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Lei Pyke Race: Daitari Type: Cursed Hybrid *note: this document replaces the entry on Linyth Hybrids found in “Maestros and other things” The Daitari (dī-Tä-rē both singular and plural form) are alternatively known as mages. They are currently the only human type beings that the Maestros will allow to use Calnese magic. This is because Calnese magic is a part of the fiber of their being. Daitari must be born in one of two ways. In the first from, they appear as the direct result of copulation between a linyth and a human. This method is rare by the third age of the second cycle. Before the linyth were cursed into their ungulate form by the Maestros, their nearly human appearance made it easy to commit fornication between the races. After the Maestros cursed the linyth, their more equine appearance made it difficult for all but the most depraved individuals to mate between species. Daitari can be male or female, and can breed with humans or with linyth, however the result will always follow the race of the pure partner. This is how the second method appears, and that is as in an atavistic trait that has the potential to show up in every generation following a Daitari/human or Daitari/linyth pairing. To be Daitari is to endure a cursed existence that is not alleviated with death, but only by direct intervention of the Maestros, and Meranna in particular. Daitari begin their lives as humans, and enjoy a period of growth that is twice that of a human. For that reason, even if a Daitari is born to linyth mother, it is always given to humans. A Linyth mother will usually give the baby to a temple of Meranna, where it will grow up understanding its lineage and so come to its choice at maturity with full knowledge of its choices. If a Daitari is born to a human mother, however, it is possible that the Daitari might grow up separated from the path of Meranna and be initially unaware of its parentage. The problem is that the birth of a Daitari always begins in sorrow. Complications always occur resulting in the live birth of the baby cause the wasting death of the mother. Daitari reach sexual maturity at the same rate as a human, but they retain a prepubescent body in all other aspects until they reach the age of 30. At that time, they awaken to their linyth ancestry and mature; their bodies rapidly and horridly transforming until they are a nightmarish combination of human and quadruped. Their arms grow to be as long as their legs, and their feet and hands twist and extend until they are forced into an apelike quadrepedal gait. Their spine also twists until their backs have a noticeable hump. Their ears extend and flop over, and their hips eventually break and reform, preventing bipedal motion for the rest of their lives. Some even develop a long tail or vestigial, bat like wings. At the end of their maturation, their foreheads also sport a bump that never breaks the skin. This is a stunted horn. Maturing Daitari attract lightning just as the linyth do, and require it to sustain life once they begin to mature, but it burns and melts their skin and causes incredible pain. As children, however, they enjoy an extended youth. Their skin is always pale and their hair is always blond and straight. Before they begin to change, their eyes can be
any human color, but are usually either gray or albino pink. They are graceful, beautiful children with exceptional strength and balance and skin that does not scar or blemish, though it can deform in the heat of a fire or the flash of electricity. They are immune to both diseases that infect humans and those that affect the natives of Caln. Their minds are sharp and they are usually insatiably curious. They are bipedal, but they can run as fast as their linyth parent when pressed. Since even linyth born Daitari grow up among humans, most learn early to avoid showing this off because it is a dead giveaway of their cursed nature. The first sign of a Daitari’s maturity appears as it approaches 30. Its eyes change first, becoming purplish-blue with gold flecks. Then, its finger tips and toe tips change to golden claws. At that time, a Daitari’s magic begins to manifest. The Linyth were stripped of their magic, but the Daitari still express it. Linyth magic is the magic of air and storms. In time, even as they twist into horrid hybrid monsters, Daitari are learning to fly by the power of their magic, to take energy from electrical storms, and to walk on water just as their linyth parent can do naturally. Unfortunately, their twisted bodies cannot sustain life. Their organs begin to shut down almost as soon as they stop growing, and at the end of their maturation, they usually live only about two to eight years, dying a slow, agonizing death at the age of forty, ironically at the peak of their magical growth. A Daitari can slow