During the War of Daishevar it is said that on the battlefield there was nothing more fearsome and brutal than the athdraki. Tales of bards claim that the demonic beasts were able to tear a man asunder in seconds with their vicious teeth and claws. Stories of how they came flying through the night, their scales and malevolent eyes glimmering through the darkness as they laid waste to entire cities, struck fear into men and children alike.
According to Calamians they are a race of monsters, whose only goal is to conquer and dominate other species. However, despite Calamian views, the Athdraki are an intelligent race, with a deep history and extensive culture. In current times the athdraki are few in number, but continue to remain a force to be reckoned with. Even in the dark world of Israidius these demonic entities are respected, or even feared by the other races.
Athdraki are known to be capable of assuming either one of two forms. The first and favored of their forms is the hybrid. The second holds great resemblance to that of a human. No matter the form an athdraki takes, each one serves its purpose well.
No matter the form that an athdraki takes, they always hold an athletic appearance. Their body can range from thick and bulky to a finely sculpted shape. Due to an extremely high metabolism, never is there an overweight athdraki.
For those unfamiliar with the race, it is often easy for a person to mistaken an athdraki as a human while they are in this form. While in this shape the Athdraki greatly resembles an exotic human. Their features are sharp and elegant, the color of their skin coming in many fleshy tones, from a pale alabaster to a dark ebony.
Athdraki hair always growths straight and smooth and their eyes are never large, taking on a sharp and almost almond or oval shape. Unlike the humans, however, the athdraki all have metallic-like shades of hair and eye color. The colors can be from glittering obsidian black, sparkling silvers, to a luminous red. The factor to decide the hair and eye color is through family line. The athdraki will take on either the same colors as their father or mother, but never a mixture of both or an in-between color.
It is those unique shades of hair and eye color that are a dead giveaway as to what an athdraki is while present in human society. This holds true most of all in the dark. When there is even the faintest bit of light present in a dark setting, the hair and eyes of an athdraki tends to give off a type of sparkle or glow. While the typical Calamian may be unable to detect an athdraki in humanoid form, any person that has studied the athdraki race can almost instantly pinpoint an athdraki amongst a crowd.
Athdraki tend to be large in stature. The smallest recorded amongst them, while in this form, stood at five feet and seven inches tall. The tallest known stood at an impressive seven feet.
The hybrid form of the Athdraki is that which is most commonly seen amongst their race. While in this state, they hold a physical representation of a mixture between man and dragon. Their height, when in comparison to the humanoid form, increases by roughly around a foot or two. The muscle structure and weight of the athdraki also increase accordingly with the shift in size.
Flesh is replaced with a tough and scaly hide. These scales can be lined with horns, plates, barbs, or spikes. The hide is highly resistant against weapons such as swords, and so rarely do athdraki bother to wear burdensome armor while in hybrid form. The shade of the scales takes on the same hue as the eye color the athdraki has when in humanoid form. Depending on each athdraki, their hair may or may not be present when assuming this shape.
Often in this form athdraki sport a pair of horns on their head. These horns vary in style, able to be of many sizes and practically any shape. The hue of these horns most commonly is black, but there have been other shades.
While their body structure overall retains the humanoid appearance, their feet become more draconic, where the athdraki walks on the pad of their feet and have claws tipping each of their toes. The hands also become clawed. Quite to the contrary of the belief that the claws get in the way of performing simple tasks, an athdraki is completely unhindered by them.
A pair of draconic wings and tail can be located on the back of each athdraki in hybrid form. The wings are thick and leathery and are capable of being folded closely over the shoulders, able to create what can look to be a makeshift cloak. The tail on the other hand, can be smooth or spiny, and is often one of the many natural weapons at an athdraki’s disposal.
All athdraki that take this form lose the color in their eyes, and are replaced with an opalescent white.
The lifespan of the average athdraki is relatively unknown. Amongst the oldest recorded is the demon princess, Nakhti, human histories recording proof of her existence for well over two thousand years. Unfortunately due to the lifestyle that athdraki take, few ever live long enough to reach such ages.
