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Ao are wereturtles. They are a vanished varna of the Mokolé, who bred with turtles and tortoises.


Ao shapeshifter
In the Indian Subcontinent, they were called "Kurmaraja", named after the tortoise whose body formed the boundaries of the world. In North America, they were known as the "Kahaila", and were credited with creating the world.

As a varna, they referred to themselves as the Ao, naming themselves after an elder so great he would even be remembered in the myths of humans as the Chinese seaturtle who sacrificed his legs to hold up the sky. Despite being scattered all over the world, the Ao shared a connection unique among the varna. This may be because they were the oldest varna, or because their patient and contemplative nature was not given to rifts or divisions. Turtles are an ancient family was perfectly adapted to its niche millenia before most life on Earth today had evolved.

The weresaurians remember that the Ao were the Varna most in tune with Mnesis. They were revered as the oldest and most wise varna by their kin. As the Ao included a large number of sea turtles, they had the most contact with the Rokea — appraising the weresharks of happenings on land, and lending an extra set of teeth and claws when the Rokea found something worth destroying.

Mokolé memories differ where and why the Ao vanished, but they agree that it started around 540 BCE. By 100, the entire Varna had vanished. Some Mokolé believe that the Unmaker had lashed out against Gaia's memory by taking her most wisest offspring, while other postulate that the Ao had been hidden by Gaia in order to survive the Apocalypse and remember the world as it had been and should be.

A few weresaurians believe that the Ao were not doomed because they did not die. They point to the lack of any sign of dismay or struggle, and say that the Ao did not succumb but were called into the Umbra to serve Gaia in some unknown capacity. Perhaps the Mokolé varna best known as preservers and creators foresaw the Apocalypse years before anyone else and retreated to an Umbral realm where they could weather the storm and return at the time of the Earth’s most desperate need.


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