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Elves - Approximately 1/10th smaller overall than humans with expressive and pointed ears,angular features, and finer bone structure. Little sexual dimorphism between sexes bycomparison with humans, men not growing facial hair and women experiencing only slight breast growth when secondary sexual characteristics kick in at puberty. Lifespan is about three centuries with the oldest recorded elves reaching the age of 320-330. Gestation is six months with childhood progressing at a comparable rate to humans, reaching sexual maturity at roughly fifteen years of age. Hearing and sense of smell is superior to that of humans, but they tend towards being longsighted and having difficulty focusing on things close up. As with the Empaths, elves have the ability to see partly into the mana spectrum.

The largest elven culture is the Kingdom on Kanir, north of the Venter desert and south of the rainforest. Magic holds pride of place within their society, it being one of their main defenses against the more physically powerful humans of the south, and the throne is traditionally held by someone with significant magical potential. While there are settled farmers supporting the cities and villages of Kanir (a great many of them human) there are a lot of elven nomads and tribes towards the fringes of the country who follow the herds and live a more 'hunter-gatherer' lifestyle than the settled elves and humans. They tend to avoid the cities if possible, preferring their traditional ways, but do not shun contact with other groups. Magical talent amongst these tribal people is cultivated more towards shamanism and hedge witchery than true mage craft, but many of the more gifted students will still find their way towards a proper magic school, even if many of them ultimately return to their roots once training is complete.

While in modern times many human and elven populations live in peace with each other and share a culture, there are places where old animosities still linger. The human kingdom of Shanador is one of these places, the elves still viewed as outsiders and immigrants despite having lived in the towns and cities for generations. This is a left over of the days when the land now known as Shanador was ruled by the Theocracy of Yoine, which is now a fairly small territory to the east of modern Shanador. The Church of the Twin Angels insisted that all magic users were gifted by the gods and were required to learn their gift within the Church. The elves natural magic talents left them doubly damaged by this as their initial refusal to abandon their traditional way of life had them branded sinners and pursecuted, and lingering resentment to the harsh rule of the Church has left the human common folk with a distaste of anything magic related, and as elves have a considerably higher percentage of magic users the two feelings became combined. This has led to the development of very insular elven communities within the human population, where they practice a similar way of life to those in Kanir, with the natural differences that occur after centuries of separation. Coming of age ceremonies still occur where the elves receive their adult names, but the practice of scarification has ended. Magical tutoring is done between a Master and a handful of Apprentices like the traditional villages, but without the focus on shamanism.

There is very little left of traditional elven culture in the Suderian Empire due to them being systematically killed and driven out of the Empire's territories and the areas it expanded into. This practice ended many centuries ago, but the population has never recovered. Many of the survivors of this massacre fled overseas to Kanir and Shanador, blending into the population as best they could with most of their practices having disappeared over time, and the few that remained were not enough to keep their culture alive. There are a few old songs and stories, but for the most part their culture is indistinguishable from the humans of the area, most of the elven focused stories revolving around the massacres of the past.

Empaths - On average about six inches caller than humans, but equally as bulky, giving them a stretched look by comparison. All observed Empaths have had dark coppery skin with metallic red hair. Their eyes are large with slitted pupils like a cat and the most common colours appear to be yellow and green. Their ears are slightly pointed, but not as pronounced as those of the elves, and their hearing does not appear to be any better than that of a human. Their low light vision is exceptional and they are able to see into both the mana spectrum and the UV range of light. Their core body temperature runs several degrees hotter than both humans and elves, meaning they thrive far better than these other races in the hot, humid parts of the world. Life span appears to be slightly longer than a human, with elders typically reaching a century with ease, but old age appears to claim them before they reach 150. Singularly among the races of the world, the Empaths have the ability to sense the emotions of other and feel them as their own. It has made for a race of exceptionally gentle, peaceful people who were very welcoming when humans first started exploring their rainforest and making contact. Sadly this gentle nature and unique left them very open to exploitation and has altered their culture almost beyond recognition. The Empire discovered them when they stretched into the North and were very surprised at the ease of their new conquest. The Empaths appeared almost happy to see them and appeared almost incapable of fighting back, although a few skirmishes were started when soldiers expecting a fight ran into groups of young Empaths with hormones running wild. They have since been easily incorporated into the Empire and many of them have achieved very important roles within society. The race has a similarly strong affinity for magic to the elves, although it is skewed towards Life and Death magic rather than an even spread amongst the disciplines, and so are routinely tested and sent to the Imperial Academies to have their gifts put to use by the Empire. Their Empathic talents have also made them highly sought after to train as bodyguards, training their natural ability to detect malice and bad feeling towards their charges. There was an attempt to train them into diplomats, but their were far too easy to manipulate into unfavourable settlements by the other side due to their desire to make everyone around them happy.

