Their name was the Araishaeránnu, the Returned Ones, the cybernetic dead who would become some of the greatest smiths and scientists in the Triad. The creation, and birth of the Arashii (a derivative of their Elder Tongue name) began with a project known as Dark Scarab, a secretive attempt to prolong life in the strange land of Nemtah. Here the Kings were attempting to forgo the unending sleep, and found that by immersing the bodies of the dead into a strange inky substance (Black Ichor) that immortality was possible. There was however a problem, the early members of the “Cult of the Dead” found that their memory engrams eroded over time. This lead to further, and further erratic behavior until a man named Hotep invented the Ghost Core.
Ghost Cores are electronic computer neural cores modified to fit within the frankenstein cybernetic minds of the Returned Ones. The Cores themselves allow the growing memories of long life to be tabulated, recorded, and even uploaded to private channels on the SysNet. After the invention of the Ghost Core the truly evolution of the Arashii began. Once they were simply returned Faeru, but over time as Cybernetic technology and prosthesis advanced they embraced the machine into the bodies of the reawakened dead. This led to the creation of the Mourning Tenets, a set of rituals and rules that dictate the process of resurrecting a Faerin corpse into a fully Awakened Arashii.
Physically the Arashia (plural of Arashii) can be quite shocking to naive. The Anapa Cabal Arashia appear to be cybernetic egyptians. Covered in inscribed metal stitches, and carefully tattooed geometric shapes known as Gen brands. The Dreygr are more totemic in appearance, and mark themselves in blues of greys while having either their entire torso or all their limbs replaced with synthetic prosthesis. A race that reproduces through modifying corpses generally will define itself in interesting ways.
The subraces of the Arashia were formed from the divergent beliefs that emerged from the early Cults of the Dead. When foreigners not of Aru became involved in the process many were cast out of the original Cabal of the Anapa. This splitting led to many dissident members of the Cult to fleeing either into the Rook or Sentinel systems. There the renegades took the knowledge of resurrection with them and eventually founded their own Cabals. As the Cabals grew they came to develop unique appearances, and culture. The Anapa took to reliving the ritual of the ancient Kingdoms they call home, and came to act as the archivists, assassins, and martial masters of the peoples of Aru.
The cold homeland of Aesgir reshaped the Dreygr in the land of Bears (Bjornlunde) under the rule of the Razor of Frost. Compared to the silent ritualistic people of the Anapa, the Dreygr practice a totemic way of life guided by the Spirits of Owl, Bear and Wolf. Great smiths of deadly technology and brutal warriors. On the jungle world of Mishlen the Ayar became the Priest Caste of their people, and later after the death of their world, the silent vengeful arbiters.
Foundations of Technology and War
The Arashia are one of the primary sources of technological advancement, and scholarly training. It is they who founded the three Battle Schools (academies dedicated to training Errants for War) who came to compete against the likes of the Jade Dragon school on Yomi, and the High Arts Academy of Anwn. Their long lives have gifted, and cursed the Arashia with a need to pre-occupy their minds leading to a drive for perfecetion. This is what has made them some of the most skilled smiths, technologists, alchemists, and industrialists in the entirety of the Triad. Chevaliers were invented in part by the Arashia of the Gwashin Coven who broke away from the Ayar Cabal.
Most of the modern defensive technology such as Carapace Armor, and other forms of powered fighting equipment are built, and refined by the Arashia. This has placed them at the center of teaching in the Imperial Collegiate (an organization of all major academic, and battle schools in the Triad), and at the forefront of weapons technology. They are also keen inventors and creators of digital technology, and it is not at all uncommon for Meisters (creators of Soulgiven) to be active members of the Cabals.
The Arashia gained their personalities from the fractured memories of their former selves. Where once stood Igor is now Windrunner Kruschev. The dead are not who they were, they are a new individual entirely. This can seem a bit strange, as the actual personality that arises after the “Return-Walking” process is usually disjointed and almost delusional. This period of time is much like a newborn child, and the family or “Quorum” who raises them will often do so with careful consideration, and tutelage. Families for the Arashia are more like a mixture of artisan commune, and polyarmorous union (should be noted that Arashii favor tri-member relationships).
When Arashii grow old enough they are able to become fruitful members of the they realize that unlike their former selves they will never grow old, they will never mature unless it is their mind. Maturity for them is done through the “stabilization” of the persona. For a race formed from the dead the Arashia are truly alien to outsiders, while acting as ghosts of the past to the modern generation of the Land in the Stars.
Feature art by operion (geraud Soulie)