Title: Whispers of Sand and Sun: A Treatise on the Asrian People and Their Bond with Deserts and Scrublands
Author: Ignatius Eternius Faracus
Amid the tumultuous winds and unyielding sandstorms, an intricate discourse unfolds amidst the arid expanses of deserts and scrublands. I, Ignatius Eternius Faracus, a devoted scholar of the Asrian heritage, hereby share my perceptive contemplations. Peer into the enigmatic realms that have eternally molded the spirits of our most august people.
Desolate domains of sand and sun are oft deemed barren wastelands, dismissed by the casual traveler and rejected by gentler peoples as unsuited for habitation. Yet, to those who embark on the journey of understanding, who linger, who embrace existence within these landscapes, a resolute fortitude flourishes, a strength adaptable to any environment, should they choose to reside elsewhere. Mindfulness nurtured by necessity—for who discerns the value of resources better than one who has trekked the half-morning and toiled an hour to coax a few droplets of water from a tenacious plant?
We, the Asrian people, noble scions of Aeternum Solis, inherently grasp this profound truth. Our venerable ancestors, wise and esteemed, recount chronicles of the forsaken Lowlands. Therein, patrician families contended for the most basic water rights, sustenance a mirage as elusive as a fleeting breeze. Resilience in the face of adversity threads through our legacy. One's acquaintance with hardship remains unfinished until they have concealed themselves amidst saltbush to elude passing Totarian warbands.
From these crucibles of challenge arose our vibrant culture of competition, a trait setting our noble lineage apart. Behold our grand amphitheaters where immortal combat reigns supreme, where chariots surge in exhilarating races as patrician dynasties vie for supremacy. Only recently have the youth succumbed to the allure of the secure woods of the black forest, forsaking the authentic crucible nestled within the desert's oases. While the Natunni River may nurture Mother Asrania, it is the desert's haven that begets true warriors.
In truth, the austerity demanded by this terrain mirrors its inhabitants. Ponder the denizens of these lands—the steeds of the Western Plains. Cloaked in bay coats, brushed with chestnut, brown, and the rare obsidian hue, these equine marvels embody strength, elegance, and endurance. Robust physiques, sinewed limbs, and the grace of finely bred riding horses mark their distinction. They serve as swift messengers, traversing vast spans, journeying up to twelve miles between sparse watering holes and verdant pastures, a natural selection that discards the frail.
Astoundingly, these steeds withstand thirst for almost two days in summer's embrace, and in winter's chill, they defy limits, persisting near three days without water. They stand as chosen companions of Asrania, encapsulating our mettle.
Much like our noble equine counterparts, we Asrians are famed for our towering, slender forms, a reflection of the Entia Originaria. We also exhibit remarkable acclimatization to arid climes, unlike any other populace in existence. Our dusky skin, ranging from pale to nearly ebony, often carries a reddish undertone. Waves to tight curls, wiry hair defines our aspect, while body hair density is usually low, a departure from the shaggy visage some Rathgari display.
Regarding Asrian architecture, our structures range from modest tents in the desert and scrublands to ashlar and brick-domed edifices in our cities, enriched by the wisdom of Caorrani insights gleaned from our western migration. Our architecture boasts both sturdiness and grace, with a focus on resilience, heat modulation, and ornate allure. Unlike other realms' constructions, which demand demolition and rebirth after conflict, many Asrian embellishments are designed to yield after attack or quake, easily replaced in sections. Yet, these structures stand firm; they withstand the harsh climes they inhabit. Noteworthy are their thick walls, insulation against heat, and a shrewd network of ventilation ducts. These ducts, found alongside lofty windows, masked by horizontal slats, invite cool breezes while barring the sun. Each building harnesses even the faintest gust, channeling it downward.
As outsiders envision the desert, they conjure visions of amber sands beneath a sapphire caelum. This portrayal, while not entirely amiss, captures but a fragment of the desert's essence—an essence intricately intertwined with divine forces.
Contemplate this: sand, birthed from timeless stones, exposes its core through ceaseless erosion. Each grain bares its essence, vulnerable and delicate. They scatter, coalesce, scatter again, engaged in an eternal dance, birthing endless patterns as our world endures. Should, as I ardently posit, the sands and scrublands bear traces of Aeternum solis' divine hand, then this interplay of exposure and union births an unparalleled spectrum of energies. Naturally, this celestial energy, this force of ascension, finds its zenith within the Asrian People.
Just as each grain imparts wisdom to its peers, so does the wind that propels them glean knowledge from their intrinsic nature. Through this symbiotic dance, the Asrian spirit, a fusion of cosmic murmurs, surpasses mere humanity, casting us as paragons of existence itself.