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Author Topic: Ulei - A World History (Non-GW Fantasy)  (Read 583 times)

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Offline -Makenshi-

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Ulei - A World History (Non-GW Fantasy)
« on: February 3, 2006, 08:37:53 PM »
As some of you will know, I'm in the process of writing a Fantasy novel, and I've found that world creation is a huge part of it, hence I've been focussing my recent energy onto it, rather than the storyline of the novel instead.

Below I have amalgamated the many posts I have made of my world's background into one big 'super-post' three posts, there's about 6.7k words in this post total, so braving it is not for the faint hearted, although if you're a fan of Fantasy I hope you'll at least take a look ;).

Anyway, enough of the introduction, here comes the background...

‘Magic’ In Ulei

The best and easiest way to describe how ‘magic’ works in Ulei is to compare it to thermals, thermals are the invisible (to us at least) forces that allow birds etc. to fly, the hot air in thermals helps lift them higher. It is impossible to see magic in it’s pure (or commonly referred to as ‘Thermal’) form, but some are born with a 6th sense referred to as Perception.  People with this 6th sense can sense the presence of pure magic, but, like all gifts, it comes in a variety of strengths, many people are born with it but for most the sense is so small they barely notice it and when they do they often mistake it for something completely different. On the opposite side of the fence are those who cannot only sense exactly where a Thermal is, but also how strong it is.

It takes a lot of work for most people to learn how to channel and manipulate raw Thermals, People who are not taught but try to teach themselves often end up seriously harming or killing themselves by accidentally releasing it wrongly, or within their own body. This is part of the reason of the existence of the Clandestine Guard, a large organisation that enforces the law during everyday life and also functions as the Tsorian’s army during times of need in addition to teaching Thermal manipulation and various fighting styles.

The Clandestine Guard

The Clandestine Guard is a truly ancient organisation, dating back centuries into Ulei’s history. It started it’s life enforcing the law but soon became a place for people to learn basic combat, magic and an assortment of other skills. The only catch to this training is that you must serve with the Clandestine Guard for ten to fifteen years before you can leave and take up other pursuits. The time will depend on how much training you have done.

The Clandestine Guard is mostly made up of ‘Tsorians’ (Sore-E-Ans), as it is based in the Tsorian Empire, although there are a few Kiuno (Key-U-Know [said quickly]) too. Full-blooded Elves have never been a part of the Clandestine Guard, however they were the ones to train the first generation of Clandestine Guards. Occasionally Half-Elves join up, although few stay around for long, as is their nature. The only other main race is the Jaik (Jeyk), who have not been a part of the Clandestine Guard since the Jaik-Tsorian War, which the Jaik call ‘The War Of Deceit’. That happened about 17 years before ‘Weavers’ is set, although the Jaiks still do not share much trust with Tsorians, they are slowly getting back on friendly terms with them.

Main Races

There are four main races in Ulei, The Tsorians, Kiuno, Elves and Jaik (Half-Elves are in limbo between all of them generally).

Tsorians are the average person, they are a race of wide talents and a variety of skills, they learn quickly however very few of them ever reach exceedingly high skill in specialised fields such as magic and fighting.

Kiuno are often referred to as ‘The friendliest yet most secretive’ race, this is because while they are very friendly to travellers that wander into the forest villages, offering them a place to stay, food and drink, supplies and other assorted signs of kindness, they are infuriatingly avoidant and vague of subjects they do not wish to talk about and are not a talkative race in general. They have an uncanny eye for body language, for this is their main way of displaying emotion and why they are generally un-talkative, they do not need words to express themselves.

Elves are enigmatic, few have met one, and fewer still have ever found an Elvish settlement. They once mingled with the other races often, teaching them all they knew in hopes of bettering them, however they retreated at the end of the Great War, where the Jaik, Tsorians and Kiuno fought for dominance. During the war Elves started on all sides, but eventually they stopped fighting and tried reason, when this failed the Elves took it upon themselves to stop the war, they assassinated most of the forerunners and won many skirmishes with the other races. Eventually a truce was called and the war ended, the Elves left and have never returned politically since. (There will be more on Elves later on)

Jaik are born fighters, naturally lean, flexible and agile the children are raised to use weapons as a Tsorian would be raised with a knife and fork. All Jaik’s therefore know at least as much as a rudimentary Clandestine Guard about hand to hand and armed combat, this makes their whole civilian population a ready trained army should the need arise. Indeed it was the Tsorians ignorance of this that lead them to underestimate the Jaiks during ‘The War of Deceit’, for they do not keep an outstanding army, only their own group of ‘police’, called Enforcers.



