Aniz [race] [in wiki]

Old world development posts that have been reviewed and incorporated or put aside.
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Amm
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Race: Aniz Tera

Aniz [race] [in wiki]

Post by Amm » Wed May 26, 2010 9:25 pm

The Aniz are a nomadic group of dragonfly shifters who were first spotted around 305 BCE. They were said to be the results of Changer's magic disrupting a fae settlement, contaminating it and wiping out much of the population. At first, the fae could change at will between fae and dragonfly forms, but the conflicting nature of the magics at work slowly degenerated until the majority of the fae magic had been wiped out, and the changer magic -- in the form of shifter magic -- dominated. In a curious development not often seen among shifter tribes, the Aniz developed a life cycle closer to that of their animal, and in some ways is closer to how fae magic works than shifter magic, even though the shifter magic rules their group as a whole.

The Aniz are largely born as humanoids, similar to other shifters, and these are known as Tera (the "skin" ), however, occasionally a more concentrated dose of fae magic is centered in new babies. These Aniz are born as larger than normal dragonfly larvae, and largely stay as dragonfly forms for the majority of their long lives. They are known as An (the "true").

Tera have unusually short lifespans, typically only living to 18-24 years of age, with very old Tera clocking in at around 30 years of age. However, their An counterparts can live to over 300 years of age. It is thought possible that An could live substantially longer, but due to their biological predisposition to metamorphose once every few years into a larger form, their bodies eventually grow larger than their oxygen intake can handle. Once grown too large they will eventually, if they do not mate first, suffocate to death. None of the Aniz live more than a few years past their first or second reproduction.

The majority of Aniz life is spent in the central or south east parts of Tian Xia, depending on the clan. However, for reproduction Aniz will travel several hundred miles. Most Aniz reproduce in the wet central or southern areas of Eyropa, though some clans do travel to Setkhantos, or as far west as the islands near Darleone Island.

Physical Appearance

Tera's skin form are humanoid in appearance, like a shorter version of a human-elf-fairy hybrid. They have large, slightly uplifted eyes, with irises of brilliant hue. Their hair is often bright, ranging from coppery reds to silvery whites. Their skin is more often than not buttery toned, somewhere in between bronze and gold. Their ears are slightly pointed.

Tera are short in skin form, ranging from three and a half to five and a half feet, with most coming in around four an a half.

Tera adult bodily proportion is comparable to a human adolescent's, though their features are slightly odd -- rather like a bad blend of elf and human. It is possible, with a few magical touches, to blend in as a human, elven, or halfbreed short adolescents or young adults.

Dragonfly forms are about a foot long with about a two foot wingspan or the more customary size of regular dragonflies. These two sizes are interchangeable for Tera, though the large size is limited use due to its increased need for oxygen. Aniz dragonfly forms are brightly colored, and cover conceivably every color of the rainbow.

Society

Aniz live together in groups called tribes, which band together in larger groups, clans, but are not necessarily social in nature. Most Aniz prefer to spend their time alone, only congregating for activities necessitating more than a single person. Despite their loner nature, most Aniz work well together and it is rare for major arguments to break out between adults.

Tribes are often governed by biology -- that is, the best and brightest tend to be the largest of the tribe. Clans belong to those who are the best of the best at what they do, be it hunting or healing.

Tera are very devoted to any An that might exist, and the head clan is typically the one with the oldest An. The An are the wisest of the wise, and will fiercely dispense advice on what the Aniz should do as a whole to keep themselves alive. Though the An do not directly rule the Aniz, they are pretty much the equivalent of living gods. The only thing more revered than An are ancestral An. Any who threaten the An will face the wrath of the Aniz people as a whole.

Loyalty to Aniz and An is everything. All Aniz are aloof and prefer alone time to social activities, but despite that they cling to their clan beliefs and social hierarchies. Dragonfly and fae bound together; it makes for some awkward societal teachings at the very least. It is natural for privacy to be given the highest priority, and choice as well; yet this is only because there is no concept of betrayal or subterfuge. The Aniz are forthright, and bluntly honest. Probably one of the many reasons they are on their way to extinction.

