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The Kindred of the Shadow
The origin of the Scaithi is a matter of great debate to this day. Archaeological evidence shows that the Scaithi first appeared on Tarrona at the same time as the Ultic Eldrien and that the two races parted company about 4,500 years ago. There is little question that the Scaithi and the Eldrien are closely related. However, unlike Eldrien, Scaithi are no longer able to enter a chrysalis to move through their various life stages. Instead, they develop more similarly to humans, growing from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood, without the need for chrysalis. One only vestigial hold remains—Scaithi newborns are born in cocoons after 5 months, which then hatch to newborns after another 4 months of incubation.
Scaithi are dark gray in hue, although their hair and eye color can range as widely as they do for Eldrien. Many humans consider Scaithi to be “dark Eldrien” who have turned to evil and malice. This notion is both unfounded and unjust, for while many Scaithi may be cold and apathetic, only a few are truly evil. Regardless, Eldrien and Scaithi alike prefer to consider one another entirely separate races.
Scaithi dislike sunlight. Although they can tolerate sunlight, they prefer dark, dimly lit places and have a much higher tolerance for cold than Eldrien. Because of this, they have found the northern lands of Tarrona much to their liking. They cannot abide desert environments, or any hot, arid, or sunny clime, for that matter. They are much more urban than Eldrien, fearlessly taking to human cities, and are quick to embrace the innovations offered by the new era of industry. This comes at a price, however, and many Scaithi have lost their connection with nature, abandoning natural magic for sorcery, alchemy, and technology.
For Scaithi and Eldrien both, the two most significant historical events were the First and Second Battles of Moytura. These battles took place in the plains of Phana in Tarrona during the age of Keshim. There, the united armies of humans and Eldrien fought the armies of Scaithi and Ogrim. Though the First Battle of Moytura ended in a stalemate, the second battle saw the death of the Scaithi king and their crippling defeat. Following this defeat, the Scaithi were forced to withdraw deeper into northern Tarrona, where they have brooded ever since.
Scaithi are allied with the Ogrim even today and are now considered to be part of the Grand Imperium. Their kingdom, located between Kendes and Darmania, is known as Tir Scaith, and their presence is extensive throughout Kendes, Darmania, and parts of Kaldea. The dark city of Caldred is the capital of Tir Scaith, where the Scaithi king rules from the dread fortress Glaskrak.
Half-Scaithi are quite common in the Grand Imperium because of the close relations between humans and Scaithi. There is little social stigma associated with half-Scaithi within the Grand Imperium, although they are viewed with the same trepidation as full-blooded Scaithi in other kingdoms.
All half-Scaithi are born exclusively of a human-Scaithi union. Though the Scaithi have close relations with Ogrim, there are no known Scaithi-Ogrim hybrids. Like half-Eldrien, half-Scaithi age twice as fast as Scaithi.