Strengths: Strong legs allow them to run fast and/or jump high. Have an ability called "Veiling" which is very similar to Glamour, but which also allows them to hide in a natural setting such as a forest or field. Sylvani are also highly resistant to the element of whatever Elemental Kingdom they served (Fire, Water, Air, or Stone). Note: They are resistant, but not immune completely.
Weaknesses: They surpass even the Underkin in their lack of knowledge of the modern world. Veiling is difficult to maintain in periods of high stress or when one is injured.
Lifespan: 500 years
Susceptible to D13: No
Part of the Consortium: Yes
Race Leaders: Kara Whitehoof is the Sylvani representative to the Consortium. The local Sylvani leader is chosen by the camp elders and approved by Kara Whitehoof.
Faction Stance on Rogues: The Sylvani are a very open and accepting people and as such have no real policy on rogues currently. It is worth noting however the clan oriented psychology of the Sylvani make the idea of being a rogue very, very unlikely. The idea is honestly a rather confusing one to most of them and most Sylvani would react with a sense that something must be deeply wrong with any of their kin which were to become rogue.
In the time of the Ancient Greeks, there came into existence the creatures who are now called Sylvani. There are many theories as to how they came to be. The Sylvani themselves claim to be children of gods, usually Greek or Roman gods, who mated with humans. Other theories suggest that they arrived through a portal to another world, or that their creation was an accident of magic. Either way, the Sylvani have existed for at least 3000 years. During the early years, they moved seamlessly between the Bright Lands and Earth. They were usually led by a King or Queen, often a Satyr, though the monarchy was shaky and held little power overall.
Nonetheless, the Sylvani formed an important treaty with the Elementals early on, giving them access to lands and citizenship in the Bright Lands. When the civil war erupted between the Elementals, the Sylvani went home to help sort things out. In doing so, they were trapped in the Bright Lands when the Mages and Fae sealed that realm off from the rest of the world. Things fell apart for the Sylvani after that. They were subjugated by the Elementals, enslaved at different levels by the Elemental Kingdoms (Fire, Water, Air, and Earth), and for the next 2300 years they remained in bondage.
However, with the weakening of the seal on the Bright Lands, some of the Sylvani have begun to escape, fleeing their masters (and often tormentors) and returning to Earth. Many of them leave behind families and friends, not knowing if they will ever see them again. They come to Earth with really no knowledge of the modern world, largely. Thankfully, there are a few Sylvani Glades established to assist the Sylvani in becoming prepared to live in the modern world. The Glades tend to exist deep in forests near rifts between our realm and the Bright Lands. They are hidden from the eyes of humanity by an interweaving of the Veiling abilities of all of the residents. These communities tend to be extremely small, but have proven vital in providing the Sylvani the skills they need to face modern Earth alone.
Although they have no need to rely on humanity for their existence, and they have nonetheless petitioned for, and recieved, membership in the Consortium. They believe this not only to be an excellent way to keep an eye on what the other races are doing (especially the Mages and Fae who they blame, to some extent, for their long suffering at the hands of the Elementals), but also to establish themselves as a powerful player in world supernatural/extrahuman politics. Originally provisional members of the Consortium, they are now full voting members of that body. The Sylvani are represented on the Consortium by legendary centaur warrior Kara Whitehoof.
UPDATE: As of March 13, 2023, all Sylvani have been freed from the realm of the Elementals. Most have been transported to random locations on Earth when the Nexus Device was used to eliminate the Elementals. Unfortunately, due to a minor glitch during the use of the Nexus Device, some Sylvani are "stuck in time", meaning that although they have been transported away from the Elemental Realm, they may not arrive on Earth for another few weeks, or even months. (Basically, you can feel free to play a Sylvani who just arrived, liberated from the Elementals, if you want. Or you can play a Sylvani who was dumped someplace random on Earth.)
