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The Exekians are a bipedal race. Second only to humans, they are the most widespread species inhabiting the planet.

For four thousand years, the Exekians occupied the northwestern continent and enslaved all humans they came into contact with. Eventually, the humans discovered that iron burned the Exekians' skin, and by creating weapons made of iron they were able to successfully wage war against them.

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 impossible to achieve a sustainable birth rate. Many estimate that their species is already well on the path to extinction.

Physiology and Traits

ExekianPeople

Clockwise from top right: Eira, Arkady, Tania, Matta, Rathina, Kemet.

Appearance

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. To humans they often appear androgynous and generally look youthful due to their immortality.

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.

Abilities and Weaknesses

The average Exekian is physically stronger and faster 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.

Exposure to iron is extremely painful for Exekians, severely burning the contact area. They are so sensitive to the metal that even while wearing gloves they are afflicted with an intensely painful pins-and-needles sensation.

Reproduction

Exekians reproduce sexually, but do not become sexually mature until they reach 214 years of age. While they may engage in sexual activity at any time, they can only conceive offspring roughly every 214 years. This process is known as kluuda.

During 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 and it is generally accepted to be impossible.

History

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 not only put to work as laborers and servants, but were also forced to fight in gladiator games or hunted and killed for sport by their captors, who viewed them as lesser beings no different from animals.

Only two hundred years ago, the human slave population successfully revolted. Led by Erasmus Stirling, the slaves formed an army and, wielding weapons made of iron, 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.

Culture

Religion

The Exekians originated Akhenism, although many are atheists. A few have embraced Vormundism.

Upbringing

While early texts and artifacts show the Exekians originally had family units, in more recent millennia this practice has disappeared in favor of community rearing. The average Exekian does not know the identity of their parents. Lucky children may be adopted by a particular person. Otherwise, they are expected to fend for themselves once they are discharged from the nursery.

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