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Cubi

Country: Vahk'Sala
Life-span: 600 - 900 years
Avg. Height 5.5 - 7 ft (1.7 - 2.1 m)
Avg. Weight 100 - 150 lbs. (50 - 70 kg)
Proficiency: Allure, Magical Affinity, Studious

Cubi were previously uncommon outside of Vahk'Sala, and oft-mistaken for nefarious Nos, but in recent days have become more of a frequent (and welcomed) sight. Similar to Elves, they come in all shades of skin from very fair to very dark - different from Elves, however, is the fact that they do not suffer the same rift in their society. Most Cubi, even the darker varieties, still live without issue in Avicennia and Geffenia. They aren't usually welcomed with open arms into Umbala, even if they are of darker skin, for this reason. Cubi are most widely known for their horns, which can come in all sizes and curvatures, but some are born with wings or even leathery tails. Contrary to popular belief, however, no Cubi are born with wings that can help them do anything more than glide.

While physically frail, Cubi are known for their incredible stamina and for having the most magical affinity of any of Aurora's races by a long shot. An Element that might take a Human or Elven scholar years to learn and perfect could take a Cubi half of that time, and they can harness mana with a propensity greater than any other race. Many are arrogant and egotistical in the realm of magic for this reason, looking down upon anyone who can't do what they do - whether or not that's because of their racial heritage or something else.

Cubi are similar to Elves in that they have a distaste for the methods that are seemingly necessary to create modern technology, but they have taken to using it despite that with more willingness than their neighbors… Those in Vahk'Sala are likely to still have reservations, but many who have left take no issue with using technology that is the result of destructive practices themselves. For this reason, Cubi have managed to keep up in the realms of Enchanting, Tailoring and Alchemy as they move into the modern era better than their Elven kin in most respects.

Appearance

Cubi are typically taller than Elves, and can reach 7 feet and even beyond if they're lucky. Their hair and eyes are typically earthy in color or tone, similar to Elves, but there are differences! Just as many Cubi have black or silvery white hair, and their eyes come in all manner of alluring colors that Elves can't usually achieve… Dazzling golds, deep purples, and colors such as that. Similar to their Elven neighbors, Cubi are blessed with Longevity. This means they stay at their physical peak from the age of fifty until they die, and don't show the typical signs of age… Their hair may still turn white as they age, however, and features may grow more defined when they're older.

Except in very extraneous circumstances, Incubi and Succubi are always extremely gorgeous. IT'S NOT COMMON KNOWLEDGE BY ANY MEANS, but this is thanks to the fact that they feed off the mana of the world around them as well as their friends and neighbors on a regular basis. It's a process born of necessity more than luxury, and all Cubi have to supplement the food that they eat with mana either from the world around them or other people. They 'feed' from other people in the form of emotions, with happier feelings giving them a fuller reserve than more negative ones.

IF YOUR CHARACTER ISN'T A CUBI, THEY DON'T KNOW THAT 'ugly' Cubi are also a result of this process. Those who choose to feed exclusively on negative emotions, whether out of desperation or for some personal reason, tend to twist and bend into ugly creatures that barely resemble people. Imagine an old, craven witch with warts all over her body and crooked fingers for a succubus who has fed exclusively on negative emotions. Ugly Cubi are incredibly uncommon, as few will make a choice like that without a very good reason.

Breeding

This section is only included on this specific race wiki because Incubi and Succubi work a little different than other races! Each and every Cubi can only bear one Cubi child, ever. Their firstborn (and ALWAYS the firstborn) will be an Incubus or Succubus, and any children born after that first one will be the race of their partner. In the case of an Incubus and Succubus mating, children produced after the first come out as Elves.

There are exceedingly rare exceptions, however! Roughly one Cubi in every million is lucky enough to be blessed with two Cubi children instead of just one, for instance. Similarly, if the “first born” of any Cubi is a set of twins, triplets, or any number beyond, all of them will be born Cubi.

There is a special term for Elves born of pure Cubi parents in Vahk'Sala, and it carries a negative connotation - 'Hornless'. Similar to the stigma against 'bastards', or men without fathers, they are generally looked down upon within Vahk'Salan society (though are not treated quite as poorly as Dark Elves, at least).

Fashion

Cubi fashion, given that they live among the World Tree's branches with Elves, is very similar to Elven fashion. They tend to prefer robes, dresses and gowns to hide their frail bodies and show off their pretty faces instead. Many Vahk'Salan garbs are enchanted magically to add a certain flair, whether it's a sash of tulle that's spun from mana and hangs in the air or something more outrageous like false wings made from illusory fire. It can be a competition among noble Cubi to stand out the most, though they make less fools of themselves than Elves trying for the same thing… Usually.

Those who have left the World Tree and spent time outside of Vahk'Sala tend to enjoy the smarter, cleaner-cut clothing of the modern era just as much as their robes and gowns. Republican dresses and business suits aren't uncommon on them, and many favor the look of a wristwatch or pair of sunglasses as well. They end up looking like intelligent and highly attractive business-people just as much as master wizards for this reason, and are often used to model new Republican products.

