Syl are best described as 'bulky elves' in terms of appearance. They are generally dark-skinned with tripoint ears and stocky builds.
Syl also have unique markings on their skin. Their fingerprints are wholly unique when compared with other mortalis; this pattern continues onto the palms of their hands, appears on the bottoms of their feet, across their cheeks, lips, and converge at the stomach and crystal. The pattern is most noticeable at the stomach due to the crystal being the source of energy and being. The crystal and stomach is also a trigger to reveal a syl to another being.
One telltale sign is the crystal gem that is in place of the belly button. These crystals allow syl to hide in plain site as suspicion slides off of them by radiating a strong wave of energy. Types vary, often with abilities that correspond with the energy and nature of the syl. Although a syl will die if their crystal is removed, they can survive if it is damaged, or even shattered, as long as the wound is treated. Syl with damaged crystals are unable to blend in with other mortalis.
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··─ Energy Farms ─··
99% of the city is powered by energy. Pylon crystals surround the outskirts of the city, hiding it from the world. Lusprite energy farms are directly below the pylons and are accessible through underground caverns. They are not accessible from the surface, and the pylons are built to withstand the tides of the forest. The plentiful energy from Lusprite farms and the direct connections to the pylons allow the syl to easily shroud their cities and keep outsiders away.
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The syl evolved from the nixan siyal. Two siyal fled their home planet with the desire to explore other worlds, their first and last destination being Yudryae. There, the two of them grew attached to a solar human and quickly fell for them. The human showed the siyal a better life, and it wasn't long before a child of both human and siyal dna was born. This child is considered the first of the syl mortalis, though they are far from the syl we know of today.
Eventually, the child left home with the same explorative drive of their siyalan parents and it wasn't long before they, too, found a human partner to spend their life with. Over time, the first few syl mellowed out into the syl we know of today.
Many years later, the first true syl explored what is currently known as Whispering Tides. The syl, unaware of the incoming tide, had ventured far into the forest and they quickly found themself in danger. With nowhere else to turn, they quickly climbed up the nearest tree and into the canopy. From there, they caught sight of what appeared to be an island; a sheer mountain, when the forest was dry. With nowhere else to go, they made their way toward it.
It was a few days before the tides receded once more. By then, the lone syl had made themself a rather nice camp. They had also failed to notice the canopy moving away from the landmass, creating a large crevice around the entirety of it; in other words, they had gotten much more stranded than they had previously thought.
After a while of doing their best to find a way down, they settled into a routine and slowly began to enjoy life on their island in Whispering Tides, though they did become lonely sometimes. As luck would have it, another syl appeared at the edge of a cliff not a year after the first had gotten stranded and the first syl found that they now had a friend.
As if drawn to the island, the stranded syl population grew into a small settlement as a few appeared year after year. By the time the syl thought to explore the caverns dotted around the land mass, the settlement had grown into a small kingdom. It wasn't long after that the first syl discovered the pockets of crystals and energy beneath the surface. The kingdom immediately flourished as the syl realized the mountain of resources and potential they had settled on. In only a few years the syl city had surpassed all other settlements on the planet, unknown to those of other mortalis. By harnessing the energy pockets and the natural crystals, the syl had become the wealthiest settlement in only a few centuries.
The energy thrumming through the city soon proved to have another effect. Syl children had begun to form crystal gemstones in place of belly buttons soon after their births. At first, this caused some panic; some tried to surgically remove the crystals with catastrophic and deadly results. Eventually, the syl accepted the strange forces at work, while scientists began to study them. The crystals were found to be the life force of the syl and created a much stronger connection to energy, as shown by syl children that began exhibiting 'magic-like' abilities such as telekinesis or fire creation.
Syl have a secretive yet prideful culture. They are hardly ever seen in their true forms by outsiders, and it is rare for an outsider to find themselves within the syl city walls. It is exceedingly rare for a syl to reveal themselves to the general public, and if they do so, they would sooner die than reveal much of their home.
··─ Shrines ─··
Syl crystals are left behind when the syl passes. Once the syl has passed, the crystal begins to grow. If it is not removed before the end of the first day, the crystal will form a thin, preservative layer over the syl. It will continue to grow larger over time; the larger the crystal, the longer the syl has been dead for. After about a year, the syl will be encased in a crystal ‘sarcophagus’. These crystals amass large amounts of energy and power, despite the lack of a syl soul.
Those that die more gruesome deaths will often become encased much faster, with larger crystal growths around the wound both to hide the damage and keep the body together. The crystals preserve the memory of the syl as they were alive, rather than allowing their bodies to be seen maimed and destroyed.
Syl that have been preserved in crystals are brought to one of two places; the suline caverns or the memorial caverns. The Suline caverns serve as transportation for all mortalis’ throughout Lyrae and Alatheia. It is known as Suline Airway to all, with the hub of activity beneath the syl city. Other mortalis are oblivious of the city above, often assuming the suline naturally congregate in Whispering Tides due to the wilderness above.
Syl shrines are powerful enough that they are used around the hub to shield the city from prying eyes; it is considered an honor for a syl body to protect the city in death, and syl will often make the decision to donate their body to the cause, much like organ donors. These tunnels are much like catacombs in that the walls are lined with syl shrines, often lighting the way for passengers and suline alike.
Syl are brought to the memorial caverns if they have died of unnatural causes and never specified their wishes for their physical forms after life. There are two major zones; the memorial grounds, where syl are honored for various deeds, or the memorial sectors, where syl may choose to have their body laid to rest.
Shrines are a thousand times harder than the syl crystals are during life. They last for hundreds of years and cannot be broken by natural means. Only the syl have the technology to remove a syl from their shrine. The shrines do eventually degrade and shatter, leaving the syl body to be reclaimed by the universe. This, however, only happens after millions of years. It is most common for shrines to break down in suline airway due to the site being the first syl burial ground and therefore containing generations upon generations of syl.
PARENT MORTALIS : Siyal (Nix)
ORIGIN : Solinic
AVG LIFESPAN : About 600 A.Y.
AVG HEIGHT : 6’8” - 7’4”
» Stockier build than elves
» Lighter build than siyal
» Soft tripoint ears
» Crystal/gem belly buttons
» Mellow warriors
» High mental resilience
» Mostly POC
» Elemental connections vary
Syl have a longer lifespan than that of the siyal, likely due to the combined siyal and solar human DNA. Skintone also varies more as solar humans are a newer mortalis, comparatively speaking, and decreased melanin is a mutation.
This is a very interesting species, I love that they have crystals embed in them. The shrines are a really lovely touch too.
Locke J. Haven
Thank you! The shrines were a lot of fun to come up with and might be one of my favorite parts!
gods alone cannot suffocate the flames.
Lovely article. I do wonder: How does anyone know it takes millions of years for a Shrine to decay? Is that how long they've been around?
Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Locke J. Haven
A very good question, and something I should definitely expand upon! I'm thinking there may be other creatures that had these same shrines/crystals embedded in them, which were discovered and found to be a few million years old! I'll definitely make sure to return to this and elaborate a bit; thank you for the inspiration!
gods alone cannot suffocate the flames.