Map sketched out. Red is my nation, the Haeviri tribes. I'll make this prettier at some point...
Physical: The Haeviri are elven in form, with tall, willowy builds and compact musculature. Their faces follow a similar convention, with royal cheekbones, petite features for women, and prominent brows among men. However, their ears are not elongated (rather, their ears are snake-like, nigh-on invisible openings in the sides of their heads. Rather than flowing locks, both genders cut their hair short, with females generally growing it out to no more than six inches and males shaving nearly to the scalp. Their skin coloration is dark brown or greyish, sometimes with hints of green or black. Hair and eye coloration are similar, trending towards the darker ends of the spectrum. Their eyes are quite odd, however. Their sclera (sclerae? scleras?) are pitch black, in order to draw light away from their eyes. the beams would only weaken their sight, for the see not by light, but by the magical ambiance of life and other substances. This favors their desert habitat, as they are easily able to find life in the barren landscape. Although many substances are traditionally considered voids of magical energy, the Haeviri are extremely perceptive, able to see items that are “lit” by ambient magic from living things. Various conductive anomalies, miniscule charges, and other magical energetics allow them to see almost all items. However, it is theoretically possible to become invisible to their sight by masking magical energies in an item or region. Light is known to interfere with their sight.
Magical: The Haeviri are generally adept mages, but they have a special talent for innate magics. As powerful magic of this variant comes somewhat easily to them, they have not developed more complex variants of magic, such as rituals and enchantments. They are fairly adept at spell-scripts, however, as the entirety of their writings qualify as magical scripts (ink/animal blood [which they use more commonly] must be charged with magical energies for the Haeviri to see it). That is not to say all their scraps and notes are spells; simply magical deposits. Certain clans practice magical chanting, but their skills are rudimentary, more suited to the easing of daily life than heavy use.
Nation: Haeviri Clans
Leaders: Chief Ramol Sarn of Clan Ottae-mel, Emperor Veiran Taa’indrel of the Arvoend-et Empire (Arvoet Clan), Patriarch Caleos Giose of the Temple, Queen Riona Giose of Clan Dulgamin, and Archmage Ulkod Rovaten.
Races: 94% Haeviri, 4% Human, 2% Other
Capital: Decentralized. The powerful Elosin Temple is based in the city of Nellinalta, and governs a relatively large swath of land in its own right, with enormous influence throughout the rest of the region. Adjacent to the Temple lands are the holdings of Clan Dulgamin. Queen Riona Giose, cousin of Patriarch Caleos Giose, is closely aligned with the Temple, forming a powerful alliance in the deep eastern desert. Chief Ramol Sarn governs Clan Ottae-mel from the slopes of the western mountains, within his stronghold of Basorl. The nascent Arvoend-et Empire, more centralized than its rivals, is governed from the cavern-city of Tirranos-Bel, along the southern coast. The College of Mages is scattered across many cities, its central citadel having been sacked about 900 years ago by temple forces (past doctrines took issue with certain schools of magic; such beliefs have been dropped, to the degree that many of the clergy are also members of the College).
Starting Area: Haeviri Clans occupy a region in the center of the continent, flanked on the west by mountains, the north by hill country, the south by flatlands, and the east by sea and more mountains. The area is a sun-baked desert, much of it devoid of life and water. Many regions are underlaid by limestone and other calcified rocks, which have been shaped by water into massive caverns, aquifers, stalagmites, and other constructs. The western regions of the desert are in the shadow of a massive mountain chain (in fact, it is the rain shadow of these mountains that created the Haeviri’s desert). These foothills are pockmarked with fertile valleys, rugged badlands, dusty canyons, and seasonally productive chaparral. Several rivers flow from the mountains, converging across the desert within the Temple lands, leading to a lake just outside Nellinalta
Government: Varied, although in general marked by just tyrants. The Temple lands are, of course, governed by the priesthood, although the civil administration of the fief is separate from the general ranks of the Temple. Clan Dulgamin, allies of the Temple, is a divine right monarchy, both in theory and in practice; Queen Riona derives her legitimacy from her powerful family connections to the temple. The Ottae-Mel clan is a warrior’s meritocracy. Titles of nobility are not passed from generation to generation, but earned in battle and life. More so than the perception of the brutish swordsman, within the clan the poetic image of a educated, noble, skilled warrior is promoted. Nobles are typically somewhat aligned with this image, well educated, practicing war as an art, and often attaining a grasp of philosophy. The Arvoend-et empire, sprung from the Arvoet clan, is governed by a powerful imperial bureaucracy, backed by a massive military. Elements of plutocracy, meritocracy, theocracy, nepotocracy, and magocracy (actually a word. Coined by some fiction writer. “Rule by Mages”) are present.
Religion(s): The religion of the Haeviri is derived from their unique physiology. With their magic-sensitive eyes, they are able to perceive any anomalies in the world’s magic; a sudden, unexplained spike within a rock, a total vaccum opening in the sky, or a small, unexplained spell at an opportune (or, for others, inopportune) moment. A great many of these events are attributed to divine intervention. There are a great variety of gods, entailing almost every possible patronage and power. A notable, popular god is Ulhumen, patron of magic. This variety of spirituality is nearly universal (as it is entirely based in magical fact). However, various other beliefs coexist over this substrate. The most important, Elosin, acknowledges a single creator-God, who is lord over the lesser gods (referred to as “spirits” within the sect). These spirits are arranged into a complex hierarchy, in some ways resembling the Haeviri’s structures of political power. They have also taken on many qualities of angels and demons, although uniquely Haeviri in flavor.
Brief History: The Haeviri originated many millennia ago, and are among the most ancient of all races. Little of note has occurred within their desert home, beyond the occasional war between the clans, plague, disaster, or prophet. The land, as far as anyone knows, has never been unified; in fact, the current balance of power, in which there are only 3 major powers, is widely believed to be the closest to unity they have ever came.
The current Temple originated about 3,800 years ago, and has since had nine prophets. The powerful Giose family now leading it came to dominate both the religious establishment and political power in the northeast about 400 years ago. The Otta and Mel clans have held the western mountains since time immemorial, but it is only within the past 700 years that they united and thus were able to project power across the region. The Arvoend-et Empire is the youngest of the three major states, rising out of the Arvoet clan in the southern desert within the past three centuries.