Igniting the Flame
There are many tales of the early Ahiri and most of them include great warriors and heroes of legend. Their society was said to have been created by a warrior king who was the son of their god Vulkimpet and that he could breathe fire and walk on lava. The Ahiri are also well known for aggrandizing their heroes capabilities. There is some merit to them though as the Ahiri used to be a conglomerate of sixteen tribes across the island and this warrior king is said to have united them all through warfare or diplomacy. They called this man the First Flame and he is worshiped like a god.
The Tombs of Vulcanar
The Ahiri are the inhabitants and countrymen of the nation of Ahir. Ahir is a large island off the Southeastern coast of Iornai and is typically considered part of the Iornai isles. The Ahiri grew in power during the late First Era with their growth hitting an apex with the discovery of ancient tombs beneath their local volcano. Inside these tombs were a series of runes that glow in the darkness of their dank crypts. When activated they released a variety of different elements depending on the rune. Some would expand and explode, others would pour out water like a faucet, and some were written in blood in the deepest of these tombs. The deepest tombs had a strange residue like haze that would later be termed 'Afterlight' in which natural light was extinguished. In the afterlight were terrible and horrifying beasts that would consume anything that they came across. These blood runes painted on the walls had somehow contained these beasts and even controlled them to an extent. This was a magnificent discovery for the Ahiri as they had searched for the hidden weapons of the Avian and Karakai that resulted in their mass exodus from the surface of Teora.
Near the bottom of the tombs was a door covered in these blood runes and it thrummed with a deep noise like a whale beneath the ocean. A single Jistorii man who would later be known as the Angel of Death would open the door and release a myriad of these shadows and the afterlight to the surface. This infamous event has been labeled the most tragic point in the entirety of Jistorii written history as it would bring about the beginning of the Second Era and the end of the long era of peace that the Avians and Karakai had tried cultivating.
The Ahiri at this point were already a powerful player in the Iornai isles but were prepared to go on a full offensive with their newfound weapons. They used the blood runes of the tombs to manipulate these shadow beasts which took on the name Sacramanti after the sacrifice of blood that it took to control them. The Ahiri terrorized and swiftly took control of the Southern Isles of Iornai and swept upwards through the southern mainland, decimating; men, women, and children who got in their way. Their Ahiri War Flames, the men and women warriors who fought as the forward infantry of the Ahiri, become well known for their ruthlessness in combat. It is said the War Flames were ignited by the vigor and strength of the First Flame and that his burning passion echoes through each and every Ahiri.
The Ahiri live in a meritocratic hierarchy that's rooted in their military force. The title of the First Flame has been passed down to the leader of this force and takes the position of commander of all their forces as well as all government decisions. His Flame Generals underneath him each have tasks and responsibilities assigned to them as needed regarding different government offices. This delegation of power spreads all the way down to the lowest members of the hierarchy being the traditional foot soldier.
An Ahiri is a soldier from birth to death. Every day of their lives they are trained to be able to hold themselves in combat and tame their mind and body. This applies to the women just as much as the men, the only difference being at around the age of 25-30 women are expected to be relieved of duty and take on a child. This is seen as a sort of ritual known as igniting the spark and has a great deal of honor associated with it. Typically when children are born, it is a celebration as The First Flame having shared the spark of life with a new soul. The women who decide to take on the role of motherhood are honored as warriors in their own regard as no man would be what they are without their mother feeding the flame. The Ahiri have long put personal merit above any sort of social disposition. This focus on personal responsibility has echoed through the world and surfaces again in the Coriscians who took on a lot of the best attributes of the Morati and Ahiri nations. An Ahiri usually starts training in combat at the age of five and is apprenticed underneath the military force until they are old enough to fight for their nation. At the age of forty Ahiri are given the decision to continue fighting or become an Elder. If they choose to be an Elder they are typically given a plot of land and are expected to work the land for food or take a role in government as administrative support. Many Ahiri who are able-bodied at that age will continue on as a soldier though, as some see it a sign of weakness to go to the fields. This would eventually be part of the Ahiri's downfall as they were unable to sustain their own food supply with such a large warrior force and no one to work the farms. An Ahiri never leaves his weapon from the day he first receives it until his last. They say, "An Ahiri without his weapon is an Ahiri without his arms or legs," so in situations where other nations may lay their weapons aside or put them in storage an Ahiri will refuse adamantly.