Aetheric Turbulence

Turbulence in Aetheria has a different meaning. Turbulent pockets of the Aetheria are places where sudden changes are more likely to happen. Avoiding them is preferable, but the Aether is thick with them so this is not always easy. They appear to most observers as “clouds” of various materials, from bubbles to dust to vapours of various colours. This manifestation however does bleed off some of their severity, a patch of turbulence which has not created a cloud around it will often develop changes more quickly and with less warning.

The clouds will fade as they use up the chaos in the turbulence. This can either be through creating objects or dissolving them, though sometimes the magic goes into messing with time in the area, or with the perceptions of space. Turbulence cannot dissolve a sentient being or their closest possessions as their own idea of themselves leaves an impression on the Aether that allows them to maintain their presence. Non-sentients may be dissolved, but are often recreated elsewhere, though not exactly as they were.

Aetheric turbulence can not, on its own, create life. This complexity is beyond the ability of the random nature of the changes. Life may appear however and the Aether has maintained an imprint of something it has dissolved and has recreated it. This recreation may happen anywhere though their are theories that their are currents in the aether to allow these imprints to move around.

Some clouds in Aetheria are actually quite stable, the turbulence having been used up simply creating them. These will dissipate over time as turbulence slowly dissolves it. This is also a main factor in the argument of not simply avoiding all clouds, as these “stable” clouds are safer then clear aether. However there is no way to know whether a cloud is one of these “stable” clouds or a dangerous one.

It is a matter of much debate amongst explorers as to whether the best thing to do is to avoid the cloud or to fly for the clouds. Consensus tends to be that just flying straight is preferable, Aetheria is dangerous enough already and its a death sentence to spend any more time in any part of it then you need to. All this talk is often irrelevant though as in most places in Aetheria these clouds are so thick there is no way to go but through them. Some travellers swear by certain strategies to picking which clouds to fly through, (ie. cool colours, vapourous only, thinnest or thickest) but their is evidence to suggest this is only superstition and has little actual information. The clouds merely indicate areas where the aether is more susceptible to chaos, and by the very nature of chaos the fluctuation which caused the cloud to come into existence may be either more or less violent then any other fluctuation, or the cloud might never happen at all. Some even argue that the cloud itself is not a clear indicator, and that turbulent patches have only a 25-33% chance of causing a cloud, while the other two thirds – three quarters of the time the turbulence throws up something more dangerous or complex.

Studying the aetheric turbulence is extremely difficult, as it is simply chaos. Pure chaos cannot be studied as there is no underlying pattern, and as more druids pool their information at Corazon it is becoming clearer that the turbulence is so close to being purely chaotic that no study with current techniques will uncover its inner workings.

Naccara – The First Druid.

The title of first druid is an odd one, common folklore gives her this title, but few can agree whether this is a statement of time or power. The story has her as being old when other Aetherian druids were young, but some argue that there will always be older. The story also proclaims her great strength, her power beyond measure, but others make this claim too and who can know who is the most powerful. This is a story of her greatest project, one for which few give her credit. Her earlier works are well known, but it is safer if few know her role in this one.

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Lovebirds

I haven’t posted the information on the Lovebird Gryphs yet, I might post their information sheet sometime over the next couple of days as I continue this story.

 

The herd was moving away from the edge of their world, but two individuals lingered by the edge, looking out across the myriad of little island worlds nestled between cloud of all colours and shapes. They were creatures that were mostly green, perhaps the best colour to blend into the plains of these island worlds. Their forequarters were reminiscent of lovebirds, with small patches of orange around their eyes and beaks. Their hindquarters looked like those of a sheep, with thick green wool and red hooves to match their beaks. They were both carrying packs slung over their backs, which were presumably holding all they would need in the herd’s nomadic lifestyle. The herd was drawing further and further away, but they hardly seemed to notice. They continued to stand together, hips touching, one gently preening the other as they looked out across the horizon.

“Lilian,” said the one being preened, her song beautiful and soft, “Maybe out there we could find acceptance?”

Lilian stopped preening her and looked back out her eyes wistful but her song sad, “I’ve heard from others Nyasa, they’re no different, some are even worse.”

Nyasa sighed, it was a low whistling noise, “I don’t mean the other herds, I mean out there, beyond the clouds.”

“Surely you cannot be serious!” Lilian’s song was suddenly loud, then she dropped her voice, “Nyasa, no one has ever returned.”

Nyasa began to preen Lilian now, trying to calm her, “Few have ever gone, maybe they found something beautiful.”

“Or maybe they found only death, even travelling between the island worlds is dangerous.” Lilian said, but she was calming, “Out in Aetheria, in the raw aether, surely we’d have no chance.”

