Master of Adaptation
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.
Theia’s youngest race, the twil were once medical researchers and laborers, members of a Chilzangan expedition into the Spine of Barshiin. Questing far beneath the continent’s northern mountain range, the Chilzangans discovered the slumbering vlax still dormant in their millennia-long attempt to recover from a wasting illness. Researchers spent years in near isolation investigating the vlax, and over the better part of a decade, they revived, cured, and began communicating with the ancient race. This long process formed strong bonds between the two peoples, despite the vlax’s alien nature and the Chilzangan’s initial aversion to vlax symbionts and pulsing, organic structures.
The dwarves and humans learned much of science and Theian history from their new companions. Some even went so far as to nurture symbiont bonds to aid further exploration of the wonders beneath Barshiin. When the excited Chilzangans sent couriers to relate their discoveries, however, the hierophants deemed them a heretical departure from the Path. Certain the vlax and their symbionts were controlling their former brethren, Chilzangan crusaders quickly mobilized to cleanse the deviant researchers and their aberrant corruptors. The Spine of Barshiin is difficult to traverse, and the vlax and their paired symbiont scouts kept a vigilant watch on the approaching army. There was just enough time for the explorers to settle their affairs, reclaim their equipment, and flee with the vlax towards the Breadth.
Pursued through the badlands by mounted Chilzangans, the beleaguered refugees were saved by a Cataclysm. Howling winds and vast shoals of viiz tore through the zealots’ ranks, flensing their vital essence and venting it to the gales. Withered soldiers fell to the ground atop their screaming mounts. Entire ranks dissolved, ruptured bodies bubbling with uncontrollable energy.
Uncontrollable, that is, for all but the fleeing researchers and their allies. The vlax’s strange physiology weathered the storm, while the humans and dwarves heeded shouted lore and guidance barely audible over roaring winds. Arcane incantations mixed with the stuttering cries of symbionts as the former Chilzangans struggled to shape the forces assaulting them.
A new race was born amongst fallen hunters and ancient beings at the dawn of Last Hope. No longer dwarves and humans, the twil stepped onto Theia for the first time, their twitching cranial appendages attuned to the magical breath of their world.
Twil are humanoid aberrations whose forms can display the full diversity of their human and dwarf origins, though over the centuries they have developed towards medium heights and slender builds. An average twil is between 5 and 6 feet tall, weighs between 125 and 200 pounds, and has a lifespan of around 100 years.
Regardless of their frames, all twil have hairless heads, bony ridges over their eyes, and around two dozen thick tentacles that drape from scalp to shoulders and end in blunted points. These tentacles are highly sensitive to the presence of viiz and magical auras as a result of fundamental genetic alterations wrought by the twil’s cataclysmic birth. These appendages twitch and sway in response to the magical currents surrounding them. By concentrating, twil can focus their senses to discern the location and strength of magical emanations, particularly those of viiz origins. This information manifests through synesthetic smells, colors, and physical sensations centered on the tentacles. The twil describe this information in widely varying terms, but all eventually learn to interpret the arcane fluctuations around them.
This perception gives more than information, however. The twil’s viiz-infused anatomy is strongly attuned to Theia’s magical forces, a connection they bend to their advantage. By latching on to their innate energy and their world’s mercurial essence, the twil can quickly and drastically alter their own bodies, rearranging organs, heightening senses, or manifesting physical changes in the space of seconds. Though they can only make these changes so many times before exhausting themselves, even the frequently impassive and physiologically flexible vlax express awe at the twil’s command over their bodies.