Archai Species in Harmony | World Anvil


The archai were a type of proto-humanoids that preceded the current evolution of humanoid, estimated to having lived around 40000 years ago. They are thought to be the predecessors of humans and their subraces, elves and their subraces, and goliath through interbreeding with giant-kind. They share a common ancestor with corrachai, which later evolved into dwarves, gnomes, and halflings.

The archai were first rediscovered in recent history by Irelia Graylock, a fourth-generation priest of Silence in the employ of Lord Fenrick Fraud and the Blackhills branch of the Church of Silence. They manifested in a dream where several of their pre-historic settlements were shown. After sharing this discovery with the Gardian Academy of Magic, Enchantments, and Rituals' Exploration Society, several expeditions have been sent out to find these settlements on the material plane. Two have been located thus far, both containing archai remains.

Known to be unreliable even on the recently deceased, resurrection magic has been attempted on the archai remains. Though unsuccessful, some living tissue has been restored. At this rate, a complete restoration will take decades without divine intervention.


Based on miss Graylock's initial dream manifestation and the remains found that have been partially restored,
the appearance of an archai may be reconstructed. They were taller than the modern humans and elves, though likely having a slimmer build on average. In the dream they appeared to completely cover their bodies in black clothing and silver masks fully or partially covering their faces. Their skin was very pale, and they seemed to have black lips. Other features were obscured by apparel, though they are assumed to look very much like humans, judging by the motifs of their masks.

Their clothes were very robe-like, and were only shown in black, though with details in gray-scaled colors. They had extremely intricate silver masks looking like twisted faces, and also decorated their robes with silver accessories. Some wore hoods or black cloth head-wear with tops that reached up to half a meter above their heads, possibly indicating a higher social status.


Once again based on Graylock's dream, the archai likely had different cultures and ethnicities, though had more in common with each other than different cultures of the modern day. Lacking in both technologies and magic, magic still seemed to play a more important part in society. Primitive in many ways, archai magic consisted of rituals both arcane and superstitious. The rituals, a pre-cursor to modern spells, would be a group activity possibly taking several days to complete. While the source of almost all magic today comes from a divine source, divinity seemed completely absent from their society. Though unlikely, this could imply that there were fewer or no gods present at the time.

The significance of their apparel is unknown, though all archai, even children and infants wore black clothing and masks.

Archai buildings were made from a black type of brick, possibly adobe made from very dark soil. Despite them being taller than modern men, their buildings were generally shorter, and very rarely more than one story tall. They usually had a square layout. The ruins of the largest of the two settlements discovered by the GAMER's Exploration Society had a little under 20 buildings. The settlement had a two-story tower in the center, with four larger buildings surrounding it in each cardinal direction. Ruins of smaller buildings, presumably residences, were placed outside the arrangement of the larger ones, creating some open space between the center and the outer constructions. There are remnants of natural stone walls on the outskirts of the houses, possibly for protection or primitive animal husbandry.
by midjourney
Above, hover to zoom: Evolution of the people found on Earth. Arhcai are the second link in the evolutionary chain that would give us humans and elves.
Below: Arhcai are believed to have been capable of adamantine manufacturing, a technology that has been lost after a worldwide ban thousands of years ago.
by midjourney

Cover image: by midjourney


Author's Notes

I've been having a great amount of fun using midjourney for the images in this article, best artistic AI in the market. In the words of a friend of mine: "It creates images mankind was never meant to see."

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Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
7 Aug, 2022 08:07

Real nice aesthetic you've set for the Archai here. I wonder if the resurrection will go well for those performing it?

7 Aug, 2022 14:21

Thank you! I'm planning on it ending very, very badly in fact!

While we patiently wait for winter to return: Summer Camp! Be sure to get some reading done too!