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Twisted Confessional | Settings

The Five Races

The Five Races

In the beginning, Time moved, and the formerly orderly cosmos was thrown into chaos. For an age, a storm raged as large as the universe, tearing apart the elements and consuming them. Everything was in pieces. Then, from the eye of the storm came the gods of the gods, formless, but with the spark of creation. There is no name for them, so we will call them the Celestials.

The Celestials took the circular cosmos and gave it direction, set the stars in the sky and put the planets in motion. They took destruction and turned it into creation, laying down the laws of the universe and creating the gods to maintain it. Eventually, one of these Celestials looked around and decided to create life that could properly experience everything it and its kin had wrought, so it created Man.

After creating Man, this nameless Celestial took Man to each of the five elements, and bound one after another to the mold. Where Men took to Earth, there came the Darrow, masters of the craft, sculptors of stone, hard and steady as the earth in which they thrive. Where Men took to Water, there came the Vanai, eternals, explorers, connected to life and forced to feed on it to stay young. Where men took to Air, there came the Avalir, beautiful but frail flyers whose command over the air is nonpareil. Where Men took to Fire, there came the Khan, bodies tempered like a sword in the forge, even the most cultured are wild, quick, and potentially devastating. And where Men came to Night, there came the eyeless Rakshasa, subtle and deadly, they can do miraculous things in the dark.

So it was that the Five Races were scattered through the cosmos, left in the care of the gods. Some gods grew jealous - others embraced their new responsibilities. And in some of these places, the Five Races met each other, and the original mold of Man was brought forth. For whenever two of the Five Races mix, their elements battle in conception and vanish, leaving the empty vessel of Human. And whenever a Human mixes with one of the Five Races, their women bring forth more humans, while their men father the race of the mother.


Races

Each of the Five Races, except Humans, have a third, neuter form - an 'elemental' form that exacerbates their association with that element.

Rasa (plural: rakshasa)

The skin of the rakshasa is white, like snow. It is always a little disturbing to look upon the face of a rasa - for they have no eyes. This is not to say they are blind! Simply that they don't look at the world like the other Races. Instead of seeing light through the air, they sense the shapes of the world through the ether around them. This makes them almost blind in daylight, and incredibly perceptive at night. However, since they only can tell shapes, they lack the signals of color - the world to them is not even black or white.

Some rakshasa call themselves the children of the stars, and this is not far wrong. They thrive in the element of Night - they do not age when surrounded by it, and can sustain themselves with it even when the air is gone. Finally they have the simplest of racial magics - they simply will something, and the ether of Night might make it happen. Of course, this magic is the least formulaic, the most fickle.

Female rakshasa are naturally dominant, while their men are more than willing to follow. Both, however, are frail - their bodies are easily the thinnest of the Five Races, and the weakest as well. This fragility leads to a very circumspect method of thinking, which over the years has given the rakshasa a reputation of sneakery and deviousness, only some of it deserved.

The elemental rasa is the Kalitiri, the eater of dreams.

Avalir (plural: avalir)

Considered the most beautiful of the Five Races, the avalir are bronze of skin, with feathery wings of scintillating colors rising from their shoulders. As children they can fly, but by their adolescence they have grown too heavy - though most are still able to glide (and use the wings to push them higher when they jump). They cease feeling the ravages of aging when they are not touching the ground, or anything made from the earth.

Apart from their wings, the avalir have keen eyesight and keener minds. They are also possessed of perfect pitch, and with training can module their voice to create a wide variety of sounds. They are most often light and slender, with hollow bones and dense musculature. With their hollow bones, the avalir are quick but easily broken; but they are quick of reflex.

The racial magics of the avalir are called Arias. These are principles of music that, when weaved together, can produce various magical effects.

The public image of the avalir as sensual and perceptive is not too far from the truth, as is their reputation for vanity. Avalir males have strong dominant tendencies but fail to understand jealousy; avalir females have strong submissive tendencies, and are prized as wives and concubines. The average avalir also has an intensely curious streak.

The elemental form of the avalir is the Shrike, small and tough, always the size of a child (and thus keeping the ability to fly).

Vana (plural: vanai)

The skin of the vanai is yellow, like old scrolls. They can move in the water as well as most can move on land, and can breathe water as if it were air. They cannot eat any meat - even a few swallows is potentially toxic to them. They have a very discriminating sense of taste, as well, which makes it difficult to hide them.

