si. Rajin al-Zanarya[^Rajin al-Zanarya literally means "Man of Zanarya?". Only Zanaryans use this full title, and generally only among their own kind. Elysians just refer to them as "Zanaryans".^];
fem. Emrah al-Zanarya
Zanaryans are an embittered species marginalised because of their stench?. Tall and horned, with broad bat-like wings, they were demonised by humans and forced to flee to a planet? created just for them. They sealed their portal and only reopened it when they had advanced, technologically and culturally, much further than their Elysian cousins.

Zanaryan society is strictly patriarchal and politically complex, with interconnected hierarchies both religious and secular. Men are favoured, eldest first, but power and connections mean more than birthright and bloodlines. They serve a Shrine Lord in exchange for elemental and political power.

Appearance Culture Proficiencies
Lifespan: 900 years
Height: 5'8"`-6'4"
Build: Lean to portly
Colouring: Fair to dark
Skin: Fair to dark
Government: Patriarchal
Population: ~5,695,323

Language: Zanaryan
Currency: Masaari[^Zanaryans use xanthai while in Elysia.^]
Calendar: ZT?[^The Zanaryan calendar (ZT?) is estimated to begin sixty years after the first Zanaryan appeared (around 7,000 BC). In written documents, and when speaking formally, Zanaryans give the full date at length ("the first day of Shawahed of the eight thousand, nine hundred and forty fourth year since Creation") but may shorten it otherwise. The year is always given in full even if the date is abbreviated.^]

Elemental Manipulation?
Elemental Shield?

<< | Zanaryans? | >>

Physical Characteristics

Zanaryans have what humans once called a "demonic" aspect. They have bat-like wings with a span of up to 12 feet (3m) in adults and that are tipped in claws, of which they take almost ritualistic care. They also have two sharp horns that twist up and out from their temples, the curve and twist of which varies slightly between individuals.

Zanaryans stand between 5'8" and 6'4" tall, are traditionally somewhat dark of complexion, and they give off a sulphurous stench? that is stronger in their young. They often have white or dark hair and red or dark eyes, though blonde hair or green eyes are also common. Blue eyes are extremely rare, as is red hair.

Clothing for the Zanaryans is just as much a symbol of status as it is a means to protect against the cold: higher social ranks afford more luxurious outfits and adornments. Zanaryan tailors use only the finest of silks in vibrant colours, and they have a matching enthusiasm for jewellery to decorate their wings, horns, ears, necks, wrists, ankles and belly buttons.

Some Zanaryans dye their wings, shucking the natural black shades in favour of colourful hues to match their costumes, and even men (who otherwise view jewellery as a woman's domain) can be found wearing intricately designed bands around the wrists, biceps, horns and wing-claws.

Life Cycle & Reproduction

Band Age Looks
Gestation 38 weeks
Infant 0 - 5 0 - 2
Child 6 - 30 3 - 12
Adolescent 31 - 149 13 - 17
Young Adult 150 - 399 18 - 23
Adult 400 - 679 25 - 35
Middle Aged 680 - 799 36 - 45
Elder 801 - 900 46 - 55
Dead by 900 55

Zanaryans are a long-lived race, easily passing eight centuries. They age slowly, however, and the difference between their actual age and their apparent age increases even more as they reach adulthood.

Zanaryans use marriage to barter for political power, so monogamy is vital to their culture. Women are executed if found guilty of adultery or of intimacy outside of marriage. Men are allowed a few more freedoms but are stripped of their political ranks and titles if they are caught breaking the marriage contract in any fashion.

Age is usually equivalent to how powerful and knowledgeable an individual is (though not necessarily how influential a person is politically), so there is a much greater respect for the older generations than the young. Zanaryans typically die of old age by the time they have reached their ninth century.

Gestation takes 38 weeks from conception to birth. Late onset of labour is not uncommon, but it and prematurity often lead to the death of both infant and mother. Having more than one child at a time is extremely rare, but Zanaryan families frequently generate more than five children throughout the course of a marriage.


Zanaryan politics can be quite difficult to grasp. There is a lot of intricacy as the religious and political circles are interconnected, making it possible for the power to travel in both directions. Further, it is important to choose allies wisely, as the strength at a Zanaryan's back can mean all the difference.

Great emphasis is placed on developing one's ability to manipulate the elements in exchange for political influence, but it is not impossible for someone who is completely inept in this area to gain status if they can navigate the political eddies and forge strong allegiances with influential people who can nudge them to the top.

