|Naming Customs||Ancient Hebrew names|
|Distinctions||Anthro-arthropod scholar and warrior protectors of Regalia|
|Height||Average to Tall|
The Narim are an ancient minority-Race of anthropomorphic insects or arthropods (but not crustaceans) who have made Regalia their home for millennia longer than either Elves or Humans, with a strong fervent belief in the Everwatcher, and a solemn duty similar to that of the Sihndar to protect the world from evils that it long thought gone. The Narim are a semi-subterranean people who hail from the Regalian Undercity, which against surface dwellers' expectations is not a dirty sewer-scape, but a thriving economic and societal space where many Races live free (albeit somewhat chaotically) because of the protection the Narim provide from the horrors of the deep, all the while maintaining a hygienic and livable environment. The Narim are the silent observers and workers of Regalian history and the Empire, always an integral minority of the Empire that without them, would certainly grind to a halt, yet their deeds mostly go unsung by those on the surface.
The Narim are a Race of anthropomorphic arthropods (but not crustaceans) with strong humanoid proportions, but with varying interpretations of insect-like biology overlaid on top. The Narim live in a strongly monastic and religious community that observes a flexible variant of Unionism, and fulfill their holy task to protect the Isle of Regalia both from monsters within, and without, as well as the forgetfulness of history.
While most Races have nebulous origins obscured by religious dogma or lack of remembrance, the Narim have no misconceptions about how they came to. The Narim all universally accept that they were the by-product of genetic engineering by the Meraic Civilization which perished over 20,000 years ago, leaving their ancestors as semi-sentient maintenance servants in the Regalian capital, which was also an important city during the Meraic era. The Narim eventually gained a higher level of sentience through an event which they call The Deliverance, where they claim the Everwatcher appeared before them, long before the Allorn Empire was even founded, preaching their holy scriptures to them in what would later become known as The Teaching, a series of 5 books containing the holy word of the Everwatcher to the Narim people, which also turned them from semi-sentient servants into being capable of higher intellect. The Narim dutifully performed their tasks in the Regalian Undercity, taking in all manner of travelers and giving them a safe home, until the arrival of the Elves. The Elves applied harsh repressions of the Narim when they arrived in force and established a city on top of the ruins of the old Meraic metropolis, essentially turning the Meraic level into the new Undercity. The Narim were denied property rights, their Temples to the Everwatcher were destroyed, and they were denied the right to own businesses. Further repressions enforced by the Allorn involved social segregation and vilification, born from a bigoted hatred by Allorn Elves who considered the Narim monsters. With the collapse of Allorn control, and the establishment of the Ailor-led Regalian Kingdom, the repressive policies were more or less reinforced by the new Kings of Regalia. It took until the Five Family Rebellion for the Narim to be freed of their oppression, as The Teaching had predicted the arrival of Theomar the prophet. The Narim played a pivotal role in rising up from the Undercity and opening the city gates for the rebel army, thus allowing them to topple the Kingdom, and establish the Empire. In gratitude, all social restrictions on the Narim were lifted, and they enjoyed a minority privilege that exceeded even the Solvaan who had helped in the Rebellion. From then on, the Narim returned to a secluded and private life of enduring their tasks, recording history of the Regalian Isle, and aiding the locals in the defense of the capital, until the next predictions of The Teaching urge them to act once more.
Physical & Mental Characteristics
As described, the Narim are a race of anthropomorphic arthropods (excluding crustaceans), meaning, they can look like humanoid versions of spiders, butterflies, moths, beetles, and so much more. It is however important to note that they are specifically humanoid. it is not possible for a Narim to have centipede like proportions and multiple body segments. A Narim always has a set of legs, a torso, a head, potentially a secondary abdomen that is very much less pronounced, and at most two sets of arms. Narim should always appear far enough removed from their insect inspiration so as not to trigger for example arachnophobia when exposed to their visual representation (such as the ones seen on this page) and have human-emotion reading eyes. When it comes to specific design however, creativity is encouraged, with colors, fur, carapace, and species combinations like a moth and a scorpion. Narim can have tails, (non-functional, decorative) wings, and a variety of mandibles and antennae. They can never be dryder-like in design or centaur-like in proportions. Narim are warm blooded, and do not lay eggs. They are in fact capable of reproducing in mammalian fashion with other Races, and as such, Half-Narim are possible, they are culturally included in their Race because anyone born from a Narim parent is automatically Narim in their eyes.
