Fayren

(fay-ren)

Nickname: the Dreamwalkers
Ancestral Affinity: Dream
Ancestral Land: Rhukichii (nomadic)
Average Lifespan: 700-750 years

Makeup/Costuming Requirements

Glitter required. Choice of elf ears, nubby (small) horns, and/or wings. You must have at least one of the features listed in addition to your glitter, but they may be of any color or style you wish, and you are not limited to one feature. If you like, you may have glitter and two or even all three of the additional racial feature choices. If you choose wings with feathers, you must spray or paint a heavy layer of glitter onto the feathers so that you are not easily confused with a Cochotl at a distance.

Racial Advantages

May purchase the Dreamwalker advantage at half cost.

Racial Disadvantages

Cannot break a Blood Oath without severe or deadly consequences.

Mechanics:

A Blood Oath is an Oath that is taken via a ritualistic tag line and sealed with the blood of the Oathtaker.

To make a Blood Oath, you must loudly proclaim "Upon my Blood, I Vow to ___ ! This do I Swear, by my Honor and Title." You must then roleplay cutting your hand with your weapon (no wound effect), and pantomime squeezing three droplets of your blood onto the ground. This must be done in front of at least three witnesses, and should be portrayed as a very solemn ceremony.

If you subsequently break a Blood Oath, even unintentionally, you will be physically marked by a visible symbol which appears mystically on your face or forehead. This symbol, which resembles a 'z' with a dash to either side, a picture of which may be found in the Fayren racial packet, is universally recognized as the Sign of the Oathbreaker. Anyone who acquires this symbol in play immediately gains the Disgraced Disadvantage with no points benefit, and should expect to be openly shunned and distrusted by all, especially by other Fayren. If you break a Blood Oath, you take an immediate Pain effect and must fall to the ground clutching your face. You should continue to hold or hide your face until you are able to draw the Oathbreaker symbol. This represents the pain of the symbol burning itself into your flesh. For this reason, the wording of a Blood Oath must be VERY specific and very carefully phrased.

All Blood Oaths must be recorded word for word by a Plot member for future reference, and will be documented on your Character Sheet. There is no limit to how many Blood Oaths one may take, but a wise Fayren will only Swear a Blood Oath in matters of gravest importance. In a questionable situation, unless Plot makes a specific ruling, it is at the player's discretion as to whether or not a given situation constitutes breaking a Blood Oath.

For example:

Mikael has taken an Oath to protect Kaori with his life. Kaoru is killed by a bear while Mikael is in the tavern getting her a drink. Mikael technically broke his Oath by failing to protect Kaori from harm, however it is easily argued that, due to the circumstances, it was beyond Mikael's ability to predict when the bear would attack, and thus beyond his control to prevent harm from befalling Kaori. In such a case, it would be up to Mikael whether the guilt would eat him up and cause the mark to appear, or whether he would simply beg Kaori's spirit for forgiveness and promise to be more vigilant in the future if she is successfully resuscitated.

If the Oath is broken blatantly, clearly, and consciously, the mark will always appear, so one should always be careful not to take a new Oath that directly conflicts with an existing Oath. If one does break a Blood Oath, one's honor may be redeemed if one petitions the Council of Elders. The Council will weigh the circumstances under which the Oath was broken, and will conduct a full Tribunal and Trial. Once they determine if the Oathbreaker was truly guilty, or if he consciously chose to break his Oath, the Oathbreaker will be sentenced to a Redemption Quest, at the Council's discretion. The quest may be anything that the Council deems an appropriate punishment or penitence, and often involves compensation or indebtedness if a victim is involved.

Once the Quest is completed to the satisfaction of the Council, or if the Oathbreaker is found not guilty, the Council will perform the Ritual of Restoration to remove the Oathbreaker mark and to publicly repair the person's Honor and Title. Oaths may also used by the Council as a method of sentencing for heinous crimes. Under those circumstances, punishment for breaking the Blood Oath is immediate death. Generally, when used as a punishment, the Oathtaker is forced to publicly swear that he will make amends to his victim(s) and that he will never repeat such a crime.

Callings

Guardian - Fayren's Blessing once per day (as Luck Advantage, but may also be transferred to another person).
Knowledge-Keeper - Reduced cost buy-in for membership in the Scholars' Guild.
Observer - Reduced cost buy-in for membership in the Explorers' Guild.

History

At one time, legend holds that the Fayren were the Keepers of Lore and the Guardians of Magic. Roughly 1000 years ago, when Magic began to fail, the Fayren began to fade with it. The Realm of Dreams became more difficult to enter, and more dangerous to navigate. Eventually, the Door to Dreams faded, trapping some within and sealing those in the Waking World from accessing the Deep Dream altogether. Only the Eldest of the Council of Elders can now recall the horror of those days, and they refuse to speak of what they witnessed, even to each other. Elementals, Greater Totems, and Ancestral Spirits faded from perception. In time, even the Avatars of the Gods refused to walk the Waking World. When their wings began to wilt, the majority of the Fayren panicked. Believing that they had failed in their duties to protect the Magic, the Elders of that day vowed to stop its abuse at all costs. They concluded that the other races must be hoarding or over-using the Magic. The logical conclusion was to restrict or destroy the others' access to the Magic itself.

To that end, they set about to destroy all records, tomes, and libraries in what would become known to history as the Great Burning. Many of the younger Fayren refused to participate, and set about to resist the Elders' sudden madness. The only tomes of Magic still in existence today are, consequently, few and far between, and virtually all knowledge of True Magic is now lost to all living memory. When magical artifacts faded and began to blend in with common items, the Fayren lost track of most of the magical items that had survived the Burning. When the magical buildings finally failed, the young ones rushed in to save the people, artifacts, and books trapped within the collapsing structures. Henceforth, these heroic Fayren became known as the Lizu'na (lih-zoo-nah), which translates to "the Courageous Ones" in the old tongue.

Not a one of them escaped unscathed, and many were killed in their brave endeavors. Today, those still alive to tell the tale bear the scars of their courage visibly. Many are lame, some were blinded, or deafened, others scarred and disfigured. When the other Fayren realized what they had become in their panicked state, they bowed to the Lizu'na and offered themselves willingly as a race into indentured servitude to the other races as atonement. Only the Lizu'na felt their consciences were clear, and so they agreed to stand up and lead their people while the others labored with their penitence. Realizing what they had done, the Fayren as a race requested a Quest of Atonement from the new Lizu'na Elders. In lieu of a Quest, the Lizu'na Elders proclaimed that the History of Othonia would never forget their mistakes, and thus their failure was made known to the other races and was recorded into all historical documents of the time.

As the years passed, many of the indentured Fayren worked off their debts and were freed by their masters. Some refused to stop serving, or moved on to new contracts, while others went about their new found freedom with a heavy heart. In modern times, most Fayren are too young to recall this harsher era, but many of the older Fayren are frequently encountered, still bound into servitude contracts with their long-time masters or previous masters' families. Some of the younger ones have chosen to continue the tradition of penitence as well, but now it is no longer a required burden as it once was. The vast majority of non-criminal indentured servants even today are of the Fayren race, and yet they are still looked to for wisdom and guidance.