|Common Nicknames||Dark Elves, Demon Slayers, Demon Hunters|
|Naming Customs||Fantasy Elven (not Tolkien)|
|Distinctions||Demon hunting guardians of the world, tainted by the dimensions|
|Maximum Age||300 years|
|Eye Colors||Green, blue, and grey|
|Hair Colors||Always pure white|
|Skin Tones||Various shades of dark blue and purple|
The Sihndar are an enigmatic Race of warrior people that have their roots in the old Allorn Empire, but have since far diverged from their racial cousins. While similar to the Isldar and Avanthar in their secession from Allorn authority, the Sihndar are distinct in their own way; rather than secluding themselves in icy mountain keeps, or regressing themselves to plains riding horse lords, the Sihndar chose their own path of martial excellence, and the thankless task of protecting and eventually ridding, the world of what they believe their ancestors unleashed upon it. The Sihndar are the most well-trained and highly disciplined mage and aberrant hunters in the world, and continue to defend the Forsaken Continent against the Void and Exist Incursions that still occur because of the chaotic nature of the dimensions. Trained from early childhood, the Sihndar reach out to the world that often remains oblivious and deaf to their cause, traveling far and wide to rid it of what they consider malign influences. They are the polar opposite of the Kathar in terms of their hatred for the Void, but their morality is often considered just as cruel albeit pragmatic and necessary. While it may be said that most notable kingdoms have court mages, many rulers ensure that they carry the reverse; a Sihndar demon slayer, employed to defend against the schemes and actions of mages and magical beings. The Sihndar enjoy a professional reputation of knowledge and skill against the dimensions without equal, even if the common man cannot often tell the difference between the Sihndar and the Kathar.
The Sihndar are in many respects physically identical to the Altalar, sharing their physical proportions, but are also much sturdier than their relatives. The Sihndar have developed on Drowda to be broader, able to carry more weight, and wield weapons with greater efficiency. This has since moved them away from the old Altalar combat principles, developing a unique set of their own. The biggest aspect that sets the Sihndar apart from their other Nelfin cousin Races, is the color of their skin and the color of their hair. Sihndar exclusively have pure snow-white hair. They also grow more hair than the other Nelfin species, and although less so than the Avanthar, they can still grow facial hair and body hair without trouble. The most eye-catching feature of the Sihndar is their skin; usually a very dark purple or grayish blue, the Sihndar stand out against all other Nelfin. The Sihndar also have a curious reproduction cycle related to other Nelfin species. The Sihndar cannot breed with Ailor (so a Sihndar can never produce a Half-Elf), but they are compatible with all other Nelfin species. If however they procreate with another Nelfin, instead of a racial mix or mutt being born, a purebred Sihndar is always born, no matter how many generations pass. Why this occurs is not entirely understood, but the Sihndar believe from their own folklore that they were cursed by the Northern Taint and that their Nelfin children will always carry their Taint with them. The Sihndar age similar to their Altalar ancestors, though with some considerable differences; whereas an Altalar may live to be 400 years old, Sihndar may only live to be 300. As well as this, the ageing of a Sihndar ends much later, at the age of 40 rather than 30. Strangely, however, Sihndar completely cease ageing after this point, and even up until the point of their death, appear to be only 40 years old, and even after death, they do not rot or decompose, simply becoming stiff, cold, and lifeless. Scholars associate this shortened lifespan and peculiar behaviour after death with the Northern Taint, which gives them their abilities and appearance, though they also theorise that it negatively affects their health over their full lifespan. Sihndar cannot be Soul Shards, as their soul has been battered with Magic energies to such a degree that Shards are unable to bind with their souls.