Daiori are ‘mutants’, sometimes the result of a Thermal being near or ‘in’ a pregnant women at certain times during her pregnancy, when and how powerful the thermal is will determine the type of Daiori and it’s potency. Daiori are both respected and feared, loved and hated, welcomed and threatened. This is because of the varying forms their mutation takes, some are seen as more ‘normal’ than others.

As has been said before, Daiori are the result of a Thermal mutating an unborn child. While Daiori are always referred to as being very few and far between this is not the case, the problem is the vast majority Daiori are mutated in a way they can not handle, or that their bodies rejects, this means most Daiori are either still born, miscarried or die very young (usually seeming unexplainably ill most/all of their short life). Those that do survive still have a hard life, although how hard depends on what their mutation is.

With the exception of Falcons, many Daiori never develop Perception and, as such, can never channel Thermals. This is one of the many mysteries surrounding the Daiori, there are some scholars and doctors (not sure if that’s the right word…) that spend their whole lives trying to solve the many mysteries of the Daiori’s, although it is speculated by many that Falcons fully understand the mystery, but do not share it for fear of having it used against them. This has never been proved nor disproved and, as such, is the source of much conflict between Falcons and any scholar, Doctor or learned individual seeking knowledge, for Falcons guard their knowledge zealously, only revealing as much as they need to, no more, although they often try to get away with less.

Another baffling aspect of Daiori's is the fact that none seem to pass on their mutations to their children (if they have them).

The Six Most Well Known Daiori

Note- Daiori are all named after animals, creatures and monsters, following are the most ‘common’ (and I use this term loosely) types.

Falcons are natural born mages, with very powerful Perception and the ability to not only summon Thermals to them but to manipulate both Thermals in their raw and channelled form, allowing them to turn spells against their user or to make their own spells more complex and therefore harder to defend/guard against. Falcons are noted for their high mortality rate, even amongst other Daiori, this is because their abilities are present from the moment they are born, this often leads them to experimenting with magic well before others would or indeed could. As a result they are more prone to the ill effects of trying to channel and/or manipulate Thermals without the proper training .

A trait that often unnerves people about Falcons is their quick maturity, they tend to mature much faster than others, teenagers are often known to travel far and wide for knowledge, and the most famous (and infamous) was able to rival the most skilled and powerful mages in his early 20’s.

Falcons are naturally curious, especially about history, politics and above all, magic, more often than not leading them down one of two paths: power hungry tyrants or a life that resolves around a constant quest for knowledge. They are all inherently secretive, sardonic and all around unpleasant company, even if they aren’t actually evil. They’re also known for the loner nature and disdain for working for or under anyone.

Their appearance varies like that of all races, except that they are easily identifiable by their one unifying feature: their pupils and iris’ are barely visible, indeed, most think they have none. It is suspected this is a side affect to their increased perception as Falcons often have poor natural vision, although many posses an eerie sixth sense for things going on around them. Falcons are rare in Jaik and Tsorians, but common in Elves and Kiunos.

Wraiths possess the unnerving ability to ‘phase’ through solid objects as if they were air, however this poses risks, they need to learn to control their abilities quickly or risk getting stuck in a solid object or falling through the ground until they reach the core, both would end up killing them.

While many Daiori are either respected or hated Wraiths tend to receive both negative and positive attention, it simply depends who discovers them and what they use their talents for. Most are either picked up by tyrants, gangs or the Clandestine Guard. The former two tend to wind up as assassins or thieves, making them very hard to protect against and capture, while the former tend to become legendary fighters able to fell anyone with one hit (armour and flesh mean nothing to a Wraith taught how to literally punch people’s internal organs etc.).

They tend to be pale and ill looking, even if they are in fact fit and healthy, those unfortunate enough to actually fall ill or live in poverty are often referred to as looking like death itself. Wraiths are equally common in all races.

