"What can it teach us? What does it know?
How does it see with only two eyes?
The answers are only found by exhausting every test."
~Sanno Mor, Ere Breghin Explorer and Alchemist
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Preconjure Price: 80-125$USD
The Ere Breghin race is distinct in both its appearance and internal structure. They evolved from a form of clever predatory fish, and are still referred to as Fish in the racial slurs of many races. Largely antagonized and considered "evil" for their extremely different social mores and emotional spectrum, the Ere Breghin often retreat from international issues of the world because of their inability to fully co-operate or agree with the other world powers. Still, their intense potency in Magic has kept them at the forefront of power, and their nature has allowed them to delve into unorthodox and often otherwhere illegal experimentations in science and magic.
The difference between male and female externally is minimal. Their sexual organs are all internal, and being amphibious creatures born from eggs, they do not suckle and therefore the females have no breasts, nor do either gender have nipples or navels. The females are slightly smaller full grown, at 4'3" to 5'2", whereas the men can reach 4'5" to 5'5".
At puberty the females undergo some physical changes that differentiate them from the males. Firstly their ears begin to point, a spur of rigid cartilage that causes the ear to stick up and off from the head. The females also develop a ruddy colouring on their otherwise greyish pallid skin that crests their cheeks, sides of the throat, arms and hips. Otherwise the two genders look identical. Ere Breghin do not have a skeletal structure of bones, but rather of a flexible but sturdy cartilage. This enables them a wide range of flexibility and also a great resistance to damage as they can merely flex away from impact. It is said that an Ere Breghin can fit through any hole or crevice so long as their head can fit through. They do have a form of exoskeleton similar to crabshell on their forearms and forelegs, this is darker in hue than their soft flesh (and on the females is ruddy). Their forelimbs are actually proportionately larger than a human's and their hands and feet are broad blockish appendages with not much mobility in the wrist or ankle, but sharp claw-like digits. The Ere Breghin have four fingers/toes, and on the hands a thumb situated like a human thumb, but on the foot this fifth digit is set at the back of the foot and have very little mobility but does act as a stabilizing ridge.
Their ribcages are round and smallish, with jagged hips and shoulders, their midriffs seemingly stretched between the bottom of their ribs and the top of their hipbones. Their necks are longish and sinewy, with a set of three gills on either side of their neck. They also possess a "labyrinth" gill under their jaw bone, above where an Adam's apple sits on a human which enables them to convert oxygen in the air into a breathable format for them, meaning that they can exist out of water so long as they keep this labyrinth lubricated. They have three large bulbous eyes, two in standard formation and one in the centre of their foreheads, with long thick silver eyelashes that frame the eye above and below. The Ere Breghin have an uncanny control over these eyelashes and can consciously control them to flick them this way or that to deflect debris, shade light or imply emotion or intention. Their irises are jagged around the edge and brownish red in colour. Their eyes stick off the head quite a ways and the third eye can move oppositely or independently of the pair. The paired eyes give them a depth of field of vision, while the third is more primely tuned for sudden movement, magical inflections in the world and gravitational signatures.
Their cheeks are prominent, with small receding chins. Their lips are bulbous and thick, usually a darker blue on the males or ruddy on the females. Their gums are roundish and prominent in their mouths, with jagged fanglets of teeth growing out of them at all angles. These teeth are not deeply rooted and fall out or are pulled out when feeding. Inside the gums beneath the tongue more grow and push up and to the forefront in about three days. To lose teeth is no big deal in Ere Breghin, and their "bite" is constantly shifting. If a tooth shifts into an uncomfortable place, such as where it might cut on the tongue or inside of the cheek they have no qualms wilth ripping it out and waiting for the next tooth to rise to the surface.