Sihndar are outwardly stoic, reserved, and to some, emotionless, although this is no fault of an inherent hatefulness for others. To those fresh from Drowda, the regular luxuries and passions of outside life are completely alien; art for the sake of art, or gorging oneself on food purely because they have the urge to, are entirely foreign to the Sihndar, who have rarely, if at all, eaten more than their rations allow them, and the presence of such luxuries may overwhelm some Sihndar. The Sihndar share a predisposition to self-aggrandizing arrogance and self-satisfaction as Altalar, prompting most to respond to their unknown stimuli in one of two ways; strengthening their resolve, devotion, and discipline to the eradication of magical influence in the world, or accepting the vices of the world, and relinquishing their duties to turn to a life of pleasure and fulfilment of base desires. In spite of their outward coldness, however, the Sihndar have a great warmth for their loved ones, and a unique tendency towards self-sacrifice when concerning the matters of others. This tendency stems from the fleeting nature of relationships on Drowda; family units and friendships are special due to how abruptly they may end at the hands of the horrors of war. As a result, every loved one is cherished and treated as though every interaction is their last. Sihndar have a special deference for the act of gift giving. While owning items that are useless in war is generally seen as wasteful to the Sihndar, in Sihndar culture, charity is one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed and one of the greatest virtues to have. Generally speaking, the less a Sihndar has, the more the gesture means both when given or received. Practically all Sihndar have an unending hatred for everything that is not of the normal world, meaning from the Void or Exist. This includes Mages, Silven, Abberrants, Mutants, Vampires and any and all non-normal things. This isn’t just a cultural notion picked up by the Sihndar in their raising, but an almost identity-defining feature that is extremely hard to coax away even with years of trying. It is often speculated that this mentality is kind of like a sixth sense caused by the Northern Taint that taints their Race. Because of their corruption, their body becomes averse to anything that is not of the normal world and they can actually become physically ill from being near something that radiates, for example, Void Essence for too long. The Taint’s effects aren’t all completely negative, however, as they grant the Sihndar some unique and powerful abilities.
Powers of the Taint
The powers of the Taint are quite unique to the Sihndar in that they can cause both a personality shift, but also grant a set of traits and abilities not found among any other Race or Affliction. While the Sihndar are acutely aware that the Taint is of otherworldly origin, they perceive it as a necessary evil; a way of fighting fire with fire, and penance for the transgressions of their ancestors. Sihndar by themselves may sometimes be considered emotionless, but somehow, a Sihndar without a Taint Archon is a more emotionless person than a Sihndar with a Taint Archon. This is because the Sihndar derive much of their emotional expression from their Taint Archon, which affects their personality. Every Sihndar no matter where they go, who they are with, or how they take upon themselves the plight of their people, eventually chooses a Taint Archon. This is something that is natural to all the Sihndar, and can occur at any time in their life, either in childhood, or in their teenage years, but sometimes even only after they have passed the age of 100. The first choice is a philosophical one. The Archon are divided over four unique branches of thought processes Which can roughly be divided as such:
- The Primary Taint Archon is The Archon of Destruction. The Archon of Destruction dictates that all other-dimension filth must be purged with the most destructive of means, and that penultimate victory will be assured by fighting fire with fire. The Sihndar who choose the Archon of Destruction believe that it is acceptable to mimic or even use the powers of ruin to destroy all that must be destroyed. The Archon of Destruction followers are generally seen as the most tainted amongst their people, which sometimes draws criticism from their midsts, though they proclaim others as too inactive and weak.
- The Secondary Taint Archon is the Archon of Stalwartness. The Archon of Stalwartness dictates that all extradimensional filth must be purged with the most immaculate defence. Penultimate victory will be assured by denying the other worldly filth their means to harm the Sihndar, after which the Khoptar can be used to rid the world of their presence. The Archon of Stalwartness followers are generally seen as the most pure of the Sihndar who deny any and all Affliction, but are also seen as too docile and passive by others.
- The Tertiary Taint Archon is the Archon of the Cursing Eye. The Archon of the Cursing Eye dictates that Stalwartness is too docile and that Destruction allows too much corruption to fester. Those of the Cursing Eye believe in the magnification of their world-born abilities and mastery over Aloria’s existence to fight the things that don’t belong there. The Archon of the Cursing Eye is generally seen the most among foreign hosts, and finds it easier to become accepted among non-Sihndar communities because of their outwards appeal. Among the other Archons however, they are seen as ignorant of the evils and naive about the corruption festering in other Races, as if they are not proud enough to be Sihndar themselves.
