Talmori

Average Lifespan: 350 years
Average Height: 6’ – 6’5”
Average Weight: 150 – 350 pounds
Pregnancy Duration: 9 months

Guided by their spirituality, the Talmori have lived in harmony with the world around them since the moment of their birth. While all people of the world acknowledge that everyone has a sentient soul, the Talmori have taken it a step beyond, saying that everything in the realm has some sort of spirit that can communicate truth to them. While they recognize that the rocks, trees and animals do not have sentient intelligence, they do possess knowledge and insight they have observed over the years, and so it’s important to pay respect and reverence to all things in Valindir. They remain a mystery to most of the world, as they have always kept to themselves for the most part, and lived in harmony with nature in their part of the world.

Physical Characteristics

The Talmori have often been mistaken for enormous wolves and bears in the darkness of the night, but to see them in the daylight reveals they are quite different from any beast of the wilds. Their facial features are wolf-like, with a long muzzle dotted with a black nose on its end. A row of sharp teeth fills their mouth, which has given rise to the belief that they eat other races in Valindir, but as any Talmori can tell you, the game in Bhargreis is quite tough and chewy. Their eyes are often one solid color with an oblong pupil in the center, much like the eyes of any wolf or dog. Their eye color can be a range of vibrant shades, from gold and silver, to blue, green, violet and even orange or red. A few have even developed to eye colors, normally divided along the center of the eye, but it’s still an uncommon sight to see. Their ears often stand up straight and protrude out of the top of their head as their long hair flows about it. Some have floppier ears that fall to the side, or even some that just the ends are folded over the rest of the ear.

A Talmori’s body is covered in a thick, soft layer of fur that can be a wide array of colors and patterns. While most have similar markings as a wolf, some are one solid color, while others have spots or mottled colors. White, black, brown, silver and gold are the most prevalent colors, but a few have displayed a honey color that is considered a great blessing and a sign of good fortune. They have hands and feet similar to the rest of Valindir; five toes on their feet, and four fingers and a thumb on their hands. They tend to be covered in a thinner, courser fur that allows them to grip things more easily. A feature that many find fascinating or odd is that the Talmori do have a tail that is normally big and bushy, and they often use it to express their mood to one another by its position and movement.

History

The Talmori were born from the Goddess of Harmony, Qualo and she taught them much of what they still use today. She firmly believed that larger groups of people, especially cities, were asking for trouble. As more and more colonies expanded, Qualo viewed it as an upset to harmony with the world, and thusly the Talmori were sequestered away in the Hashena Forrest where Bhargreis is today. She broke them off into smaller tribes based on their interests and beliefs, but spent equal time among each group. Firmly believing that favoritism would breed disharmony, she was careful never to make one person feel less important than another, even if their task was different. They would join her in meditation, listening to the world around them for guidance and insight. This was how they learned of the first rumblings of war. It is said that the plants and soil told them of the blood that was being spilt, and the Talmori armed themselves to keep Al’Drenra at bay.

It was the Orcs that first invaded the Talmori’s home, and began slaughtering them by the dozen, since their wooden spears and arrows were no match for the steel armor and swords of the invaders. Cymedros and the Minotaurs, an old friend of Qualo and the Talmori, came to their aid and turned the tides of the battle. It is said that the sacred Yumai River ran red with blood as it wound down into Danzibar and emptied into the gulf, calling others to battle as the horrors of Al’Drenra stretched to rest of Valindir. It was a group of Talmori that originally put forth the idea of a great sacrifice to recall the Elements. Their Goddess, Qualo, had already lost her sanity and was ripping holes into the spirit realms, releasing a plague upon the land. Gathering as many kindred spirits to their cause as they could, they meditated, and asked the world to show them the point in Valindir where the veil between Valindir and the Elements was weakest, and Isavra was revealed to them. Without those Talmori, many believe that Al’Drenra would have continued until no mortal was left alive and Valindir was enveloped in darkness.

After the return of the Elements and the end of Al’Drenra, the Talmori returned to their peaceful way of life in Bhargreis. When the call to the Assembly reached them, they sent several diplomats from different tribes to secure their lands, and wound up making two close allies in the process. The Dwarves had already started to slander the Kithras by the time the Talmori ambassadors arrived to Isavra. Already aided by the Alubrans, the Talmori also took up the Kithras cause, and argued that they were a peaceful, trustworthy people. No one in the Assembly would doubt the word of a Talmori after what had transpired there at Isavra, and so Keperu’Rai was granted to the Kithras and Bhargreis to the Talmori.

Culture and Religion

Living in peace and harmony with the world around them is something that every Talmori has striven to achieve. Each Talmori prides themselves on being able to hear the spirits of Valindir and to use the wisdom they gain from meditation in their everyday lives. Some have mistaken their beliefs that everything is alive and sentient, but any Talmori can tell you that’s not true. While plants, animals, rocks and dirt may have been able to see and hear in their own way, they do not understand in a way that a sentient soul does. They can merely relate what they have experienced to others, with no emotions or predispositions about it. It is from this knowledge that a Talmori can draw their own conclusions about life and how to live it. They also believe that death is a part of that understanding, so they give thanks after a hunt because that animal has sacrificed itself for the nourishment of both the body and soul. To waste something is seen as the highest affront to the community and the world, so the Talmori are careful to use everything they gather.

One of the more interesting customs of the Talmori is the Shaakra, which literally translates into “walk about.” When a child has reached the age of adulthood, normally anywhere from sixteen to twenty years old, they are sent out of the tribe to explore the world and their beliefs about it. They are given a vibrant green sash, symbolizing the life they are about to explore, and sent on their way into Valindir. There is no set time for a Shaakra, and some come home as soon as a year, while others will live half their lives among the different races. When they return to the tribe, they will have a meeting with the leader in which they will recount the wisdom they have obtained. If the chief is satisfied that they are now an adult with their own understanding of the world, a celebration is thrown in the community, and the sash is then dyed a deep green, symbolizing wisdom and understanding. Often times these sashes become a sign of pride, and are adorned with family names and trinkets that are special to the wearer.

Talmori are often joined in marriage, and occasionally a marriage will be arranged between tribes to ease tensions between the two people. These predetermined marriage is decided when both children are young, and the two will often be sent on their Shaakra together, so they may grow to love each other and depend on one another. Often times they will return already wed and will live in the tribe of each spouse for one year. They are said to bring a better understanding to each tribe about the others ways, and it often results in peace and harmony between the people. The Talmori do not believe marrying outside their race, however, and to bring home a spouse that is not Talmori is enough to be exiled from the country in disgrace. They are also a monogamous race, and often mate for life, never marrying again if their partner passes away.

Religion has always been an important part of a Talmori’s life, no matter what he or she believes. The Path of the Elements is the most prominent following, and temples have sprung up around the area, often the only buildings that are permanent in all of Bhargreis. Some still follow the Path of the Gods, but do not seek the rival of a god, but perhaps a better understanding of their knowledge and experience. They often seek out Aspects, both to try and understand their fallen parents, and to try and soothe the soul of the person carrying that burden. The Path of the Enlightened has also gotten a small foothold in the Talmori community, as it is not forbidden to believe and worship as you like, so long as you are not breaking laws or causing harm. While most pass it off as vein or arrogant, a single tribe has adopted this belief, but they are one of the smaller tribes that lives on the outskirts of the country.

Geography

For as long as they have been on this world, the Talmori have lived in the Hashena Forrest on the western coast of Valindir. They named their country Bhargreis, after the man who discovered the way to recall the Elements to this world, and gave his life in the process. They once dwelt there with Qualo, their creator, and have defended its borders against invaders. They have no cities, but live in small tribes littered throughout the forests, and no one knows how many there are, as they constantly split off or join together.

Relations with Other Races

The Talmori have prided themselves on living a life of seclusion and peacefulness. They are eager to go out and explore the world, but prefer their own lands remain untouched by outsiders. This has been cause to some hostility over the years, as they have viciously defended their right to keep others out, but for the most part they have secured friendly relations with most races.

Alubra – The Alubra are a source of bemusement for the Talmori, and they often go to visit them, especially on a Shaakra. They find their way of looking at the world flawed and perhaps a bit too optimistic, but they feel that it is always important to hope for something better. Talmori often seek them out as friends because they always help them remain positive about the future.

Centaurs – The Talmori once may have respected the Centaurs, but they now only see them as pawns of the Orcs. They fear that one day the two will declare war on the rest of the realm and bring about another Al’Drenra, as Orcs riding on Centaurs into battle could spell disaster for everyone.

Danava – The Danava are an interesting people, but ones they don’t often interact with. Even in the outside world, the Talmori have noticed the Danava tend to avoid them, so they are just as happy to leave them be, as they have no interest in the salty depths where they live either.

Daphinae – Seen as the only people that can truly understand their harmony with the world around them, the Daphinae are the only race openly invited to visit the Talmori on their lands. There have even been rumors that a few, select Daphinae have been permitted to join the Talmori tribes, but no one outside the country has ever been able to confirm its validity.

Drakien – Seen as mislead, and perhaps unwise, the Drakien are a race to be watched carefully. They do this out of fascination to see how this young race will develop through their hardships, not out of fear of what the Drakien people might do. Talmori often go out of their way to befriend a Drakien, if only to show them how to quiet their restless soul through meditation.

Dwarves – The Talmori do not hold much respect for the Dwarves, who they view as paranoid liars. They have not forgotten how poorly they treated the Kithras, or how badly they were treated because of their friendship with them. Because of this, many Talmori will avoid a Dwarf if at all possible, because they believe they will try once again to besmirch their good name.

Elves – Misguided but well-meaning, the Elves are often a point of confusion for the Talmori, or at least their society is. They cannot understand the idea of noble houses and surnames being so important to people that they dictate leadership. They cannot fathom why someone more qualified from a different family can’t lead, and so they generally are regarded as over-complicated people.

