Races of Ivalice
"You are now a people of the clouds. Leave all thoughts of the underworld behind - they need not burden you. Your place is here, in Lemurés, and no other. Stray not from the Canon, and the cup of peace shall ever be full for you." —The Canon, Book of Ardor, Canto XX
Thousands of years before the events of the Larsan Folly, the Aegyl were simply another race inhabiting the world of Ivalice. However, they and their leader Feolthanos refused to serve and worship the Occuria, the self-styled gods of Ivalice. Feolthanos used this opportunity to lead his people on an exodus to the skies, settling in a number of floating islands and naming their new abode Lemurés. Outraged, the Occuria used the power of the skystone to create a barrier around Lemurés, effectively locking the Aegyl within their newly christined world. After alighting upon the fields of Lemurés, Feolthanos created a doctrine for the Aegyl to follow, called The Canon. Because of the circumstances upon which the Aegyl had been made to flee Ivalice, Feolthanos' writings discouraged contact or inquiry about their former homeland. The Aegyl began to refer to Ivalice as the "Underworld".
Now sealed from the land below, Feolthanos began constructing a society that would sustain his people. He erected three Auraliths throughout the isles, which served as sources of power for the Aegyl. One of these, hidden in the Keep of Forgotten Time, was bound to Feolthanos, effectively giving him eternal life. The other Aegyl were oblivious to the way Feolthanos chained himself to the auralith, and the method in which he obtained his perpetual life, which concerned the summoning of beings known as the Yarhi.
From the auraliths, Feolthanos gave his people Auracite, magical stones that allowed the aegyl to call forth beings from the world of illusion, known as Yarhi. These entities took on a variety of forms and could only be called from a Summoning Gate using auracite. What the aegyl did not know was that whenever someone uses auracite to summon, a part of their anima, or soul, is taken into the World of Illusion and also into the body of their god, Feolthanos. The Aegyl leader kept this effect hidden from his subjects, but as time wore on, most of the Aegyl continued to summon Yarhi for protection from Lemurés' wild beasts. In time, the anima eventually became tainted and deformed into monsters, who then attack the Aegyl, who in turn summon more Yarhi to protect themselves at the cost of their anima. This vicious circle continued until the Aegyl had no anima left, turning them into emotionless people. The Aegyls' anima became completely lost to the Auraliths, sustaining the watchful form of Feolthanos. This process continued on through the centuries, Feolthanos growing stronger with every Yarhi summoned, but unable to use this power due to the isolation of Lemurés from the world of Ivalice below.
However, the Mist released from the Sun-Cryst finally removed the barrier, allowing people from the outside world could finally visit the Aegyl. This resulted in a flood of Sky Pirates making landfall on the floating isles, looting and pillaging of the Aegyl ruins becoming an easy business for Sky Pirates. The invasion of the Sky Pirates sparked anger and distrust in the Aegyl, emotions that had been absent for quite some time. Aegyl forces grouped together in several of their holy places to repel all intruders. Their rage was only amplified upon the destruction of the second auralith in the Ymir Qul Underground and the release of a large amount of stolen Aegyl anima. With part of their souls returned, many Aegyls' first impulses were of vengeance, and they banded together with the purpose of attacking the land of Ivalice below.
With the events of the Larsan Folly, things took a turn for the worst. The proud and aloof Aegyl began to notice strange events surrounding their floating islands. The Mist rose to touch the bottom of their floating islands, and such began to cripple and corrupt the magical forces that helped hold them aloft. Much like the flying city of Bhujerba, Lemurés slowly began to crumble and lose altitude. Over a period of twenty years, pieces of Lemurés began to fall to the world of Ivalice below, crushing small towns in the old Archadian Empire. Several Fanes (Aegyl temples) fell whole into the ground below, leaving the Aegyl with no choice but to descend into the Underworld.