National Politics

The Naharar?
Shrine Lords
Miraji? Raisami?
Djans Females

Based on ranks that can be earned either through personal merit or family connections, Zanaryan government is divided into six official tiers, though there are finer intricacies within these[^The Naharar? governs the Zanaryan people as a whole, but the Shrine Lords, who are technically religious leaders with no official political power, have great influence over secular government. Similarly, the Shrine Lords outrank the Nahani?, but those with wit and wisdom can influence religious decisions by way of manipulation, allegiances, bribery or outright threats.^]. Positions are most commonly won through political intrigue but conquest is not unusual.

It should be noted that Zanarya? has six nations, four of which are strictly allied to a single element (Los, for instance, is the Water Nation) while two are officially neutral. The Nahani? (nation lords) and the Raisami? (tribal leaders of Ilia?) are constantly manipulating allegiances, influenced in part by the rivalries of the Shrine Lords they serve. The political table is never secure.

Players are welcome to choose a political role for their characters, assuming they are of a high enough class rank (Djans cannot become Nahani?, for instance).

Family & House Politics

Zanaryans are further divided into miraji (Great Houses), nasibi (Houses), zubaidi (patriarchies) and smaller families, each with their own master[^The head of a family or patriarchy is called a zubaida. The head of a small House is called the nasiba and the head of a Great House is called the miraja. They add "-sayyad" to their names, so "Azat Djinn Atuf'Harith ibn Nihim" (a member of House Harith) becomes "Azat Djinn Atuf'Harith-sayyad ibn Nihim" (the patriarch of House Harith) instead.^] and their own intricacies. Being a favoured member of a Great House means sponsorship for political and religious roles that cannot be acquired by any other means, so masters spend much of their time grabbing for favour.


The hierarchy within the zubaidi and families follows age, with the first-born male commanding the most respect. After him, each brother garners less attention by degrees to the youngest, while females are often ignored altogether. Khalifi (successors) are groomed to take their father's place as the head of a family or patriarchy, or perhaps to form a patriarchy of their own in an effort to establish greater influence. However, elemental power has greater weight than familial titles, so younger siblings can outrank their elders if they serve their masters well or display better control over their element.

Women cannot become patriarchs or House masters.

Females of Power

Base by Citron Rouge

Zanaryan females are not often included in political dealings, nor do they technically have any influence over either the secular or elemental sectors. However, there are some women throughout Zanaryan history who have displayed exceptional command over their element or a talent for politics that is unsurpassed. These women are afforded the full rights of their title as individuals, yet still cannot form their own zubaida and can only detach from their father's family by marrying into another.

Allies & Enemies

The Zanaryans are their own worst enemy: their history is riddled with border skirmishes, tribal wars and international "upsets", and their political dealings are a tangled web of allegiances and rivalries. They can be dogmatic in their loyalty to a particular element or Shrine Lord and family feuds can last for centuries.

Though there have been no official declarations of war with Elysia, many Zanaryans are still embittered over past prejudices and slights. They are easily offended by Elysians? in general, and most especially by the Anyeli who have squandered the many advantages the Creator gave them.

Predators & Prey

Zanaryans are at the top of their food chain, but they are not great hunters. The wildlife on Zanarya is generally much more friendly than that of Elysia? and Zanaryan cities are walled to defend against invasion and what few predators there are. They are omnivorous but favour vegetation more than meat and use their elemental powers in defense more than to hunt.


Zanarya? is divided into the Six Great Nations of Los? (Water), Keikis? (Fire), Paia? (Air) and Serres? (Earth), Reixos? and Ilia?.

There are no official Zanaryan territories in Elysia?, though some of the larger towns have neighbourhoods where Zanaryans seem more prevalent. They are more welcome in towns where elemental abilities are in great demand.


Zanaryans make up just 2% of the Elysian population, with approximately 102,310 of them scattered across the mainland and Dardanos?. There are approximately 5,695,323 Zanaryans inhabitaing their home realm. They cannot live on Earth because their inhuman features are too obvious, and they avoid settling the Anyeli Empire? due to mutual prejudice.


Zanaryans are misogynistic, xenophobic and purist. Women and children are commodities to be cherished and safe-guarded, but nevertheless bartered for greater political or commercial influence[^Women and children are not mistreated. Males take great pride in showering their females with affection and gifts, and it is their duty as men to ensure the safety and well-being of the women and children in their household. Failing to do so brings shame upon them, and there are laws against domestic abuse.^]. Only when a male child becomes an Azat does he receive the respect afforded his title and granted the freedoms and rights of an adult.

