The Elantrian Wars
The M’ryauln are a mysterious and unusual race when held in comparison to the other races of the world. Like the Elves, they are regarded as a High Folk, yet unlike the Elves, little is known of the M’ryauln other than that they do not associate with outsiders.
Highly xenophobic, the M’ryauln are content to live in their cities, which are found deep within lands said to be owned by the Elves. In reality, the M’ryauln live in large communities whose locations are not only protected by the Elves, but whose locations are carefully cloaked from the eyes of outsiders. In all dealings with trade, shipments are found at select locations where they are then taken by an Elf representative to their respective destinations.
To one lucky enough to enter a M’ryauln community, the sight is quite surreal. The people wear little clothing, opting instead for simple tunics as they go about and train themselves in the higher levels of art, science, and one or more of three religions practiced by the race.
When it comes to physiology, the M’ryauln are quite different from their Elven cousins. They are often thin and lithe, standing no more than 5 feet in height. Their ears bear points which show their fey origins, but the edges facing the back of the head have an almost serrated appearance. It is also a cultural norm for M’ryauln to bear jewelry on their ears as a testament to their family, religion, race, or love of beauty. The skin of the M’ryauln is suprisingly pale, often considered to be more beautiful than the skin of the Elves. With the exception of the hair on their heads and their eyebrows, M’ryauln are hairless, making their skin smooth beyond compare. It is not uncommon to find that M’ryauln skin is also faintly tattooed to enhance the natural beauty found on every body.
The eyes of this race are also striking. Like most other creatures, they have whites and an iris, but the color of their eyes is often unnatural, ranging from jewel-like greens and blues to yellows and oranges. However, the rarest colors for M’ryauln eyes are those of purple, red, black, or white. Hair colors are just as unusual, most often blues or greens, but also found in shades of red, blonde, or purple. It is said that the unique eyes and hair is a result of the race’s affinity for the Eidolon’s Aria – a form of energy that is used by few, and which can perplex even the greatest of magic users.
The M’ryauln adore the arts. Primarily those arts which pertain to musical or visual stimuli. Though rare outside of their cities, M’ryauln glasswork and jewelry and metalwork is so prized that royalty in the other empires will wear or flaunt the art as a sign of power, while also keeping it under such guard that theives would be killed before even catching a glimpse of the artwork when it isn’t on display. Glasswork is generally smooth and reflects the natural patterns of water or ice while also being fully functional. A M’ryauln crystal chalice will not only carry drink, but will also enhance the color and accentuate the natural movement of the liquid in a way that would make it seem enchanted. Jewelry is often formed of silver and gold, with small jewels which accentuate the shape and patterns of the metal, which is often formed to look like leaves and other plant life. The jewelry is often so lifelike that it is said that a silver M’ryauln circlet could be mistaken for a rare form of olive branch. Metal work is often wrought to reflect the fires which created the blades or to hold the images first reflected upon their surface forever. This makes the metal often seem to glow with an orange or yellow light, and the light which is preserved within the blade moves and shimmers with the same fervent beauty of fire.
M’ryauln music is ethereal. The sounds blend and weave with one another in such a way as to reflect the Eidolon’s Aria as closely as material objects and natural talent possibly can. The Elves have legends of forested areas which are haunted by spirits of love and pure emotion, which can ensnare a person in the forests for days, possibly months, on end – sometimes until starvation claims the life of the listener. It maybe M’ryauln music which so enthralls those unfortunate beings. The primal yet sophisticated nature of the music is also a testament to the faiths that M’ryauln citizens ascribe to.
The race has faith in three religions, all bound together by the Edolon’s Aria, yet separate in the form of the Aria held sacred:
The Faith of the Hymn – this form of the faith embraces the balance that comes between nature and man, while upholding that all of nature is sacred, to be respected just as a man should respect his body. Followers of the Hymn generally persue musical arts and tap into the Aria only where it can be used to preserve a sacred area.
The Faith of the Discordant – this faith follows that imperfection is true beauty. The followers of this faith are generally the most generous amid M’ryauln kind, considering the imperfect to be sacred.
The Faith of the Eidolon – the most common form of the faith, and the only one to worship a deity, M’ryauln all are members of this faith because it centers around the idea that the universe is a massive orchestral piece being played by the cosmic choir created by the Eidolon, an entity responsible for the creation of the universe, yet who lets the clockwork of the universe do as it will. Everything is sacred, yet none is sacred according to this faith.
An incredibly few adventurers have ever been able to visit the lands of the M’ryauln. Thus, the tales are often exagerrated or disbelieved, but the following “myths” regarding the M’ryauln are actually fact:
1. The M’ryauln are immensly open about their sexuality. It isn’t uncommon to find multiple males and females all in the same romantic group. This bisexual, polygamistic aspect of M’ryauln society is a curiosity to the Elves, and Man often disbelieve this myth due to their own fear and disgust regarding homosexual/polygamous relationships.
2. The M’ryauln are capable of a short-range teleport. To call it a “teleportation” would be a misnomer, though, as what really happens is that the individual dissolves into a mist which drifts to a nearby place. This mist is a useful tool, as it can often pass through seemingly solid objects, possess lesser animals if needed, and can protect from injury. Like any Aria-based ability, though, this ability has a risk. It can degrade sanity if over-used, and while the M’ryauln are more resistant to the addictive effects of the Aria, they are still at risk of the addiction if they use this ability more than three times a day.
3. The M’ryauln do not use magic. All spells and abilities are actually rooted in the Eidolon’s Aria, here referring to the energy of the universe which forms a song which the Eidolon had started and is now enjoying. The Aria is harder to access than magic from the perspective of other races, but the M’ryauln are naturally attuned to this amalgam of energies, and thus are capable of wielding or using it.
4. The M’ryauln are xenophobic not because of a fear for what other races are so much as the experiences that the M’ryauln have experienced in their past. As one of the longest-lived races, the M’ryauln have grown wise and are only willing to deal with younger races from afar out of a fear of war. Though fearful of violence, this isn’t to mean that the M’ryauln aren’t capable of defending themselves. There is a long tradition of martial arts passed from one generation to the next, and it is said that a M’ryauln with a bow or knife can be as deadly as a scorpion’s sting. Legend has it that a great war may pull the M’ryauln out of their solitude should it pose a threat to the world itself.
5. M’ryauln do have adventurers. These men and women are often exiled, though, as a result of their decision to travel the world. The fear is that they would be too greatly influenced by the younger races’ naivety, thus posing a threat to the race. Indeed, those who have been able to travel with one of these “renegades” have often reported that their M’ryauln companions exhibited an eccentric personality. A M’ryauln can be accepted back into society through an event called the “Divine Possession,” though this is incredibly rare.
6. The M’ryauln have exceptional lifespans. The oldest known individual lived for 3,675 years. The average life span is 2,798 years.