A Rising Tide
Gears did click, and brass eyes closed,
Shadows of tomorrow shown.
Crimson Aien, a father proud,
one hand upon a mortal brow.
Gears did clack, and brass eyes wide,
A thousand hands pull down the sky
— The Cobalt Path, Halamu
The Feyr were once of the Ashivir, children of the Oak Lord, in the iron wood city of Srinivaer. It is said that the Feyr came to be when Aien took a fancy to a particular Ashivir. Ashiviri myth does not speak of whom this individual may be, while the Feyr claim to know but they are philosophically split on just who that individual is. However, given the Feyr lifespan, it is entirely possible that the founder remains alive to this day and is merely being silent on the matter.
What Ashiviri myth and Feyran histories both agree to, is that as they were gifted by Aien the first Feyr was incredibly fecund; In their lifetime, they bore over a hundred sons and daughters. It is told that before the first Feyr’s passing, Ajdalah’s Avatar appeared before him. The Brass Maiden whispered a promise to him, that has come to be known as the Steel Curse.
In Ashiviri myth it is said that the Brass Maiden wished long lives to the Feyr, “A life unbroken as steel.” In Feyran histories it is written as “A life as unchanging as steel.” The Feyr became nearly immortal: their lives ending only due to accident or violence. However, as hinted in the Feyran histories, the Feyr became unchanging as a race — their fertility dropped so low as to only be able to replace those members who had fallen.
In the Kumarat, a myth cycle written over a millenia ago, Aien was horrified by what Ajdalah had done to his people. Unable to undo the Steel Curse without also slaying all those who had lived beyond their years, Aien granted a bittersweet blessing instead.
This blessing laid out a ritual that his children could perform, which would guarantee that a mother would bear children. However, to perform the ritual twenty couples would have to participate and none would know whom was to become the one blessed mother. To make matters worse, the ritual could be performed only once every five years when Aien’s moon was in the sky alone. Since this guaranteed a birth rate far in excess of that given by the Steel Curse, the Feyran were thankful.
The Kumarat goes on to say that Aien was dissatisfied with this, however, and so wove a further boon. Those children born to the ritual, and all of their offspring, were gifted with a small fraction of Crimson God’s own fertility that they may mate with any other speaking race, and bear them children.
These children, however, would not be Feyr. Instead, if the mother was Feyr, they would take qualities from both races. However, if the father was Feyr, they would be as the mother’s race.
It is from these unions with the Khemren that the Vaeranoi were born, the half-Feyr who would later seek to unite the varied races with bonds of strong diplomacy. Of the unions with the other races, history does not speak of the half-breeds save that they were not fruitful, becoming lonely individuals shunned by their father’s kind.
To an outsider, the Feyr are a disturbingly uniform species. Unlike even the Ashivir, the Feyr vary little from individual to individual of the same gender. Their skin is copper toned, and their hair and eyes are usually quite dark. Ajdalah’s gift is blamed for this uniformity — they have become a race unchanging. The Feyr have no trouble distinguishing each other, but this is not the case for the other races. Mistaken identities is a common problem for the Feyr.
Where their features are uniform, their personal styles are not. It would be impossible to write down the possible forms and modes of dress, as they cover the broadest spectrum of personal style and professional uniforms imaginable.
The Feyr are not against tattoos, and piercings, and view them as temporary fashion much like anything else — Feyr physiology eventually rejects all tattoos, scars and piercings, leaving their bodies a blank slate after passing decades. Only crippling injuries are unaffected by this slow regeneration.
Feyr have little in the way of formal family structure. Their longevity, and lack of fertility, mean that the usual familial relationships of other races are simply meaningless to them. Although they may fall deeply in love, it is extremely uncommon for any Feyran to form a permanent pair bond — after decades, or centuries, the love cools and the two move on to other partners. Most Feyran never pair bond at all, for any length of time.
In Feyran society, children are valued above everything else. Feyran adults will willingly sacrifice themselves to save the community’s children. Children are raised by the entire community, and only are introduced to their biological parents once they attain adolescence. At that time friendships may form between biological parent and child, but there is no expectation. It is foremost community that is the child’s parent.
A Feyr that has borne, or sired, a child is honoured in the community. With their fertility rates so constrained, anyone who can bring new Feyr to the society is revered. Typically, these individuals join the Feyran priesthood, for a time, usually until their offspring mature and are granted the rights of an adult.
Lifespan and Maturation
The Feyr are effectively immortal. Granted immunity to diseases, and infection, by Aien and an immunity to aging by Ajdallah, these people do not fear the passing years. Once they reach three centuries, they cease to physically change — there are no gray-haired, wrinkled Feyr.
The Feyr mature slowly, with childhood reaching to six or seven decades and adolescence continuing until the middle of their second century. Once a Feyr reaches three hundred, they are considered a full member of society.
Feyr children are incredibly risk-averse, preferring to flee any sort of danger of threat rather than risk injury. Most humans find this odd.
The Grey Dance
Unlike the shorter-lived races, Feyr childhood and adolescence is a period conservativism and reflection. It is a time to embrace religion and philosophy. During their young adulthood, and through to what starts middle age, the Feyr learn trades, and social politics. They are the pillars of their society.
However, as the centuries progress, Feyr become more liberal. As centuries approach millenia, Feyr become thrill seekers. They have tasted all the chaste offerings that the world offers, and now seek stronger and stronger experiences. This is known as the Grey Dance, and it leads inevitably to the untimely demise of the individual who has begun it — though the dance can persist for centuries further.