Character Creation

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Index:
(This is a very large journal, so protip: Press Ctrl+F or Cmd+F to search for the key terms listed below. Your life should be made much easier.)
  1. Taurs
  2. Humans
  3. Faevyn
  4. Magic
  5. Factions


This is where you ought to find information about everything you ever wanted to know about characters. For additional setting information, we suggest that you peruse the Territories of Siyyon and Welcome to the Valley journals. Note questions to the group rather than in the comments to be sure we see it.

A note for those returning:
The Rank system has been abolished! If you are remaking your character, you are more than welcome to give him or her the achievements that they never officially accomplished.

Taurs

The most numerous people of the Valley of Siyyon, the Taur-kin are shapeshifters. They are distinguished by this ability, and their 'natural' form, which appears mostly human from the waist up, but from the waist down resembles the legs and hindquarters of a beast. These beasts are many and varied; Taur-kin fly the skies, swim the sea, and run among the fields and forests of the earth, at one with themselves and with the wild. Aloof from humankind and hateful of Faevyn- who represent a union many consider to be against the laws of nature- they are the dominant race of the Valley, and though their forms vary greatly, they recognize one another as a singular people.

Many Forms, one People
The number of species of Taur-kin is endless. Once, in the not-too-distant past, they were largely separated by the territories of Okeanos, Praevalere, Skeo, Esurien, and Viridis. This is no longer the case. Taur-kin regardless of their traits- Aquatic, Avian, Predatory, Peaceful, or Balanced- wander more or less as they like across the whole of the Valley. The only exception to this is Okeanos, which remains a sovereign territory somewhat separated from those who survive upon the land.

Taurs can take up to four forms:

Omega: This is the form considered the most natural, and distinctive, to Taur-kin. Taur babies are born this way, and it is the only form that many of them can take until they are taught to assume Gamma in early childhood.

Gamma: This is a Taur's wholly animal form. Most taurs are taught how to assume this form by their parents or caretakers, between the ages of eight and ten.

Beta: This form allows a Taur to assume a shape more human than animal. Those in Beta form walk on two legs, but possess clear bestial anatomy, much akin to Faevyn (human/Taur half breeds). Most Taurkin achieve it by fourteen to fifteen years of age, and there is distinct ceremony surrounding the rite. It is the last form most Taurs achieve, and the highest level a new character is allowed to possess upon creation.

Alpha: This form allows a Taur to assume an entirely humanoid shape. Taurs in Alpha form are virtually indistinguishable from humans. Only a select few are gifted this ability by the Guardians, and those who do are particularly respected among the Taur community. Attaining Alpha form is the focus of the Taur Origin quest.

The Rite of Passage and Beta Form
Achieving Beta  is universally a rite of passage, regardless of land, specie, or creed. Most make a journey to one of the sacred Glades, typically the one nearest to where they were born, in order to receive a Guardian's blessing and be instructed in how to assume and maintain the form. Those Taurs who accomplish this are often (though not always) given a relic of some kind to commemorate the occasion. They are then considered adults, and may participate in their communities as such.

On Taur Childbirth and Half-Breeds
Taurs are capable of love between any race, specie, or gender. However, reproduction is generally limited to male-female couplings, except where occasional animal exceptions allow.

Any species of Taur can reproduce with any other, resulting in quite a mix of half-breeds among the Valley. Players are more than welcome to create characters with mixed Taur-kin parentage, but their appearance must strictly match one parent or the other. For instance, a Felitaur mates with a Canitaur and produces babies- some of these may resemble the mother and so be considered Canitaurs, while some resemble the father and are considered Felitaurs.

It is worth noting that once a female Taur is impregnated, she may not take Gamma form after three months of pregnancy has passed. Shapeshifting between Omega and other forms is also increasingly difficult, and unhealthy for the child in her womb. Typical gestation is between 9-12 months, regardless of species.



Humans

Though humans have only been a part of the Valley for less than one hundred years, improved technology and an insatiable hunger for land has made them a permanent part of life in the Valley of Siyyon. Spires Hollow has, in the past twenty years, evolved from quiet hamlet to bustling market town, and human villages have spring up on either side of the Valley at Castelia Cove and Fellmoor Landing, respectively. Though their relations with Taur-kin have improved since the war, tensions still color most day-to-day interactions, particularly with those predators of the former territory of Praevalere. Those with sense stick close to the roads, though occasional brave (or crazy) homesteaders strike out on their own to make a place for themselves in the wild.