Their hair grows in tightly curled and is bluish sliver to steel grey. This never grows very long, and does not require much maintenance. Occasionally, this hair with grow down the nape of the neck to the top of the shoulders, but this is rare and is considered unsightly. These individuals would shave this extra hair. Considering how slowly this hair grows, shaved skin is easier to maintain. The Ere breghin skin itself is not so much scaled as it is froglike, moist and porous. As well as respirating through their lungs via labyrinth and gills, the Ere Breghin maintain digestion of magical energies, balance of hormones and secretion of cleansing enzymes through the skin. As their skin begins to dry out, it loses elasticity, and restricts the Ere Breghin's movement, and toxins begin to build up in the body, leading to internal disease, dangerous loss of control of their magical potency and physical chafing and lesions that look like bedsores. For this reason, among many others, the Ere Breghin remain removed from the rest of Eastern life.
Ere Breghin fashion is surprisingly elegant and beautiful, with many rich jewel tones, silky soft or translucent fabrics and gemstone accents. The Ere Breghin have mastered the art of elastic fabrics, working in a crabshell gum that makes the fabric snug-fitting yet breathable, stretchy and comfortable against the skin. These are irreplaceable for Ere Breghin anatomy as their flexible, ever-bending forms require something that can hug to one's shape without slipping off when the form beneath it bends. These stretchy fabrics have been incorporated into designs by the Lisdanese, the Bodovians, the Suoro and even by the RnClan Muzina. The design of clothing for the Ere Breghin themselves is usually one of form-fitted short vests or halter-tops with loin-cloths or shorts for men, usually with scrunched and gathered fabric about the waist or arms, that trails behind one's body two to four feet. Women generally wear ballooned pants of transparent silks over bands on the hips and legs, with jiuk jackets that fold back from a vest-like covering on the chest to hang down the back to which pockets are affixed. Both men and women tend to decorate themselves with cords, fine chain, ribbons or embroidery rife with glass beads, set gemstones, pearls, polished shells and buffed coral. Hair is kept no longer than the nape of the neck for both men and women so as not to interfere with the breathing of the gills. In necromancer or other cults the head is shorn clean and the scalp is tattooed with ritual designs that mark to other members of your cult where you belong. Hands and feet, while decorated with bangles of coins, beads or tassels never wear gloves or footwear, allowing for full use of their crustaceous hardshell digits. All Ere Breghin clothing is designed to be light when wet and to dry quickly but not to get crunchy from the salt of their water and thereby dry them out. This is because of the structure of their cities requiring frequent entrance and exit of the water itself.
The Ere Breghin have one of the most disparate cultures in comparison to the other races, and for this they are often antagonized or misunderstood. To be clear before proceeding, the Ere Breghin are not evil by nature, and consider the practices and laws of the other nations to be inane and foolish. When reading the following information, please try to put your midframe into the position of an Ere Breghin living in their culture.
Sexual attraction then, is a wholly different business. It is taken for granted that male and female Ere Breghin have different needs, sexually, and therefore in brothels one is usually serviced by the same gender. In personal circumstances, physical attraction is usually the only reason to sexually interact with another Ere Breghin. In males, the paler the skin, the more beautiful they are considered. For females, the redder the skin's highlights and the longer the ears are pointed, the more attractive they are. Sexual practice itself does not involve what humans might typically expect, but a combination of gripping with one's hands or feet, various soft parts of the other's body to induce pain, biting, licking, and entwining of slippery, malleable limbs. This may come from an ancestral mating ritual performed by their genetic parent species which was highly aggressive, often forcing themselves on their mates and rivals to prove dominance. For this reason, assault of this nature is not frowned upon within their society and is considered a proof of prowess and potency. However, in a companionship setting they understand this is not welcome behaviour and is grounds for banishment, and so they have agreed to not behave in this manner towards their companions.
What we would consider Romantic love, is for them considered the same as friendship. To trust someone is a dangerous and vulnerable business. Therefore to trust someone enough, and care for someone enough as to put their needs and safety before your own is the closest one can achieve to the concept of love. This attachment is considered foolish by many Ere Breghin, though by others it is considered a sacred union. It can be formed between two males, two females, or a male and female, and on rare occasions - such as in a cult, organization, or domestic unit - it can be shared between a group of people. This union between two individuals is called a Pairing, and between a group of three or more is called a Pod. It is written in law that if any member of the Pairing or Pod is harmed the other member(s) have full rights to seek out the perpetrator and solve the matter as suits their union. The percentage of Ere Breghin that ever find a Pairing of Pod is only about 30-34%.
