Bonedancers Species in Cairne | World Anvil


Amalgamations of the Past

Vengeful Children   The Bonedancers are the remnant of a outworld species of elf know as the Syllandyhan elves. Not being native to the world of Cairne when the Blight fell, they were all but forgotten, having played little role in the world and the events that led to that fateful day. They are living constructs, pieced together utilizing flesh and machine that remain a unified and logic driven force residing on the island of Apparatus. While they were less affected than the rest of the world during the Blight and the following years, they were isolated and sought extreme means to survive, which led to their present state of being. Over the years they have mostly lost touch with their organic roots, and their culture has shifted dynamically and drastically, no longer resembling the people they once were either physically or societially. They remain an enigma to the outside world, only recently having been discovered by the mainland cultures, but slowly, they are beginning to venture out from their single, mechanized metropolis, Obficia to explore the post Blight world.

Basic Information


The Bonedancers are effectively constructs that blend organic and machine elements to become something else. While they generally do seem to adhere to a loose aesthetic in their design, keeping a humanoid form and adhering to cultural styles and motifs, they are not bound by this. The nature of their construction does seem to require that they keep to a humanoid physical appearance, with no extra limbs or appendages, but this is most likely due to the fact that the Bonedancer must keep the organic brain within their body, and adding more than this would cause a synaptic overload and the construction would fail.

Genetics and Reproduction

While there is still a large portion of organic tissue remaining within these creatures, they can no longer reproduce in the natural sense, and as a culture refuse to pursue that course even if they could. The Bonedancers view their new forms as a point of elevated evolution, and to entrust their lives to genetic random chance would be a step backward. Instead they salvage what they can from the recent dead and dying to further their kind, no longer worried about the origins of the flesh in terms of species, and rather more focused on the mind contained within and mechanical enhancements that it controls. They do not offer this procedure to any other species, ever. To do so would be a blasphemy and breach of law of the highest order. It is not uncommon to see organic aspects of other species integrated into the bodies of a Bonedancer, however, as long as the original Syllandyhan brain remains in tact.

Ecology and Habitats

Culturally, the Bonedancers view the world as a collection of resources to be taken advantage of, the state of the post Blight world having little to do with their outlook in their present cultural state. They will completely strip an area of resources if given the chance and leave a barren waste in their wake. It is important to point out that there is no malice in this, but rather that since they use very little food and water, they apply the resources they gather to their slowly expanding city.

Dietary Needs and Habits

These creatures have very slow metabolisms, mainly due to how little of their bodies remain organic and how little is needed to sustain them. A Bonedancer can survive on a quarter of the food and water a normal human needs to survive. The food they normally consume is a flavorless, compressed protein source made from a mash of vegetable nutrients.


While most will see these creatures as cold or even callous, they have a vibrant culture of complex ritual and remarkably creative artisans. They do not show very much in the way of emotion, eschewing the common social norms of most intelligent species in favor of direct and unfettered truth. It is said that a Bonedancer is incapable of lying, and while they retain the propensity to do so, it is extremely rare that they do, viewing such behavior as inefficient and counter-productive. In most aspects of life they seek the path of least resistance to achieve their goal, seeking logical paths and conclusions to any challenge they face. The unfortunate side of this mentality is that they also tend to view life as a resource rather than the precious thing it is to most others, something to be utilized and exploited if their logical path takes them there. This leads to a great deal of mistrust and aversion to them as a whole, but as previously stated, they remain upfront and honest in almost all cases, and are well known to consider alternative options if a more logical path can be presented.

Additional Information

Social Structure

The Bonedancers maintain a unique form of rule in that, they are a true participatory democracy. Within the confines of their vast city there is a central dome that houses a large number of Bonedancers whose sole purpose is to process trends, growth, challenges, and threats and to present them daily to the rest of the population, who culturally will present themselves in the dome at least once per day to add their votes to whatever is on the dockets. The dome is a tangle of mechanical switchboards, covered in levers dials and buttons that seem almost chaotic, though to the Bonedancers, there is a strict order to the inner workings of their system, and despite the outward confusion that most would view this as, there is never any debate or conflict that arises from it. While each Bonedancer is unique and maintains their own views and opinions, they accept the results of these votes with no complaint, adhering to the majority rule system and trusting that the collective majority will lead them in the mose efficent and effective direction as a culture.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Through the systemic replacement of various parts and organs, it is not uncommon for the Bonedancers to gain any number of benefits from the enhancements. While their natural eyes do allow them to see quite well in the dark, and their hearing is superb, certain mechanical addendums to their form can alter and boost these abilities as well, offering new forms of sensory perception such as the ability to see heat and cold, or increased auditory sensitivity that offers a form of echolocation for instance. As with their limbs however, there is only so much the organic brain can process and for every enhancement to a sense, one of the original organic ones must be sacrificed.

