The Mori'Quessir, commonly known as the Mori, are a cavern dwelling race similar to Elves. They were first discovered in Asulon when the Descendent races sailed there from Aegis. The Mori immediately despised the other races, especially the Elves, for various reasons. When Asulon fell the Mori stayed behind in their nation of Menorcress. Their ultimate fate and current state of existence is unknown. Their culture leans towards strong matriarchal rule, meaning that the females hold most positions of power within the domain of Menorcress. All Mori, whether true believers or simply fearful followers, call Nemiisae their Immortal Mother, and by the tales passed down through the generations, now a son of Malin, Zanunder to be their prideful Father. Their origins were woven in webs, by their immortal mother, ensnared by destiny to forever linger among the spiders. Unto her brood, Nemiisae imparted the Spider's Gift: The instincts of a hunter, yet her children grew to be vicious and predatory, cannibalistic even towards another. Knowledge of the spider’s poison, yet such venomous comprehension was soon used for ill. The sight of the spider, to illuminate the darkest depths, yet forever would her children shy away from the blinding light of day. Near the end of Asulon Mori society changed as a result of external pressures and internal feuding. Outsiders were allowed on the first tier of the city, the popularity of slaves decreased and the Council of Priestess became the chief decision makers, not the ruling family.
As retold from The Punishment of Hubris Volumes 1-4
Let me tell you a story of the children of Malin, Horen, Urguan and Krug; A tale from the time when God’s melting pot became a cauldron. And many wondered about his beneficence.
A tale from when God was first questioned and his mortal children cried out in anguish.
Our story takes us back to the beginning, when the Four Brother’s children were coming of age in this world known as Aegis. One stood out among the sons of Malin. Born beneath the shade of the canopy on under the pale light of a full moon, his father named him Zanunder. Proud and strong was his stature, Zanunder stood tall among his brothers and sisters, resembling their Father in many ways. His hair was the color of the noon-day sun and his eyes a vibrant shade of forest green.
Iblees came, then, as Zanunder grew. Corrupted his father and uncles, in the end unleashing upon the world a devastating curse. They said that Iblees had been a Daemon, a servant of God. Zanunder began to question this. If God was omnipotent, surely he would not allow evil to exist. Nor would he do so were he kind, benevolent or even compassionate. But he was not the only being to begin to question the ways of the world. There was also her…she stood tall, her presence unlike anything he had laid eyes upon before. Hair black as night, lips green as ivy, but the strangest thing about her visage was surely her eyes. The whites of her eyes were a deep, steel blue, and inside they were a light blue, like the clean waters of a gently flowing stream. He came to know her as Nemiisae, a kindred spirit in this world he viewed as cruel. In short time they fell in love, relishing in each other’s ideals and presence. They came to the conclusion quickly that they should escape these lands, hoping that in doing so they would also be able to break free of Iblees’ curse upon the lands. They retreated deep underground in order to begin their plans, for Zanunder did not wish others to know what they had planned, lest they be branded heretics.
Deep beneath the ground, in a large cavern, Nemiisae created a portal to a world known as the Verge. From there it would be easier for her powers to stretch across the lands, locating a fit place for her, Zanunder, and their soon-to-be abundant children to settle. It would also protect them from the scourge Iblees unleashed across the lands. Inside the Verge the two thrived, and quickly multiplied, first growing to three, then four, then six, eight, ten, and continuing on. Nearly a hundred years after they first arrived in that place, Nemiisae had finally found a suitable place to settle. However, during those hundred years, Kings had risen and fallen. The Brothers had all passed away. Kingdoms and Guilds began to rise to power throughout the lands. The curse seemed to barely affect people’s lives. These events had gone unnoticed by Nemiisae and Zanunder, so wrapped up in raising their young and finding a place to flee to from Iblees’ curse. Inside the Verge, Nemiisae created another portal. It reflected the green, verdant lands they planned to settle…but not the dangers lurking within. Before they went through with their children, Zanunder stopped his love. He requested that the portal be closed behind them, as well as the portal out of the Verge that they had entered through. Zanunder did not wish for their children to be followed, believing that Iblees’ curse may seep through the Portals and into this new land. Nemiisae agreed, but it was a farce. In truth, she had always planned to leave the portals open as well as leaving behind notes detailing where they went to.