Narim personalities vary, though are generally divided between two major lifestyles, Derech Halchama (Path of the Warrior) and Derech Hasofer (Path of the Scribe). Those of the Path of the Warrior tend to be more outspoken, honor-bound, respectable, and very reverential to hierarchy, authority, and the natural order of things in Regalia. They show great deference to the Nobility (the Narim lack nobility) unless they misbehave, and have a great respect for the Imperial Family and religious priests of any Religion. Those of the Path of the Scribe tend to be more quiet or shy, but can just as well be silently analyzing situations and have a lot to say, choosing simply not to say it to avoid oversharing. They have a great curiosity for learning, and particularly for recording every little detail of events transpiring around them, even if they are seemingly not relevant to the greater scheme of things. Narim tend to be cautious and more reserved around strangers, but can just as welcoming and hearty to their close friends, being incredibly hospitable, and above all very helpful. Despite all this, Narim are very direct, using no insinuations or metaphors, and just saying boldly and outrightly what they want and how they want it. No other Race is quite as willing to help a complete stranger with good deeds. For more information about the Paths of life, see the relevant section below. It is important to note that while Narim are semi-subterranean, just like Dwarves, they do not need to live underground. Narim can freely move between the Undercity and the Overcity, though bright lights can be experienced as unpleasant to them. Staying in the Sewers to roleplay is not required, surface dwelling is encouraged.
When designing a Character, Proficiency Points allow for a limited Ability selection with Point Buy Packs. Heritage Traits adds free Packs and Mechanics on top of that to help with cultural themes. Free Packs grant Abilities usually, while Mechanics change the way a character functions in Roleplay through subtle, and usually out of Combat ways. In essence, Mechanics just add aesthetic flair that invest in the niche of each culture. Free Packs never raise Proficiency Points, but the character must be able to purchase them normally. (ex. if a character is a certain Affinity that locks them out of a category, they cannot take that specific free pack and must choose the alternative option.) If a Free Pack grants Magic of some type, that Magic can be of any Alignment the character can normally choose, or limited to a select alignment, which will always be written in the Free Pack description.
Mixed Heritage characters (i.e. characters born from two parents of different Cultures) may take one parent's 'Free Packs' and mix and match up to 5 Mechanics from both parents, although some Peoples cannot produce Mixed Heritage children (due to Magical/Fantasy reasons).
- Narim can choose one Prayer, or Cleric, or Radiant Pack for free, either as Mundane, or classified as God Magic.
- Narim choose one free Pack from Training Point Buy, or Athletic Point Buy.
- Narim are completely immune to Afflictions, unless they specifically (voluntarily) perform a ritual to become infected.
- Narim are incapable of becoming Undead when they die, except through the intervention of an Ordial Entity/their wish to do so.
- Narim can Point buy Radiant Point Buy and Enchant Point Buy, which will be both Aligned to Void/Exist/Ordial and God Magic at the same time.
- Narim can Point Buy Prayer Point Buy so long as they only have God Magic (from the Faith category, Point Buy from Radiant/Enchant does not count).
- Narim have night vision and are able to see in perfect (mundane) darkness, never needing a light or some other sight implement in the sewers or at night.
Narim society is defined as either Shomrei Bayit (Guardians of the House) and Hamasgiah (Wanderer). The Shomrei Bayit live in cities like Regalia, and their daily tasks involve service to The Teaching, but generally they do not move around much. The Hamasgiah travel parts of the world, but occasionally stay in cities like Regalia for a few years to rest, before moving on again. They seek out to learn more of the world, and use this information to enrich the experiences of the Shomrei Bayit, while also expanding their world views. New players playing Narim are encouraged to play Hamasgiah, as they are generally kind of unaware of what is happening in Regalia, and it provides a great way to "learn as you play". It is very hard to seperate Narim culture from Religion, because their Religion is "their way of life", but this section will attempt to underline some important aspects.