Athdraki typically do not hold monogamous beliefs. It is common for an athdraki to have two or more partners. This relationship that they share often is not determined through such silly things as “true love”. Instead it is determined by the strength of each individual athdraki. To ensure a strong bloodline, those of higher stature and strength are the first to select their mate or mates. From there the lesser of athdraki then may choose that which be left.
In current times, however, athdraki are rare. This is primarily due to their severely low birthrates. On average, only about ten athdraki are born each year. Combined with this, newborns more often than not have poor immune systems. Of the ten born on average, typically only three manage to survive. It isn’t until the child reaches the age of ten do their immune systems begin to develop and strengthen.
Athdraki are born in their humanoid form and are unable to assume their hybrid form until around the age of seventy five. However, they’re not considered fully grown until around the age of two hundred.
Humans and athdraki can interbreed, but this is an extremely rare occurance given the hostilities between the two nations.
To learn more about the human/athdraki offspring, see the Halfbloods section.
The hybrid form of the athdraki grant unto them a potential increase in strength and toughness, and the ability of flight. Not all athdraki gain the same benefits as the next though. While in this form, athdraki recover a great deal slower than average.
Athdraki that assume the humanoid form, while much weaker than the hybrid form, gain the benefit of increased healing. This enhanced form of natural healing is approximately twice as fast as the human healing process.
Of all the intelligent races from Israidius, there are none more fearsome and dreadful than the athdraki. They are a strong and proud race of people that take pride in being in absolute control. Any that dare challenge their authority often don’t live long.
The majority of the athdraki population holds absolute loyalty to the Valdharian Empire and its Emperor. In times long past, it was claimed that it was through the might of the athdraki people and the Titans that Israidius had become united and the Empire born. Whether this is true or not, only the final remaining Titan could say, but no matter the case the athdraki completely believe this to be fact. Those athdraki who do not swear fealty to the Emperor are believed to be traitorous and weak individuals.
Athdraki take pride in their combat prowess and entirely love a challenge. Constantly do they strive to better their abilities and strength. It is not uncommon for one to make a declaration of rivalry with another. At times this rivalry can make an athdraki overly egotistical, believing their self to be better than their superiors or possibly even the Emperor. On the occasions this does happen, an athdraki is always more than free to challenge the said persons in order to lay claim of that position, just as any race in Israidius may do. Of course, should they fail to back up their claims and be defeated, the price to be paid is far worse than death.
They are not the best of farmers and more often than not are reliant on other species they have dominated to tend to crops. Those that do farm often are runts incapable of combat or those trapped in their humanoid form. What few crops they do manage to produce are usually small batches of vegetables. While they are omnivorous, they rather prefer to spend their time preying on the beasts of the land to provide food. During the times there are no animals available to hunt, one of the weaker species always makes do.
The wasting of resources is frowned upon. Athdraki hold similar beliefs that the orcs of Calamia have when it comes to the usage of resources. Everything present, no matter how worthless it may seem to be, has a use. Scraps of metal once seen as useless by someone and athdraki can use to produce a piece of armor or a deadly weapon.
On the battlefield the athdraki are a terrifying lot. Death is something not to be feared, but to be embraced. To die for the glory of the Empire is a glorious death.
Even with their low numbers the athdraki have a tendency to look down toward any races that are not of their own kind. Believing themselves to be superior compared to other races, often they view these beings as beneath them. The only exception to this is on the occurrence of encountering a person that they believe to be strong. This strength does not necessarily come from physical power, but from the mind or acts of bravery as well.
If there is one thing all athdraki hate most, it is a coward or traitor. Cowardice is not to be accepted. Traitors will be hunted down and eliminated. Acts of courageousness and bravery, on the other hand, is one of the potential methods that could get a person under the good graces of the athdraki.
While domineering the athdraki species may be, they are a dedicated lot. For those under the Empire, they are willing to sacrifice their very lives to ensure the survival of all the remaining races in the Sanctuary.