- 1 History
- 2 Appearance and Biology
- 3 Special Abilities
- 4 Restrictions
- 5 Perception of the World
- 6 General Society and Culture
- 7 Clothing
- 8 Arts and Crafts
- 9 Travel
- 10 Laws
- 11 Cities Occupied
- 12 Values, Religion, and Worship
- 13 Reproduction, Aging, and Death
- 14 Communication, Language, and Names
- 15 Folklore, Rumors, and Legends
They said it was a secret, something that belonged to them that no one else could have. Moseke, immortal of life and earth, our mother, and Ymiden, immortal of summer and rebirth, our father. Between the two a blossom was born, love eternal. A great love. Yet secrets cannot remain secret forever.
Our cousins who were once human and later became known as the Sevir were adored by our mother Moseke; we were not around then. Designed as a gift following the blight of Lissara's malicious plague, our cousins met their downfall and we were their rebirth. Heartbroken from the loss of her children Moseke wept while our father Ymiden was doomed to watch his beloved suffer. Just after the destruction of the Sevir, we were created. Moseke was mourning at the Ojọgbọn. Ymiden was nearby, torn apart by the sight of his love weeping for her children. It was then that he saw it, the small, twisted branch growing from the Ojọgbọn, shaped like a dancing child. The rising summer sun was its spotlight, causing the dew drops of the leafy hair to shine. This image caused Ymiden to create a smaller version of a human for his love. An individual with the ability to regrow in difficult times, an individual with a smile as bright as the morning sun. On this day the first of our kind was created.
Ymiden presented the first of our race to Moseke. He called her Aläïwä Owọpọ (or 'tiny mother' in Xanthea). Moseke was overjoyed with Aläïwä, but her joy was clouded by the grief of losing her children. Lost to that grief, she turned her back on Aläïwä and worked by herself to resurrect her settlement. Moseke worked by herself to resurrect the spirits of her lost children while Ymiden worked with Aläïwä. Together they built Magani, a small district surrounding the Ojọgbọn for our people to reside in. Upon the resurrection of the humanoid race now known as the Sev'ryn, Aläïwä was excited to celebrate with Moseke. Her family was whole once more.
For many arcs, Aläïwä lived happily. She awaited the day the district would fill with Tunäwä. It was only after ten arcs of loneliness that she realized Ymiden would not make more like her, he said she was unique and would not replace her with clones. Aläïwä was inconsolable and begged Ymiden to help her create more Tunäwä. The Immortal only agreed when Aläïwä said it would happen with or without his help. Both present during the yaba daiv, Moseke and Ymiden condemned Aläïwä to be cut into six pieces and used each limb of her severed body to create the Kufuato, the elders of the Tunäwä people. The Ojọgbọn became the budding ground for the Tunäwä.
Aläïwä’s arms grew the original Tunäwä that were interested in crafting and healing. Kufuata Onse became the Elder of Healing, as the left arm tended to cover the heart best. Kufuato Iranse became the Elder of Poisons and Antidotes, for he could be hard-hitting and soft spoken. Kufuata Okan, the Elder of Flowers and Trees, and Kufuato Apau, Elder of Fruit and Seeds, came from Aläïwä’s legs, as they were the closest to the earth. Kufuata Njama is the Elder of Spirits, and has a deep connection with Ymiden and Moseke. She was born from the torso, which protects the life force of all Tunäwä. Finally, Kufuato Karo was born from Aläïwä’s head and is the Elder of Seasons. He is the most revered of all the elders and is considered the leader of the Tunäwä people.
Appearance and Biology
Most Tunäwä stand between six to ten inches tall, have long, narrow limbs and sharp, fine features. They are made up of wood and water for the most part, and come in a variety of colours including brown, tan, green, and teal, which is why they are often compared to certain types of wood like oak, mahogany, pine, cedar, maple, cherry, and walnut. Ymiden designed the Tunäwä people in Moseke’s image, having always admired her exotic skin tone, seductive eyes, and lean form. It is rare that one will ever stumble upon a Tunäwä that is overweight. Their eyes look glassy and are usually brown, green, blue or yellow, but have been known to reflect many colours in nature. Both males and females within the race have very long, dark lashes, or eyes framed with what looks like black pencil liner, a naturally occurring trait that exaggerates their doll-like appearance and makes them very popular among children and slavers.
