World:Coruscid

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Coruscid Index


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Bathed in magic, the human-dominated world of Coruscid is all one continent, the entirety of it an urban jungle. The ocean, which covers not quite half of the planet, is all that's left to the wilderness anymore, and even there, the humans have begun to put together floating districts.

Contents

Races

There are three races of sentient being left on Coruscid: humans, elves, and dwarves. They are not capable of interbreeding. The humans are the most numerous and rule over everything. The elves are the least numerous and rule over nothing. The dwarves are an underground race and maintain the sewers for the humans.

Humans

A varied and complex race, humans were once slaves to the elves. That was a long time ago. By virtue of outbreeding their pointy-eared masters, the humans rose up and took over. It was a long, difficult road, but this past was the inspiration to destroy as much of the wilderness as possible. These days, the humans are the masters in their own Golden Age, and they let what few elves remain have their little trees, here and there, in small parks set aside for 'nature'. The humans, though, run everything.

As a race, humanity has a knack for magic. They are not fully steeped in it, but even a simpleton can grasp basics, like cleaning and curing the common cold. The majority of humans worship the Holy Trinity.

Elves

A dying race, elves live much longer than humans. They should, anyway. Apathy, self-pity, and depression have taken their toll on this once-proud race. A thousand years ago, the Golden Age of Elvenkind came crashing down when their human slaves rose up against them. Although the elves have always been artists in every field they put their minds to, even a grand, majestic warrior can be taken down by a mob of angry idiots. So fell the elves, their arrogance making their downfall inevitable.

Elves are fiercely monogamous. Once an elf settles on a mate, it's for life, no matter what. Humans say that elves suffer from a propensity towards love at first sight, and that's not far off the mark. An adult male elf has a peculiar set of pheromones that attract a particular type of adult female elf, and once he finds one, his hormones demand that he do nearly anything to win her. Interestingly, once the mate is won, the pheromone changes subtly so she is the only elf he will ever attract to him for the rest of his life, and she is intoxicated by him. The greatest downside of this is when one dies. When one half of the pair dies, the other often soon follows by virtue of an overwhelming, all encompassing depression that plagues them. Should the male be the survivor and manage to remain alive, he will never find another woman to replace his mate. Should the female be the survivor, she is more likely to be able to carry on and may find another mate, but it's still unusual.

They mature a little slower than humans, reaching adulthood at the age of 20. Gestation lasts a full year and fertility is low. An average elf lives about 300 years, a notable specimen might survive as long as 400 years. All elves have pointed ears that extend a good inch or so higher than a human's, the extra part being a major erogenous zone. They are about the same height as humans, though they are slim and tend to weigh less. Humans consider elves to be attractive on the whole. Hair is normally blond to light brown, and neither males nor females have facial hair, aside from eyebrows.

Elves worship the goddess Mirasyllin and a group of lesser deities below her.

Dwarves

Dwarves are stout, hearty creatures who prefer to live underground. Their entire beings are geared towards this life, and it suits them well. Most dwarves have a hard time on the surface: sunlight is blinding and burns their skin, and the humidity is far too low. The average dwarf has large black eyes with a small white part, very pale skin, and no hair, including beards. He is trained to do everything necessary to keep the sewers in good working condition, from welding to part repair to operating the cleaning gadgets to battling the odd weird creatures that wind up down there from time to time. His favorite weapon is a welding torch, or a gun for things farther away, though he's perfectly capable of handling more primitive weapons like clubs and such things.

They have a slightly longer lifespan than humans, and slightly lower fertility with slightly longer gestation. Accidents from gadget experimentation are a part of normal life for dwarves, as are gremlin problems, and they have gained a reputation for stoicism because they handle such setbacks without issue.

Dwarves worship the god Akri and a collection of lesser deities below him.

Religion

The Holy Trinity

Humans worship three gods: Deas is the Mother, Morsol the Father, and Siack the Bounty. Deas represents nurturing and love and tenderness. Morsol represents discipline and structure and all things Serious. Saick is about fertility and harvest and prosperity. There are other gods, but they are largely ignored by humanity. Cults can be found worshiping most anything, from squirrels to Asmodeus and everything in between, but they are hardly worthy of note as having a major impact on the world.

Priests of the Holy Trinity come from every socio-economic background, but only humans can enter the priesthood. It is a Calling and a career path, as priests are paid enough to live in the neighborhood they are assigned to. The Calling comes at the age of 14 or 15, from one of the three gods - referred to as the First Patron of that particular priest - and is a personal, private experience. No two callings are quite the same, but none of them are particularly cryptic, and most are quite explicit.

Once called into service, a person is referred to as an Acolyte, and is housed and trained in one of the Holy Trinity Convents. There is one Convent in each state. Most acolytes remain in their Convent for about three years, at which point they are graduated to full priesthood and assigned a location to discharge their duty. Some priests are sent to the Floating Cities, most go to tend to the flocks in the thousands of neighborhoods across the main continent.

In any given neighborhood, at least one priest of the Holy Trinity can be found. More often, it will be two or three. They maintain a small shrine, offer their blessing to all who ask, and often act as caregivers for young children. Centers of worship, referred to as Temples, can be found in the auxiliary districts found in every city. Temples feature triangles as the prominent architectural shape, many are three point pyramids, others choose a six point motif or go with a circular design that contains a triangle.

Priests are evenly divided in gender, though most men have Morsol as their First Patron, while women are more often chosen by Deas or Siack.

Mirasyllin and the Council

Mirasyllin is a goddess of beauty, the one thing most highly prized by elves. Below Mirasyllin is a collection of two dozen gods that each care about an aspect of nature or artistry, referred to as the Council. Most of the nature gods faded in power as the humans took the wilderness away. With the wilderness went the homes of elves, and the elves themselves have been hard pressed to prosper in the urban environment they now find themselves forced into. Elven births are now extremely rare, while elven deaths from depression and apathy are common. With the population of elves in decline, the rest of their gods have waned in power. The small pockets of elves that still exist venerate Mirasyllin almost frantically, hoping she will help them to return to the glory they once had, or at least lift their spirits enough for the race as a whole to survive.

Akri and His Cohort

Dwarves worship a collection of deities, with the chief among them being Akri, a male god who is depicted as the Father of all dwarves. He is seen as a caring, approachable male role model who likes his beer and respects his women. Although dwarves are not inclined towards putting their deities in images, a few statues and paintings exist, and he is portrayed as a fairly average looking male dwarf with a stein in one hand and an axe attached to a flamethrower slung on his back in the other. He wears safety goggles and has a scarf around his neck, positioned to be easily pulled up over his mouth and nose. His clothes are leather and metal; he wears Tube Squad boots.

The rest of the dwarven deities are a collection of lesser figures, men and women that each represent one particular facet of dwarven life as it is now. There are tales of dwarven deities from before the metropolis era that represented things no longer of use or available, but their worship fell out of favor and they have been forgotten by all but the most erudite of scholars on the subject. Which is to say, there's one dwarf who knows, the Sage. She lives in HD12-F. As a general rule, dwarves are not overly interested in their gods, and there are no priests. Every clutchholding has a Champion of Akri (assuming they don't happen to have died recently), a paladin whose primary job is to protect the clutch from gremlins and other threats. He or she - the post can be held by either a male or female dwarf - often otherwise earns their keep by teaching young dwarves to defend themselves, and by providing fresh meat for the clutch. Just don't ask where it came from.

All of the deities receive homage from dwarves in the form of short prayers uttered in thanks for something or as a curse for something else. Many dwarves have magical abilities that they elect to ascribe to their gods, though whether one god or another is actually the source for them is questionable.