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Category: Magicka Mechanica

Category: Magicka Mechanica

The Altynadyn are considered, by the Elves, to be races the Elves did not have a hand in creating. The Altynadyn generally mean either Gnomes or Halflings, but Dwarves also fall under this category. Dwarves, of course, resent this classification, being grouped with, to quote: “Those durn lazy hairy toes and fancy long beards.” The Dwarves would be highly insulted to be considered created by anything but the stone of mountain incarnate. Gnomes and Halflings average around the same height, about three and a half feet tall. In the early years of human discovery, the Gnomes and Halflings were mistaken for being the same race. It was clear that this is not so, seeing as the lifespan of the average Gnome is nearly six times that of the average Halfling. Physically, the Halfling and Gnomes are not that different, both usually having light tan skin and copper to dark brown hair. Gnomish men seem to favor long, sometimes sculpted beards, while Halflings often wear what is fashionable at the time.

Lifestyles and the general location is also what separates the Altynadyn races. During the Age of Discovery, or more commonly known as the Age of Human Expansion, the Halflings were one of the first races found by human explorers. The Halfling population at the time was threaded throughout the areas today of Westmar, Caus De Leis and the lower plains of Thorance. At the time, Halflings lived in small, partially subterranean villages, and were almost overlooked as small, steeply raised hills. Some villages still have these relics of the middle ages, such as Yalin, Ganford and Walice Jump. The Gnomes, however, were discovered along with the Dwarves. Only rumors told about the little men in the mountains during the Age of Discovery, seeing as the Altynadyn did not take part in the Mortal Wars between the Elves, humans and Bystalkyn. The Gnomes had lived mainly in Dwarven cities, being priests, healers and general tinkerers for the Dwarves. In modern times, the Halfling and Gnome population is found all around civilized society. Halflings reside in cities for the relative comfort, and most have made savvy business owners. Gnomes are drawn to the cities for technological and mystic discoveries the humans have been making, and most Gnomes reside in places like Bruton, Mayfield and Bethnul for this very reason.

As it stands, Halflings do not have their own gods, or organized religion, a general consensus between the Halflings is that divine entities tend to get in the way of their relaxation and businesses. The Gnomes, on the other hand, have their own god, Cogdura, who they see as a general patron to all things knowledge, but technology especially. Still, most Gnomes worship, or at least give notice to the Dwarven patron-god Jornthurar, or possibly to one of the elven god/goddess, or Pery, depending on their field of study.

The origins of the Altynadyn is unknown and is even less speculated as the other races. Some scholars state that the Altynadyn share the same ancestors as the Dwarves, much to Dwarven distaste. While Dwarves claim that they were created from the stone of mountains themselves, Halflings have the general notion of not particularly caring where they came from, preferring to live in the present, and Gnomes, if they know, are particular to keeping such knowledge to themselves, mostly liking the mysterious aspect to their creation, while finding the humor in other race’s puzzlement in their origins.

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Even though the Duskoralun are a variation of the Elvydyn, their exile of over three thousand years has turned them into a race in their own right. Duskoralun have very little difference with other Elvydyn physically, the most prevalent being their dark, near black coloration of the skin, which can be anywhere from a dark navy blue to a pure midnight black. The Duskoralun’s hair can range from a light silvery grey to a pure white, with their eyes ranging in many colors, but mainly in the reds and purples. They have also adapted to their underground living, being able to see in almost perfect darkness. As it is written, this exile occurred because their goddess, Lylothyl, one of the original Elvydyn Gods, protected her people and drove out the invading human army from the southwest island of her namesake Lyryalun, by destroying it. Despite on who you listen to, the effect was still the same: Lylothyl was transformed into a Curydyn, and her people were transformed as well, at least in physical appearance, to the coloration they are currently known for. Condemned by both Elven and Human societies at this point, the Duskoralun fled to the Undyrcar, where they remained hidden from civilized notice until the elven calender 4140s E.C., or around the 1750s T.C. in the human calendar, when tales from converted Undyrkyn told of the Duskoralun cities, hidden in the Great Spine depths.

The Duskoralun live in subterranean cities under the Great Spine. Prideful in their autonomous society, the Duskoralun have accomplished what the upper world had no need to, becoming completely self-sufficient. The Duskoralun have excelled so much in their self-sustaining cities, that even trade or contact between the underground Duskoralun cities is considered very rare. Though very few and far apart, each Duskoralun city boasts impressive defensive capabilities. The Duskoralun have very secretive societies, for a very understandable reason. Duskoralun culture is run by Matriarchy, but is mainly assembled from family clans. One clan is usually at the head of the city-state, with the matron of the clan the head leader of the city. Clans in position of power are generally in control of either a service or trade that is detrimental to Duskoralun society. All clans, however, have their own police force that takes care of family matters, and ensures the peace of the neighborhoods under the clan’s protection. As such, there is no central police or military force in Duskoralun cities. They have never needed it before, and crossing a Duskoralun family can be very dangerous to one’s health.

It is well known that the Duskoralun worship Lylothyl, the Goddess-cum-Curydyn. In reverence towards Lylothyl, and to celebrate her sacrifice, they have taken to calling themselves the Lylothyladyn. As in the old days, only females are permitted to be priestess, and the priestesses of Lylothyl are above any law in Duskoralun culture, only answering to the church. They are the most determined and zealous of any known priesthood, including those of the Thumakyn’s Wobar-Dom. Breaking the laws of Lylothyl in their eyes are usually punishable by death, torture, or worse, sometimes being warped into Duskalukyn, or mindless half-spiders almost like centaurs, but are under the complete dominion of their priestess mistresses. There are male members of the Lylothyl religion, but they are mere servants and helpers of the priestess. Many of the male servants of Lylothyl are eunuchs, retained as punishment for crimes against Lylothyl. It is well known that Lylothian priestesses need no bodyguard, or protection. The priestesses have the final say in any matter, and even matrons of Duskoralun clans are under their scrutiny, when they are not priestesses themselves, as many are. Being a priestess of Lylothyl is the ultimate honor in Duskoralun society.

