Both one of the oldest, most widespread and most ambitious of all races, humans amass far greater numbers than any of the other races, having a faster cycle of reproduction than that of, for instance, deigan and penin, while the longer lifespan of humans compared to tarken allow them to have more offspring during their lifetimes and thus increase in numbers faster. That aside, humans are actually the civilized race of Reniam with the second shortest lifespan (the only race with a shorter lifespan being the tarken), rarely making it to turn eighty years old. Yet humans, because of their numbers and their ability to develop great measures of raw power, agility and wisdom with some work, as well as their quickly evolving civilizations, has become one of the most dominant races of Reniam, spreading out and mixing with all other sentient races' areas of specialty, although never matching the specialized races' masters of trade. Exactly where humans originally lived is unknown, as already during the early Barbaric Age had managed to spread over most of the continent, with the main concentrations of their population being in the southern and western nations compared to Rodoria, and they have only spread more since.
The appearance of humans is we are hopefully all familiar with, although the race possesses great variety in both dimensions, hair- and eye-color and even the color of their skin. Humans from northern regions of the continent (such as Rodoria) tend to have a fairly light complexion, whereas the further south one goes, approaching the tropical areas, their complexion darkens, sometimes as much as to dark brown and black.
Possibly one of the longest lived creatures of Reniam, deigan have an unusual way of aging compared to other humanoid races. They are born after a pregnancy that tends to lasting well over a year, only to take approximately forty years to mature. However, once they have completed adolescence and become adults, they simply seem to stop aging and remain in their prime for hundreds, or with the very oldest deigan even thousands of years without deteriorating physically at all. As far as is known, no deigan has ever died of old age, which has given room for speculation that they really have an unlimited lifespan - and if they have not, then it is so incredibly long that it might as well have been. The deigan are one of the ruling races of Reniam, although not nearly as dominant as the humans due to an unfortunate issue arising with their apparent immortality. To the deigan, if a member of any other race dies, it loses a finite number of years that can easily be estimated by looking at its age. The deigan, on the other hand, stand to lose an eternity of years in which they likely could have kept living, never aging or dying. Consequently, deigan tend to be very careful with their lives, reluctant to take risks and terrified of sudden changes. They also tend to have unusually long names, both firstname and surnames, that almost always carries a deeper meaning to them, and which often needs to be shortened down for other, "simpler" races to remember.
Rather than being divided into a number of nations like humans do, deigan are divided by their blood, as they have somehow been divided into three branch-races, each with its own physical and psychological differences and each of them keeping their distance to the two others. Crosses between the branch-races are rare, but happen nonetheless, but the offspring of these unions tend to inherit their features almost solely from one of their parents, resembling only one of the branch-races rather than a mix of the two, or only with very slight traces of the second half of their bloodline. These crossbreeds are usually shunned by the other deigan societies and usually end up living a comparatively sad existence amongst the short-lived races.
Despite their differences, the three branches have several features in common. Deigan tend to be of a slender and feeble frame, possessing an exotic beauty that is well-known for utterly mesmerizing humans, sometimes to the point where they lose interest for their own race altogether. They grow no hair, on their heads or otherwise, but instead, feathers grow on their heads, swept backwards down their back where it grows in a trail that only ends a short way above the rump. Their ears are droplet-shaped and point straight backwards, away from their face, with the point - having a similar significance to deigan to the earlobe to humans - varying from less than half an inch up to over two inches in length. Another common feature is that they have small indentations in the palms of their hands - hollows that render the hand so thin that there is practically only room for the bones. This at once makes their hands more frail and less physically powerful than those of other humanoids, but make up for it my functioning as a sort of magical catalyst, allowing deigan to draw out magical energy more easily than other mortals.
The most common branch of deigan in Rodoria are the so-called ascended deigan, for which the most obvious physiological difference is their golden eagle-like feathers and their uniquely silver-colored irises. They are slightly taller than their fellow deigan, having an average height that is slightly higher than that of humans - although the height of deigan vary far less than that of humans. They also tend to be the feeblest of the three, and are consequently commonly perceived as the most attractive. The ascended deigan are relatively often seen in Rodoria because they inhabit southern Wegam Fermos, and thus are situated directly at the southern border of the human kingdom. Ascended deigan have a tendency to be the most pompous of all deigan and like to flaunt wealth, beauty and welfare, both to each other and other races. They like to build tall structures in materials of light colors, white marble being a favorite, and strive to make these buildings as exotic and interesting as possible by handling every detail like a work of art. Very few ascended deigan fall to poverty, as they tend to be very helpful towards one another (after all, who would condemn another to an infinite life of misery?). They are lead by a council of seven, chosen by the people to make decisions for their society, but which can be replaced very quickly if the population disagree on an action taken by them. Ascended deigan loathe violence, thinking it too barbaric for their civilized manners. They are the most talented in magic of the deigan breeds, making them some of the most excellent magi in all of Reniam, and rarely resort to using weapons - although when they are forced to, they tend to prefer spears and bows. Their names tend to have a lot of "th" sounds and apostrophes, signifying that their names are actually two or more words joined by said apostrophes.
The second most common breed is that of the free deigan, who are special in that they do not actually have any place that they call a common home, but prefer to either wander the countryside and travel the world or settle in places of nature, especially favoring lush forests. A free deigan's feathers are brown and more robust than the other breeds', and their irises are green. They are slightly shorter than the average human, but also the stoutest of the deigan branches (meaning that they are a little closer to human dimensions, but still sleek in comparison) and tend to be the most physically powerful of the three. Free deigan are known for their wanderlust, and unlike their cousins tend to discard wealth and worldly property since this just tends to tie them down and limit their freedom. They are the least condescending of the three (although the racial haughtiness towards other "inferior" races remains), and it is not unusual for a free deigan to socialize with other humanoids, often welcoming the company on their travels and hungering for stories to sate their curiosity. They are the least talented with magic of the deigan (making them an only slightly higher potential than humans), but are known to be exceptionally quick and light on their feet and having great control over their movements, making them ideal for using dexterous fighting-styles and very accurate archers. Free deigan prefer to use light swords and longbows. Their names tend to sound crude in comparison to those of their more sophisticated kinsmen, often using "k", "g", "j" and "ahm" sounds.
The one that is naturally least common of the three, then, are the ones who call themselves the true deigan. They are the shortest of the deigan, the feathers that grow on this last breed of deigan are raven-black and longer and more delicate than those of the other deigan, and their irises are fiery red. Although the true deigan are not quite as arrogant as the ascended deigan when amongst their own kind, they have such a low opinion about all other races that they tend to treat them with scorn - and when an ascended and a true deigan meet, it is bound to end in open hostility. The reason for this is that for generations (which to deigan are quite long), a terrible blood-feud has raged between the ascended and true deigan because of the vast difference between their civilizations and norms. While ascended deigan value camaraderie, despise violence and think that none should be left to fend for themselves, the true deigan believe in individuality where the strongest must climb to the top over a mountain of corpses of those who stood in their way. True deigan are divided into small communities living in underground cities, each which is lead by a patriarch, chosen by a committee of the best true deigan of various trades in that specific city. To true deigan, however, that only means that they have to assassinate enough members of the committee and place enough of their own allies there to be elected themselves. Poisoning and hiring assassins is socially acceptable amongst true deigan, as they always hunger for more power and wealth, as well as they are very lax when it comes to enforcing the illegal kinds of magic. Their cities tend to be grand, built in dark materials (most likely for the sole purpose of spiting the ascended deigan) and crafted in crazy, exotic designs with curving and twisting columns and structures of completely irrational shapes. Their relative rarity can be owed to the ascended deigan, who have had the upper hand in the feud the last couple of centuries, leaving many true deigan cities abandoned or razed to the ground. True deigan are especially dangerous due to their balanced attributes compared to the two other branches, with them being quite capable with magic and with dexterous fighting, favoring daggers and shortbows. Their names tend to have many "i" and "n" sounds, and tend to be shorter than those of ascended deigan.
Another somewhat minor common feature of all deigan is that they lose their feathers as their health deteriorates, and deigan superstition states that once a deigan starts losing its feathers, it is a countdown towards their death, with their lives supposedly being forfeit when the last feather falls. This is nothing more than superstition, however, as plenty of deigan have gone bald over the ages without dying. Still, the myth remains, and most deigan are terrified once they start losing their feathers, thinking that it is a warning of their impending death.
Often considered blunt and distrustful, penin is a race that keeps mostly to itself, only admitting to interacting with outsiders when conducting trade with other races, or in the odd event when unwelcome strangers manage to stumble too near one of their cities in the hostile regions of northern Wegam Fermos, where there are plenty of mountains in which to build settlements and even more plentiful resources of ores and stone. The penin boast of their bargaining-skills, and their boastfulness is well-earned, for they are amongst the most stubborn and headstrong creatures in all of Reniam, but at the same time also some of the most indulgent and merry once they know that they are amongst friends.
A penin is a humanoid of modest height, rarely even growing to be four feet tall, but are very proportionally broad and powerful for their size. While most of their bodies are built the same way as that of any other humanoid, there are certain differences, such as the fact that both their heads and hands are incased in a tough naturally occurring bone-armor, appearing to be a sort of exoskeleton that covers all except their eyes, nose and mouth. The extra skull makes the penin's heads almost impossible to crack, and the bone-plates on their hands enable them to handle things that are too sharp or hot for unprotected hands without any discomfort. On top of this natural armor, the penin enjoy a remarkable constitution and amazingly durable bodies (proof of that is the fact that they enjoy drinking the beverage they call Finest like humans drink ale, despite of Finest literally being able to melt a person's hair, skin and eyeballs if getting in contact with them), making them notoriously hard to kill - especially since most non-lethal injuries just tend to piss them off. It was supposedly their very durability which caused the natural development of their mastery in the forging of weapons, as well as them being able to handle red-hot metal with their bare hands. Starting out hard to kill, penin naturally needed better weapons than other races in order to kill each other, and in order to protect against these better weapons, better armor was needed, etcetera, etcetera. Today, the penin have the greatest masters of metallurgy, masonry and carpentry in all of Reniam, and their forges are the origins of the finest weapons and armor in the world.
In battle, penin tend to take advantage of their hardiness, making tight formations to prevent their enemies from passing by them when forced to fight and hiding behind massive walls and siege-engines when trying to outlast their opponents - the latter being their favorite manner of achieving victory. Although penin - with habits that lead them to drink, fight and generally be in rather life-threatening situations during the practice of their crafts - rarely live to die of old age, they can live to be up to three hundred years old.
Tarken are exceedingly rare in Rodoria, as their homeland lies in Derisstahn far to the west of the human kingdom, past northern Wegam Fermos and with all but its easternmost tip with either the Qetemak Steppes for the northernmost part of the border, or the Tokif Wilds for the southernmost part of the border - but they are even more so because the tarken are infamous for their extremely conservative culture. Tarken are giants by human standards, averaging a height of almost eight feet and a width by their shoulders of more than three feet, and possess a racial brute strength that renders them capable of bending steel with their bare hands, and easily being able to tear a human's head right off its shoulders. They have very long and muscular ape-like arms, with hands that have only four fingers, including the thumb, each more than twice as thick as human fingers and each finger ending in three inch long bear-like claws. Although their shoulders and chests are huge, their waists tend to be amazingly slender and out of proportions, and they have legs that are quite short for their size - only about the length of human legs - with four-toed and clawed feet. They tend to have long, pointy chins and narrow heads, beak-shaped noses and very wide mouths, the latter full of sharp predatory teeth. Their ears are very long and pointy, their eyes are droplet-shaped and have black irises, and they are completely bald. Oh, and they have yellow skin. The only visible difference between male and female tarken are the female tarken's bosoms (although these tend to appear small and hard to notice in comparison, thanks to their huge and muscular frame) and their sexual organs. Unless they are naked, they are nearly impossible for all but other tarken's to tell apart.
Despite their grotesque appearance, tarken are far from monstrous and are actually amongst the honest of the races of Reniam, valuing honor almost as much as they do pride and glory in battle. Many who have never met a tarke mistakenly think that they are slow-minded creatures that are little more than animals, but this perception is mainly based on their bestial appearance and the fact that their society has not changed at all since the early Barbaric Age. The tarken remain barbarians and pride themselves being powerful and valiant warriors, as well as skilled hunters.
The reason that the tarken have not changed in the last two millennia is their depressingly slow lifespan. When a tarke is born, it matures completely within twelve years, and once it reaches maturity it is expected - no, required to contribute to the tarken community to its fullest, as they rarely live to see an age of fifty. Thus the lives of tarken are so short that their entire culture strives to make full use of each individual tarke before it dies, leaving little to no time for the schooling and development the other, longer-lived races have known. Tarken that derivate from the very strict norms of the tarken community, or which leave their home for personal reasons, are instantly branded exiles and called frehken - tarahn (the language of the tarken) for "outcast". Tarken despise frehken passionately, and they consider it the greatest possible dishonor, naturally making tarken extremely careful not to be named one such.
The tarken community is build up by a number of clans, which the tarken members inherit their surnames after, but they have a rather unusual system of leadership. Any tarke's worth is determined by their tarkir - tarahn for "heart", but which really refers to their weapon of choice. Any tarke with a tarkir of better craftsmanship or power than another's enjoy superior social status. Thus the leader of each clan is the tarke with the greatest tarkir, and a clan's authority over the other clans is determined by the clan-leader's tarkir. Thus, the tarke with the best and mightiest tarkir is the leader of all tarken. These tarkir are usually tarken-made weapons that are quite unique in design, but can at times also be remarkably powerful weapons crafted by other races - penin-made weapons are naturally popular amongst these.
In battle, tarken are renowned for their reckless manner of fighting and utter disregard of danger and pain. This is due to two things in particular: that tarken almost never stop to consider their next step before taking action, but rather tend to act spontaneously and thus often thoughtlessly, and their unique ability to go utterly and completely berserk. Tarken have two hearts and two sets of veins and arteries - a main heart, which is always active, and a secondary heart which only starts beating when the tarke is agitated or if the main heart suffers failure. This means that in battle, tarken pump out such outrageous amounts of adrenaline in their bodies that they basically become mindless engines of destruction, knowing no restraint or mercy but tearing through enemy ranks with all of their barbarism. It also means that they can sustain great damage to their bodies, as they will not really feel it as long as they are in this state of blinding rage, and that if one heart fails, the other will compensate. Tarken often throw away their lives by fighting like this, but each tarke is almost guaranteed to kill numerous enemies before getting taken down.
A final racial property about the tarken is their lack of affinity for magic. The souls of tarken are tied so closely to their physical bodies that it is practically impossible for them to perform any magic requiring their own magical energy, but at the same time, this grants them an uncanny resistance towards magic used against them. Being unable to use magic themselves, the tarken tend to be distrustful towards it, and sometimes even hostile towards mages. They think that magic is a means by which physically weaker races ease their own existence, and that those using magic only weakens themselves in the long run, making them lazy and undisciplined. In reality, though, most of their distrust is born from fear of what they do not understand.
This is the race that has its home in the islands of Melenaoth, situated to the north of Rodoria in the Melenian Ocean. They are also known as the cat-people and the Children of the White Tiger, and they are one of the latest discovered species of sentient creatures. Melenian culture is significantly different from that of the races that dwell on the mainland, since as the Melenians have developed their entirely own values and society that they aim to uphold despite of their bad luck after meeting with the mainland races. Still, the Melenians uphold a civilization where the females are the largest, strongest and most dominant, while the male Melenians are often considered of little value at all by the females, and are mostly used only as servants for mundane and simple tasks or as frontline infantry in battle, and occasionally, when the females feel like it, for mating. The Melenians are known to be masters of traveling at sea, having the largest known fleet in Reniam, and are the unchallenged rulers of the Melenian Ocean. Yet their specialty is actually being unheard and unseen, making them ideal for illegal activities and spying. Around Melenaoth, pirate ships amass to rob anyone daring to trespass into their territory, and on top of that, Melenian smugglers, thieves and assassins can be found all over the continent, and after their war against Rodoria in the early Age of Civilization, Melenian slaves can likewise be found all across the world.
