The Aether from which Wizards draw their power is home to many mysteries and creatures. The Aetherborn is a name given to those who are seemingly created by the Aether, and whose bodies are comprised of the this magic. The Aetherborn are naturally attuned to an Aetherial domain, from which they draw their life. It is said that if by some chance the domain that begot an Aetherborn is harmed or destroyed, the Aetherborn would share a similar fate.
Aetherborn are required to wear a blue circle painted on their forehead. Multiple circles with increasing power is suggested, but not required.
Aetherborn must have a blue circle painted on their foreheads. It is common for this to evolve as the Aetherborn becomes more powerful, though some choose to use their magic to hide this growth, only displaying the original circle. Once they obtain their second racial ability, it becomes two interlocking blue circles. Once they obtain their final racial ability, this becomes three interlocking blue circles. Upon reaching their full potential, it grows once more to four blue circles. Some believe this to be the origin of the ‘Circles of Wizardry.’
Since Aetherborn can potentially originate from any race, there is no standard attire that they tend to wear. It is common to see them wearing robes representing their magical affinity, but these are of no distinct origin.
Most Aetherborn will exhibit similar traits, with a few distinctions which relate to their manifestation. The only exception to this rule are the Archons, who exemplify the nature of Aetherborn, frowning on those who act independently of these expectations.
In general, all Aetherborn are very serious in nature. Even more jovial and carefree Aetherborn consider all of their actions and potential outcomes, preferring to be well prepared than to improvise. Along this line, Aetherborn tend to see things to their end - regardless of the outcome. Lack of knowledge on any subject or event they are part of leaves an Aetherborn anxious.
Aetherborn are also very studious, and fully dedicate themselves to whatever research they are involved in. Even those who are training in combat prefer to reference it as 'combat research' rather than training. Other than the occasional Anomaly (who would admit to such training), they insist that they are studying the outcomes of physical harm on other creatures and themselves, such that they can use it to their advantage when necessary.
Wisps differ slightly from other Aetherborn in that they are more jovial, energetic, and impulsive. They tend to form quick, sometimes irrational decisions - sometimes ending in their own demise. Wisps are still very good at following plans, often made by their request to guide them to better decisions. Once they are given a task - they see it through to completion.
Anomalies, being that they were once members of other races, will sometimes deviate from their own studies and plans. If, for instance, a human miner were to become an Aetherborn by some chance, they may forgo anything they've read on the subject, and rely on the instinct tucked away inside them once they've begun their work.
Not even the most knowledgeable Aetherborn are certain of the exact origin or age of their race. Many who have read of the Aetherborn believe their creation to be linked to the Shattering, since little-to-no literary mention is made of them until shortly after. More knowledgeable researchers believe that they existed even before then, and that Ancient Aetherborn would often hide their aetherial nature from others, fearing prejudice and misuse of their power.
There are unsubstantiated whispers by scholars and Archons alike mentioning Aehterborn influence in the creation of the Silver Council. These same researchers believe that there may even be a few remaining Ancients that continue to exist in hiding in the present age.
Notably, the Berylline Syndicate hosts several Aetherborn, and one even led their order for a time: a child, found floating in the Aether, who had a peculiar talent with Wizardry. His name was Kessek Lestral - father of Thalenir Lestral, and now Ascendant Immortal, Thareon. Kessek is known for charting the leylines on which Orn shattered, though at the time there were few who would listen to his warnings.
The Aetherborn do not have traditional bloodlines due to their magical origin. They do, however, manifest in several distinct forms - Wisps, Anomalies, and Archons.
Wisps are the most intangible form of Aetherborns, and consist of both those reformed by the aether and those born from it as infants. Their bond to the shards is incredibly weak, and they are only barely able to keep their physical forms. In fact, the concentration required for this is so great that they often tend to disappear and reappear or phase when they lose focus, often in moments of extreme duress or quickly shifting emotion. Many Wisps learn to control this behavior and see it as a blessing, and commit themselves to roles requiring stealth and subterfuge. Wisps that decide to practice magic often find themselves at a disadvantage, since they cannot expend enough focus on forming spells, less they find themselves disappearing forever.
