The brotherhood of Acamas was a group of Minoch famed throughout the Empyrean for their precision and physical greatness. The brothers were quiet and unassuming, noble beings that did as they were asked and bothered nobody, humble to a point of perfect humility despite being constantly praised.
They were athletes, huge humanoids that towered over men, great muscular torsos, able to crush rocks with their bare hands and they were relied upon as scouts and guards due to their unerring ability to see anything, from a speck of dust to a bird ten miles away.
The brotherhood of Acamas (known as Cyclops), Like all Minoch, were beautiful, fair of face with lovely hair of forest green. They could turn the eye of any lady and even a deity or two were tempted to their beds. Following The Great Betrayal, the Cyclops were hunted down and slaughtered as they posed a very real threat to the gods, three brothers escaped; stealing the element of lightning with which they hoped to fend off the deities.
But even with such a powerful weapon, the Acamas proved no match for the might of the gods and they were soon defeated, tortured and twisted in to abominations; monstrous and alien reflections of their former selves. Their features were made ugly and their beautiful verdant hair was removed (later found by the Druids who used it to make the strings of magical bows, see the appendix for the Tellurian Bows of the Acamas).
Their beautiful eyes, once capable of seeing solitary figures atop a mountain from the base, the bottom of the Well of Souls and the good in all things; were moulded in to a singular orb in the front of their monstrous faces. Their solitary eye was made to shoot lightning whenever they opened it as a partial punishment for stealing the element previously, this meant that they could not gaze upon anything or anyone without utterly destroying them with a blast of magical electricity (thankfully, one might think, they could not see their own reflection which might send them mad if they observed what they had become).
The three brothers, called Steropes, Brontes and Arges were once famed for their amazing smith-craft and even now can produce weapons and artefacts of splendour despite being unable to see what they are doing, such is the talent and skill within them, that they are able to sense and use their natural ability to remain creative on a spectacular level.
The Cyclops were banished, like all of the Minoch, to the prime material plane of Cyralost. Arges landed on a huge land split between two neighbouring countries called Kork and Barak-Tur, several miles south and east of The Forgetting, the boundary that cuts of the archipelago of Kira from the rest of Cyralost due to an incredible spell that has made everyone forget there is anything out there (and likewise, for the rest of Cyralost, who have forgotten about the archipelago of Kira). Everyone knows there is something elsewhere but become confused and frustrated when thinking about it, quickly finding themselves distracted and on another train of thought with a peculiar feeling of having lost something.
Arges was soon forgotten by his brothers (through no fault of their own, purely due to The Forgetting which no one can remember who put the boundary there in the first place or why someone, something or some deity might need one place to fail to remember the other. We know it is important but forget why, where was I? I have forgotten!), of course, visa-versa; Steropes and Brontes were likewise forgotten by Arges.
The other two brothers took up residence on the island of Thsalathas.
Other than their mighty strength and baleful stare that shoots lightning, the Cyclops have one other terrible ability, their voices are thunder (a side effect of the lightning curse) and they can cause minor earthquakes with a shout.
Steropes, the eldest of the three was slain by the Elven hero, Sarin Elqar, shortly after the conclusion to the War of the Wizards when Sarin was set the seven ‘impossible’ tasks by the Demon Lord, Alangar to regain the souls of his children whom the Fell Lord had stolen. One of the seven trials was to have a wizard create a lightning orb in the hottest, driest summer ever known which made brave Sarin locate and battle with a Cyclops to gain its eye for the use in the wizard’s mage-craft.
Brontes, the last Cyclops in Kira (and all of Cyralost as far as anyone was concerned, having forgotten about Arges and the rest of the world) used his unique skills in smith-craft to forge a Thunder Spear from the elemental magic within his fallen sibling’s throat, with which an assassin he commissioned, used to kill Boran Angerslag (whose ancestor was the evil Cedric Angerslag who remains imprisoned in the Orb of Eisledown) who was responsible for crafting the Lightning Orb from his brother’s eye.
Brontes the Cyclops remains on the island of Thsalathas where he forges a huge arsenal with which to protect himself from the potential killers after fame, fortune and/or the elemental magic within him. His dead brother, Steropes’ remains have since turned to carbon which Brontes crushed to find diamonds that hold sparks of lightning, the sound of thunder or the ability to increase one’s strength and imbeds them in to the wondrous shields and blades that he forges.