Although the Melenians tend to have their hate towards the mainlanders in common, their society is too weak to actually commit any aggressions towards them, since it is constantly weakened by the unending civil war in Melenaoth, between the two different factions of Melenians. The one group, with their main settlement being Arkanoz of the Melenian isles, calls themselves the Regal and are lead by a Clan Mother and several Huntresses who work as her law-enforcers. The other group, which is mainly situated in Tigrola, are the Unseen, lead by an anonymous character only known as the Fence. Since the Regal stand for law and order, and the Unseen is largely just an advanced criminal organization with a city of their own, the war between the two factions has been ongoing for as long as the Melenians has recorded their history. Currently, however, an even more significant problem for their race is the very frequent use of the drug piaan, which makes the imbibers ridiculously huge and strong the longer they drink it, but at the same time is extremely addictive and causes their brains to degenerate. As they get larger and stronger by drinking piaan, they also lose their intelligence, eventually turning feral and ultimately dying.
Melenians are just a little shorter than humans, their average height varying only a few inches from that of the average human. They stand on their hind-legs like humans, have arms and hands, but remain very feline in appearance. Their head and tail are those that of a cat, and their feet are paws, and although they have developed fingers on their hands, these still have feline claws. They also have full-body fur, varying greatly in color and patterns, big, pointy ears and eyes with pupils that vary from being regular circles or vertical slits. Melenian males are significantly more like cats than the females, walking hunched over when they stand and sometimes even resorting to walking on all fours. The females, then, are remarkably more human-like than the other gender. They stand perfectly straight, their heads held high and proud, but their most famous property is how much their physiology reminds of that of an attractive human woman, as female Melenians have genetically slim waists and wide hips, and very human-like (although furry) breasts. The female Melenians' resemblance to attractive women has caused many human slave-owners to abuse their female slaves - a mistake that is almost always the last one they make, as virtually any of the prideful Melenian females would rather die than allow someone to get away with having them suffer such an indignity.
Melenian males has an average lifespan of seventy years, while females easily live to be ninety. The quick reflexes and racial agility makes Melenians good warriors and assassins, and they tend to favor daggers, rapiers and falchions, and usually only use bows and crossbows when preparing to board another ship at sea.
Amongst the rarest of the sentient races, yet almost as widespread as humans, are the Nightwalkers. These are a breed of creatures quite unique in many ways, yet surprisingly similar to humans in appearance and nature. They vary as greatly in height and volume as humans do, as well as the color of their hair and skin vary, although Nightwalkers are often found to be unusually pale, as their nature bids them to remain out of the sun to prevent them from going blind. The most obvious difference between humans and Nightwalkers is that Nightwalkers have eyes that consist solely of pupil, having no iris, which means that Nightwalkers’ eyes sense any light in their surroundings, even when there is none visible to races with lesser dark vision. In turn, even weak sources of light burns their eyes, and if exposed to bright light, they can go temporarily or permanently blind, depending on the brightness of the light and the duration of the exposure. Nightwalkers also has an interesting culture, since they traditionally live by the code ‘death before dishonor’ and are willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of their own honor or that of their home and family. This code, which to many Nightwalkers is an obsession, is probably part of the reason for their decreasing numbers.
Nightwalkers live for around two hundred years, reaching maturity around the age of twenty-five. Although they age the exact same way as humans, they age considerably slower. Their civilization is almost nonexistent, since their few numbers mean that they only gather in a few villages that dot the lands, and otherwise just live amongst humans, since that is the race with the strongest semblance to their own.
Nightwalkers are not much different from humans when it comes to fighting, as they can use just about any weapon a human can with the same natural affinity. Even so, a certain order of Nightwalker warriors existed, and although it was reputably disbanded a century ago, the Knights of the Will are still famed for their skill, dedication to good and justice, and the development of a sort of 'sixth sense', which allowed them to 'feel' the presence and actions of their opponents even when they could not be seen and heard, allowing them to counteract accordingly. There are also a few mages, but these rarely wield much success in their field, and they are known to be useless archers as even the least flicker of light can ruin their aim.
Supposedly, the Nightwalkers were once far more abundant and powerful than they are now, and even had a sizable empire of their own to the far south of Rodoria, possibly in the regions now belonging to the human Catolohne Empire. Myths tell that, in these days, Nightwalkers possessed a mysterious power that was greater than any known type of magic, and which allowed them to create and destroy anything at their whim, and reputedly had even discovered a secret to obtaining immortality. If this was ever true, the Nightwalkers has long ago lost this power for one reason or another, no trace remains of their empire, and their numbers have been drastically decreased. Historians theorize that the ancient Nightwalkers were seduced by their own powers and in an effort to gain more turned on each other, effectively causing their empire to turn on itself until it was utterly obliterated. As for the absence of the power, there is no explanation to be had, and scholars can only guess, just as they can only dream to finding the secret themselves.
Nightwalker-blood also has some special properties, most noticeably concerning vampires. Though virtually all humanoid races are susceptible to be inflicted with vampirism, Nightwalkers have somehow either developed or always been in possession of a rather unique defense against this dark condition: rather than simply letting the vampire drink the Nightwalkers blood and turn the Nightwalker into a blood-drinking beast itself, Nightwalker-blood causes a very strong allergic reaction to the vampire-curse. In other words, a vampire making the mistake of feeding on a Nightwalker will be struck with terrible pain, attacked from the inside, and die as if the blood was poison. Unfortunately, the Nightwalker bitten - with the vampire-curse in its veins - will suffer the same fate as its assailant.
Nightwalkers are one of the few races capable of mixing with certain other races - more specifically, Nightwalkers and humans are capable of breeding and producing a sort of cross-breed offspring, popularly referred to as "Daywalkers". These half-Nightwalker, half-humans have a shorter lifespan than Nightwalkers, but longer than humans, as well as they maintain some of the unique properties of the Nightwalker blood, such as the intolerance towards vampirism. Daywalkers have human/Nightwalker appearance, as the two races are much alike already, except for the eyes, which resembles neither. Daywalkers have completely white eyes - thus earning their name. Superstition claims (because of the eyes and their name) that Daywalkers are the opposite of Nightwalkers - that they needed very strong light to see instead of as little as possible. This, however, is but a legend. In truth, Daywalkers are completely and utterly blind - after all, they have no pupils.
The Gazzeral is a race that is surprisingly similar to the Melenians, only being a race of reptilian humanoids instead of feline, retaining the scales, head and tale of a lizard. They were the original inhabitants and rulers of Rodoria and roughly half of southern Wegam Fermos, but were nearly exterminated by an alliance of humans, penin and deigan. Driven into hiding, the few survivors of the race now live in caves and deep, untamed forests. The Gazzeral are a thoroughly peaceful race, frowning upon all killing. As a proof of their pursuit of harmony with all things, the culture of the Gazzeral decided that they - despite being carnivores by nature - would strive to be vegetarians, living off the land while caring for the plants and animals, causing the regions they inhabited to be some of the most lush in Reniam. Not much is known about the Gazzeral, except that they make excellent sorcerers and healers, and that they were apparently once even more civilized than the ascended deigan are now. Now, however, the Gazzeral live in hiding, keeping their locations and lifestyles secret from the world. The only ones seen are known to have devolved to a more savage state, walking on all four and hunting prey from their caves like predators. These are not referred to as Gazzeral, though, but rather just as reptilians.
Male and female Gazzeral differ significantly in built, as male Gazzeral tend to be more compact than the females, whereas females are very thin and long in almost every aspect of their being. One could say that male Gazzeral mostly resemble humanoid lizards, while females rather look like humanoid serpents. Their tongues can be both regular and forked, and the color of their hide varies greatly, depending on the environment in which they hatched from their eggs. Their pupils are narrow slits and their nostrils are mounted directly on their snout, as they usually are on reptiles. How long it takes for a Gazzeral to mature is not entirely certain - estimated to around eighty years - but it is known that they can live for more than three thousand years.
Truth be told, not many details are known about demonspawn, since whenever they are indentified, it is exceedingly rare that both demonspawn and the other survives the encounter. Demonspawn are the unholy result of the female demon Himyth - the only demon lord known to have ever conquered the Divide between Reniam and the Lower Plane - mating with a mortal. The progeny is demonspawn: part demon, and part their mortal parent. The appearance of these creatures is the most varied of all races, as there are practically no limits to how they can look. Demonspawn has been known to possess qualities of various mortal races, but at the same time have developed various inhuman, monstrous and demonic features that seem completely random. The only feature they all seem to have in common is that their eyeballs have mirror-like surfaces with no pupils or irises (which strangely does not seem to worsen their sight the least), but which opens a circular hole in the middle similar to a pupil when the demonspawn uses its powers, with the hole radiating a glow of apparently any color, but with which the color seems to be determined by the demonspawn's power.
All demonspawn have an inherently high probability of turning out evil, and even in the rare even that one of them manages to defy this trait, their infernal blood will tempt them to commit dark acts to sate their lust for death and destruction. Even so, demonspawn long not solely for this - quite the contrary, all demonspawn are not as much motivated by the evil in their hearts as the craving inflicted upon their minds by their Dread Mother. Upon their birth, all demonspawn receive a very specific drive: a desire that inevitably becomes the catalyst of everything they do, and a desire that they will spend their entire lives trying to sate. This desire can be various things, a few examples being hatred towards all things, thirst for violence, wealth or power, an urge to feel superior over all else or even just to hoard together as many random objects as possible... a truly freakish instance of such a desire could even be a vastly increased libido. No matter what they do, and no matter whether they wish to give in to their wicked heritage or not, demonspawn cannot resist this characteristic that defines who they are.
Another trait that seems just as irregular as everything else with these unique demonspawn is their powers. Demonspawn are incapable of performing traditional magic, but are instead granted individual powers that tend to be quite specific in their use but remarkably potent in that specific use. These powers, again, seem to be anything - examples include the ability to generate electric currents from their own body, ignite fire at their will, control and shape minerals in the ground, moving metal by magnetism-like means and even accelerating and reversing aging of creatures and objects. While these powers are great, they come at a grave cost. Demonspawn do not drain magical energy from their souls when they use their magic, as other mortals do, but rather activate their power by giving themselves over to their infernal half, allowing their demonic heritage to roam their bodies. Consequently, the more they use their powers, the more demonic they become - both physically and mentally. They will develop more and more monstrous features, just as the evil in their souls grows fiercer and harder to resist. However, as they become more demonic, their power becomes greater as well. A truly evil circle: as the power is used, it becomes greater and getting more tempting to use. And at the same time, the demonspawn becomes more evil and more susceptible to the temptation of its own power. Therefore, demonspawn that use their powers once are rarely able to stop using them again, and end up malevolent beasts for which there is no salvation other than death.
Due to all of these extreme dangers connected to demonspawn, most governments aim to exterminate their kind rather than live with the risk of them trying - and failing - to adapt to the world.
One last detail - as yet another result of their demonic heritage, as they mutate into increasingly demonic forms, their blood turns yellow and toxic. Furthermore, when a demonspawn dies, its body instantly dissolves into a cloud of sulfur.As might be relevant with more demonspawn near one another, all demonspawn are capable of sensing one another's nearness whenever the other demonspawn uses their powers, as the invocation of other demonspawn's infernal power speaks to the fiendish heritage in all demonspawn. This does not communicate what the other demonspawn's power is, though - rather, when one is using its power, other demonspawn will feel their dark desire and be able to tell its relative strength and what its drive is.
Finally, all demonspawn are born with the Devil's Tongue already in their minds, capable of speaking it fluently (presuming that they have mouths, tongues and vocal cords, which may not be the case with all of their kind).
Though seen extremely rarely in the lands north of the Catolohne Empire, Frehklahem and Grethlamahn, it occurs once or twice every decade that one or more of the elusive Niins venture into the northern regions, and sometimes even make their way to Rodoria, where practically no-one has even heard of their race. Mainly living in small societies scattered to the far south and otherwise only found on the other side of the Yawning Gorge, the Niin race still manages to stand out quite remarkably, as their appearance seem far from that of any other humanoid creature of the northern lands - except possibly from mutated demonspawn, which can have virtually any appearance. A Niin is, as stated before, humanoid, and most of their appearance takes after this. They have humanlike skin, though this is often very dark, comparable to a very strong tan, and they grow hair the same places as humans, and have the same organs, diet and man- and lady-parts, though their women's curves are almost always petite and their frames frail to the point where they eternally look like children. The men are only slightly more muscular than the women, but notably more wiry to look at, whereas the women tend to be rather fair to look at, and attractive Niins will mostly be labeled "adorable" in a childlike fashion rather than beautiful or handsome. They are a relatively small people, ranging from four to five feet in height, and mostly have clear blue eyes, with rare cases of them having sharp green and sometimes even orange irises. Their hair is mostly black or dark brown, though Niin redheads are not altogether uncommon either. They have large, but humanlike ears - approximately one and a half times the size of average human ears - but otherwise, the form of their heads and bodies do not differ notably from human bodies, though their voices are usually several pitches shriller than human voices, both in males and females. What truly and thoroughly sets them apart from the other races, however, is the fact that they have two sets of arms, usually with unusually long, thin fingers - and all four arms appear to move with such practiced ease that it is almost as if each arm has a mind of its own.
Physically, Niins are known for the unusual manner their joints work - in a manner, actually, rather similar to cats in that none of the joints of a Niin's body is actually stationary, but can be turned, twisted and moved in ways that might seem unnatural, allowing Niins to squeeze through just about any openings big enough for their head (like cats) and otherwise perform impossible moves, in combat and otherwise, that would likely have snapped the bones of less flexible creatures, or at the very least dislocated their joints. This, combined with their light builds and four hands, would have made them perfect thieves and infiltrators... had it not been for their even more infamous psychological properties.
Firstly, Niins are notoriously curious to such a degree that their curiosity has come to define them as a race, and it generally overrules any other feeling they might have - sometimes even their instinct of survival. The phrase most commonly used by any Niin is "What is that?", and hearing this spoken with a squeaky voice usually automatically causes people familiar with Niins to hide their possessions somewhere secret and inaccessible, check their pockets and immediately dive for cover, as a Niin will go to just about any length to see their curiosity sated - and they are liable to become curious about every single new thing they hear about, be this a type of dish, an animal, magic, country, or the feeling of losing a limb. Generally the only way to stop a Niin from pursuing something that has caught its interest is to distract them with something else that might interest them, hopefully causing them to forget their previous obsession, only to chase this new idea relentlessly. In turn once their curiosity is sated, they lose interest instantly and stop caring about what they might previously have gone to their deaths for without hesitation. This is also the reason that Niin don't understand the concept of "owning" something very well, as they are used to their kinsmen visiting their homes frequently simply because they are curious about what is happening inside, and when they do this they will often pick up things from each others' homes and take with them to examine them in closer detail. They don't understand the use for doors, either, as they see no reason to keep others out of certain areas, and thus has no hesitation picking locks and breaking into otherwise secure locations. In fact, the more secure a place is, the more obsessed a Niin become with what might be inside - just as the more a person tries to hide a piece of information, the more inquisitive a Niin will become (which is why an unspoken agreement exists between everyone that has even heard of Niins that one is never to mention black magic to them, as such an interest could have consequences of cataclysmic proportions). This - plus the fact that Niin are largely incapable of empathy and consequently don't realize what angers others - has caused Niins to be branded as thieves and troublemakers, though they do not actually do these things on purpose. It is simply in their nature.
