Aisling (translated into Apicartan as dreamwalkers, telepaths, or mindreaders) are a genetic class of Exekians with the ability to exert a certain degree of influence over the mortal psyche. Exekians themselves normally are incapable of dreaming, but a dreamwalker can experience and influence the dreams of mortals, as well as reading their minds while they are awake and mentally bombarding them with specific images, thoughts, and emotions, usually aimed at indirectly controlling their actions and behaviors.
In the Old Exekian Empire, the aisling were seen as the backbone of the slave industry. They were expected to take jobs as slave overseers, using their ability to keep the mortal slaves in line. Disobedient slaves were typically punished with recurring nightmares and hallucinations, while the obedient ones were rewarded with visions of paradise. The psychological effects of this control were quite substantial - an aisling could make or break the mind of a mortal simply by manipulating their thoughts and dreams.
The first known aisling was Edric. According to the Mandorlin, Edric was given the gift of dreamwalking by the Ferdia after healing the beast's wounds. All aisling are said to be his direct descendants.
The ability to dreamwalk first manifests when the Exekian is around the age of fifteen, but only if they are within range of a mortal. It is often a confusing, frightening first experience for the Exekian. If they cannot learn to control their power, it will backfire on them, often causing emotional scarring. In extreme cases, an aisling who fails to achieve mastery of their power will fall into a comatose state, never to awaken.
It is vital that the Exekian learn to control this ability as soon as possible. Once their power manifests, the Exekian should be turned over to an experienced aisling, who can instruct them on how to use it properly. Failure to control their power can result in banishment/forbidding them from going within mental range of a mortal.
A common side effect of using this power is sleepwalking - the aisling will physically manifest/act out what is happening to the human whose dreams they are experiencing. Thus, it is advised that an aisling who is intending to dreamwalk should always have an awake, alert person present to prevent any injury from occurring.
In the later years of the Empire, the population of aislings had decreased significantly, with fewer children born at each kluuda manifesting the powers. After the Revolution, the reputation of the aisling grew to an almost mythical status; they were often the only force keeping the humans at bay. Many Exekians believe the aislings must grow in number if they are to survive as a species.
Major Historical Figures
Edric, the first aisling
Arlo, a philosopher
Prince Kemet, a soldier/warlord who survived the fall of the Empire