- The Last Taint Archon is the Archon of Self. The Archon of Self is not really a conscious choice made by the Sihndar, but a natural consequence of their innate desire for pleasure, self-satisfaction and arrogance getting the better of them. This happens naturally to those who become lazy, gluttonous, lustful or derive too much pleasure from cruelty. Those who are of the Archon of Self don’t have much choice in following this Archon and become Tainted by it automatically. They are reviled by the followers of the other Archons as lost souls and usually cast out of their society. They can however be redeemed with penance and spiritual re-connection with their old beliefs.
How Sihndar exactly synchronize with the Taint Archons is unclear and differs for each Sihndar. In most cases however, it simply reacts automatically based on their life and world views, and the effects follow not long after. These Archons aren’t physical beings, but instead are reflections and manifestations of the individual’s outlook on life. These can be summarized even simpler by simply asking a Sihndar what mentality they feel is the most true. The first being “Is accepting more taint acceptable to rid the world of taint?”. The second being “Is an unbreakable defense the best way to cleanse evil?”. The third being “Should we enlist all forces of this world to aid us?”. The fourth is more of a passive realization that goes along the lines of “Is fighting the demons really that important right now?”. When a Sihndar chooses to align with one of these philosophical views, they are essentially branded to belong to said Taint Archon. This branding is for life, and the only change that can occur in a Sihndar’s life is for them to fall to the Fourth Taint Archon, or to be redeemed from said Taint Archon and re-connect with their previous Taint Archon. Each Taint Archon carries with it a number of benefits explained below.
- The Taint Archon of Destruction
- Those who belong to Destruction have a so-called Shape reflection ability. Shape reflection allows the Sihndar to reflect an opponent’s physical mutated state. For example, if a Sihndar of Destruction fights a Varghul, they may choose to become a Varghul also for the duration of the fight. This affects the following creatures: Vampire Spirit Shift, Vampire Varlord, Vampire Varghul, Vampire Night Horror, Silven Beastlord Muter, and Silven Dragon Muter. This shapeshift is only valid for the duration of the fight, and only while the Sihndar is fighting directly with one such creature.
- Those who belong to Destruction have a so-called Power reflection ability. Power reflection allows the Sihndar (if they aren't already using a Shape reflection) to re-use an opponents ability (instant or charged or channelled) as long as it has already been used against them, and this even extends to spells, but only during a fight. For example, if a mage throws a fireball at the Sihndar, they may activate the ability, and for the duration of the fight, cast fireballs as well. This ability can only be activated after an activate ability has been used and does not work for passive traits or abilities with conditional working or permanent effect. Breaking off the fight or using Shape reflection cancels the ability from being used, and it is reset at each new fight. Other examples including summoning a ghost falcon that attacks foes (which allows the Sihndar also to summon such a ghost falcon) or casting a spell that deafens someone (which allows the Sihndar to do the same. This ability must be emoted specifically in response /after/ an opponent has already used an ability. If an opponent does not use any abilities, this ability is useless.
- Those with the Taint of Destruction may suffer additional physical changes. They may grow horns on their head, small spikes on their forearms and their sclera might darken to dark gray, though these mutations are not guaranteed. Additionally, those with the Taint of Destruction are capable summoning and un-summoning their Khoptar. That means to say, they can send their Khoptar into a suspense dimension if it is held by someone else or just missing, and then cause it to re-appear in their hand. This is useful for always summoning a weapon at will, but also for retrieving a stolen weapon. Those with the Taint of Destruction tend to be more outgoing, energetic and boisterous than other Sihndar. The taint affects their personality to become more active and present.
- The Taint Archon of Stalwartness
- Those who belong to Stalwartness have a so-called Magic-Mute ability that is passively present. This ability is always active and makes them 100% immune to any and all types of magic, even to magically induced indirect effects. For example, fire created with magic will not burn them, wind created with magic will not push them, and healing magic produced by the Exist will not heal them. Mind spells will not affect them, and even ground forced at them as if a projectile by magic, will be steered away from them. They become unaffected and untargetable by Magic, essentially moving blind spots to any Mage’s magic.
