Risen, whilst not strictly a race in the traditional sense, are a collection of those who have been resurrected after death through arcane sources. Those who have been through this process can be of any race, but all are deemed as Risen regardless of their true creed or circumstance. Whilst the method of resurrection can vary greatly, most cause permanent detrimental side-effects to the individual. Risen are the centre of much controversy across Ailenor, increasingly so in recent ages.
References to Risen have been found as far back as the Forgotten Ages, firmly cementing them as part of the world’s history. In times before the Dissipation, Risen were not an uncommon part of everyday life, with many early religions and social systems being based around those with the ability to bring back the dead. In later ages, the ability to perform such feats of rebirth have dwindled, as have the numbers of Risen themselves as a result.
Many different methods of rebirth exist across Ailenor, with many cultures, races and schools of the arcane having their own preference. The earliest methods involved arcane users undergoing prolonged periods intense concentration and the harnessing of arcane rifts. Some races adopt a more ritualistic approach, performing sacred rites and even sacrifices in the name of their Gods. Necromancy has perhaps the most straightforward approach, directly harvesting the arcane essence of one, and corrupting it into another, albeit leading to far more severe afflictions.
Side-Effects & Afflictions
Whilst some lucky Risen are almost unmistakeable for their counterparts, most suffer from moderate to drastic side-effects and afflictions. These effects are almost as varied as the methods used to produce them, but a few prominent ones persist. Decaying flesh, or in some cases absence of, is a relatively common effect, especially if such wounds were sustained as a cause of the death. Additionally the detriment or failure of certain limbs, organs, motor skills, mental capability or senses are all found to be standard afflictions. If a Risen were to be reborn several times, the effects appear to be cumulative. It is possible for someone to be reborn so many times that they become a lifeless husk of their former selves.
Despite the majority of effects being harmful, there are noteworthy changes that are arguably beneficial. Those who are Risen are extremely resistant, if not immune, to most poisons and diseases. They also seem to have increased resolve for harsh elements and other environmental perils. In some cases Risen are imbued with arcane power during rebirth, likely due to the arcane nature of the process.
The Temple of Val and the Val Domus Empire have recently outlawed the practice of resurrection across the Hearthland. Several smaller kingdoms have followed suit, even going so far as to drive out the Risen from their lands. The Church argues that the Risen are bastardisations of the Val’s will, and reinforce this through propaganda and fear mongering. Similarities with the undead, psychotic Risen driven to insanity through constant rebirth, and a general distrust for arcane practices, has all lead to a great deal of persecution for Risen.
The Risen Remnants are an independent kingdom nestled between the realms of Anarcam and So’Qua. This nation was born of Risen refugees and rebels, fighting to establish a safe place free from the persecution they have suffered. Risen flocked from the world over to raise the banner, ultimately forming a true nation that none could not recognise.