- 1 History
- 2 Psychology
- 3 Culture
- 4 Cities Occupied
- 5 Clothing and Grooming
- 6 Technology, Religion, and Worship
- 7 Reproduction, Aging, and Death
- 8 Language, Script, and Names
The Avriel (Av-ree-elle) have a tumultuous history. Many unpleasant events were suffered by their race, at the hands of others and even themselves. These winged beasts were first created by Delroth, the Immortal that favored the birds of Idalos. From the remains of dead humans, Delroth brought about a new form of life during the wake of the world's revival. However, he did not realize how adaptive and malleable the human body was to changing conditions.
Before the birth of the Avriel, there lived a large settlement of humans just a few leagues from Aeva's Peak, one of the tallest and coldest mountain tops in Idalos. These settlements were nestled just between the cold, harsh winters of the mountain and the humid, warm, and hot summers of the season. This area was also was home to one of the largest flocks of birds during migration season. In Vhalar, the birds would welcome themselves to the tree and roof tops, coating the settlement in a layer of glittering, colorful feathers and other things.
These humans didn't mind surprisingly and took to the birds as if they were pets to be looked after. They shared food, water and sometimes even shelter. As a result, this settlement held Delroth's focus just before the war started. It wasn't until much later, when the land was crumbling and the humans were laid to waste, did he put in his efforts to resurrect the people of this settlement. Delroth intended to use the humans as a sort of guard against his brethren and planned to keep them close and within their favor rather than distancing himself in the same way some of his brothers and sisters did. Upon resurrection, something occurred that he was indeed planning for, although he didn't completely understand what would come about from his power. Delroth spawned a race of bird like creatures, perfect in his eyes and absolutely wondrous, until their carnal cries echoed a sharp pain within him so relentlessly that the Immortal became fearful of what he had made.
The Avriel, every bit as large, colorful, and exotic as the birds Delroth favored, were nothing like the civilized settlement that he had watched over for a time. These creatures were beasts, their mentality primal and chaotic as the fighting spirit of a human collided with the wild instincts of some of the deadliest, winged creatures known to Idalos. Delroth couldn't stand to look upon what he had created and abandoned the creatures in hopes that they would die off. Unfortunately, they were every bit as thriving when Syroa, Immortal of transformation, came upon the creatures one day.
This was when Lisirra and Syroa's bond was at its strongest and the duo became known as a source of disaster to any who crossed their paths. However, the Avriel may consider themselves lucky that day. It was these two Immortals who had spent much time experimenting and transforming these Avriel to manipulate their minds just enough that they were able to understand direction, instruction and loyalty. Released into the world with both their bodies and minds tampered with, the Avriel returned to their settlement and formed a new home from its ashes. Thus, the Avriel race was formed.
The Avriel's days in Aeva's Peak were numbered as the Eternal Empire's forces aggressively expanded into the region and threatened their settlements. Rather than risk annihilation from the warring Raskithecal, the Avriel took whatever they could and migrated toward the city of Athart. This city was at its infancy when the Avriel arrived and the winged foreigners took the city for their own. The humans that resided there were taken as the Avriel's first slaves. From that point onward, the humans were indoctrinated to believe that the Avriel had always been leaders of Athart and after some generations, the true history of Athart was forgotten.
The psychology of an Avriel is both unique and sometimes dangerous to others, especially to those outside of their race. They are every bit as large externally with their height, muscle mass, and wing span as they are internally. Their actions and words are loud and boisterous, unruly and often times misplaced. They level of situational comprehension goes only so far as to what in their environment is affecting them and how can they resolve it so that it doesn't ever bother them again. This thought process makes them quite violent and often leads them to a fight or flight response that takes more than a knock to the head to snap them out of.
Needless to say, their minds are chaotic, full of thoughts that scream both instinct and emotional. They struggle between being civilized and being hunters. During an Avriel's early years, they act very much like regular humans; learning to crawl, walk and talk. Once they begin to mature into adolescence, their minds become muddled with instinctual awareness while their more civilized thoughts are slowly pushed away. Educating an Avriel during this time of their lives is nearly impossible so to make up for gab, the youthful Avriel are released from their home cities for a period of time and are left within the wild to sort out their primal nature. It is guaranteed that half the Avriel that leave do not return home.
Once they are able to make it through this point in their lives can the adolescent Avriel be considered true warriors and prizes to their race. They are deemed worthy of an education and are taught about their heritage, one that idealizes the Avriel as conquerors of the Immortals and beings of supreme grace and mercy. It is during this time where their mentality begins to conflict with the memories of their ancestors.