Secondly, Niins are always eager to share what they have learned through the pursuit of their curiosity, and will often be seen stalking random people on the street, giving lengthy, but greatly enthusiastic descriptions of things they have "discovered", even if these things are generally perceived as mundane. This also causes them to pretty much announce it to everyone they meet when they have broken in somewhere or stolen something, which makes them quite lousy criminals. While it might seem like they would make perfect spies, this is not true either since they would actually eagerly tell everyone they got near of their assignment, as well as unscrupulously reveal the identity of their employers and everything they knew about them.
As Niins mature relatively early - about when they are twenty years old - have a lifespan of almost three hundred years and are pregnant a mere ten months before giving birth, one might suspect that their population was growing uncontrollably and that a horde of Niins would eventually outnumber the other races. Mercifully, while this might be the obvious theoretic outcome, it is not the case in reality. Firstly, Niins very rarely get to die from old age, as their curiosity tends to send them to early deaths when they get obsessed with things such as what is at the top of the highest trees, the nature of large predatory beasts or how far they can bend forward over the ledge of a cliff. Secondly, Niins practically never stay in their small societies once they mature as they tend to get curious about what can be found past the horizon or hear about distant lands and start wandering off, and thus Niins only really ever return to live in these societies when they manage to grow more than two hundred years old and their curiosity starts waning (a bit) with old age. Many think it is a miracle that the Niins have not gone extinct yet because they are experts at getting themselves into trouble, let alone that they maintain a somewhat stable population despite their racial suicidal tendencies.
While Niins make incredibly good dexterous fighters, they have no real armies and thus no soldiers, and generally they do not even have any interest in fighting at all. Even put in a situation that would force other races to fight despite their disinterest in this, Niins are liable to just wander off regardless in search of new things to discover. Niin only very rarely bond with other living beings or objects - but when they do, they become ferociously loyal and protective about the thing of their continuous interest, and are even known to fight to defend these things even against impossible odds. A Niin that has developed such a bond is considered extremely dangerous - perhaps even more so than a berserk tarke.
Finally, while Niin curiosity is infamous for being relentless, and for having been cause for murders and even wars in the past simply because information best left unknown has been unearthed by them, there is one thing that the other races fear even more. If any sensible being that knew about the Niin ever heard one utter the words "I am bored", panic ensues. Seriously. Entire cities have been evacuated for less and imperial armies mobilized to ward off the consequences. A bored Niin is the incomparably most dangerous occurrence in Reniam, ranking just above the return of Kreshtaat and a new Age of Darkness, because a bored Niin stops at nothing to find an interest to entertain itself.
Although practically never seen on the eastern side of the Yawning Gorge, let alone Rodoria, it occasionally happens that single individuals or small groups of these creatures stray to those regions by sea, intentionally or accidentally. But while eastern civilization knows virtually nothing of them, the farther west you go - especially once you enter the so-called Savage Fields past the gaping chasm - the Xuhrl-njok will be mentioned with exponentially increasing frequency, and with greater and greater fear in the voice of the speaker. They are known by many names: dark spirits, doombringers, soulrenderers, the Scourge from the West and simply The Enemy being the most commonly used. Few actually call them by the name they have given themselves, both because their language is difficult to pronounce for most and out of almost superstitious fear that speaking the dreaded name would somehow conjure the beings it describes. In their tongue, "Xuhrl-njok" means World-Child or World-Sapling and refers to their race as a whole, and "Spryne" means Nation and refers to an individual or group of their species.
Xuhrl-njok have slate gray skin that is not affected by sunlight, but which tends to darken to near-black when wet, and are completely hairless, their skin being smooth to the touch but also disturbingly chill compared to other mammal species. They are typically between six feet and eight feet tall, and their legs are somewhat human-like in shape only with their bones being half the thickness of average human bones, and their feet are very long and narrow - only about two-thirds the width of what one would expect a human foot to have, yet likely one and a half times as long - with only two toes, each adorned with a short, dull claw. Their torsos are likewise humanlike in form, and their arms - thin like the legs - are of recognizably humanoid structure, albeit one-third longer than human arms normally are, with three-fingered hands (including thumb) and very long, bony fingers, tipped with black fingernails. Their heads have strangely flat and elongated droplet-shaped faces with long chins that always end in a point and their noses being only discernible as a pair of slits above the mouth, below a seemingly unoccupied area of the face. The corners of the mouth are downturned by nature, giving them a perpetually displeased expression by human standards, their lips are the same color as their skin and they have teeth that are a combination of incisors, canines and molars, just like humans. Their eyes are narrow but large, slanting inward, with a round pupil surrounded by irises that range from near-white to pale blue, venomous green and fiery red. Their ears are batlike in shape but humanlike in proportions, and are capable of closing to shut out unpleasantly loud noises. Finally, Xuhrl-njok possess three sets of long, thin white extremities, similar to insect-legs with three joints, consisting only of bone as an exoskeleton, sinew and a little bit of muscle to allow them to move. Each of these extremities is about four feet long, and they are placed symmetrically in three pairs: one pair set on the sides of the hips, one pair on the shoulders, and one pair on the elbows of their arms.
Rather than their physical properties earning them their place as the Scourge from the West, however, the fear and resentment towards their race comes from other things, one of the most important factors probably being the unique innate affinity for magic that every Xuhrl-njok Spryne is born with, making every single Xuhrl-njok Spryne a mage of equal or greater natural talent than the best that the other races have to offer. Magic comes so easily to the Xuhrl-njok that their race discarded the need for their legs many centuries ago, and has since moved around solely by magical means, deigning not to touch the ground but rather levitating an inch or two above it, and when they speak, they prefer to do so without moving their lips, but producing words and noises magically to tailor the sound to their wishes. Their scorn for physical activity and reliance on the forces of magic is so great that Xuhrl-njok consider all body-mass a bothersome burden, be that mass fat or muscle, and opt to both eat and move as little as possible to minimize either, further emphasizing their bony, fragile nature. Naturally, building their entire lives and society around magic requires the Xuhrl-njok Sprynes to have a considerable amount of magical energy at their disposal, significantly more than the average human or deigan, but luckily that is not an issue for them, as Xuhrl-njok are not only in possession of souls that from birth have twice the capacity of average human souls, but they are also immune to the health-degradation that usually comes with soul-expansion and can increase their energy-capacity without regard for their physical condition.
But what is all the more fearsome about their magical abilities is that the Xuhrl-njok are not only containers for magical energy, but act as superconductors of it as well. If they spend too much of their magical energy they are able to enter a meditative trance, albeit only after preparing themselves, which can take anywhere between five minutes and several hours depending on the talent of the Spryne in question, which allows them to form a direct connection between the Spirit Realm and Reniam, funneling limitless magical energy into their body until the meditation is ended. Even more worryingly Xuhrl-njok are not limited to drawing magical energy from the Spirit Realm but can, and will, draw directly upon the ambient energy of Reniam as well. Xuhrl-njok are actually capable of wielding magic without even tapping into their own reserves by using the naturally occurring magical energy of the world around them - a sight which can be extremely demoralizing and downright terrifying to spectators, as this will effectively result in the death of first any nearby plant-life, and then the extermination of more simple-minded creatures, making it seem like Xurhl-njok Sprynes stand in the center of a spreading shroud of death. They are even capable of drawing magical energy from smarter animals and sapient creatures if they obtain physical contact with them and their will proves stronger than that of their victims.
Another main reason for the fear that the Xuhrl-njok has earned from the other civilizations in the Savage Fields is that they are, quite simply, a race of sociopaths. Xuhrl-njok are wholly incapable of empathy with members of other races and their own alike, and care for nothing but what they themselves feel and want. Sympathy and compassion are concepts beyond what they are capable of understanding, which is why the Xuhrl-njok's word for "individual" and "nation" is the same: because each Spryne exist only for itself, feels no camaraderie, fellowship or loyalty, only ally with others for selfish reasons, and only breed because their instincts dictate that they must. They feel no pity and have no mercy: to fight against Xuhrl-njok is to try to fend off annihilation, an army that murders without remorse and leaves the land dead and barren wherever they are fought. Not all Xuhrl-njok Sprynes agree with the general beliefs of their race - namely that they are superior to all others, and that the other races therefore should serve as their slaves - and may not be hostile towards members of other races, but their base nature is undeniable: they exist only for themselves, and will fight and kill anyone - be they complete strangers or close relatives - that stand in their way. That is also how the Xuhrl-njok function as a group rather than as scattered individuals: the strongest one dictates what the weaker must do, and anyone that questions the directions of the leader is left no option but to fight for the right to defy it.
The insect-like extremities of the Xuhrl-njok might have served another purpose previously, before the race abolished physical activity and decided that all matters were better solved with magic, but today they are used instead of the hands and fingers to trace glyphs in the arcane language and Devil's Tongue to invoke magic. The fact that a Xuhrl-njok Spryne can weave six patterns at the same time like this means that they usually have to concentrate far less than other races when using magic, as the same glyph traced six times is highly unlikely to have any inaccuracies significant enough to cause the spell to fail - but at the same time, it means that the more masterful of the Sprynes are even able to cast multiple spells at the same time, and the greatest of the Xuhrl-njok master mages are capable of weaving six different spells at the same time, and - speaking through magic as they do - recite the incantations vocally as well. Doing this clearly means that spell failure is much more likely and inevitably drains enormous quantities of magical energy, but at the same time one of these masters is often able to obliterate small armies in merely the time it takes a common mage to cast a single spell.
It is fortunate that the Xuhrl-njok are extremely physically frail, or all of Kirirak - if not all of Reniam, if there truly are other continents out there - would fall to their dominion, and all the races would be reduced to slaves. Xuhrl-njok grow up quickly and age fast, too - a Spryne is usually considered an adult at the age of eight, and they rarely live past thirty years, making their lifespan even shorter than that of tarken... or it would have. However, the Xuhrl-njok are capable not only of stealing the magical energy of any creature they can dominate with their will, but also of converting this energy to pure life-force and using it to rejuvenate themselves, postponing age and adding years to their lives. Thus the Xuhrl-njok take slaves not because they need them for labor - they can easily do such things with magic - but because they need lesser beings to feed on. As long as they feed on others' souls, Xuhrl-njok Sprynes can prolong their existence indefinitely.
Before going into detail about how magic is used, a little explanation as to what it is might be required. Although magic is a great many different things, depending on how it is wielded, it actually all originate from the very same thing: the elemental entity known as magical energy.
All living things - even immortals like gods and demons - hold magical energy within themselves; they are part of it just as it is part of them. To simplify, magical energy can be described as the energy of the soul... a sort of spiritual blood, so to speak. When drawing out magical energy from oneself, that energy is taken from the soul, weakening it, which inevitably leads to certain problems. To simplify once more, the soul can be considered as an indicator of the best possible health a person can be of (meaning that a person with a naturally weak soul will be constantly tired and sickly, and a person with a strong soul will have a good immune system and large reserves of stamina). As the soul weakens with the draining of magical energy, the health of the body deteriorates, going through a number of phases. The first phase of "magical exhaustion", all one begin to feel is a lack of energy in one's limbs and general fatigue. In the second phase, one will experience that one's throat feels sore and lungs ache, sometimes accompanied by incessant fits of coughing - painful, but not a serious problem. In the third phase, the pain from second phase intensifies to crippling agony, and there is a chance that the mage will start coughing up blood. Going any further than to third phase of magical exhaustion is extremely dangerous - mostly it will simply cause the magus to lose consciousness, its mind and body drained to the point where there is a fair chance that it will lapse into a coma. Alternatively - if the mage somehow manages to remain conscious long enough - the soul can be depleted completely, resulting in the grueling fourth and final phase. In the fourth phase, the soul is utterly powerless - there is simply not even a morsel of magical energy left in it, and it is only just barely maintaining its own existence. Yet, with no strength left, all bodily functions stop working - breathing and heartbeat both stop. In other words, the body dies. Meanwhile, the soul remains alive, and even as it slowly recovers its magical energy, the body remains dead. The incorporeal soul is inevitably driven mad by its half existence, its mind possessed by hatred for the living. It becomes a specter - a kind of ghost-like creature, for which the only hope for salvation and release is to be destroyed.
Magical energy regenerates itself when the mage sleeps, as the soul passes into the Spirit Realm when the body is sleeping, where it recharges itself - the longer the slumber, the more energy is restored until the mage has fully recovered. However, even as the soul recovers quickly once its magical energy is returned, the mage's body does not. The soul only determines the best possible health - not the worst possible. Thus even though magical energy is gained, the body needs time to heal on its own, and the mage will only gradually recover from magical exhaustion, going back through the phases - unless the permanent fourth phase is reached - until full recovery.
Although the strength of every individual's soul differs from the moment of conception, defining potential and initial power, it is possible to "train" the soul to increase the maximum amount of magical energy it can contain by repeatedly and continuously exhausting one's soul - the greater magical exhaustion, the more effective the training will be, as the soul tries to compensate for the lack of energy by evolving capacity to store more of it. But doing this has a downside: training one's soul will lower the body's health over and over, and as the body suffers such punishment so often, its permanent condition will deteriorate. This can happen in a lot of ways, ranging from just suffering from acne or asthma to inexplicably gaining or losing excessive amounts of bodyweight. In unlucky cases, it can even cause crippling deformities and deadly tumors. One could say that the weaker a sorcerer looks, the stronger it is likely it is.
Magical energy is unique from individual to individual, having various affinities for types of magic or elements. Mages are forced to "attune" to magical energy in order to use it to fuel their magic, and thus they are often able to sense the presence of other mages by noticing unusually strong magical energies. If there are very many magic-wielders gathered in the same place, or if there are someone with an utterly monstrously huge amount of magical energy nearby, even non-mages can sense it, though they might not recognize it or identify its origin. Rather, it will simply feel like the air is tingling, sort of like the feeling just before a thunderstorm, only without the smell of ozone. With even greater magical energy, the density might become so overwhelming that it becomes hard to breathe, it feels like one is being crushed by the very atmosphere, and sometimes just sheer intensity of magical energy can stop a person's heart.
All kinds of normal magic - except Favored power, which is really another topic entirely - rely on magical energy, and no magic can be performed without spending some of the strength of one's soul. Likewise, Favored power cannot be used without paying some kind of price either. Because of these universal truths about the two paths of magic, mages simplified all of this into one sentence - a sentence which is known as the First Law of Magic. As it is said in the arcane language:
"Cowath usth Unim." "Power demands sacrifice."
The Laws of Magic
The Laws of Magic are almost as an additional rule set for Reniam as fundamental as the laws of physics, and which are adhered to in the same unbending scale. Mortals are completely and inescapably bound by the Laws of Magic, whereas lesser demons and angels are only partially bound, deity-level demons and gods able to circumvent them in many cases, and the Spirits of Union, as the Creators of the Planes, are able to mostly ignore them. Demonspawn are in a unique situation because they are mortals with immortal blood, and as such certain demonspawn might have powers that enable them to bend or even ignore one or more of the Laws of Magic.
First Law of Magic: Power Demands Sacrifice.
The most important and general rule of all magic, this Law of Magic states that the use of all magic requires that something is given to gain it - for instance, magic of the self is fueled by magical energy, Favored power is only granted to those who commit themselves to their deities, and so forth. Many magi take this Law of Magic even further and transfer its meaning onto the rest of reality, stating that nothing is gained in the world without giving something in return, whatever form this currency returned might take, be it money, effort, material, health, or even luck.
The First Law of Magic is not one of equivalent trade, simply one of cause and effect. In magic, for instance, it is practically impossible to cast a spell expending only as much magical energy is needed for the spell. Even the best necromancers and most disciplined Wardens do not have the extreme control it would demand to prevent additional energy to be vented along with the spell, going to waste. More skill means less waste, but this amount of wasted energy never reaches zero. This the Law of Magic can be expanded to say that not only does one need to spend something to gain something, but one needs to spend more than one gains.
Second Law of Magic: Something Cannot Come of Nothing.
