From Mizahar Lore
The White Island Women
|Major features||Pale skin, light eyes, scaled patterning on lower bodies|
|Abilities||Water breathing, Each having a unique gift|
|Population||2000 - all female|
|Most common in||Konti Isle|
|Reputation||Seers and Healers|
|Racial gods||Avalis, The Seer Goddess and Laviku, God of the Sea|
|Racial bonus||+10 Fortune Telling or Medicine|
The Konti are a fairly new race of arcanely gifted women that come from Konti Isle, sometimes called The White Isle, off the eastern coast of Sylira. These 'White Isle Women' are very pale of eyes and hair, and are considered seers and visionaries because they are the children of the Goddess Avalis. Noted for their pale, exotic beauty, the Konti are considered more myth than reality in many parts of Mizahar. They are a delicate, artistic people that dwell partially in the water (fresh or salt) and partially on the land. The Konti have both lungs and gills. They are all female and produce only female offspring when they mate with other races. Normally, the Konti only leave their island in search of a mate or for specific rites of passage. Sometimes one will be 'called' to serve someone Avalis favors, most often a powerful leader as an adviser or confidant. The Konti are the Keepers of the waters of Silver Lake (called Vision Water) the dwelling ground of the goddess Avalis. It is said that its waters grant visions and even answers to questions when imbibed. The Konti trade their priceless waters for outside resources unavailable on the White Isle.
The history of the Konti women is inextricably linked with the rise of Avalis herself and her romance with Laviku. Avalis and Laviku are closely tied deities that are often spoken of as a couple. Laviku, an ancient God, fell in love with an Otani who dwelled in the sea, one whose song resonated through his waters with such passion and fervor that it granted him visions of the future. He, more than any of the other Gods, foresaw the coming of the Valterrian and used it to his advantage. When the Djed Storms of Gnosis washed across the lands, they had very limited effects on the sea because of Laviku's enormous power and his foreknowledge of the event. He was able to put precautions in place to keep the seas from boiling as some of the lands did at Ivak's rage. As a result, when the dust settled and humanity was able to rise again, they could still turn to the sea for food when the land itself was completely devastated. Laviku is credited with sending the giant creatures of the sea far away from the land, instructing them to dive deep and remain as far away as possible when the hellstorm erupted. He also took advantage of the enormous power thrown about across his waters during the Valterrian, and channeled it into his siren lover's form, raising Avalis into Divinity and locking her special gifts into immortality so she could be with him the rest of their eternity. It was when Avalis ascended that Divination became a discipline, giving the world of Mizahar its first true formalized visionary discipline. From Laviku and Avalis' union sprang the first Konti, who in turn bred true until their population have swollen to around two thousand.
The Konti were relatively unknown until Kuvali Natra, an adult Konti, joined the staff of the Syliran Knight Loris Dyres as one of his advisers when the knighthood founder was busy establishing and building Syliras as a city. Since then, a Konti adviser has always been present on the ruling council for Syliras. Kuvali's daughter, Kaylana Natra (rumored to be Loris' daughter) still works for the current leader of Syliras, Lord Loren Dyres.
The Konti have a delicate, formal beauty that makes them seem fragile. They often appear to be, even when older, around fifteen or sixteen years of age. Lightly boned and often graceful, the Konti all have pale blond to white hair. The Konti's eye color ranges from blue to green to violet. Small in stature, they often range between 5'0"and 5'10". Along with their small stature, they enjoy a light body weight which almost never ranges above one hundred and fifty lbs.
In addition, all Konti have gills that allow them to breath underwater. Marking them as part of Laviku's world, the konti have scales on their feet, spiraling up their legs, across the backs of their hands, beneath their necks, and up and down the length of their backs, and often gracing their foreheads as well. These scales are normally iridescent white, shimmering with pastel colors, that often makes it hard for them to actually conceal their true Konti nature. Coupled with their delicately webbed fingers and toes, Konti scales make it obvious they are not human. Konti are normally always spotted as inhuman even to the people that have no lore regarding Konti.
The Konti all share a quiet demeanor. It is rare that one is outspoken or boisterous. When such an individual is born, they often wander far from the White Isle, looking for other races that they blend in more closely too. And to a woman, all Konti have a second sight. They tend to have visions that either foretell the future or see into the nature of the world and people around them. Each Konti has a slightly different type of vision. Some see crime before it happens, others can seemingly understand animals. Yet others are frequently well-informed about the weather that will be present the next day or even the following week. When formally trained, a Konti's Divination powers are rarely rivaled. It is for this reason that they are almost universally welcomed as advisers and members of the courts and councils in more civilized lands. In more hostile territory, a Konti slave is priceless and often sells for thousands of mizas. For the Konti, their inner vision is as much a part of them as breathing or eating.
Otherwise, they are talented musicians, artists, and poets. They enjoy peaceful, quiet lives and somewhat shun violence unless it is absolutely necessary. For all of that, the Konti are famous for their sai work, and often carry curved bone sai that have unique properties which are carved from the beaks of octopus and squid.
