Mutations abound on the surface of Zalanthas, and many have gone so far as to become species in and of their own right, such as the deadly psionic gaj, the Thryzn who assisted in freeing the north, the animate cacti known as Thornwalkers, and the fierce insectoid kryl.
Humanoid races are similarly prone to mutations, whether they be humans, elves, dwarves, or one of the common racial mixtures. Most mutations are small: oddly colored eyes, a bald patch, strange coloration, elongated ears, etc. A few take a more drastic form: scaly arms, horns, extra or misplaced limbs, and a smaller handful are lethal. Midwives are accustomed to the making the choice whether or not a child should live, depending on the lethality of his or her mutations, a fact that explains the high incidence of "stillbirths" among the nobility, who are less tolerant of appearance outside the norm.
Lacking a scientific rationale for mutations, most attribute them to magick, whether this be a commoner blaming their two-headed baby on an angry magicker or Silt Sea dwellers (mutations do seem to be more common along its shore) simply explaining it as "the Sea marks some for its own". Those knowledgeable about magick tend to refine this view and blame the mutation on a preponderance of one element, such as an albino baby being "Whira's mark", too much exposure to dreaded Nilaz, the antithesis of the other elements, or a result of sorcery. In the minds of many, mutantcy and magick-wielding are inextricably mixed, and any normal-seeming magicker is assumed to have some secret hiding beneath his or her robes.
No one has undergone a study of how magicks affect the embryonic, but there do not seem to be more mutations within the ranks of any given group, including magickers, with the exception of those living near the Sea of Silt.
In Tuluk, where the Thryzn of the Northern chasm played an important part in defeating Allanak, mutations of all sorts are not openly reviled, although only someone truly aberrant would wish one on his or her child. However, the link between mutants and magick remains there as well, and the strong bias against magick may influence some to react to a mutant with unease, timidity, or prejudice.
You are welcome to give your character mutations. Try to avoid clearly lethal mutations and mutations intended to give your character some sort of power or advantage. Anything that will involve a code tweak or special building must be cleared beforehand as though it were a special application. If you are a new player (have played for less than month), we strongly suggest running a regular character.
Submitted by Sanvean
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