Known in fairytales as the guardians of the green or the watchers behind the trees, The Asrai are born from forests stepped in magical energy, given form by a single tree that they inherit their physical qualities from. Dedicated to keeping their home forests safe from the hungry maw of industrialization or simply wandering to preserve nature, they are found in all corners of the world usually causing some form of chaos in attempts to preserve an oasis of natural wealth from the other races.
Seeking a balance between nature and civilization, some members of the race will leave their natural home becoming ambassadors of the wilds to the nearby city’s in an attempt to find a way both may survive. Unfortunately do to the rapid spread of civilization in the past Age many of the birthing grounds of the Asrai have vanished being consumed, this has driven those surviving Asrai into madness twisting them into a monstrous form that seeks only the destruction of all that crosses their path. Which is then used as propaganda by some religious groups such as that of the New God to spur a holy purges of the Elementai race so that others may claim their forests without the guilt of killing innocent beings.
But as some are cursed to darkness others bring hope as they leave their forests of their own free will or are caste out with the purpose of beginning anew, sent out to find new lands that are untouched by the Asrai they will plant and watch over new forests that will in time spawn more of their kind.
Physical Description: With flesh made from the bark of the tree that birthed them, Asrai come in a myrad of colors ranging from dry dead grey to a nutrient rich black while being varied in heights with the smallest of their number standing at a diminutive 5ft5 compared to the tallest of their kind which can grow to nearly 6ft4. Like the tree’s they spawned them the Asrai over time gain a coverage of moss and leaves that flow over their body mimicking the clothes of other races while creating intricate designs and patterns aswell as a natural camouflage.
Lifespan: Spawning in the form of a fully grown humanoid, the Asrai remain active for 4 years strait able to go without sleep entirely. But at the end of this four years they must return to the tree that spawn them and become one once again, slumbering for nearly 25 years with the chance the forest may reabsorb them and their individuality destroyed. But as their memory’s may be reused for a new Asrai it can be said they are reincarnated over the decades aslong as the forest that spawned them continues to exist.
Society: The concepts of a civilization or culture is alien to the Asrai, and will often spend decades hibernating within the tree’s that birthed them, only awakening once every few decades to new worlds that only serve to confuse them even more. Rarely a Asrai will be cut off from the forest, rejected by it’s kin it will wander into the world to find new meaning to it’s existence.
Relations: While as a whole they will not communicate with other races willingly they will at times send a single member of their race to a nearby city or village acting as a guide to lessen the damage the other races can have on the environment. But in recent years due to the influence of the New Gods church the Asrai have been seen as monsters wearing masks who trick human kind and are there fore hunted in certain area’s of the world.
Religion: While they do not traditionally follow the teachings of any god they do pay respects to the Veles who protect and watch over nature as they do. And while they attempt to refrain from hurting others they will do what is necessary to protect nature even wiping out small community’s that turn against them.