Roanians (Lucis Angelus) are the major inhabitants of the Divine Imperium. Shorter and slighter than humans and some elves, they are marked by their longevity, strangely glowing eyes, and wings. Owing to the general refusal of the Roanians to translate their own texts or to teach High Roanian to others, this article quotes extensively from Doctor Artredes' "Studies on Roanians" (Resi Publishing). Sadly, Doctor Artredes' failed to take his own advice and attempted to force a mourning Roanian to allow him to inspect her husband's body. He was cremated in traditional Roanian style and his ashes are currently in the 'Foreigners' section of Rudan Prime's Memorial Moon. It is still unknown as of this date whether he was already dead when they cremated him.
Physical characteristics Edit
Roanian skin comes in a variety of colours, though it tends towards the lighter end of the spectrum. Most common eye colours (and thus, the most common glowing colour) are blue and grey, though red, brown, violet and green are not unknown. Roanians are shorter and slimmer than humans, with the strongest Roanian males being only slightly above average for human strength.
Roanian bodies are in general very physically attractive to humans and elves. However, the Roanian attitude to this can be either open abuse or mild disgust, and relationships between the Roanians and other races is very rare, though when Roanians aren't killing their neighbouring elves fraternisation does take place. In addition, many elves and humans consider the eyes 'off-putting'. It is established beyond doubt that the Church teaches many Roanian women that human men intend to rape them, which has the effect of keeping these women as far away from humanity as possible, as well as perpetuating the general Roanian hatred for humans. Both of these are doubtless the Church's intention.
Roanians start to glow slightly beneath their skin at the age of physical maturity. This isn't a radiating light but instead a soft warm 'flame' that makes them appear vital and healthy. Roanian females reach maturity at 24 and Roanian males reach maturity at 26, though sexual activity can (and often does) commence much earlier.
Skeletal System Edit
The Roanian skeletal system is very light, though very durable. Owing to the Roanian predisposition to cremation (after a battle, Roanians have been known to set fire to the ground in order to give all combatants a chance to join with the light) it is very difficult, indeed almost impossible, to obtain a specimen for study, and the Roanian reaction to a scientist requesting access to a Roanian corpse for study is (quite naturally, though unfortunate) shock, and then either crying or violence.
Texts on the Roanian skeletal system do exist in High Roanian, indicating that the Roanians themselves (in the past, at least) studied their physical forms in great detail. Translations of High Roanian works are very, very difficult to obtain.
Roanian wings are amongst their more eye-catching features, and one of the questions that have puzzled people in contact with them is where the wings go when not in use, and how they get there and out again. While the wings themselves might be magical in origin, their operation is physical, and it appears that the Roanians have the physical ability to 'telescope' the wings, perhaps in a way similar to the crests of certain reptiles. Wingspan varies, but is normally double the Roanian's height from tip to tip. The wings are covered with lightly coloured 'feathers', which appear on touching to be more similar to hair. Those who think this odd should bear in mind that the apteryx (kiwi) is covered in 'hair' that is in reality feathers.
Claims that Roanian wings rely entirely on their background magic do occasionally arise. However, it is important to note that Roanian flight is along a horizontal plane, as opposed to the traditional view of vertical ascent and 'flying while standing' (Roanians will only lift themselves into the air standing, and most prefer a run up), perhaps drawn from their physical similarity to the angels of myth. The wings are more than capable of beating fast and hard enough in the lighter gravity of their worlds to properly fly, though Roanians, like birds of prey, do prefer to 'coast' on the thermals.
Flight appears to be instinctive to the Roanians, and on Rudan Prime and Altecrast it's not unusual to see matrons with their children on tethers. Roanians are very vulnerable when flying to sudden bursts of wind, and are incapable of long sustained flight, though quick escapes and swoops on 'prey' are well within their capabilities.
Roanian Eyes Edit
Roanian eyes glow according to their emotion or mood at the time. Thought to be caused by the long-term effects of unused magic entering into the race's genetics, the glow is usually the colour of the Roanian's iris. The glow rarely appears on Divine Imperial film footage or cameras, as the equipment is specifically designed to disregard that owing to the powerful red-eye effect of Roanian eyes, an effect the Roanians dislike as much as humans.
