“To roam the skies is like being free”
– Elbeah Hulani, High Priest of Alyasne
Alyasne the Freedom-Born, the Spirit of the Winds
Aeromi range from 4 feet to 7 feet tall, though the majority of the race falls into the taller portion.
Mountain Aeromis can live up to 150 years and Tropical Aeromis tend to live up to 125 years.
The trademark feature of the aeromis are their graceful feathers, ranging from black, deep brown, dark green, dark blue or white, and commonly striped with dark contrasting shades, or black. Other than this and their slender form, they are relatively humanoid. Darker, more drab aeromis known as “Forest Aeromis” tend to live on Thelasia and Maitland, their populations of greater density and size. While the more lighter-shaded, colorful aeromis known as Tropical Aeromis, inhabit Amadahi and Asteria, though they tend to be rarer and less visible.
The bottom portion of their body imitates that of a human from the mid-drift down, which of course means no tails. Long slender legs and feet like a delicate human, and all the features of a human body from waist to toe. Creatures of great fragility and beauty, the top of their torso is partially trimmed with long, trailing feathers, uniform at the edges. The upper body is coated in a soft coat of down feathers stopping just below the torso, often a single shade, with the longer and brighter feathers placed mostly over their shoulders, and often matching their wings. This layer of feathering gives them insulating protection in cooler climates.
The limbs of an aeromis are exquisitely slender, supported by an air-filled bone structure and fine musculature adapted for long periods of flight. The wings themselves extend from the back, leaving their arms free for use during a flight. When folded down, their wings could be easily mistaken for a feather cape. Skin colors range the same as a human, with the potential for a very pale pasty white. Facial features are also the same as a human as far as structure and shape of the face, nose, and mouth. Due to the similarity between the facial structure of Aeromi and Humans, they are easily mistaken as humans when covered by clothing. In addition, eye colors often match the exotic colors of their feathers.
The aeromis do not favor much clothing but have learned to adopt body coverings out of mere courtesy for the other races that populate Visola, under protest. It tends to be free and unstructured, consisting generally of short robes of loose linen, cotton, silk or flax, and sometimes belted with leather. Above this, they favor light leather or padded leather vests and helmets, specially built for their contours.
Sample Aeromis Descriptions:
Stiff green feathers cover the crown of this male aeromis, trailing down his neck and shoulders in a verdant shroud. A pair of pristine wings extend from his back with their darker primary feathers extending down the length of his body. Intelligent eyes, the color of jade, are set within his toned face. He stands just over 6 paces tall and carries with him an air of enthused curiosity.
Wide golden eyes roll accusingly in the round face of this female aeromis. Broad amber feathers cover her head and edges of her body, each feather seemingly ruffled and out of place. A few stray feathers grow longer and darker than the rest throughout her body. She holds her wings close to her curvaceous form and stands at a mere 4 paces and 3 fingers, stout among her kind.
Aeromi society is remarkably laid back. They have no set hierarchical structure and consider male and female, young and old, as equals. Due to their gentle nature, they have little need for law in their civilization, as most Aeromi abides by an unspoken moral code. Should an aeromis act against their unspoken code, he is grounded, which is another term for forcing or banishing the Aeromis to walk the lands rather than free flight.
Due to the embedded heretical nature, Aeromi is often seen as outspoken and insurgent against bureaucracy. Perhaps it’s due to their own social nature that they do not understand the need for law and order among other mortals. Some factions, such as the Imperium, go as far as to call them anarchists and trouble-makers. They are also sometimes seen as humanitarians, standing up for those unfortunate enough to be bullied by local governments and administrations.
As a whole, Aeromi are a very educated race, much due to their worldly adventures. As a side effect of their adventurous attributes, they are also more tolerant than any other race. They have seen and experienced more than most other mortals, as they have the ability to travel to the far corners of Visola. With this, some have also seen the devastation in other cultures, which adds to their rabid contention against tyranny.
Many Aeromi also have fluency in music and oral storytelling, as the wind carries its song through the flute of a bamboo. Some are even unsurpassed vocalists due to the variety of deep tonal variances like their feathered siblings the songbirds. Because of such, there is a rumor that Ereleia and many Elves despise the Aeromi race, and has been told to curse a few of them in the absence of Alyasne.
Aeromis have a very strong penchant for freedom, which includes their viewpoints on marriage. There are some Aeromis who have a loyalist mindset with one particular mate out of preference, but there’s no embedded marriage culture for the Aeromis due to the distaste for the confines of structured marriage.
