Dral'azie Species in The Chronicles of Evalaw | World Anvil

Dral'azie

Cursed And Banished Into The Underworld, The Dral'azie, Are A Malevolent And Hedonistic Race Of Subterranean Aelfier With A Penchant For Dark Magic, That Serve The Goddess Aulreth.
 
It was told centuries past, when the silence that echoed throughout the lands brought the Sundering to a close. Their Immortal Mother chose to persevere her children from the curse of sunlight that blistered and burnt them. Guiding them into the sanctuary of the underworld, beyond the lights touch. The Dral'azie came to believe their kind were a race chosen to prevail over all others in these sunless depths, thanks to their Immortal Mother's Blessing, and eventually engrossed themselves in the belief that they among all others were superior and chosen to survive by Aulreth herself.
  In the shadowed annals of history, a forgotten echo of once-noble lineage made a fateful choice, forsaking the path of their forebears to embrace the worship of Aulreth and Dark Magic. As a consequence of their cursed devotion, their Dark Aelfier ancestors were cast away from the light, condemned to dwell in the depths of the underworld. There, amidst the stygian expanse, they rebuilt their civilization, transforming into an entity distinct from their brethren, the Dral'azie.   The chronicles of the Dral'azie are a grim tapestry soaked in blood and treachery, their path marked by violent atrocities and debauched acts. Engaging in an eternal war against their own kin and embroiled in internal strife, their society developed into a malevolent and hedonistic quagmire of self-indulgence and zealous faith in order to endure the harshities of the underworld.   The Dral'azie endured the Goddess Aushurie 's curse, a grim fate resulting in an inherent weakness to sunlight, that forced them underground and drastically changed their appearance over the centuries. Rooted in archaic customs and traditions from ages past, they share physical beauty, grace, and pride of the Aelvar with their Aelfier cousins, possessing unparalleled craftsmanship and martial prowess. Their common Faye ancestry grants them a potent affinity toward the tides of magic.
 

  Yet, diverging from their cousins long ago, the Dral'azie bear an enigmatic countenance, their dark complexions seemingly melding into the very darkness that now surrounds them. Excelling at the dark arts, including death magic and shadow empowerment, they exhibit a more permissive approach to matters of sexuality, donning clothing that defies overworld sensibilities. Uncharacteristically hubristic, malicious, cruel, and manipulative, they harbour an unyielding ruthlessness, their sole concern centred upon their own desires and ambitions. In their eyes, all other races appear inferior, mere pawns to their absolute dominion. Across four millennia, they have ceaselessly forged an empire in The Sunless Realms, subjugating those they deem beneath them and igniting conflicts with their fellow denizens in a relentless pursuit of tyrannical rule.
The terms the Dark Aelfier would later be defined by finds its genesis during the Unification period, and establishment of the tenants of the Seven signs. No mention to the dispossessed Dark Aelfier as Dral'azie, Dravarii or Murilath comes until the end of this period when the city-states and the Dark Aelfier begun to become subjugated under Urithair rule.

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Physiology.

Tall and distinguished, the Dark Aelifer bear a resemblance to their Aelifer brethren, albeit with a distinctive complexion of blue-gray skin and silver hair.
  Since the Dark Aelfiers' exodus from the surface, their descendance have undergone a gradual evolution with each passing generation transforming in appearance due to prolonged exposure to effluvium; the abyssal taint of the underworld. Aelfier bodies, being highly adaptive and naturally sensitive to magic allowed them to acclimatize to an otherwise dangerous habitat, moulding and shaping future generations to survive and thrive in the darkness. Many have never known the touch of sunlight or caress of a warm summers breeze, fewer still are alive now that can still recall such things.  
Despite these adaptations to the abyssal taint of the underworld, the Dark Aelfier still maintain core Aelifer traits, which bind them to their Aelven counterparts on the surface. These shared characteristics serve as a reminder of their common ancestry, most notably their elongated Aelfin ears, an unmistakable mark of their Aelven heritage and profound connection to the mystical realm. Both groups exhibit an inherent grace and agility, traits that have been honed over generations and are well-suited to their distinct environments, whether in the light of day or the shadowy depths. The extended lifespan common to Aelfier bestows upon them a wealth of wisdom and experiences, fostering a deep appreciation for their shared history. Furthermore, their innate affinity for magic, a characteristic deeply ingrained in elven culture, empowers Aelfier and Dark Aelfier alike to command and manipulate mystical energies, although their magical preferences and practices may diverge along unique paths. These shared physical attributes not only reflect their common ancestry but also serve as a testament to the enduring spirit of the Aelven people, whether dwelling beneath the earth or open sky.  

