Ceskion (also known as Litaria) is a planet in the Manaverse. It shares the Corian Star System with Euthora and Ferona. By Standard Canon Time, the planet is shared by two dominant races: the reptilian, carnivorous Sarkiri, and the more primitive, mammalian Kovulzel.
At some point in the planet's history, millennia before Standard Canon Time, it was dominated by the pseudo-avian race known as the Litarians. The Litarians were highly advanced, but were cursed by one of the planet's deities, Cozion, dooming them to eternal primitive savagery.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Ecology
- 3 Culture
- 4 Inhabitants
- 5 History
- 6 Trivia
Ceskion is located fairly close to its sun, which renders it as a fairly arid planet. It receives lots of sunlight, and is overall very hot in terms of climate. Ceskion features little water, although there is a single highly dense jungle and vast desert areas across the planet's surface. It is also quite mountainous with several craggy areas.
Ceskion is not separated into continents and countries like most civilized planets. This is due in part to the lack of natural boundaries seen on other planets, such as oceans and dividing mountain ranges, and is also in part due to the lack of political dissonance among any species that has dominated the planet. Instead, the planet is primarily divided into regions with no distinct political boundaries.
The giant desert covering most of Ceskion is known as Teek'eir-Dei to the Sarkiri, or the Silent Wastes to the Kovulzel. It is divided into many subregions, the most notable of which is the Spires of She'zar-Reth, a ring of sharp, towering mountains of sand and sandstone that rise surrounding the Sarkiri city for which it is named.
The Ceskian Sea is an inland sea located on and north of Ceskion's equator. It is a shallow and salty ocean, which splits into many smaller seas separated from the main body of water via strips of land created by tectonic activity.
The Northern Sea is a somewhat deeper and colder ocean located on and around Ceskion's north pole.
The Whispered Plains
These black-rock lava plains are named for the slight whistle of the wind passing over the hardened lava formations. In the center of these plains is a giant active volcano the Sarkiri call Milz'ai-Dar, which they usually avoid unless they need igneous materials such as obsidian, as the volcano can often erupt without warning. The Whispered Plains are constantly growing at a rate of a few inches per year, as the frequent eruptions cause lava to continuously build upon its own formations, with the excess spilling over and expanding the plains. Entire subregions of these plains, particularly in close proximity to Milz'ai-Dar, are made completely of natural obsidian.
This vast and expansive canyon, found at the southern edge of the Whispered Plains, is named for the constant crackle of static electricity. The natural electromagnetism is so strong that it reacts with trace minerals in the canyon rock and soil, making large boulders float in the air. The electricity is strong enough to allow groups to use close boulders as a bridge across parts of the canyon, but not strong enough to shock them.
Vistha-Ta is a rainforest-type jungle located between the Ceskian Sea and the Northern Sea. Because it is nestled between these two large bodies of water and not mountains, it gets far more rainfall than the rest of the planet, creating a lush and vibrant jungle where the Kovulzel prefer to make their homes. It goes by many names to the Kovulzel, including Haelia's Garden and the Mother Song. Sarkiri often venture into the jungle for resources and food, and young males are prone to climb trees in order to stalk prey from above. Every plant and creature native to Vistha-Ta is known to communicate, attract mates, and even ward off predators via noise, including plants attracting pollinators. While Sarkiri are known to explore the jungle, most tend to avoid it, disliking the constant noise.
Ruins of Litaria
Remnants of the predecessors of the Sarkiri and Kovulzel, the Ruins of Litaria are an expansive network of ruins located in Teek'eir-Dei's southern mountain ranges. Guarded jealously by Wardens or "Ribbon Serpents" as the Sarkiri name them, the ruins are also the home of the last living Litarians, turned savage by Cozion's curse. As of Standard Canon Time, the Sarkiri are aware of the ruins' existence, but not what the ruins conceal, nor their history.
The city of She'zar-Reth and the region named after it, the Spires of She'zar-Reth, are located in the central area of the desert Teek'eir-Dei.
Located in the Whispered Plains, Milz'ai-Dar is a towering landmark in Teek'eir-Dei, rising even above the Spires of She'zar-Reth. It is an active and volatile stratovolcano, erupting up to three times a Ceskian year.
The Drake's Garden
The Drake's Garden is a small lake in the heart of Vistha-Ta, the outskirts of the area being very similar to swampland. Sarkiri avoid this area in particular, as it is named for the large population of Tarnished Drakes that make their home around the lake.
