Light-gravity-worlders, the Eldritch are bipedal humanoids who grow very tall, with thinner-than-average builds for both men and women. Bred from a very small gene pool (and tweaked by engineering), they are all pale with white hair; hair is almost universally straight as well. Eye colors tend toward pallor as well.
The current generation of Eldritch live over a thousand years. They are all espers, though their abilities are all hobbled by a culture that discourages tactile contact (and the enhancement of the ability that comes with it).
Socially, they organize into a series of Houses, noble and common.
- Related Topic: Eldritch Costume
A long-lived people of poorly-understood and much-meddled-with genetics, the Eldritch are humanoid enough to reproduce with humans still, while prone to many errors of their own making, thanks to the experimental engineering they did to themselves. In general, the lighter gravity of their world has made them taller and more brittle; their metabolisms are a confused jumble of too-quick and too-slow, giving them a higher average body temperature and much more finicky guts. They process toxins quickly but are prone to genetic diseases, and have reproduction problems.
As people they are all born with some amount of esper talent. Their experiments yielded a tendency toward wild, high talent that would have bred true had these wild talents not been culled since the time of Settlement; it is now rare for such children to be born at all.
The Eldritch had twenty noble Houses established just prior to Settlement, of which Jisiensire is now the smallest in number (though among the richest). Twelve of those noble Houses have vanished, with one on its way (the House of Lisinthir's father, Imthereli, of which he is the last surviving scion). Here are the remaining Houses:
- Galare (the royal house since before Settlement)
- Families: Seni, Nuera, Jesa, Nase
- Jisiensire (allies to the Galare)
- Families: Sarel, Meriaen, Mina
- Asaniefa (antagonists to the Galare; ate Imthereli's territory)
- Families: Osin
- Ulurith (Asaniefa ally)
- Thavilfin (neutral)
- Sovenil (Asaniefa ally)
- Mathanith (Galare ally)
- Deriline (neutral)
Most of the Houses were lost to attrition, but one, notably, was declared destroyed by royal fiat: Corel's, Firilith. Firilith was purged by the Church, which was formally created in order to deal with such problems, and almost all its members were slain. One or two might have survived by fleeing into the peasantry.
Noble Houses have 5 to 7 families within them. Typical all the power and wealth is collected in one or two of those families, with the others existing as adjuncts to the majors within the House. Important families are in bold face.
Note that peasants have no family/house names. They have a given name and a "son of Mother's Name" structure.
The Eldritch began forming their society on the trip to their world, and had codified it by not long after Settlement, despite the fact that the genetic experiments they'd inflicted on themselves to differentiate themselves from humanity had not yet worked out through the population when they did so. Each succeeding generation from landing to the point of Liolesa's reign was longer-lived than the one before it by several centuries, and the confusion and upheaval this created caused the Eldritch to cling to what conventions they'd created all the more powerfully. This tendency toward parochialism was only magnified by the war that broke out not long after Settlement as a result of a wildly powerful mental talent, too greatly increased by the treatments they'd undertaken; in the wake of that war and its dreadful aftermath, such wild talents were hunted and quietly disposed of, and there were many. This removed a great percentage of the population from the genepool, something that became acutely problematic when it was discovered that the genetic experiments that had forged their new identity also made their fertility questionable. Ironically, fertility is strongly linked with powerful talents, so often the people purged were the ones most likely to successfully reproduce.
In this way, the Eldritch have been growing longer-lived and shrinking in population since Settlement. The twenty noble Houses that were once a small segment of the population have become the majority of its peoples, hollowing out the working populace and destroying the economy. More and more the ruling elite have nothing to rule as the cities established at Settlement have "died," leaving the people in them to disperse in search of places where roofs don't leak and food can be bought.
Never large in number as a society, the Eldritch are now in actual danger of extinction, partially from the wreckage of their economy and partially because of how few their numbers are. In the wake of this growing peril, the Eldritch as a whole have responded by becoming even more rigid in their customs and habits at a time when they desperately need to look elsewhere for help.
Important Philosophical ConceptsEdit
Crime and PunishmentEdit
The Eldritch are rigid conformists and have a habit of public punishment of those who dare to step outside the bounds of convention, with a tradition of things such as whipping and public humiliation in stocks.
I have notes here: Longest Night (their solstice)
They have a celebration of when the God and Lady came together (celebrated by women as when the Lord and Goddess came together).
There should be some holidays that are about the intersection/mingling of the two separate clergies.
I had no idea Eldritch had more than one personal name, but it seems they can have three: their birth name, a shortened version that I can’t get a translation on—it’s not ‘cradle name’ or ‘nursery name’ or ‘childhood name’ or ‘sweet name’—but it’s a diminutive used only by close friends, with an implication that they’ve known one another since before adulthood. And then they have a nickname that I don’t have a translation for either, but it’s something like ‘song name’ or ‘epic name’ or ‘archetype name’ and that’s usually a normal noun, not a proper one.
So Laiselin, Hirianthial’s first wife, was “Laisa” (childhood name) and “Butterfly” (song name).
All morning I am hearing the contractions of these names. Liolesa, Lia. Hiranthial, Hiran (imagine my expression when I found that out by having to hear it in a conversation!). Fasianyl, Fasi. Sediryl, Sedi. Lisinthir is probably Sin, though I resist that, but it’s certainly not “Lis.” Jahir’s brother Sernataila was Natai. Jahir, though… his name is a sweet name. He has no full name. This is apparently an older custom, of going for shorter names, and his mother agreed because a second child was a gift so wonderful she couldn’t object to having his one name be a love name.
They seem to move from name to name to name to title depending on the kind of attention they want their listener to give them, much the way they do with color-shading their language to warn their listeners how the word should be interpreted. So calling someone by a cradle name is a way of saying ‘this is something I would say only to someone I have a long trust with’ and by their song name ‘this is something higher than us and dearer’ and by their title a way to remind them of their responsibilities, and by their full name, well, that’s just a name at that point.
Saranyl Jesa Galare, Jerisa's sister, had three children: Maraesa Jesa (who became Queen), Rylaniel Jesa and Theval Jesa. Rylaniel married a man who took her name and had Liolesa, who would become Queen after Maraesa. Theval, a man, married Sylfani Sarel Jisiensire and took her name, and they had two children: Hirianthial and Baniel.
The Reign of Queen Jerisa
- The War with Corel
The Reign of Queen Maraesa
- The events in "Precious Things"
- Liolesa's trip off-world
The Reign of Queen Liolesa
- Fasianyl and Sellelvi
- Lisinthir's cultivation after his arrival at Ontine
- Reese's cultivation
- Jahir Seni Galare
- Sediryl Nuera Galare
- Hirianthial Sarel Jisiensire
- Liolesa Galare
- Lesandurel Meriaen Jisiensire
- Lisinthir Nase Galare
- Fasianyl Mina Jisiensire