The Narim speak a language called Safah (based on modern day Hebrew). This language has effectively remained unchanged for nearly 20,000 years, meaning it is both classified as a modern, as well as an ancient language that is still alive, and spoken across the world as some Narim travel the world far and wide for their duties to The Teaching. Narim naming customs can be quite complex, which results in them retaining their own family-name, and common-name which is based more on the legal naming customs within the Regalian Empire for ease of use. Family-names follow the construction of Name, ben (for "son of) or bat (for "daughter of), ancestor (who can be alive or dead), mimishpachat (meaning "of the family), followed by their surname is usually defined where they were born, or where their family comes from. For example, a family from Anglia might be called Anglyahi or Kalmburgi from the region of Calemberg. A very common surname for most Narim in Regalia is in fact Regalyai or Regalyay, as most Narim are born in Regalia and thus share this surname even if they are not blood related. An example of a full name for a Narim born in Regalia could be Yaakov ben Yehoshua mimishpachat haRegaliyai (with ha signifying "the", meaning of the Regalia). Narim common-names do away with all this complexity, only keeping first names and surnames without prefixes, meaning this name would become Yaakov Regaliyai.
- Examples of male Narim names: Moshe, Avraham, Yitchak, Yaakov, David, Yehoshua, Shmuel, Isaiah, Isaac, Aaron, Amos, Eli, Gideon.
- Examples of female Narim names: Sarah, Rachel, Leah, Miriam, Deborah, Esther, Ruth, Abigail, Elisheva, Keziah, Tamar, Naomi, Dinah.
- Examples of non binary Narim names: Ariel, Aviv, Gal, Liron, Noam, Omer, Ran, Shachar, Shai, Yuval.
Religion & Governance
Narim Religion and Governance is intrinsically entwined, so they will be discussed together, with "Narim Unionism" being an undercurrent of Unionism. The Narim are a unitary monarchy without sovereign territory, meaning that all Narim are obedient to a single royal House, the House of Gilead but they do not actually have a country of their own, they merely live in other countries. The ruler of House Gilead is currently Queen Efrat bat Batsheba mimishpachat haGilead, who has lived for several hundreds of years already, and is also recognized by all Unionists as being blessed by the Everwatcher, a rare occurrence. The Gilead ruler lives in the Imperial Palace's own Undercity (which is not connected to the general Regalian Undercity), to reflect its close association with the Regalian Emperor, who the Narim consider the Voice of Hashem (the Narim word for the Everwatcher). Narim Unionism differs somewhat from traditional Unionism. At a base, Narim Unionism obeys only the Everwatcher, it is in fact a monotheistic Religion, but it acknowledges all other Unionist Gods and Goddesses more like prophets who do the work of Hashem. Narim Unionism has schools of thought which largely follow along with the three Unionist Schisms, Dogmatic Unionism best connects with the School of Ortodoksi (which encourages a pious and devout lifestyle), Evintarian Unionism best connects with the school of Hofshi Ma'asei (which encourages a more hedonistic and freedom based lifestyle), while Emended Unionism best connects with the school of Hofshi Machshavi (which encourages an educated and critical-thought lifestyle). Because Narim Unionism does not get involved in the argument about which Gods and Goddesses are real, the Narim can reasonably get along with all Unionist Schisms. Note, taking Narim history into account, the Narim acknowledge that they were not created by Hashem, but that Hashem gave them purpose in a dark world and thus deserves their worship. Finally, it is important to note that the Narim do not believe in conversion. While it is possible for a person to be converted to Narim Unionism, it's a faith that only applies to the Narim, because The Teaching specifically applies to the role Narim are meant to play in the Great Way. It ascribes general virtues to people of other faiths, such as not cursing Hashem, committing no murder, committing no adultery or eating living creatures, not stealing and to establish courts of law. Following these virtues, the Narim believe any Race or Religion will be permitted to share in Paradise, which the Narim refer to as Olam Haba. Narim Unionism does not have a formal priesthood, though they refer to any scholar, mentor, or priest of other non-Narim Unionist teachings as "Rabbi", meaning teacher. Rabbi hold an important role in Narim society as mental health caretakers, as well as religious preachers.
