The Shirakan and Silent Ones of Dolen Taleth

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The Shirakan and Silent Ones of Dolen Taleth

Postby Ben » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:08 am

The Shirakan and Silent Ones of Dolen Taleth

Far to the southeast of Pargon lies Dolen Taleth, a land blessed like no other by Velnashar, the majority of it covered by endless miles of baking grey sand. It is an inhospitable place where seemingly nothing could survive, but Lenamo has proven time and again that life will find a way. Before sentient life set foot on Velmaneth, tiny lizards, grey like the sands around them, scurried between the desert rocks forging an existence on little food or moisture instead drawing sustenance from the energy that radiated out from the jewel itself.

The Shirakan

In the earliest days of Velmaneth, Lenamo combined the form of a man with the nature of one of these lizards in order to create a race of grey-scaled lizard men able to live in this extremely inhospitable environment: the Shirakan. These first Shirakan were all grey of scale but as they absorbed more and more energy from the jewel (in the same way as their lizard forebears) their scales changed colour in response to the element they were most receptive to.

It should come of no surprise that due to the predominance of the element of fire in their home environment, the majority turned red, however some absorbed the power of air and their scales turned blue, some turned brown as they absorbed the power of earth and some turned black with the power of death. It is possible that there are those who absorbed the power of life, light, shadow and water as well, but there are no confirmed sightings of other types of Shirakan, though there are a few reports of grey-scaled lizard men wandering the world, still retaining their original purity and magical neutrality.

As the most numerous and powerful of these new clans, the Red Scales became the dominant tribe amongst the Shirakan. The rest of the lizard men were either driven out of their homeland or became, at best, second class citizens (or, at worst, slaves). Within Dolen Taleth, Shirakan civilisation thrived.

Meanwhile, the majority of the Blue Scales headed into the Heartlands where some attended the gathering at Dvarni. These Blue Scales were the only Shirakan to attend the initial councils and they found the cooler and balmier climate of the Heartlands much more to their preference and they thrived in the swamps there as they had never been able to in Dolen Taleth. The Black Scales had followed them, stalking the Blue Scales like prey, planning to slay them without mercy but had not expected to find so many people gathered within the Heartlands. Instead they headed towards the Morne Mountains where they made their home, becoming feared and loathed by all those who they came in contact with, earning the name The Hope Lost.

The Angels
Though the humans of the Jehovern were spreading the message of the various gods to the people, their progress was slow. The influence of the gods trickled slowly out into the world and it would take many decades if not centuries to reach all the people of the world. Lenamo had gifted each of his brothers with their own race: to Lavelas the Dwarves, Grethanax the Orcs, Eremethal the Avians and to Velnashar the Shirakan and the gods wanted their glory spread amongst their peoples.

While Lenamo fought in the skies above Serke Kemi, Yashmanar created a new race to spread knowledge of the gods throughout the world. These were the first angels, the messengers of the gods, charged with speaking the words of their patron deities upon the world below and spreading their faith. Created after Velnashar had gifted the sentient creatures of the world with free will, the angels were created with purpose rather than freedom but in return each carried a portion of their god’s power.

Each deity had just a handful of angels and for a decade these messengers worked tirelessly for their respective gods, never questioning, never resting, never feeling. However, during this time they came to learn more about the sentient creatures they spent their time among. The angels learned about love and hate, compassion and anger and they witnessed Velnashar’s gift first hand and realised that they had been denied what had been granted to every other sentient race. The angels of Velnashar returned to their master and requested they too be granted free will, Velnashar smiled a dark smile and granted every angel, not just his own, what they had asked for. The angels were free.

Across the world the angels were flooded with emotions for the first time and many turned on the creatures of Velmaneth and each other, trying to quell the feelings that now boiled up within them. When Lenamo returned, fresh from his epic battle with Larweyella, he found that Yasmanar’s creations had unwittingly become the servants of chaos and destruction and did the only thing he could do.

Swinging his great sword, Nature’s Wrath, he severed the ties of servitude between the gods and angels, giving those messengers that still remained mortality for the first time. The other gods were wounded, their voices on Velmaneth had been silenced and any power they had imbued into their creations was now lost from them forever, imbued into these powerful creatures. However, having been created by a god other than Lenamo, the angels were flawed and their mortal bodies were not able to survive long in the world. The angels were destined to die out within a few short years and in the months they had left, many wished to experience all that life had to offer. It should therefore come as little surprise that many of the angels had unions with mortals during this time and some went on to bear children.

