Song and Steel
The Xie’A’Po are a humanoid race primarily known for their exquisite craftsmanship and obsession with building construct creatures.
Much of their culture focuses on the importance of bones and the underlying structure of things. After death, the flesh is stripped from the bones and replaced by magical clays and jewels. This process reanimates the skeleton, which is then sealed into the tomb to guard the wealth contained within. Warriors often wear the bones of their enemies, and these are sometimes incorporated into their forms upon death or crafted into separate guardians. Warlords tend to use the slain enemies and soldiers who fall under their command to fill their eventual tombs with large numbers of deadly constructs. These abilities are also used on animals and artificial armatures to create laborers and soldiers.
Xie’A’Po are exceedingly creative when sculpting these constructs, often blending multiple animals and incorporating weapons into their bodies. While their focus is on functionality, they also have a keen eye for detail and aesthetics. The corpses of powerful Xie’A’Po are preserved as true masterpieces, and their higher quality materials make them far more deadly as tomb guards. More powerful gems used within the corpses can give the forms increasing levels of sentience; the wealthiest among the Xie’A’Po are similar to liches once they are reanimated.
The large eyes of the Xie’A’Po possess a second set of clear eyelids that act as magnifying glasses while closed. They also have a glowing third eye on their forehead which cannot see, but it provides illumination while open. Their hands possess a number of claw-like protrusions which they employ as sculpting tools. Some of these protrusions can secrete adhesives that the Xie’A’Po use while crafting. Two long, dextrous tentacles emerge near their mouths. They possess a stout tail which they lean back on to use as a seat while they work.