The Races of Aradath ...
Hailing from the Isle of Leuia, the Leuian race is proud and fierce. They are bipedal feline humanoids complete with fur, tails and claws. World famous sailors and adventurers, they are respected by all for their fierce pride, love for one another, and their courage in battle. The Leuians were the first to travel the oceans and seas, setting up numerous colonies and trading posts throughout the world.
Living in groups called Prides, Leuian hierarchy places those with honor, integrity and ability in power rather than the typical hereditary aristocracy followed by most races. While Leuian culture seems to be fairly simplistic on the surface, the reality is that it is extremely complicated. Their society is filled with rituals and ceremonies which mark nearly every major event in a leuian's life. Pride gatherings are often opened with coming-of-age kit'ra ceremonies or other ceremonies honoring individuals within the Pride.
While easily riled and quick to anger, Leuians are unflinchingly loyal friends to those who have earned their respect. Honor is the single most revered and sought after commodity in Leuian society and life. Honor is the cornerstone that Leuian society is based upon. They will die or kill for their personal honor, the honor of their race or the honor of their Pride and family. The bravery of Leuian heroes is legendary and many tales speak of Leuian warriors fighting against overwhelming odds. Contrary to what one might think, many of these tales end with the Leuian warrior dying in battle. Leuians love tales where the hero stands to fight for their beliefs even knowing it is hopeless. Great honor is often accorded to those who give their lives defending their beliefs in the face of impossible odds. All in all, they are one of the greatest warrior races, fierce and proud, loving and honorable. They seek to bring glory and honor to their race, family and Pride where ever they go.
Leuians wear leather or hide armor while disdaining heavier armor, believing that stronger armor is a sign of cowardice and fear. Leuians bear their scars proudly. Each scar is a treasured badge of honor and a tale of bravery to be told. They are very protective of their children, families and friends. There is much truth to the saying, "as savage as a mother Leuian." Few acts can drive Leuians into a blind rage quicker than bringing harm to a child. Their personal honor is only surpassed by the pride they have in their race, homeland and family. They will protect the peace and well-being of their communities with their life if necessary. Even in a party with other races, Leuians will act to preserve their integrity and honor, and that of the entire group.
The Leuians revere all the Gods but Set, as they feel any who steal and live a life of deceit are tarr'khats, heathens not welcome within society and beings with no honor. Leuians tend to adjust the tenets of their god or goddess to suit their own system of beliefs.
They come from the floating Island of Leuia and are rather protective of their territory. They refuse to tell anyone where it is - even Leuians who choose to follow Set or practice thievery will not reveal the location of Leuia. Nothing could ever force a Leuian to betray the location of Leuia to anyone. Warrior ancestors are highly revered, female no less than male. The males and females rule equally, based on their demonstrated ability and integrity. They are of average intelligence, but few among them have any use for "book-learning," most preferring to follow the more active pursuits of combat and those who join the Guild of Fighters tend to be awarded the highest respect and honors within Leuian society. Those who serve the Temple by the Sword or by the Hand are counted among the most noble of warriors as long as they remain true to their faith and their honor. Some follow the profession of Rune-Mage, Psion or Heart Cleric, and, as long as they maintain their honor, are well regarded by their peers, although not traditionally accorded a high place of honor. However, It must be pointed out that despite the Leuians' reputation as "war machines," a surprising number worship Rinanni and place their fierce temper and impressive skills in the service of Peace. Rinanni was the first religion to take hold on Leuia, and love is an important part of Leuian life. The love of their mates, their families and the love of battle are three important aspects of a Leuian's life. Leuians who follow Rinanni often consider themselves defenders of peace, they fight so that others might live in peace. While no god is looked upon with the hatred Leuians reserve for Set, there are Leuians who see Taath as being equally hated - if not despised more - for the role Taathians had in the second civil war on Leuia that nearly destroyed Leuian society. However, following Taath does not mark one as being dishonorable to most Leuians.