Main article: Konti gifts
Each Konti, due to the nature of the entire race living upon Mura and spending significant time there has been altered by their constant exposure to Vision Water. As a result, these konti women are often born with 'gifts' that make each and every one of them a bit unique from one another. Even the Konti born and raised away from Mura have this trait due to the fact their bloodline is so tied to the island. If outside Konti wander back to Mura and spend any length of time there, their gifts are reinforced by more exposure to the vision water that permeates everything they eat and drink on the island. Even non-Konti who dwell for years on Mura - especially the longer lived races like Akalak or Ethaefal - can develop these gifts as well. The gifts never mimic a gnosis or magic, but instead often give Konti great insight into little things in their lives. For a current list and examples of Konti gifts, please see the main Konti gifts page. All Konti Gifts must be approved via the Help Desk.
Most Konti dislike confrontation. That is not to say they are meek, but simply that heavily emotionally charged situations such as war or fear tend to affect their sensitive 'sight'. As such, they tend to gravitate towards steady personalities and aid in advisory positions to people that are seemingly less volatile. For example, a city planner might happily employ a Konti woman to help him or her lay out street plans and expand a settlement more easily. At the same time, a warmongering clan lord might only keep a konti slave to demand to have her read the truth in his petitioner's requests (for Konti can often distinguish when a person is lying or not), though such emotionally charged work would take a heavy toll on the Konti's delicate psyche and might cause death or insanity after just a short era or two of such involvement.
Konti are very loyal to their friends and family. Children among the Konti are treated as sacred and brought up in a very gentle but formal manner. The White Isle Women tend not to 'conceal' or 'hide' anything from their children since they age so quickly. The vast majority of them are law abiding and act in very stabilizing manners in terms of adding to a community dynamic. They make very poor slaves unless they are treated with respect and thoughtfulness by their owners. In addition, while they seem meek, Konti make incredible lovers when their emotions are involved, because it is often easy for them to read and respond to the needs of their partners.
Reproduction & Aging
Because the Konti are an all-female race, they must seek partners outside their society for reproduction. No matter whom they choose as a mate, their offspring will always be female and Konti. This has caused some distress among other cultures, for normally there is no resemblance to the male involved in the union upon the offspring's features. For this reason, Konti are rarely allowed or even asked to marry, especially into leadership families. Those enslaved are bred specifically to generate more Konti slaves because their divination and other powerful abilities often make them especially valuable. Normal Konti gestation takes exactly 365 days regardless of who the siring race is. They generally show no signs of pregnancy the first four months of gestation and tend to not grow ill like human women. Pregnant Konti tend to eat a great deal of raw seafood and seaweed and fixate on their health to the point where they almost obsess about body strength and fitness. They swim often, and generally prefer to give birth in the sea or at least in a bath of saltwater.
The only exception to their reproduction restrictions are when the Konti pair themselves with the all male race called the Akalak. Akalak men value Konti women and will often trade for them or welcome them warmly into their city of Riverfall. Such pairings often result in full Akalak sons that lack divination skills from the bodies of Konti women, or the normal full Konti daughters with no physical boosts from their Akalak fathers. The ratio is about 50:50. Occasionally, a hybrid between the two will be born, though their survival is often not guaranteed since they tend to be sickly. Such hybrids often exhibit the physical prowess of a Akalak and the visions of a Konti, though, if they manage to make it through the illnesses of childhood.
Konti live approximately two hundred and fifty years. They are reproductively fit after the first twenty and considered adults around age thirty. Konti are considered old in their last fifty years of life after turning two hundred.
Within Konti society, it is often difficult for outsiders to understand the amount of respect the Konti women show each other. While their society isn't perfect, they tend to bring their daughters up peacefully, keeping their various talents in mind. It is indeed hard to fight with someone when you can often feel their thoughts through your natural inherent divination abilities. No one wants to hurt someone else when they can feel that pain firsthand. This often leads to great sensitivity being exuded by those that live on The White Isle and within Mura itself. Konti have great respect for birth order and often do not know their fathers or mind if multiple males sired siblings. Each 'Mother' is a leader of her family group, with the pecking order tending to be in terms of sibling birth order. Single, childless Konti often have less rank than those with children, and it is not until a Konti becomes a mother that she joins the Mother's Circle. The Mother's Circle is a council of sorts which decides the day to day doings of the city in a democratic fashion. Once a Konti woman becomes a Grandmother, which is rare, she is then invited into the Grandmother's Circle. The oldest functioning Grandmother in Mura is considered the Leader of the Konti and is known as The Konti Matriarch. The current ruling Konti Matriarch is V'nessi Ulvalin. A single Matriarch will rule having the final vote over the Grandmother's Circle (which deals more with the outside world, The Gods and Goddesses, The gifts etc than Mura politics) and Mother's Circle (which runs Mura's day to day doings) until she feels her age or capacity is impaired and will step down. There is never a question of a Matriarch not wanting to step down. Their gifts are thus that the older they grow the stronger they grow, so a Matriarch will know when her time has come to step down by how the others in the two Circles view her.