Anomalies are the most hardy and densely formed of the Aetherborn. Because of this, they often find themselves as guardians for their communities or places of magical importance. Though stalwart, they are also the most unstable manifestation of the Aetherborn. Anomalies are always Aetherborn who were once a person on the Mortal Realm, now reformed by aetherial anomaly. They generally preoccupy themselves trying to find out more about their existence, eventually trying to return to their past life. In fact, as an Anomaly starts to gain more power, they tend to lose their mind - inevitably focusing all of their energy on trying to regain their past self.
Archons consider themselves to be 'Pure' Aetherborn. They are always born from the aether as infants, and are the most stable of their race. This gifts them a clear mind and keen focus to practice magic more in depth than the other manifestations of Aetherborn. Due to this, they see themselves as superior to the Anomalies and Wisps. Even so, the three manifestations get along perfectly fine, as each Aetherborn is generally too caught up in pursuing their own goals to care very much about this imposed hierarchy, including the Archons themselves. Because of this, other races generally think this is more of a joke than a firmly held belief.
Considering that Aetherborn are either brought into being as an infant with no biological heritage, or are those reformed by the Aether whose natural lives would have otherwise ended many years ago, the Aetherborn tend to not fit within any specific organizational structure.
Those born as infants or children are generally rare, as they rely on being found and taken care of to survive and grow as any other child would. As such, they usually end up fitting in with whatever society they grew up in, and tend to take on the traits of their adoptive families and communities. Many of these children are found by groups that reside on an Aetherial domain, such as the Berylline Syndicate. Unfortunately, many Aetherborn infants and children born on a shard do not survive more than a few days, either never being found or suffering a tragic death.
Aetherborn who regenerate their past bodies tend to find and live with members of the race they once were. This tends to be a difficult task, as these individuals tend to not remember details of their past life, only general things such as their race and customs. As such, they try their best to fill in the blanks in their memory through any means possible.
Those Aetherborn that coexist with others of their race, which generally tend to be Archons, follow certain customs.
The first is the Rite of Knowledge. Aetherborn who have not learned to manipulate the magic that exists within objects are often bound to libraries and other places of learning. This is not so much a law or rule, but a social norm. Most Aetherborn would be ashamed to be seen about in public when they aren't as adept as those around them.
The second is the Rite of Time. This is seen as obtaining the ability to manipulate space-time, allowing for blinking or teleportation. All Aetherborn who have passed the Rite of Knowledge are expected to at some point pass the Rite of Time. There is no structure to this or any other rite, and it is generally accepted that real-world experience and practice of wizardry will one day unlock this potential.
Finally, there is the Rite of Passage. This is generally unobtainable, as it requires reaching the Fourth Circle of Wizardry. Aetherborn who reach this point without driving themselves mad are exalted in their communities for their remaining time on Orn. Of course, this is never sustainable for a long period of time, so those who have passed the Rite of Passage tend to try to teach everything they have learned reaching this stage of existence for the benefit of those who wish to follow in their footsteps.
It is easy to tell which Aetherborn have achieved certain rites, as it opens a new circle on their forehead. They believe that these act similarly to vents, allowing for accumulated magical power to seep out of their forms, helping promote their stability. Some Aetherborn choose to use their magic to hide their second or third circles, however, to hide the first would be a faux pas. This represents an Aetherborn's shame of their race, and you would almost never see an Aetherborn willingly hide their first circle. These circles sometimes close involuntarily as an Atherborn prepares an exceptionally powerful spell, drawing from every bit of their being as possible.
It is impossible to hide the fourth circle once it appears. At this point, even attempting to suppress any circles would cause the immediate dissipation of the Aetherborn, since they inherently too unstable to exist at that concentration of magical energy.