As potent and unreal as magic might seem to most, especially those uninitiated into its secrets, it is far from omnipotent. The Second Law of Magic can also be formulated thusly: Magic cannot create, only alter what is already in existence. An excellent example is to look at summoning magic at work, as one will see that when one expends nothing more on a summoning than magical energy, only the immortal’s soul is conjured, and not its body, and in order for the immortal’s physical form to be called forth, flesh and blood needs to be sacrificed. This rule applies to all magic: flames cannot exist without air to feed them, one cannot call forth water out of nothing (though there is water in the air, so this is virtually omnipresent), earth and stone are not made, only manipulated, and so forth. Only the Spirits of Union are capable of Creation, and not even the gods and deity-level demons are capable of escaping this, let alone puny mortals.
Third Law of Magic: The Spirits’ Work Cannot Be Undone.
According to this Law of Magic, all that is alive was formed by the hands of the Spirits of Union, and as such its form and function are permanent and unalterable. To elaborate, magic cannot be used to change one’s form, neither physical nor spiritual, nor can it change the form of others directly (obviously if something is set on fire it will change, but then the fire will change it, not the magic). All deities are excluded from this Law of Magic, and some lesser immortals as well.
Fourth Law of Magic: Time Is Absolute.
Magic cannot be used to change the course of time. To specify, age is not considered an aspect of time, and age is not what this Law of Magic speaks of. Rather, the Fourth Law of Magic speaks of the aspects of Past, Present and Future, and that these three cannot be touched by magic. This means that magic cannot be used to travel through time, that past events cannot be altered and that the flow of time cannot be stopped or slowed (one‘s perception of time, however, can - the two should not be confused), and that one can never fully know the future. None, not even the Spirits of Union, are capable of defying time, and only Nilick, the Oracle, is allowed to know the future.
Fifth Law of Magic: Life and Death Are Beyond the Reach of Magic.
Exactly as the Law of Magic states, magic cannot manipulate life and death, meaning that magic cannot create life, cannot reverse death, and cannot kill. Many young magi are confused at the last part of this, and argue that magic, with its vast potential for destruction is obviously more than capable of killing, but just as magic does not directly change the living, magic cannot directly kill either. There is no spell that simply kills the target, and though magic might conjure up fire or lightning or some such effect that lead to a mortal passing on, magic only created the fire or lightning, but did not kill. Only the Spirits of Union are capable of ignoring this Law of Magic entirely, though deities can bring back the dead and kill directly - but even gods and deity-level demons cannot create life.
Sixth Law of Magic: Change Cannot Exceed What You Know.
Magic cannot affect that of which the caster has no knowledge, meaning that one cannot cast magic (for instance, bestow a curse) upon something one does not have a grasp of the existence of. For example, a mage cannot direct the magical energies to control the elements in a place this mage cannot see, nor can one bestow a curse upon a person that one cannot fully identify in one’s mind (unless one happens to have photographic memory, the best way to do this is to be in the target’s presence - alternately, one can channel a curse through the blood of the target, a severed limb (if available) or a highly valued personal possession of the target). This part of the Sixth Law of Magic is especially important for the masterful, powerful few magi in Reniam capable of teleportation, as one needs to have an accurate image of one’s destination in mind in order to teleport there.
Another part of this law is that a magus has to know what it is trying to manipulate - for example, a mage cannot control fire if it does not know what fire is (though simply having seen a flame would qualify as knowing it). That is one of the main reasons that many magicians are also scholars, as they hope that by expanding the scope of their knowledge, they also expand the control they wield over the things they study.
This is likely the most energy-effective kind of magic of all, as well as the most reliable and the one with the most varied possibilities when it comes to results. Arcane magic is performed by forming commands in the arcane language while at the same time pouring magical energy into the spell. These incantations always have the same effect when the same words are used - only the magnitude of the effect is altered by adding more magical power than necessary. For instance, if one uses the arcane command to create a fireball, a sphere of explosive flames will always be created - but more magical energy will mean a more explosive fireball.
These spells are many and varied in nature, and can be expressed in a number of ways: they can be spoken, weaved in the air with one's hands or fingers, or even written on something - as long as the command is there, the magic will work. However, there is always a possibility of failing the spell one is trying to cast - a possibility which is extremely large. Even a single syllable mispronounced, a symbol traced wrongly or a tiny drop of ink rendering a glyph imperfect, the spell has a high risk of failing - that is why mages almost always use at least two of the options at the same time (reciting the spell in words is almost mandatory, with the two others being supplementary) so that if one make a slight mistake with one way of invoking the spell, the other might compensate and stabilize the effect. If a spell fails, the magical energy poured into it might either just go to waste, dispersing into nothing, or it might result in the spell turning on the caster with explosive force, injuring or killing the caster and anyone who happens to be nearby. Thus only exceptionally skilled and confident magi would rely on one method at the time - but in the rare event that such a genius arises, they can invoke magic with just a whisper or by tracing an arcane symbol with the tip of a finger.
Arcane mages who do not such a good and accurate memory as is required to recall the arcane language with the precision needed are usually called Rune Mages. Although it has a different name, rune magic is practically just a branch of arcane magic, with the only difference being that a Rune Mage has a set of arcane symbols, already carved in metal or stone, on their person at all times. They then only have to remember these few runes for a few spells to perform quite less varied magic.
Zerulic Rune Mages are given rune-swords: man-sized cleaver-shaped swords that are too heavy for any regular person to use. These rune-swords have special crystalline handles which allow the wielder to channel magical energy into the sword with relative ease. The glyphs carved into each rune-sword is designed to its wielder, but they all have a "Brega"-rune - translated to Unity, which makes the weapon seem weightless to the Rune Mage.
Their hilts are made from transparent and glasslike crystals, and the guard, made from the same crystal, seem to consist of a number of crystalline spikes that arc from where the blade originates and point their tips inwards, surrounding the hand wielding the sword. The handles are usually made so short that one could not possibly fit two hands on it, which might seem strange, considering that the massive blades ordinarily are five feet and three inches long and look like it could easily weigh over a hundred and fifty pounds, with the blade being shaped oddly, with the tip being flat and completely impossible to stab with. The swords only have one sharp-edged side, but are extremely thick and blunt on the other (the volume being the main cause of the weight) – a weapon meant for cleaving rather than traditional cutting, like a wood-chopping axe or a giant meat-cleaver.
I probably should also have explained the nature of of the sword becomes seemingly weightless to its wielder. As mentioned earlier, the arcane rune causing this effect is the one translating to "Unity", which of course is not a word chosen randomly for the function. Rather than the sword actually being weightless - since it remains huge and unwieldy - the Unity-rune makes it so that the wielder simply does not feel the weight, the same as if the rune-sword had been an extension of the wielder's own body, like an extra limb or something similar - and just as we don't consciously feel the weight of our arms and legs, Rune Mages don't consciously feel the weight of their rune-swords, either. The weight still very much applies in how it can be wielded, just as the weight of one's own body applies to how one can move about, but is capable of causing truly massively powerful impact because of its large mass.
Naturally this effect constantly requires magical energy from the wielder and slowly drains them, taking more energy the longer they are wielded, but they are designed so that a single rune - namely the Unity one, which is somewhat mandatory, since otherwise most Rune Mages would not even be able to lift their weapons - can be activated for long intervals of time without requiring much energy, and a Rune Mage with an average quantity of magical energy can probably have just the Unity-rune activated for 48 hours before they even reach first phase of magical exhaustion.
In my novel, the effect released from the rune-swords is also usually tied to the sword itself. Once again making referrence to one of my main characters there wielding a rune-sword with six runes (including the Unity one), he has one that lights the blade on fire, one that causes a sort of gale to appear around the blade, enabling it to cause powerful gusts of wind when swung. It also has one that makes powerful lightning spring from the blade and shoot from the tip, one that forms a sort of magical barrier from the blade to act as a shield for the wielder, and a final rune that causes the blade to disrupt flows of magical energy near it.
All of these effects are notably quite far from those I've witnessed from William, since his rune-sword seems more like a burst-type than one for maintained effects. It should be noted that it is also possible to release multiple runes at the same time, combining their effects into a new, possibly more powerful one, though it should be noted that each time an additional rune is released at the same time as the others, the energy drained is not simply the cost of the two runes combined - rather the cost increases exponentially, and it takes an exceptionally powerful Rune Mage to release more than three runes (Unity-rune included) at the same time without immediately killing themselves.
Sometimes also referred to as "primal magic", elemental magic is considered to be an inferior branch of magic amongst those that rely on the magus' own magical energy. Whether elemental magic is any better or worse than the other branches would be up to the individual mages to decide, however, because like all things, it has its pros and cons. Unlike arcane magic, elemental magic does not require an excellent memory, as elemental magic does not rely on incantations, or anything related to the arcane language, for that matter. Rather, elemental magic is controlled purely by the elementalist's mind. It works by the elementalist using great concentration and willpower to seize control of their own magical energy, and literally force it out of their bodies and make it manifest as an effect in the real world. The effect is controlled by the elementalist's will as well, making elemental magic somewhat diverse in its manifestation - but at the same time, it can only manifest as the element that the mage has the greatest affinity for (thus the name).
Elemental magic is significantly less energy-effective than most other kinds of magic, but makes up for this by being limited in power and effect only by the imagination of its wielder. Once, a number of clans existed where elementalists with affinity for the same element gathered to share their experiences and help each other evolve, but as with so many other cases in the past, these clans ended up battling each other to prove which element was superior. Today only the Fire and Ice (named so only because ice is considered the most useful form of water-magic) Clans remain, with the Ice Clan being based on Mount Zerul and the Fire Clan near Inferno Mountain in Jevog Denūm.
Art of the Warden
Although this specific category does not actually qualify as magic, it is still included because the Art of the Warden is still dependant on magical energy, although Wardens tend to refer to it as spiritual energy instead of its traditional name. Taught almost exclusively to the semi-religious orders of the Peace Wardens, Balance Wardens and Chaos Wardens, the Art of the Warden is used by manipulating magical energy and controlling it with great precision - however, unlike all other kinds of magic, this does not release the energy from the body, but rather keep it within the body and merely concentrate it in specific places. This is due to the fact that, as mentioned earlier, the strength of the soul is partially what defines the strength of the body. Wardens have learned to disturb the balance within themselves, making their soul stronger in some areas than in others, thus boosting their own physical attributes temporarily. Examples of effects this could have would be to empower muscles - sometimes to the point where a Warden might punch through a solid brick-wall - enable faster and more accurate movements, or even cause a sort of inner protective barrier beneath one's skin, granting someone a kind of natural armor.
Controlling magical energy within oneself requires great mental stability and focus, however, and can actually be one of the hardest types of magic to master. It takes a lot of practice just to be capable of manipulating the inner flux of energy to one's will without entering a meditative state first, and even longer to maintain the effects for longer intervals of time.
It should be noted that whenever a Warden uses magical energy like this - strikes a blow with enhanced muscles, moves with increased speed or receives injury while being protected by magical inner armor - magical energy is expended to create the effect, and naturally, the greater physical enhancement the Warden wants, the more energy is required.
Unlike what is the common perception of necromancy, it is by no means an evil branch of magic, nor is its main purpose to spawn undead minions - that is merely what it has been perverted into by overambitious necromancers. Actually, the main principle of necromancy is merely a refined version of elemental magic, in which the main difference is that the necromancer - relying heavily on logic, intelligence and mental focus rather than 'brute' willpower - does not force the magical energy expended to manifest, but rather control it in its purest form where it remains intangible. This gives necromancers a far better 'sense' for other magi's magical energy, as well as it makes necromancers capable of hiding their own energy from others.
Even so, the predominant use of necromancy predictably is to animate the dead. Ancient necromancers mainly concentrated their efforts on releasing ghosts and specters from their eternal torments of undeath, and otherwise only brought back the dead - calling back the magical energy of a dead body, temporarily reviving it - to commune with them in order to benefit from their experience and insight. Modern necromancers, on the other hand, primarily uses their abilities to infuse corpses with their own magical energy, animating them not as the people they were before their deaths, but as mindless servants. Powerful necromancers are even known to be capable of enslaving ghosts and specters by gathering the residue magical energy they consist of and overwhelming it with their own.
Because of past cases with necromancers going mad with power - Delian Gilmah and the Black Tribunal being a major reason - necromancy was made illegal in Rodoria and Wegam Fermos approximately two thousand years ago, and remains illegal to this day.
If any sole sort of magic can be considered evil, this would be it. Having been outlawed since soon after the Age of Darkness - approximately thirty-six hundred years - it is the most hated and feared of all magic. Black magic is sort of related to arcane magic, as the two are essentially similar, yet the opposite of one another. Naturally, this requires some explanation.
Initially, a similarity between black and arcane magic is that both requires an incantation for the magic to be invoked, of just about the same kinds - either verbal, woven in the air or written in runes. The difference would then be that black magic does not rely on arcane language, but the sinister Devil's Tongue which is the native language of demons.
Another similarity is that with both kinds of magic, the length of the spell will often define how powerful it is - only while arcane spells will usually be more powerful the longer the spell is, black magic reacts the opposite, becoming less powerful and more controlled the longer the incantation is used to invoke it. Thus someone wielding black magic might need several sentences and gestures in the air to just light a candle, but might reduce entire cities to rubble with but a single word.
Lastly and most importantly, both kinds of magic naturally requires the caster's magical energy to fuel it... only while the mage has to consciously pour that energy into the spell with arcane magic, in black magic, the magical energy is removed forcefully with the invocation of the spell, regardless of the caster's intention or willingness to part with this.
Because of all of these things, black magic is perceived as incredibly dangerous for both the caster and everyone around it, since it is disturbingly easy and tempting to learn - as just one word is essentially enough to invoke spells beyond the ability of common wizards - and extremely difficult to control. In the wrong hands, black magic might unleash incredible destructive power while at the same time instantly depleting the caster's magical energy all the way to fourth phase of magical exhaustion.
Very few practitioners of black magic remain, and these becomes fewer and fewer with every generation, as just about every scripture found on black magic is promptly destroyed, rendering the knowledge on how to perform it mostly passed down from one black mage to another.
The second most feared kind of sorcery in Reniam, outlawed soon after black magic in the early Barbaric Age. The function of summoning magic is actually quite simple: to conjure immortals from the other Planes to Reniam, and (hopefully) binding them to the summoner's will. Of course, both the summoning and enslaving of immortals requires an extremely powerful magus, since immortals tend to be far superior to mortals in terms of raw power, and often these summonings go awry. Many tales exist of ambitious summoners that have tried to call forth a greater demonic entity, only to fail to enslave it and get butchered by it, leaving the demon free to go on a murderous rampage in Reniam until it is brought down by someone powerful enough to defeat it - and most of these tales are true.
As an alternative to enslaving the summoned immortal, one could always try to bargain with it, of course. This would make for much less reliable control over the immortal, since it would keep its free will and only obey the summoner if it chose to, not because it had to, and since there is absolutely no guarantee that the summoned immortal is even interested in making a bargain. Having made a deal with a reliable entity, however, summoning such an immortal can be highly useful, as it will take but a fraction of the effort enslaving one would and, after having made the deal, the summoning would be risk-free.
A summoning is usually performed within a binding-circle - a pentagram adorned with arcane symbols - in order to make the enslaving of the immortal easier. However, a toll is required for an immortal to pass into Reniam, and it is up to the summoner to pay this toll. It is possible to summon an immortal using only the summoner's own magical energy, but if it is done so, only the immortal's magical energy - its soul - will only arrive in Reniam in the form of a wraith. In order to give the summoned immortal physical substance, a greater sacrifice is needed - one with physical substance itself. Some summoners use animals for these blood-sacrifices to gain blood-and-flesh immortal servants, but practically all summoners are inevitably corrupted by their own seemingly infinite power and will eventually begin using intelligent life as sacrifices. This - and the aforementioned risk of the summoned creature running amok - is the reason summoning magic is illegal, and punishable by death.
