Vindral

The Vindral are a minute species of fay-like humanoids. They are most known for their pragmatic and logical approach to life. Their great dexterity and mental acuity make them excellent as stealthy characters focused on information gathering, puzzle solving and investigation.

Drax grimaced. This drink really tasted like sewage water.   "This the best you can do?" he said to the barkeep, nodding to the greenish-blue liquid in his glass.   The giant dulzuun slammed the glass he was polishing so hard in the bar counter, Drax was shocked it didn't shatter.   "Wha'? Y' go' a problem wi' e'?" the barkeep replied in stereotypical Aspen dialect and snorted loudly.   Drax raised an eyebrow. He knew that tone far too well.   "Nah, I guess not." he replied and looked back into the sewer drink.   Right as he said that he felt a slender arm slide its way across his neck. He looked to his side and saw a beautiful vindral woman, probably 16 years of age.   "Heey handsome!" she purred and sat down next to him. "You gonna be nursing that drink all night or buy me sumthin?"   Drax smiled. "What can I get cha?"   The woman beamed and turned to the barkeep. Drax could see she wasn't exactly sober. "How about a Bloody Sunrise, eh pigman?"   The barkeep snorted loudly and looked like he was about to deliver a particularly acid response, but seemed to get lost halfway through his train of thought.   "Cumin' righ' uh'." he muttered and turned to the large cupboard behind him, shoulders slumped in a posture of resignation.   The woman turned back to Drax and made a valiant attempt to look him in the eyes. Once her wandering gaze had managed to find his, he noticed that her deep blue eyes were like fire. A sudden realization struck him and he creased an eyebrow at her.   "Hey, are you off your pills?" he asked and cocked his head slightly to the side. He was well aware that the vindral used a lot of subtle body language to communicate and he wasn't half bad with their particular brand of non-verbal communication.   "Yeah, why?" she replied, giggled and poured herself into his lap.   Drax sighed deeply and gently pushed her back on her seat.   "Do me a favor, buttercups. Go home. Go home and take your pills."   She stopped smiling and looked befuddled. Her tone lost a lot of the warmth and melody it had just a second ago, as she fell back on typical vindral tone of voice.   "Why... would I do that?"   "Trust me." Drax said with emphasis. "You'll thank me in the morning, hun. I can walk you home if you like."   She broke out in a big smile again.   "Sure!" She took him by the hand and almost dragged him out of the bar. Drax turned his head over his shoulder to the perplexed barkeep.   "I'll be right back!" he mouthed as he was pulled out the door by the tiny woman.
— Drax encountering a vindral in heat.

Appearance

Vindral Adventurers by Hainju

Vindral are physically small, standing about 1.2-1.5 meters tall on average and are slenderly built, weighing 25-30 kg. They have long, pointed ears that are about 20 cm long and angled backwards at an angle of 10-40 degrees, varying between individuals. The angle of the ears is highly heriditary and it's common for family members of the same species to have ears that are angled similarly to one another.

They have very slight variations in their proportions and vindral bodies have about the same proportions as illim children and young teenagers, with long limbs and a slender build.

Vindral eyes are always blue within blue with three distinct shades of blue within them. These shades may vary somewhat between individuals but they are all unmistakenly blue. The pupil is the darkest shade and only in good lighting will the pupil show its dark blue color, otherwise looking black. The iris is the brightest part of the eye, having a lighter blue. The sclera is somewhere in between the pupil and the iris, having a middle blue shade.

Skin color varies between individuals but most of them lean towards pale complexions and the average vindral skin color is marble in tone. There are rare examples of vindral who have a skin condition making their skin white and faintly speckled, and these individuals are considered unusually beautiful and exotic, more because of rarity than an inherent beauty. It is not uncommon for vindral to use cosmetics to whiten their complexion to appear more attractive, striving for that alabaster tone. Traditionally, these vindral were called "Alabasters", from their skin being reminiscent of the mineral.

