The Song of Amergin
THE ASHEN: CAVE DWELLERS
Equal parts warden and slave, the ancestors of the Ashen locked themselves in the depths of the Earth to escape the Eschaton. Centuries of adaptation to the darkness transformed their appearance and soul. Th eir skin is now bleached and their senses—particularly their hearing—are heightened. Scratches on the walls of their tunnels serve as a secret language. Speech has a particular power in the life and mythology of the Ashen. Th eir words conjure powerful hallucinations—no wonder that their leaders, the so-called demagogues, are some of the most famous singers and storytellers of the known world. The Ashen see themselves as a giant bunker family in which everyone watches out for the other. The “scorched ones,” as they call the inhabitants of the world above, are seen as primitive animals. One day, the Ashen will inherit the surface and will command both man and animal—when the time is right.