|The Arakasha, by Ricardo Bare|
May the trial of the Dunes sharpen you
May the Way of Velo guide you
May the entrails of your enemies adorn your styts
Greylynn's Bane, Abberant, Unholy, Scourge of Navaaris are all terms used to describe the Arakasha. Their homeland is known to them as the Dek Var, but outsiders call it the Black Sea or the Blight; a blistering hot desert of biting sands as vicious and black as the Arak's souls. This is an infernal land, with a severe climate and treacherous landscape that rejects anything weak, fragile or benign. Even the most innocent looking plant or animal is equipped with some deadly mechanism to ensure its survival; the Arak's fit right in.
Legend has it that ancient Sol’ Väsen Kings imprisoned them in this land, bathed it in the heat of the sun and placed sentinels round about it to keep imprisoned. It was the folly of men that released the Arakasha's from their prison and armed them with knowledge, cunning and magic; weapons that they turned on their captors. Almost to their utter ruin.
Whether the legends are true, no one knows, but many point to the decaying statues that are found on the desert borders as proof.
Arakasha's are Mör’ Väsen Barbarians, standing an imposing seven feet tall when fully grown. The black sands of their homeland grow so hot that the bare flesh of a human would begin to cook but the hide of the Arakasha is highly resistant to the extremes of heat. Their dense skin, which shields them against the sweltering sun is naturally black but vicious sandstorms tear away at all of the unprotected areas of their skin exposing a dark crimson layer.
The abberant appearance of the Arakasha is due to their adaptation to sharp sands, strong winds and furious storms which are so common in the Dek Var; their eyes have two lids, their noses are broad and flat with nostrils on the underside and they have membranes which cover the inner recesses of their ears. For balance while running into the wind they have short heavy tails and their feed are broad and flat.
Long ago, before the domestication of the Moroskaa, the most reliable and still fastest method of travelling the black sands was to run them, and Arakashas are capable of amazing feats as runners. They can travel long distances through the desert quickly with little food or water, which they can go without for long periods of time.
Perhaps their most recognizable feature, and a locus of their culture, are their "Styts." Within a year of being born all Arak's begin to grow an excess of dense ivory protrusions from the sides of their forearms and elbows, penetrating through the skin in large lumps and knobs. This growth can become quite heavy and irregular, however, the Arakasha shave the ivory into keen spikes, ridges, and blades by using different grades of obsidian rocks and sand. These Styts are incredibly hard and their honed edges make dreadful side arms which the Arakasha employ with lethal skill.
To be continued.....