It is only recently that valenor have been accepted as Sentients. Until the mid-9,000s they were considered Mystics and did not often interact with the Sentient races in a friendly manner.
This lack of peaceful interaction came from their history of war-driven rulers, who would raid underwater mer, seces, and naga cities and sink boats to steal resources. It was obvious they were intelligent beings, not animals, but they kept themselves separate from Sentient societies.
Their newest king Cran Gakanorka Crune is more diplomatic than his predecessors and has outlawed raids in an attempt to bridge the gap between Sentient and valenor societies and protect his people from dying in unnecessary battles. Since Cran’s crowning in 9,548 AE the valenor population has more than tripled, and the new children are growing healthier and stronger than their parents.
Av. Height (without horn): 7’2”
Av. Height (with horn): 8’5”
Valenor are an aquatic, serpentine race with flat faces, large mouths, and large frills. They only have two limbs; long, gangly arms that look almost odd on their snakelike torsos. Their ears are simply a small hole by each eye with a strong tympanic membrane.
They absorb oxygen from the water through their skin and have no gills. Despite this, their skin is rather leathery and doesn’t hold water or produce mucus.
They have amazing night-vision, with their only match being the land-dwelling felinic.
The most important physical feature a valenor has is their horn. Every valenor has a large, glowing horn protruding from the top of their heads. These horns are made of living soulstone that grows with the valenor.
Valenor are unable to stop the glowing in their horns, which only grow dull during poor health or near-death. Even if their horn breaks off or is surgically removed, it will continue to glow until it’s owners death. Valenor lovers will often break off the tip of their horn for their partner. This small piece, like the rest of their horn, only stops glowing upon their death.
Similar to their horns, valenor have glowing patterns across their skin that they can flash on and off at will, usually for communication or to attract food or partners. These glowing patterns are not set in their skin and they can change the patterns with ease, even making themselves light up completely with bioluminescence if they so please.
Valenor also have large, showy frills around their heads that they can flare with bioluminescence patterns in order to look threatening. These displays of aggression are most common during above-water charges or surprise attacks. There is also a shorter frill running along their back that helps them swim.
Because of their aggressive natures, many valenor frills end up torn. They grow back and heal with little to no risk of infection, though it can take up to 500 years for a missing frill to completely grow back.
Down the underside of a valenor, from where their jaw meets their neck to the tip of their tail, there are hardened keratin plates. These plates are separate from one another and clack together like layered armour pieces; giving the valenor unique sounds and movements above water.
A valenor’s skin are usually natural colours found in the ocea. They can range from green-brown algae, to a deep sandy yellow-orange, to a dark ocean blue-black colour.
Their plates, frills, and glowing accents can be any number of colours; usually slightly brighter than their skin.
Generally, a valenor’s horn will be the same colour as their glowing accents. Though this is not always the case.
Their bones and teeth are black.
A valenor’s mouth makes up a large section of their face. Stretching from ear to ear they have no cheeks or lips to restrict how far they can open their mouths; some are able to dislocate their jaws in order to swallow larger prey whole.
Sometimes young valenor will whiten their teeth with a special bleach made of coral as a way of showing off how hardcore they are. This usually fades away in time, and after 50-odd years their teeth will be completely black again.
Their tongues are forked and are long enough that they can lick their own eyeballs if they so choose, though it is considered rude to do so in public.
There are not many physical differences between male and female valenor. The only noticeable difference is that the males have tentacles joining at the base of their jaw, which they can move at will.
Longer tentacles are considered more masculine, while those with shorter tentacles are considered more feminine.
Valenor genitalia is found hidden under one of their protective plates. This particular plate is made from cartilage instead of keratin, though it is impossible to tell from looks alone. It is a lot looser and softer than the rest of the plates and has extra muscles attached that lets the valenor pull it back to reveal their genitals. This plate needs to be kept clean in order to keep away infection.
Valenor women have a vaginal slit with puffy, muscular lips that are able to squeeze tight enough to crack bone. Their clitoris is large, swelling and protruding out of their lips when they are aroused. This clitoris glows the same colour as their horn and is constantly emitting light.
Men have a small slit that hides their internal genitalia. Similar to women, the men’s genitalia glows the same as their horn. Their penis is short, flexible tentacle that is partially prehensile and has a small secondary tentacle on top; this secondary tentacle is an enlarged clitoris that is partially fused with their penis.
All valenor have become intermixed due to migration, to the point where it is nearly impossible to distinguish between them and their original place of origin in the world.
There are, however, a few facts known about the valenor traits:
- Valenor with darker frills originally came from deeper waters.
