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The Doomed Nation

Describe an endagered species in your world. Why is it in this position?  
Citizens of High Towers are a talking specie in danger of extinction. As a matter of fact now, it is less a danger than an advanced process close to its inevitable end.   The short version of that fact is simple enough: they are not capable to survive on Sharitarn because the level of Xar (magic) available is not enough for their reproductive necessities. Originally, in their home Universe, they where a large number of different mammal species that converged to one by crossbreeding. Significant anatomic differences separate different groups of their specie but they are able to reproduce as a singe specie, that is a process highly dependent on magic and worked well on their home world. 
   High Towers City, lays on the top of the Lost Pride Mountains, on the middle of Piwag Desert, on the Continent North Side of Sorrowful River; between the Sorrowful and the Green Line which leads to the the Welcome Tower of Lutianen.    On the planet Sharitarn, plaged by the vortex.
The Lost Pride Mountains are in fact three groups of mountains separated by corridors of desert. A line which cut the Piwag in two: the most populated third of it at West, where humans live, is limited at east by Open Sea. High Towers is on one among the highest picks. In the larger formation, which is the one in middle of Lost Pride. It is placed about as distant from the Sorrowful as it is distant from the Green Line.   The city itself, its physical structure, was build for a lost race of winged people; purposely inaccessible. It is mostly formed by towers white or black, linked by golden bridges which seems to be impossibly long and unnecessarily so, supported by nothing more than their ends. The towers are more often than not cylindrical , and as tall as the name of the city suggest: the buildings look like golden needles from great distance. The  of High Tower is recorded by it’s current citizens as being the day when their ancestors first saw the place, long abandoned.   High Towers is an extremely closed society, some would say xenophobic, keeping slave farms of their own in isolated valleys between the Lost Pride Mountains. Dealing with Merchant Caravans and wild tribes of the East Piwag as little as possible.  


  They came from a world with only two Continents. Which are located on the poles. That and some archipelagos on their vast sea: few islands, and far between. That was the equivalent to Sharitarn (and there fore the equivalent to Earth as well) on their Universe.
South Pole is a burning land covered by active volcanoes. Most the living people on the planet live on the North, that's where civilization evolved. For a long time they believed that the sentient species had evolved form one same origin and that their differences where relatively recent mutations. In fact there was hundreds of primitive talking mammal and those species which converged into one thanks to the influence of natural magical forces. Despite the reproduction of hybrids each group kept significant distinctive traces from their ancestors.
On their home planet almost all people had traits of low_non talking_ animals (their fauna is very similar to the one we had here on Earth before the mass extinction caused by humanity during the XXI century). Most continental populations have 'animal' heads, and most the individuals also have arms and legs that mix the human shape with traces of that same animal. Those low animals are always mammals, and the ethnic specificities are far from merely cosmetic. They have both physical and psychological effects, and from those came legal and cultural differences.
One particular separation established on the planet is between the winged people  and the Continentals     The winged ones are called Oceanic because they live on islands. They have a more primitive way of live, with tribal communities and little access to metal tools.    As happens on Sharitarn there is generalized slavery, and something that could be called a caste system (more rigid than the one followed by humanity on Sharitarn actually).    Some few subspecies are female dominant, but except for those males have all political power. They control the destiny of nations, and rule with absolute authority inside their homes as well, where the free females serve and obey their men while keep the slaves in line with iron hands and strict discipline.


To have and idea about who this iis used to be before the Vortex:  


   Oceanics are the winged people who lives in the islands. Their heads would easily be taken as humans by people on Earth, except for the wings and the muscles necessary to fly the differences between them and us would not be noticed without a medical examination. Even them, they could be taken as genetic variations, up to the point when the DNA test arrived. This people organize itself in many tribes, which fight their wars and celebrate their alliances among themselves. Most the time without even remember the existence of Continentals.
No one on this planet ever learned how to build boats. The idea never occurred to anyone, probably because there is no floating material to build the first primitive canoe, all wood is too heavy for that. That contingency made the ocean a wall impossible to overpass for those who don't have either wings or the capacity to survive swimming in the ocean.    The Oceanic can reach the inhabited Continent, and they do so from time to time looking for slaves and resources to steal but those incursions only make sense in small and fast groups. The Continental Nations are far too strong and numerous to be attacked, and adventure on their land always involve a high risk of capture and enslavement.   The insular tribes extract no metals from the ground, they only have the metal tools and weapons they can steal from the continental subspecies. They eat mostly fish and seafood. In general the villages are composed by primitive habitations made of wood, each one occupied by several families; but some tribes prefer individual houses, others use caves or dig their homes, and a few invest in strong castles of stone.   Despite their primitive organization and the low technological level the Oceanic are relatively safe from their cousins in the continent. Since the Continentals have no way to venture in the sea and cannot reach the islands where the flying people live.     


  They evolved on North Continent, and are composed by a far larger variety of subspecies. The most advanced Nations are governed by minotaurs, and include dog-men as their most numerous soldiers, reinforced by less numerous subspecies.   Minotaurs are extremely vigorous, at least as much as we would expect from a race of human bulls. They are omnivore, famous for their skills as farmers, and metal workers. Competent politicians, philosophers and artists. Their most advanced nations had build trains and gliders by the last time the Vortex brought people from them. They know no electricity but learned to use the winds and the water of rivers to move their engines, and recently started using steam power as well. Magic is far stronger on their planet than it is on Sharitarn, but it is still less well know and less ostensible employed. The minotaur nations use it both in war and in peace, but they find difficulty in separate the true magic schools from the professional charlatans.    There is no Nation as large as France on this planet. The strongest Minotaure Nations are Estate Cities which controls the territories surrounding them, half dozen towns in it, and patrol the roads and railways between them and their important commercial partners.