It should be noted that on the subject of social freedom, the Duskoralun are not the most progessive, to say the least. It is common knowledge that almost any race in a Duskoralun city, that isn’t a Duskoralun themselves, is usually not there by choice. Many of these are Undyrkyn from the Undyrcar, and many families have breeding programs to keep their stables well stocked. Undyrkyn make up most of the Duskoralun labor force, and are often used as foot solders, basically enemy fodder, when at war with another family, city, or outside threat. It is safe to say the life expectancy of a race under Duskoralun rule who is not one themselves, is a very short one. The exception to this are usually favored servants, pets, or specialized workers, usually with technological skills. The Duskoralun is another reason why the Undyrcar is an extremely dangerous place, though they are certainly not the most dangerous things under the Great Spine. It is said that any visitor to a Duskoralun city without a family’s protection is up for grabs, both figuratively, and literally.

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The Dwvarskumar, or humans like to call them “The Dwarves”, are a mainly subterranean species of Altynadyn, which are the races the elves do not credit themselves with creating in some way. The Dwvarskumar mainly reside in the eastern mountains of the Great Spine. The Dwarves are an industrial and hardy race, who’s height doesn’t gain above the average of four feet tall. They are strong and have gained the reputation as being one of the most deadly of the races to go toe-to-toe with. Most Dwarves live in large subterranean cities, usually built beneath mountains and can range miles below the surface. They are one of the few civilized races who will actively brave the Undyrcar, or the massive collection of tunnels and caves threaded throughout the Great Spine. Largely uncharted, the Undyrcar is shared with the Dwarves, monsters, horrors and the only other civilized race that actively lives beneath the Great Spine, the banished Duskoralun. Gnomes are also known to frequent Dwarven cities.

The Dwarves generally separate themselves into two categories: the Jornvarskar and the Thurdimar. The Jornvarskar are the Dwarves born and raised in Dwarven cities. The Thurdimar are known as “city born” and are usually born outside of Dwarven lands, in the mixed race cities above ground. Though physically nothing is different about two variations of Dwarves, the Jornvarskar are typically darker in skin and hair. The Thurdimar tend to have lighter complexions than their homeland brothers. Jornvarskar generally see the Thurdimar as weaker and less deserving of respect than the mountain born, but that more of a cultural bias than actual fact.

Dwarven society is a general mixture of clan, class and kingdom. Family groups are broken up largely into clans, which are represented into certain classes, such as merchants, nobles or smiths. Most members of the clan rarely venture outside of their class, where learning the skills of their trade is often a closely kept family secret. Generally most families and clans marry into their own class, so as to keep their traditions alive. Apart from clans and classes, Dwarven politics is ruled by a king, who is advised by the leaders of noble clans. Kingdom is passed down from father to sons, who are groomed from an early age to rule. Very few times have there been a change in the ruling clan, but if a king dies without an heir, an overthrowing of the ruling clan is possible, where the noble clans will struggle to claim the throne, though this has only happened very few times in Dwarven history.

The Dwarves are a very technological people, viewing magic as weak and unnecessary, often quoting an old Dwarven proverb: “Why do with magic, what good old muscle and grit can do just as well?” With this mindset, most Dwarven magic is reserved for priests, clerics and healers. Enchanting has begun to crop up in Dwarven society, especially in the clans of the smithing class. They claim it as enhancing the already made weapon or tool, as long as the smith does the enchanting as well. Magic is not prohibited in Dwarven cities, but its use outside of healing major wounds and religious practices is very frowned upon. This view of magic has always been a large rift between the Dwarven and Elven relations, in a mutual separation between the races, and the Elven influenced west. Humans, however on the east coast, have decent relations with the Dwarves, and most of the eastern countries have trade agreements with the Dwarves.

This being said, Dwarves are a very close knit race, and limit the number of visitors that can pass into the Dwarven Kingdoms per year. The exception is Stonehall, which has been set aside for business and trade. This keeps the cooperation between Dwarven and Human merchants for transport. This is the main entrance from the overworld into the subterranean kingdoms, but other passages exist in the Undyrcar, to those brave enough to venture into them. At this time, the northern country of Jorn holds the only connection to the Dwarven Kingdoms, and trade with the Dwarves make up most of the Jorn’s economy. There are talks, however, of opening a passage way near Dodgington in the works, which would mean easier access to Dwarven exports and trade, but it would devastate the Jorn economy.

Religion in Dwarven society mainly revolves around their ancestors, viewing them as guides for future generations. They all, however, look at Jornthurar, the first Dwarven King, as their main god, the Patriarch of all the Dwarves and inspiration for their hardworking lifestyle. Jornthurar is known for establishing Jorndomar and wrestling control of a section of the Undyrcar from the beasts, monsters and the old “Undyrkyn” who ruled there. There has been an increase in the worship of the god of smithing and technology, Cogdura, who is more a product and god of the Gnomish people, but the crafting class has been more believing in Cogdura and giving him more worship than Jornthurar, viewing Cogdura as more relevant to them than the ancestors, and has been growing more and more as of late.

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