After the Great War of Immortals, Alnarya the Star Dancer wept for a full year. From her tears sprouted the massive forests of Gartania and there she gave life to the vidari (singular: vidara, adjectival: vidari). They were created as a beautiful and captivating race with keen senses and sensitive hearts, taught the song of magic from the dragons, and were gifted with art and love from Alnarya.
Vidari are as beautiful and youthful as they are graceful and agile. They have long, pointed ears usually 5 to 7 inches in length. Most wear wavy or curly hair, in white or blond, which feels like fine silk. They have fair skin and alluring eyes found in blues and greens. All vidari bear thick eyelashes and big doe eyes. They begin maturing around age 50 and are considered adults by age 75. Most humans who have met a vidara would describe them as appearing like a young adult. This sort of youthful beauty engenders more androgyny in their race than in others. A vidara could appear entirely masculine, entirely feminine, or some portion of each. Vidari can live for many human lifetimes. They're known to naturally live at least 700 years, but some have lived as long as a thousand (hidden sorcery might even extend that number).
Vidari are able to reproduce with humans as well as apsarava. Whichever race conceives the child is the deciding factor in the race of the offspring. A female human or apsarava who mates with a male vidara conceives a human or apsaravan child whose natural lifespan is doubled. A female vidara who mates with a human or apsarava male conceives a vidara child whose natural lifespan is halved. Tell-tale signs of mixed heritage could include height, ear shape, and hair, eye, and skin color.
Vidari females aren't generally taller than 5′, and males not more than 5′4ʺ. On average, they weigh slightly less than a typical human of the same Size. All vidari are considered Size 0.
The average vidara is adorned in robes or gowns made of silk or fine linens, and the colors they choose are meant to honor the seasons. Travelers wear lavish hooded cloaks. Vidari fashion involves intricate embroidery, lace, and beading. Many wear rings, circlets, or necklaces made of pearls, wood, horn, or amber. Few wear earrings as they claim it interferes with their keen hearing. All vidari enjoy embellishing themselves with flowers. Depending on personal preference, one might don a boutonnière, a flower crown, or a corsage.
Vidari are passionate and enjoy life and laughter; many seek out all kinds of experiences and knowledge. They cite their gifts from the Immortal of love as the drive for their behavior. They are often playful and sympathetic, ready to bear the burdens of others. Vidari are mostly kind and polite, some even altruistic. They aren't without anger, as the desire to protect those they love burns strong in their hearts.
Vidari are nocturnal and enjoy basking in the dusk, moonlight, and dawn, but suffer no ill effects for venturing out in the light of day.
The vidari live in great numbers in their homelands, the forest nation of Gartania and the island nation of Ardeste. Vidari cities are built from natural materials: predominantly wood, stone, and metal. They are always lush with greenery and life, dotted with breathtaking gardens and groves. Their homes are warm and inviting. Human visitors to vidari cities always describe them as feeling ethereal or divine — truly spiritual places filled with the bounty of life.
Vidari can be found throughout the world living alongside the other races, although some choose to live in solitude in forests or wilderness, nurturing the quiet life there.
Vidari enjoy food from the natural world, primarily nuts, fruits, and vegetables — in fact vidari produce is among the finest in the world. They are not at all opposed to eating meat, in fact, vidari make it a point to hunt and fish to keep animal populations in control. Vidari also produce and consume unspeakably tasty wines and ciders.
Vidari have a strong sense of community, service, and volunteerism. Sustainability is important to them, so they are happiest in balance with their surroundings. Most importantly, vidari celebrate life through art, song, and magic.
The vidari nations operate as semi-direct democracies. Day to day governance is carried out by elected representatives, but citizens may raise their voices together to enact change — literally. Votes are collected all at once: the yeas sing one note, the nays another. Even trials are conducted in this manner. Royalty and nobility are present in vidari society, but their members serve in diplomatic or sagacious roles, rather than authoritarian ones.
Vidari mate for life and revere new birth. Vidari have been known to marry members of other races, but their vastly longer lifespans introduce challenges. All of life's important events are greeted with song. Births are celebrated with visitations by friends, family, and other town citizens. Marriages are a time of great celebration: feasts, dancing, and gift-giving, for the vidari consider romance the best way to personify the love of Alnarya. Marriage without love is unheard of. If vidari have children, they tend to have no more than three.
The vidari language is described by humans as moving and beautiful. The words of the language are comprised of groups of syllables sung at specific notes, so to hear a vidari public speech would be very much like a concert solo. It is rare for other races to master the form, but many human scholars do learn the language. Their written language is a cursive script and looks as beautiful as it sounds.
Vidari make caring friends — the kind whose shoulder you'd want to cry on. Vidari are comforting and empathetic, develop friendships quickly, and keep them indefinitely. Vidari enjoy the passion of the apsarava, and the potential for goodness in humans. They identify with the positive demeanor of firnoy and maghashi. Vidari are the least like kulgeris, whose near lack of positive emotion is unthinkable. They get along well with the shou; both are nocturnal and make great dancers.
Many vidari learn to sing, dance, play an instrument, or paint at a young age. Natural occupations for a vidara could include herbalist, guide, scout, artist, winemaker, or minstrel. The Songweavers sport several talented vidari musicians. Many of the Voices of Light are vidari women.
Vidari love archery and magic, and it is not uncommon to find an adventurer that practices one or both of these. They favor light armor, and while they prefer ranged combat, they excel at using melee weapons that involve a measure of grace and agility, like fencing swords. Vidari are surprisingly effective on the battlefield, and they use the terrain to their advantage.
Vidari adventurers feel the wanderlust to experience the world. They typically pass human settlements unseen, either at night or under cover of forest. Goals that might take a vidara outside their home could deal with discovery (find a lost hymn to Alnarya, seek out the world's finest bow, learn high magic), or with friends and love (seek out a soul mate, ascend the ranks of the Songweavers, locate a lost sibling).
- Nocturnal – As beings of the natural world and friends to the moons and stars, vidari can see clearly if above-ground at night. They are just as blind in the dark as men while indoors and underground.
- Vidari Cunning – Big doe eyes and long ears have their advantages. The vidari have powerful vision and hearing, receiving a +4 to Perception checks using these senses.
Origin Powers: Choose one of the following.
- Well of Life – In the distant past, vidari from the island nation of Ardeste waged war on the Empire of Everliving. To this day, Ardeste vidari receive a +2 bonus to Mettle.
- Sylvan Bounty – Vidari from the lush forests of Gartania are experts at wilderness craft. They receive a +2 bonus to Search to gather food, water, or resources in the wilderness, and they can do so moving at their full Speed.
Societal Powers: Choose one of the following.
- The Talent – Vidari excel at all manner of performing arts. It's uncommon to find one who doesn't sing, dance, act, or play an instrument. They receive a +2 bonus to Perform.
- Sweet Emotion – Vidari possess a supernatural insight into the well-being of their loved ones at a distance. They receive a +2 bonus to Clairvoyance checks involving emotive transmission.
- Well Read – With a staggering lifespan, vidari are capable of collecting a vast wealth of knowledge, and recalling it with ease. They receive a +2 to Lore checks.