Riichnas have perhaps the widest influence of any race on Gymalle. They have at least one sizable settlement on each major landmass and are famous for their skill in esoteric magic, battlefield prowess, and strong group cohesion. They are even longer-lived than elves, with individuals easily capable of living two millennia or more; numerous individuals can claim to have seen the rise (and occasional decline) of all major human civilization on the planet.
Though they physically resemble humans, they are in general both taller and broader with skin color ranging from taupe to black. They average between 5’10” to 6’8” tall and usually weigh between 220 and 260 pounds. Like elves, they have no facial or body hair and only the barest wisps of eyebrows; however, nearly all riichnas have a thick head of wavy hair that is usually worn in a long ponytail. The hair is usually dark brown or black, though about 1 in 30 riichnas have lighter rust-colored hair and it is possible, though vanishingly rare, for a riichna to have sandy brown or even dark blonde hair.
A riichna’s eye color varies based on the elemental magic to which the individual is attuned, and which therefore determines the riichna’s sect. There exist ten basic colors: red, blue, yellow, green, purple, gray, black, white, brown, and silver. The riichna’s entire sclera is a single solid color and all riichnas lack a visible iris. Minor variations in color can exist within a sect; one riichna may have scarlet eyes while another has crimson, but no greater, “midway” blend of colors has ever been documented (for instance, orange or yellow-green eyes).
Though riichnas are stoic and strong of will, they are straightforward (some claim brusque) with all those they consider outsiders…which usually include any non-riichna. They are viewed as prideful and dismissive by most other races, especially the elves. Ideally, they keep to themselves in most matters, to the point that riichnas who live near other races almost always reside in closed racial enclaves that have heavy independence from the ruling power structure in the region. Their society is heavily regimented, with strict hierarchies and codes of conduct between the ranks. Decisions made by superiors are in almost all cases obeyed without question.
Riichnas wear well-kept and practical robes, usually cotton or wool, on nearly all occasions in public, with the solid color of this robe matching the riichnas sect. Minor alterations (piping about the hood or sleeves, for instance) denote the riichna’s rank. In hotter climates, silk robes are also worn. When in the comfort of their homes or during informal settings among equally-ranked peers, riichnas don a comfortable light brown frock that doubles as sleepware; however, the potential appearance of a higher-ranking riichna leads most riichnas to wear their colored robes even in private, to avoid an inadvertent breach of etiquette. For truly formal occasions, such as addressing the Assembly or receiving a promotion to a higher station, riichnas wear solid-colored robes with the individual’s given name and rank stitched to the chest.
All young riichnas, known as byckalim receive a standardized education at the nearest recak, which serves as a combination school and seat of government; riichna students study the history of the race and its role in the world, gain general combat skills, and are taught a basic form of magic according to their caste. Following what riichnas call the First Initiation, which takes place when the student is between 120 and 180 years of age on average, the byckal becomes a full-fledged member of riichna society and is granted rights and responsibilities as an adult. At this juncture, the individual usually chooses to pursue further training related to whatever position he or she wishes to hold in society; this can be finished in as soon as five years (for those who wish to be farmers or general laborers) or take upwards of centuries (for those who with to pursue a rigorous career in government, which all but necessitates improved martial and magical prowess in addition to “practical” study).
Riichnas utilize their own system of timekeeping based on the periodic cycles of the moon Kolyaf, its name roughly translated into Vanilli as “year”; while they do not synch up perfectly, a Vanilli year contains approximately eleven riichna “years.” This large discrepancy has led to humans claiming riichnas to live for “ten thousand or more” years. While riichnas maintain their own records in their system of timekeeping, they adopt the Vanilli method as a matter of courtesy when dealing with other races.
Riichnas are unique among all other races in that (at least according to their claims) they are able to fully and accurately document their history even into the First Kingdom as Vanilli reckon time. Riichnas employ dotaim kolo, or “time-seers” to accurately record occurrences as they happen. Each recak in Vanil has a single koldotaim whose responsibility is to consolidate annual (according to riichna reckoning) accounts of what has transpired in the areas under the control of that city, and send them to the jachkoldotaim in Thyde, who from there forwards them to the riichna capital of Jevyma and the current bemjachkoldotaim, Kecamel.
For convenience’s sake, the following history of the riichna race is broken into Kingdoms as the Vanilli reckon time.
Riichna History in the First and Second Kingdoms
Third Kingdom Riichna History
Fourth Kingdom Riichna History
Fifth Kingdom Riichna History
Sixth Kingdom Riichna History
Seventh Kingdom Riichna History
Eighth Kingdom Riichna History
Ninth Kingdom Riichna History
Tenth Kingdom Riichna History
Relations With Other Races
Riichnas are in some respect hypocritical regarding their views of the intelligent races with whom they share the planet. On the one hand, they proudly proclaim the riichna outlook and methodology of life to be the only one worth living, and that other races are not worth the time and effort of interacting with them. On the other, riichnas concede that they are impacted by other races on a daily basis and must adapt their own actions and views to prevent them from being marginalized.
No one race brings these conflicting mindsets to the fore as do Vanilli. Riichnas are best-integrated with the humans of Vanil and have established semi-autonomous racial enclaves in Clensa, Portsport, and Simoom. The disconnect between riichnas cohabiting with humans even the most liberal riichna settlements such as Barchil or Uckala is staggering. Overall, however, riichnas tolerate Vanilli and find that, on an individual level, Vanilli can offer things of salience to the riichna in question.
Theans, however, are another matter entirely. The long-standing war with Thea has caused riichnas to feel a deep loathing for this race of humans, beyond that which they feel for elves and possibly even silver riichnas.
Dwarves are generally seen in a positive light; their stoicism and dedication are viewed as desirable character traits, though their hairiness and occasional bawdy behavior makes any proper riichna cringe. The same cannot be said of their underground cousins, the gnomes. Riichnas cannot abide their jocular nature and their love for harmless pranks. The gnomes’ past relationship with silver riichnas in the Third Kingdom may also have a role in how riichnas interact with them.
Elves present another racial sticking point for the riichnas; the elvish assistance rendered to the silver riichnas during their wars in the Third Kingdom instigated a cycle of animosity that existed mutually up through at least the Sixth Kingdom. While no major frictions have occurred between the two races since then, both keenly remember the past conflicts thanks to their long lifespans.
Riichnas interact comparatively rarely with halflings given their low and highly concentrated populations, but generally react to them as they do to humans. Half-elves and half-orcs are looked down upon as “tainted”; and half-elves have the additional stigma of their elvish ancestry to contend with. Riichnas only deal with these human crossbreeds if a superior clearly commands them to, and then only grudgingly.
| Races | Chosen of Casada | Darchnaim | Dwarves | Elves | Gnomes | Half-elves | Half-orcs | Halflings | Riichna | Vanilli |