their maturation by about twenty years by refusing to use their magic, but in the end they still die as twisted horrors. The Maestros designed the Daitari curse to be a warning to both linyth and humans about the dangers of committing fornication outside their own species. Beyond death, they are not free from the curse. Their souls are not fully human, and so they cannot enter the Feasthall, and are not fully Calnese so they cannot become part of the Retinue. The problem is that the essence of a Calnese mortal has the same essence as the gods themselves. Since the essence of humans and the essence of the gods is so similar, only during life can a soul undergo the process of separation. After death, they find that they share the same curse as half immortals. They are condemned to wait until the end of time in the bleak, Erebus-like realm of Kohlerir. There are some alternatives to this bleak life. Meranna of the Calnese pantheon offers a method of salvation, while Anim of the Human pantheon also offers her own version. Sorrith and Thrass also offer opposing methods of avoiding Kholerir that apply universally to living creatures. Meranna’s path: Meranna’s path of salvation is specifically for Daitari. It allows a Daitari to enter the Feasthall and Meranna’s domain within Innus. Meranna has two methods for daitari to make it through judgment. When a Daitari’s fingertips turn golden, it can go to Meranna’s church. There, it is offered up before the altar where it is given the choice of two different lives. In the first, Meranna can direct and slow their transformation so that they live a somewhat comfortable existence, and usually get to live as humanoid creatures for about 70 years. During that time, they get to keep their fertility and their abilities as mages. Spiritually, they are undergoing a long separation process within their soul that is separating their human parts from their linyth parts. At the end of the process, the Daitari undergoes a strange ritual where their bodies are prepared as if for a funeral, and they are
shut alive in special tombs marked with Meranna’s magic. When they emerge two years later, they are fully linyth, and their human soul is cast off as dead to join the feasthall. They lose all their memories and experiences and they continue their lives as linyth but they are black colored to mark their origin. Black linyth are sterile, but otherwise are exactly like true linyth. The difference is that because they have been cleansed and reborn, they are considered sacred by true linyth and humans alike. Whether or not they live up to that sacredness is their choice as mortal creatures, but black linyth are not denied vocal speech or their own magic. At the end of their lives, they undergo judgment as purely Calnese creatures, and even in death, they never see their human side. Even if they were to meet on the eternal battlefield, they would not recognize each other. This method is only available at the hidden temple called “Ashakiran” high in the mountainous interior of the continent of Mehran. Daitari who wish this path are consecrated at their local temples and sent out with nothing but a walking stick and a single change of clothes. The idea is that their pilgrimage prepares them for becoming a mage and teaches their soul about the nomadic life that the linyth lead. They are required to stop at every temple to offer prayers and offerings to Meranna. Only at the temples are they given a place to sleep other than the ground. If they must cross the ocean to reach Mehran, they must do so on foot, using their magic to keep themselves on top of the waves. In the second method, as they are offered up to Meranna, she can almost immediately take the Calnese portion to herself. It is easier for her to call out the Calnese portion because Meranna is also part of Caln, and part of the essence of all sentient creatures comes from the Maestros directly. The piece of Calnese soul cannot join her because it is not actually dead, and it never passes judgment. This removes the daitari’s ability to use magic, but since half the daitari’s soul resides with Meranna, their bodies are made nearly immortal, but sterile. A daitari on this path finishes growing, but as a normal human. At the end of their growth, they remain ageless at their prime. Over the centuries, they darken in color until their skin and hair becomes a deep, luminescent black, while their irises fade to a colorless white. They can still be wounded and disfigured and they can still die by physical or magical means. They do not have the regenerative power that full immortals have, and they still have to sleep like a normal mortal, but they do not grow infirm and they are immune to poisons and disease. They are granted the abilities of telepathy and tongues that is common to the master races. The drawback to this path is that once