The Medusa were the children of Sibilarus, the Serpent God and members of the Minoch (an elite group of Titans who served the deities in the Empyrean). Seven sisters, beautiful to behold and lovely, with voices like songbirds and the ivory skinned bodies of athletes; the envy of all who dwelled there.
Following The Great Betrayal, the seven sisters were banished along with their brethren, the other Minoch, and tortured by the gods in punishment before their expulsion.
Each of their lower torsos was moulded into the body of their god’s favourite, the giant serpents; they retained their ivory skin and perfect breasts as a jest on the gods’ part as none would ever find the monsters attractive again. Their faces were elongated abnormally and their hair became made of small snakes, dozens of tiny serpents that looked like pale; pastel green adders and had poisonous bites that would prove fatal.
The Medusa, romantics in their time, would never love again as anyone that met their dreadful gaze would turn to stone, suffering a long and drawn out, agonizing petrification that would eventually rob them of their life and make them in to a stone effigy of their former selves; a statue for all time (or so the gods thought until one of the Dancers, Isacc Tarakai, found a way to reverse the spell and bring ancient heroes back to life).
The Medusas’ perfect teeth were replaced with rows of sharp fangs that would rend the flesh of their hapless victims and their touch would paralyse one with cold. The Medusa are fantastic archers, legendary even before their horrible transformation, and use bows made of magically pliant horn (Minotaur usually), the magic making the ivory bend like parchment as necessary.
The sisters took up residence on the island of Quern, where the first Minotaur population dwelt before being enslaved and forced in to servitude in the Underdarq. The Medusa remain on Quern to this day, hoarding the treasures of would-be heroes that come to the Minotaur island in an attempt to gain prestige by killing one of them (none have succeeded as yet).
Once-upon-a-time, the Wyverns were beautiful Avian creatures, large birds of exquisite grace and delicacy that would delight the gods, Dancers, Singers and fellow Minoch with impressive flying displays of dance and daring; flitting and fluttering in seemingly impossible manoeuvres.
They had feathers of every colour and hue that dazzled all with their brightness and brought tears of joy to even the most hardened hearts when gazed upon. But the Wyverns were sneaky and used their beauty and favour with the gods to manipulate them, hide their plots and curious machinations.
The Wyverns part in The Great Betrayal was large and their punishment (not dissimilar to their fellow Minoch’s) may not be as fitting as they actually deserved, considering how many innocent Minoch suffered due to the Wyverns’ (and various others’) vile treachery.
Tortured and twisted in to Serpents with snake tails that ended in dart like points, scaled hides replacing their lovely plumage (the feathers of which, fell to the prime material plane of Cyralost where they were found over the ages and used in various magical endeavours that would further the evolution of healing and spell-craft that would result in happy consequences, thankfully leaving a wonderful legacy to a vile existence).
Great bat-like wings replaced the gorgeous feathered spans, giving the Minoch an ugly, demonic look and the heads of small Dragons were warped from their once graceful faces with eyes of bubbling magma causing the Wyverns constant agony that fuelled their anger, hatred and madness.
Two tiny forelegs protrude from their serpentine bodies, imitations of arms unable to grasp anything. A Wyvern’s blood is poison, its bite is to bring pestilence and its lies can start wars. The evil beasts live only for murder, blaming everything and everyone but themselves for their predicament and venting their rage, frustration and insane tendencies on any who come near.
The Wyverns were banished to the island of Faegor, where they are restricted by colossal chains, which are the length of the island; made of spellborn mythore that appears unbreakable. Who knows what devastation the demented Minoch could cause if they were to ever get free? They live in caves and are terrible foes indeed, manipulating all that they do not kill immediately and hoarding massive caches of treasure.
The Cerberus and the Cerberus Gate
Once-upon-a-time when the Empyrean echoed with the song and dance of the Titans, the Wolf Brothers, Ser, Bur and Uz; kept the gods’ faithful hounds and raised well trained Ashen Fur Wolf pups in to amazing hunters for the pleasure of their parents who held feasts for all with what they caught
Following The Great Betrayal the Wolf Brothers, members of the Minoch, were punished by being forced in to one giant canine body with three wolfish heads, thus the Cerberus was ‘born’. The massive ‘dog’ has a frame that measures seven feet from the clawed toes of its paws to the ridge of its back and has a coat of fur that bursts in to fire if touched, burning any who would dare to come near.
