Keeper Species in Etharai | World Anvil

Keeper

It appears this article is a stub! Alert the author if you'd like to see it expanded.
This article is a work in progress! Expect more content to be added.
This article was created for my Species-A-Day project for 2024! Read more here!
Imagine, you find what you are looking for. You're face to face with the very thing that could give you all the answers you seek. But you look into its eyes... and it's a parody of you.
The Keepers are a species residing in the caves around the heart of Etharai. They are rumoured to be collectors of information, and some even think that they know all of the secrets of the universe. The species is certainly very secretive, never leaving their home within the heart and remaining incredibly wary towards outsiders.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Keepers have what is generally seen as an unnatural appearance. They have grey skin accompanied by many bumps and lumps, stringy hair, and black eyes. The most unsettling part of their forms, however, is that it seems as though they are some kind of sick version of the species on the surface. For visiting surface folk, this means looking at and interacting with the Keepers would be strange enough, without their unnerving mannerisms.
In addition to their off-putting appearance, Keepers seem to have access to magical advancements far beyond anyone on the surface. They seem to have the innate ability to change shape, shifting forms into similar but slightly different appearances. This is done through a form of magic known as Seeking, which, rather than channeling magic that already exists within the area, extends one's perception out to find the right source and type of magic, and uses that. This is more effective near the heart, where many different types of magic are present in the air, but not as effective on the surface, where large patches of similar magic sprawl across entire biomes.

Genetics and Reproduction

There are a few different theories on how Keepers reproduce. If they have young, they do not keep them in sight of any potential visitors, perhaps hiding them if they sense someone approaching? Some believe that the Keepers are immortal, which is a ridiculous notion that has become fairly popular. Other believe that the keepers reincarnate when they die, keeping similar populations.
The Keepers: Secrets of Etharai
The true way that Keepers reproduce is through visitors. When someone visits the keepers, if they see promise in that person, they ask if that person wishes to become a Keeper. Upon confirmation, they undergo a very painful process where the very atomic makeup of their body changes, to better suit them for life near the higher-magic areas near the heart. This changes them closer to the appearance of the Keepers, and is the reason that so many Keepers look like mockeries of the surface species.
 

Growth Rate & Stages

After a Keeper reaches adulthood, they begin to learn the secrets of the world around them. They learn about magic and all its forms, as well as how to use them. They learn how to distinguish between the use of other types of magic, as well. They are taught all of this by their community, and once they have learned all that there is to know, they take part in a coming-of-age ceremony known as Awakening, where they are then exposed to the entirety of the knowledge of the community. While teaching them magic through this method could work, it is more important to the Keepers that anyone coming into the knowledge of their society must first demonstrate the desire, drive, and ability to learn without it.

Ecology and Habitats

The Keepers live deep within the caverns of Etharai, their only source of light being the heart of Etharai itself. They do not have natural predators, as they were formerly the apex predators, but they now prefer to observe the environment rather than participating in it. This is a common threat amongst much of their belief systems, to observe and not interfere.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Keepers do need food to survive, and they can find this food in their environment. They farm idyllic mushrooms, a species of mushrooms that can be grown in slightly different or modified conditions to change the flavours and nutrients it provides. This accounts for much of the diets of the Keepers, with the exception of one other source, the venom collected from the phase snake. These creatures, often kept as pets by the Keepers, have a venom high in magic that, when properly distilled, can be drunk to cause a number of different effects. Keepers drink this venom as a part of a number of their rituals.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Keepers do not have names that they assign to individuals. They either refer to a specific individual by pointing to them, or they refer to the collective group as a whole. There is no way to refer to a Keeper that is not a part of the specific conversation, which the Keepers are perfectly fine with, as they believe that if you have something to say about a person, it should be said in front of that person.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

The Keepers speak a language known as Deepspeech. It is a language that can be understood by those devoted to learning. However, if a person motivated by fame, greed, or another corrupt motive hears the language, it will sound as though the Keepers are speaking in grunts and growls.

Leadership

Communities of Keepers are led by a person with the title of Bringer of Knowledge. This person makes collective decisions for the community, and is also the one responsible for carrying out the Awakening and determining who may be able to be Awakened. They are able to veto the introduction of any newcomers to the group as well.
Placeholder Species Image
Matilda Placeholder by notahumanhand
Lifespan
Biologically immortal
Average Height
Varies
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities

An Eye for Magic

Keepers have an eye for magic - they are able to see it around them without using Aurology, and can discern the different types of magic in the air despite its high density making it difficult to see to an untrained eye.
Keepers are taught to hone these skills the moment they become able, which has led to them being one of the most magically-adept species on the planet.
 

Faithful Companions: Keepers and the Phase Snake

Keepers enjoy the company of the phase snake, one of the species that lives around the heart. They have domesticated them, occasionally harvesting their venom, and taking care of the dietary needs of the snakes. The snakes are not averse to this, as being fed their own food allows them to expend less energy turning invisible. However, these pets have a penchant for troublemaking, using their excess energy and ability to turn invisible to play tricks on their owners. From what can be discerned, this is a playful behaviour and an expression of love - though, one that the Keepers could probably do without.
 

Keepers of Knowledge

The Keepers are highly intelligent, able to contain all of the information of themselves and their community while also acutely keeping track of the world around them. They use this intelligence to study magic, making intellectual advancements in their fields and studying how the world around them works, always on a quest for more knowledge.
It is said that the keepers had been there since Etharai was placed inside the planet, and that they have been her keepers since she was. It is also said that they know all of the secrets of the universe. If either of these things are true, they have never been mentioned or answered to outsiders.


Cover image: Blood Cells Red by qimono

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
Dec 7, 2023 18:55 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

The Keepers are so intriguing. I love that they have domesticated phase snakes. The secret section was really interesting too.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Dec 7, 2023 19:46 by spleen

thank you! im having fun writing about some of their traditions :)

Have a wonderful day!
Feb 3, 2024 22:57 by Aster Blackwell

So strange and unnerving!