The Races of Avendar, Chapter II: The Aelin

 In All, Library

An excerpt from the Races of Avendar, an in-game text found in the school of heroes, this chapter covers the aelin.

Aelin: Section 1

The aelin are one of Avendar's oldest sapient races, said to have risen
shortly after the Sundering.  They are avian bipeds, gifted with the ability
to fly.  Their wit and charm are both keen, and they are blessed with great
speed.  They are known for being the first race to come into its own
following the fall of the alatharya.  

From the beginning, the aelin were biased toward civilization, seeking order
and creation following the madness of the Sundering.  Nurtured by their
deific parents, Aeolis and Alia, their growing society reflected the desire
for order and the predilections of their avian nature.  They built great
cities in the mountains from which they rose, the greatest of which was
Ilodaiya, built upon a vast floating disc.  

Their existence was prosperous, and in time, they discovered the existence
of Iandir, whose laws they in turn embraced.  They were also insular,
shunning the lowlands and valleys and their primitive inhabitants.  This
distance would prove ultimately detrimental when they aelin became embroiled
in the War of Fire, the first great conflict of Avendar after the Sundering.

Aelin: Section 2

Virtually ignored by the aelin, other races rose in the lowlands.  The
aelin, who had developed the rudiments of the forge from knowledge gleaned
from the fallen alatharya, lingered in a lengthy bronze age.  They are
credited as the first to develop swordsmanship, and the roots of the
ak'anginta stem directly from this idyllic period.  

Meanwhile, the reptilian srryn and the wingless humans allied to plunder the
riches of the aelin culture.  Against these two opposed races, the aelin
faced their greatest threat: stronger, better armed, and magically adept
invaders.  The aelin were unable to stop these invaders at first, and many
of their cities were toppled with little meaningful resistance.  

The aelin marshalled the resources of their people, including the wisdom of
their own civilization, as well as the artifacts and relics of the fallen
alatharya.  Even with these, defense against the invaders was difficult.  A
great aelin hero named Marlax stood first among the race's swordmasters, and
led many charges into rival forces.  Time, for the aelin, was running out.  

Aelin: Section 3

It was not until a renegade group of humans allied with the aelin that the
tide of war turned.  Together, they sought the Father of the Seas, Jolinn,
and His return brought with it the magics of Water.  With the aid of the
Titans, the War of Fire was ended, and the mauled aelin civilization
survived into a new age.  

The aelin assisted the humans in forging a new empire of their own, which
mirrored the unique form of aelin government.  This civilization became
known as the Republic of Earendam.  However, the aelin never fully
integrated with this rapidly expanding empire, and eventually withdrew,
returning to the insular nature it had fostered before the War of Fire.  

During this time, the Father of the Seas sent a servitor deity to help
restore the aelin.  This demigod was called Serachel, and would herald great
change for the embattled race.  As humans sought greater territory within
Dantaron river valley, the aelin, as a race, sought to discover what, if
anything, separated them from the races they had scorned.  

Aelin: Section 4

Serachel donned mortal flesh and walked among the people He was to save. 
His intellect was shockingly vast, and paired with His immense beauty, He
quickly was accepted into the inner circles of Ilodaiya's highest offices. 
Alia, the mother of the aelin, beseeched Aeolis to come with Her, to also
walk among their children.  He refused, remaining aloof, but He did not stop
Her from doing as She pleased.  

Serachel and Alia shared immense prestige, and the pair encouraged a new
breed of aelin thought.  The idealism of the Aeolian era dwindled, and aelin
women found new freedom and social position.  In time Serachel would become
aware of the magics of the shuddeni.  He urged the aelin to embrace and
master the Void; this, He said, would prevent another monumental defeat such
as that of the War of Fire.  

There seemed nothing left to chance.  Alia's growing debauchery and
Serachel's terrifying grip on the aelin destiny suggested a great
transformation was taking place.  Many of the Aeolian warriors left to aid
the human empires as the War of Night continued, leaving Serachel and Alia
to command the race as a whole from Ilodaiya.  

aelin: Section 5

The coming of the ch'taren disrupted the perfect plans of Serachel, and
their mighty goddess, Rystaia Lightbringer, exposed His dark designs.  She
imprisoned Him in His nightmare realm for millennia, while Aeolis drew His
love, Alia, back to the realm of the gods.  However, Her time as a mortal
had irrevocably transformed Her into the Mad Angel, Alil.  

The blow to the aelin pride was staggering, and even with the defeat of
Serachel, the race stagnated.  They often avoid interference with other
races when possible, and live primarily in the regions surrounding their
racial home of Ilodaiya, across the Sea of Lidraeu.  In the ages since, the
aelin have struggled to come to terms with the events surrounding the War of
Night, and their implications for the aelin soul.  

aelin typically take great stock in their bloodline and their appearance. 
Their most striking feature, of course, is their wings, which are both large
and feathered.  What aelin do dwell among humans typically occupy positions
of authority, or at least influence and wealth.  Their natural grace and
keen wit make them well suited to cults of personality.