'Race' - subclass - whether Monotrema, Marsupia or Placen, though
Placens are split again according to size.
'Hall' - taxonomically would be Family
'Houses' - genological term for what a taxonomist might call a
'Aspect' - whether a species is primarily nocturnal or diurnal,
usually only relates to Marsupia
A fading race Marsupia and their distant relations (though
this is disputed) the Monotrema, also know as 'Elves' and ''Dwarves' by the
unlearned, are the remaining people of a far older time. Their
numbers few, Marsupia are rarely seen in the 'civilised' society
of Placens, prefering the company and language of their own
It is true that both Marsupia and Monotrema have a longer life
span than placents, monotrema to several hundred years while
Marsupia are often described as immortal in that they do not
appear to age after reaching maturity. The greatest age of a known individual elf exceeded five hundred years. 'they do not fade, they do not die, they simply go away' as worded
in one ancient placen ballad about the race.
Given the variety of different houses within the Placen race
and the rarity of elves travelling beyond their own territories
it is not surprising that those few Marsupia who do travel outside
their home lands are rarely recognised as such. Those who have
met and spoken at length to Marsupia tend to be able to recognise
them - Several Elves have been described as having an "old sort
of feel to them, like they are just watching and waiting for
the end", the scent of Eucalyptus often clings to their fur
and their speech tends to be melodiously and oddly accented
when they speak common tongues.
Dwarven kind, on the other hand, are far more recognisable,
especially the Ornithorana, with their ungainly appearances
and so tend to be more cautious when travelling. Monotrema languages,
the two that remain, have been described as both gruff grating
and liquid babbling.
Though often lighter built and more delicate in appearance than most of
the common races of the lands, Marsupia are rarely the gauze
garbed, fairy tale beings depicted in childrens stories. Many of the Nocturns do enjoy wearing bright colours and ornate
designed fabrics but rarely do so when travelling.
While it is uncommon to see a Marsupia fight, they tend to avoid
situations that require violence unless necessary, they have
a strength and degree of ferocity that is belied by their slight
frames, generally excel in their weapon of choice. This is
often attributed to having spent many decades practicing and
the refined skill in weaponry and the Marsupia belief
that every action can be an artform.
Because Elven fems give birth to underdeveloped offspring and
raise them in their pouch they tend to be flat chested, often
confusing other races who are not aware of the physical differences
between males and fems.
To ask to inspect a marsupia's pouch is an offence that is likely
to be rewarded with at least one blade through the body.
There are several different sub races of 'elves' these are divided
into two aspects: diurns and nocturns. As the name suggests,
some tend to be night active while others prefer daylight .
'Arborial nocturns' are usually possum-like and tend to
be extravagently sociable for marsupia, they are possibly the
most interactive with other races, especially Mouselings and
other trading species. Their society is, as the subrace name
suggests, largely off the ground. Arborials are known for their
fantastic cities suspended above the ground in some of the deeper
forests and their ability with druidic magics that involve plants.
Arboreal nocturns, with the exception of the larger houses of
the subrace (including the Phascocin, Pseudochir and Phalangera)
tend to be mouseling size in stature and prefer to remain aloft,
rarely leaving their own forest bound society to interact with
other races - though travelling merchants are generally welcomed.
Proving that there is always an exception to the rule, there
is a branch of the Arborial Nocturns, the Phascocin, that are
reputed for their short tempers and xenophobia. The Phascocin
are reputed to exceptional carvers and mages with what has been
reported as the most exquisite tree villages, however their
dislike of company, recluse ways and apparent paranoia mean
that it is very rare that any of their settlements are found
and even rarer that non-invited visitors return intact.
It is a common, though unlikely, belief that it is the Phascocin's
lack of a tail is the reason for their vile temper. Any reference
to their lack of such limb has been reported to, on several
occassions in history, to cause them to fly into a violent rage.
Dasiu nocturns tend to be smaller than most other Marsupia,
but they make up for this with ferocity. The border patrols
that guard the edge lands of the Marsupia's domains tend to
be Dasiu. These marsupia are generally rangers or blade dancers,
Calinestri and Shirkio are deities commonly worshipped and Dasiu
weaponry is highly sought by traders for it's superb make.
There are few halls of Diurns and many walk the twighlight road, not truely in the sunlight. The tribe of Myrmecobia, one of the nobler houses of the marsu are true sun-walkers. Their lands tend to be open forest with their dwellings built either in trees or in the giant termite mounds that they have cultivated. (Gip is of this House)
Despite many tales and ill-researched histories stating otherwise
the Dwarven race is older than the Marsupia by far, the number
of houses has been reduced by time to no more than two - the
earth delving Tachyacul and the water loving Ornithorana. Most
of the Monotrema are shy of society, prefering to keep their
own company or living in small family groups.
The centre of many myths and infamy Monotrema have often been
persecuited by would be treasure hunters seeking their fortunes.
While it is true that many Monotrema, especially those of the
House Tachyacul are exceptional artisans when it comes to working
metal and precious stone, the folklore that they can sing precious
metals and gems from the earth is unlikely to be true, as is
the vaulted treasure halls that are described in legend.
Having stated this it must also be said that few the great dwarven
halls that have been found, generally in natural caverns beneath
the earth, show that in the distant past the houses of Monotrema
had a great wealth, not only of material goods but also of knowledge.
The knowledge of quality of stone turning and architecture visible
in these rare places has been lost in the march of time and
the dwindling of the race.