Races of Avendar, Chapter VIII: The Nefortu

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An excerpt from the Races of Avendar, an in-game text found in the school of heroes, this chapter covers the nefortu.

Nefortu: Section 1

The nefortu rose in Avendar's far south, southeast of the human city of
Ashta Harrud.  According to nefortean shaman, the race lived in a great
canyon that was plentiful in food, shade, and heat.  The race venerated
their first deity, Tzajai, and it was there that they developed their
characteristic love for games, entertainment, and frivolity.  

This changed with the coming of Bayyal, whose fiery magic both terrified and
amazed them.  Although many died to the fury of this new god, many more
embraced his furious bent and the explosive powers of Fire.  This marks an
interesting contrast to the rise of Fire elsewhere, with the srryn, and
suggests a measure of fate, rather than chance, in being discovered twice in
two different places.  

Bayyal led the flame-mad nefortu north, out of their idyllic canyon, and
joined the War of Fire by torching the prosperous southern human
civilization of Ashta Harrud.  The feverish destruction laid waste to the
fertile lands, and the fury of Bayyal transformed the grasslands into the
vast, permanent scar known as the Crimson Sands.  With His imprisonment by
Jolinn, many nefortu sought new homes in post-War Avendar.  

Nefortu: Section 2

The nefortu settled into a canyon just north of the Crimson Sands, which
they called Kzaya-Ha, while others of their kind continued north by night. 
They found their way to a sea-cave, which they called Rahh-Nefor, and in the
process, discovered their great affinity for commerce.  They lauded a
goddess, Ayaunj, as the mistress of trade, finding tentative ties with
humanity via Var Bandor.  

During the War of Night, the shuddeni employed the nefortu as assassins and
thieves, seeking to use them against the allied forces they fought.  The
nefortu did so only for profit, and with the victory of the light, turned on
their former shuddeni allies.  They gained a measure of respect from other
races in hunting and driving out shuddeni in nearby caverns-- also for
profit.  Their trade ties only increased.  

The nefortu, however, never created unified kingdoms or empires like those
of the humans or aelin.  Nefortu are given to a playful, trick-oriented
nature, and their exceptional greed and craftiness is respected among their
own far more than it is tolerated by others.  Thus, nefortean societies
remain rudimentary, and are unlikely to ever produce lasting political

nefortu: Section 3

nefortu embrace the idea of chance, and pursue fortunes by all manner of
trickery.  They are considered the inventors of the business contract, as
well as the creators of modern gambling.  They also possess a strong
affinity for magic, making them some of the most formidable practitioners of
Fire magic out of all races.  

Physically, nefortu are the smallest race, averaging between three and four
feet in height.  Their bodies are nimble but tough, and they are gifted with
the ability to fly on leathery wings.  Their faces are often bat-like and
their bodies hairless.  They prefer caves or dark places to live, but some
have integrated themselves into mainstream society under the auspices of