Selkies are exceedingly rare, not only in their existence, but in the knowledge of their existence, for they are shape shifters and instinctively secretive about their abilities. While most can only alter their internal and external appearance to that of a humanoid, the most talented are able to assume the identity of animals.

Like Wraiths Selkies have a  mixed reputation, depending on whether they are discovered and trained by tyrants, gangs or the Clandestine Guard, although the former and latter are the most common gangs often stumble upon an adolescent Selkie in their territory. Those taken up by tyrants or the Clandestine Guard tend to become assassins or spies, and very adept ones too, for only the most skilled of magic users can tell if someone is a Selkie. Those found by gangs rarely stay there long, typically doing some stealing before they are discovered by tyrants of the Clandestine Guard.

Selkie must be very careful when shape shifting as they can alter anything and everything about their body (hence the popular saying: ‘there’s no such thing as a fat Selkie’) and as such risk altering something accidentally with, sometimes, disastrous effects. Oddly enough there have been very few male Selkie, although this may just be an indication that they are more adept at hiding their abilities rather than being rarer. There are few Jaik Selkies, they’re most common amongst Kiuno.

Behemoths, like Falcons, also posses their abilities from birth, often leading to many accidents while they’re young. They are giants, most around 7-8ft tall but some clearing 9. They also posses a lot of strength and are renown for their strong will and incredible toughness to physical attacks and illness/disease.

Very few are evil, as Behemoths seem naturally gentle and kind in nature, however they are not know for their intelligence, often leading them to be exploited by others, especially as they defend their friends zealously when they think they are in danger.

Unfortunately most are abandoned, disowned or generally kicked out of their homes as they have a tremendous appetite, which is expensive to satisfy. Behemoths are generally feared by most regardless of whom they work for, as they’re naturally intimidating due to their size and strength. No Elven Behemoths have ever been encountered, and Kiuno Behemoths are unheard of in their native lands.

Manti are considered the most dangerous of all Daiori and for good reason. Of all Daiori they are the most vindictive and aggressive, making them perfect for work amongst vicious gangs and lackeys for tyrants. The only identifying feature of Manti (other than their temperament) are the sharp spines made of bone that run down the side of their forearms, the starting spines, near the wrist are typically only a cm or two long, although they get longer the closer to the elbow and the final spine, just before the elbow joint, is usually several inches in length. These natural weapons make their temperament extremely dangerous as they are rash and rarely think before they strike. There has never been an Elven Manti and they seem to be common among the Jaik more than any other race.

Phoenixes are the rarest of the well-known Daiori, famed and immortalised in many legends and myths from all races. They are the only Daiori to have an almost exclusively positive background and are generally treated well and welcomed by all they meet. They are extremely hard to kill as they have a highly accelerated healing rate, caused by an ‘internal Thermal’ that stays within them until they die. When they are injured the Thermal leaks out and heals the wound incredibly fast, it also defends them against almost all known diseases and illnesses, for this reason they are often seen as heralds of the Gods and there is even an underground cult that worship them. Obviously, due to their healing they posses the lowest mortality rate amongst all Daiori by far.

Their only unifying feature is tanned skin and generally bright blue eyes and other than their healing they posses no other abilities as a result of their mutation. Although they, unlike most Daiori, commonly possess Perception this is not thought to be a part of their mutation, merely that their mutation doesn‘t block Perception as the others seem to do. Phoenixes are almost exclusively Kiuno and Elves, why is unknown, but it common superstition to be because of both races’ closeness to nature.

The Triad

The Triad are the three main patrons worshipped on Ulei. Each is worshipped by Tsorians, Jaik and Kiuno alike, although each race holds one particular God in higher esteem to the others. Each of the Triad also have legendary Daiori ‘heralds’.

Gaidron (Gay-Dron) is the God of Battle, Honour and Dragons. Worshipped primarily by the Jaik, he is one of the main reasons the Jaik of strict codes of honour and why they view Dragons as sacred animals. Gaidron is said to be a bipedal humanoid Dragon that always wear full body black and red armour. Just like Jaik, he has a very strict code of honour, including such rules as not being able to strike a defenceless opponent. He is said to be harsh in his decisions but fair. Gaidron’s heralds are the Wyverns.

