Dark Days in Sion
Ahurans are tall, fair-haired northerners from the frozen continent of Ahura; the harshest, coldest region on Sion. Ahuran men are typically among the tallest you will find on Sion, usually 6’ at a minimum. Women are usually only slightly shorter and slimmer. Men and women prefer to grow their hair out long, with mature men often favoring beards. Maids leave their hair loose, married women wear braids.
Ahurans are a culture of warriors and explorers who once very nearly ruled the world. However, ever since their homeland became uninhabitable, their numbers have drastically declined. Now they are a race of exiled wanderers and traders lacking a permanent home. Still formidable individually, they lost their strength of numbers when they lost their homeland.
Ahurans favor honeyed mead as their preferred drink with a hardy fare of red meat and tough bread. They are known to have a weak tolerance for foreign food, especially the spicy variety.
They have little appreciation for the fine arts, but admire fine craftsmanship in all things. They are usually loud-spoken and opinionated, brave and brash. Often quick to anger, but rarely cruel. They prefer to teach a foe a lesson rather then kill them outright.
They appreciate their own freedom above all and respect foreigners only when they can communicate clearly and show themselves not to be weaklings.
Ahuran; Verbal only. They adopted Dwarven as their written language long ago. Many Ahurans also learn Dwarven and Common as trade languages.
Ancient History – 3,500 years ago
Ancient Ahurans inhabited the harshest, coldest region on the planet during the First Ice Age. As great hunters, they preyed on mammoths as their primary resource for meat, bone and ivory. They took to burning their dead for practical reasons. It was too difficult to dig graves in ice or frozen soil and simply abandoning the corpses to the elements could often create undead. Ancient Ahurans were largely superstitious of magic and worshiped gods of the elements and beasts.
Kingdom of Croesus – 2,500 years ago
Later, when Ahura thawed 2,500 years ago at the end of the First Ice Age their numbers rose very rapidly. Tribes became clans and warfare became a pastime as common as hunting. After centuries of infighting, a clever barbarian warlord named Croesus established the first kingdom in Ahura by taking a wife from every clan. He had many heirs, so he ensured a lasting peace by not promising his crown to his first born. His heir would be chosen by the people at the time of his death. His heirs were thus encouraged to busy themselves earning the trust and respect of the people in the meantime.
Due to this lasting peace, Ahurans began to explore the seas and trade. Their reputation as master sailors, craftsman and metalworkers soon spread far and wide. No written language of their own existed at the time, but some Ahurans facilitated long distance relations with other dwarves (because of their skill at sea travel) and were thus taught Dwarven.
Noric Theocracy – 1,375 years ago
The Kingdom of Croesus ended after the high priest of the Church of Noric decreed that the peace did not please the god of war, and he wished to see champions of Noric step forward and take whatever they wanted. A period of anarchy followed which would only settle after Ahura was fractured into dozens of warring states and the church of Noric began to manipulate the various warlords, each hoping to declare himself king. In the end though, it was the church of Noric itself that seized power creating a powerful theocracy.
The church of Noric also spawned several ambitious crusades sending warlords to rumordely rich places in faraway lands to battle and pillage for Norics glory.
Angul Empire – 750 years ago
750 years ago, an exceptionally long-lived being named Angul appeared on Ahura. He appealed to the weaker Ahurans on the fringes of society and gave them the strength of brotherhood they desired. After a hundred years of spreading his seed, Angul spawned a new race who were also called Angul, for they named themselves after him. After a century of plotting his followers made their move and destroyed the Church of Noric. Angul declared himself emperor and defeated the local warlords.
Life for Ahurans trapped under Emperor Angul and his flesh-eating spawn was a living nightmare. Without the Church of Noric, Ahurans had no protection against the bloodthirsty cannibals who now called themselves their masters. Those who could, fled Ahura altogether across the seas, but tens of thousands of others who could not were killed and eaten over the course of centuries.
The Ahurans who did flee, found refuge where they could with allies and trading partners. Some warlords took time to regroup, hire mercenaries and return to do battle with the Anguls and try to free their homeland. None were successful. Others who thought they had escaped the Anguls fleeing Ahura in the first place would realize they were mistaken when the Anguls began to spread like a cancer across Sion, conquering and devouring everyone they could.
Second Ice Age – 400 years ago
The Second Ice Age came without warning in the form of an epic winter storm which blanketed Ahura. Millions of Ahurans and Anguls died. Their capital city was buried by the blizzards, trees and buildings alike were blown over by fierce winds, and all the living things quickly froze to death. Ahurans elsewhere on Sion grieved a great deal, for none of them would have a hope of returning to their homeland in their lifetimes. And in fact, Ahura remains uninhabitable to this day.