Zanaryan society is highly dependent on and devoted to their elemental abilities, and even their technology is element-based. They are respected as great scientists and they are responsible for nearly half of Elysia's most recent literature and art.

Crime & Punishment

Zanaryan punishments can be brutal. They have little tolerance for any form of crime. Thieves caught in the act are punished immediately and severely by their victims[^Punishment for theft is usually the loss of a hand. However, if caught stealing from high-ranking officials, the wings are cut off instead.^]. Murderers are executed unless of a high enough rank to warrant mere exile. Streets are patrolled by militaristic guards, and citizens are permitted to defend themselves and their homes however they see fit.

Language & Names

The Zanaryan language originated in the Middle East on Earth? and is a complex but beautiful tongue that can differ greatly between nations. Zanaryan script is a flow of elegant symbols, and many Zanaryan books and scrolls overflow with decoration. Writing in Zanaryan is considered an art form all its own, so many of the lower classes never actually learn more than the basics.


Zanaryan names are a census of personal and political data with a multi-part structure: [TITLE] NAME'[HOUSE] [LINEAGE] [PERSONAL MARKERS] [GEOGRAPHIC MARKERS].


Titles: Titles always come first. The norm is to give the Zanaryan's elemental rank (eg. Aziz'Marid, "Master of Water"), but this will be replaced by any titles that outrank their elemental position (such as Nahan? if they are a nation lord).

House: -sayyad is only attached if the Zanaryan is the master of his House, family or patriarchy. Otherwise, the House name stands alone (eg. "Layla'Harith") to mark their familial allegiances.

Lineage: At lower ranks, Zanaryans are expected to give only their father's name in their lineage, but at higher ranks and where a display of power is important, they might list as many as ten ancestors. In rare cases, lineage includes females wherever they held or still hold more political influence than their husbands.

Personal Markers: These markers include any personal allegiances (such as their elemental master and the Lord they serve), their current occupation and any previous occupations if significant, and anything else that might set them apart from someone of a similar name.

Geographic Markers: These markers outline a Zanaryan's geographic history. Though each looks identical, the position in the name indicates their chronology, so the first place mentioned is always the place they were born, and the last place mentioned is always their current residence.

This is all important information when considering employees, marriage proposals, and allies. Zanaryans have much shorter versions for casual introductions.

The Out of Character inspiration for the Zanaryan language is Arabic. You can also use Turkish, Kazakh, Iranian or similar when choosing names.
You are not expected to reel off a character's full lineage. All you need to create a Zanaryan is his title, name, House, father, occupation and current residence. If you encounter formal occasions, you can simply say that he gave his full name rather than having to actually list all your character's markers.

Religion & Philosophy

The majority of Zanaryans take Xanth's role in their creation as fact, but there is still some resentment over her apparent unwillingness to prevent or punish the prejudices their people have suffered. However, there is a remaining fondness for the aid she has granted them over the millennia.

The elemental connection seems more obliquely religious: The Temple of Farahij? is the seat of both political and elemental power, and the Shrine Lords have all the respect and authority of minor gods. Theirs is even thought by outsiders to be the religious branch of the Zanaryan government. Further, each town and village across Zanarya displays its allegiance to its Lord, its Nahan and its element with shrines where many festivals are held throughout the year. Zanaryan homes display wall art or paintings that feature depictions of their element, too.


There are two circles of education for Zanaryans, one being all those skills required for day-to-day living and survival, and the other being the manipulation of the elements.

The Mundane Circle

Zanaryan schooling is informal: many children are taught at home in groups of like age or skill. Instructors draw on their own particular areas of expertise, so Zanaryan children may have more than one teacher at various stages of their education. It is usually the women (often the mother of at least one of the children in the group) and the Djans who teach.

Swearing fealty to a Shrine Lord ends this schooling so they can focus on their elemental training, but they are still expected to continue learning craft or trade skills on their own time. They might then choose a single teacher under whom they serve as an apprentice, or approach multiple mentors to learn assorted skills from each. Many Zanaryans thus have at least two mentors: one for their Mundane education, and one for the Elemental Circle.

The Elemental Circle

In order to learn and practise their manipulation of the elements, a Zanaryan must swear allegiance to one of four Shrine Lords, who is then responsible for teaching them to utilise their new powers. That responsibility does not include actual teaching[^There are far too many Zanaryans wanting to learn their element at the same time, and each requires years of tutelage, so the Shrine Lords have stewards scattered across the globe to approve oaths and teach in their stead.^] so Zanaryans are most often trained by an older relative sanctioned by a Lord's stewards. They may never even see their Lord in person.