Paths of Life
As discussed, the Paths of life Derech HaLchama (Path of the Warrior) and Derech Hasofer (Path of the Scribe) define how most Narim live their lives. While it is not impossible to find a Scribe who knows how to wield a weapon, or a Warrior who knows how to write with a pen, the distinction is important for both sides of Narim society. Those of the Path of the Warrior are tasked with defeating the monsters from the deep (Leviathan), mutants and other horrors that live in the many layers of Sewers buried deep under Regalia. Secondarily, they also assist Knights on the surface, and also act as the last line of defense in case Regalia falls, setting up a network of resistance from the Undercity. Finally, they act as unofficial protectors of the Sewers. While they do not enforce State Law at all, at a bare minimum they want to prevent theft and murder down there, and will attack anyone committing these crimes to Hashem. Scribes on the other hand are more pre-occupied with recording every little detail of what they witness, and committing all that information to memory. As such, they often seek groups to ask as diplomats, historians, analysts or book keepers for. When one feels stuck and unsure where to go next, it is always recommended to seek out a Narim scribe, for they may know just the unconsidered angle that leads to a breakthrough. Finally, it is important to stress that these are not hard rules for the Narim, many of them do other things like becoming teachers or merchants or even soldiers in the Regalian Army, this information just exists to help steer roleplay.
Ark of Magic
The Aron HaB'rit or the Ark of the Covenant, is a divine object that defines the Narim attitude to Magic in its entirety. The Teaching (the five scriptures of Hashem) are stored in the Ark which currently resides under the Imperial Palace, where the Narim Queen guards the Ark and the fate of the Narim. The Ark was built by the command of Hashem, both to safeguard The Teaching, but also to contain the God Magic from which the Narim take their power. The Narim believe that by using Magic, they "drink from the well of the Ark", and that in turn fuels their powers against the "Demon of the Deep", which the Narim call Leviathan. Leviathan is not a singular being, but rather a collective metaphor for all the monsters and dark Spirits that live in the deep Undercity, layers beneath the habitable ones, that occasionally try to break through and attack the surface. It is the holy mission of the Narim to hold back this tide, and they successfully have done so for the past 20,000 years or more. The Aron HaB'rit is an intensely powerful object that all other Unionist Schisms believe also to have been touched by the Everwatcher (thus validating The Teaching in their eyes, even if it exists outside of Unionism as a whole), as it grants their Race God Magic beyond what other Races are capable of. The Narim do not consider Magic a curse, rather, to them, morality of Magic lies in the hands and minds using it, meaning that even if there is a scientific reason why Void or Exist Magic could be corrosive, to them this does not matter so long as the spiritual intention of the Magic is benign. Finally, Magic also defines one of the greatest Narim privileges, their allownance to use whatever Magic they like (even Void or Exist) in public, in Regalia, without ever being scrutinized. There is the obvious caveat that this only applies to good law abiding Narim, but it effectively means that no matter how severe Magic repression laws get for other Races, the Narim are never effected because their right is enshrined in their legal protections.
- The Narim are warm blooded, but generally have thick skin, carapace, or fur, which makes them considerably warmer. As much as the Undercity of Regalia is largely underground (thus keeping out the cold frost), it can still be very cold underground. The Narim rarely wear clothes save for a skirt, loin cloth, or some form of pants, though some Narim choose to wear Regalian clothing if they need to communicate often with surface dwellers.
- The Narim only consume Kosher meat, meaning animals that were ritually slaughtered in accordance with The Teaching. They have no real dietary restrictions, besides the fact that they are not permitted to eat meat with blood remnants still in it, or consume live animals, and find anyone doing this in their view disrespectful. This is why the Narim have a particular distaste of Vampires who drink blood, which is the essence of Life to them.
- The Narim love fruits of any kind, but particularly prickly pear or pear cactus. Narim consider gifts of fruits, especially very large well taken care of fruits with few blemishes, as some of the most respectful and deferential gifts they might ever receive.
- The Narim have a culture of indomitability. Attacks from the deep layers of the sewers are frequent, and Narim may lose their lives defending the Undercity. Even less than an hour after losing some of their own, the Narim may be back to tending to the poor, and protecting the weak. This is not callousness, but a sign of their iron will for life to continue on no matter the hardship.
