Most Mhun in the present day hail from the vast mountainhome of Moghedu, an immense network of caverns stretching far beneath the Siroccian Mountains. Prior to the year 422 MA, Moghedu lay instead in the Mhojave Desert, which most Mhun consider to be their ancestral homeland. Between the years 422 and 457 MA, Moghedu was ruled by a brutal Mhun theocracy, and those who grew up during its rule were accustomed to constant telepathic surveillance and mandatory acceptance of Mhun religious doctrine. Even following the establishment of monarchy by Queen Nesvenai, Moghedu remains ruled by a rigid caste system and a preference for Albedi faith, where opportunities for advancement are limited and non-Mhun in Moghedu are discriminated against particularly harshly.
There is historical precedent for such attitudes, however - prior to the revolution which occurred in 422 MA, led by the Great Mhunna Nesventesh, the Mhun were persecuted and hunted by many, serving as a source of blood, food, and other materials for the residents of Bloodloch, and sentiment against them was common in all other parts of the world. In spite of this long history of oppression and its lingering effects in the world at large, Mhun have proved to be a resilient and persistent people, surviving against harsh odds and holding strong loyalty to one other. Physically, Mhun are very similar to Humans, although they tend to be smaller, thinner, and weaker, with dark skin and angular features.
Upon reaching certain levels, this race gains the following skills.
|25||Underground Regeneration|| |
|50||Blood Regeneration|| |
|75||Rock Crush|| |
|100||Ancestor's Faith|| |
The Origins of the Mhun
As told by Nhusema Odreyeb, the holy text of the Mhun:
Earth beneath, at first, only darkness was. The gods the Mother made, and the Mother earth beneath grew. She up rose, and tall She was, tall enough to mountains shadow. She womb of was abundant, and many children She did birth so that they within the lush Iviofa and beneath the sun fought and danced. The children of the Mother beautiful were.
The skies and earth the children hated, and the gods, Makers of Mother the Keepers of sky and earth fought. The fight of great length was, and much blood upon the ground was spilled, until out from the earth and out from the skies the gods were driven, so that only Mother to protect the children was there.
And to the children a name Mother gave: Earth-Ones, Teshen, and beautiful they were, their skin like stone, their eyes like gems. Yet Mother remain upon the earth could not, so within the earth she herself buried, and she the bones of the earth was, and to this day it is said: the seed the gods Mother with filled, these the earth's gems are, these and all other things precious which up the earth yields. From Earth, to Earth - entesh, untesh - for Earth our Mother is, and Mother embraces us when we to Mheribus return.
The Earth-Ones fought. Some Mother so loved that they upon Iviofa could not bear to remain. Yet one, the wisest, the greatest of Mother's children, to the other children said: 'Of the Earth we no longer are in whole, but Sky as well; for look! We upon Water ourselves sustain, and upon us does Fire burn so that our skin darks, and the Air our bones fills.' Some to the wise child hearkened, and to this child Cherektesh a name was given: Great Mother - Great Mhunna.
'Eight times I will die,' the Great Mother the children told. 'You all will suffer, for that you choose Iviofa and not Earth. At the end of this time, know; you will be rewarded, for the soul of Mother I will carry forth, and you will know; the Keepers our gods are not, and our gods to us will return.' The Great Mother's years many were, and then he died.
Mhun Culture and History
Mhun culture particularly emphasizes group loyalty; in the face of the inhospitable desert, with oppressors and attackers on all sides, the concept of Mhun identity very quickly transcended mere racial affiliation. Mhun who broke with their brethren, or went to serve the enemy, were shunned by the Great Mhunna, and intermarriage was forbidden by one of the first edicts in the early Epochs. This stance, more commonly violated by escapees and adventurers than common Mhun, has gone a long way toward preserving a distinct Mhun culture.
The history of the Mhun is a long, sad tale - oppressed by Dwarves, Rajamala, Goblins, and Humans, freedom has at once been the highest ideal in their minds, and yet the most unattainable. Long thought to be mysteriously bereft of Divine patronage, the Mhun system of worship, which prioritized seven Spirits, was thought to be an invention by an envious race. Recent times have revealed, however, that the Mhun held Albedi faith in the distant past, and their ill-remembered Spirits were in fact gods of Albedos. The Mhun consider seven of these deities to be primary in traditional practice:
Laasen, associated with stone and earth, whom the Albedi call Aechros; Promentesh, associated with labor and crafts, whom the Albedi call Ilimos; Mheribus, associated with hardship, darkness, and death, whom the Albedi call Muadi; Lokhanni, associated with wisdom and ingenuity, whom the Albedi call Odravh; Haddeneh, associated with wealth and bounty, whom the Albedi call the Faceless God; Cheshehe, associated with cold, damp, and the waters, whom the Albedi call Ohlsana; and Mhuinnah, the mother and nurturer, whom the Albedi call Dejaani.
These Gods - or spirits, as they were called - were, until a few centuries ago, represented materially by the Great Mhunna (literally, 'Great Mother', in a gender-neutral sense), high priest and a leader of the people, who held sole religious and political authority over all Mhun. The Great Mhunna is considered a position inherited by reincarnation; that though the Great Mhunna has possessed multiple embodiments, they are the same soul, returning again and again. Thus, in Mhun history, there were points at which the Great Mhunna ruled alone, and points at which the caste-leaders ruled by consensus.
There are some actions, like banishment or certain functions of worship, that cannot be performed without a Great Mhunna. The last Great Mhunna, Nesventesh, fulfilled the promise of freedom from slavery. Once she departed, governments arose to replace her - first a theocracy founded in her name, and now a monarchy whose Queen, Nesvenai, is the niece of Nesventesh and her closest living descendant. The Queen has thus been accorded most of the authority typically associated with a Great Mhunna, though she does not possess the same religious significance.
Curiously, as a result of this close intermingling of religious practice with racial identity and culture, any being who converts to the Mhun faith is considered a member of the race by most other Mhun, and accordingly forsaken by the Gods of Sapience from then on. One individual who undertook such conversion was Dorin Silverbeard, who lived out the last of his days as a practicing Dwarven Mhun. Mhun who remain loyal to their race, even if they reject the Albedi faith common in Moghedu, are still considered Mhun; those who turn against their own kind are considered banished by the Queen's authority.