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The People of the Sink, the Wilders
"You will place your metal at our feet.
The woman will come with us,
as will the men in good health.
All others will form an orderly line."
(First words spoken by the Athfanal to the Ishmaics)
The only seemingly indigenous, intelligent people who live in the area of the Athfash Ban Mir, the Athfanal feed upon the power that streams from the Sink. Brutal and by the Empire's standards primitive, the Athanal are creatures of the elements.
Seemingly closely related to the elves of the Empire, these Wild Elves live purely upon the mana that flows all around them. Those few that have been captured and taken out of the area of the Sink - those that did not wither and die, slowly adapted to their new surroundings by latching onto one element. These surviving captives became in appearance and power similar to the conventional elves of the Labrynthian Empire.
The Athfanal Wild Elves jealously guard their lands and the longer they live the more powerful they become. Taking on new, more powerful forms they are eventually able to spend more time away from the Sink where they plague the outer lands of the Ishmaic Confederacy.
Stories have come to the Empire over the years, telling of terrible djinns and evil genies - the names becoming distorted in the telling.
Living and feeding from the Athfash Ban Mir the Athfanal are primitive technologically having all they need from the elements of magic. Not needing to hunt for sustenance or fear for warmth, they spend their time vying with one another in their cruelty.
The Athfanal feed off the winds themselves but are able to take power from the elements present in all people. They use this lifeforce as a form of currency amongst themselves as a way of keeping score over the differing factions in their midst.
Story Concerning the Athfanal
I've had to gag the worthy Kalib.
The Athfanal (curse them to the seventh generation) know that we're somewhere but it seems we have a little luck on our side - they're hunting us for sport and at least this way they won't use any magic to find us - at least this way we have a chance.
We're closer than they think we are - already I can see them running to the north and west. Half naked in the heat they make no noise in the undergrowth. I'm not used to it, I grew up with good sand beneath me. The pieces of beaten bronze they use for armour flaps around them as they run, wooping they call to one another. I am famous in my luck - with this and the will of the elements we will be delivered from our woes.
We'll stay put for another hour then try and move south. Once we get into the tunnels again I should be able to get us home - I've got the map and I should be able to meet up with more of the Salahman.
I don't want to die.
The Athfanal of the Athfash Ban Mir are a primitive people compared to the civilisation of the Labrynthian Empire. The Ishmaic Confederacy adopted a great deal of their ways, including family Hetyans and the titles given to the strong.
Like the races throughout Primus, there are many individuals that gain a great deal of power, some who even evolve into a more pure form, a form of distilled manifestation of what their species stands for or simply is. In the case of the Athfanal, their most powerful champions and wizards become the dJinn, Efreet or variances of these powerful elemental creatures.
So refined does their contact become with the Seven Winds that they literally become part of one of the winds of magic. The Athfanal gleefully enslaved the First-Comers, those sent by the Magocracies to investigate and claim the continent for their own. This took place a hundred or more years ago however, and the descendants of these slaves now share a part in the Afthanal hierarchy.
No full bloods remain from the First-Comers, the years have mixed the races together so that now only Athfanal and Half-Athfanal are present in the Hetyan of the Athfash Ban Mir. It is important not to confuse this statement with those who live upon the coasts as the Ishmaic Confederacy, they are a very different people.
The Hetyan fight one another for slaves (taken from amongst the Ishmaics) and valuable sites within the Athfash Ban Mir where the magic flows freely.
Athfanal delight in conflict and often two Hetyan will war against one another for seemingly no good reason save for the delight of the turmoil itself. This seemingly unsatiable desire for conflict, for testing each other and seeking ones place in the hierarchy of control is only made worse by the calming words of pacifists, to strive to be ones best even at the expense of common sense has occasionally caused the Athfanal to be compared to the Duidoin of the Southern Baronies.
It remains to be seen how a Duidoin Rovfugr would react to the stance of an Athfanal Winddancer, but odds are on that they would each feel the need to test each other.
However the honour of the Athfanal is a fickle thing, open to negotiation and trade, a nescecity brought about by the stern rigours and demands of the Athfash Ban Mir, so the two may not even come to blows.
The Athfanal do not hold great stores of metals, that which they have is often used for ornament whilst their weapons are shaped from glass or stone. The warriors tend to use a variety of polearms and spears which feature a proliferation of design and style that seem reliant upon the wielders imagination alone.
The appearance of the Athfanal is crude and barbaric, they delight in livid tattoos that proclaim the number of kills they have made and against whom. They daub themselves in bright dye and often spike their hair with coloured mud and dyes made from the dangerous plants that surround them.
Magic is so strong in their homelands that there has been little need even for the advances of technology and structure that can be seen in other nations. The Afthanal are content to remain in their 'pure' state and view the ways of other peoples as being soft and weak.