This page contains information about both genders but focuses more on the female segregate. For information specific to the males, please take a look at the Sidhe page.
Nymphs
Attach:nymphs.png
si. Nymph, masc. Sidhe
Nymphs are an alluring humanoid species living in the Fae Forest?. Theirs is a spiritual and matriarchal society deeply entrenched in the Natural World and segregated by gender. They live in communes, primarily in the Sylvan Territories?, and sometimes share a symbiotic relationship with local Therians.

Nymphs loathe and forbid physical violence but use the elements and their bonds with animals to defend themselves, their communes, and Nature in general. They see it as their duty to keep the world clean and pure, and they sicken if they stay away from their element too long.

Appearance Culture Proficiencies
Lifespan: 100 years
Height: 5'0" `- 5'7"
Build: Willowy, petite
Colouring: Fair to dark
Skin: Pale to olive
Government: Matriarchal
Population: ~239,804

Language: Sylvan
Currency: Bartering; Xanthai[^Within their communes, Nymphs trade and barter goods and skills for what they cannot forage or forge themselves. However, they must use xanthai in the outside world so part of their Rite of Passage is dedicated to teaching novices how to use money.^]
Calendar: XA?[^Nymphs are able to follow the Elysian calendar (XA?) but they are more familiar with the cycle of Neme, Elysia's visible moon, for short-term time-keeping.^]

Elemental Manipulation?
Transmutation
Beast Taming?
Summon Animals?
Demesne Bond?

<< | Nymphs? | >>


Physical Characteristics

Base by Citron Rouge

Nymphs are exceptionally attractive, alluring and sensual. They look like particularly small and petite humans with a height range of 5'0" to 5'7" and are willowy and slender. They are generally small-breasted so it can be difficult to tell them apart from their effeminate males.

Traditionally, Nymphs have a Mediterranean appearance with darker features, having originated on Earth? in what is now Greece. However, blonde hair and blue or green eyes are just as common now. Red hair is rare.

During summers and on warm days, Nymphs wear nature-coloured silks (such as forest green and sky-blue). They use the same silky fabrics in special colours for rituals and finery: White, often decorated with gold or silver to represent purity and balance, is worn for bonding ceremonies while red, the colour of vitality and passion, is only worn by oath-takers during a Handbinding ceremony[^Nymphs do not get married. When a couple wishes to make a commitment, they are "hand-fasted", a ceremony that involves literally tying their hands together with a ribbon that symbolises their union. Hand-fasting is not only for romantic commitments, however: it is also used as a smaller part of a larger ritual when two Nymphs bond with the same demesne, though such a bonding often does lead to, or come from, romantic entanglements as well.^].

Cold weather brings out vibrantly coloured leathers and furs for warmth, either using animals that are naturally colourful or plainer hides that have been decorated with feathers and beads. Nymphs tend to wear their hair long, loose and adorned with feathers, beads and thin braids.

Life Cycle & Reproduction

Band Age Looks
Gestation 34 weeks
Infant 0 - 2 0 - 2
Child 3 - 11 3 - 11
Adolescent 12 - 15 12 - 13
Novice 16 - 18 14 - 16
Young Adult 19 - 24 17 - 20
Adult 25 - 60 21 - 45
Middle Aged 61 - 81 46 - 55
Elder 81 - 100 55 - 70
Dead by 100 70

Nymphs are a short-lived race with a lifespan of just 100 years, but they maintain their looks well into their middle years. Even elders look much younger than they actually are.

Nymphs have heightened levels of certain hormones and pheromones so they are a naturally sensual species and have no qualms about wandering naked through their communes or demesnes. Monogamy is not common and they are accepting of most types of sexuality.

Gestation takes 34 weeks and mothers remain physically active for the duration. Their entire community waits at the commune's altar to pray and wait for news during labour, but only a Sylph can attend the actual birth. Fathers only become involved when the baby is cleaned and swaddled and the mother well-rested.


Politics

H
I
E
R
A
R
C
H
Y
The Naneth?[^Maternal instincts are valued highly in Nymph culture and their leaders are often seen to be "mothering" the community as a whole, so the title "Naneth" (literally meaning "mother") is given to those on the ruling council.^]
Sylphs?[^A Sylph is a priestess who performs the Rite of Bonding and other rituals. In smaller communes, the job of conducting such ceremonies falls to the Naneth instead.^]
Furies?[^A Fury has special license to use their element offensively in order to protect their commune and territory. Some communes refuse to have Furies because they go against the Sylvan Creed?; most communes use Sigils, the Sidhe equivalent, instead.^]
Nymphs
Sidhe
Novices[^Novices are Nymphs undergoing the two-year Rite of Passage prior to performing the Rite of Bonding.^]
Children

Nymphs are focused on maintaining the natural balance of the realms and on encouraging the same team-work amongst themselves as is seen between the various elements in nature. Most communes have a ruling council of elders, called Naneth?, that reflects that balance and synchronicity, with each voice considered equal. How many elders are on the council depends on the size of the commune but is usually an odd number to prevent deadlocks.

