Damaskans
Amethyst-Damaskanelf.jpg

Damaskans stood a proud testament to elvish resilience. Even when the walls of their cities fell to invading forces, the people would never surrender. Allies of Ixindar believe taking damaskan cities strikes a blow to all elves. Razing them to rubble would demoralize all the races and assist in a defeat of the forces of good. It never worked. The first Damasia was the oldest empire in history, built on the ruins of ancient fey.
After the gate re-opened, damaskans rebuilt their civilization, though split into two different empires on either side of the planet. On one side, Damasia was rebuilt to its former glory. On the opposite, the elves erected the empire of knowledge, Limshau. Because of a peculiar trait of all fey, both nations looked similar. All damaskans live in homes made of stone, not wood. Most of their cities are built into tall mountains or
next to cliffs and always face a major river or body of water. Where they differ is that damasian cities expand with whim across open fields stopped only by water and cliffs where Limshau restricts its cities by erecting walls. Damasian cities scrape the sky with sharp spires-a landscape of porcupine quills-while Limshau's jigsaw of flat, interlocking, and tessellating buildings allows one to sit atop a roof and watch an unobstructed sunset.

Damaskan elves are the most common, most seen, and most widely circulated in the world. Both those from Damasia and Limshau are considered damaskan even though elves from Limshau often refer to themselves as Limshau elves. Damaskans became synonymous with the standard elf all other races encounter. When one asks to picture an elf, a damaskan appears in mind. They are the most numerous, the
most public, with the largest kingdoms of all fey. Narros hold rights to the largest armies but damaskans claim all other records. They have the most artisans, the most diplomats, the most historians, and the most architects. Their mages all employ the book as their totem, which may be hard to distinguish since nearly all damaskan carry a book with them.

Each individual is an encyclopedia in of himself, though which volume depends on one's tastes. Where those from Damasia prefer internal recall for this information, residents from Limshau insist in writing all of it down. Until the damaskans arrived, fey races seldom recorded anything. Their history was marred with inaccuracies, legends claimed as fact, facts discredited as myth. This is part of the reason why
fey history in the time of Terrors is so vague and sporadic. Alas, damaskans could bring nothing with them to this world and had to reconstruct their past from memory. One distinction damaskans are clear to make is that they won't volunteer their own opinion on their pages, clogging the books with judgment, sentiment, and meaningless monologue. Where humans believe any individual can stand on a box and preach prose worthy of print, damaskans remain quiet, recording events, not the thoughts of those involved.

Damaskans rely on woodwind instruments throughout their performances. They prefer quiet, more subdued music by a majority. When they
die, their bodies are burned to the wind. Because of their circulation over the globe, no one can be sure how many damaskans live on Earth, but it's probably more than 5-6 million.

Personality: Damaskans maintain a deep pride for whatever beliefs they possess and are known to defend their convictions to the death. Damaskans seldom understand fear and often stand up to fights they know they cannot win if it will save the life of someone else.
Damaskans are shy, often staying quiet during conversations. They prefer to speak only when having something useful to say. Until then, they keep back, seldom making their presence known. This makes them appear distant, detached, even cold, but this is not the case. They do exhibit emotions when they are encountered, but this happens more often when the damaskan is off-duty or when in private. When dedicated to their task, they think of little else and speak only when needed.

Get them started on raw knowledge or ask them to recite some nugget of information and they talk like uncorking a Champaign bottle. They believe in discipline and order and find disorganization of any kind unsettling. They also place an unnatural level of security on the written word, putting themselves in harm's way to protect a book. Even the less inclined from Damasia find this urge almost unavoidable.

Physical Description: A damaskan's eyes slant slightly similar to Asian humans. They also differ from other elves when it comes to attire. Damaskans frequently wear new clothes, pressed and clean. They abhor getting dirty. These clothes often fit snuggly and not loose like other elves. The ears, their most distinguishing feature, taper straight out the sides of the skull to a very sharp point. These ears point slightly upwards with females and have a tendency to flutter and vibrate ever slightly depending on the mood of the elf (for some, it’s when they
are nervous, while others exhibit the tendency when they are excited or even at the peak of pleasure). Obviously, due to discomfort,
they avoid wearing helmets whenever possible. Damaskans feature darker hair tones and seldom grow their hair beyond shoulder length. The skin ranges from light tan to slightly olive color with eyes of brown and grey. Damaskans seldom pierce their skin or adorn their bodies
with tattoos.

When reaching adulthood, damaskans still resemble human young adults barely out of puberty (17-19 in human years). Even at their venerable age, damaskans don't often look a day past 30 and do not look older than 40 when they finally shuffle on. This is nothing in comparison to the gimfen, which look like children through most of their lives.

