These creatures are dwellers of darkness, preferring deep subterranean complexes as their homes. They inhabit black caves and winding tunnels under the earth, often creating grand complexes in mountains and deep valley regions. Deshiven are a race all in their own, with their origins left to speculation. Since they have a somewhat similar physical structure akin to the pale skinned Elsyven they were first mistaken for a sub-breed. Yet the Deshiven are completely unrelated to the Elsyven, in demeanor, disposition and appearance. They find comparisons or references to the pale skinned ones blasphemous and annoying.
The Deshiven claim that the Elsyven created their false stories because they were jealous. Truth be told the reason for their animosity towards one another is long lost, but the dislike still pulses deeply.
Deshiven usually have any color of light to dark gray, gray-beige, to gray-blue skin and hair ranging from shades of gray, black or white. Deshiven males are capable of growing facial hair, yet this hair is always well groomed and shaped. Their eyes are surprisingly narrow compared to an elsyven’s, and can be any shade of orange, yellow, silver, brown, black or red. They have no apparent pupil, as their pupil is the same color as their iris. They are shorter and more slender than humans, with sleek shaped bodies. You will never see a fat deshiven, for they have extremely high metabolisms. The tallest height for deshiven males is 5′ 10″, where as females tallest height is 5′ 8″, with no deshiven shorter than 4′ 6″ at maturity. Deshiven have finely chiseled sharp features, and their fingers are long and delicate. Their ears are long and sharply pointed, but not as long or as widely set as an elsyven’s.
Physically they are quite capable of great feats of agility and speed, but compared to humans they possess a weaker constitution. However, Deshiven are physically muscled and built better than the Elsyven they are often compared to. One would say they have an exotic allure to them, a dark strange beauty. Deshiven value their appearances highly and tend to show it off openly amongst their kind, having no sense of ‘shame’ as surface dwellers would say at showing skin, especially the females.
The maximum lifespan of a Deshiven is 700 years. They tend to age well, possessing few wrinkles, with only slight age lines and even then they still possess a refined ageless look. Their hair may darken, or gain streaks of gray, silver, or a dark pewter as they age. Given their extended lifespan the Deshiven take longer to mature physically and mentally. Females carry children in the womb for about sixteen months. A Deshiven does not reach proclaimed adulthood until they are about 126-175 years of age.
70-125 (Adolescence)/ 126-175(Maturity Age)/ 176- 245 (Young Adult) / 246- 315 (Adult) / 316-350 (Middle Aged) / 351-385 (Prime) / 386+ (Elder)
Deshiven have a low birthing rate in general, being about one per every thirty humans born. On top of this they have a strong set society codes; following dedicated calendar periods which they believe are blessed by their gods to produce strong children. It is because of this that they have an even slower birth rate than they would otherwise.
It is known that human and deshiven can interbreed, but it is an uncommon occurance given the deshiven’s societal views.
To learn more about the human/deshiven offspring, see the Halfbloods section.
Deshiven have dark vision, being able to see in shades of gray/black/white in the dark. They also have a greater tolerance for cold given their subterranean lifestyles.
However, Deshiven have a difficult time seeing in the sunlight due to their extremely sensitive eyes. They are often are blinded the moment they set foot on the surface during the daylight hours. Even the full moon sometimes hurts their delicate eye sight. It would take many years of training to grow even slightly accustomed to the light of the surface world, but even so their eyes remain sensitive to intense light. They are not very tolerant of hot/humid temperatures.
Males and females play all sorts of roles within Deshiven society, yet those with the most power are the priests and priestesses. Many of those within these collections are women, and so that’s how the majority of most Deshiven societies are controlled by a group of high ranked females.
The deshiven are highly competitive beings, and so their society may seem brutal or even cruel to outsiders. Deshiven are thinkers and plotters, many enjoying the games of power and intrigue within their societies. Killing a rival is too easy, they prefer to break them down and destroy them. The strong rule, the weak serve, that is what they believe.
They have a bit of a collective streak for fine things, many times to the point of hoarding, gems, precious metals, and trinkets. This is one reason why their societies are targeted by outsiders, for their accumulated valuables, and why outsiders who enter their domain are treated with guarded caution. To steal anything from a deshiven’s private hoard is like signing a death sentence, even if it is just a simple glass marble.
Their clothing styles vary depending on rank, but in general they favor snug, form fitted upper torso cloth, silks, and leathers. Many women favor wispy cloth and trains that flow out from the hip.
Because of their underground habitat the Deshiven primarily feast upon items that thrive in darkness, such as fungi, plants and miscellaneous subterranean creatures. Some surface species of animals have been brought down into their region, such as chickens, goats and sheep. They make their own odd variety of breads from a wheat like plant, and use their obtained flocks of goats for milk, cheese and butter. It is quite common for them to feast upon insects of assorted varieties as well, like mealworms or locusts, though Shine Beetles (-a specific large variety of beetle that is very common underground and easy to raise-) to be a favorite amongst the populace.
Deshiven are a race of separatists. They typically don’t get along well with other races due to their territorial nature, and only deal with outsiders when it is of benefit. The Deshiven have been known to trade with humans, Orcs, and even the Israidian Army from time to time, but play no real roles in either of their societies. It has been known for the Deshiven to take human servants and slaves into their society.
The Deshiven’s greatest quarrels are with the Elsyven and Dwarves. Their largest feud with the dwarves stem from territory arguments and wars, given both races favor the earth as their home. Deshiven dislike Elsyven for reasons unknown, but both races have an abhorrence for each other that is well noted even in human society. Some believe it is due to a legend that says the deshiven are the product of a curse by the Gods on a group of elsyven. Either way, this resentment is very tangible and has led to skirmishes and high tensions between the two groups.