Table of Contents
Theumites are a race of elemental spirits who used to rule Theuma. Their isolated enclaves are called the Theumite Union.
Most of theumite history before the creation of the Empire was destroyed along with their cities. It is known that before the alenti came, there was a peace of more than ten thousand years. After the arrival, nothing was the same.
There are many notes and chronicles of history after the arrival of the alenti, but these are guarded carefully by the wise and the chroniclers, and not free to peruse for the average person.
Sources e. geography
Sources are cities consisting of elemental power, where theumites live. They are also their places of birth. Theumites are born from the pure elemental flows in the middle of the source. There used to be many sources, even more than a hundred. Now there are only twelve. The alenti come to the sources rarely because they are hard to access for anyone who is not the element of that particular source.
- Razen – The Source of Fire – Situated in Talmekar inside the Volcano of Troisin.
- Warul – The Source of Water – Situated in Talmekar in the bottom of Lake Warul.
- Dethan – The Source of Air – Situated on the Plain of Durras.
- Karis – The Source of Earth – Situated in Katam in the Lotun Mountains.
- Saqad – The Source of Light – Situated in Kalath on the largest island of Sulain.
- Amite – The Source of Shadow – Situated in Estendar.
The Free Lands
- Ureth - The Source of Fire – Situated in Edgeland.
- Lenal - The Source of Water – Situated in the bottom of the Red Bay of Redland.
- Shiale - The Source of Air – Situated on Dawnland on of the East Watch islands.
- Lilir - The Source of Earth – Situated on Cliffland, in the western side of Thickwood.
- Droat - The Source of Light – Situated in Windland.
- Primin - The Source of Shadow – Situated in Valleyland.
Theumites have many languages. Since the elements are quite different, the theumites of every element have their own elemental language, which is the first language they learn to speak. The wisdom of that element in written in their language. The next language they learn is the general language of the theumites. If they want to go outside from the source, they will also learn either one or more of alenti dialects.
A theumite chooses their proper name when they become an adult. Before that they are called with different nicknames by their Nurturers. The proper name is made up of two nouns, but there are names different from that. When they choose an occupation, they get a title to add before their name. Examples: Smith, Knower, Fighter, Sorcerer, and so forth.
It is common in theumite language that there are many words for similar things. For example, there are at least ten (and probably even more) different words for the concept of ‘ice’. These differences are usually understandable to theumites themselves.
(OG: You may pick a fantasy-style name, and think of a translation for it.)
Theumites are born from the flows of the purest element in the center of the source. The times of birth are different and are usually predicted using historical calendars and elemental phases. Therefore there are at least two Nurturers standing guard near the center at all times. When a birthing begins, they will call others for help. The birthing itself lasts for several hours, as it takes time for the small sphere-like theumites to separate from the element enough to be moved.
The Nurturers take care of the newborns, give them their own power if it is needed and give them a usename they will be called until they become adults.
The childhood of a theumite is full of development and learning about the world. With those who were born at the same time, the small theumite learns to use their power and to understand the world. During this time the adults also hold different tests to see what sort of an occupation would suit the theumite and what their power is like. A theumite will reach a humanoid shape in the first few years and they grow in size along with their power. When the theumite is judged ready, they will be found a Teacher who will start to teach them their future occupation.
A theumite is considered an adult when they reach their prime. This is usually decided by their main Nurturer and their teacher. They will be given a few weeks to think of a proper name for themselves.
The actual ceremony is formal, during it the Nurturer and the Teacher pass on their responsibility, and the now adult theumite introduces themselves of the Honored of the source with their chosen name.
Old age and death
Old age begins when the theumite’s power starts to wane. If the theumite is working on an experiment or any sort of other big work, they will start to finish it during the next years and record it with the help of the chroniclers.
On the moment of death the theumite’s body disperses and their power returns to the element. Usually the power returns to the center of the source, but the power of those dying far away from a source might go somewhere else. Usually an echo is left behind, something that other theumites can sense when close to it. It is tradition that the first one to know or to find the echo announces the death, and the dead theumite’s name will be repeated all over the source until everyone knows of their death, and then it is recorded by the chroniclers.
The sources celebrate different days. There are days for historical events and days for different elemental processes.
Theumites do not celebrate birthdays.
Greetings and introductions
It is polite to greet everyone upon arriving somewhere. If the greeter has somesort of bond to the one being greeted, it is polite to use the name of that bond or a nickname. If the greeter does not know the name of the person they are greeting, it is appropriate to use the title of their occupation since a theumite’s occupation is usually quite obvious from their appearance and clothing.