Olarae Inilani

It's quite simple really, we are the epitome of allure and sophistication in the underworld. Our nautral grace and posie set us apart from the riffraff of the abyss, while others may try to rival our elegance, there's no denying that we are the most attractive beings down here.
 
  While the Dark Aelfier share similar physical characteristics with that of their estranged kin, distinctive physical differences set them apart. Possessing a strong aptitude toward Black Magic, whilst claimed to be a gift granted to them by Aulreth, many Dark Aelfier magisters have hypothesised that due to their peoples prolonged exposure to effluvium, their Aelfier bodies adapted to be stronger in their use and resistance of Dark Magic and changing their overall appearance over the course of centuries. Standing a bit taller than their overworld brethren and often possessing sharper, more angular facial features; high cheekbones, prominent noses, more severe expressions and slender, almond-shaped eyes.  

Skin


 
As a consequence of their bodies' physical adaption to the underworld and the taint of Black Magic, Dark Aelfier uniformly have dusky skin tones; their dark complexions seemingly meld into the darkness; shades of greys, blues, purples and deep ebony.
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Eyes

 
While blinded to the light, the Dark Aelfiers eyesight changed to overcome the perpetual night, allowing them to see in the underworld and identify heat sources. A physical result of this is the pigmentation of their iris has gradually altered with each passing generation. Whether a natural adaptation or divine intervention, their eyes tend to be vibrant and intense shades of red, yellow or grey, more exotic colours such as blue-green or violet have also been observed. Heterochromia whilst uncommon is a phenomenon that occurs among the Dark Aelfier, it is a more common occurrence than among their overworld brethren.
 
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Dral’azie divider.


Origin.

It all began, with their ancestors humiliation in the aftermath of the sundering, and the great exodus into the underworld.
  The Dral'azie bear fragments of knowledge surrounding the downfall and humiliation of their ancestors, that led to the Great Exodus into the sunless depths of the underworld, where they now serve as denizens of the abyss. As it is told, in the final moments of Sundering as the Dark Aelfier held victory in their grasp, the Aelfier of light cried out in anguish to their goddess for salvation, cursing them with their remaining strength. Their plea did not go unheard, it is said Aushurie, incandescent with rage used the anguish and cries for vengeance of her people to punish the wicked, unleashing The Penumbral malediction. The very blood of the Dark Aelfier and their descendance would be cursed for all time, they would forever be shunned by the light. It's radiant glow would no longer comfort and nourish them, instead their skin became scorched by the sun and their eyes blinded. Their blood would boil and very flesh would blister and burn as they were forcing them the seek the shadows, condemning them to the dark. The Penumbral malediction would shortly be followed by the defeat and banishment of Aulreth into the underworld by the sunburst sovereign, bringing the cataclysmic events of the Sundering to a close.  
With the fall of their goddess, their leaders left in utter turmoil at each other's throats and being driven into hiding by their kin, left reeling as the affliction of the curse took hold. It would be through the actions of an unlikely and controversial figure, Nemiisae, where they would find their salvation. Taught the secret of an ancient magic to weaving a gateway to another lands by an unnamed god, she would help lead the Dark Aelfier to a realm they could find sanctuary from the blistering pain of the sun, saving them from extinction. What happened next saw a unprecedented movement of people, the complete exodus of their ancestors from the surface into the depths of the underworld, this was the moment that saw the Dral'azie come into being. How Nemiisae managed to convince the fractured Dark Aelfier leadership to this idea and gather all their people across the length and breadth of Lorthwyn is unknown, and highly speculated. But many Aelfier chroniclers on Lorthwyn of the time make numerous mention about a great and terrible storm that wracked the land whence after all the Dark Aelfier had just simply vanished.  
Despite objections from the Sunburst Sepulchres ministry of truth as apocryphal heresy, many Aelfier academics and scholars cannot stress enough how this event was perhaps the most momentous divide the Aelfier people had undergone since The Cadence. Over half of Lorthwyns population would be displaced, abandoning half of the continent, fleeing into the underworld.
  What is understood about this chapter of their history known to the Dral'azie as the Ruhaalu, or great Exodus is owed much to the illuminated manuscripts of great epics such as Kaal'rinthra and Xirrak Mora. These colourful retelling of the history of their people during the great exodus and the events there after are known far and wide throughout Dral'azie society, widely being recognised as fact among their descendances. However, the truth behind such tales is a history smeared in blood, coloured by embittered struggles and the endless schemes of their venerated gods. Traditional retellings of the Ruhaalu often portray it as trial of faith set by Aulreth to temper the hearts and minds of the Dark Aelfier, later historians write of the period as a romanticised epic of the Dark Aelfier battling all The Sunless Realms set against them and triumphing, to become masters of this realm.
Rie'shae cover
Blood and Honor by Ellirhshaan
  While these retellings make excellent tales to encourage and solidify the Dral’azies self-affirmation of superiority and dominion over their subterranean empire, the true story is very different. Chroniclers who came with the refugees fleeing the surface tell a harrowing tale, filled with of unspeakable horrors and much suffering as they fought for their very survival against the perils of the underworld. Much of the Dral’azies knowledge of the underworld and its dangers came from the tragedies suffered during the exodus, very few indeed survived to settle their new home, it is believed that over half of the groups of refugees and scouting parties fell afoul of such dangers.  

Dral’azie divider.


Society.

Every aspect of Dral'azie society is directly affected in one way or another, by the Noble houses and the Temple of the Seven Signs, and those caught in the power vacuum between the Empress and the Hierarch.
 
Dral'azie society is structured upon the ancient Dark Aelfier system of government coined the Palus system. Created before the death of the first Priest-Empress and ordained by Aulreth, it divided her power as Sovereign and Spiritual leader of the Dark Aelfier people between her two waring heirs. The decision never truly resolved the matter.
  The Dral'azie people reflect the harsh, unforgiving environment they were thrusted into, carving a society out of blood, steel and cruelty out of necessity to survive. Defined by this environment their soceity has become as strikingly fascinating as they are dangerous, where females have become the dominant gender dictating their entire cultural code and conviction of their peoples divine superiority as Aulreths progeny Their society is a complex matrilineal system of authoritarian rule, theocratic governance and an ever-present militaristic undertone where social class and status is everything. The most widely accepted fact about the Dral’azie is that they are inherently evil beings. Many stories and tales from returning expeditions that have braved The Sunless Realms have cemented this stigmatisation into common belief. Perceived to be sadistic, morally corrupt, degenerate masochists. While some members of their society and the motivations of its leaders and elites can be considered sordid and ethically malignant by surface standards.  
The vast majority of their populace is rather apathetic, not unwilling to aid others lest it be a detriment to themselves, and seldom reacting cruelly without reason to do so. The underworld is a savage and inhospitable place, any mistake could be the difference between life and death and a weakness something to be exploit. These attitudes are part of day to day life and prevalent throughout their culture, very much being a reflection of their environment. The reality is that they are not an inherently wicked people and many of these accepted truths are hugely exaggerated. More than anything else the Dral'azie are driven by their own emotions and how they compel them to act. A certain composition of emotions are more dominant than the others, though the strength varies in degree on an individual basis. Throughout their society, pressure to possess influence and station are not just a cultural catalyst, but primarily driven by one's individual emotion and desire. To not achieve such lofty heights is to not only be a failure in their own eyes, but in the eyes of their family, bloodline and a weakness to be exploited by their rivals. Such an unpleasant fact motivates even the lowest stationed Dral'azie to be all that they can be.
 
The consequence of which has only fuelled this belief that all Dral'azie xenophobic, and while it is true that many Dral’azie seldom leave the safety and security of the City States or The Sunless Realms regarding outsiders with general distrust and scepticism. This attitude of isolationism amongst the Dral'azie is one that has slowly ebbed away with each passing generation. Many have been known to venture beyond the borders of their home and even accept other peoples within their walls, though it wouldn't be considered the most warmest of welcomes.

Khalirah

In my experience, female Dark Aelfier are far more terrifying than their male counterparts.
 
To state that the Dral'azie are beings without emotions is to demonstrate plain ignorance, but a sentiment that is understandable to any who have been subjected to their rather curious ways of existence. More than anything else the Dral'azie are driven by their own emotions and how they compel them to act. A certain composition of emotions are more dominant than the others, though the strength varies in degree on an individual basis. Throughout their society, pressure to possess influence and station are not just a cultural catalyst, but primarily driven by one's individual emotion and desire. To not achieve such lofty heights is to not only be a failure in their own eyes, but in the eyes of their family, bloodline and a weakness to be exploited by their rivals. Such an unpleasant fact motivates even the lowest stationed Dral'azie to be all that they can be.
 

Social Structure.

They have always relied on their own wits and skills to survive, and they continue to believe that they can, or they'll succumb to the depredations of other Dark Aelfier who just like them, are trying to scramble up the social ladder.
 
Dral'azie society is structured upon the ancient Dark Aelfier system of government coined the Palus system. Created before the death of the first Priest-Empress and ordained by Aulreth, it divided her power as Sovereign and Spiritual leader of the Dark Aelfier people between her two waring heirs. The decision never truly resolved the matter.
 
The backbone of power in this society lies in the hands of Noble houses, each tightly controlling various aspects of their lives. Control over essential resources, coupled with ancestral ties enables nobles to engage in power-brokering, often leaving the rest of society at their mercy. With such ruthless competition for status and favour, it is not uncommon for the houses to rise up out of obscurity or to be wiped out altogether by internal strife or external threats. Marrying into noble bloodlines becomes a strategic move for wealthy merchants, ensuring their rise in status. To prevent the ascent of potential rivals, noble families frequently engage in intermarriage, consolidating power and maintaining a delicate balance.  
by Anithecutie

Feiilshin Gluntiir

Every pitiful soul in this wretched city scurries beneath the towering influence of noble houses, grovelling at the feet of those born to rule. And why not? It is the natural order of things, the divine right of those deemed superior by birth.
  As a result, many prominent Houses are constantly embroiled in feuds and struggles for power within their own ranks with Dral'azie City States becoming political battlegrounds for competing factions, as Houses form alliances, betrayals transpire, and ambitious machinations seek to unseat the ruling elites in favor of their own. Yet, all these power dynamics pale in comparison to the influence of the Great Houses' matrons, the Imperial family and the Empress whose power over the houses and The Tra'vanor Imperium is absolute. Yet, this imperial sway is fickle and only partly where the power lies. Under the auspices of religious sects is the power of devotion to their Goddess and her temple of the Seven Signs.  
Marithis Vanor'Urithair, Empress of Dragh'zeruel and The Tra'vanor Imperium.
 
With a natural aptitude for magic, Dral'azie society prizes magical excellence. Holding magecraft and sorcery in the highest esteem as is typical amongst most Aelfier cultures. As such, prominent wielders of such magical talent are known to rise far in status and influence when wealth, birthright or station are not withing their means. Female Dark Aelfier in particular have a higher affinity toward magic than males and is believed to be the reason they are the dominate gender in their societies. Lesser Nobility, wealthy merchants or ambitious citizenry make a point in enrolling their children into the most prestigious magic institutions, with the aspiration their offspring to become magisters within the noble courts, or advisors to the highborn nobility.
 
Magisters and sorcerers have a habit of appearing in Dral'azie noble circles at the most oppertune moments.
Guided by The Hierarch of Draal'Grondi, the revered Arch-Priestess of the priesthood, and the formidable Grand Master of the Templars, these religious authorities wield great spiritual power and influence. The teachings of the Temple of the Seven Signs shape the moral compass of the entire society, reinforcing the idea that obedience and loyalty to the ruling powers are not just a social obligation but a religious duty. The elaborate rituals conducted by the priesthood, coupled with the disciplined training of the Templars, instil a sense of awe and fear in the hearts of the populace.  
by Anithecutie

Ulven'rin Palgorn

To exalt any above the goddess is blasphemy. These foolish princelings believe themselves beyond the gaze of the divine, such arrogance. Only the faithful are truly ordained to be worthy of leading our people through the endless night.
  Amidst the turmoil of the city-states, the Priesthood and Templars opportunistically exploit the strife to consolidate their power, lurking in the shadows, poised to strike when the moment yields the most advantageous spoils. Noble families deem it to be a sign of goodwill from the goddess to have a member of the clergy of Templar in their bloodline and have a voice in ecclesiastic matters. This ceaseless power struggle fosters a perilous vacuum between church and state, both believing themselves to be the true embodiment of the Goddess on Evalaw, though her voice has long fallen silent.   Beneath the highborn and the ecclesiastic powers lies the lower echelons of Dral'azie society; the Shakkar and Vashaa. The Shakkar, or lowborn, comprise primarily of the citizenry, commoners and thralls alike. Among the Shakkar, the citizens are a distinctive middle class. Deeply traditionalists and puritans, they defended the value of religion, morals of their ancestors, family and a modest lifestyle under their family matron. One great advantages they hold over other Shakkar, is the access to literacy and learn magic their position grants them, allowing them to skills and trades that most commoners would not have access to. Among free citizens, merchants hold a privileged position due to their wealth and status, they possess the advantage of literacy and acumen, often ascending to a higher social standing.  
Commoners are typically dictated by city-state law, finding themselves born into this position. While they lacked the political freedoms of a citizen or economic power of the wealthy merchants, they practiced free professions or as artisans, often finding a voice organizing in guilds or under the auspice of the temple. The more unfortunate find themselves driven into thraldom by accumulated debts or crime, offering little to no social mobility. If a debtor is particularly cruel, they can find themselves either thrown to the mercy of gladiatorial pits, to toil away in the drudgery of the labour camps and mines or worst of all, stripped away of all freedom and sold off as slaves to pay what they owed.  
  While most Aelfier societies abhor the practice, slavery is commonplace throughout Dral'azie society and The Sunless Realms, if you are too weak to protect yourself, someone will take advantage of that. Therefore, slavery has become a huge industry and significant resource, undertaking many of the menial tasks Dral consider to be beneath. Typically relying on exceptional numbers of Goblinoids to provide the bulk of workers and grunts that do their bidding countless other ancestries too find themselves trafficked and entrapped into servitude. Literacy is typically outlawed among slaves due to the risk of them learning magic and challenging their overlords.
It is not unusual for visitors to the Dral'azie city-states to see richly dressed noblewomen followed by trains of attendants and eunuchs visiting marketplaces and bazaars.

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Religion.

