Faestir are a noble but desperate race, poised on the cusp of extinction. Once divided into two species, their culture has developed from a mixed heritage of chivalrous war and humble artistry. Faestir typically range from 5 to 7 feet tall and 90-120 pounds. Their short fur is usually grey, with only occasional individual possessing a very light sandy brown, but their heads are topped with hair that ranges between brown, grey and blond, and their eyes come in shades of grey, blue and green. Their hands are large in comparison to their lightweight bodies, with three long, clawed fingers and a thumb on each. Their clothing, designed amidst the grey overtones of their original home, comes in all manner of colors, with several styles depending on profession, from heavy coats to puff-sleeved shirts to voluminous robes. They do not wear shoes, though: besides being difficult to fit comfortably, the constant high-impact leaping that faestir are accustomed to using in order to get from place to place will wear them out very quickly. They may, however, wrap their feet with leather or cloth. Faestir have a strong sense of history and tradition, and tend to be formal and reserved; this cool demeanor, however, conceals a pride and determination fired by both their noble imperial heritage and their great losses, and they can be fierce and implacable enemies. Descendants of a once world-spanning empire, they value military virtues, and tend towards the Lawful side of the alignment spectrum. The Faestir tongue has degraded such that it is essentially a dialect of the common tongue, though they once were native speakers of Draconic, and more than a few words common to Faestir parlance hearken back to those days. For crunch see Unified Setting/Mechanics.
Faestir: The Rise and Fall
The Faestir believe the Dragon God Bahamut created them when he took refuge for a time on their world many thousands of years ago. It is said that he created molds from his scales and formed their bodies within from the sacred earth where he had come to rest.
From his breath he filled their lungs and from his veins he filled their hearts with his purity and strength. He gave to them the knowledge of his tenants, yet set within their minds the spark of curiosity. He filled their beings with a desire to seek and learn of new things so that they might pass on his own teachings and wisdom to the races of their world.
Exhausted but satisfied with his creation, Bahamut spoke. “Unto you I give the name Faestir which means Clever Children in my tongue. May you prosper and flourish with my blessings.” He conjured food and water for them, then for himself. “Now eat what I give, but do not partake of my own food. To take of the food of a god would be too much for your young selves.” So saying he spread his wings settled his great body upon a mountain to rest and sleep.
Now at this time Bahamut’s wicked sister saw the potential of His creation. Feeling threatened she sent her agents disguised among them. These agents saw that their feast had neared its end and that many of the Faestir were still hungry. They approached a small group and said to them, “Quite a feast, such in a state as not seen in a thousand years. But surely we may take some from Bahamut to add to the feast.”
At first the group was wary, but then their leader, Davin, spoke. “Surely the God could spare a bit of his food. There is so much and plenty to go around.”
As he approached the God’s food a young female named Miranda caught Davin’s arm. “The God said that it would be too much. We should abide his council”
Davin saw the truth in her words, but the agents were quick to grasp and corrupt it. “Surely his tenants say to share among all.”
Neither side could argue with this fact and so Davin took from the God’s food and passed it among all their brethren. Miranda and her followers were more hesitant, but they too partook and of Bahamut’s food. At this point, the god awoke, sensing danger, and descended down among them. The agents fled in fear at his approach, but He was too late, the damage had been done.
In an instant, the Faestir began to writhe in pain and agony as their bodies warped and changed. Their scales became fur and their tails became slim as their features shifted to those of rodents.
Despaired and despondent, the changing race pleaded to Bahamut to save them but He could not. Yet, the god took pity on them and did not abandon them. “For stealing my food, young ones, you have been given the form of creatures that do so. But you are still yet young, unaware of the darker natures of the world. While your forms have lost much of the gifts I gave them will there is strength and potential to do my work. I deprive none of my blessings and grant you a final boon that you may yet fly almost as dragons do to land with vengeance upon my enemies.”
And so the Faestir were imbued strength which allow them to leap great distances and descend upon enemies without harm to themselves. Then, Bahamut departed back upon his journies through the expanse of space and time. The Faestir believe that he will one day return and grant unto them the form of Dragonborn again.
After Bahamut’s departure a time known as The Sundering began. Angered at the loss of their divine gifts Miranda and a group of followers left their brethren. Guided by a vision given to Miranda, they set out upon a migration to the far north. The journey would be a long and arduous one spanning through badlands and swirling desert sands. These nomad Faestir came to call themselves Aesur, which means the wanderers, further divorcing themselves from their now distant brethren. After a hundred years of toil, the Aesur would find their promised land in a set of natural caves on a tall cliff overlooking the ocean.