Elgenar (Elle-Gen-R) is the God of Knowledge, Cunning and Trade. He is worshipped primarily by the Tsorians. His appearance is supposed to be that of a wizened old man with exquisite robes, said to vary in colour depending on his mood, where he is and numerous other factors. Very knowledgeable and wise, Elgenar is often sought after in times of need by the desperate, the reason for this is that he is also very manipulative, supposedly tricking people into doing things for him. Elgenar’s heralds are the Roc.

Dyla (Die-La) is the Goddess of the Forest, Ocean and Sky. She is primarily worshipped by the Kiuno, who worship her almost solely and are very careful not to upset nature for she is said to be nature itself, ergo, hurting nature is hurting her. There is a legend amongst the Jaik that if she chooses to appear before a mortal then she shall take the form of whatever that person perceives as perfection. Regardless of this she is said to always have slightly green tinted skin, plant-like clothing and vines and leaves mixed in with her hair. The Dryads are her heralds.

There’s more to come…

« Last Edit: February 3, 2006, 08:44:07 PM by Makenshi Istarria »
Quote from: IainC
Because spamming the hotkey for a Deathknight's weapon in WoW is precisely the same as learning to use a sword in real life. That's why when Kendo grandmasters fight, they just stand there shouting keystroke combos at each other.

Offline -Makenshi-

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Re: Ulei - A World History (Non-GW Fantasy)
« Reply #1 on: February 3, 2006, 08:39:51 PM »
Here’s the second instalment:

Historic Events

The Great War

The period of the Great War was said to be the saddest time in Ulei, the Tsorians were amassing an Empire while the Jaik were claiming the mountainous and hilly areas and the Kiuno were just trying to defend their forests. Eventually all three races broke into war, utilising, for the first time, what the Elves taught them. At first the Elves fought on all sides of the war, however, after seeing the damage being done to Ulei as a result of the war they eventually attempted to stop the war.

At first they sought to stop the war through negotiations, however that failed and they instead turned to key assassinations and turning the tide of certain battles. The result was each race was broken and unable to wage war without dire consequences. This paved way for a truce between the three races, the Elves simply vanished to various corners of Ulei and have never politically returned since. Some claim to have seen Elven cities and towns, however they are rarely taken seriously.

There were many famous names throughout this time, however two of the most famous (or infamous depending on your side) are the Falcon twins Huginn and Muninn, who were the driving force of the Tsorian Empire throughout the last half of the war. They were the sons of the Tsorian Emperor and, instead of one of them ruling, they both took their father’s position after his death. Despite the fact they were also a big factor in why the Tsorians gained so much, they are also the reason they ended up loosing the war; as they started to compete with each other. This competitiveness kept becoming more and more profound through the years until only the Elven-led assassination of Huginn stopped it from turning into a Civil War.

The Great War happened roughly eight centuries before Weavers is set, and ended almost a century later.

The War Of Deceit

Originally started because the Clandestine Guard discovered evidence that the Jaik were planning to attack the Tsorian Empire, it has since been suggested that the evidence was planted and ‘discovered’ by undercover Arc Angels. The Arc Angels, being the crime syndicate of the Tsorian Empire, gained a lot of money as a result of people ‘living life to the full while they had the chance’. Unfortunately many suspect they were being used as scapegoats for the Clandestine Guard’s failings, this, combined with the lack of convincing evidence has meant the Clandestine Guard have been unable to do anything other than crack down on the Arc Angels’ ‘business’ more vehemently.

At first it was thought that the war with the Jaik wouldn’t take long to win (the famous quote by General Oeli Erogah of the Clandestine Guard “It will be over in a month or two” is now an aphorism used to indicate someone is overconfident or cocky) as the Jaik didn’t have an outstanding army. However, it was soon discovered that every Jaik citizen was trained to fight, and could answer the call for war.

Luckily for the Clandestine Guard, the Jaik didn’t have much experience in dealing with large-scale wars, they were more suited as skirmishers rather than rank and file troops. This lead to the Guard steadily pushing them further and further back.

The only reason the Jaik were not defeated was because of the actions of one man: Daorgh. No one knew where he came from, the Jaik did not even know what race he was, for he always wore a hooded cloak and full body light armour, made primarily from dragon scales. He appeared in the middle of one battle and turned the tide for the Jaik. Within a short space of time he assumed command of the Jaik forces, and it was through his tactical brilliance that they were able to turn the tide of the war, eventually defeating the Tsorians.