Nemiisae was a compassionate being, feeling love for all the races of Aegis. She believed they could all escape Iblees’ curse and did not wish to deny them the chance to do so. Little did she know that in the end, all who sought her same refuge would be lead to their dooms by it. As soon as Zanunder, Nemiisae and their children stepped through the portal, they realized it had slammed shut behind them; They could no longer return to the land they came from. At first, this was not a problem to them. They were confident this land would be their Paradise, the savior of their children. But their children had spent decades cut off from the light of sun, while living and thriving within the Verge. They set out immediately for the thickest forest they could find, in hopes of slowly acclimating their children to the light. But this was not to be. This land was rife with dangers, of all shapes and sizes, lurking behind corners, within the trees, in the skies, the oceans, the rivers…There was no escaping it. The very least of these dangers were the skittering, venomous spiders of the caverns. Their children began dying off, one by one, then two by two, then five by five, then by the droves. Finally, Nemiisae chose the least of the threats of this world and blessed her children with that creature’s aspects. Her children became a mix of her blood, Zanunder’s, and that of the spiders that lurked the caverns. They migrated into these same caverns, living amongst and as the Spiders did, save from the beasts and terrors lurking on the surface. Vicious, cruel, the children shifted and changed into horrible beasts, preying and feeding upon one another.
Nemiisae knew she had to bless them in this way so that they may survive, yet still she grieved for their corruption. As well, no matter how hard they tried, Nemiisae and Zanunder could no longer procreate. Horrified, they began to believe it had been a trap all along. A trick by God to punish them for acting out, perhaps?! Or was it just for His own amusement?! Nemiisae demanded that they find a way to re-open the portal and escape from this cursed land. There was no escaping the will of God, or the curse of Iblees, she insisted. But at least their children would prosper and thrive in their original homeland. Zanunder refused. They argued at length, until finally he threatened to take the children and go elsewhere. He firmly believed if they traveled far enough they could survive, thrive, beat God and the Curse. Frustrated and exhausted, Nemiisae knew she had to stop him somehow, or their children would all perish. She remembered the blessing she had given her children and as Zanunder turned to leave, she changed her form to that of a giant Spider. She put him to sleep with her venom and wrapped him within a cocoon. Then, she bade the eldest and closest of her Daughters to watch over the others, before retreating into the deep with Zanunder, to try and find a way to force open the portal and escape this horrid place.
What Nemiisae did not realize was that the portal had only been closed to prevent their leaving. The portal within the Verge to this new land was still open to anyone who could discover it. And discovered it was. The Dwarves were first to uncover the portal into the Verge, as the first group to find it mined into the cavern it had been hidden in. Seeing the notes left behind by Nemiisae, they sent one dwarf ahead to try and locate the portal inside the Verge. He returned shortly, proclaiming the glory of the land he saw reflected in the portal’s visage! Mountains, gold, diamonds, as far as the eye could see! It was right there, a short walk away! A world of their own, which they could run as they like, without having to share it with anyone! The Dwarves quickly made a decision to gather their families and things and venture through. Within the day, they were ready to venture to the Verge and then towards their new land. Greedily, they decided they had to prevent others from discovering this mystical, resource rich land. Using good, old fashioned Dwarven ingenuity, they collapsed the tunnel they had accidentally discovered the portal via, then quickly passed through. They quickly found the portal inside the Verge leading to this mystical new land and pass through that as well. And again, another group had fallen for the trap. The portal was closed behind them, so there was no place left to go but forward. They ventured into the land, ready to settle it and hoping to thrive. But within the next half of a millenia, they had all perished to the cursed land and it’s terrors…creatures or otherwise. All they left behind was skeletons, of their homes and of themselves.
