The Dechunoi are a singular race in a number of ways. They have been
specially marked since the time of Great
Magus Avegnor by his prophecy, and this has been a source of both
honor and scorn for them. To add to their reputation, they are known to be
the most magical race of men in the world, and have produced more than
their share of magi (it is even speculated by some that Avegnor himself
was a Dechun, but none now live who can say for certain). They are also
unique among men in having no alchemical presence, refuting the theory
originally held by some that alchemy is simply an extension of the
physical. Dechunoi also have no sense of the dracological or psionic, and
most have only a slight perception of spirits.
Edevon, the largest and most politically significant Dechun nation, was
conquered by the Brengali roughly 300 years before the present day. A few
strongholds of Dechun nobles in the countryside escaped notice and serve
as a refuge for the remnants of Edevon's government and military. The only
remaining Dechun political power is held by the Council of Seers, the
government of a small region in the Tathplan Valley known as Velgem, which
have escaped war with the Brengali in part because the mountains lining
most of their borders are so difficult to cross and in part because their
lands are too small to attract much notice.
Thus many of the Dechunoi feel oppressed by the Brengali government,
and it is whispered among some that the prophesied magus will reestablish
Edevon as a Dechun nation. Others have doubts.
Physically, Dechunoi generally appear very plain. On the average, they
tend to be shorter and more slight than most other men, but still
possessed of the general humanoid form. Their skin is typically tan
or pale gold, and their hair is frequently a rich green or blue that
whitens with age, but some have gold or auburn hair throughout life. To
those who can see into the ether, all Dechunoi seem to have a faint aura
about them that makes them difficult to see clearly, increasing in
intensity with the particular Dechun's aptitude for magic and dimmed
slightly in Dechun wizards.
Their tradition of strong familial ties produces a common pattern in
most of them that is visible to ravelers, and their history of being ruled
by councils rather than kings has left a distinctive expectation in some
that authority be distributed, but this is now prominent only in Velgem,
as Edevon has not had a council for some time.
To spirits, Dechunoi appear as little more than faint wisps or
ghosts--almost as if they were not really there.
Dechun tradition places great value upon familial ties, and it is
common for extended families to share a single abode, especially among the
affluent. Though they are shorter-lived than many men, generations tend to
be only about 15-20 years apart, and it is not unusual for them to live to
see their great grandchildren. To accommodate large families, their homes
are large, and are built to last, generally using stone rather than wood.
Most Dechun dwellings existing today were laid down by master stoneworkers
more than five hundred years ago, when Edevon was in its prime, and are
almost always reinfored with magic for endurance, safety, and peace. A
village might have less than a dozen such structures, all told, but the
larger cities of Edevon contain hundreds.
Places of work, however, are designed to be functional and frequently
only expected to last the length of a single Dechun's career, so their
workshops and markets are usually made of wood and in the style common to
most men. It is these that visitors and outsiders most commonly see.
Historically, the Dechunoi have usually set up councils, rather than
monarchs, to rule them. A council usually consists of five to twelve
members chosen for their wisdom or resolution, so councilors often begin
their service late in life and are not replaced until their death. The
Council of Seers in Velgem is something of an anomaly, being composed of
forty Dechunoi who have all some understanding of wizardry, which they use
to guide their decisions by watching the flow of ether in an attempt to
predict, in broad terms, the course of future events. In Velgem,
councilors are selected in childhood and spend their youth in study and
preparation. It is considered a great honor to serve on the Council, but
this practice is considered outlandish by many of the inhabitants of
Edevon and even foolish by some. Most Dechunoi actually living in Velgem,
however, view it as a wise practice and have difficulty imagining a
government unguided by the Sight, as they call the skill of prediction
from the ether.
Their aptitude for magic has lead the Dechunoi not only to a greater
study of the ether, but also to an increased awareness of nonphysical
reality as a whole. While their connection to the metaphysical realm is
weak, the Dechunoi have achieved a greater understanding of and
empathy with the spirits than many more likely races of men. Before its
fall, Edevon was one of the few places in the physical world where
metaphysical experts had prestige, and many of its remaining Dechun
inhabitants still hold great respect for the spirits and those who commune
One sect calling themselves Purists have renounced the physical world
entirely, considering it nothing more than an illusion born of nonphysical
reality. The Purists are not as outspoken as they once were, since
they do not enjoy the good graces of the new Brengali government in Edevon,
but can still be easily recognized by their shaven heads and simple white
robes. They have never had a particularly large following, however, and
most Dechunoi, while maintaining an awareness of other aspects of life,
concern themselves primarily with the physical world and the business of
Avegnor's prophecy, however, is instilled into virtually all Dechun
children almost as soon as they master language, and they are watchful and
expectant, awaiting the honor promised to their race so long ago. Once,
most Dechunoi saw the foretold magus as their race's great gift to the
world; today, most see her as their race's savior. Some succumb to pride,
and snub all other races, but mysteriously, the Gift for magic seems to
bring humility rather than pride to its recipients, so this is uncommon.
However, the arrogance of a few is easily visible to outsiders, and has
earned them a poor reputation among some, chiefly other men. Therefore,
the Dechunoi have always been somewhat isolated among men, and many choose
to keep to their own kind.