Official Name: Taradeen
Unofficial Name: The Icelands
The Icelands are extremely remote, cold, and home to, mostly, predators and reclusive creatures that are not interested in interacting with others. Taradeen is also quietly, secretly, quite powerful. The majority of people who relocate to live there (only the tribals were there originally) have been rejected by their own people elsewhere, for one reason or another. Therefore, residents don’t tend to ask one another prying questions and don’t share information about one another freely with outsiders. This creates an environment whereby each is accepted and tolerated by their neighbors far beyond what might be considered acceptable by others of more discerning standards. That is to say, they don’t ask prying questions and in return expect the same in return. This has the side benefit of allowing those that would be fearful of discovery, to thrive and grow in their own ways. Mixed species families are much more common here than elsewhere. If it becomes important to address a neighbor, for one reason or another, generally a member of that family or close friend is approached and consulted on the matter. If it becomes necessary to confront someone for one reason or another, generally the Nexxi are consulted for a tribal meeting of the two parties in question.
Taradeenians are a bit misfit, and they like it that way. Much as the Shadowlands have their own inner culture and community rules, Taradeen has her own unspoken rules and cultural habits, albeit a bit more loosely translated.
“You can eat the odd outsider, but eating your next-door-neighbor is rude, dude!”- Taradeen aphorism
Taradeen has many secrets it doesn’t wish to share and many of the residents are extremely unpleasant (that means they often eat them, dismember them, or expel them from the land altogether…but, usually eat them.) towards outsiders poking around asking questions. If you seek information the only way to go about it is to consult with one of the Tribal Nexxi. The Tribal Nexxi is the only slightly governing body found in the Icelands. Given a respectful audience, due to their having actual roots in the land and considered honorable by all who are familiar with them, they act quite well as a mediating council of sorts.
The more intelligent animals (horses, birds, canines and felines) of Taradeen have strange bonds to their owners. They appear to be incredibly in sync with one another and many researchers have tried to ascertain how this is possible. While this researcher was greatly tolerated by the locals (after the Nexxi negotiated on my behalf) questions about this particular topic were met with subtle local resistance and outright intimidation and hostility. (I still feel that dumping my gear over the cliff to be excessive refusal! A firm “none of your business” would have sufficed)
Some of the most interesting residents of Taradeen include a were-ice-dragon hybrid, several ice witches, an entire community of were-selkies, and a rather reclusive (even for Taradeen standards) immortal Naga who lives deep beneath Taradeen within the twisty tunneled caves of the Fezorrel channel.
On this land, secondary animals (non-humanoid) outnumber the humanoid residents 5 to 1. Most include common creatures such as herd animals, foxes, rabbits, rodents, and birds of multiple species, but one can also find unusual breeds common only to Alderdeen lands, and thus highly prized by off-worlders as exports.
This land also includes groups of secondary creatures of high intellect such as the much-feared Ice Nuckelavee, the complicated Chenoo tribes, the terrifying Ijiraq clan. These creatures are not to be approached by any means. The locals were quite graphic in their explanations of why approaching them would be ill-advised (They could have just said they eat people! No need to go into such detail. My stomach was quite queasy afterward)
The plants and animals that inhabit Taradeen are immune to temperatures that can go as low as -500 degrees, and during winter, these temperatures can get as low as -550 and will kill anyone not accustomed to worlds of this type and adequately equipped with specialty gear that is made for planets of this type arctic/desert B7529 classification. The animals appear to have special flaps of skin that cover their ears, noses, and throats from exposure and, though the residents were helpful in explaining much about their creatures’ diets and life-cycles, there were some questions that were met with resistance and silence. My conclusion was that they do not wish to have such a lucrative export replicated by others off-world and thus, were reluctant to provide details on their animal genetics.
The animals in Taradeen are plentiful for hunting. They are, in fact, highly sought after for their meat, hides, and sinew. They are also highly desired for pets, but sadly, this is severely discouraged as the animals cannot long survive off-planet. Their genetic make-up appears to be uniquely tied to the planet and any prior attempts to relocate them have resulted in their deaths within days of leaving Alderdeen’s atmosphere.
The magic of Alderdeen is wild and untamed with new species of plants and animals “appearing” suddenly without warning, creating challenges and surprises for the local inhabitants. The tribal lands deal a lucrative trade with newcomers who seek to test and adapt these plants for multifunctional uses. The Nexxi are often sought by neighboring lands for inquiry and advice regarding possible medicinal and household uses of new plants, as well as, means of curtailing properties of plants that exhibit negative side-effects or traits that must be evaluated for danger or inconvenience.
