Mithyrn

Average Lifespan: 600 years
Average Height: 5 – 5’5” feet
Average Healthy Weight: 75 – 150 pounds
Pregnancy Duration: 1 year

For most of known history, there has been no recording of this illusive, secretive people that have made their home deep under the ground of Valindir. It has only been within the past few hundred years that anyone has become aware of this unique race and their way of life. Because their culture was severed from the rest of the world, it is considered “pure” by the Mithyrn, not tainted by politics or squabbles of petty, greedy people. It has only been in recent years that any outsiders have been allowed to set foot in their territory, but these travelers have been met with wonders that Valindir had never even dreamt could exist. Even so, most outsiders are looked upon with suspicion and fear, as the outside world is seen as unclean and dangerous by their society. More and more, the Mithyrn are leaving their native home and making explorations into the rest of the world, and bringing with them a new understanding of history and life.

Physical Characteristics

The Mithyrn are a people that look surprisingly alike, and only share subtle differences, but any Mithyrn can tell you it’s quite easy to pick out who is who, and can’t see why others have trouble with it. Mithyrn stand about five to five and a half feet high and weigh anywhere from seventy five to one hundred forty five pounds. They are a lithe race, showing their Sylvan heritage with their pointed ears that extend about halfway to the back of their heads. Their hair is almost always a pale silver or light blue, but other hair colors have been known to appear, such as brown, black and red, but it’s not as common to see them. Their eyes have been remarked as some of the most entrancing and beautiful in all the known world, as their iris is often swirls of two different colors that seem to dance like wisps of smoke.

The most remarkable feature about Mithyrn is their unique skin. Ranging from the darkest blacks and deepest blues, their skin actually has tiny, sparkling flecks embedded within it, like crystals that shine on the wall of a cave. These are actually developed from the diet that the Mithyrn eat when they are children, as their plants are rich in a mineral that flourishes in the cave walls. Each person develops an individual pattern as they age, reaching its completion by the time they are sixteen and no two are ever exactly alike. Some look like a starry night, with shimmering patterns simply randomly appearing, while others have swirls and shapes along their flesh. Anyone Mithyrn who doesn’t bear these marks was clearly raised outside their community, and are looked upon as an outsider, and regarded with suspicion and fear.

History

The Mithyrn were born of Diatras, the Goddess of Fear and Secrecy, and were one of the last races formed before Al’Drenra ravaged the world. When Diatras began her work, most of the Pantheon either didn’t know of her existence, or didn’t care, as she was regarded as harmless and weak. From a few Sylvan the race was carefully crafted, and soon the Goddess Diatras had completed her work. However, when she went to her sister, Imala, to tell her of her race, she heard the muttering of her trace about wars and famine, and knew then that the Goddess of Fate was looking into the future. Diatras sealed the tunnels to underground world, and patrolled the tunnels until she set in her eternal slumber by the Elements. It was because of this that the Mithyrn were never a part of Al’Drenra, nor did they know much of the outside world until more recent history.

Once sealed in their world beneath the soil, the Mithyrn set to work in creating their civilization, as they had all the tools needed to survive. Their population remained steady, as anytime one would die, Diatras would replace it with another, but would never again appear to them after their creation. They simply would emerge from a passage and be welcomed into the society, working towards building the colossal city of Talei, meaning safe in the ancient tongue. They also crafted settlements throughout the tunnels, each focusing on a specialty, like farming or mining, but they were never far from the main city.

When Al’Drenra had ended, the Elements appeared to the Mithyrn and explained all that had happened since they had been locked beneath the world so long ago. They gave them the choice to either live their lives as they had been, or release them from the tunnels and unblock the way to the rest of Valindir. The Mithyrn chose to stay secluded, and have always praised the Elements for keeping their existence a secret from the rest of the world. It was the Dwarves, exploring for new mineral veins to mine, that discovered the civilization and introduced the Mithyrn to the modern world. Since then, more and more of them have been seen in all corners of the realm, gathering knowledge to share with the people still dwelling in Talei.

