“Coming through!” A blur passed aside my vision, and when I turned my focus back to the enemy before me, it lay defeated. She stood atop the monster, with hair and eyes radiant as the stars from which her ancestor was spawned.All things die, even those great stars which the goddess Astra spread across the night sky untold eons ago. But by that same token, from death comes new life. When a star dies it creates a new form of life from its remains: An Astral. These Astrals, whose titanic, hulking frames are windows into the cosmos, were worshipped as divine messengers by the people of a younger Dohma, and with their arrival the world was forever given a piece of their kind. From the Astrals descended the children of the stars, a new breed of adventurer to roam the world of Dohma: The Astrians.
“Phew, it’s a good thing I got here when I did!” She spoke in her indomitably energetic tone. Her presence was comforting to some degree. She exuded a particular warmth with her innocently wide grin, despite her blade being caked in the blood of the monster that lay beneath her.
“I’m glad you made it, Stella,” I said to the eager starchild, “Now help me carry this thing back. We’ve got a bounty to collect!”
SubracesThe Astrals came from a variety of different kinds of stars, and their descendants are no less varied, resulting in five distinct subraces: Solarans, Red Giants, Solar Dwarves, Silverlings, and Blackstars.
SolaransDescended from Astrals originating from common stars, known as Sunstars for their similarity to Dohma's own sun, Solarans are the most common subrace of Astrians and are the closest to humans in terms of anatomy and physique. They also have a unique ability separate from that of their peers: The Solar Flare. By harnessing the power of their inner star, they can create a fierce flash of blinding light in front of them, harming and blinding anything caught in the flash.
Red GiantsRed Giants, descended from Astrals of the same variety, are hulking beings of great strength formidable stature. They can stand well over 7 ft tall, they are typically very muscular, and their hair and skin typically take on warmer, fiery colors. Red Giants have the unique ability to channel the fire of the star within them and emit beams of intense heat from their eyes.
Solar DwarvesThe Solar Dwarves are descended from Astrals originating from dwarf stars. No matter what race or culture a Solar Dwarf originates from, they will always have the stoutness of a dwarf, be they from elves, humans, or what have you. Their colors are closer to the lighter side of the spectrum, with light blues, reds, and yellows being the primary occurrences. Solar Dwarves are highly resilient and incredible craftsmen, able to create weapons and armor of unique materials known as Starbronze and Starsteel, created from condensed stardust.
BlackstarsBlackstars are the result of a special type of Astral. The Astrals from which the Blackstars are descended were born from the embodiments of death and darkness in the cosmos: Black holes. The Blackstar Astrals are far less benevolent than their peers, but their descendants are not beholden to this alignment, however much their appearance may suggest the contrary. Their hair and eyes do not radiate the warmth and light of the stars, instead consuming the light and turning it into inky darkness. Their flesh does not reveal the cosmos, but the empty void of space. Their builds are on par with humans in terms of height, but they are far more slender. Finally, they have the power to harness the gravity of the dead star within them.
SilverlingsSilverlings are the result of another special breed of Astrals, those originating from the rare silver stars. These Astrians are generally more inclined towards goodness than most of their peers, and the unique nature of their stars grants them a heightened intellect in comparison to others of their kind. In terms of height, they average slightly taller than humans, but still significantly shorter than Red Giants. Their features are particularly beautiful, with shining silver or white hair and eyes, and slender, picturesque bodies, though not as slender as Blackstars. Finally, they have the ability to harness the silver light of their star to aid their allies in battle, projecting an intense silver light all around them which invigorates allies and harms enemies.
Solarans are very similar to humans in terms of anatomy and build. Red Giants are distinctly larger and far more muscular, while Solar Dwarves are short and stout like their non-cosmic peers. Silverlings are slender and light, and Blackstars even more so.
Genetics and Reproduction
Astrians reproduce similarly to humans. Any Astrian reproducing with any compatible humanoid will always result in the child sharing their cosmic heritage. When two Astrians have a child, Solaran genes will be overtaken by that of any other subrace. Red Giants and Solar Dwarves can not reproduce together, as with Blackstars and Silverlings. The latter two subraces have the most dominant genes of the race and will always overpower the genes of any other compatible subrace when reproducing. Solar Dwarves and Red Giants will always grow to be within the same size range regardless of the type of humanoid to which they are born. This means it is possible to see something of small stature, like a Halfling, give birth to a hulking Red Giant, or an Elf give birth to a Solar Dwarf.
Ecology and Habitats
Astrians don't really enjoy the underground for the most part, they enjoy being able to look up into the night sky and see the stars from which they hail.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Solarans, Red Giants, and Solar Dwarves tend to eat notably more on average than the typical human, though strangely, they can also go for significantly longer without food. The exact mechanism behind this trait is not known. Conversely, Blackstars and Silverlings tend to eat less on average than humans, while being able to last about as long as humans without food.
Astrians' eyes glow with the light of the stars, and their pupils are almost like tiny stars themselves, with the exception of the Blackstars, whose dark eyes spiral into their center.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Astrians can be found anywhere humans can, which is to say basically everywhere. If it's habitable to human life, there's a chance you could find an Astrian there if you looked hard enough. It's more likely to find them in elevated areas though, as Astrians enjoy being able to stare up to the skies to see the stars of their birth. Some even go out of their way to become closer to the skies by living atop high mountains and other such elevated areas.
