THE PEOPLES OF AGEMONIA
Nihteegri, also known as Night Eyes, are humanoids with the agile tails and sharp teeth of predators. Nihteegri are born with a love of the stars, which forms a basis for their shared language and customs.
The nihteegri are spread far and wide into many towns, tribes and counties, ruled by noble houses. Historically there have been alliances and wars between the rivalling families, but nowadays most of them are united as the Republic of Benem. An electoral college convenes in Starhaven, making decisions more or less respected by all the houses. How much any of this reflects on the life of Benemite serfs and poor workers is debatable.
Outside of the Republic, nihteegri hunters and merchants are a common sight in the surrounding wilds, and nihteegri live in the free cities of Mossport and Bekora’s Hoist and many other nearby lands.
The Republic was founded 160 years ago after a civil war, where three tribal dictators supported by the pagan priesthood fought against the liberal noble houses, commoners and the cosmographers. As a result, the pagan religion was supressed and cosmography, the scientific study of the sky, took its place. Today cosmographers act as physicians, advisors, herbalists and astrologers in all Benemite towns. However, many still worship the four pagan goddesses in secret.
The other peoples of Agemonia see Benemites as romantic stargazers or clever diplomats. Noble knights, wise old cosmographers, witty merchants, funny storytellers, and free-spirited hunters are typical nihteegri encountered by foreigners.
The oldest and perhaps strangest of Agemonia’s peoples are the agurians. Certainly the most mineral. They are creatures of stone, never ageing, never procreating, never being born. They just are. Sometimes an agurian will fall asleep, looking just like any big boulder, until centuries later, he will wake up and live again.
They mostly reside in Agemonia’s mountainous northwest beyond the Mutelands, but small groups exist all across the world.
Agurians hold much wisdom lost to the other peoples of Agemonia, sometimes carved as runes in their stone skin or as statues inside their cavernous cities. This can make them artistic or melancholic, when they see the mistakes of the past repeated over and over. They grow precious agura crystals in their backs, which makes them valuable trading partners and also targets for raids.
Three centuries ago an agurian called Xotho tried to take over the whole world, subjugating all the other peoples under his reign of stone and terror. Xotho claimed it was time to take back agura, and many of his fellows, tired of being hunted for the magical crystal, took up arms. Agurian armies conquered city after city killing or enslaving their populations.
Eventually Xotho and his military retreated to their ancient mountain realm or disappeared, leaving agurians a diminished, remorseful people.
The other peoples of Agemonia nowadays see agurians as strong but withdrawn, a group of former power, like a neutered animal. Older people may still fear them remembering tales of Xotho, but others wonder if agurians might still carry some knowledge of the ancients who once ruled Agemonia and are said to have created all the peoples.
Agurians are often seen as powerful warriors, wizened travelers, potent geomancers, or talented architects.
Korallians are an amphibian people who mostly live underwater. They have no families, but start their life in huge groups of larvae which must compete for food. Through several metamorphoses precious few of the larvae grow into korallians proper, having eaten many of their competitors. A full grown korallian will have both gills and lungs, webbed feet and hands, and a head full of tentacles.
Most korallians live in capitalistic underwater city states which form a loose league called the Thalassocracy of Zeebul. These societies are driven by the pursuit of profit and a strict loyalty to the rich Creators, who are seen as the source of jobs and wealth.
The strongest corporations are also powerful military mights, and have gone to war with the Republic of Benem to the north and the Megeian Empire to the east. As a result there is a semi-independent demilitarized zone between Benem and Zeebul. In the zone lies the free city of Bekora’s Hoist home to both nihteegri and korallians.
All korallians can communicate telepathically, but the most powerful can use the powers of their mind to subjugate others or read their thoughts. These korallians typically end up as Creators or members of the psionic police force The Shiver.
Before the Thalassocracy, korallians worshipped Bekora and other gods of the deep. Bekora is still venerated in some far-off communities such as the dry korallians in many overland cities and the pirate town of Shiver Retreat.
The other peoples of Agemonia see korallians as ruthless and greedy dandies or their hapless victims, as slaves of propaganda or sometimes romantic freedom fighters. The Creators and The Shiver are feared everywhere.
Quothians are a secluded people from the nocturnal woodland realm of Heartwood. These corvine women who live in moonlit tree houses, have since time immemorial been tasked with keeping the demons of the Breach at bay. They have large white eyes which see in the dark, their body covered in black feathers which easily blend into shadows.
They farm giant arachnids known as speendles, who weave expensive silk which is Heartwood’s main export. Quothian silk is used for magical scrolls and for the finest clothes and tapestries. Obviously, many quothians are employed in the silk industry.
Male quothians are seen as chattel that live in pens and are used as slave soldiers or tasked with milking the speendles or other menial labours. Perhaps for this reason female quothians can have a hard time getting accustomed to the men of other peoples.
Traditional quothian religion is mostly based on ancestor worship with the skulls of their long-dead foremothers routinely consulted for advice. They are ruled by the Council of the Dead, a parliament of sorts, where seven quothian elders consult the skulls of their foremothers. Each quothian knows the direct line from herself to her foremother, and this can affect their position today.
The other peoples see quothians as witches dabbling in dark magic, dangerous assassins and thieves, or suspicious traveling silk merchants with ulterior motives. Some believe seeing a quothian means bad luck.