They are extremely lightweight, which makes them resistant to fall damage, and Tunäwä float very well in water, in fact they find it difficult to dive and are impossible to drown. Tunäwä die for one of three reasons, death by flame, staked in the head with an Ojogbon weapon, and finally, old age. One cannot suffocate, disembowel, break, or end a Tunäwä’s life via beheading unless Ojogbon weapons are used (something only wielded by the Tunäwä), or fire and age. If a Tunäwä loses a limb, golden tree gum will seep from the wound and harden, closing the wound in order to give it time to heal. The new limb will sprout from the stub of the old limb and take a full season to grow. This process can be faster or slower depending on the season. For example, during Cylus new limbs will not grow at all as the Tunäwä’s body is considered to be in a sleep-like state, much like deciduous trees in winter. All of their energy is geared towards keeping them alive rather than growing and healing, whereas in the warmer seasons, limbs can grow back faster, especially during Ymiden.
One of the most unique traits regarding the Tunäwä people is their hair, which unlike other humanoids across Idalos, can be made out of vines, moss, silk, roots, sprouts, bark, or any other naturally occurring substance in nature. Stranger still, the Tunäwä are known to grow flowers, fungi, leaves, seeds, and even small fruit in their hair. Their limbs and bodies are covered in a thin layer of smooth bark, considered to be their skin, which can wrinkle and grow coarse with age, often becoming brittle and covered in bryophytes, including lichens (the same substance that makes up a male Tunäwä’s beard), hornworts, and liverworts in their later arcs. Tunäwä with high status among their people who have achieved great things often have tribal designs carved into their skin using tools from their sacred tree. Their skin has a special memory for these designs when carved by the tools of the Ojogbon tree, which allows new limbs to remember the patterns even if the old ones were cut off or defaced somehow.
Natural climbers, the Tunäwä start climbing as a very young age and are able to get around the forest canopy very quickly using this trait. The Tunäwä have a unique gift that allows them to ingest any type of poison without causing harm to themselves and in turn grow the antidote as a flower, root, fungi, or seed in their hair that can be ground up and mixed with other ingredients to make an antidote. Master herbalists can grow an antidote almost instantly, but for novices this process can take up to three trials (two for competent herbalists and one for experts). Not only are they able to craft antidotes but they can also grow poisons, even something as dangerous as spores which on their own may only act as an irritant, but as a group can be used as an airborne type of chemical warfare. In place of blood their bodies create a honey-gold coloured gum that is thick and sweet smelling with the ability to close and heal wounds in large quantities. See communication section below for sound mimicking talents.
The Tunäwä’s body is but a floral outer shell for their wisp like souls, best described as a concentrated ball of energy at their core that is able to restore their bodies, slowly regenerating their physical form, for example, if a Tunäwä was ground down to dust, it would take up to two seasons to be restored to its original state.
Tunäwä can under no circumstances learn to use Domain Magic. Any player wishing to take on a Tunäwä as an NPC must pay the same purchase costs as if they were to buy a slave as no Tunäwä would willingly travel with a member of a race outside of their own. Alchemy and Ensorcelling are considered "Practices." Practices may be learned by this race.
Perception of the World
The rest of the world views the Tunäwä as cheeky, secretive, cunning, and somewhat of a mystery. They are popular among slaver traders and are often sold on the black market to those willing to pay the highest price. By the majority of humanoids, the Tunäwä are viewed as pets, kept in bird cages and used for their special, racial abilities. Doctors are among some of the guiltiest for keeping and using the Tunäwä to mass produce medicines and antidotes they can sell and make profit from. Coin means little to this race who are known for the love of foraging and reusing materials from nature to craft new and interesting things. It is rare for a Tunäwä to take a job, though many roamers have been known to do the odd job here and there, usually related to something they are good at.
Most believe the Tunäwä’s size has always put them at a disadvantage, but this race sees things differently. Due to their size they make excellent spies, and with their ability to remain quiet and well hidden, it can be difficult to know whether or not one is being followed by these tiny masters of stealth. “The trees are listening” is a term used by many who know of them, and more often than not it is true, as Tunäwä are so widespread now that is it almost impossible to walk into the woods without being noticed by one.
Culturally, the Tunäwä work on a bartering system, trading for most of the things they need or offering up favours for specialty items they long to get their hands on. Fond of gossip, rumours, and stories, Tunäwä are also prone to falling prey to their own curiosity, which often lands the younger generations in hot water, as they are tricked into things very easily. For older Tunäwä, however, this works in the reserve, and some of them can get quite crafty, earning the race the title of tricksters. One thing most people understand about the Tunäwä is their love of laughter and song, and it is said that a happy Tunäwä is a singing Tunäwä. When kept in captivity, the Tunäwä often become extremely depressed and stop singing, talking, and eating. It is impossible for one of them to pass due to starvation, but if they refuse to drink water their limbs will stiffen and become brittle, and all of the flowers, seeds, fungi, and other little treats that grow in their hair will wither and die.