In Ceskian ecosystems, sound is of vital importance as most creatures respond better to sonar stimuli than stimuli to the other senses. The majority of Ceskian plants attract pollinators through sound, rather than color or scent. This leads to Ceskian flora on a whole being much more "muted" in terms of color.
Some vined plants may wrap around and attach themselves to animals in order to move from nutrient-poor soil. From there, the vines will use dirt, insects, dead skin caught in the animal's fur, or even pierce the still-living animal for its blood in order to obtain nutrients.
- Main Article: Ceskion/Native Species#Races
- Main Article: Ceskion/Native Species#Races
- Main Article: Sarkiri
- Main Article: Sarkiri
The Sarkiri are a race of bipedal, digitigrade reptiles with hooked talons. Their splayed talons allow them to stride on loose sand without sinking in. In general, Sarkiri have brightly-colored feathers on their skulls and backs, with males having brighter plumage than females. Along with their feathers, Sarkiri also have spikes that line their heads and spines. They have long horns made of bone, with long, blunt snouts. Sarkiri are obligate carnivores and cannot create the proteins necessary for survival from the raw materials like herbivores can; thus, they eat creatures which have already done it for them. Sarkiri speak in smooth, and slightly sibilant or raspy voices.
Sarkiri have tetrachromatic eyes, and are able to see into the ultraviolet section of the color spectrum. They will commonly tattoo their faces with vibrant warpaint, which also reflects ultraviolet light. Their warpaint appears more vibrant to them than to other creatures, as the Sarkiri can see a wider range of color. The Sarkiri predominantly hunt at night, which means that their warpaint functions to signal the presence of one Sarkiri to another while hunting. This way, they can still remain hidden to their prey. They are predators to the other major Ceskian race, the Kovulzel. Sarkiri are nocturnal, and their reflective warpaint also absorbs and retains the heat from ultraviolet rays. They spend most of the day sleeping or basking in the hot desert sunlight, storing heat to keep these reptiles warm when the temperature plummets at night.
Stealth and silence are culturally prized by the Sarkiri, and they tend to keep strong familial and platonic relationships. It is rare to see a Sarkiri traveling alone, as they prefer to travel in pairs or with family units. As they are a nomadic race, the traveling Sarkiri family units will eventually coalesce into a single community, forming tribes out of several atomic units. It is common for Sarkiri to "trade" individuals in order to bring new blood into groups, or otherwise join entirely together. Their nomadic tendencies eventually leads to them taking an interest in spacefaring technology, enabling them to travel to other planets such as Ferona.
When traveling, the Sarkiri are able to run at a good speed across flat terrain or the desert. By using their tails to balance, they are able to briefly drop to all fours in order to run more quickly, but in general the Sarkiri prefer a bipedal stance.
- Main Article: Kovulzel
- Main Article: Kovulzel
The Kovulzel are a mammalian, humanoid race that resemble anthropomorphic genets. They generally have light-colored pelts with dark spotted markings. They have long, furred tails with ringed patterns, and retractable claws. The average Kovulzel has large ears and large eyes which reflect light. The Kovulzel have a vocal cord structure that enables higher-pitched, animal-like cries which they use to call their mounts. This cry is also used to deceive prey or to scare off a predator when hunting.
Kovulzel are omnivorous or mesocarnivorous, and generally prefer fruit. They are a relatively primitive race when compared to the Sarkiri. The Kovulzel focus heavily on gathering, and feature only the most rudimentary of tools. In general, they have also developed a robust system of farming, and often tend to their own crops.
The Kovulzel are generally perceived to be quite innately talented when using Magic.
- Main Article: Litarian
- Main Article: Litarian
The Litarians (scientific name Plumirapax Sapiens) were a Ceskian race that existed long before the Sarkiri and the Kovulzel. They were an advanced, space-capable race that often visited Ceskion's neighbors, Euthora and Ferona, artificially advancing the societies there under the "understanding" that they were helping the affected races. The Litarians believed that intelligence fostered peace, and so making other races more intelligent would make them more peaceful.
The Litarian society vanished suddenly after being cursed to eternal savagery by Cozion, for the hypocrisy they displayed in their justice system and the gradual corruption of their leadership.
