The Squl'tari are a race that were once human, but have been perverted by dark magic use.
The Squl'tari were Human once and counted among the Kingdom of Zedia. Their story begins shortly after the Humans made contact with the Laeythian, who recognizing the young race's potential for magic invited many to their newly constructed College of Magi in the Serenity Archipalego, as well as assisting in the construction of a much smaller one in the capital of Zedia.
With these institutions, came strict rules regarding magic. Various forms of magic that the Laeythian collectively called the dark magics, were outlawed. The Humans, eager to learn were only to happy to enforce this. A group of young students, no more than 12 in number however, sought to break the rules. They researched dark magic in secret, recovering lost tomes and contacting beings outside the college of magi for more knowledge.
Eventually their studies into dark magic lead them down the road of extending their lives. After twenty years of research, the art of Necromancy had been uncovered. The use of Necromancy would allow them to extend their lives far beyond the normal expectancy of their fellow Humans . During that time, the small group had gradually grown larger, being ever so careful to only induct members that they knew would be trust worthy. The original 12 had begun to undergo physical changes from their studies, which would ultimately lead to them being discovered.
Their treachery discovered by the college of Magi, they were offered only two choices. Imprisonment or death. The kabal of Necromancers and dark magic users, opted for the second option. They officially defied the college and called their group the Squl'tari. In doing so, they also offered great power and immortality to all who defected from the college of Magi to their ranks. Dozens more headstrong and young mages, lusting for power, flocked to the Squl'tari.
The Squl'tari, intent to stamp home their point, used their magics to wipe out a village in the north of the Kingdom of Zedia and set up camp there - raising the recently slain dead to serve as an army. A combined army of Laeythian and Humans, containing Knights and Mage Lords alike, marched north to end the threat of the Squl'tari.
The host that challenged the existence of the Squl'tari was much larger than their leader, Toxica Bloodlust, had anticipated. Although they put up a fight, many of the Squl'tari were mages that were either novices or just lacked the potential to become powerful mages. The war host of the Laeythian and Humans routed the enemy and almost entirely destroyed them. Only two dozen escaped the battlefield, with Toxica still leading the way. Others that decided they were better off with out her, fled elsewhere though those who did so were eventually hunted down and killed.
Raising the Isle of NightmaresEdit
After their defeat, the Squl'tari fled with haste to the mountain ranges that shielded the inland areas from the harsh jungle in the east. Whenever they could, they raised the dead to create a small force of skeletons that would offer them some element of protection. At this time, the Krocoans were regarded as unintelligent savages, that no one had managed to be able to communicate with yet. If the Squl'tari were to survive the journey through the Krocoan inhabited deserts, they needed whatever protection they could afford.
The journey through the desert was arduous and it cost the lives of some of their number but the Squl'tari made it through. On the northern end of the desert coast, was a small fishing village that also served as a trading stop over. The Squl'tari attacked the village and claimed the ships there as their own. They would then sail to what is now called the Isle of Nightmares off the north eastern coast of Taenoroth .
When they got there, the Squl'tari found that the island was of some significance to the Krocoan. Idols of worship, burial tombs and more were scattered around the place. The Krocoan there were fewer in number than the mainland (scholars believe they were an honour guard or similar given the duty of guarding the sacred temples and burial tombs), they still posed a threat, because the Squl'tari were violating the apparently sacred grounds of their people.
Over the course of one hundred years, the Squl'tari and Krocoans battled for control of the island, with the Squl'tari raising a Krocoan to fight for them the moment he fell in battle. Everytime that Toxica thought she had the reptillian creatures on the brink of destruction, they would surprise her, fighting back with renewed vigor. There could only be one victor though and save the Squl'tari, there were no other living creatures on that island.
Now safe and secure with their own land, the Squl'tari began transforming the place to better suit their purposes and tastes. Slowly the island became more macabre, more perverted and a mockery of all things life. Few willingly step foot onto the Isle of Nightmares now and those that do, refuse to speak of what they saw.
The Squl'tari are, or were human at least. Their use of magic has forever changed them however. They no longer possess pupils to speak of and their eyes are blood red in colour. They look sickly, pale and thin in early life, as if a diseased human. But as they grow older, their skin gradually grows harder. For the most ancient of Squl'tari, they appear almost as if they themselves are skeletons - the skin eventually exhibits the same properties of bone and it is at this point that the Squl'tari are immortal, for they need not eat, drink or sleep anymore.
Despite their origins, the Squl'tari seem to have lost most of what makes a human a human, though it is not likely that they would care about such a thing. The major weakness of the Squl'tari is that two of their kind are unable to breed - they require human partners to reproduce, which brings it's own set of complications.
The Squl'tari are a hardly unified group, though they still herald Toxica Bloodlust as their leader - many will strike out to other places in Taenoroth to create their own lairs and legions. Many prefer to live in isolation, free to study as they please. Even in the city of the damned (the capital), there are less than a few hundred Squl'tari in total. The rest of the city's population is made up entirely of the undead and slaves, bought from mainland Taenoroth.
In fact, the use of slaves for various means is extremely common with the Squl'tari. Slaves are tasked as guinea pigs or to provide manual labour in the construction of buildings and such. Others still are forced to fight in the blood pits for the entertainment of the Squl'tari - the winners get to keep their lives, the losers.. will they continue to serve in death. There is generally a disregard for the care of slaves from the Squl'tari, so they are often worked until their limits. Those that fall, rise again anyway, to continue serving their master even in death.