- The Narim are a people of contrast. Their night-clubs and eateries may be some of the most jovial and life-loving places to be, but their Temples and prayer houses are some of the most solemn and virtuous destinations. A Narim can go from gregarious and joyous, to contemplative and silently observant in mere moments, should the situation call for it. They always say a prayer in thanks for before eating anything.
- To the Narim, to know things, is to have power over one's own fate. The Narim are always challenged to read and learn more, The Teachings from childhood, and in adult years more complex historical tomes and philosophical treatises. Most Narim are well read, and can cite most of the classical poets and literature writers.
- The Narim were never slaves, and they are quick to remind everyone of this. Even though the Allorn Elves deprived them of their freedom and property, they were never subject to the Allorn Elves so that they could control whether they lived or died. Even the Allorn Elves feared the power of the Ark of the Covenant if it were ever unleashed on them in a rebellion.
- Shabbat is every Sunday, the day of Hashem and a day of rest. The Narim work less on Sundays, but it is important not to assume that they would not strike down a murderer if they ran into one on Sundays. Even more so, they are violently offended if someone commits crime on a Sunday, calling upon all the Narim to punish the blasphemer for violating the peace of Hashem.
- Because all of the Narim Temples were destroyed over the millennia, they do not have formal Temples anymore. To the Narim, anywhere even just a single Narim sings the Chant of Hashem, is a Temple, and can be used for worship. Rabbi may sometimes walk to a corner of the street alone and begin the Chant, only to be joined by other Narim as time passes well into the night.
- Fasting and not eating is considered a solemn and virtous punishment or repentance for Narim (or non-Narim) who have done wrong in the eyes of Hashem. The Narim believe that to be deprived of nutrients, is to be brought closer to Hashem's will and a deeper personal understanding of one's place in the world.
- Some of the older Narim may still observe planned marriages between families, but younger Narim nowadays are free to love and be with whomever they please. Still, being together with someone who is not Narim isn't outwardly discouraged, but also not something parents might be pleased with or proud of. While Half-Narim are accepted in Narim society, such pairings are discouraged because in their eyes, it is hard to have a life partner who does not intimately understand The Teaching and live it, or convert to Narim Unionism.
- To Narim, waiters, bartenders, and other service staff in food and drinks establishments, are their friends. The Narim have an unusually high amount of interest in the personal lives of such service staff, and will strike up a long winding conversation that may sometimes put them at odds with their bosses for spending too much time chatting and away from work.
- Narim love drinking Arak, an anise-based liquor, though try to refrain from it in public. Public drunkenness is very much against the Teaching of Hashem, and will quickly cause disapproving words and looks from other Narim.
- The Narim love the beach, and having beach parties. A very common activity at the beach is the Matkot, a form of table-less ping-pong where they bounce a small leather ball back and forth with wooden rackets.
- While Narim are capable of a wide range of Body Shapes, in general, they are a fit bunch, given their near-mandatory military service in the protection of the Undercity from outsiders. The Narim however dislike indoor gyms, and much prefer outdoor activities like running along the beaches or swimming (Narim are in fact not hydrophobic!).
- To the Narim, other religions and gods are "real" insofar they are not actually gods, but rather just divine creations of Hashem. Only Hashem is omnipotent and omniscient to the Narim, while all other Gods are flawed and have weaknesses, and as such, cannot compare or compete with the one God, but Hashem still made them to fulfill a purpose in the world, which is why Narim will never engage in religious violence.
- At the age of 18, Narim undergo the bar Mitzvah (for men) or the bat Mitzvah (for women). This ceremony signifies their coming of age, which involves reaching The Teaching to them in a group setting with family and friends, before a communal Chant of the Hashem. Afterwards, the Narim throw a big party with plenty of food and drinks and celebratory music, while Narim music in general is liturgical in nature, having no form of secular music except that played during Mitzvahs.
- The Four-Pointed Star is a symbol of the Narim people, representing the four Dimensions and their vows to protect all in the Undercity no matter their allegiance and heritage, so long as they follow the guidelines of Hashem for non-believers (such as do not murder, steal, eat living beings etc.).
- The Narim on average pray three times a day, during the morning, afternoon, and evening. Prayers are usually short, and can even be done while standing in line for groceries shopping as they are just a general thanksgiving to Hashem for blessings of the day.