Above ground, as the tunnel to the cavern shifted and collapsed, a huge crevice formed in the landscape. It had not been there the day before and as a Human merchant group passed the area they began to wonder what had caused such a crevice. One of them suggested it may have been a tomb, full of riches. Eager to investigate, the Humans spent the next month digging down into the ground, following the slant of the crevice and eventually discovering the cavern which housed the portal to the Verge. The Humans too spied the notes and messages Nemiisae had left behind, promising them a land free from Iblees’ curse, free for the taking! Their short lifespans would be gone and they would be immortal like their cousins! The merchants quickly climbed back to the surface, cutting down the branches of nearby trees to cover the entrance to the land. They all quickly traveled to their homes, to fetch their families and supplies in order to settle this new land. The came back less than a week later, descending into the Cavern, through the Verge and into the new world. But they too fell into the trap. The Portal was closed behind them and they had no place left to go but forward. They ventured out to settle these new lands with their families. But within the next half of a Millenia, the majority of them had perished to the cursed land and it’s terrors. They were not made immortal as they had hoped, but rather had even shorter lifespans than usual. They became inbred, sick, ill, and in the end all they left behind were shadows of their former selves, a slow, stupid race incapable of complex thought and cursed by maladies and deformities.
After the Humans had placed tree branches to cover the entrance to the Cavern, a group of Elves ventured into that area, hearing the call of the wounded trees. They discovered the branches and removed them, wondering what foul creature had despoiled the trees in such a way and for what cause. Into the cavern they ventured, discovering the notes from Nemiisae and the portal to the Verge. This group did not go back for more, though more would come later, as they were immediately forced through. Running from a threat, they entered the Verge and discovered the portal to the new world. Fleeing still, they had no choice but to enter. They too fell into this trap, the portal closed behind them, no way back, though they would only find this out after returning later to investigate. For now, they still had running to do. Immortal though they were, this land was still rife with danger. Forced to settle in it, the Elves would follow in the footsteps of their cousins, perishing within this strange lands within half a Millenia. In these lands they were susceptible not just to the terrors, but also their own curse. Far more infertile than they were in their original lands, they died out merely due to a lack of numbers. While some of them eventually interbred with Nemiisae’s children, those who refused would only gain numbers through other poor fools coming through the portal. In this way the Elves too, were trapped.
When the Elves first found the broken and disturbed trees as well as the secret they hid, they did not realize they were being hunted. Following them from Malinor had been an Orc hunting party, searching for slaves, meat, or just a bit of violent fun. The Orcs assaulted the Elves at the entrance to the crevice, and having no other way to go, the Elves immediately fled into the Crevice and down into the Cavern. The Orcs gave chase, of course, following them through the Verge and the next portal, into the new world. The Elves had gotten ahead, fleeing to the nearest forests they could find. In the thick cover, the Orcs lost sight of them. They began to investigate the land as their cousins had. They settled, adventured, and fought. Fighting was what they were good at and they were much better equipped for the trip into this new world, to face the terrors that haunted it. But their own aggression killed them in the end. They perished at the hands of beasts, monsters they should have known they would never defeat, at least not in totality. Within a half of a Millenia, the Orcs too were extinct, leaving behind only the skeletal ruins of their previous homes and their old enemies they had died out battling.
In the course of the first two-hundred and fifty years, as Nemiisae searched for a way to open the portal and leave this place, Zanunder aged within his sleep, eventually dying. Bereaved of her husband she fell into a great remorse for having accidentally killed him. Her mind became clouded, muddled, perhaps even mad. Then her children came to her with reports of these strangers in their lands. She realized then what had happened…The portal only shut on their side. It must have been an act of God, she believed. Then she realized, it was a test! As God had tested the Four Brothers, surely he was testing her and these others to become stronger. But her compassion would not allow her to let others fall victim to this trap she had unwittingly played a part in. She could not reopen the portal, but she could close it from her side, sealing off both the portal to the Verge and the portal within it to the new world. Then she retreated back into her Caverns, encouraging her children to live, breath, fight, grow stronger. Punish and perish the weak and live for themselves and for her, for it was the only way to gain God’s favor. Then she left them to their own devices, her wishes for their future made clear.