- Those with the Taint of Stalwartness suffer no visible mutations, but become more detached from the world of Aloria also. It is noted that those of Stalwartness do not need to sleep. Instead of sleeping (on average) 7 hours a day like a normal person, those of Stalwartness need only 4 hours of meditation, during which they might instantly break meditation in case they are under attack. Those of Stalwartness as such cannot be surprised and overpowered at night. They also consume about half the rations of a normal person, and do not suffer fatigue from lack of sustenance (though can still die from it). Stalwartness affects their personality to become more calm, calculative, docile and sometimes pacifist. They will prefer to be more cautious and think before they speak in particular.
- The Taint Archon of the Cursing Eye
- Those who belong to the Cursing Eye have the so called Guardian Lock ability that can be used anytime. The Guardian Lock ability is very versatile in terms of locking down a single opponent, and can be used both inside and outside of combat. The Sihndar who use this ability tap either their left or right index finger and middle finger (two fingers must always be used, though a finger that was lost can be supplanted by another) to their chest. Then, they point this gesture at whoever they want to be affected. If the person being pointed at is a Mage, Silven, Aberrant, Vampire or Mutant, they experience excruciating pain to the point of (almost) being unable to move. It is not full paralysis, meaning the subject can still make desperate swings with a sword, but they will certainly be unable to fight properly or cast any magic or other abilities and remained kneeled on the ground in pain. As long as the Sihndar points their finger at the target, this ability will remain active, and they can even do this while fighting another opponent with their other hand, and while looking away from the target, but the target must always be in an unobstructed position relative to their body. The ability can be deactivated either at will, or by someone else stepping in front of the person being affected (though it will then affect them). The ability has no effect on those who are not altered by the Void or Exist.
- Those with the Taint of the Cursing Eye tend to be more gregarious, kind and accepting. They are more comfortable among other Races, and pick up things from other cultures with a greater appreciation. As such, those of the Cursing Eye, while in Regalia, may choose a flexible Ailor Culture Proficiency boost to add to their own Proficiencies. Essentially, they adopt whatever culture boost their liege master/employer or mentor at the time has, and this bonus can change when they change employment.
- The Taint Archon of Self
- Those who belong to the Self have the so called Princely Charm ability that can be used anytime. When using this ability, the Sihndar will turn into an Altalar version of themselves, masking all their Sihndar physical properties like their hair and their skin. This imitation is completely perfect and undetectable except to other Sihndar, who continue to see them as their normal Sihndar self.
- Those who belong to the Self have the so called Princely Vex ability that can be used anytime. The Princely Vex allows them to nullify the abilities of other Sihndar who belong to other Taint Archons while within their presence. This is particularly useful when for example the Sihndar are being hunted by their brethren, or when they want to cause mischief to those who are in battle.
- Those who belong to the Self tend to be extremely arrogant, self-satisfying, lustful, gluttonous and derive pleasure from the misery of others. They can be pleasant to be around, but only because their vanity allows them to compliment others and pretend to be likeable just to use others. Their skin might also feel softer than usual, and their hair might shine with greater brilliance than any normal untreated hair would.
Sihndar history dates back to the integration of the Drovv peoples of Drowda into the Allorn Empire as very distant client-peoples of the main Empire. Very little is known of the Drovv, they are generally assumed to be an extinct Race of Aloria as the last Void Invasion utterly eradicated them within the first weeks of the Veil opening. The Drovv are often described as tall, frail beings with long necks, and small heads but with immense strength and martial skill. Not much is known about their culture beyond their martial upbringing, one that was adopted by groups of Altalar living on the northernmost borders of the Empire, partially in Drovv territory. The Grandening period of the Altalar history saw the rise of the Cult of Dronnal, a militarily inclined cult formed where the Altalar believed that politics and cultural engagement was weak and fleeting, and that the only way to move Altalar society forward was through military training. It was around 950 BC or so that this cult gained major traction in the very northern most fringes of the Allorn Empire under the stewardship of the Drovv people. From a historical perspective, this has always been seen as an oddity, in that the Altalar forefathers of the Sihndar allowed themselves to be taught and guided by a Race that was generally seen as a client species to them, an unusual and remarkable case of outwards acceptance and lack of the usual Altalar racist attitudes.