Dwarves - Very little is known about the dwarf race as they mostly keep to themselves in their vast underground kingdoms. They currently appear to be restricted to the Empire, which causes no end of trouble for the Imperials as it greatly curtails their ability to mine for themselves, which may in part be the reason for their constant need to expand and obtain resources elsewhere.

They are shorter than elves, typically between four and four and a half feet in height, but broad and stocky with it, having disproportionally powerful arms and shoulders. Although admittedly this may in part be due to the typical dwarven lifestyle. They are very hairy, sporting long and elaborately braided beards. Women dwarves do not grow beards, despite some rummours that abound, but decorate their long hair in a similar fashion. Women dwarves are also not so tall or stocky as the men, but still tend towards strong arms and shoulders. They have very sensitive eyes, having developed to make use of the faintest spec of light deep underground and dislike strong light as a result. They do appear to have trouble seeing things unless they are moving though. All of their other senses are highly developed, meaning they can hear the slightest difference in the sound of rock shifting, smell and taste the air to detect trapped gasses, and feel the different textures in their dark world to see what their surroundings are in the pitch black. There lifespan is unknown but believed to be comparable to Empaths or humans.

While they are willing to trade with the outside world, it tends to be very expensive as there is very little we have that they want. They do, however, respect those that try and learn their ways and deal with them on their own terms. Communities have sprung up around the entrances to dwarven cities where locals sell their language skills to traders wishing to be business and get a better deal, as the dwarven language is a difficult thing to learn. It is a combination of sounds and signs in order to convey messages close up and across great distance.

Dwarven sculpture work is highly sought after by Imperial nobles due to its rarity above ground and the high quality of the workmanship. Dwarven poetry and dance are intercombined due to the way their language requires visual movement to complete it.

No one has yet been permitted to venture down into the Dwarf kingdoms to see what everyday life is like due to lingering distrust over the humans they have dealt with. When the Empire first encountered them and tried to force access to the rich ore they controlled, the dwarves collapsed the entrances and did not surface again for decades. No one wishes to risk a diplomatic incident like that occurring while they are visiting so there ar few volunteers to try sweet talking the dwarves into hosting a guest.

Demons - There were many sorts of inhuman monster that were left behind after the Demon War rift closed, the vast majority of which thankfully were not able to establish colonies of any sort in our world, and fewer still than can be considered one of the 'races' of the world. There is one sort that appears to be of sufficient intelligence to form a culture should it so desire, and may have a rudimentary one in practice already. But since they are highly aggressive and territorial, no one has really made much effort to communicate with them and find out how true these speculations are. These creatures are closest to the elves in build, small and slight compared to humans, with large membranous wings on their backs, enabling flight. Their eyes seem to have no pupil or iris, yet their vision is apparently excellent, able to see in the pitch black. Some speculate that they can see the heat of living creatures which is how they are able to hunt in the dark. They appear to have some rudimentary level of clairvoyance, able to sense incoming attacks and react to them before they strike. A raid was carried out on a nest of these things a few centuries ago and the adults seemed to know what was happening almost instantly, despite no warning having reached them from other sources. Their blood is highly damaging to humans, eating away at it like acid. They live in small family groups, favouring high altitudes for easier flight, and have large hunting territories. Their only real communication with others of their kind comes when young leave the nest to find a mate of their own, and through territory negotiation. It is this latter issue that prompts most people to think they count more as people than animalistic monsters. Rather than fighting to decide the issue there seems to be a basic level of communication between them, and these meeting usually end in mutual agreement rather than combat. The few specimens that have been captured have sadly all died before much investigation has achieved, but we have hopes that greater success will be had eventually.

Humans -
The Empire: There are a wide range of cultures within the Empire. One of the reasons they have managed to remain strong and in power for so long is that when they conquer a new place they tend to try and absorb the existing culture into their own rather than crushing it and insisting the new people follow their way of life. They impose their own 'governor' for a new territory but try to keep the government structure otherwise in tact to ensure smooth running of the new land and insist on the new area's gods being incorporated into their own Pantheon and worshipped with Suderia's main values, but it usually works quite well.

