Lights are a breed cloaked in mystery, myth, and wonder. There are many fantastical things believed about Lights that are thought to be true, but aren't, and many equally amazing things that turn out to be true after all. For example, there is a common belief that Lights are immortal, which simply isn't true. What is true is that they don't die of old age for an extensive period of time, and have a high immunity to disease. They can still be wounded, and often die young for such a reason.
Physique & Appearance Edit
As a breed of shapeshifters, few Lights hold to their original physique. This isn't saying that they don't have one. Lights that do not choose to shift are lean and muscular, built for speed on land and stamina over distances. On average, they stand at about 5 feet at the shoulder, however it's known that even Lights not well-versed in shapeshifting can control when their growth stops. Therefore, Lights have been known to be as small as 2 feet at the shoulder, and on the other end of the spectrum, as tall as Ices. Their hides are thin and their fur is of an avaerage length, making the breed as it is built for temperate regions like Hasseran and Jiskadar. However, when shifted, a Light can live literally anywhere in Dreyrull.
Though Lights are typically born in pale or natural colors, the Lights' ability to shapeshift means that by their moonling years, they are capable of changing their coat, skin, and wing colors to anything they desire.
Though they shift it away for cultural reasons, Lights are, in fact, born with tailblades. They are the only breed in which every tailblade is entirely unique - anywhere from ornate and long to a single, simple blade-end. In the Light breed, it's considered an oddity to keep your tailblade.
Lights have a very broad, long wingspan, which allows them flight over greater distances in comparison to the short-winged fliers. However, without a tailfeather shift, they are unable to glide for very long, and so a great deal of their flying power is from wingbeats. This can become tiring over time, and so though they are stronger fliers than fires, they cannot cover the same distance as an air without a shift. Therefore, most Lights will shift tailfeathers if they plan on traveling a great distance. With tailfeathers, their flight distance is just as great as an Air's - up to 100 miles from sun-up to sun-down.
Normal (unshifted) landspeed: 40mphEdit
Wingless landspeed: 45mphEdit
Flight distance capable without tailfeathers: ~1 MileEdit
Flight distance capable with tailfeathers: 50-100 milesEdit
Light vision is best in the daytime, and they are not known for shifting their eyes to be pupiless for any reason - it is a very, very rare case when they do - as they take pride in their sight over distance and their clear sense of detail. Lights do, however, tend to lose their vision with age due to the extended length of their lifespan, and are usually blind or partially blind by their elder years.
Light aershaa have no known natural oddities, nor any oddities when mixing with other breeds. However, when mixing with the Draian breed, they tend to grow at the standard aershaa rate, but are given the ability to live up to 100 cycles.
*Always remember that though a breed may have a standard temperament, every character is an individual.
Once upon a time, Lights were as proud as fires and just as eager to enter a battle when their ways must be defended. Over the years, however, and from the many wars fought, Lights as a whole have become very anti-war and peace loving. It is typically only the younger Lights that are more hot-headed, as they have not experienced the wars of years gone by.
Unlike the majority of aerkind, Lights are not likely to run with a pack, and are very much loners, feeling much closer to the two-legs they bond to. The reasoning behind this ranges from their initial breeding to the vast difference in lifespan between a Light and the rest of the race.
See the first paragraph of "Physique & Appearance".
Culture & ReligionEdit
Being a breed of loners and vagabonds, Lights have little to speak of in terms of breed-wide culture. However, of all aerkind, Lights are most known for their gift of storytelling, as no aershaa sees as much of the world, nor as much time pass, as a Light does.
Death is a less frequent occurence in the case of Light aershaa, and so the shock tends to be greater. The ceremony of the fallen is simplistic, as the body is covered by dirt, leaves, and sticks, and a song for the dead is sung by the family or pack that surrounds him or her. Lights mourn in complete silence henceafter. They believe that all words spoken take energy, and that energy is saved when a word remains unspoken, therefor offering the energy to the fallen one for strength to run to the afterlife. The mourning period can be as short as a day, or as long as a moon, depending on how deep the relationship was between the mourning Light and his or her fallen companion.
Lights are the only breed of wild aershaa that breed both naturally and by souldancing, where other aershaa only gain the natural ability when born from tame parents. This gives them compatibility with all breeds. However, Lights are most likely to stick to either their own breed, or to the breeds that have allied with them in the past, the Fires, Waters, Airs, and those that helped them rediscover their ability to breed, the Barren.
Update 3/10/14: A shifted Light is capable of passing its alterations on to its offspring when the Light breeds naturally with its partner. In permanent shifting, Light DNA is altered right down to their reproductive organs, embedding these traits into their very genetic code. This allows these traits to develop in their offspring. However, this genetic code is different in souldancing: souldancing weaves an imprint of the aershaa as it originally was with the imprint of their partner, and remains unaltered during a shift.
