OverviewSince the fall of their Demon God, the Castanics have suffered unspeakable prejudice and oppression dating far back into the Mythic Ages. As a result, they mistrust others and prefer to go at things on their own. Resourceful and hardy, they draw from their innate individual strength to see them through this Age of Chaos.
Creativity drives thought; courage drives action
Sometimes seen as hedonistic or flighty, Castanic refuse to let their dark past cloud a bright future in the federation. Eager to prove their commitment, Castanics are strong enough and determined enough to do what others might find objectionable.
Castanics inspire more conflicting emotions than any other race in the federation. Clever and skilled, castanics are also opportunistic and hot-tempered. A castanic never forgets a friend and never abandons an ally. They're also notoriously quick-tempered and have a tendency to decapitate first and accept apologies second.
The castanic race is famous for the skill of its artisans and crafters. They are also adept merchants—cunning negotiators who love the interplay of bargaining, and strive to come out on top in every deal.
History OverviewThe Castanics have been under pressure from foreign invasion for the longest period of time of all races.
During the Age of Deities, they were driven out from their homeland by their once brother-like Deva race. After the War of the Gods, they were protected by the demon god Lok, who was thought to eventually bring an end to the world. Due to their relationship with Lok, they were treated badly by other races.
The Castanics were able to become a part of the Valkyon Federation with the help of the Humans of Velika and the Amani, but to achieve that feat many young Castanics disappeared to the battlefield.
The devas were children of Zuras. After she was sealed away by Titus in the war against the giants, Balder offered them to Lok, a fellow craftsman. They took on the name Clan Castanic and they served him until his fall. Since that time, the Castanics have forged their own destiny, lived by their own dark code of honor, and carved out a place in history. Betrayed into creating an artifact that caused the death of the beloved god Balder, most castanics have spurned the gods entirely, believing them not to be worth the trouble they cause, and that those who depend upon the gods are too cowardly to seize their own destiny. Some, however, seduced by Lakan's promises of power, have followed the evil god into Northern Arun, intent on reviving the ancient and bloody name: devas. A small minority revere the amani goddess Kaia.
To counter all the resentment from other races, they have become a very independent race. To this day, they continue to pass down their traditions from generation to generation.
Castanics are short in height, but have strong physical shapes and are swift in motion and melee combat. Their divine magical affinity is in direct contrast with their small stature, often surprising others. Due to their independent nature, the Castanics have become known for having trouble following orders.
Devan Roots; The Scorning of a PatronClan Castanic is one of the original clans of devas. The Devas were created by the goddess Zuras, famed for being the most seductive goddess of the original twelve. Whether through disguise or simply her natural allure, Zuras bore numerous children (including Velik, Kaia, and Thulsa, among others) by way of three different godly fathers.
Aside from that, Zuras engaged in a number of morally questionable pastimes. Clan Castanic (the craftsmen and artisans clan, famed for their crafting skills and talents with other forms of creation) was sickened by the necromantic crimes perpetuated by their patron goddess when her doings came to light. And so Clan Castanic seceded from the Devas and turned their backs on their creator goddess and the other Devan clans, who not only turned a blind eye to Zuras' abominable doings, but supported them. Chased and hounded into exile by their Devan former brothers and sisters, the Castanics fled Arun and made their way to Shara.
Hunted by Brothers and Outsiders alike; Doing the ImpossibleHaving left the Devas, Clan Castanic made their way to Shara. The small clan was alone and facing a world full of enemies: viewing the Castanics as deserters, the Devas were out for their blood. All the other races, too, would attack them on sight, still viewing them as bloodthirsty, evil Devas. Amani had a particular hatred for them: Devas and the Amani people had been locked in conflict nearly since the creation of their two races, due to a disagreement between their respective patron gods (Zuras and Amarun).
The Amani perception of Castanics as nothing more than treacherous Deva runts changed at the cusp of the War of the Gods. Castanic artisans lent their skill to the campaign of the gods Lok and Kaia to free the Amani people from their shackles of slavery to the Giant Empire. Castanic artisans were able to do what had been seen as impossible: they broke an unbreakable seal, freeing the Amani people to rise up against their former slavemasters. The endeavour took three long years, but at the end of it the Castanics had earned lifelong gratitude and friendship from the Amani people. The two races are still close to this day.
A New God; Tricked into Murder[/size]At the very begining of the Divine war Zuras suddenly disappeared, and despite desperate entreaties from the Devas, the goddess remained silent. It is suspected that the goddess Gluda (creator of Vampirs and Gulas) and her daughter Akasha (Goddess of Sickness) quietly murdered the sensual goddess out of jealousy.
As they had worked so well together previously, Balder suggested that the Castanics adopt his brother Lok as their new patron God. Lok had inherited his cleverness from his father Karas and had quickly become renowned as an inventor, making him a good match for the tinkering Castanics.
