Project Description

Harmonious Allies

The arrival of humans was an apocalypse for the nascent psionic web the orcs had weaved. Gone was the peaceful orcs but a new web, one communal, was formed which included the humans. From this community, the hurcine was born. Though cataclysm ended the great hurcine empire, the hurcine will never be alone.

The orcs of Barshiin were once a peaceful race. A low-level psychic connection between them precluded warfare and made them less tribal than most humanoids. Until the humans came. Something about their arrival interfered with the empathic bond the species shared. The orcs were twisted such that the only emotion that passed through the link was anger.
Pure, raw anger.

Some few escaped this fate. They found an underground city from one of Barshiin’s lost cultures. Even this group was impacted to some degree and fought with the humans, warred against them. Hated them for what they had did to so many of their kind. Then, they found peace, found an understanding, and built a culture that brought together orcish tradition, human history and aspects of that lost civilization in which they found an adopted home. With peace came a certain amount of interbreeding, changing the hurcine from their ancestors and producing a new species. They called this the Unification — and saw themselves as a bastion of culture. As a by-product of their swift reproduction, once their culture was stable they very soon bred to the point where the underground city could not sustain them.

Most of the population left, come out onto the surface, and spread until they controlled the majority of Barshiin. Their language became the lingua franca, the trade or “common” tongue used by most. They developed an industrial base and were relatively light, benevolent rulers who genuinely improved the lives of their subjects — although the kashaan and virakarasht never fully accepted imperial rule.

It might have lasted forever — except that empires never do. Especially on a world wracked by cataclysms. The cataclysm of Last Hope broke the empire, storms shattering communications and destroying cities. Its various regions turned to self-rule. Most of the hurcine left the coastal capital city as the storms destroyed it. They sought sanctuary with the nearest stable civilization, the Pulikuk, who could submerge their floating cities until the cataclysm passed. They paid for this with their labor, becoming an indentured species.

Over the next few generations, the price was paid. The majority of the hurcine still live on the lomaguns and islands of the Pulikuk, but as full citizens and partners with the halflings – in fact, their twin goddesses are now married to the halfling god.

The rest of the hurcine scattered to the four winds, building enclaves in other nations and sometimes integrating into local society. They may well miss what they had before – but the empire is long gone and the future awaits.

Hurcine are humanoid and resemble their orcish ancestors, but tend to be slighter of build and less hairy. They are still taller and more hirsute than humans. Their faces have a slight muzzle with small tusks in the lower jaw. Unlike orcs, which tend to be pale from their generations spent underground, the average hurcine is swarthy to dark skinned, although with variations depending on where their family line ended after the scattering. Hair color tends to be brown or black and red-haired hurcines are a notable minority.

In particular, hurcines from Pulikuk tend to be even a little smaller, no bigger than typical humans, and are often brown-skinned. They do still have the tusks, though — a hurcine will never be mistaken for a human except from a significant distance. Hurcines have good low-light vision — they cannot see in pitch darkness, but require a lot less light than a human or halfling. They also have retained the orcish tough stomach and ability to digest things that would stump a human stomach. Pulikuk hurcine, in particular, have something of a fondness for fresh raw fish, something some, but not all halflings, have learned to appreciate. They can also digest heavier plantlife than humans and in a pinch can eat fresh grass, although not dried forage or fodder.

Hurcines mature a little more quickly than humans and don’t live as long — 70 is considered venerable. They breed quicker, however — twin births are the norm In hurcine culture, singletons are rare and commonly considered rather unfortunate. Young hurcine come of age at 15 or so.

It is absolutely not true that hurcine are stupid — after all, they ran an empire and invented the concept of actual schools rather than merely adopting the practice of apprenticeship. However, the hurcine society in Pulikuk has come to value physical prowess — not just strength, but agility — rather than academic knowledge. This does tend to lend to a stereotype of lower intelligence despite how untrue it may be. Hurcines tend to perform manual labor or enter more physical professions, but they often hide a sharp mind behind their physicality.

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Halflings

Evolved from humans, these “half-men” happily take charge of their own destiny and forge forward across the waves. Sea-faring by culture, agile and acrobatic by nature, the halflings tend to travel more than any other species albeit mainly at sea.

2019-08-21T07:09:52-06:00

Hilada

There is a form of transmutation that humans can undergo turning them into dwarfs. The dwarves are just as varied as their human base, further blessed with long life. Due to decades of exposure to viiz, dwarfs mastered their personal viiz store and are able to use it for protection.

2019-08-21T07:10:07-06:00

Hokhala

A tool of the extinct elves, hokhala are now sentient plant beings that seek to bring the world more stability and expand their verdant forests. Always exploring the leavings of their creators, the hokhala see themselves as the legacy of elves. Perhaps one day they will discover what truly took their creators away from the world.

2019-08-21T07:10:25-06:00

Hurcines

The arrival of humans was an apocalypse for the nascent psionic web the orcs had weaved. Gone was the peaceful orcs but a new web, one communal, was formed which included the humans. From this community, the hurcine was born. Though cataclysm ended the great hurcine empire, the hurcine will never be alone.

2019-08-21T07:10:43-06:00

Kulvix

Spontaneous sentience slowly came upon the psicrystals that are now the kulvix. Within a nearly controlled environment, they safely became a people. Deception necessitated a migration to the underdark at large. They have only recently discovered the surface world.

2019-08-21T07:12:50-06:00

Kashaan

One of the many descendants of the primeval dragons, the kashaan work closely with the primeval dragon’s heirs, the true dragons. The sacred charge given to the kashaan people weighs heavily on​​ their minds, causing rifts in their ancient nation. Like all other things this too will pass, and the kashaan will still be standing.

2019-08-21T07:11:19-06:00

Twil

Humans and dwarves researching the vlax became infected with something that harmed them. With vlax help, they were cured, but the genetic material of the vlax modified them. After ejection from Chilzangan, a cataclysm completed their transformation, bringing the twil fully into being.

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Tycho

Escaping a threat from their home Plane of Shadow transformed the tycho. Where the hilada gain immortality in their transformation, the tycho lost it but regained an ability to make children. They seek to bring their kind to Theia, somehow a place safer than their original home.

2019-08-21T07:11:41-06:00

Vahsh

A being born of a virakarasht uniting with another species, the vahsh are tied heavily to the seulaphlox that caused the virakarasht to come into being. They may not have a unified culture, but they struggle to survive like all of Barshiin’s residents.

2019-08-21T07:11:54-06:00

Vlax

An ancient species on Theia, their halcyon days ended when​​ the world began developing massively virulent parasites. The vlax, instead of fighting them, incorporated the new life forms into themselves eons ago. After tragedy, they sealed themselves away only to recently reawaken.

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Virakarasht

Virakarasht share blood with the now extinct elves, but beyond acknowledging that fact, they care little for what the elves left behind. The virakarasht tribes wander in the deserts of the Breadth, creating their own place in Barshiin. Above all things, the virakarasht people respect the ability to survive; a common lesson in Barshiin.

2019-08-21T07:12:42-06:00

Dwarves

There is a transmutation that humans can undergo turning them into dwarfs. The dwarves are just as varied as their human base, further blessed with long life. Because of decades of exposure to viiz, dwarfs mastered their personal viiz store and can use it for protection.

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