Over the past century, humans of the Valley have developed a peculiar trait not shared among those back in the mother country of Fellmoor. Those who are born to Siyyon typically gain, over the course of their early lives, the company of a Spirit Animal. The origin of these Spirit Animals is so far shrouded in mystery, though local scholars have recently begun to investigate the phenomena. What is for certain is that humans in the Valley happen across their Spirit Animal at some point in their childhood, and many look back fondly on the experience. This creature is bound to his or her human, serving as a reflection of the human's mental state and an extension of themselves. This bond deepens over the course of the human's lifetime. The pair lives, and dies, together, and residents of Siyyon have embraced the presence of a Spirit Animal as deeply into their culture as Taurs have accepted forms.

The Human Origin quest follows a human character's efforts to grow closer to his or her spirit animal. While levels of this bond are not referred to in plain speech such as Alpha or Omega form is with Taurs, its strength can be measured by the presence of four basic abilities:

I Hear Your Thoughts: The human-Spirit Animal bond can be most easily identified by the telepathy that occurs when the two minds meet one another. Though at first the link is weak, given time both partners are able to converse with one another effortlessly.

I See Through Your Eyes: A human moderately synchronized with their Spirit Animal can experience the world through their companion's eyes for a short time. They are not in command of their Spirit Animal's body, and their senses are slightly reduced, but many humans find the ability to be rather an enjoyable one.

The Beast In Me: When the bond between human and Spirit Animal has become exceptional, then he or she may find that they acquire abilities much akin to those of their animal companion. Heightened senses, agility, strength and stamina are all qualities a fully bonded human might enjoy. Any physical alterations associated with these changes is subtle at best.
This is as close as most typical humans are likely to get to their Spirit Animal, and is the highest level a new character is allowed to possess upon creation.

One Heart, One Mind, One Body: A human who has achieved a perfect bond with their Spirit Animal feels and thinks in unity with the creature. He or she can also, for a time, take up residence within the body of their Spirit Animal, borrowing their form as if it was there own. The human's own body falls into trance-like state and is vulnerable whilst the union occurs.


Faevyn

With the increased interaction between humans and Taur-kin in the Valley, love, marriage, and reproduction between the two races has likewise become more common. The product of such difficult unions are politely known as Faevyn. These mixed-blood children somewhat resemble Taurs in Beta form, though some present their animal traits more clearly than others. Unlike either of their parents, Faevyn cannot change form, nor do they possess animal companions. They walk in both Taur and human worlds, but belong to neither. However, their magical tendencies are exceptional in comparison to other races, and many exhibit one or more elemental affinities. Increasing one's power to masterful levels is the focus of the Faevyn Origin quest.

Faevyn oft define themselves according to their magical skill, though unlike Taurs, such titles are not usually used in plain speech. These skill levels are:

Novice: Novices are those mages who are just getting started. They able to perform rudimentary magics, and are typically more proficient in only one element, or one element dominant over another if they possess more than one affinity.

Apprentice: Apprentices are familiar with their abilities. They are typically equally skilled in all of their elemental affinities, and have studied their craft such that they are capable of using magic under pressure (such as in combat situations).

Adept: Adepts are those who have reached a pinnacle of expertise with their magic. They have mastered all of their personal elements, and many have chosen to specialize in related fields of sorcery such as healing (for Water or Earth mages), battle (typically Fire or Air mages), or potion-making. It is the last proficiency most Faevyn manage to achieve, and the highest level a new character is allowed to possess upon creation.

Grandmaster: Grandmasters have not only reached Adept potential with their spellcraft, but have also gained some renown among the common folk. They may take pupils under their tutelage, and are often sought out to solve problems in the community. Some respond to this increased fame by seeking hermitage. Others embrace their role as a public figure and become the 'local mage'. This rank can only be achieved through the Faevyn Origin quest line.

Faevyn and Other Races
Humans often have difficulty distinguishing between one of impure heritage, and often mistake Faevyn for Taurs in Beta. Taur-kin, however, can oft smell the difference. They hold a greater disdain for half-breeds than humans do, regarding these half-breeds as product of taboo, and a mistake of nature. Many (though not all) Faevyn who reach adulthood necessarily become travelers of one kind or another, and there are more Faevyn inhabiting human communities than those who remain with their Taur-kin parents.