Hair color varies a lot between individual vindral. Their bright and colorful hair is the clearest indication of their fay ancestry. Vindral hair can be bright red, orange, green, yellow and even blue in all kinds of shades and intensities. Brighter colors are more common than darker ones, and red and orange seem to be the most common. Yellow and green are the rarest.

Facial features and communication

The vindral have, in general, sharp facial features, pronounced jawlines and sharp noses. Their slim figures have little body fat and that helps in shaping their angular and symmetric faces. Their mouths are proportionally small and in combination with their minute mouth movements when speaking, vindral have very inexpressive lips. Their canine teeth (on us humans, the 3rd and 4th teeth out from the center) are a slight bit longer and significantly more pointy than the rest of their teeth, making it look like they have fangs. Much like their sister species, the extinct silfr, the vindral may have been carnivorous hunters in the ancient past.

With the lack of vocal melodic variety, the vindral are fond of using their eyebrows when speaking and often accentuate their speech with a creased or raised eyebrow. The eyebrows, glances and head tilt are used in a lot of the non-verbal communication vindral do. With their lacking vocal melody variance they make much more use of subtle body language than most other species and learning to read this is a very handy skill if you interact with vindral often. In some ways you could say that the eyebrows, eyes and angle of head tilt is a helpful replacement for what they lack in vocal melodic communication, although it takes other species time to learn the intricacies of vindral non-verbal communication.

Biology

Like brilliant flames, unnaturally bright, they burn. Fast and furious, wild and untamed. But like with all flames, the brighter they burn, the quicker they fade.
— Unknown poet on the short lifespan of vindral
Vindral Portrait by Hainju
Genetic Descendants
Origin/Ancestry
Fay
Lifespan
40 (natural)
55 (enhanced)   Average Height
4-5ft (140-150cm)   Average Weight
45-60lbs (20-30kg)   Important Vindral in society
None listed.

Vindral CD10 Starting Traits
2

-2

Iron Physique (Cold)
2

2

Obsessed (With nature)
-1

2

2

-3

-2

-2

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The vindral mature quickly and are considered fully physically mature already at the age of 7, and fully adult by the age of 9. Their entire lives happen at super speed compared to the other species and vindral live only for an average of 40 years. While some have lived to 50 and beyond, these individuals have often been wealthy, well medicated and cybernetically enhanced.

While their lives are short and they thus "age" rapidly, they do not age in the same way the other species do. While the illim might get wrinkly, leathery skin and sometimes lose their hair and the kuna become frail and their fur turning towards the gray spectrum, vindral remain visibly young and sprout all the way up until their death. They barely degrade at all, physically, due to age.

The only evidence of a vindral's age is the color intensity of their hair and eyes. Both fade with age and a with advanced age (35+) they can become almost white. The eyes retain some of their blue shade, but with great age they are so pale that they appear a greyish white. They still retain roughly the same contrast between the pupil, iris and sclera however.

Vindral possess exceptional eyesight and can see with great detail further than any other species, as well as distinguish individuals at greater distances. This does not extend to darkness, as their dark vision is lacking, becoming completely blinded at about half the brightness of other species.

Their hearing is above average and their large ears help them distinguish distance and direction of sound very well. Vindral also possess an unusually high resistance to cold and can survive far better in cold weather than most other species. Perhaps owing to their minute size, their reactions are notably quicker than other species as well.

Reproduction

Vindral reproduce sexually and a typical gestation period is approximately 10 months, which is quite a bit shorter than the other species,, who gestate for just under 15 months. For this reason it's very easy for the mother to tell if the child is a vindral, as she will have a much faster progressing pregnancy.

Heat

The vindral's estrous cycle is much stronger and longer than the other species. Because of this they are notably peculiar when it comes to courting and the process of finding a mate. While generally cold and detached, two to three times a year a vindral will go into heat. During this period of the estrous cycle they will be particularly amorous and flirty, openly displaying feelings that they otherwise wouldn't flaunt so openly.