“Then maybe we should go talk to Fischer and Rosie again about…”

“I’m going nowhere near that close-minded goat.”

“That’s no way to talk about our herd leader.” Nyasa said, but there was an amused glint to her eyes, “Then maybe we should try another herd?”

Lilian shook her head, “No I’ve heard too much that sounds unpromising.”

“Then lets go, let’s take a chance.” Nyasa sung with great feeling, “A chance of something better is better then a lifetime where our own kind looks at us with disgust.”

“And what if only death awaits us out there?” Lilian asked.

“I’m willing to face that,” Nyasa said, “With you by my side.”

“Maybe I’m not.” Lilian said, “What if I said no?”

“Then I would stay, with you by my side I am sure we can overcome anything.” Nyasa said.

“But you believe we have a better chance of surviving the unknown then converting the herd.” Lilian said, “I’ll admit I probably agree.”

“Will we go?” Nyasa said, pausing her preening filled with anticipation.

Lilian stepped away from her and spread her wings. With a few flaps she took to the air and flew off the edge of the world. Nyasa had to scramble to follow, she should have expected this. Once Lilian made up her mind she would act on it straight away. They angled themselves towards a cloud that looked like a collection of bright green bubbles. Nyasa drew close to Lilian, her right wing settling over Lilian’s left as they settled into a glide. Her vision blurred and she realised she was crying.

“Thank you Lilian, you are so brave, I couldn’t have done this without you.” She said.

“You’re a romantic fool Nyasa, but maybe this is the only way we could have a hope.”

Aquatics

Aquatics are sentient beings which exist only in water. They include mermaids, octmen and sea serpents. Water magic is very highly valued by all of these breeds.

 

Mermaids

  • Appearance: Humanoid torso, arms and head with sealife additions.
  • Diet: Will depend on their additions (eg sharks are carnivores, manatees herbivores)
  • Civilisations: If living on coral reefs they will usually begin building cities.
  • Mermaids are very diverse groups, and are often suspected as being unidentified cross-breeds of humanity and other sealife (perhaps even non-sentient life).

 

Octmen

  • Appearance: They are essentially octopi who use their nimble front tentacles to manipulate their environment
    • Some rare varieties are like Jellyfish
    • Even rarer are the squids
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Civilisation: They create great cities under the coral reefs they use as farms and hunting reserves
    • Jellyfish create floating cities
    • Squids live in the darker regions of the oceans.

Sea Serpents

  • Appearance: Thin serpent-like bodies with nimble flippers they can use like hands and a fanned tail. They have catfish-like whiskers and are scaled. They survive in water as whales would.
  • Diet: Omnivourous
  • Civilisation: They live in underwater, air filled caverns. They value learning greatly and keep large libraries.
  • Magic: All sea serpents have an affinity with water magic of a mage nature. Some rare breeds also have superb control over air which can allow them to fly as well as they swim.

 

Gryphs

Gryphs are quadrupeds with avian head and forelegs. They use their nimble front claws to manipulate their world and to walk. Some Gryphs are winged some are not. All breeds of Gryph that can fly value any sort of air magic.

Here are some of the current identified breeds of gryphs:

Hippogryphs

  • Appearance: Songbird forequarters, ungulate (hooved) hindquarters.
  • Diet: Herbivorous
  • Civilisations: Tend to be primarily wild grazers or gentle farmers.
    • Sometimes they will build complex aviaries in giant forests or partway up mountains.
    • Wingless versions live mostly in the open, or in cities on the plains.
  • Communication: They communicate using complex songs unique to their songbird forequarters.
  • They tend to like naturalistic magic.

Gryphons: Felines

  • Appearance: Birds of prey as their forequarters (often owls) with feline hindquarters
  • Diet: Carnivorous, will hunt hippogryphs, centaurs or small mammals (if gryphon is small in stature).
  • Civilisations: Tend to value noble sensibilities with a strong sense of proper societal roles.
    • Will also build complex aviaries in giant forests or partway up mountains.
    • Wingless versions will become livestock farmers often
  • Communication: Their language is harsher then their Hippogryph cousins, with a screeching quality
  • They tend to like weaponised magic, thus only valuing druids for their air control.

Gryphon: Canine

  • Appearance: Much like their feline counterparts, more like to have raptor forequarters
  • Diet: Carnivorous, will hunt, but also scavenge if needed.
  • Civilisations: They prefer to be in small tribal groups and will in-fight for status.
    • Prefer natural caves to forests for their aviaries.
  • Communication: Much like the communication of other gryphons
  • They also tend to like weaponised magic, thus only valuing druids for their air control.

