Dhazzir

From World of Charun

"The liver of the predator is a vain wish for the prey."
- Old Dhazzir saying

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Description

The Endless is a vast system of caverns with underground rivers, lakes and other features that are comparable to those on the surface in size. The Dhazzir are the undisputed lords of the Endless – a Mórail subrace that have dwelled in the dark for millenia.

The Dhazzir share the genetics of the Mórail in terms of having excellent health, with nearly no occurances of mental retardation, disability or diseases. Like their surface-dwelling relatives, they are prone to genetic, heritable mutations that have been shaped by their enviroment and lifestyle.


Life expectancy and Fertility Rate

Adulthood: 20 years
Life expectancy: 90 years
Maximum lifespan: 120 years
Total fertility rate: The average number of children born to a female over her lifetime is 1-2.


Etymology

The word Dhazhir (dha-zhi-r) translates from their language to ”Those who originate from the divine greatness” - a term used by the Mórail about themselves as well. The Dhazzir speak a language related to that of the Mórail, who call themselves Ithar (i-tha-r). The Mórail do not regard their distant relatives with anything else but dismay, calling them ”Iesham” (ie-sham). It is a demeaning and insulting name that translates basically to ”the little evil ones”.


History and Origins

The Dhazzir legends tell of them being created by Kiazzar when the world itself was still dark and without life. She harboured their kin in The Endless caverns, embraced by darkness that kept them safe from the sun that was lit in the sky. The legends tell further of an unnamed catastrophy that struck their lands, forcing their kin to board great ships and sail across the subterrain lakes and rivers in search of new territory. Guided by the Dark Mother Kiazzar they finally arrived to the lands of the Hatz (Urman), who they defeated and drove onto the surface.

Their existence was already verified by Mórail sagas upon their arrival to the continent of Charun, which establishes them there prior to the beginning of the Second Age.

Most scholars tend to agree on that the Dhazzir are probably the remnants of an earlier wave of Mórail arriving from the southwest along with their half-man servants, who today have developed into the Cavers. It is believed that their numbers were smaller than that of the Mórail arriving later, which forced them to seek safety from the vast Urman population within the Endless. Living in the darkness for perhaps longer than ten thousand years made them evolve into what they are today - culturally, physically, and genetically.


Appearence

The Dhazzir are taller than humans with a slender build, even though they are not as gaunt as the Mórail. They have long limbs, thin muscles, and low fat storage. Their large, almond-shaped eyes are dark red and they have pale, nearly white skin and hair due to albinism.


Language

The Dhazzir tongue is a distant relative to the one spoken by the Mórail. It has a rich vocabulary and has stayed the same throughout the Ages. Even though related, it is not possible for a Dhazzir to understand a Mórail and vice versa, besides the odd word here and there. It is a quite harsh sounding language, with guttural sounds and an aggresive tone to it. The Dhazzir use a cuneiform writing system that has a complex version and a simplified version for daily use.


Society

Governmental Form

All Dhazzir communities are ruled by a council consisting of Lords from the four prominent castes, in which intrique, threats, bribes and even murder are common.


Social Stratification

Hierarchy is important in Dhazzir society. One of higher standing is usually able to treat one of lower standing as he or she wishes. "Fawn on those above you and step on those below you" sums it up pretty well. However, it is always important to recognize someone with the potential to climb the ladder of hierarchy. Trampling on such a person could prove foolish later on. The decisive factors determining one's standing are based on personal success within one's field of expertise, along with one's caste. A skilled armourer, a devoted priest and an experienced assassin all enjoy respect. However, in the end it usually comes down to who harbours most power, be it political, physical or arcane - an equation that leaves even the most skilled of craftsmen out in the cold.