Much of spoken High Roanian's context and meaning is indicated by a Roanian's eyes, a process almost impossible for a human or elf to duplicate. This might play a factor in their refusal to teach foreigners the language, as of all races they have the least tolerance for the physical failings of others.
Attitude towards other species Edit
The Roanians are a highly unified society with a single overwhelming ideology, codified in the Imperial Church of the Light's holy books. Almost the entirety of the race is to be found within the Divine Imperium's citizenry, with the number estimated to have gone 'rogue' to be less than a thousand, though several more have no doubt been driven into exile.
This unification leads the Roanians to feel little but contempt for species not so unified, especially humanity; but to a lesser extent the elven races as well. While in the past this contempt led to several attempts at wholesale slaughter of the 'lesser' races, and a long-running, though minimal, slavetrade (Roanians were never fond of slavery, as 'inferior' races shouldn't be expected to be useful), in more recent years the Roanians have opened up and are indeed welcoming some of the races that share their empire to share in government, while the attitude to humans has shifted so far that the Divine Imperium has joined The Concordat and even the Martian Defence Initiative.
While it is doubtful the Roanians will (or even can) ever truly understand or appreciate the beauty of diversity, their increasing interest in external affairs of the type beyond gunboat diplomacy shows that they are willing to try.
Roanians don't like elves. That's what everyone who knows anything about Roanians think. And like a lot of things everyone knows, it's utterly wrong. Roanians, on the whole, feel little interest in elves as elves. Their sole complaint with the elven species in the past was their magical strength and their refusal to be 'converted', which led to many deaths in the past.
Now, inter-species relationships have tightened (after several hundred years of gentle 'coaxing' by Menelmacar) and become friendly, though there remains mutual distrust between the Divine Imperium and other elven nations.
The Divine Imperium is currently holding the nation of Gorgamin as a protectorate. Perhaps out of some desire to atone for past sins. Until recent years the Divine Imperium devoted a substantial amount of time, money and military to protecting the Gorgaminean elves and their leader, Lady Arya (The Priestess of the Stars).
Recently, however, an independence movement has begun in Gorgamin. With the Roanian fleet being stretched too thin and pressed too hard to adequately fulfill its duties, it looks likely to succeed.
The Roanian attitude to 'standard' humans has softened over the centuries. Where once preachers argued the vileness of the chaotic human with each other, now the general attitude is more one of resignation. To whit: "Humans are here to stay," they seem to say to themselves, "live with it. You can't kill all of them, and just smashing some of them never works out in the long run."
It is important to understand that the Roanians are an inherently magical race. Not in the way that the elves are, but more in the manner that the traditional dragon of ancient earth mythology is. And yet, they are also inherently anti-magical, as well. Magic in all its forms makes them uncomfortable, and while evidence from the few Roanians who follow what is called the 'Darker Path' suggests that they make phenomenal sorcerers nevertheless this magic remains unused, untouched, and indeed quite often consciously willed away.
The reasons for this are buried deep in Roanian history, but it is this attitude that has caused much that is unusual about the Roanian people, including the glowing eyes. According to some scientists, the magical buildup and the inherent magic of the race means that the Roanians might require a totally new genus to describe them, as the magic continues to evolve them.
The Roanians themselves see nothing wrong with the magic flowing within them. Their sole concern is the manifestation of magic through spells, and it is this that the Church and indeed Roanian society itself is built around to discourage. It is the goal, stated openly, of the Church of the Light to bring this creed to the galaxy at large and though success has been slow, nevertheless the distaste demonstrated by many societies such as Tiburon for magic is claimed as a victory for the church, despite the lack of any evidence that the church's tiny missionary service was responsible.
Since the end of the First Imperial Civil War, only six Roanian sorcerors have appeared. Almost all of them have been incredibly insane, which a certain powerful mage have attributed to the physical (mental?) pain Roanians derive from being near magic users. What is unknown, and is unlikely to ever be known, is whether they went insane because of the magic, or they tried to use magic because they were insane. The most recent Roanian sorceress, a rogue who goes by the name Alessa Annirere, does not appear to suffer from this, and the Inquisition has apparently been very anxious to find her and figure out her secrets, before (presumably) setting her on fire.