[native species:: Demonkind
[native language:: Demonic
[monarch(s):: The Demon Lords: Lord Grey, Lord Slain, Lord Vortigern and Lord Zirkath.
Unlike other Realms, Kurai's Markers are frozen without Guardians - they are indestructible and hidden far beneath the earth's surface, needing no protection. This, however, cancels out traditional portal making and allows the Lords to control these portals within their respective Kingdoms, unless one finds one of the Hellgates scattered throughout the Realm. Around these Gates, portal-making is a free act, though they will not work anywhere away from them (barring Lords, gods and Ethers).
Kurai is a place of many wars, including both the First and Second Demon Wars in the land of Felnova. The first was started by Kirai, former Lord of War; the second was the first Demon King in centuries, who sought not only the control of his Realm, but all Realms from his place in the Silver Throne. The King has the power to command the Demon Lords and their hellwolves; as a result, many are opposed to a King. There has only been one to briefly take the Throne in recent history - the fell Chamenos Bloodreign of War blood, the darker half of the late Solan Fallenskye.
War's stronghold and a site of many historical battles, Isekikuni is a place filled with tales of death and the dead. Home to the once-great, now-ruined city of Sensou, it remains one of War's strongest assets, and stands as a stark reminder of how resilient War demons may be.
APPEARANCE: On the surface, there is little to see. A small fort guards the entrance to a mine, contained within steep, jagged walls. Underneath, however, is a sprawling network of tunnels, carved over millennia, coalescing into a massive cavern that holds a bright jewel of a city. Dominated by a large, supreme temple-palace, Donzoko lay built from the stone of its base, rising like claws to reach towards a cavernous ceiling. Small homes, decorated with carvings and colorful, tiled roofs, lay scattered all around the vast temple, blending with its sea of colors. Closer to it, a circular, walled ring surrounds the entire structure in a hexagonal shape, holding bazaar stalls, smithies, and a handful of samurai-filled barracks. The edges of the cavern are dotted with tunnels, mines stretching far to dig up metals and gems. Wolf skeletons, animated by magic, patrol the city and dig for the demons that control them.
CULTURE: One of three cities born of the fall of Sensou, a long-dead city that rests in legendary ruin, Donzoko holds a fierce rivalry with her sisters. The city is built around the craft of metal and gem, pulled from the ever-expanding network of tunnels. Her smiths are the best in War's great Kingdom, and the armor and blades they produce are the preferred tools for samurai. Aside from traditions built around the crafting, and the limited trade it brings, the city has very little celebration to speak of, such activities stifled by the previous Lords.
APPEARANCE: Constructed of massive pillars of dragonbone, Gunkan floats in Isekikuni's large western lake. It has no streets, and instead utilizes small, slim boats made from hollowed out dragon skulls. For those without boats, small bridges link many of the rooftops. Activity in the city is centered around two districts: the first is the temple, honoring Neirin, built about and focused around a statue crafted of gold-plated dragon bone, carved into the goddess' shape.
The market is the other main district. It is focused around two smaller sections: the docks and the bazaar. Gunkan's docks are simple but large, designed to receive trade from across the Realm. Should ships dock without permission, the dragon skulls at the docks will come alive with enchantments, and will attempt to devour the offending ship. The marketplace is a large plaza, filled with stalls offering wares from a variety of worlds.
CULTURE: One of three cities born of the fall of Sensou, a long-dead city that rests in legendary ruin, Gunkan holds a fierce rivalry with her sisters. However, the city is based around trade, even branching out to other Realms when possible. Like her sister cities, she provides critical supplies to the War military. The city takes great pride in her navy, and her fleet of warships is one of the more powerful tools in War's arsenal. Aside from traditions built around the seafaring military, the city has very little celebration to speak of, such activities stifled by the previous Lords.
APPEARANCE: Built in the caldera of a dormant volcano, this city is a monument to the stubbornness and determination of War-bred demons. In spite of the danger of the volcano becoming active again, the denizens of Yaminochi resiliently build their homes closer and closer to the volcano's most dangerous point, and seeing spouts of smoke or fiery cracks in the ground is no rare occurrence. The rather fertile soil of the volcano has lead to growth of herbs and other plants unique to Kurai, both for War's military and for trade throughout the Realms. The town itself is built just under the lip of the caldera, with farmland on the slopes, and on the center of the caldera. As the town grows, it expands into the crater, rather than down the slopes.
CULTURE: Due to the dangers of the volcano, this town despises magic more than any other. As the economy is based around the cultivation of plants, a dubious prospect at best in Kurai, the people are hardworking, clever, and very stubborn. Festivals honoring the War goddess lack their usual flair as magic is restricted, and they make due with simpler displays of artistry and large, decorative puppets.
APPEARANCE: Located at the edge of Aokigahara, Yurei was crafted into a large section of the gleaming forest, high amid the branches. In a twisted parody of Skye, the city exists high in the canopy of the leafless, white trees. Homes are carved into the wood, and bridges connect the large, solid boughs. Dead whispers flicker in the city, weakening the veil between the Soulplane and Kurai. Like the Tree of Souls or the Tree of Memory, the dead can mingle with the living near the city; ghosts are commonplace, and necromancers, as well as spirit-walkers, frequent the city gates. Skeletal monsters enveloped in a permanent Tri'akun stand guard at the base, drawn back by the rampant energies - those demons who died while in a Tri'akun state, unable to return to their true forms.
CULTURE: One of three cities born of the fall of Sensou, a long-dead city that rests in legendary ruin, Yurei holds a fierce rivalry with her sisters. The city is one of the few places magical research is approved of in War, and provides critical resources to the Kingdom. The city also has many rituals to honor death and the dead, though the city as a whole is considered rather morbid and dark. One of the few cities to avoid the cultural stagnation of War, Yurei produces War demons that defy the normal rules of behavior.