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Naioor


The Naioor have many stories of their origin, but none are quite considered to be fact. Some early legends tell of their formation out of clay, others testify that they sprung up out of the ground, and others state that they are the descendants of gods with great horns that came down from the skies. A few fragmentary tales tell of a possible Naioor migration to what would become their homeland of Naioora, leaving from the unrelenting onslaught of "snow demons". However, one fact is clear. By six to four thousand years ago, the Naioor had formed their first major civilizations on Naioora.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Humanoid. Standing at an average of six foot and ten inches, the Naioor are one of the tallest, if not the tallest sentient race known to Vreya. They are also a bit more stockier than regular humans. What sets them apart is not just their size, but also their horns that sit atop their head. The precise shape of these horns is genetics, with some having curling ram like horns, while others have those long and curved like bulls. A rare few have no horns at all, or continue to have childhood bony nubs.

Growth Rate & Stages

Their horns are simply bony nubs buried under skin at birth, but starting from the age of five and ending at around fifteen, horns start to emerge and form.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Before the fall of their homeland, the Naioor had a highly stratified society. They knew about other continents, but were hesitant to explore and trade, believing that they had pretty much everything they would need. As such, they were rather inward focused. The Fall, of course, changed this. The Naioor found themselves adrift in a sea, and have to use their old knowledge to find new places to survive. Even then, most of their homeland has been lost, and the Naioor find themselves having to adapt to dramatically different circumstances. Two factions or groups of Naioor seemingly survived the Fall.   The first is more xenophobic, more hierarchical. They are the Thornspeaker Naioors, and are known for their cruelty against the native peoples of the southern New World. Sometimes they embark on raiding missions in their stoneships to the great grassy river valleys of the central New World. They are expansionist and imperialist, but are all too aware of their small numbers. For that reason they place a great value on purity, believing that the Naioor will only survive if they remain pure in body and in tradition. These Thornspeakers are led by a High-Horned Orchestrator, who acts for the most part, like a dictator. The second group of Naioors are the Painted Ones, the Qaibatunar in their own language. Their name comes from their bearing of physical marks of their former homeland in the form of scars, and facial and body paint. These Painted Naioors are fairly moderate compared to their Thornspeaker cousins, but still remain fiercely traditional in the wake of their great disaster. They too are somewhat suspicious of outsiders, but their different position from their Thornspeaker cousins forces a greater reliance on trade and bartering. The Painted Naioors have a council, headed by the most experienced members of their grouping, but have pretty much lost most semblances of hierarchy. Although there are sometimes disputes and squabbles between some still desperately latching on to clan grudges, there is a greater feeling that all these Naioor are in the same boat. These Naioor still try to hold onto their traditions, and in many of their cities on ... there are public spaces that act as both places of worship and knowledge. Ancestor worship is also much stronger among the Painted Naioors. Children are encouraged to learn old legends and to remember them in their minds. The Painted Naioors are still in the stages of forming this post-Fall society, and this might soon change, especially with the news of Vreya and its fertile lands.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Following the destruction of Naioora, the Naioor diaspora can be seen in parts of the southern New World, and on the island of Kamumuyu not too far off the coast of Summerland.

Average Intelligence

Vreyan philosophers propose the average Naioor is roughly on par, or somewhat less intelligent than the average human. They, however, demonstrate sapience comparable to a race of Othnic.

Civilization and Culture

Average Technological Level

The Naioor are notably less advanced than many of the Vreyan civilizations. They've been observed to have no knowledge of gunpowder for military uses, but they are considered decent military fighters. Naioor are slightly unfamiliar with horses, but are quick learners in that regard. In terms of magic, there are a couple of Naioor shamans that have survived centuries of persecution and the Fall, and have now more or less been subsumed into the main Naioor religion.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

Naioor language, also known as Naioormjoor. Thornspeaker Naioormjoor, one of the more common branches of the Naioormjoor language family, is described as bit more erudite, refined, and pure to older historical sources. Qaibatunar Naioormjoor is the most commonly heard amongst Naioor; it has as picked up words from the Summerlanders, but is otherwise quite similar to the Thornspeaker dialect with a great deal of intelligibility. Bonedancer Naioormjoor is spoken by an unknown number of pagan Naioors that refused to convert. Its vocabulary is described as powerful, ancient. It is much harder for other Naioor to understand it when spoken or written.