The final climatic battle between the two forces ended horrendously for the Clandestine Guard, for it was in this battle that the dragons that live in the mountain fortresses of the Jaik finally took to the skies, and bathed the battlefield in flames. Few of the Guard from the final battle survived, and Master-General Oeli was captured, however he was released soon after, when he had given his word to end the war. He was released out of respect for his own personal fighting abilities, for before they could catch him he was able to take down a remarkable number of Jaik, gaining him a scar that still marks his face to this day.

Daiori of Myths, Fables And Legends

Dryads are similar to Selkies except that that they can take the form of plants and humanoids. However they rarely make their appearance normal, favouring green tinted skin, natural colours for their hairs and eyes and generally appearing to have clothing made from plants. They are associated with the Goddess Dyla.

Roc are, to put it simply, Falcons that have gone so far as to meld with Thermals, to the extent where they can turn into a mass of visible thermal energy which they can shape at will. In legends they often took the form of enormous birds (what kind varied) that would overwhelm their enemies by flying straight at them, engulfing them in the raw power that takes the lives of most young Falcons.

Wyverns are bipedal Dragons. Most are supposedly wingless too however the higher ‘ranked’ ones supposedly have wings. In legend they are supposedly the greatest warriors imaginable, with strength and speed unparalleled by normal people, to the extent where they can even floor a Behemoth and react faster than a Selkie.

Archangels are the only legendary Daiori that were known to have existed at some point. However the only evidence of this are close guarded memory spheres that dates back to the time of the reign of the Weavers and the eyewitness acount of one young Oeli Erogah. Archangels are frighteningly horrible creatures, they posses the ability to meld into shadows and use them as short ranged portals and can manipulate the basics of their bodies, such as growing spikes/spines or extra limbs. They appeared to be made of the shadows themselves. They were supposed to be immortal so long as it was night and there were plenty of shadows and darkness, meaning you could only kill them during the daylight hours, when they couldn’t retreat back to the shadows to hide or regenerate. Fortunately it is known that adult Archangels were exceedingly rare due to the fact that they transcended at an early age and were almost always killed as soon as they did (often by their own family).

Rare Equipment Of Ulei

Phantom Weapons

Phantom weapons are very expensive and rare weapons for most. Only the Jaik use them extensively, as parents have one made for their child as soon as they are born and are used in every major ceremony the child goes through in their life, including coming of age, marriage and finally, their own funeral.

A Phantom Weapons is any weapon that has a Phantom Blade. It can take the form of any bladed weapons, such as daggers, swords, scimitars and halberds. However the more complex the shape of the blade the more expensive and taxing it is.

To use a Phantom Weapon takes a lot of practise, as it's very light (the Phantom Blade itself weighs almost nothing as it shares the 'phasing' ability of Wraiths) and if you make the wrong move you could end up taking off your own arm.

The blade itself is powered by a combination of a special and rare metal found in the desert that separates the Elves and the other races, and by surrounding Thermals. This is one of the drawbacks of the weapon, should there be no Thermal activity nearby the blade will not start up or disappear if already out.

It is Elvish in origin but more common amongst the Usegro Elves as they are the most combat orientated. It was introduced to the Jaik first by an outcast Usegro who chanced upon a Jaik Forger. The Forger spent several years trying to persuade the Elf to divulge the secrets of Phantom Weapons and was finally successful due to the fact that his daughter and the Elf had grown attached over the years. He finally divulged the secret of Phantom Weapons in exchange for the Forgers blessing to marry his daughter.

It was introduced to the Tsorian Empire by, arguably, the greatest doctor-surgeon in Ulei; a Falcon named Azair. How he attained the knowledge no one really knows, however he showed up to a surgery with bladeless tools. Azair was famed for deliberately trying to get people to make a fool of themselves, so no one commented on the lack of blades.

The reason they were first used for surgery by the Tsorians was that they cauterise a wound as they cut it, meaning there is no loss of blood.

Shifter Weapon

These are far rarer than Phantom Weapons and only a small amount of people (most of them Falcons) know how to construct them and they tend to charge a large sum of money for them.

When not in use they seem like a short stick a few inches in diameter. They are activated and controlled by Thermal manipulation, meaning only Mages or people trained to use their Perception have any hope in using them, and even then it takes years of training to reliably use them.

Shifter weapons get their name because they can take the form of any basic weapons, staves, daggers, swords, scimitars, halberds etc. and can also regenerate breakages so long as enough Thermal energy is fed into it. In the case of weapons like daggers and swords it can split into two, however it wont be able to change again until the two parts are put together again.

Shifter Armour

Like their weapon counterpart Shifter Armour is also very rare. It is made in much the same way although it is generally more complex, more taxing and more expensive, as more of the substance is present.

Shifter Armour takes a lot more practise than Shifter Weapons to master and use effectively. At the command of the wearer the armour can change it's flexibility, it's restrictive ness, the patterns, the thickness and it's entire being. Those who are especially good at using it can even add several layers of armour or even disguise it as simple clothing.

The Weavers

The Weavers ruled and enslaved most of Ulei in days long gone. It was the combined effort of the all the races that finally overthrew them. Details of the event are few and far between, however there are a handful of memory spheres dating back to these times, including some depicting Weavers themselves, although they are generally the property of very rich and greedy collectors.

All that is know about the nature of the Weavers is that they were all incredibly powerful and that there were always four of them. Each took their power from a different source and were given a title, although how the abilities affected them varied from Weaver to Weaver.

The four ‘types’ of Weaver were Thought Weavers, Spirit Weavers, Dream Weavers and World Weavers.

Thought Weavers possessed the ability to control people, change their personalities (a rarely used ability, as it was taxing to keep in effect, it was generally only saved for the most valuable of disobedient servants), inflict tremendously painful ‘headaches’ and generally manipulate the minds of others. They drew their strength from the conscious thoughts of others, exactly what and how in unknown.

Spirit Weavers were simply complete powerhouses, they could store and use much more energy than any others, being able to draw extra energy from the lives of others. This was generally just in minute amounts of those nearby, resulting in little more than headaches and nausea if you stayed in a Spirit Weavers presence too long. However, under certain circumstances (exactly what circumstances are unknown) they were able to take the lives of others to give themselves a large boost of power.

Dream Weavers drew their powers from the unconscious thoughts of others, such as dreams and nightmares. Their ability is a very strange one as they were able to summon forth beings that simply didn’t exist and sustain them. They were always the ‘weakest’ of the Weavers and generally didn’t take much interest in the building of Empires or anything similar.

World Weavers can twist reality to whatever they want, such as defying gravity, melting away obstacles, inflicting terrible injuries on others by such things as moving vital organs around and mutating people. In the case of inanimate objects they would generally return to normal eventually, however living things would stay deformed in the way the World Weaver left it. World Weaver never really built Empires as they were solitary.

One more to go…

Quote from: IainC
Because spamming the hotkey for a Deathknight's weapon in WoW is precisely the same as learning to use a sword in real life. That's why when Kendo grandmasters fight, they just stand there shouting keystroke combos at each other.

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Re: Ulei - A World History (Non-GW Fantasy)
« Reply #2 on: February 3, 2006, 08:40:54 PM »
And the final instalment (at least for now ::)):

The Elves

Little is known about the Elves, due to the fact that they abandoned the other races of Ulei shortly after the Great War, however, thanks to the occasional travelling Elf, outcast or (very rarely) diplomat the other races do know some basics about them.

There are three races of Elves; The Usegro; The Serjest; and the Xienoh. Each race has slightly different characteristics and slight physical differences.

By far the most common seen by the other races are the Serjest. The Serjest possess natural dexterity and very acute senses, this is typically improved all through their lives as they spend a vast amount of their time entertaining themselves and others with shows of various kinds. When fighting they almost solely rely on their speed and agility, due to the fact they are very light and typically not especially tough. Part of the reason the Serjest are seen more than the other two races is that they are well known for being more uninhibited and ‘free spirited’ than the other Elves. For the same reason, most of the Half-Elves are (rightly) assumed to be of Serjest parentage. They have a reputation of being ‘forest folk’ which is false. The only reason they gained this reputation is they principally helped the Kiuno and because of their large respect for nature, they actually prefer to live in hilly areas and by (or sometimes on) rivers.

