The Akyr a race of bird-like humanoids hailing from the planet of Aksyos. They live in the realm of Akyria and are often referred to as Akryians, but this term also denotes a couple of the other species that live within their kingdom as well. They hail from the dense forested Lapideus Highlands, but their bodies were born from a crystalline tree (the body of Mir) which formed them from the essences of several alternate, magical dimensions. Even though Akyr no longer awaken from this tree, their descendants have a deep affinity for magic.
Akyr appear to bird-like humanoids in their true form, with small wings and furred bodies. They are highly diverse in markings and colors, coming in just about any combination that one can imagine. Akyr have highly varied heights, with your average adult standing anywhere between 6ft-7ft in height. Their weight also varies greatly, but they might weigh slightly less than the average human, despite being physically more muscular and generally a bit stronger. However, if they are stronger, it might be because Akyr have a much higher pain tolerance than humans in their Akyr form.
Physically, the Akyr have very humanlike anatomy with five digits on their hands (although occasionally the artist usually depicts them with four) and feet, with the Akyr being a plantigrade creature rather than digitigrade. The exception to their humanlike features is their birdlike head and wings and their long, (usually) lionlike tails. The Akyr also possess long, catlike ears that can swivel around in almost any direction. They have exceptional hearing and sight - with the ability to see in the dark.
Although rare, some Akyr possess shorter, fluffier tails. This trait is seen as generally attractive, but a detriment due to reducing their dexterity. Some Akyr as also larger and heavily muscled, almost resembling smaller, furrier Diatar. They are much heavier than the average Akyr, but generally have larger wings to compensate for the increased weight. Another rare mutation that occurs is the presence of horns and spines.
The 'beak' on the Akyr's snout is actually a bony protrusion only located on the top of the snout, indicating that it is less of an actual beak and more like a single, sharp tooth. The nostrils are located quite close to the tooth and are located on either side and lay flat. The Akyr possess sharp teeth, and on some Akyr they can be seen protruding out of their mouth. Akyr are facultative carnivores and consume a wide variety of foods, with it primarily consisting of meats and sometimes various fruits and vegetables that grow around their homelands.
Akyr are warm-blooded mammals and bear live young, despite their birdlike features making them seem more like an avian species. A typical pregnancy lasts the same amount of time as a human - nine months, in which after the female bears usually one or two children. Akyr children are born somewhat smaller than human babies, although not enough to make an immediately noticeable difference. Their eyes usually open within a few days of birth and their teeth grow in within a month, in which they can begin to consume more solid foods.
The Akyr are natural-born shapeshifters, able to shift between a form that appears very human and their true form. The mechanism for this is unknown, but the transition from human-form to Akyr is fairly quick. In their human form, they stand around the same height and their faces change to that of one that is near indistinguishable from a human face. They possess much longer canines than humans. They are also covered soft downy fur that is generally thick around the neck, arms, legs, and chest, but thinner to almost near hairlessness around muscles and on the face (with the exception of beards, perhaps). Their ears and tail remain no matter how human they appear, making them immediately indentifiable as an Akyr.
The Akyr are a culture revolved around the self-sustainablity of their community. All Akyr are expected to take up a profession that allows them to be useful to soceity and learn how to harness their magical ability for the benefit of all. Individualism, however, does have a high value, with a high priority placed on magi-science, arts, and discovery. Despite this, the Akyr are seen as savages and con-artists by the outside world and looked down upon, perhaps due to the fact that many of them rely on magic instead of what is considered practical by the Shur.
The Akyr prize victory in battle more than anything, as their culture was carved from the ferocity of the first-generation Akyr. The Akyr take great pride in trying to make their name into a legend, and a surname is earned by performing great feats. They have a natural bloodlust and inclination for aggression and because of this they developed a fighting style based on berserking, in which they fight with the intensity of a enraged animal with little to no regard for their own safety.
Not being able to work or provide for the whole is seen as weak and dishonorable. Extremely weak families or dishonorable Akyr and their families are considered low-borns, which are looked down upon by most Akyr society and considered the bottom rung. Low-born aren't usually allowed to live in the cities and villages, but instead live in much more dangerous or risky conditions and often can only possess the most hazardous or lackluster jobs in any profession they may be in. There isn't much of an opportunity for Low-born to get out of their position in society, although those simply related to a Low-born can re-earn their rights to proper citizenship city after so many years of hard work (although most do not survive that long).
Akyrians are ruled by a female-dominant monarchy. There is a council that balances out the Queen's responsibilities and makes many important decisions, however the Queen has the final say in the end. That being said, the Akyr have been shown to depose queens if they feel as if there's a stronger candidate available - usually one that does not conflict with their views and values.
The council is not appointed by the Queen, surprisingly. It consists of the many powerful Akyr 'nobility' that exists - which are generally the most magically attuned Akyr families. However, many of them have close connections to the royal family whether it be by relation or simply being an important figure.