Civilization and Culture


Left to their own devices, the lost culture of the Syllandyha elves were isolated and forgotten on when the Blight fell upon the world, leaving them to their own devices for matters of longevity and survival. The small island nation that they inhabited was not tied to the Gaul Do Shah, and they in turn swore no allegiance to the Queen and her sovereignty. Outworlders and travellers, trapped by the celestial closure that occurred during the divine exodus, they also managed to escape the internal destruction of the poisoning of the Spirit Tree, though perhaps their fate was worse. The lack of food and potable water that their island home contained went very quickly following the devastation, and in turn they brought their focus to bear on other methods of self preservation. Utilizing their substantial skills and abilities, they began to modify themselves drastically, supplanting the parts of their bodies that suffered from the ill effects of hunger and thirst, and the effects of the violent and toxic storms that lashed their homes and shelters relentlessly. The mastermind behind these changes, a prodigious engineer named Arterryx Vedikki, slowly transformed the very essence of his people into something new, a symbiotic mesh of flesh and machine. For a short time, the issues that plagued them seemed to have been alleviated, their new bodies now able to endure far more, and any organic damage able to be quickly covered or replaced thanks to the genius of Arterryx.   What Arterryx had not accounted for, however, was the degradation of the psyche in his people, and the ripple effect it would have as things progressed. He noticed quickly that matters of the flesh, simple pleasures, and empathy began to become less important rapidly, and the new creatures...whatever they had become, began to make larger and larger demands on the engineer, who had himself up to this point, forgone any augmentation for the sake of the others, so that his ability to graft living tissue with the inorganic elements of his design would not be hampered. They wanted not only to become less and less what they once were, reveling in their new imperviousness, but they wanted a way to make more of themselves, a way to continue the evolution of their design towards something larger and even more powerful Arterryx, in his journals often wrote about his fears and concerns, stating that he had destroyed his beloved people in an attempt to save them. He tried to push back, but they used terrible methods of coercion to force him to do their bidding. As this horrible moment in their history was coming to a boiling point, a small canoe was spotted, beaching on the southern shore of their island, a group of strange, dark skinned humans disembarking and warily offering to speak with these odd creations they had found, they themselves obviously desperate to understand what had happened to their world. The creatures that were the Syllandyha fell upon them mercilessly, much to the horror of Arterryx, tearing the envoys limb from limb and demanding that the engineer use the remains to further the demands they had made of him. He refused, horrified by what he had created and retreated to his workshop, locking himself within and barring the entry. He never did come out, though they never did figure out a way in. His last act of brilliance was the creation of a location so well reinforced and locked down that they were never able to open the door again.   Frustrated, they turned their attention to their visitors and where they had come from. Using the same canoe that brought them there, two of the creatures made their way sound until they found the neighboring island, using their enhanced forms to survey the island and the people they found there. The scouts returned with the news and it was only a short amount of time before they began to strip their home of wood to craft enough small ships for an invasionary force to conquer their neighbors, determined to create more creatures like themselves. The raids were swift and violent, razing entire villages and dragging the people they found there off to meet a nightmarish fate. Rallying to a common cause, their victims on the other island banded together and fought back, unexpectedly more voracious and strong than expected. The natives changing into hulking, beast-like creatures and pushing back the invaders in a three year war that left both sides dangerously close to annihilation. It was during this struggle that the former elves were given the name, "Bonedancers", which the natives of the other island referred to them as, given for the way they would move across the battlefields after a victory, picking pieces of the fallen to take back with them.   During the lull that followed, the Bonedancers held a council and began to discuss the very real possibility that they would lose this fight, their numbers dwindling and the opposition seeming to have outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and overpowered them. While the driving desire to expand their own kind remained strong, it was self preservation in the end that led to a truce, and eventually the Pact of Sanctuary, guaranteeing a cessation of hostilities going forward. While there was initially a great deal of infighting among their neighbors, many of whom felt that the Bonedancers could not be trusted and that they deserved compensation for the attacks and deaths they had suffered, in the end it was agreed that something horrible had happened in the world, and that they remained without a way to discover what it was. With an unstable peace settled upon, the two cultures when back to their prospective homes and began to repair and seek ways to survive and find out what had happened. The Bonedancers turned their skills and energy into the building of a massive clockwork city within a sprawling crater on the center of their island. They named their city, Obficina and the entirety of their people gathered there. The resources needed to build the city devastated the environment of their home, leaving it barren and lifeless, a rocky slate of shining metal and stone that seemed to rise up out of the toxic ocean. They erected three massive towers to watch over and safeguard their settlement, and began to try and find their path forward.

Historical Figures

Genetic Ancestor(s)
Scientific Name
Syllandyhan elves
No Bonedancer has ever died of old age. If they have a finite lifespan, it has never been reached.
Geographic Distribution
Related Organizations
Related Ethnicities

Articles under Bonedancers

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