There are currently about five clans scattered throughout Tian Xia, and somewhere between 500-1000 Aniz adults at any given time, down from the tens of thousands that used to populate Tian Xia.

Aniz communicate mostly through movement; their intensely accurate eyesight allows them to catch the most minute of gestures, though they do speak and have a general understanding of Eyropean and Tian Xia languages. They place high value in spoken eloquence, and brevity of words. Generally, the fewer spoken words one uses, the more classy they are. Perhaps due to elven influence, they are entranced by poetry. The only time it is really acceptable to be long winded is if it is done as a poem.

Ability

Aniz possess the ability to gather information from dragonflies and sometimes other insects and bugs, though it is not mindspeak so much as being able to tap into the sensoral input from these bugs.

Post adolescent Tera are capable of shifting at will into a large or small dragonfly form, and back to their skin form. An are capable of shifting into a skin form at a very high magical cost, and typically only do so when they are ready to mate at the end of their life.

For brief bursts, Tera are capable of increasing the oxygen content of the area around them, which can be useful for their large dragonfly form and in the event that they desire to cause explosions or light something on fire easier. Yay explosions.

In their large dragonfly forms Tera are quite fierce predators and can slice through flesh easily.

Some Tera have a phenomenal healing ability that allows them to all but bring someone back from the dead, at the expense of their own life span. This ability likely due to the Aniz as a whole having natural healing that is slowest out of all races.

Food source

Yes, the Aniz eat bugs. More regularly they eat amphibians, fish, and sometimes birds.

Physical and Mental Attributes

Aniz are canny, quick learners, though they tend to be stodgy and closed minded when it comes to new things. As they tend to have a low need for sleep, and high attention span (as well as a hefty dose of innate patience), Aniz tend to actively learn at a speed many times that of other, longer lived species. They tend to be curious to the point of distraction when left to their own devices. Among the Aniz, there is a saying: if it exists, it will be found.

Aniz eyesight is spectacularly good due to their dragonfly heritage. So good that it tends to be their dominant sense at the expense of their others. While Aniz eyesight is among the best of the other races, their senses of smell and hearing are among the worst. Touch is moderately better than a human's, but not by enough to be noteworthy. Taste is moderately lower than a human's, which is perhaps why Aniz have been known to eat the trash of other races should they be pressed for food.

Aniz are tough creatures, but this does not always apply. They have an extremely high endurance for travelling long distances, and can go without food for several months so long as they have access to water. Yet, they are susceptible to extremes of hot or cold, particularly the heat, which is why their range of habitat is so limited. They also need large amounts of fresh water and marsh-like conditions to survive. Tera in particular are very susceptible to dehydration. In spite of this, perhaps due to the awkward marriage of fey and shifter magics, Aniz are highly resistant to magical suggestion. Illusion and the like often wash off of the Aniz, though if it is elemental in nature it is likely to still have an affect. Fire is fire, and heat is something with high potential for serious damage.


The Typical Life Cycle of a Tera

Life begins within the reeds and lily pads of lakes and marshlands, where Tera are lain as quail size individual eggs into the near rock hard adolescent skins of their parents, deep within mud. They hatch after a month into humanoid forms much like water nymphs, half insubstantial mystical shape and half miniature human. After hatching, they spend another month inside this shell, consuming it until it is gone. The waters in which they are born will be their homes for the next five years, and their battleground in which they fight for their right to live.

Aniz parents do not stick around the site of their spawn longer than six to nine months, as they return to their homes to prepare for death. Tera young are perfectly capable of making it on their own so long as they are vigilant. As young, they are prey to large fish, predatory birds, and any competitive fae in the area. The Zyge, a branch of marshwater fae similar to brownies in terms of size and ingenuity, are their most dangerous enemies in Eyropa as young. Zyge have a sweet tooth craving for Aniz young, particularly eggs.

