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Like most of the galaxy's humanoid races, the Aethi race was likely seeded by the Preservers.
To this day, the original birthplace of the Aethi race is disputed. The oldest fossils and remains of Aethi (or nearly identical species) and their tools have been found in both the temperate brown-leaf woods and grasslands of far northern Isaana, and the fertile southeastern coast of Saeaan. The general scientific consensus is that the true origin of the race is, in fact, Saeaan - specifically, an area of dense and warm red-leaf forests in what is now southern Narlenya, on the banks of the Kalye river.
Early History Edit
The first evidence of civilization on Aethis can be found in the foothills of the Estael'kirvai mountain range in the southeast of Isaana. There, on the windward side of the mountain range, where rainfall fed rivers and creeks that brought nutrients down from the mountains, the nomadic, primitive hunters and herders of the central Isaani plains settled down and founded farming villages, which soon grew to towns and city-states.
Elsewhere in the world, other civilizations arose. Nomadic societies arose in the great plains of Yien Vuura and northeast Saeaan, hunter-gatherers spread throughout the forests of far western Saeaan, and somehow, Isaani fishermen and women found themselves on the innumerable tropical islands of the Kelhaad ocean.
First Age of War Edit
Eventually, the expansion of these first Isaani city-states led to the planet's first recorded wars, territory disputes that eventually turned to massive and bloody struggles for dominance. From these, in turn, emerged the first great Arenu - empires - of Aethis: Lahan in the west, holding lands extending from the river Saali to the west coast of the continent, and 'Ianaad in the east, with territory extending to the edge of the Arai-Saelis, the great desert that dominates southeastern Isaana. In the temperate far north of the Isaana, protected from the equatorial heat by currents of air streaming in from the akol'eslan, coastal fishing villages and small city-states along the northern Isaani coast allied against raiders from the plains to the south to form the planet's first large alliances, and battled what may have been the first organized pirates that the planet had yet seen.
Meanwhile in Yien Vuura, nomads that formerly only travelled on foot and herded the dog-sized reptilians native to the northern plains, discovered the kazhri, a large and swift animal capable of being tamed and ridden. Around the same time as the rise of the great empires of Isaana, great tribes made war upon the plains of the Yien Vuuri north, and brave souls crossed the inhospitable deserts in the center of Yien Vuura to find refuge among the mountains and hills in the far south.
This long period, known as the First Age of War, also saw technology in Isaana and Saeaan advance. Lahani advances in iron-working, spread to other lands by trade and migration, advanced weaponry, farming, and the already developing Saeaani interest in mechanical devices. Soon, an inventor in what is now the Autonomous Narlenyi Nation of Kyiaar developed a small device that oscillated by steam pressure - the first steam engine. While this device was at the time regarded as little more than a curiosity and would not be utilized to great effect for another several hundred years, it and other inventions set the stage for an industrial and technological revolution that did not usually come so quickly to sentient races in the galaxy.
Further to the west, Saeaani civilizations arose and expanded, assimilating or destroying neighboring more primitive tribes in their path, founding cities as far as the Vestaiyan west coast.
The Age is considered to have ended when Lahan finally conquered 'Ianaad, though war still raged in northern Yien Vuura and Saeaani empires continued to cut their swaths through the continent.
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The primary spiritual system of the Aethi, originating in Isaana and Yien Vuura, is a polytheistic, animistic system, involving four main gods of the world and innumerable minor deities and spirits, often local to a given area.
The early Aethi, who correctly guessed that the shining stars indicated the presence of planets and suns beyond their own long before they had the scientific and technological means to verify it, generally believe (or believed) that every world, and even the empty void between them, has its own greater gods, known as aelen or torei (among many other names), that represent the overarching aspects and forces of nature. Additionally, every continent and region is believed to be home to many lesser guiding spirits, or leisa, representing everything from forests and rivers to mountains and even common local events, such as avalanches or hurricanes. The term torei also refers to the greater 'gods' and the lower 'spirits' together.
The four main gods of Aethis usually referred to are:
- Ataar, a god representing the Sun (Elii), fire, strength, and authority.
- Isindiel, a goddess representing the winds, sky, spirit, emotion, and thought.
- Hóth, a god representing the earth (Aethis), death, time, and the cycle of life.
- Earu, also sometimes referred to as Kaades (the Singer), a goddess representing water and the tides, the greater moon (Tai-La), wisdom, and fate. Like Hóth, Earu is also associated with time and the cycle of life, though more representing birth, growth, and maturation, the 'positive' or 'ascending' aspects of life.
In later times, this goddess also became associated with the deep, dark 'sea' of space, pictured as a guiding force among the stars, in direct opposition to the malevolent void spirits. The Aethi also believe in nameless, malicious spirits of the vast, empty void, and that other star systems - even empty and uninhabited ones - have their own torei in some form or another.
Religion is, and has been, in a slow state of decline ever since before the days of Aethi planetary unification, but many Aethi still claim to believe in the presence of the gods and spirits to some extent, and nevertheless these spiritual ideas survive in Aethi language, idiom, and proverbs.
Aethi are very similar to humans, one of the main differences being reddish orange blood and very small symmetrical bone plates spanning between the temples and extending down to the nose, which are visible through the skin as a slight raised pattern in the forehead. Aethi also have slightly pointed earlobes. Additionally, they have a higher tolerance to extreme temperatures than humans, but feel greater discomfort in particularly high humidity, which, due to their lung structure, may produce temporary but significant breathing difficulties.
Most Aethi have compounds in their skin that provide resistance to harmful light frequencies from their star, giving their skin a light olive to bronze tone, with a slight but noticeable orange tinge compared to human skin. Very light skin tones are far less common than on Earth, and very dark ones only exist in a few formerly isolated populations originating from equatorial regions.
- The typical form of Aethi surnames names - coming largely from Isaana and Saeaan - originally signified a clan and individual family line. For instance, "Asir'halindai" would mean "of clan Asir, and the Halindai line". However, the names have since crystallized.
Footnotes & References Edit
- ↑ the origin of these pirates is something of a mystery. Officially, historians maintain that they are simply North Isaani in origin. However some artifacts and even skulls discovered in and near shipwrecks from the period are in fact verifiably alien in origin, pointing specifically to planets within the Azil-6 cluster, currently dominated by the Ariol Domain. The possibility of alien pirates and the like, however, is an extraordinary claim, and some historians simply find it too silly to consider seriously. These artifacts, therefore, are usually written off as forgeries imported from other worlds in recent times, or somehow having ended up in the oceans during the Esonar War.
- ↑ name accented to distinguish the god Hóth from the planet Hoth in the Star Wars universe.