Culture and Religion

The Mithyrn have developed a tight knit community and much of their cultural norms and ideals revolve around family units. When a Mithyrn marries, it is always for life, and divorce is a foreign idea to them, as it violates a pact made between two people. Marriage is a sacred union, and to be caught going outside ones marriage for pleasure from another is seen as the highest shame in their society. Rumors swirl that long ago, men and women who violated their vows to one another were executed publically. Today, no such practice exists, but anyone caught cheating on their spouse is expelled from Talei and all surrounding Mithyrn territory. They are never permitted to marry another, nor are they allowed to return, or even take their children with them. Their marriage to their spouse is absolved and the innocent party is free to pursue a new mate.

Homosexuality is embraced within their culture, as any devotion of love made to another is a truly beautiful and sacred bond. Many of these families have adopted children, as there is no shame for a Mithyrn to admit they were not ready to have a child of their own and place it with another family. When a Mithyrn couple realizes they are pregnant but feel they are not up to the heavy responsibility of caring for a child, it is their duty to find suitable parents within the community. The couple will craft a wreath made from herbs and hang it on the door of their house, allowing the odors of the spices to waft into the streets. This is a symbol that they are looking for a family that can love and cherish their child as their own. Many Mithyrn families have a mix of adopted and biological children, as it is hard for them to conceive children, which has kept their population under control.

Many outsiders have mistaken these practices to mean that all Mithyrn are chaste until marriage, which could not be farther from the truth. Mithyrn are permitted to pursue any pleasures they wish, within reason, but to break a vow of any kind is seen as weak and abhorrent. Marriage is the most sacred of these promises, because it is an oath taken to dedicate one’s self to another, and therefore is not taken lightly. Being untrue to one’s word is enough to have them ostracized from civilized society, and many times they are the subject of public ridicule and disgust.

Their attire and jewelry has been something coveted and desired by the outside world since the first person looked upon the Mithyrn. Because the caverns they dwell in are rich in jewels and precious metals, most people adorn themselves in intricate, elaborate jewelry. Their clothing is mostly darker colors and earth tones, and most of them don’t wear bright colors except on special holidays or celebrations. However, most clothing is adorned with shimmering crystals that are an array of different colors and shapes. Outsiders have playfully remarked that even though the race had never seen the sun, they shone just as brightly, so it shouldn’t have been too much of a shock to be in such strong light.

The Mithyrn adopted Magic as their patron Element, and many of them have statues and talismans representative of Jeax. They did this not only because they excel as mages, but because they see knowledge and wisdom as the cornerstone to any civilized people. They were fascinated by any new knowledge, and often prayed the Elements to show them what the outside world looked like, without subjecting them to the prying eyes of the other races. Magic especially took an interest in them, often bringing them books from libraries to open their minds to new ideas and other ways of life. They built a grand library at Talei to house these works of literature and history, and it has been expanded six times over the years to accommodate all their vast wisdom, both of Mithyrn origin, and the outside world.

Geography

The Mithyrn dwell deep underground in the Soluma territory, which the Alubra have been more than pleased to share with them. Because no one knew the Mithyrn existed at the time of the Assembly, they were never officially recognized or had land set aside for them. If the Alubra had not allowed them to stay, the Mithyrn would have been expelled from their native home and had to make a plea to Isavra to reopen the Assembly. Thankfully, the Alubrans had no issues with the Mithyrn and the two races live together, although rarely see one another, as all the Mithyrn live in or around Talei, their capital city. There are other smaller communities within their tunnel system, but they are just a short walk from Talei, and most of these areas are farms.

Relations with Other Races

The Mithyrn have not pursued many outside relations beyond their culture, but a few of their bravest have ventured out in order to gather more information about the world and its people. In return, a privileged few have been allowed into their society, and in recent years, more and more people have been permitted to see Talei in its entire splendor.