a daitari chooses it and completes the ritual, death cannot be an option. If a daitari on the second path is killed, its Calnese portion comes back to it in the afterlife and they are judged as normal daitari. According to Meranna, they must wait in this half-immortal state for the end of time, at which point they will be free of their curse. Because not all daitari can actually keep their sanity until the end of time, Immortal daitari can freely choose to switch to the mortal path as long as they are willing to take the pilgrimage to Ashakiran. To switch, then, is a doubly hard quest, due to the fact that they are denied their magic until they reach Ashakiran. Those on the first path cannot ever choose to become immortal. The only way to complete the second path is to enter Meranna’s temple at Arynstar. Those wishing to seek this path are given passage by boat to the continent of
Man because they are choosing to become more human in their earthly lives. They are usually also given large amounts of money for the trip by the temple they are leaving from, and rich clothes that will get them past the city gate. Sorrith’s Path: Daitari are eligible for enlistment into Sorrith’s army. The ritual is the same for Daitari as it is for humans. All Daitari receive a golden orb if they pass their judgment. It is a position that is outside the normal chain of command. A Daitari enlisted is referred to as Karlinyi. Their supernatural flesh can transform from a human form to a linyth form and back as often as they like and as long as they like or are commanded. They can also take on both forms of linyth: both the modern, cursed form and the original form. In the cursed form, they are entirely golden, like a palomino horse, but painfully emaciated. They are invaluable as scouts, messengers and diplomats, and can use their magic without fear or curse. Karlinyi are dedicated so fully to Sorrith that though they are not allowed to actually dwell in the Feasthall, they are among his most favored and trusted followers. After their time on the mortal plane is done by Sorrith’s command, and they have a new job witnessing and watching the gates of Pathir and acting as bailiffs and witnesses in Sorrith’s courtroom. They also take up the job of couriers, and are freely allowed in every part of Insir except for Lemari’s domain and the place of locked portals. Anim’s Path: Anim’s Path is a path of Damnation. For the Daitari to walk it is to lose their body completely. Like Meranna, she has two paths. These can be completed at any temple to Anim. The first path is the path of the hound. The demon god twists their soul into a construct of stone and metal, where they are given over to Ruex, who uses them for as long as they retain their sanity. Since they are constructs, they die only at their soul crystal’s destruction. In the second path, called the Path of the Morim, they are brought into the temple and trained to use their magic, and then let out after a glorious feast. There, they take the role of the Morim, a six limbed desert fox, and are hunted until dead. Afterwards, their bodies are skinned and their flesh consumed in a gristly orgy. The skin goes to make the binding covers for the most sacred of texts for the pantheon of man. It may seem as if the Daitari are being mocked and killed Most Daitari are not inclined to follow either path. Most are captured and then brainwashed and tainted until they comply. Others who have been captured choose to die by their captors’ hands rather than allow themselves to become a toy or a beast. Anim cannot interfere with a Daitari already on Meranna’s path, but Daitari that are not are free game for her hunt. Daitari on Anim’s path go to Kohlerir unless they have been found to have actually sought out the path. Such a depraved individual is cast fully into Pathir after Sorrith’s retired Karlinyi thoroughly beat it as it is escorted. Thrass’s path: Thrass is the lord of slaughter, and the Daitari can easily fall into his path. The path of Thrass is more enticing for Daitari than for humans. He can remove a Daitari’s
soul altogether, crush it, twist it, and leave the body an undead shell with all the memories of its life. The magic Thrass gives them substitutes the Calnese magic with demonic sorcery that is similar, but wholly destructive. The most cruel, vicious sorcerer mages on Caln come from this elite group. An undead Daitari sorcerer named Lumi sits at the left hand of the god-emperor, acting as the emissary of Pathir and conducting the horrid rituals to Thrass that are demanded of the army. Undead daitari are bloodthirty, evil creatures that are obligatory carnivores. Their favored prey is any sentient creature. Because they are undead, they are patient, calculating monsters who can concoct evil plans that stretch for centuries.
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