Marriage has nothing to do with love; though it can on occasion coincidentally occur between members of a Pairing or Pod. The purpose of marriage in Ere Beghin is financial. One consolidates their social production, their gross annual income, their living quarters, their business assets and their responsibility over any dependents. Often in order to be able to apply for a Dependant, to fulfill the financial requirements Ere Breghin will marry to be able to pass the exam. Once married, they are entered in the Archives as a Domestic Unit, with any Dependants being added to this list. As Pods are considered a unit, if any member of the Domestic Unit is wronged, the other members are legally allowed to pursue those responsible with whatever means seem fitting - be that murder, prosecution, dueling, hexing or other means. Likewise, if any member of a Domestic Unit breaks the law, it reflects on the record of the entire Domestic Unit, and so any member of the unit can be liable for punishment by law - especially if the one responsible is a Dependant. In extreme cases of lawlessness, a Caretaker's license can be reviewed or even revoked if they are found to have not performed their duties fully in the raising and development of their Dependant. The financial benefit of consolidated Domestic Units is the lessened cost of living, the consolidated debt and the tax breaks they receive for reducing resource waste by co-habitation.
The Ere Breghin are sexual in how they are capable of reproducing, but sexual acts are separated entirely from procreation. The act of procreating requires the laying of an egg by the female and the male then fertilizes it with his shlier fluids. For this process there is actually no interaction between male and female in order to produce offspring. Because of this, the Ere Breghin society has managed to entirely regulate the act of procreation and therefore anyone not registered as an official surrogate is banned from procreating of their own accord.
If one wishes the responsibility of raising a child, or Dependant, as they are called, they must first take the national exam which judges aptitudes for education (including literacy, intelligence, profession and skill proficiency), monetary stability (including annual income, debts, projected expected price of raising a Dependant until their 16th year - including tutoring/schooling, clothing, feeding, outfitting, housing expenses etc), responsibility (criminal record, contribution to society, overall age, previous record, and a series of questions that need to be correctly answered 100% regarding the proper care and raising of an Egg to a Larva and then to a Dependant). Only once this exam has been passed is one granted a license that enables one to fill out an application for an Egg. On the application, one can select Level 1, 2, or 3 Intellect, Labourer, Mobility type Egg, and a preference for which Moon Sign Crop the Egg has been laid under. Based on the information provided, the Ministry of Fertility decides whether or not it has enough quota of Eggs to distribute each year (always making sure to distribute an equal percentage of male and female Eggs annually to maintain population), and selects applications based on which licenses received the highest scores on their exams. Once one is approved to claim an Egg, they sign it out from the Ministry of Fertility, registering the Egg's particulars - gender, Crop, given name, Registered Levels, and assigned place in society - which is almost always whatever profession the Caretaker holds. Almost all required Eggs are taken to become apprentices to help with growing businesses, to replace deceased workers, or to inherit an organization by an aging Ere Breghin.
Coming of Age
An Ere Breghin is born as a squishy, semi-translucent egg, slightly red in colour and protected by a filmy casing. The Caretaker is given a prepared solution containing the chosen shlier as the best match for the Egg to ensure its classified Levels of Ability, mixed with a saline solution of salt water at a lessened potency of salt than the open ocean (mimicking the natural inlets and sounds in which traditionally Ere Breghin would crawl ashore to lay their young) and fortified with a complex combination of magically potent and nutrient rich minerals, vitamins, proteins, sugars and elements to ensure healthy development and grown of the Egg into a Larva. The Caretaker combines the Egg with the pre-mixed solution in a basin that is specially crafted for this purpose and submerses the Egg. Special care is required to rotate the egg, jostle the fluid to mimic the pull and sway of the tides, exposing it to ample moonlight, and various other steps that ensure it mixes and grows accordingly.