Azizi may take on multiple proteges and are known to set their apprentices against one another in "friendly" competition, both to improve their skills and to amuse their Lord. Any instructor not doing his job suffers demotion or worse, so they will find ways to keep their students busy even when their Lord desires nothing.

Elemental training also never ends. Zanaryans continue to learn from their mentors long after they are considered masters themselves.


Half-breeds are rare simply because Zanarya was cut off from Elysia until quite recently. Few Elysians can tolerate their smell and Zanaryans are purists with political agendas, so any intermingling is usually not of the reproductive kind.

Those hybrids who do exist are considered either Zanaryan or not by the presence or lack of wings. Even those half-breeds who are predominantly another species may still be welcomed in Zanarya if they have the "right" wings[^The emphasis on only being Zanaryan if one has wings extends further into Zanaryan society. To exile a criminal, they will tear off the wings so Zanaryans can recognise them and know they are not to be helped.^].

Zanaryan Technology & Science

Zanaryan technology is heavily dependent on their ability to manipulate the four elements of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. Each of the original four nations has developed its own methods for doing things and the youngest nations of Ilia and Reixos reflect a hodgepodge of the four.

The functions and principles behind elemental technology is kept a very close secret. Zanaryans are proud to declare that theirs is far more advanced than the crystals of Elysia or the dirty fuels of Earth, yet they shun COMs and HoPs. They use natural, reusable energy sources[^Examples of reusable energy sources include the windmills used by the Djinni of Paia and the geothermal energy used by Ifriit in Keikis?.^], the efficiency of which they can maximise by manipulating the elemental world.

Zanarya has yet to be explored fully. A general rule of thumb for their technology is "green and clean". They use their elements to fuel every aspect of their society and use natural or elementally manipulated building materials. They have no CORWW or COM equivalents, relying instead on courier birds and scrolls.


  -60 ZT     1000 XA     Zanaryans are created.
    0 ZT     1060 XA     Zanaryan calendar starts.
  140 ZT     1200 XA     Zanarya is created.
                         Zanaryans cut off all contact with Earth.
 5340 ZT     6300 XA     Elysia is created.
 8310 ZT     9370 XA     Hundred Year War begins. Lasts 98 years.
 8374 ZT     9434 XA     Reixos becomes Fifth Nation.
 8408 ZT     9468 XA     Hundred Year War ends.
 8412 ZT     9472 XA     Ilia becomes Sixth Nation.
 8743 ZT     9703 XA     Zanarya connects with Elysia.
 8827 ZT     9787 XA     War of the Dragon begins. Lasts 4 years.
 8831 ZT     9791 XA     War of the Dragon ends.
 9051 ZT    10011 XA     Zanarya opens to Elysian merchants.

Xanth created the Zanaryans around 1,000 XA (7000 BC) and they quickly developed the power to control the elements of Fire, Water, Earth and Air. At first a mischievous species, they were at odds with their human and Anyeli neighbours and were nicknamed "demons" for their appearance and behaviour.

Almost to spite the general opinion about them, Zanaryan society swiftly evolved, particularly after the mass exodus to their new realm. They shut themselves away from Earth and Elysia and broke off all contact until centuries later. Without external influences to distract them, they have built a glorious civilisation that spans a dimension almost as large as Earth.

Skills & Paths

Zanaryans become Azats ("servant of") when they swear fealty to a Shrine Lord and learn to manipulate one of four elements. Once they have mastered this element, they become Azizi ("master of").

     Daos:    Earth
     Djinni:  Air
     Ifriit:  Fire
     Mariid:  Water

Zanaryan Skills: Elemental Skills:
Likely Jobs[^Some of the most luxurious jewellery, fabrics, clothing and furniture comes through the Zanaryan portal. Zanaryans can also find a niche in entertainment, from fire-eaters to aquamancers and raindancers, where they display their power over the elements with dramatic flair. Further, archivist scribes may find employment illustrating official papers, scrolls and manuscripts.^]
Volcano Watcher
Unlikely Jobs
Crystal Singer

To qualify for the rank of Aziz, your character must already be an Azat and have spent at least 15 skill points in any Zanaryan ability. You will also need to ask Emma? to update your sidebar.

Related Pages

The following is an alphabetical list of all major pages related to the Zanaryan people. You can use the WikiTrail at the bottom of the page for a guided tour of the key bits instead.


<< | Zanaryans? | >>

Races Zanaryans Zanarya Azats Djans Azizi Ifriit Djinni Mariid Daos