Allies & Enemies

Nymphs have a reputation among the other species for being loose. While this certainly has appeal to some, bitterness can ensue from broken hearts and hurt feelings, and many of the conflicts between Nymphs and other species have been a result of failed relationships or unrequited love.

That said, Nymphs are not currently at war or enemied with any of the other races, but they can be xenophobic. Many communes are hidden and refuse entry to outsiders. The only species Nymphs openly accept are Therians, with whom they share some commonalities of culture and customs. Some communes share a symbiotic relationship with local Therian clans and use them for protection in exchange for territory or resources.

You can create? new organisations with the [[!Nymphs]] tag, or join existing ones and take up any role within them.

Predators & Prey

Nymphs are omnivores so they forage for fruit, nuts and vegetables while the Sidhe or their Therian allies hunt. They are usually well-protected within their own territory, but stepping beyond their commune's borders leaves them vulnerable to the Fae's? many predators.

Habitat

Nymphs can live anywhere -- as long as there is enough of their bonded element to sustain them. There are even communes underwater protected by bubbles of air and carefully crafted domes. However, the majority live in the forests and jungles of Elysia? and Shape homes into the tree-tops.

A large portion of the Fae Forest? has become known as the Sylvan Territories?. This area is serviced by a single portal located near the Fae Tree?, which itself is a major and sacred landmark.

You can create? new communes with the [[!Nymph Communes]] tag, or join existing ones and take up any role within them.

Population

Nymphs make up 16% of the population of Elysia, with approximately 239,804 of them living on the mainland. 23% of the Dardanian? population are Nymphs, but their communes are concentrated away from other settlers.

They can technically live on Earth? because they look human, but the pollution there is dangerously unhealthy for them.

Culture

The Sylvan Creed? forbids Nymphs from entering into physical combat or commiting any act of needless violence against another living creature. There are exceptions to these rules: culling[^"Culling" is an emotionally difficult task as it entails killing so many of an over-populated animal to restore Balance to their habitat. It happens most often in areas that cannot support many species to begin with (such as in deserts), but Nymphs usually attempt to guide any excess to a more suitable habitat first.^], harvesting and self-defense are all sanctioned, but Nymphs are not permitted to wield weapons or wear armour intended for battle[^Nymphs can choose not to follow the Sylvan Creed but doing so is against the law in the majority of communes. Punishment can be extreme if caught.^]. Instead, they rely solely on their manipulation of the elements? and their bonds with nature.

Everything a Nymph does is with the purpose of maintaining the natural balance, be it cleansing nature[^"Cleansing nature" can be as simple as literally picking up rubbish or weeding an overwrought garden, but it can also be far more involved, such as purifying? sewage water). Wardens are only responsible for their own demesne, but Wanderers and other Nymphs are expected to keep an eye on Nature everywhere. It can be an arduous and thankless task.^], restoring life to a withering grove or culling a herd that is over-populated. They see themselves as Wardens of the Wild and the Guardians of Mother Nature, and all their customs trickle down from this.

Language & Names

Nymphs speak a lyrical derivative of Anyeli called Sylvan. The language sounds fluid and lilting, and is almost like music [^Nymphs can find music almost anywhere in the natural world, be it in the sound of a babbling brook or even the bubble of a lava pit. This ability to recognise such natural beauty has, over time, led to their being highly skilled in the art of making their own music, and whatever stories are not recorded by Shapers are instead sung. Many Nymphs have a good ear and a voice to match, but whoever cannot sing can learn to play an instrument instead. These instruments are usually made from dead wood and range in quality, with the most common being plain while some of the more valuable instruments have decorative fixtures and dye markings. Ayads also enjoy playing aeolian instruments using their command over the wind.^] [^If a Nymph cannot sing or play a musical instrument, they can learn to dance. This is both a highly sensual and symbolic art meant to reflect the ebb and sway of nature. It is used as a means of paying respect to the Creator and plays an integral part in the majority of rituals and ceremonies. While most Nymphs only ever learn the basics of dancing, some can go on to become top performers both in and out of their commune. Some also learn to incorporate their element, such as fire dancers who weave flame through complex choreographies that bring a sense of passion, danger or excitement to a performance.^] in speech.

Sylvan has fewer spoken words than other Elysian languages but each word can have several different meanings according to inflection and tone. Because of its complexity, they use Shaped murals and other visual markers to record significant events. They have no written language.

Names

Sylvan names commonly refer to nature and are meaningful to the parents. They are usually made up of a single word but can have suffixes attached to help differentiate between Nymphs of the same name in larger communes.