- Orange-frilled valenor are the only valenor who can live in freshwater for extended periods of time (1000 eclipses instead of the usual 500).
- The brighter a valenor’s glow, the deeper in the ocean their ancestors came from.
More common than individual races of valenor are specialist body types that valenor have selectively bred into themselves under the instruction of previous kings; body types built for strength, speed, stamina, etc. are all very common, though they are not considered different enough to be separate races.
Deformities and Disabilities
A valenor born without a glowing horn is rare, but not unheard of. They are considered cursed children who must be challenged to prove themselves worthy of life.
They are given to a pod of orca and expected to live without the company of other valenor for 20 eclipses; acting as both the child of the orca and the protector, hearing stories of their people from the creatures and training to become great warriors.
If the valenor is deemed worthy by the orca, the pod will take them to the king’s palace and they will be accepted into valenor society.
Other than the cultural baggage and difficulty in monitoring health, a valenor without a glowing horn has no inherent issues.
Relationships and Life-Cycle
The Abolished Breeding Program
Valenor, before Cran’s crowning, didn’t get to choose their own sexual partners and were paired via physical ability and what their best skills were. A request to conceive with a specific partner could be made, but if their skills were not compatible they would be denied the right to have a child together.
Valenor grew accustomed to this within a few generations— often complying with the mating programs because they were not forcefully separated from their chosen partners unless they attempted sexual intercourse or conceived children together.
When Cran took over the valenor he stopped the breeding program and changed the laws so valenor were allowed to conceive with their chosen partners.
At first the community was confused and unsure how to react, but they soon grew excited and began courting their partners with extravagant gestures. This resulted in partners who had been together their entire lives taking hundreds of years to court each other sexually, and birth rates dropped more than 40%. However, the mortality rate for young has dropped from 65% to 28%, as parents have become more vigilant in protecting the young they conceived with loving partners and far fewer children have been abandoned or lost during the splitting of assigned partnerships.
The general population has also become happier, and some children as young as 5 eclipses are able to create glowing patterns that the older generations were unable to learn until their early 20s.
Valenor gestation lasts for roughly 3 years. During the final year of pregnancy, the female’s keratin plates will glow slightly, indicating the health of her child. Birthing time can last anywhere between five minutes to an hour and is described as “barely a challenge” by valenor mothers.
Valenor children are born as fully formed, capable children that learn to speak, swim, and even hunt on their own within their first two months. The only thing valenor are not born with are their horns; instead, they have a small glowing plate of keratin that grows as they age.
Though they are fast developers, they are extremely small and susceptible to disease for their first 2 eclipses and need their parents’ help in surviving this difficult time. If separated from their parents before their third eclipse, there is a 1:700 ratio of survival.
They hit puberty around 9 eclipses (indicated by rapid growth spurts and hormonal outbursts) and are considered adults at 10, though their physical and emotional development usually finishes around 13.
• Their average lifespan is 5000 eclipses, although this is expected to rise with the population becoming healthier, and certain valenor have been known to be over 10000 eclipses old.
• The true lifespan of valenor is unknown as even the eldest known valenor appear young and it is usually a severe sickness or injury that ends their lives.
• The large drop in the birth rate is also due to the hesitance of partners to conceive in case the laws change back.
• Valenor are unable to interbreed with any other race, though they have tried.
Valenor live in family groups around the world, which migrate every 100 years. During their migrations, they visit their current king’s palace (usually made into the wall of deep underwater ravines or coral reefs).
The kings are the only Valenor who do not migrate. Instead the king will choose a place to live and create a palace, staying in one place so they can be found easily by their people when needed.
The official word used to refer to the valenor leader is Ckhjavalktyirme, though most Sentients prefer to use the word “king” as the valenor’s term is too difficult to pronounce. This is a mistranslation, however, and a closer translation would be “warrior guardian.”
Though the term “king” is used by Sentients, valenor do not discriminate over the sex of their ruler and have had just as many female kings as they have had male.
After the death of the king, a ceremony is held to determine who will take their place. They do not have to be related to the previous king; any who wish to take the throne may take part in the ceremony.
The king’s crown is shattered and those taking part in the ceremony will consume a shard in a banquette known as galksasks. Within three days, those who have eaten the crown will fall sick. This sickness usually kills the majority of participants; leaving only a small percentage of the potential heirs alive.
Those who survive the sickness will then leave the known valenor territories for 3 years. Those who manage to survive the hardships of the outside return to the palace and, if they still wish to take the throne, will proceed to fight to the death over the king’s title. This fight is usually difficult, as the valenor have grown to see each other as friends or even family in their time away, and it is considered an honourable decision to refuse the fight and give up heirship.