- Main Article: Ceskion/Native Species
- Main Article: Ceskion/Native Species
The Ribbon Serpents are gigantic, sentient constructs of red and gold silk that were magiologically enchanted to listlessly drift throughout the Ceskian deserts. The ribbon serpents come in various sizes, ranging anywhere from human-sized to colossal lengths. Although they appear harmless, these constructs will attack with magic in the event that something approaches too close to it. Their size is relative to their strength and threat level; the human-sized serpents are mostly harmless, whereas the largest of the serpents are extremely dangerous. It is believed that the ribbon serpents are remnants of a bygone era on the planet, and were once the guardians of an older civilization. This is not too far from the truth, as the ribbon serpents were once known as Wardens, and were created by the Litarians.
Both of the dominant races on the planet ride large, lean, quadrupedal reptiles known as Sandstriders as mounts. These reptiles are lean, hardy creatures who are quick and agile. They are best suited for traversing rocky or mountainous areas, but their lean frame and agility make them fit for traveling through the dense jungle areas of Ceskion as well. In the case of both the Sarkiri and the Kovulzel, Sandstriders were either naturally domesticated or specifically bred with the intention of them being used as a mount. In nature, they are generally predators.
Ceskian Tarnished Drakes are a nonsapient, draconic species of malomorph. They are low-slung to the point where they are almost serpentine in terms of movement. They are known for their very long bodies, but are relatively short (comparable to a Terran tiger in terms of height). They are ferocious apex predators (tending to rip prey to shreds when it is still alive) that often compete with the Sarkiri for prey; however, the Sarkiri admire and respect the drake's cunning and treat it as one of Dyovyhr's topmost creations. Killing a Tarnished Drake is seen as a mark of status to the Sarkiri.
Tarnished Drakes are arboreal and amphibious jungle-dwelling reptiles. They can hold their breath for long amounts of time, though sill must surface for air, and while their wings are poorly-suited for flight, they make excellent fins when swimming. These wings can be used to glide from tree to tree, however it is difficult for the drakes to achieve and maintain true flight, or to maneuver easily in the air.
The Tarnished Drake's venom is highly acidic and can be spit from a gland behind their primary canine teeth. When injected into a creature's bloodstream, this acid proves to be a potent hemotoxin, coagulating the victim's blood rapidly. If ingested in small doses, however, it has more of an effect on the nerves, creating an alcohol-like buzz in mammals in order to relax them long enough for a drake to find the unwary prey. This is most commonly seen in Ember Fruit.
True to their name, these draconic monsters are often tarnished-looking metallic colors, most often coppery with a green-blue accent color.
Tarnished Drakes have long, jagged, antler-like horns used for courtship displays. Males will compete with one another for a female by headbutting and locking horns, and these fights can prove crippling or even fatal to the loser.
With the Litarians out of the way, culturally the Sarkiri are so dominant to the Kovulzel that the latter barely matters overall.
Sarkiri hunt and kill Kovulzel for food, but also keep them as slaves.
The Sarkiri are highly advanced compared to Ceskion's neighbor Euthora, though do not quite reach Ferona's level of technology. They create devices and other technologies fueled by both Mana and electricity. The Kovulzel, in comparison, are woefully primitive, usually able only to create rudimentary tools and basic weapons out of stones and sticks. The Sarkiri use their technological advantage to not only hunt the Kovulzel for food, but also to capture and keep them as slaves, using special harnesses or collars linked to a remote and often wristband-based control device in order to keep the Kovulzel in line.
The most common model for these collars and harnesses involve thin needles attached to vials set in the neckpiece. These needles are constantly piercing the neck of the wearer, not causing obvious damage should the collar remain undisturbed. The collars are not meant to be removed, and thus have a mechanism which fires upon the unlocking of the collar (unless disabled by the control device) and automatically release the contents of the vials, which typically ranges from anesthetics to poisons to drugs that prevent the wearer from thinking clearly until the Sarkiri can recapture their slave. Kovulzel slaves typically wear these collars their entire lives, with the vials being refilled with the collar still worn. Due to the tightness of the harness, as well as the needles, it is easy to tell by marks and scars on the neck when a Kovulzel is normally collared.
- Main Article: Ceskian Pantheon
- Main Article: Ceskian Pantheon
Actual pantheon = Litarian pantheon
- Cozion, God of the Void: Encompasses Apion and Cozion in Sarkiri beliefs, and Naphion in Kovulzel beliefs.
- Cozion's Assumed Form is that of a sleek, sharp, black-feathered Litarian. Regarded as the only truly evil, malevolent god.
- Dyovyhr, God of Vitality: Encompasses Dyovyhr in Sarkiri beliefs, and Zymera, Haelia, Catia in Kovulzel beliefs.
