The Ghalkinnar are among the first transhuman races to be created in Iriond, back in the Dark Ages. They descend from the nobility of old Arkech, twisted by psionics into creatures of considerable psychic might, whose latent power fills the air with a palpable aura of dread.
There are three races of Ghalkinnar: the Angulkinnar, the Shakminnar and the Gulpakminnar.
Angulkinnar are the remnants of Semkashan political leaders and other notable personalities who died of old age. While beyond the reach of revivifying psychics, they have been granted a type of "second life" through powerful transformative psychics, which preserve their central nervous system and grant them the powers necessary to continue functioning and interact with the world around them even without a body. They look like floating brains, with a coiled spinal cord attached, glowing in grayish-silvery light and encased in a clear, shimmering membrane, which forms a roughly spherical cell around them. They float through the air and interact with the world around them through telepathy and other minor psychics. They have little individual power, and even their mental faculties are relatively limited, as little of their psychic capacity can be salvaged by the process that creates them, although their personality and memories are mostly preserved.
Shakminnar are the descendants of the old Arkechan warrior elite, which evolved over the centuries into a psychically-augmented knightly class. They look like desiccated human beings, with ropy muscles lining their emaciated bodies, and the grayish, cracked skin of a mummy. Their fragile appearance belies a great physical strength and fitness, though. Their most distinguishing feature is a pair of curved, forward-jutting, ox-like horns, which they use to great effect in close-quarters combat.
Gulpakminnar are the highest stratum of Semkashan society, descended from the psionicists who came to rule Emish in the Dark Ages, changed over the centuries into beings of truly fearsome might. They too look desiccated and mummy-like, just like their lesser shakminnar brethren, but lack horns - instead, they are imbued with a pair of great, bony wings, with a grayish leathery flap connecting the bone spikes that make up the wing's structure. They tend to carry a specially-crafted greatsword each, which they can make to vibrate, sending a terrifying shockwave all around them.
Semkashan is the native tongue of the Ghalkinnar, and is the one they prefer to use whenever possible. However, most of them learn Abyri and Kaldurish as well, and they can also use telepathic psychics to converse with any sapient being regardless of language.
Ghalkinnar are fiercely Paternalist, having come from a society shaped by the ideology of shepherding the community with rigid rules for the benefit of all. In fact, like many transcendents, their alignment is deeply imbued into their very being through their psychic makeup, making it hard for them to stray from it.
Ghalkinnar are most associated with the country of Semkash in Iriond, but they can also be found throughout the Confederacy's area of influence. There is a significant Ghalkinnar colony in New Arkech, in the planet Asherah, where they compete with [angels] for control of the government and society.
Being the ruling class of Semkashan and New Arkechan society (even after the advent of democracy, Ghalkinnar families still control most political and private institutions in these countries), the Ghalkinnar are accustomed to living in luxury, supported by the effort of the lowborn human underclass. While they occupy the highest political and corporate positions in their native homeland, they tend to remain rather isolated from the common people, mostly mingling among other transhumans. Angulkinnar are especially aloof, rarely interacting with common citizens, other than through their official consulting capacity.
The ghalkinnar are proud and old-fashioned, quite attached to tradition and social status. Thus, they tend to dress in the traditional tunics and robes of Golden-Age Semkash, ignoring more modern fashion sense and customs. Most of them place high stock in Unnamluar, the traditional Semkashan religion, although in recent times many of them have turned to more secular views, and a few are converting to Delemism. They are quite conservative, both in their tastes (preferring more erudite artistic expressions over modern popular fare) and in their habits and social mores. Lowborn humans often accuse them of being out-of-touch, an accusation they appear not to care the least about.
Combat / Game Stats
As per D&D's Archons, namely Lantern Archons (Angulkinnar), Hound Archons (Shakminnar) and Trumpet Archons (Gulpakminnar).