Vindral

This article is still a work in progress!

The vindral are an odd sight among the other Kykr species, and in the civilised world overall. Their minute stature, fair skin and colorful hair stand in stark contrast to the more rough and gruff kuna and sturdy illim. What they lack in physical strength, they make up for with wit.

Vindral rely on their speed and agility to make up for their lack of strength, and their sharp wits help them plan and analyze situations. The vindral make for an excellent choice for a stealthy or intellectual character focused on academia.

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

The Minute Faylings

Vindral
by Peter Andréasson

With the strong historical animosity between the Fay and the Kykr, it isn't considered particularly polite to refer to the vindral as fay, but it isn't without merit. The vindral are of fay ancestry, but because of their exile from the Winterweald, they have cast aside their heritage and embraced the gods.

Markers of their ancestry are clear as day, starting with their minute size, reminiscent of the predatory silfr. Their bright and colorful hairs are another feature, as are their blue within blue eyes. The vindral bear all the signs of a fay heritage, but they made a future for themselves, aside from the fay. Cut off from nature and the blessings of Ayla, they have joined forces with the other Kykr, and not just in the sense of the alliance, but in every possible aspect of life.

As an adopted descendant of the sifir, they adhere to the natural laws that govern the sifir, including the inability to access the ley and, subsequently, the ability to wield fay magics. They are also incapable of having mixed offspring with the other sifir species, although only kuna and illim form relationships with vindral.

The Kykr see it as a sign from the gods that this is the case, in spite of the vindral origins.

The Vindral Exiles

Before recorded history, the vindral lived among the other fay in the Winterweald under the watchful eye of the fay goddess, Ayla. Oral tradition and scattered myths and legends from ages past are disagreeing on what exactly happened, but the story is told that the vindral were under duress from several other, stronger species of fay and were facing extinction. Fuelled by desperation, they discovered the art of metalworking and forged bronze weapons with which to defend themselves. This was considered an affront to nature, and negotiations with the fay king broke down and the vindral were given an ultimatum: Leave the realms of Ayla or be destroyed. Ever since that day, the fay and the vindral have been bitter enemies.

Appearance

Vindral are significantly smaller compared to most other species, standing about 1.3-1.5 meters tall on average and are slenderly built, weighing in at only at 30 kg at the heaviest. 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.

Vindral Eyes

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 could be mistaken for black. Only in good lighting will the pupil show its dark blue color. 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.

The Marble Angels

Skin color varies between individuals but most of them lean towards pale complexions and the average vindral skin color is pale peach. There are rare examples of vindral who have a white skin that almost seems transparent, but it obviously is not. It evokes an outwordly feel and these individuals are considered unusually beautiful and exotic. They are known as "alabaster vindral" or "alabaster skin" after the mineral. It is not uncommon for vindral to use cosmetics to whiten their complexion to appear more attractive and mimic the alabaster tone, but there are no known methods to exactly match the almost glass-like quality of alabaster skin.

Hair like autumn leaves

Hair color is what varies the most between individual vindral, aside from ear angle. Their bright and colorful hair is the clearest indication of their fay ancestry and it 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 hues. Yellow and green are the rarest.

Genetic Ancestor(s)
Lifespan
40 years
Average Height
135-155 cm (4-5 ft)
Average Weight
20-30 kg (45-60 lbs)
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities
Vindral CD10 Starting Traits
2

-2

Iron Physique (Cold)
2

2

2

2

-3

-2

-3

Related Reading

Kykr
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The "kykr" are the dominant civilisation of the world, encompassing three sapient species: The Illim, the Vindral and the Kuna. They rule over the continent of Arjin in a diverse collection of cultures and nations.

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The Trifolk Alliance was the foundation that allowed the most powerful civilisation in existance to rise to power.

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Illim
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Facial features and communication

Vindral have sharp facial features and commonly have pronounced jawlines and thin noses. Their slim figures have little body fat and that helps in shaping their angular faces. Their mouths are proportionally small and in combination with their minute mouth movements when speaking, vindral have inexpressive lips.

When communicating, vindral are fond of using their eyebrows and they often use a creased or raised eyebrow to accentuate something they've said. The eyebrows, glances, head tilts and nods are all important parts in vindral non-verbal communication. Their body language is subtle, but rich. 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. Because of their limited vocal melody, poor use of stress and other vocal components, these elements are more important for vindral than for other species.

Mannerism

"I don't want to say 'I told you so', but I told you so."
Brennagh was more amused than genuinely concerned for his confused friend. He put a hand on Kur's shoulder.
"Look, pursuing a vindral isn't easy. It takes time and you absolutely have to steel yourself and have patience, my friend. They are not like the kuna who jump at any opportunity to spend time with you. She'll spend time with you when she sees fit. You have to accept that you are not her top priority right now."

Kur stared at him in horror.
"Are you saying I'm not important to her?" His voice was unsteady.

Brennagh grinned.
"No, you dummy! Of course you're important to her. But you have to understand that she doesn't feel the way you do. Love isn't filling her heart to bursting. You are not the center of her world or the subject of her every waking thought. You are, at best, interesting to her right now, but that's normal! I can't believe your mother didn't teach you this when you were younger. It would've made things easier for you."