Konti speak Kontinese, Common, and depending upon where they travel, multiple other languages. Due to the nature of the Konti, learning languages comes fairly easy for them, so they are able to blend into other cultures quite easily. It's not uncommon for a Konti woman to be fluent in three or more languages, depending upon where she's traveled.
Konti women tend to have short, simple names: Niva, Okanis, Luavina, Kalani. Sometimes they will be named a combination of their mother or grandmother's names as well. Sometimes these names are hyphenated, usually after just one letter: S'kala, M'taniva, Nita'via. If they keep a second name (or indeed choose to reveal it), it's a family name, usually traced back to the first Konti woman. It is also not uncommon for a Konti woman to change or name or assume a more regionally appropriate name while in a specific area.
Konti women are very close to their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and daughters. A young Konti who has no relatives might easily get adopted into another family unit, but it is a blow to them to have no family ties whatsoever. Many of these 'solo' Konti wander abroad, fulfilling what they consider The Call to serve someone as an advisor somewhere that their unique skill or sight is required. They often live with their mothers and grandmothers, in large extended family homes that provide communal living to support their emotional, physical, and psychic well-being. Since Mura is a coastal city, most of these homes are both above water on the White Isle itself, or beneath the waves. Strangers to Mura often have a hard time seeing all the sights due to this dual nature. Most Konti leave Mura and the White Isle to find a mate or to answer The Call. A lone Konti is unusual and will normally find herself seeking out companionship to fulfill her needs. Sometimes included in The Call, is the urge to find a mate (if one doesn't come to Mura). The Call is usually the only reason Konti leave Mura, unless they are aiding in the exportation of Vision Water from Silver Lake.
Konti women are craftsmen. They have no problems assuming the duties that men might consider traditionally their realms. Metalworking, ironsmithing, stone masonry, and even construction are all skills at which Konti women excel. They are artisans and craftsmrn, so it is not surprising that their days are filled with hard but very rewarding work. As young children, girls are encouraged to go out into the community to find what fascinates them and start training in it. Often, from a very young age, a potter for example will be throwing her first pots almost as soon as she is coordinated enough to sit at a potters wheel. Changing professions is common, because the Konti are long-lived and often reach a place where they want a 'change' as they go through the cycles of their lives. Thus, it's not uncommon for, say, a glassblower to have taken extensive training in metalworking and combine the two skills to create enormous stained glass windows that grace important structures throughout Mura.
Although the Konti are powerful seers and divinists, they do tend to learn combat styles. The martial arts are especially appealing to them. In addition, Konti train in Suvai. These are three-pronged weapons carved from the shed spiral horns of a white ocean whale. Complete with spiral handles, they are used almost exclusively by the Konti women. When they draw blood, the Suvai tend to weaken the person they cut or pierce, so it's highly likely the horn the Suvai are carved from is inherently poisonous to those not Konti.
It is indeed rare to find a Konti that doesn't worship Avalis, Goddess of Visions and Divination, or Laviku, the great Sea God. The Konti women sprang from Avalis and Laviku's union, so it is natural for them to follow the pair. Strangely enough, all Konti women have a single Gnosis Mark from birth, granted to them by Rak'keli or Avalis because their gifts derive straight from her power. Konti are often born with a single ability that tends to grow stronger over time. This ability might be to sense truth, understand what the weather will be, foresight, precognition, or even something as strange as always knowing another person's favorite color regardless if they are a stranger or not. This is Avalis' gift to her daughters. Laviku has marked them in other ways. The Sea God is held responsible for the elaborate scaled patterns that are found throughout the Konti's body, often in intertwining designs that remind outsiders of tribal tattoos. Often originating from the hands and feet, entwining up wrists or legs, and concentrating across the back, shoulders, or stomach, these beautiful scaled patterns tend to shimmer with opalescence or can be vividly colored depending on the Konti's bloodline. The gills that allow the Konti women to breathe in fresh or salt water equally are also attributed to Laviku.
Due to the nature of their special abilities, some Konti (but not all) can remember bits and pieces of their previous lives and gravitate towards those that brought them pleasure or happiness in the past. Konti often spend extended time serving Avalis and Laviku after their mortal deaths before rejoining their mortal sisters among the living. In addition, some Konti gifts gravitate towards knowing what others' past lives were. This tends to aid the palatability of keeping Konti women around most large cities as advisers to the government. This also makes them invaluable as slaves.
Active Konti PCs
|The White Isle Women|
|Kavala||Animal Healer (Vet. Medicine - kelvic & horse specialty), Dreamwalker, Owner of The Sanctuary in Riverfall|
|L'orlei||Shy, Devoted Healer, Philterer, Shopkeeper|
|Nira'lia||Divinist, Healer, Joy Seer.|
|Goss' Vblog- Lakan and Suvai||Gossamers discussion of Lakan and Suvai|