The Silent Ones
The angels bore the power of the gods and some of this power was passed down through their celestial blood to their children and their children’s children. This power manifests in many different ways, often depending on which god their ancestors served.

The angels of Velnashar had preached the word of their lord to the Shirakan of Dolen Taleth and made their home there when they were granted mortality. Over the coming years, the fallen angels sired many children amongst the Shirakan but these offspring shared none of their lizardman genealogy, instead resembling the angels in their almost human looks.
These children were banished from Shirakan settlements into the desert, not simply for the way they looked but because they were cursed. The angels of Velnashar had been created to be his voice, a voice filled with the power of chaos and destruction. Their kin carried this same power, chaos and destruction pouring from their lips whenever they spoke causing harm to anyone who heard them save their own kind. These children were rescued by the remaining angels who formed a settlement of their own, Arak Kar. The last of the angels died when the oldest child was just nine years old and by this point the settlement numbered nearly forty young Angelkin. The older children raised the younger ones, became adults and went on to have children of their own. In this way the settlement survived and began to evolve.

The Silent Ones and the Shirakan
The oldest of the first generation of Silent Ones accompanied the angels in searching for those babies left in the desert by the Shirakan. These stories have been passed down through the Silent Ones, demonising the lizardmen who banished them to die in the desert and it is perhaps not surprising that relations between the Angelkin and the Lizardmen have never been peaceful: the land of Dolen Taleth in a state of constant conflict between the two peoples.
However, in these early days the Shirakan vastly outnumbered the Angelkin and would have easily wiped them from existence had it not been for The Great Plague. In the sixtieth year, a plague swept across Dolen Taleth like a wildfire through a dry forest. The Silent Ones proved immune to this illness but many hundreds of Shirakan fell.
The Ranor, one of the great tribes of Shirakan, came before the Silent Ones and the chief of the tribe knelt before their leader. The chief, known only as The Voyager, was a proud man but he could not let his people die and so offered one hundred years of service in return for the lives of his people. With a nod, the leader of the Silent Ones accepted and provided the cure to the disease: the cure they had created at the same time they had created the disease that had so devastated the Shirakan.

Arak Kar
With the Ranor in their service and the other Shirakan tribes greatly weakened, the Silent Ones rapidly developed. While the Ranor worked tirelessly, performing all the manual labour such as cultivating the land and building dwellings and fortifications the Silent Ones developed their magical abilities, setting up academies to teach, research and share knowledge. Magic was seen as a sign of power and social standing and as such the Ranor were banned from using it with any infringements punished by death.

The Ranor were also used as breeding stock, The Silent Ones using their bodies in order to increase their population. However, a prejudice had built up in the Silent Ones: a belief that this somehow diluted the magical aptitude of the offspring and so the elders took the children into the desert (much as the Shirakan had done with the first Silent Ones), where they were left to fend for themselves. It was believed that, much like infant birds who were pushed out of the nest to teach them to fly, adversity and indeed necessity would cause their magical ability to manifest. Those who failed to ‘fly’ never returned and in this way the Silent Ones evolved into a race of magic users.

In this way, the settlement of Arak Kar became a great city, a shining oasis in the desert.

The Sand Elves
Most Elves are linked to a single element, be it Earth, Fire, Shadow, Life etc. However, the Wood Elves are linked to both Earth and Water. Their opposite, hailing from the desert of Dolen Taleth, are the Sand Elves: masters of Fire and Air.
Little is known of this race except that they are famed (and indeed feared) for their ability to appear, strike and disappear once more leaving death in their wake. They have spent a century in war against the Silent Ones, a war where the majority of casualties have been suffered by the Ranor.

Almost a century has passed and the Ranor have kept to their agreement, serving the Silent Ones as hands for manual labour, swords against their enemies and voices to the outside world. The Silent Ones have developed greatly in their understanding of magic, their divine heritage showing itself in their propensity for sorcery.

However, now a century of servitude is almost at an end, The Voyager’s oath is coming to an end and no one knows what fate has in store for this land.
"And unconscious people always count as willing"

Tome of Magic 6.0

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