|Furr Race: The Alluvix <Ah-loo-vix>|
Sand Fox'x, Painted Fox'x (Tame)
Alluvix have no distinct variations.
Average over two feet, under four.
Mainly the deserts, savannah, and volcanic range of Sundast and Blazeden, Hasseran; but also found within human settlements.
Wild 40; Tame 100+
Alluvix are inherently Shiftmages, but Foxxen are a species capable of taking on an additional specialty without loss of effectiveness.
The foxxen of the desert. A rather reclusive species, but more because they're preoccupied with surviving. When they're not focused solely on survival, they're often sporting, riding the dunes.
Alluvix vary from their distant cousins in terms of size and adaptations. They are very small, averaging over two feet and under four; extremes to either side occurs, rarely. They are also more in the habit of taking to feral behavior. They have no distinct variations; most anything may occur within a clan. However, when individuals with coloration unsuited to their environment occur, they are sent off.
These are omnivorous and capable of ingesting some considerably less palatable and even poisonous foods.
While their lifestyle rarely have them see an advanced age, these can potentially reach around a hundred years. Their non-confrontational nature and small stature is favorable for tame living and rarely die sooner than seventy. For the same reasons, the highest expectation in the wild is no further than forty, though that is quite an accomplishment. The reality is that most will be picked off by twenty.
They are different from their larger cousins. Where the Ferrvix and Frivix are large and lithe, Alluvix are small and are strikingly similar in appearance to their animal counterparts.
Alluvix have a plush-looking coat, a fine muzzle, heavy lashes to keep out the sand and to shade from the sun, and very large ears to dispel heat. Their hands are somewhat paw-like, though still dexterous and possessing thumbs. The pads of their hands and feet are furred to protect from the hot sands and provide a better grip. Their feet are not large, but they are splayed to better balance in their bipedal stance. Furred webs between the toes and fingers are common (the hand webs are often clipped between the thumb, index, and middle fingers for ease of use). They are capable of taking a quadruped stance, to better flee. When on all fours, their toes and fingers are neat and tidy.
Polydactylism is a common mutation.
Alluvix in the wild always have black or dark brown skin, to protect from sunburn, and often have tail tips of the same color (never white). However, the main coat is pale. They come in pale greys, pale browns, pale reds, lighter shades of orange, gold, cream, beige, off-whites, and white. They are never burgundy, rufous, or orange. They are never a truly solid color, as their hairs are banded or tipped.
Common patterns are sable and agouti types of markings, with shading up top and pale bellies. Less common, but not rare, are feline markings such as stripes, spots, rosettes, etc.... Mottled pelts, patches, masks, boots, streaks, bands, and rings all occur. White patches, blazes, socks, etc... any form of white spotting or piebald marking does not occur.
Albino is a recessive gene found in much of the population. Because these have difficulty living in their home environment, these are sold off to human nobles. The albino are known as "Painted Fox'x" for their habit of painting themselves with colorful pigments or dyes which serve to deter the sun's rays. (Albino Alluvix have blue or violet eyes, not red.)
Other colors which do not live well in the desert are melanistic and diluted individuals. The melanistic are not made pale, instead having the same coloration as their skin on their fur. Those with excessive dark color are bound for domestic life. The dilutes have blue and pale brown skin, which burns rather easily.
Although Alluvix trade often enough, the items are collected rather than worn. They travel light; their trade tools, a weapon, or their board only. Some carry small purses containing seeds, charms, trinkets, or their stones, but most prefer to adjust their trade tools or weapon to contain these things. (For example, a farmer may prepare corked holes in their earth-working tools to carry their seeds.)
Hunters wear woven of leather belts with triangular metal bits attached. The bits are imbued with luck charms, calming spells, small healing spells, and beast charming spells. These bits resemble large arrowheads, but in the paws of the Alluvix, serve as knives. The bits must pierce the flesh to be activated, but they continue to be of use after the spell has been exhausted for killing small prey.
Alluvix do pierce their ears with trophies gained on their adventures or trade work: the hunters wear bones or shards of game or gained from their own breaks, claws, and feathers; sporting youths wear pieces of glass from the dunes, wood broken off from boards, and bone from when they've broken; earth-workers may wear thorns.... Scars are treated as trophies, particularly by the sporting Foxxen. They generally only treat the wounds just enough to put a Foxxen back on their feet, but never fade.
Alluvix being traded off are painted before their journey with valuable dyes which protect them from the harsh sun and also to mark them with their family's colors. Once they reach their human homes, the human will usually clothe their furr, although Albinos are often dyed for the same reason as they are painted.