At first, it did not appear terribly bad for the Aegyl, their wings allowing them to fly above Fiend attacks at need, but eventually their shortened lives began to take its toll on their population. Where they had kept strictly to themselves, interacting with the races of the 'Underworld' at need, they now saw the necessity to marry and breed with them in order to keep their numbers from being withered further. Writings of their Canto had become corrupted with the preachings of Aegyl priests. This was their punishment for consorting with those of the Underworld as Feolthanas had warned. His own word had spoke that they were to not seek those of the Underworld, and now they were to be punished to live their lives upon the lands below. Again, priests quoted the Canto in vain attempt to keep them segregated, but in the year 856 OV, Aegyl leaders had banned the preachings of the Canto. One could study all they wished, but to speak it aloud in Aegyl settlements had become verboten, and would be punished with stripping of one's wings. Many an unfeathered, unwinged priest had been seen in the following years after the ruling, contrite and seeking self-exile.
In modern days, Aegyl can be found in their villages, somewhat secluded due to their old ways, but now have become more adventurous. Many seek work as sky sailors, others work as bodyguards or couriers. The dietof the Aegyl leave them as mostly vegetarians with the occasional stream fishing in their villages, a holdover from old times of Lemurés. Their dress is suited for tropical and warm regions, comprised of garments meant for flight—leaving Aegyl males typically topless while females keep to simplistic halters at need. Aegyl jewelry, while simplistic, is highly sought after by pilgrims as a sign of their humility (since Aegyl jewelry is constructed of lightweight gold and lacks inlaid jewels).
Of the Mist-born races, the method or sense behind their birthing is commonly a fact lost to the ages. What separates those creatures birthed by Mist -- those with the spark of intelligence and civilization, and those mad and ravenous fiends that roam the wilds -- is a question with no agreed upon answer by philosophers and scientists.
Still, every race has some way they adopted civilization. Some have integrated seamlessly with the typical mix of races that walk Ivalice. Others, like the Viera of old, have remained largely apart from the rest of the world; influenced in their infancy by what whisps of civilization stumbled across them after the Folly, then left to build thier own society until rediscovered by the outside world. The Burmecian race is amongst the latter sort.
Burmecia is set in the place where the Burmecian race was born: an ancient caldera surrounded on all sides by formidable mountains, with only a few traversible passes allowing entrance and exit to the realm on foot. As a result of the Folly, the caldera filled with volitile Mist; when that Mist had finally leaked free, the Burmecian people were left in its wake; alone with nothing but fertile soil, ample stone, and the Mist-born storm which ensures that the land of Burmecia is plagued with never-ending rains.
Before airship contact was made with the fledgling race, only the bravest souls filled with the deepest convictions would brave the passage of the mountains. Explorers first, bringing back word of a hidden people. Then missionaries, to bring the word of the spirits, of which Bahamut became the most cherished among them. Soon thereafter, the Judges came to spread the word of law, and in the Judge's wake came the wandering folk chasing tales of a new and interesting people, leaving culture and dance in their wake.
It's through these early influences that the modern Kingdom took shape; a society that believes strongly in law, in art, in honor and dignity and community. The people who brought civilization to Burmicea were those who could band together as equals, rather than as master and servant; who could form a strong community of mutual support, rather than serve their own ends. This gives Burmecians a strong national identity and set of values. Combat and dance -- brought by Judges and their soldiers, and gypsy caravans -- similarly play a large role to the small kingdom-city.
The city itself is build around the edge of the caldera, both carved into the stone and built out towards its center in a broad promenade upon graceful support arches. The city is thusly raised to avoid being drowned by the lake the omnipresent rain creates in the lower half of the caldera's bowl. Agriculture is well-suited to a damp environment as a result: rice and fish are key staples of the Burmecian diet.
Clothing is typically of the indoor or outdoor variety. Indoor clothes are lightweight -- and in the case of females, revealing -- designed to accentuate the graceful, tall form of the most common Burmecian body type. Outdoor clothing is heavy and covering, usually infused with oils to aid in the shedding of excess water, while protecting one's fur from becoming soaked through.
Age of Formation: In the formative years of Ivalice, when the land became cool, beings of spiritual energy existed. These beings, later formed into the Spirit Pantheon, would frollic about and consort with each other wildly. Races were born from these some of the oldest races, highly primitive, and lacked understanding. These races would be known later as Fiends and Monsters by those of higher order. Near the time period in which is referred to as the Age of Formation, the essences of Andromeda and Ultima coalesced to form two very old, very ambitious race: the Elves and the Occuria. The Elves took solid bodies of mortals, while their Occuria brethren took to misty bodies like those of their forefathers.
