Aphelion Lore: The Ein and their Einlings

Today, I would like to bring you some Aphelion creature lore! In particular, I’d like to introduce the Ein and their Einlings, a Reaper sub-species that inhabits Aphelion’s verse.

Check them out here or have a look over on Campfire Explore.

Art by the always amazing and gifted @nikoschrissis.

Ein are creatures the size of a donkey.

They are slow and sluggish and will mind their own business as they wander, almost as if the world around them isn’t of any consequence, to the point where there’s a good chance you’ll see one walking into a wall – only to do it again, hoping the wall had moved.

And that is how they spend their lives. Passive. Quiet. Noses to the ground, grazing.

And a back full of Einlings.

They host up to twenty of those small, exceptionally active and playful creatures and carry them to wherever they need to be. Which, usually, means buildings. The small Einlings fit perfectly into the inner workings of structures both old and new alike, where they repair anything from wiring to more complex machinery. To achieve that task they often hoard wire and scrap to bring back to their Ein for keeping and to reuse later. Which often ends with their Ein covered in wires and electric scrap braided into its fur like makeshift armour.

Incidentally, Einlings are also known as mischievous thieves, picking up anything small that isn’t nailed down and even remotely useful (or just shiny enough).

Einlings do not fare well without their Ein and their flock. While it is possible to keep them separate, an Einling without its group is always at risk of falling into inertia.

Ein and Einglings are relatively common in the settled systems, even beyond Trero’s reach. A hatchery exists somewhere within reach and dragons will deliver new flocks on occasion.

Art by the always amazing and gifted @nikoschrissis.

Appearance

Ein look like a wide-backed cross between a donkey and a sheep. They have floppy ears, stubby tails, and cloven hooves. A coat of long, curled wool covers them from head to hoof and a layer of feathers spreads across their back.

Unfortunately, the wool can grow so unruly it often covers their eyes. Fortunately, they have their Einlings to pull the wool back or trim it.

Einlings, on the other hand, come in all manners of variations, though here’s what they all have in common: They’re small. Lithe. Have bodies that resemble squirrels or ferrets, and nimble, three-fingered hands with opposable thumbs. Some have wings allowing them short flight and others strong tails that grow out a meter long (which is a few times the actual Einling’s size). And then there are those that have very large, wide ears and those that have antlers – and some that have all of the above combined.

Their bodies are covered in short, soft fur coming in browns and blacks and whites and some have feathers. But not all.

Einlings also have a peculiar set of teeth: Half their mouth is equipped with small, sharp teeth and the back where there might be molars are instead flat, sharp cutters they use to cut through wires.

Art by the always amazing and gifted @nikoschrissis.

Symbolism

Einlings represent childish joy. Their likeness is often turned into good luck charms and frequently adorn children’s bedrooms.

In turn, Ein are often associated with parenting and providing. Orphanages tend to feature them in one way or the other.

Art by the always amazing and gifted @nikoschrissis.
Read Aphelion on Ao3
Explore Aphelion on Campfire

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