Mostly an non-confrontational, pleasant people; however, they will viciously defend their homes and clan where needed. They are generally preoccupied with survival and little else, which is a shame because they are otherwise a fun-loving people and, when given the opportunity, are very studious with a passion for knowledge. Though most clans are small, sometimes only consisting of a pair, mated or not, they are a highly social people.
Their sociability makes them good house servants and makes them much loved by the people which own them. Where many would collect bohar or more exotic pets, those familiar with the Alluvix will make to collect them instead. Their inquisitive nature and intelligence was previously not very popular with humans, though none have ever attempted escape, but with the increasing usefulness of furr mages in society, they've begun investing in the education of their slaves to serve them further.
Society & DwellingsEdit
Alluvix make their homes in Hasseran (Blazeden only) and Sundast, most remaining in the desert where they're suited to living and where most other furrs and humans will not settle. They are not suited to living in any environment too cold or too humid and so are not found in other regions of Dreyrull except when taken in by a human. Only the high class humans are allowed owneship of an Alluvix slave, and so they are only found in the greater human settlements: cities and large towns, occasionally found dwelling in a countryside manor.
Alluvix tend to live in clans made up of different families that have come together in time and never separated. These will make their homes in dens left behind by nomadic Alluvix or other creatures, expanding as necessary. Key features of an Alluvix clan are their better defenses and their extensive farming culture. It is because of both that clans are able to create settlements and grow. A clan with poor agriculture or defense will be picked apart by nature and predators.
There are smaller groups and single family groups which tend to fall apart and reform too often to be considered real clans. These will remain nomadic, digging dens in the sands as temporary dwellings or taking refuge in dens left behind by others of their kind, although they'll also try other animal dens. Families begin to disperse during the offspring's early maturity and they pair off to continue their search for a clan that suits them.
Most Alluvix dwellings are nothing more than a series of dens connected by tunnels, some even connecting the dens of various families into a network. They have as many or as few rooms as needed. Some have taken to reinforcing their dens with wood, clay or stone held together by a binding mixture; however, these materials have other uses, so it is rarely done. Larger clans, more able to focus on things other than survival, have discovered the usefulness of ash mixtures. Along with knowledge gleaned from Ferrvix or humans they've crossed paths with, they've begin to create more sturdy dens with columns and walls made of bricks created from this material. The Alluvix who create these are very proud of their work and will record their history upon these walls using images and writing runes of their own.
Because of nomadic behavior, there are always more Alluvix dens than wild Alluvix at any given time. This is despite the raiding of their abandoned sites by humans and other furr species. They do so in search of Alluvix wealth; healing crystals and stones, many of which are precious, and other items an Alluvix may have traded for, but left behind, unable to take the items with them. Most of these raids result in failures, the careless digging collapsing tunnels and burying dens in sand, the riches never to be found. Despite the lack of direct Alluvix deaths, this action does pose a problem when nomad clans reach a site to rest or seek refuge and find none. In the best case scenarios, the old paths are broken and the Alluvix are forced into the safety of the nearest clans.
Because of the common occurrence of oddly-colored individuals born in Alluvix litters and the kin trade they've employed to find these homes, they are a common enough sight among humans, despite their rarity.
Alluvix in human society serve as house servants to the noble class. They are, however, kept more for status than for work and are considered very valuable. It was not so much a literal value some years ago, when they served more as pets or a display of prestige. But in modern day, humans have taken an interest in their magic skills, as they are not only capable of harnessing more than one form, but are adept in both. The other Foxxen species are known for this, but only the Alluvix are able to be kept as slaves. They're sent to school with masters of the desired class, where they often surpass expectations.
Culture & ReligionEdit
The Alluvix are simplistic in living. In the largest clans, they have their farms to grow their food and raise their livestock, dig their own homes, and trade mostly to keep in touch with humans. Their dens are occasionally built more complex and their walls painted. They've extensive knowledge of various magics. Still, the most remarkable thing to other species about the Alluvix is that they are willing to maintain animals many times their size. The most exciting part of their culture to the Alluvix themselves is their sport of sand surfing.
The nomadic clans are simplistic in their way of life. They travel, they hunt, they gather, they den. Sometimes, they will possess livestock. They will spend their traveling days searching for a settlement to call home. In-between, they will explore quite a considerable amount of drey, from the borders of Sereven to the plains where the other two-leg species like to settle, to the Crystal Mines, and even the sea at the very edges of Sundast. They'll often come across many treasures, but they only take what they can carry. Their most valued treasure, though, is knowledge, their ability to gather such treasure unfortunately curbed by creatures and other things that threaten their survival.
The settled clans participate more actively in revelries commemorating their gods. They split work by professions: farmer, hunter, and warrior. They also organize themselves to practice the sport of sand boarding, more among their youth, but also practiced by adults in their spare time. Despite how busy a larger settlement seems to be, compared to the denned nomads which are not always aboveground, the life they live is considered more relaxed. Considering they worry less about predation and food, it is.
Within a clan, there are families of a life-mated pair and their kits, which will go on to enjoy their kithood rather than disperse, but when they do disperse, it is usually not far, so families grow more extensive. This spreads the responsibility of teaching the clan history and customs among all the members. The teaching of magics is shared by the entire clan. While nomad Alluvix will have knowledge of magics and be able to teach their kits, those of clans will hold more varied elements than just what their immediate family knows and are able to learn knacks and tricks with which they can magic more efficiently.
Individuals belonging to a clan will also, considering they're able to produce more, become very wealthy, though they rarely value wealth; it is more an interest in their particular treasures (which may or may not be treasures at all).
Alluvix have their own religion involving many gods and many festivals, rituals, and customs to commemorate them.
The most prominent of these is the deity of duality, said to possess both the female and male aspects of the Ether. This deity is charged with many tasks that require balance of contrary natures; day and night, life and death, luck and loss.
A kit is not considered living until it opens its eyes. There is a ritual of presenting their litters to their gods when both eyes of the dual god are open and turned to the drey (during a full moon at an hour where both the sun and the moon are in the sky), so they may bestow the seed of Ether into their being. A kit which opens its eyes before the gods have sown their seed is considered soulless; it is hardly even considered a person and will not have a role within their society. They are not even considered to be male or female, as such is determined by the seed their gods have planted. These are often abandoned. A kit which is stillborn would be mummified, but still presented, then sent on its way.
There is also a farewell ritual beneath the eyes of the dual deity, in which kits meant to be traded off to humans are painted masks in their family colors. For albinos, requiring more extensive painting, the ritual becomes a clan-wide event. There is no shame in part of the family or clan for their kin, only thoughts of their health. They pray to their gods that they be protected and to the dual deity to cast them good lots in life.
Alluvix do not believe in reincarnation. When one dies, if they've lived a good life, they ascend to the next plane and so on. If one has lived a bad life, they are eaten whole by a two-headed crocodile dog creature. In the time of white cities—now cities of the dead, buried beneath the sands—Alluvix possessed magics that halted the process of aging and decay. The knowledge has been long lost. Now, the Alluvix attempt to replicate the results with their practice the preservation of their dead through mummification. They believe one takes the form they hold in death for their following life. While scars are considered decorative and something to be proud of, part of one's identity and a memoir of life that is worn, a missing limb is not something one wishes to explain to one's divine peers. Those killed by predators and are not recovered fade away as their bodies do. Those which are recovered and are preserved will pass, but will often be missing a piece of themselves.
The Deity of DualityEditIt is said there were once more gods.... Day and Night were two entities, as were Life and Death, Luck and Loss. They were equal, meant to be a perfect match, balanced. But they were contrary, they were conflicting, and eventually, they clashed. The world was thrown into chaos. But neither could find a way to defeat their opposite, they were too evenly matched. Nothing would have been resolved if it weren't for the chaos.
Night and Day could only best the other for a few moments at a time, but the moments were not how the drey was meant to take it, and many creatures on the drey were lost to the struggle, as they could not cope. With the loss of life came the weakening of the Life deity, which perished. Death, finally rid of his opponent, was free to go about as he pleased. Day, realizing that it was their struggle that had given Death the upper hand, called for the diety to aid her in the struggle against Night, in return. Death did so, turning the Drey hot and arid from Day's eternal reign. Most of the creatures of the drey perished, but the Alluvix survived this age of fire. With the added losses, Loss itself was becoming stronger than Luck. Upon realizing her imminent demise, Luck cast her lots. The last deity with an equal enemy seemed to perish, but it did not end there. While Luck herself was indeed destroyed, her energy was not diminished. This energy, set free from its host, fell to the drey.
It was a while before a new vessel was found. When it was, it was in the form of two Alluvix kits, merged in the womb, because a single body could not take such a great spirit. When the gods saw this creature and the spirit it carried, they were pleased. They planted within it a seed of Era, another of Ora, as if the kits had been born separate, but it was one; balance within one creature. The kit was not taught furr magics, it was taught by the gods themselves, bestowing upon it the knowledge of life, of night... with the innate knowledge it had of luck, it became the first and only Alluvix to possess three "elements".
The intent was to give the kit a place among them when the time came, but because Loss itself consumed the time the immortals and mortal things had, they realized the only chance to act was right then and there. The kit was hastily given its clan colors as a quick farewell and it was seen off to the North, to the peak of the drey, where it climbed the mountain of life to the sky and beyond. The struggle saw it through its lifetime and past, but finally, the final three deities were defeated and the ascended Alluvix settled into place as master of all three dual-nature elements, balance restored.
Sand boarding is the sport of riding down a sand dune on a board. The boards are carved from sturdy wood purchased from humans and other two-legs. They are usually carved solely by the Alluvix to whom it belongs, as... are all subsequent boards. The dunes are rough on the bare wood and, even when waxed to a shine, they are still occasionally break. It is not so much the wood as the dune. Crashing into the sands is not a delicate matter, and it does not just break boards, but bones. Sporting Alluvix will wear the scars of these wounds with pride, even going to far as to pierce their ears with a shard of a bone that has broken, just as the warriors and the hunters and the farmers will wear their own trophies.
Sand boarding is enjoyed by all the clan, even those who do not participate. They will hold competitions in and outside their clan with as much festivity as they would for a celebration for the gods.
As previously mentioned, the Alluvix will trade with humans. The only real professions for Alluvix are farmer, hunter, and warrior, so they are, unless a small clan, not usually in need of trade. But because of the kin trade, they do need to remain in contact with humans. In the end, they will collect items of their personal taste, often until their hoard is great enough to rival those of legendary dragons.
Products Alluvix have for trade are usually of their agriculture and their unique strains of livestock. Adventurous individuals or nomad clans will usually possess something of great interest to two-legs from expeditions to the fringes of the Sereven forest and the Crystal Mines. They are also quite well known for their rune work and various charms. Though not magitech, they've adapted these to work (usually one time, requiring an elemental trigger or trigger rune) for humans.
They will take in return trinkets and oddities of other two-leg work, textiles, pottery, and many other things, even things they probably shouldn't possess, if for their own safety. They'll just as often trade back what they acquire for more interesting things.
The smaller clans and more sensible Alluvix mainly trade for livestock, meats, foods, raw materials, and wood.
High fantasy call names and family names followed by their trade, craft, or status. (Ex: Airen Sur, the Hunter.) Those which are to be sent off to live with humans are given human names and the family surname; though the prouder families will give them their human name, a traditional name, and the family name. These are not given professions, as they are sent off soon as they are capable of being self-sufficient.
Sometimes, they will confuse unfamiliar words for human names (ex: mirror, lace, snow...).
Growth & AgingEdit
Alluvix age rapidly, going from pup to kit at about a year and reaching "teen" age at about their second year, though they reach full maturity at age four for females, five for males.
They will usually search for mates as older kits ("preteen" age), since their small size means many fall victim to predation. Larger clans, not having to worry about numbers and having better defense, marry much later, instead focusing on sports, and trading, and festivals for the many days they observe for their many gods.
In the wild, they are considered elders around thirty, though not even nearing old age, as they don't have a grand life expectancy. There are a handful of wilds that have reached seventy. Most will meet their end by natural predation before their twenties.
The Alluvix are skilled in shifting, something they share with the other Foxxen races, but an Alluvix will pick it up much more quickly. Also like the other Foxxen, Alluvix are capable of becoming proficient in two magics; this is usually their shifting and an additional element, but they are capable of trading their shifting for another ability. It doesn't matter if the magics are similar or contrary. However, there are more common choices which benefit the clan, considering their lifestyle.
A common mage in Alluvix culture is the Ethermage. These are capable of weaving detailed mirages (aided by the desert itself) and even creatures from the energy they pull from the Ether. A more useful Ethermage skill is that of the White Mage, which serve their people as healers, and... they are always needed. White Mages are often leaders. Alluvix Ethermages have a particularity where they use stones and crystals as magical aids. Each stone has a specific property, and drawing Ether through an unadulterated stone will augment particular spells. There is a problem with this intricate use of Ether—whence an Alluvix pulls from the Ether, the Ether pulls back. Many are seduced into joining with it before their natural time.
Other common elements are Water and Drey. Water is important to agriculture, so those who can discover sources of water beneath the sandy waves are important. Where a White Mage does not lead, a Water mage will usually take on the role. Drey is used to help grow the crops they sow. Some understand the inner workings of these so well, they've been able to hybridize less specialized or less productive plant species into something they can use and grow in the deserts.
Tales of eons past circulate among the Alluvix of a time when their race held the secret to temporal magics, but the knowledge of manipulation of time has been lost to time itself. Presently, the Alluvix attempt to prevent the decay and desiccation of their dead as the ancient ones did with their modern process of mummification, believing that it preserves the soul from rot and readies them for the next plane of existence.