Kalimon is a world rich in natural resources and magical elements (the meta part of magical forces that can blend with almost anything else on the world of Kalimon). All life forms on Kalimon have some affinity to magic. As a matter of fact, magical elements flow in and out of life forms on their own accords (in small amounts) and provide very minor and random benefits to the life forms (increasing their strength, health, intelligence etc.) when they flow past. Magic can be used in two alternative ways. For intelligent beings, body parts or even organs can be strengthened through a controlled infusion of magical elements and subsequently directing these to travel to specific parts of the body. Alternatively, magic can be manipulated to interact with the external environment.
Social status in the human society is determined solely by individuals’ ranks within their occupations. There is a guild for each occupation and individuals commonly have two occupations, one relating to combat and the other relating to crafts.
Average life span: 65 years
Fertility rate: high
Versatility to external environment: Human bodies have the lowest tolerance for extreme climates amongst races of the Alliance. However, in compensation, they have the adaptation abilities within this narrow tolerance range. They are also the most balanced in terms of living in and warring across a range of different terrains.
Elves and Dwarves
They are pretty much as commonly described in fantasy except that dwarfs can practice magic in the same way as all other races on Kalimon
Average life span: 2000-3000 years
Fertility rate: low
Versatility to external environment: Elven and dwarven bodies have the highest tolerance for extreme climates but they adapt less quickly to such extremes. In addition, dwarves tend to adapt better to hotter climates whereas elves are as able to tolerate extremely high temperatures versus extremely low temperatures. Elves have an advantage in forests and plains (and for some particular groups, locations of more extreme climates conditions) as well as climbing mountains. Dwarves have an advantage in cave-like or underground surroundings but do not deal well with high-elevation terrains.
Clans of the Choca
“Choca? Choca is what give birth to us, Choca is the sun, the moon, the leaves, the water, the wind, the seasons.”
~ Words from a member of the Clans
Those of the Clans are commonly referred to beast-men in various tongues. They are creatures that have a human torso or an entire human body from the neck downwards but with other body parts that match up to a specific type of animal. The largest clans are The Narasims (lion head, human body), The Karasus (tiger head, human body), The Centaurs, The Brotaurs (human head, body of ox/bull) and The Tanguris (boar head, human body). Each clan of the Choca is composed of many tribes, all of them having individual territories. Tribe members roam freely by day in land claimed by the Clans but usually settle down within tribe territory at night.
Average life span: 50 years
Fertility rate: highest amongst the Alliance
Versatility to external environment: Average in terms of tolerance range for and adaptability to (extreme) climates. The Clans have an advantage in whatever terrain native to the species that the beastly part of them belong to as well as minor advantage in plains.
The true forms of these shape shifters are either animals or less commonly, plants. Their shape-shifting abilities are limited to one particular form only among the races belonging to the alliance (human, elves, dwarves and Clans of the Choca). However, they can vary their outlooks within this fixed form i.e. change gender, height, weight and other aspects in outward appearances at will (subject to their power levels). Within a given species, not all members are Youlini and some are merely common beasts or plants with low intelligence. Foxes, wolves, snakes, spiders and butterflies all have a high chance of becoming Youlini while plant Youlinis are mostly flowering plants.
Life forms that become Youlini are “inferior” with respect to their abilities of harnessing the magical elements on Kalimon. They benefit less from the natural flowing in of magical elements relative to other life forms. Also, eventually a ‘barrier’ arises that stops the magical elements from imparting further benefits to these life forms prone to becoming Youlini whereas the enhancement effects are cumulative and ever present for other creatures living in Kalimon. Yet, where one door closes, another window will open. These life forms have the capacity for developing shape-shifting abilities (although the ratio of these life forms actually becoming Youlini over their overall population is quite small). In particular, such shape-shifting abilities go further than just a change in outwards appearance. In a shape-shifted form, a Youlini no longer experience the issues with harnessing magical elements as in its true form.
