Fantasy Races: Rivalries And Alliances, Part 4—Lorms And The World

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The Arrogant And The Humble

Azan and lorm are peoples far apart of each other. The former prize civilization, progress, and complexity. The later favor simple living in tune to the ebbs and flows of the surrounding world. Respect for natural balance and harmony with the surrounding world, the so cherished qualities of lorm are not recognized as virtues by azani culture.

Majority of azan view lorm as primitive swamp dwellers, unworthy of attention, the impression exacerbated by lorm rarely having resources worthy of azan's time and effort. They are also viewed as too sluggish and stubborn to enslave—and from their side they simply stubbornly refuse to follow orders of their captors anyway.

Some azan do have a vested scientific and magical interest in lorm, however, considering their symbiotic bond with lorm-moss a mystery to be unraveled. A few of them are driven by scholarly curiosity, a few by potential inherent in the immortal, memory-storing moss. Lorms' willingness to cooperate with azani scholars is limited by the later's ethical... flexibility. Being willing to discuss and participate in a few innocent experiments is one thing, agreeing to vivisection and experimentation on your eggs and growing children is another.

From their side, lorms consider azani to be people out of touch with the balance, too driven, too blinded by their pride to see that they are riding the wave of current success without regard to risks and the price paid around them. Because of this, they prefer to avoid azani whenever possible, to minimize chance of being struck with fallout of their actions.

Of Swamps And Jungles

Lorm and kai-tang share many similarities: they prefer living in small groups in seclusion, they favor a calm, peaceful existence, and have penchant for deep philosophy. They rarely meet, though, for lorm are living in temperate marshes, while kai-tang are dwelling in tropical jungles. When they do met, they find to have a lot in common in spirit, even if kai-tang are far more intellectual people while lorm are more reliant on intuition and quiet contemplation.

Still, the understanding between those two people is not perfect, as kai-tang are much more likely to favor academic and technological progress, even if moderated by their small population, and philosophical and ethical considerations, while lorm prefer to adapt to the ebb and flow of the life and the world.

The Refined And The Disheveled

Take a number of the qualities kyo view as vulgar, bundle them together, and you will get lorm. They wallow in wet mud, wear dirty rags, supplement their otherwise perfectly reasonable diet of invertebrates, fishes, and small amphibians with rotting plants, they build no grand cities, gather no wealth, don't hold ranks and titles... Basically they are embodiment of the worst aspects of earth and water mixed together, just like their home swamps.

Because of this, no respectable kyo would deal with lorms directly, though low rank Brown caste kyo might sometimes consult them when it comes to tending the land. A number of lorm settlements and communities exist within the boundaries of the Radiant Empire, nominal protectorates left mostly to themselves, paying a purely symbolic tithe, often with an otherwise rare Brown caste magistrate appointed as an overseer.

The Moon Orphans And The Swamp Dwellers

Luminars are newcomers who arrived from an alien moon of vast deserts and small but lush valleys. In a senses, lorms' swamps are at the same time foreign and yet somehow familiar to them. Still, both races had little opportunity to become acquaintance with each other. When they do, lorms are likely to be the first to expose luminars to the teachings of the druids and veneration of nature... And their approach to death, decay, and cycles of life can have unexpected effects on luminarian culture and theology, if they find common language in the first place.

The Beast-fey And The Moss-folk

Therigens and lorms sometimes become neighbors, when the former settle along the border of the swamp inhabited by the later. They usually maintain amiable but distant relationship, avoiding interfering with each other, though Green Law courts often cooperate with nearby lorms when their expertise in tending to vegetation and dealing with swamp critters is needed or some local threat affects both therigens and lorms. Red Law courts occasionally come into conflict with lorms, who rarely strike back, unless pushed too much. Of many races, therigens are the most likely to compete over local resources or cooperate in harnessing them together with lorms.

The Giant-Blooded And The Moss-haired

Relations of troldhrym and lorms are usually next to nonexistent... Lorms are wary of troldhryms' aggressiveness, while troldhrym are suspicious of lorms' "witchcraft" and consider them some sort of swamp trollkin witches that should be avoided. They also have little need to venture into swamps, and lorms keep no treasures worthy of raiding for.

Occasionally, a troldhrym will venture into the marshes inhabited by lorms, seeking their counsel and wisdom, or supposed magical expertise. Lorms usually try to get rid of such visitors quickly, though subtly, providing them with confusing answers, often riddles, or send on long quests, which only adds to their mystique in the eyes of troldhrym.

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