The Cerberus barks when exposed to light, something not suggested as the bark is known to paralyse men with fear. The Wolf Brothers were siblings of the Hydra and shared their sister’s transformation, making their saliva poisonous and their bite fatal from disease.
The Cerberus resides in the Labyrinth of Lunacy, below Tarkus, where it guards the portal to the Underdarq (now known as the Cerberus Gate), allowing none to enter the Seven Hells and no Nazdaelunders to reach the surface. The only person the Cerberus has not killed as yet when approached, is Christopher Treece, the Dancer driven mad by Darquelle and the traitorous Newly Den Wamara. Treece thinks of the Cerberus as his pet, but would never tell the Minoch that or treat it so for fear of losing his life.
Ashen-Fur Wolves, the children of the Minoch
Ashen-Fur Wolves were banished from the Empyrean following The great Betrayal as part punishment to their parents, the Minoch, even though the wolves had no part in the event. In the beginning, there were two Ashen-Fur Wolf alpha males, the first of which was called Ulfred and the second of which was called Ullock.
Ulfred’s pack can be identified by their black muzzle, where-as, Ullock’s pack tend to have white and silver muzzles. The two packs are fiercely territorial and are constantly ‘warring’, trying to take the other’s territory by force. It is exceptionally rare to see a solitary Ashen-Fur Wolf as lone wolves tend to meet dire fates.
Ashen-Fur Wolves are not magical, despite their magical and divine ancestry but they are such fierce animals that to kill one is quite a heroic deed (and unlikely as they always travel in pairs or more and are frightfully violent, fast able to blend in with their surroundings as they tend to live in arctic tundra where the stone is covered in snow, the same colour as their coats).
The pelts of Ashen-Fur Wolves is highly prized for its softness, warmth and beauty as it is thick and attractive, used to make cloaks and rugs or blankets. Their flesh is unpleasant to taste so the carcass of any killed is usually discarded with the exception of their teeth which are sometimes used to make tools or embedded in shields such as bucklers to make the armour as much a weapon as a defensive tactic due to the sharpness of the flesh rending canines.
Ashen-Fur Wolves are handsome to look at, incredible hunters, fiercely protective of their own pack, especially their young and natural predators with no qualms about what they kill or how they kill it.
Amongst the Minoch, the beloved children of the gods, were two sisters called Harrah and Phee, who were the daughters of Juisara; the goddess of clouds and weather. Harrah and Phee were responsible for the gods’ songbirds and the birds of prey that were used for hunting and sport in the Empyrean.
Juisara was one of the deities who did not believe her Minoch (which is a Low Oarken word that simply means: god-child. Minedd meaning god and ochk, which means child or youth) were part of The Great Betrayal and refused to punish her children before their banishment.
The sky dwelling goddess was forced to watch her daughters tortured and twisted into monsters, their arms replaced with wings like those of the birds they once loved and their lower bodies replaced with those of monstrous giant falcons; brown feathered tails and powerful feathered legs that ended in cruel looking talons.
Their faces remained beautiful, their lovely smiles hiding dangerous fangs that would rend flesh and their hair was bleached white by the Sun Strobe Sceptre and became lank and greasy.
Juisara’s tears filled a chalice from which Harrah and Phee drank from, allowing them to produce young without the need for copulation (as their breeding organs had been removed during their awful transformation). The Harpies (as they became known, ‘Harpy’ when used in singular) young were spellborn once a decade, always in pairs and always females, baring round breasts that served no purpose as Harpy young eat flesh from ‘birth’ and have no need for milk.
The harpy has a hypnotic gaze and can hold a person captivated if they look in to a Harpy’s eyes, unable to move before they are killed and devoured (if fortunate enough to be killed first as Harpies do not need to slay their victims before they feed on them and their young actually like their food to wriggle).
Their powerful legs can carry a man or anything of a similar weight (and are not choosey over their meals, so Elf, Dwarf, Oark; anything smaller than a Plainsman is on the menu) and their talons (as well as their fangs) are extremely sharp, able to tear through leather; so can cut through straps from armour if necessary.
