The Scolani are a desert-hardened people from the desert region of Alam-marad in Sorth. It’s possible that the Scolani migrated to the area, as they share many similarities to elf-kind, such as slightly-pointed ears, a propensity to be delicate, have more lithe forms, and some are very skilled with the fyres Your average Scolani lives to be hundreds of years old and because of their natural ability to heal they rarely die of natural causes such as illnesses or most wounds. Upon reaching the age of 25 a Scolani’s aging slows dramatically, gifting them with a youthful appearance for nearly all of their lengthy lives. Once a Scolani reaches an age that is considered, at least among lesser lived races, as ancient the natural healing of their bodies tend to slow dramatically. This is usually in the last quarter of their lives and more times than not marks them as having a mere one hundred or so years left. Scolani that have reached this age are revered among their race as, considering the way of life of their people, it is a great feat to achieve. These elder Scolani are then aptly named Guardians and the title will respectfully be added to their name. It is a great honor to be named a Guardian and these Scolani are named such for more than just their skill upon the battlefield. They are given the title because they guard within them the knowledge of battles fought, the legacies of the houses and city states. They bare the weight of generations upon their shoulders and backs. While a Guardian might not be from a royal house they are revered and when they speak they are nearly always given the floor so their advice can be dispensed to anyone within hearing range, whether or not their suggestions are followed through.
Scolani have a way they move about the deserts and canyons that drift across Sorth, and their bodies easily acclimate to the heat and desert winds. When they walk in the sands, their feet leave barely a trail across the grains. They move quickly like the desert winds and are a bit more nimble and dexterous than their cousin elves.
Scolani are easily distinguished by their tanned flesh, some darker than others. Unlike their cousins, Scolani ears are barely elongated, looking nearly like regular human ears with a tapered tip (rumored to be an adaptation to aid in wrapping their heads to resist the sandstorms). Their hair, always dark from black, brown or a burnished and rich auburn, is cut short, even the women tend to crop their lengths. Scolani that have settled in their cities and tend to spend less time within the harsh winds of the deserts often let their hair grow longer but keep them tamed and sleek. Their eyes tend to be multifaceted in color ranging to different colors of the spectrum but rarely towards black.
Your average Scolani clads themselves in light skins, furs, cloth, anything that is capable of protecting their skin from the wicked mid-day sun while allowing their bodies to be sufficiently cooled by the air. More affluent and higher-ranking Scolani wear cloth robes and vestments often dyed with bright, rich colors, the ingredients for which are typically so expensive that simply baring these colors is often an indication of one’s station. Jewels, beads, bits of bone, anything one could find in the desert are used for decoration in hair, beards and the like. Members of the Scolani warrior caste are often garbed in the scales of the markax, a cow-sized desert reptile common throughout the area. The colors of these scales vary between specific breeds of markax, but range between various shades and tones of greens, blues and reds.
The make and quality of weapons (which are often spears and swords, as many of the wild beasts in the Alam-marad desert tout thick, durable hides requiring the ability to pierce, as opposed to bludgeoning) varies. Warriors who are employed or owned by lower ranking nobles as guards often wield bone or stone weapons, whereas warriors that are part of the city’s army or commanded by rich, high-ranking nobles receive weapons made of metal.
An important visual theme amongst the Scolani is body painting. Family lines own their own unique patterns, and to paint yourself with these markings is to represent your blood and your heritage. Slaves/servants to nobles (as well as warriors in their employ) bare the noble’s markings, and each city’s standing army has its own specific markings for their soldiers as well (high-ranking officers are allowed to use their own clan markings).
Increased Regeneration: One of the most unique, and important, features of the Scolani are their innate regenerative abilities. When a Scolani has received a serious injury, it will heal at a drastically increased pace compared to other races – a broken leg can mend in days, sickness is nigh unheard of. Additionally, all Scolani enjoy a substantially increased pain tolerance and physical endurance, though mainly as part of The Deadening. Their regeneration is strongly based on their metabolisms which are faster than most races. Their metabolisms burn quickly, causing most Scolani to need to replenish the nutrients their bodies need. The more their regeneration works, the more nutrients they need to consume. Most Scolani choose to eat well, staying with the healthier meats, cheeses and vegetation as they tend to have the nutrients needed to aid in their survival. It would also be a reason why there are very rarely any Scolani that are heavy set or plump. Poisons and disease affect them, though they are burned out of the system quickly enough where most Scolani don’t truly fear them as their effects tend to be short lived as they tend to last half as long, if that.