Some Nymphs adopt a surname when they leave their commune to better fit into Elysian society elsewhere. A few keep this surname if they expect to interact with outsiders often, though most drop it as soon as they return from their Rite of Passage.

The Out of Character inspiration for the Sylvan language is Ancient Greek. You can also use Modern Greek, Greek Mythology and some Elvish templates.

Religion & Philosophy

Nymphs are a deeply spiritual people who believe that everything in the natural world is connected to everything else. They believe that Xanth is responsible for the creation of every living thing in Elysia, and so consider Her to be the personification of Nature itself.

Nymphs do not supplicate or build temples. They consider the whole of Nature to be Xanth's shrine and they honour Her by keeping the Balance. Offerings take the form of song and dance, and many of their rituals and ceremonies are performed in Her name. Some Nymphs also dedicate their daily actions to Her by uttering Her name while performing them, especially for tasks that help to maintain the Balance.

Education

From an early age, Nymphs are taught to respect Mother Nature and to assist Her wherever and whenever they can. In their early years, this only pertains to simple things (like alerting an adult if something seems amiss) but they are granted more responsibilities as they grow, first permitted to observe others at their work and then to assist.

They have no formal education system and do not learn academia. Instead, they focus on survival skills and simple crafts (such as tracking or Shaping jewellery). They can also learn the traditional dances and songs of their commune.

By the age of 13, Nymphs know the profession they will choose as an adult and they spend the rest of their adolescence working as an apprentice in that field. However, novices sometimes return from their Rite of Passage with another profession in mind and are permitted to change their path (though such will mean more years of study) if they declare this decision at their Rite of Bonding.

Half-Breeds

Half-Nymphs are fairly common. Once they have successfully completed their Rite of Bonding, they are welcomed with open arms and considered a fully-fledged member of their commune. Until then, they tend to be viewed with suspicion, especially if their non-Nymph parent is of warring class (such as an Anyelos or Rutilus).

The tendency to block outsiders from communes forces most mixed-race families to either separate for the good of their child, to live on the fringes of the Sylvan community, or to raise their child as a non-Nymph instead. This makes it virtually impossible for the other parent to actively participate in their child's upbringing and can cause a great deal of tension within the family. Few mixed-race families remain intact, while others are forced to move to a more open commune or to leave the Sylvan Territories entirely so they can stay together.

History

 1800 XA     6200 BC     Nymphs are created.
 2322 XA     5678 BC     Elemental bond discovered.
 2803 XA     5197 BC     Elemental War begins. Lasts 184 years.
 2987 XA     5013 BC     Elemental War ends.
                         Nymphs agree to follow Sylvan Creed.
 4405 XA     3595 BC     Sidhe become subculture.
 5498 XA     2502 BC     Companion bond discovered.
 6300 XA     1700 BC     Elysia created. Second Migration.
 6400 XA     1600 BC     Nymphs lay claim to Fae Forest.
 6782 XA     1218 BC     Demesne bond discovered.
 8650 XA      650 AD     Nymphs grant Therians sanctuary.
 9787 XA     1787 AD     War of the Dragon begins. Lasts 4 years.
 9791 XA     1797 AD     War of the Dragon ends.

The first Nymphs appeared in what is now Greece in roughly 1,800 XA (6200 BC) after Xanth had attempted several genetic combinations between humans and Zanaryans. They inherited Xanth's beauty and grace, being the first of her Children to look fully human. In 2,322 XA (5678 BC), they discovered that they had also inherited the Zanaryan ability to manipulate the elements.

The Nymphs were everything the Zanaryans were not but suffered a different kind of prejudice which sent them into retreat. Over the centuries, they fled further and further from civilisation and clung ever harder to the older and kinder ways.

Skills & Paths

Attach:nymph_path.png

Nymph skills have developed out of an affiliation with, and a need to protect, the natural world and the balance of the elements. They are powerful despite their Creed but can wield only one element and later choose to specialise as a Wanderer or a Warden.

     Ayads:   Air
     Dryads:  Earth
     Nereids: Fire
     Nyads:   Water


Nymph Skills: Elemental Skills:
Wanderer Skills:
Nymph Weaknesses: Warden Skills:
Likely Jobs
Wildcrafter
Shaper
Dancer
Singer
Beastmaster
Crystal Singer
Jeweller
Weaver
Unlikely Jobs
Assassin
Slaver
Hunter
Roofer
Pirate
Guard
Magistrate
Archivist


You must have spent at least 5 skill points in your character's elemental skills before you can choose their specialty. When you are ready to choose, contact Emma? so she can update your character's information.

Related Pages

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

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<< | Nymphs? | >>

Races Nymphs Ayads Dryads Nereids Nyads Wanderers Wardens Bonded Elemental Bonding Fae Forest Forest Sylvan Territories Elementals