Physical Description: Tall (average height 7’ for both males and females) and slim, to the point of being gaunt. The Aerani frame is top heavy in appearance, with a somewhat expanded rib cage and broad shoulders and chest. Their bones are lighter, but still strong enough for normal gravity. Skin tones are generally on the darker side; evidence of past engineering shows in a broad range of unusual tones, including reds, greens, purples, and blues. Eye colors vary greatly as well.
Clothing is generally simple and cut in a form-fitting way, to allow for flight. Aerani favor solid colors over patterns.
Society: Aerani society is generally ostentatious and hierarchical, though individual initiative is highly prized. Self-reliance and cunning are considered worthy traits, though loyalty to one’s polis is absolutely essential. Traitors are exiled, and nearby aeropoleis are quite aware when an exile approaches: exiles carry nothing but a red cloth to cover themselves, along with a flight pack. Usually, traitors have little choice but to seek a life on the much-reviled ground below.
Each polis has developed its own set of customs, though some rules are universal. Due to the space limitations of the flying cities (usually only a few thousand can live comfortably in one), the young people born to the families of that polis must vie for status in order to attain the rights of full citizenship, which includes both voting and procreation rights. Those who fail to achieve full citizenship usually have a more limited role in society, though they are seldom treated as worthless. All must contribute to the success of their city, or it might be the next to fall. Those who contribute the most gain the most rewards, usually. Corruption and collusion among the most influential is by no means unheard of, though it must be limited by necessity.
Aerani society has existed for thousands of years, its essence largely unchanged despite new threats. They are a people who do not live in the past: they are far more focused on what is new and in vogue, on whose status is rising or falling, on what the weather is like now and what neighboring poleis are up to.
Over such a long history, some of the aeropoleis have fallen from the sky, while others have gone rogue or been captured by invaders from space. Often the third group have problems maintaining the technology that keeps the sky cities floating, or from crashing into mountains, or from freezing/suffocating at high altitudes, leading to more fallen cities. Rogue poleis have no such problems, but they tend not to last in the long run. Their unbalanced internal societies sometimes collapse on their own, or they suffer backlash from the violence they often perpetrate (many are pirate cities that raid both air and surface). Whenever possible, Aerani will try to retake rogue aeropoleis to preserve their dwindling number. Once there were hundreds of flying cities, but the art of making them is lost and now only several score remain.
Relations: The Aerani scorn all ground-dwellers equally. Those living on the surface are considered slow, graceless, foolish, gullible, and definitely unworthy of even limited citizenship. The Merani (when thought of at all) are considered to be harsh, uncaring, ossified, and aloof to the immediate problems the Aerani face as the first targets of most invasions over the past few millennia.
Aerani on the surface are from one of three groups: pirates from rogue poleis who have abandoned the old ways; traders who could not find what they needed in neighboring poleis; or rogues of some sort, usually exiles, but sometimes those who opposed their polis going rogue in the first place.
Adventurers: Young Aerani may be adventurous, but the thought of leaving the polis usually has little appeal. Only the misfits and exiles mentioned above tend to become adventurers. Just how much of the elitist attitude they bring with them is an individual prerogative, but the independence and resourcefulness of many Aerani brings them at least grudging regard from other adventurers.
Names: Aerani source their names from ancient, fragmentary texts we would recognize as Greek and Roman.
Standard Racial Traits
- Ability Score Racial Traits Both nimble and strong willed, but lacking in robustness. +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Constitution.
- Size: Medium
- Type: Humanoid with aerani subtype
- Base Speed: 30ft
- Languages: Espo
Defense Racial Traits
- Elemental resistance: Past engineering for spacefaring has given the Aerani resistance to cold 5.
Feat and skill racial traits:
- Keen Senses: Aerani have a +2 racial bonus to Perception checks.
Offense racial traits:
- Weapon familiarity: Aerani are proficient with spears, polearms, shortswords, longbows, shortbows, and basic firearms.
Senses racial traits:
- Low-light Vision: Past engineering for spacefaring gave Aerani the ability to see farther in dim light.