Ember’s Heart Racial Guide

Races of Eddenloe

Bortin(“Natives”): these are like the typical humans of Earth. On Eddenloe, as on Earth, they come in a wide range of sizes and tones, mostly between about 5 feet and 7 feet high, and with a skin color generally appropriate to the amount of sunlight in the region of their ancestors. They also live about as long as a Terran human, and are just as strong, smart, and fast, as well. They are by far the most numerous race.

Aothani(“People of the Sea”): the Aothani are what Terrans would term “mer-folk”. They have the torsos of normal humans, with tough, grayish skin and a racial appearance vaguely reminiscent of Terran Inuit peoples, except for their hair, which can be just about any shade and hue in existence (and contain wild combinations thereof in the case of the Aothani women) and their irises, which are universally bi-tonal (an outer ring of one color and an inner ring of another color in the same iris) and include a range of possible colors almost as extravagant as their hair. They also have no ears, only ear openings protected by a flap that closes when they dive, and small noses with nostrils that close. Their lower body is similar to the tail of a dolphin, with a wide horizontal fin, a large dorsal fin on the back, and stabilizing fins on the side. Using this tail they are able to swim very quickly. Overall, their form is sleek like that of a dolphin, and their torso, while it shares in this sleekness, is also covered in an almost uniform layer of fat about an inch thick which functions like the blubber of a dolphin or seal. They dive by holding their breath, and can stay underwater for up to half-an-hour. While only deployed when they are underwater and so not seen by most surface folk, Aothani also have a special nictating membrane which goes over their eyes when they dive and allows them to see underwater.

Garagran(“The Ascendant”): When in what they refer to as their “trueform”, Garagrans are what almost any Terran familiar with the stories and media of Earth would call a dragon, specifically a traditional Western dragon with two legs, two arms and a set of wings attached to the shoulderblades above the arms near the spine. Their wings are batlike and very large, with the tip of the longest “fingerbone” reaching past the base of the tail when they are folded. Their tails are prehensile, almost as long as their neck and body combined, and equipped with spreadable fins at the base and tip to help with flying, as well as a stabbing spike on the end that they use on small prey. Their arms have hands built to be walked on, with retractile claws as well as functioning opposable thumbs (the fingers are slightly shorter on each digit than a human hand owing to the end-joint bearing the claw being retracted most of the time). Garagrans are covered from nose to tailtip with thick, armored scales harder than diamond and tougher than steel that would challenge the anti-tank weapons of many 20th century Terran militaries, and have a semi-reflective protective lens almost as hard as their scales that they can close over their eyes to complete their defenses. Their scales can change to any color, and Garagrans can operate this ability somewhat subconsciously to become very hard to see when moving slowly, or almost impossible to see when still. Their scales also provide them with power and some nourishment from sunlight. The nourishment reduces their need for sugars but not for fat and protein, while the power that they store, combined with other processes where necessary, allows them to become lighter for flying, move quicker, faster, and stronger, shock enemies that touch their scales, and breathe fire. Their fire is best described as breathing out tongues of sunfire and is usually white-hot in appearance. They live up to 500 years, sometimes longer, are considered full grown at forty years, at which time males will usually stand a little over ten feet at the shoulder, but continue to grow at a slow pace for as long as they live. Males are easily recognized by the forward curving horns emerging from their heads over and behind their eyes.

Kentinshir(“Beast-tamers”): Also called Shiftskins (in any number of tongues, usually non-derogatory), Kentinshirs look exactly like Bortin except for two differences that make them stand out in a crowd of Bortin more than almost any other race. First, their skin shifts between soot black and cloud white, with any number of shades of gray in between, depending on mood and energy requirements. This shifting is related to their ability to gain some nourishment directly from sunlight, with their skin being more black when they are in need and more white when they are less so. Sudden shift to fight-or-flight mode or extreme emotional arousal often precipitates a stunningly quick shift to pure black. The second visible difference is in their eyes, which typically have blue irises, but corneas that become reflective in any light brighter than that of a heavily overcast day. Their hair is often a stunning ice-white, but is more often soot black like their skin at its darkest. Kentinshirs are as strong and fast as Narimirin or Tufor, with more endurance during the day if they can get sunlight on their skin, have a tapetum lucidum in their eyes giving them excellent night vision, and frighteningly quick reflexes. As a race, they have a nearly universal aptitude for working with animals and can tame just about anything (even smaller species of drax).

Liltan(“the Children”): the Lilta are one of the longest lived races on Eddenloe, apart from Garagrans and Alleji, living up to three-hundred-and-sixty years. Physically they are very similar to Bortin, mostly having the olive-skinned appearance of peoples from Mediterranean Earth. One of the most obvious exceptions is their ears which are lobeless, pointed, about three to four inches longer up top than those of any Terran, and fully mobile (they can point straight out, pin back, swivel, and generally track sound like those of a horse or rabbit). Additionally, Lilta have slightly longer canines, and eyes with a white tapetum lucidum (they glow if you shine a light in them and can see well in the dark). It is very rare to find Lilta living far from their forests, which are composed of giant trees not native to Eddenloe.