Despite such advantages over other members of their species, the Youlinis still fall behind the other intelligent races on Kalimon. Hence, a portion of aspiring Youlinis has taken to living with a particular race of the Alliance to learn their ways of directing magical elements within the body.
Magic elements are both aplenty and active on the world of Kalimon. They affect not only life forms but also locations. On the world of Kalimon, there are both places of wondrous splendour and chilling horror. Below are a few locations of interests:
The Plain of Wail
The Plain of Wail is so named because of the Wailers, a carnivorous plant that emits a high-pitched sound that has a dazzling effect on insects, thus making them prone to capture by the tentacle-like branches stretching out from a Wailer stalk. It is situated roughly half way between the Elven settlement of Camborella and the human settlement of Tiieman. No elves would willingly set foot on this plain since the ‘call’ of the Wailers hurt their sensitive ears but there is a large volume of trade between humans (who are unaffected by the sounds Wailers make) and Camborella elves on Wailer pollen that is a popular ingredient in their diet* as well as the Sordo Bees^, a treat for the Zeklufts that these elves have domesticated for the purposes of scouting and hunting.
* Wailer pollen is stored in a sack-like component located towards the bottom of its central stalk and humans usually remove this sack-like component in its entirety and sell it to elves. Wailer pollen is sweet tasting with a slightly tangy flavour. It is commonly mixed in with other spices to create a unique salad dressing that Camborella elves enjoy. There is also a special Elven smoked dish made from pollen sacks containing sealed-in mushrooms.
^ Sordo Beeshave low hearing capacities and are therefore unaffected by the Wailers’ Call. They live off Wailer pollen and, in turn, help the reproduction of Wailers.
The Valley of Ohruon
Home to the largest settlement of elves, the Valley of Ohuron is spacious and teeming with plant life, many of which are unique to the Valley. The River of Crystal runs through its centre. Not only does this river provide sustenance to the inhabitant elves, it is also the basis for a major commodity of export- the Ohruon red. Water from the River of Crystal is viscous, almost jelly-like. It has a crisp, refreshing taste but contains small traces of salt and bitterness. The Ohruon red that is fermented from a mixture of fruit juices and water from the River of Crystal has a strong after-bite despite its delicate taste. It is a favourite for the Ohruon elves as well as having high demand from humans, particularly ladies (in a diluted form).
Yet, there is a place that creates a sense of foreboding in this peaceful haven. In the west end of the Valley, all plant lives abruptly come to an end in barren and cracked earth. No elves have ventured onto this part of the Valley as even laying eyes on it causes a sense of discomfort.
The Schtorren Glaciers
Far from where the Youlini clash against the Alliance, the Schtorren Glaciers are home to a society of elves believed to be forever lost on an exploring expedition and an intelligent race evolved from polar bears. The two races team together in a life of fishing and fighting off the menace from the foul Frost Owls and Pengumoths*, predators that have gained semi-intelligence.
* Monsters with a trunk of a mammoth ending in feet like a penguin instead of hoofs and a grotesque head like a vulture with bulging flesh-like lumps that slowly move around on their faces.
Being a resource rich world, Kalimon offered a peaceful and prosperous way of living for all known races. For each race, individuals lived in settlement clusters and trade occurred as commonly between clusters of the same race as between different races. Expeditions into new territories were still a necessity for the various races that thrived on Kalimon and disputes between them were few. However, the discovery of Youlinis who had been living amongst these races set changes in motion. Unease settled in but did not cause any major changes at first. But then, dark stories were whispered of a Youlini conspiracy and thus began the War of Conspiracy (or The Persecution as known to the Youlinis). It ended with all living Youlinis not hunted down by the Alliance retreating entirely from Alliance settlements.
“A debt in blood must be repaid in blood. And our places in this world have to be redeemed.” These were the words spoken when the Youlinis declared war on the Alliance generations later as they came out of hiding, in force. The ensuing tragedy of the Elementallion caused a dramatic reduction in the Alliance population and a general retreat to what is now named Thljafoap- The City for the People. As for the Youlinis, only time would reveal their fates to the Alliance or never at all…..