Age of Magic: Following the formative years and the Age of Formation, the Elves gathered in the wild forests of Ivalice, huddled together in their primitive huts, hunting with spears and crude bows. It is unknown how long the Age of Formation lasted, but it is known that it ended when the introduction of magic took place upon Ivalice. According to ancient hillside cave paintings from the Elves, a great hand came down from the heavens and bestowed magic upon the land, bringing many of the races into a state of enlightenment. With magic, the primitive tribes upon the land now possessed power to protect themselves from roving bands of Fiends. Magical fields were able to be placed around the forest glades, allowing for the Elves to begin their next stage of advancement.
Age of Enlightenment: With the gift of magic given to Ivalice, the Elves were capable of erecting magical fields around their homes. Extra security gave their people a chance to pursue a new quest aside from survival: understanding of magic. Thus began their construction of large towers grown directly from the trees, their contents housing their numbers as well as large libraries of knowledge. Many Elves, emboldened by this new acquisition of knowledge, began to venture from the safe magical fields into the outside world of Ivalice and to the burgeoning cities of Man. These diplomats, and the resultant indiscretions with Humans and other races, would lead to the surprising result of a new race: the Elvaan.
Age of Man: Time passed as it always does, and with it came the growing cities of Man and its technologies. Still the Elves clung to their towers and glades, sending out emissaries to gain the knowledge found by the magically inferior Humes. Magicite had become the involuntary crutch of Man, and with it the Elves learned its secret, continuing their own understanding and quest for power. During this age, a hidden, ugly truth began to form amongst the Elves: their Elvaan bastards needed to have the impurities bred out of them. Mothers and Fathers of Elvaan children began betrothing their children to other Elves, hoping the offspring would eventually reap pure Elves but keep some of their more interesting talents at hand. Eugenics had been born amongst the Elves.
Age of Rebirth: As with all mortals, some are more foolish than others. Elves, in their quest for knowledge, continued to gather pieces of magicite for study and augmentation of their own innate abilities. Supported by their wayward bastard children, the Elvaan, they shored up their defenses to keep off Archadian invaders. This, however, never came to be. The ascension of Larsa Solidor to the Archadian throne stopped the Archadian advancement to the northeast. Nearly twenty years after Emperor Larsa had halted the advancing armies, the world's greatest known disaster had befallen Ivalice: the Larsan Folly. Mist rolled out from the cursed islands, encompassing the world, and with it the Elven Glades to the northeast of Archadia. The same madness that had been rumored to have taken the Viera had taken the Elves. Men, women, and children murdered each other in the trees, the leaves crimson like the fall—yet it was only spring when the Mist came and crushed the magical fields surrounding the glades. Survivors fled the glades, hoping that whatever madness would leave them. After a period of three months, the Mist evaporated from the Glades, leaving decaying bodies and ruined lives. The Elves were determined to renew their quest, and rebuilt with the help of their magical abilities and their Elvaan children. Unlike the Viera, the Elves returned to their wood, reestablishing the magical fields that protected them so long, and began to bury the dead. They had become more determined in their quest for magic and perfect eugenics.
--Encyclopaedia Archadia, Ninth Edition, 915 Old Valendian
“Who are you? You are Elvaan. You are of the Blood. You are by no means pure, so do not forget it, child.” --Elven mother to her Elvaan child.
The Elvaan are a rather recent race, dating back to the start of the Age of Enlightenment. Their name, meaning 'of the Blood' is derived from their Elven roots. Since their unintended creation from the start of the Age of Enlightenment, the Elvaan have stood steadfastly by their Elven progenitors despite ugly rumors of possible slavery, rape, abuse, and more recent rumors of 'breeding impurities out'. Their creation has been something of a mystery to many scholars, some calling it an unintentional side-effect of the Elves' spiritual nature, and others calling it tinkering from the Spirits themselves.
Historically, the Elvaan normally choose to live with their Elven parents and choose to be educated inside the magical fields that protect the glades. While not as attuned to magic as their Elven progenitors, the Elvaan make up for this in the physical arts of combat. Their role became clear to their Elven brethren as guards and soldiers for diplomats and emissaries who left the confines of the glade. The working philosophy had become, “Why send an Elf when you can send an Elvaan?” The Elvaan appeared quite complacent with this, taking their time to learn of magic and from the libraries formed in the glades.
