BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Krysa - Crystal Magic Family

Since this is made using the species format: the Krysa are human, they just have some an interesting ability and place in Lamaran society. The species format is simply the most convenient one.

They can grow crystals from their skin, detach these crystals at will and can make their own crystals shatter while in contact with them. These abilities are possessed from birth by anyone whose biological mother is a Krysa (biological explanation further along but anyone who knows a lot about biology: mitochondria).

The Royal Family of Lamara are always Krysa, not least because it's a requirement in their constitution that the Monarch and Head of Faith, who are separate individuals, be Krysa, as the Krysa are considered a gift from the goddess Krysa (yup, they're that spot on with the name) to help lead Lamara away from sinfulness and in doing so prevent the other gods from going ape shit on the Lamarans, as well as to ensure the prosperity of Lamara... whether or not this is actually the case is extremely questionable.  

Their abilities in full

Their top layer of skin can be grown into crystals from themselves, with the ability to control their shape especially if they're grown slowly and carefully. These crystals are generally very strong, Krysa suffering from illnesses often making weaker crystals, and ones that are produced slowly will glow rainbow colours.

These crystals are held together with both chemical and magical bonding but as the magic dissipates and the bonds between carbon atoms are displaced with ones with oxygen the crystal wears away over time when exposed to air. The oldest crystal still exposed to air is the one that destroyed most of a fort and killed 17 people (the Krysa who made it included) due to an attempt at poisoning a Krysa going very wrong, still existing after 14 years due to its sheer size and much of its surface being covered by that fortress. There are ways around this as shown in Krysa crystals encased in crystals

Krysa have regenerative abilities. They're very "the snapped leg that would put someone out of combat for life instead completely healed in a few months" and "the injury that normally takes months to heal only needed a week", not anything ridiculous like regrowing limbs or recovering from injuries mid-combat. It's "they come back for more sooner" rather than "actual advantage during the fight itself".

Basic Information

Anatomy

Their skin is somewhat tougher than that of humans due to an extra layer of skin that grows into the crystals they use, this layer of skin itself being tough and flexible, however this is not a replacement for actual armour as the amount of extra protection granted is only roughly equivalent to wearing a second layer of normal clothing. Really it's only helpful around grumpy cats, when falling in thorn bushes or against insect bites.

Their skin can sometimes be slightly sparkly if they're anxious, or have at least been anxious since the last time they washed, as they'll often unintentionally make teeny tiny crystals at a very slow rate that stay on their skin until they wash. Fear and anger cause similar effects to a greater degree.

Krysa are somewhat more prone to cramps and heart issues than normal humans. This isn't directly due to the crystals but does relate to how their crystals are grown.

Krysa, both male and female, possess lower fertility than normal humans. That is to say far lower sperm counts in male Krysa and less ovulation of valid egg cells by female Krysa.

Genetics and Reproduction

TL:DR for anyone who knows how this genetic stuff works:

Mitochondrial DNA makes viruses prevented from altering the DNA of most cells, gametes included, by the protein coating on inactive DNA but in the cells where they can make modifications it allows for their abilities but also magic 100% exists and is kinda merged with this science stuff. As a result one is almost always only a Krysa if one's mother is a Krysa since mitochondria is matrilineally inherited, with extremely rare exceptions where Krysa fathers can produce a Krysa child but these generally have weakened abilities. The modifications by the viruses take place in the womb when cells are about halfway to all being properly specialised so Krysa are born with their abilities and the point of fetal development where this occurs comes with moderate risk of miscarraige.

Long Version:

The genes that make someone a Krysa are in their mitochondria rather than the nucleus of their cells. The nucleus is where you got those 23 pairs of chromosomes from your biological parents, but mitochondrial DNA works a little differently.

Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell and also have their own DNA, Kurzegstat has a lovely video on the origins of life on why this is but in short a big cell ate a little cell then the little cell didn't die and instead became the big cell's super-efficient stomach (powerhouse of the cell), specialising over time to better do this by ditching all the organelles (cell organs) it didn't need for this, and fully becoming a part of the big cell as an organelle of its own.

Your biological father's sperm had a lot of mitochondria in its tail, and your biological mother's egg had a fucking shitload of the things. When your dad's sperm slammed into that egg, the mitochondria in the tail up and fucking died, potentially a few exceptions but in those rare cases they're be so outnumbered by your ma's egg that they don't matter. Because of this, all or almost all the mitochondria in your body are descended from the ones in your mother's egg, meaning you exclusively or almost exclusively inherited your mother's mitochondrial DNA and none/there's a tiny chance you inherited a bit of your father's.

This normally doesn't make much difference because the DNA in mitochondria is focused on being the powerhouse of the cell not deciding if you're short or tall or blonde or brunette or black or white or anything like that, but now we're gonna talk about viruses.

God why do I put in this much effort I could literally just say "cos magic" I don't need to learn the secrets of Sarkicism, get a Masters in Biology, get a concerning amount of job offers from time travelling Nazis asking me to make supersoldiers for them and a sad amount of requests to make dogs immortal. I know why. It's because I'm overly pedantic and I like the smiles of the people that get what I'm on about and appreciate it.

Viruses basically reproduce by slapping their own DNA into your DNA so that your cell makes virus DNA and thus more virus cells, which also means every time you're infected with a virus the cells that have been seized are basically being genetically modified just not in a cool way. Regardless, this has a lot of potential uses because "just make more of me" DNA could be swapped out for "be sexier, be strong as a rhino, have cat girl ears" etc DNA.

Next we're gonna learn about why your cells are different in different parts of your body despite having the same DNA: DNA that's "turned off", a shorthand version of "coated in proteins that prevent it from making the proteins that would make it have actual effects on the cell". The DNA that makes your heart cells heart cells is DNA that isn't blocked with protein coating, and so on for each type of cell in your body.

Now, finally, it culminates:

Krysa mitochondria hold additional DNA that creates viruses that put their DNA into certain genes in certain cells (protein coating prevents modification of certain genes, so many types of cell can't be modified at all) to make the differences between Krysa and normal humans. That's a mouthful but yeah that's literally it. This is only passed on mother-to-child because sperm and egg cells don't receive any modifications to their DNA at all, with exceptions to those cases of a Krysa male passing on a tiny bit of Krysa mitochondria which will usually make for a weaker Krysa as fewer mitochondria making the Krysa virus means slower modification of the genes means less of the genes modified within the available window of time.

These DNA alterations happen while in the womb, when cells aren't all fully specialised into their roles yet, and it's due to this that Krysa fetuses are significantly more likely to be miscarried, also meaning Krysa are born with their abilities already. Once the cells are specialised the mitochondria stop producing the Krysa virus, which prevents health issues down the road.

.

Exceptions to this process can exist but in this same sentence often belongs the phrases horrifically deformed, shortened lifespan, extremely dead, wow what a painful way to die when you were literally just fucking born.

Growth Rate & Stages

Delayed puberty, followed by it hitting them like a truck when they're aged 15-17, is very common due to a way that the mitochondrial DNA interacts with certain genes that almost all Lamarans have, but a non-Lamaran or a member of a Lamaran minority who doesn't have those certain genes wouldn't experience this.

Otherwise growth is normal assuming there's nothing else afoot.

Miscarriages are more common for Krysa women.

Dietary Needs and Habits

They need to eat about twice as much as normal humans, including requiring more protein.

Additional Information

Social Structure

They're all considered government property and aren't allowed to have jobs outside of the government, military or church and their lives are controlled by the state in a lot of other ways. At the same time, they're considered holy, have access to higher paying work and get all sorts of fun privileges.

Oh and they're often castrated. Just for making it harder for Krysa to end up among the regular population and cause problems.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Krysa are ultimately on top primarily because their abilities are useful in combat, arguably the most useful of any of the familial magic powers, and as a result almost all able-bodied Krysa are in the military.

However they're also used in construction as their crystals make for strong temporary supports (and if encased in other substances can make for strong permanent construction material). This is especially the case for construction projects by religious institutions.

Krysa crystals encased in crystals serve primarily decorative purposes.

Their crystals, since they become carbon dioxide by chemically bonding with air, can be used for the creation of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. This is generally only useful in controlled environments with poor ventilation but what I'm getting at is assassination and torture (sudden exposure to increased carbon dioxide levels in the air causes such a primal fear reaction that test subjects with disorders that normally prevent the feeling of fear felt terror for the first time when exposed to this because fear of this is located in a different part of the brain to normal fear. Why is this? I forgot it was in a Vsauce video about humanity's universal fear. Anyway the torture potential of this is terrifying).

Most who aren't in the military are in the religious sector since they're considered holy. Krysa crystal abilities are used in a lot of religious ceremonies and traditions.

Finally is the fact that the monarch and head of faith are always Krysa, although that's more Krysa being in the position of exploiter than being exploited.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

All known Krysa live in Larama: The Nation of the Gods' Gift Peninsula.

Also it's Lamara not Larama that's a smack-on-forehead spelling mistake.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Some have been known to grow specially shaped crystal from their faces to bend light in ways useful to combat, such as widening their field of view, putting crystals in the ground and keeping them attached to one's body to detect vibrations in the ground and other clever applications of the ability to grow crystals from one's own body exist but these aren't inherent extra-sensory abilities just clever applications of one's means.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Most just have normal Lamaran names but there's plenty of playing on things meaning different kinds of crystal.

Major Organizations

Lamaran Government, Lamaran Church.

Common Taboos

They're held to higher moral and politeness standards due to the belief in their holiness setting that expectation.

History

Oh man here we go:

Fast version: They conquered all of Lamara, civil wars happened along the way and afterwards, leading to current state of affairs where it's illegal for the monarch or head of faith to be a Krysa. Also Lamara has been the site of a lot of immigration by groups outside of Lamara being big fans of the "not a place where half my kids will be eaten by monsters" thing.

Long Version:

It's unknown when the Krysa originated, but they've generally been high up in society since before the advent of writing and record keeping in Lamara. They were mainly located in the South of Lamara, usually either being chieftains or their most important warriors. Matriarchal tribes, with an old Krysa chieftess backed up by her children and grandchildren, were quite common.

Petty kingdoms had begun to form when the Milarites, people from a mountainous region on the coast of the Mainland near Lamara, launched an invasion to seize fertile, monster-free land. The Milarites were primarily led by Tummen chieftains and warriors, the Tummens being another magic family whose members possess incredible strength.

The Southern Lamarans formed alliance blobs against this that eventually merged into one under the Krysa family (the reason Krysa are called Krysa is after this family) and fought the Milarites to a standstill after 70 years. Yes. 70 fucking years of on-and-off fighting.

This was followed by 35 years of peace, espionage raids and cross-border family feuds that became miniature proxy wars aside, due to an agreement letting the Milarites, already far more into fishing than farming, keep a swathe of land hugging the coast. In this time they interbred a lot with the local Lamarans in that area to the point where 90% of those under the age of 35 who had any Milarite blood in them at all were part Lamaran.

Milarite concepts of law were considerably more anarchic than Lamaran ones, with it generally being considered the responsibility of one's family to get justice rather than that of the area's ruler, with exception to those who swore loyalty in battle to their local ruler, which usually came with marrying a member of one's family into that of the local ruler to make them part of a bigger extended family. Their culture placed loyalty to one's family above all else.

Meanwhile, the Southern Lamaran alliance, held together by the continued threat of the Milarites and their Tummen leaders, built up its military and the number of Krysa it had as well as encouraging racism against Milarites - very easy to do the Milarites were extremely ruthless doing things like wiping out entire villages burying the corpses on mass and just living in the village like replacements for the former inhabitants - so that it would be easier to draw up larger levies if the Milarites attacked.

35 years after the peace, a civil war broke out among the Milarites. They'd never been under a single leader but we're calling it a civil war because they generally agreed to act like a single entity to outsiders. This war was built on an escalation of various family feuds and families making alliances, basically a war fought mostly for lots of collective personal reasons rather than resources and strategic positions (although plenty of opportunists saw the dumpster fire heating up and took advantage of it for that).

The Southern Lamarans offered to help what they considered the most moral of the 3 sides in this war and that help was accepted, allowing the 2 of them to take out the other 2 sides. The South Lamaran army, now stationed in Milarite settlements, pulled out the torches and razed the land in genocide. Under the orders of Monarch Krysimina, queen of the South Lamaran Alliance, none were to be left alive even if they looked Lamaran, for they might still have Milarite grandparents and even if they didn't they'd chosen to keep living with Milarites rather than move to the alliance and were therefore traitors to their people.

This was met with a mixed response. The Milarites were hated by the Lamarans, but such a dishonourable act of trickery to wipe them out was considered... distasteful. And then killing Lamarans as well was straight up cringe.

Word reached the Milarites in the mountains but no significant attempts at retribution beyond increased raiding and a few adventurers charging to their deaths were made. Had this happened sooner after their initial invasion, when those being killed would be siblings and cousins rather than 3rd and 4th and 5th cousins, the wrath of the Milarites still in their homeland likely would've seemed apocalyptic to the Lamarans.

Krysimina found out that her long lost daughter, who'd gone missing as a child, was among the Lamarans slaughtered during the genociding of the Milarites. Krysimina committed suicide shortly after, passing the crown to her younger brother.

Over time since, the Krysa nation conquered Northwards whenever there was any particular reason to, but was also regularly held back by infighting. Eventually, there was a civil war that almost resulted in a non-Krysa, whose father was a Krysa, sitting on the throne, resulting in the declaration that no non-Krysa should sit on the throne.

Their religion became increasingly organised, building up from whatever your local shaman says to your shaman now being called a priest and being expected to know way more rigid and numerous things about the gods all while conforming to the demands of an actual head of faith, the first of whom was a drug-addicted Krysa who was declared able to speak directly to the God of gods after making perfect statues of the gods (most Krysa can't even make a decent cube let alone perfect statues) while high and declaring that anyone who ate her heart after her death would inherit her ability to speak to the God of gods.

