The Children of the Relics
The Children of the Relics are the children born of physical mothers whose souls were chosen and blessed by the Gods of Nirus. For each of the five realms, one Relic Child was born: Land, Sky, Ocean, Dream, and Death. To this day, the Relic Children have long been dead and reincarnated for over 2,000 years, their royal Bloodline passed down through the ages. The only Relic Child still alive today is Dream, who doesn’t age at a regular pace due to his timeless residency in the subconscious plane of Aspirre.
Each Relic Child was hailed as the Chosen Divines by the realms, since they were the only shifters born with all three of their realm’s elemental Hallows.
Land was a Terravoker, Arborvoker, and Healer.
Sky was an Astravoker, Imbrivoker, and Aerovoker.
Ocean was an Aquavoker, Glaciavoker, and Pregravoker.
Dream was a Somniovoker, Decepiovoker, and Seer.
Death was a Pyrovoker, Necrovoker, and Infeciovoker.
Grimish was spoken nationally by the Grimlings. However, during the reign of Death’s birthmother, Queen GrimishGrimish is the native language of the Death realm, Grim. Before Death and the other Relic Children were born, Nathaleih Shyuhou Ember, she was enthralled with the Landish language and is credited with building its vast popularity in Grim, making it the new primary language in time. Though Grimish is still widely spoken by native Grimlings, Landish is still the dominant language today.
The native language of Marincia.
The native language of Culatia.
The Void and the Great Unknown
The Void is considered purgatory for rotten and sinful souls in the Harmonist religion. It is believed that once the Goddess Nira has Cleansed these souls of their rot and sin, she takes them to the Great Unknown, which is thought to be the “waiting room” for souls to be reborn again.
The Dragons of Nirus
For every element of Hallows (with the exception of all Dream Hallows), there is a dragon that embodies that element.
Land: Stonedragon, Barkdragon, Landragon
Sky: Skydragon, Shockdragon, Nimdragon
Ocean: Seadragon, Vicedragon, Frostdragon
Death: Bonedragon, Flamedragon, Poisondragon
Nirussian Items and Minerals
Olium is lightweight, extremely durable mineral that is found in the deeper caves of Grim, where the veins are closest to the planet’s magma-filled mantle and are in a constant liquefied state until extracted and left to cool. Once cooled, the metal can be crafted, but forging the material is incredibly difficult and only skilled smiths are able to handle the task.
Spiritcrystal is a mineral found in the caverns of Grim. It is a unique crystal which physical skin cannot touch. Adversely, it is one of the few things ghosts can make contact with. The Reapers use this crystal to forge their specialized scythes which allows them to cut a shifter’s necroseam without damaging the body.
Vision-gems are minerals found in the Land realm’s mines which, when broken apart, can show what the other piece is reflecting. Modern technologies led by Culatia’s top inventors in 2102 A.B. have learned to harness Vision-gems to bring devices such as Vision-screens, communicators, and other numerous devices.
Levi-stones are magnetized rocks that are repelled only by the planet’s core, causing them to be pushed into the air and kept suspended so long as the oppositely-charged side is facing the core. Culatia’s islands are made of these stones, which is speculated by many geologists as to the reason Culatia’s islands float.
Storage-gems are a gummy, gel-like mineral found in Everland’s mines. When an object is pushed inside it, that object’s size and weight shrink to a fifth of its original mass until that object is removed.
Yinklît Gel is sap from a long-leafed plant that is native to Culatia. It is similar to the Aloe vera plant, but instead of possessing soothing properties when applied to burns, Yinklît Gel dampens all Hallows effects when an Evocator’s hands are coated in the substance. If the gel is ingested, it can cause serious damage to an Evocator’s Hallows for several days, and in some cases, it can wipe their magic connection permanently.
Shotri are the latest ranged weapons created by Culatia’s top weapon-smiths. They require ammunition made of meta-glass pellets with entrapped elemental magics which, when fired, cause damage or temporary paralysis on a target, depending on the element the pellet housed.
Meta-glass is an alloyed material which combines Flexi-glass as the outer layer and Yinklît Gel as the inner layer. With this, Culatia’s top weapon-smiths have used these to make Shockspheres, Flamespheres, Splashspheres and the like, which are then used as ammunition for Shotri.
A gummy, gel-like glass found in Culatia’s mountain peaks that can be stretched and manipulated with ease while still wet. Once it has been through a kiln, it solidifies and become as fragile as normal glass.
The NecroSeam is a ghostly thread which sews a soul to its vessel. When a shifter of Nirus dies, the soul is still bound to its body by their NecroSeam. If three days pass without a Reaper coming to cut the NecroSeam and free the soul from its expired vessel, the trapped soul rots inside its corpse and merges into an undead creature that can only be killed by a weapon made of Spiritcrystal.
The world of Nirus is inhabited entirely by shifters, but they aren't quite the traditional shapeshifters who can transform from one human form to a full-on beast form. The shifters of Nirus are seen possessing traits of some kind (Ringëd Fleedfûrt is the only exception in the books) but these traits usually only consist of wings, horns, claws, teeth, ears, tails, scales, fins, etc. In the series, most shifters are born with a majority of their traits already showing (referred to as Primary Shifts), but some only appear when they are threatened or upset (teeth/talons/claws and even extra feathers/scales/fur).
Mammals seem to be the main beings whose traits actually shift, with their ears, claws and teeth. Antlers and horns are always out and don’t retract, nor do wings and scales. The fish shifters are the most unique due to their inherent ability to switch their Primary Shift to tails or legs when they are in or out of water, and this is the largest range of shifting that happens among the shifters.
Evocators are shifters born with elemental magic. There are fifteen elements in total, though most Evocators only possess one element. In rare cases, some are born with two elements and are known as Dual-Evocators. 1 in 5,000 shifters are single-elemental Evocators and 1 in 10,000 shifters are Dual-Evocators.
The Hallows are the “Gods’ Blessings”, which are elemental magics to which certain shifters are born. A shifter’s Hallows element is defined based on the realm they are from. For each realm, there are three elements. Those who have been Blessed (known as Evocators) are commonly given only one element, but there are a rare few who are born a Dual-Evocator and are Blessed with two elements. Those born without Hallows are often known as the Hallowless.
Only the Relicbloods (those who are descendants of the Relic Children) have ever possessed all three of their patron realm’s Hallows.
The Realms of Nirus
Nirus is the world in which Willow of Ashes is set. It features the five realms of Land, Sky, Ocean, Dream and Death. Each realm inherently has its personal follies and fortunes, and their militaries are focused on specialized jobs unique to their homeland countries.
EVERLAND and NEVERLAND (Land)
The realm of Land is comprised of two continents called Everland (the main setting in Willow of Ashes) and Neverland (introduced in Orbs of Azure and featured fully in Pearl of Emerald). While the two continents are still under the jurisdiction of Shel’s patronage, the country underwent a cultural rift when its Relicblood was murdered by an unnamed Infeciovoker and an heir was not available to take over.
At the time of the realm’s paradigm shift, there had been one whole continent (Everland), but in the late 1500s, due to its sudden lack of leadership, there was much controversy over who would take the throne next. Half the country wanted a man on the throne and the other half wanted a woman. Instead of reaching an agreement, the two sides split the realm’s territories in half. Near the same time that this decision was made, the very land itself began to break due to a strange continental drift, and tore into two continents. No one in Nirus is exactly sure why this physical break happened alongside its cultural break, but many clergymen have speculated that Shel Himself tore apart the country as a testament to His disapproval for either side’s actions.
Today, there are still those of the resistance who believe the true heir to Land’s throne will return.
The sacred Relic of Ever/Neverland is the Blossom of Gold.
Culatia is made of floating islands in the sky which revolve around the globe exactly once per year (1 year=300 days on Nirus).
The islands’ patron deity is Ushar, whose cultural philosophy is dedicated to the thrill of games first, and the hard work of serious matters second, which is the reverse for its cultural opposite, Marincia. The shifters of this realm are typically birds or winged dragons.
The sacred Relic of Culatia is the Phoenix of Scarlet.
Marincia’s territories are the islands between the two continents of Land. Their deity is Rin, whose cultural philosophy is dedicated to the hard work of serious matters first, and the relaxation of leisure activities second, which is the reverse for its cultural opposite, Culatia. The shifters of this realm are typically fish and other oceanic animals.
The sacred Relic of Marincia is the Pearl of Emerald.
Aspirre is the most unique realm of the five. Unlike its physical neighbors, Aspirre is purely the subconscious plane to which shifters’ souls visit in their dreams. The realm itself is described as an empty void, but it is also mentioned that various roads and small, replica cities are found floating in the abyss. These roads and cities are created by local Somniovokers who have “woven” them together with their dream magic.
This realm is also unique because it exists in a plane that has no concept of “time”. The king of Aspirre, the Relic Child Dream, is said to have lived in his timeless kingdom for over 2,000 years, yet barely looks to be in his late teens or early twenties, since he lives there both physically and spiritually.
Aspirre’s patron deity is Iri, the God of Time. Its sacred Relic is a trio of spheres called the Orbs of Azure.
Grim is an underground kingdom of freezing caverns and wide, hollow tunnels which are located beneath the mid-realms of Land and Ocean. The continents are directly under Land’s continents, but are instead called “Low” Everland and “Low Neverland”. The cities are prefixed with “low” as well if they are directly (or approximately) located under the relative cities on the surface lands.
Grim’s ceiling is coated in long stalactites, but they are hidden within thick, twisting cavern mists that resemble the surface’s “clouds”. Within these clouds are cold, glowing balls called the “Floating Lights”, which are one of the only things the ghosts residing in Grim can touch.
Though Grim is the designated safe house for ghosts (due to the various mines where a specter-friendly mineral called Spiritcrystal is extracted and exported) the ghosts coinhabit the caves with living shifters as well.
Grim’s patron deity is Nira, the Goddess of Death. Its sacred Relic is a pure white willow tree called the Willow of Ashes.