Since Aetherborn live with other races more often than members of their own, they tend to take on the prejudices of those around them. In the case that they are in a community of primarily Aetherborn, they tend to hold no prejudice against particular races, instead choosing to judge each individual for their own worth. In their minds, other races are just beings who have not yet gained the knowledge required to be reborn as Aetherborn. This belief is especially true among the Archons, who see being reformed as an Anomaly the first step towards becoming one with the cosmos.
Because of their general arrogance, they are often regarded as being 'too smart for their own good,' or 'stuck up' by many other races.
Naturally, the Aetherborn tend to gravitate towards immortals of magic, especially those of the Forsynteril. It’s not uncommon for good-natured members of the race to dedicate themselves to Thareon or Banekeril, while those with dark intent generally gravitate towards the service of Secronus. There are those who choose to worship Muralakrum as well, though these tend to be older Aetherborn, desperate to change back to the race they once were before the end of their existence.
Many Atherborn feel the call to venture out into the world for one reason or another. Often times this is to promote whatever cause the Aetherborn has aligned with, though the different manifestations of the race tend to have secondary motives. Archons generally try to show off their power, traveling to spread their influence across the shards. Anomalies search for answers to their reformation. Wisps are generally carefree - moving about as they please.
The vast majority of Aetherborn are Archons, practicing wizardry and occasionally other magics dealing with the elements. It is extremely uncommon to find Aetherborn that are willing to practice necromancy or other dark magics.
The second most prominent manifestation are the Wisps, who are often employed as scouts, or fulfill other stealthy roles.
Finally, there are the Anomalies, who are somewhat rare. These Aetherborn almost entirely devote themselves to intense physical training, using their condensed form to protect what's important to them. They tend to become fearless fighters - though almost never allow themselves to succumb to enragement. The mind of an Aetherborn is too well organized for this.
Finding an Aetherborn that practices the healing arts is incredibly rare - though not unheard of. If anything, one is more likely to see Aetherborn of any manifestation using spells to buff and protect their allies, preventing harm rather than healing it.
All Aetherborn are able to use magic, as they are naturally attuned to the Aether. As their power grows and the reach the Second Circle of Wizardry, they find that they are able to absorb magical energy inhabiting objects and other creatures, effectively dispelling their target. Finally, as an Aetherborn reaches the Third Circle of Wizardry, they have learned to manipulate space-time. Most notably, they have learned how to make attackers receive their own spells or projectiles. Rather than manipulate the spell or object in question, they find it far easier to instead use magic to swap locations with their opponent at the last possible moment, and then switching back to their original locations. This is usually done so quickly that observers cannot determine what trick the Aetherborn used to cause harm to their attacker.
There is no true mark of an Atherborn who has reached the Fourth Circle of Wizardry. It is only known that those who achieve such power are not long for the mortal realms, and will soon be joining the stream.
The Fool's Fourth/Seeking the Fool's Fourth - In general, Atherborn do not believe that seeking the fourth circle of wizardry is foolish. This term, however, is generally used to describe an Anomaly that has begun the hopeless task of trying to return to their previous body, or to describe something equally as absurd.
Written in the Firmament - Used to describe an expected outcome to an event, usually describing something that would follow the laws of nature or magic.
Awaited - A title mainly used by Archons, given to other manifestations of Aetherborn or members of other races that they deem have proven their magical prowess to be equal to their own. They believe these Anomalies and Wisps will one day be born an Archon in a new life. As for individuals of other races, they believe they are on the path to reform as Aetherborn.
Terrabound - A term used to describe an Aetherborn who is seen as unfit to rejoin the aether. This is generally used as a derogatory term.
Joining/Joined the Stream - A term used to describe an Aetherborn at the end of their existence who has released their body back into the Aether.
Ancients - A term used to describe Aetherborn who existed before the Shattering, or those who have manifested their form for an unusually long time. Archons often believe these Aetherborn to represent the pinnacle of magical power and knowledge.