Kur's ears drooped and he wiped his nose.
"Why'd I have to fall in love with a vindral?" he lamented.

Brennagh rolled his eyes, ruffled the fur on Kur's head and gave him a pat on the back.
"Come on now, cheer up! It'll be fine. Trust me!"
— A not so lucky kuna learns about the vindral the hard way.

Partially due to their strong hormonal cycle (see biology) the vindral differ greatly in mental makeup compared to other species. They can be considered detached and cold because of their monotone speech patterns and lack of emotional displays. During the low period of the estrous cycle a vindral is comparatively bland, approaching life with an almost emotionless indifference. They are neither antisocial nor cruel, just emotionally muted. Their emotional range is just as varied as that of other species, but dampened. Outwardly, this appears to them being seen as detached, insensitive and often blunt in their interaction with others. This is nothing out of the ordinary for vindral, and society have adapted to it.

Learning to feel

Due to this emotionally stunted personality a vindral will prefer to lean on facts and reason, rather than emotion, when making decisions. Many vindral will however 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. It is a long process of learning for the vindral. Not only to overcome their inner reservedness, but also to learn how to best express their emotion. However, in most cases even a well practiced vindral will appear somewhat stale and dry compared to the jovial and charismatic kuna.

Flaring hearts

During the active part of the estrous cycle this turns around and the vindral will for the duration be expressively emotional. For a vindral this can be embarrassing, akin to how someone would react to finding out they danced on the tables on a particularly drunken night. 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". Many vindral will both meditate and medicate to manage the worst effects of the estrous cycle. But even a vindral under the influence of hormonal suppressants are warmer and more natural than otherwise, and many vindral welcome the ease of accessing warmer emotions.

Peculiar age

As previously stated, vindral don't live long lives and are considered fully mature 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.

Most vindral still 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 and the best way to get to a vindral's heart is to take them on a walk in the forest.

Biology

Vindral mercenary
Elven Warrior by Huadong Lan

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 they live only for an average of 40 years. Their short lifespans make the vindral somewhat forced and driven, eager to experience as much as possible.

Fading Colors

While they rapidly age they do not age physically and visibly 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 with a few exceptions.

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 the same contrast between the pupil, iris and sclera however, only in shades of gray.

Capabilities

Most Vindral possess exceptional eyesight and can see with great detail further than any other species as well as distinguish individuals at greater distances. They however do not see very well in the dark, as their dark vision is lacking. Their hearing is above average and their large ears help them distinguish distance and direction of sound very well, although also somewhat hampering their ability to pick up sounds from directly behind them. Vindral also possess an unusually high resistance to cold and can survive far better in cold weather than most other species. Their reactions are notably quicker than other species as well, probably owing to their minute size.

Delicate swiftness

Where the vindral lack severely is in physical strength and reach. They are at a clear disadvantage in any melee tussle both because they cannot reach with their weapons and with their comparatively lower strength, they hit with less force, and offer less resistance to attacks. In spite of this, vindral are vicious combatants, prefering longer reach weapons such as polearms and spears and they use their speed and agility to fight smart, rather than straight up brawling. While they are remarkably sturdy for their size, it is no doubt that an army of vindral would be at a significant disadvantage compared to their larger peers.

The Fay Heat

Vindral reproduce sexually and a typical gestation period is approximately 10 months, which is quite a bit shorter than the other species where the average is about 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.

Another area where the fay ancestry shows is in the vindral estrous cycle. While other species have highs and lows in their libido and sex-drive, the vindral take it to an extreme. 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 is a hormonal cycle and vindral learn early on to plan for 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 willpower, most indviduals can ride it out without incident. Those vindral affluent enough to afford them will use a specially brewed elixir, known as Telchik Elixir, to combat the worst effects of the cycle. The potion works as a hormonal suppressant. Even those vindral who cannot afford these elixirs will usually find and chew raw telchik root which works the same way, only to greatly diminished effect.

The increased hormonal flow will last for about a week or two, after which everything returns to normal almost overnight. If a woman becomes pregnant, her cycle will immediately return to normal, whereas a male will continue to be amorous even after a sexual encounter.


Comments

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Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
14 Dec, 2020 20:04

Between this and the Dulzuun, I'm beginning to think your species articles are my favourite! So detailed and in depth! I can't say upon reading I have a specific shaped hole in my wanting other than a general want to read more XD Looks like I have a world dive to do before bed tonight

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides! Check my Summer Camp ramblings out here
14 Dec, 2020 20:08

Glad to hear it! There's a fair few species in my setting, although the vindral, kuna and illim are the "main" ones, making up modern civilization. I'm currently rewriting these species entirely from scratch, getting rid of old, outdated information and some rather unfortunate wordings in regards to ableism and similar themes.   It's a lot of work, as you can probably tell from this rather girthy article! ^^

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
14 Dec, 2020 20:08

Living for the prose sections, and I love how detailed everything is. Not to mention the gorgeous artwork. Well done!

15 Dec, 2020 01:52

Really interesting article. I love how their emotions and even their speech is muted compared to what we could consider 'normal'. I really like the idea of them using facial expressions (even subtle ones) to emphasise things.   Their biology is really intriguing, especially the estreos cycle. I love that they find the high levels of emotions expressed during this time to be embarrassing and therefore try to artificially mute it.   Really good job! :D

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