When meeting someone new, it is appropriate to introduce oneself with one’s name, occupation and the source they were born in. There is no physical contact.
Theumites do not generally touch each other. For them the alenti way of sharing closeness is quite bizarre. Theumites experience physical contact usually only during their childhood, when the Nurturers keep them close and take care of them.
There is not a tradition of shaking hands like for the alenti. Even though outside a source the theumite will have their shell and their touch is not dangerous to the alenti, they have learned to avoid it.
Weapons are worn outside the sources to fight if it is needed. When in the source, they are usually kept in one’s quarters or the armory. Walking around with a weapon in the source is seen as ridiculous and bizarre.
Theumites have different ways of spending their free time.
Different tests and shows of one’s skill are common. Debates and complex games of strategy are also quite popular. There are competitions both to find the best and for favors.
It is important that one spend their free time in useful ways and the activities generally reflect that.
Theumites have a collective economy. Every adult theumite is expected to give some of their work for the benefit of all. Two theumites can also exchange work, this sort of exchange of work is usually fixed with a magical contract.
Theumites buy apeiron from the Empire and the Free Lands. For this the theumites perform various magical rites, because their magic is different from the alenti. They also make jewelry and other useful magical items that the alenti can use.
When a theumite leaves their source, they are given a document with which they can acquire currency to pay for things. It is also possible to earn money by performing various favors. Usually theumites solve magical problems and do other things they can do.
Every Emperor of Leonte has six theumites (one of each element) working for them as advisors or glorified hostages. They present the wishes of the theumites to the Emperor and are responsible of the position of the theumites in the Empire.
During the reign of Emperor Relagin II they are the following theumites:
- Fire - Kalzaran
- Water - Ilimenil
- Air - Formanet
- Earth - Malenim
- Light - Hesiar
- Shadow - Orilik
In the same manner six theumites live in Cairlinn Tor in the Free Lands. They give advice to the King of the Free Lands and present the wishes of local theumites.
During the reign of King Alix they are the following theumites:
- Fire - Desaur
- Water - Vishalla
- Air - Rhaiken
- Earth - Ualeth
- Light - Xaghol
- Shadow - Almith
Theumites do not have a direct ruler like the Emperor of the Empire or the King of the Free Lands. Instead they have the Council of the Leaders which consists of 72 theumites. It is called rarely, once a year at most, and the sessions are held with the help of gates. The Council sits as long as they come to an agreement and the sessions may not be interrupted except in dire emergency.
The governing of sources is the responsibility of six theumites in every source. They are called the Honored. They discuss problems that may occur and choose the representative of their source either to the Emperor or to the King. They are also responsible for sentencing if an incident requires their attention. They are chosen by the adults of the source when a seat is freed (upon the death or retirement of one of them). Becoming a leader needs a steady nature and exemplary behavior.
Every source has their own collections and notes. It is known that a lot of folklore and information was destroyed or lost during the war. For this reason all documents and books are carefully handled. New writings are usually copied several times and sent to other sources as well.
Theumites usually record facts and actual events, but lately they have also begun to catalogue alenti folklore, even though it cannot be always confirmed as true.
Biographies make up a large part of the current collections, they are the descriptions of the occupations and achievements of various inhabitants of the source. It was a tradition before the war as well, but is seen as especially important now.
Magical writings make up a large part of the rest. Theumites study and record all sorts of magical things, the magic of alenti gods and different phenomena, along with the magical discoveries of theumites themselves.
Theumites do not worship gods like the alenti. For them there are twelve important legendary theumites, two from each element. The legends say they were the leaders of the theumites during the time of the arrival of the alenti. During the war they were hidden and some believe they may still be sleeping somewhere.
These twelve were:
- Irlagath - fire
- Menethos - fire
- Ahumat - water
- Zoalthin - water
- Carresca - air
- Mizaona - air
- Emreit - earth
- Kafalam - earth
- Dimzarien - light
- Raqial - light
- Veshena - shadow
- Semqalit – shadow
Theumite think alenti religion and gods are quite bizarre. For them the knowledge of coming and returning to the source is enough. Some of them are however very interested in gods and divine magic and do their best to study the topic.
There are about 2 million theumites on the continent. The distribution in relation to elements is fairly equal, there are differences of only a few hundred individuals at the most.
1,2 million of them live in the Empire, and 800 000 of them live in the Free Lands.
- Honored (e. Leaders)
- Chroniclers and knowers
About three fourths of theumites live in the sources and most of them do not leave them during their lives. But there are those who explore the outside world with interest and find other places where to live.
