The Djeirani of Aetolia
The Djeirani are an old race, their history dating as far back as the Second Mortal Epoch, if not further. Owing their existence and intelligence to the spider demon Llazuth, they are a mysterious and darkly beautiful race, accustomed to living deep beneath the earth.
It is thought that the Djeirani were adapted from arachnids, their race combining the best of humans and spiders. They are notably tolerant to toxins, sensitive to vibration, and see amazingly well in the dark.
Physical coloration is of utmost importance to Djeirani culture, with these characteristics chiefly determining social caste; the common belief is that the "ideal Djeirani" bears pure, black skin, and smoldering amethyst eyes. The closer to the ideal, the higher the caste. Thus, Djeirani peasants are almost always green-eyed, with reddish/pinkish skin, and can almost be confused for humans. By contrast, nobility have the violet eyes and dark lilac skin of their ancestors. Other eye colors exist (blue is considered neither high nor low, for instance), but these are often minor mutations.
Caste differences extend beyond color as well, with higher castes distinguishing themselves with facepaint, tattoos, and what amounts to an arms race of increasingly exotic jewelry. These nobles will wear long hair and keep their faces clean-shaven, whereas lower caste Djeirani are more content to go with a human look, allowing for beards or body fat. Most Djeirani have white hair, with colors such as red or brown being rare and exotic, and all see their hair blackening with age.
The Djeirani are renowned for the fusion of beauty and death in their culture. Djeirani swordfighting is celebrated for its distracting flourishes and dancelike moves, and the weapons used are almost always ornamental, blades studded with jewels and knives made of precious metals.
In modern times, the Djeirani chiefly occupy the city of Djeir and the territory of the Black Lake, a large subterranean region beneath Azdun. Though Djeirani are free to wander and live where they please, their poor acclimation to light and dry surface air often keeps them homebound.
Djeirani Racial Skills
- Antivenin (Level 25)
- Mana Regeneration (Level 50)
- Subversion (Level 75)
Base Statistics & Advantages
- Strength: 11
- Dexterity: 13
- Intelligence: 15
- Constitution: 13
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Tips for Roleplaying a Djeirani
Djeirani are a very elitist culture in part, and the caste system has sown no small amount of discord amongst its own people. No matter which caste you RP from, it stands to reason that there will be some obsession over looks, either wanting to fit in or rebelling against the elitist views entirely. There is a lot of room for story building, as the culture lends itself to Game of Thrones levels of intrigue with the theater nearby, the drama surrounding it and the hostilities both between the noble houses and those existing between the working class and the aristocracy. These people, no matter which side of the street they’re from, have a love of beautiful things and are very often artists in some form.
**It isn’t canon, but it's easy to envision they exist in a society much like that found in the Regency era. Lots of scandal and focus on status/appearances, etcetera.**
As far as physical appearance, the help file in game gives a lot of info on this. Ebon skin, white/silver hair and amethyst eyes are those traits considered most appealing/desirable for the upper class. A Djeirani’s hair darkens with age, eventually turning black. Red hair is extremely rare and coveted. Anything else could go, really, from here on down the spectrum. Many of the upper class have dark purple skin as well.
The Djeirani adore jewelry, and wear it as a sign of status, adorning themselves to excess.
If your character spent their entire life in Djeir, not traveling above ground, keep in mind that it’s probably going to be an adjustment for them moving elsewhere. All the sights above-grounders take for granted will be entirely new to these people, though they may have some exposure through trade, etc, and wow, that sunshine will probably be BRIGHT. Djeir is essentially a big cave and I think of Djeirani a lot like Drow. Varying levels of culture shock could be roleplayed for a lot of fun. My character spent an entire day staring up at the rain, she found it so mesmerizing. She also decided she wanted none of that sun nonsense and went to live in the cavernous city Bloodloch so, there’s that approach.
The flashy, decadent elite gets most of the attention in Djeir, but there’s a powerful canon for its underbelly as well. The criminal element in the city is generally in three categories: poverty driven to petty crime, standard organized crime (small gangs), and the Moreith. The last of these is an organized rebellion dedicated to tearing down the oppressive puppetmasters behind the throne, though various members will have their own extent to which they wish to take that uprising - from leaving the Empress to rule on her own feet to removing the nobility and their secret police, the Eithaga, altogether. The anti-establishment Djeiri will have a strong knowledge of and likely association with its key players, Santini (its leader) and Irda (his right-hand woman). Someone wishing to roleplay with this background will have experienced being hunted by Eithaga enforcers, and may have spent time in the hidden dungeons under the palace, which hold a variety of creative tortures. My own character’s tendency to devour anything and everything stems not only from basic hunger as a street kid, but time spent in a starvation chamber with a stone-carved feast laid out, for example.
Prominent figures any native Djeiri would know: Empress Malieh (youthful, figurehead), Grand Inquisitor Serkhat (leader of the Eithaga and power behind the throne, along with the Empress’s father Nerij), Haratos (leader of the Theatre of Shadows), and Santini (leader of the Moreith and outcast High Lord)
No matter what caste you hail from, the city of Djeir is rife with danger and intrigue. You’re as likely to be killed as a commoner in a mugging as you are upper crust or a noble in a flashy political assassination. This intimacy with death has led to a combination of fatalistic acceptance and outright romanticization of it, featuring prominently in their creative works, from literature to art.
In recent years, Djeir opened itself up to free trade and travel between itself and overworld Sapience by sending delegations to each city. Before this, the city had sent out numerous expeditions to find their Dark Lady and new lands, due to growing famine brought about by their primary sources of food: fungi fields and fish from the Lake, the former of which were growing dry and barren and the latter of which were rapidly depopulating due to increased reliance on them to make up the nutritional gap. Exported food would have been - and still likely is, due to the expense and danger of shipping along the Perilaus and Azdun - very expensive and reserved for the rich, and even they would be limited in their access and exposure to the plethora of culinary options available on the surface.
The Djeir were brought about by Chakrasul, who was jealous of the beauty of Severn’s Ankyri - however, She did this in secret and via a proxy, Llazuth, who used Her power to shape spiders in Adzun into the first Djeirani and hid them away. The newly created race called her the Dark Lady, and worship her exclusively, despite knowing that she isn’t a Divine in her own right; the knowledge of Chakrasul’s involvement seems to be lost to the city, if they ever knew at all. Interestingly, their high priest Barin has professed a willingness to worship whatever Deity their Dark Lady was beholden if they ever found out.