Difference between revisions of "Avanthar"
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| Racial Shift
| Racial Shift
| The Avanthar gains more avian features, with feathers growing along their arms and face, sharpened talons on their hand and feet, and avian eyes. While in this shift, they gain +5 [[Unarmed
| The Avanthar gains more avian features, with feathers growing along their arms and face, sharpened talons on their hand and feet, and avian eyes. While in this shift, they gain +5 [[Unarmed ]], and can see clearly in Mundane and Ability-created darkness. The Avanthar can change in and out of this Shift at will, but once they shift out of it, they cannot shift back for 1 hour.
| style="background-color:#e8cfb7;" | Cast of the Mind
| style="background-color:#e8cfb7;" | Cast of the Mind
Latest revision as of 00:50, 30 July 2020
|Common Nicknames||Elven Riders, Barbarian Elves|
|Languages||Plains Elven, Daendroquin, Bragan, Common (depending on geographical location of tribe)|
|Naming Customs||Fantasy Elven (not Tolkien)|
|Distinctions||A Nelfin race exhibiting tribal instincts and genetic modification|
|Maximum Age||120 years|
|Height||5'8 - 6'10|
|Weight||120 - 260 lbs|
|Eye Colors||Bright blue|
|Hair Colors||Black, dark auburn|
|Skin Tones||Tan olive|
To many, the Avanthar are the wild horse masters of the Hȏrtutor Tribelands, great plains found stretching from central to western Daendroc, and even down into Hyarroc. Once nothing but a radical cult at the fringes of Altalar society, the collapse of the Allorn Empire and the Wildering that came soon afterward birthed the Avanthar as they are known today while the cult continued on. The Avanthar profess the need for the Altalar to change with the wider world, to alter their pure Nelfin lineage with the blood of those more powerful than them in order to gain their best traits. For this reason, the ancestors of the Avanthar bred with Ailor and those still living on Daen largely continue this practice, resulting in the all-Ailor Qússrakón Culture to form alongside them. Avanthar society is a far cry from the Altalar and Allorn Empire they came from, but still not as barbaric as many are made to think. The Avanthar engage in an aggressive guerrilla-style warfare largely against the Orcs, but also fight the Kathar, Altalar, and Ailor who encroach their territory or on the territory of their Cielothar allies. Despite being squeezed from all sides, the Avanthar still have hope that they will one day cleanse their lands of enemy factions and take up a leading role in what they call the “Nelfellim,” the resurgence of a proper Allorn Empire.
Physical & Mental Characteristics
The Avanthar in many respects appear much like a half breed Race between Altalar and the Daendroque Ailor, due to excessive crossbreeding between the two Races, but they have since developed into a more formidable mixture of the two. Where-as most Half-Elves are usually limited in their ability to progress within either Elven or Human societies, the Avanthar have thrived on their mixed heritage and become something unlike either Race. Of all the Nelfin Races, the Avanthar are the best built for physical combat. They are large, beefy, and resilient against the rough lifestyle of the horseman nomads, and being usually of Athletic build due to their lifestyle. Through breeding, they have lost the angular features more common among the Elven Races, making for a more square jawline and exaggerated facial hair features. Their skin always ranges from a tan to olive tone, while their hair appears either black or dark auburn in color. Avanthar exclusively have bright blue eyes. In aging, the Avanthar are similar to the Altalar in that they effectively stop aging around their 25th birthday, though they always look considerably more gruff than the more delicate and elegant Altalar. They can live up to 100 years old retaining this youth, after which they degrade and eventually die of old age around 120 years old. The physical appearance of the Avanthar is often a well-planned product of their selective breeding as well as their changing physiology.
Through years of carefully planned breeding and the manipulation of Genos by the Altalar, the Avanthar have adapted exceptionally quickly to their environment, making them exceptional hunters and warriors in their native lands. Through the usage of their natural control over their body, the Avanthar have developed a unique set of "Casts" that are intermingled between family lines. These Casts allow them to radically and instantly alter their body's genetics and appearance, giving them unique benefits for as long as they are shifted.
