Lands and Races

The Adhemlenei

The Kalmaei          The Unicorns          The Dragons          The Griffons          The Angels

 The Kalmaei

 The Kalmaei are an elvish race; tall, slender, and generally good-looking and graceful.

Physical Characteristics: Normally between around 6 and 7 feet tall (Akalion Gyoriing is the tallest recorded at around 7’8″). Lightly built, with very lightweight bones (though strong for their weight); they weigh between 80 and 150 lbs on average. Their grace comes not so much from any physical characteristic but more from their culture and upbringing. They are rather androgynous, and usually leave their hair uncut – it’s easier to take care of. They can train themselves to be almost super-naturally strong. Due to their metabolism, they do not digest fat in excess of a certain level; this leads to their generally slim appearance, though it can lead to wide-spread starvation in hard times. They grow slowly; they are considered physically adult at around age 300, while reaching emotional and mental maturity at around 400. They have no aging, as their cells reproduce at a constant rate, and even scars heal over time. They are sexually dormant for most of their long lives, unless actively attempting to conceive a child. They can be killed by disease, blood loss, and organ damage, as well as a strange quirk – when they experience intense emotional pain, certain chemicals produced may lead to the involuntary shredding of their heart.

Culture: The kalmaei can be both jovially gregarious and sullenly solitary; they show the greatest range of emotion of any of the Living Races. They live in gatherings ranging from the great cities and capitals, to farming villages, to small hunting camps. They have a well-developed society with different ranks ascribed to different roles.

The Unicorns

The Unicorns are a pearly-white horse-shaped creature with a single iridescent horn of twisted bone protruding from their foreheads and great intelligence.

Physical Characteristics: Unicorns appear somewhat more delicate than horses, elk, and certainly moose, all of which appear in their land of origin, but they are stronger than deer. A single horn of bone, coated in a mother-of-pearl-like substance, protrudes from their foreheads and appears to be the focus of their power. Unicorns are the only creatures to use ‘magic’, or ‘an apparently spiritual power that has no other feasible explanation’. They can heal, cast illusions, and, in self-defense, blast a beam of brilliant light from their horns that scorches or evaporates what it touches. Unicorns are somewhat immortal, though they can be killed.

The Black Unicorn is a perversion of nature; insane, twisted, and probably inherently evil. It is pitch black in appearance, even to the horn, and red eyes without pupils. It has powers much greater than any normal unicorn. Not much else is known about it; it destroys all who wander into its territory.

Culture: Unicorns are rather taciturn, and only speak if they think it necessary. It is hard to tell what they are thinking. Their intelligence is unquestioned. They live either in family herds, or range alone through the wilderness; some will choose a kalmaeirin friend to bond with. The kalmaei who live in the Northlands where the unicorns live often consider having a unicorn friend as a prerequisite to a position of power, though not always.

The Dragons

The Dragons are large, scaley winged fire-breathing lizards who are both sentient and majestic.

Physical Characteristics: Dragons range in size from large to huge, from the relatively small silver dragon Ahcazi to the enormous crimson dragon Crhaegaark. They have gigantic leathery wings, twice the length of their even-scaled bodies, which tend to be somewhat cat-like in build, with four legs, deep chests and a long tapering tail. They have iridescent, or metallic, glittering eyes with slitted pupils, small leathery ears, and between two and six horns. They often have a ridge of spikes lining their back, extending from their vertebrae, and a skilled kalma or kalla will know how to sit comfortably around them. They can breathe fire, but only when they have eaten, because they digest a chemical that is extremely inflammable. It is stored in pockets around the body like fat, but when it is needed it gathers in a throat pouch until it becomes mixed with their exhalation and fires in the air. Dragons are also immortal unless slain or poisoned.

They have five colours, none of which have any significance, but can distinguish families. The colours are gold, silver, emerald, scarlet, and marine (which has nothing to do with the sea). Dragons may look alike to those who haven’t seen them before, but subtle variations in nose and eyebrow shape, as well as the more obvious signs such as the horns, will tell them apart.

Culture: They do not really have a heirarchy, choosing a council every hundred years. Aside from that, they co-exist loudly and often argumentively. They enjoy working, and employ themselves as smith-hands in order to share in kalmaeirin food. They could go and catch their own – a cow will feed an average-sized dragon for a week – but they do enjoy the company of their diminutive friends.

The Griffons

The Griffons are a playful, clever race; they appear to be lion-legged and eagle-headed, with huge wings.

Physical Characteristics: They have the feathered heads and the legs and talons and wings of eagles, but their back half is shaped like a giant cat, with a cat’s tail. Their feathers and fur are usually the same colour, and spots and stripes may occur, though it is less common than solid colours. They often, though not always, have a crest or ‘ears’ of feathers reaching back from their faces. They live until they are killed, through injury or disease.

Culture: Griffons are playful. Like the cats they partly resemble, they love lolling around in the sun, or romping around the ground or the air. They do have a quite complex social heirarchy, but generally get along in a good natured manner. They tend to band together quite a bit, and work probably the closest with the kalmaei of any of the non-kalmaeirin races.

The Angels

The Angels are a near-complete mystery. That they are Servants of God is the only definite thing known about them.

Physical Characteristics: Unknown. They appear in human shape, taller and stronger than the kalmaei, and, rarely, with huge wings. It has not been determined whether the wings are always white, or if they can be coloured or multicoloured. They may be spirits, but this has never been clarified. It has been speculated that they are, and that they can take any form they choose, but when they are in human form they are only recognized as angels when they wish to be. There are seven Archangels, who seem to lead the others, and the chief of them is both a healer and a captain. The only others to have regular dealings with the Living Races of Earth are the herald messenger and the guardian. They are often androgynous, and those that have appeared seem to be male.

Culture: Unknown. They don’t seem to care to discuss it with the kalmaei. They seem to be more numerous than all the Living Races of Earth put together. They have appeared twice in great numbers in kalmaeirin history; once to Elyil Zela, when she first awoke, and taught her in a dream, and once, when they were sent to try to avert catastrophe from befalling the entire continent.