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Shattered Kingdoms
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Sprite Bloodlines

An exerpt from Sprites: History, Culture and Mystery, by Sool...

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"Common to the ancient epic song-dances of each the sprite bloodlines is a tale of how the sprites, once one in personality and appearance, came to be far-flung in small groups across the earth, each group growing to become a full-fledged subspecies, or bloodline. This is the only commonality between the historiographies of the bloodlines; it seems that there was indeed either a diaspora or a flight from something that would have destroyed the entire race, but the song-dances are unclear. They only state that there was a time of great fear and fast movement across the land in all directions, and then a great longing to be back in 'the land of shimmer-green'.

It has only been in past few centuries that the sprite bloodlines have explored far enough to be able to recontact their lost brothers and sisters, and they have done so with rejoicing and abandon, organizing myriads of Pan-Sprite get-togethers, feasts, parties, treasure hunts, and prank competitions that draw sprites from every corner of existence. This reunion of the bloodlines has also caused a steady and rapid boom in sprite population and the birth of many cross-blood children. These new developments have been met with open arms by the sprite race as it watches its culture and blood become richer and stronger.

Sprite culture does not have (and seems never to have had) a central government, an official head of state, an economic system other than bartering, or any true hierarchy. The closest the sprites can claim to come to any of this is the existence of the Sunspark bloodline with its distinctive physical features and symbolic nobility. In truth, the Sunspark live just as other sprites do, though they have produced more great leaders (in the Sprite sense of the term) than any other bloodline in recent history. The ability of sprites not only to subsist but to thrive on what the land gives them has enabled them to live for millenia in a state of near total personal freedom that no other race or civilization can hope to rival. This, in turn, has enabled them as a race to focus on things other than survival, such as art, pleasure, wit, and physical grace.

Sprites have never had a system of official marriage. It is instead replaced by a biological function that bonds a couple emotionally for life. This occurs in slightly over one third of the population. Once a bond has been formed, it does not break unless one of the pair ceases to exist. While unbonded sprites have frequent and varied romantic dalliances, bonded sprites are unable to fall in love with or be attracted to anyone but their mate. Children of unbonded couples are never considered illegitimate, and the offspring of both bonded and unbonded couples are raised communally by the families in their village. All sprite infants (with the possible exception of a few pureblood Bloodwing) begin to fly within fifteen minutes of their birth."

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There are six sprite bloodlines. Each is unique and has characteristic generalities to identify them.

  • Bloodline Sunspark
    This are the sprites' "royal" bloodline, sometimes having a yellow or orange streak on otherwise normal sprite skin or in their hair. Most striking are their yellow eyes. Only sprites with two Sunspark parents are born with yellow eyes, but some mixed-blood Sunspark develop yellow or yellowish eyes later in life. While during normal sprite operations, the Sunspark behave and are treated just like those in the more common bloodlines, in times of trouble, sprites rally en masse around the Sunspark leadership, as sprites see them as symbols of their rich heritage. Sunspark prefer to live in the tropics.
  • Bloodline Springfoot
    The Springfoot is the most common sprite bloodline. They may have any combination of relatively pale colors of skin, hair, wings, and eyes. Found living in moderate climates in any kind of tree or treelike structure, they delight in shiny, tasty, silly, and beautiful things. The Springfoot have more of a sense of history and of their heritage than all other sprites but the Sunspark. Most sprite shamans are from the Springfoot bloodline because they relate well with their ancestor spirits... That is, because of their interest, they can sit still -just- long enough to communicate successfully with the spirits.
  • Bloodline Watersong
    Watersong sprites, as their name suggests, live near large bodies of water. They jokingly divide themselves into Salt and Sweet, referring to the type of water they live by. These sprites all tend to have more blue than most in their body coloring, sometimes with stripes or swirls of blue or blue-green. Watersong are especially adept at swimming and have muscular, extra-graceful bodies as a result. Further, this bloodline is famous among sprites for the lavish, extended parties its families throw, and especially well-known for the culinary delicacies at these parties. It is also a well-known fact that members of this bloodline have very high alcohol tolerance, and several have publicly embarrassed humans and elves by drinking them under the table.
  • Bloodline Cloudrunner
    The Cloudrunner bloodline, found mostly living in high-altitude areas, has several distinctive features: First, its pureblooded members all have snow white wings veined with black. Second, the more Cloudrunner blood a sprite has, the better he or she can survive extreme cold. Third, Cloudrunner people include among their small number some of the most powerful of the sprite mages. Anyone with any blood links to the Cloudrunner are subject to speculation about whether or not they will be more magically inclined than most other sprites (and that's saying a lot, as sprites are magical in nature). Cloudrunner sprites are generally short and stocky compared with other sprites.
  • Bloodline Greensands
    Greensands people are desert sprites, hiding out in hollowed-out cacti near oases. While during the summer months they are almost completely isolated from the rest of sprite society (no other sprite in his or her right mind would bother to endure the heat out in the desert), the cold desert winters chase the Greensands sprites to warmer areas, bringing them into contact with people of other bloodlines. During this period of contact every year, the Greensands re-establish themselves as the best pranksters of all sprites. It's a wonder that most "big people" haven't figured out why their seat cushions somehow get filled with cactus quills during the winter. Sprites with a lot of Greensands blood have varying shades of grass-green skin and wings, and strangely, purple or lavender hair. Their bodies are generally long-limbed and willowy.
  • Bloodline Duskdancer
    The Duskdancer bloodline is not a true bloodline, but it may become one in time. It is composed of sprites from all other bloodlines who have chosen, due to curiosity, to adapt to and become more involved in civilization and the societies of "big creatures." A Duskdancer sprite, when asked about his or her bloodline will usually give an answer such as, "I am a Duskdancer of the Springfoot bloodline." Duskdancers have the advantage of being more in touch with the rest of the world, therefore having far more access to new and exciting things. Duskdancers are not looked down upon, though sprite families are often sad to see one of their own fly off to live in a city. Instead, they are welcomed back whenever they return with friendly cries of, "What did you bring us? What did you see? Were there shiny things? Tasty things? Tell us!!"

-- by Indigo


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