Lastly there is a rarely used and, to the caster, far riskier way to summon an immortal in a form stronger than that of a wraith, but without blood-sacrifices. This is simply done by summoning only the soul of the immortal, as when making wraiths, only instead of having the soul build itself a makeshift vessel, one places it in one of one's own choosing. Such a vessel must be alive, though, and it must be mortal. Doing this will cause the immortal to occupy the host-body alongside the original inhabitant of the body. Such a thing is called an avatar. Once summoned, one of two things is going to happen inside the avatar: either one of the wills of the two souls inhabiting the avatar will dominate the other, gaining control of not only the body, but also the full power of the other soul, or the two souls in the avatar come to an agreement that allows both of them some degree of autonomy, basically the same as the above described deal-making between summoner and summoned. An avatar can be very powerful and dangerous, but can be made anywhere and at any time, since the summoner's own body is a conveniently fitting host to become one an avatar. The immortal inhabiting an avatar can be unsummoned just as well as any other summoned immortal.
It should be noted that even though one could technically summon a deity like this and become the avatar of that deity, this would be far from optimal, since mortal bodies are not meant to hold such power. The body suffers from being the avatar of any immortal, but especially so with immensely powerful deities. Simply by being the avatar of a deity, even if the deity lies dormant, the host-body will age three to ten times faster than it otherwise would (with ageless races, this will manifest mainly in continuously degrading health), and both fat and muscle will fade quickly, generally reducing deity-avatars to skeletally thin wrecks in just several months, regardless of how much they eat or exercise. When the deity invokes its power through the avatar, however, the body suffers far more, the strain increasing depending on how much power the deity invokes. In worst case scenario, an avatar can age decades in the span of seconds, or the body can downright start to break down or burn up from the sheer strain it suffers. Non-deity immortals apply only a tiny fraction of this strain, though if one frequently (or constantly) acts as avatar for one, one might notice an inevitable loss in body-mass and slightly higher rate of aging after a year or so.
Favored Power - divine magic, druidic magic and infernal magic
Finally, standing apart from all other branches of magic, is Favored power. This is the magic of priests, clerics, paladins and druids - collectively called Favored Ones. It is vastly different from the other kinds of magic, as Favored Ones do actually not expend their own magical energy at all - rendering them able to continue invoking their power indefinitely... in theory - but are instead granted their powers by the deity they are sworn to serve. All that is required to invoke Favored power is that one's heart is filled with unconditional faith on one's immortal benefactor when one speaks a prayer to it, and the benefactor will lend the Favored One a portion of its power. What Favored power can actually be used for differs depending on which deity one serves - for instance, a Favored One sworn to a demon might not make a good healer, while someone serving Reina, the Goddess of Healing, cannot rain death upon its enemies.
The tricky part, then, is to become a Favored One in the first place. Firstly, a Favored One is required not only to be completely loyal and have faith in its benefactor, but also live by the principles that deity stands for. Only a tiny portion of Favored power is rewarded to a Favored One who only has loyalty, faith and acts in accordance with their benefactor's principles, however. These are what are generally termed priests. In order to gain greater Favored power, a sacrifice is needed - a sacrifice which, once more, differs from deity to deity. Once this sacrifice is made, and as long as one remains true to the deity, greater power is rewarded. These ascend to the title of clerics, and ultimately, if they show fierce dedication for enough years, their power grows until they reach the title of high priest. If one loses faith or defies their benefactor's will, however, one is stripped of all Favored power instantly, until one is once more in accordance to one's deity.
Divine magic covers those Favored by gods or the Spirits Liya or Ismyel, whereas infernal magic refers to someone Favored by demons. All of these generally follow the rankings priest, cleric and high priest, with paladins being another branch in which the Favored Ones divide their focus between faith and skill in combat. The paladin-equivalent to the high priest is the knight-paladin.
Favored Ones using druidic magic are simply called druids, and they all serve the Spirit Gaia.
The last two remaining Spirits of Union - the Wanderer and the Spirit of Good - are known never to accept Favored Ones, and thus they are not included in any of the categories.
Though many think Sniffers a sort of fiendish mind-readers, the concept of Sniffing is actually amazingly simple: a practitioner of Sniffing, called a Sniffer, excels beyond all other magi at sensing magical energy, determining the raw power and potential strength of souls and even sensing the nature of these, both in an elemental sense and in a more spiritual sense. Not even vastly skilled necromancers are capable of concealing their magical energy from a Sniffer. Moreover, aside from a Sniffer being capable of immediately telling if someone is a mage just by being in their presence, a further examination allows a Sniffer to gain an almost clairvoyant level of understanding of that person, coming to comprehend others' personality, motivations, spiritual strength and willpower. They are also capable of sensing others' talent at manipulating magical energy.
Being a sort of magic that shares a great deal of characteristics with other sorts of magic based on manipulating magical energy in its purest form - like necromancy or the Art of the Warden - Sniffing is considered something else entirely. The main reason for this is the fact that in order to become a Sniffer, a person is required to undergo certain changes, which - for instance - locks away the Sniffer's own magical energy, thus effectively makes it impossible for it to use any other sort of magic, except possibly Favored power. Additionally Sniffers need to be tattooed all over their bodies with symbols that are both arcane and things even more exotic in nature, which enables them to "receive" the magical energy all around them more easily, to a point where they barely even have to concentrate. In theory, they are inversed magi. One could say that instead of the natural flow of their magical energy being directed outward, allowing them to unleash the magical energy of their own souls as spells, as other sorcerers do, Sniffers have their natural flow directed inwards, causing them to suck even trace magical energy from their ambience into themselves, allowing them to detect and analyze this thoroughly.
Because of the obvious drawback of Sniffing that it prevents would-be mages from ever actually wielding magic, very few people are ever actually made Sniffers by their own choice, though the few who choose to become ones are often either revered or loathed for their sacrifice, depending on one's viewpoint. Otherwise, Sniffers are especially common in Seclyr and Zerul, which both have quite obvious reasons for needing Sniffers. In Seclyr, any Seclyrian showing signs of being magically talented (or being identified to be so by another Sniffer) are forced to become a Sniffer, and are treated by the Seclyrian army as something like a guard-dog or hounds for hunting down the wizards that the Seclyrians hate and fear so much. In Zerul, Sniffers are a vital part of discovering new magical talents for training and deciding which branch of magic they would be best suited for, and what their natural affinities might be. For this they have few voluntary Sniffers, but otherwise rebellious mages, or those who have severely violated the legal restrictions on magic without actually committing crimes against Zerul are punished by being turned into Sniffers, thus removing potentially dangerous magic from their grasp and allowing them to be of use to the society at the same time.
A quite common problem with Sniffers is that they tend to lose grasp of their own morals, thoughts, feelings, and even their own soul, because they receive such vast input from all other living things around them. While this makes many Sniffers distant, sometimes to the point where they seem more like automatons than people, it also often results in Sniffers simply going insane - so great is their grasp of their fellow beings that their minds simply cannot cope with the enormous amounts of information they receive just by being in the same room as others.
While there are many assorted substances in the Planes with special properties and unusual ways to react to magic, such as magical crystals and various Spirit Favored conduits, one should take notice of the special relationship between magic and metals.
In general, what makes this relationship can be separated into two different properties that all metals exhibit towards magic in various degrees: magical resistance and magical immunity. While these traits might sound like they are the same thing, they are actually almost opposites of one another. Metals with a high magical resistance (of which silver boasts as having the highest at all, significantly higher than that of copper) are not, in fact, resistant to magic at all, but rather insulates against its influence. A magically resistant metal remarks itself by being very proficient at absorbing and/or reflecting the magical energy of spells, which means that while a magically resistant metal can easily enough be affected by magic itself, it will prevent the passage of magic past it, enabling it to block or weaken magic more effectively than other materials, and penetrate magical barriers more easily. Notably resistant metals include (listed highest resistance first) silver, copper, gold, aluminum and iron. It should be noted that Sartal, although an alloy rather than an element, has a magical resistance almost comparable to that of silver, though the vast majority of its resistance comes from absorbtion rather than reflection.
Metals that possess magical immunity work in a completely different way. Predictably, while magical resistance prevents passage past the metal but does not protect the metal itself, magical immunity does not prevent the passage of magic, but does render the metal itself much harder to affect with magic, both in terms of damaging the metal and enchanting or cursing it. A metal with high magical immunity is fiendishly difficult to affect with magic. Notably immune metals include (listed highest immunity first) platinum (which is practically impossible to affect through magic), palladium, ghiril, gold, titanium and lead.
The keen observer will note that gold ranked highly as both a resistant and an immune metal, which is one of the reasons it is such a highly valued metal, seeing as golden currency is difficult to affect and replicate through magic, making the production of counterfeit gold coins harder than anything else (since platinum, palladium and ghiril are much too rare for it to be realistic to use it as currency), and gilded armors and weapons will offer more protection and greater magical penetrative properties than they otherwise would, unless coated with (or made from) silver or copper.
Finally, it should be noted that a metals resistance and immunity, regardless of what metal, both depend not only on the metal in question, but also the purity of the compound. In an immune metal, this is because although the metal itself might be difficult to affect, the impurities are not. With resistant metals, normal, unpurified iron, and steel (which contains carbon), will lose all the resistance that pure iron has, and while impure silver might manage to barely affect magic, alchemical silver can pass through all but the strongest barriers even in small quantities. This is because magic meets resistance that is proportional with the how much of the resistant metal a spell has to pass through in a given area, and impurity will mean that the metal itself will be present in the mix less frequently. Of course, this also means that a larger area (that is, a larger quantity of the metal) will yield a proportionally higher magical resistance.
Enchanting is, as the term would suggest, to use magic to imbue objects with unnatural properties beyond what it would have ordinarily, but one might be tempted to think that enchanting something is a simple task performed just by casting a spell upon the target object, that is far from the case. Enchanting is, no matter which sort of enchantment one desires to perform, a notoriously complicated and difficult thing to do, which is one of the reasons why enchanted items are both rare and extremely valuable, and the greatest artifacts of legend are always either actually enchanted or assumed to be so.
To simplify enchanting, it can be divided into three different ways of enchanting, each difficult in its own way and potentially both useful and dangerous, but with vastly different ways of manifesting themselves. The first of these three ways of enchanting is that which is known to professional enchanters as alteration, or elemental manipulation. While this sort of enchanting is the one of the three that typically result in the least powerful enchanted objects, it is perhaps the most difficult of them to learn, nigh-impossible to master by even the greatest enchanters, and is often necessary for enchantments of the two other kinds to be effective. When an enchanter alters an object, the enchanter uses its own magical energy to change the object in ways no craftsman could ever hope to, not by affecting its shape, but by changing the very nature, the essence of the object, so that it becomes something else than it originally was. Many are confused at this and few understand the true extent of this kind of enchanting, mostly because they cannot see how such magic could adhere to the Second Law of Magic, but the truth of the matter is that alteration does not create anything, but merely rearranges that which already exists in new patterns with new properties. This kind of enchanting is often used by professional enchanters to harden or soften materials, taking mundane substances only to infuse them with new properties through magic.
although alteration might seem like an almost omnipotent force in its quality of being able to change the fabric of reality on such a fundamental level, alteration is still limited by the Laws of Magic and is thus imposed the same restrictions as any other magic. In accordance to the First Law of Magic, it takes enormous amounts of magical energy to alter even small quantities of material, and the more one needs to alter the base composition of the material in question, the higher the demand of energy is. The Second Law of Magic is self-explanatory in this: one can only alter that which is already there, not create new matter. The Third Law of Magic means that alteration can only ever be used on inorganic substances, in other words things that have never been alive and never had a soul. The Fourth and Fifth Laws have limited relevance, but the Sixth Law of Magic if perhaps the single greatest limitation that alteration faces. In order to alter a substance, one has to know and understand not only what one is actually changing, but also how it is changed. This, more than anything else, prevents alteration from making anything but minor adjustments to an objects composition, and more often than not alteration reinforces qualities already in an object rather than infuse it with new ones. It is an extremely powerful and intricate way to use magic, but nevertheless makes the base of all other enchanting.
The practical applications of alteration can be found all across the world, though they might not always be obvious to the observer. The most common use of alteration lies in the creation of the useful magically superconductive crystal (or just magical crystal, in layman's terms) that, amongst other things, are used as the hilts of rune-swords and generally as a major component in equipment made to be wielded in conjunction with rune magic to make the flow of magical energy more easy and natural. This crystal is again what is altered into both the crystals often used by magic academies across the world to determine the elemental affinity and magical talent of potential students, and it is also what can ultimately be altered to become a Crystal Prison. Other than that, virtually any magical artifact that is made of a material that cannot be readily identified as any mundane one is liable to have been crafted with the use of alteration. Alteration is also necessary to purify ghiril ore and to make the rare black steel of Klorr (obsidite), and it is also strongly suspected - especially taking the natural magical affinity of deigan into consideration - that alteration somehow plays a role in the making of the mysterious Sartal alloy.
The second type of enchanting one can engage in is imprinting. This can be done in various different ways, although the most common and most basic kind of imprinting that can be done upon an object is to prepare it for use in conjunction with rune magic. Imprinting, then, is basically to weave a magic spell into the enchanted object, causing the object to gain magical properties as though a spell had been cast upon it. However, an imprinted weapon merely holds the spell within itself but no means to cause the magic to manifest on its own. In other words an imprinted object is reliant on magical energy from an outside source - such as its wielder - in order to exhibit any kind of supernatural behavior. Most enchanted objects are imprinted ones, because imprinting is actually the simplest, easiest and least draining of the three kinds of enchantment, and although imprinting more advanced and powerful spells is usually more difficult and draining than doing the same with lesser spells, it is still significantly easier than the two other kinds of enchanting yet can produce some awesome magical effects when supplied with the energy to do so.
By far most common enchanted objects are imprinted ones, taking strength from its wielder to empower themselves, but these rarely become as famous as those made through the final kind of enchantment. Legendary imprinted artifacts include: Omni, the Demon Prisons, the Master Key and the Chaos Engine.
The last kind of enchantment is predictably also the most powerful and dangerous one, and is by enchanters referred to as infusion. In many ways, infusion is similar to imprinting in that one weaves a magical spell into the very fabric of the enchanted object, and thus the method for infusing objects is mostly the same as for imprinting them. However, to enchant a truly infused object, one must not only weave a spell into the object, but also grant the object the power to wield its own magic without outside influence. An infused object is an object that is truly and thoroughly wreathed in magic that never fades, an object with power that only ever wanes if the object is disenchanted or destroyed - and sometimes not even then.
Naturally there is a downside to infusion that is the reason for infused objects being as scarce as they are, and an explanation as to why infusion is both far more difficult than imprinting, and that even those capable of infusion rarely make more than one or two artifacts during their entire lifetime. This is because - as is common knowledge - magic cannot manifest without magical energy to fuel it, and for an object to be able to manifest magic indefinitely, it also needs access to an endless supply of magical energy - and this energy has to come from somewhere. The place that energy comes from, then... is a living soul, either a piece of the enchanters own soul - a piece that is gone forever, and can never be regenerated - , or a soul trapped in a Crystal Prison. Only a soul has access to virtually limitless amounts of magical energy because of its natural regeneration, partially from the ambient energy of the world and partially through its natural connection to the Spirit Realm. This naturally means that the power of the infused object is reliant on the size of the soul-piece in it, or the strength and number of souls it is infused with. It can be said somewhat reliably that the most powerful artifacts of Reniam are likely to have been infused with dozens of souls, if not hundreds in extreme cases, which is to many a highly revolting thought.
While infused objects are far, far rarer than imprinted objects, an infused object is almost guaranteed to sooner or later acquire significant renown because of its innate power, and thus most of the truly legendary artifacts are, in fact, infused objects. Legendary infused artifacts include: Barbarian, the Fury Blade, Noble, the Orbs of Zhakos and the Sand of Eternity.
