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The Hende are known as a cursed race, as they are a mere shadow of their former selves. Once upon a time, they habited their home mountain range of Bedeinkazioa, now known for them as Gaiztmendiak - known to the other races as the Ancestral Mountains.

Origins

Their creation myth tells the tale of their sole Goddess, Handia, a beautiful and graceful middle-aged chaste woman, who lived imprisoned inside a heart of stone. After countless centuries, her prayers were heard by the Sundering, and she finally broke free. Even so, she saw herself inside a mountain, and found herself in the latter stages of a pregnancy - soon she would give birth to dozens of beings of light. These creatures would then dig various tunnels throughout the mountain range, but eventually fused with the stones. Handia became sad, thinking that Her children had died, but to Her surprise, a new race had been born from the fusion of the light beings and the minerals: the Hende.

This story happened some fifty thousand years ago, and the Hende lived exclusively inside the mountain range, a simple, isolated and peaceful people. That is until the Great Evil appeared, thirty thousand years after their birth.

Gaitztoak, the Great Evil, appeared some decades after the first group of Hende, a small party of seven, left their home and wandered off. At that time, there was political turmoil around the mountain range, with countless Kansa tribes raiding the many small realms of Men. One day, the Hende suddenly changed - those who didn't became seriously ill and died not too long after.

The Great Evil, as the Hende version of the story goes, is a jealous great spirit from the Sundering, as She had created her own race of beings, and so it allied with other ancestral beings to bring down the Hende Matron Goddess. However, Human and Drakhonian scholars point out to the fact that a Great Elder Lich that ruled in a nearby dark land went through the Ascencion ritual, taking over the Handian Plain, as his domain crumbled for no reason in a few days.

Description

Before the transformation from the Great Evil, the Hende were a short people, reaching at at most 1,4m high, pale-skinned and had a colorful variation of eyes, composed of all the different mineral stones, and hairs as well. Their ear was longer than a human's, slightly pointed, as well as slim noses.

After the change they became slightly taller, and their skin changed to hues of yellow and green. Both their eyes and hair lost the colorful tones they had, becoming brownish, like a tree.

The transformation also took away the Hende people's ability to magic and underground travel, with no sane Hande living inside a mountain. The Great Evil affects them to this day, making them an easy target to xenophobia and prejudice, due to their corruption and 'savagery', as they now mostly live subjugated under other races' reigns, and when they are sovereign, little hierarchy is shown.

Their religious pantheon is composed by the devotion to Handia, even to this day, and fear of the Great Evil; some Hende in big cities also adhere to the Imperial Cult or don't even participate in religious stuff. There is a growing sect of Hende that worships the Great Evil, but most reports suggest it is mere rumours to scare the people that live in the Ancient Mountains.

Notable characters

Argi Zuria - A powerful mage, he mastered the mysteries of Nature. In XXXX, he was appointed Wise Master of Nature, and Honorary Imperial Mage, after rescuing a batallion of imperial mages from an invasion.

Information

Inspiration: basque people.

Longevity: 65 years.

Life cycle: Infancy 0-6, Teen 6-12, Young 12-25, Adult 25-50, Senior 50+.

Height: Between 1,2m and 1,6m.

Weight: Between 28kg and 60kg.

Skin color: Hues of yellow and green.

Hair: low variations of brown; inability to grow much facial hair.

Eyes: brown.

RPG Starting Attributes: 1-1-1, with 3 points free.