Soon, however, a new attitude began to form from their Elven progenitors. Fear spread that Elven purity would be ruined by these Elvaan who were vastly inferior in the ways of magic. Whispers in council meetings and amongst families began a great project to breed the impurities from the Elvaan. Betrothals to Elves became common, almost enforced law for any Elvaan, and yet Elves still sought out different traits to improve upon their own people. Plans for a perfect Elven race came about, starting with the Elvaan and their uniqueness being added into their own, being bred into their people.
In the Age of Man, Archadian forces had began to move to the northeast, toward the Elven glades. Soon after, the Elves began arming their soldiers, the Elvaan, for the inevitable conflict that never came. Resentment began to quietly build, until finally a leader of discontent had voiced his opinions. Gaius Tenuri spoke to crowds of similarly angered Elvaan, knowing that they were to be sacrificed for war for a people who did not want the Elvaan to simply be. He was charged with treason against the Elven people and hung, the Elvaan returning to quiet discontent and study. This would change with the Larsan Folly.
The Larsan Folly brought in the Mist, crushing the magical barriers around the glades, driving both Elf and Elvaan mad. The Elvaan, possessing more strength than their progenitors, began wholesale slaughter, while the Elves, possessing more strength in magic than their thralls, began slinging magic in retaliation. A gruesome three months of madness that would have surely wiped both races from Ivalice. The calm after the storm came, leaving the Elvaan filled with guilt for striking out at their progenitors. An unspoken treaty between the Elves and the Elvaan took place in the following months after the Folly ripped apart their glades. The Elvaan would return to their studies and places as guards, the Elves would return to their positions as benefactors and teachers—still leaving the Elves to play as Gods with Elvaan lives and genetic lines.
The appearance of Mage Constructs are a recent thing within the lands of Ivalice, dating back as far as 695 Old Valendian. First theorized in 692 Old Valendian by Doctor Cid Bunansa, these creatures would later come into quiet, secretive production three years later. Initial theory had stated constructs of magical nature would need to be created by imbuing a sentient essence upon collected magicite, thus creating a 'core of intelligence'. With limited intelligence imbued upon the 'core of intelligence', these constructs would be simple minded, capable of taking orders, and possess no morals or qualms when it came to being used as a weapon or perishing.
Secret experiments continued, producing the first Construct in 694 OV. Created from magicite forged from the lava of Bervenia Volcano, the initial 'core of intelligence' had been formed and awaited an intelligence to be imbued upon it.
Overcrowding of Archadian prisons provided Doctor Bunansa with an abundance of minds to use for this experiment. Painful extractions took place over the next six months, leading to a series of abysmal failures. In 695 OV, however, research had changed in a different direction. Instead of removing a consciousness to implant into the 'core of intelligence', it became vastly easier to implant the core into a test subject. Late into 695 OV, the first successful Mage Construct was 'born', thus paving the way for further creations.
Once implanted into the subject, the 'core' (as it later became) fused both the subject's essence and its intelligence inside while granting vast power relating to the particular fields of magic the magicite comprised of before the core forging. Side-effects were numerous, one of which being the subject took on the appearance of archaic mages relating to their field of magic. Those of destructive black magic capabilities took on the visage of wearing blue robes, a yellow straw hat, and had an inky void of a face with yellow eyes. Those of white magic took on the visage of a priest in white robes with red triangles, and so on. Another unfortunate side-effect had been the rotting and destruction of the body which housed the core, giving these constructs a short lifespan.
After the folly, things changed for the Constructs. Their cores, a highly guarded secret of Archadian military, grew unstable at first as the Mist touched them. Memories of prior hosts of these cores began to surface, as well as a great desire to seek a replacement. Images and voices from the first caretakers of the cores spoke of the need to find others to give the core to, or else they would cease to exist, leading the current holders to seek out those who they felt they could trust.