If you would like a deity of your own design added to the below list - it can be anything except a Spirit of Union, for obvious reasons - you can submit how you want it to be to me in a PM and, if it makes sense, I will add it to the appropriate category.
Deity-names are in the format: Name or title most used - Other titles and names.
The Spirits of Union
A Spirit of Union is a being that - despite how it may sound - is actually a higher level of being than either gods or demons, and are more powerful than either. The Spirits are what created the Planes (with exception of the timeless void of Stupor) and all that live within them, including gods and demons.
Liya - The Spirit of Life
Liya is the source of all life and signifies birth and the act of reproducing. Although her alignment is tied to neither the side of good nor evil, she has been known to lend her aid to either side of the eternal struggle when their cause seemed to benefit her values. Her followers dress themselves in white, and favor the materials white marble, diamond and ghiril for decorations, and despite Liya's unbiased nature when it comes to good and evil, her followers - through the dedication to preserving life - tends to act selflessly to protect and heal.
Priests of Liya are mainly granted healing powers, although these are inferior to those of priests of Reina, but otherwise have small roles of significance other than performing public rituals in her name. Paladins of Liya can only heal superficially, but can in turn invoke her power to fill their weapons and allow them to face otherwise invulnerable creatures, such as ghosts, specters and wraiths.
To become a Cleric of Liya, the requirement is to parent a child, as this is considered the greatest possible invocation of her blessing. Clerics are granted scepters with a shaft of ghiril and embedded with a fist-sized diamond on their tips, which serves multiple purposes. The scepter is a symbol of the cleric's rank, but is also a necessity since the sheer amount of power conveyed by a cleric is too great for their own bodies to sustain it - instead the scepters act as conduits, and when prayers are spoken, Favored power fills the diamond, causing it to glow with golden luminance. Clerics of Liya are significantly better healers than the priests, though still not on par with those of Reina. Aside from their power-filled scepters being capable of illuminating darkness in emergencies, clerics can also use them as maces of sorts, with the diamond being capable of withstanding great force and the Favored power allowing it to harm ethereal creatures and being capable of briefly paralyzing the one hit. Becoming a high priest improves all of these powers further.
Knight-paladins are granted the same scepters as clerics, although they are still expected to wield weapons, and receive almost the same set of abilities as clerics, only with emphasis on the offensive powers rather than the healing ones.
The Wanderer - The Spirit of Death, the Grim Reaper, Death
The Wanderer represents the volatility of life, and is the one who holds sway of the lifespan of all mortals. He signifies the end of life - death - and more accurately stands for the natural death, but not death by other means. He is supposedly eternally wandering Reniam (hence the name) in a realm of existence that is beyond the perception of mortals, seeking out all dying mortals to gather up their souls and Seeds of Good and Evil to thereafter send them off to a fitting afterlife. He has no interest in good or evil, and is known not to help either. Followers of the Wanderer are known to wear dark gray, and favor the materials blackened steel and citrine for decorations. His followers has no inclination towards good or evil either, but tend to have an excessively gloomy and depressing view on the world and everything in it.
The Wanderer does not accept Favored Ones of any kind, presumably because of the immense stress he undergoes in order to be present personally every time a mortal dies.
The Spirit of Good
This Spirit, whose name has been lost and forgotten as her existence faded from Reniam, is the pillar of love, kindness and faith in one's fellows. Not much is known of her aside from this, as she disappeared during the Age of Darkness and is speculated to have been tossed into the farthest depths of Stupor by Kreshtaat as an act of defiance. The Spirit of Good has no true followers, since it is impossible to believe in something that is not even there, and as she has no followers, she naturally has no Favored Ones either.
Ismyel - The Spirit of Evil
Ismyel is the one who poisoned the minds of mortals with the feelings of greed, hatred and arrogance, but is also the origin of the desire to improve oneself - both in the form of healthy aspirations and relentless ambition. Ismyel is exceedingly selfish and easily grow jealous of others that somehow manages to accomplish something beyond her power, and constantly strives to be superior of everything else. She cares only for evil and despises anything selfless and good, and takes great pleasure in seeing things with these qualities destroyed. Her followers are clad in black, and favor ebony and obsidian for decorations. Obviously her followers tend to have the same personality as Ismyel, being egoistic, greedy and vengeful, although they rarely do anything thoroughly evil to avoid entering conflicts with those stronger than themselves.
Priests of Ismyel have humble abilities of healing, but in turn possess the power to inflict doubt and fear upon their enemies, as well as filling their minds with corrupting thoughts of greed and ambition, potentially turning their enemies upon each other. Her paladins can do none of these things, but in turn can bless their weapons with Ismyel's wicked essence, causing those struck by them fierce agony.
To become a cleric, the Favored One needs to find a person whom they hate wholly and passionately and either murder this person or someone the person cares for. As with Liya, Ismyel's power as a Spirit of Union is too great for a mortal to sustain when it is turned up to the power-levels of a cleric, and they are granted a staff to act as a conduit and insignia of rank. These staves are crafted from ebony and have three-inch blades attached to either end carved from obsidian, which are filled with dark-violet light when they are filled with her power. A Cleric of Ismyel retains its weak abilities for healing, but becomes capable of striking their enemies with crushing horror and despair, as well as enables them to grow even fiercer ambitions in others' hearts that last for a longer time. Those cut by the blades on their staves while they are infused with Ismyel's power are wrecked with blinding pain. High priests are slightly better at healing than their inferiors, being almost at the level of a priest of Liya, but become capable of inflicting dread, misery and corruption upon several people at once, and the pain inflicted by their blades becomes so intense that the strong-willed lose consciousness and the weak perish from pure agony.
Knight-paladins are given spears instead of staves, with longer ebony-handles and only a single obsidian blade, although this is twice the size of the blades of the clerics' staves. Ismyel surrounds her champions with an aura that instills dread in anyone that even gets near them, and grants their infused blades the power to enslave anyone they cut, completely stealing their free will, for the knight-paladin to command to fight or to die.
Gaia - The Spirit of Neutrality and Nature, Mother Nature
Being the creator and designer of Reniam, as well as the maker of the Upper and Lower Planes, Gaia is by many considered the most powerful of the Spirits of Union, though many claim that the power to create and form living beings is greater than that to create and form worlds. Gaia stands for wisdom and logic, as well as being the deity and designer of all flora and fauna of nature. She stands unbiased before the contesting extremes of good and evil, and will help or fight either side if it seems to endanger her creation. Her followers wear brown and green, and prefer products of nature - wood, flowers, weeds, vines, etc. - for their decorations. Like Gaia, her followers tend to care little for what happens in the "civilized" world, as long as it does not end up involving sanctuaries of nature such as the great forests where the followers dwell.
Unlike all other deities, Gaia does not set some Favored Ones over others, but rather neutrally distribute Favored power to all of her faithful subjects in relatively equal measures, with the actual power granted depending on the depth and longevity of their faith and loyalty. All of her Favored Ones are referred to as druids, which use simple sturdy wooden staves to convey Gaia's great Favored power, although these staves tend to grow sprouts and leaves over time, as if her essence brings the wood to life anew. Druids have substantial powers of healing, easily the level of a cleric of Liya, and are known to have a greatly increased affinity for curing poisons and diseases. Furthermore they are capable of making inanimate plants move with prayer, using nature itself against those that would harm it. When they are in places of nature, druids are gifted with a constant sense of tranquility and well-being - but this fades when they leave these places, and often its absence will make them nervous and distracted, especially in larger cities, as these are the furthest from nature.
The last kind of life brought into being by the Spirits of Union, gods are the deities that dwell in the Upper Plane as a reward for their efforts to stop the demons during the Age of Darkness. The term "god" used to simply mean a thoroughly good immortal, but with Rilon joining their ranks this description is no longer fitting.
Reina - The Goddess of Mercy, the Daughter of Liya, the Goddess of Humans
The deity of mercy, generosity, selflessness and healing, Reina is amongst the most popular of the gods. Unlike all immortals but herself and her brother, Rilon, Reina was created not purely as an infusion of the essence of an alignment, but given life by Liya, acquiring her second title. During the Age of Darkness, it is said that she did not battle alongside her peers against the mightiest demons, but rather joined the mortals fighting for the immortals, assuming the appearance of the most numerous kind - the humans - and restoring even those on the brink of death to full health to save as many from falling in the war as possible, thus earning her third title as Goddess of Humans. Reina stands firmly on the side of good, although she is loathe to use violence against others and would rather see a peaceful resolution to the eternal conflict with the demons. Her followers wear white and prefer silver for their decorations. Her followers are the greatest healers in all of Reniam and are foresworn to help anyone who comes to them for aid, although they would never kill another being.
Priests of Reina are granted the greatest powers of healing amongst any priests, being capable of mending practically any non-fatal wounds completely, although deep, previously untended injuries might leave scars. In turn, they have no other Favored powers than healing. Paladins of Reina are likewise solely healers, although their power tends to be weaker than that of priests as their occupation essentially requires them to be willing to hurt others.
To become a Cleric of Reina, one is required to give up all of one's worldly possessions except the priestly gown and their silver medallion of the symbol of Reina, committing themselves fully to helping others. Clerics are then rewarded with substantially improved powers of healing, superior to even high priests of any other faith and capable of mending even shattered bones completely and healing wounds that would otherwise have been lethal. High priests are naturally even more powerful, capable of bringing anyone back from even the brink of death. High priests of Reina are also the only healers powerful enough to nullify the deterioration of one's health once inflicted with the Withering, but even they cannot cure it, and even their power can only delay the inevitable.
Knight-paladins of Reina are given healing-powers at the level of priests of Reina, but are otherwise superior to regular paladins of Reina in experience and prowess only.
Laon - The God of Night
As his title suggests, Laon is the god with power of the night, meaning both the darkness, the stars and the moon. Thus Laon stands not only for the unseen, but also the illumination and revelation of the hidden. Standing firmly on the side of good, the method of which Laon battles evil is unknown and, like the night, hidden behind a veil of shadows, but whatever he does has the demons curse his name under their breaths. His followers wear midnight blue and often use moonstones in their decorations. Laon has followers of various kinds, not always limited to those in the service of good, but rather anyone - good or evil - who values the property of being unseen, thieves and assassins in particular.
Priests of Laon have are capable of invoking their Favored power to make themselves blend in with shadows almost completely, making them practically invisible to unless their hiding-place is illuminated. Instead, paladins are granted the ability to conjure a wisp of light as an alternate light-source, which illuminates darkness near them and partially negates invisibility, making those concealed by any magic easier to notice.
For a Favored One of Laon to become a cleric, it is needed to spend an entire month, starting with the First of the month - the day of the new moon - going out under the open sky every single night without fail and reciting verses of adoration for every phase of the moon. Clerics then gain the ability to become one with darkness, rendering them completely invisible as long as they stay in the shadows, and gives them the ability to see in the darkness the same way Nightwalkers can - and, if the cleric is a Nightwalker, making these able to see in the light without hurting their sensitive eyes. High priests gain even greater dominion over light and shadow, being able to either engulf the entire area around them in enchanted darkness or banish all shadows at their will, as well as being able to dispel invisibility completely once they know that someone invisible is present.
Knight-paladins of Laon gain the ability to blend with the shadows the same way priests of Laon does, and additionally become able to not only cause any object they hold in their hands to glow with soft luminance for as long as they hold it, but are also capable of producing flashes of extremely bright light, potentially blinding their opponents.
Arhoun - The God of Fertility, the God of Water, the God of Precipitation
Arhoun signifies the element of water, more specifically in its life-giving properties, and represents the tides of the oceans, rain, snow, hail and the growing of crops. Standing firmly on the side of good, Arhoun battles evil from the clouds and the sea, bombarding them with shards of hail and crushing them with grand tidal waves. His followers typically dress in azure, and their ornaments are often decorated with sapphires. Followers of Arhoun are typically farmers, hoping for fortune in raising their fields so that they can have a good harvest, and seafarers seeking to be sheltered from the wrath of the oceans. They can be of any alignment, although they tend to lean the most towards goodness, as most thoroughly evil followers turn to Arhoun's arch nemesis, Gervolt.
Favored Ones of the rank of priest in the service of Laon are able to keep crops alive with prayer and gardening alone, even during a drought, and are capable of conjuring up small amounts of water. Paladins become able to encase their weapons with ice, reinforcing them and making them heavier for more powerful strikes, as well as causing them to leave traces of ice on anything they hit.
To become a Cleric of Arhoun, one is required to last two weeks without eating or drinking anything save pure ice and water. They then become capable of nourishing entire fields through prayer during drought, and while they become capable of conjuring larger quantities of water than before, the main difference comes in the ability of causing it to freeze into solid ice. High priests are able to cause the weather to change, having it start and stop raining as they please, as well as granting them almost complete dominion over the sea, enabling them to quell the waves to ensure safe voyage or arouse them to crush their enemies.
Knight-paladins improve their ability to surround their weapons with frost, but moreover gain the ability to cause any nearby water to move by their will and cause it to vaporize, potentially burning their enemies, causing pain and, if aimed correctly, blinding them.
Frenis - The God of Wealth
This is the god of currency, trade and merchants. He represents the pursuit of riches, but also the greater cost of one's actions to acquire said riches. Of all the deities created during the Age of Darkness, Frenis was the only one that looked upon the battlefields, littered with more dead than any could count, and cared only for all the glittering and precious things that could be found on the corpses. According to the myth, when Frenis joined the fray, he looked upon the slaughtered mortals and saw others - demons and mortals, both man and beast - lurking amongst the dead, robbing their bodies. Frenis was enraged by this, as he had wanted these items himself yet had abstained from stealing them out of respect for the deceased, so he cursed them, transforming them all into the first of the savage, suicidal creatures known today as goblins. Frenis is not quite as adamant in his dedication to the good in all things, but rather has a tendency for his allegiance to turn blurry and uncertain whenever large amounts of valuables are involved. His followers wear the rich colors of purple, yellow and orange, and cherish gold and amethysts above all else in their decorations. His followers are mostly merchants and mercenaries, and basically anyone hoping to gain wealth by honest or dishonest means, and as such they have no real connection to either extreme of good and evil, but rather tend to always be quick to change their loyalties as one side or the other gets the upper hand.
Both priests and paladins of Frenis are in an unusual position because their deity is unusually generous to them when it comes to offering them Favored powers, giving them reign over a grand variety of abilities including limited healing, the ability to fill someone else's mind with greed and the ability to cause steel to harden significantly. This is a wider assortment of powers than most offer, but Frenis, the cunning business-god he is, demands that his Favored Ones throw away a golden coin with each prayer as payment, or he simply refuses to respond. And if the Favored One goes to retrieve the gold coin afterwards, Frenis punishes their greed by causing the coin to melt in their hands and seep into their skin, leaving them with a golden mark on the palm of their hand for the rest of their lives as testimony of their greed - and, if they try betraying his deals again, he causes the gold to harden with each time until both hands are left still and useless, so that they may never fold their fingers around a precious item again.
In order to become a cleric, Frenis' followers are required to gather a six feet tall pile of gold and donate it to one of his temples so that it might smelt it and add it to the size of his constantly growing golden statues, which can be found at any place of worship dedicated to him. Their reward is that they no longer have to pay the price for every single prayer and are awarded improved healing, more passionate greed and the ability to harden steel even further. Frenis, being the greedy entity that he is, requires the sacrifices to repeat every five years, or he demotes his clerics back to priests. For high priests this is no longer any problem, as these gain the fabled ability to transform lead into gold by the power of their prayers - after that, the only problem is to keep finding lead.
Knight-paladins, unlike clerics and high priests, are required to continue paying one gold coin with each prayer for as long as they remain of the paladin-branch of Favored Ones. Even so, knight-paladins gain the power to temporarily turn their opponents' weapons and armor into relatively soft and heavy gold, hindering their movements with burden and allowing it to be broken more easily, as well as the ability to briefly transform their own weapons and armor to relatively light and durable diamond.
