Tonbrium

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Tonbrium are a humanoid species native to the realm of Celerillion.

Appearance and traits[edit | edit source]

The tonbrium are humanoid in appearance, but not really human themselves. Their skin is much darker, they're completely hairless, and their eyes literally shine with the golden light of consciousness (though some of their kind choose to wear goggles to mask this telltale gleam, especially when roaming outside their fortresses).[1]

Society and Culture[edit | edit source]

The tonbrium are masters of the mental dimension, having learned the self-discipline required to avoid thinking themselves to death long ago. This same rigidity of thought also limits them in a way. Only a select few - including Conceptors and Hunters are really allowed to use conceptual creation freely while outside a fortress. Because of this self-imposed limitation, which was designed to reduce the risk of mental destruction, tonbrium haven't attempted to utilize the nature of the Unfettered Range to evolve themselves into beings of god-like power (except in the case of their sovereign, the Philosopher), like some creatures might. In fact, the average tonbrium desires nothing more than to live in harmony and well-regulated thought. It's not an innovative culture, either technologically or artistically, because Celerillion's nature brings new ideas into reality, and not all of those ideas are good.

However, this wasn't always the case. Once upon a time, the tonbrium had desired to conquer. That was when they had first arrived to Celerillion, and planned to use its thought-to-reality nature as a launch pad for invasions into other dimensions. These ancestral tonbrium were said to derive pleasure from both destruction and conquest, and stories still circulate in some of those worlds about the horrors they committed. Individual tonbrium each hoped to rise through the ranks and become the ruler of their own fortress, dominion, world, or even dimension. But these warlike tonbrium uncovered something throughout their planar conquests that their histories refer to merely as the Precipice. Whether or not the Precipice was an entity, a world, a dimension, or even a concept is no longer known, because whatever it was literally killed 99% of the tonbrium population. The survivors then retreated to where there conquest had all but began, and settled permanently within the Unfettered Range.

The tonbrium are well aware of their heritage, and many are ashamed by it, though some are want to call it great/. Most are also still aware of the story of the Precipice, and that their ancestors first constructed the secure fortresses they currently reside as a means of escaping its notice. The not really the fear that keeps most of the tonbrium walled up; it actually the culture of deliberate cautiousness. Most tonbrium possesses a quiet confidence that if it ever came down to it, any one of them could rise up to the challenge by dint of their talents at conceptual creation. But the caution that's inherent among the descendants of those who survived the massacre of the Precipice restrains most to a monk-like existence of simple satisfaction in life.

The tonbrium speak their own language, which all languages is Celerillion is telepathic in nature, but it will appear as normal speech to many. This means that visitors and tonbrium can communicate with one another through their own language but still understand any conscious being.

From an exterior perspective, the typical tonbrium fortress is a massive, enclosed series of walls, which from the outside resembles nothing other than a giant decahedron. Most fortresses are partly recessed in the plain, though a few tend to float in the sky. Each visible wall is studded with battlements, murder holes, weapon loops, and other types of defenses. A coupe of the walls even contain sturdy metallic gates.

The inside of a tonbrium fortress is lit with brilliant white lights that burn without any need of fuel behind lantern panes, and will automatically dim for several hours after each cycle.

Because it's convenient, consensual gravity holds sway in most of the chambers. Because only 2 - 3 Conceptors (who can provide themselves with literally just a thought) are found within any fortress, tonbrium communities are centered around markets, where items are bought and sold using a currency that the Conceptors provide (thumbnail-sized golden spheres that remain permanent in conception).

In the side chambers tonbrium live, raise crops, tend to herds of animals, not really because they have to in order to survive, but because it's part of a ritual that centers them. This might strike visitors as ironic, given that food can literally be thought into existence (or be dispense with entirely), but except for any lawbreakers, tonbrium view the free use of conceptual creation by anyone that's not a designated Conceptor (and Hunter, as long as they're on a mission beyond the walls) as a dangerous thing. In fact, if the average tonbrium notices a PC engaging in conceptual creation, they're likely to be arrested by a group of hunters and brought over to one of the fortresses that Conceptors use for punishment.

Though the free use of conceptual creation is prohibited, the average tonbrium is permitted to practice it within well-defined boundaries, which essentially boils down to artistic expression. Expressions such as two-dimensional paintings, three-dimensional sculptures (no larger than an average tonbrium), music, and more importantly games, are all allowed. A popular game called Respia features two players facing off across a bounded space and attempting to outdo each other in creating intricate shapes where the number of connecting pieces as well as the overall symmetry and beauty of the figure are important for scoring.

Many of the fortresses can be found scattered throughout a wide region of the Unfettered Range, but the total population of tonbrium in Celerillion is no larger than a few million. The largest population concentration lies within the Crown Fortress, where the Philosopher dwells. All tonbrium - except a splinter faction that call themselves the Insurgents - owe their fealty to the Philosopher.[2]

Oriception beyond Celerillion[edit | edit source]

Though it isn't generally known, even by most tonbrium, the species has resided within Celerillion so long that qualities of the dimension cling to them even in the rare instance where they travel to other dimensions. This means that a tonbrium in any standard dimension can utilize oriception to change reality. Because normal dimensions aren't nearly as fluid as the Unfettered Range, the difficulty of all oriception attacks, is thus increased by two steps. Thankfully, however, the tonbrium restrict themselves from leaving their fortresses, from practicing unregulated oriception, and from even traveling into other planes of existence. However, on at least one occasion, a tonbrium Hunter accidentally fell through a portal to Earth. Finding that she retained her abilities, she set herself up as a minor deity called Provenance.[3]

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

The term "cycle" is an equivalent term for day among the tonbrium, which last for about 30 hours in Celerillion, though that amount can vary depending on which fortress they inhabit.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Cordell, Bruce, “Celerillion.” Into the Outside, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 118. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-47-6
  2. Cordell, Bruce, “Celerillion.” Into the Outside, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 118-120. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-47-6
  3. Cordell, Bruce, “Celerillion.” Into the Outside, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 119. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-47-6
  4. Cordell, Bruce, “Celerillion.” Into the Outside, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 119. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-47-6