A vana has a keen sense of the blood flows around him - even with his eyes closed, he can sense it around him, generally. The vanai are intimately connected to blood and life. They are able to drink blood (and in fact require it to be healthy), and it is through blood that their racial magics are performed. Blood stops the vana from aging - the higher 'quality' of the bood, the longer the aging effect lasts. Too potent bloods (such as that of the Five Races) can be addictive to the vana.

Vanai births are a minimum of twins, although triplets or more are not uncommon. Of the twins, mixed pairs are common, two girls are uncommon, and two boys are incredibly rare. In larger groups, the chances of more than one boy are smaller still. Vanai have 'twin links' - they know where they are across distances, can sends thoughts and images, and feel each other's pain. Singleton births are rare, and are the subject of shame.

Having a constant peek into another person's head, makes the vanai somewhat inscrutable to outsiders - frustrating, difficult to understand or comprehend. A vana often seems somewhat distracted and distant, not fully 'there'. Boy vanai seem to never quite grow up, keeping a childlike quality about them no matter their age. Female vanai, on the other hand, grow into wisdom early - if only to make sure the menfolk don't get into trouble.

Note: Occasionally, accidents do happen, and vana find themselves alone, without a twin or other sibling. If and when this happens, the surviving twin suffers from 'phantom twin' syndrome. The link that was formerly connected to the other twin still feels like it's there, and it flails around looking for its mate. This occasionally links the vanai to things around him, like a psychic reader. Singletons don't have this special power.

The elemental form of the Vanai is the Wampyr, cursed to live solely on blood. Their first 'victim' is their sibling, in the womb. Their second is often their mother.

Drow (plural: darrow)

The skin of a drow is red, like clay. They have the ears of a bat - able to find their way around in the dark using sound, even so far as to be able to fight blind. However, they also have the eyes of a bat - astigmatism and myopia that lenses can only do so much to cure. Darrow have thick, dense bodies - they are slow to move, and sink instead of swim. Luckily, they can hold their breath for almost one hundred times as long as a man.

Where the rakshasa are the thinnest of the Five Races, the darrow are the shortest, their eyes perhaps reach the bottom of a human's sternum at the tallest. Their average strength is only rivaled by that of the khans, yet they are the slowest of the Races - they have short legs unsuited for quick travel. They also have an unerring sense of their location - not just north, but with training, an idea that roughly corresponds to latitude and longitude.

The female drow is the more aggressive of the race, renowned as warriors. The race is stereotypically stubborn and dour. Darrow also have a high tolerance for alcohol and other toxins, which leads to a reputation for being strong drinkers (and having the strongest drinks around). They are perceptive, able to find flaws in almost anything. It is a rare drow that does not have at least some artisan skills, for their racial magics requires these crafts.

Their racial magics involve construction and enchantment, crafting. Architecture, smithing, jeweling, the darrow are the best at it. One does not find a quality magic sword without the darrow being involved in its making.

The elemental form of the Darrow is the Ettin, almost invincible, standing even taller than the Ogre.

Emir (plural: khan)

The skin of the khan is black or gray, like ash. They are easily the largest of the Five Races, and the strongest as well. They are tough as steel and twice as strong - and they are fast runners as well. They are hyperactive, and impulsive - even the most cultured and civilized khan is only one step away from the fire.

The eyes of an emir burn at night, and they can see the fire that burns within all things. The nose of the khan is similarly sensitive - they can discern one individual from another through scent alone, and track as well as a wolfhound. Khan also produce a variety of odors, communicating quite a bit in a manner the other races are unable to comprehend or mimic. The odors have given the khans a reputation for being unwashed.

Khan are eternally hungry, fueling the machine that is their body. They also sleep very little, the average emir getting about four hours a night. This fire also is the source for their racial magics, which are fueled by sexual and other passions. Being creatures of fire, the khan do not age while under the sun, and age slowly when in heat - an old emir is often found spending a lot of time in steam rooms and saunas, or simply sunning.

The emir male is infinitely more aggressive than the emir female - their anger roils just beneath the surface, ready to explode, but fades as quickly as it comes. Khannish women also share this fire - it is harder to get them angry, but once you get them angry, it takes forever to cool them down. This gives the women the reputation of being level-headed, while the men are brawlers.

The elemental form of the Khan is the Ogre, giant among them, standing with four arms.

Human (plural: humans)

What's there to say? They have no special abilities, no special weaknesses, no racial magic. They're just... human. There's more of them than any other.

Chance seems to favor them. The only true sorcerers come from this stock. They are also the only race that can be shamen.