Note: Because of their history and relative newness to this realm, the Sylvani are barred from taking Technomancy at start, as well as any skills which relate to computers. It should additionally be noted that the Fauns and the Satyrs are two completely different subraces, with the fauns being deer-like, and the satyrs being goat-like. Both races have male and female versions.
Typically seen as meek and innocent, most fauns ended up as house servants to the Elemental nobility, though in this case "house" is a relative term considering that many Elementals live outdoors in Glades. The fauns were often highly mistreated by the Elementals due to their oft-conciliatory and docile natures. Those fauns with stronger personalities often found themselves kept as torture subjects. As always, some Fauns managed to find their way into the service of more kindly families, and in these cases, they often flourished. Considered kind, loyal, and hard-working, there is little a Faun won't do to help out.
Deer-footed and often small in stature, Fauns have nonetheless developed GREAT dodging reflexes, allowing them to move out of the way of Elemental fights and anger without SEEMING to be dodging. It's incredibly hard to land a punch (hand-to-hand only) on a faun who is focused on getting away from the source of violence. The faun ability only works as long as the faun has not entered combat or done offensive actions of any sort, not just physical. They must be able to see the blow coming. Fauns who sacrifice this ability to join combat may utilize the Gladeshield ability. The Gladeshield can cut NEW magical damage for those allies within 20m of the faun for one level 1 magic (non-restricted) by half. The Gladeshield can be grown in power. For 8xp, it can protect (by half) against one level 2 magic or two level one magics. For 16xp, it can protect against three level 1 magics, a level one and a level 2, or a level 3. Gladeshield takes two posts to cast and must be actively channeled the entire time it is active. The faun can not do other actions when Gladeshielding. Gladeshields can not overlap. (Can't have 3 fauns all casting Gladeshield in the same area.)
The goat-legged satyrs are one of the reasons that the royalty of the Sylvani never amounted to much. They were always derailed by....parties. Promoting a life of hedonism and excess, they can't resist a party. The royalty of the Satyrs tended to abdicate in favor of...well, just going back to having a good time. Before being enslaved by the Elementals, Satyrs lived a very free life. Despite being completely obsessed with attempting to reach a state of (often chemically-induced) bliss, Satyrs did have an exceptional impact on music, and are credited with building some of the world's first musical instruments, including the flute and the lyre. The Elementals tended to use the Satyrs as....toys, often keeping them in places ranging from high-class pleasure-houses to cheap and filthy brothels.
Satyrs are immune to all forms of sexually transmitted disease. If they choose to start with Empathic Manipulation as one of their magics, they get a second level free.
Long the warriors of the Sylvani, the Centaurs are a proud race. They have protected the Sylvani since time immemorial, and are largely the leaders in the freedom movement and helping other Sylvani to escape servitude to the Elementals. Both male and female Centaurs exist, but female Centaurs tend to train with a bow and light sword, whereas male Centaurs train with the spear and axe. Other than this, there is rarely any difference in their ranks, and a female warrior is as well-respected for her skills as a male warrior. There is a title system for Centaurs, generally based both on age and the amount of battles they have fought. Young warriors are addressed as Shar (male) or Shara (female) and then their name. For seasoned warriors, the title is "Dar" or "Dara", and for old, wizened Centaurs, whose hair has become gray, the title is "Kar" or "Kara". It is considered impossibly rude to address someone with the incorrect ranking and to not show respect to one's elders.
A centaur may start out with two weapons instead of one, but must take the traditional weapons listed to do so. There is a reason for the phrase 'strong as a horse'. A centaur has strength on par with a Shifter.
Whereas the Centaurs were the slave-soldiers and oathbound bodyguards of the Elementals, the Minotaurs were considered too dull and slow to be given such lofty positions. A race of people with bovine features, the Minotaur found themselves enslaved as beasts of burden to the Elementals. They were forced to labor, undertaking the most brutal of tasks, everything from plowing fields, to hauling stone, to pulling the carriages of the Elemental elite. Before their enslavement, however, the Minotaur were the farmers and craftsmen of the Sylvani, skilled in practical and sturdy arts -- arts that the "cultured" Elementals did not truly appreciate. Minotaurs were especially known for their abilities in pottery and weaving, as well as carpentry, wagon-building, and boatbuilding. A house built by a Minotaur is a house that lasts, the old Sylvani saying goes.