The stewardship of the Drovv drove the Cult of Dronnal to develop many of the martial means that would later define the Sihndar people and their military conduct. It was however also the Cult of Dronnal and the Drovv who suffered the most when the Veil tore open during the last Void Invasion. The continent north of the Allorn Empire, called Drowda, was the northernmost point of the Allorn Empire, and also the epicenter where the world’s proverbial barrier that kept out the Void and Exist from bleeding into the world tore open. From this opening, demonic energies spewed forth that corrupted everything in their path, with the intention to rid all living being from the world. The Drovv people were the first to rise to the challenge of pushing back apocalypse, and it utterly crushed them. Their civilization was completely wiped off the face of Aloria, and not even ruins remain of them. In fact, in modern times, it is frequently mentioned when discussing Drovv that their existence cannot actually be proven aside from the folklore tales of the Sihndar. The Cult of Dronnal also rose to defend their borders against the demonic hordes, but was equally stampeded out of the area by the overwhelming forces of the Archdemon.
The arrival of the Allorn Empress and the grand army offered reprieve, and it was also the Cult of Dronnal who mostly filled the ranks of the first responders in the Allorn armies. As the Empire fell when Cataclysm beset them, they too fell, though a different event occurred in Drowda. While the rest of the world was thrashed with natural disaster, Drowda faced a more unnatural disaster in what the Sihndar nowadays call the Wretching Tear. When the Demons were cast back into the Void, the hole from which they came (which was at this point a large magical chasm) destabilized and ripped at the fabric of existence on the continent of Drowda. Swirls of magical energy both seen and unseen lashed the land and all living things on it, mutating large portions of the fauna and flora that would continue to be a threat to the inhabitants of this continent centuries later. It was the Cult of Dronnal Altalar who during this time were also affected by the Wretching Tear as it infected them with the Northern Taint. Their skins turned dark purple and grayish-blue, and their hair turned white. Many of them died, poisoned by the Void and Exist energies that infected them, but those that survived would eventually form the foundation of Sihndar society. At this point, the Cult of Dronnal Altalar stopped being Altalar and became known as the Sihndar, a rough translation to “The sinning high ones” in reference to their belief that they now needed to redeem the world for the damage the Altalar had done.
Sihndar quickly organized into functional military units, taught to them by the Drovv many centuries before, which allowed them to stabilize Drowda fairly quickly. While the rest of the world suffered chaos, the Sihndar immediately went methodically to work to ensure they would survive and thrive on Drowda, though the latter would prove more challenging than they originally anticipated. The Wretching Tear had caused most of the Fauna and Flora to become hostile to the sentient beings of Drowda and much of the environment had been torn to pieces. Old maps were no longer relevant and fresh water springs had sometimes relocated to miles away because of underground fissures. It took the Sihndar about 30 years to formally develop their Hold strategies, and the next 100 years or so were spent attempting to expand and stabilize their population. It was in 150 AC that all the holds came together in what the Sihndar refer to as the College of Sins, where the elder representatives of all the Holds discussed their strategies and planning. It was here that the Great Call was developed, and soon after, thousands of Sihndar spread out into the world to purge the remnants of Void and Exist taint.
Sihndar as such fought Void Cults, Vampire infestations, corrupted Dragon worshipers, Kathar, corrupted Altalar, and sometimes even their own kind when they had gone too far. Their reputation spread quickly, and before long, some of them were hired by foreign courts to keep their lands clean of other worldly taint. The Sihndar came to the conclusion that stemming the flow of energies from the wound would eventually solve the problem, but that this was a worthless venture if the rest of the world was still drowning in taint. They developed the strategic belief that while they needed to remain stalwart at home and keep Drowda clean of taint, that the rest of the world also needed to be cleansed in order for the healing process to truly commence. To this day, the Sihndar roam the world, hunting what they consider vile corruptions wherever they can find it, making enemies, but also alliances, with other Races and other people wherever they go with the ultimate goal of redeeming their Race.