The one to do this was the Head of Faith's daughter, herself made to take lots of drugs by her mother from an early age (child abuse pog). The first Head of Faith's second daughter then ate the heart of the first, whose heart was then eaten by the third daughter of the queen, who proclaimed her mother and all Krysa rulers gifts from the gods meant to guide Lamarans away from sin and that it was their right to conquer all Lamara to guide Lamara away from sin.

Tick tock it's crusade o'clock

The First Crusade was in the form of a vassalisation deal as a land roughly halfway up the Lamaran Peninsula was being invaded by the Shelkmet and the majority of the tribes and nations there agreed to vassalisation under the Krysan Royalty if it meant being saved from the Shelkmet. After spending 12 years defeating the Shelkmet - oh yeah the Shelkmet were a giant pain in the ass to defeat - the Shelkmet just switched to raiding the coast.

The Krysan Royalty attempted an invasion of the Shelkmet islands, copying the methods by which the Shelkmet kept their ships from being attacked by sea monsters, but this was mostly fruitless and the Shelkmet would continue to raid the Lamaran coast for centuries to come.

Those of the chieftains who'd not said "okay come help" to the crusaders were enraged when they were assumed to now be vassals and launched what from their perspective was a normal war but to the Southern Lamarans was a rebellion. They were crushed and the tribal leaders replaced with officials.

There were a few more crusades like this where they were met with open arms because they were interfering in already existing wars for about 50 years but eventually the number of cases where they could give a reason on top of "because the gods said so" quickly ran out.

Despite how much I've been making it look like the Krysan Royal state is this massive country it only took up about a tenth of Lamara at this point. The Krysan Royal state obviously didn't pay much attention to this fact because they declared an Eternal Crusade on the rest of Lamara, literally declaring "everyone in Lamara must join us or be conquered" against countless states that, as much as they were all individually much smaller, still added up to controlling 9 times as much territory as the Krysan Royal state.

Then again, after hundreds of years, with plenty of decade-or-more truces in there and switching of sides and espionage and compromising, Lamara wasn't the Krysan Royal state and that other country there and this one here and that one there, it was just Lamara under a single ruler... at least in theory.

Force alone couldn't achieve this, so there was a lot of "if you join us, we'll make a contract where you pay hardly any taxes and have a bunch of other stuff that makes it not so bad". This meant that as much as the Monarch ruled all Lamara in theory most of the country ran on laws made by their local rulers, didn't have many people following the Reformed Faith and gave almost nothing the the Krysan Royalty while receiving its protection from any potential threats.

In other words the Krysan Royalty agreed to tonnes of the worst deals in the history of deals, possibly ever.

It was up to future rulers and preachers of the reformed faith to turn theory into reality. Very little progress could actually be made, in fact they lost more control due to rebellions by vassals that could only be ended with giving them even more lenient terms than they'd had in the first place... itself encouraging further rebellion. This continued for literal centuries.

The arrival of an inventor, found in a field unable to speak Lamaran but able to show off their inventive skills before they'd learned the language - after which they showed off way more - changed things up a lot because they invented paper made from plants.

And then the madlad invented the printing press.

Printing press? Paper made from plants (and therefore very affordable compared to parchment from animal skin)? Could... could this mean... dear god-

Storing information. Spreading information. Also birds trained to deliver messages were already a thing. The espionage game stepped up and the Krysan Royalty, having gained more and more of the people's loyalty, was able to step up its game.

Ultimately, the vassals eventually caught on and did the same, but by then a new equilibrium had been reached where the Lamaran Royal government was getting way more taxes and had far more control, especially indirect control through the Lamaran Organised Faith which had an absolute field day with being able to print holy writings and store far more information.

It was around this time that the Lamaran Organised Faith expanded its contributions back to society with construction projects while doubling as a state healthcare system and state education system. This was helped by it being easier to track wealth donated to the Church (we're calling it the Church now deal with it) so there was far more for this kind of stuff since less of it was going into the pockets of corrupt clergymen and women / some of it was literally going to fuck-knows-where literally shitloads of wealth that has never been successfully tracked down probably buried somewhere or something.

The biggest vassal rebellion was that by the Brijilds, who possess fire abilities and whose creation can actually be tracked to Annala (most families pre-date known history so big deal), whose rebellion using their fire abilities caused tonnes of deaths from starvation and homelessness as entire cities were burnt to the ground out of nowhere. The Brijilds lost because this made their allies turn a

As punishment, the Brijilds were all enslaved to the government and their children confiscated at birth.

And that's where we are in the current setting hope you liked the headache.
Lifespan
52 years, brought down largely by violence, but if you don't get murdered expect 70 to 100 years.
Related Organizations

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Articles under Krysa - Crystal Magic Family


Comments

Please Login in order to comment!