The Avanthar, like the Altalar, are incredibly territorial and are highly protective of their property. Avanthar tribes will seek out Cielothar and Yanar tribes, declaring the pacifists under their protection as a means of ensuring a constant supply of food and trade goods, regardless if the Cielothar or Yanar agree to this arrangement. Because Cielothar farms are often prey for the hostile Orc clans, the Avanthar keep an attentive eye on the camps at the edges of their territory, and treat any outsiders aggressively, knowing that they could be the forward guard to Orc or outsider Ailor encroachment. This very concept provides a complex relationship between the Daendroque Ailor and the Avanthar. While the Avanthar feel obligated to mingle their gene pool with that of the Daendroque Ailor and others Cultures from beyond Daen, they are also compelled to act hostile around them, as the Daendroque Ailor tend to take their supply of trade goods and food. In the past, this resulted in a system of kidnapping Ailor women to use as wives, but ultimately, this practice has largely stopped with the development of the Qússrakón as a sufficient breeding stock. On top of their war-like mentality, the Avanthar make no use of Magic, believing in progressing the Nelfin Race towards military superiority through the use of material combat and not arcane tricks.
The Avanthar often have a superiority complex, much like the other Elven Races, but more so in context to the other Races. They see the Cielothar as ignorant lost children and the Altalar as squabbling no-good dwellers of the past, while the Voltalar and Isldar are seen as abandoning the Empire in a time of need. Finally, they view the Sihndar as odd if not useful distant brothers in arms, while the Kathar are strongly viewed as the root of all evil and the primary reason for the collapse of the Allorn Empire. The Avanthar truly see themselves as the salvation of all Nelfin Races and the only true fighters for the resurrection of the Allorn Empire. Avanthar are incredibly secluded and hard to gain the trust of. They have a strong sense of who the people they truly cherish are, and treat anything else as a stranger, for which each Avanthar often has a different term or name. That being said, when the trust of an Avanthar is gained, they tend to be loyal to the end and extremely forgiving for transgressions.
Summary of Racial Abilities
|Apex Predator||Racial Passive||Avanthar are the recognized masters of the woods and plains, and all non-ability summoned, non-magus animals respect this. When an Avanthar, and up to 1 other Character, are traveling in natural environments, no animal will attack them, regardless of if the Avanthar enters their territory. This effect will end if the Avanthar or accompanying Character attacks or physically accosts the Animal. In addition, the Avanthar is specifically inclined towards Horses, gaining bonuses to rolls in World System Progressions involving the usage of Horses.|
|Natural Inclination||Racial Passive||The Avanthar can naturally manifest any Mutations from the Monster or Pagan Mutations Category, and can additionally shed them while sleeping, should they choose. Mutations manifested with this Ability do not count as Mutations for the purposes of determining Aberrancy.|
|Evolved Mutations||Racial Passive||The Avanthar has access to a set of custom Mutations that they can manifest naturally, and can additionally shed them while sleeping, should they choose. Mutations manifested with this Ability do not count as Mutations for the purposes of determining Aberrancy.|
|Genetic Defense||Racial Spell||Once per day, for up to an hour, the Avanthar can alter themselves internally to prevent them from being tracked or followed. While altered in this way, the Avanthar cannot be Tracked or traced by Abilities, and leaves no physical footprints. If an Ability tracks them for longer than the duration of this Ability, that Ability does not end, but is temporarily suspended for the duration of Genetic Defense.|
|Avanthar can pick one of these Abilities, and cannot change them.|
|Cast of the Air||Racial Shift||The Avanthar gains more avian features, with feathers growing along their arms and face, sharpened talons on their hand and feet, and avian eyes. While in this shift, they gain +5 Unarmed Combat Skill, and can see clearly in Mundane and Ability-created darkness. The Avanthar can change in and out of this Shift at will, but once they shift out of it, they cannot shift back for 1 hour.|
|Cast of the Mind||Racial Shift||The Avanthar gains angular blue glowing lines from their limbs to their chest, in a pattern of their choice, and gain a temporary +5 to one weapon-based Combat Proficiency currently being used. In addition, the Avanthar gains immunity to Target Illusions, becoming unable to even perceive them. The Avanthar can change in and out of this Shift at will, but once they shift out of it, they cannot shift back for 1 hour.|
|Cast of the Body||Racial Shift||The Avanthar's legs become goat-like with hooves, gain a set of large curled ram horns, and a prehensile lion tail. While in this shift, the Avanthar cannot be rooted, constrained, or knocked off their feet by Abilities. In addition, they do not tire out from running, and can jump up to three blocks high. The Avanthar can change in and out of this Shift at will, but once they shift out of it, they cannot shift back for 1 hour.|