The Queen also typically takes a consort. Typically, a male will not be given any special titles - the honor of being the Queen's mate and living the rest of their life in royal luxury is enough to keep most satisfied. Some Queens have been known to take more than one consort at a time, and others have quickly replaced dead or unfulfilling consorts with another viable partner. Consorts themselves are typically exceptional individuals, usually chosen for many reasons - attractiveness, social standing, power, and intelligence. Lowborn and commoners as consorts were outlawed by the council fairly early on to stop the royal bloodline from being 'polluted' by less-magical families.
The first King, Orion, was appointed by Artemis. After her death, he disappeared and the Akyr reserved the title until Artemis's case was resolved. Unfortunately, investigations were halted by the second queen, who felt it was unnecessary given the situation. The circumstances behind Artemis's death went unresolved and were mostly forgotten by the Akyr.
So far the last few Queens have all been the daughters of the previous Queen, with the exception of Sorcha, who was the granddaughter of the previous Queen and succeeded her and the other potential heirs through a trial of combat, ending the Akyrian Rebellion. After Sorcha took the seat of power, she began to reform more archaic rules, although the political situation was very shaky. She appointed the lowborn, Cain, as a Grand Arbiter during this time. After a reform, she married him and he was later appointed as King - the second Akyr to ever hold the title. (The first being one of the original founders of the realm.)
The Akyr hail from the densely forested lands of Lapideus (the Eastern Continent). The firstborn Akyr [in 3A - 0] faced an immediate threat of the Dark Titan that roamed their lands and 'changed' their people to horrible, twisted versions of their former selves. Three heroes attempted to defeat one, but instead suffered heavy wounds. At this point, one of the Akyrian heroes, Hepheastus, brother-in-law to the first queen met a young Diatar priestess named Ankou. The two quickly became friends and as a gift of friendship between the two races, Ankou gave Diat's hammer to Hephaestus. At this moment, he was granted immense power and became known as the first Ascendant. With this newly claimed power the trio of Akyr were able to unify their people and stop the reign of the Titan. After that, Orion and Artemis ruled the kingdom for the next twenty years, until Artemis's untimely death. Orion disappeared and was never seen again. Then the next generation of leaders took over.
Sixty years prior to the story (3A - 4060), the Akyr were embroiled in a quick, but brutal civil war where the Seventh Queen was deposed by her granddaughter, Sorcha, daughter of the Ascendant of Sky, Zues. After the seventh queen's death Sorcha began to reform the kingdom's more archaic rules. Five years later (3A- 4065), the Akyr assisted the Diatar in containing the [First] Dark Ascendant threat and imprisoned Cassum in the Far Reaches.
Fifty years prior to the story (3A - 4070), the Shur attempted to go to war and conquer the Akyr's empire. After eight years of war, no ground was made on the Akyrian kingdom [by the Shur]. The two empires have had less-than-lukewarm relations since, but neither is in open warfare with the other.
Roughly twenty years prior to the story (3A - 5000). Cain and Sorcha have a son in secret, using a 'mysterious illness' to cover up Sorcha's likely controversial pregnancy. Hepheastus takes over for six months as interim leader. Sorcha, afraid her enemies would use her son against her, placed him in the care of an old friend. However, their son never made it to their connection and he was presumed dead.
Ten years prior to the story (3A - 5010), the council agrees to the union of Sorcha and Cain.
Notable Akyr Edit
Notable Akyr include:
Hephaestus - The Ascendant of Fire and Craftsmanship. The first known Ascendant, he is associated with craftsmen, forges, steel, and volcanoes, among other things. Akyrian legends state that he founded their kingdom and truly carved a place for them in the world. One of the three Founders of Akyria.
Artemis - The first queen who helped lead her people to victory during the battle against the Titan. A master of archery, hunting, and stealth. One of the three Founders of Akyria.
Orion - The first true King of Akyria and a well known 'blind' archer who possessed the power to 'see' magical auras. He helped lead the firstborn Akyr to victory against the Titan. One of the three Founders of Akyria
Queen Sorcha - The current Queen of Akyria and mother to Anzu. She is a demi-god and child of the Ascendant of Sky, Zues. Well known for her ferocity and the ability to lead even during troubling times. The mother of Anzu.
Grand Arbiter / King Cain - The second true King of Akyria and the father of Anzu. He was considered a Low-born commoner and possessed no magical talent of his own. Eventually, he earned the respect of the Queen. He is well-known for his level-headedness and pragmatism.
The Akyr are a fairly agile and powerful race, possessing an innate knowledge of magic. Most are able to fly for short periods of time.
They have an affinity for magic in general, however they have a particularly strong attunement to Wind, Fire, and Dark magicks, although learning other schools is not uncommon.