Sihndar Politics is incredibly rigid, but also extremely decentralized. To disobey the authority of a leader is almost a death sentence in Sihndar society, but each unit can function very independently from the main political structure back in Drowda for the sake of in-the-field practicality. At the very top of Sihndar society is no centralized figure. Rather, Sihndar society is split in many massive city castle-like structures that are called Holds. Holds are fairly confined, they lack amenities and public services, and housing is cramped. Food is usually provided by cook houses and there is a constant draft and noise coming from the bowels of these holds from bustle and activity that keep the Sihndar alive. This almost impoverished existence is chosen by the Sihndar as it is a means to remain grounded and focused on what is important, namely the cleansing of otherworldly filth from Drowda and the world at large. Each Hold is overseen by a so called Xaster. Xasters are like generals who control the defense of a Hold, but they rarely actually perform civilian duties (for as far as there can be civilian duties due to the military dominance of Sihndar society). Civilian activities are instead performed by the Hold Elders, who tend to be 250+ years. They obviously all look as young as they were when in their 40’s, their age is represented by a series of medallions that they have bound around their arms, one such medallion for each 15 years of being alive. The Elders administer the functioning of the Holds such as repairs, food supplies, logistics and communication. They also administer what little services are provided in terms of civil union, divorce, child registration and sickness aid. The Elders also represent the Holds during College of Sins, which is when all the Elders come together to represent their Holds and discuss future planning.
On a more local scale, Sihndar are led by the Sihn-Fallar, which roughly translates to “the burden maker of sins”. This person acts like a local warlord of sorts, but it is more often compared to a leader of a special team or a strike force. A Sihn-Fallar can have as few as 3 and as many as 30 followers, and multiple can operate in the same area. Sihn-Fallar are sometimes also the leaders of their family units. A particularly strong son might rule over his parents and siblings, though a strong father may also be the central figure. Sihndar units usually consist of family members but outsiders and strangers who were adopted by the Sihn-Fallar are not uncommon. Sihn-Fallar are tasked with receiving commands from the Xasters they belong to, or from the College of Sins as a whole, which they then execute in whatever way they deem necessary in the field. Currently, a major command is issued by the College of Sins of 302 AC to become present in all layers of Regalian society and to root out vile corruptions of Void and Exist elements in society. The College of Sins is also aware that the Regalians are more accepting of things like Silven who would normally be executed on sight by the Sihndar outside of the Empire. As such, an additional command for the Sihndar in the field is to try and turn Regalian society’s attitude against Silven and Mages to become more aggressively anti-Magic.
Sihndar culture is extremely uniform because the overall Sihndar population is small and they all maintain the same rigid cultural practices with little to no local variation. That being said, it is not like the Sihndar are devoid of cultural expressions, in fact they have a very rich culture that is deeply steeped in martial lore and worship of combat as high form of art and skill, even if most Ailor might not consider this culture. The Sihndar have a special sickle blade weapon called a Khoptar, which is granted to them at the rite of adulthood. Every Sihndar gives their blade a personal name that they vow only to tell those they intend to kill. These weapons are crucial to Sihndar culture as they are represented in every aspect. The foremost use is the dance they call Daeca l’aya S’an, or the “Dance of the Holy Blade”. It is a spectacle of fake sword fighting that is done in a very slow and dance-like manner. The Sihndar have also found a way to make music with their swords and perform at least once every week in what they call the “Night of the Whistling Blades”. The Sihndarhave invented a kind of metal object that when lightly scraped past the blade’s sharp edge serves to both sharpen the blade and resonate in a loud bell-like tone. Thousands of Sihndar join in on this spectacle, causing a massive orchestra of whistling blades all across the Sihndar citadels. Finally, Sihndar treat their blades almost like their own children and aim to personalize their weapons. Some engage in metal carving, while others reforge their weapons to alter the bend or change the grip. Some have even enlarged the blade or turned it into a double bladed Khoptar. The love the Sihndar have for their weapons is so profound that when asked for a census, a Sihndar Xaster will count all living members and their Khoptar as numbers of manpower, treating the blades as actual combat abled bodies.