Those of the Nexxi tribes’ have an outward physical description of an extremely short covering of soft white fur flocking over bright blue skin. Their flocked-skin is extremely soft to the touch and, it is said, increases their enjoyment sexually, (though I did not enquire about such in polite company). Their other, longer body hair consists of variations of multiple hues and tones of color ranging from white to the deepest blue-green imaginable. Males tend to only have a single shade of white, blue, or blue-green, ranging from light to dark in color. They have some curly hair, but most sport strong straight hair cut severely on bachelors and left long and greatly ornamented, on those in mated pairings.
The Ombre-graded shades of infused hair of the Nexxi females are considered the highest of beauty and many off-world citizens covet byproducts derived from such. Nexxi females have a hair root of 5 follicles rather than that of most humanoid species which contain only the one. This results in hair that is extremely thick, extremely strong, and may have multiple hues of color with each follicle of the 5 present. Females are, in fact, unable to cut their hair owing to the extreme resistance of the follicles to severing. The only way to obtain material from Nexxi’s hair is to allow the follicles to fall out naturally and gather them up over time. Nexxi hair is widely regarded for such things as bowstrings, sewing threads, packing string, and twine, among many other uses, such as decorative jewelry and hair adornments at quite a steep cost.
Since the Nexxi are spiritual creatures, they are generally not much interested in wealth or revenue. Any income or coin garnered for their tribe is used to cultivate and improve their knowledge of other cultures, tribes, and species found on other worlds and to obtain materials to grow their community.
Nexxi all have the same blue-toned skin and cobalt eyes. The males are extremely muscular and big-boned. In contrast, females are slender and appear quite fragile. This is in appearance only, as the unwary quickly learns when confronted with an angry female Nexxi. Each female is taught from childhood how to defend and protect herself from harm. It is part of their ritual to become a woman that she must defeat a predator in hand-to-hand combat before she can marry or mate. The males, likewise, must earn the right through combat to mate and marry. Their training is much more inclusive of tools and weapons for use in hunting and war.
The Nexxi consider their connection to the planet as deeply sacred. They maintain the Crystal Oracle and commune with it regularly when determining their laws, practices, and actions among the tribe. They are commonly used as interpreters for the planets will and many consult them for their wisdom regarding the will of the planet in many matters. Many of the other lands send emissaries and messengers from their lands to request an audience with the Nexxi for assistance despite the fact that they also have oracles that speak to them because the Nexxi are attuned to even the most minute impressions from the living planet.
There is one drawback to the connection a Nexxi feels to their planet. Being removed off-world has much the same result as that of removing a native animal. The Nexxi die if removed from their connection to the planet.
The Nexxi suffered most when the slavers first appeared above Aldeerden because they attacked and took 200 of the Nexxi women off-planet, which resulted in their deaths. The Nexxi have never forgotten or forgiven those losses. They head the Taradeen rebellion and aid any and all who seek protection.
Compared to many who have lost family to death, or worse capture, servitude, and torture at the hands of the slavers, blood elves, and demon allies, 200 dead sounds relatively a small amount, but to the Nexxi it is a deep wound, as the souls of their people are reborn into the bodies of their children 10 years after that soul has perished. When the females were taken off-planet their souls were lost to the Nexxi forevermore. This is the cause of great bitterness for the Nexxi as it means the loss of generations of passed loved ones as well as, those lost that day. Because their souls are reborn and do not completely die when their bodies die, the Nexxi are extremely dangerous enemies to make, as they are quite willing to die for their freedom. The planet mourns the lost 200 and they are referred to reverently as “The Nexxi lost”
The ritual of returning the soul to the planet when it dies is deeply secretive. Nobody knows exactly what happens there, but it lasts 2 days and the Nexxi kneel in reverence and respect for their dead until the planet indicates the soul has been received. Because the souls of the Nexxi are reborn they are spiritually related to one another, however, their bodies are not burdened with the stigma of intermarriage or birth defects, because the planet produces new bodies and new souls continuously along with those that are returning to life. The new souls will be reborn after the first life has passed, New souls are guided and spiritually entrusted to the oracle for their education. The souls that have been reborn 100 or more times eventually ascend and choose to live one final life before they are relegated to the halls of memory, where they are placed inside the Palix. The Palix serves as a place of memory and reverence. The souls here seek never to be reborn but rest in their memories of the collective lives they have lived.
Those who turn away from the ways of the Nexxi for evil, greed, or hatred are considered treasonous and are given the ultimate punishment of being executed without the possibility of being reborn. Their souls are never collected and never enter the Palix. This is, of course, an extremely rare occurrence as most are deeply connected to the planet, To date, there have only been 5 cases of Nexxi that have suffered such a punishment. They are referred to as “The Fallen 5”
Taradeen is a harsh but exceptionally beautiful place, with a growing and unstable structure that evolves and improves itself daily. Those that venture into its regions would be wise to observe carefully, take good notes, and contact the locals for assistance in navigating. Even the locals have reason to be careful, as their environment has not yet completed its evolution.