It was in this way that hubris was punished, that the sins of those who came before was tested and they were proven guilty. Had these people physically gone to these lands, surely the curse would not have killed them all. But by passing through the portal of Hubris which Nemiisae had created, they doomed themselves and their kin. Other groups found the portals between the time Nemiisae realized what had happened and closed it off, but anyone who came through was doomed to suffer and die. There was no hope for them as soon as they had passed through those portals into that world. But it is far enough removed that between the first settling of it and our time, no one has ever discovered it again. Beyond churning, whirling seas, deadly islands, leagues and weeks away from the lands settled by the Four Brothers, it would be impossible to reach without the assistance of a very strong force indeed. But perhaps it is for the best, that these ruins remain ruins, and the skeletons go undisturbed, lest we awaken old evils…
The Fall of the Terafil
Being no strangers to conflict, political or otherwise, it seems to be a miracle that one house, the Miiystra, has ruled over the other noble clans of Menorcress for so long. Nearly every other noble clan has shifted power and positions at some time in history, but never have the Miiystra given up their seat of power at the very top. That is not to say attempts to overthrow the Miiystra have not occurred before, however. In fact, it is due to the very nature of the Mori'Quessir, of viciousness, ruthlessness, and an always-competitive urge that has kept the Miiystra in power for so long. Coups have been attempted, but all have crumbled into dust before fruition. The one which got closest to victory, closest to the complete annihilation of House Miiystra, is perhaps the best to look at when considering how the realm of politics functions in Menorcress. The name of the House responsible for this is no longer spoken in good company, lest you wish to lose your head. We record it here at great risk for our own well-being and have even gone so far as to translate it into a more accessible version of the common tongue. That being said, We feel obligated to warn you that being caught reading of this atrocious event (Which, we, as the authors, in no way condone any sane being attempt to replicate) in the company of the Mori'Quessir, or in any location under the control of House Miiystra, you may find yourself unable to read anything. Ever again. We also request that you use this document only for learning of history-Not for attempting to repeat it. There are many other things which we, as a group, should be investigating. Things far less lethal than the Mori'Quessir and their history. As such, we implore you to take this document so that we may be on our way. Quickly. Please. We also do not wish for our names to be known, for all of the above reasons, and many others. If you'll excuse us, we have some nice Dwarven runes to attempt to translate now.
At least the worst danger in Dwarven territory is collapsing rocks and lava… Forty-some years ago, in the city of Menorcress, existed 6 Houses- 5 Nobles and 1 Head. These noble houses were the Mierillis, Mages of great renown. The Zaurret, peddlers of services and entertainment. The Malachai, founded and headed by the legendary warrior Elrodon'Malachai. The Cressa'mtor, merchants responsible for the flow of goods throughout the city. And finally, the Terafil. The Terafil were an odd bunch, run by Matron Mother T'risskiira, they were a clan of workers for hire. Mercenaries, miners, messengers and the like, they had no specific specialty besides being hard workers. There was also the Head House, the Miiystra. To give a quick overview of the Miiystra and their claim to power, we must take a brief look at their ancient history. All of them are descended from the Eldest Daughter of Nemiisae, their Goddess, and can trace their bloodline firmly back to her. The Miiystra are not only in charge of the other Houses, but also rule over the Cleric College and all aspects of religion, being the most "holy" as it were in the eyes of Nemiisae.
This displeased T'risskiira. In their eyes, they were the most devout, the most holy, and the most deserving of power and praise. They wished not only to be the Head House, but also the closest to their Goddess. It was with this in mind that they began their plot to overthrow the Miiystra and take their place as the favored bloodline. They amassed weapons, gathered allies and were soon ready to throw their full force against the Miiystra.
They marched suddenly and without warning into the halls of the Palace, shedding blood as they went and sparing no one. Slaves, warriors, servants and blood members all fell. The other houses quickly came to action, but not to assist the Terafil. No, you see, the way of Menorcress is in an old saying. "If your enemy has power, take it. If you cannot take it, remove it from him so that no one else may take it." You see, if the other noble clans could not take Miiystra's position and power, they did not wish for Terafil to have it. House Mierillis rose immediately, marching into the war-zone that was the palace in an attempt to save the High Matriarch and as many of her kin as they could. House Malachai marched as well, eager to fight and slaughter House Terafil.
