|Common Nicknames||Mer, Merfolk, Waterlings|
|Habitat||Waters and Oceans of various Alorian regions|
The Maiar are a unique species well known to the Regalian Empire as one of their allies in the Chrysant War. Fleeing the deep after the Slizzar used their ancient magic to awaken the Deep Sea Serpents, the Maiar now dwell much closer to the surface, and often live in warm waters though some tribes have ventured into colder regions. They are also well known for their physical diversity, caused by their unique “Evolutionary Physiology” that gives them the ability to rapidly adapt to their surroundings when compared to other races (taking as little as three years). While the species tetters on and off from being considered a full sentient race due to certain animalistic aspects remaining in their ideology and actions, most simply wait the day that these issues evolve out of the animal race and they are capable of joining society fully.
- Note: The Maiar are no longer a playable Race. Any player playing a stable, sentient Maiar without prior consultation with Lore Staff is to be immediately reported. Players are, however, free to play insane, savage and bestial Loner Maiar in specific circumstances such as at gladiator events.
The Maiar are one of the most mysterious Races in Aloria today, second behind perhaps the Maraya and it is fitting that both groups come from Hadaria. The Maiar species was long thought to be myths, legends of aquatic men and women known in Elven lore and sea shanties for centuries. It was only very recently that the Maiar emerged from a dark existence, literally, as they lived deep in the ocean and away from shallow water. During this period, they were aware they were sentient but never left their ancient home for they felt it was the realm of the gods and never recorded anything due to the darkness of their lives. They worshipped the Deep Sea Serpents but in a far more different way than the Slizzar, a more primitive way. They saw them as the ultimate lifeform, and if a hunter fell into their jaws, then that was his fate. Some Maiar even believed it was a type of honor, that the strongest were sought out and then eaten. In truth, the Deep Sea Serpents were mere predators and fed on the Maiar as prey. But, this structure radically changed in the second half of the second century AC. Above the waves, in Hadar, Miko Missa was beginning to seek power. To that end, her and her cult began to use their ancient magical knowledge on summoning Deep Sea Serpents to bring them up to the surface more and more. While they were not aware of it, this was having a cataclysmic effect on Maiar society. As the Deep Sea Serpents headed up towards the light, the Maiar began to follow, first as a joyous sign that they were being led to new lives but then in an attempt at survival as their gods began to attack and eat more and more of them.
When the Maiar began to surface, it was 280 AC and the Essa Empire was on the rise. The state ignored them as mere fauna, newly arrived but still as exotic as any other species of fish already living in their rich waters. However, the Maiar were possibly a far greater threat than the Slizzar and Allar could have guessed. They saw the actions of the Slizzar as heresy, vile, and concocted a new ideology quickly to explain the actions of their gods. They came to believe that in anger that the Maiar were doing nothing to fight these vile beings who were attempting to usurp the divinity of the Sea Serpents, the giant creatures had chased the Maiar to the surface where they might better fight such a threat. It took several years, but the majority of Maiar tribes eventually agreed on this explanation, but by then the Chrysant War had begun. The Maiar approached the Regalian Empire as loose allies, seeking to aid them in destroying these heretics and once the initial shock wore off, the Regalians agreed. In the second half of the war, the Maiar participated in actions that devastated enemy fleets and massacred vulnerable water-based settlements. When the war came to an end, the Maiar decided to stay where they now were, accepting their role of protecting the gods from closer to the surface. Secret information in the hands of only a few Regalian officials indicates this is a fabrication of the most intelligent members of the race. The Deep Sea Serpents, now far more active underwater than ever before, would have likely slaughtered the Maiar race as easily a whale swallows krill. So, the Maiar focused on the surface world.
In the nearly three decades since they first emerged, the Maiar have become many different things. Some, briefly, have the ability to appear on the surface and commune with the Ailor. Others are lone predators of the seas, attacking other Maiar and various forms of life. To the irritation of the Regalian Empire, some have allied against Regalia for material gains. The Songaskian Masaya recruited several tribes to help destroy Regalian naval vessels in the First Songaskian War. As a result, the Regalian Empire has been rather cautious and minimal in their dealings with the Maiar. However, merchants, pirates, and biologists flock to this race for their unique possibilities in trade, for the recovery of sunken treasures and for scientific study of their unique adaptive abilities. The race is often isolated and what few Maiar can be found are either dead specimens in a laboratory or special envoys of their people to a noted state. As such, for now, they remain elusive but very much still a thread in the tapestry of Alorian life.
The Maiar are unique in Aloria for having the greatest physical racial diversity ever, due to their unique adaption called “Evolutionary Physiology.” However, the creature does have some commonalities across the different members of the species. Their head is largely dominated with a large bulky nose, slitted eyes, and many rows of teeth. The shape of it makes them appear mostly fish like, though the structure of the face also changes with time. Their bodies resemble those of acrobats and athletes, streamlined and smooth to swim with high speed through the water. Their feet and hands are webbed, and they all have tails half the length of their body with various fins scattered over their form. Finally, their legs are digitigrade, causing them to walk on the balls of their feet much like the Varran. All Maiar have skin tones in varying shades of blue, often with a darker main color and a lighter sub color for softer parts of the skin. Their skin is much like that of a shark, appearing smooth, yet hard, and feeling like sandpaper.