Over the next two hundred years following the Larsan Folly, a strange cult began to spring up around these Constructs. Reincarnation played heavily into the formation, these 'past lives' giving the holders of these cores a sense of divine inspiration and purpose to their lives, forced to be reborn anew into others. Followers gathered around these Constructs, enthralled by their appearance of immortality and wisdom of the ages. What had started out as an experiment to create a more powerful, subservient mage had evolved into a fanatical cult.
The race of creatures known as Moogles are a peculiar bunch, half fey, half mortal, children of one of the more peculiar Greater Spirits. His agents and worshippers and in many lands a symbol of civilisation.
For the most part moogles are short, white furred creatures, normally about three to four feet tall with red, purple or pink wings, small black eyes and a peculiar sphere of red fur dangling from an antennae that sprouts from between their large ears. Colouration varies depending on heritage, magic and a variety of other factors. Dextrous with their hands, renowned for their unorthodox thinking and way of viewing the world they are a race of diverse nomads easily adapting to the region they inhabit but always carrying their core identity and racial culture with them.
When civilisation began, in the dawn of ages, there where the Greater Spirits and the lesser spirits and there was Lord Mog. A force of nature, a culmination of mortal madness, ingenuity and idea given thought and form. A warrior true ready to stand and fight but an inventor, a mystic and mage, gardener, housekeeper, lover, smith and opera singer. All the quirks and thoughts, feelings and idiosyncrasies of the mortal mind focused on one individual and he was Mog.
Whilst he walked the young lands Mog watched societies developing, saw the people reaching toward knowledge, thought and society but there was an inherent flaw. Not just the nature of man or the fickleness of nature but an underlying person, a focusing point for all those tiny little parts required to keep society running and help it to develop. From these ideas he span the Moogles, his children and within them he instilled his enthusiasm, his dreams and the desire to progress that filled the minds of mortals.
It was these creatures who spread across the world, bubbling with ideas and inspiration. Working together with mortals to craft, to build, to invent and further their knowledge. In some ages they have been few and in others they have been plentiful but always has the inherent madness, that blessing and flaw of Mogs nature been a part of them and in turn a part of the world in which they live.
When a moogle dies their spirit ascends to the Hall of Mog in the hallowed realm of Alexander to await their next turn at life, sometimes the hall is filled, a place of long sojourns and waiting for the world to be ready. Other times it is but a place for a brief stop before they are spun out to be born again.
As time passed and civilisation developed Moogles gravitated to the magic and technology of the world. Known as great mechanics and Techno-Mancers, workers of the earth and skilled inventors. Passionate warriors, impressive strategists and never shy of making themselves and their opinions heard. For the most part Moogles work together alongside existing government and societies, a welcome present in most town running industries and performing jobs that require a mechanics touch. Running water pumps, aerodomes, teleporter networks and offering mechanical repair services.
Found in many cities, in different countries around the world, they where also to be found in the country side, living side by side with nomadic bands and small communities offering a wide range of expertise and skills from magic to healing, mercenary or soldier. Embracing the culture of their home is second nature to these small furry entrepreneurs but at the core wherever they are, what ever they are doing with their life they are still a Moogle.
Moogle society was rocked when Larsa's Folly shattered the world and the mist devoured vast tracks of the population they too where affected. Their reliance on Technology and Magic could not save them from the rampages of Nature any more then the rest of the world could. The folly led to a stratification in Moogle society, those who renounced their adherence to technology and wished to live in harmony with nature.
This philosophy was embraced by a vast majority but as time passed a filtering of interests, support from their Lord Mog saw the new ideas and natures of their culture returned once more to technology. In the world we live in now Moogles tend to exhibit skill in either technology or the natural world with magic as a basis linking the two. For is is magic that can enhance both and regulate both but it is also Magic that can bring about the greatest disasters. The watchword for any moogle is carefully, walking the heights with care and never tampering with that which should be left alone.
For the most part they still work in family groups of four or five though individually they can be known to strike out on their own to find their place in the world. A sub-community of moogles can live in a city, all working different jobs, be they natural, magical, adventuring, sailing, mechanical or what have you and still retain links to the vaster community of moogles around them.
Society: For most Moogles the family is everything, they tend to live communally with everyone helping out. In private no one has rank over anyone else except for the elder. Which can be the eldest member of the family or the eldest Moogle in the village for they do exist out there in the world, entire villages of the small furry kupo-ing creatures.
