The Pell are a primitive tribal race that appears to have lived upon Nexus for thousands of years. Pell tribes can be found almost anywhere on Nexus where primal power is highly concentrated, and, depending on circumstances, may be aggressive or friendly. They universally believe the Eldan were gods, although they differ on which primal power deserves their religious devotion. They often refer to unseen deities called "the Masters," and much evidence indicated they served the former rulers of Nexus in their grand experiments.
Since the Eldan disappeared, the Pell have evolved into six broad groups - both aligned and mutated by long exposure to sources of primal power like the Primal Focuses. In addition to worshiping the Eldan, many tribes worship the Primevals as manifestations of the gods on Nexus.
Physical Description Edit
Ordinary Pell are somewhat reptilian in appearance with an exaggerated neck that is usually covered in a mane of coarse hair. Their bodies are short and squat, and they have long, thin limbs with claws on their hands and feet. There is no outwardly noticeably difference between Pell males and females.
Pell high priests are notably different from the baseline. Due to their constant exposure to and use of primal power, their bodies are much larger, stronger, and more distinctly humanoid than their subservient kin. They lack the "hunchback" look of ordinary Pell as well. Observing that high priesthood is often passed down from parent to offspring, some scientists have suggested Pell high priests should be classified as their own species - but this belief has not yet taken hold among the scientific community at large.
Every Pell tribe places a great deal of significance on tomes detailing their history and teachings. These tomes are kept and maintained over the years by individuals known as tome-binders. Pell books are each unique handmade items, some containing thousands of years of history. Pages from old books are transferred to new bindings with each generation, and tome-binders will expertly copy pages that need replacing due to age or damage.
Scans indicate the Pell have undergone considerable physical evolution in a very short time, most likely due to living in such close proximity to high concentrations of primal energy such as the focuses. According to the data collected, the Pell were once tall, elegant, and highly intelligent. Today, they are hunched, misshapen creatures with generally simplistic language skills, living in small tribes completely ruled by their superstitions. Perhaps data gleaned from Eldan facilities could shed more light on the history of this unusual species.
Pell construct their buildings out of old pieces of Eldan technology, a process known as arcanism. It is not uncommon to see pieces of old starships, industrial piping, and electrical conduits incorporated into their homes. Many times, the Pell will use old lights, computers, and devices as ornamentation or totemic symbols, oblivious to the original intended function of the device. The Pell shamans who create these objects are called arcanists, and have a special understanding of the handiwork of the gods which has been passed down, generation to generation, since the time of their service to the Eldan. Often, arcanists will repurpose old technological devices for different functions - many of them associated with religious rituals pertaining to the primal powers or their long-lost "Masters," such as the storm totems of the Thundercall Pell. Given that much of the Eldan's technology was designed to manipulate primal energy, it often indirectly helps connect the Pell to the primal power they worship.
Notable Tribe Members Edit
There are several key members that most Pell Tribes utilize.
Arcanists are the individuals in the tribe who are responsible for finding and maintaining the ancient technological devices used in the village. In almost every case, this ancient technology is not used for the purpose it was originally designed. Arcanists believe that these ancient machines are infused with powerful elemental spirits, and can often be observed attempting to communicate with them.
Arcanists are known to collect the datacubes left behind by their Eldan progenitors. They consider these objects most sacred, as they 'contain the spirits of their Masters who disappeared so long ago.
High Priests Edit
High priests are the supreme authority in Pell villages, serving as both community and spiritual leaders. For the Pell, everything in the village revolves around the study and worship of their primal attunements, and the high priest serves as the conduit between individuals and primal enlightenment. High priests preside over most village rituals, and call the village to arms during times of war.
Unlike ordinary Pell, the high priests are only chosen from the most primally attuned individuals in the village, and their heavy use of primal power has a drastic effect on their bodies: high priests are taller, stronger, and more humanoid than their hunched, devolved kin.