Sihndar traditionally wear very light clothing, or clothing lacking in coverage. Surprisingly, Drowda is not actually that cold, experiencing great geothermal heat. The Sihndar as such commonly wear clothing that is multi purpose both for warm weather, training, and combat practicality. While armor is certainly not unheard of, most demonic creatures on Drowda favor speed and alertness over defense, and the Sihndar have followed suit. Their traditional wear is the Xavloay outfit. On their feet they wear a long black ribbon that cushions the sound of their movement, and keeps them flexible and agile. Bound around their waist is a single silk belt that is sturdy yet thin, and usually colored in the colors of the Sihn-Fallar the Sihndar belong to. This silk belt holds up the Xav pants, a special type of pants which is both airy and breathes very well while being water resistant because of the material used to wax the fabric. The design is also peculiar, bound at just below the knees while the conventional crotch section is far lower than the actual physical crotch of the individual, eliminating all chafing. Sihndar usually don’t wear anything on their torso, but a special kind of Lavoy chest piece exists of very flexible weaved leather strips that cover only the pectoral muscles or breasts in case it involves a woman, leaving the stomach exposed and unrestrained. Sihndar wear medallion bands on their arms indicating their age, each medallion being of either copper or gold, and being roughly an inch wide and round. They are worn one for each 15 years of having lived, and another bigger hook-shaped medallion is worn to indicate the identity of a Sihn-Fallar. Finally, the Sihndar have wrist straps of black bandage of the same fabric as their lower legs, covering most of the palm of their hands but leaving their fingers free, and extending all the way up to their elbow. At their elbow is a knot that is tied in such a way that is aims away from the body, where a single lint of ribbon is allowed to hand loose to about just below the knee in a rested position. These ribbons have the practical use of allowing the Sihndar to tie themselves to something in great need, but also have a combat use in that they distract opponents with their erratic movements. Sihndar frequently also wear clothing of foreign cultures and nations however, being culturally attuned enough to understand that always walking around shirtless is neither medically sound (due to the much lower temperatures of the south) nor culturally sound (for those cultures who dislike bodily exhibition). Still, they might indulge during summer periods or during national remembrance days or training sessions. Sihndar are also not averse to wearing armor, but have a cultural inclination to refuse, because they believe armor makes them too easy to detect and slows down their natural Nelfin agility.
Sihndar worship the idea of exercise, training and bodily fitness to an almost obsessive degree. This is particularly troublesome to the more lazily inclined Sihndar because much of the discipline in a Sihndar’s life means meeting certain fitness goals set by the Sihn-Fallar including being able to jump to a certain height, being able to lift a certain amount of weights, and being able to run a certain distance in a certain amount of time. Physical pain from exercise is seen as a good thing among the Sihndar and a pleasant feeling to have, while gaining weight sends one in a quick spiral of depression. Sihndar also love pets. Pets are the only real guilty pleasure the Sihndar have in Drowda, even if it doesn’t make any sense for a war-like people to keep large amounts of pets. Still, because Xasters calculate swords as manpower (and thus mouths to feed) it always balances out, as the food supplies are stretched to accommodate both pet and master by coincidence (since swords don’t need food). Frequent pets used by Sihndar are bird and lizard-like pets, which is also why some Regalian born or based Sihndar may take to taking actual Allar as their pets, angering their Cro-Allar, but some Drowda based animals can also be found used by the Sihndar. Finally, the cultural norm among the Sihndar is to hate everything Kathar, and to engage in the exact opposite, or to punish acts which are perceived as Kathar. Are Kathar engaging in mass orgies and rites of pleasure? Then the Sihndar rove to punish adulterers and public signs of affection. Are the Kathar slaughtering their slaves and bathing in blood? Then the Sihndar volunteer at the medical wards to help the sick and heal the injured to prevent their death. Are the Kathar calling on the powers of death and the unliving? Then the Sihndar patrol the graveyards, attacking anyone who so much as looks like a grave robber.