Children are reared by all, cousins, aunts, grandparents all take a hand in helping to look after the little ones. Parents may have jobs that demand their attention but their children are never alone. Raised together, taught the tenants of their faith and helped to discover the area of expertise that they excel at. Encouraged to follow their dreams, to aim for their hearts desire and supported to help them reach it.
The dance is also an intrinsic part of their lives, from a very young age they are led through the dance. The pom-poms acting as links to the vast strata of magical energy that runs through the world, acting as early warning in times of danger to a focus point for their spells. It is said that acting together, dancing as one Moogles can bend magic to their will to perform wonders which individually they could not.
Religion for moogles is often times an excuse to get together and dance! The ceremonies in the temples to Lord Mog are generally filled with dancing and energy. Lord Famfrit is also revered as is Lord Arc, the major spirits of technology and innovation. Demeter, Titan and the spirits of nature also have their place in Moogle society and all are given equal deference but for most Lord Mog stands above all.
The Nu Mou are one of the oldest and most venerable of races to make their home in Ivalice; they are on par with the Elves, though it is uncertain exactly which race came first. As of the present day, they are a contemplative race; and they are a people in apparent decline, as their numbers have slowly dwindled over the last thousand years, and they are becoming a rare sight outside of Bur Omisace, though this has not always been so.
Since the beginning, the Nu Mou have been blessed with exceptionally long life spans, far greater than that of any hume or animal kin. At first, they had to spend most of their time on the day to day business of survival, just as anyone else; but as they grew older, and they became more skilled in feeding themselves and keeping the threats of a hostile wilderness at bay, the elders of their race found themselves with a great deal of time on their hands. Slowly, one by one, they turned this time towards reason. While the youngsters tended to the matters of daily life, the elders merely gave over to observing the world around them; the animals, the monsters and fiends, other newborn races, and the realms of the spirits. They watched the stars crossing the night skies, they listened to the songs of birds, and discussed with each other at great length the fascinations of natural phenomena.
As they came to develop a deeper understanding of the world around them, they came to seek an equally significant understanding of their place within it. Very quickly they came to the conclusion that in order to find your place in the world, you must first see as many places as possible, and find the place where you feel the greatest sense of harmony. One by one, the Nu Mou familes packed up their crude huts and left, each choosing a different direction. It didn't take long before Nu Mou settlements became a thing unheard of, and so they wandered. Their discussions took the form of messages left in particular places; paintings on cave walls being the most popular, but while discussion became difficult, personal observation and growth flourished.
When the spirits bestowed magic into the world, it prompted a great exodus; Nu Mou became virtually unknown in the lands of Ivalice. Where they went, precisely, is not known. The Nu Mou themselves have thus far been uninterested in clarifying. Some Historians claim that they travelled en masse to Jylland, citing their involvement there in comparatively more recent political upheavels there. Others insist that their involvement was quite low key at best, and point to the Spirit Realms as the destination of choice, citing the Nu Mou's constant examination of the world around them. Whatever the case is, when the Nu Mou returned to Ivalice centuries later, they brought with them an intimate understanding of magic. Family units split up; no longer needing the protection of numbers against the perils of the world, they succumbed to the desires to wander off in their own directions, following whatever creature or phenomena piqued their interest. Slowly but surely, the returning Nu Mou became a disparate race.
In time, the Nu Mou came to realize that in order to for them to come to understand their place in the world, they must see to the mundane issue of continuing to have one; allowing their race to become scattered and out of contact while in the pursuit of knowledge and philosophical understanding had, over the centuries, come at a heavy price to their numbers. How to balance the two became a difficult problem; ultimately, the solution proved to be two fold.
An elderly Nu Mou by the name of Kobia had spent most of her life living in and around a grove of trees; it was a place that she discovered early on resonated for her, and so she remained, tending her garden and listening to the birds. Eventually, she learned not only to understand the birds, but to answer; a skill she taught to other Nu Mou who passed through, and who in turn learned to speak to all manner of beasts. This allowed them to communicate with each other over long distances, greater even than magical means would allow for. It was also this skill that enabled them to learn of the spiritual importance of Mt. Bur-Omisace; legend has it a Nu Mou found out about the purity of this peak while in a pleasant discussion with an old hawk.