Physiological Variations Edit
Although Pell physical structure is remarkably similar across all clans, small variations in physiology show evidence of prolonged exposure to a singular source of primal power. Pell from the Disciples of Water clan, for example, possess primitive proto-gills which allow them to remain submerged for prolonged periods. Other examples: The Disciples of Fire have thicker skins than average, allowing them to endure close proximity to heat and flame. Disciples of Logic possess increased intelligence, Disciples of Life enjoy longer lifespans, and Disciples of Earth are able to sense precious metals by smell alone. Some Disciples of Air are even known to display proto-feathers, though this may be a case of regression, as Pell are believed to be of avian origin.
Pell Constructs Edit
Although most of the Eldan technology used by the Pell is in various states of disrepair - and is rarely employed for its original purpose, regardless - sturdy Eldan constructs are a frequent exception. Simple machines like Eldan probes, in particular, can be easily repurposed by Pell to follow simple commands, frequently acting as "watch dogs" for suspicious Pell tribes.
Pell Clans Edit
Pell tribes are generally grouped into clans which are attuned to a shared primal power, such as water or logic, and go by the name Disciples. These clan names are used as a general designator by those within the tribe, and are analogous to large sects within a single religion.
Where tribe names are usually local and refer to specific aspects of the tribe's practices and beliefs, such as the Thundercall Pell, clan names are broad and formalized. For example, if a Pell clan worships primal earth, they are part of the Disciples of Earth clan; those who worship logic are part of the Disciples of Logic clan, and so on.
Disciples of Air Edit
The Disciples of Air are attuned to the primal power of air. Like Osiric the Primeval, the Disciples of Air are as wild and uncontrollable as a storm - and will generally attack anyone who comes near to their villages. Their magic and rituals involve storms, lightning, and avian creatures. When speaking about the power of air, these Pell often refer to it as the Storm.
Disciples of Water Edit
The Disciples of Water are the Pell clan attuned to the primal power of water. Their behavior can be as fluid as water itself - sometimes they are peaceful, and other times they are warlike. They can support life, or they can cause destruction. Their magic and rituals involve lakes, rivers, and the ocean - and they often worship powerful aquatic creatures. When speaking about the power of water, these Pell often refer to it as the Flow.
Calmwater Chanters Audio analysis of the chants sung by the Calmwater Pell and other Disciples of Water show that the frequencies at which the Pell sing have a profound sympathetic effect on primal water. This effect also influences the Pell themselves, granting their bodies a more fluid structure, which can even spread to others in close proximity if they join the chant.
Pell Tribes Edit
The smallest form of Pell community is the tribe. Tribes are aligned with one of the six existing Pell clans - larger groups joined by shared worship of a particular primal element - but possess their own local names and traditions. Therefore, a Pell may be a member of both the Disciples of Life (the primal-life-oriented Pell clan) and the Heartsong tribe (a specific tribe that lives in the village of Heartsong and worships primal life). Pell tribes generally occupy a single village, or sometimes a few villages connected by trade or a shared clan.
Thundercall Pell Edit
The Thundercall Pell tribe are among the most ancient of the Disciples of Air - the clan of Pell dedicated to primal air and the primeval known as Osiric. Unlike many of their fellow Air Disciples, however, the Thundercall have learned how to operate a remarkable machine known as an Eldan incubator. With the help of shamans known as chanters, the Thundercall have rebuilt this device and harnessed its ability to infuse a living being with a specific type of primal energy.
They have chosen to infuse one of their greatest high priests with primal power directly channeled from the Focus of Air. If successful, their creation Stormtalon could alter the balance of power on Nexus.
Servants of Toria Edit
The Pell tribe that call themselves the Servants of Toria are just that, and have been for centuries if not millennia. Seemingly commanded by the Eldan to keep watch over the Holy Swordmaiden and her extended family, they worship Vitara and primal life - but their overriding concern even to this day is the safety of Tresayne.