|Avanthar can pick one of these Abilities, and cannot change them.|
|Evolutionary Implement||Racial Spell||The Avanthar can extend a bony spine from their hand and morph it into a small tool for domestic purposes (such as weaving, cooking, sewing, etc.). The spine is fragile, and cannot be used for combat or to make weapons. The spine remains attached to them, and if forcibly removed, can be re-grown after 24 hours.|
|Evolutionary Growth||Racial Spell||The Avanthar, by walking or touching it physically with any limb, can cause natural greenery and plants to wilt or grow with unnatural vibrancy as they walk. The plants or greenery will return to its prior state ten minutes after the Avanthar has left emote distance.|
|Evolutionary Mimicry||Racial Spell||The Avanthar gains small slits along their neck, allowing the Avanthar to mimic the sounds of non-magus animals that they have heard before with relative accuracy, requiring 10+ Anima Care Sciences or Hunting Knowledge to distinguish. This ability cannot be used to mimic the sounds of people.|
The Avanthar originated with the Cult of Suel from the Allorn Empire which began around 1000 BC. This body of scholars, Mages, and religious extremists was founded by the theologian-philosopher-mage Suel’lrodäd, an Altalar who supposedly had Half-Elven children with various Ailor slaves on purpose to help him prove his ideas about bloodlines and the blending of Races. Whatever the truth was, many Half-Elves flocked to him, but his group was constantly on the run, pursued by the other Cults of Altalar society who were determined to snuff out the perceived dangerous and disgusting philosopher. However, he constantly had help from far-flung provinces whose nobility were more interested in his ideas of influencing childbirth through various magical means than with his ideas of combining their bloodlines with “lesser” Races. One of these individuals was a figure now known only as Prince Avan’tär. His claim of nobility is vague, some claim he was a son of the Allorn Empress and so a prince in the most direct sense while others say he was a more distant relation, and more like the rest of the Altalar nobility. But he was not like them for one core reason: his active protection of the Cult. He wasn’t as mercurial about his allegiances and did not abandon the Cult at the first sign of pressure; he firmly stuck by them and actively helped them pursue their goals. What he and his ancestors got out of this support were warriors, bred, and developed by the Suelites with each successive generation adapting better and better, with more “improvements” when compared to base Altalar. This warriors, known as Avan’tär’s Legion, served his province for years in secret and finally, in the final decades of the Allorn Empire, openly, when it detached itself from the Empire and went dark.
The Cult remained strong in the province up until the Wildering, which fractured the Cult and ended the Legion as a body under the control of the Altalar. Rather than return to the Altalar cities, the Avanthar as they now called themselves fled out into the newly created plains of Daendroc, stating they were made to fulfill Suel’lrodäd’s purpose for them, and not to return to crumbling ruins with weak, lesser Elves. The origin teachings of Suel had long been denied to them, as the Altalar mages and cult leaders saw themselves merely as experiments and subjects, not fit to actively operate out the Cult founder’s vision. But they disagreed after reading what he had written and so vanished into the wilds as a result. The remaining Cult of Suel that did not follow after them either adapted to their wild surroundings or headed for the coasts, returning to urban life, where they have remained to this day. Meanwhile, the Avanthar encountered newly liberated Ailor slaves, freed from bondage after centuries and living on the plains for only a few months to a year. Despite their limited numbers, the power of the muscled and militarily skilled Avanthar allowed them to capture many of these Ailor, and so the Avanthar came to rule the Hȏrtutor Tribelands. They also adapted to the lifestyle of horsemen and the weapon of the bow during this time, developing tactics to harry the invading Orcs who crept and crawled at the edges of their land. By 50 AC, the Avanthar were a sizable force in Daen if not a fractured one. The Elders of the time moved for the leadership of their people to unify and come beneath a single Royal Encampment located in the Ularen Valley. The selection process at this gathering was short but relatively bloodless as the Avanthar Princes were elected to their roles as the leaders of four tribes, who then separated out their lands and routes of nomadic travel accordingly. With this official body of state formed, the Avanthar were also able to better deal with their former Race. While they largely disliked the Altalar, those found in the Northern Kingdoms sought an alliance with the Avanthar. In return for the Avanthar helping these Kingdoms against their enemies, especially the Orcs, the Altalar would provide resources and support when reasonable. The deal was straightforward and somewhat redundant, as the Avanthar had already been fighting off the Orcs. This deal, however, formalized their position as a buffer region between Ailor in the east, Orcs in the southwest and Altalar in the north.
It was also during this time that the Avanthar encountered the Cielothar in large numbers, and formed a symbiotic relationship with them. In exchange for Avanthar protection and trade goods such as bones and pelts, Cielothar tribes provide the Avanthar with several specialty commodities unfound anywhere else such as specific floral products, beads, and colorful cloth. This arrangement worked out well for decades, and both parties prospered. Around 200 AC, the next development came to the Avanthar in the form of their strange Casting ability. Some claim the Race always possessed the ability, a gift from their ancient place as experiments of the Altalar and merely forgot how to use the power until then. Regardless of the source, the technique added to the Avanthar’s effectiveness on the battlefield, but also across the world as they became much more finely tuned to adapting to the local needs and the environment. However, their ability to integrate on their own terms has been largely thwarted by the past decade. First came the Ranger Crisis, where the Avanthar failed to effectively aid the Cielothar, while also incurring the anger of the Regalian Empire when their invasion force was surrounded and harried in the middle of the great plains the Avanthar called home. Less than a decade later, the Avanthar again suffered a loss when the Northern Elven Kingdoms fell to the Empire in 302 AC, Avanthar warriors fighting for the Altalar in the opening stages of the war not going unnoticed by the Regalians. The Regalian alliance with Orcs only worsened tensions, and just as other nations of Aloria were announcing great projects of unity, the Avanthar, Cielothar, Yanar, and Qússrakón Ailor of the plains formed The Wild Union to defend themselves. But finally, in 306 AC, the greatest destruction of all came to the Avanthar. Engaging in war with the Regalian Empire and ravaging their holdings in Daendroc, the Avanthar demanded that Emperor Cedromar I come and do penance for all the wrongs suffered by the Avanthar at the hands of Ailor.
In response, the Emperor came, but through the use of a magical cart, brought with him a troupe of merciless fighters while he himself transformed into the Imperial Dragon (a power he had newly discovered to possess at the time). The Regalians with their Dragon Emperor obliterated the Royal Encampment, every Avanthar Prince dying within a matter of hours alongside their sons, daughters, wives, and guards, with a death toll of over 5000. Immediately following this atrocity, order between the tribes collapsed and resulted in a civil war that lasted months. Regalia, for its part, completely turned away from the Avanthar to focus on other threats, though the Orcs of the west came into the plains, taking advantage of the chaos to push their territory. In 307 AC, some level of order was restored by a new cabal of Avanthar Princes, who are unnamed and largely hidden from public view as the Avanthar seek to avoid a massacre of their leadership. The Royal Encampment is now a wasteland in remembrance of Regalian but also Ailor power, while the nomadic routes of the Avanthar have been greatly disrupted by all this conflict. It will take years for them to heal, but it is doubtful that they will be able to if Regalia remains interested in a controlled Daen.
Often seen from the outside as cold, nasty, and brutish, Avanthar society revolves around wanderlust mixed with protectionism. Avanthar society as a whole was mostly focused around the Royal Encampment, a central tribe that acted as a hub in the middle of the Ularen Valley, which was the only permanently settled Avanthar tribe. The Callenbras, Ordensias, Grenitan, and Catlanio tribes all served as lesser roles in the “federation” of sorts, scouring the countryside while scavenging, hunting, and defending their Cielothar cousins. But in recent years, the tribes have fought each other and the Qússrakón, bringing chaos to this system of order and sowing even more divisions between the tribes than there were before. Being nomadic in nature, these tribes place a heavy value on horseback riding. Children are taught to ride and shoot from a horse at a very young age and are often skilled at the Casecabilo, or the Horse-hunt, which they use to round up wild stallions on the plains for use in their herds or keep their herds under control.
