The twice-born are a covenant of secluded people far to the North of the Auld in an area known as Gul. Their main populous, though no larger than the population of most townships, is a frozen city called Fal. Classified commonly as a different race, they have many ties to the standard mortalfolk of the sphere, but vary in one aspect greatly enough that they have a separate listing in most archives: they are twice-born, as per their appellation, live two consecutive lives one after the other. Their patron saint is a winter sprite named Allay who is a lesser demi-god and region-based in the North.
An Ancient FolkEdit
The twice-born are reclusive, shy away from contact with the outside world, and rarely speak or engage in interactions outside of their community.
The effect of continuing life can be traced back far in time. Most think that man originated from the fields of the Lea or a hidden oasis in the Kankru desert. When looking at the longevity of known races, it could be from the North that folk arrived in the sphere, possibly dating as far back as the Waking Men's Early Risers.
PhysicalityEditTwice-born share all normal characteristics (blood, skin, eight-valve heart, fully functioning liver) of other folk. Cold climate life has rendered their skin near white, and despite this giving a frail appearance their bodies have been hardened to the bones, a result of competition with the beastly natural land the region of Gul is infamous for. Skin ravaged by wind becomes a leather shell and bones are thick and dense. There is a tradition of making small waist-worn weaponry from the skeleton of your expired relatives, with the belief they will serve as a beacon to finding them again when they are reborn and as solid tools of defense.
Their eyes are pale ice.
Their appearance is of far fairer complexion than most folk due to long enduring the cold and little exposure to light. Skin is white and their hair is faint and blue in color, looking like a wisp in the snow. Men of their kind tend to be short and stout whereas the women are long of limb and of very frail stature. Their physical traits, along with their remarkable incarnate abilities, are passed down through generations of inbreeding, an act their culture doesn't forbid but instead praises so that they may keep their purity and retain the ability of attaining a second life.
It is this process of inbreeding that is thought to be the reason for the substantial difference in body structure from man to woman. Men are bred to be living snowdozers and women are raised into creatures of beauty. The occasional reversal of genders (a lanky boy or a gruff girl) are hilarious rejects of the society, thought not to have the fate of being born again in their future.
Of those who have ever strayed from the frozen forest, it has been these slandered "once-born" who have made their way souther on the Sphere.
When a twice-born dies, their "essence" called chikkura in the native tongue, is said to drain from their body and melt like snow, going into the ground and feeding the seeds of new life. With the changes in the moon, different flowers grow, and those that spring up nourished by the essence of the departed release the soul for it next incarnation. The image given is of the patron saint demi-god, Allay, wandering quietly through the meadows and gathering the chikkura and retrieving the lives to be lived once more while putting the souls of those twice-departed into eternal rest.
While the exact details of the spiritual side remain unverified, as Allay and her priestess remain silent on the issue, it is known the phenomenon of a new birth retaining flash memories of their past life is an observed fact known to every scribe.
This means a newborn babe will, when growing up, have a double memory--a phenomenon where one life is lived as another is remembered. To put it to example, if you broke your arm when you were 9-years-old, upon turning that age at that point it time you will recall breaking your arm, but your arm will not have been broken. This gives the twice-born the power of limited second sentience, and the ability to draw on some past experience to better inform them of the path they should take in life.
GodEditIt is known that there is a strong connection between the North, the cold, and the moon. This revolves around their sprite-like deity, Allay, who is the patron saint of their people. Little is known of their worship, but it can be assumed the twice-born value their deity's protection as the utmost of importance, believing her to be the bringer of second life, and serve under her homage all through both.
It is yet to be proven if the ability to reincarnate is a gift handed down from their godly benefactor or if it is inherent to their race through lineage.
(read on, traveler at Allay)
Incidents in HistoryEdit
Although a reclusive people by nature, when it was discovered some time ago that the twice born are capable of coming back to the world through another being or their tribe, many efforts were made to steal them away back to warmer climes and have man and gods observe and experiment to figure out the trick to returning to the sphere for a second go.
This has become a notable undertaking of newly made merchant-kings who believe themselves worthy of continued existence on the Orb, and who think mating with a twice-born may bring their soul back after death.
No attempt of forcibly removing a twice-born has ended in success. The stout men will fight feverishly and possess no fear of death, holding on to the faith that he will return and expiring at the hands of his captors is better than living in captivity. They struggle until free, wherein they will exact as much revenge for being robbed from their home as possible, or die in attempt to escape imprisonment, going so far as to kill themselves to be free from bonds.
Women have been "kept" longer. They make no sounds, rarely open their eyes, and whither and die within about 10 cycles of the moon. Brutal lords and nobles have forced them into marriage and coitus in attempt to achieve second life themselves, or as an act to show power in obtaining something exotic, though no true relationship has ever been formed and no children are born, as all are expelled cold as the North from whence their mothers were taken.
There are still the stubborn or the richly curious who try to bring back these ephemeral captives. The twice-born have grown privy to these greedy advances and bolstered their defenses along their territory to prevent outsiders from entering to whisk away members of their tribe. Few of those who set out to claim a twice-born captive come back in current times.
It is said that a twice-born who meets and befriends an aurol, a spectacular hunter of northern forests, that in the next life they may befriend that aurol if they can find the same beast once more, and have a fast companion. Therefore, an aurol who takes to domesticity surprisingly well is thought to have been met in a previous life. This has yet to be documented.