Make Up: Pale Skin

Prohibited Realms: Strength, Purity, Life

Racial Realms: Binding, Gateway

Elemental Alignment: Fire

The Melanonian (or Firstborn as they like to call themselves) are the most ancient race of the known world. They are cruel & arrogant race as long lived as the Elves who believe themselves superior to all other races. The culture is seeped in lavish & ancient traditions which can be seen in their archaic speech patterns and the style of dress. Their empire is said to once have covered all Tethic and beyond, dominating every race for thousands of years. However, in the memory of the younger races their influence has mainly been in the North, beyond the Shattered Lands.

The long history of the race has left them with a great resource of magic, marshalled by their Demonic gods. Over the centuries they have fallen into decline, the inbreeding and hedonistic pursuits have brought them almost to the brink of extinction. The Melanonians however do not see things this way!

The Melanonian Empire has become effectively sealed off from the rest of the world (and because the Melanonians are mainly an enemy race within the game world) player character Melanonians are generally wanders or outcasts from their race without homeland contact.

History
At the dawn of recorded history a group of ambitious Realm Demons broke faith with their sovereign Realm Lords and caste themselves as gods. Their chosen people were the group of proto-humans that would eventually become the Melanonians. The five Demon Lords formed a pact and bestowed great power on their chosen followers, who in return offered complete loyalty and blood sacrifice without end.

With their demonic Penta-caste the fledgling Melanonian race forged an empire of terror. At its height their control stretched right across the known world. The Firstborn enslaved or killed all of the lesser races they encountered. Their control lasted for thousands of years, but generations of inbreeding began to weaken the bloodlines; they changed from a race of fierce warrior mages into emancipated, listless weaklings. Over the long years without challenge they grew bored, seeking out hedonistic pleasures or dangerous arcane dabbling for their entertainment. Eventually they began to withdraw from the world as their numbers and interest dwindled.

Today the Empire is thought to consist of a few isolated island kingdoms, including their homeland beyond the Shattered Isles, North of Danar. The Melanonians had locked themselves away from the world for almost eight hundred years. Their are no diplomatic or trade agreements with any of the younger races. Occasionally a foolhardy merchant will hire mercenaries to sail to one of the remaining strong holds in search of treasure, but the power of the race still seems strong enough to resist interlopers into their ancestral domains as the trespassers seldom return. As a race their power seem to have been all but forgotten by the world.

Recent History
6 years ago the greed of the younger races caused them to launch a tomb raiding expedition across the long sealed ‘Ebony Bridge’ and into the southernmost of the Shattered Isles. The resulting retaliation from the Empire saw the first Melanonian invasion of Tethic for a thousand years. The armies of the Firstborn looted the north of Aurea and the Anvil lands before they retired again to their homelands. The invasion however, was not without cost as one of the Melanonians Patron Demons Areoc was slain on the field of battle.

More recently the Firstborn have been challenged by the little known Ungash of the northern continent. This Orcish Empire are said to be pressing the Melanonians in the north of the empire although accurate information is difficult to come by. The more elaborate rumours claim the Ungash are escaped Melanonian bred slaves returned to seek revenge on their creators.

There exists only one Melanonian organisation outside the empire within Tethic. A small guild of Melanonians still calling them selves the “Church of Areoc”. They are lead by an insane former mystic of the slain Melanonian demon god and there reputation is suitably erratic.

Outlook & Attitude
Melanonians are arrogant. They have no respect for the other races. They consider even the ancient races to be children and the younger ones only animals. They have immense unshakeable egos and still believe the world revolves because of them. Sadly the thinning of their blood has meant that more and more of the race are born with a creeping insanity making them unpredictable and dangerous opponents (The corruption realm).

Melanonian are a very dramatic race. They adopt an ancient dialect when they speak and will over play even the most trivial event. It is not enough to simply draw sword against an opponent, they will orate a litany of the crimes that the opponent has wrought against them and the hundred terrors that will await them when they are despatched. They often apear to be without direction, and to have become desperate for entertainment to relieve the boredom of their long lives seeking out hedonistic pleasures where ever they can find them, including magical acquisitions, narcotic experimentation or dangerous expeditions.