Relations: Damaskan elves migrated across the globe very quickly. Even though Damasia remains the largest city of the largest elf empire, dozens of others appeared in a matter of decades. The Damasian and Limshaun empires remain loyal to each other though not in frequent contact. In comparison, all damaskans loathe pagus. More than any other race, the dragons deeply respect the damaskan people.
Damasia's proximity to the dragon kingdom of Ashahael allows a constant communication between the two races. The servants of all dragons in Ashahael are damaskan elves and Lazarus personally swore an oath after returning to Earth that any army attacking the walls of Damasia would feel the wrath of dragon fire. Damasia has not been touched since being built. Limshau places trust in alliances with the gimfen, chaparrans and humans, the latter with the kingdoms of Abidan and Kannos. They currently wage an unofficial war with Baruch Malkut.

Alignment: Damaskans are usually good and most are Lawful.

Location: Other than the empire of Damasia and Limshau, most elvish populations are small. Their towns lay scattered across the Earth. They are found almost everywhere except Southam and Indoaus.

Religion: Damaskans, due to their large numbers, follow several beliefs. The largest number worship Amethyst himself, believing his soul exists beyond the gate and that Amethyst was God in physical form. Others worship the elvish god of Erufu while others follow the narros god of Oaken. A smaller number have even embraced a few human faiths. However, those of piety number few with damaskans. Less than 10% of damaskans worldwide endorse a religious belief. Clerics are virtually non-existent.

Language: All damaskans speak standard elvish. The words flow together and lack many hard sudden stops when strung together. Their written form is substantially different. Damaskans know both the classical elvish cursive and a shorthand variation they invented they call Sonna-eliano but which has been translated into the common tongue as Orthoglossy. Every damaskan, regardless of their place in the
world, knows this writing style. Using orthoglossy allows a damaskan (or any other trained in the skill) to write five times faster than any other scholar.

Names: Damaskans, damasian and limshau alike, often adopt a human-sounding name when in public. Either their parents give them one at birth, if a member of an integrated community, or the damaskan chooses it before leaving an all fey village. Both the given name and family name is manufactured. Even though elven lines date back for tens of thousands of years, the human family names adopted have only remained in place no more than 900 years. Some damaskan families have adopted their chosen human name as their true name, almost forgetting their heritage. This occurs in Limshau far more often than anywhere else. Not just because of integration, many believe a new world requires a clean slate, and a new family name is a good place to start. Those families will also often choose a human name for their children, forgoing the elvish. Several outside elvish races deplore this practice and a few elves without native names have been denied entry in fey-only communities on this basis. Most damaskans keep their elvish names, if they have them, privately known only by loved ones and family. Even in
situations where the damaskans use their last name, they still often select a human first name as damaskan names are somewhat hard to pronounce. Both given and family elven names sound similar to Asian in human cultures. Though those fluent in Asian encounter no problem with these names, other humans often find it difficult. Human names selected are usually simple, with little cultural identification. They are often
chosen to reflect an attribute of the individual. Last names are very culturally specific and sometimes reflect an attribute of the family or important individuals within it.

Examples: Ravenar Limshau III is his real name but his sister's husband elected to adopt the human title "Strongbow" to replace their damaskan family name of Kaixiu'Ooria. Centuries later, few in that family ever use that title. Their fourth child, a daughter was given the damaskan name Reivune, which eventually turned into Raven, which she elected as her open name as well.

Adventures: Damaskans welcome adventure and are often seen leaving their lands for such desires. Some leave because their culture insists on their young opening their horizons. Many from Limshau enforce this ideal. Some also embark on quests for their people. A common sight in open echa, damaskans are ever expanding and rely on the adventuring spirit of their people to establish a growing species.

RACIAL TRAITS

  • +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution.
  • Medium: As medium creatures, damaskans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Damaskan base land speed is 30 feet.
  • Low-Light Vision: A damaskan can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • Damaskans receive a +2 bonus to Acrobatic skill rolls.
  • Weapon Proficiency: Damaskans receive the Martial Weapon Proficiency feats for short sword, longsword, rapier, and scimitar.
  • Encyclopedic Knowledge (Ex): A damaskan may attempt knowledge skills rolls he has no ranks in. This appears as a knowledge check with a bonus equal to his character level + his Intelligence modifier to see whether he knows some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places. If the damaskan has 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (history), he gains a +2 bonus on this check.
  • DC Type of Knowledge
  • 10 Common, known by at least a substantial minority; common legends of the local population.
  • 20 Uncommon but available, known by only a few people legends.
  • 25 Obscure, known by few, hard to come by.
  • 30 Extremely obscure, known by very few, possibly forgotten by most whom once knew it, possibly known only by those who don’t understand the significance of the knowledge.
  • A successful encyclopedic knowledge check will not reveal the powers of a magic item but may give a hint as to its general function. A Damaskan may not take 10 or take 20 on this check; this sort of knowledge is essentially random.
  • Tachygraphy: The damaskan written language is a shorthand allowing them to write in a fifth the time while using their system. Mages must still use draconic, so they cannot apply tachygraphy to spellwork.
  • Automatic Languages: Elven. Damaskans may also choose one additional free language (except Draconic).
  • Favored Class: Fighter. A multiclass damaskan fighter class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
  • Avoided Class: Barbarian. Damaskans despise being uncivil and hate losing control of their minds in a rage.
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