All theumites are taught to protect themselves, but few study warfare. Since there are not a lot of theumites and repairing shells takes a lot of time, every single life is too important to squander. Therefore theumites have no official army and if they work for the Empire or the Free Lands, they do so in a non-military capacity.
Weapons are worn by theumites leaving the source, to avoid using too much power for fighting. It is not tradition to wear a weapon inside the source.
Theumite society is quite interwoven despite the fact that theumites live in twelve different places on the continent and most of them never leave home. The gates in the sources are used to communicate and to send items and letters. This allows theumites to act in concert.
Theumites are fairly isolationist and engage the alenti only as much as they truly must. There are exceptions, and quite many go to explore the world when they become adults. Some of them return immediately, having decided theumite society is better for them. Others return rarely, only to renew their shell and equipment so they can continue on.
Apart from being isolationist theumite society is also quite stern and conservative. Great changes are rare and it is preferred to keep things as they are. This comes from the fact that changes have not been for theumites – the arrival of the alenti nearly destroyed their entire civilisation.
Theumites do not get married or live together as partners. Every theumite has their own private living space they receive as adults. When they are younger, they live in Growing Houses. There the small theumites are taken care of by the Nurturers who are the most empathic and patient of their people.
In place of friendships and romantic relationships theumites have bonds. A bond is the relationship of two theumites, usually based on reciprocated feelings. Those feelings can be either positive or negative, though it is important they be similar on both sides. Theumites accept negative bonds as well, since not everyone has to like everyone else, and rivalries can also inspire development and discoveries. There are many types of bonds.
- Nurturer – Grower/Grown: This bond is similar to the bond between a parent and a child. The Nurturer takes care of the Grower, teaching them how to live in the society and how to use their powers. The Nurturers also decide when the young one can be taught and when they are ready to become an adult.
- Teacher – Student: The Teacher is the one who teaches an occupation to the Student. Study usually begins at a young age, before being declared an adult. With the Teacher the Student learns all they should know about their occupation.
- Rival – Rival: Usually Rivals are the same age, they are connected by a wish to be better than the other. Rivals can encourage one another to develop and learn better. Rivalry can last for a long time. Sometimes Rivals can become Friends, but this is seen as a sad thing if only one of them changes their mind.
- Friend – Friend: Friends are also usually the same age. Friendship is alike to rivalry, but positive. It can also become a rivalry if something happens.
- Honored – Honorer: The leaders of the source should know those whom they lead. The Honored do their best for the source, and the part of the Honorers is to follow them.
- Belonger – Non-Belonger: The most varied of the bonds. A stranger in a smith workshop is the Non-Belonger, because he is outnumbered by the smith. A theumite of a different element who has come to a source of Water is a Non-Belonger, because he is not the element of Water. All of those who live outside the sources are Non-Belongers to those who live in the sources.
Usually bonds are meant to be between theumites. But there are cases of theumites in the outside world applying them to others as well. More traditional theumites think this is suspect, but the more liberal claim that nothing can be done without knowing the outer world.
Bonds are usually private for a theumite, but it is correct to ask about them if there is some sort of confusion. Usually most bonds are fairly clear, they are created when two people meet. But in the case of friends and rival it is traditional to let the other know about one’s feelings.
Non-Belongers are different, they are only directly informed of their status when they ignore good manners and tradition.
One’s occupation is even more important than one’s bonds. Ideally every theumite has something they know how to do and what they want to do. When they become adults they choose their true occupation. It is seen as strange not to commit to one, and many undeclared theumites decide to go into the outer world to truly discover what they want in life.
Life in the outer world
Theumites in the Empire or the Free Lands live like alenti, within their means. They also do different tasks and jobs for they are only supplied with their equipment and a little bit of money when they leave the source. They receive different treatment, some find them very strange and others are very interested in them. A theumite outside is usually a rare thing.
Law and punishment
Theumites have their own laws, which have not changed very much over the times. They are kept byt the chroniclers and fulfilled by the Honored.
A young theumite’s small transgressions are usually punished by the Nurturers or the Teachers. The punishment is usually being made to work in their free time and losing their privileges for a time.
For bigger crimes like attacking someone, stealing or lying, the punishment is decided by the Honored. Unpaid work is sentenced here as well, usually for longer periods. Sometimes the offender must give away some of their private items. Sometimes a mark of shame is used as well.
Murder and treason are the greatest crimes. The sentencing for these is given by the Council of Leaders. Usually the sentence is death, to be carried out immediately. Historically binding the criminal’s power was also used, but this sort of punishment tended to end with the punished going insane beyond repair. All such cases are rare and not to be spoken of.