Endless Blue – Kickstarter Day 19 – The Icht of Elqua   Leave a comment

The Icht of Elqua

As the Fluid Nations spread out and established their territories, they began to utilize their surroundings to meet their individual needs.  This consumption of natural resources has led to the discovery of anomalous artifacts that have cast some doubt on the established view of Elquan history.

Common knowledge has been passed down, emphasizing that the Cetaceans were the first species to rise above the schools of fish and achieve sentience.  Their evolutionary “head start” is credited for the Cetacean Barbarians’ conquering much of the Known World.  Faced with lesser races only on the verge of civilized existence, the Orcan precursors were practically gods among mortals.  Like a tidal wave, the first Khan led the Cetacean Hordes like a crashing surf over the Shore.  These were bloody years, filled with destruction and violence.  Many died, even so far as the wiping out of an entire Mer Current.  But that may not have been all that was wiped out in these vicious battles.

Artifacts have been found, mostly fragmented, scattered all across the Known World.  Strange, featureless masks, so large that they cover the shoulders of an Orcan, fitting deplorably.  Yet, the artifacts only appear to be half-masks meant to cover the upper lip and cranium.  Comprised of baked kaolinite clay, they hint that perhaps there was another race before the coming of the Cetaceans.

These shattered masks are the sole remnants of this civilization.  No settlements have ever been found, no structure such as shelter or cemetery seems to exist.  Just these masks, meant cover an face whose dimensions match none of the extant piscean races, laying half-buried in the silt sands of the ocean floor of the Shoals.

Their spread across Elqua insinuates this unknown species lived all across the Known World, from the arctic circle down to the Tropic of Kraken.  The litter trail seems to loosely follow along the Shore and Shoals of the hemisphere, as if taking great effort to avoid the deepest part of the Shelf.  This left great open areas around which trails of territory line the edges, an abnormality considering most empires spread in all directions.

Sages have called these unknown people the Icht, and postulate they held dominion over almost all of the shallows of the Known World, perhaps even beyond the Spine of the World.  Anatomists of the Resurrectionist have taken what is known of the Icht Masks and tried to reconstruct the image of this extinct race.  Perhaps taken from local folklore, or a racial memory, but the consensus seems to be that the Icht were a shortish race, smaller than a Mer, yet as wide as an Orcan.  Their back hunched, their faces were almost spherical, and took up most of their chest and shoulders.  Finally, from the scratches and wear on the inside of the masks, it seems the Icht were an armored form of life, like the Lumulus or Chelon.

With all these similarities with the current races of Elqua, could it be that the Icht were actually the original species that all the other races evolved from?  And what happened to them?  Why did they disappear, and do so at what seems an instantaneous pace?  Why is it that any divinatory magic cast by the Synesthete Synod can only be relived through the eyes of an Icht, yet never do they look at each other?  It is as if they very sight of themselves was repugnant to their senses.

William James Cuffe

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