Religion plays an important role in everyday life and rituals, every action is to honour Aulreth and prepare for her return and revenge upon the light-seeking worms that forced her into exile.
  SSince the aftermath of The Cadence, the Dark Aelfier would deviate in their religious practices from the rest of the Aelvar, instead choosing to worship a Chthonic Pantheon of Aelvar gods whom had granted them back there immortality, much in the way the rest of the Aelfier people had done with their own gods. Their transformation into devotees of Aulreth, the goddess of Darkness, further sets them apart and inevitably lead to a bitter conflict with the Aelifer of the light and ultimately exiled into the underworld. Of all of the Dark Aelfiers descendance, the Dral'azie in particular would remain unwavering in their worship of the Chthonic gods during their century long exodus into the underworld. Particularly Aulreth, Myria'cresne and Suul'vilth as well as holding Nyss in high reverence. Each of these deities done particular things to aid the Dral'azie reach the point where they are today, embracing the shadows of The Sunless Realms and surviving its perils, undergoing countless gruelling trials and tests during their great exodus.  
Celebrant and preistesses of the Seven Signs.
Faith is the foundation of Dral'azie culture; With the arrival of the Dark Aelfier in the caverns, they were met with a harsh environment that was completely alien to them. The absence of the sun and light, extreme temperatures and unpredictable topography were all factors that the Dark Aelfier would have to overcome. Through the teachings and guidence of Aulreth, Suul'vilth and Myria'cresne they would overcome what awaited them in the underworld. Aulreth is widely recognised as the primary force binding the Dral'azie people together as a whole, leading the Dral'azie to their new home, as well as cultural achievements from philosophy, magic, to architecture and the political structure of the great houses and their society. Suul'vilth taught them to relying on guile, deception, and cunning to divert or even subvert dangers rather than confronting it directly and to use hostile environments to their advantage. While Myria'cresne would bestowed upon them the gift of her light so they could overcome the perpetual night; where now sunlight blinded them, they would never know blindness in dark. She exhibits the virtues of fertility, love, beauty, and art, and as such, her acolytes seek to exemplify these ideals in both their daily lives and rituals.  

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Culture.

  In many ways Dral'azie culture shares similar aspects to that of their overworld cousin, Like all Aelfier, the Dral'azie typically dedicate their lives to mastering a skill or talent, whether it be focused on the arts, arcane studies or statecraft to name a few.  
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Varjjiah

Despite our expulsion from Aelifer society, our people persist in their relentless pursuit of mastery over the dark arts, navigating the delicate balance between survival and the allure of forbidden powers.
 

Sub-Cultures.

 

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Dral’azie imperium
Emblem of the The Tra'vanor Imperium has become widly synominous with the Dra'azie.
Background image commissioned by Evalaw Team, artist; EllirhShaan.

Comments

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Jul 3, 2020 15:37

Wow you really put a lot of work into this! It's the biggest article I've ever seen!

Jul 3, 2020 20:35 by Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine

Thank you! Funny thing is, it's not even finished either ^^"

_______________________________________________________________   Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come chat with us on our Discord Server!
Jul 3, 2020 21:52

Wow

Apr 14, 2024 13:03 by Kerry

It's not finished? ......wow... I love the symbols here, and the overall ambiance of the article, but at this size, you may want to make a manuscript of it and other species and turn it into a literal printable Atltas... I'd buy it lol

Apr 16, 2024 07:25 by Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine

Hiya, thank you for your comments, really means a lot to get feedback! Yeah, there's still some parts on culture, religions, origins and society I am finishing up. Once WAWA are over I'll get adding, plus still loads of imagery I've got to add too. We're even doing a "How to play" section which will break down how you would play a character of certain races in Evalaw.   We are hoping down the lines to do a book for the setting, but I really apricate to hear you'd buy our ramblings :D

_______________________________________________________________   Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come chat with us on our Discord Server!
Apr 16, 2024 08:05 by Kerry

I'd gladly buy it and brag that I kinda know the person who wrote it.... "kinda' cuz we have only encountered each other as of about a day or 2 ago lol

Apr 16, 2024 13:23 by Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine

Well if you ever want to join our discord server and speak to myself or my co-creator you're more than welcome.

_______________________________________________________________   Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come chat with us on our Discord Server!
Jul 3, 2020 19:21

you wrote 4380 words!

Sep 19, 2021 11:46 by Alperen

This is something magical. I really loved this one. And to be honest, I really fell in love with your world. Especially the aesthetic. <3

Sep 19, 2021 14:59 by Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine

I am so pleased to hear you like our world! It is great to hear such feedback, as it lets us know we're doing something right! ^_^ We defiantly have more to come, as our WorldAnvil is still very much a work in progress. But I hope you continue to enjoy what we release.

_______________________________________________________________   Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come chat with us on our Discord Server!
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