Alubra – The Mithyrn are grateful to their Alubran neighbors, and probably trust them more than any other race. The first outsider ever permitted into Talei was an Alubran woman, and from then on, any of their people have been permitted inside their home. In return, the Alubra are given priority with trading, and therefore have become the envy of many merchants.

Centaur – Looking upon them with fear and suspicion, the Mithyrn are not too trusting of Centaurs, but respect their dedication to their honor. They can find similarities in their dedication to family and their protection, so Centaurs are allowed in Talei, but only in small groups. The Mithyrn don’t trust any large groups, especially those they see as warriors and fighters.

Danava – The Mithyrn are fascinated by the Danava, and enjoy sharing the common bond of their Sylvan heritage. There have been talks of digging a tunnel that leads to the ocean so that the Danava can visit more easily, but so far it has not yet be decided on. Otherwise the Danava are seen as inclusive and nonthreatening, as both have been respectful of the others culture.

Daphinae – While they respect that the Daphinae live in harmony with the land and understand the delicate balance of overpopulation, the Daphinae themselves are viewed as wild and untamed. Even so, they are still seen as a kind of extended family because of their common Sylvan heritage, so no Daphinae has ever been turned away from Talei simply for being Daphinae.

Drakien – The Mithyrn pity the Drakien race, most likely because they never experienced the tyranny of the Dragons first hand. They do agree the original Drakien got what they deserved; they see it as unfair to take it out on the Drakiens of today. Still, the Mithyrn are wary of anyone known for their power and fighting skills, so they interact with them cautiously.

Dwarves – Dwarves are probably the race that the Mithyrn identify with the most, and the two races share a tentative friendship. Each side is slightly wary of the other, but for the most part, the two societies have partnered to map some of the deeper, more precarious tunnel systems to see where they lead. One day they hope to uncover ancient knowledge or even roads that connect their two worlds.

Elves – While the Mithyrn do see the Elves as part of their extended family, they are less than impressed with the reception they’ve received. At first, the Mithyrn felt the Elves would understand their desire to keep their culture pure throughout the turmoil, but they were looked down upon like everyone else. The Mithyrn now see them as spoiled children who are ungrateful for the immense blessings they have been given.

Gryphon – Viewed as nothing but glorified animal body guards, the Mithyrn are wary and fearful of this winged race. They see their creation as a mean to protect Yarowe’s investment in the land, and therefore cannot respect a race that has remained shackled for so long.

Humans – The Humans are an interesting collection of people to the Mithyrn, but they are not terribly trusting of a race that always seems to be in a rush. The Mithyrn credit this to their short lifespan, and pity them for lacking the time to truly develop real wisdom. Several Mithyrn have gathered copies of their vast knowledge and have started trading it with the merchants in Danzibar.

Kithras – The Mithyrn trust the Kithras to a point. They believe that at the time of the Assembly, that the Kithras had been misrepresented and aren’t as shady as some people would like to assume. In fact, the two cultures have struck up a trade agreement, and often barter trinkets and such, as the Mithyrn are fascinated by their jewelry and various uses for metals.

Kren – Respecting their way of putting their community over the needs of one single individual is as far as the relationship with the Kren goes for the Mithyrn. They see their rules as too restrictive, smothering any idea of true community and family. The Mithyrn pity them for this, and don’t view them as a threat, as the Kren are just as pleased to keep to themselves.

Melrog – The Mithyrn see them as a tampering with nature, and fear what the naïve Humans and Dwarves might have created. They see the fault mainly with the Dwarves, as their race lives long enough to know better. Either way, they accept that these people exist, and tentatively have started communicating with them, as they seem to have the temperament of a peaceful people.

