Saturday, January 5, 2008

Godtouched Races: Unicorns

Unicorns are without a doubt the wisest of the godtouched. They are symbols of purity and they purify all they touch. They were created by Fagelis, the god of temperance, and their physiological structure and magical powers reflect this god's portfolio.

There are two distinct breeds of unicorns, the males and the females. The males are the elder species who fought in the war of the gods. They resemble warhorses with a more slender frame and longer neck. Their hooves trail long wisps of hair that seem to defy gravity. Their tails are also quite long, resembling a tufted lion's tail, and their chins develop long beards. Their ears are longer and thinner than those of a horse and more resemble those of a donkey or rabbit. Their manes are long and wild, and the hair seems to float freely around their heads and necks. They are usually 20 hands high and tend to weigh between 1500 and 2000 pounds. Their horns are thick and spiraled, and can grow as long as 20 inches.

Female unicorns are smaller and were created after the war of the gods ended. Their body is more the shape of a deer than a horse, though they share the long lion's tail that their male counterparts have. Their hooves also have the special gravity-defying hair, but it is much shorter and rarely grows past the length of 6 inches. Their necks are long and reminiscent of a lama's, though slightly shorter. Their faces are more slender and while horselike have less defined features, and no beard. Their ears are smaller than the males' and more resemble the ears of an actual horse. Their manes are shorter than the males' as well, but still float freely. They are typically 300 to 600 pounds, and slightly larger than a deer. A female unicorn's horn is perfectly smooth and slightly curved upwards, and rarely grows longer than 14 inches.

While the two breeds of unicorns are defined as males and females, and tend to speak with other creatures in the voices of a male and female respectively, unicorns are in fact sexless and have no genital organs at all, not even vestigial ones. Unicorns are completely free from the desire to mate, reflecting their god's ideals of purity and temperance. Unicorns also do not need to eat, and drink water only enough to maintain their fluid levels, so they do not have the organs associated with those processes either. Males will slay other creatures in order to protect themselves. Females will not, and will usually flee from any hostile creatures.

The elemancy of unicorns is universal, and there are four elemental types that can manifest in a unicorn; water, life, manna and kanna. While all unicorns are colored white, the color of their horn and longer hair depends on their element type. Water unicorns have sky blue hair, life earthy brown, manna steel blue, and kanna light gold. All unicorns have the ability to heal others, and their horns are powerful agents of healing and purification. The touch of a unicorn's horn can bring a creature back to life if they have died recently and their soul has yet to cross over. It can also purify large quantities of water and make the fluid potable, and it neutralizes poisons and harmful bacterial agents.

A horn that has been removed from a slain unicorn still retains some of his properties, though it can no longer return anyone to life or heal wounds. Powdered unicorn horn when ingested can cure diseases and biological afflictions, and putting powered unicorn horn in a wound will aid natural healing as an antiseptic. A detached horn can also purify water, though in smaller quantities. Stabbing a corporeal undead with a unicorn's horn can instantly destroys the undead completely, so daggers made of unicorn horn are highly sought after by undead slayers.

Unicorns themselves are guardians of nature, similar to spirit animals, and revere The One Mother as much, if not more so than their creator god Fagelis. Unicorns with a water affinity will normally protect lakes and rivers, and those with a life affinity will usually protect forests. Kanna and manna unicorns can be found in any area, though kanna tends to be found near deserts, and manna near plains and mountains. Unicorn territory can overlap, and they do not compete with one another.

A unicorn's immortality stems from the fact that if one is slain, a new unicorn is spontaneously created within 100 miles of the nearest shrine of Fagelis. The unicorn appears as a foal, but mentally its consciousness, memories, disposition and soul are the same as the slain unicorn. The foal will typically mature in 4-5 years. Because of this immortality, there are no unicorns in the afterlife, and there never will be. Unicorns are expressly material creatures and will stay with Aarn until its destruction. They have seen every stage of the planet's life since the war of the gods ended, and their vast wisdom stems from this almost limitless experience. Though unicorns cannot join the afterlife in any capacity, they do still need to dream just like any other mortal in order to bathe in the energies of the astral sea.

No comments: