Realms of Mythrais
The Aerkay of Aerk
The Aerkay are the only “Great” race which still lives in any large number upon the lands of Aerk; the Dragons, Giants and others having long since become either extinct in most places or pushed to the corners of the world. It is said that they once ruled the entire world, and their empire even stretched into the stars to other worlds. Today they are a race in obvious decline. While none doubt their past, after some “Great War” which changed the face of Aerk, the Aerkay have never been as great a force. Most treat them with respect, and even a little fear because of their magic; but for the most part the Aerkay now serve as scholars or advisors to kings instead of being kings themselves.
The origin of the Aerkay race is lost in the distant past. Their empires had existed for perhaps thousands of years before the so called Great War, and it has been thousands of years since that time. Interestingly it is known that most modern races exist in Aerk because of the Aerkay: Minotaurs, Fhraen, Centaurs and others are all thought to have been created or brought to Aerk by the Aerkay during the height of their power. The Daerkur (ancient word for Half-Orc) are even said to have been a subject human race of the Aerkay and served as their primary warriors after proving their devotion by conquering the previous Kur (ancient word for Orc) warrior caste of the Aerkay and taking on their blood to be even stronger.
Rare tomes have hinted that the Aerkay controlled a sizeable empire even after the disaster of the Great War; but that they could not maintain it because of their ever dwindling numbers in the face of constant rebellions from all corners. Most Aerkay today live within the more civilized nations of humanity. Their greatest numbers are found within the Island Realm of Sorcere, while smaller numbers are found within the Amar or Karnite Empires and the Kingdom of Mahn.
Aerkay families are a concept equally as alien as Aerkay religion (none can remember a time when there was an Aerkay priest or druid, though their wizards may revere deities individually). Few realize it, but there are precious few Aerkay females. Their numbers constitute perhaps only 15 to 20 percent of the entire Aerkay population. Coupled with the fact that Aerkay are incapable of mixing with any other race and that Aerkay females may only give birth to two or three young in their lives has caused their decline in numbers over the many recent centuries. Because of their rare circumstances, Aerkay do not marry as most other races do. Females are given great latitude in their lives to travel and seek out males suitable for strong children. After the child is born and weaned, the mother leaves the child with the father and again travels in search of another mate. Some say that males seeking a mate are often driven to battle each other, and some of these battles have caused great damage as Aerkay magic is very powerful.
Personality: One word comes to mind concerning the Aerkay: superior. All Aerkay feel a sense of superiority to other races. The Aerkay don’t act superior; they simply distance themselves, for the most part, from those who aren’t their equals in thought and grace. Even among their own kind, Aerkay attempt to place themselves above others in very complicated methods of racial etiquette and intellectual competition; any Aerkay who doesn’t know at least something about everything is considered handicapped by his fellows. Aerkay thus find it very hard to relate to other less mentally endowed races; and consider it nearly unthinkable to actually stoop to such things as menial labor or non-magical melee.
Physical Description: The Aerkay are a seemingly tall race, but in truth average just at the human norm of 5’8” in height. The reason they seem taller is their thin frames, which only average 130 pounds in weight. From a distance an Aerkay really can’t be distinguished from a human; but closer inspection will reveal the true differences. Their skin is grayish, being either darker or paling to near white depending on their exposure to the sun. Aerkay have very lustrous and thick dark hair that is very straight and only ranges in color from deepest black to a lighter bluish-black color. They have no facial hair aside from thin eyebrows and long eyelashes which frame their eyes, which range in color from black, lavender, or emerald with some few having pale blue eyes. Aerkay clothing will be as expensive as the situation and current wealth of the individual Aerkay will allow; with most clothing being soft silks and linens even in the coldest weather. Those few Aerkay that choose a martial path will often wear the lightest and best protection available, either a mail shirt or breastplate and a shield; while their chosen weapons are typically shortswords, light lances and the ancient Aerkay Longbow.
Relations: Most Aerkay prefer to not associate with other races if possible; that is other than their servants. Because the Fhey caused the downfall of the last Aerkay Empire, they universally hate the Fhey and anything to do with them, including Goblins; it isn’t unknown for Fhey and Aerkay to fight to the death in some instances. The Aerkay despise the Dragons and Giants nearly as much as the Fhey. Other races are torn between the need for Aerkay knowledge and Aerkay snobbishness; so the individual of each race will tend to greatly vary on how they handle Aerkay. The Dwur do not much care for the Aerkay, whether it is their lack of work ethic or use of darker arcane magic is not known; though it could hearken back to the time the Dwur were servants of the Aerkay.
