Worldbuilding: The Sare

An image of a hand reaching for the skies but held down by chains.

She wove life from her dress. Raised from it each blade of grass. Shed scales from its fabric with a flick and filled the waters with fish. Then she brought the birds and horses and goats, all tumbling from the folds of her dress out of the stitches made in their likeness. And last she shaped man, made to make use of what she’d built. Only to forget – for some – to cut the thread she made them of.

The majority of people on Trero are born mundane, their tether to Elaya’s sheltering hem severed. As it should be. Those who aren’t, are often referred to as the Marked. Sare. They retained their connection to it, allowing them to harness their souls.

Once looked at as more and referred to as Elaya’s children or the Lady’s messengers, Sare used to be respected, if not even thought to hold some form of divinity. Healers. Enforcers. Scholars. Bards of great renown. Sare were everywhere and to have them at court was a norm for rulers. Expected.

Dawnfall changed all of that.

The cataclysmic event is largely blamed on the Sare and with that blame came the witch-hunts and the cullings. For generations, any child born a Sare was marked not only for their connection with the Hem, but, ultimately, for death. 

It took until the Ward came into full power that outright killing a Sare fell out of fashion and their subjugation began. Now, being Sare, to be Marked, means a loss of one’s freedom, if not one’s life once your usefulness has worn out or you’ve simply overstepped. 

But hold up, you might think. What’s up with the whole Marked thing? Glad you asked!

The Markings:

  • Sare are born literally marked. Which makes them easy to identify. Those markings manifest in patterns of tissue spread across their backs, usually close to their spines. Some grow large enough to reach up to their shoulders or even down their arms.
  • No marking is quite like the other. From simple circles tracing a Sare’s spine to tiger stripes, dots or wiggles or even intricate patterns resembling butterfly wings. They are unique.
  • Markings are sensitive to touch. But touching a Sare’s markings is considered a taboo. Not only because, well, they’re Sare, but also because any pressure can cause immense pain. It’s not unheard of that one gets knocked out cold by falling off something… like Sinvik when she climbed the stable as a child and slipped on some moss on the roof only to land on her back on the way down. She was out for days. 
  • A Sare’s connection can be severed by removing the markings, a practice the Ward experimented with at the cost of many Sare lives, and one that still kills nine out of ten. And yet, noble houses who find themselves with a Sare child often risk just that, rather than the alternative of seeing their heir stripped of their dignity.
  • Generally, it’s assumed that the bigger the marking, the more powerful the Sare, though whether or not that’s true continues to be debated. But one thing is clear: the prettier the markings, the more colourful and especially the more symmetric, the more the Sare is worth.

Types:

Sare come in different, ah, flavours. While they can all interact with souls or imprints within the Hem, what they can do differs. And just like any muscle and physical strength, the more they train their souls, the bigger a feat they can accomplish. 

Sare:

Not only the overall term for someone who is Marked, but also the name of those who possess the most basic of abilities. They are able to move objects (and small creatures with weak souls) by pulling or pushing at them within the Hem. They’re generally stronger than anyone who is unmarked and can shield themselves from physical harm.

Medica:

If there is one type of Sare that is still sought after and is able to carve out respect within a community, it’s the Medica. They’re known to be able to heal most any physical injury, whether that’s on themselves or others, and can draw poison from a body. 

Some of that comes at the prize of drawing from a soul of equivalent makeup, such as another person. While the majority of Medica would be unwilling to participate in this dark practice, not all of them get to have a choice.

Consequently, though, a Medica without scruple can live good as forever.

Warlock:

Also called Mystics, Firecallers, or Icewitches.

In addition to the abilities of a “regular” Sare, they’re able to twist the Hem and other (weak) souls to for example create intense heat or cold, making them catch fire or snap-freeze. 

Dreamer or Augur:

Once a Sare has been identified as a Dreamer, they’re considered harmless and the Ward can be easily convinced to let them go into the service of a noble family’s court. They’re known for their creativity and find employment as bards and story-tellers, often living relatively comfortably.

Until they don’t.

The Rain of Fire came to the minds of all of Trero’s Dreamers at once, every man, woman, and child alike, earning them the name of Augur. And while there hasn’t been an event like this since then, the threat of it is on everyone’s mind. 

Cad’his:

Shyster. Trickster. Ghost. 

Cad’his have many names these days and none of them kind. It used to be they’d also be known as Empaths, Sare able to feel and make sense of the emotions of others, but those days are long gone. 

While all Sare have a connection to the Hem and are able to interact with other souls, Cad’his are the only ones capable of directly manipulating them, even souls as complex as those of other people/Sare. 

Because of that, they’re easily the most hated of all Sare. Amongst man and Sare alike. 

Not like there’s a lot of them though. Cad’his tend to not make it past childhood, and if they do, they’ve probably already driven themselves insane. 

Quirk:

Marked. But… no discernible powers. Most often a Quirk’s markings might not even be noticeable and instead look like simple birthmarks. The Ward often lets Quirks go to live an ordinary life, though they are forbidden to have children.

????:

There’s more. Of course there’s more. There’s always more. Except who am I to spoil everything?

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