Lights are particularly rare in the tame world, as it is extremely difficult to capture adults from the wild, given their natural phasing ability. If a Light is captured at a young enough age, however, they miss the opportunity to learn how to phase, and are easily taught to be tame without wiping.
As time has progressed, Lights have become more common from generations of Tame families, and are the easiest aershaa, once well-bred, to mold as an ally, as they are docile and eager to please once in a tame situation. Only on wild-captive Lights is mental-wiping required.
The Lights that are successfully tamed are typically for companionship or for show. The unique ability to shapeshift puts them in Lights-only competitions to demonstrate shifting skill and the artistic vision of the owner, and also requires special instruction when they are young, as it's not a skill so easily mastered on one's own. Both winged and wingless are approved in competition, and coloration is appreciated when soft, but vibrant. Man-made alterations are looked down upon, as it's a show of mastery and skill of the owner to put the airla through enough training to create the alterations themselves.
Lights have no particular naming system - their names tend to be Dreyrullian Standard or Tribalistic, and often reflect on personal values rather than taking after their parents. Lights will often change their names as they grow older from what their parents had given them, and strongly believe in the holding power of a name, a standard aershaa and furr belief that a name can be used for or against the power of an individual.
Growth & AgingEdit
Lights, once they have hit the adult stage, are virtually ageless, growing at nearly 1/10th of the rate of an average aershaa. This means that a Light could, in theory, live up to 1,000 cycles (years) - that is, if they avoid injury or sickness for that long.
Lights had a gap of 200 years where they had lost their ability to breed. They have only recently regained their ability to souldance 8 in-character cycles(years) ago - so a Light aershaa is either over 208 years old, or under 8. Light mixes, as they do not age past 100 years, can be no older than 8.
Read more about aershaa aging here.
Lights have two particular types of magic: shapeshifting and lightweaving.
Shapeshifting is a physical manipulation of the aershaa's form. How vastly they can shapeshift is directly proportionate to age and amount of practice. The typical Light can add and change features on their form within reason of their mobility. Examples are changing their wing type, adding tailfeathers, adding spikes, removing their wings, changing ear length, changing colors, etc. A more advanced shapeshifter can alter their bodytype to look like that of another breed of aershaa. An elder with hundreds of years of experience can go a step further, and change to look like another species of creature altogether - be it a two-leg or an animal in the wild. Shapeshifting is a slow, labored process that takes a hefty meal beforehand and an extended amount of time (from half an hour for minor shifts, to several hours for a complex shift.) to complete the shift. Without a slow procedure and absolute concentration, a shift can go terribly wrong and cause anything from broken bones to life-threatening damage to internal organs. It is not something that can be done in active battle, or in an instant.
Standard shapeshifting features:Edit
- Antlers (must be accompanied by size / muscle shift)
- Body structure (must remain aershaa-like. This includes any kind of muscularity and weight.)
- Claw type / length
- Ear length / shape
- Feathers (Tail, mane, and elsewhere.)
- Fur color
- Fur length (Including removing fur entirely)
- Joint structure
- Mane - Full back, Full head, Partial narrow "mohawk", any combination.
- Paw structure (adding thumbs, increading paw size)
- Spikes - Large back spikes cannot be combined with wings.
- Tail (Never more than two, and length cannot be more than 1 1/2 that of the body to maintail balance.)
- Wings - Leather, feather, or combination of the two. Both wings must be the same type and size.
Shapeshifting reserved for elders:Edit
- "Permanent" lightwoven illusions - An elder can understand the manipulation of ethermass enough to create the illusion of a bodily feature that isn't possible through physical shifting, like flames or vines.
Lightweaving, a technique used by Ethermages, is a technique commonly compared to illusion, but in fact is something else entirely. Lightweaving is a manipulation of the natural energies in the drey, concentrated and "woven" to create luminescent shapes and forms. It is often used for distraction, in place of an illusion, or entertainment, but if an aershaa spends his or her life focusing on lightweaving, that same manipulation of energy can be used to mend flesh and bone.
Phasing is not considered a magical ability for a Light, though it is commonly referred to as such. Lights are naturally able to phase through solid objects, typically up to 3 feet thick, as well as in and out of their bonded. (See: Bonding)
Like furrs, an aershaa will specialize in one field of study or another. So in magic, an aershaa will typically be particularly good at one talent or another. They can be shapeshifting specialists, or lightweaving specialists, or healers. This isn't saying that they can only lightweave or only shapeshift - this is saying that they are typically stronger in one magic than another, like a multitalented person may be alright at dancing but amazing painters.
Ostrydeo 23:08, August 28, 2012 (UTC)