Continuing the#My30DayWorld challenge, Æsc reveals his demonic creation, the qas. The Legacy of Ash began as a role-playing setting for us, slowly evolving into fantasy fiction as the characters and cultures we created began to take on lives of their own. We hope you’ll follow us over the next few weeks as we reveal a little more about our world and the characters who bring it to life.
This post will cover day 12. We’re doing them all separately over on our Legacy of Ash Facebook page, so head over and give us a like.
3/31: What iconic monsters exist in your world?
Without question, the most prominent iconic monsters in the Legacy cycle are dragons and krakens. Their ancient enmity has shaped the history of Celduras, and the creatures are portrayed in one form or another in almost every one of the world’s cultures.
But we’re going to examine another group of beings today – the reclusive, manipulative qas.
“Decadent, demon-tainted giants brooding in their mountain fastness, dreaming of vengeance and fire.”
~ Okalos the Younger, in his “Irshalden Elegy”
It is said that two schools of Khôrish elementalists were once fierce rivals. The war that eventually erupted between Civen havocs (flame adepts) and the ghefra (wind mages) of Irshalden utterly devastated the Vhos Teramne (the Bitter Sea). In its place was born the desert known as The Forge.
Elemental spirits loosed in the conflict are said to have possessed pastoral, giant-like mirenir who dwelt along the coast of the Vhos Teramne. Over time the mirenir hosts were transformed by the fiery spirits, until they bore little resemblance to the shag-haired, grey-skinned figures they had once been.
Judging by the rare pieces of carving and statuary that survived the Reckoning, qas have retained the physical features which earned them the designation of “demon-giant” by their human thralls. They still bear some characteristic mirenir features – most qas have a prominent nose, broad jaw and forehead, and jutting cheekbones. Unlike mirenir though, qas are hairless, with a skin tone ranging from dark pink to a deep brick red. They are heavily built, commonly standing around 8’ in height. Their flesh is dense and difficult to cut or pierce, and they weigh much more than even their size would suggest. Because of this, qas fear water greatly, for they sink like the proverbial stone in it.
During the Age of Bloodstone Holds, following the qas ascendancy, conquered humans and varukhiri were kept in a state of slavery. Living sacrifice appeared to be commonplace in rites to appease the malefic gods of the qas. Recently translated tablet fragments revealed that qas considered humans and varukhiri to be little more than beasts. The captives’ ignorance of – and refusal to worship – qas gods was taken as proof that those races were inferior. They were considered soulless at best, and dangerous agitators against the ideal qas society at worst.
Although the Qadruqasian Empire lasted for more than 1000 years, little more than ruins and monuments remain. Early in the 11th century of qas rule a series of massive earthquakes rocked t’Avallin south of the Hannelore River. The resulting tremors caused the entire southeast coast to sink below sea level, destroying Sesh and drowning at least half the population. The quakes continued for several years, killing countless people and laying waste to buildings, roads, monuments, and most of the clay tablets upon which the qas recorded information. Some legends say that the earthquakes were a result of dark arts practiced by qas sorcerers, but those are generally considered to be no more than old minstrel tales.
Today qas can be found only in the mountain realm of Kiorvach, and the decadent Jhandalan Archipelago.
The Challenge will Continue…
Over the coming weeks, we will be posting more about Celduras and the continents that compose Calus Rukan. There is a lot more to reveal. Constructs and oceans. Mystical materials, violence, soldiers, and war. This has been day 12, but stay tuned for our next set of questions.