They set to work building a city against the cliffside the likes of which has not been seen since. The jewel of this desert oasis was a grand library where all the knowledge and experiences of the Aesur were preserved. They fortified their home, concealing it in illusion so that only a Faestir or a true follower of Bahamut could beyond the shifting sands.
The Aesur named their new capital Miranda, in honor of their first matron and set her daughter Sera as the first of many High Priestesses who would lead them over the centuries. The people of Miranda practiced a peaceful, artistic and academic society. They built smaller cities outlying Miranda, with smaller oasis outposts spread throughout the desert. These cities and outposts traded with other races, though few outsiders ever found the location of of Miranda itself.
Davin’s followers, though shamed, had their pride and refused to abandon the name Faestir. Guided by a vision of endless rain, they found a land where it flowed without cease over fertile plains. Here Davin built a city of iron and stone against the arms of a cliff and called it Bujware, which means “The Rains”.
Faeran was a marvel of architecture. Built in a series of tiers carved into a mountainside it culminated in a huge palace at its top. Here, Davin founded Martial Academy where those filled with the fires of Bahamut could practice the disciplines of battle. Outlying the city were farms and fields with walls and gates defending approach to the capital. Over the centuries the Faestir developed into a two tiered feudalistic society. Those with blood, wealth and title held lands that were then rented by those without such things.
The wealthy entitled were given education and a degree of military power to protect their vassals build infrastructure and maintain law and order according to Bahamut’s code. By the same token, they could not interracially marry nor leave their fief or the lands of their birth so long as they lived. Known as Knights of the Rain, the legend of their strength and valor would spread and prevail over centuries.
Made up mostly of artisans, farmers, adventurers and treasure hunters, Faestir commoners enjoyed a certain degree of freedom their lords did not. Commoners were allowed to sit in juries judged by their respective lord; they attended primary and secondary school. Commoners were allowed to interracially marry, to travel far beyond their lands and settle in other nations or cities.
Although the races went their separate ways, there came a time when their respective kingdoms grew and overlapped. Known as the Great Peace, overtures of a truce began to form and trade between the two nations was opened. Before long they had joined into separate but equally powerful empires that expanded into most of the known lands.
As with any empire, however, the power of the Faestir began to wane as their borders became too wide. Thousands of years after Bahamut left, a terrible horde of Tiamat’s monsters attacked Bujware. The Knights of the Rain managed to make a desperate stand to allow a retreat of the city’s populace. Alas, their effort was in vain, the city was routed from all sides and only a handful of individuals survived. These fled north to the lands of their Cousins, led by a female Knight of the Rain. She was Kelra, the last remaining member of Davin’s own house.
Thus the sons Davin found themselves at the doorstep of the daughters of Miranda. Steeling themselves to eat crow they entered the city though they found it eerily empty. Fearing for the worst, the survivors of Bujware stole quietly through the streets, to the great halls of the library. There they found the small remainder of what had been Miranda’s chosen.
The people of Miranda had been no less lucky in their plight. Tiamat could not send a direct force against them, and so she had sent a plague that had wiped out most of the populace before the virus could be controlled and neutralized. Now only a few dozen of the proud Aesur, charged to guard what remained of their history. At their head stood Ardis, the last descendent of Miranda and the first male high priest in their entire history.
The reunion was bittersweet. The Faestir race had dwindled to but a few hundred individuals, but now gathered together With the preservation of their civilization so dire, Ardis and Keyra set aside old debts. They gathered their remaining followers and announced an official end to the Sundering. From that point on the sons of Davin and daughters of Miranda would be one unified Race as Faestir. As a show of solidarity, the two leaders joined in union of marriage and set about the long task of rebuilding their civilization. Since then the Faestir have grown in number and power once again and seek to regain the pride and glory of Bahumut as a unified people.
The Faestir remain too few in number and too closely knit for class distinctions to be maintained. Though joined as one race the Faestir now face a generational gap. Most of the survivors who are old enough to remember the fall of their respective country see their calling in practice and preservation of history and culture out of duty to their forefathers. They do not understand the younger generation who sees the fall of their race as a call from Bahamut to venture out and seek the same dangers that caused their decline in the first place.
To the young, returning to Faeran is akin to a turtle retreating into its shell. They see opportunity to reclaim their fallen lands and help other races beset by evil. Young Faestir seek to prove themselves to Bahamut by deeds and actions that will inspire others to emulate them. To the elders, remaining in the city is a necessary evil. While they may venture out into the world to trade, their primary goal is in seeking relics to return to Faeran so they may preserve the sanctity of their bloodlines and protect the remains of their culture treasures.