Prophecies existed that Lok would bring about the end of the world, but Castanics are not known for their superstition, and so accepted the proposal and petitioned Lok to be their new patron god, despite that this caused all the other races (save the Amani) to spurn them for throwing their lot in with a demon god.
Lok was an intelligent God, but not a particularly wise one. Ishara, sister to both Lok and Balder, grew jealous of Balder. She convinced Lok that Balder had descended into madness. Lok enlisted the help of the Castanics to carry out his plan, giving them blueprints for an artifact called The Crown of Phanes. The Castanics were told that this crown was to celebrate Balder and/or to cure his insanity (accounts differ), and set about creating it. Lok had intended for the crown to capture Balder's powers, but had miscalculated, and instead when the crown was placed upon Balder's head, it killed him.
Every adult Castanic was struck down with horrific pain at the moment of Balder's death, and when the agony subsided they found their bodies traced with twisting, dark grey scars.
When the Castanics found out that they had been tricked, the race renounced the god Lok. This was not, however, enough to absolve themselves from their blame in the death of the beloved Balder in the eyes of the rest of the world (save for the Amani) however. Outraged priests called for their sacrifice, many paying exorbitant sums of gold to bounty hunters who preyed on the diminutive folk. The Castanics fled their old capital, Deva Victrix, in Northern Shara and made the long journey back to Arun. The clan arrived in the sweltering jungles of the eastern coast and began to work to start anew.
A Perfect Home; The War of the RoseA slayer named Callida found the perfect valley for their new home. It was easily defended -- ensuring the clan would never have to flee again -- yet spacious enough that residents had some breathing room, an important consideration for these passionate, fiery people. The clan threw itself into construction work: tunnels were carved through the mountains, great forges smelted metals for construction, and arcanists worked night and day to give the new city the comforting crimson glow castanics so appreciate.
Within a generation, the cold-forged metals and carefully worked stone framed a city of mysterious beauty. Only the exposure overhead bothered the castanics, who preferred to work in secrecy. The arcanists banded together to permanently enshroud the city in a dark, gloomy -- yet comforting -- mist. Nestled in their new cocoon, the clan prepared to carve out a new future for themselves.
The new settlers did not go unnoticed. The Castanics' exceptional weapons and even more exceptional women lured neighboring slaver syndicates and pirates to the city. The promise of such rich plunder combined with the city’s strategic advantages made it an irresistible target, and the brigands all wanted it for their own. The skirmishes began, and the intruders quickly learned just how defensible the city was. Pirate and slaver deaths mounted swiftly, yet the castanics suffered few casualties, and Castanica stood fast.
Enraged, the pirates enlisted the aid of the demons and abominations of Fymount. One particular demon lord, Immoltarus, knew of the castanics and coveted their skills for his own infernal purposes. A deal was struck: the demons would gain ownership of the castanics, while the city would belong to the pirates. Two thousand demons, pirates, and slavers marched on Castanica, opposed only by a few hundred castanic soldiers.
Immoltarus led the charge that shattered the first line of defense. The castanics retreated back into their tunnels, inch by bloody inch. The mountains shook with arcane might and echoed the screams of the wounded. With slow determination, the demons forced the castanics back until they rallied beneath the arch of the Shrouded Rose. Blood pooled in the streets, fire and destruction hammered at the arch, but the castanics held the line. For three exhausting days, the castanics battled the invaders until the tide abruptly turned. A trio of sorcerers sundered Immoltarus’s magical defenses, leaving the demon vulnerable. Callida led the charge and slew the fiery archfiend. The remaining demons abandoned their mortal allies as the castanics counterattacked. Callida’s charge routed the slaver assault, and the castanics took a thousand heads. The skulls lined the road to Castanica as a warning for decades afterward.
The Word of an Ally; Joining the FederationTheir fantastic defense of their new home city captured the attention of the newly forming Valkyon Federation. There was much debate; the strength of the Castanics was undeniable, and their skill in reconnaissance and strategy would be almost as invaluable as their contributions as master crafters would be to the Argon War effort. However, most of the other races still blamed Castanics for the death of Balder, who had been beloved by all. The Amani people had already been enlisted into the Federation, and vouched for the Castanics strongly enough that the other races tentatively put forward an offer to the Castanics.
The Castanics considered the offer and accepted, taking their place in the Federation for the war. Their reasons for joining are simple, and have little to do with considering the Federation and those who started it as something to bow to; the Argons threaten the whole world, and adding their strength to the pooling masses gives a better chance of survival.
It is expected that, once the Argon war is over, Castanics will go their own way once again -- the race bows to no power but themselves.
AppearanceBoth females and males have horns which come in various shapes and sizes atop their heads, composed of a solid material -- these can be sharp, depending on the shape. Some Castanics file them to be sharp, if they aren't naturally so. Their horns often have patterns on them, which usually include some shade of red coloring. Castanic infants start developing horns shortly after birth. Combined with their pointed, elongated ears, this gives Castanics an exotic and demon-like appearance. Castanics also run a naturally high body temperature, and so their skin is pleasantly hot to the touch. They do not feel cold as keenly as other fleshly races.
