This article was originally published as a Kickstarter update. Details might have been added or changed to reflect the development of the game.
We’ve talked about the People of the Lanterns, the Gerlins, as well as Witches, Manticores and other fantastic creatures. But shouldn’t we tell you a bit more about the guys who were the breeding-ground for all these magical beings?
Contrary to other races, humans were present on Thasys far before the Dragons arrived there. They had reached a feudal age in relative tranquility. When Dragons landed on the continent, the mana they irradiated mutated humans into countless magical races. Those who resisted the mutation possessed a natural resistance to magic which repelled the radiations of mana. A gift that, to this day, can be found in every human. In a world where magic meant power, the individuals unable to wield mana were nicknamed sanuras – “mud” or “dregs”.
Once Dragons left, the magical races became orphans deprived of their living resource. The most powerful creatures became tied to places of power, areas where Dragons had nested or lived in for a while, soaking these sites in mana. Hence, the roads of Thasys begun to stop following rivers or natural roadways, and instead lept from one place of power to another. Entire cities collapsed because they were too far away from them, and boomtowns grew like couch grass next to Dragons’ nests. Just close enough to pump the remaining mana and just far enough to avoid the terrible things that burrowed in there.
If the most mutated beings could not move freely anymore, humans were able to go as they pleased. Ignored by destiny and the universal cycle of Harmony and Dissonance because of their lack of affinity with Mana, humans became the incarnation of free will. It is for this reason that Watchers are always born of a human lineage (Orin received his human heritage from his mother, but few know of this fact).
The touch of the Dragons that Watchers receive at birth grant them the ability to be one with mana, and they carry in their genes the power to make their own choices. The perfect profile for a hero.
Humans are not insensitive to powers derived from mana. They can be hurt, healed or affected by its use, but the manipulation of pure mana was impossible for them – at first. They developed their own way of using mana.
A place of power, aside from mana, sometimes holds manasteel. This material, also known as manatium, uramana or metal mana, is created by the extraordinary concentration of magic in these exceptional sites. It contains a ratio of mana so high and so pure that its radiations incinerate the flesh of most creatures with a mere contact… but do not affect humans.
Over centuries, humans have developed an art of working this metal. Nowadays, many humans make a living as peerless blacksmiths or alchemists, able to work the precious metal through the manipulation of its radiations. A few drops of human blood on a hammer force the mana to follow the will of the artisan, and definitively links the created artifact to the blood used. Thus, manasteel artifacts can be transmitted from generation to generation. Every artifact is a precious creation, and receives a unique name when it is forged.
When an artifact of manasteel is given to its owner, the artifact reveals one property or power that is specific to its master and completely unique. When the owner’s will or cause is strong enough, the artifact will provide a power matching its possessor’s personality – but the criteria defining “strong” are questionable and the object can very well create an ability that will prove completely useless.
An artifact can be inherited only at the death of its current owner. When bestowed upon the blood heir, the artifact will reveal a new power, specific to its new master. Trying to possess more than one artifact is possible, but the oath sworn by every human blacksmith specifies that such a thing is to be avoided. The guild of blacksmiths, based in Salath, has developed an impressive tracking system that tails all owners of manasteel artifacts in order to prevent multiple ownerships.
In short, manasteel is the humans’ own way of accessing the power of magic. They do not need mana to survive, yet they participate in the conquest of places of power just like the other races of Thasys.
And they’re quite good at it.
So what do you think of the humans of Thasys? Do you think they stand a chance against the magical races? What manasteel artefact would you dream of wielding and what would be its power? Tell us on our forums!