Magic

All magic in this world is derived from four basic elements; Earth, Water, Air and Fire. In Siyyon, only Taur and Faevyn are capable of magic. Taur-kin often possess one elemental affinity, and sometimes two. Faevyn, however, are likely to possess more than one affinity. No one is quite certain why this is, though it does make for a disproportionate number of Faevyn who are gifted in the arcane arts.

Different types of Taurs and Faevyn have different elemental inclinations, depending on their primary species trait. There are five such traits- Avian, Aquatic, Predatory, Balanced, and Peaceful. Each trait predisposes an individual for certain types of magic, though exceptions do exist.

Avian: Avian-types are birds. If a Taur or Faevyn's base creature is a bird, then their primary trait is Avian. Their most common affinity is Air. Uncommon affinities are Earth and Water. Fire affinities are rarely seen.

Aquatic: Aquatic-types are those that primarily inhabit water. If a Taur or Faevyn's base creature spends most or all of their life cycle under lakes, rivers, or oceans, then their primary trait is Aquatic. Their most common affinity is Water. Uncommon affinities are Earth and Air. Fire affinities are rarely seen.

Predatory: Predatory-types are land carnivores. If a Taur or Faevyn's base creature eats only meat, then their primary trait is Predatory. Their most common affinity is Fire. Uncommon affinities are Earth and Air. Water affinities are rarely seen.

Balanced: Balanced-types are land omnivores. If a Taur or Faevyn's base creature eats equal amounts meat and veg, then their primary trait is Balanced. Their most common affinity is Earth. Uncommon affinities are Water and Fire. Air affinities are rarely seen.

Peaceful: Peaceful-types are land herbivores. If a Taur or Faevyn's base creature eats only plants, then their primary trait is Peaceful. Their most common affinity is Earth. Uncommon affinities are Water and Air. Fire affinities are rarely seen.

There are many different ways to consider how your character's base element might interact with the world! A Water affinity could allow for a character to cast Ice magic, for instance, and an Air or Fire affinity could allow for a character who primarily uses Lightning magic. Likewise, keep in mind your characters' natural habitat as you decide what affinities to assign him or her. For instance; a Polar Bear character is a land carnivore, and thus possesses the Predatory trait and a Fire disposition. But, polar bears are arguably semi-aquatic in nature, and so a case could be made for their possessing Water affinity and not Fire. Have fun with it! Traits are merely guidelines to help you develop your character, not laws to be followed at all costs.




Factions
Factions are the organizations that help make Siyyon the mystical place that it is. Sometimes, joining a Faction is choice. Other times, a character is born into the faction, and a whole story could be written about that character and his or her relationship with the group. Though there are only four of them at this writing, more will be added in the future, and players are encouraged to submit their ideas for a faction at any time regardless of how long they have been with the group.

Currently, the factions are:

The Rovers in Scarlet: Pirates of the sea who are known for their bloodthirsty temperaments, their intolerance of land-dwellers of any kind, and the crimson sashes all fully-fledged members bear upon their person. They are led by Pirate King Prax. Membership is limited to piscitaurs and other aquatic-types.

The Moonsingers: A troupe of all-female performers who travel in groups all across the Valley of Siyyon. They are based in Viridis in a small Taur-Kin hamlet by the sea, and are renowned for both their skill and their beauty- applicants must possess not only femininity, and musical affinity, but also pale coloration (more on this in the Factions journal). Their matriarch is the blue crane, Adelle.

The North Rangers: Human woodsmen who make their beds beneath the stars, and revel in the solitude of the open road. They are often sought out to act as guides to traders and homesteaders hoping to make their way through the Valley. Their knowledge of flora and fauna is unrivaled among humans. They were founded by Connor Wilds of Spires Hollow.

The Crystal Circle: Of all the factions, those mages of the Crystal Circle are the most mysterious, and viewed by many as the most dangerous. These practitioners of magic study in 'dark' arts, though they would never identify them as such; they believe  petty concepts such as good and evil to be beneath them. Rather, they prefer to think of their art is a means through which to make dreams, reality. Most of their members are Faevyn.
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rosebvrst's avatar
So would Taurs in beta form be like satyrs?