Castanics tend towards darker, reddish skin-tones. They also feature armored patterns on their bodies: these are arcane scars. They were first inflicted when their artifact, the Crown of Phanes, killed the god Balder. The onset of Castanic puberty is marked by a painful episode in which the scars are developed. Some scholars claim the scars are a divine curse, a Mark of Cain, if you will.
Castanics are relatively short in height, though they are lithe and possess strong physical shapes. This anatomy allows them to be agile and swift in combat, and they are famed for being very light on their feet.
The Castanics are seen as a very seductive and sexy race. As the creations of Zuras, sensuality runs deep in their veins. The culture as a whole does not shirk [filtered] and sexual appeal, and this is reflected in their choices in clothing.
Social BehaviorsCastanics are a matriarchal society for the most part. Children are raised for the most part almost entirely by their mothers with little to no influence from their fathers. This is common as the women take care of things and get the jobs done while the males go off to seek adventure and make their fortune before returning home... if they do at all. Still, if they return, they always have a place in the clan.
Castanics are governed by a ruling triumvirate. This triumvirate can be made up of mixed genders. However, through the three in these positions of power are of the same level on paper, the Primus of the Triumvirate (often called the Matriarch) seems to hold more sway. Some speculate that the Matriarch is the true leader/decision maker of Clan Castanic, and the other two members of the triumvirate are more like advisors.
The ruling triumvirate is the closest Castanics have to any sort of functioning nobility -- though the positions are not passed down to their descendants, but the most suitable successors.
Castanic artisans meld skill and magic to create fantastic artifacts. In the past, even the gods sought Castanic craftsmanship. Some of the Castanic artisans create Castanic costumes which are popular for parties. Artisans make exquisite replica horns… for a price.
Castanics TodayAlready known as a fiery-tempered race, castanics have found an uneasy niche in the Valkyon Federation. Council decisions against their wishes frequently find castanic factions acting on their own. They take what they can, though they never steal, and they look out for each other.
Castanics in the Federation are willing to work together for the common good, but only so far as the common good doesn't take too long or come at too high a price. They’re perfectly willing and able to go their own way if necessary.
Castanics, for the most part, do not revere any gods. A small minority revere the goddess Kaia. Some, however, seduced by Lakan's promises of power, have followed the evil god into Northern Arun, intent on reviving the ancient and bloody name: devas.
Castanic CultureLike many cultures, Clan Castanic has a coming-of-age rite that marks the transition to adulthood. The Crucible is a test that carries young adults into the deadly wastes of Fyrmount. There they struggle to find a token, a relic, or something of value whilst avoiding near-certain death at the hands (and fangs!) of the denizens of that fiery landscape. A Castanic is not considered an adult by his or her people until their Crucible is completed.
Avg. Male Castanic
Avg. Female Castanic (4'11")
What other races think about Castanics:
"Castanics? They're cool looking and capable of doing many things well. But they are hard to command."
"Castanics? Why would I bother with those insane creatures… no constructive discussion is possible."
"They were friends of our ancestors. Should we not help them when they are in trouble?" "Hmm… so maybe say they don’t have any morals? Can’t possibly imagine what they are thinking? Cant make them do anything and they grab weapons on a single alert... heheheh, I’d say just avoid them."
"Well they are hard to deal with. They don’t like to talk a straight up conversation, and I think for that reason they don’t hang out with us. But they are not evil at all."
"We're kin—the races that live on the edge."
"They are quick and clever, but loathe to wait, weigh, reflect, or consider."
"Castanics care too much about themselves and too little about what matters—nature."
"They stand at the front of the line of battle, willing to give blood and bone for the betterment of all."
"They can be unstable, but their passion fuels a powerful engine of creativity. Greedy at times, but they keep their oaths. We share their drive, but not their fatalism."
"We taste fiery confidence in the castanics. Their let-me-at-them attitude also shows boundless courage."
"Attack life—it's going to kill you anyway."
"If one has not given everything, one has given nothing."
"Words are cheap; blood is costly.
Castanic Naming Convention:
As for HOW castanics are named, the rules are simple:
-They use Latin (Roman) names
-They use names that sound really dang close to Latin/Roman names (Romanesque, as it were).
95% of the time, that rule covers castanic character names and specific locales.
Any castanic of sufficient level can teleport at will to Kaiator, with its great forges. 1 hour cooldown.
An enraged castanic can sacrifice some stability for greater combat speed. 30 minute cooldown.
Castanics fight to win. When attacking from behind, they have a greater chance to critically hit. Passive.
When crafting metal weapons, castanic passion cuts the work time significantly.
Always lithe and graceful, castanics take much less damage from falls than other races.
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