|Realm||Kingdom of Mularuhm|
The Crimson Caves are the most apparent natural landmark to an outsider, a crisscrossing web of ruby lined passages beneath the ground. Few Zheisi live here but many of their population do work to mind free the gems in these caves.
Lake Asama is the center of the Zheisi civilization, said to be named after a proud historic matron though adamantly denied to be the mortal name of the Ruby Matron. The Zheisi capital, Asama-Ur is built on the coast of this underground freshwater body.
The Forbidden Tunnels are a section of the region deemed unsafe to explore by the Zheisi though records indicate they once inhabited the area. Old texts seem to agree it was in these tunnels that the ancient Zheisi conducted their Carnomancy and that it was abandoned and collapsed following some undetailed disaster. The Mularuhm Dwarves have decided it best to respect the wishes of the Zheisi and not explore this sinister complex of tunnels.
Appearing to be possible relatives of the Sambli or Moss Elves of Eyrecradia the inhabitants of Meiterdon, known as Zheisi, are elven featured underdwellers of short, but not Dwarven, stature with the elven features of sharp bone structure and pale skin as well as pointed ears. Typically the Zheisi are pale skinned with luminescent blood much like the moss elves of Eyrecradia though it tends to always be crimson in glow and their hair has decidedly less variance ranging from stark white to silver-grey. All Zheisi eyes are red or pink and glow with the same faint luminescence of their blood.
The Zheisi are a very reserved people who avoid prolonged conversation among both themselves and outsiders. Despite this, their general openness in providing the access to the catalogs of their vast libraries has led to much knowledge being gained. The Zheisi have records dating back to before the Cataclysm that speak of a journey south from their ancient homeland and eventual settlement in the caverns where they now reside. These documents also contain records of Zheisi experimentation upon the inhabitants of the surface above, using ancient techniques of Carnomancy to fuse the human inhabitants with various beasts of the south including the cattle of the surface world. This is believed by the Mularuhm to be the origin of the Minotines who returned to the surface and went on to form their own society to challenge the humans above, likely once in service to the Zheisi whose records contain many complaints levied against the surface dwellers.
Despite these vast categories of knowledge having been preserved however the Zheisi are not a magically or philosophically engaged people which the Mularuhm believe is due to the loss, or rather, depletion of a resource known as “Earthblood” which had allowed the Zheisi to carry out their more arcane magics and alterations. Without it the people have reverted to serving their everyday needs, mining the rubies of the deep and collecting food while serving the Ladies of the realm who serve as matriarchal clan heads for the various families of Zheisi.
Tthe mines of Meiterdon are filled with vast deposits of massive rubies, the finest in Telluris. Fist sized rubies are common, head sized not rare, and smaller rubies are a common find even outside the mines. The art of crafting from the stones the beautiful gems to come out of them is a well respected craft among the Zheisi.
A common source of nutrition for the Zheisi the creature known as the Red Jellies are an edible if somewhat difficult to safely acquire form of sustenance. While not deadly and of such limited intelligence as to only move and breed a live Red Jelly can, if handled improperly thus coming into contact with bare skin, burn the handler with up to second degree burns. Once dead this toxic response is eliminated and the Jelly may be consumed raw though many Zheisi prefer their Jelly lightly roasted. Historically living Jellies have on occasion been substituted for dead Jellies in assassination attempts with varying degrees of success.
The need for heat to melt away impurities in ruby stones and the desire for fire to cook Jellies leads the Zheisi to greatly value timber.
The Zheisi revere a spirit known as “The Ruby Matron” believed to be the haunting and watchful spirit of the matron that lead the Zheisi to Meiterdon.. She is said to protect the Zheisi and provide life, protection, and knowledge to her people. The Mularuhm have noted some similarities to their veneration as akin to the worship of She of Silver, not out of deference as one would to a goddess, but as a guiding hand.