Culture

Incubi and Succubi live near to the World Tree, and that makes their culture one of magic and nature just like their nearby kin. While Elves tend to prefer the casting of magic, just as many Cubi devote themselves to the study as the actual casting. Being Aurora's most naturally magical race, unravelling the mysteries and finer points of mana is a little easier for them than anyone else. Those who do take up pure casting will find that they have a lot of potential there as well, however, and can surpass every other race by trying just as hard as them.

There are outliers, of course, and some Cubi look at their Elven neighbors with jealousy or envy. Incubi and Succubi are frail, with lighter bone structure and the sorts of physical builds that put them at severe risk of lasting harm in combat from blows that would only stagger or knock the wind from your average Human or Elf. This makes them something of a liability in combat, in some peoples' opinions, and they tend to need 'babysitting'. Some try to break that mold, however, and do see signs of success… Cubi who devote their early lives to exercise and training will find it grueling and intensely difficult, but have been said to perform at least reasonably well in the realm of spellblades and supplementing melee with magic. That said, an Incubus or Succubus who uses pure steel over magic will likely never perform quite as well as any other race… And be severely limiting their own performance, in insisting to try.

Cities

Geffenia and Avicennia are the cities filled with Cubi, as well as Light Elves and Dwarves, and are the most populated in Vahk'Sala. The city operates on several tiers, all built atop the World Tree, and is the home to a significant amount of magical wonder for visiting non-Cubi. Geffenia and Avicennia do have a small Dark Elf population, notably those who are trying to escape the everyday struggle that is living in Vahk'Sala's jungle or those who married 'upward' and now live there. Most are unfortunately mistreated, whether openly and arrogantly or in small and yet still slightly painful ways.

Geffenia is mostly constructed of stone and gold, as well as other valuable metals, and is known for its grand and massive archways and aesthetic displays. Statues and fountains are very common, most of them made by the Dwarves that live there but still appreciated by Cubikind. Avicennia is build nearer to the base of the tree, and is a large sprawling city with a canal system and gondolas to match. Its architecture is similar to Umbala's in that it makes an attempt to look 'natural' and like it was grown in, but it can't compare to Umbalan construction by a longshot.

Umbala is the home of Dark Elves, and Cubi aren't necessarily welcome there… If they have nowhere else to go they'll likely be accepted, as the Dark Elves aren't cruel and unforgiving, but their advantageous place in society makes them the target of a lot of resentment. Cubi are also frail and not typically physically strong, as mentioned above, and that makes them even more of a liability in Vahk'Sala's dangerous and unforgiving jungle. Many who live in Umbala don't last very long there, whether because they die or because they leave after their first whale-sized Behemoth attack.

Umbala uses primarily brick and wood in their construction for more recent buildings, generally grown over with flora to give the startlingly convincing appearance that these buildings were half-grown in. Older structures that have been around centuries are even more convincing, remnants of when the Dark Elves had more influence over nature's growth than they do today. Their city is just as grand and sprawling as Geffenia or Avicennia, though a Cubi would probably disagree, it's just carefully hidden in the jungle in such a way that it can look small until you're standing in the middle of it.

Government

All Cubi in Vahk'Sala follow an Emperor, though some begrudgingly, named Octavian Goldwing. In the past, Geffenia's rule was performed by a council of four that were cycled out every one-hundred and eight years by vote. Not long ago one of the ruling council members was murdered, and after solving the mystery the other two stepped down to allow the fourth, Octavian Goldwing, to ascend to a singular monarchic throne. The decision was met with mixed reception, but Goldwing's rule has not been a disaster by any stretch. Goldwing is an Incubus, which earns him more favor with the Cubi than Elves.

Geffenia and Avicennia favor a system of 'Ruling Houses', where the nobility and commonfolk alike are constantly vying for power and trying to move upward within the system. It keeps everyone active, to say the least, though the greatest of the ten houses hasn't had its balance of power upset in well over three hundred years, now. The greatest of them is the Goldwings, in part because of the Emperor, and another more notable competitor is House Norolund, more commonly referred to as the “Adventurers' House”. Many Noble Houses are ruled by Cubi rather than Elves, mostly due to their careful maneuvering in Vahk'Sala's history.

All Cubi in Vahk'Sala submit to the will of an organization known as The Ebony Eye. Some live in fear while others in wonder of the Eye, knowing that it could be anywhere at anytime. Akin to a 'magical secret service'; the Ebony Eye is a secretive organization in which its members do not reveal their identities (sans those near its top) and very heavily polices the use of certain magics. It's unlikely that you'll see or be contacted by the Ebony Eye simply for using magic, as it's so deeply ingrained in all Elven culture, but you will be for using the wrong kind of magic. Anything deemed 'too powerful' or 'too dangerous', such as Superior Magic or in some cases even Artifice, will generally get you a knock on your door and a badge in your face.