Minotaurs are somewhat different from their brethren They do not have the speed or ability to jump that the other Sylvani do. Instead, they have both the strength of the centaur, but also the ability to stand their ground no matter the cost. It is nigh impossible to move a Minotaur who does not wish to be moved until that Minotaur is dead. Several Minotaurs have sacrificed themselves to holding open the rifts between the Bright Lands and the mortal realm, and for this sacrifice, and many others, the Minotaurs are well-loved though the least represented of all the Sylvani races.
It is said that long ago, the Greek gods would save the most beautiful mortals from death by turning them into trees. This, they say, is the origin of the Dryads, a people made of wood, whose hearts are forever connected to the forest. The Dryads suffered one of the worst fates of all of the Elementals during their capture. Herded into forests surrounded by the territory of the Fire Elementals, they were forced to produce large quantities of wood to keep the fires fueled. They watched their children get sacrificed over and over again, with no possibility of escape through the horrible territory of the Fire Elementals. Dryads are, therefore, extremely apprehensive and afraid of fire. Escape, however, ultimately came to them, when several of their minotaur brethren managed to sneak into the forests and assist in opening portals to help them begin to escape. A Sylvani glade with a Dryad or two is considered lucky.
Dryads all must take Naturalism as one of their magics. However, the first level of Naturalism is insta-cast for them, and every level afterwards takes half as much time and energy for them to use. Additionally, they may transform into sentient trees, which can move and walk, albeit extremely, extremely slowly. Yes, those trees can talk. Unlike most creatures, Dryads are plant-based and thus, do not bleed when injured. Dryads are very vulnerable to fire, even moreso than vampires.
--The Argoyan were several races once, long ago, considered predators and enemies to the Sylvani. However, though the marriage of Persekus Nikephoros, one of the few Satyr kings who managed to hold a reign for a significant amount of time, to Gygat, a harpy Queen, the Sylvani and Argoyan became one united race. The Syvani refer to the Argoyan as "xaderfos", or honored cousins. Of the Argoyan races, it is believed only the harpies survive in any large number.
The harpies were forever a fine warrior race. They have long been a matriarchy due to the fact that decreased body mass and increased aerodynamics have allowed female harpies to fly longer and faster than their male counterparts. And flying fast and far has always been necessary for harpies, who often had to cross great distances to get from their craggy, rocky cliff-face dwellings to the plains and forests where food was more abundant. Male harpies generally stayed 'at home', tasked with the building, defense of the nests, and training of the children. In the early days, many a faun and satyr were lost to the harpies. However, after the marriage of Persekus and Gygat, many harpies moved from the cliffs to the forest. There, they worked to scare off those who wished to do harm to the forest-dwelling Sylvani. The Harpies were ALL enslaved by Air Elementals. Used as war mounts, the harpies were bound by ritual to a single Air Elemental. Should that Elemental die, they would as well. Before the Sylvani were freed, someone began breaking that ritual magic, and allowing the harpies to get free, and flee across to the Earth realm. Harpies continue to be cannibals and carrion beasts, though the taste of Sylvani flesh has long since grown sour to them, so they must look outward to those who are not their cousins. Their offspring are hatched from eggs.
Winged and capable of flight in their true form, and often with terrible clawed feet used for gripping and tearing, a harpy cry stuns a single person for a full round, making them unable to attack or defend. However, it takes a round of inhaling deeply to prepare. For every additional round of preparation, up to three, it can stun more people, or for a longer period of time. The harpy is helpless during the preparation rounds, and can do no other action. Any attack that lands will disrupt their concentration -- they must begin inhaling again. Additionally, any physical attack or damage to the stunned person will knock them out of their stun.