In but one day, dozens of House Miiystra fell. High Matriarch Veylna was slain and only a few of her children survived. At first, it was believed only two of them survived; The Eldest Daughter, and the Eldest Son, both saved by House Mierillis. They retreated then, creating a new base at the Cleric College, still safe from the Terafil-Traitors. There they stayed for several weeks to regain their strength, while House Mierillis held off the attackers. Then they marched on the palace, another blood bath ensuing, cleansing the walls of Miiystra blood with the blood of the Traitors.
In but a few short weeks, the Miiystra clan was devastated and the Terafil clan was annihilated. The Eldest Daughter mournfully took her place as High Matriarch and the last of the females of the bloodline… That is, until Elrodon'Malachai arrived to recognize her as High Matriarch, as all of the House Heads were required to do. The High Matriarch was none too pleased to see this man; While he had aided greatly in the fight by slaughtering the Terafil, he had not come to her to pledge his undying allegiance while she was in exile at the Cleric College. He had done the right thing by helping to slaughter the Terafil, but for what reasons, precisely, had he done it? The ambiguity of his ambitions made her weary of him and what he did next made her even more so. For from behind himself appeared a young woman, perhaps 70 years of age, cloaked in a robe.
Elrodon moved the young woman ahead of himself and then, in a dramatic fashion, pulled down the hood which covered her face, revealing the steely blue eyes characteristic of the Miiystra bloodline. While House Mierillis had saved the Eldest children, House Malachai had saved a few of the younger ones, namely the only other female to survive the slaughter. Without demanding power, money, or anything in exchange, in an uncharacteristically generous gesture, Elrodon'Malachai handed over the younger sister to the New High Matriarch. He then performed his duties as a House Head, recognizing the High Matriarch as the ruler of Menorcress, then left, as quietly as he had came. It was in this way that the Miiystra bloodline was nearly destroyed; that a traitorous clan was destroyed, and how stability was returned to Menorcress. Mierillis would remain a strong ally of the High Matriarch for their assistance in the revolt, while for many years rumors would spread through the city as to Elrodon'Malachai's ambitions. In the end, he went to his grave with not another soul knowing how or why he had rescued the youngest daughter. But the fact remained that he had, and for the stability of Miiystra and the maintaining of the status quo, most of Menorcress was grateful.
Some Forty years after the fall of House Terafil, the mentioning of its name has been banned from Menorcress. It has been purged from most of the record books and its old clan home left to stand, burned and rotted, as an example to all. Not a drop of the Terafil blood still remains, and if it does, said blood is sure to keep their mouth shut, lest they tear open old wounds, and cause new ones to themselves.
The End of the Mori
When the murder and attacks upon the city occurred, many speculations arose within the city itself of whom was to blame and should be slaughtered for such acts against their kind—many claimed it was the work of surfacers, others believed that such things were only possible by those within the city.
It was declared and enforced that all living mori were to return to the bosom of Nemiisae and remain within the sanctum of Menorcress: behind these stragglers to return the horror unfolded, each path and passage they journeyed through only hours before could be heard crumbling under the weight of explosives. The people were brought each in turn to the Temple of the Mother to be cleansed of their taint, the sickness of the surface that had infested them. The final act of the Valsharess and her yathrins before the war broke out.
Many that had broken loose from such rigid traditions fought against this cleansing and became quickly enraged, spitting in the faces of the priestess' whom dared demand their obedience and silence. It was not long before two factions emerged, the devote and the rebels.
Beneath the surface of the world, sealed off from the blinding damnation of suns light, the Caverns of Menorcress. Its streets littered with crude barricades, strewn with the deceased and wounded—the one marvelled city now rots with death and destruction... crumbling under civil war. Bathed in life blood of their kith and kin, the rebellion breach upon the Yathrins' sacred enclave; banners raised in revolt, their armour and bodies marked by their treason. Once considered mere common rabble; these denizens now slaughter blessed noble born and their ilk standing guard at the doors of the Temple. From behind the sealed doors both rothe and mori alike stand in un-ease union against the treat of taint of its own city—this seeded by those turned to the hubris of their Ilharn Zanunder.