Aeromis are not a very organized society at all, with no known hierarchy. However, the Church of Alyasne is, in itself, slightly structured for the sole purpose of defending the way of life of the Aeromis. The Church of Alyasne is like the soldiers and lawyers of the culture, representing them on their behalf when it comes to anything that violates their cultural freedom. That is their only known purpose and is done so without the need for official structure.
Additionally, there are times where the Church of Alyasne has been known to fight for the rights of other races and groups of people as well. Anyone who has been threatened with slavery or entrapment of any kind can bring on the ire of Alyasne’s members. They look out for those in need, whether it’s for health or freedom.
Aeromis believe in afterlife in the Isle of Eraphus after their death. Some even believe that they can maintain a connection with the living world to act as Guardians. Once someone in Aeromis culture has died, it begins a complex ritual of celebration and honoring of the dead through festivities. During these festivities, it is often a place to showcase the great oral storytelling traditions of the culture in order to always remember the great deads of the dead.
Some Aeromis will also create small shrines in their home as the designated area to honor their dead, while also maintaining the rest of their home as a place for life and living.
Note: Aeromi absolutely do not act like birds. They do not do anything in a ‘bird-like’ fashion except for fly. Aeromi do not tweet. They also do not have feathers anywhere below their shoulders/torso.
Typical Aeromis Names:
Aeromis follow a lot of the Polynesian culture, and the same can be said for their names. Aolani Aeromis follow a very Hawaiian style of name. A couple of examples are:
- Kalani Malea
- Keoni Leilani
- Elbeah Hulani
Tropical Aeromis follow a more Samoan style such as:
- Samoa Talia
- Elei Natia
- Tama Arihi
Aeromi are extremely intelligent, more so than any other race except the scholarly Gnomes. This enables the Aeromi to have developed a strong proficiency in magic. They are agile and light-footed, with the ability to fly that gives them a strong advantage over enemies. However, their light bone structure for flight means that they aren’t as physically strong or durable as most other races. Their adaptability and familiarity to the skies allows them to be naturally resistant to wind and colder weather but have a strong fear of fire.
Tips for playing an Aeromis:
- While Aeromis are a race that fights for freedom, and they -can- get violent in extreme circumstances, they are -not- a violent race.
- They have a “live and let live” culture until they run across someone being oppressed, in which case they will get involved for the sake of freedom
- Demanding people adopt your viewpoint on freedom is not freedom
- You cannot tolerate intolerance and still be free
The Aeromi were created after the development of governmental rule came over Visola between the humans and the elves. It is said that Alyasne grew saddened from her perch in the Aolani mountains and took a gust of warm wind from the east to create the first female aeromis, and a gust of cold wind from the west to create the first male aeromis. She then instilled her new creations with the spirit of pure freedom and audacity that the mortals on land had long forgotten, in hopes that the mortals would learn to free themselves from their new chains of oppression.
Notable Aeromis Throughout History
- Elbeah Hulani, High Priest of Alyasne
- Scath Shannon,
Human – They feed on oppression and greed. The majority of them are filthy, like a festering wound that eats away at the world until there is nothing left.
Orcs – I can appreciate orcish society, they are brothers in spirituality. But I fear they are easily manipulated by humans. Be careful who you trust.
Hydrelean – Outsiders to the known world, much like us. I think they are easily misunderstood, therefore I am curious to learn more about them.
Brownie – They have good intentions and seem to have a respect for diversity. They are free of heart, make allies with them when you can.
Pixies – A creature of flight, much like our people. Though I think they possess more knowledge than they let on.
Elves – Though they are not as greedy as humans, their superior state of mind makes them just as much of a threat. Respect their ways, but keep your distance.
Centaurs – I have much respect for the centaurs. They are as freedom-born and adventurous as the Aeromi, yet they hold high regard for honor and respect.
Felar – I can appreciate their lack of law and their revelry. But I would not trust them with my life.
Dwarves – The dwarven race is blinded by soot and ale. I have tried to open their eyes and their hearts, but both are as tight as a diamond wrapped in coal.
Giants – Brothers of the mountains, I’ve always enjoyed trading thought and history with the giants. They provide provoking discussion, yet tend to go to extremes with their philosophy on life.
Gnomes – I shared routine with a gnome in a temple on the border of the Beruvian mountains. They are fascinating creatures, and I am constantly amazed at the quickness and inventiveness of their little minds. They seem to admire our people like a young child would an older sibling. Protect them when you can.
(This is the general concept of the race. Advent allows for diversity and originality when it comes to racial concepts and background, as long as it is within reason. Physical references to races should remain within the norm. Feel free to use your creativity should you choose to do so.
Aeromi image created by: Joanna R. Barnum)