General Society and Culture
Their favourite foods include nectar, honey, fruits, many different plants and edible flowers, some insects, minerals, and water. The Tunäwä love sweet, foods that a high in natural sugars, such as fruits, and more specifically, berries, citrus fruits, grapes, mangos, cherries, pears, and apples. They get their protein from insects with some of their preferred options being ants, bees, beetles, flies, locusts, spiders, caterpillars, grasshoppers, termites, and crickets, which are one of their favourites, said to have a nutty flavour often compared to seaweed. Another treat they enjoy is jerked worms, snails, and slugs, all three of which are usually well salted. They absorb water through their feet and can go up to thirty trials without a drink, but will start to suffer and grow brittle if they go any longer than that without water.
Yaba Daiv: This tradition literally means “cut” and “bury”. It is the process of blooming where a Tunäwä pair make the long and difficult journey to the Ojogbon Tree, known as their breeding grounds, pollinate a seed, cut it away from the female’s hair and bury it in the side of the Ojogbon tree where they must wait thirty trials for it to sprout. Family groups often return to the same part of the Ojogbon Tree to plant their seed and watch it grow into a new sapling until it is old enough to take from the tree and raise in their preferred part of the forest.
Unlike other humanoids, Tunäwä are not ashamed of their nakedness and often do little to cover themselves up, though they are fond of decorating themselves with moss, bird bones, spiderweb, silk, cotton in its raw form, flowers, leaves, small shells, dried insects, butterfly wings, and even colourful bird feathers. They are famous for making material from flax and other plant fibres and slavers will pay good money for crafty individuals, as humans like Tunäwä to work on clothing as they make very good seamstresses and tailors. The Tunäwä do not like metals and seldom include these materials in any of their designs.
Arts and Crafts
Their artwork and crafts are fine and detailed. Tunäwä like to designs pictures in spider’s webs where they often spend hours pinching the individual strands together in order to achieve the desired picture. With these webs they make portraits of loved ones or pets. They decorate their homes with these works of art and like to forage for different things outside, such as colourful beetle shells, dried leaves or flower petals that they ground down to make special paints with, and ink they can use to paint or draw with using the finest of bird feathers. The use stingers from dead bees for stitching, and prefer to make their own thread using what they know. Ymiden is when they do most of their crafts, decorating the Ojogbon tree with their art.
Tunäwä prefer subtropical climates and are most likely to travel to warmer parts of the world, usually in central mid, west, or eastern Idalos if they are to stray from their roots in Desnind. They have been known to take boats, mounts, or simply walk wherever it is they want to go. Some of their more popular mounts include squirrels, toads, birds, bats, lizards, large spiders, and Zippers, which are big, brightly coloured dragonflies native to Desnind that move very quickly.
The Tunäwä live in a district of Desnind called Magani, and thereby conform to the rules set for the area as well as a few of their own:
- No fire is permitted in the region or around any of the Tunäwä or the Ojogbon
- The Ojogbon Tree is Sacred and its location must never be revealed to non Tunäwä
- Elders, especially Kufuato, must be shown respect at all times.
Magani is the ancestral home of the Tunäwä, but they have also set down roots in the forests across Idalos. This city is located near the Ojọgbọn, which is south of Desnind in the Southern Region.
Values, Religion, and Worship
Seasons, healing, poison and antidotes, flowers and trees, fruit and seeds, and spirits, as represented by each of the six Kufuato. Above all, Tunäwä cherish life and maintaining a balance between the world of man, and Moseke’s domain.
The Tunäwä hold Ymiden and Moseke on the highest pedestal although other deities may be revered.
Reproduction, Aging, and Death
This process, known as the bloom, can only take place in Desnind. A paired couple of Tunäwä, one male, and one female, will travel back to their birthplace at the site of the Ojogbon Tree during the season of Ymiden. The male grows a special, sweet smelling flower in his hair that buds in Ashan and opens in Ymiden to pollinate a single seed which grows in his partner’s hair. The seed is plucked out and planted in the mossy bark of the Ojogbon Tree. It takes thirty trials for the seed to germinate and sprout into the new Tunäwä who is then taken to be raised and taught by his or her parents for the next two arcs. Parents can tell which sprout is theirs by the unique flower that grows in the young Tunäwä’s hair which matches the father’s flower exactly. The sex of the new Tunäwä is decided by whether they finish sprouting during the day (female) or night (male), and can also be influenced by the weather. Though the Tunäwä are considered to be adult by the end of their second arc, they cannot reproduce until they are four arcs of age and this cycle can take place once an arc, and though most pairs only ever replace themselves with children, some Tunäwä couples have as many as a dozen sprouts in their lifetime.
Tunäwä finishing sprouting after thirty trials but are still considered and called ‘sprouts’ or ‘saplings’ for the first arc of their life. After the first thirty trials most Tunäwä are an inch tall and grow another inch each cycle so that by the end of their first arc they are four inches tall. By the end of their second arc they can be anywhere from six to ten inches and are considered mature by this time. Tunäwä stay with their parents anywhere from two to five arcs, and generally stay no longer than their first bloom, which for most takes place at the end of their fourth arc. They can live up to one hundred arcs, though most die of old age in their late seventies and eighties depending on how rough the lives that they led were. A Tunäwä who spend their whole life in Desnind may even live beyond one hundred arcs as something about being close to the Ojogbon Tree enables them to maintain a youthful appearance and vitality. An aged Tunäwä will often appear covered in moss or thorns which usually start occurring half way through their lives.
As a Tunäwä ages they become rigid and harden until it become impossible and even uncomfortable for them to move. Their limbs strengthen and fuse to their bodies until the become a straight solid piece of wood that is used by their kin to craft weapons such as spears, bows, and even instruments from, carved and shaped using Ojogbon tools. Blood sings to blood and these weapons are said to recognise their kin and can only be wielded by one of the dead’s descendants, likewise, a musical instrument born of this wood will only play for their kin. It is said one can tell when a Tunäwä has finally passed because the branch they become no longer grows any flowers and the thin layer of bark, or skin, peels back from the wood beneath. The wood that remains is treated with the utmost respect by the Tunäwä people, blessed and honoured with tales that celebrate their loved one’s live and past achievements through story and song. The wood chooses its own design and Ojogbon tools are merely used to find the spirit’s true shape.
Tunäwä who are put to death by flame (a practice that is only undertaken by outsiders, as the Tunäwä fear fire), have their ashes taken home and sprinkled at the base of the Ojogbon tree, where their people believe the spirit is transferred to give life to and strengthen the tree, often reborn again in a new sprout with memories of their past life that sometimes come to them in dreams. These Tunäwä, often referred to as ‘Teynga’ (meaning old), do not bloom and therefore are unable to reproduce, but accept their new lives as a second chance, choosing to share their knowledge of the world with the less adventurous of their race while doing their best to insure that history is not repeated.
Communication, Language, and Names
The thing Tunäwä are most famous for regarding language and sounds if their ability to throw their voices and master animal sounds, especially bird calls which they use to communicate with one another in the treetops. As masters of stealth it is said a man could spend his whole life in the forest without ever seeing or hearing one of the Tunäwä, but no man can step into the woods without being noticed by one of them.
Tunäwä don't have their own official language, instead using the Sev’ryn language of Xanthea to communicate with the locals and at times, each other. They have some trouble with the common tongue but eventually pick it up with a lot of practice. ‘Tree Talk’ (or bird calls) is the nickname given to their preferred language.
Most common names for the Tunäwä start with or contain the letters S, A, J, T, K, and O. It is rare that a name will start with or contain the letters B, Q, C, X, Z, and F. Names generally sound very soft, have two to three syllables, and can often draw inspiration from nature, such as, Koral, Sunja, Jovine, Kato, Jornet, Ojan, and Tama.
Folklore, Rumors, and Legends
Just like humanoids, the Tunäwä too like to keep pets, anything from the humble bumblebee, to small tree frogs, and tiny lizards. Though their pets are free to come and go, rumour has it that the race are able to understand what animals and insects are feeling or trying to communicate with them to some degree. Like a man can train a hawk to scout and hunt, the Tunäwä can train their pets to forage and spy, warning them about anything going on in the surrounding area, cause distraction, or lead I got them away from danger.
There is a long told legend about the Tunäwä that is believed by few but spoken about by many. It takes place during the season change of summer to autumn when deciduous trees lose their leaves. Legend has it that it is the Tunäwäs’ job to pluck every single leaf from the trees, a task assigned to them by Vhalar, Keeper of Oaths. Though no Tunäwä have ever confirmed this fable, many believe that the race does seem more active during the fall and have been seen throwing leaves from the treetops to the forest floor.