Alignment: Aerkay live very structured lives for the most part, and are firm believers in the need for law to keep people in line. This isn’t because they like laws however, but because they believe that lesser races need such tools to function in a civilized manner. Aerkay aloofness and disdain for other races often causes them to be callous and resentful (or even jealous at times), and because of this many are very spiteful. As a whole the race could be seen as Lawful Neutral in their daily behavior, but personally more actually tend toward Lawful Evil in their self-centered pursuit of power and influence over others.
Aerkay Lands: The Aerkay rule only one cohesive nation; the Island of Sorcere where they carry on their own ancient traditions and live within their magnificent magical cities. While many are nobles and powerful individuals in different nations, they do not have numbers enough to conquer an empire of their own any longer. The Aerkay within the Karnite Empire were perhaps the closest to ruling another nation because many of the Karnite Imperial Council were in fact Aerkay, as well as most of the Emperor’s Advisors; these advisors are now said to be demon-possessed undead abominations stalking the ruins of Karn however.
Language: Aerkay speak the language known simply as Aerkay. It is an extremely complicated language to write because every word has a unique symbol. Many have noted how similar Aerkay is to the magical writing of arcane magic; and in truth many Aerkay who speak their native language sound like they are casting a spell when observed by others unfamiliar with their “highly evolved” language.
Names: Aerkay names sound mystical, fluid, and exotic. Many races simply can’t pronounce them without extensive practice. Aerkay names are also totally unique; there are never two Aerkay who share the same first name. Aerkay last names tend to honor their father and will be a slight variation on the father’s name.
Religion: For the Aerkay, religion is a dangerous and loathsome thing. Aerkay firmly believe that it is the fault of the meddling of divinities and demons that they have lost their power in the world and are approaching extinction if they are not careful. While individual Aerkay are known to make pacts with other worldly entities, they refuse to give any devotion to the gods unless there is very good reason or reward.
The Aerkay within the Kingdom of Mahn
(As told by the Lore-Master of the White King)
Despite being an Aerkay myself, I will remain brief and to the point concerning my people here within the Kingdom of the White King. There are very few things unique about the Aerkay within the Kingdom of Mahn that separates them from humanity other than our more developed minds and our language, but there are things worthy of mention.
Most Aerkay live within the fortified cities found within the Kingdom, with most living along the west coast. Nearly a third of the Aerkay population lives within a few miles of East Vhalsgate or Vhaelin; most within these cities. Within these lands, many Aerkay will be found who are money-changers, sages, scholars, or merchant lords. Some few, such as I, make our living as practitioners of the arcane science which all of our race is so skilled with.
Some Aerkay who are subjects of the White King hold noble title within his kingdom. The most prominent being the Duke of Maeldris, who is the son of my own brother now deceased. The Count of Koor is also an Aerkay, but is well known to leave the administration of his realm to the White King’s chosen Seneschal within the County of Koor. Nearly a dozen other Aerkay hold noble title within the Kingdom of Mahn; the oddest being the Knight Sir Elisaethran who serves the White King as both Knight and war-wizard. As odd as he may be, Sir “Elis” is very skilled at both of his duties and much respected by me.
While many of the Aerkay of the Kingdom are scholars, they do not tend to congregate in a college as the human supported colleges do; but instead tend to gather only briefly at times to discuss matters or trade knowledge. Some will take on students who pay a great deal to learn from them, but most choose solitary lives within rows of old dusty tomes seeking to find answers to various questions.
I was one such as the latter until the White King ordered me to take up the mantle of Lore-Master. It was not the current King Alisander, but King Kalindan who sat upon the throne for only a year before dying in battle. I have lived within the Obsidian Spire since and worked for which King or Regent may rule the Kingdom. Without pride or self aggrandizement I can say the Library of the Obsidian Spire is the finest within the Kingdom and many Aerkay and others spend a lifetime learning the knowledge found within it. I myself have yet to read every book in all my nearly two centuries within these walls that I very rarely leave.
Of special note should be the fact that in no case has there ever been record of any Aerkay who belonged to the peasant class of the Kingdom. Nor have there ever been Aerkay bondsmen. The only instance in which an Aerkay was to be sold into bondage because of debt, the man simply fell over dead from unknown causes.
Few Aerkay will be found within the military of any land either. Aside from Sir Elis, there are currently no known Aerkay Knights within the Kingdom. Some few Aerkay Freemen have served as officers of cavalry units very rarely, but most Aerkay serve as Engineers or Architects in warfare and avoid combat.
Very little else pertains to the Aerkay of the Kingdom that hasn’t been covered in other documents concerning my people.
The racial abilities of Aerkay are: