An Rún Marbh Society Ethnicity in Cairne | World Anvil

An Rún Marbh Society

Nowhere Left to Go

When the doors in and out of the realm of Cairne slammed shut, the afterlife took on a much more constrained meaning to those that remained. From that point on, every death that has occured has left behind a spirit trapped within the spirit realm to wander without closure or completion to their journey. Most of these poor souls inhabit a cycle of events that reflect some portion of the life they lost, but in very few cases...only the most rare, the spirit just refuses to leave the body. While in most cases, the undead are some cursed form of non-existence often set loose with an insatiable hunger for the living, the An Rún Marbh are quite the opposite. Death for them is no longer a finite point but rather a drawn out ailment that can last nearly indefinitely, or as long as the physical form can be made to hold out. The process and the ambient energies of the void that allow for this prolong the body and nearly halt most decomposition are mysterious and strange, and lead the recipients of this rare gift or condition with a jerky gait and a habit of staring just a bit too long at times. Time for them slows remarkably and since they no longer need to eat, breathe, or even blink, it has a general side effect of patient stillness when they are not in action. The oddity of this is that while they have a tendency to unnerve the living, they, for some reason, exude some type of odd charisma. As with most sentient creatures, they have found a strong sense of unity when in common company, and in order to mark themselves to one another and the world around them as a sentient and safe undead, they have taken to using various forms of skull and bone paints and, on occasion, masks to both cover the deathly gauntness and decay, as well as to assure the other "civilized" races don't just attack them on sight. These creatures maintain a zest for life that often surpasses the other races of Cairne, possibly a side effect of the process or, more likely, a precursor to those that end up on this path. They revel in art and music, love company, and are known to be tremendous story tellers. While their brain may slowly deteriorate leading to forgetfulness and quirky behavior, they never seem to lose the wisdom of their years. Over time, especially in the fringe settlements, they have become accepted, if not welcome guests as they travel from place to place swapping stories, news, songs, and art that they have gathered and created on their way. Their oils and perfumes are coveted by the other races of Cairne for their subtle and yet, still powerful aromas.


Culture and cultural heritage

An Rún Marbh are social creatures, especially with each other. They have an almost unnatural zeal for life and sharing experiences and as such are known to band together and travel in groups. Seeing as they are possibly the most tolerant race on the planet, it is not uncommon to see them travel with anyone of any race or nation as they will generally jump at the chance to do so. They have been known to form troupes of performers and information gatherers in the Wastes and use this role as an excuse to travel through the towns and settlements that exist there, where they have become a welcome part of the landscape, providing not only a tireless method of communications for the people that live there, but entertainment and education for those who are brave enough to endure the grey skies and desolate landscapes beyond the more civilized parts of the world.

Shared customary codes and values

The An Rún Marbh are some of the most kind and considerate creatures in the world. They do not abide selfishness or greed, as they have little use for it and above all, can see the overall damage these vices can do. They are generally gentle and soft spoken, though this may just be due to them seeing time passing in a much different light that most mortals.

Common Etiquette rules

Charity and polite respect are common aspects portrayed by the An Rún Marbh to the world outside their own. They have a patient nature that allows them to endure a great deal abuse and the many nervous receptions they encounter from others not yet familiar with their kind.

Common Dress code

Exotic face paints and colorful clothing, usually something contained therein that will designate them for what they are in order to avoid making others uncomfortable.

Art & Architecture

They are natural performers and enjoy a great deal of music, storytelling, and even pantomime and dance, though no known buildings or long term settlements have been discovered that can be accredited to this race.

Historical figures

Síoraíocht Sisters The most famous of the musical troupes that wander the Wastes. They are known for their theatrics and by the fact that they wear the old uniforms of the Bechtlarite Airship Command. They are rumored to actually have served when the Blight was pulled down and crashed in the Blighted Lands. If this is true, they would most likely be some of the first of their kind. Their music is made with instruments crafted from old bits of scrap metal, leading to a style of syncopation and heavy rhythms mingled with four part harmonies accompanied by the oddly quirky movements that the An Rún Marbh are famous for. The people on the Fringes are very familiar with them as they have been traveling around the area for the last seventy years or so and in that time have gained a large following of admirers and fans. In some of the bigger communities the people have been known to attend performances in facepaint as a show of solidarity.   Francis Dashwood   Mory Wickeltongue


Beauty Ideals

Appearance Just a bit too thin, just a bit too still, and slightly prone to staring just a bit too long. These poor souls are the result of a spirit having nowhere to go and choosing to remain. While their bodies continue to decay extremely slowly, they are still fully aware and this leads to an overwhelming presence when they are near. Through the years they have found many ways to cover the signs of the deterioration, fragrant oils and herb sachets, and of course the conscious decision as a newly unified people to illustrate what they are with face paint and masks that both hide and illuminate their nature.

Gender Ideals

Gender isn't very much of a concept for these lost souls. While many will hold to the general appearance and style they enjoyed in life, the drive to maintain any form of gender norm tends to fade with time.

An Rún Marbh

  The Secret Dead
Encompassed species
Related Locations
Government The An Rún Marbh are not unified to the point of a nation or society, and as such they have no recognized leader or hierarchy. Despite this, they remain unified and there has of yet, never been a recorded incident of members of theis race fighting with one another. They tend to maintain a fairly passive stance in the matters of the living, but generally abhor cruelty of unnecessary violence. They are, as a rule, kind and charitable, and extremely patient with all other forms of life. The lack of the need to eat, drink, sleep, or breathe may play into this, as they have very little need for material wealth beyond superficial wants and creature comforts.

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