All Dhazzir belong to one of five castes. One is born into a caste, taught within the caste, and married within the caste. To leave one's caste is considered the same as turning one's back on the entire Dhazzir race. The Dhazzir castes are as follows:

  • Imperative Caste: The combative caste. Officers and elite soldiers are raised within this caste, as well as expert craftsmen working with arms and armour. The nobles of the Imperative Caste are feared and skilled warriors.
  • Hallowed Caste: The pious caste in which all Dhazzir priests are found. The nobles of the Hallowed Caste are respected high-priests of immense power.
  • Unfathomable Caste: The arcane caste in which all Dhazzir wizards are found. All scholars, sages and scribes originate from the Unfathomable Caste as well. The nobles of this caste are arch-mages of nearly unmatched skills.
  • Hunter Caste: The artisan caste in which most craftsmen are found. The name dates back to the times when the main task of the caste was to provide for their people through hunting. Some of the elite forces found within the Dhazzir army originate from the Hunter Caste, such as the skirmishers, scouts and assassins. The nobles of his caste are among the most secretive of the Dhazzir, all said to be able to become shadows, unseen and silent.
  • Worker Caste: This caste has no nobles or members of higher standing. They make up the largest group in the Dhazzir communities, sometimes as much as 75%. All common folk working with everyday tasks just a notch better than a slave's chores are found here.


Economy

The Dhazzir are xenophobic and have made the choice of exterminating or enslaving all encountered non-Dhazzir, since their society is largerly built upon slavery. The brutal treatment they are given leaves few slaves surviving for long, leading the Dhazzir continuously being in short-supply.

Conquest is important to the Dhazzir because resources are scarce in The Endless. This leads to them waging a never-ending war with surfacers. Some minor trade with the Fearann occurs, primarily as a means of keeping tabs on what the vampires are doing.


Army

While fine details are a closely guarded secret, it is understood that the Dhazzir can put several thousand warriors into the field at a moment's notice. All military operations are run by the Imperative Caste, who make up the officers of the army. The bulk of their numbers is made out of members from the Worker Caste, whose lives hold little value.

One detail which makes the Dhazzir particularly dangerous once mobilized is their ability to stiffen the ranks with members of the Hallowed and Unfathomable Castes. "Man for man," this gives the Dhazzir a decisive edge in most conflicts.


Technology

Even though not reaching the heights of the Mórail, Dhazzir technology is extremely advanced. With a few notable and specific exceptions (such as the Mubuluki Golg), Dhazzir technology easily eclipses that of humanity.


Culture

Diet

Unlike their relatives, the Mórail, the Dhazzir are able to digest meat – which is crucial for their survival in their subterrain enviroment. Fatty fish species caught in the underground rivers and lakes are an especially important source of vitamin D. Catfish, sardines, and eel are all part of their daily diet. In addition they eat red meat from various cave-dwelling creatures, as well as mushrooms and other edible fungi.


Customs

The Dhazzir can come across as cruel and callous, and for the most part, they are. They have a strong genetic tendency to sociopathy, a trait they are quick to strengthen in their children. Empathy is seen as a sign of weakness, and as such it is ignored.


Marriage

Even though the Dhazzir suffer from a lack of empathy, it does not mean that love is non-existant, at least by Dhazzir standards. Partnership among their kin is usually based on sheer physical passion and shared ambitions.


Clothing

Dhazzir clothing is made out of silk and leather. The silk is manufactured from the web of a special breed of spiders found in The Endless. It is said that the Dhazzir have entire "fields" filled with these small, web-producing spiders. The cloth is usually dyed purple, dark blue, violet, black and occasionally red, and turned into robes, mantles, tunics and trousers.


Arts

Surprisingly, Dhazzir sociopathy does not result in a lack of artwork. On the contrary, Dhazzir society is heavily-decorated, with significant traditions in painting, sculpture, and ceramics, all of which serve as indicators of status. Said artwork tends to be technically brilliant, but entirely devoid of "soul," and occasionally disturbing in that respect.


Games

The Dhazzir have a wide variety of games and pastimes, particularly among the lesser castes, who are unable to take place in the "greater" game of intrigue. Most of them are used either for gambling, but they also have a wide variety of simple but surprisingly complex games of strategy. Skill in such games tends to be used as a substitute for actual power when it comes to determining respect among otherwise-equal craftsmen.


Weapons and Armour

The Dhazzir work with a form of metal known as black steel. It is mined in The Endless, and the Dhazzir are the only one's skilled enough to refine the metal into steel-like quality. Others who have attempted to produce arms, armour or tools of the same standard usually end up with products of iron-like quality. All Dhazzir weaponry and metal armour are made out of black steel. It is usually turned into slender swords, daggers and bolts. Besides black steel, the Dhazzir use hides from the various animals found in the Endless for armour and other equipment.

As The Endless lacks trees, bows are difficult to produce. Some do exist, made out of wood imported from the surface, or even thin layers of black steel, but the majority of their ranged weaponry consists of crossbows or darts.


Religion

The Dhazzir worship several deities, but Khi´azzarr, the Dark Mother, is by far the most popular one. The other gods gaining worship are Dhazzir equalents of Garagor, Hedonia, Slaine, Zimara and Zurkan.

More about: Dhazzir Pantheon


Cross-breeding

Dhazzir males are able to breed with humans, even though it's unlikely to happen. The Dhazzir regard mating with a non-Dhazzir as degrading and disgusting – a feeling that is most likely mutual. The children become severly deformed physically and suffer from mental retardation. The vast majority of all cross-bred children are thus killed immediatly after birth. Dhazzir females can not get pregnant by human males.


Statistics

Location in Charun: The Endless, and the realm of Ash'arinn.

Population: Unknown, but an assumption is that they total atleast several hundred thousand.

Settlements: Fortified outposts on the surface, including the conquered human fortress of Teardrop. The two Darkchain Towers are the most famous. In the Endless it is said that there are several cities, out of which the City of Ash'arinn is the greatest one.

Army: The Imperative caste with the military support of the Unfathomable and Hallowed Castes.

Government form: Conciliary Nobility.


Player Characters

Dhazzir names for your player character: Dhazzir Names


Faction

The Dhazzir are part of the Vile Faction, along with the Vampires and Fearanni.


Dhazzir Heritable Mutations

The Dhazzir are prone to genetic, heritable mutations, some of which are harmful. They have the following ingame effects:

Genetic immunological memory:
Dhazzir immunological memory leads to a very effective immune system that quickly detects and defeats diseases encountered in their bloodline's past. All Dhazzir are immune vs diseases.

Tertiary infertility:
Dhazzir females suffer from tertiary infertility among the females, where the women have difficulties conceiving after already having done so twice. Even those rare females without the mutation have great difficulty in childbirth. Dhazzir female characters will have difficulties conceiving thrice.

Keen Senses:
Dhazzir have an ability to combine sensory information from visual, auditory and tactile senses into a very detailed perception of the enviroment. As an example, they are able to use echolation through the noise they are making, and then interpreting the sound waves reflected by nearby objects. This lets them identify the location and size of nearby objects, steer around them and also detect small movements relative to objects. All Dhazzir gain a racial +2 bonus to the listen, spot and search skills. They also gain the Keen Sense feat.

Severe photosensitivity and Albinism:
Over the centuries the Dhazzir have developed a genetic disorder that makes them severly sensetive to sunlight. They suffer from severe photosensitivity in combination with xeroderma pigmentosum. Their eyes are painfully sensitive to the sun and become irritated, bloodshot, and clouded. Exposure to sunlight, even that of a clouded sky, leads to an exceptionally severe and very painful sunburn where the skin becomes red, swollen and blistered with an oozing, raw skin surface. This is not a trivial "sunburn" as a human might suffer, but something which can actually be lethal if untreated. It is actually a favorite means of execution among the Dhazzir. Their eyes are painfully sensitive to the sun and become irritated, bloodshot, and clouded. All Dhazzir gain the light blindness feat and are subjected to damage, if uncovered outdoors duing daytime.

Heritable haemophilia:
Dhazzir suffer from a genetic disorder that impair the body's ability to control blood clotting or coagulation, which is used to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is broken. All Dhazzir have a weakened regeneration of Stamina out of combat.

Heritable Intelligence:
The Dhazzir genetic mutation, known as heritable intelligence, results in an amazing gift for spatial reconstruction. To some extent this is similar to that of the Sunul Mórail, at least insofar as both peoples have an innately accurate sense of direction. The Dhazzir heritable intelligence, however, deals directly with geometry, and while Dhazzir do occasionally get lost (usually on the surface), unlike the Sunul, the Dhazzir are able to apply their keen directional sense to objects with which they interact. This makes them miners and builders of unparalleled skill within the three-dimensional domain of the Endless.

Ability Modifiers:
DEX +2, INT +2, STR -2, CON -2


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