The main political body of the Avanthar was the Royal Encampment in the Ularen Valley, a tribe of elite warriors both descended from Altalar nobles of the Allorn Empire but also ancestors of those strongest to claim the role over two centuries ago. All Avanthar paid homage to this single body in a very loose confederacy which served to provide mutual protection. After Regalia slaughtered the Royal Encampment though, the tribes turned on each other to try and gain power and fill the void, resulting in a major blow to their system of government. The system has only been shakily reestablished as of 307 AC. Each tribe also once had its own system of governance that were led by dual leadership positions, referred to as the Cabäss and the Pië’ssa, who shared the executive power of the tribe as dual chieftains. Where one led raiding parties on Orcs and some Ailor settlements, the other stayed home and cared for the domestic matters of the tribe until the other returned. In the tribal chaos of 306 AC, a number of Cabässes and Pië’ssas died, either due to political machinations or warfare, resulting in half of the tribes today possessing a single strong lead versus this old system preserved in the remaining Callenbras and Ordensias tribes.
Because much of Avanthar society is based upon meritocracy, gender does not play any special role in selecting these leaders due to the very social nature of the Avanthar. In addition to their chieftains, Avanthar Elders are important to them, even if they do not have any technical, political power. As virtually all Avanthar are illiterate and lack an official written language, they pass tradition down from one mouth to the next, with the Elders playing a key role in this process. Sadly, a great number of them died in the warring between the Avanthar tribes, and this has deprived the Avanthar key sources of knowledge and unity. Identifying these people is relatively easy in Avanthar society, as they use facial hair (in the case of women, their normal head of hair) to identify their importance in the social ladder. The highest leaders (chieftains and elders older than 110) have three braids in their hair, while the lower elders and major warriors have two braids. Regular Avanthar adults have one single braid in their hair, while non-adult Avanthar males have no braids. Males without facial hair among the Avanthar do not exist, though ritual shaving of one's beard to deny them their power is a custom known to them.
As a relatively new Race, the Avanthar draw roots from many different people. They are primarily influenced by the Altalar, though they have rejected their high society ways of living in favor of more basic lifestyles. They also take roots from the Ailor slaves they originally encountered three centuries ago, however, this is only in the simplicity of their lives. The Avanthar lack any interest in delicate and elaborate clothing. They most often wear minimalistic hide trousers and adorn their torsos with leather harnesses to keep cool in the hot sun of the plains of Daendroc. The exception to this are female Avanthar, who cover their chests with very light and colorful cloth provided by the Cielothar for modesty. On top of this, the horsemen of the plains decorate themselves with simple Cielothar jewelry such as beads and cloth; ear puncturing and decoration is very popular, and also eyebrow piercing. While it is not always the case, Avanthar often cut their hair very closely on the sides, afterward shaving delicate patterns into them. On the top, they let their hair grow into messy mohawks, though recent Cielothar concoctions have allowed them to straighten their hair and create a more pointed and intimidating look. Females will sometimes allow this to trail down their backs, though it will never reach below their ribs.
The Pröta’ll play a significant role in the raising of the children Avanthar. These, “heroes of the tribe,” are masters at horsemanship and bowmanship, and it is their responsibility to teach the children the oral traditions of the Avanthar in times of peace. Beyond the Pröta’ll, however, the younglings are most influenced by their Elders. The Elders of the tribes engage in the concept of selective breeding, choosing the strongest healthy women to pair with the most skilled and largest males. This has resulted in an effective selection of physically healthy Avanthar, but it also means that the act of reproduction among the Avanthar is often desensitized. Family units as such barely exist. Fathers and mothers may have some familial adoration for their children, but many matches between males and females are arranged. The Avanthar also often practice polygamy, especially when one of the partners is considered to be a very “useful” member for selective breeding. Matches for love barely exist, and sometimes same-sex relations become frequent as well to compensate for this, which is socially acceptable among the Avanthar. Separation between parents and siblings is virtually nonexistent; however, despite the often cold relations between the various spouses. It is no rare thing for siblings to share tents, even after marriage. It is often that these familial bonds and tightened friendships are accredited with the superiority of the Avanthar military tactics; groups are incredibly close and have a trust rarely seen between soldiers of, for example, Regalia. Unfortunately, recent events have shown the flaws in such a polygamous system as simmering jealousies and multiple strong heirs or successors to suddenly dead leaders helped contribute to the violence that erupted in 306 AC.