Bur-Omisace remains the only notable settlement of Nu Mou; it is a place where they often gather, to meet one another and to raise children, before returning to their distant wanderings, in search of both answers, and better questions. Though they are by no means as commonplace today as humes or animal kin, they are at least a race no longer in decline, or in danger of falling to numbers too few to recover from.
When Bur-Omisace was chosen as a holy site for the Light of Kiltia, the Nu Mou did not deign to argue; they simply welcomed the new faith, and set about to studying it as well, from inside and out. Such has remained the Nu Mou way until this present day; constant observation, study, and refining of theories and thoughts, so as to learn to better understand the universe as a whole, and the place of the individual within it. This study of natural law leaves them, at times, uncaring for the particulars of the laws of civilization; while they are generally harmless, they sometimes are oblivious to accepted customs and norms of the other civilized races. When a Nu Mou is present, be polite, but have a care for your potted plants lest they be appropriated for study.
"Rabite, Rabite, in the Mist, how many roses have you kissed? Crimson thorn and crimson bloom, decorate your mother's tomb." -- Trad. children's rhyme
The history of the Vieran race before the coming of the Mist is well known and understood; before the coming of the Mist, they were a stable race, mostly bound to the Golmore Jungle that had seemed to spawn them; a race of isolationists, they had chosen a life of solitude and tranquility amidsts the Wood that guarded and tended them, and they in turn to their jungle.
In the times before the Mist, it was understood and expected that their men-folk would be kept in a seperate village, guarded jealously from other Viera tribes and outsiders, and otherwise seen only when the villages had need or opportunity to expand their numbers.
While some of their numbers roamed the world due to exile, most lived lives of contemplation and stewardship within the Golmore jungle, for all their lives.
It is believed that their careful attunement to the world around them bore terrible fruit, upon the coming of the Mist during the Larsan Folly. Mist made madmen of many, but none more so than the Viera. Whole villages roamed, berserk and wild; murdering all before their path, then turning on each other, often with bare hands and teeth. Many are the horrific tale of the few survivors; and many more still are the terrified memories of the kind, graceful people turned wicked and savage in the midsts of the confusion of the Folly.
No race suffered so hard, no race lost so much, as the Viera, during the Folly. Most went irrevocably mad; driven out of their minds (and some say, their very souls) by the burning rage the Mist instilled upon them, the tales of the horrors perpetrated are too many to list, and too dark to relate.
Over half of their number died during the Folly; and they were regarded by the survivors as the fortunate ones.
The rest scattered to the four winds; lost, mad, often piteous and rambling souls, staggering from place to place, living as savage beasts. But even this might have been borne by their number, if not for the loss of the Voice of the Wood.
Once, the attunement of the Viera to the Golmore Jungle was so fine, it was said the Wood spoke, and they listened, and both would answer to the other. The Viera are split between beliefs; one camp believes the great Mist slew the voice of the Wood forevermore. The other camp believes the Wood has turned its back upon the Viera, for their depravity in their madness, and that only through the atonement of all their people, will the wood forgive. If it will forgive.
The Viera now are at full diaspora; spreading radially from the Golmore Jungle; the memories of the horrors of the Folly fading. The newest generations having never known the Wood, or the Folly, or the old, traditional ways of their people. Their menfolk walk freely beside their women; and having stepped free of the Wood, they are finding themselves a more cosmopolitan race than ever before. While old memories linger, time has dulled the edges; very old viera are still viewed with nervous suspicion (and often, rightly so!), but the younger are as welcome as every other race.
Today, the Viera are found throughout Ivalice; their fine ears and eyes valued as Hunters and warriors of all callings, and their often tranquil manner and long lives earning them respect within their communities.
Amongst Vieran communities, pilgrimages to the Golmore Jungle remain, of course, frequent; and new villages have sprung up within the Jungle as well, though these are no longer the exclusive domain of the Viera; many Moogles opposed to the intrusions of machina have taken up the life of stewardship of the Jungle, and strong bonds of friendship are being born there.
Bloodied by history, stained by sin, the Vieran race bears the weight of guilt and madness in its past, but is buoyed by a brighter future, and destiny, ahead.
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