[ Revision ] The Curse of Nemiisae
| “Eternal brood the shadows on this ground,
Dreaming of centuries that have gone before;
Great elms rise solemnly by slab and mound,
Arched high above a hidden world of yore.
Round all the scene a light of memory plays,
And dead leaves whisper of departed days,
Longing for sights and sounds that are no more.”
Upon the conclusion of the Asulonian Era, the race of the Mori’quessir had been shattered by the desolation of a massacred populace and a ruined cityscape. Unnamed marauders whom envied the realm of Menorcress and its’ dazzling riches gathered in the dozens, easily outnumbering the elder-elves whom still controlled the cavernous municipality. They came with dark steel, and savage will, and bright fire, and converged upon the Mori’quessir; delivering the final blow that would send the Aengulic race into a despairable fate of darkness and absence. Fire brightened that place where the shadows roved, and scathed those that scattered it. The end of Nemiisae’s children was nigh.
But the banditry retreated once they gained their fill of loot and material glory, leaving their subjects in a shambled, fragmented status. Those that remained clung to the old ways, despite the fact they had passed with their massacre: the Mori’quessir remnants became spiteful towards one another, and years after their breaking the ruins of their city became once more a battleground in which brothers and sisters sought to destroy one-another. Their conflicts raged throughout night and day beneath the earth, and screamed through the earthen halls unending, yet was not heard by the rest of the world -- a shadowed war, fought by few below, known by none above.
The finality of this violent line of struggles is unclear; whether the Mori’quessir remnants agreed to rally as one once more to rebuild their subterranean society or simply killed eachother off amid efforts for control is not known. What is known is that a great event transpired upon the cresendo of these events, when the mother of the Mori’quessir rose from her slumber in a great fury, a rage born of sorrow and frustration brought by the disunity and destruction of her brood.
Nemiisae, the Aengul of the Dark, directed her attention to her fallen children and devised a means to keep them pure, to assure that, if they were ever to survive and reform into the entity that once ruled Menorcress or beyond, they would retain the perfection they bore at the peak of their stygian greatness.
Holding connection to the blood of all Mori’quessir descendents, the Aengul cast forth a great plight upon sons and daughters both near and far: a curse, an affliction, and one most spiteful. Those that kept to the pure way of the Mori’quessir would be untouched by this, but those who would stray into the light, to galavant with the lesser races that invaded Asulon, would suffer. Half-breeds bearing halfsighted pride of their heritage would find themselves scorned, for the children they would conceive with blood not of the Aengul of the Dark would not pass down blood of their own, preventing the Mori’quessir race from being distorted by the descendents of the brothers.
The Way of Things
By the will of the Aengul Nemiisae, all whom bear Mori’quessir blood are cursed with the plight of dark purity. Those of Mori’ heritage, particularly those of halfblood, are now unable to produce Mori’quessir children beyond that of halfblood heritage. This is to say that anything beyond a Half-Mori’ could not truly exist, for if a Half-Mori’ and a descendent were to conceive a child, the child would embody the race of the descendent, and not a trace of Mori’quessir blood. Yet, the curse of Nemiisae was designed for cruelty. Children of descendents and Half-Mori’ would still suffer the afflictions of the Mori’quessir themselves, deeming the sun and light itself as their enemy without sharing the beauty passed down from the Aengul Nemiisae to her brood.
- All future inter-bred children of Mori’quessir descent are born with a total lack of Mori’quessir blood, yet suffer the Mori’quessir alignment to darkness. They lack all traits of the Mori’quessir, and only take on the physicalities of their descendent parents.
- Pure-blooded Mori’quessir whom produce children with other pure-blooded Mori’quessir do not suffer this curse, as they would produce children with a great aversion to light anyway. If Mori’quessir blood lessens to beyond that of half-bred, however, the curse converges upon the conceived child and afflicts them permanently.
- The children of these cursed children would not, however, suffer the same curse, and merely would take on the race of the accursed parent and the designated curse of that parent’s descendent race.
- All descendents of the Mori’quessir, both fully pure and half-bred, and all in-between, are to suffer an aversion to light. To escape this is impossible, and to try to train oneself to become immune to such terrible pains in the face of light would only lead to blindness.