Once the outer casing hatches, the Larva consumes the remainder of its Egg, and then swims about in the bottom of the basin. In the Larva state it has a swollen head with three bulging but as yet still sightless eyes and a worm-like body with nubs that will grow into appendages. Once the Larva grows into the normal form and shape of a true Ere Breghin, the liquid must be drained immediately to accustomize the young Ere Breghin, or Gruet, to the concept of breathing air - forcing its labyrinth to take its first breath. Because the time frame for this switch over can be anywhere from a single day to a matter of hours, the Caretaker is financially compensated to miss work for the days leading up to and following the "birth" of the Gruet to ensure it is healthy, without complications and survives.
As a Gruet, a stage that lasts from roughly the 6th month to the 11th year, male and female Ere Breghin look identical in terms of gender. Despite this seeming uniformity, for ease of education, boys and girls are segregated into dorms if studying at an institution or are paired up with a like-gender Tutor if studying at home. This is partly due to organizational reasons, and partly because males tend to exhibit much more of a individualistic, competitive, and often cruel nature towards peers especially if in the presence of the opposite sex - even pre-pubescently. Females, on the other hand, tend towards more of a collective, team-work, dependent environment. As the learning styles and behavioral patterns are so disparate, for convenience and efficiency they are separated where they can be judged against their peers for the most accurate assessments, and kept in line by like-minded superiors.
During the twelfth year, the onset of puberty marks the end of the Gruet stage, and enters the full adult stage of an Ere Breghin's life. At this point, the males remain silvery and monochrome in colour, with exception of the grey film of the labyrinth which turns dark blue to black. Their skin toughens all over the body a little more than the females, lowering their flexibility minutely, but regenerating more completely. The females, on the other hand begin to develop reddish, salmon pink, or ruddy orange-brown colourations down the sides of their neck, torso, and on the exoskeletal shells on their feet and hands. Their round ears also point out at the upper edge, and the ruddy brown hue of their eyes can sometimes (but not always) turn from ruddy to garnet red. On rare occasion an Ere Breghin of either gender will develop faint spotted or mottled markings down their back, flanks, elbows/knees or cheekbones. Why this variation occurs is unknown, but as it has no real impact on functionality or health it is generally overlooked as a peculiarity - though a few find this mottling attractive and 'exotic'. It is during this transitional period that a male Ere Breghin is most likely to prow for non-consensual acts of either his fellow classmates or females who begin to bloom first. This prowling is considered an 'enthusiastic' activity of young males and is generally equivalent to the drunken carousings of young Speritanian males, or the 'humping stage' of pubescent Bodovians.
Death is an interesting topic for Ere Breghin for three reasons: their Racial Ability which allows them to regenerate and prolong their lives; their high magical potency which further helps in healing, manipulation of health and injury; and their social stigmas on death which alter the 'right' and 'wrong' aspect of Death as is most familiar to humans. An Ere Breghin, which naturally lives for 60-70 years, rarely dies of natural causes or old age. Most Ere Breghin, once they cease to be useful or contributing members of society are murdered by their Dependants not wanting to pay to upkeep them, by their societies/associations/companies/cults to end responsibilities and ties to them, or die of their own follies while trying to prove themselves still useful and so avoid the first two scenarios. To murder someone for personal advantage, to solve competition, for failure or to settle a debt is completely legal. Survival of the fittest - even if the "fittest" means are extortion, poison and assassination is a completely rational and clear-minded decision. Conversely, if one was to kill another in a rage, out of jealousy, or by accident, these would all constitute crimes which be punishable by law.
Other crimes punishable by law are falsifying forms and applications sent in to any government branch, crimes of passion - such as beating, starving, imprisoning another - without direct, immediate gain (such as for alchemical potions, or personal safety while waiting for the police to collect the perpetrator). Those in positions of power or administration can also be held accountable for decisions made that do great harm to their subordinates or damages their estates/livelihoods. The police forces in Ere Breghin are among the most efficient, ruthless and merciless in the world. They use torture, extortion, magic manipulations like divinations and hexes to get the information and truth from their captives that they require. It is said that if one commits a crime, there is no escape but to end's one's own life.
