Virakarasht share blood with the now extinct elves, but beyond acknowledging that fact, they care little for what the elves left behind. The virakarasht tribes wander in the deserts of the Breadth, creating their own place in Barshiin. Above all things, the virakarasht people respect the ability to survive; a common lesson in Barshiin.
The elves came to Theia through the void. On their way, they encountered something alien. An incorporeal being touched the elves briefly and then moved on. Their navigators dismissed it as insignificant as no elf reported any changes.
The elves fell to Theia, a new world away from the war they were fleeing. They found a way to thrive for a time. The great vessels they used to cross the void were dismantled and used as the foundation for elvish construction. Some elves sage claimed the incorporeal being, now called the seulaphlox, had left something with the elves it touched. The rulers thought nothing of it until a cataclysm struck.
In the aftermath of cataclysm level changes, some of their children were born different. These children had black or red skin, no hair, and grew to be taller and thinner than their parents. The elves called it a curse. In elven pride, they decided these should be removed from their culture — they killed them — but not all of them. Not all parents were willing to slay their own children. Instead, some of the parents fled, first to the fringes of civilized society and then beyond into the wasteland. Into the desert where no others lived or wished to. These escaped elves raised their children and as time went on, those children rescued others. The elves called them dark elves. They called themselves the virakarasht.
And in the deep desert, they thrived. Perhaps it was something about the way they had been changed by the seulaphlox — but more likely it was simple elven pride. They might not be elves anymore, but they still had every bit of the arrogance of their parent race. They came to place great importance on family and tribe, although “family” did not always mean blood. They learned to live in harmony with the land, developing laws that allowed their survival and for the growth of their strength.
A family does not mean blood. Family means loyalty, and their society developed into one that placed the pride they had inherited in family and tribe. They wrote their own laws and built their own society. In fact, they cheered the extinction of their progenitors — after all, many virakarasht children were slain before they even had a chance to live.
Unfortunately, the virakarasht have been at war for a long time. Their desert contains rich viiz deposits, but they believe the viiz should be left where it is, and any who try to take it will find virakarasht warriors appear to kill them or drive them off – they will often settle for chasing people to the borders of their lands, but sometimes the chase itself kills their victims.
And they are at war with the hokhala. The hokhala seek to “restore” and “improve” the desert, to make it forested. The virakarasht like it just the way it is — a land they have adapted to and love. Perhaps worse, both consider themselves to be the true heirs of the elves. The hokhala follow elven lore and ways, whilst the virakarasht carry their blood. The hokhala love the elves. The virakarasht hate them. Perhaps the best that can ever be hoped for between the races is a tense detente, but the reality is open warfare.
Virakarasht resemble tall, thin elves (slightly taller than normal elves) with skin tones that range from light red to black, going through many shades of red on the way. Children tend to have skin color similar to their parents, but the virakarasht place little importance on it. Like other elves, they do have pointed ears and almond-shaped eyes. As an adaptation to the desert, their eyes have a translucent nictitating membrane which covers the eyeball during the day — a kind of biological sun filtering lens. Virakarasht can consciously control their “third eyelid,” but it is almost always in place in any kind of bright light, giving their eyes a red or blue appearance.
Men and women are similar in height and strength. Like elves, virakarasht have long life spans, although they are slightly more fertile than elves. It is still the case, however, that virakarasht women bear offspring less frequently than humans and large gaps between siblings are considered normal. Infertility is also more common than in humans, although this might be a side effect of the seulaphlox. Children, thus, are highly valued and pregnant women are wrapped in cotton wool and protected until they have given birth. Twins are extremely rare and multiples beyond that generally unheard of. The children do not achieve maturity until well into their twenties.
Although slender, virakarasht are, like elves, stronger than they look. Life in the desert has given them the ability to go without water longer than other races and they can often manage on the moisture in their food for days, sometimes weeks depending on what is available. They also have a high tolerance for heat and have no problem moving in the heat of the day when other races are desperately seeking shelter – something they use tactically against people doing things they don’t like in their desert. However, they appreciate the rare desert rains.
Virakarasht lack the normal elven attunement to magic, due to the seulaphlox within them altering their attunement. Instead, they have an attunement to fire. When an “awakened” virakarasht casts a fire spell, the fire is blue or white, and their very presence can turn regular fires blue or white. These fires burn hotter and faster than normal ones. Virakarasht mages also tend to be particularly comfortable with lightning spells. As a society, they tend to focus more on warlike magics in general, and it is not uncommon for virakarasht magic users to be warrior-mages or some other hybrid class.