December 06, 2004
Formal Race Name/Plural: Vek'pem Ahrye
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The descriptions of Vek'pem Ahrye vary from story to story, race to race. Most versions agree that they have the ability to blend into whatever culture they like, though the 'how' or 'why' can be very different: the Tyeni commonly believe that Vek'pem Ahrye have no bodies of their own at all, and so borrow the bodies of others; the common Human myth is that they begin as normal people who are somehow changed; Tir and Skrel'eth myths describe Vek'pem Ahrye as not having bodies at all, but only lost souls that can look like bodies; there are members of all races who hold the opinion that Vek'pem Ahrye do no exist at all, or were all wiped out during the pre-historic Apocalypse of the Eye. 'Modern' Vek'pem Ahrye, these say, are nothing but dark mages who would like to be confused with the ancient monsters.
At any rate, if they do exist, most agree that Vek'pem Ahrye can look like anyone, sharing all the traits and shapes and colours of each particular pedestrian race.
Population prior cataclysm: --
Population post cataclysm: --
That Vek'pem Ahrye once existed is universally agreed upon; all myths about their pre-Apocalyptic culture generally run like this:
Belial, a demi-god and youngest brother to Elbahn and Melchior, rebelled for whatever reason against the natural order of life and death, the order which the gods had set for the world, creating in some way a small race of people that did not die (or could live without bodies, as Tir and Tyeni might put it). The gods reacted, of course, negatively, and sent Elbahn and Melchior on a crusade to destroy Belial and his children. There was a great war which ended, in one way or another, with the Apocalypse of the Eye -- the single continent the world once was was torn apart into many, and most people died.
Humans and Skrel'eth generally believe that Belial and his people were on the offensive, not the defensive, and that the Apocalypse was initiated by Cymur and/or Balor as a last resort; Tyeni generally believe that the Vek'pem Ahrye were on the defensive, and initiated the Apocalypse through powerful magic in an attempt to save themselves. Tir generally have no opinion about the cause: it happened, and that's that.
Whether or not the children of Belial survived is a matter of debate, but most agree that Belial himself did; as a demi-god, he probably can't die. As the myths go, the gods now call him 'Vek'pem Ahrye', which means 'cursed, hidden and removed'. The name is used, also, for what may or may not be the surviving members of his old, strange race.
According to everyone's myths, gods or no, Vek'pem Ahrye eat people, or sometimes just the souls of people, or sometimes just their blood. At any rate, they are obviously monsters and the enemy of all other races. It is therefore assumed that they hate 'normal' or 'mortal' people, just as they are hated, and scour the night (or the forest, or the mountains, or graveyards, or other scary places) for victims.
Also of note: it is commonly believed that, for whatever reason, Vek'pem Ahrye hate Dryth most of all, and seek out their absolute destruction in a kind of ongoing, secret war. Most people, of course, are worried about Dryth, too, and hope that if both 'races' do exist, they're busy with the business of wiping each other out.