Very haughty, condescending and snooty, the Avriel give off an air of superiority that can only be matched by other Avriel. It isn't often that they find companionship with others outside of their race and would sooner enslave someone before befriending them. There are set rules in place preventing the Avriel from dragging anyone off to be their personal servant till the end of days, which are unpleasantly engraved into their minds. However, that doesn't stop an Avriel from often using enslavement as a threat.
The Avriel love recounting stories, especially ones involving them, their race or both. They are also great challengers, both men and women, in any duel or tournament. Win or lose, that doesn't stop an Avriel from claiming victory or dismiss the event all together.
These winged creatures are not deep thinkers as their thoughts shift sporadically from one idea to the next and never truly settling on any kind of philosophy or epiphany. They are, however, very skilled at crafting, especially in fabrics, tailoring, and armorsmithing. Overall, Avriel can be very direct, at times rude and abrasive when communicating with others outside of their race. Their way of life is precious to them and any who try to disrupt or look down upon the Avriel are sure to meet steel.
Most make it a habit to avoid these winged folk, favoring a peaceful day rather than one spent arguing and/or fighting for their life. The Avriel aren't looked upon fondly in Idalos, especially in cities like Ne'haer and Oscillus. Their abrasive attitudes can be overbearing at times and their less than humorous personalities make having them as companions very stale. It is a rarity when a sensible, decent Avriel arrives in a city, pleasant mannered and somewhat friendly. These are usually the outcasts of their society. Some are well educated due to their own efforts while others are a little more than beastly. The outcasts of the Avriel race are the most welcomed kind to the cities, depending on the civilized nature of the individual.
Avriel are carnivores and typically eat meat and dairy products. As a predator, birds and their eggs also frequent the menu. Meat is prepared in a variety of ways: boiled, fried, roasted, grilled and even prepared raw. Presentation is as important as the way the food is cooked, arranged in bowls and dishes of metal work crafted by the many artisans of Athart. Fruits and vegetables are served, but only provided as a garnish and display of color. It is left at the end of the meal that these extravagant ‘garnishes’ are discarded with the rest of the meal’s remains.
Fruit, vegetables and grain, though barely tolerable by the Avriel, are collected, stored and distributed to feed their many slaves as well as for export. Some of these plants, grown in the orchards to the south and north of Athart, are grown because they have multiple uses beyond simply being for food.
An Avriel will spend their early years of their life being instructed by their mother to talk, crawl, walk and eventually to fly. Only basic schooling is offered at this time as most of the teachings are lost once an Avriel enters adolescence.
When an Avriel begin their adolescent years, they are simply let free to set off into the unknown, away from their home. This period of internal turmoil experienced by the Avriel, where any sense of reason is thrust aside with pure instinct, is a key factor in what they eventually will become in their adult life. Unfortunately, the dangers to these exploring Avriel are numerous. Their destructive exploits in other cities, often lead to hunting parties made up of disgruntled city folk, or the local city guard, to track down, capture or even execute the inexperienced Avriel. Humans groups in particular are known to band together to capture adolescent Avriel and ransom them back to Athart to reclaim enslaved humans. Usually this is rarely successful and in most cases, humans will often resort to torturing an Avriel and sending their disfigured body back to their home city, to the ire of Athart.
The Avriel that decide to return to Athart, often do so when they have reached adulthood and begun to suppress the brunt of their instincts. They are welcomed back into Avriel society and provided a meager cave in the ‘forest of stone’. There, they are encouraged to begin passage into an academy of sorts, to be taught the official doctrine of Avriel history and numerous other skills. Mathematics, rather than science, is the key fundamental subject taught at the academy. Lesser subjects, such as magic, have experienced a rise in sophistication due to an increase in demand. The time spend at the academy may only be for one arc at minimum and Avriel are released into the area of occupation so desired. Those with more control over their instincts tend to follow artisan and Overguard roles, where focus and efficiency are critical for their role. On the other hand, those with less control and allow their instincts to get the better of them, find themselves drifting to occupations which involve cruelty, such as involvement with the slave trade.
The Avriel society mostly lives within the walls of Athart, however, many are known to travel in groups and appear all over the town and cities of Idalos. Some speculate that the race is attempting to overthrow certain towns and villages for power, but it doesn't appear the Avriel have made a move to claim any kind of land or settlement.