Melanonians have little concern for monetory wealth. They do respect the value of magic and they actively try and acquire artefacts of magical power along with any new potions, poisons and enchantments. Due to the generations of inbreeding every Melanonian has claim to some noble title (which they can recite back many generations). A Melanonian lineage is part of who they are and they will announce it when ever they meet some one (old or new). Their names are traditionally made up of three syllable’s hyphenated (e.g.. Alt-ath-roc).

This is followed by their title (Lord of ?????????, Baron ?????????, High priest of ????????) if they have a particularly important relative they will insert their name and title at this point. Likewise if they have any renowned acts attributed to them it goes in here as well).

Appearance
Once a burly people (renowned for their oiled black beards and enormous physical strength), such examples of the species are no more. The inbreeding and general decline has meant that the Melanonians of today tend towards thin sickly and pale or obese pasty and wheezing . They usually suffer from at least one physical malady and suffer high instances of insanity.

They adorn themselves in wealth; even on the battlefield they will wear their best silks and velvets. They favour rich black robes or cloaks accessorised with expensive jewellery. A true Melanonian would rather go into battle naked than wear armour of inferior aesthetic merit. The weapons they prefer are large and overly adorned with spikes, hooks etc. Tattoos are also common amongst the Firstborn as symbols of their magical power (Binding Realm).

Culture
The Melanonian Empire is dominated by the Penta-caste of Demon Lords. They have only the Melanonians to worship them and they take a rather personal interest in their flock.

Gluar (G’loo-ar) – Lord of Chaos Gluar has gone by many names, the most common name known to outsiders being Areoc. He was the most powerful of the demonic lords before being slain on the field of battle

Anastonis (An-a-ston-is) – Lady of Binding Domination and mastery over creation is the aim of this Demon Queen. Any situation should be under her followers control, if is not, then they take control, if they can not they become enraged and will draw upon any resource to bring the matter to heel.

Rubican (Roo-be-can) – Lord of the Gate Unlike Domain travelling is not part of Rubicans teaching, he directs his followers to the summoning arts. Followers of Rubican are the Melanonian who first called creatures from the lower planes and thus initiated the long association of the Melanonian with the Realm of Gateway.

Augar (Ow-gar) – Lord of Fate Augar is a forger of destiny; he controls the threads of fate manipulating them to his will. His manipulation of reality is used to make his followers prosper and he encourages them to do the same. He teaches control of fate, not the weak willed passive resignation of Wydren.

Hadakiel (Had-ay-ke-el) – Lord of Knowledge Knowledge is power and Hadakiel ruthlessly enforces this. He is the most devious of the Demon Lords and encourages the use of knowledge for his ends. His followers seek information from any source so that they can best manipulate a situation.

(Note: As outcasts, adventuring Melanonians tend to no longer worship their old masters, turning to the Realm Lords for worship).

The day to day running of the Melanonians island homes is handled by the high priests of the church. All of the manual work is done by slaves (which the Melanonian have been selectively breeding for several millennia). The entire race lives within walled cities and ancestral towers of their families. Like the rest of the empire these mighty constructions are beginning to crumble, but they still maintain a fair proportion of the enchantments placed upon them by long dead sorcerer architects. The rest of the island is given over to agriculture (though it is littered with ruined temples and over dodgy places).

Melanonian is still an Empire and as such has an Emperor. He heads the church and has the dubious ‘honour’ of being in regular contact with the entire pantheon of demons. The post has for the past 800 years fallen to the eldest (surviving) child from the house of Nedah (Nee-dar) followers of Gluar. The current ruler is Rek-sal-tor XXII who has ruled for over 300 years. There are endless stories of his arcane might and his unrivalled summonings. He is thought to have been gifted by Gluar with a disease that, although agonising, provides the victim with immortality.