Irekei People

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Once the fourth great nation of Elvenkind, Irekei are practically identical to Elves in their physiology. If closely examined, however, some startling differences appear. While all Irekei have the same slight frame, pointed ears, and large eyes of the Firstborn, their bodies are leaner and harsher, covered with taut muscles. Irekei features are harsh and angular, a stark contrast to the sleek smoothness of an Elvish face. Their life in the harsh desert demands both strength and fortitude. As a result the Irekei, while not quite as agile as Elves, are both stronger and hardier. Desert life has resulted in other unique characteristics. Constant exposure to the Sun's glare has dimmed their night vision somewhat, though their hearing remains as keen as any Elf's. Irekei do not perspire, and their bodies radiate far more heat than the other peoples of the World. There is no mistaking the hot touch of an Irekei: even if their cruel natures had not earned the Irekei the name "Devil Men," their burning touch surely would have.

The greatest difference between the Elves and Irekei is also the most visible. Where Elves are pale and fair, with a slight hint of blue, green, or brown in their coloring, an Irekei's skin is dark, their coloring harsh and intense. Irekei skin tones vary from blood red to crimson to jet black, with hair running the gamut from pale white to gold to deep ebony. Irekei loathe tattoos and refuse to deliberately mar their skin, though they proudly wear any scars gained in duel or battle. Irekei faces are harsh and stern, for they rarely smile.

Life in the empty desert has left its mark on the manner of the Irekei as well. Used to having an uninterrupted view of the horizon, they grow nervous in enclosed spaces. Irekei find forests unsettling, and large bodies of water terrify them. The heat of the desert has taught the Irekei to conserve their energy and strength: all Devil Men act with a utility of movement, wasting little motion. When action is required, Irekei move with an uncanny speed, directness, and intensity. Even when at rest, Irekei project an aura of menace, of furious action restrained by intense concentration. When dealing with fir'khanim (literally "rain bleeder," a derogatory term for any being weak enough to waste water through sweat) Irekei seem stoic, and tend to brood and scowl. Among their own kind, however, Irekei are as capable of laughter and frenzied revelry as any Elf.

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