Background: Magic

Aesh: In Tonzimmel, “aesh” is the designation for “certified engineer.” From astounding inventions and sleek modern buildings to the clean, efficient machinery that runs daily operations in Tonzimmel, the touch of the aesh can be seen throughout the city. It is in Cadaeren, however, that the word “aesh” originated, and it is there that it takes on its full meaning: fire-mage.

All aeshes have a primary ability of controlling fire, including creating and putting out blazes. Aeshes also have a secondary ability known as “Haesh’s Trace.” This refers to a magical burst of insight that aeshes sometimes receive that gives them a true answer to a question they’ve been pondering. This can lead to actions that others deem foolish, and the most common accusation to hear against an aesh by another mage is that he or she broke tradition, often simply for the sake of breaking it.

Personality-wise, aeshes are generally intelligent, innovative, and passionate. They can also, however, be headstrong and overconfident.

Common nuisances of being an aesh include dry skin, scorch-marks in their clothing, and an inability to wear hats due to their hair’s unfortunate tendency to spark when they get excited.

Color: Red.

Emblem: Haesh the fire salamander.

 

Aretz: In Tonzimmel, “aretz” is the designation for “certified healer.” The Cadaerian meaning, however, is far more accurate: earth-mage. All aretzes have a primary ability of controlling the elements of earth: rocks, soil, and plants. Aretzes also have the secondary ability of understanding and caring for the natural world. Most are healers of some sort, though an aretz may be specially attuned to plants and the making of medicines, to the direct healing of animals, or to the direct healing of humans. Many also are adept at growing and caring for plants, at reading body language, and at identifying the locations and uses of natural resources.

Personality-wise, aretzes tend to be dependable, trustworthy, and detail-oriented. They don’t like change or conflict, however, and so they will often ignore a problem rather than bringing attention to it unless they have no choice.

Common nuisances of being an aretz include finding it hard to keep their clothing clean due to plants, rocks, and animals all wanting to say hello wherever the aretz goes. The tendency of grass and mud to hug their ankles and feet also makes it difficult for aretzes to get places on time.

Color: Green.

Emblem: Aretziv the unicorn.

 

Ruahk: In Tonzimmel, the word “ruahk” has two meanings. Most often, it is a mildly derogatory term for someone who’s an airhead. Literally, however, it refers to the strange travelers, performers, and explorers who sometimes visit the city to delight audiences with their exquisite magic shows and wondrous stories of far-off places and impossible adventures. These true ruahks never stay long, which given their inability to show up anywhere on time, to stay focused, or even to remember to look both ways before crossing a street, is probably a good thing for their own survival.

In Cadaeren, however, ruahks are highly sought after due to their alignment’s gifts. While a ruahk’s primarily ability is to control air and wind, it is their secondary ability that makes them welcome throughout the land. Ruahks have the gift of movement, which includes teleportation, levitation, and the ability to fly. Their teleportation abilities are especially prized, as ruahks can move themselves, other people, and even large objects to any location to which they have previously traveled or to which they can see. They can also follow other ruahks’ travel-paths without knowing where they lead, but this is dangerous and so is generally not done.

Ruahks tend to live in the moment, to itch for travel and adventure, and to enjoy life to its fullest. However, they also tend to be irresponsible, forgetful, easily distracted, and prone to talkativeness.

Common nuisances of being a ruahk include a constant breeze which makes it practically impossible to keep theirhair in place. In addition, they have a tendency toward claustrophobia and a dislike of places without windows and fresh air.

Color: Silver.

Emblem: Ruahkon the griffin.

 

Shamai: The word “shamai” comes from Old Cadaerian, the language of magic and power. Even the peasants of Cadaeren, however, know its meaning: water-mage. All shamais have a primary ability of controlling water, and so most prefer to live by a lake or a river, or at least in a land with high levels of precipitation. Secondarily, all shamais have powerful abilities in the realm of the mind. They can read the thoughts and emotions of those they know well, can coerce even strangers to share their deepest secrets, and can magically persuade others to believe whatever the shamais desire. These effects are often temporary, but they are dangerous enough to keep most non-shamais on their guard.

Fortunately, shamais tend to be loyal to their friends, family, and government, and are often very knowledgeable and wise. At the same time, shamais are highly suspicious of any “newfangled” ideas or technology, and prefer to live in the same manner that their ancestors have done for centuries.

Unsurprisingly, very few shamais have ever chosen to emigrate from their holdings in Cadaeren to the city-state of Tonzimmel. In Tonzimmel, then, the word “shamai” is simply an uncommon term (used primarily by the city’s Cadaerian immigrants) that describes someone with strong persuasive abilities. Or so they believe.

Common nuisances of being a shamai include constant humidity, as water in the air is drawn to their presence. This is especially obnoxious in the summertime heat. In addition, shamais’ clothing often seems damp, and they need to have constant vigilance against mold and rust in their dwellings.

Color: Blue

Emblem: Shamainis the sea serpent

 

The Unaligned: While most mages in Cadaeren are aligned with one of the four elements of the Balance – fire, earth, air and water – its royal house is proudly unaligned. It traces its lineage back to King Cohlit, who magically bound himself and his family to the land of Cadaeren and was in exchange given access to the entire magical range of the Balance. His descendants alone, the unaligned, have the power to “soar with the wind, flow with the stream, grow with the trees, or burn with the flames,” as an old Cadaerian poet wrote.

The continuity of the rule of the unaligned has been maintained through a strict law in Cadaeren that prohibits any prince from marrying an aligned mage. This restriction does not hold to the females of the royal house, however, which has led to a healthy history of intermarriage between the unaligned and the aligned, and therefore to a slow but steady growth in the numbers and bloodlines of unaligned individuals in Cadaeren.

Due to their magical neutrality and their sheer magical strength, the right of the unaligned to rule Cadaeren is unquestioned by its nobility and peasantry alike. The right of any particular ruler to hold the throne, however, may not be as unquestioned as King Kethel and Queen Tathilya believe.

 

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