But, so long as they remain uneaten the Tera will spend much of their first five years learning to hunt singly and together, and eating, eating, eating. At birth, the Tera have no magical ability, so the five years spent in the water is solely to gather the strength necessary to build up their magic.

At the end of the five years, the Tera will come out of the water and metamorphose into their dragonfly form for the first time, shedding their nymph skin. Before they can fly east to their clan, they must first hide this nymph-skin, and hide it well. Some animals eat the skins, and more intelligent species will gather it once it is hardened and use it for jewelry. Those who are aware of what the skins are might use them to compel the individual Tera to become an intelligent pet -- or worse, as a magical familiar or spell ingredient.

If this nymph skin is destroyed, so too will the Tera wither and die. Yet they cannot take it with them, for there is something about the magical climate of the west that allows the skin to change as it does so that it can become food and shelter for their newborns.

Once the skin is sufficiently hidden, the remaining group of Tera young will fly east, finding their clan with a mixture of instinct, scent, and sight. After they make it to their new home, they will spin a cocoon and fall into a deep hibernation for the next year as their bodies grow their new skin. Not all adolescents are strong enough to survive this year in hibernation. Some starve to death, others are stolen from the Aniz by raiding elf clans, some of whom are reverent towards the Aniz and will either eat the cocoon, kill it by submerging it in water and then keep the resulting cocoon as a token of luck, or attempt to raise the resulting adult as a familiar.

Needless to say, the Aniz people have severely dwindled over time.

If the cocooned adolescents survive, they will come out of their cocoons after a year in their new skin form, and will receive their Aniz name.

The next two or three years, the young Tera learn how to shift and hunt in their dragonfly forms, gather food, and what their place in Aniz society is. Adulthood comes when a Tera is capable of killing a bird of prey such as a kite, shikra, or eagle -- depending on their own strength and clan territory -- in their dragonfly form. Not all survive this rite of passage, and not all take the rite of passage.

Clan healers, for example, are too weak to take the rite and become something of peers to the adults, respected as equals.

Tera remain adults for the next several years, until they begin to reach the end of their natural lifespan. Typically at 19 years the Tera will fly back to their spawning pool to find their skin and mate with their peers. After mating, a Tera will live for five more years at the longest, and spawn two times at the most. They return home to die, and will often spend upwards of six months gathering objects, plants, and wood for their funeral pyre.

Inter-species Relations


The Aniz tend to be regarded as a people little smarter than their shifter-beast, mostly due to their habit of being struck dumb at the sight of most modern accomplishments, and tendency towards silence. This, coupled with the fact that most die before any real desire to pursue scholarly bents might kick in, has made them appear as barbaric primitives in the past and likely towards the future. They have not created anything of note, and their tendency towards silence and solitude has made human, elves, and shifter communities come to regard them as more dragonfly than people.

Eyropa, particularly, views them mostly with superstition, calling them such things as 'changer's stinger' and attributing them with infant death. Magic users find them useful in magical brews and spells (usually dead and in pieces) or as semi-intelligent familiars. Elves in Tian Xia mostly view them as good luck. . .and regrettably, as good eats. The elves also sometimes use them, particularly adolescent cocoons, as ingredients or familiars.
Last edited by Amm on Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:44 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Niabi
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Re: [race] Aniz

Post by Niabi » Wed May 26, 2010 10:59 pm

I like it.
Killer of Squirrels

Erryl
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Re: [race] Aniz

Post by Erryl » Thu May 27, 2010 4:28 am

This is awesomeeee.

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Stella
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Re: [race] Aniz

Post by Stella » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:02 pm

This has been wikified.
(09:20:49) Kahmari: and can't even specificly put what their lore is from then complains when someone knows the lore of their char
(09:21:13) Stella: I too enjo specifcly lore chars.

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