Continentals have little to no contact with the Oceanic, and that little contact is far more frequent than they would like it to be.
Distinctive Continental sub-species worth mentioning:
The centaurs are a peculiar case, they normally have bodies of horses or bulls and heads of Oceanic (some individuals do possess horns and/or minotaur head) . "Oceanic Head" being what you would call "human head".    Most of them are hunters, and keep their communities closed to other sub-species only welcoming them as slaves. As counter-intuitive as it can be centaurs are capable to reproduce with other sub-species without magical spells or rituals, but only the pregnancies of centaur females are viable in that case. Dangerous, but possible, are the natural pregnancies of females from other sub-species when the baby does not inherit the father's shape; what is a matter of luck.   The sub-specie is an extreme case of magical influence over biology, and they are reputed to be more inclined to develop magical capacities than other groups. Particularly their local version of healing magic.    The wimnin (dolphin-people) are capable to hold their breath for hours, fish and eat their prey without stop swimming, and they can travel about as fast as dolphins under water. They have sonars as well.    Most Wimnin Nations live around lakes or large rivers, rare groups prefer salt water.   In theory the sub-specie could occupy the oceans as well as the winged people, or even better. But for Historical reasons they have chosen to stay near to the coast, cultivate farms underwater in shallow waters, and identify themselves as Continentals. That does not exclude the eventual individuals who adventure on open sea for personal reasons.    A few islands close to the Continent have been taken by the wimnin, and fortified against the Oceanic people. Most wimnin see the occupation of islands by their kind as a reason for shame, a mistake that should be corrected: "to live on islands is for an inferior kind of talking animals, unworthy to be called a people" they say. And despite that popular opinion the advantages of exchange several powerful Nations for sporadic raiders as potential enemies still make some groups of wimnin choose to live on islands.   The Blessed:   Blessed are individuals born with the head of some Continental sub-specie, and the wings of Oceanic. They are rare accidents, probably consequences of a slave-girl impregnated by her master several generations before. Both the islands and the Continent have Blessed people in their home world, but the expression was applied for the first time by the iis on Sharitarn, after they move to High Towers.   The name acknowledge the physical advantages this people enjoy, given by the combination of traits. A blessed with minotaur's head can fly, and is as strong and resistant as any minotaur; one with a cat-head will hear, feel smells, and see in the dark as well as a cat; and so on.   Before pass the Vortex they where not as "blessed" as the name suggest, at least not on the Continent. Some Minotaur Nations used their blessed ones and respected their work, especially during wars, but most treated them as second class citizens or banished the fathers who refused to kill the newborn winged baby.   The more primitive and rustic way of live on the islands made the blessed welcome. Unlike the ones born on the Continent, the Oceanic born blessed were positively valuated. However, even them have a dubious and uncertain position in society. Welcomed as rangers and trusted as advisers, but forbidden to became tribal chiefs.   The Cursed.   Those are the ones born looking perfectly like the humans of Earth and Sharitarn. They are weaker than the normal Continentals, and unlike the Oceanic they can not fly.   As the blessed the cursed came from a slave-girl impregnated by her master generations before, and they exist both on the islands and on the Continent. The one reason to allow this unlucky individuals to live on the islands is the fact that they have a higher probability to have blessed children than any other individual. On the Continent there is a religion followed mostly by cursed people, and it take care of them on several Nations. Nevertheless most families of several sub-species kill the cursed as soon as they see them.


   After overcome a period of dispersion and slavery this folk joined, descendants of those from their home world and those newly arrived from it fought together, abandoning the distinction between Continentals and Oceanics for the sake of survival. If be able to fly was a relatively minor advantage in the daily lives on their home planet here in Sharitarn it was a paramount asset for a people looking for a place to set the foundation of a new nation.       Their new society counted with wild sigraxes, who had learned local magic, and shaman priests from their original traditions. They found many treasures waiting in the towers o be learned and employed.       However, those who founded High Towers also faced the terrible fact of their genetic disease. And didn't took long for divination spells reveal the dead sentence hanging over the heads of their entire specie.     To fight against that terrible perspective their entire society was shaped accordingly to one single goal: optimize the chances of healthy babies. High Towers is a"Eugenic Theocracy" by their own definition. They follow the determination of Breeder Priests strictly, and that was greatly beneficial for their survival. Instead of extinction in four to five generations they had endured about 12 generations, and expected to have another half dozen before every citizen born became too deformed to survive until adulthood.     Then the elder brother of Xiirsh appeared in their mountains, being used as a mindless weapon by a sigrax Ork and a rebellion of slave-farmers following a minotaur leader. The people of High Towers smiled for a moment, whit the hope of capture the mighty beast and use it as a weapon. Perhaps they could force the distant Obuju Cities to solve their problem with their Breeder Magic. Or perhaps they could sell the dragon to buy a place in the Blessed Lands of Pixel people, where Xar is more pure and the magical resources available could possibly save them.     However, they lost that hope. The adult dragon was freed by his young sister and her friends, and left the Lost Pride without help them.
So now the people of High Tower has lost their slave-farmers, who they needed more as genetic pool than as farmers actually. The valleys joined in one independent nation, and now have a passage to the desert corridor that connects East and West Piwag. And both on High Tower and on the valleys the people "freed" from their Breeder Priests is generating shapeless monsters.    More women die at birth than survive it, and less than one children in twelve survive the first week of life.    The High Towers are doomed to extinction. And they well know that.

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