For uncounted eons the Bird-Men of Akah Ma’at dwelt above Earth in their floating, cloud-enshrouded city; their existence unsuspected by the wingless races of the planet below. The only threat to tranquil Akah Ma’at was the evil race of bat-winged conquerors from nearby Ur-Xanarrh some half-dozen leagues away. For centuries the Man-Bats endlessly sought to destroy the Bird-Men. Then one of Akah Ma’at’s sages devised the miraculous Cylinder of Power.
This source of inexhaustible energy, in turn, fueled a cordon of 'power batons' encircling the city that unleashed death-dealing bolts upon any invaders. However, periodically the power batons and other weapons charged by the Cylinder needed recharging. For a millennium Akah Ma’at enjoyed peace thanks to the Cylinder and the floating batons; but, a fortnight before Conan was drawn into the struggle between the two floating cities, the traitorous elder Thaltar stole the Cylinder, intending to betray Akah Ma’at. Luckily, Thaltar did not succeed and was shot down by a warrior wielding one of their energy weapons before he could get away. However, both Thaltar’s dead body and the Cylinder fell to Earth far below. Three of Akah Ma’at’s most valiant warriors were dispatched to recover the Cylinder and never seen again. If the power batons were not recharged, the cordon will fail: after a millennium of peace, the unprepared Bird-Men would be attacked by Ur-Xanarrh.
Hiding in a nearby cloud bank, the bird-warriors then caught Conan in a net and took him to Akah Ma’at, bringing him before Alhambra’s father, the King of Akah Ma’at, as a captured spy. Telling the king he had pledged to help his people, the king, seeing nothing to lose, freed Conan and gave him a giant cloud-hawk to fly to Ur-Xanarrh to steal back the Cylinder of Power.
Conan returned in triumph, but the horde of bloodthirsty Ur-Xanarrah were on his heels with no time to recharge the power batons. Conan lead them into battle with steel. An aerial battle erupted; and, though outnumbered two to one, the Bird-Men led by the barbarian turned the tide.
Powers and Abilities
The Bird-Men of Akah Ma'at possess wings that enable flight; they also possibly have enhanced strength and healing.
The Bird-Men also had access to giant untamed cloud-hawks, one of which was provided as a mount to Conan. Not needing them due to their own ability to fly, one would guess the Bird-Men kept the cloud-hawks as curiosities, guard beasts, or perhaps beasts of burden.
Level of Technology: Their level of technology was largely comparable to that of other Hyborian Era cultures, including conventional weaponry such as swords and spears. However, the Bird-Men possessed a vast energy source known as the Cylinder of Power, the deadly cordon of 'power batons' it fueled, and other weapons powered by the Cylinder such as a magic ring strong enough to blast through a solid rock wall, all being quite unconventional for the time period.
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