Astrians are about as varied in intelligence as humans, but Silverlings in particular tend to be above average in terms of their mental fortitude, while Solarans tend to be more in tune with the world around them and aware of their surroundings. The rest of the subraces are of average intelligence.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Astrians have improved sight in the darkness
Civilization and Culture
Astrians are typically given names reflective of the culture into which they were born. These names typically translate to something star or heaven-related, as indicative of their heritage. However, some Astrians who yearn early on for independence may give themselves their own names, names less culturally tied down and more overt in their relation to the stars and the heavens.
Astrians typically find themselves in positions of power and/or reverence wherever they go, as their births are commonly seen as gifts from the goddess Astra herself. Especially in the kingdom of Kattoria, it is not at all uncommon to see Solarans treated as first-class citizens. However, in recent years, a large gathering of Astrians have created a haven for their kind, an independent city-state known as Astrothesia, founded by a mysterious group of Astrians called the Pleiades
Each subrace has different ideals on beauty, though such ideals can easily be influenced by the culture of their birth. Solarans tend to believe that things should be flashy and extravagant, citing the phrase "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing" quite often. Red Giants tend to see strength as beautiful depending on its application. Solar Dwarves believe in craftsmanship as the highest standard of beauty, putting the same heart and passion into their forges as a painter would put into his canvas. Blackstars show a fondness for minimalism in art, believing that sometimes less truly is more. Finally, Silverlings enjoy elegance and grace in their endeavors of beauty.
Astrians see little difference between male and female beyond their obvious biological differences. They rarely even contemplate the idea of stereotypical gender roles, and become confused when faced with such.
Going in line with their beauty and gender ideals, each subrace is receptive to a different approach to romance, and will show their affections in different ways, regardless of gender: Solarans enjoy flashy displays of love and have no qualms with public displays of affection; Red Giants will show their love by performing a feat of great strength or fortitude for the subject of their affection; Solar Dwarves will present finely crafted gifts of their own creation to their loved ones; Blackstars have a difficult time showing affection, and will try not to make a big deal of it despite their feelings, consequently being the most shy variety of Astrians; finally, Silverlings will gracefully declare their love with poetic vernacular and flowery execution.
All varieties of Astrians tend to share a belief in loyalty and honesty within a committed relationship. They can be open to certain things, but it is best to be forward with an Astrian with things they may react negatively to if discovered later.
Average Technological Level
Solar Dwarves are responsible for the creation of the metals Starbronze and Starsteel, the latter of which is one of the strongest metals in all of Dohma.
Major Language Groups and Dialects
Astrians share a unique ability to understand the speech of their peers regardless of the language. A Solaran and a Silverling could be speaking Infernal or Elvish to each other and they would still understand each other without being able to speak each other's languages. The mechanism behind this trait is unknown, and it baffles anyone who observes it, even the Astrians themselves.
Common Etiquette Rules
While Solarans, Red Giants, and Solar Dwarves exhibit average etiquette among humans, Silverlings take pride in being notably more proper and elegant than their peers, while Blackstars tend to be reserved and quiet.
Common Dress Code
While they have no strict codes with regards to dress, Astrians have different preferences for how they clothe themselves. Solarans enjoy outfits with bright colors that leave some skin exposed, typically around the midriff; Red Giants prefer to go shirtless, since they rarely need to worry about the cold; Solar Dwarves have the most ordinary clothing preferences, typically conforming to the culture they're born into while sometimes adding little garnishes of their own creation; Blackstars and Silverlings share a fondness for long, flowing clothes, with Blackstars gravitating towards darker colors and Silverlings towards lighter colors.
Culture and Cultural Heritage
Astrians have no established culture of their own, and their cultural perspective tends to be influenced by whatever culture they were born into. The city of Astrothesia seeks to change this, however it is too young to have established an identifiable culture of its own
Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals
Astrian soldiers, regardless of their nation, will salute by raising their right fist straight upwards before bringing it down to their heart with their palm pointed downward.
Astrians value loyalty quite heavily, and to betray one's true companions is almost unheard of for all but the most vile of individuals. When an Astrian grows close to someone, they are almost always loyal to each other until their last breath.
Many influential figures in history have been Astrians, most good, a few evil. More recently is a Solaran woman known as Stella, who travelled with the famed hunter Venyur Chase before his mysterious disappearance, and is currently scouring the world in search of her lost companion. There also exists an enigmatic group know as the Pleiades, who founded the city of Astrothesia fifteen years ago.
Common Myths and Legends
Astrians tend to mythologize the Astrals from which they are descended, as nobody remembers what they were like or even if they're still around. Many tall tales told by Astrians involve Astrals or the early Astrians. One legend in particular tells of the Starlord, an ancient Astrian who participated in the Great Conflict and fought against the forces of the Corrupted Gods.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Astrians, given their origins, are very friendly with most humanoid races, especially those with whom they are compatible. They share a particular kinship with Aasimars and Tieflings, both because they are all hybrids, but especially with the Aasimars given their similar, albeit not exact, celestial heritage.
Astrians, depending on the variety, can be anywhere from just under 4 ft tall to well over 7 ft tall, with Solar Dwarves occupying the lower end of the spectrum, Red Giants occupying the higher end, and the other three subraces being somewhere in the middle.
Because of their differences in physique, Astrians can be anywhere from under 100 lbs to over 200 on average.
While Solarans are comparable to humans, the other subraces can differ greatly. Red Giants are hulking, muscular titans compared to humanity, while Solar Dwarves have the stoutness of their non-celestial peers. Silverlings are slender and comparable to Elves, while Blackstars are thin and skinny.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
The skin of an Astrian is translucent, and anything more than a passing glance will reveal that their skin is a translucent window into the cosmos from which their progenitors hail. The general tint of an Astrian's skin will typically match the color of their hair.
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