Although not as ‘common’ as Serjest, the Usegro are still seen by a substantial amount of people. Unlike the Serjest the Usegro have a very complex social system, moral code, and, most importantly to them, view of fighting. They are highly focussed on fighting and, similarly to the Jaik, place much honour in it. However, unlike the Jaik, they also view fighting as a very ‘raw’ form of communication, whether it be hatred, love or lust. It is very rare to see any other type of Usegro than an outcast, one banished from their home. This is because they also view family and friends to be the single most important things in their lives, meaning they rarely move away from them, forming close-knit groups. Usegro Elves are generally a bit broader than the other two types, although they are typically a balance of speed and strength, as they do not believe in reliance on a single fighting style or weapon.

To see a Xienoh is extremely rare, as they confide themselves in enormous citadels with various defensive barriers. For this reason, the only Xienoh seen out of the citadels are diplomats, traders and mercenaries. They are by far the most spell-orientated of the Elves, with every one of their race being taught how to spellcast almost as soon as they can walk. This doesn’t mean that they can all fight well, as most of the spells civilians learn are ones to aid them in their everyday lives, such as moving objects and communicating over long distances (an spell they rarely share with outsiders). Unfortunately, the general population of the other races rarely hear any ‘official’ comments from any of the non-Xienoh Elves, as the Serjest and Usegro typically stay away from the large cities and the upper classes. Due to this, most people consider all Elves to be similar to Xienoh in demeanour, which is not especially flattering, due to the fact most Xenon (especially their upper classes) are quite arrogant and haughty, especially to the other races.

All of the Elves live on the other sicde of the large artificial ‘Inaro Desert’ that divides Ulei in two. The Xienoh made this desert to keep the other races away, and have made sure to fill it with much danger. Few know the ‘safe paths’ (and I use this term loosely) through the desert, and most of those who do are either Elves or those the Elves have sworn to secrecy. This is the main reason why few people ever meet Elves.

It is a very rare occurrence for a diplomat of the other race to be given an audience with any of the Elves, but it does happen on occasion. In every case that this has happened the diplomat has been sworn not to reveal most information about the Elves to anyone, which has frustrated most, including the diplomats themselves.

The Sect Of Istarria

The Sect Of Istarria is an ancient Elvish organisation, dating back to the reign of the Weavers. It was started by Allaidro Istarria, a Xienoh Phoenix who was charged with guarding the Xienoh royal family.  It was originally created to train future Guardian Phoenixes (the official title of the person/s who guarded the Xienoh  royal family, most often shorted to Guardian) for their roles, however it soon grew in size and expanded, drawing in all three races of Elves and became a much more elite Elven version of the Clandestine Guard.

The Sect Of Istarria serve many roles amongst the Elves but their only official role (and the only one they have no control over) is guarding the royal line of the three Elven races. They are the most elite fighters of the Elves and they all mix physical combat with spellcasting, although, how and to what extent varies within the three Sub-Sects; The Istarria-Dylan; The Istarria-Ghaidran; and The Istarria-Elgenan, each one basing it’s fighting style, teachings, and appearance on one of the three Gods of Ulei.

Perhaps the most famous (and infamous to some) Istarrian is Baalin. Born and raised during the Great War he grew up amongst a lot of death as the Elves were fighting on all sides of the war and that was his reason for training heavily so that he might be accepted into the Sect Of Istarria and why he chose to join the Dylan Sub-Sect upon his acceptance, at the young age of sixteen. During the first few years of his involvement in the War he reluctantly fought to aid his kin on the battlefield, but was known to go the great lengths not to kill, even to the extent of putting his own life in jeopardy on several occasions.

About one year before the official end of the Great War, Baalin suddenly changed, spending a large amount of time praying and most of his free time being taken up by long journeys to unknown locations. The first result of this was his sparing of an Archangel, whom he befriended and protected from his own kin until she was grudgingly accepted in the Serjest Capital. This lead to the eventual concession that Archangels were not monsters, by the vast majority of the Elves as she was highly intelligent and loathed fighting almost as much as Baalin did. It did, however, take time, whereas Baalin’s other actions were much more immediate, for he was the one who assassinated powerful figureheads of the  Jaik, Kiuno and Tsorians, including King Huginn of the Tsorian Empire and numerous generals of all three armies. His actions were the sole reason for the end of the war, as he very methodically targeted people, killing only those who would destabilise the races and lead them into more war.