The Eye commands a worrisome amount of power and sway, even in the face of the Emperor, and many know at least one story of a friend or neighbor being arrested with little evidence of their misdeeds only to wind up imprisoned for decades or even centuries over supposed 'magical abuse'. Some see the Ebony Eye as a necessity while others see it as a corrupt and over-reaching secret society that should either be reigned in or dissolved. This is made worse by the fact that nobility, and especially the more powerful Ruling Houses, are curiously immune or at least enjoy a relaxed alternative to the iron grip the Eye has on Vahk'Sala's magic study and other magical affairs.

Names

Cubi follow a similar naming structure to Elves, as the bulk of them live in the same towns in the same region. There are differences, however! While Elven names tend to be full of vowels and 'whimsical' sounds, Cubi tend to be somewhere in the middle between them and Humans. Their names certainly aren't “normal” by a Runian or Republican's standards, but are a little easier to pronounce than an Elf's. Of course, there are extremes in either direction!

Examples of Cubi Names
Zaehora Llewellyn
Helyn Kerr
Conall Vylera
Landion Syrrel

History

Cubikind's history within Vahk'Sala is not an incredibly exciting one, at least in most peoples' opinions, as they have been far removed from the struggle between Light and Dark Elves. While their two neighbors bickered over ancient history and supposed magical abuse, however, Cubi were hard at work positioning themselves properly within Vahk'Salan society… Many of today's Ruling Houses are led by or at least have a large population of Incubi and Succubi thanks to this, one of such Houses being the Goldwings themselves!

Many of Vahk'Sala's most respected scholars, whether living or dead, are or were Cubi as well. Their long lifespans and unmatched affinity for magic makes them perfect for the role, and a lot of the magical tools and weaponry now available in Vahk'Sala are thanks to Cubi alone. It's said that the first Enchanters and Alchemists within Vahk'Sala were Incubi and Succubi, though Dark Elves will argue that they had a mastery over Alchemy and it was stolen from them and delivered to the upper cities as a 'new and exciting' thing. It's hard to say what really happened!

Their history in Rune and other surrounding nations is a slightly darker one, in the way that they were mistaken for evil Nos in the past. Their horns and pointed ears mimic the look of a Demon's, though there are differences, and many were feared or attacked on sight when Aurora's civilized races were younger and less developed. This is fortunately more a problem of the past than the present, and few remain who would consider an Incubus or Succubus on the same level or somehow related to Nos.

Race Relations

Elves

Cubi live alongside Elves, in the branches of the World Tree, so their relationship must remain amicable for society not to collapse! That said, problems between Elves and Cubi are very few and far between - they see eye to eye in most respects, and their relationship is one of mutual learning and trust. The only cause for occasional friction is Cubi who try to use Octavian Goldwing's presence as Emperor as some sort of leverage, but this isn't very common!

Dwarves

Dwarves are short and stout, and not exactly ugly… But they aren't pretty, either. Cubi society has a surprisingly heavy pressure when it comes to being and appreciating visually appealing things and people, so some aren't particularly fond of Dwarves. They are Vahk'Sala's builders, however, so they must be tolerated one way or another! Disagreements aren't exactly common, though some will look down on Dwarves in private.

Humans

While there have certainly been disagreements among Human and Cubikind in the distant past, the sort that ended in violence over being mistaken for Demons, their relationship in the modern day is mostly repaired. Or… Was, until a recent disagreement ended with the almost-destruction of Geffenia. Vahk'Salan Cubi and Runian Humans are back to staring at one another oddly, though more traveled Cubi will understand that the attack was the work of one or two misguided fools rather than all of Rune.

Orcs

Orcs are one of Rune's 'uglier' races, and the aforementioned societal pressure makes them a target for arrogance among many of Cubikind. Some of it is jealousy, though few Cubi would admit as much, over Orcs' unrivalled physical power and a certain sturdiness that no Cubi exhibits. This is topped off by the fact that some Orcs can still use magic, despite their hulking forms and propensity for taking physical punishment. That's absolutely unfair!!

Kobolds

Kobolds aren't often seen by Cubikind, whether in Vahk'Sala or Rune… They're tucked away in places that no Cubi will usually willingly go, whether it's the far western wilds or eugh Goblin Town. The Civil, scholarly kind of Kobolds can be seen as admirable in their pursuits… But the same amount of Cubi will consider them as wasting their time, though. Especially when Aurora already has enough master scholars! They're, y'know, Cubi.

Goblins

The third of Aurora's 'ugly' common races, Goblins get the shaft from Cubi just as much as Orcs and Kobolds. It doesn't help that they live in a city that smells like oil and machinery constantly, which even those who have embraced modern technology often can't handle… The fact that they're actually so ugly that they have to hide their faces is concerning. There aren't any Cubi calling for Goblin genocide, or anything, but they're easily the most-avoided by Cubikind.

world_setting/races/cubi.txt · Last modified: 2018/08/11 03:17 by karn