The Exekians are a bipedal race. Second only to humans, they are the most widespread species inhabiting the planet.
For three thousand years, the Old Exekian Empire occupied much of the known world. The Empire was built on the backs of an enslaved human population. The discovery of gunpowder, however, ultimately turned the tide, as guns became the "great equalizer" permitting humans to successfully wage war against the stronger, more intelligent Exekians.
For the last two centuries, the Exekians have been on the decline due to constant warfare with humans, internal power struggles, and their slow reproductive cycle making it virtually impossible to have a sustainable birth rate. Many estimate that their species is already well on the path to extinction.
Physiology and Traits
Exekians are distinguished by their silver blood, pointed ears, and tapetum lucidum. They tend to be taller in stature than humans, with long, slender limbs. Their facial features are generally triangular, with wide set eyes and an almond or heart-shaped face.
All Exekians have either black or white hair, though there may be some variation in shades. Typical eye colors include black, yellow, amber, violet, or blue. The tapetum lucidum makes their eyes appear to glow in the dark like those of a nocturnal predator.
A common practice among the Exekian hunyadi is to let one's hair grow uncut until they must enter into battle, at which point their hair is shortened. If one forcibly shears the hair of another, then it is equated to a challenge that cannot be ignored without humiliating the one whose hair was cut. Someone who had very little hair was assumed to crave conflict, and would typically be shunned by other members of the community or even cast out.
Abilities and Weaknesses
The average Exekian is physically stronger than the average human. They do not age and are technically immortal, though they may die of injury or disease.
All Exekians possess a tapetum at the backs of their eyes, making them appear to glow in the dark and allowing them a degree of nightvision. In addition, their internal body temperature is significantly lower than a human. Because of this, they prefer cooler climates with little sunlight, such as that found in their native land.
Exekians reproduce sexually in a manner similar to humans. They do not become sexually mature until they reach 214 years of age, in a process known as kluuda.
Males and females mate in a manner similar to humans. The female will carry the resulting child for approximately eleven months, ending in live birth.
Prior to the fall of the Old Exekian Empire, children born with any imperfection or birth defect were ostracized and often abandoned shortly after birth; in more ancient times they would be made into changelings and forced to work as slaves among the humans.
There are no documented cases of Exekian/human crossbreeding, but there was one human/Exekian hybrid being, Ardath Dastagir, who apparently possessed the body of a human and the soul of an Exekian.
Unlike the nomadic humans, the Exekians remained confined to the northeastern continent. By 4,000 BYZ, the Exekian civilization had taken the form of the Old Kingdoms, a series of feuding states ruled by petty hunyadi. The kingdoms were united around 3,000 BYZ under Taranis Kuhl, the first Emperor of the Old Exekian Empire.
For the next three thousand years, the Old Exekian Empire dominated the northeastern continent. At the height of its powers it was in control of numerous provinces, including the islands of Dardanos and Skadi. The Exekians also raided more distant human settlements, taking prisoners to be made into slaves. The humans were put to work as laborers, servants, and performers.
Only two hundred years ago, the human slave population successfully revolted. Led by Erasmus Stirling, the slaves formed an army and, wielding guns, killed the Emperor, destroyed the capital, and overthrew the Empire.
In the decades since, the Exekians have been slowly driven south into the wastelands. Their government fractured into scattered tribes run by would-be leaders and former hunyadi claiming sovereignty. After a period of civil war, these groups eventually developed into the New Exekian Empire and the Clan, two rival factions vying for power.
Mannerisms and Ideology
Exekians are known for being far less emotional than humans. They rely on rationality when making decisions, and are not easily ruled by their passions and lusts. However, their lack of natural empathy means that they have a tendency toward ruthlessness and lack mercy or compassion.
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