Deliph - God of Victory, the Divine Marshal, the God of Orderly War
Deliph is the commander of the gods' army of angels, and in the Age of Darkness he was the one who coordinated the efforts of the other gods as well. He is represents the art of tactical warfare, soldiers and honorable combat. Deliph is not only either as or more firmly dedicated to the pursuit of good - he loathes all that is evil passionately and wishes nothing more than to destroy it, and during the Age of Darkness, Deliph could always be found on the frontline of battle, directing the divine armies while fighting as well. His followers wear maroon and gray, and favor steel and alexandrite for their decorations. Followers of Deliph are soldiers, officers and warriors of all alignments, each hoping for their own fortune and survival in the battles to come or at least for a glorious death, though those that are thoroughly evil tend to prefer Deliph's demonic counterparts and fellow deities of battle, Gervolt, Grimolt and Hazzergash.
Priests of Deliph are granted the ability to inspire soldiers with renewed valor and morale, even in the face of seemingly certain defeat, and give them the courage to fight until the last drop of blood, as well as strike enemies with uncertainty and hurting their morale. Paladins of Deliph can invoke his power to either give bladed weapons a divine edge, causing them to become sharper, or blunt weapons to gain divine mass, inflicting greater impact with each blow. In either case the blessed weapon becomes deadlier.
For a priest to become a cleric under Deliph's leadership, they must be locked in a room with a lohk, armed only with a dagger, and survive to escape the chamber, either by killing the beast or cunningly discovering a way out of there. Once the cleric has faced the brutal might of a lohk and lived to tell the tale, Deliph rewards them with the power to strengthen not only their soldiers' spirits, but also their bodies, making them able to bolster their comrades' muscles through prayer - making them faster and stronger - while at the same time accelerating their natural regeneration. All of this is naturally temporary, but is enough to turn the tide of battle even against a superior foe. High priests furthermore become able to restore worn and broken equipment temporarily to prime condition, enabling them to arm an entire army with rusty old relics, yet cause these to become sharp and sturdy for the duration of the battle.
Knight-paladins of Deliph are his champions, and aside from being able to bless their weapons and armor to become even more effective they also gain an aura that encourages the allies near them, filling them with the strength and vigor to fight for as long as the knight-paladin still stands, while striking his with extraordinary awe.
Rilon - The Blood God
Rilon is the foul being that dwells amongst the gods, but who signifies vengeance, independence, bloodthirst and undead. Being created with the help of Liya, like his sister Reina was, Rilon was born a demon - completely and truly evil, and despised the gods, including his sister, from his very first moment in Reniam. Yet as he came to the battlefield, Rilon saw how the demons were all enslaved by first the Grand Master and later Kreshtaat, and he decided that he would have no part of it - he would rather live freely amongst gods than as a slave amongst demons. He fought his own kin to escape thralldom, and in return he was named a god and sent to the Upper Plane instead of the Lower Plane when the Age of Darkness came to an end. Supposedly, Rilon assumed the form of a fearsome beast during the war and threw himself at the mortals serving the demons, only to be overcome with bloodlust. The gorged upon the blood of his enemies, taking delight in every last drop, and then discarded them without a second glance - these mortals, derived of their blood, are said to have been awakened by his foul essence as the very first vampires. Rilon's followers wear crimson and black, and use carnelian and jet for their decorations. Not many would openly admit to worshipping Rilon, as these tend to be either vampires, necromancers or cannibals, but the few who do take great pride in doing so and tends to flaunt that trait about themselves, and although Rilon's desire for independence swayed him to the side of good rather than evil, his followers tend to lean more towards the latter.
Priests of Rilon are capable of inflicting their enemies - or their allies - with blinding bloodlust, throwing them into a mad berserk with no concern for their own survival, as well as moderate healing abilities. Paladins of Rilon can bless their weapons with Rilon's presence so that each time they land a blow on an opponent, Rilon notices and rewards his paladin briefly accelerated regeneration, and whenever a paladin of Rilon kills an opponent their wounds are completely healed.
To become a Cleric of Rilon, one predictably have to swallow a goblet of blood from their own race, and they are not allowed to vomit from doing so, thus proving their deep and primal thirst for blood. Once they have acquired this rank they ability to heal and inflict berserk strengthens, and they become able to create the illusion of the sky turning red and raining blood, thus severely demoralizing their enemies. High priests furthermore become able to raise the dead briefly as ravenous ghouls, which will assault their enemies with bestial ferocity until they are destroyed.
Knight-paladins of Rilon further enhance the rewards for injuring enemies with blessed weapons, as well as they become able to conjure up a dread set of Armor of Rilon - a suit of platemail crafted from Rilon's own very blood, holding his essence, thus being significantly lighter than steel yet almost indestructible.
Xoril - The Goddess of Wisdom, the Goddess of Scholars/the Scholar Goddess (Symbol pending)
A goddess that signifies not only knowledge itself, but also the pursuit of understanding and the dedication to scholarly goals, Xoril is considered something like the immortal equivalent to a quiet, introverted outsider - what in today's society is often referred to as a 'geek' - who is content to withdraw into the background while other, more extravagant deities steal the limelight so that she might continue working on her own goals in peaceful solitude. Although Xoril is generally perceived as good, and tries her best to be as good as possible, she often ends up obsessing over little details that can make her question whether an action is truly good in the greater scheme of things, and thus, because she tends to over think everything before acting, she is considered more as a neutral deity than a good one. The followers of Xoril, or rather those of her followers that actually come out of their homes or libraries enough to care about other people recognizing them, dress in sky-blue colors, and their ornaments are of bronze and pearls. Obviously most of Xoril's followers are scholars themselves the same as their goddess, devoted to studying and learning, and although there is no restriction of alignment as to who looks to her for guidance, her followers are mostly good. Scholars and magi that actually care about the extremes of good and evil turns to Xoril, whereas those that care only for the supreme brilliance and potency of their deity - aspects that often lead mortals down the path of evil - tend to look to her demonic counterpart, Valderoth, instead.
Priests of Xoril - often referred to as Wise Ones by other followers of Xoril - gain a profound ability to pray to Xoril for clarity of the mind, allowing them to erase all emotion from themselves for as long as they should so desire, letting them ignore the feelings of hunger, thirst and sleepiness so that they might concentrate on the important things in the world, things that are best not subjected to bias or distractions, like studying, or casting spells. Paladins of Xoril are obviously rare, as scholars are rarely also fighters, but they exist nonetheless and those that exist are rewarded for their service by being able to invoke their prayers to gain insight about something they are physically touching. This might be used on people to learn which maladies they are afflicted with, on scriptures to quickly understand the underlying purpose of the written word within, on objects and materials to learn their elemental composition (this ability is especially popular with the penin, who are grateful for people capable of quickly and easily identifying metal ores and of telling diamond from zircon) and on weapons and armor to learn their balance, strengths and weaknesses.
To become a Cleric of Xoril, all one has to do is to read the entire Firmament of the Planes, a Study of the Three Planes and the Truth of Stupor - an extremely factual and boring six-thousand page tome, allegedly originally authored by Xoril herself - in one sitting. After having demonstrated such outstanding dedication to the pursuit of knowledge, the Favored One can call upon Xoril to not only clear their mind of distractions, but to also allow them to briefly have perfect memory - which is to say, the cleric is capable of remembering every last single detail of everything it has ever experienced in its entire life, its own birth included. This is obviously a very useful ability for scholars, and especially for wizards, who can use this to recall every spell they ever learned flawlessly. Ultimately, High Priests of Xoril gain an awesome ability commonly referred to as Enlightenment, which is perhaps one of the most fearsome abilities granted by any deity. With Enlightenment, High Priests of Xoril become capable of effortlessly - and with one hundred percent reliability - tell truth from lie and real from fake. Any lie, whether they read it or hear it, they instantly know to be so, and the same with truth. Thus the only way to trick a High Priest of Xoril is with half-truths and omitted details, as these do not register upon the senses of their Enlightenment, but even if one understands their ability, defeating it is extremely difficult.
As paladins become knight-paladins in the service of Xoril, their insight and understanding of the world around them grows and they become able to quickly analyze their opponents themselves just by looking at them, allowing them an almost prescient ability to act and react to their opponents' actions before they have even committed them. In extreme cases they can even invoke their prayers to momentarily gain true prescience, being able to tell not only where an opponent is and where it is going, but exactly where the opponent will be at any given time and how they will try to defend themselves, allowing the knight-paladin to counter all efforts to dodge, parry and block their attacks and be practically certain that their blow hits. It takes extreme levels of skill to survive such a strike by a Knight-Paladin of Xoril, and obviously the more proficient a warrior the knight-paladin is, the harder such a prescient strike is to successfully endure.
Black-hearted immortals that were created to be solely evil, demons were banished to the Lower Plane and thus prevented from interfering with the affairs of mortals. They take infinite pleasure in suffering, violence and destruction, and eternally strive to obtain greater and greater power, no matter the cost.
The Grand Master - The Lord of Lies, the Infernal Emperor, the Buyer of Souls, the Foul Merchant, the Ancient One, the Lord of Skull Tower, the Guardian of Hellfire
The only being in all of the Planes not created by the Spirits of Union (aside from the Spirits themselves), the nefarious Grand Master is a symbol of lies and deception and the well-mannered evil. Having once been the lord of all demons, the Grand Master is second in power only to Kreshtaat himself and second in evil to no one, reputedly not even Ismyel herself. His allegiance is to himself alone, to rebuild his wicked empire and steal back the domain that Kreshtaat and the Nomad took from him in the Age of Darkness. His followers wear crimson and use sunstone for their decorations. His followers are those that seek the paths of ambition and evil, yet resent Kreshtaat and his goals for some reason or another. Followers of the Grand Master also seem to more frequently sell him their souls, since they have utter faith that he will not betray them.
Instead of having traditional Favored Ones such as most other deities, the Grand Master prefers to lend his power to those that would serve him otherwise. He acts as an infernal merchant of power, trading things that mortals have for what they want - most commonly they pay with their souls, although he is also known to bargain for their freedom, making them his servants, their health or he might even merely demand a single favor that always turns out to his advantage. In return, the Grand Master can supposedly offer almost anything - power, the ability to ignore the passage of time (also known as pseudo-immortality), wealth, servants, and just about whatever his customers want. Despite that many are skeptical about him and his reputation as a masterful deceiver, the Grand Master is actually bound by a bond that not even he can break once a contract has been signed between him and his customer, ensuring that he always fulfill his end of the bargain as long as the customer fulfill their end. However, he is known to be cunning and treacherous in designing his contracts, sneaking in loopholes that he can use to his own advantage to cheat his customers, so one should always pay close attention to the details, lest one wants to end up with nothing and the Grand Master with everything.
Hazzergash - The Lord of Fire, the Swallower of Worlds
One of the Grand Master's five generals. Hazzergash stands for the destructive properties of the element of fire, blind rage, fighting with fury and fighting just for the thrill of the fight. Hazzergash is a brutish, unrefined demon lord that does not care for his leader's schemes and would rather see the world burnt to ash than rule over it. His followers traditionally wear scarlet and use gold and rubies for decorations. Followers of Hazzergash tends to be rooted just as deeply in his desire for destruction as the demon himself, channeling their lust for destruction to the cause of evil.
Priests of Hazzergash gain the ability to summon masses of black flame to incinerate their enemies, while his paladins are capable of wrapping their weapons in wicked black fire that not only burns what it touches, but also devours any magic it meets.
To become a Cleric of Hazzergash, one simply needs to brand his symbol on one's skin in five different places - each forearm, the chest, the back and on one's forehead. After that the cleric is capable of calling forth even fiercer infernos of sinister black flames and become able to wrap their own bodies in a protective blaze that does not hurt the cleric, but which scorches anything that gets near them. High priests can finally create the fiercest conflagration of all, and gain the ability to heat metal armors - turning it red-hot - and animating them, turning them into something like undead minions that can only be stopped by killing the high priest.
Knight-paladins improve the properties of their black-flamed swords, and additionally gain the same ability to animate armor as high priests. They can also infuse their own armor with heat, turning that red-hot as well, to grant them increased strength in turn for weakening the metal through heating.
Gervolt - The Lord of Water, the Maw of Doom
One of the Grand Master's five generals. Gervolt represents the destructive properties of water and ice, as well as lucidity and adaptability in demeanor and goals alike. Gervolt is not one to commit to causes or remain loyal to a liege out of sentiment, but rather change allegiance and standards as the flow of water changes when something block their path. The only real reason that he has remained a part of the Grand Master's army is that Gervolt prefer the Grand Master's intelligent and deceptive approach to dominating Reniam to Kreshtaat's goal of conquering it with raw power. Followers of Gervolt dress in indigo and cyan, and they prefer aquamarine for decorations. The followers of Gervolt tend to be thoroughly dedicated to evil, but being content to move behind the scene, subtly manipulating their way to power and wealth.
Both priests and paladins of Gervolt can conjure up medium quantities of water, only to cause the enchanted water to freeze solid or vaporize at the moment of their choosing.
To become a Cleric of Gervolt, one has to be completely submerged in icy water for five full minutes and survive. In turn, clerics of Gervolt can not only conjure more water which they can still control the phase of, but they can also cause this water to move, shape and reshape at their will, even after having frozen to ice, which is particularly useful in forming icy spikes from the ground. High priests furthermore become capable of causing water and ice to levitate, enabling them to use water and ice as deadly projectiles.
Knight-paladins of Gervolt can invoke prayers to form a powerful platemail and shield of ice, as well as they become capable of blessing their weapons with Gervolt's essence so that any metal they strike rust instantly where the weapon touches it.
Grimolt - The Lord of Earth, the Crusher of Souls
One of the Grand Master's five generals. Grimolt represents the destructive properties of the ground, his domain extending to both the soil and the minerals resting within it. He also stands for the unchanging, stubbornness, persistence, brute strength, durability and constitution, and is considered a deity of defensively oriented combat. When Grimolt was created, he joined the Grand Master's ranks just to follow the general flow of the demons around him, but when Kreshtaat arose to steal the Grand Master's throne, Grimolt - loathing all change - refused to change sides, figuring that he would rather stand by his initial decision and lose than bend to another's will and win. Followers of Grimolt wear dark green and teal, and favor all kinds of stone and gemstones for decorations, often combining many different kinds in a single work. Grimolt's followers are mainly the tarken, who perceive him as a god rather than a demon, presumably because of their brunt physique, and other warriors that rely almost solely on superior muscle-power to win their battles.
Priests of Grimolt are capable of causing allies' skin to harden until it is almost like stone, sacrificing mobility for durability. Paladins are capable of invoking the same transformation, only on themselves instead of others.
Not many manage to become Clerics of Grimolt, as this entails that the aspiring cleric lets itself be buried alive, and then has to dig its own way out of their own grave to survive - a grueling and mind-breaking experience for anyone. The few who manage become capable of controlling minerals of the ground, enabling them to use these as weapons, either by making them leap out of the ground beneath an opponent or by drawing them out and using them as projectiles. High priests finally are favored enough to invoke Grimolt's personal attention to matters, allowing them to call upon Grimolt to create a guardian Rock Minion to aid the high priest in times of need.
Knight-paladins become able to expand their stone-skin transformation into an entire armor, rendering them virtually indestructible until the layers of stone are crushed, but further slowing and hindering their movements. They can also invoke Grimolt's blessing upon themselves to gain tremendous strength briefly, making them powerful enough to punch through stone walls or deal an especially devastating blow in a decisive moment.