Predilection for Air and Heat based magic
Resistance to environmental and magically induced Heat (Not an immunity)
Resistance to Air-based magics (Not an immunity)
Cannot use water/ice based magic
Susceptible to environmental and magically created ice and cold
The Deadening: The more a Scol is required to take advantage of their unique physiological traits to heal themselves, the further a condition known as the Deadening progresses. Technically speaking, a byproduct of their increased regenerative capabilities is produced as a chemical that enters the body. The existence of this toxin slowly begins to deaden the Scol’s sense of touch – eventually, though you may be able to hold your hand in the midst of a raging fire and feel no pain; you would be unable to even feel the touch of your wife or child. A psychological toll is taken as well, as the Scol’s emotions grow colder, feelings of love filtering away to apathy, while hate and anger grow. It should be noted that just because they do not feel the pain of the fire or the slice of a blade doesn’t mean that it’s not there or that it didn’t happen. Their flesh still suffers from the flame, their skin still bleeds from the slice.
Years past, this was an inevitability. You aged, you grew cold, distant, it was a fact of life. Somehow, a Scol scholar discovered a unique property of a substance known as quorin (kuh-war-inn), the metal holds the color of rust with a soft reddish hint of color. The mineral is able to kill Scolani outright if the strike is true; a quorish dagger’s wound completely bypasses the Scol’s regenerative abilities, the site of the attack festering and spreading infection if left unattended. Even the lightest touch of quorin to bare skin causes an irritation much akin to a rash. When used with a light touch, however, if the skin is sliced open by quorin, the toxin that builds in a Scol’s body as the Deadening progresses is drawn out, and allowed to ‘bleed’. Depending on the level of the Deadening, many fine, precise cuts will need to be made.
This is a process that could take hours, finely cutting and ‘bleeding’ the poison from the Scol’s body. Over the years, a ritual has grown from this, known as Purification. As quorin is so lethal to Scol, and one is never able to operate on themselves due to the pain from even the daintiest touch of quorin, a ‘bloodmate’ is often chosen – a friend, a lover, an individual with which the Scol has a deep emotional bond, an individual that can be trusted to wield a weapon that could easily kill if used improperly. The bloodmate is thusly responsible for slowly, and carefully, draining their friend or loved one of the toxin, taking as much time as necessary.
A somewhat imprecise science, Purification is achieved when the Scol being purified feels their senses, their emotions returning. Originally there were four humors that were bled from the body in times of illness, yellow bile, black bile, phlegm and blood, it was said that removing these would purge the body of the poison and allow it to heal. The chemical removed from the Scolani is normally ink-black with the consistency of honey, it holds no scent even though it is considered a foul substance, it is known as The Fifth Humor. The bloodmate is responsible for catching the poison as it leaves the Scolani and the substance is usually stored away as a potent ingredient for different poisons, adding a burning and explosive quality to specific alchemical concoctions.
The Scolani capital city is Shyul, located in Sorth near the waters. The Scolani lead a Kingdom of trade, their biggest and most popular exports are special fruits found only within the Sorth deserts as well as fish found in the Merchant Seas and glass made and found upon the sands of their shores, built alongside a militant, sometimes rigid, army. Shyul is flanked by four smaller cities, each led by a family of good standing with the royalty of Shyul, the Khalids. Each city is expected to work together as the Scolani strive to work with cohesion for the betterment of the race as a whole and each city is responsible for the cultivation of certain goods that benefit their peoples, be it trade or their everyday lives. The cities are Kythe, who are charged with keeping the fruits plentiful, Xalorin, who have been trained in the ways of mining quorin from the sands, Drakari, cultivates glass from the sands, and Athryn, home of the premium meats of the deserts, leaving Shyul as the place to find the most proficient of fishermen.
Scolani culture is bifurcated in a fashion. One half of their culture is refined, believing that fighting is a way of the past and given the proclivity of the Deadening to quickly overwhelm those Scolani that participate in such activities, they might be right.
These Scolani (called the Laimure), turn their focus towards more intellectual endeavors and mercantile business and are generally considered the life’s blood of their cities, villages, and the like. Should one of the Laimure take up arms, they prefer weapons with range or relying on the fyres they weave to keep them from needing to regenerate. Within the Laimure, there are two distinct castes: the Szati or Magisters and the Yhari or Merchants. Builders, farmers (as much as the desert allows), potters, and other tradesmen all belong to the Yhari, having a great guild hall, found within Shyul, where they meet once per lunar cycle to discuss the events happening in the lands their people inhabit and those of the outsiders that have started to encroach on their way of life. Unlike most civilizations, Scolani don’t build upwards, but outward and down, and this is especially true for the Szati, who create vast labyrinthine caverns deep in the shifting sands and earth, rather than great towers that seek to pierce the heavens.
The other half (called the Ra’lem), believe that the Deadening is a gift and wholeheartedly fall into sadistic and masochistic practices in order to numb themselves. These Scolani tend to fill the ranks of the warrior and saboteur ranks, willingly allowing themselves to be wounded in battle to bring them closer to their more personalized selves. While the Laimure are the life’s blood, the Ra’lem are the claws, teeth, and armor of the Scolani. Ra’lem are just as capable of weaving the fyres for their use, however they prefer more practical applications of magic, enhancing their already superior skills, wreathing their weapons in the elements, or mimicking the more magically inclined beasts out in the wilds (dragon’s breath, chimaera’s sting, etc).
The Scolani have always been isolated from the world outside of Zhurin, choosing to divorce themselves from the other realms because of how significantly different their views tend to be. Out of either subcultures the Laimure tend to be the ones that seem to show more tolerance when it comes to the other races of the realms while the Ra’lem tend to be a bit more cynical in nature.
The Deadening causes the culture of the Scolani, at times, to be rather intense, colors are brighter, stronger, more vivid, foods hold more spice, their alcohol tends to have a stronger taste. Because of this there have been items made in an effort to aid the Scolani that are caught within the Deadening when the ritual Purification would be far too premature. One such item was created long ago by one of the Laimure. She took a rather common accessory, the metal some trap within their tongues once it is pierced, and made it into something else. The barbell is specially made, one of the balls able to be taken off, is hollowed out and is a small container for a serum like liquid to be placed. A drop is all that is needed before the ball can be placed back in it’s place upon the enchanted bar that lances the tongue. The piercing is especially made to secrete the serum directly upon the tongue throughout the day. The serums affect taste, deploying a very potent flavor, be it a certain spice, fruit, whatever the Scolani desires. This does nothing but to allow the Scolani to enjoy such flavors even amidst the numb of the Deadening as the flavor is placed directly on the tongue.
Most Scolani believe that their bodies are temples and while that doesn’t keep them from drinking various forms of alcohol, the stronger the better considering their regeneration, or enjoying some sweets, they keep away from things that might cause their bodies to stop functioning properly, even the masochists of the Ra’lem caste. However, there are, as with any race or political structure, rebels that are as inventive as any Laimure. Black Rush was created several years after some of the flavors for the piercings inundated the market. Black Rush is a drug made specifically for the tongue piercing; the toxin is black in color if it’s made with good quality materials, dark purple if badly produced. Placed within the piercing it holds bitter taste however the effects of it aren’t as insignificant as the flavors. It is a Super Thermogenic that burns the metabolism of the Scolani, regeneration becomes faster, causing them to heal much faster than any Scol should. The substance is addicting, bringing about an emotional high. However, the more it is used the more of a negative effect it has on the Scol body. Purification is needed much more often, aging becomes more apparent and because of how fast the metabolism is pushed to go, the vital organs start to slowly bake within the body.
Due to the intensity of Black Rush the chemical has been outlawed within Shyul and any of the Scolani cities. Those caught using it are usually either killed outright, depending on how far the effects of the substance has progressed, or they are exiled immediately to Xansai.