Bejwaere is a small settlement founded in a series of coastal caves north of the ancient ruins of Bahamut's castle, surrounded by dense wetland forest. It is in a relatively remote part of the world so not many know it even exists, and fewer have ever been there. The inhabitants keep mostly to themselves. Vaess are the most likely to ever leave their homeland, questing the world in search of anything that might help the Faestir build a prosperous nation once more.
Because of the subterranean nature of Bejwaere, as well as the perpetual rain of Opossokarthel, Faestir have developed low-light vision. The darkness, combined with the verticality, of these places, makes them very hard for non-Faestir to traverse. Faestir will often jump twice their height while simply navigating the damp stone of Bejwaere.
Faestir care greatly for hats and other headgear, to the extent that not wearing one is worse than being naked in their society; the presence of other clothing being secondary to whether or not one is wearing a hat.
Faestir shun selfishness, seeing it as the greatest sin, and the one which caused the fall of the Draconians. The Faestir will not directly request anything, nor will they directly deny any request. To do either is a gross breach of decorum. A Faestir faced with a situation in which another race would request aid will instead merely hint that such aid would be appreciated. Other Faestir will understand this, and most will help if at all possible, but outsiders are often unaware anything has been requested of them. This leads the Faestir to view other races as crude and selfish, and outsiders to view the Faestir as unassuming and weak-willed.
Despite these pretensions, Faestir are just as likely to act out of their own self interest as any other race. They merely avoid acknowledging it.
In Opossokarthel, the Faestir had a significant class divide to their society. The upper class traced its roots to the Vaess and the purity of their blood in being descended from them, but had adopted many individuals who had distinguished themselves in the military; wealthy merchants and successful artists could also see themselves introduced to the upper echelons of society through marriage. For the most part, the upper class held power through a monopoly on the "educated" professions such as medicine, law, politics and so on, as well as the army, the leaders of which were always of the upper class either through birth or the aforementioned adoption. The middle class of Opossokarthel was small, mostly composed of artists, treasure hunters, lesser military officers, merchants and other individuals who acquired wealth and power through interaction with foreigners. Finally, the lower class (colloquially referred to as "rainies" due to their outdoor work and their habitation of less waterproof homes) was derived mainly from the labouring professions.
Now, the Faestir have become to few in number and too closely knit for class distinctions to be maintained. Signs of class bias and differentiation remain (such as the distinct accent and rhyming slang previously used by the lower class), but the race's situation as a whole is too precarious for such things to survive much longer.
As creations of the Draconian race, most of the Faestir faith is descended from that of their precursors. However, in modern times, most of the traditional beliefs are all but forgotten. Contemporary faiths worship Bahamut, who is seen as a creator in the most literal sense, and Reis as the origin of the entire species has become a "mother goddess" figure in Faestir culture. Very few still worship Leviathan.
While all worship is tolerated, the Regent Ministers of Reis are the only ones with political power. The Regent Ministers are the closest thing to true government that the Faestir have, and arbitrate disputes. Theoretically, they could also call the Faestir to action, but they have not done so since Bejwaere was freshly settled.
The Regent Ministers are a matriarchal hereditary regime, with the firstborn daughter of each member becoming a member. The original Regent Ministers are said to have been Reis' assistants.
Bejwaere is small and not particularly important on a global scale, but it does have one asset. Bejwaere is full of bees. As such, the Faestir produce much of the area's honey. But a more important asset is the wax. Unique to the bees inhabiting the caverns north of Arsonis Vex, this wax can be melted into cloth or leather. This waterproofs the cloth, while allowing it to remain supple. This is far more pleasant than the animal fat otherwise used, which smells, causes leather to crack, and is not entirely effective. This is the primary export of the Faestir, and in exchange they receive metal goods and food to supplement what they grow.
Honey, wax and waterproof textiles, while highly valued, are not the only export of Bejwaere. The Faestir devotion to hats has created a number of interesting styles novel to outsiders. Faestir millinery is prized by both the fashionable and wealthy for its excellent construction and cunning style. Few such hats are exported as the local demand more than meets supply, and making one suitable for outsiders requires custom work. This only makes them more prized as a status symbol elsewhere.
- Burmecian The inspiration for the race, including a gallery. Culturally and in terms of story, the Faestir have diverged significantly from Burmecians, but physiologically, there have been little or no changes.