The culture of Suderia Prime involves a very strict class system that can only be climbed through magical might or military prowess. These are the only two areas that feature meritocracy rather than divine right of birth. A successful soldier may find himself elevated to the landed gentry by an award of land for services rendered, enabling him or her to make better marriages for themselves or their children and starting the next generation at a higher point in the pecking order. If starting out high enough already then one might even be awarded a noble title, but these a few and far between and usually only last either for that generation or do not permit separation of the estate to cover all the children, limiting the use it can be to the title holder. However, once you are at this point there is a lot more scope for trying to keep it through other activities, if you only have the wit to seize it. The nation also has a very strong military tradition and employs compulsory military service for all the nobility and landed gentry and offers good incentives to the peasants who aren't needed for food production to sign up, ensuring a strong and well trained fighting force throughout its territories. Magical might is also an important part of this military tradition, with compulsory testing for magical ability when of age to start learning and immediate enrollment in an Imperial Academy. Here they are taught absolute loyalty to the Empire and Emperor and guaranteed a good career suiting their talents once they complete their training.

Bizarrely for a nation so very fixed on class, it is fairly liberal in other areas. Homosexuality is completely accepted, with provisions built in for adopting an heir of a suitable rank and family relationship should a marriage be incapable of producing children for whatever reason. Women are expected to take an active role in combat, just as much as men, and have political and economic power in their own right. The first born natural child of a couple is their heir apparent rather than the first born son. There is even a welfare and charity programme carried out through the Merciful Temple where the sick can be healed by Imperial mages for free.

Right...what’s next on the list. History. Oh god I’m going to die.
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Entry Four: Food, Drink, Holidays, and Culture

Iron Town Stew
Pick a meat. Any meat. A passing cat will do if you can't find anything else. But it's traditionally made with goat.
Root vegetables are optional but advised.
The essential ingredient are the herbs involved! Pepperweed, Redwort, and Fernroot. Others can be used but these three are necessary to cover up the taste of whatever meat you're using.
Boil in hot water until everything has blended together into one solid, brown mass.

Warning: Don't give use Fernroot with elven guests. It doesn't agree with them and makes them very giggly.
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Entry Three: Religion and/or Magic

Kalin Lightfoot's Guide to Magic )

I'd planned to include something about religion too, but my thumb is absolutely killing me and I can't type properly. So that might get added tomorrow instead.
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Entry Two: History and Politics

Journal Entry: Flight of the Elves )

In other's my birthday! Hoorah!
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Entry One: Geography and Climate

Dragonlair: The Traveller's Guide

The Suderian Empire )

Hymlia )
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I haven't abandoned this place. I might not update it particularly often but I am aware it exists.

Now...for something to make this post vaguely worth posting.

The house is still nice! I like the lack of spiders in the winter, although I'm not looking forward to them all turning up again come spring. The heating is a little strange...we can only have hot water if the actual heating is on as well. The kitchen frequently looks like a bombsite...but it's so small it's really quite easy to tidy up again.

Anyways, I might update this a little more frequently in future. I vaguely plan on doing some writing related things here. Let's see if this sticks.
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Our internet at the new house is going to take three weeks to get to us. The earliest they can get an engineer out is the 21st of August.

I am made of displeased.

I'm trying to tell myself that it's only two weeks and that I will have access to the next at work, and for small periods on my phone, and that there's bound to be an internet cafe or somewhere I can mooch wifi off around Burgess Hill for those two weeks. But I am still not happy about this.

Still, maybe this means I will get the required word count for Camp Nano after all.
ariskari: (Default) the packing. I hate packing. I hate even small minor packing like going on holiday. So having to pack up absolutely everything I own? Hell on wheels. I've been at it on and off for about an hour and I'm already really bored. I'm watching the Women's Gymnastics as I go which is helping me a little. But still...urgh.

and I'm worried about filling boxes up to be too heavy, but I'm not really sure how to get round it. Layer of books and then a layer of clothes? I think my books are the only thing that are really going to break people's backs when they try lifting them.

But this post here is just another form of procrastination really. So to add something useful and constructive to all this...I do have the key now. So it's all official, it's our house. We can move in and start our new life in Burgess Hill any time we like :D


Jul. 28th, 2012 01:30 pm
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I have a house! Well...I don't technically have the house until Tuesday when the completion date is. But I've paid the deposit, signed the contract, and the rest of the money is set to go forward on Monday so that the solicitors can get everything ready for completion on Tuesday. Woohoo!

Unfortunately this now means I need to get everything else sorted. Mike's said he's going to handle most of the bill related stuff, but since the Council Tax and Water bills are in my name I should probably get round to doing those.

I was hoping that I'd be able to use my shiny new Nationwide online banking service to do it but for some reason it won't. Fucking stupid thing.