Clothing and Grooming
The Avriel appear as a tall humanoid race with brilliant, beautiful wings. Inherently graceful, the Avriel naturally possess the gift of flight, and the wings that grant them this ability can be any color or hue, from brilliant white, to mesmerizing black, to enchanting purple. Their bodies consist of oddities, ranging from long, bird like hands and feet to feathers covering most of their back and stomach area. Their arms and legs reveal whitish, almost blue colored skin that appears transparent at times while birthmarks on their face, torso, and arms distinguish Avriels from other monsters. Their most prominent feature are their eyes which allows them see the current and flow of the wind . Eye color ranges depending on the individual, however, there is no mistaking the presence of wind within their cold, dark gaze. Their bodies are hairless, for the most part. Any hair that would grow on their bodies would consist of a feather like texture and the color, completely white.
Their clothing consists of thick cloths and light, plate armor. Their weapons, which hang from straps or belts, are the only heavy objects that the Avriel will carry while in flight. They dress in very light weight clothes, not to appear ethereal or seductive, but to provide better control over their bodies and the wind current when in the midst of aerial war.
They do not bath as often as common folk because they find it unpleasant to do so. Their bodies have adapted to the cold air the wind currents push around, thus making any kind of water contact unpleasant and claustrophobic to them. Thankfully, the Avriel make it a habit of wearing perfumes and certain powerful flowers within their armor and clothes, sometimes going as far as leaving their garments in bowls of flower petals, special ointments, and perfumes.
Due to Syroa's influence over the Avriel, some have been gifted with special items which allow them to transform into common folk. These gifts are given to those that have earned them through completing tasks given by the Immortal. Most Avriel seek transformation items from Syroa with intention of using them for war purposes whether that is through spy craft, seduction, or a simple disguise.
Technology, Religion, and Worship
The Avriel consider themselves to be practical beings, with a particular skill in mathematics. At a basic level, most Avriel understanding various technologies to obtain materials, prepare these materials for use and putting these materials together to create useful things. This level of knowledge is a result of an Avriel’s travels about Idalos as adolescents where they have formed an idea of what technology is being used for. The specific of this technology, however, is relied almost entirely on the constant influx of slaves, who are forced to put the Avriel’s visions into practice. Entire projects are often in the hands of humans, at the extremely close watch of the Avriel.
Religion and Worship
The Avriel are not particularly religious or spiritual people. They view Syroa, the Immortal of Transformation, to be their ‘Benefactor’, but do not view her as having been the creator of their race. In their view, Syroa was the one of the first Immortals that recognized Avriel sovereignty and supremacy and therefore Syroa saw reason before she befriended them. The Shrine of Syroa was built in the upper part of the commerce section of Athart, as a sort of mutual recognition of this relationship.
The other two temples are also not used for worship by the Avriel. The Temple of the Many, is built in the human sector for the use of the humans to worship their Immortals. The Temple, or rather the many hidden passages within its walls, is occupied by the Athartian Slave Raiders who use the Temple as a secret headquarters. To maintain the guise, services are conducted regularly in the temple for human congregations. The Temple of Glory, on the other hand, is a luxuriously finished building, inspired by Avriel who had explored the cities of Idalos in their adolescent escapades. This building has no religious use by the Avriel, rather it is the home for The Aerie, the royal faction of Athart.
Reproduction, Aging, and Death
Contrary to rumors among other races, Avriel reproduce similar to most other races. At birth, the development of feathers and wings occur in the womb, but are soft and fine as hair. They grow and develop as a baby into a child much like humans. The aging process also is no different, with aches and pains to joints, wrinkles and brittle feathers and dullness of mind. Old age pokes gaping holes into an Avriel’s usual air of superiority and for some, this can be most intolerable. Death is treated with little ceremony. The Avriel prefer cremation, in the form of a funeral pyre. This is organized and paid for by Athart authorities. Families are often present to pay some respect but there are no tears.
Language, Script, and Names
The Avriel language, Lorien, treads a fine line between harsh and soft sounding. The sound alone can strike fear into the hearts of other races.
Avrielian Script was developed out of a dissonance between the written and spoken language. In the past, the script was fossilized while the spoken language continued to evolve with different sounds. Avrielian Script is written from top to bottom in long columns.
Surnames are passed down by the father of the family, but there are instance where surnames are taken from the mother. Some examples of surnames are Arvolian, Vildinium, Lavarnian.
First names are usually passed down from Avriel from bygone generations. Examples include: