||[Sep. 18th, 2007|11:38 pm]
one dour badger
(cross-posted from lapsing.blogspot.com)|
A reptilian race, native to subtropical deserts. The term "alif" technically refers only to females; the much smaller male is an "alifit," and of lesser social status. The Great Alifeen Empire is the largest nation in the known history of Lith, and the Imperial Alifeen language is known by most travellers. The Empire's cultural and material wealth are universally admired, and a non-Imperial alif is a vanishingly rare creature.
The erva are semiaquatic reptiles, one of the two eldest races, and easily the largest. They are most at home in jungles and swamps, rarely venturing out into the uncomfortably dry lands of other races except to trade (or pillage). While they are as capable of art and compassion as other races, their insular tribal culture lets the outside world see little of this, whereas the fact that they are enormous carnivores is plainly evident.
Homa are mammals of clear arboreal origin, but entirely comfortable on land. Along with the erva they share the mantle of eldest race, but few homa even know this; whereas the tribal erva have kept ancient traditions alive through the ages, homan storytelling is usually about the teller, not the story. Their histories are quickly exaggerated into myths and legends, and wars are often fought over disagreement on the details. Still, they are politically savvy, and manage to form large and stable nations.
The youngest race rival the erva in physical mass, and are literally built for combat. With slave-armies of tazidye, created from a burrowing desert mammal by a council of alifeen magi, the Empire was founded. Their mentality was deliberately shaped to desire order and leadership. While this has not stopped some tazidye from fleeing alifeen subservience, their few independent settlements maintain a regimented environment; they are industrious, but rarely creative.
This creature's mother is an alif, and her father is an erv. She is not fertile, and never male. In the Alifeen Empire, where she is usually born and raised, she is pitied as the child of rape (even if this is not the truth, Imperial doctrine allows no legal conception of an uralif) and treated well for what she is, but she is certainly not treated as an alif. Many uralifee become hermits, or search for homes among the homa or even the erva, with varying degrees of success.