Harpies dwell in high places such as mountains, occasionally in an elevated forest with exceptionally tall trees, not able to be far from the sky for long as being on land confuses them and they only rest to roost at night, seeming to have an inexhaustible well of energy.
Flocks are called ‘murders’ (like crows) in small numbers or a ‘siege’ (like herons) if in a group of thirty or more, the largest siege of Harpies recorded was forty nine and that was spotted in the Peaks of Ravensky on Calastria, the same siege that assaulted the spellborn city of Keysrai-Nar when avenging a Harpy ‘cull’ commissioned by the Elves that dwell there.
They have no hierarchy or family traits, no visible emotions, living only to feed. Young are taught to hunt relatively early and supervised until becoming independent but there is no obvious maternal motivation. Harpies are not particularly cruel, knowing no joy – nothing pleases them so they do not torture or ‘play’ with their food/victims intentionally.
They are more predators than monsters but hunted and feared like all the other Minoch and respected for their fierce and dangerous nature. Harpy flesh is poisonous, will not kill a man if consumed but will certainly make one very ill. Their feathers are highly prized as they are magical in nature, having no particular magical property other than to magnify other spells. Some known uses for the Harpy feather are quills, powered by suggestive spells for diplomacy or specific orders and for fletching with precision or incendiary spells embedded.
When the Minoch were banished from the Empyrean, the Djinn (or Genies as many refer to them) split in to two factions, both sides blaming the other for their participation in The Great Betrayal. Like their brethren, the Djinn, the Æfreeti (plural, Æfreet for singular, where-as Djinn is both singular and plural) have no lower torsos, they are made up of vapour or small storms that resemble whirlwinds from the waist down (not dissimilar to Air Elementals).
Their upper torsos have the appearance of men with pale skin that turns red when enraged (the only physical difference that separates them from the Djinn, who turn blue, making it impossible to discern which one is without asking it when calm).
Their faces have an alien quality to them, oval like that of an Elf but with a very prominent chin and tiny, thin, barely visible noses. Their eyes are like diamonds, alight with an icy fire. Æfreeti command the elements with powerful planar magic, able to teleport at will (blinking in and out of existence from one location to another within a relatively small distance, not able to transport much further than half a mile).
Thankfully, they are few in number and unable to breed/produce young as they are mighty foes indeed, dwelling in the most inhospitable terrain like volcanoes or arctic wastes.
Hydra, the Children of the Minoch
Sisters of the Cerberus, Hydra were once the queens of a snake-like race who were eradicated unnecessarily through an oversight of the gods when their wrath fell upon the Minoch and their children following The Great Betrayal.
The Hydra were tortured and twisted in to huge serpent bodied monsters with many heads and given men by Sibilarus, who turned them in to male Hydra before being banished to the prime-material plane of Cyralost, residing in swamps and bogs or similar (there are known Hydra in the marshland within the north of the Klavin forest in Tenera, the Fens of Tarkus and reported sightings in a number of larger islands within the archipelago continent of Kira).
The massive frames resemble the bellies of Dragons and the females can grow to three times the size of an average man, with their longest neck placing a head as high as twenty two feet (though most average around the fifteen to eighteen feet and males are much smaller).
Their skin is scaly and black, blue or purple in colour, with yellow bellies (which are the most vulnerable part of their bodies) and as many as seven heads (the majority have four) on long necks that can strike out as fast as a whip, their heads have a Dragon-esque quality to them and though small in proportion to their necks and monstrously huge bodies; deliver deadly bites with powerful jaws capable of breaking bones in two.
If a neck is severed, two more will sporadically grow in its place unless the wound is immediately sealed by fire, once a Hydra gains six or more heads, it becomes virtually impossible to slay as the sheer volume of lightning quick attacks will deter any attack in the unlikely event that the assailant survives long enough to provide that many heads as the Hydra’s heads move independently of its body and defend from every angle.
Hydra blood is poisonous and will kill a man instantly should the poison reach the bloodstream (for example: through a laceration caused by an arrow or blade smeared with the slightest drop of Hydra blood, not much is necessary as it is so potent) or barely a minute after imbibing.