A strong cultural notion among the Avanthar is the idea of skin touch and friendship. Physical skin to skin contact to Avanthar is very personal and is often only done for special reasons. In fact, Avanthar can become very aggressive to unwarranted or unapproved physical contact. The Avanthar don’t formally have a concept of friendship, and what they consider friends are often somewhere in between what an Ailor would consider a friend and a lover. As such, Avanthar are very picky about who they consider their close compatriots, not even respecting their acquaintances enough to refer to them by their first name and simply referring to them as “Stranger” in whatever appropriate Language or dialect. In order to truly become an Avanthar’s close friend, one must prove to the Avanthar that they are worthy of their loyalty, after which an Casting ritual is undertaken. When the Casting is complete, the person who did the ritual with the Avanthar is truly considered a friend and will be talked to on a first name basis as a sign of homage.
The Avanthar often have a strong longing to horse riding in the plains, the big blue open sky and living in the rural countryside. Culturally they are at home living in unison with nature around them but always acknowledging that they are the masters of the plains and the nature within. Avanthar frequently tattoo their own body in very similar dagger like patterns that the Kathar use, though these patterns resemble flowing winds and clouds with sharp pointy ends more than actual sharp thorny compositions. Their clothes often range from blue to green colored cloth, with all shades in between, complemented with leather. Bone carvings often feature much of the Avanthar jewelry and self-decoration, which is often the pride of an Avanthar, though they also wear Copper, Brass, or Bronze jewelry provided by the Cielothar or Altalar. The only material the Avanthar desperately avoid is Gold, given that they believe it to be a corrupting substance in the wake of the destruction of the Royal Encampment, which had much gold within it.
Avanthar religion is a very complex and difficult matter to address due to the depth that existed before 306 AC, but also due to the reduction in that complex web of belief beginning in 307 AC. The Avanthar have a faith that blends Altalar Faith of Estel beliefs with those of ancient Ailor, as well as a blend of unique elements cobbled together over the past three centuries of their contact with the Orcs and modern Ailor. Broadly speaking, the Avanthar believe in Estel and believe in her divinity. However, they have taken elements of the Altalar Pantheon and Human faiths to create a group of eight Constellation Gods, as they believe that while Estel is a physical being, her eight children are not. She instead inserted them into the heavens to provide light and guidance to the world at night after seeing how dark the night could be in her creation. To worship these gods, Avanthar will often stare up at the stars from their camps in the plains, and practice rituals involving dancing around a fire while “singing” to the Gods for blessings, though to outsiders, “shrieking” may be a more appropriate term to use. The eight Gods they worship in this way are as follows:
- Ulbannör, the Guardian: Ulbannör is often spoken of as an Avanthar warrior through and through, with a great beard of braided hair and a fierce disposition, protecting the weak but useful (Cielothar) and embodying Avanthar beliefs. He wields two axes known as the Ulba Axes, and they are a notable feature of his constellation, sometimes separated out and known in wider Alorian astronomy.
- Llen’voma, the Breeder: Llen’voma is often depicted as a very Altalar-like figure with long hair and as the on-off again lover to many of the male gods. She is also considered a tender of animals, and a matchmaker, helping to find the greatest pairs for the strongest and healthiest children. It is said that lovers who consummate their first night beneath her light are blessed.
- Janue’ll, the Giantess: Janue’ll is a large and powerful woman of unknown Race possessing great strength that is often described as lacking intellect. She makes up for this in her obedience and service to the other gods, helping them to defeat foes or support them in their goals. She’s also sometimes said to literally support the sky.
- Hässadri, the Scholar: Hässadri is often seen as a male Avanthar Elder with a long braided beard and a pension for knowing all things. He often tries to educate Janue’ll or rebuff Llen’voma with questions as to her conduct. He is also said to be the eldest male offspring of Estel.
- Baënveka, the Raider: Baënveka is depicted, curiously, almost like a Half-Varran or some form of Avanthar Casting in most stories. He is sneaky, stealthy and tricky, being seen as the epitome of Avanthar raiding tactics. His constellation, however, depicts him as a man of action, clutching his bow Iso’ll-Nä as he fires from a distance at the enemies of the Avanthar.
- Sesenno, the Musician: Sesenno is the least masculine of the male deities, often portrayed as a flowery young Avanthar and the least capable. However, if angered or seeing the weak picked upon, he can drastically turn in appearance and personality. This enraged, powerful, practically bestial form is credited with teaching the Avanthar their powerful war cry.