Manalein(“the Forgiven”): Also called the Seggrin, or Delvers, the Manalein range between 4 and 5 ½ feet high. They are mostly similar in appearance to Bortin, but mainly slim, with long fingers, and typically extremely pale, with red or brown hair. Apart from their short height, the ears of Manalein are their second most noticeable feature, being round, at least an inch wider all the way around than a Bortin’s, and semi-mobile. Their eyes are large, but otherwise appear normal, unless a light is shined in them at which point it is obvious they have a tapetum lucidum to help them see in low-light conditions. Most Manalein make their homes in cities that are split between underground and partially-aboveground portions (where the farms are kept), and are extremely adept at ANY kind of mining. As a matter of course, a large number of Manalein typically also learn how to transform raw mineral goods into manufactured products for trade, which is how they get their hands on extra materials that are hard to produce underground.

Narimirin(“the Mercy Seers”): these are one of the least “Earthly” races in appearance, largely because they have short fur all over their faces and bodies. Additionally, each Narimirin has a prehensile tail as long as one of their arms, pointed, mobile ears a little wider, longer and more catlike than those of a Lilta, a tapetum lucidum in their eyes, and digitigrade legs (shortened thigh and shin bones, elongated foot bones, walking on the toes). They range in height from six to seven and a half feet high, and are mostly very slim. Narimirins are stronger and faster than Bortins, and typically have excellent health that carries them well past one-hundred. They are commonly found working as herbalists, cooks, doctors, and nurses, or in any other job where they can directly promote the health of others, a task they excel at (Less common as surgeons, though. Fur.).

Shaldan(“the Landblessed”): after the dense, short fur covering them from head to toe, the first thing most people notice about Shaldans is their size, which is usually from seven to eight feet high, with broad shoulders and heavy muscles. This size is made even more impressive in the men by the large, forward curving horns similar to those of a bull that grow from their skulls just above their temples. Other features include a short, muzzle-like shape to their mouths, which contributes to their vaguely bovine appearance, long, mobile ears like Narimirins and Liltas, an arm-length prehensile tail with a tufted tip, and strong, digitigrade legs. Shaldan are even stronger and faster than their great size would indicate, as well as surprisingly durable, and have a reserve of power that allows them to move with incredible speed and strength for several hours at a time, though they have to recharge their reserve over several days if they use it all. They are commonly found in armies, but their real skill is farming, at which they are almost miraculously capable.

Shinalilt/Ayinkel(“Children of Shin”, “Ayinwings”): these are descendants of the Prophet Shin, a Bortin, or more specifically of the Lady Ayin, his Lilta wife, who, according to legend, received eagle wings on her back when she jumped off a tower to escape King Vadagan and warn Shin’s army. Her descendants tend to have shorter ears than a Lilta, but still mobile, and a slightly lighter complexion, but this will vary depending on what other races are mixed in with the original heritage. Their main feature is of course their wings, which are typically in the form of an eagle’s, but with widely varying color and pattern, and a wingspan of around fifteen to sixteen feet. The wings mount to the back on the shoulder blades, and, when closed, sit a little wider than the shoulders of the arms with the tips of the primaries almost reaching to the heels of the feet. Shinalilt are tough, fast, and extremely strong, especially in and with their wings, and have a reserve of power that recharges from food or sunlight that they can use to become lighter and move their wings with great strength and speed.

Tixerie(“the Tiny Ones”): once upon a time the Tixeries hated their name, but many of them have since come to wear it with a humble joy, along with their other name: Zatherai, “the Fearless”. The average Tixerie stands about four feet high with the proportions of a slim adult (their ancestors were even shorter) but has the looks, skin and hair color common to a Terran of European ancestry, with the exception of their ears, which are universally lobeless, pointed, and slightly longer than those of a Terran, and their chests, which are very muscular. Additionally, all living Tixeries have giant butterfly wings that attach to their back at the shoulder blades. Tixerie wings come in as many colors as are found on actual butterflies and, like a butterfly, consist of an upper pair and a lower pair. Fully extended, the upper wings are each almost twice as long as one of the Tixerie’s arms, and the lower wings are about two-thirds as long as the upper. The wings are based on a thin, durable, elastic membrane filled with a network of collapsible supports attached to an extremely tough spine running along the upper edge that can extend and stretch the membrane out for flight or curl up at the Tixerie’s back when on the ground. Tixeries are fast, much stronger and tougher than their size would indicate, and have a reserve of power that recharges from food or sunlight that they can use to become lighter and move their wings with great strength and speed.

Tufor(“Lionfolk”): Ancestrally related to the Narimirin, the Tufor once suffered under a curse that kept them as lions except when the Bright Moon was full. However, now all of them are free of this curse, though some differences linger. While they are closest to Narimirin in appearance, they are considerably more muscular and have a noticeably more feline structure to their faces and ears, including a slight muzzle and whiskers growing just to the sides of their upper lips. They also break down into regular fur colors depending on regional tribe (the Narimirin come in a much wider assortment regardless of region) these being the Goldencoats of the mountains and plains regions surrounding the Stony Heart, the Whitestripes of the southern mountains, the Redstripes of the western jungles, and the Gray Dapples of the vast marshes of the great Eastern river delta. Like the Narimirin they can see in the dark well and are stronger and faster than a Bortin, though their lifespan is a little shorter and they are more prone to disease than their perpetually healthy kin. They have an uncanny ability to divine motives in others and are commonly attracted to work in law enforcement or some other position that focuses on keeping order.

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91 thoughts on “Ember’s Heart Racial Guide

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