Gryphons – They hold a respect for a race who would so willingly aid another, but they find the same sort of frustration with the Gryphons that they do with the Elves. While simpler than their Elven allies, the Gryphons are still too wrapped in titles and bloodlines to really understand the world around them and achieve harmony with it.

Humans – Certainly one of the most internally chaotic races the Talmori have encountered, to befriend a Human is still seen as privilege. While they may be ever changing, they are also open to new ideas and understanding, and so the Talmori have found they are willing to at least attempt meditation with them. There is also something commendable about a people that are arguably physically weak compared to the rest of the races not only surviving, but building a thriving community and business.

Kithras – These two peoples have enjoyed a peace and friendship not often seen between two extremely different cultures. While they may disagree on how life is to be lived, the Talmori respect that the Kithras are in tune with the world around them, and are able to live in such unforgiving territory. For the Talmori, this is proof their society has achieved a state of oneness with the land, as they could not survive if they had not.

Kren – Rigid and unmoving, the Kren and Talmori have often been at odds, at least intellectually. They are seen as too stuck in their ways and mechanical in their community and it is not harmony that they achieve, but servitude. Talmori pity them, because they cannot see the yoke they have placed upon themselves, and hope one day they free themselves from it.

Melrog – Viewed as a twisted use of magic and an affront to the natural order of things, the Melrog are not permitted in Bhargreis. While each individual is to be pitied because it was not their fault they were born that way, they are not a creature to be associated with. It is their creators that should have been severely punished for attempting the role of a god.

Minotaur – The Talmori and Minotaurs have always shared a deep friendship since the times of Al’Drenra. It was the Talmori that inspired their creator to birth them into the world, and the Minotaur who saved them from extinction at the hands of the Orcs. They have always treasured that bond between them, and any Talmori is lucky to have a Minotaur to call friend.

Mithyrn – Intensely curious about this unique race, the Talmori have forged an ongoing friendship with the Mithyrn. When they were first discovered, the Talmori sent ambassadors with fruits and seeds as offerings of good will and peace. Since then, the two races have worked in harmony to enrich both their lives, and several Talmori can be seen living in Talei even today.

Orcs – While they have tried to forgive the past and move on from the bloody battles during Al’Drenra, the Talmori are still resistant to the Orcs to say the least. They are viewed as discord personified, as they create chaos and turmoil not only within their own souls, but in the world around them. They consume their resources without giving back to the land, and the Talmori believe it’s only a matter of time before they begin to take what they need from others.

Senai – Until recent years the Talmori never had much contact with the Senai. It was only when the Daphinae introduced the two peoples formally that they realized they had quite a bit in common, despite the quite different places they dwelled. While only a few Talmori have made it down to Sinola, several Senai have traveled to Bhargreis to trade goods and stories. The two have found they both share a passion for a good tale spun by the fireside.

Sidhe – The Talmori greatly respect a culture that is so complimentary to their society. The Sidhe believe in peace throughout the world, and the Talmori support them in this, often accompanying them as bodyguards to protect them from harm. The two people have enjoyed deep meditation, and both races have learned new techniques from one another that brings them closer to the world around them.

Language

Long ago, the dialects and languages of the Talmori were so plentiful, that it was a challenge to find anyone outside a tribe who could speak clearly with one another. It became a point of contention and strife, as no one wanted to change to another tribe’s language because each felt their language was superior. It was an Alubran that lived there who recommended a solution when the leaders of each tribe came together. Many Talmori already spoke Yasei because both the Alubra and the Lithorians used it as their primary language. If they made that the country’s primary language it would not show favor to one tribe over the other, but instead pay homage to an ancient friendship and alliance. The Talmori were pleased at this decision and made Yasei the national language of Bhargreis. Since then, the ancient tongue of the Talmori has passed away, and only a very few can speak it anymore.

Names

Talmori names often vary in style and sound, as they have pulled inspiration from rest of the Valindir. The tribe will come together in celebration of a new life, and the parents are said to meditate until the name comes to them in their visions.

Male Names: Fidaelo, Darchesh, Ra’hesh

Female Names: Pubilan, Siquena, Odilyss

Player Difficultly Level

Easy. The Talmori generally don’t have many enemies and try and live in peace with everyone else, so they tend to be on the easier side to play. The hardest part about this race is remembering that most of them meditate, and while no one is forced to meditate in-character, we find it generally helps people get the feel of the race and their individual character.

Notes on Role Playing this Race

While the Talmori may be a wolf-like people, it does not mean that their fur passes for clothing. It would still be immodest for people to wander about naked and would draw stares, giggles and perhaps even outrage from others. They also wear jewelry on their hands, ears etc… because the hair on their hands tends to be shorter compared to the fluffiness of the rest of the coat.

The Talmori are not vegetarians, nor are they solely meat eaters. They do believe in giving back to the land and not being wasteful, so normally they will plant the seeds from the food they eat (if they can) and use every part of the animal when they kill one.

While the Talmori may have been loosely based on Native American culture that does not mean that every Native American tradition applies to this race. We took some of what we liked from a real life culture, and then added our own spin and interpretation on it.

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Posted September 21, 2011 by belimedra

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