Leuians have a seemingly simple code of ethics they call the Precepts. Most, if not all, Leuians attempt to live their life by adhering to the Precepts. This is referred to by many Leuians as 'walking the path of Honor'. From time to time, a Leuian might stumble or stray from the path of Honor. When this happens, most Leuians will seek to help the Leuian return to the path. Leuians who have strayed from the path but who have not completely abandoned it are often called 'lakar', a leuian word meaning 'outrace'. Leuians also use the term to describe the other races, as the other races generally cannot and do not have the same understanding of honor as the Leuians view it. On rare occasions, someone from another race will show the depth of understanding and commitment to honor that Leuians have. Leuians give such individuals the opportunity to 'become Leuian' and join the ranks of kyn. Arrya, a Leuian priestess of Rinanni who brought the religion to Leuia, taught that "Blood alone doth not a Leuian make." Many Leuian elders are fond of using this quote to teach Leuian children, or kits, that not only are they born Leuian, they must act and live as Leuians.
The Precepts are:
1. To remain a free people.
2. Deal with one another in honor and truth
3. No Leuian shall spill innocent blood
4. Leuian shall not kill Leuian
5. Honor demands no unjust punishment
6. Cherish the land
7. Embrace diversity
More information on the Precepts can be found in the Diaries of Jhessail, which also covers Leuian society in greater depth and can be used as a tool for learning some basics for how to roleplay a Leuian. Another good resource is The Waystations of the Road to Honor.
Leuians are feline in form, ranging from 5 feet to nearly 8 feet in height. Their claws are retractable, and can be used in combat. The agility of leuians is legendary. On rare occasions, some have been born without fur but are still seen as equals in Leuian society.
Eyes: Light Brown, Dark Brown, Reddish Brown, Hazel, Amber, Pale Green, Light Green, Golden
Fur: Dull Black, Glossy Black, Reddish Black, Bluish Black, Purplish Black, Light Brown, Dark Brown, Chestnut Brown, Honey Brown, Sable, Auburn, White.
Their reputation as fierce and deadly warriors is well deserved. Leuians are strong willed and proud to the point of obsession, forcing a leuian to do something against their will or nature is impossible. Trying to do so ends in either the death of the Leuian or the death of those who seek to corrupt their nature. Many Leuians live in constant fear of losing their honor and respect in the eyes of others. They engage only in honorable combat, and refuse to attack others without provocation. However, they are VERY quick to anger; if they are insulted they will immediately demand an apology and unless one is forthcoming, they will often seek to defend their honor through combat. They are known to bear grudges, and it is said "Once an enemy of the Leuians, always an enemy of the Leuians." Conversely, if you win the respect of a Leuian, you will be treated as an honored friend, and be aided and defended as one of their own.
Most Leuians do not actively seek the company of any but their own race and perhaps religion. They will tolerate other races in varying degrees, from benevolent kindness toward Secians to barely shielded hostility towards some of the more chaotic races. In the minds of Leuians, beings who behave dishonorably are beneath consideration, and they will barely acknowledge the existence of thieves. Leuians who follow the god Set or the profession of thievery are considered to be without honor, Leuians who follow both are loathed and looked upon as nearly unredeemable. Once you have earned the respect of a Leuian, they will treat you as an honored friend. If you earn their wrath, they will neither forgive nor forget. They will never wear heavy metal armor, believing that excess armor displays a lack of courage when facing a foe. They are extremely passionate about everything, and wear their emotions on their sleeves. They are quick to anger and quick to judge. To a Leuian, there is no middle ground. Everything is either black or white, right or wrong, honorable or dishonorable. Leuians believe that actions speak louder than words, but the ends do not justify the means. Leuians tend to put honor above all else, even if making the honorable choice will lead to dire consequences for themselves or others. However, this does not mean a Leuian will do so in every case or will not give warning to others and prepare for the events to come.
Advantages: Quick, Agile, Dexterous, when properly trained, a Leuian with or without a weapon is a dangerous warrior. Sharp claws and a quick and noble temper are never far away.
Hindrances: Leuians tend to be slight of build, and not overly strong compared to other similar sized races. They do not wear metal armor, believing it to be an insult to their honor and prowess. They would rather die fighting than suffer an insult, whether real or perceived. Leuians are also not especially adept at using runemagick.
Abilities: Fast, sleek, fighting machines with claws that grow sharper and are used better as they mature.
Alignment: Entropic, Orderly
Professions: Fighter, Order of Hand Cleric, Order of Sword Cleric
Also: Order of Heart Cleric, Runemage
Rare: Psion, Thief (see below)
Note: The Spur has become something of a haven for those Leuian thieves (tarr'khats, tarrs for short) who have escaped death at the hands of their home Pride or other Leuians of honor. However, Leuian thieves are considered dishonorable by all "true" members of their race, and will not find a place in "true" Leuian society no matter where it is found. Some Leuians will persecute and even seek to eliminate or run the tarrs out of town. Even Leuians who choose to follow Set or a life of thievery tend to have some sense of honor. They often will fashion their own ideal of honor based upon their way of life, sometimes twisting the Precepts to fit their personal vision of honor.
Leuian Warrior Society
Resting in the middle of uncharted high seas is an island, christened Leuia by its inhabitants. Standing proud on its rocky shores, are rank upon rank of what very well may be the most fearsome warriors ever to be unleashed upon a unsuspecting world. Militaristic and bred for combat, they are born with one singular, overriding passion, the relentless pursuit of honor.
Leuians allow only three other ideals to take root in their lives: battle, love, and wrath. For a Leuian, battle is the fire that stirs, the truest test of one's courage, and every Leuian earnestly prays that their death will come in honorable battle. Battle or violence is also a means to an end for every Leuian's vast temper and wrath. When one is so single-minded of purpose, one has little time for distraction or the source of that distraction. Leuian warriors will not hesitate to show disdain in the form of legendary rage and sharpened claws to that which keeps them from their goal in life.
It is said that the Leuian heart beats with fire unlike none other; their sheer passion for expression is beyond compare. While their lust for battle can alarm, their ability to love can stir even the coldest heart. The ritual of Khat'sara states that once mated a Leuian cannot lifemate ever again in their lives, even upon the death of their Khat'sara. A Leuian's love is so deep that there have been cases of Leuians dying of sorrow (called Shan'farr by Leuians) the very day their Khat'sara dies. If their Khat'sara dies, they have no wish to ever mate again as the bond of Khat'sara means the lifemates will be reunited after death. Leuians speak of this as Rinanni's Promise. Leuians believe the Rite and Ritual of Khat'sara is a gift from Rinanni, and it is a bond that endures beyond death and throughout eternity. Once a Leuian has gone through the ritual of Khat'sara and bonded their heart and soul to another, no force on Aradath can break that bond. Even if one could, the Leuian would refuse to allow it; to break the oath and promise would be one of the greatest affronts to both personal honor and Leuian honor one could commit.
Over the years the Leuian race has stood the test of time, through many conflicts and hardships; as any Leuian will tell you, it is due to that honor-bound warrior society from which they came, the society that sees only honor and dishonor, right and wrong, strong and weak, war and peace and nothing more. It is what Leuians refer to as the great "Tar'na" which translated means the "great simplicity of our society."
As a final note, consider this note from an old Leuian to his kyn on the eve of his departure from Spur:
May all your dreams be realized, all your hopes fulfilled, and all your fears be fleeting and easily conquered.
Be true to your ideals and to yourself. Honor is not found, Honor finds you. Seek it actively, and it slips through your paws like smoke. Do not mistake Honor for pride or ego, the grand mistake many make. Treat all around you with respect, until they prove unworthy of your respect. Anything unworthy of respect should be dismissed and ignored.
Honor needs no group to recognize it. Honor needs no symbol to proclaim it. Honor needs no guild to celebrate it.
Accept your failures with dignity, seeking revenge for being defeated in some way is not an honorable action. Use your defeats to your advantage. Learn from them, adapt and overcome them.
Other races and some leuians will question your honor and your beliefs. If you stumble on the road of honor, they will be quick to ridicule you and point out your faults. Just remember, a stumble can prevent a fall. Remain True to yourself, no one can ask for more.
Life throws many trials at us, kyn. Those around you will judge you on how you handle yourself in meeting the challenge. As an old Leuian proverb states, "The reputation of a thousand years can be determined by the conduct of one hour." No matter how honorable you have been in your life, one or two dishonorable acts can overshadow all the good you have done.
You come from a race of warriors, fierce in combat, feared as foes, respected as allies. The thrill of combat and the song of battle sings in our blood. But remember, the moment of victory is too short to live for that and nothing else. Live as fiercely as you fight.