- Dyovyhr's Assumed Form resembles a Wendigo.
- Kirena, Goddess of Nature's Balance: Encompasses Dyovyhr in Sarkiri beliefs, and encompasses Kava, Volenus, Sotrix, Caaris, and Rimos in Kovulzel beliefs.
- Nyelia, Goddess of Logic and Curiosity: Encompasses Laqris and Apion in Sarkiri beliefs, and Nyelia, Tasoi, Syneas in Kovulzel beliefs.
- Assumed form is a massive Couatl. Has a temple in the jungle. Features in Litarian creation mythos.
- Vetris, God of Entropy: Encompasses Cozion in Sarkiri beliefs, and Caaris and Naphion in Kovulzel beliefs.
- Vetris's Assumed Form is a slender, quadrupedal creature that vaguely resembles a tawny Kovulzel but with notable reptilian features. Regarded as a trickster god.
|Litarian Deity||Domain||Associated Sarkiri Aspects||Domains||Associated Kovulzel Deities||Domains|
|Cozion||God of the Void||Apion, Cozion||Aspects of Secrecy and Blood||Naphion||God of Death|
|Dyovyhr||God of Vitality||Dyovyhr||Aspect of the Hunt||Zymera, Haelia, Catia||Goddesses of Harvest, Life, and Protection|
|Kirena||Goddess of Nature's Balance||Dyovyhr||Aspect of the Hunt||Kava, Volenus, Sotrix, Caaris, Rimos||Gods of Stars, Earth, Family Unit, Disease, and Forest|
|Nyelia||Goddess of Logic and Curiosity||Laqris, Apion||Aspects of Exploration and Secrecy||Nyelia, Tasoi, Syneas||Gods of Knowledge, Ambition, Messenger|
|Vetris||God of Entropy||Cozion||Aspect of Blood||Caaris, Naphion||Gods of Disease and Death|
The Kovulzel have an intricate pantheon with both greater and lesser deities. These gods represent broad, overarching concepts as well as the aspects of the tight family units the Kovulzel create.
- Naphion: God of Death
- Haelia: Goddess of Life
- Kava: Goddess of Stars
- Volenus: God of the Earth
- Sotrix: God of Family Unit
- Zymera: Goddess of Harvest
- Nyelia: Goddess of Knowledge
- Tasoi: God of Ambition
- Caaris: God of Disease
- Catia: Goddess of Protection
- Rimos: God of the Forest
- Syneas: Messenger God
The Sarkiri believe in primal, wild deities that are referred to as Aspects, rather than gods. The Aspects are representative of traits of the Sarkiri's tribal, nomadic, and predatory society. The belief in the Aspects may vary from tribe to tribe, as the spread of information pertaining to them comes organically through intertribal contact. Dyovyhr is the only truly universal Aspect, inasmuch as he is the most important to all of Sarkiri kind.
- Dyovyhr, Aspect of the Hunt: Dyovyhr is by far the most important of the Sarkiri Aspects. He is said to bestow fruitful hunts on the tribes of Sarkiri.
- Apion, Aspect of Secrecy: Also referred to as the Aspect of Silence in some tribes, Apion is related to the importance of stealth and secrecy in Sarkiri society. They prize silence due to the world around them making so much noise. A saying associated with Apion is "When the world around us sings, silence is our ally."
- Laqris, Aspect of Exploration: Laqris is the Aspect of Exploration and represents the Sarkiri nomadic nature and wanderlust. While part of the reason the Sarkiri are always moving is because of the nature of the desert, the sense of exploration truly drives their nomadic tendencies.
- Cozion, Aspect of Blood: Cozion is different from the other Aspects, as his more "devout" followers have the air of a cult in some ways. However, this cult also consists of the majority of the race's population. He is representative of the more violent natures of the Sarkiri hunters, and is also the reason why the Sarkiri often take up an "assassin-type" role. The Sarkiri culture is such that their assassins do everything in the name of Cozion.
- A year is 280 days of 22 hours each.
- Kovulzel Calendar: 10 months of 28 days. Only two seasons are observed due to the minimal climate change of the jungle.
- Sarkiri Calendar: 8 months of 35 days. Four seasons which change roughly every 2 months.
- The Ceskian moon(s) reflects ultraviolet light, rather than absorbing it like the moons of other planets. The Sarkiri evolved accordingly.
|Almathea Armonia Boravel Celaflora Crysia Ellon Kaichrona Karthoum Mantua Ocera Vansyr|