The Maiar trait known as Evolutionary Physiology is the most unique part of them. An individual Maiar will first have a combination of the traits from their mother and father before then, over time, they lose these traits in favor of unique traits customized to their diet, location, and other details. For example, a Maiar that consumes mostly heavy boned animals develops strong, large canine teeth capable of breaking through bone. For other examples, Maiar that often end up cutting or bruising their skin develop hard patches of scales, whereas Maiar living in dark environments develop the ability to see in the dark. All of these features take at least three years to manifest in Maiar and can occur at any point in their life, from youth to old age. However, these features are often “skin deep” as aside from alterations to the head structure, Maiar bones stay the same even as their organs and external body have altered itself. The animal also can breathe air, but this is a limited adaption and does not allow them to live long term above the surface which has limited their contact with the outside world.
As mentioned, the Maiar species is extremely diverse with many, many different adaptions possible. As for the gender binary, Maiar society is rather equal though most believe males are dominant over females. This is incorrect as male and female Maiar look alike given their powerful swimming build, thus giving a more masculine appearance. The animal also lacks traditional gender dimorphism aside from sexual organs, but those are hidden when they deal with Humans.
Life Span and Development
The Maiar are a species that intensely guard their young, but from what information is known, they appear to have live births of up to four individual children. These children emerge with a combination of features from their mother and father and often all have the same combination. The children are then taught by their mother, and if part of a school, usually also by their father but in a very laissez-faire manner as the family unit is loose in the Maiar tribe. Eventually, within the first six months, the young Maiar are sent to learn from some of the most intelligent members of the tribe, to understand what they know. This is also when their Evolutionary Physiology begins. Once their first set of evolutions are complete and fully operational, they are considered adults despite only being three to four years old. This is also the timeframe in which loners develop. Loners are often the more aggressive Maiar, the more savage Maiar and occur as one in every ten Maiar children. These loners are known to be drawn to solitude so once they have reached this age of adulthood, they often immediately leave for open waters away from their tribe.
While mating can occur at any point for the Maiar after the age of three, it is uncommon to occur before the age of five, simply due to Maiar beliefs. At this point, males and females are free to couple though once they have, they must remain together as parents for their future children. It is extremely rare for a mate to cheat on another, and when it does there is great distress and social unrest in a tribe, often solved by the death of the cheating mate (even if it is a female carrying children). Once the children are born and following their first six months, a couple is free to separate. Loner Maiar can mate, though such processes are often brutal and savage as in their isolation, Maiar mental cohesion deteriorates to barbaric status. As a result, only young loners breed while older ones are more likely to try and eat other members of their kind. Same sex relationships are unheard of in Maiar culture, mainly because there is almost constant pressure to procreate and reproduce to make up for the thousands lost at the hands of the gods. However, there are “The Bonded,” two members of the same sex who exist as hunting partners, friends and comrades in life which are believed to reach into areas of homosexuality by biologists. The Maiar can live for up to 70 years.
The Maiar are considered a race by some but to many; they still lack certain aspects to be labeled as “civilized.” However, those who do see them as more than fish are treated to a wide array of mental complexities that exist within their kind. The Maiar have two types of minds: The Tribal Mind and the Loner Mind. The Tribal Mind is best known and focuses on traits Ailor can relate to. These Maiar care for their young, care for their fellow Maiar and the tribe’s survival as a whole. While these Maiar can set down roots, they can pick them up and move on to help better the community as a whole. Many Tribal Maiar are also intelligent, and while this intelligence can wildly vary, their Evolutionary Physiology can result in well learned, capable leaders for their people. Then we have the Loner Mind. While not an “aberration” or “mental defect” to the Maiar, simply existing as a facet of their culture, many outsiders may view them as such. Much less populous than the Tribal Maiar, Loner Maiar are known for their carnivorous appetites and harsh treatment of other sentient Races, some of the worse ones even eating other Races. They are also perpetually irritable and filled with wanderlust, endlessly moving about the world around them seeking new tastes, lands and in some specific cases, challenges. Loner Maiar rarely ever see other Maiar, with younger ones only doing so in the mating season while older ones do so when they require a food meal. Ultimately, these two radically different mental states define the whole of the Maiar psyche.
Territory and Groupings
Maiar live in tribes, often based around a central location at the heart of a chosen territory. Many are ruins or shipwrecks, which offer protection from external threats but some Maiar also chose areas like lagoons as well. Maiar tribes have no one set leader, but rather focus leadership on the widest as some of the older Maiar lack the mental capacity to develop new knowledge suitable for contact and association with the surface world. These “shepherds” are rarely lone voices, but the Maiar also limit the number down to at most four shepherds to ensure there are diverse opinions but not so diverse as to split their tribe. New tribes have yet to form among the Maiar people, with existing groups simply growing bigger at present. Most number anywhere from 60 to 200 members but the largest, the Jkawla Tribe, is at 400. These tribes range in a territory anywhere from ten to fifty square miles, but if their waters grow too barren of the foods their members need to eat, they are capable of moving.
- Maiar culture is most similar in aesthetics to Polynesian culture from the real world.
- Maiar only wear clothing when they meet with Ailor, at all other times keeping it safe and closed away.
- Maiar are not capable tool builders due to their underwater environment though show great ingenuity despite this, being able to rebuild ruins to suit their needs and craft small tools for personal aid, like a seashell toothpick.