The ghreal (grace live on a group of islands named Ghrea, which form part of the Shattered Shore, south of the human realm of Magador
They evolved from humans who settled in these lands during the decades which followed the Great War and the Sundering. During these times, Black Magic saturated the area, and over time the humans were transformed into the modern day ghreal.
The ghreal are a tall and lithe race, with long, straight white or dark hair, sunken features, and red, hollow eyes. Despite their gaunt appearance, the ghreal are imbued by an unnatural physical strength, gifted to them from the Black Arc energies which flows through their bodies. They have keen reflexes, senses, and intellects, and an affinity with the forces of magic, and are able to master powers which take a human mage many decades of study to master within a few short years.
This power comes with a price, however. Many of the ghreal are born sterile, and their dark nature means that their life spans are relatively short - just that of forty of fifty summers. In addition, one of every four ghreal birthed are stillborn. Thus, the ghreal population is tiny compared to that of the humans, and at times has been on the verge of collapse.
The ghreal have taken to developing farming practices upon themselves, wherein they keep fertile males and females shut away in specially built fortresses, wherein they procreate to sustain the ghreal population. But these places are no carnal lust palaces, but pure breeding grounds - the ghreal take no pleasure in sexual activities; their gratification lies elsewhere.
Despite these methods, the ghreal are still a sparse population, Because of this, they take a death of one of their fellows very seriously. When a ghreal dies, he or she will be mourned for a full three days. If the individual died in battle then they will be especially honoured, and placed in the ever expanding crypts within the tomb-city of Arlik.
One should not let this display of grief allow one to think that they are a compassionate and caring species, however. Little could be further from the truth. Tainted by the Black Arc as they are, the ghreal's society focuses primarily on war, battle, and death.
Despite their obvious shortcomings, the ghreal believe that they are superior to all other races upon Iiosia. They look upon other races with disdain, thinking them of little more than cattle, to be used as slaves or as entertainment for torture or hunting games. They will set bands of humans loose outside their cities, or even in especially designed areas, for ghreal warriors to then chase after them and hunt them down, killing them for their own amusement and the pleasure of others.
The ghreal also use slaves to mine their stones and even, in rare cases, as pets within households where they carry out menial chores, serving the ghreal there as best they can before they are tired of and slain.
Despite their low numbers, the ghreal are devastating on the battlefield. Their strength at arms and mastery of magic more than makes up for their lack in numbers. All ghreal, girls and boys, are trained in the uses of the sword, spear and crossbow from a young age. Those seen to be magically adept are sent to the magic schools at Ichlthies to begin their training as war-wizards. Every ghreal, from a lowly farmer to a royal guard, is a deadly warrior who could be called upon at any moment to march to war. And they would do so gladly.
The ghreal are ruled by an emperor or empress, whose word is law and who is served blindly by an elite group of two hundred ghreal called the Royal Guardians. Indeed, the ghreal society is disciplined and law abiding, with even the most minor crimes being met with the harshest of punishments
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