- Almmon-Pra, the Light-bearer: Almmon-Pra is depicted as possessing a cloaked female form, and is occasionally described as a bringer of fate. However, her main task as the final female deity created by Estel is to carry the moon across the sky, which she does regularly, dimming the “lamp” of the moon to conserve fuel before scavenging more to feed the fire. She is also described as the force which deals with death, and her fuel is sometimes said to be Soul Essence.
- Rëjoji’ll, the Healer: Rëjoji’ll is routinely seen as the eldest female deity created by Estel and is often spoken of as an old Cielothar healer. It is to her that the Avanthar pray to for health and good fortune, but she is also a symbol of motherhood and nature. She is also sometimes said to be the first god created by Estel and served alongside her mother for eons until her siblings came into being, and they were all placed into the heavens.
The Avanthar, when outside of their lands, usually accept and convert these gods to the names of gods found in the surrounding region, which made Ailor mischaracterize them for centuries as Old Gods worshipers even though, technically, that is not their faith. Among the four tribes though, Dragon Worship, Unionism and half a dozen other religions existed, serving as a source of friction between the people who worshiped them as the individualism of the Avanthar did not deny them such pluralism. However, the collapse of order in 306 AC essentially wiped the slate, as people following minor faiths were either killed or converted while Dragon Worship completely vanished from the Avanthar, horrified and angered by the “abuse” of the wonderous “Primal Energies” Dragons supposedly have access to while Unionists were similarly persecuted, for obvious reasons. Avanthar who retained these “dangerous” or fringe faiths are often now found in Ailor settlements, exiled from their homeland either by choice or necessity to survive. As a result of this purge, but also a desire to remain independent and avoid outside influence on their society, their traditional faith is on the rise and is slowly being fleshed out to more depth because of this.
Combat and Warfare
The Avanthar are quite possibly the most brutish and warlike of the Nelfin races, being physically stronger and more capable than their smaller cousins. They are trained to fight exclusively on horseback, using spears and composite bows. Per the rare occasion that the Avanthar are forced on foot, they have a very deceptively agile and aggressive fighting style that uses two smaller axes. It is not unheard of for them to try to throw these, the Pröta’ll having developed a unique combat style where throwing axes are glorified and trained to expert levels. They often practiced hit and run raids on Orc clans, and they also raided into the myriad of states in western Daendroc, especially in the lead up to and in the wake of the Ranger Crisis. Unfortunately, the devastation wrought by their civil war has forced them to retreat from such offensive actions to be purely defensive, something they are not as effective at. Besides raiding these two groups, the Avanthar also focus on protecting the Cielothar, who they see as innocent and pure younger siblings. In addition to these well-known traits of their warfare, Avanthar are known to completely avoid any long drawn out battles, as both their numbers and their military tactics are not suitable for a structured war and are, instead, made for hit and run affairs.
Economy and Technology
The Avanthar are generally considered isolationist primitives, and while this isn’t an inaccurate statement, there is definitely more to them than meets the eye. The Avanthar have a very symbiotic relationship with the Cielothar. This mutualism is not necessarily a trade agreement, but more so an unspoken contract of socialism, where the resources of one are the resources of the other. The Avanthar donate hides, bones, scavenged artifacts, and most importantly, protection, to the Cielothar. The Wind Elves then gift the Avanthar with beads, cloth, medicine, food, and even the services of their well-practiced healers. The Avanthar avoid all contact and trade with most of everyone else. They do communicate with the Qússrakón Ailor who they helped found in attempts to widen the gene pool, and while this results in the slight transfer of ideas and trade, most of the time this is not enough to constitute as any substantial exchange of resources or ideas (as the Qússrakón are largely converted to Avanthar ideals). Communication with other Ailor Cultures doesn’t get far either. For this reason, the Avanthar have no advanced technology whatsoever and rely on tribal techniques, and basic survival skills learned three centuries ago.
- Due to the yearning for a stronger Nelfin race, some Avanthar do not limit their standards for mates to just local Daen-based Ailor. Avanthar that leave their tribes often take interest in New Regalians and Velheim due to their strong military inclination.
- To the shame of their descendants, some Avanthar think it is a wise idea to welcome Orc traits into their gene pool, hoping they will be able to turn the green brute’s greatest weapon against them. Ironically, these horsemen are often cast out and later enslaved by the Orcs for use against the Avanthar.