History

The Naioor have unknown origins. There are scattered myths in some cultures around Qey and the neighbouring jungles of snake-dancers, legends of great horned men that built cities and raided for slaves. If they are truly legends of Naioor, then they might have lived alongside humanity in the past. The Naioor's first legends tell of a series of migrations to the land that would become Naioora, each led by more powerful and more mythical heroes. The first known Naioor religions were warrior cults to these heroes. The Naioors quickly began expanding and exploring their new home over the next century, forming tribal and kinship groups as they became more distant from one another. Some had settled down permanently in places they had found, establishing villages that would grow into cities over the next thousand years. Other groups migrated across vast stretches of flat land and became nomadic in life. It was in this environment that the first kingdoms began to form.   The First Empire arose out of one of these kingdoms when a great horned warrior, known for being born with one milky-coloured blind eye, managed to conquer a majority of the other kingdoms. His empire didn't last long after his death, but many of the institutions he created inspired others.   The Second Empire came about from the slow growth of a kingdom, led by a series of adopted kings. One of the most successful of these kings, Sharna, adopted a fast-growing new religion, to which he instituted an organised priestly class, codified rights, and reformed the religious structure in his empire. However, not long after Sharna's death, schisms came to light as the older Bonedancers and Windwalkers that defined the older faith began to fight back. The resulting bloodshed over this war would go on to cause the decline of the Second Empire, a slow haemorrhaging of its lands. The new religion had won, but it was in control of only ruins, the great marches to the mountains, burning pagan temples made into caves, had left trails and piles of bodies from the harsh weather. The Third Empire was the most successful and long lasting. It was founded by ..., a nomad from the southern steppes. Initially wanting to secure the lands of his ancestors, he was blocked. Thus, he decided to invade the north, and the many fractured kingdoms there. He met with great success and became emperor. He introduced many new titles and styles, and after crushing a revolt from his traditionalist nomadic generals, was able to reform the society based on many of the morals set down by the Second Empire. Although he remained a warrior at heart, he saw that without reform and without a steady foundation upon which to cement his rule, his empire would swiftly dissolve after his death, like so many others who were born in the south before him. When he was crowned Emperor of ... in …, he adapted his existing royal administration to live up to the expectations of his new title. In effect, the entire administration, the kingdom, the church, the nobility was reorganised to revolve around him. This of course had parallels with the Great Horned God-Kings of Naioor legend. However, all of …’s efforts depended on the efficiency, loyalty, and support of his servants in his court, which by the day was growing to become a centre of scholarship, literature, art and architecture. He kickstarted a golden age for the Naioors, and within the reign of his successor, despite contact already existing with the New World and stretches of southern Summerland, the first major diplomatic overtures were made, bringing in trade. When he died, in effect, he became worshipped as a god, beginning a cycle where dead emperors would be worshipped as servants to heaven's rule. The omens of heaven became an important tool for power, and later emperors used astrology to determine their fates. One emperor even used the movements of the stars to determine what food he should eat or drink, and what clothes he should wear. Over time however, the Third Empire began to slowly become more decadent. After all, a dynasty lasting six hundred years was bound to run into problems sooner or later. There were plots, intrigue, fatricide. Emperors and their families betrayed one another, and many princes began to harness unusual elements to attempt to gain the throne. One of these elements is said to be magic.   And then the day came, the day which permanently seared itself into the minds of Naioor both physically and mentally. Most of the Naioor homeland, the heartlands of the cities, the fields of grass, blew up. Foul acrid smoke wafted and suffocated, killing those in cities that had saved being exploded. Rumours of powerful magic being used circulated. And the tens of thousands of Naioor lucky enough to escape, or those who had already lived overseas as diplomats, traders, expeditions, or exiles suddenly had to face the fact they had no home anymore. A council was formed almost immediately after the incident, bringing together the most skilled members of the Naioor race, generals, priests, planners. They decided to create three sets of arks, made from warships and fishing fleets. One sailed to the northeast, to the New World. There, they became the Thornspeakers. The second went north, to build a temporary home on a red rocky island off the coast of Summerland known as Kamumuyu. The third decided to round the cape of Summerland, and was never heard from again. Ten years from then, their society has changed. Thornspeakers have become xenophobic, enslaving the elves of the New World to work in their mines and bloodstained jungles. The second arks became the Qaibatunar, the Painted Naioors, who have followed spiritual redemption and ancestor worship, trading with Summerland and their Thornspeaker cousins but still desperately seeking a new land to settle as the island of Kamumuyu reaches its maximum capacity.

Historical Figures

Zaymeran the Pilot - First led the Naioor to their future homeland. May be mythical.   Emperor Zahim-Soom - First emperor of the Second Dynasty.   Emperor Sharna - The one who led the Great Conversion and started to wage wars against the Bonedancers and Windwalkers   Emperor Tarkan - Founder of the Third Empire, reformed Naioor culture and government.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

The Naioor in ages past traded with humans and elves in close-by areas of the southern world, but for the most part kept their distance. With the Fall, the Naioor find their walls of isolation cracked open. They have reacted to this in different ways; the Thornspeakers becoming oppressive and imperialist to the elves of the New World, while the Painted Naioors maintain suspicious, but peaceful relations with both their Thornspeaker cousins and the human trading cities that control Summerland. Interspecies relations between members of both races have been recorded, and even noted in a couple of works of literature, but for the most part aren't too common.

Lifespan
60 years
Average Height
210 cm
Average Weight
110 kg
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
VBrown to faintly reddish. Mostly a bronze sort of colour.   Painted Naioors wear body paint as part of their New Culture. Painted Naioors bear physical marks of their former homeland in the form of scars, and facial and body paint, which follow the teardrop tracks that streamed down their faces when their homeland was destroyed, and have little trajectories of where their ancestors' hands wiped the sweat, blood and dirt off their brows in mythical heroic deeds.   Thornspeakers have no such markings.

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