Despite the logic and, to some extent, nobility, of his actions, he was cast out of the Sect. To act as an Assassin and kill in such a cold blooded and methodical manner was a severe breach of one of the overall Maxims of the Istarrian Sect. His last words to his old friend, the Prince of the Serjest, were supposedly ‘It is for the better that I leave, perhaps in time they will come to see the consequences, rather than my actions’.

‘Judge Me Not For My Actions, Judge Me For Their Consequences’ - The words etched onto Baalin’s armour, and his final words to the council after his exile. The armour was made and worn by Baalin shortly before the assassinations and his exile, leading many to believe he chose these words very deliberately, foreseeing the other Istarrians’ reactions.

The Sub-Sects

‘Death Is A Fate None Deserve’ - Famous maxim of the Istarria-Dylans.

Half of the Istarria-Dylans are typically Serjest, the other half being evenly split between Usegro and Xienoh. They primarily train in the Tsun’Oia and Swi’Yal fighting styles (see the Fighting Styles section below), their favoured weapons being daggers, rapiers and their own hands. While all Istarrians are pacifistic and non-confrontational, the Dylan Sub-Sect take this more extremely, hence why both their primary armed and unarmed form of combat focuses on defending, disabling and counter-attacking.

‘You Are Only Defenceless When You Stop Attacking’ - Famous maxim of the Istarria-Ghaidrans.

Half of the Istarria-Ghaidrans are typically Usegro, the other half being evenly split between Serjest and Xienoh. They primarily train in the Hurro’Tien and Domikran fighting styles (see the Fighting Styles section below), their favoured weapons being long swords (single, pairs and double-ended), glaives and gauntlets. The Ghaidran Sub-Sect focuses on aggressive combat, but, despite this, it is very hard to provoke them into a fight, as they also teach discipline of emotions.

‘Knowledge Is Power, Therefore, To Be Unknown Is To Be Unbeatable’ - Famous maxim of the Istarria-Elgenans.

Half of the Istarria-Elgenans are typically Xienoh, the other half being evenly split between Usegro and Serjest. They primarily train in the Tulak’Morr and Essé’Yal fighting styles (see the Fighting Styles section below), their favoured weapons being spears, staffs and throwing daggers. The Elgenan Sub-Sect are a curious mixture of defence and offence, preferring to act defensively, using as little energy as possible and then waiting for the perfect moment to strike a devastating blow and also use surprise attacks and stealth much more than the other two Sub-Sects.

Fighting Styles

There are six primary fighting styles of the Istarrians. Three of them are for unarmed use, and the remaining three armed use.

Swi’Yal, Domikran and Essé’Yal are the primary unarmed fighting styles. Swi’Yal (‘with speed’) focuses on dodging and parrying blows while nipping away at their opponent’s defences or biding time to strike at a pressure point (usually non-fatal). Domikran (‘dominate’) focuses on the use of the feet and hands (primarily the feet though) in blitzing the enemy with powerful blows, not giving them a chance to retaliate. Essé’Yal (‘with finesse’) focuses on single powerful strikes, usually administered as part of a sneak attack or after biding time.

 Tsun’Oia, Hurro’Tien and Tulak’Morr are the primary armed fighting styles. Tsun’Oia (‘like water’) focuses on parrying and disabling your opponent, typically by attacking their weapon hand/s or legs. Hurro’Tien (‘rain of blows’) focuses on unrelenting blows, striking (literally) from head to toe, so as to drain their opponent’s stamina. Tulak’Morr (‘calm before the storm’) focuses on defending with as little effort as possible and unleashing a salvo of strikes the moment a weak spot opens up.

Kudos if you’re still reading this, and if you have the strength left to post your views/ideas/comments/etc. I’d greatly appreciate it :).

Quote from: IainC
Because spamming the hotkey for a Deathknight's weapon in WoW is precisely the same as learning to use a sword in real life. That's why when Kendo grandmasters fight, they just stand there shouting keystroke combos at each other.


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