decoration, dragons bred them to extremes. There is no such thing as average when it comes to the elf; they can stand as short as half a metre to two and a half metres. They tend to possess exaggerated sexual characteristics, and unnatural hair and eye colors. Elven women look like they walked out of anime.

Additionally, the elf has a patterned skin. Not interested in the solid skin colours of the root hominids, they bred more variation into them. Some are light on dark, others dark on light. Barring multiple births, every elf has its very own skin design.

Elves are completely immortal and eternally young. Nothing that kills an elf can take it down. Sadly, elves are fragile; they are easily broken. On the bright side, they will heal any damage done to them. They heal very slowly, but always completely.

Because Dragons did not want to be bothered with the complication of elf children, they tried to breed infertility into them. Elf women now only menstruate once a year, and elf fathers are rare. Finally, elf children can only be created through magical intervention.

There are no natural elf children. The ritual required to create an elf child can only be performed by a Dragon. Thus, the majority of elf children are born in the few Dragon enclaves, unfortunately in bondage. The rest are born thanks to the intervention of Tavara.

The ritual that creates an elf child dictates the pattern writ on the elf's skin, as well as the form the new elf's body will take.

Of course, with humans, the elf bats slightly higher than zero. Although humans get pregnant roughly one out of every twenty times at bat; an elf male will only impregnates a human female once every one hundred times. Meanwhile, elf females can only be impregated once a year. They tend to be fecund around their ovulation period, which habitually happens in summertime.

The elf almost invariably has an eidetic memory. They are weak to magic; susceptible to it, and also clumsy when using it. Their usefulness as a magical conduit makes them the favored race of Tavara.

There are maybe ten thousand elves left in the world.

Unseelie: Sidhe

Halfelves are known as sidhe (pronounced 'she').

Although not immortal, they are long-lived and hale. Combining their elven blood with their human blood often gives them a rather unique magical talent. Much like their elfin ancestors, magic is still a hazardous thing for them to perform.

They tend to inherit the same biological features that were shaped into their elfin parent. Thus, they are also a varied and motley peoples.

GenerationMiddle Age
E11,000 years
E2500 years
E3250 years
E4125 years
E562.5 years

Ettin

Standing on average three metres high, the Ettin warrants the nickname 'giant.' Ettins are furred - their pelts are often short-haired. While able to stand on two legs, ettins often walk on their knuckles to distribute their weight. Their women are often shorter than their men.

Strong and sturdy, ettins move slowly and deliberately. Even the most intelligent ettin doesn't think very fast.

The Dragons meant for them to be beasts of burden - construction equipment. They did not want warriors out of the ettin. Thusly, ettins are docile - almost incapable of aggression. Additionally, Ettins get a burst of pleasure from following orders. Like any pleasure, this is not irresistible.

They are short lived, their middle age comes at twenty.

Unseelie: Dwarf

Halfettin are known as dwarves.

In a terrible joke of heredity, ettin half-breeds are short- even shorter than the average human; and their women are taller. The same inversion to height also has inverted the ettin's short lifespan, dwarves live longer, though not as long as elves. They also tend to be stubborn, headstrong, and aggressive.

They are still stocky and strong, and hairy. Instead of enjoying taking orders, they take pleasure from keeping to their oaths.

GenerationAverage Height*Middle Age
J1140 cm50 years
J2145 cm48 years
J3150 cm46 years
J4155 cm44 years
J5160 cm42 years
 *Varies by about 33% in either direction.  Increase by 10% if female.

Orc

Always standing exactly 180cm, the fanged, clawed orc was bred to be a warrior - against other dragons when necessary, and in gladiatorial arenas otherwise. Unlike the elf, they are resilient, but shorter-lived.

They are scaled, like the dragons.

Needing the orc to be aggressive, the dragons needed to find a way to balance that. One of their efforts led to the Orc enjoying pain. They eventually discovered that the opposing pole of aggression was also active - pack loyalty, accessible through the orc's love of pain. They discovered a simple method of imprinting on orc children. Orc parents now use the same method. Once imprinted, orcs tend to be fanatically loyal to their percieved family/master.

After dragons continually used magic to 'cheat' to assist their pets in the gladiatorial arenas, orcs were bred to be immune to magic. This makes them amazing wizards.

Their middle-age comes at forty, much like humans.

Unseelie: Goblin

Halforcs are known as goblins.

They have fangs and claws, though smaller than their orc brethren. They are resistant,but not immune, to magic. They have inherited some of the orcish hardiness.

Generation
O1 
O2 
O3 
O4 
O5 

Fauns

As the Seelie were domesticated from hominids, some hominids escaped domestication and capture and continued to live in the wild. Seen as pests by the dragons, these furred hominins evolved and adapted in the shadows of the dragon's civilization.

They are less civilized, and less domesticated than humans; compare a dog to a wolf, these are wolves.

Not many of these are civilized; they are mostly feral. It is believed some humans have faun ancestry from long ago.

Half-fauns are called Satyrs - these are very rare.

Changeling

Changelings are an odd special case. They are the only Dragonforged that come directly from human stock. They are shapeshifters.

Changelings can change their appearance, and even the timbre of their voice. They can do this flawlessly. However, if they are disguising themselves as someone else, they can be discovered due to a lack of knowledge of their mark.

There is effectively only one changeling gender and sex.

They require humans to create more of themselves, though they can make do with half-breeds. What they need to do is have sex with a pregnant woman. If they do, they can 'remake' the embryo into a changeling by releasing a genetic packet.

This is always a conscious effort. Changelings can ALWAYS tell if a woman has been fertilized.

Changelings are born emulating the genetic material from their "parents," appearing like their child. They also inherit the past century of memories from their Changeling progenitor. They are talented mentalists with uncanny memory.

Changelings have the ability to recognize others of their kind.

Due to the fear of discovery, changelings tend to be itinerant, traveling from settlement to settlement. It is rare (but not impossible) to find changelings having settled down. It is even rarer to find them living openly.

Since changelings are itinerant, most of their children are born after they have moved on.

Changelings were created to infiltrate the ranks of humans and sow discord, and because they could pass memories to their offspring, were able to pass that loyalty on. Many still remain loyal to the Dragons. Others have grown more jaded about the Dragons, and some of their offspring never inherited that loyalty.

Changelings have a normal human lifespan. They can avoid the specific issues of any one injury by changing shape, but in the end have to recuperate as normal for any injury. They are also able to regrow limbs.

Due to their nature, there are no changeling half-breeds.