Minotaur – Of all the races that are physically imposing, it is the Minotaur that the Mithyrn trust the most. Throughout history, they chronicled how the Minotaurs constantly tried to remove themselves from fights and conflict, instead searching for a peaceful resolution. The Mithyrn deeply respect this, and see them as a shining example of how all physically impressive people should act.

Orcs – The Mithyrn have a deep and vicious mistrust of Orcs, who they see as only as beasts made for war and death. Because this race posses ancient scripts on their creation, they believe they know the truth behind their birth, and see them as nothing but mindless drones that are programmed from birth to kill.

Sidhe – The Mithyrn still treat these Sylvan brethren with a bit of caution because they truly cannot understand their motives. They are always grateful for the aid they provide, but cannot fathom why the Sidhe give so freely to anyone in need. They see it as placing themselves in unneeded danger, but otherwise respect their choice to live their lives they way they please.

Senai – Still viewing the Senai as an extended family, the Mithyrn hold a deep respect for what they see as wise, cultured people. The Senai and Mithyrn understand one another and their desire to keep their cultures out of the petty bickering of the rest of the world. Going to visit the Senai was the first long distance trip most Mithyrn made after the first Senai came to visit them.

Talmori – Respected not only for their peaceful existence, but for the balance they have struck with the land, any Talmori is permitted in Talei. It was the Talmori that introduced new crops that could grow without the aid of sunlight, and struck up a trade of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables with the Mithyrn. They have been valued friends and are viewed as one of the few people that truly understand Mithyrn society.

Language

The Mithyrn speak Sylva, as well as adopting common when their existence was revealed to the rest of Valindir. People were surprised to learn that there was several Mithyrn that spoke all the known languages of the realm, as well as a few of the ancient ones. There have always been a select few that oversee the library that are required to learn all the languages that their books could be written in, so the Mithyrn actually knew most languages and could communicate without ever needing common. Most Mithyrn like to learn several languages, as they are always suspicious of what might be said in front of their faces in a different tongue.

Names

The Mithyrn have always been concerned with the meaning of a name. To simply pick something because it sounds pretty is seen as wasteful and inappropriate. Children are not named officially until their first birthday, when the parents have had adequate time to observe their baby’s personality. On the eve of their birth, the parents throw a huge celebration, and reveal the child’s name to the community. Often times, bits and pieces were taken from ancient languages and placed together to have deep meaning for the person and their family. Often times Mithyrn will ask one another the meaning of their name to properly gauge what kind of person they are speaking with.

For help naming your character, Mithyrn names often have meanings like “silent one” or “she who will not be tamed.” Try coming up with the meaning first, and then pick syllables and sounds that you think would properly convey that emotion or idea. They have no set sounds or even set languages they pull from, so some will have lyrical, flowing sounds, while others will have harsh, clipped syllables.

Male Names: Falpento, Ri’Dreo, Nilamon

Female Names: Somitalyn, Bodenkala, Kodenkal

Player Difficulty Level

Moderate – Mithyrn are a bit more complicated to play, but not overly so, mainly because of their hesitant nature to interact with the rest of Valindir. While some have struck out and live outside Talei, it’s looked upon as something odd, and other races still have some fascination with what they consider, a new race.

Notes on Role Playing this Race

The Mithyrn may have kept their culture separate from the outside world, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t know what was going on outside. Diatras and the Elements sent books to them written by people of the day that kept them informed on current events, literature, and even art. No Mithyrn would be shocked at carriages, clothes, swords, or really any other object. They have a basic understanding of the world, and while they may be in awe to see large cities or lush forests for the first time, it’s not for lack of knowing they exist.

They are also not blinded by the sun, nor would they shy away and hide from sunlight. While it may be bright to them at first, their eyes adjust and they can see just fine in the daylight. They also wouldn’t insist on sitting in dark, closed spaces to feel “closer to home.” Anyone leaving Talei knows full well the world outside is much different, and they are prepared for those challenges.

Posted September 21, 2011 by belimedra

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