Ral

The Ral were the fourth tribe of the landsmen, and the only tribe under the care of a matriarch. Today the Ral are the least cosmopolitan of the landsmen, with it being more common to encounter a travelling Irian than a Ralstaan outside of his native land. For this reason the Ral are thought of as somewhat rare and exotic, and are often either romanticized or belittled by other men. They are staunch traditionalists who seldom give a thought to the world beyond their wooded home. The Ral are further broken into four tribes, the Lleweith, the Tuarvae, the Shaeish and the Dunsain, each of which has a proud heritage and culture unto itself.

Names

Ralstaans, Ral (historic), Dunsain (subrace), Tuarvae (subrace), Lleweithe (subrace), Shaeish (subrace), Sunborn (Haedrasia).

Stereotypes

Fiery, Passionate, Quick-Witted, Provincial, Superstitious, Exotic, Vengeful.

Potency


Visage

The Ral tend toward being slight of build and of what one might call small stature, and rarely carry much girth except in cases of the greatest excess. Of the four groups within the Ral tribe there is little variation, though the Dunsain do tend to be broader of shoulder and more barrel chested, and the Lleweith and their Tuarvae cousins are slighter and quicker than the Shaeish. Their skin is a rich olive-brown and their hair ranges from shimmering gold to straw-yellow, is usually wavy, and the brows normally high with a pronounced widow's peak. Men tend to have light body hair and can grow full beards easily, and baldness is rare. Hair is an important symbol of potency in Ral culture, so only those who are truly humiliated wear it short or shorn, while the greatest warriors and noblemen and women wear their hair beyond their waists, braided with wire for strength.

The Ral have slightly almond-shaped eyes, which range in colour from blue to grey to green with occasional instances of purple or amber. The Ral usually have high cheeks, small noses and pointed chins. Thanks to their dark complexions and pale hair they age less visibly than other races, often appearing as much as five years younger than they truly are in their later years. The few half-caste Ral who live outside of the Knives lose much of their exotic colouration, but often maintain the strikingly-hued eyes and of their forebears.

Horns

Perhaps one in every three hundred pureblooded Ral grows horns. These can vary wildly, ranging from the most common short pointed horns at the hairline, to long curving affairs, to branching antler-like growths. Some grow two horns, and a few just a single horn. The horns are slow-growing, only beginning to emerge at the end of adolescence, and do not regrow if broken or cut. In some communities horned individuals are considered lucky, or fated for something great. In others they are a dark omen, and are driven away or even executed. There are no known occurrences of horns amongst half-castes.

Aetherial

The Ral were known as crafters of stone and clay when they lived on the Isle of Men, and even today their massive fortified cities present feats of masonry unlike anything to be found anywhere else in the world. The Dunsain magicians took this craft to the extreme, animating men and enormous beasts entirely of clay or stone to fight battles with them, usually against other Dunsain clans, and the largely intact remains of these monstrous living statues can be found all over the landscape from the Clanlands north. Aside from this the Lleweith fancy themselves born archers and woodsmen, and some children are almost born to hunt with the Ralstaan longbow.

Rallah, Lady of Dawn and Dusk

Rallah, first High Queen of the Ral and Lady of the Sun is Divhi to the Ral. She left the world to re-ignite the dying sun, and to the Ralstaans she lives on in the sun that rises in the day and in the moons that rise at night, a celestial Divhi looking down upon her people with a different face day and night. No one has really claimed to have heard the voice of Rallah since she and Irik left for the heavens in ages past, but the Ral prosper where the Ghans suffer, and they know that their patron must still watch over them, so they do their best to deduce her messages in the sky and live by the teachings she left behind.

Craft


Cunning

The Ral are people of great passion and conviction, quick to anger but also quick to laugh. Their jousts at tourney, far from the shows of martial skill of the Haedrasians, are brutal bloodsports and duels of honour often end in massacres. But the Ral are also poets and sculptors and their weapons of war are decorated with great care and detail. This is the paradox of the Ral psyche, they are a people who are deeply individual and express their individuality both by brute force and by subtle art. Most Ral don't care much for authority unless it is immediate and willing to buy or enforce their loyalty, and many of those outside of the cities could not say what nation they are part of, let alone who their King is. Similarly the Ral have an abiding love for their Divhi Rallah, but many are pragmatic about their faith, preferring to hedge their bets with as many divinities as they can find rather than place their devotion in cryptic messages read from the night sky by travelling warrior-priests.

Social

Ralstaa has an unusual political climate based around the idea that the Ral are, by nature, hostile to heavy-handed authority. For this reason their empire is fractured into a loose federation under a single ruler, and each king must choose either a light touch or brute force to have his will obeyed. Ralstaans are very social however, and the vast majority live in very close quarters in walled city-states. Ralstaans are not great herders or farmers, and despite living in one of the most ancient forests in the world they have no particular affinity for nature and seldom have a desire to be alone, so food is scarce but craftsmen are many, and where space in the cities is in staggering demand only tiny isolated walled hamlets dot the otherwise totally untamed wilderness of Ralstaa.

Civilization

The Ral live in the wilderness of the south-eastern knives, where the forest claims nearly everything. Being expert crafters of stone, they build great fortress-cities around formidable caers and tors, and the majority of the Ral live within the walls of one of these tohls, under the rule of hereditary kings. Any man of noble blood can go into the wilderness and claim a tract of unclaimed land, and try to attract people to his banner, but the nobility here are all powerful, and without a famous and noble ancestor he will quickly be called an outlaw and crushed. Ralstaan fortresses are nigh impenetrable, and their nobility are an elite warrior order who engage in frequent blood sports, making them some of the most savage and skilled warriors in all of Allornus. Unlike most races, with the notable exception of the Ghans, the folk of Ralstaa tolerate magicians, but they treat them as if they were lepers, unclean and undesirable. The temple of the sun, which recognizes the royal house as descending from the divhi Rallah, controls much of the faith, though many are secretly turning back to the old religions which promise reward in return for devotion.

Languages


Places

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Names

Male: Aedin, Aeric, Albion, Baldulf, Bard, Blaed, Brand, Ciel, Darian, Faran, Fearghus, Howl, Kalten, Kin, Lanie, Perane, Quinn, Raen, Tyroen, Urien, Uthur, Uthyrick, Valemon.
Female: Arielle, Arwen, Aurane, Blaese, Brianna, Callia, Danae, Danna, Elisa, Gwenyth, Isoude, Jaia, Laera, Marielle, Marlae, Rowena, Senna, Siobhan, Tieghan, Ysabyth.

Statistics


Talents
Wilful +1 | Brave +1 | Forceful +1 | Tough -1 | Clever -1 | Persuasive -1
Unique Abilities
none
Ageing
Infant 0-3 years -5 to all Talents except Lucky
Child 4-11 years -3 to all Talents except Lucky
Adolescent 12-16 years -1 to Tough, Clever and Knowledgeable
Adult 17-39 years none
Middle-aged 40-59 years -1 to Fast, Hale and Strong
Old 60-69 years -2 to all Physical Talents, -1 to Knowledgeable
Venerable 70+ years -3 to all Physical Talents, -2 to all Mental Talents
Basics Variables
Morphology Bipedal Height 5'5" + Size' + 1d3' - 1d3'
Diet Omnivorous Weight 160lbs + (Sizelbs x5) + (Brawnlbs x3) + 1d10lbs - 1d10lbs
Cycle Diurnal Gender standard
Prime Sense Vision