After becoming king they have their glowing horn surgically removed, and will carve it into their crown. This is done in order to humble them and to show how much they are willing to sacrifice to become their people’s guardian.
There are rumours of multiple valenor kings in the outside territories; Cran is the first recorded king to acknowledge these rumours may be true, as he was raised in an outside territory where many claimed to worship other kings. He is not sure, however, and also mentions that kings in the outside territory “have no honour” as they do not follow the ceremony to become king and do not remove their own horns, usually acting more like bandits groups than guardians of their people.
Ownership of the World
Valenor think very highly of themselves; many of the older generations believe they own the ocean above other Sentients, and that land-dwellers should be grateful to the god Vale Nor for pulling the continents from the ocean for them to live on.
They do not have individual countries or kingdoms because of this, and will just move in wherever they want; being some of the only Sentients to dare travel into unmapped territories. They tell stories of huge aquatic monsters and undiscovered islands and magics, often in tales about their own strength for surviving the situation.
The valenor that travel outside explored territories do not always return every 100 years; many even dare go against their king and are banished to the furthest reaches of the planet.
Valenor hunt all ocean prey, including deinosuchus, plesiosauria, and ocean-dwelling dragons. The only things they don’t hunt are other Sentients and whales, including orca and dolphins.
Whales are considered holy animals by the valenor, who understand their language and are able to speak with them. This comes from the tale of Vale Nor and how whales protected him when he was at his weakest.
Orca often join in hunting with valenor. Wild pods of orca instinctively recognise valenor as co-hunters and they team up to hunt large prey. Valenor do not train orca, but have evolved alongside orca. Dolphins also have this instinct, and will help valenor herd fish or track other prey for valenor to kill, and are rewarded with amounts of meat they would never be able to get on their own.
In the year 2,000 BW valenor and mer signed a hunting treaty, now known as the Expedition Treaty. In return for the outlawing of whaling in mer societies, valenor recovered ancient mer artefacts from an ancient burial trench. This treaty caused an unexpected, but welcome, boom in the whale population as the mer were able to influence other Sentients and have the creatures redefined as sapient Mystics instead of Bestial animals.
Valenor do not often hold religious beliefs, and they have no religion-based culture. They all do, however, believe in their ancestral demigod Vale Nor, who moved islands and kept the ocean alive during a great darkness that nearly wiped out all life.
The valenor accent for spoken languages has been described by many as “terrifying”. They have insanely deep voices that echo through their entire bodies in an almost demonic way. They often have trouble understanding Sentients that speak in higher-pitched voices; they say that the high-pitch voices make their ears sting and will avoid conversation with those who do not have deeper voices.
Valenor do not have a written language— though they are able to learn other Sentient’s written languages if given enough time. They tend to see no point in doing so, however, and most choose to stay illiterate unless they are integrating with other cultures.
Their underwater communication is mostly done by the glowing patterns along their scales. The brightness, shape, and speed of the flashing all have different meanings.
Some valenor have learnt how to form International words in their glows. Though usually, they only do this to flash insults at seces.
Valenor laughter is as low and scary as their voices. It sounds more like a growl than a laugh, and many Sentients misinterpret it as a sign the laughing valenor is displeased. It can be heard underwater; though in the water it sounds distorted.
Valenor do not wear clothes, but will decorate themselves in jewellery and piercings until they encumber themselves and make swimming difficult.
Their preferred piercings are carved from coral or shells, though anything made from bright colours is considered a nice accessory to a valenor.
They also like to trim their frills, cutting patterns into them to make themselves look more threatening.
Valenor names are a title, generally coming from a shortened sentence or from a common saying at the time of their birth.
For example, Cran Gakanorka Crune comes from the saying “cran laka ziti gakanorka crune”, meaning “fighting with your head proud” (less-literally: to show pride as a warrior) and his name translates into “Proud Head Fighting”.
The name valenor is thought to have come from the island moving demigod, Vale Nor, the ancestor to valenor kind.
Most of their bones are cartilage and disintegrate within 100 years of their death, except their skulls, teeth, and stomach plates, which are made from keratin and bone and can fossilise. The glowing horn slowly stops glowing, in death, and eventually turns into diamond.
The older they get, the more extreme temperatures they can survive. Older valenor are able to survive in below freezing temperatures, and some have even been able to swim in lava.
It is believed that in 50,000 BW the valenor went to war with the kurloke. However, the valenor have no known records of this war; it is believed they destroyed them after the war was lost to the kurloke-raised kitsune, Kurlune.