This "heat" cycle is hormonal in nature and vindral individuals learn early on to plan for and manage these periods in order to avoid scandals and things they might regret afterwards. The sexual drive is very strong during the period and can sometimes feel like it's irresistible, but with proper precaution and training most can ride it out without incident. Many vindral also medicate with hormonal suppressants to further reduce discomfort. With proper routine, medication and even meditation these periods of heat are a non-issue.

The period will last for about a week or two, after which everything returns to normal almost overnight. If the individual is capable of bearing children and becomes pregnant, their cycle will immediately return to normal, whereas a non-child bearing individual will continue to be amorous even after a sexual encounter.

Mannerism

"Fuckin' ey it's cold tonight! I wonder if the bloody atmosphere processors are broken or sumth'n." Yarik exclaimed and stomped his hooves. "I fink me bloody hooves are gon' fall off!"   Sisha rolled her eyes and gave him a deadpan look. "Not likely."   "Wha'? To which one? The processors or me hooves?" he replied.   "Both."   "Yeah, well it's freakin' cold regardless." he muttered and started jumping up and down.   "It's a perfect 19 degrees above freezing. Not even you should be feeling cold in this temperature." she said with one eyebrow raised. "You big baby." she added, with a pale smile.
— A zalra and a vindral on guard duty.

Due to their strong hormonal cycle the vindral have difficulty accessing strong emotion and can appear as cold, detached and even blunt sometimes. Their monotone speech patterns, lack of emotional outbursts, reliance on facts and logic all make them seem stiff and robotic. During the low period of the estrous cycle a vindral is percieved to be bland, stoic and detached, approaching life with an almost emotionless indifference. They are neither antisocial nor cruel. They are just as empathic as any other species. It's just that their ability to express emotional range is limited, leading to their detached, insensitive and somewhat blunt behaviour.

Facts and reason

Due to this detached personality a vindral will often lean on facts and reason, rather than emotion, when making decisions. Some vindral train themselves actively to find and express their emotions, particularly those in a relationship with someone they love who is not also a vindral. They will then do their utmost to access their emotions and express them to their partner. However, even a well practiced vindral will appear somewhat stale and dry compared to a jovial and warm kuna.

Mood swings

During the active part of the estrous cycle this turns around and the vindral will for the duration be embarrassingly emotional. They swing wildly between emotional states in a matter of moments, going from laughing joy into raging anger. The prevailing behavior above all else is the flirtatious and amorous manner that will remain for as long as they are in "heat". As previously mentioned most vindral will both meditate and medicate to avoid the rather inconvient heat cycle. But even a vindral under the influence of hormonal suppressants are warmer and more natural than otherwise.

Peculiar age

Vindral don't live long lives and are considered fully mature both physically and mentally by the age of 9. Their peculiar aging, leaving their bodies largely unchanged save for the eyes and hair, affect their minds as well. While other species will markedly change their preferences and hobbies throughout life, vindral remain largely the same and can display a childlike fascination with things even up to old age. While they remain inquisitive and curious throughout life, don't ever mistake them for being childish or immature. The vindral mature very quickly and will take great offense to being infantilized.

Most vindral feel a deep connection to plants and nature and it is common to find a small arboretum or at least a lot of plants in vindral domiciles. In spite of them finding it offensive to liken them to the fay of old, they clearly have a deep connection to nature that other species lack.

History

Vindral Hunter
Vindral Hunter by Nina Lanfer

The vindral are a bit of a biological mystery as they are so different from the other species. It is almost as if they didn't belong in this world at all, being so different. However, what little studies remain of the fay show a large commonality with certain species of fay and the vindral, strongly hinting at the vindral's origins as a fay species. Ancient history say that the vindral originally were a fay species that lived in deep forests, that after their banishment from the fay realms chose to side with the kykr and break their bond to nature. While this is as much magic and superstition as it is science, this is stated to be the reason why they survived the cataclysm, while the other fay died within weeks.

Regardless of their "alien" origins, modern science have a very good understanding of vindral physiology and specialised treatments are just as effective on them as the other species.

Beauty Ideals

While beauty ideals will vary heavily with personal preference, vindral are generally considered beautiful if they have symmetrical facial features, long, colorful hair and pronounced lips. The shape of their eyes can also affect the perception of beauty, with more almond shaped eyes being more attractive. The aforementioned alabaster-skinned vindral are considered the most beautiful, mostly because of rarity than any inherent beauty.



Cover image: Vindral Article Cover by Mizomei

Comments

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Redclaw123
Elias Redclaw
11 Mar, 2019 18:01

Oh my! This article was amazing to read! I absolutely loved the amount of effort you put into this article and the way you managed to convey the information. My feedback might sound a bit clumsy since I am very sleepy at this point and writing this at 1 am in the morning First of all, I love the quote in the beginning. It immediately hooks the reader into the article and you manage to keep up the readers interest through a masterful and beautiful combination of worldbulding and storytelling. Overall the article is amazing and well formatted and this definitly deserved my like. If I could have, Then i would have liked this at least three times as a tribute to your effort. My only question was how are the relations of The Vindral with the other species? How do they interact with each other? Congratulations and keep up the good work!

11 Mar, 2019 21:19

Hi! Thanks a lot for the read! The races of METRO-1 live extremely intermingled and have done so for centuries, as such they are very much multicultural and there is very little that is "distinctively Vindral" as compared to the other species.   But, their relations to other races are good and the other races are well aware of the Vindral's quirks and oddities, so they are accustomed to dealing with them.

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused CD10.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
11 Mar, 2019 20:04

Whatbi like the most: detail. You out quite a bit of info that made the race sound unique from their reproduction to detached demenor.   Dislike: I'm on so I could be wrong but it seems you havnt used a sidebar here. If im wrong I apologize. If not od consider it. I love sidebars lol   You also have a few errors here and there. The main one I noticed is in the quote. I do believe one is supposed to use a line break when a character speaks.   I don't know much of your world yet but based on your quotes and writing I do enjoy it and look forward to more.   A question for you. What can you tell me about their culture. Art, music, religion, etc. What is distinctly Vindral?

11 Mar, 2019 21:22

I'm a stickler for detail, and can sometimes go overboard. xD   I did use the sidebar but it's very short as there isn't much info in it as of yet. I'm still learning how to use the sidebar properly.   And you're right about the quotes. One either has a linebreak for every new line, or no linebreaks, but I can't seem to make up my mind. Going to fix, thank you!   The thing about METRO-1 is that it is a megacity and all the races have lived intermingled with eachother for 4000+ years, so there are very few remnants of the different races' original culture. They all have more or less the same culture in this time period. They are no different to each other than one Englishman would be to another.

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused CD10.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
11 Mar, 2019 21:32

That alone has alot of crazy implications. Cultural diffusion gets pretty crazy. Is there possibly a major movement wanting to restore that heritage? Searching for it? Are their elements that they have given to the ...hmm... I'll go with metaculture? Sorry if I'm probing too much lol I've never seen a diffused culture that far along so its hard to imagine. it would likely be very hard to break down.

11 Mar, 2019 22:04

Haha, no worries! I enjoy being challenged by questions! One of the things that help their cohesion is that the five races are sexually compatible, so they can have offspring with one another. But due to a rule set down by the gods 5000+ years ago (in my medieval fantasy version of this world), there can never be any half-species between Sifir races. All the races (except the Vindral) are descendant of the Sifir. The Vindral chose to be with the Sifir and were therefore included in this "deal".   This was *way* before recorded history, however, so no one even knows this anymore. It's just a law of nature to them. They can all have children with one another, but the child will be either the race of the mother or the race of the father. There are never any mixing.   But there are always religious nutjobs and government overlords trying to do shit. METRO-1 is a megacity with 200+ million inhabitants, and the government has very little actual power. Most of the power is in the hands of corporations who supply the city with services like firemen, medical services, maintenance, sewage, food, police force etc. The government is largely there in name only, and crime is through the roof.   It's your typical cyberpunk shithole :)   But to answer your question, no there are no races or groupings working for isolation or restoration of one race's culture over the others as no one, not even history, remembers much of the culture from before the races intermingled. The Hessak and the Dru'un are somewhat "new" to the board, only having been a part of civilisation for about 1000 years, compared to the Vindral, Illim, Terrlaki and Kuna, who have been an alliance since 5000+ years ago.   That said, there are always morons in society, so of course you have some criminal gangs that only recruit Dru'un, or corporations who only give important positions to Terrlaki etc. But there's no outright, strong and powerful movement one way or another.   Does that answer your question?

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused CD10.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
11 Mar, 2019 22:24

Thouroughly yes! I love that! No half races. That's awesome. I also love meat worlds that bleed together over time, something i do as well and its so fun to see the changes over time. Thanks for the answer my friend. great work.

13 Mar, 2019 00:46

great amount of detail here! an intriguing race of people indeed- what i found particularly interesting was that, unlike many fae or fae-based races in settings, the lifespans of vindrals are actually rather short instead of very long. i think this is actually the first instance i've seen of the opposite! while i was reading, your descriptions also gave me a pretty clear idea of what these guys look like, enough that i could visualize them in my head even without the sidebar picture (which is really well-drawn, btw!)   you mentioned they evolved to have no connection to nature, hence their survival in the mentioned event, 'the cataclysm'. why is that? what IS the cataclysm? did they knowingly break off from nature to avoid it? and why would a connection to nature determine death in this event?

13 Mar, 2019 08:36

Wow, what a huge fail on my part. I forgot to link the Cataclysm article! Fixing immediately :) Thanks for the notice! You can find the article here.

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused CD10.
13 Mar, 2019 17:25

oh boy, that definitely answers my questions! thank you for linking it, and im glad to have helped!

21 Jan, 2021 16:52

The bits of prose here are amazing. You have a way of telling a story! <3 I like the vindral a lot.

21 Jan, 2021 21:36

I'm quite fond of them as well. They're unique, to be sure. They break a lot of the traditional "fay" tropes, which I think makes them interesting. :)

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused CD10.
5 Mar, 2022 00:12

To begin, I really do enjoy how you handle the explanations and descriptions of the Vindral, giving me a very thorough look in how one looks, behaves and more. Seeing this is probably for a tabletop system as a playable species, the article is excellent at giving a player the info needed to know how one would play!   The one thing I love is their usage of non-verbal communication, which makes me believe that despite their monotone voice they probably express themselves with a lot of body language beyond the eyebrows and head tilts. It's also funny they just twice or thrice a year become flirty, makes me wonder how frequent they'd confess or let something slip this way by accident.   The other thing was that when I first saw the great artwork, my thought would be this was going to be the Elves of the setting (and from the history it seems implied they used to be for another world as well). But even with the similarities appearance-wise, I like how drastically different they are from more traditional Fay-folk races you see elsewhere. They really stand out as their own separate thing!   There's really not a lot of feedback I can give, it's an excellent article with good writing, descriptive enough to give the information one needs and a creative take on fay-folk. I guess the only thing I could really ask for is maybe how other people view them or assumptions made around them. Great article none the less!

5 Mar, 2022 11:35

Thank you for the read! The great artwork is thanks to our wonderful artists, Hainju, Mizomei and Nina! I take no credit for that, aside from the original design of the species.   You're right that they can seem somewhat "elvish", but the similarities are superficial at best, with vindral being shortlived, inquisitive and emotionally detached, while elves tend to be tall, live extremely long lives and be quite emotional.   While the vindral have been in my settings for more than 15 years now, I did feel I wanted a fay-like species that didn't conform to traditional TTRPG fay, but more to traditional norse folklore and of course, artistic freedom :D

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused CD10.
5 Mar, 2022 18:28

This is great, Toblin! Love the rewrite!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
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