Bolgar - The Lord of Air, the Voice of Judgment
One of the Grand Master's five generals and "twin" in power to Balgor. He controls the destructive properties of the wind and weather, as well as he signifies the properties of being unpredictable and uncontrollable. Although Bolgar and Balgor were markedly weaker than the Grand Master's other generals and most other deities, when the two of them are together their combined powers grow exponentially, making them far more powerful than their respective powers combined and more dangerous than almost any other demon, save possibly Kreshtaat himself. Supposedly just bringing the two of them near each other causes the sky to erupt in monsoons and thunderstorms, and will cause tornadoes and hurricanes. It is said that they decided to remain loyal to the Grand Master purely out of spite and for their own amusement. Bolgar's followers wear beige laced with yellow, and like to use aventurine and platinum for their decorations. Followers of Bolgar are often people who act completely irrationally, often those gripped with insanity or insatiable curiosity or wanderlust - many traveling bards and other storytellers swear homage to Bolgar. They are not necessarily evil, but almost always dangerous.
Priests of Bolgar gain dominion over the wind, being able to produce gusts of wind through prayer with the power of a strong gale. Paladins are capable of making themselves and their equipment lighter by reducing the air-pressure around them, making them faster and nimbler than before.
In order to become a Cleric of Bolgar, one needs to be tied to a pole and left out during a mighty hurricane and survive - and an amusing fact is that since hurricanes are occurrences beyond the priests' control and happen quite rarely in the regions adjacent to Rodoria, one can often find several would-be clerics left out whenever there is one, lined up in a row and tied to poles, trying to endure the storm. In the event that someone manages to become a cleric, the wind they can generate increases in power to a violent storm and they become able to remove the air in the vicinity of their enemies, choking them to death unless the cleric is pacified or allows air to return. Once cleric become high priests, they can finally conjure the force of a hurricane in their gusts of wind and become capable of summoning and dismissing clouds on the sky as they please. In addition to being able to remove the air around their enemies, they are now also able to make the air implode back into the vacuum, smashing their enemies with lethal force that often leave them as a shapeless semi-liquid mass.
Beside of feeling even lighter and faster, knight-paladins become able to bless both their weapons and armor so that either emit rapid short-ranged waves, increasing the destructive power of their attacks and causing the waves to slow down and soften incoming blows.
Balgor - The Lord of Lightning, the Roar of Fate
One of the Grand Master's five generals and "twin" in power to Bolgar. He controls the destructive powers of thunder, lightning and electricity in general, as well as signifies swiftness and ambushes. Although Balgor and Bolgar were markedly weaker than the Grand Master's other generals and most other deities, when the two of them are together their combined powers grow exponentially, making them far more powerful than their respective powers combined and more dangerous than almost any other demon, save possibly Kreshtaat himself. Supposedly just bringing the two of them near each other causes the sky to erupt in monsoons and thunderstorms, and will cause tornadoes and hurricanes. It is said that they decided to remain loyal to the Grand Master purely out of spite and for their own amusement. Followers of Balgor wear yellow laced with beige and favor topaz and platinum for their decorations. Most of Balgor's followers are highwaymen and common bandits, although many have been lead astray by Balgor's twin's madness and have turned to the Lord of Lightning as well. Balgor's followers are not necessarily evil, but tend to be dangerous nonetheless and especially remark themselves by having exceedingly little respect for the laws of mortals.
Priests of Balgor are capable of producing audible claps of thunder, as well as channeling petrifying electricity through their own bodies to anyone and anything they touch. Paladins can bless their weapons to emit booming thunder with each successful strike, at once hopefully distracting their opponents and demoralizing them.
Clerics of Balgor are the very rarest kind of clerics, and as very few dare even attempt at the requirement to achieve this rank, let alone survive. Obviously, one has to be struck by lightning and survive. The chosen few who are proven to be truly favored by Balgor come to wield the power to conjure mighty bolts of lightning and launch them over distance to strike down their enemies, and high priests furthermore becomes able to call down even mightier lightning from the clouds (if there are any).
When knight-paladins bless their weapons, they not only cause it to emit thunder with each blow but also sends a constant current of electricity through it, electrifying their opponents whenever they are hit.
Kreshtaat - The Lord of Darkness
Kreshtaat has no equal and is the uncontested most powerful the immortals. Through his ascension to immortality he came to represent the hunger for power and the eternal desire of mortals to defy their mortality. Born a mere human, Kreshtaat somehow discovered an unknown way to cast aside his humanity and become an immensely powerful demon, making him strong enough to throw down the Grand Master and his Infernal Empire and establish his own Death Clan. He is thoroughly evil, and supposedly cares about nothing more than to shatter the Divide and lead his demonic legions into Reniam, fulfilling the Nomad's Prophecy and forever leaving Reniam in blood-soaked darkness. Followers of Kreshtaat join the mortal leagues of the Death Clan and are clad only in black, and serve no other cause than to bring back their Lord.
Kreshtaat does not care enough about petty mortals anymore to lend them Favored power from him, which he thinks better focused on trying to find a way through the Divide. Instead, he has promised that all that serve him loyally right to the time when he stands as the Lord of Reniam, he will share his secret with them and reveal how to gain his immense power and immortality.
Himyth - The Dread Mother, the Victor of the Divide, the Temptress
Himyth is one of Kreshtaat's entrusted subordinates and is the only deity level demon to have ever managed to slip through the Divide, and which still remains in Reniam. She signifies seduction and temptation, sexual arousal and desire, as well as cunning trickery. Himyth is the dark entity that lurks in Reniam, changing her shape and appearance as necessary to ensure that she is not discovered, all while she secretly works to further Kreshtaat's cause and build an army of her own by mating with mortals and giving birth to her unholy progeny: the demonspawn. Her followers prefer tight and revealing clothes in dark gray and rose-red, and like to fashion their ornaments from gold and garnet. Although there are some few every now and then that serve Himyth out of a wicked desire to commit evil and use her seductive powers to their own advantage, by far the majority of her sizable flock only take her as their liege to earn entry to the wild orgies her followers frequently host.
Priests of Himyth are not only capable of invoking tempting thoughts in the minds of their enemies, as well as involuntarily awaken their sexual desires, but also enables them to conjure up bolts of explosive dark energy consisting of the very essence of Himyth, wielding significant destructive power. Paladins are similarly capable of filling their weapons with the essence of Himyth, greatly increasing their destructive output, as well as they send out waves of arousal from themselves, greatly distracting their opponents.
For a Favored One of Himyth to become a cleric, it needs simply to fornicate with someone and then murder its partner in the moment of climax. Afterwards they are rewarded with the ability to conjure up more powerful bolts of darkness, and they gain the ability to change their own appearance through prayer. High priests can call down entire volleys of explosive charges of dark energy, but also gain an almost irresistible charisma that inevitably makes those around them believe in their words and, if the high priests desires it to be so, fall in love with them.
Knight-paladins do not only gain destructive power when they bless their weapons, but also adds a venomous effect to any injury it inflicts, incapacitating the injured person in a matter of seconds and killing it in a matter of minutes. Their waves of arousal also become all the more powerful, and they become able to warp their equipment, causing weapons and armor to shift and change with their prayers.
Valderoth - The Slothful One
Despite of much ridicule and the quite disgraceful title, Valderoth is actually Kreshtaat's most trusted advisor and the greatest of his subordinates. Valderoth represents all magic in the world, as well as general laziness, but also genius and intelligence. He follows Kreshtaat mostly out of convenience since being on anything aside from the obviously winning side is too troublesome. Besides, Kreshtaat only really wants to make use of Valderoth's genius, which is the greatest amongst all immortals, and either does all the work for Valderoth or has someone else do it for him - meaning that Valderoth does not have to lift a finger. Valderoth's servants dress in all kinds of colors - it is too bothersome to pick out a dress-code - and make their decorations in bronze and opals. His followers are often too lazy to actually try to accomplish anything, although those that worship him for his supreme skill in magic and unsurpassed brilliance can be quite ambitious, although they are restricted to no single alignment.
It is too much of a bother for Valderoth to let others use his power, so he does not accept Favored Ones - yet many enter his service anyways, claiming that just being in his service grants them a profound peace of mind and improved focus for their magic.
Myrtoloin - The Lord of Decay
One of the few demonic deities that has chosen to separate themselves entirely from both the Infernal Empire and the Death Clan, and stand on his own entirely. Myrtoloin signifies the rot and decay of all things, both in the physical and moral meaning of corruption. He fancies himself a rival to both Kreshtaat and the Grand Master, and although he stands alone and has power inferior to the two greater demons, Myrtoloin remains determined that he will emerge victorious and claim the glory and power all for himself. Myrtoloin's followers wear cadaverous orange and green, and likes to use bones and shriveled organs for their decorations. Although Myrtoloin is a relatively minor deity, his followers are amongst the nastiest of all, being more twisted and evil than most of the Death Clan, taking pleasure in killing and tormenting others and causing the corruption of society.
The Favored powers granted by Myrtoloin rely on simplicity, yet are undeniably quite effective. Priests of Myrtoloin can inflict their enemies with diseases, and a paladin's blessed weapon causes wounds that are instantly infected and inevitably becomes riddled with disease.
Once a priest devour a piece of maggot-infested meat, they ascend to the rank of cleric, gaining the ability to violently make their enemies sick and force them to abruptly vomit. High priests are able to make their enemies decompose while still alive.
Knight-paladins weapons can be blessed to cause the person struck with them to instantly fall unconscious, and if they can capture an enemy and manage to hold them in their grasp they can "drain" their health, transferring their own wounds to their captured enemy.
There are some entities that are considered deities by some, yet are unable to bestow Favored powers and are neither true gods or demons.
Klorr - The God of Crafts, the God of Penin
Klorr is considered to signify all honest trades in the world, those of invention and production in particular. From the late Barbaric Age and the early Age of Civilization, Klorr was a penin craftsman, inventor and blacksmith of legendary skill, and many of the most powerful items that can be found all across Reniam today are of his making. But although penin can live for half a millennium, Klorr eventually faced the problem that his time was falling short, and soon he would be victim of his mortality. To remedy this, he invented an incredible device that allow him to live far past his natural lifespan, but which prevents him from moving from his seat in the Grand Forge of Klorr in the Nomad's Canyon in northern Wegam Fermos. Even though he is obviously still mortal and penin, many penin regard him as a demigod and worship him all the same. His followers wear iron-gray and use decorations of steel. They are mainly penin, although some craftsmen belonging to other races can occasionally be heard uttering prayers to the demigod as well.
Djubei - Source of the Mist, King of Squids
Thought to be a patron deity for misfits and mutants all over the world, Djubei is most definitely neither a god nor an immortal, but a quite tangible horrendous beast that dwells in the deep caves that reach far below the roots of Mount Zerul. Earning its titles because of the fog-like air that seems to exhume from its very being and because of its tentacles appearance, Djubei is certainly a monster unlike any other in Reniam, and it is likely that the only reason many civilizations still exist today is because of the fact that Djubei is simply too enormous to leave the caverns it dwell in. Rather than a god or demon, it seems the last remnant of some disgusting race that went extinct during the Age of Darkness, or perhaps it is a first failed attempt from the Spirits at creating life. Whatever it is, some people are crazy enough to worship it, wearing clothes sown from furs and pelts and ornaments made from horns, antlers and bones.
Nilick - The Oracle
A creature of uncertain heritage, alignment and nature, practically nothing is known about the Oracle aside from the fact that it lives in the Lower Plane - either imprisoned the same as the demons or kidnapped by them for them to take advantage of her power. The other thing that is known is that the Oracle sees and knows everything that has ever happened, happens and can ever happen in the future. She is all-knowing, but for some reason is only awake for a single day at the time, sleeping exactly one thousand years between each time she awakens - and each time she awakens, great things happen in the Planes. Her one rule is that any single person can only ask her one question during that single day, but that she will answer that question it its fullest. Last time she awoke is recorded to have been in the year of 601 in the Age of Civilization... in other words, she will awaken approximately one year after the start of the roleplay.
Player Created Deities
Koraakan - The Balancer, the Bloody Weighter (Property of "Shienvien")
The beast-god of balance, neutrality and truth, the beast-god of all. Alternatively recognized as either the god of bargains and hence the god of all traders and merchants or, as becomes more frequent on darker times, as the god of sacrifice and mercilessness, hence also being the god of the desperate, the mindless and the vengeful.
Albeit usually listed alongside the lines of the gods, Koraakan actually stands apart from the remainder of them, amongst other distancing properties having came to being much later than the rest. Presumably risen from unanswered pleas and the blood shed on both sides instead of being a heir to the Spirits of Union, if not originating from some unknown source entirely, Koraakan is the god of all who turn to the one or have no-one to turn to, without discrimination. Whilst the one has taken the task of keeping the opposing halves even to an extent, the one doesn't prefer the good to the bad or the bad to the good, but will equally listen to all and fulfill all prayers- but only as long as the individual contacting the beast-god has got something of equal value to give in return, which is why the god has come to be known as the god of both bargains and sacrifice. In addition, the god will only grant what was asked, not what the asker would truly want; requesting the god thoughtlessly has its dire cost one might not immediately realize- and whilst the asker can trade off what you have received, then the bargains can never be reversed without a toll.
The beast-god is physically depicted with an elongated reptilian head slightly resembling that of a crocodile, with the added nuance of having six eyes and sometimes showing to own another two pairs of internal mandible-like jaws hidden inside its mouth. The head is usually surrounded by a wide frill and rests on top of mildly humanoidic body uniformly covered in a mosaic pattern of scales. In addition, the beast-god is also always shown to own a crocodile-esque tail, wings which are either spread wide or folded against the back like a cape and not two, but four strong arms. Usually, each of the hands is holding something- most commonly the diagonally opposite hands are holding identical objects, pointing in the opposite directions- more often than not the arms are folded, one diagonal pair of hands holding long daggers, the other sickles. Seldomly, the one might be pictured holding a set of scales, or even two separate sets.
The followers of the beast-god Koraakan are hard to identify- some carry motives picturing either the scales, sickles and daggers, the six eyes or a red droplet of blood, though. The only exception to this are the high priests of Koraakan, Karakon- beings who have sacrificed their former selves to the beast-god, being at once granted something akin to immortality and a more powerful secondary form slightly reminiscent to the god oneself by looks, in addition to being able to tap in the god's knowledge at all times- but losing their feelings and emotions in return, along with their will to do anything on their own initiative, retaining only the memories.
Whenever a mortal is on the verge of death - that is, when its heartbeat and breath has ceased, and its soul starts to slip away from the body - the mortal will experience a vision wherein they stand in a world like the one they know, only shrouded in eternal twilight, and accompanied only by the Wanderer himself. Here, in this mystical realm that exists upon the precipice between life and death, the Wanderer will converse with every single dying mortal personally, trying to comfort them and persuade them to accept their fate and allow him to take them to an afterlife. Some mortals are easily convinced, and their souls slip away quickly, leaving their bodies empty shells. Others cling stubbornly to life, and may be resurrected up to several minutes after their "death". While in this state, however, the mortal's soul will have no living vessel to occupy and its energy will progressively be drained from it in an effort to postpone the irrevocable demise of its body. One who does not accept the afterlife has a chance of resurrection for as long as they remain, but run the risk of weakening themselves to the point where they cannot preserve the spark of life anymore, nor do they have the strength to reach an afterlife. In other words, resisting the Wanderer for too long can result in one becoming a ghost.
Those that have been on the verge of death but recovered will return to Reniam with the memory of their meeting with the Wanderer intact, and from accounts of these people it has been deduced that the Wanderer - and presumably the other Spirits of Union as well - do not possess any single appearance, but appears before each individual as an altered and perfected reflection of themselves, the only common trait described about the Wanderer being male and clad in a hooded cloak, wearing the clothes of a traveler, high boots and thick gauntlets, and carrying a giant exquisite scythe. Everything else, from his size and built to his coloring and even his race, differs and seems to adapt to appear as familiar to the witness as possible.
Those who do not recover, but either passes on to an afterlife or fade to become ghosts, forget their meeting with the Wanderer for unknown reasons.