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Hollowborn

The Hollowborn is a terrible condition which affects on the Elves . The curse affects the race as a whole, and comes and goes; generally it is attributed to the wrath of Aphrodite, and can be consistently, though temporarily, cured by taking holy vengeance on the Hymbrans. When the curse is affecting the Elves, there is a very high chance that any newborn Elf will be "Hollowborn." Hollowborn children are living, but have no soul: they eat and breathe and have bodily functions, but never speak and though they might look they never see; they lack all sense of emotion, including pain, and nearly all Hollowborn are offered up to the elements rather than burden the tribe.

Aphrodite's Wrath

The Elves are among the most - if not the most - religious of all cultures, possibly rivaled only by the Lustrians. However, the Elves have a unique relationship with the gods: they consider themselves demigods, and treat the gods as extended family. Although they hold a certain in-crowd respect for all the gods, the Elves have a contentious relationship with Sister Aphrodite, who clearly holds the Elves some terrible ill-will.   There are many stories about why Sister Aphrodite curses her "siblings" with such a wicked curse, but the most commonly accepted among the Elves is that she became jealous of their beauty and punishes them for it now and then. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty, and birth, does not appreciate competition in her domain. Since the Elves cannot change how they look, they appear to be trapped in this ruthless curse for eternity.

A Temporary Cure

Only one cure consistently works for breaking the curse - holy retribution. The Elves were exiled from their homeland, modern Hymbra, from the refugees of The Schism. When the Hollowborn curse rests upon the shoulders of the Elves, a special moot is called, and all the tribes gather. At this gathering, a tribe is chosen to sacrifice themselves for the good of the whole. This tribe gets special honors in the long memories of the Elves, but by volunteering to end the curse, they are volunteering to raid Hymbra and slaughter the Hymbrans until all but a few pre-chosen tribesmen are dead. Those who survive return to tell the tale and join a new tribe.   This is the only reliable way to break the curse, and it is done as soon as the curse strikes. Because the Elves believe that they are destined to reclaim their homeland, and that they are the favored children of the gods, it makes perfect sense why this would move even the stone heart of Aphrodite into smiling upon the Elves.
Type
Divine

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