There are three methods of education in Ere Beghin. The first is to take personal charge of the raising and educating on ones Dependants, apprentices or subordinates. This is useful for teaching specific skillsets, but can still leave one 'uneducated' by social standards. The second is to be enrolled in a boarding school institute where one lives in dormitories with others of their gender to be trained in history, magic, channelling, the Logos Ftier, arithmetic and commerce, rhetoric and literacy, and whatever other courses were deemed required by their caretaker. Depending on the class of Intellect they are registered as and the profession they are being trained for, the years of schooling can last from the age of 6 to the age of 13 at most. The third method can be used independently (though this can become highly expensive) or in combination with either of the other methods to achieve a more complete education or to further specialize in specific areas of study. This method is the hiring of a tutor (always of the same gender as the student) either to teach specifics related to their profession - such as advanced magics and sciences to support alchemical study; or as a general repository of social knowledge, including history, trivia, law, debate, philosophy and religion. Tutors can either be hired by the day or by the month, and range in price depending on their own grades and degrees from institutions and named tutors. Some even offer a housing package, or an in-house package so that they can co-habitat with their student for more thorough effects.
Ere Breghin cuisine is one of lean meats - namely water meat, including octopus/squid-like creatures of the deep, mollusks, sea slugs, all variety of fishes, crustaceans and even jellyfishes. They rarely cook these meats, as the Ere Breghin avoid the use of fire at the best of times. When they do heat meats, it is generally to wrap it in seaweeds and steam it or smoke it over underwater or tidal geysers respectively. Their food is naturally high in salt content, minerals and essential fatty acids, which many have speculated lends to their lean-muscle figures and highly competent brain function. For fiber, they consume seaweeds and sea grasses, some low-water growing flowers and plants, salt-water tree barks. They occasionally make use of sea bird meat or eggs, and in small doses crush eggshells, shellfish shells and even barnacle husks into a fine powder which they mix with effervescent water or seacow milk as a nourishing beverage. Ere Breghin cuisine is considered one of the healthiest in the world, due to its raw nature, wide variety of high-nutrient and healthy-fat foods and simple preparations. It is often adopted in spas of the Guild Sector in Suoro, along the coast of Muzin, and throughout southern Bodove and Lisdan. Many modifications are made to the preparation and presentation of these meals to make them seem more palatable or exotic to the foreign clientele, and often these forms of cuisine are called pseudo-Ere Breghin by the Ere Breghin themselves. Also consumed by nearly all of Ere Breghin are various medicinal elixirs - extracts of various animals and plants preserved in spirits or brine, and mixed with sea berries/flower juices/pressed sea grasses to form various tinctures, cocktails and essences that are consumed on their own, or with water usually in the dawn or dusk to maintain health, balance personality quirks, settle ailments like digestive discomfort or bad dreams, etc. Many apothecarists make a living simply administering or mixing elixirs for profit. Nearly all physicians use these blends as a staple of their treatments.
The dates every month for the New Moons are the 5th, 14th, 23rd, and 32nd, and Full Moons are the 9th, 18th, 27th, and the 36th. The first and sixth month are dedicated to Hsah, the second and seventh month are dedicated to Nirre, the third and eighth month are dedicated to Bran, the fourth and ninth are dedicated to Gal, and the fifth and tenths month are dedicated to Tirl. Beyond that, each one of the Full and New Moons are said to be prime times to work certain magics or crafts, and so are times of celebration for different guilds or professions.
The Festival of Lights (also known as the Festival of Elements), for them, is celebrated only on the 36th of the tenth month.
Intelligence: 12/16. The Ere Breghin have an advanced but not elite intelligence because of their simplified wisdom and magical prowess their minds are free to consider out-of-the-box thinking that would not be tolerated or considered by many governments or other organizations. Because of this freedom, they have come up with many unorthodox answers, theories and solutions to difficult issues. The independence, survival of the fittest mentality and need to be useful in one's society to survive have all helped to hone the Ere Breghin mind to think ahead, excelling in tactical thought, problem-solving and independent decision making.
Wisdom: 6/16. The Ere Breghin often over-estimate their capacity for wisdom. But, perhaps, this lack of depth, compassion and empathy enables them to keep the clear, unclouded, nearly sociopathic (by human standards) qualities of morality and judgment that they possess. In the same way that many acts considered cruel or unthinkable to us are run-of-the-mill for them, Ere Breghin lack a human response to things we would consider crimes, having difficulty perceiving injustice, grief, and sorrow. As a society they exist efficiently and without qualm, and their lessened capacity is less keenly felt. Only when they try to interact for long periods with the other races do they run into issues. They simply cannot comprehend the layers and considerations that make decisions more difficult for those with a larger social morality or compassions.
Agility: 8/16. About as agile as a human being, the Ere Breghin are middle of the road in this respect. Their reactions are based on their flexibility, sharp peripheral vision, but their senses are not as razor sharp as a humans and thus impairs their response time. Their squishiness, though helpful in absorbing shock, also impedes them in fast, sudden motion, as they tend to absorb much of their own push off power and dull their spring and push-off capacity. In water, they are extremely agile, as they swim efficiently and for great distances, and they have the advantage in aquatic environments. However, on land they can be clumsy, and since they are amphibious and require moisture constantly, can get especially sluggish and tightened if they begin to dry out. In hot or dry climates they have especial difficulty functioning.
Strength: 5/16. With one of the lowest strength stats in Ul-Zaorith, the Ere Breghin rely heavily on magics like Enchantments or Runes, to modify weight of objects they use. However, they are most often using magic offensively or defensively, and so are not clashing mundane blades hardly ever. Their sockets and joints easily dislocate if put under too much pressure, but they can function considerably better than other races when dislocated because of the frequency with which it occurs.
Resistance: 10/16. While the Ere Breghin bodies are for the most part soft and squishy, (with exception of their hardened exoskeletal hands and feet), their soft cartilage skeletons and incredibly flexible tendons enable them an unparalleled flexibility and resilience of damage. They are able to squish or stretch away from impact damage and thereby absorb and dissipate shock. If, however, they are caught against a hard surface with no room for any amount of movement - such as in a vice or with a boot pressing their head into a stone floor, they crush like gelatin. It is said that an Ere Breghin can squish themselves through any crack or crevice so long as there is room for their skull to pass through. Their biggest weakness is raw fire, which evaporates the water from inside their flesh, bubbles them up and causes a great deal of pain and scarring. Cauterizing is the one way to slow regeneration.
Recovery: 16/16. The Ere Breghin has easily the highest Recovery of any race in the world, and this is because of their ability to regenerate themselves. From regrowing a mangled body part, to reattaching a severed limb, all that is required is some connection to the brain and any missing body parts can - given time, and ideally access to moonlight - be regrown. This is reflected most thoroughly in their Racial Ability - the Logos Ftier. In the same respect, they are able to prolong their lives by regeneration of their whole body's cellular structure, and can even purge themselves of poisons and other status effects, and even residue from clotted magical imbalances.
NMP: 6/6. The Ere Breghin are one of the three races in Ul-Zaorith with a 6 rating for their Natural Manna Potential. This potency in magical prowess has helped them maintain a lead in the world balance of magical power, and has also furthered their desire to advance the body of knowledge of various magics. They have made the most advances, often by means considered immoral or illegal by other nations, though they often seem less reluctant to condemn the use of these discoveries than their methods of discovery. This potency likely arises in combination of their pure diet, their strict social breeding, and the magically charged waters in which they evolved and developed. There are many gates to other Realms in and around their island, leading to the Realm of Water, Shadow, the Lost, the Grey, the Primordial World and the Realm of Dreams to name a few. In fact, it is through these connections with the Realm of Water that the elemental Leviathan creatures come through and the majority of the planet's Sea Craft washes onto the Earth Plane. Beyond their environment, the Ere Breghin's other stats - namely their high intelligence and low physical strength have further developed their dependence and frequent use of magic, resulting in a more natural aptitude for it. It is said that every Ere Breghin learns to be proficient in at least one form of casting magic.
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