Appearance and Personality Edit
The Akurshai all vary in looks, sizes and shapes, though they generally share some characteristics. They retain some features of their former selves, though, once cursed, the Akurshai began to look less and less like humans and more like monsters. Mostly, they stand at six to seven feet tall, some hunched over and some upright, and most are musclebound and stocky beyond compare in mere humans.
Their armour is usually forged by them or personally adapted to fit their deformed bodies. Many Akurshai have armour crafted to fit them, as well as weapons, which they share some kind of kinship with as if their weapons were close family members. Each one wields theirs differently and they all treat others in different ways, though they are invariably psychotic and sadistic, often to the point of slaughtering innocent civilians for fun, or attacking their own sides in battles. They have a natural knack for war, and many choose to become mercenaries for different sides in different wars. They are capable of fending off whole armies with just themselves and their weapons, often killing hundreds per battle alone.
The Akurshai were once humans, the majority of which fought in the Magic Wars, a conflict in the late years of the Age of Magic. The conflict was fought between the Hinorial Territories and the Nekosan Kingdoms, two rival empires which had both learned the secret of magic.
In these conflicts, battles were decided by mages, the magic-users of each side. They stood in formations on top of cliffs, large rocks or sometimes manmade platforms, casting spells and hurling their deadly magic at the footsoldiers and infantrymen below. Usually, enormous amounts of swordsmen were killed in the battles before any difference was made; people just couldn't get close enough to mages to kill them without being obliterated by magic or the guards of the mages.
However, some particularly cunning, skilled and vicious warriors, on each side of the conflict, were able to not only reach the other side of the battlefield, where the enemy mages stood, but were also able to fight their way through them and destroy the mages, thus ending the battle with the victory of their side, rather than the fight ending in a bloody stalemate, as was usually the case.
The Curse Edit
When at last the Magic Wars were to be called off, when leaders from both the Hinorial and Nekosan side agreed that magic was far too dangerous and unstable to be used as a weapon, discussed in what is now known as the Treaty of Theselan, most of the countries' mages were executed, or their magic items (such as sceptres or staves) were taken away. At the same time, however, many soldiers who had earned themselves names for defeating mages and destroying the other side's magic users heard of the ending of the war and were outraged. Most made livings from battle and they had gained infamy and notoriety through the destruction of magic. A brief rebellion was struck up by them, in which a hundred or so of them gathered in the square of Theselan, the city at which the Treaty was being discussed, and protested the end of the war. After a brief battle in which two rebels were killed, the armies of both Nekosan and Hinorial surrounded and captured the rebellious soldiers, and they were rounded up and brought before their own leaders and priests. For their treason, they then had a curse placed upon them by the few mages each side had left, which read:
- "These devils who are loved by bloodshed,
- Delight in killing countless foes,
- These devils who would shatter peacetime,
- Ne'er again shall strike ill blows.
- The combat which they love so dearly,
- Shall be their undoing here;
- For in their curséd worlds of hatred,
- In which they show no love or fear,
- Are condemned by us, the foes they loathed,
- To walk the world in ageless hate.
- Unhappy lives they'll live in shadows,
- At the mercy of the fates.
- Their hearts be black, their minds be closed,
- We place a curse which has no cure;
- Their bloody lust will not be sated,
- They'll ne'er be touched by something pure."
The curse was intended to make the rebellious soldiers suffer, and the name "Akurshai", a word meaning "Accursed" in the Old Tongue, was given to them. They were cast out of their countries and forced to wander the wilderness. They were doomed to fight for eternity amongst themselves, with no purpose and nothing to live for. The curse prevented them from touching things considered "pure" by the mages who imbued the curse, meaning things like fire, water, holy or religious icons, and children - prepubescent boys, and virgin girls of any age. The Akurshai did not, however, fight each other and destroy themselves as the governments of Hinorial and Nekosan had intended, however, and instead most went their separate ways.
Some went to become hermits in the hills, recognising their mistakes and attempting to atone for them, some left and became mercenaries for whichever sides suited them in whichever wars, some attempted to lift the curse by any means necessary, and some merely festered and preyed upon anyone weaker than themselves to fuel their lust for combat, which was now second-nature to them.
Modern Day Edit
The curse was worded in such a way that allowed for the Akurshai to live eternally and not suffer death by old age, though they could be killed. They were also much stronger in their cursed states, and their forms slowly decayed and manipulated until they were monstrous mockeries of their former selves.
The numbers of the Akurshai had dwindled to a few by the point of the Age of Exploration, most of them having perished in battle, either with humans, amongst themselves, or off fighting unwinnable battles against great beasts and armies. Though some aren't accounted for yet, it is generally believed that there are few more than twenty remaining.
Notable Akurshai Edit
- Aerîno - a Nekosan-alligned Akurshai, who continues fighting for Nekosan long after the Magic Wars.
- Belg Briaghan - an Akurshai who deigned to get revenge on the mages who cursed him by finding and absorbing all the magic he can get his hands on.
- Cinder - an Akurshai who serves as a mercenary on the island of Cappriana, where he fights for both Cerasten and Dunasten as the mood takes him.
- Dreken - one of the Hinorial Akurshai, mentioned by Belg in The Starlit King.
- Gesart - an Akurshai who goes mad with rage and rampages across the northern islands, killing thousands, before he realises the error of his ways and flees to a mountain.
- Jietec - a former Nekosan Akurshai, wields a lance and believes himself to be noble.
- Narimaos - another Hinorial Akurhsia mentioned by Belg, Narimaos is a masochist and purposely pursues pure objects to pain himself.
- Thullak - an Uranakai demon who was a mercenary for Hinorial. He becomes feral and murders hundreds of people.
- Uriah - a former religious zealot who is maddened by the curse, which forbids him to seek solace in his beliefs.