Gryphons: Vulpine

  • Appearance: Much like other gryphons, more like to have vulture forequarters. They are smaller than the majority of other gryphons (though there are small canine and feline gryphons)
  • Diet: Carnivorous, mostly feasting on carrion.
  • Civilisations: They are often in pairs or very small packs, meeting only at carcasses where they’ll fight for their fair share.
    • Prefer living in burrows and nests in forests.
  • Communication: Much like the communication of other gryphons
  • They also tend to have little preference for any one sort of magic.

 

 

If you have any other Gryph breeds you’d like considered in this universe please share. By the way the Aetherverse is open for anyone to write in as long as you link back to my world-building page.

Humans (Aetheria)

If it walks on two feet, has two hands, mostly fur-less skin and possesses sentience it is counted as a human. The diplomats at Corazon are still trying to decide on whether there should be further identifiers. A radical branch of architects (calling themselves the true humans) are trying to implement height restrictions but breeds such as the dwarves, fae and giants are fighting the motion.

Here are some of the current identified breeds of humans:

Architects

  • Height: between 5 foot and 6 foot 5 inches tall.
  • Civilisation: City based surrounded by specialised agricultural land. Tend to develop an advanced barter system or a currency.
  • Tends to prefer mages of any sort over druids for their versatility and power.

Elves

  • Height: Between 4 foot and 5 foot 5 inches tall.
  • Civilisation: values nature, their hunter gatherer lifestyle in forest favouring their shorter height. They like to leave as little impact on their surroundings as possible.
  • Tend to have improved smell, hear and/or eyesight to help in their forest lifestyle.
  • Values druids (mostly) and mages with power over growing/life/fertility.

Dwarves

  • Height: Between 3 foot and 4 foot 5 inches tall
  • Tend to be incredibly strong for their size.
  • Like architects have a  city and agriculture set up but maintains this underground.
  • Due to their underground habitat they find metals early in their civilisation and become very skilled with its manipulation.
  • The agriculture of dwarves will be at least partly underground.
  • Dwarves have an excellent sense of direction and sensitive eyes.
  • The like druids which specialise in the earth and mages that specialise in fire or metalurgy.

Giants

  • Height: over 7 foot.
  • These are defined mostly by their size.
  • They live on open plains and might develop architect-like cultures.
  • They live mostly off of herds of large animals which they may begin to farm.
  • They have preferences to magic defined more by their environment or civilisation then by breed.

Fae

  • Height: under 1 foot tall
  • These are also defined mostly by their size.
  • They live in thick sheltered forests, and may either stay gatherers or build tiny cities in the roots or branches of trees.
  • They live off of berries, small rodents and nuts, all of which they may farm.
  • They prefer druids of land and air.

 

If you have any other human breeds you’d like considered in this universe please share. By the way the Aetherverse is open for anyone to write in as long as you link back to my world-building page.

Races of the Aetherverse (Overview)

Though there is much effort to classify the sentient races which have begun to explore the Aetheria there is in truth as many races of sentient life as there are realms. The division into categories or species is mostly for the ease of communication. However it is also true that most sentients like being able to sort those they meet into neat little boxes in their minds.

The species classifications are sorted such that creatures with similar physiologies are put together, though ideologies might be vastly different. In fact within some species there are races which often appear within predator-prey arrangements within the realms. The issue with these differences is that they are formed into diplomatic unions in Corazons, therefore similar looking races with radically different ideologies must somehow work together to negotiate for the betterment of all their races.

Within realms breeding between the little sub-categories or breeds is mostly infertile and between categories is always infertile. This is often argued as the basis of the categories, but has little effect out in the raw aether.

 

Cross-Breeding

Within most realms cross-breeding between the species is rarely an issue as there is generally only one species native to the realm. In fact in some realms only one breed is present. Therefore most sentient races are not aware of the consequences of such cross-breeding.

Within Aetheria there are no restrictions, the extreme aether saturation leads to extreme fertility in both females and males of all species. Sentients will find themselves easily able to reproduce with those of their species, when before it would have been harder or impossible. They may even find themselves able to breed across the species with fertile results. Physical limitations will often apply such as size differences or fertilisation and gestation methods, but love can and will find a way.

However cross-breed children are viewed by most cultures as unnatural, soulless or even inherently evil. As such even in the quite open-minded society of Corazon these children are treated as second or third class citizens by most. Some of these children are so obvious that they cannot avoid such treatment. However they may be be able to pass as one of those of their parents breed. If there have been a few cross-breeds that look similar to each other they may band together and pretend to be a new species to avoid ill treatment, this has mixed results as other sentients have become suspicious of this behaviours.

 

There is so much variation across the aetherverse that none of this should be important, but to the sentients involved it is very much so.