And there is the unfortunate thing that I now have to pack up everything I own. And I hate packing. Packing to go on holiday is bad enough. But hopefully this is one of the only times I'll have to pack up my entire life. Gone are my days of flitting about to a new place of residence every year or so. Now I just need some boxes to make the job easier. Going to try and steal them from work.
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I've just finished The Hunger Games Trilogy and I can't recall the last time a set of books gave me quite so many feelings. Well...aside from Dance with Dragons but since there was only the one feeling there (anger!) I don't think that really counts.
Cut for spoilers, length, and rambling )
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Last night I had a pretty cool dream. It involved Fred and George Weasley being vampire hunters. They were in some sort of marketplace when they heard these bizarre noises. It was the cry of these young cat like creatures who are typically associated with a particularly powerful lady vampire they've been hunting for a while. Stuff goes down, the cats attack, and there's an epic chase scene.

Then they're on a train (or possibly in my old school kind of changed about a bit) and the lady vampire is revealed to be their little sister Ginny! *cue dramatic music*

Unfortunately I woke up before the big smackdown fight at the end occurred. So sad.

In other news, the house buying is...kind of progressing. It's all going fairly well from our end. We've got the money sorted, our biggest concern has been dealt with, so we're just waiting for a few more details to be carried out by the lawyers and we're good to go. However, those details are taking their sweet time in being confirmed. And the seller's lawyers took ages in getting the important question we needed answered! Which means the land searches are only just going ahead. The estate agents are apparently tearing their hair out over things because they no longer think we're going to make the 31st as a completion date. I feel for the stress they must be under but that's kind of not our fault, nor our problem. We wanted to move sometime in August and we busted guts to get ourselves to this position. I realise this is more the people further up the chain's fault (who for some reason thought it was a good idea to announce on the 27th of June they needed to move on the 27th of July!) but there's not a great deal we can do to help you.

And in yet more news that is way less stressful than the second and way more awesome than the first...I'm going to be a bridesmaid :D *happy dance*
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A lot of people I speak to think I'm crazy for doing Nanowrimo the once a year it used to come up. I can't think what they'd say if I said I was going to try doing it three times this year. Although it should be slightly easier in August since there's that whole lovely extra day to play with.

It's not really going to plan right now. I'm currently up to date for day one...and it's day four. Since it's early in day four I'm hoping to regain some lost ground this evening. But since I've got DnD this evening that's not looking particularly likely. My friendly DM has assured me he'll kill my character off quickly though so I can get back to writing. Very thoughtful of him.

Anyways, as it stands I've got about 1.8k. Better than nothing.
ariskari: (Default) initial plan for keeping this relatively up to date hasn't really worked. Not that I've been posting a great deal more in my Livejournal. Or any online journal for that matter. But I have resolved to write another entry. I do, however, lack a coherent topic. I did think vaguely about talking about DnD terrain and the fun things I've done with it, but I think it's a bit late for my thoughts to be that organised.

So I'll just make this into a general update entry!

The most pressing things on my mind at the moment are the fact that me and The Boyfriend are attempting to buy a house together. It's all going fairly nicely to plan at the moment. We've had our offer accepted, sorted out lawyers, and got a survey done. We just need to do awkward things like stump up some money (and by we I mean I at this point because it's my savings we're using. On account of his not having any) and faff about with a questionnaire we've been sent.

And the other pressing thing is the HIV exposure incident I had on Saturday. Which is all neatly dealt with other than a follow up appointment with Occupational Health in a few months time. But considering what it is, despite knowing I'm perfectly fine it's still going to be hanging around my thoughts quite a bit.

Other less pressing matters are my finally getting into Jane Austen. It's only taken me ten years since I first read Pride and Prejudice to actually try reading it again and enjoying it. Clearly not having to do something for school makes all the difference. Although it's possibly that I've now managed to slog my way through Dumas and Hugo so Austen's language is positively light and bouncy by comparison. Also I'm going to Canada in about a month and I'm starting to get properly excited about it.

And that's enough of an update for now. I'm going to be attempting Camp Nanowrimo in a few days so with luck I might post in here as a procrastination technique.
ariskari: (Default) journal. Don't know what I'm actually planning on doing with it or if I'm going to abandon Livejournal entirely by having this, but I figure I should at least do something with it.

So for lack of anything better to do I shall use it to record one of my favourite sessions the Dungeons and Dragons game I'm currently running.

Our story begins... )

And so ends the tale of how my epic level adventurers went from stopping armies of ancient evil and lifting death curses on villages to tracking down Tiddles the cat for his witness statement.

If I can't think of anything more world shattering for my next entry I might relate the tale of why Wizard is now very wary of books.
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