Sihndar religion is very standard Faith of Estel, but with some modifications. While the Altalar see the Inner and Outer Court, these relations are actually reversed for the Sihndar. They see the Outer Court as the Inner Court Pantheon, and actually call the now Outer Court Pantheon the False Pantheon. To the Sihndar, the Altalar Inner Pantheon is filled with false promises and lies, and as such they barely acknowledge them. The Outer Court having become Inner Court are seen as cruel gods in need of praising for the sake of keeping them away from the living, and to acknowledge their vices above the supposed virtues of the old Inner Court, because it was the neglect of the Altalar of their darker needs and tendencies that made the gods angry with them and called forth their wrath. To the Sihndar, Estel is still a goddess, but a very cruel one and one that should be worshiped to appease, not to sing praises. The Sihndar speak ill of their gods in whispers as if they despise and revile them, but would not go as far as speaking out in public against them or taking offense to other religions. The Sihndar in fact are believed to slowly become atheist as they never encourage others to follow their faith, and many of their children in fact grow up never learning about any of the gods bar from the religious practices and traditions that segway into being more cultural and nationalist than religious to them. The Sihndar all do continue to harbor some sort of religious distaste of the worst excesses of the Altalar, and generally view them with disdain. It is in their religious teachings also that the Sihndar are taught that the world nearly perished because the Altalar invited decay and corruption into the world, and that the Drovv teachers paid the ultimate price for their betrayal to virtue. A Sihndar will not outright seek conflict with the Altalar, but failing to convince them to abandon their errant ways, will always use a sharp tongue to denounce the Altalar’s self indulgence. The other Nelfin species to the Sihndar are considered naive and deluded about Estel’s true role in the world, and what the main objective of all living beings should be. This in turn contributes to an ironic sense of arrogance among the Sihndar, who consider themselves the only capable and truly interested in protecting the world from the corruption that the other dimensions spread.
Combat and Warfare
Sihndar Combat and Warfare is entirely focused around the use of their Khoptar weapon and their agility. Sihndar do not use ranged weapons and while they could pick up another weapon, abhor the idea of using anything but their trusted combat compatriot, their Khoptar. The Sihndar work in small guerrilla based groups who first establish a forward post (usually behind enemy lines) and then engage in camouflage (for example by fighting at night or using mud and other natural products to conceal themselves). Sihndar attack in silence, fight in silence, and disappear quickly again. They do not function well in formal armies, and hardly have any tactics that would accommodate such, though it is not unheard of for a Sihndar to perform well as a bodyguard of an employer in a battlefield, particularly the front line commanders. In contrast with the Altalar, the Sihndar continue to wield a heavier blade category with the same speed and proficiency as Altalar combat techniques, and in contrast with the Avanthar, the Sihndar continue to favor disciplined precision over blind fury.
- The Sihndar have a very peculiar accent when they speak Common. They do not put much emotion in their speech and sound their r’s more like ah’s. Weak vowels are also merged, and most Ailor consider this accent very exotic (they essentially speak IRL Australian English).
- Most Ailor and Regalians do not see the difference between the Kathar and Sihndar, especially since some Sihndar who follow the Archon of Destruction have horns and other mutations. This usually leads to both Races being referred to as Dark Elves or Demon Elves, much to the annoyance of the Sihndar who hate being mistaken for Kathar.
- The Sihndar have an unusual love for ice-cream. Mount Helena Gelato produced by the Dressolini in Regalia can drive even a disciplined Sihndar wild, who love the creamy and ice-cold sugary flavor of the shaved mountain ice flavored with syrups and heavy cream, like a guilty pleasure.
- Because the Sihndar come from the continent of Drowda and originally were called the Cult of Dronnal, they are incorrectly identified as Drowdar. The Altalar in particular use this term as a means of insulting the Sihndar, because it carries the connotation of them being from a backwards province of the Allorn Empire. The Altalar believe the Sihndar are fanatical and far too serious.